I love the vibe walking down Main Street in Vancouver or almost any area of Portland Oregon. Those guys and girls in the tight jeans and ironic retro tees are the reason culture continues to evolve and thrive in most cities. The hipster is a figure of ridicule to some as the look is often a bandwagon in which young people want to jump on and be part of the scene. However, the artists, musicians, photographers, small business owners are often the people with too many tattoos and thrift store chic.
In Jack Kerouac’s On The Road , the main protagonist Sal exists in a new world in which all is possible and being an outsider is the key to having the freedom to create and be in the moment. The original hipster evolved out of the Beatnik culture that was created in cities such as New York and San Francisco. The amount of great literature, poetry and music ( both folk and jazz) that was nurtured in the Beat scene was huge and still resonates with us today ( Dylan anyone?).
The culture in a city like Vancouver is often created from the ground up and those so-called Hipsters are the ones making chap books in their living room, creating blogs, having art exhibits , forming bands, brewing beer and generally letting their creative sparks start small fires in the urban landscape.
This week it was announced that the Waldorf Hotel was being turned into Condos with the last day being January 20th. This is a sad fact that an older landmark was renovated and turned into a creative space for bands, recording , cocktail culture and then thrown onto the slag heap of modern living. This old city loses one more space for the expression of creativity.
Give me a independant coffee shop with hipsters parking their single speed bikes that they built themselves , writing in their Macbook or Moleskine over a soulless Starbucks downtown full or corporate suits dreaming of their new Audi.