How To Tell The Difference Between Someone Who Grew Up In Brooklyn And A Brooklyn Hipster
“Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn’t happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true and was it that she, Francie, was the dreamer?” Betty Smith
Between the time that I was born there and now, Brooklyn became an overnight celebrity. Brooklyn became synonymous with cool.
But what is a hipster? I’ve never actually heard anyone describe themselves as a hipster. They hurl the term at other people who look and live like them in a derogatory manner. The word Hipsters seems to be used for people who are putting on an act or have a trust fund.
People who grew up in Brooklyn had a stoop in front of their house and hung out there with their friends.
Brooklyn Hipsters are usually at an awkward stage in their beard growth and have sustainable rooftop gardens.
People who grew up in Brooklyn have an accent – sort of like the one they are trying to have in Newsies or mine if you know me.
Brooklyn Hipsters can work at hedge funds but have a Mumford and Sons look on the weekends.
People who grew up in Brooklyn went on school trips to the Coney Island Aquarium and Nathans. If you were like me, you rode your bike there on Sundays.
Brooklyn Hipsters dress like hipsters. They love anything vintage or “ironic.” It’s old school all the way. They have cool shoes. Hipsters wear eyewear even if they don’t need it – Ray Bans or Buddy Holly style works. They are usually carrying reading material to validate the glasses.
The big sneakers in Brooklyn when I was growing up were Converse, PF flyers and Keds. Clothes were better if they were from Manhattan.
Hipsters are on trend when it comes to technology. What? You don’t have the Iphone 6 yet?
Growing up in Brooklyn, the more “Good Fellas” the neighborhood, the better the Italian food. It was all about the “gravy” (sauce).
Brooklyn Hipsters are not generally meat eaters but if they do it is grass-fed and free range. Coffee, Small Plates, Asian Food and Gourmet Vegetarian are Hipster foods. They love food co–ops, cooking classes and trendy organic restaurants that serve seasonal food.
We had delis and Chinese food. The more preservatives and MSG, the better.
People who grew up in Brooklyn wish they bought up all the real estate around Prospect Park that they thought no one would ever want.
As Brooklyn becomes more unaffordable, yuppie – hipsters are becoming more prevalent. Fancy strollers and cool kid classes are everywhere.
Sports were big in Brooklyn. There was baseball, basketball, stickball, dodgeball, stoopball and punchball. There was roller skating (not blading) and ice skating Friday night at Prospect Park (if you did not get mugged on the way from the train station). There was the ocean at Brighton Beach and Coney Island for swimming in the summer.
Brooklyn Hipsters love alternative music and they have shelves of vinyls.
Brooklynites had records and small closet like neighborhood record stores.
We used to go to the Brooklyn Academy Of Music for local theatre events. Now it is the larger and trendier BAM.
Gentrified Hipster Brooklyn has outdoor cafes, designer dogs everywhere, expensive baby strollers, sushi bars, health food stores, trendy restaurants, bars and clubs, galleries and coffee shops where you can sip your five dollar lattes among others just like you. Gone are the delis – Italian, German and Jewish, bodegas, ethnic groceries, real butcher shops and poultry markets (the kind with blood on the floor), fish stores, hair braiding salons, bargain stores, check cashing stores, cheap bars, diners, restaurants and affordable housing.
Most people in Brooklyn grew up on the block. You had everything you needed in a few block radius. The drug store, the bank, the pizza parlor, the candy store, the Chinese restaurant the Italian restaurant, the delis, the newsstand, the market, the bakery, the fruit store, the butcher, the shoe store, the record store, the coffee shop (which was more like a diner but smaller), the movie theatre and the library were all within walking distance.
I could not leave Brooklyn fast enough when I grew up. But as I get older, the past is never where you leave it, and writing about it, it all seemed pretty great.