"Tah-Daaah . . ."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Silverlake: Hipsterville, USA

"In an anxiety stricken panic, the unusually tall, thin Silverlake hipster dashed across the busy Sunset blvd road in black ultra skinny jeans and a red and blue striped tee, with sweat pouring down across his cheek finding a resting place in his neatly tied multi-colored scarf. Finally arriving safely at his destinationn, he let out a huge sigh of relief. "I'm home." he thought, American Apparel. Hipster Haven."

This is a true story. I wrote this later on facebook back in May because it had such a strong impression on. I laughed my ass off all the way to work.

In that moment I realized where I lived. I was in the middle of it,

Silverlake: Hipsterville USA.

Ahh the Hipsters. Silverlake, CA. The Mecca of home-spun hipsters. Whether it's fashion or food, being "hipster" is a lifestyle. Young, rich and homeless chic clothing are often identifying clues. Hipsters are rising in popularity. Apparently though, there are many thoughts about how the term "hipster" was even coined:

"The name itself was coined after the jazz age, when hip arose to describe aficionados of the growing scene. Although the word's exact origins are disputed, some say it was a derivative of "hop," a slang term for opium, while others believe it comes from the West African word "hipi", meaning "to open one's eyes". Nevertheless, it gradually morphed over time into a noun, and "hipster" was born."
( Dan Fletcher (2009-07-29). "Hipsters". time.com. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1913220,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-01.)

Regardless of hipster origin, it has been exploding all over my hood. I have even heard of the new Craigslist reality show about Silverlake hipsters in the making...brilliant. There is also this funny book that describes hipsterdom at it's best that I recommend if you want to become one. It's by Robert Lanham.
 "Every culture has its rules. For hipsters there is one cardinal rule: never admit that you are a hipster.

"Below is an excerpt from The Hipster Handbook (Anchor Books), by Robert Lanham.

Clues You Are a Hipster:
» You graduated from a liberal arts school whose football team hasn't won a game since the Reagan administration.

» You frequently use the term "post-modern" (or its commonly used variation "PoMo") as an adjective, noun, and verb.

» You carry a shoulder-strap messenger bag and have at one time or another worn a pair of horn-rimmed or Elvis Costello-style glasses.

» You have one Republican friend who you always describe as being your "one Republican friend."

» Your hair looks best unwashed and you position your head on your pillow at night in a way that will really maximize your cowlicks.

I personally don't mind the hipsters. I like the freedom of expression that these kids have. It's ironic though that the very "freedom and individuality they seek lumps them all under the same label...,  the very thing they are trying to escape. But isn't this true of all groups? We all want to feel special and unique. Whether it's Beverly Hills socialites, Compton ghetto thugs, Mexican gangs, Nerds, film geeks, West Hollywood gays, wannabe actors,  . . .Hollywood itself?

We all want to feel important. It doesn't matter your race, age sex or class. It's true for all of us.

One of my best friends Adam, always jokes with me about how I am a cultural Octopus. I stretch my hands in all different part of culture and sub-cultures and feel really comfortable in all of them. Yes, I was a cheerleader in high school. Yes I hung out with "The preps", but I also had geek , nerd and hip-hop friends. I hung out with the whites the Blacks, the Asians, Indians and the Latinos. I did get a lot of slack because of it. No one understood why I was hanging out with their groups' nemisis. I remember some blacks would say, "You think you white, hangin out with whites and talkin like white" (I am African-American). Uh...yeah, whatever! I hang out with my friends. People that I get along with, no matter who they are...Period!

The secret is that I found that no one was truly any different from anybody else. I liked who I liked and connected with people one individual at a time. I believe that is true individuality. Loving who you are and own who you are everyday, regardless of how people try to label you. I hate labels so much that I often peel them off of water, juice and soda bottles. Maybe I'm a hipster?  Maybe not. I'll never admit it.

So I say Hipster out you hipity- hipstery hipsters! Be retro, be chic, be conceited, be ironic, but be YOU!

 I will be seeing you in the hood at the corner thrift store/vegan cafe/cheese shop on an orange retro 10 speed bike or something.

xoxo yvette

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