The Handsome Furs are underdressed in dc
September 8, 2008
Caught for the weekend in the bemused city of Washington DC, I found myself lamenting the real lack of hipsters in this over the top, 9-5, working ethic community. This lack occasioned me to question the long standing lament among Columbia University types and other yuppie inhabitants or rather hipster loathing hipsters against this edgy population and may have inspired me to become an ethnographer, chasing down this rare population on the outskirts of civilization, those brave pioneers of gentrification.
Why would DC benefit from a formidable hipster population? The answers are obvious. Firstly, there is a dramatic ebb and flow in the street traffic that parallels those who have jobs. For example, at 1:00 on a Friday I was the only one out jogging (Although we know hipsters do not jog, it is often the case that hipster associates, or more correctly, prey, tend to jog, see theburg.com). Were it the case that hipsters inhabited this city, I would doubtless not be alone. Washington DC also has a formidable racial barrier, as neighborhoods swing quickly from one extreme to another. Hipsters in their search for authenticity would serve to bridge the gap between particular communities and would doubtless spur local business in areas that are not dominated by the neo-fascist array of Starbucks-Caribou Coffee-Starbucks. Finally, there is an implicit lack of bars in DC, and those that there are tend to be occupied by unironic consumers of sports culture or Goths or suits. While bars tailored to specific communities are an essential function of city life, condescension and secret authentic cool places that no one else really knows anything about are prerequisites for urban life as it was meant to be led (see Cicero Ad Fam 82.5 where he talks about a new Cretan cookshop that he discovered before Crassus). Our nation must have a capital which can meet this need.