Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hipster Watching: They’re Just Like Us! AND New Hipster Watching Game

Last night I had drinks with a girlfriend of mine at the oooo sooo Hipster Townhouse Tavern on R and 17th. I love that place (it’s totally deck) as the music is good and the PBR is cheap (natch).

And, aside from a lot of fun conversations with my friend, I also really enjoyed one of my favorite pastimes, Hipster Watching. It’s very similar to bird watching, only more oriented toward dress and behavior.

There are several great bars in DC for Hipster Watching, including Townhouse Tavern and the Brickskeller (Dupont), Wonderland (Columbia Heights) and the Raven (Mount Pleasant) and Toledo Lounge (Adams Morgan). There may be others, but these are just the ones where I regularly hit.

Last night I witnessed one of my all time favorite Hipster Watching occurrences, the Hipster Hook up.

God, it was so cute. They were drinking PBR, playing some card game (I’m guessing EUCHRE ) and flirting like crazy. He had on the usual tee shirt, shaggy hair, jeans, white socks and tenni of some kind. She was a vision in a blue 1950s vintage top straight out of the suburbs with a big round collar and everything, knee length black shirt, shaggy bangs, short hair cut and cute little black flats from the 80s.

I liked this couple because they were totally digging each other, but a la the norm dance of love, it took a little more booze before there was leg rubbing and flirtatious touching.

For your Hipster Watching pleasure, I have created (with the help of Jack Serpentine and Jake Barnes) a Hipster Watching Game.

Points are given for each of these common Hipster experiences:

1. Hipster girl with unshaven legs (one point)

2. Hipster guy with glasses that have tape in middle though glasses are not broken (you have to check) (two points)

3. A homemade tee shirt referring to the bar/event/concert you are attending (two points)

4. Hot Hipster girl glares at you from across the room (one point)

5. Hipster get wasted on PBR (one point)

6. Listen to Hipster explain recent philosophical awakening (four points)

7. Circle of hipster girls remember days at liberal arts college; look at book they made that includes poetry and sketches about vaginas (six points)

8. You listen to hipster discuss playing any of the following instruments: Steel drums, banjo, kazoo, symbol, bass guitar, harmonica or tuba. (One point for each)

9. Hipster describes their college as small (one point), liberal arts (one point) school in Midwestern (two points); eastern (one point), western (three points) United States where they could just chill (one point), work on his/her art (two points), think about where he/she was going (three points), or slow down (no points)

10. Despite the fact that they now live in DC or NYC, they think their small, boring hometown is the best place on earth (three points)

11. Hipster explains that this bar is the only place where he/she "feels comfortable" (1 point)

12. Despite having a LARGE trust fund, they only use pay phones and never make rent (three points)

13. Discuss recent patterns on (two points)

14. They call anything “too corporate” (one point each)

15. They bring a large shoulder strap bag to the bar (one for each) homemade button, sharpie written word, sticker of ambiguous band or skateboard company, glitter doodle or food stain.

16. Hipster doesn't say a word (1 point for each 30 minutes of silence)

17. They have never heard of the Hipster Handbook (three points), but continue to use words from the Hipster Handbook (one point for each term used) and additional point when “like” proceeds word.

18. Laugh at you if you assume they listen to Emo; it’s so passé (two points) but are wearing an obscure Bright Eyes tee-shirt (three points) or you at a Bright Eyes show (six points)

19. Do some slam-hippies style dancing (three points) with PBR in hand (add two points)

20. Hipster explains that item of clothing/accessory was given to him/her by his/her grandfather/mother/aunt/uncle (1 point, 5 points if story is clearly erroneous, like an ipod)

21. Hipster explain that he/she found item of clothing/accessory on the street (1 point) if word "gutter" is used instead of "street" (2 points)

23. Male hipster with Asian girlfriend (2 points) and overhear them discussing their three story walk-up in Brooklyn (four points)

24. Hipster casually refers to (a) book he/she is writing; (b) film he/she is directing; or (c) model girlfriend (not boyfriend) (1 point each, -5 points if female "hipster" mentions a model boyfriend) Hipster explains that, while he/she has a shoot in the morning, he/she would rather be taking photographs (1 point)


Blogger Velvet said...

This is funny! And you were right by my hood...except I wasn't home. But next time you want to go hipster watching, I'm game!

I was just crafting a post about that oh so shaggy haircut. It seems hot to me. Well, of course if he also seems to have showered in the past 12 hours. If not, then the shaggy hair scares me.

11:31 AM  
Blogger V said...

Well, the "Circle" in my blog name actually refers to Dupont as it's my hood, too. I live just two blocks from there.

That guy was cute (but I love hipsters ;)

11:37 AM  
Blogger KassyK said...

Fantastic post and I look forward to playing this game at some point in the near future. Lol. I love Hipsters too. They make me smile. :-)

11:39 AM  
Blogger V said...

Kassy: Sounds good as I've just been itching to dance with some hipsters at Wonderland.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Oh, THAT'S what you call those people. I thought they just got beat up a lot when they were kids. I'd say the one cool thing is the dudes will grow up to be Cosmo Kramer. I wouldn't mind a neighbor like like that, as long as he stays the hell out of my fridge that is.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

What's ironic about this (apropos b/c hipsters LOVE irony) is that hipsters love to people watch too.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hipsters are people who complain about hipsters.

12:21 PM  
Blogger V said...

Sean: Check out the Hipsters Handbook, it's totally deck.

hey pretty: Do they watch and think they are cooler, you think?

Anon: That's another good one, if you hear a hipster doing that add two points.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Sweet said...

Funny! I went to the Bright Eyes show last October and took a preppyish guy friend of mine. He looked so out of place! We couldn't stop laughing at how many guys there had my haircut. It was like 'Where's Waldo' in real life.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Bad at Life said...

It's funny because it's oh so true. In addition to the glasses with the tape down the middle, points should also be awarded simply if they're wearing the thick framed buddy holly/elvis costello glasses.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Do we get bonus points if we think we are too hip to comment on this piece?

You should also add points for the wearing of: motorcycle boots (extra for women,) motorcycle jackets (ditto,) wearing Bettie Page bangs that are cut short (extra if you have on bright red lipstick and your skin has the pallor of paper,)wearing a Hives' tee shirt. Points if they announce they have to go home, and when you ask where they live, they say "Potomac, or McLean." Points for fishnets with holes in them (extra if worn with a denim or leather micro-mini skirt and motorcycle boots,) tattoos that have been altered, like Johnny Depp's Winona Forever becoming "Wino Forever," possessing pirated/bootlegged music (extra if you are under indictment for illegally downloading mp3's,) driving an old car painted with gray primer (saving the planet,) and a broken muffler (well, sorta saving the planet), extra if you admit you get around town by hitchhiking.) Oh yeah..points if you admit you met online, and extras for thinking telephones are "old school," and you communicate solely through texting. Ultimate bonus points: you don't have intercourse anymore and rely solely on cyber sex with live feed while mutually masterbating. Well, we could go on, couldn't we? Sounds like a fun game. Good work, Miss V.

12:58 PM  
Blogger V said...

BAL: Indeed, as shown in random hipster photo

WC: Damn, that list is so tubular! Thanks sounds like you've had a little experience with the hipster crowd ;)

1:06 PM  
Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

Have you been saving this post as a draft since 2003? I remember reading this type of thing all over the place back then.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Aww... I miss Euchre... Though I can't remember exactly how to play it. And I recently had a friend tell me I'd LOVE Bright Eyes. Plus I lived in the "freak" dorm in midwestern college. But I look preppy. I'd totally throw off your Hipster game.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Points to Lonnie for having a missing front tooth (see his latest blog entry,) and hip (extras) for calling you out on this. JOKING! Both of you.

1:17 PM  
Blogger V said...

Lonnie: Maybe I'm doing it ironically, wrap your mind around that!

Rebecca: Um, Bright Eyes is certainly an acquired taste...I'd start with The Faint, they are awesome Emo.

WC: Yeah, but hipsters are still going strong and I want everyone to enjoy as I do.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

No, I mean you were a stone's throw from me. I knew the Circle was for Dupont, but, I can SEE the Townhouse from my window. Sometimes, that's not so good though...not at 3 a.m. anyway.

1:43 PM  
Blogger V said...

Velvet: Wow, that's a hot location...I bet it's espcially loud because they have that patio pretty packed on the weekends--we'll have to grab some PBR there soon.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Pagan Marbury said...

Hipsters are an endless source of entertainment. The wanna-be hipsters are the best- the ones who want you to think they have a trust fund but really work to support their Bobo lifestyle. These are the kids who turn it on at the Black Cat but actually (gasp) take a shower in the morning.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...


2:07 PM  
Blogger V said...

Pagan: I would suspect many in DC are wanna-be hipsters, there may even be an argument to be made that true hipsters can only live in NYC.

LB: Was that ironic? Or were you just being ironic about irony...whew.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

As a recovering hipster, I would say that it varies. In some cases hipster people watching is all about judging (ex: thank god we are not so dull as to own abercrombie polo shirts), other times it's simply a neutral activity intended to pass time, and other times it's a paranoid attempt to see if the people around them are staring at them and making mean comment.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

I'll tell you what's ironic. It's only because of the very rich corporate society these non-conformists (who all look the same) shun that allows them to shun in one non-conformist voice, and not starve to death. I was wrong before, these aren't the one who got beat up a lot when they were kids. They were the kids who needed a good beating. These people are one step away from being hippies. I will now throw away my copy of "The Royal Tenenbaums". Wes Anderson is dead to me ;-)

2:42 PM  
Blogger V said...

HP: How many steps are there in hipster recovery?  I like hipsters just observing, makes them seem cooler than me, which I appreciate.

Sean: We put up with a lot of things around here at CircleV, but there will be NO knocking of anything Wes Anderson, ever. I even like his damn MasterCard commercial (or is it Visa).

2:47 PM  
Blogger doubleonegative said...

it's american express. and i used to live in what was once hipster mecca-- the lower east side. dear god was that something to behold. i've always thought it to be such rich irony when a hipster is trying soooo hard to look like he/she doesn't try.

men with mascara is so last year. and i've had to throw away all of my pillowcases.

4:49 PM  
Blogger V said...

Double O: Yes, I stayed with a friend in Williamsburg, wow, it was really something.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Needtsza said...

wow! I'm gonna have to copy, paste, print this! Friday night, I should get over 200. Bet ;)

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must not be watching very carefully...Wonderland is in Columbia Heights, which is very different from Friendship Heights. And it has been over run with fraternity rejects like nearly every other bar in this city.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Skippy said...

just remember, there are laws against taking a rolled up newspaper and smacking hipsters on the nose and saying in a firm tone "No!". bad laws, but laws all the same.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Scenic Artisan said...

wonderland= columbia heights.. not friendship heights.

though that would be rather funny.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Scenic Artisan said...

and awesome post by the way. brightened my morning!

8:10 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Can't we just go back to calling them "dirty hippies"?

8:23 AM  
Blogger V said...

Anon: Oh right, I get all those non-mid town areas mixed up...also, never been there ever moderately sober.

SA: Glad you enjoyed

Phil: They are, like, much more complicated than that.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Miss Scarlet said...

Wow, you are so right on with this game. And those descriptions really remind me of Richmond, haha.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Serena said...

Fucking hilarious.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

geez, you dorks are so unhip.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

+5 points if you see someone actually playing hipster bingo:

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you all may be confused. or i may be confused

the link to the wikipedia page that gives a definition of what "hipster" is suppose to mean, or whatever the hell, wouldn't be these people you are describing. you are just describing young people, or indie rock people, or emo people, poor people, or bohoyuppie people.

12:38 PM  
Blogger V said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:44 PM  
Blogger V said...

Anon 1:30:
I think you are or rather, you just didn't read all the way down the definition. It explains that there has been a modern movement of hipsters, which is what we've been talking about. I mean wikipedia ain't the best or anything, but I think it's a decent explanation...I'd consult the hipsters handbook, too, if you are interested.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Barzelay said...

Perhaps they play their "symbols" while discussing literature?

1:00 PM  
Blogger V said...

Barze: If you see that you get four points...and a bonus point if they are hipster law students.

3:58 PM  
Blogger indj said...

absolutely hilarious post. as a circle resident and brickskeller frequent-er, i'll have to keep the guide handy. might i suggest you also tackle the very unique scene that is the actual circle/fountain? definitely a unique species.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

these ones for the hipsters who are actually poor and hang closer to the "hippie-punk-anarchist" branch on the indie family tree--2 pts if hispster references anarchist collective or cooperative where he/she lives, works, or eats
-- 2 pts if hipster sports roadburn from falling off bicycle. 4 pts if it is on their face
-- a pt if they break out the rolling paper
-- a pt for every piece of duct tape on their person
-- a pt if hipster mentions any kind of human parasite such as bedbugs, lice, fleas, or crabs. 2 pts and a wide bearth if they mention a past or current personal issue with parasite.
-- 2 pts if their hands are stained with paint
-- 4 pts if hipster sports vintage polaroid camera. 10 pts if you can get them to take your photo.
-- a pt if hipster girl or guy has a "rat's tail" 2pts if it's braided.

9:06 AM  
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7:53 AM  
Anonymous Women leather jacket For Sale said...

I was just crafting a post about that oh so shaggy haircut. It seems hot to me. Well, of course if he also seems to have showered in the past 12 hours. If not, then the shaggy hair scares me.

3:55 AM  
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12:42 AM  

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