This dumb, Williamsburg -baiting article, Things Hipsters Do To Be Ironic But Are Actually Awesome, is not going to get anyone to use hotmail. Do the ladies from2 Broke Girls use hotmail? (This whole campaign on Buzzfeed, in fact, is dumb.)
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Turns out Brooklyn hipsters aren’t as unique as they’d like to believe. This week’s Observer features an article by Adrianne Jeffries comparing and criticizing Brooklyn and its ever growing DIY, organic-living lifestyle as being a carbon copy of the Northwest hipster haven Portland, Oregon.
Jeffries notes that the similarities between the two areas include local interest in an arts and music scene, environmentally friendly DIY products sold auspiciously at markets like the Brooklyn Flea (just a few examples from the article include “rings glued to typewriter keys, handmade, vegetable-dyed, vintage Oriental rugs,” and homemade chocolate bars wrapped in packaging, “printer with soy inks on 100 percent postconsumer-recycled, chlorine-free, processed paper that was made from wind-generated energy”), an affinity for food trucks and the preferred mode of transpiration as bicycles.
These examples and more lead Jeffries to rebrand the borough, Brooklandia, after Portlandia the IFC comedy show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein that makes fun of the West Coast hipsters.
This negative comparison to Portland is only one of many jibes Jeffries manages to get into the article as he writes off Brooklyn’s creative, environmentally conscious community as hackneyed and pretentious. Check out some choice Brooklyn-bashing quotes below:
- “Brooklyn’s overwrought mustaches and handmade ice cream in upcycled cups are now well-established facts of life. It’s as if the tumor of hipster culture that formed when the cool kids moved to Williamsburg had metastasized into a cluster of cysts pressing down on parts of the borough’s brain.”
- “One of the things I’ve found is that as a reporter it’s getting harder for me to pitch Brooklyn stories that start like, ‘Hey, there’s a group of guys in Brooklyn or a group of young people in Brooklyn who—’” Mr. Smith said. “You can sort of feel the eye-roll of the editor, like, yeah, there’s a bunch of people in Brooklyn who, you name it, are constructing a huge skyscraper out of used coffee cups! They’re learning how to butcher pigs in their own kitchen!”
-Robert Smith, NPR Reporter
- “Williamsburg is just becoming like a circus,” he said. “When I’m there, I hear the circus music in my head. Mustaches were like 2010. We’re on to mutton chops. Everyone is walking around like the Satorialist is about to take a picture of them. That’s not a healthy way to live.“It’s all just becoming so precious,” he reflected. “And Brooklyn is not supposed to be a precious place.”
- Jake Dobkin, Gothamist publisher
We were trying to ignore this video, but now that Gothamist picked up the story and it specifically references Williamsburg…
Also, that’s a rather large bag of coke, hobo hipster. Dayum.
NabeWise is a pretty cool website dedicated to the online exploration of various neighborhoods throughout the country. The sharing of local experiences combined with basic neighborhood data such as school ratings, real estate values, photos, videos, etc. allow people to find their perfect life-space from the safety of a computer screen…like a little nerdy, nomadic Goldilocks.
But what is specifically intriguing is NabeWise users’ takes on our own home sweet home, which is divided in three sections – Williamsburg, East Williamsburg and South Williamsburg. Here are some highlights illustrating slightly arbitrary distinctions and affiliations (i.e., East Williamsburg includes what many would proudly call Bushwick):
Nabe Reputation: lists the tags attributed to a neighborhood by NabeWise users; the bold italicized are funny
- Williamsburg: cool, filthy, hazardous waste, Jewish, McCarren Park, musicians, trendy, Williamsburg Bridge, young, aggressively ironic, artsy, dives, gritty, hipster, indie, ironic, pbr, too skinny jeans
- East Williamsburg: great graffiti, hipster, hipster families, industrial, more affordable than Williamsburg, Motorino, new condos, White Castle
- South Williamsburg: Hasidic, Hispanic, JMZ trains, Jewish, diner, hazardous waste, L Train, McCarren Park, old breweries, Puerto Rican, trust fund, great food, indie, lofts, White Castle
High and Low Rankings: depicts the NabeWise calculations in various sectors
- Williamsburg ranks…
- #2 Hipsters
- #3 Trendy
- #5 Singles
- East Williamsburg ranks…
- #1 Hipsters
- #3 Industrial
- #7 Artists / Creatives
- South Williamsburg ranks…
- #1 Gays/Lesbians
- #3 Hipsters
- #5 Beautiful People
Opportunities to make fun of hipsters never cease, but this video may be overkill. Posing as representatives from Brooklyn Vegan (the site denied their involvement in the making of the video), a group called Million Dollar Extreme took to the streets of Williamsburg to check out the local fashion.
The crew interviewed numerous guys with ray-bans (hipster stereotype #1) and ironic facial hair (hipster stereotype #2) and girls who listen to Holy Ghost and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (hipster stereotype #you get it), really running their point into the ground.
We get it, Williamsburg has hipsters.
Though apparently this is news to the interviewer, who describes the area as a, “funky, underground neighborhood.” Not to sound pretentious, but really, where have you been?
“I’ve lived in this neighborhood since the 1980s, when there were a lot of Polish and Italian social clubs, and I was always inspired by that idea of creating your own community center,” said Chris Raymond, 48, a fly-fishing enthusiast and the information-technology director for Abrams Books. His signature accessory is a worn red baseball cap stitched with the words “Fish Pimp.”
So two years ago, when he was between jobs, Mr. Raymond organized a weekly hangout with 11 other mostly unemployed, musically inclined fathers in a two-story, 800-square-foot former warehouse they rented on an industrial stretch of Kent Avenue near North 11th Street.
The agenda? Listening to records, drinking beer and talking about the great outdoors. They built their own furniture and tacked up fishing maps of the Catskills and Newtown Creek. They jammed on their guitars or headed to the ragged shore nearby to catch moss bunker and bluefish.
Check out their calendar at bklynrodandgun.com.
Details Magazine just posted a little anthropological/sociological/zoological slideshow of “weirdest hipster habitats” on their website.
Apparently their broadly defined version of hipster can live in tanks, pirate ships, Gowanus and shipping containers.
Wait. Shipping containers?! Thought those things were only for transporting Russian hookers (Season 2 of The Wire reference, yo!)
Ruh-Roh. Guess who’s inevitably gonna get blamed for ruining Rockaway?
That’s right! New York Magazine is putting Williamsburg on blast.
The recent addition of “hipster institutions” Roberta’s, The Meat Hook, Caracas, Vinegar Hill House, Babycakes and the “haughty” Blue Bottle Coffee (Hey! That’s my San Francisco-hometown coffee you’re fucking with) to the Rockaway Taco concession contingent are apparently bringing in the Chloë Sevigny look-alikes and debates on whether “steampunk can be called a lifestyle.”
Although the working class locals have yet to complain about the temporary summer influx of irony and jorts, the article follows on the heels of The New York Times’ own report of the tattooed, Wayfarer masses. With all this high-profile coverage, it is only a matter of time before one interviewee’s astute observation that “the boardwalk is the new Bedford Avenue” becomes less tourist attraction and more anti-gentrification assault.
Also, in general, do surfers qualify as hipsters? I haughtily think not.
Williamsburg’s demographics may be changing, according to David Maundrell, President of Aptsandlofts.com.
As reported on The Real Deal Magazine’s twitter feed: “As families and retirees move into Williamsburg off the Bedford L stop, hipsters are moving east along the L,” Maundrell said yesterday at the Green Pearl Brooklyn Real Estate Summit.
Can Williamsburg survive these population changes and maintain its edge, or will its indie cred be lost to pension checks and baby strollers?
Sigh. It happened again. After City Councilwoman Diana Reyna stated that “‘hipsters’ may be part of the cause” for the New York City’s inaccurate census results, the media went wild, with L Magazine bringing up the tired “hipsters are too cool” argument, and Metro NY going as far as to accuse hipsters of costing NYC billions of dollars in federal funding. (The Awl has a shot of the even-more inflammatory print headline here).
As we pointed out last April, the “hipster” areas of Williamsburg etc had census return rates that were about on par with the rest of the city, making this more of a story of media sensation and less a story of substance. It also, as City Limits points out, blatantly ignores very real issues that get in the way of census returns: the fact that so many residents live in inaccessible-to-the-public apartment buildings, that so many residents live in illegally subdivided or sublet apartments, that undocumented immigrants may be less-than-willing to talk about their living situation with a government representative, or that the city’s population may indeed have plummeted due to the this-city-being-so-fucking-expensive-no-one-can-afford-to-live-here-anymore factor.
So can we get over this hipsters-hate-the-census thing already, and move on to some real problems? Like how you can never reach Northside carservice on weekend mornings, or that it’s been almost two months, and the Weeknd has STILL only put out one mixtape?
ps – you all had better have actually filled out your damn census forms, otherwise I’ll look like a real big idiot.