August 03, 2006

The Trials and Tribulations of the Hipster

The hipster stalks their prey over years. They don't hunt for food. They hunt for IT. The it neighborhood, the it LOFT apartment, the it view of the city. Soon, the neighborhood will be theirs.

The "artists," the misunderstood, the white, the guilty find their prey in the undiscovered real estate market - minority neighborhoods. Cheap. The gullyness of minorities. All your friends think your real. Just some of the benefits of living in the SoBro. "I'm just steps from the subway, and my loft has got a great view of Manhattan's skyline."

Yeah. You may have your various trucker hats, your Pabst beer, and your underground bands.'s still hard out their for a hipster. You have to walk through "shady streets." You can't invite your SoHo friends over for dinner. You have to travel really far to get to an organic grocery store. None of the bars around you have Pabst on tap. The bars that DO have Pabst on tap serve it because it's affordable. None of the bootleggers in your neighborhood sell Aesop Rock or any other "enlightened" hip-hop. The New York Times writes about us, but not in an ironic way. It's hard out there for a hipster.

As the warehouses become lofts, the boarded up brownstones become renovated historical landmarks, and the streets become filled with boutiques, the hipster smiles. One more neighborhood.

A rare glimpse of the elusive hipster prey, known as "minorities."

MF GRIMM: American Hunger, Breakfast


Anonymous c said...

i think it's a mistake to demonize. some people feel this way, no doubt, and DO try to get the hot thing no one (white) knows. but some folks just need a place to live and their clothing and music is secondary to that. the hipster is never anything more than a T.I trend that makes a convenient weapon.

12:15 AM  
Blogger vik said...

they're not a convenient weapon when your rent is due, when your rent increases, when all these boutiques pop up when they move in (when all we needed was a grocery store with fresh veggies).....

the subway stations suddenly become cleaner, they put art up on the wall in the station....

i see where you're comin from, but the city has become the reverse white flight phenomena....where do the displaced residents go? its not a trend...its happening

7:16 AM  
Blogger Hummingbyrd said...

I heart the Bronx.

READ CHANGO's Fire by Ernesto Quionez.


9:55 AM  
Blogger AskReamer said...

As a white person in the bay area, I can personally say that I am among the "guilty," and I agree, in part, with this post. However, I don't neccesarily agree with the portrayal of the gentrifier as malicious and predatory, as it is largely an issue of nessecity, the solutions to which lie far beyond telling hipsters to stop moving to the hood. First of all, I rent where I can afford and have had enough guns pointed at me and teeth knocked out to effectively remove any disillusionment about what it means to be an outsider in said neighborhoods. But, as an educator/ artist who prefers not to live in the suburbs (which I also can't afford), my options are limited, and most people in my situation are not in fancy lofts with views and such - those come along later, after developers start to notice the potential (potential $$$, that is)of the area and the fancy (cheaply built and ugly) stuff starts to show up. And you can be sure that these cats are not gonna offer affordable units without a fight and don't have much interest in improving anything for that matter, as their target occupants can usually afford private school and the increasing "desireability" of the neighborhood will naturally drive out "undesireables" as rents increase and culture and history begin to dissolve.
It really is fucked up, but I don't think complaining about hipsters and white/middle class (btw, do you guys agree that middle class folks of color are also gentrifiers? I believe that they are. PLease share.) is going to change anything. If you look at any american city neighborhood throughout history, they have all gone through many phases and played host to people of multiple ethnicities. Now, as middle and upper class people return to the city, they are undergoing yet another change that doesn't show any signs of slowing. However, with requirements for affordable housing and laws that require a LIVING (not minimum) wage, some of the negative effects can be negated and neighborhoods can hopefully perserve the integrity that makes them what they are.

5:33 PM  

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