It’s open season on hipsters!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s hard out there for a hipster.

Casual slurs against gimme-cap wearers have long been a way of life in New York, but a series of recent events may have marginalized an entire class of people who are just trying to crown the best album of the second-half of the third week of the month in peace.

Last month, a “Help Wanted” ad was placed in the window of Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg, barring applications from people who need “weekends off because you have a gallery opening.” A month ago, CNN saw fit to publicize an obscure poll of Mac and PC users to insinuate that the former are “elitist and more pretentious” due to their preference for hummus and red wine. And at the end of April, an artists’ collective living in a “trailer park” in Bushwick was forcefully disbanded, requiring a Red Cross intervention to assist the internally displaced artists, musicians, and fire jugglers.

As bad as it’s been, the real “j’accuse” came on May 11, when a Metro cover story suggested that activist vegans and their ilk had bankrupted the city.

“Hipsters to blame for billions of dollars in Census losses?” the headline asked.

In the article itself, hipsters got no comfort from their own elected official even. Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D–Bushwick) attributed the city’s census undercount to — her word — “hipster” apathy.

What’s going on here? Has bigotry against the bearded become officially sanctioned by the state?

Unlikely, perhaps, but it’s not unimaginable that the authorities begin asking, “Have you ever gushed over Charles Bukowski?” to anyone with a 11206 ZIP code.

Vinnie’s Pizzeria manager Dan Clayton denied that his hiring practices are discriminatory or that he hates hipsters. Indeed, some of his best friends are hipsters!

“It’s more like a preference,” he said. “Some of my employees are band members.”

Robert Lanham, author of “The Hipster Handbook” and founder of the website, FREEwilliamsburg, understands the pizzeria’s frustration.

“I think that’s one of those things people are fed up with — not living in the real world,” he said.

Lanham says he personally does not condone discrimination against anyone, even hipsters, though he did offer one universally accepted exception: “People who are into jam bands.”

Until recently, serious anti-hipsterism was mostly confined to the Urban Outfitters bookshelf, where titles such as “Look at that F—ing Hipster” found a welcome home. As of late, however, the malice seems to be growing ever more mainstream — and virulent. Not only are councilmembers denouncing their own constituents,, the web’s foremost epicenter of flannel-based animus, openly fantasizes about “hipster beatings.”

Today, I heard a salamander-physiqued [sic], rooftop farming, MacBook D.J./fusion chef gasping for air,” one poster wrote. “So I took my Timberland off his neck and poured a Liquid Plumber latte down his throat. End of story.”

The shadowy crusader behind the site — who will say only that he’s “a guy born and raised in Brooklyn” — is unrepentant. And, he’s hardly an irrelevant crank, frequently receiving more than 50 comments on postings, the majority of them like-minded in their eliminationist rhetoric.

“[Hipsterism] is a social disease,” he said.

No latte poisonings were reported, but the Williamsburg-Bushwick borderland was the site of a several real-life “hipster robberies” just a few weeks ago. Residents of the McKibbin lofts, a well-known stronghold of organic soy supporters, were robbed at gunpoint three times in four days. It may have just been a crime of opportunity — The Brooklyn Paper reported that “few residents are taking necessary [security] precautions” — or it may have been a bona fide hipster hit.

Given this mounting climate of hate, what’s a suspender-clad, 14th-century Bulgarian lit major to do?

According to Brooklyn Law School professor Bill Araiza, local mustache enthusiasts have little legal recourse against their persecutors. New York’s Hate Crimes Act of 2000 provides protection against “crimes motivated by invidious hatred toward particular groups,” but it’s “really, really hard to prove” that someone has been discriminated against due to association with a particular “scene” (i.e. goths, Dave Matthews Band fans, seersucker aficionados).

Additionally,’s “beatings” are likely shielded by no less a ’zine than the U.S. Constitution. “The First Amendment provides a lot of protection for incendiary speech,” said Araiza. “There’d have to be speech that counseled imminent lawless action — not abstract or implied.”

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

anywho says:
With all the problems in the world, this article waste energy on a non-topic.

Look around, hipsters seem to be doing all right all by themselves.

Shame on you
May 31, 2011, 6:07 am
Hopper from L-S-S says:
They're easy to ignore and when they grow up they'll go away.
May 31, 2011, 6:29 am
Hipsterminator from Bushwick says:

The problem is, they're already grown up. Many of these "kids" are in their 30s and 40s and have no visible means of support. Their parents are so stupid they are paying their $3,000 /month rents so these losers can "work" as unpaid interns, playing in kaloozaphone jug bands in their spare time.

They create no valid art or music or literature that anyone will remember in 5 minutes. They bring nothing useful to the World in exchange for pricing everybody else out.

If they weren't pushing normal people out of their lifelong neighborhoods, I would be happy to merely satirize them. Instead they are a disease which has killed off everything worthwhile in NYC, Portland, Austin and the rest of the World that they've infested.
May 31, 2011, 8:08 am
JAZ says:
Oh, boo-hoo the poor hipster - thanks for coming and gentrifying, pricing real New Yorkers out of their own neighborhoods so you ironic trustafarians can play kickball all day in McCarren and canoe down the Gowanus. Must be hard to be in the real world - sitting in Ethan's Ye Olde Tyme Soy Latte Collective and having a spirited blog debate with Megan over which artisinal cupcake goes best with organic rooftop alfalfa sprouts.

Wish you would all say an apology for coming in the first place, head to the airport, and fly home to your suburban mommy's basement in middle America.

Come to think of it, don't even bother with the apology - just leave.
May 31, 2011, 8:57 am
JAZ says:
- And Re:, I thank god that there is this healthy outlet online to share frustrations with fellow New Yorkers, as well as people from other infected cities (Portland, Austin, Minneapolis, etc.). Bearded scarf wearing baristas are more than welcome to share their viewpoint as well - nobody is prevented from posting.
May 31, 2011, 9:05 am
no upper body strength from bklyn=suburbia says:
How do all of them pay for PBRs, authentic looking fixed gear bikes, Macbooks, ski caps for the 80 degree weather, thick eyeglasses, DJ equipment, art supplies, the latest greatest most expensive camera equipment, and $3500/month rent while "working" as unpaid interns, minimalist techno indie DJ remixers, jugglers, and indie jug band banjo ukeleers in one of the most expensive cities in the world? Answer: By either draining their parents' (or grandparents') money or a trust fund. They will go away when the family funding them is bankrupted.
May 31, 2011, 9:09 am
native from gravesend says:
cue the same 5 readers of the parody website diehipster and their 10 pseudonyms ...

are you guys native americans?
May 31, 2011, 9:17 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The most interesting part of this article was the replacement of 11211 with 11206 as the zipcode of hipsters. This is a milestone. Hipsters have been gentrified out of Williamsburg.
May 31, 2011, 9:31 am
T-ster from Brooklyn says:
Could be that they owe someone drug money
or liquor money.

They are huge substance abusers.
May 31, 2011, 9:46 am
SwampYankee from Thankfully not Williamsburg says:
It's not the same 5 readers. Sometimes hundreds of comments are generated. For a niche website it has a lot of loyal followers. Lots of people hate hipsters. One needs only to be trapped on the subway when they insist on performing. Sometimes without pants, sometimes on their i——. IF they would just let others be it would be fine. But they continue to call attention to themselves with their: Look at MEEEEEEEEEEEE! antics. This weekend alone had Bicycle Fetish day and a Zombie crawl. What has this cancer contributed to society? Nothing. No good art, not good music, not literature to speak of. This is the result of the Self Esteem movement in schools where every bowel movement was awarded with applause. Well I got news for you locust. A 7th place soccer trophy means just that, 7th place, meaning you suck. Thats when you want to invent sports and events that don't really exist, or should have been left in 4th grade. Kickball? Really? You were the generation that got stuffed in lockers and got your inhalers taken way daily. Well it's happening again. The bike lane backlash is just the start. Do me a favor. Pack your —— and move back to Blunderbuss Montana from where you came. You are not welcome here
May 31, 2011, 10:41 am
Sam from Crown Heights says:
Diane Reyna's comments about “hipster apathy" are absurd. They're "too cool" to fill out the census? That's why the numbers are down? Yeah, right. Can we say "——s"???

Also, Rosen failed to note that even Bank of America now has ads around Brooklyn that tout, 'Easier to find ATMS than running into a hipster!' in front of a smiling, down to earth yet spunky black woman.

Half of the people who rage against hipsters fantasize about living their lives and sleeping with their girlfriends. The other half are just sad, angry people.
May 31, 2011, 11:37 am
Josh from Hipster-Free Zone says:
I like how the article talks about legal precedent in terms of hipster hate crimes. Wouldn't that entail hipsters self-identifying as such if they wanted to start legal action? Don't we all notice how no hipster considers themselves a hipster? And I also don't understand why they will overpay for everything in life, but beer somehow requires cheapness.
May 31, 2011, 11:45 am
JMS from Bushwick says:
I own all the things of a hipster but I WORK...yes I work a REAL Corporate job, pay my taxes, and drink REAL beer. I also live in Bushwick. I would not consider myself a hipster and the hipsters give me crap. But hey I pay from my stuff and I am too old to give a crap about what is cool.
May 31, 2011, 12:26 pm
manhatposeur from manhatland says:
May 31, 2011, 12:49 pm
Lee Jones from Not Brooklyn says:
Is this a serious article? Adam Rosen, are you a serious reporter?

'Josh' makes some pretty good points. If you're going to start up some kind of "hating hipsters is a racist mindset" type nonsense, you must first define 'hipster' and then find a group of people who readily identify themselves as 'hipsters,' based on the legal definition. Good luck on the latter.

And here's some news for you hipster apologists: everyone who rides a bike isn't a hipster. Everyone who has facial hair isn't a hipster. Everyone who's an artist isn't a hipster. Being a 'hipster' is a[n entitled] mindset that usually accompanies a fauxhemian look.

The real hipsters are the 'Joshes' and 'Megans' who get off on articles like this, because it's just another way for them to get attention.

If hipsters didn't walk around almost literally screaming "look at how original, independent, creative, different, authentic, quirky, unique, interesting, valuable and important I am" then people wouldn't hate them. If they didn't live to impose themselves and their way of life on everyone else, no one would notice them and no one would care how they looked or what they said.

Hipsters never matured beyond being spoiled and entitled first graders who ran home to mommy and daddy to show off their finger paintings and get unconditional praise for them. Now mommy and daddy pay for their 'adult' toddlers to live in 'authentic' neighborhoods and hang their finger paintings in 'galleries' where their 'art' can be admired next to work of a bunch of other 30 year old kindergartners.

Hipsters CHOOSE to behave the way they do and are not, nor have they ever been, bound by any cultural or ethnic heritage. They are not a race.' They aren't even a subculture.

And Mr. Rosen, you really ought to be ashamed of yourself for even comparing entertainment like, look at that ——ing hipster, etc. to racism. In doing so, you mock and diminish the real hate and bigotry that was experienced by American Poles, Italians, Irish, Jews, Germans, and of course blacks.
To compare some Josh having to leave his ironic trailer park to the unimaginable suffering that was imposed upon millions of innocent Americans throughout the history of this country on account of mindless bigotry is truly despicable.
May 31, 2011, 3:35 pm
hithere from fidi says:
lee jones, you sound fat.
May 31, 2011, 3:44 pm
d bag from williamsburg says:
Dear adult children of immigrants who are being 'gentrified out': you shouldn't have dropped out of high school when you got that 16 year old pregnant. If you can't compete with the educated, affluent, creative class new comers who are lowering crime rates, improving living conditions, and living to enjoy their lives, perhaps you should move to New Jersey. I know you work 45 hours a week doing menial labor to for pay your $500 a month railroad that you, your two baby mommas, and 6 over weight kids live in, but someone with an education can make that kind of money in a day and live a more leisurely lifestyle. Maybe you should stop feeding your kids McDonald's everyday and try saving money to put them through college so they can have the same opportunities those damned hipsters have.
May 31, 2011, 4:14 pm
joebkny says:
I had a feeling an article like this was coming up after I saw the story about the chickens. Where is that blaine guy ?
May 31, 2011, 5:40 pm
Giovanni from Windsor Terrace says:
Hi, My name is Steve Lam. I have been defending hipsters since even before that hater site diehipster was born.

Hipsters are a bunch of young people just having fun. We define our individuality by our choice in fashions and we create our personal memes. Fashion defines the individual and inside every hipster is an individual. Why can’t the haters see this. Instead these homophobic meatheads like hipsterminator, texas triffid ranch, pat i, parkslope yuppy toilet, rob and others who obviously get no sex, keep posting hate. I bet they don’t even know the difference between Abercrombie and Hollister.

I have a much more fulfilling social live than all the haters put together. I get lots of sex from my neutered female pet bunny. I played in more ——ty bands than they ever will and have slept with more boys (though I’m really not gay) than they did girls.

I’m 33, going on 13, both mentally and physically and I live in a basement loft in Downtown Toronto because I suck off a rich old gay guy who supports the local chapter of NAMBLA. I don’t need my parents for support. I also take estrogen every night and will soon be able to afford to get my pee-pee chopped off.

I have more personality than all the haters put together. Look up Trey Parasucko, Keen Koala, Matthew Gasaway and many others. Look us (me) up sometime.

Rembember, girls dig metrosexual guys like me, not homophobic meatheads like on Jersey Shore.

Love Stevie.
May 31, 2011, 6:05 pm
SwampYankee from somewhere even the hipsters can't afford says:
Sam from Crown Heights, did you ever wonder what life would have been like if you got got enough oxygen when you were born? Do please tell me what part of the hipster lifestyle I am fantasizing about? Having to where Woody Allen glasses without lenses? Stupid facial hair? Listing to music that even I will hate in 6 months that sounds like someone emptied the silverware drawer in the the paper shredder? having to ride the L train with the dumb-ass busker with the puppets made from plastic bags? Having to pay 3x the cost of a computer so I can buy the hipster brand which is so overpriced because the CEO needs to buy a new liver every 2 years? Having to ride a fixie bike and still get tickets from the cops just cause they want to? Being powerless from having my iCrap taken away from scary black people? Saying kewel words like "nabe" that make me sound illiterate? Oh, and sex with their girlfriends? Have you seen these cookie-monsters? they smell like unwashed genitalia from swimming in the Gowanus canal. Unshaven, face-pierced Hillary Clinton Chankel Megans? Hubba Hubba. My day is better than your week ——. Dream on
May 31, 2011, 6:18 pm
Lee Jones from Not Brooklyn says:
SwampYankee, Sam is yet another defensive fauxhemian who only posted here so that he could show his ****stain friends how he was "defendin' their turf."
Don't feed his narcissism.

And hithere, you're sorely mistaken about my physical appearance. Thanks to a nasty little thing called Crohn's Disease, I stand roughly 5'10 and weigh roughly 125 lbs. But I'm fat at heart. Thanks for noticing.

And d bag, it's always satisfying to see a closeted (or maybe not so closeted) racist posting borderline (or maybe not so borderline) racist comments on an article which makes a mockery of real racism.
May 31, 2011, 6:47 pm
t3000 from the place where hipsters come to die says:
@d bag...your name is really appropriate and a great example of why people HATE hipsters. Do you realize how snarky, self-entitled, and
May 31, 2011, 9:34 pm
t3000 from the place where hipsters come to die says:
@d bag...your name is really appropriate and a great example of why people HATE hipsters. Do you realize how snarky, self-entitled, and just utterly racist and classist your comment is? You probably don't. And the funny thing about it is you probably consider yourself a liberal and have an Obama bumper sticker on your fixie.

Do you think that because you and your cronies have "creative class" jobs, that you're somehow more "special" than working class people who have been living in the boroughs for years...even generations before you and your buddies arrived in NYC? And an even better you think that you're not replaceable? Because "creative" (I'm putting it in quotes due to the bastardization of the term over the past decade) job are usually the ones that are easily expendable. Anybody can buy a macbook, download adobe audition, buy a digital camera or dslr and call themselves a creative and put up their work on vimeo or youtube. Anybody with a computer and a working brain can easily procure a copy of photoshop or dreamweaver and make graphic design for websites and videos. Those creative jobs that you pride yourself in can be easily replaced by someone who can and will probably just work for less or nothing at all just for an opportunity to get their foot in the door and to have their name in the public atmosphere. The bottom line is, creative jobs aren't forever. 5 years from now, once your software is outdated and you have to adapt to the newest technologies just to stay above water, you'll probably be admitting defeat. And the whole creative sector is so oversaturated, especially in New York, most people involved in it are either doing freelance work, slumming it up in unpaid internships, or just taking what they can get because they know that unless one knows the right people, it can be a struggle. I know real creatives in the city that have been doing their thing since the 90s who are probably ten times more influential then you could ever hope to be.

And check your privelege at the door bruh...not everyone can have their rich mommy and daddy pay for an art degree at an expensive a that will probably be worthless in 4 years (unless you have an extensive portfolio and a exceptional body of work) and give them the extra loot to cover their sky high rent in a loft in Billyburg (cause lord knows that most creatives can cover a $1500 to $3000 a month apartment on their own based on design work unless they have a real job on the side to supplement their income) cause they have to live there cause it's SOO KEWL! Why should someone who's struggling to make ends meet, who actually has a family, who didn't have the benefit of a college education, make room for a smug prick like yourself who only manages to raise rents so you and your girl who probably majored in Gender Studies or something useless like that can live out their pipe dreams in the most expensive city in the country? The answer is, they shouldn't...and that all falls into the issue of having affordable housing, which is becoming scarce in NYC.

Son, you're a joke. Your comments show that no matter how "progressive" and "open minded" you claim to be, your just cut from the same cloth as those you supposedly despise. Why don't you just post on stormfront? You'll probably find more like minded people yourself and might make a couple of new friends!
May 31, 2011, 9:34 pm
Joebkny says:
Well said, t3000
May 31, 2011, 10:11 pm
see ya from wouldnt want to be ya says:
Deviation from the norm is actually antithetical to the Hipster. Now that's some irony!
May 31, 2011, 11:43 pm
Marc from Mill Basin says:
We don't have hipsters in Mill Basin, so I don't know what any of this is about. Are hipsters like hippies, only different somehow?
June 1, 2011, 3:31 pm
d bag from williamsburg says:
@t3000 successful troll is successful.

Fav quote:

"Anybody can buy a macbook"

t3000 on Immigration:
"Why should someone who's struggling to make ends meet, who actually has a family, who didn't have the benefit of a college education, make room for a smug prick like yourself who only manages to raise rents..."

You're so right! We should build a wall to keep wealthy people out of Brooklyn.

But seriously folks, gentrification is class warfare.
June 1, 2011, 5:28 pm
d bag from williamsburg says:

Take any comment above and swap out "hipster" for any immigrant group of your choice, and swap out the stereotype descriptions with stereotypes of said immigrant group.

Oh, boo-hoo the poor ITALIAN - thanks for coming and gentrifying, pricing real New Yorkers out of their own neighborhoods so you ITALIANS can play BACCI BALL all day in McCarren and GONDOLLA down the Gowanus. Must be hard to be in the real world - sitting in GIOSEPPI'S PIZZARIA and having a spirited blog debate with ANTHONY over which CANNOLI goes best with ESPRESSO.
June 1, 2011, 5:52 pm
d baj from williamsburg says:
you're right guys. i am just a useless piece of human waste. maybe someday ill get a real job and actually overcome my need to be accepted by others as i was not in Iowaklahoma. i might also someday realize that "hipsters" are not being hosed, beaten, or murdered for the labels they have been given (but i guess all it takes to make a comparison between brutality and slightly offensive "for hire" posters is a little ad lib right?)
June 3, 2011, 1:40 am
O-O from hipster free zone says:
This article is hilarious.
June 3, 2011, 8:33 pm
Jeff from Bay Ridge says:
We define our individuality by our choice in fashions and we create our personal memes.

Giovanni, dude, really? Isn't the point that your "individuality" means looking like everyone else in your set?

Believe me, been there and done that 40 years ago. Nothing is new. Thankfully, Bay Ridge is mostly a hipster-free zone (I lived in Carroll Gardens for 16 years before the Iowa Invasion of the Under-Thirties) so most of this I see at a distance or on the subway.

The one thing that does annoy me is the ski hats in the summer. Just sad.
June 4, 2011, 7:49 am
Josh from the madison, WI section of williamsburg says:
can i bum a few bucks off anyone on this forum? i'm a little short on cash to pay the maintenance fee on my loft this month. air condition is a ——.
June 5, 2011, 7:28 am
No from Thank you says:
Hipsters and homos should wear name tags. Can't tell em apart.
June 6, 2011, 3:47 pm

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