Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
A women goes over 2,000 miles west and ends up in the same place, how is this possible?
I didn’t pull that question out of the MindTrap deck (note cultural reference that makes me feel smug), but I did move from the state of Ohio to Ohio Street. I am a suburban transplant to the gentrified neighborhood, North Park. So the million dollar question becomes, am I a hipster? Clearly I’m not because I would be denied entry for simply uttering the word hipster let alone writing it in the previous sentence.
After scouring dozens of Urban Dictionary entries for the definition of hipster, a strong case could be made that I’m a budding hipster. Hopefully, I won’t become so entrenched in this counterculture that my behavior becomes pretentious or douche (synonyms from the Urban Thesaurus) like.
No matter what the label, there are times I just feel like a rube from Ohio who’s in over her head trying to swim in the sea of clothes worn for irony and music that may or may not contain robots. But I’m happy to report, I’m perfecting my doggie paddle but still wearing my floaties. I was craving creativity, and it hurts me to say this nonconformity. Back in Ohio, this is the point where conformity slowly creeps in until you’re so entrenched in it, there’s no escape. So I fled in search of a better, perhaps more bohemian lifestyle that included beautiful weather.
Side note: This amazing weather is doing a real number on my Ohio psyche. In Ohio, if it is 75 out it doesn’t get dark at 5 pm. My space time continuum has been broken, but no worries and no snow scrapers.
Heaven forbid a little rain should fall (that’s the Ohio in me speaking again), I was checking out the art of Ray Street one drizzly night while seemingly the rest of North Park was holed up inside. In their defense, the San Diego art scene is new to me and my enthusiasm wouldn’t be dampened. So I like art, my Netflix queue is filled with independent documentaries, and I’m half way through On the Road. Am I a hipster? You are now the judge, there are no Andy Warhol prints on my wall, my Netflix queue is also filled with movies made for ABC Family starring the effervescent Melissa Joan Hart, and I’m only half way through On the Road because I’m not feeling what Kerouac has to say.
I present to you… Exhibit A: Every piece of clothing I purchased in the last month has been from thrift shops or Hunt+Gather. Is this me satisfying my eclectic new fashion sense, or a product of limited transportation and income? It’s a toss up in my book. Exhibit B: I enjoy consuming insane amounts of caffeine while working on the next epic anything at the corner table upstairs in Claire de Lune. In fact, I’m drinking a large iced latte as I write this. I’d say score that in the hipster column. Exhibit C: My apartment on Ohio Street is decorated in the spirit of my parents’ first home circa Ohio 1983 complete with wood paneling and carpet just shy of shag. Thanks to Ikea, my roommate’s record collection, and Ebay (where else are you going to find a Macrame owl) our place is a regular hipster paradise. My defense to this is what else are you going to do with wood paneling? “Balls to the wooden walls” is what I say. Exhibit D: I’ve somehow found myself drinking a large number of PBRs. I honestly don’t know how that happened. I hadn’t even seen a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon out in public in decades. Have I been drinking the nonconformist Kool-Aid or am I just cheap? A strong case has been presented before you. I use sarcasm in large doses, relish in obscure cultural references, and won’t let anyone forget I minored in film. Simply, I value creative freedom and expression above all else.
And if by some chance, I’m walking down University Ave and someone says, “Hey look at that hipster.” I won’t cringe or argue. And if there’s a day when I’m acting too pretentious for my own good, I’ll remind myself where I’m from. I’m from Ohio, and get up at 9am to watch the Buckeyes play football. I take solace in the fact that on my corner there are men training in MMA like a lonely island in the Sea of Hip. I’m proud to say I own a television and enjoy watching it. And lastly I’ll argue till my last breath that it is wrong to have less than 5% body fat with no discernable muscles, and chicken wings should always be featured on a bar menu. We’re always a combination of our experiences, and at the end of the day I’m glad I have a little of each Ohio in me.