Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are Hipsters Taking Over Bay Ridge?

A news article last week about plans for a new bar catering to Midwestern "hipsters" -- with a special shout-out to Ohio -- has some neighborhood residents up in arms. And it has left me not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

According to a story in The Brooklyn Paper, a new beer garden is expected to open next year in Bay Ridge about a half mile from our apartment. It will feature microbrews from the Midwest and, says owner Tommy Casatelli, will attract the hipsters who have invaded Bay Ridge.

“We’re getting people from Nebraska, Ohio, California, and they were all wearing the hipster uniform," Casatelli said in the article about the clientele at another neighborhood bar he owns.

By the end of the story, I'm laughing for several reasons.
  • An outdoor bar with Midwestern beers? Sounds good! But the thought of Paul and me as part of this hipster infiltration? Ha!
  • There are hipsters in Bay Ridge already? While I have noticed that the age of my fellow commuters who exit at my subway stop has skewed downward since we moved here five years ago, I have seen few, if any, people I would classify as hipsters. Their clothes are far too sensible for that.
  • Paul regularly asks -- at least half in jest, I think/hope -- whether he has crossed over into hipsterhood. Alas, the answer I give is always no. But maybe I've been wrong and didn't know it!
But after I read the article, I then got to the dozens of comments underneath, and they made me sad. And sometimes a little mad. While a few of the readers seem eager to at least give the beer garden a chance, others take the opportunity to bash the idea of both hipsters and outsiders moving into Bay Ridge.

And while I don't wear the hipster hat (a fedora?), I am certainly an outsider. In fact, after so many happy years here, I didn't realize how much of an outsider some of my neighbors must consider me.

So when do you become a "real" New Yorker? After one year? Two years? Ten? Never, unless you're born here? I guess more people than I realized would say the latter.

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