Check The Wave archives ---oops they were washed away so you’ll just have to take my word for it – if you could check the old stuff you’d see I was hip enough to note the emerging hipster scene before a fish taco was ever served around here. Before the madefor hipsters weblog Gothamist started making fun of them. I hate to brag – ok, I like to brag---but somebody’s gotta get credit for first noticing the scraggily beards and skinny pants. And someone’s gotta get credit for being the first one annoyed by them. That’d be me, too. The flock of posers gave me a summer long sneer.
But I started warming to them as new businesses – something other than dollar stores and nail salons – started popping up. The concessions on the boardwalk became destinations for the groovy and locals alike. Sand building contests and art shows and well, all sorts of stuff started happening.
I’m sure there existed a committed contingent of those not crazy about the influx. Fort Tilden was suddenly packed on weekends and surfers were getting squeezed by newcomers. Hipsters Must Die t-shirts were not uncommon.
Well, gripe what you will – you can’t trash the hipsters in a general way any more. Or you can trash them but have to add the bit about how great they were in the weeks after Sandy. The Sanitation Department and the Mormons and others deserve a lot of credit for helping Rockaway back on its feet but the hipsters were there from the beginning. They came by bike – sometimes towing a wagon full of tools – early in the day and rode back to Brooklyn or parts of Queens in pitch black darkness. And they came by bus. An outfit called Rockabus which supplied transport from Williamsburg to Rockaway in the summer revived just for Hurricane help. The buses filled up with hipsters looking to help and so a sobriquet was born: The Helpsters.
The Helpsters came not to pose but to work. The new t-shirt: Hipsters Might Be Ok.
All this hipster - helpster stuff got me to thinking about the 6 dollar Budweiser I groused about in last week’s column. Maybe the establishment, which I will not yet name, noticed my scraggily beard which I had grown because I didn’t have hot water not because I wanted to look cool. Maybe they thought the beard was a sign that I was a trustafarian, that I’d enjoy paying 6 bucks for a Bud. Maybe they added the hipster tax.
Me a hipster? That’d be really kinda messed up because I have not been considered cool since I wore platform shoes I bought at Alexander’s. And let’s hope there’s not a hipster tax – hipsters have earned a hearty welcome and a four dollar beer or two.
Boyleing Points: The lines at Stop and Shop look like something out of Disney World with Waldbaum’s and Key Food still out of commission. Sabrina, who was working out of the floral section, saw my scraggily beard and figured I was more hip replacement than hipster and opened up her register allowing me to save about 4 hours. Give that girl a raise!
**Incredible Journey Part 2? Rumor has it Whaleamena made a great escape during Sandy and is heading back to Central Park.
**Not to be a cynic but that’s what they pay me poorly to be. Anyway, Parks’ plan for the beaches and boardwalk isa3phasedeal.CleanUp,Safe Up, and Open Up. My equally cynical friends are asking when is Part 4: the Cover Up?
**Rapid Repairs ain’t rapid, we know that. But when they do show, you can get lucky with some really skilled guys. Hats off to Long Beach guys (who had their own homes damaged) Joe Duffy, Jimmy Connelly (I hope it’s Jimmy!) and Colin Smith.
**You don’t have to be a Graybeard to join in the fun at their annual Dinner Dance. This year’s bash will be at El Caribe in Brooklyn on Saturday, January 26th. Tickets are $75 – a bargain! Call the Graybeard office 718-634-6812 or visit their website graybeards.com