A few years back, I wrote a guide to the denizens of your average Long Island nightclub. Having been to several ‘hipster’ bars in the past year or so, I believe it would be a great help for the average ‘non-hipster’ to have a handy reference in case they should find themselves in such a place. So, without further ado,
TWYL presents, the uncool bar patron guide to the cool bar.
For starters, it is essential that you understand the above. The regulars are cool, and you are not. Nor will you ever be, except in certain rare cases. Alright, now that we got that out of the way,
What exactly is a hipster?
Hipster: (as defined by Urban Dictionary):
“Listens to bands that you have never heard of. Has hairstyle that can only be described as “complicated.” (Most likely achieved by a minimum of one week not washing it.) Probably tattooed. Maybe gay. Definitely cooler than you. Reads Black Book, Nylon, and the Styles section of the New York Times. Drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon. Often. Complains. Always denies being a hipster. Hates the word. Probably living off parents money – and spends a great deal of it to look like they don’t have any. Has friends and/or self cut hair. Dyes it frequently (black, white-blonde, etc. and until scalp bleeds). Has a closet full of clothing but usually wears same three things OVER AND OVER (most likely very tight black pants, scarf, and ironic tee-shirt). Chips off nail polish artfully after $50 manicure. Sleeps with everyone and talks about it at great volume in crowded coffee shops. Addicted to coffee, cigarettes (Parliaments, Kamel Reds, Lucky Strikes, etc.), and possibly cocaine. Claims to be in a band. Rehearsals consist of choosing outfits for next show and drinking PBR. Always on the list. Majors or majored in art, writing, or queer studies. Name-drops. May go by “Penny Lane,” “Eleanor Rigby,” etc. when drunk. On PBR. Which is usually.”
In my experience, this seems to be incredibly accurate. However this will not help you when trying to navigate the anti-social, unwelcoming throng, rocking out to music that sounds like it was produced in 1977, but is actually just another Brooklyn band capturing that oh so original ‘retro’ sound.
Lets start with the ladies.
THE HIPSTER CHICK (preferred headgear* – knit puffball):
Alright fellas, there’s no denying it, the vast majority of hipster chicks are smoking hot. You can typically recognize the true hipster chick by her trademark covered from head to toe mode of dress, and of course, the ever stylish Erykah Badu ‘muffin hat’. Honestly, outside of Iran, there isn’t a place where females go to socialize as completely covered as the hipster bar. But let’s go back to the first sentence for a moment. Yes, incredibly enough, the percentage of attractive females far eclipses the unattractive, and even the ones who aren’t jaw-dropping, are cute enough to make Hello Kitty go goth.
Hey, sweeeeet braa!! Scoreee!!!….WRONG. The odds of you leaving with someone, or even scooping digits are about as good as you knowing the name of the last song that played. That’s nil my friend. Nada. Should you even attempt to begin a conversation, be prepared for monosyllabic responses, and a stare that gives the impression you fit somewhere between housefly and child rapist on the scale of society. These girls have guy friends. LOTS of guy friends, who as previously mentioned, are WAY cooler than you. Mussy head with the skinny jeans and arm sleeve is A-Rod, you are Kareem Garcia**, capiche? So grab your trendy/shitty can of beer and beat it.
HIPSTER ALPHA MALE (preferred headgear – varies):
Hipster society is subtle in this sense. It is the complete reverse of Nightclub dynamic. See, raging guido alpha males are loud, obnoxious, and hyper-aggressive. Hipster alpha males are the complete opposite. Why is that? It’s simple really, once you break it down to basics. Guido alpha males are testosterone filled, carefully groomed, and immaculately dressed. This appeals to the ‘hot chicks’ who want to mate with a ‘hottie’ like them. Genetically, these brutes appear to be ideal breeding partners. His hipster counterpart needs not exert any such influence, or display himself. Nay, he does the exact opposite. This clever creature is inevitably the coolest dude in the room, so cool in fact, that he simply cannot be bothered with it. He is most likely what every other male in the room is pretending to be, and wishes he were. A successful musician.
THE “WILD GUYS” (preferred headgear – trucker hat, or mohawk):
As the name implies, these guys are simply, OUT. OF. CON-TROL. ….right. Their antics range from play-fighting with one or more of their girlfriends who just can’t get enough of them. Or, jumping off things, batting around inanimate objects for no apparent reason, or perhaps simulating a sex act with one or more of their group, and, maybe the aforementioned inanimate object. They can generally be recognized by their many meaningful tattoos (a koi pond, an obscure symbol that meant something of importance somewhere at sometime, a kraft macaroni and cheese logo, you know, the deep stuff), their predisposition for trying to rap, and finally, their creative and entertaining nicknames. The basic rules regarding nicknames appear to go as follows, a. it must reference pop culture, preferably a cheesy 80’s film or band, or song. b. everyone must now address you as thus, without a hint of sarcasm.
To sum up, they embody all the traditionally negative qualities associated with men, except without any real expectation of harm. Think Cujo, with all his teeth removed, and sickly from a tumor in his hip. Yeah, it’s Cujo, but, awww.
THE ROCKNERD (preferred headgear – a neat coif):
In a sense, these individuals are very, very lucky. You see, our increasingly effeminate society has created a haven for these folk, and given them the opportunity to find a social niche in a group commonly accepted as cool. Most, if not all of these Rivers Cuomo glasses wearing individuals would be mercilessly tortured and shunned by their peers until after high school at least, by that time, they would either turn it around and overcompensate, or create a software company that makes them worth more than the entire asian continent.
However, those days are relegated (ironically enough), to the very same 80’s pop culture sensations hipsters enjoy so much. These days, they have friends, and inevitably one or more best-est girlfriends. That’s right, these sensitive well-springs of knowledge and comfort are just the rock the HIPSTER CHICK needs when the WILD GUY she has been pining for finally recognizes her, and consequently beds her and sheds her like a bearded, un-showered snake. Poor Hailey, but Joseph will be there for her! Again…and again..and again…etc. Perhaps he may have one PBR too many one night, and feebly put a move on, but a funny look and, ‘stop being weird!’ will put an end to that however. These unfortunates can be recognized by their blocky framed glasses, well-maintained appearance, and their wallflower-like presence.
THE TRANSPLANTS (preferred headgear – blond):
Music? nahhh. Art? whaaa? Hawtttt hipsters? Omgahhhhh!!!!! These deluded folk are there for one reason, and one reason only. Their egos, freshly bursting from the Nightclubs, render them incapable of being aware that they have boarded the biggest fail-boat this side of the H.M.S Titanic. By and large these folk are female, and they can easily be spotted by their tans, which in contrast to the hipsters around them, put them somewhere between Charlie Murphy and Wesley Snipes on the revlon skin color scale.
‘SOMEONE PUT A GUN TO MY HEAD’ GIRL (preferred headgear – smurf cap or knit puffball):
Pssst….hey. See that girl over there? I think she’s been kidnapped! No, not really, but you certainly wouldn’t know it by her demeanor. This girl must have at least half of her face covered with her hair at all times, so that the other half reveals only a part of her perma-scowl. Much like the ancient mythical gorgon, a full stare from this contradictory creature will turn the testicles of most men to stone. Fortunately, they prefer low-lit corners with seating.
and now, your friendly staff.
THE BARTENDER (preferred headgear – varies):
Are they going to have a chat with you about your day? The weather perhaps? Anything at all? The answer is no. Absolutely not. Ever. But in this case I am inclined to say that this is a good thing. Besides, who the hell wants to talk to you anyway? When someone says the strokes, you think of Dick Clark…zing!
SECURITY (preferred headgear – n/a)
Someone may storm out crying. Perhaps a particularly boisterous round of slam poetry may break out. Maybe, just MAYBE, two guys may argue. (editors note: all three of the aforementioned scenarios carries an equal amount of danger associated with it. which is to say, none)
Security in a hipster bar is needed like a hot dog stand parked amidst a vegas buffet.
So there you have it. All things said, the hipster bar is just a bar. The main difference being that if you aren’t a hipster, or don’t look like a hipster, your socialization options are not merely limited, but completely crippled. So drink up, stay out of dark corners, and for gods sake, bring some friends along.
* the hipster bar is chock full of headgear and hairstyles that are unique to the setting. one day I will have to sit down and try to document them all.
**even a small modicum of success in music on the ‘indie’ level, is the basic equivalent of hipster HGH.
Until Britney covers an MGMT song,
Live it, Love it, (As Tall as Lions….really??)