Hipsters have been nearly 70 years in the making, so it’s about time we get on board. That’s right: thanks to books like John Leland’s "Hip: The History" (such a good read) we can take solace in knowing that jazz musician Miles Davis was one of the original hipsters, and was succeeded by the likes of novelist Jack Kerouac and poet Allen Ginsberg.
Meanwhile, Andy Warhol gave way to the Sex Pistols, and punk led to grunge, which soon led to mainstream hip-hop, electronic, and everything we’re seeing now. (So, ta da! 400 pages summarized in six sentences or less.)
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Ultimately, we need to make peace with the fact that hipsters aren’t going anywhere. That’s why instead of getting bent out of shape over Toronto’s (and other Canadian cities') expanding hipster community, we celebrate them, using Yelp’s “hipster map” as a way of re-assuring ourselves that culture is alive and well.
But what if you’ve never been to these areas? What if this map has scared you? What if you don’t know what kale is? What if – and we know this is possible – you’re not familiar with “street style”?
It’s fine. It’s okay. Breathe – we’re right here. At one point, all of us reacted to the term “hipster” by wincing in both fear and intimidation. At one point, some of us – young and naïve – saw the subculture as a right of passage, clinging to topical fashion choices instead of the fabrics that made up the community.
Plaid was worn, what was flattering was ignored (some of us can’t wear oversize shirts without looking abnormally square, we just can’t), and the ‘90s resurfaced in our hearts, minds, closets, and stereos (despite, again, most ‘90s fabrics making us look like quilts).
So to help ease your pain, we’re going to celebrate the boldest hipster fashions across Canada. Remember: you don’t have to wear them, you can just get familiar, so that if you ever find yourself in a rich, indie-centric hipster community, you won’t need a map to tell you where you are.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will use this as a reminder that not everyone can shop at American Apparel or wear leather pants.