Hanging with the hipsters


Posted on November 19th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

For me, Tuesday is Saturday.

Given the way my schedule works, the most boring day of the week for everyone else is big night out for me and Val. Every week we try to do something new and different and exciting. It’s not the best night for date night, but we make the best of it.

Today (Tuesday) was the first really cold day here in NYC, and despite the overwhelming urge to curl up under a blanket and watch bad T.V, we decided to brave the elements and head over to Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg.

I’ve never been one to follow the trend of the day. I don’t know if it was the fact that we were poor growing up, or if I just wanted to be different from everyone else, but I never seemed to be following the same fashion rules as everyone else. When all my friends got leather bomber jackets for the winter, I stuck with a dungaree jacket and a down vest. As the 70’s were coming to a close and my teenage hair was touching my shoulders, my friend’s older sister told me, “Don’t you know long hair isn’t ‘in’ anymore?”

She didn’t know what to make of me when I smiled from ear to ear.

I wore a wool hat last night because it was damn cold out. As soon as I entered the establishment, I took the hat off. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I could hear my mother snarling, “take your hat off in the house.”

Evidently, no one in Williamsburg had a mother, because nearly everyone in the joint, inclding most of the waitstaff, was wearing a wool hat.

Welcome to hipster world.

Hipsters get stereotyped just like any other group. Clark Kent glasses, long beards, skinny jeans, plaid shirts, wool hats. It’s terrible to pigeon-hole someone like that. In fact, I’m sure that most of the residents of Williamsburg don’t dress anything like that.

Except that they do. All of them. Even the bouncers had beards. So did some of the women.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve had a renewed interest in seeing (and hearing) new, live music. Brooklyn Bowl is a great venue. Big stage, good sound, great lighting. It’s a great room.

Ok, it’s a little bit cold. Maybe the wool hats aren’t so bad after-all.

The two acts we saw were pretty non-descript. The first one was a quasi-punk, quasi-country act from somewhere in the midwest. I didn’t hate them, I didn’t love them. If anything, I was jealous that they had the opportunity to play a big stage while I had to pay 12 bucks to watch them.

On a side note, when we were on line waiting to get in, the three people in front of us had an extra ticket which they gave to Valarie. You don’t see a lot of that anymore.

Maybe hipsters aren’t that bad after-all.

The headliner was a impish emo-chick named Jessica Mayfield. When we were listening to her songs on soundcloud during the afternoon, trying to decide where we were gonna go, she sounded like a modern-day hippie-chick, a 21st century Stevie.

Boy, were we wrong.

Most of her songs were o.k. Nothing great. I was getting bored. Then she played a song called Standing in the Sun, and for some reason, I wanted to be high, spinning in circles until I got dizzy and fell to the floor. Then the song was over and the feeling passed. The jealousy returned. I wanted to be out on the deck, bathed in purple light, holding the crowd in the palm of my hand.

In my mind’s eye, I’m not some graying 49-year-old with a middle-age paunch, I’m still an angry young man with a song in his heart and a story to tell. I thought that by playing some songs live with my friends over the summer, the yearning would go away.

I was wrong. It made it worse.

That’s ok. It’s good to have dreams. It’s good to chase them. Who cares what the world thinks of you. Who cares about the latest trends?

In the end, it was a good night. It turns out, hipsters ain’t all that bad. They helped revitalize a neighborhood that had long been forgotten. And i’m sure they have done wonders for the fashion industry in some way. But as we left the Brooklyn Bowl, I couldn’t help but think of that old  Buddy Rich rant.

No more Fucking beards!





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