Archive for the tag 'hipsters'

Source: Youtube/Global Ambassador NYC

Source: Youtube/Global Ambassador NYC

Oh, Taylor. First you released that terrible, terrible single about our beloved city. Then we learned that it was just a publicity stunt for your new role as the “Global Welcome Ambassador” for New York City’s tourism department.

Well, some folks are not impressed with Taylor Swift’s shiny informational videos (such as this Tribeca-centric NYC vocabulary lesson). In a hilarious parody site (with a perfect domain:, three native New Yorkers give the singer some pointers about what New York is really about.

“Brooklyn is not a bunch of bearded hipsters eating kale salad. It’s just good, working-class people in a lot of places,” Paul Bomba, 35, the writer and producer behind the site, told us. “I think Taylor Swift was chosen as a symbol of gentrification.”

Bomba, who grew up in Gravesend, was shocked when he learned that Swift was selected as Welcome Ambassador. So he decided to do something about it. He registered the NYC domain name and put out a casting call for native-born New York actors.

Queens-born Tommy Ray and Inwood-native Brianne Berkson responded, and last week the trio shot three videos on the rooftop of a Bushwick apartment building. Within days, Bomba had edited the footage and loaded them onto the site.

Bomba says his goal is to make people laugh and highlight the ridiculousness of the city’s choice of Swift.

“I just don’t think she gets it yet,” said Bomba. “Yes, New York City has more millionaires than any other city in the U.S. At the same time, there are eight million other people who don’t just show up in New York and can buy whatever apartment they want.”

“I’ve been here my entire life and I still have a lot to learn about the city,” he added.

Bomba has no hard feelings towards Swift, though.

“If she reaches out to me, I’d love to meet her and take her out for a slice of pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens,” he said.

h/t Village Voice

Remember that time when Brooklyn Industries used devastated Sandy communities as the backdrop for an ad shoot? Très cool. (Source:

Sheepshead Bay is very expensive. You don’t want to move here. People get stabbed all the time, bicyclists are run off the road and we don’t have a Starbucks. It’s, like, a three-day commute into Manhattan on a train that’s full of urine, showtime boys and broken air-conditioners. Really. It sucks. Hell, our news website is called “Sheepshead Bites,” not “Sheepshead Is Da Bomb.”

We promise. It’s just terrible. Don’t move here.

Plead as we might, Sheepshead Bay may be poised for a new influx of avant garde urban explorers fleeing Williamsburg and Bushwick; neighborhoods which are just, like, ugh, so 2008.

At least that’s the case if we’re to believe one SoHo-cum-Williamsburg-cum-Bushwick-cum-Gowanus musician who whined to the Village Voice that rents were rising and no one will let them bang on drums and vomit in the street at 3:30am. Her friends are apparently already pioneering the hipster trail down here.

“Who knows when the rents will go up there?” kazzoo’d Annabelle Cazel, of the Fiery Furnaces. “Most of my musician friends have moved … way south, to Ditmas Park, Sheepshead Bay, Windsor Terrace, or Flatbush. Gowanus is done with.”

Settle down there, Madison, er, Annabelle. It’s Southern Brooklyn, but it ain’t West Virginia.

The article is actually about how the rising cost of real estate and the replacement of defunct manufacturing districts with luxury residential stock mean there’s very little affordable practice space available for bands. And residential areas make particularly bad homes for DIY rehearsal spaces, since families who have to get up early in the morning to take the kids to school and generally contribute to society don’t really want to be kept up all night long by the rock-and-roll lifestyle.

Hell, these guys even had to compromise with their neighbors. Oh, the horror!

“In the past, everyone would be rehearsing. In more recent years, we had to make agreements with our neighbors: If you let us make noise during the day, we won’t make noise at night,” said Josh Copp of some band you haven’t heard of.

We concede; all jokes aside, this a very real problem. New York City has a legacy to preserve as a bastion of art and culture, and pricing out the people trying to “make it” is just as bad as pricing out the immigrant and blue-collar families that also form pillars of our economy and culture.

And, really, we could use some better music on this end of the borough. We’re so over Vanilla Fudge playing BayFest.

But if all this turns out to be true, that the hipster trail, like the Bedford bike path, now ends at Emmons Avenue, it’s certainly the end of an era for our once sleepy yet cosmopolitan corner of Brooklyn.

Good? Bad? You tell us. We’re just here to write about it.

Hep Cats (Source: 50sand60s via Twitter)

Hep Cats (Source: 50sand60s via Twitter)

Dig the scene. A couple of cool daddios parade down the boardwalk on Coney Island, smoking cigs and flashing tattoos, grooving on all the squares terrified over their rock n’ roll attitudes.

Yes, that was an incredibly lame description but the picture above, provided on Twitter by the @50sand60s account, is a fascinating glimpse into how little changes in the world of cool. Yes, tattoos, Ray Ban sunglasses and hipster hairdos were also all the rage in 1957, proving that Coney Island is always a place to look cool and be cool… or something.

Freakin’ hipsters.


B44 Select Bus Service

Soon hipsters in Williamsburg will be able to scout out Sheepshead Bay for cheaper rents and Russian beers as the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally begins express service next month. NY1 is reporting that the new B44 line will represent the MTA’s sixth SBS, bridging the gap between parts of Brooklyn that are notoriously hard to reach by regular transportation options.

Sheepshead Bites’ Allan Rosen extensively covered the in’s and out’s of the B44 SBS line in a three part series, ultimately arguing that the MTA’s planning process, which includes the construction of bus bulbs that will make the streets narrower, will increase traffic. A local man questioned by NY1 agreed.

“Definitely too narrow. Maybe somewhere like Harlem, somewhere in Manhattan where, you know, the streets are a lot wider,” a passerby said.

While noting that the project has been delayed, NY1 described the MTA’s thinking when it came to implementing the new service, which rolls out next month:

The other Select Bus Service lines in the city have been praised for making buses move a little faster, but the process of getting this particular line off the ground has been anything but fast. The Nostrand/Rogers route was first selected for SBS service back in 2008.

Close to 40,000 riders used the B44 on weekdays last year, making it one of the city’s busiest bus lines. So the DOT and the MTA are applying a formula that they say has worked by cutting travel times along routes in Manhattan and the Bronx by up to 20 percent.

That’s the hope along the 9.3-mile bus route, which stretches from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg.

“People have to get down to Williamsburg Plaza, which is way away from here,” said one person. “It will be great to be able to just fly there.”

While some might be annoyed at the (unlikely) possibility of hipsters flooding Sheepshead Bay, the concerns locally have been about lost parking spaces to the larger bus stops. We’ll keep an eye out to see how it’s affecting local businesses and motorists.


Hey, beautiful young people, the Rockaways Revisited 2013 collection is here! This is your chance to look Sandy-chic for the upcoming summer season as you delightfully ride your bicycle over the rubble of your devastated community! But, seriously, what the hell is going on here?

According to a report by Gothamist, the hipster fashion source known as Brooklyn Industries has unveiled their 2013 summer collection inspired by the Rockaways, an area hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy. The catalog features Wisconsin-born transplants with ugly sweaters and other tired rehashes of early 90s clothing bicycling, jumping, and generally looking too-cool-to-care all over the the Sandy-battered Rockaways. In the background, sand is piled in streets, iconic landmarks are fenced off, and homes stand dilapidated.

Even the boardwalk’s cement foundation – the only thing that remains after the wooden planks were stripped by the storm – are playground fodder for these kidults.

This might be not be so colossally insensitive if Brooklyn Industries was planning to donate a portion of their profits to Sandy victims, but they aren’t. The company claims that their donation budget is empty.

Company representative Teddy Vuong tried to defend the campaign.

“Our idea to design the line came last summer because we found that the Rockaways had been a consistent source of inspiration in our personal lives,” Vuong said.

Vuong went on to explain the connections that many Brooklyn Industries employees have to the area and how deeply concerned they were after the devastation following Sandy. They also hoped people buying clothing like the “Rockaway Cotton Slub Pullover” would actually travel to the Rockaways and spend some money in the beleaguered region. Somehow, I doubt it.

Très cool, assholes.


Female Lifeguards Of Brighton Beach. Source: StephiaMadelyne via Bettmann Corbis

In this photograph we have a group of three female lifeguards standing vigil over the waters of Brighton Beach in the swinging jazz days of 1921. In case you are wondering, these are not the vintage ladies we featured last December. Those female lifeguards, who very well could have been the daughters of the lifeguards featured above, were from 1940 and protected Manhattan Beach right before the outbreak of World War II.

This is a fantastic photograph that invites all sorts of interesting sociological observations. I love how the guard on the far left is laced up in what could be a pair of early 20th century Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Converse, which had been around since 1908, introduced its first pair of Chucks in 1921, so this young woman could very well be the world’s first hipster. After all, she meets all the other criteria; slim figure, skin tight leggings, and a chic, short haircut. She even has a hipster name, Gertrude Neumarker. I wonder how she expected to swim effectively with water logged canvas and rubber weighing her legs down.

As much as we fantasize about buxom Baywatch beauties giving up mouth-to-mouth after nearly drowning in the ocean, in reality, I’d much rather have the woman in the middle coming to my rescue. This guard, identified as Bertha Tomkins, is a buffed-up militarized-looking ocean protector, guaranteed not to let anyone drown on her watch. With no shoes or leg coverings, she is not constrained by the fashion taboos of her time, realizing that modest beachwear is clunky and slows down rescues.

I don’t know what to make of the last guard, Gertrude Goodstein, on the far right. She seems about as strong as the woman in the middle and as modest as the woman on the left. If I were taking the photo, I’d tell her to stand in the middle because she just seems to represent a mix of the three ladies present.

Anyway, thanks to StephiaMadelyne for posting the photo on her Now York City blog and thanks to Bettmann Corbis for providing it in the first place. If anyone else has more vintage Southern Brooklyn lifeguard photos or videos, please send them our way. We love this stuff.

Like, yaaaah! Look at us! We’re hipsters… we’re better than you. Source: Look A Beauty Blog

I always thought it was so trite to begin a post, essay, or any piece of writing with the definition of a word but, as an homage to the anonymous everyman who spoke for so many of us Southern Brooklynites — the writer behind the eponymously-named blog, Die Hipster, who abdicated his literary throne this week — I offer you the definition of the word “prophet”:

A person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression.

While Die Hipster, by no means, claimed to “speak by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed,” the perennially exacerbated wordsmith took to the Internets to decry the “culdesacian culture vultures [who] have basically destroyed art and music just about to the point of irreparable,” in his final post on the site.

The targets of Die Hipster’s wrath may have had blessedly little to nothing to do with our end of the borough (at least for the time being, for hipsters are a transient breed), he took the Herculean task upon himself to protect our Southern Brooklyn enclave from their unicycled migration like a modern-day Davy Crockett staving off those who would breach the Alamo.

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Source: Propertyshark via Gothamist

Gentrification is one of the most emotionally loaded words in Brooklyn. Some welcome it with open arms, embracing all the artisanal cheese and organic coffee shops left in its wake. Others detest it like a virus, decrying the loss of the “real” Brooklyn, horrified by the hipster harem left in its wake. Those less concerned with the culture wars point to the skyrocketing rents that uproot poorer and working class families out of their neighborhoods.

For those people, here’s the latest map confirming their suspicions. Provided by Propertyshark via Gothamist, the map outlines changing property values in Brooklyn from 2004 to 2012. Only residential properties were included in the analysis, measuring the values of single and two family homes, condos and co-ops.

The darker the red, the higher the jump in real estate prices. And them red parts are exactly where you’d expect them to be.

In Sheepshead Bay, there has been a 10 percent decline in property prices, a figure that puts it in the stagnant zone. Those worried about a hipster invasion in Sheepshead Bay can take comfort that they are not Williamsburg, which, unsurprisingly, has seen a whopping 174 percent increase in property prices.

Other areas surging with hipsters and high prices include Fort Greene (+51 percent), Gowanus (+52 percent) and Lefferts Garden (+63 percent). Southern Brooklyn’s very own Coney Island also saw a bump of 25 percent.

Not all of Brooklyn is so hot though. Cypress Hills saw a 30 percent drop in property prices while the supposedly up-and-coming Red Hook only saw a relatively stagnant 10 percent boost.

Of course, none of this is to say that Southern Brooklyn has cheap real estate. In fact, some of the largest residential deals have recently been in Gravesend and Manhattan Beach. But it does show that over the past eight years, home prices have stayed relatively stable, even through recession, while Northern Brooklyn developed, gentrified and saw dumpy commercial areas give way to so-called luxurious living.

Sheepshead Bay and its environs, though, remain the bastions of middle class families, with steady real estate prices and unflinching resolve in the face of the hipster hordes. We were here before they came, and we’ll be here when they go home to Arkantuckisconsin.

And, in case they get any ideas, here’s a reminder to our Northern Brooklyn neighbors: stay above the line.

Source: Paul J Everett/Flickr

Ice skating is one of the most romantic activities in New York City, at least according to all the TV shows and movies. Because of this, you can be damned sure that hipsters of all stripes will be eager to hit the rinks when air freezes in a month or two. Sadly, they’ll have to trek far outside the comfort zones of their favorite neighborhoods to do so.

According to the Village Voice, plans to open up all of Brooklyn’s ice rinks have been delayed this year, leaving only Southern Brooklyn locations for the borough’s 2.5 million residents.

On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, plans to convert the recently opened McCarren Park Pool into a skating rink fell through due to a missed September deadline caused by limited cash flow (what, no trust fund?).

With their own neighborhood offering no ice, desperate romantics of North Brooklyn would most likely try to flock to Prospect Park’s rinks, but would quickly discover that the massive $74 million dollar Lakeside Project has temporarily closed those rinks down this winter as well.

With the trendiest spots unavailable, a premium will be put on the touristy rinks of Central Park. And, really, if you flew all the way here from some cow-town just so you could say, “Like, yah, I’m from Brooklyn,” would you go skating in Manhattan’s Central Park?

That just leaves the rinks we have down here, the Aviator Sports & Events Center at 3159 Flatbush Avenue, and the Abe Stark Rink at Coney Island Boardwalk and West 19th Street. Locals, look out.

The hipster DMZ line. (Source:

Breaking news from the New York Times: there are hipsters in Brooklyn. Oh, and Southern Brooklynites exist, and, shucks, even have opinions.

The Times recently sent a reporter out to Brooklyn neighborhoods on the hipster-less side of the Die Hipster DMZ line to find out what we really think of the unending waves of trust fund-fueled square-state rejects redefining Brooklyn chic.

The verdict from our neighbors? “Meh.”

Or, as the New York Times puts it:

To many longtime residents in some of the borough’s unaffected corners — in the rough-edged and timeless Brooklyn that has endured in places like Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville and East New York — the renaissance is still being watched with amusement, nervousness and even dismay.

Among the many yuppie-hipster trends sneered at by those in our area, supermarket politics earned considerable ire:

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