This bodega-robbing pageant creator actually asked me interview her. That's kind of narcissictic, but whatever...

This bodega-robbing pageant creator actually asked me interview her. Me thinks that's pretty narcissistic, but whatever...

I e-met this hipSTAR after our pet projects were featured 2 posts away from each other on FREEwilliamsburg.com, which I’m sure you all check daily, if not by having the page perpetually open and refreshing the screen every few minutes or so. After robbing a bodega and creating the Mr and Miss Williamsburg Pageant as retribution, Misha became an infamous icon in the hipster realm, attracting a stream of comments with such sentiments as “I hope your eggs fall out Misha,” “i hope you fall onto the L train tracks” and “lousy fucking bitch-cunt,” among others. But shrugging these comments off with skilled nonchalance, her pageant will prevail – and be attended by Gawker.

Mischa reached out to me through email and suggested that I participate in her pageant. I wrote her back, commended her for robbing the bodega (which started this whole escapade), and graciously agreed to participate. After that, we emailed each other back and forth so much that we automatically popped up on each others’ g-talk lists, and so the conversations began.

One day, Misha said, “I’d love to do an interview.” My narcissistic inclinations shining through, I asked when she wanted to interview me. Her narcissistic inclinations trumping mine tenfold, she explained that she was asking me to interview her.

In the midst of awkward confusion, Misha suggested that we “shake up the medium” and interview each other, and so this interview was born. Hopefully, it will satiate everyone’s narcissistic inclinations:

Lola: So Misha, judging from some of the comments on websites that featured your pageant, it appears that hipsters don’t like you. Do you generally find this to be true?

Misha: First of all, thank you for recognizing that I am not a hipster. Although by many accounts, that very denial would make me one.

Lola: This is correct

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#5) Gentrification

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:

As you can see, the only areas not vetoed by the hipster population are within a 3-block radius from the north side of Bedford Avenue, and maybe Soho.

As you can see, the only areas not vetoed by the hipster population are within a 3-block radius from the north side of Bedford Avenue, and maybe Soho.

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.

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Map editing by Lola Wakefield for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008