Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hipster heaven

I hung out on Commercial Drive this weekend. I don't normally spend a lot of time on the Drive but now that my sister lives there it looks like I'll be making the trek to East Vancouver more often.

This thought fills me with dread. It's not that I don't like Commercial Drive (what's not to like?). I just don't like the annoying hipsters and earnest do-gooders who hang out there.

The hipsters are easy to spot in their matching army jackets, Elvis Costello-style glasses, shoulder-strap messenger bags and old-school sneakers. They can be found having pretentious conversations about indie bands or foreign films in one of the many organic, fair-trade coffee shops that line the Drive.

They don't look like they’re having a lot of fun. Their sense of humour seems to revolve around being superior to the lowbrow masses. For example, if you showed up on the Drive wearing a Nickelback concert t-shirt, people would laugh appreciatively at your brilliant irony.

[If you showed up in Kitsilano wearing a Nickelback t-shirt, people would think you were a loser and shun you. If you showed up in Surrey wearing a Nickelback t-shirt, people would shove a beer funnel down your throat and slap a Nickelback CD on the stereo.]

Mixed among the hipsters on the Drive are the equally annoying earnest do-gooders. The earnest do-gooders love the Drive because of its reputation as a hotbed of political and social activism.

The Drive is undeniably progressive. It has car-free festivals, spoken-word performances, organic grocery stores, bicycle friendly roads, Cuban cafes, random street parties and a refreshing lack of big-box stores and restaurant chains.

All wonderful things but I could do without the bongo-playing, patchouli-wearing, dreadlock-loving space cadets the Drive tends to attract.

I always feel like an outsider on the Drive. I’m not cool enough to be a hipster (I like Top 40 music in an unironic way) and I'm not earnest enough to be a do-gooder (I refuse to give up long, hot showers for the sake of the planet).

Maybe I'll just make my sister hang out with me in my neighbourhood from now on. We can sit inside one of the many Starbucks that line West 4th Avenue and watch the bottle blondes in their lululemon pants, ugg boots and fur-lined hoodie bomber jackets go by.

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