Hipster Safari

If you have been following our site for a while you probably saw the post on our wildlife safari in Africa where we saw wild lions hunting zebra and impala, not to mention the wildebeests and giraffes. On the domestic leg of our trip we decided to check out some local wildlife of the type and quality seen only in the great United States of America.

The habitat: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York—native grounds for the world’s hipster population. Now you may be saying, “What about my town?” (especially if you live in San Francisco) “We have hipsters too.” Yes, it turns out that even places like Cincinatti have hipsters, but I promise the hipster density in Williamsburg is unlike anything you have ever experienced.

In the interest of getting the most authentic hipster experience while in Brooklyn I decided to do some internet research on where the hipsters were likely to congregate so as to ensure the best viewing experience.

hipstercentralmapA quick google maps search of “hipster central, brooklyn” fortuitously provided an address for me to use as a starting point: Bedford Ave and N 7th Street, right in the center of the Williamsburg neighborhood.

For the sake of completeness I also asked a local. “Andrew, if you were to give me an address for hipster central in Brooklyn, what would it be?” No hesitation. “McCarren Park.”

With these two points of reference we set out to explore the hipsters of Brooklyn. On our African safari we had been unable to leave the confines of our rental car for danger of being eaten alive by wild lions or trampled by angry elephants. On our hipster safari we went for a different strategy, arriving in the native habitat on the hipster’s own preferred mode of transportation, the fixed gear bicycle.

We biked our way across Brooklyn towards McCarren Park and things looked pretty normal. It was a bit of a windy afternoon and we thought that maybe the delicate hipsters had taken cover because there were few to be seen. Scattered groups sat on the grass drinking kombucha and PBR, but it was nowhere near the density nor quality we had hoped for.

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We considered that approaching on a mounted bicycle might be too forward. Thus we attempted to integrate ourselves more completely by dismounting our bike as to be seen, with our vintage bikes but not to intimidate anyone by actually riding them.

So we started walking up Bedford.

It was like approaching a beehive. Scattered hipsters gave way to swarms and soon we were totally overwhelmed by the onslaught of ironically large glasses, faux animal tails and ladies wearing pants with foot long flies.

Eager to document the experience I quickly got out my camera and began slyly shooting from the hip (hence the blurry action shots). You could hardly walk down the sidewalk due to the combination of so many vintage bicycles parked on every available pole and the proliferation of iphone yielding pedestrians who were looking at their 3 inch screens instead of where they were walking.

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We finally reached hipster central and the whole experience came full circle. At Bedford and N 7th St there is a giant bike rack filled with vintage bikes right out in front of an organic foods store. Across the intersection: the Salvation Army, the holy mecca of hipster consumerism.

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Our safari was complete. We quickly veered off Bedford and rode our bikes back to the other side of Brooklyn. We arrived at our friend’s apartment unscathed and enriched by the hipster safari experience.

 

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