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A History of the Hipster

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A History of the Hipster

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In a brilliant turn, Time Magazine traces the history of Williamsburg's stylish spawn, from plaid shirts to the L train.

For a subculture so seemingly casual along the periphery of anything that matters, hipsters sure do have their enemies.  Who doesn't hate the hipsters? We kid.  Granted, the modern apathetic hipster kid living off the parents sounds kind of like a cliche at this point and it may well be that the folks at Time are turning into the very squares who denounced the flower children of the 1960s?  Maybe so, but either way, we kind of love it.  

Take this fun fact from Dan Fletchers piece that we totally didn't know!

Though the irony-sporting, status quo–abhorring, plaid-clad denizens of Williamsburg are a distinctly modern species, the hipster as a genus has its roots in the 1930s and '40s. The name itself was coined after the jazz age, when hip arose to describe aficionados of the growing scene. The word's origins are disputed — some say it was a derivative of "hop," a slang term for opium, while others think it comes from the West African word hipi, meaning to open one's eyes. But gradually it morphed into a noun, and the "hipster" was born.

Our next social experiment: go down to the L platform on Bedford Avenue and poll riders on their knowledge of their own heritage.

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