What's the one thing Boston needs most? More hipsters!

Apparently, Boston and Cambridge aren't "bohemian" enough for some folks, who are attempting a sort of flashmob approach to make Boston a little hipper, a little gentler, more bohemian, more european, artistic, free and open.

Short term: Organize a mailing list and take over almost hip nightspots or restaurants for a night. Long term: Take over some slum, kick all those nasty poor people out and hipsterize it:

Choose a currently low-cost neighborhood to take over (buy/rent). Make it hip, bring in artists; have entrepreneurs in our group open cafe's. Choose an area with zoning that permits a MIXTURE of commercial and residential sites, and late night permits for cafes and restaurants. ... Get help from the city of Boston (tax relief, real estate rennovation subsidies) for urban renewal.

In other words, what Boston really needs is Yet Another Pocket of Smug, Funner Than Thou Government-Subsidized Hipster Trash. Not that I'm editorializing or anything.



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        By Josh on

        For all this trouble they're going through, maybe it would be easier just to move to New York. Jeez - I'm originally from Brooklyn and I love my hometown, but there's something tremendously pitiful about saying, "Boston isn't enough like SoHo and Williamsburg, so let's copy those places exactly."

        At least my dear bostonist.com can no longer be accused of being the most smugly hip, poorly copy-edited local site.

        don't forget:complain

        By on

        don't forget:
        complain about, er, sympathize with the plight of the poor and the homeless hold rallies in the common about the plight of the poor and homeless and then go home to the neighborhood and giggle over the new $1M appraisal on their low cost housing investment.

        That's straight out of that

        By on

        That's straight out of that dumbass Richard Florida's dumbass playbook of dumbass ideas.

        What a bunch of haters!

        By on

        What a bunch of haters! Move to the suburbs if you're looking for cookie-cutter neighborhoods. I'm not a hipster, but I appreciate that someone is trying to support the local mom & pop independent shops/restaurants and bring back a bit of creative spirit to the city. Can't we all just get along?

        If only ...

        By on

        We moved to Roslindale 12 years ago, when "haute cuisine" consisted of some tacos at Wapo Taco (and I say that as somebody who *likes* Wapo Taco). I am thrilled to bits that I can now get Thai food in the neighborhood, and fresh bread, and go out to open-mike nights at the local ice cream shop/coffeehouse.

        But did you read their manifesto? They're not talking just about encouraging new coffeeshops and poetry slams. They're talking about taking over existing neighborhoods and re-molding them in their own image. And using our tax money to help kick out the people who already live there. And I say no, I don't want elitist snobs like that getting tax breaks, not when the school system still uses history books that end in 1970 and residential property taxes are going up at logarithmic rates. And I say no, I don't want some bunch of 20-something snots telling me that their esthetic is more important than mine, that just because they don't like Pizzeria Uno (which fits their definition of "local," by the way, since it's headquartered in West Roxbury, although I'm suspecting they have no idea where that is), everybody else must dislike it as well.

        'Course, I could be working myself into a lather over nothing - who knows if that "group" actually consists of more than one person?

        Hi Adam,I'm one of the

        By on

        Hi Adam,

        I'm one of the people that started this Boston Bohemian page. I think you were right in parts of your angry, but incisive, commentary about the danger that this idea could end up with gentrification and displacement of a low income neighborhood. The idea was never about targeting a neighborhood - that came more out of the 'enthusiasm' of starting something new - than from a real consideration of all the issues (local needs of existing neighborhoods, etc). If you get a chance, take a look at the changes I've made in the past day or so. My guess is that you won't be signing up any time soon; don't worry, I'm not holding my breath. But this idea is still at a very early stage, and we're still trying to bring it into focus. I don't know if anything will come of this at all, but if it does, I don't think it will done in the the arrogant way that you're anticipating.

        Re: Cookie-Cutter Neighborhoods

        By Josh on

        "Move to the suburbs is you're looking for cookie-cutter neighborhoods."

        See, the thing is, the city actually doesn't have cookie-cutter neighborhoods, but these folks seem to be proposing the imposition of a cookie-cutter style. Roxbury, for example, seems like the ideal place for these folks to take over, as it is largely poor and fairly un-hip (at least, I think they'd think so). But there's nothing generic about it; it has character, uniqueness, and local idiosyncracies. Part of living in the city is getting to know, accept, and love neighborhoods for what they are, not mold them all into Williamsburg. I can't help but feel like the folks behind this hipsterization plan don't spend enough time just strolling around and soaking up the streets - they're too busy bemoaning the lack of coffee shops and record stores to stop and get some goat roti (or cannoli, or arroz con habichuelas, or barbecue) and enjoy what's there for the enjoying.

        Josh,I agree that it makes

        By on


        I agree that it makes sense to appreciate the textures that do exist in the city; and I agree that not everything needs to be artistic, etc. Real, authentic neighborhoods, should be enjoyed and appreciated for what they are. I agree with your point. The idea here is not to replace any of this, but to add a little of an open, artistic, texture (or really bring some of it back) in some places along with the others that you describe. I think the key is that, if anything ever comes of this idea, it should be in partnership with a neighborhood - and with sensitivity to the goals of the local residents. One question is whether you can add vibrancy, cafes, galleries to a neighborhood, and minimize the likelihood of eventual gentrification.

        I agree. I can’t stand

        By on

        I agree. I can’t stand that attitude like ‘Oh, life’s so interesting and beautiful’. We’re out here working our butts off, paying taxes. I’ve got no problem with having a good time. You know, drink some beers, watch the Sox or the Patriots. I like to go crazy sometimes, shout my head off. All I’m saying is to try to
        act like a normal person.