Thursday, August 7, 2008
Over the past 10 years, the town of Williamsburg has become the latest magnet for high-income business people, driving property value and the cost of living way up for all, including local Puertorriqueño, black and hipster populations. As a result, crime is at an all-time high (note: I really can’t verify that statistically, but two people definitely got stabbed with machetes by a gang in the nabe recently.)
When asked if the victims were also gang members, a police officer stationed nearby the scene replied, “Nah, they were probably some kids from Oklahoma who started shit with the people who have lived here their whole lives.”
While hipsters have multiple tattoos and like to dress “hard,” they are not actually skilled with martial arts or weaponry. It is likely that in this case, and many other gentrification-driven acts of violence, hipsters have been wrongfully targeted and blamed by those in financial duress, who confused them with the corporate tools who work so much they don’t even have the opportunity to walk around the streets after 10 pm to get attacked.
If there is one thing hipsters hate more than being victims of violent crime, it is being confused with young professionals. I mean, they wear nothing but navy pantsuits and topsiders.
Thus, hipsters view gentrification as a serious issue.
Aside from being offended by mistaken associations, hipsters naturally clash with the corporate-attire wielding market researchers and investment bankers slowly filling the luxury condos and artist lofts. This is not necessarily because hipsters are morally opposed to the corrupt processes that these people willingly feed with their employment, but because their oblivion is soo ironic it hurts a hipster’s mind to think about. The whole point of living in an artsy slum is to be able to work 3 shifts a week at a shitty coffee shop and have money for rent, drugs and concert tickets. But the gentrifiers in Williamsburg work 40-hour weeks and listen to bands like Bon Jovi, missing out on the finer points of the location they are co-opting.
Kristen Reynolds, 24 who recently moved to Williamsburg from Portland and works at a local restaurant, put the situation nicely:
“I mean, why should I have to take out more money from my trust fund in order to be able to live near some professional stock loser? I would rather be mugged than hear Elton John through my wall.”
Torn between living in immediate danger and immediate wet-towelness, gentrification has forced the hipsters to retreat to the north, unofficially designating “red zones” where hipsters are ill-advised to live. These zones can be seen by this carefully rendered map:
Hipsters also do not like gentrification because some righteous hippies on city council are using it as an excuse to close McCarren Pool (and by close I mean spend millions of dollars to make it an actual pool again). See the third thing Hipsters Don’t Like for more on this.
Map editing by Lola Wakefield for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008