- Original Brooklyn hipster.
Ok, I promise we’ll soon stop with this whole “hipsters do this, hipsters do that” navel-gazing analysis (seriously, I know, I’m obsessed), but I just got so pissed off skimming through the ridiculously self-important commenters (e.g. “I lived here before you could get good coffee!”) on this ridiculously empty Gawker post about “real Brooklyn/fake Brooklyn.” Until I came across a comment by a self-declared hipster calling herself Leila-Clare (if you’re out there, call us!). Anyway, it goes like this:
I moved to New York city to be in fashion media. Guess what? I succeeded. I came from a small liberal arts college that Gawker laughs at sometimes, but left because I couldn’t afford it and went to public school in Canada. I am from Chicago (Wicker Park, which was a WHOLE different world when I was young). Growing up I had a single mom with a small amount of money, but I’ve been stuffed to the ear holes with bourgeosie values, so I went to private school… because I got a fucking scholarship.
I lived in Crown Heights, now I live in Bushwick. And my friends ride bikes (I don’t…I’m terrified of them). Sometimes I get nervous walking at night. We grow herbs in our windowsills. We shop at Beacon’s Closet. Sometimes, some of the people I know can be seen reading Michael Chabon or Cormac McCarthy on the train. We like it that way.
And we would be doing the exact same in any city we live (my friends in Chicago do a very similar thing, as do my friends in San Antonio and my friends in Seattle and Baltimore or wherever else). I am a 20-something who works in the media with tattoos. No matter what I did, how I acted or the way I conducted myself, I will be labeled a hipster. That’s a fact I can’t change, so instead of whining and proving how hipsterish I’m NOT, I try to give the people around me, be they imported or native, the type of respect I’d like in the place I adopt as my home.
Rents are raised everywhere. Brooklyn is no different from the rest of the US. The only thing I’ve found, having lived (and immersed) myself in several different American cities and spending three years abroad, is that I really LIKE Brooklyners. They are colorful and weird. If that makes them hipster or anti-hipster, well, then, where’s my American Apparel?”
Thank you, Leila-Clare. [slow clap]