hmmm… could it be we normal, sock wearing types who give our kids average names are finally seeing the beginning of the end of the Hipster Menace? According to this NY Times article (which I stumbled upon, I do not go out of my way to read The Times as I ain’t that classy) it seems that chain stores are beginning to take over Williamsburg.
Williamsburg, in my opinion, died a long time ago so who really give a rat’s ass if it gets taken over by corporate America. See, right now it’s all artsy-fartsy with its vegan bakeries and gourmet coffee shops. It’s full of vintage stores that sell used crap at ridiculous prices, the kind of stuff you used to be able to get at a thrift store for a thrift store price. Back in the old days it was full of blue collar people and lots of immigrants. Granted, there were also hookers, drugs and criminals too but they simply moved a neighborhood over, probably closer to yours, right? Hey, I never said it was pretty, but it did have character.
There were warehouses that supplied jobs where now you have overpriced lofts. Old tenement buildings that had affordable rents with big rooms were divided up into tiny apartments full of artists who’ll pay whatever is asked, even three times the amount of the old rents, cause they wanna live in the “atmosphere”. They live off of their parents with a zillion roommates and don’t have jobs. It’s not that they can’t get jobs, it’s that they are too busy being artists or looking for the “right gig”. If your neighborhood has been destroyed by The Hipster, I don’t need to go any further.
So, is it really the beginning of the end, and is it good or bad? I mean, no one really wants to see chain stores all over their neighborhood, but the old mom & pop shops have already been obliterated. The ethnic delis and “variety stores” and little places like the shoemaker, the hardware store where your dad used to send you to get sky hooks and left handed hammers and the ladies underwear store vanished a long time ago. Gone are the German, Polish or Italian bakeries where you could get a plain old box of cookies or a cheese danish and a cheap black coffee on the way to work at 6am. Sadly, these places will never, ever return.
Should we point and laugh at the hipsters now seeing as they’re getting screwed out of “their neighborhood” the way we all did by them? Is it karma? I mean, if they hadn’t moved in and made the place so attractive to outsiders in the first place, then the chain stores and Manhattanites would still look down on Williamsburg as a slum and never venture there. But if we do point and laugh, then aren’t we being hypocrites? Remember, before the hipster crawled out of the ooze, it was the chain store that was our mortal enemy, displacing the local pharmacy and our favorite stationery store. It seems that this is a case where the enemy of our enemy is now our friend and frankly, it sucks. But, would I rather give my money to a big corporation or to a jackoff from some other place who just charged me 6 bucks for a pomegranate doughnut and a coffee from some exotic land? Can’t I just get a coffee roll and a some Columbian? What the hell?
Rents will never go down in these neighborhoods, and the greasy old diners and candy stores will never return. Let’s face it, what’s done is done. But at least now we “normals” can go back to our old digs and feel more comfortable. At least now, we can walk into a place to buy socks and deodorant and not feel like strangers in our own city. Oh, and maybe some of these cap wearing schmucks will end up getting jobs at one of these places cause they won’t have anything else to do, what, with all of their little local hangouts being replaced. OMG – they may have to actually contribute to society!
BUT what most likely will happen is that the hipster parasite will find a new host, meaning your town is next. Sigh.