Sunday, March 3, 2013


           I prowl through the jungle of Bedford Avenue, an elephant gun neatly tucked under my arm, soft boots treading quietly not to scare off my prey.
            I am on an important expedition.
            The object of our hunt this week is a deceptively complicated animal. We are hunting for a specific zoological breed, an elusively defined creature.
            The Hipster.
            Even the name itself incurs twisted lips and sneers at such a definition. After my little diatribe last week (Are You A Hipster? PART 1), The Bartender Knows received several letters and posts regarding how lame ‘hipsters’ are.
            But before we judge, we must define, once and for all, what a hipster really is. I will refrain from judgment. As a professional hunter, I will observe this creature in its natural habitat.
            I make a small fire with some kindle off North 6th, tucked behind the foliage of empty wine boxes outside Uva Wine Shop. I break out my perishables, slowly roasting a carnita asada taco recently claimed from the taco truck up the block over the flames, polishing my elephant gun, sipping on bourbon from a steel flask that has seen me through a fair share of dark, mysterious continents, waiting to catch the hipster in their natural environment.      
            I bring out an old leather bound book full of cataloged sheets, yellowed paper full of descriptions and classifications regarding my sojourn here in the Hipster Capital of the world. I have made some brief observations, and found that “hipsters’ come in many breeds, many styles, all with different plumage and habits.
            I jot some notes down, bringing out my binoculars, and focus on the approaching prey. Yes. The parade has begun. It’s a Saturday night, and the wildlife are gathering.
            Hipsters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.    
            And if any of you feel you may also fit into these categories, please raise your hands slowly. The truth is, as always, hard to swallow.
            As a true professional, The Bartender Knows does not judge. We merely observe.
            First things first.


            This creature stands at the top of the list. They are the butt of a thousand jokes, mocked by all like Christ on his way to the Mount. To fall into this category, you must possess three distinct characteristics:

            Retarded Fashion Choices.
            Yes. You must look at this man/woman (if you can actually tell which is which), stop in your tracks and mutter: “What the fuck?”
            Especially during the summer time in this neighborhood. I find myself staring at some of these fashion choices, utterly confused. Now I respect fashion, I really do, but some of these decisions are confounding.  
            Mom Jeans? Bike chains around necks with no shirt riding unicycles? What is this, Burning Man? The Cyndi Lauper shaved side cut. Some women are shaving the front part of their bangs.
            You are neither Cyndi Lauper or a Roman Eunuch from a 17th Century monastery.             
            What about Pink Russian hats with Leopard print coats walking small dogs with hand knit sweaters on (Note: I love watching these women in these get ups scooping dog shit into plastic bags. There’s some strange justice in this).
            Essentially, an 'ultimate' hipster must wear some nonsensical shit to qualify.
            Next characteristic: 
            Socially Retarded.
            I believe P. Mayes said it best in his comment last week about these types of folk who “hang out at American Apparel looking disdainfully boring…”
            I understand. It is always strange when you try to say hi, smile, and or otherwise conduct typical social matters with these people. I see this at the bar day in and day out. Just because the characters on “Girls” do it doesn’t give you permission to act like an oblivious asshole to the person who just tried to relate to you in a human way.
            Face it.
            You are a member of society, like it or not. And it has taken a long time to make this culture what it is. As I’ve quoted a million times here in The Bartender Knows:
            “If you’re socially awkward after the age of 25, you’re not a shy person, you’re probably just an asshole.”                    
            And finally:

            Shitty Tattoos

            There is a very odd trend recently to deface ones skin with tattoos that mean absolutely nothing. I harken back to my Grandfathers day when you wore these tattoos as points of pride, a message to the world about where you’ve been and what battles you faced. Now 21 year old girls get the Anheuser-Busch logo tattooed on their waistline.
             Honey, the one place the female body will surely change form is in the waist, and I know with some youthful pride (and comedy for anyone performing cunnilingus) thought this was a good decision. But in the end, when the Anheuser-Busch logo ends up stretching into the shape of the state of Alaska, you’ll be hitting the tattoo removal parlor faster than your pants dropped in the summer of 2012.          
            Tattoos don’t come with erasers. It’s your skin. Your one and only coat. But chances are if you’ve got Elmer Fudd, a Jameson bottle, and a picture of a spider that was drawn by someone obviously on acid on your forearm, you might just fit into the category of the ULTIMATE HIPSTER.

            All other hipsters spiral out from this essential center. Let's take a small tour and see if any of these other 'types' ring a bell.
            There’s the bulky dude faux west/southern beardo flannel-doning hipster. Right? He’s over at The Levee Bar, or Lucky Dog drinking tall boy Genese's.
            What about the hip-hop hipster, clad in sweaters Carlton wore in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? You know the style, that Pharrell Williams/Kanye West hip-hop hipster?
            What about the slacker, Seattle coffee aficionado, hoodie/beanie wearing, left over from the 90’s, Lou Barlow type of hipster, no? 
            Next, we got the “Warriors”-era punk studded, acid-washed jeans styled hipster. They've got chains for weapons and generally reek of 80's Salvation Army musk.
            For the ladies, the standard Stevie Nick’s wide brimmed hat, feather earrings and fake fur Beach House-chic styled chick? You've definitely seen her around. You can’t miss this Bat for Lashes rip-off girl.   
            What about the little skater lesbian, bandana in the back pocket, chain wallet, no deodorant hipster? She’s skateboarding down the street with a scowl as we speak.
            Then there’s the 50’s rockabilly hipster with the full sleeve tattoos and the Mike Ness look of indifference. These guys have mutton chops and tickets to the next Reverend Horton Heat show.
            How can we forget a staple hipster style: all black, non-descript t-shirt, tight black jeans, black and white Converse, the typical Ramones-era style bop-punk hipster (I fall in this category, in case you’re wondering).
            Then we’ve got the nerd/prep hipster, adorned with skinny ties, black rimmed horned glasses, a Morrissey quaff for the daring types. Passing by, usually in groups with a sad mangy looking dog following listlessly, are the gutter-punk crusty hipsters, reeking of sweat, bathtub speed, and black tar heroin. They usually bum change with pithy signs and a general demeanor of escaping their parent wealthy suburbs kind of rebellion. Face tattoos are optional.
            Let’s not forget the newest arrival of hipsterism, the 80’s rocker with teased hair and cut off Aerosmith and Poison t-shirts, giving the devil sign with two fingers, every AC/DC record on their ipod Mini close by. They seem to always want to ‘rock’. These are generally dating the metal, Mastodon-loving, greasy long-haired metal hipster. These guys have patches sewn onto their blue jean vests and black dirty jeans with motorcycle boots. I still think metal is super un-sexy, as it reminds me when metal actually came out and was only loved by acne faced angry young boys who never got laid.
            And, last but not least, the old-timey hipster with curled mustache, suspenders, and an accordion he just learned how to use last year, playing on the street corner talking about the Dust Bowl (he’s only 18).    
            One helluva crew, I must say, and standard fair when you live here in Williamsburg.
            Stay tuned for the thrilling, added bonus conclusion of “Are You A Hipster? (Part 3)”
            Keep drinking...