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Santa Cruz is one of the only real hippie towns left in California, and some people want it to live on as a museum for 1960's coastal California culture.

 

Ocean Beach, San Diego.

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^That dude is probably straight out of the 60's. Maybe even an original California hippie?

 

That's our councilman! Just kidding :-)  He is a very nice and funny guy.

 

The culture here is really fascinating. The entrenched hippie ethos has kept the neighborhood from turning into a mass of chain stores and stucco McMansions. 

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More on the Levi's normcore marketing we've been seeing in SF for the past year. Without question, Levi's is one of San Francisco's greatest brands, but it struggled during the hipster era. We're going to have an epic San Francisco-Oakland battle here in the Bay. San Francisco is now marketing normcore while Oakland is still marketing hipster. I think Levi's is getting on the right track again and betting correctly:

 

Levi's Goes Normcore In New Ad Campaign

BY WHITNEY PHANEUF IN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ON JUL 1, 2014 12:03 PM

 

Simply another name for the casual, comfortable style San Francisco has embraced forever, normcore became the fashion meme of 2014 when New York Magazine discovered some trend-setting Brooklyn kids dressed like they came out of a Midwest mall in the 1990s. Now Levi's seems to have aligned its brand with the trend in its new global ad campaign, “Live in Levi's.”

 

The normcore look is all about basics—denim, sweatshirts, baseball caps, and sneakers—and brands like Patagonia, Uniqlo, New Balance, and the San Francisco-headquartered Gap have been identified as some favorites. S.F.-based Levi's wants in on the low-key action.

 

Levi's has traded out its half-naked hipster "Go Forth" ads for fully-clothed normals (okay, still hot models) looking carefree and oh-so-American in 501s, denim jackets, white t-shirts, plain sweatshirts, and high-tops. The taglines include: “The Trucker Jacket. Fit For Anything”; “501: Started By Us. Finished By You”; “511: A Classic Since Right Now”; “Look Good On Your Way To What’s Next.”

 

The brain behind the campaign, Levi's Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Sey, re-hired the agency that launched the 501, Foote, Cone & Belding. In a Q&A on the Levi's website, Sey says the new campaign is sending a message that “Levi's is for everybody who’s not just anybody.” Or as New York Magazine described normcore: “Embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool.”

 

http://sfist.com/2014/07/01/levis_goes_normcore_in_new_ad_campa.php#photo-1

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Teenagers and young adults seem to be focused on the age 24-27 people as their role models.  Occasionally something that somebody 30 or even 32 years old is doing catches their interest, but for the most part, anything past about age 27 is a black hole.  So if the youngest Millennial hipsters are now 27 -- which sounds about right -- they're starting to look as ridiculous and irrelevant to younger people as they have to people a few years older than them for the past ten years.

 

But then something really weird happens...people get oddly nostalgic for things they can *barely* remember from their kindergarten years, and then somehow -5 years before their birth.  A lot of it seems to have to do with viewing family photographs (i.e. the fashion of aunts and uncles when they were teenagers and college-aged).  So people seem to reject the model of the 24-27 year-olds of 2-10 years prior, but then start rehashing 24-27 year-old fashion of 10-20 years ago.

 

What sucks is that if the ironic hipster of the 2000-2015 epoch is now truly on its way out, that means in about 7-12 years we can expect to see a revival of ironic hipsters.  So they'll be ironically imitating ironic hipsters, or something. 

 

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What I think will be most fascinating to see is if classic blue collar Detroit and Toledo fashion will get big. I'm talking the stuff that railyard and shipyard workers wear.

 

In my high school, if there was one brand that dominated, it was Cahartt. Carhartt was (still is?) the core fashion brand of Toledo. Toledo is just that damn blue collar and Rust Belt. It's thoroughbred Rust Belt, and nobody has exploited this yet. The whole attempt of New York City big wigs to push Rust Belt chic was more media hype than anything else. Rust Belt chic wasn't widespread outside of Detroit, Toledo, Windsor, Cleveland, and Buffalo. I bet if you look at Cahartt sales, those five cities are way above average.

 

I haven't seen any Carhartt on Bay Area youth. Hipsters never ironically wore it to try to look like Rust Belters with blue collar experience (though I'm sure guys at the Oakland shipyards wear it). I wonder if it could get in on this normcore movement? Maybe now is the time to invest in Carhartt...that brand might be about to explode...

 

*The bankruptcy of American Apparel is another sign Gen Y hipster fashion is falling apart. Millennial hipsters are aging out of the system. The point about 27-year-olds is pretty dead-on. There is a change after that for most people. The exceptions to this rule cited above are really just the people who age well by avoiding hipster habits. They can be considered cool a lot longer than the hipsters. Very few hipsters are aging well. The transition to the 30's has been brutal on hipsters. The lifestyle was always too unhealthy. California's high-maintenance folks never understood their hipster neighbors because high-maintenance people have an obsession with looking young. Hipsters tried to look old and age prematurely. It made no sense to Hollywood or Silicon Valley. Though hipsters penetrated tech in San Francisco's Mission District, it was short-lived in the history of Silicon Valley.

 

Then the biz dev bros and sorority marketing all-stars stepped in to build real companies. That's how we ended up with Uber.

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Good article highlighting the hipster crash...look for a big wave of tattoo shop closures next. It's already happening in San Francisco.

 

The Fall of the Hipster Brand: Inside the Decline of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters

 

Key quote:

 

Once a fashion statement becomes mainstream, it alienates the original core of people that were doing it in the first place," she says. "Then what usually happens is that they react by going in the opposite direction." Dylan Leavitt agrees: "Everything happens in cycles. Every generation has its style, but then there are these 180-degree shifts that happen." Mell, Leavitt, and Brandes all agree that a reversal of hipster style is already underway.

 

http://www.racked.com/2015/3/3/8134987/american-apparel-urban-outfitters-hipster-brands

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I've never set foot in either of those stores, although I did make some money this year on American Apparel stock right before they went bankrupt.  I could tell by the news stories alone (as compared to Radio Shack bankruptcy stories) that they weren't going bankrupt *quite yet* and bought in at 16 or 17 cents on a Monday or Tuesday when I saw it dip sharply.  I sold that Friday at 23 cents.  I attribute my time in journalism at OU for developing an acute sense for phony business and stock market writing. 

 

 

What I think will be most fascinating to see is if classic blue collar Detroit and Toledo fashion will get big. I'm talking the stuff that railyard and shipyard workers wear.

 

Are restaurant workers still wearing Dickies?  Do they still sell them at Wal-Mart?  That was one of the first blue collar brands to sort-of go national in the hipster world in the early 2000s.  There were definitely a lot of guys in the 90s wearing those mechanic shirts with the patch that said "Gary" or "Steve" on it. 

 

My high school had a very loose dress code -- no jeans and every shirt had to have a collar. That was basically it. We had some guy who on more than one occasion showed up in his grandfather's Navy uniform.  It was basically exactly what the guy is wearing on the Cracker Jack box. 

 

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What I think will be most fascinating to see is if classic blue collar Detroit and Toledo fashion will get big. I'm talking the stuff that railyard and shipyard workers wear.

 

In my high school, if there was one brand that dominated, it was Cahartt. Carhartt was (still is?) the core fashion brand of Toledo. Toledo is just that damn blue collar and Rust Belt. It's thoroughbred Rust Belt, and nobody has exploited this yet. The whole attempt of New York City big wigs to push Rust Belt chic was more media hype than anything else. Rust Belt chic wasn't widespread outside of Detroit, Toledo, Windsor, Cleveland, and Buffalo. I bet if you look at Cahartt sales, those five cities are way above average.

 

I haven't seen any Carhartt on Bay Area youth. Hipsters never ironically wore it to try to look like Rust Belters with blue collar experience (though I'm sure guys at the Oakland shipyards wear it). I wonder if it could get in on this normcore movement? Maybe now is the time to invest in Carhartt...that brand might be about to explode...

 

*The bankruptcy of American Apparel is another sign Gen Y hipster fashion is falling apart. Millennial hipsters are aging out of the system. The point about 27-year-olds is pretty dead-on. There is a change after that for most people. The exceptions to this rule cited above are really just the people who age well by avoiding hipster habits. They can be considered cool a lot longer than the hipsters. Very few hipsters are aging well. The transition to the 30's has been brutal on hipsters. The lifestyle was always too unhealthy. California's high-maintenance folks never understood their hipster neighbors because high-maintenance people have an obsession with looking young. Hipsters tried to look old and age prematurely. It made no sense to Hollywood or Silicon Valley. Though hipsters penetrated tech in San Francisco's Mission District, it was short-lived in the history of Silicon Valley.

 

Then the biz dev bros and sorority marketing all-stars stepped in to build real companies. That's how we ended up with Uber.

 

That was my first thought too, could Carhartt end up becoming a fad?  But you're saying the trend is already dying in the Bay area, is it going to catch on nationally would be the question.

 

Or perhaps in Korea?  I don't think anyone on Earth wants to be "typically American" more than teenagers and twenty-somethings in the Seoul metro area.

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I think Carhartt is to overt to catch on like that. Plus Carhartt was big in hip-hop fashion in the mid-2000s, which being at the 10-year mark is freezing cold pop-culture wise. Stuff has to get 15 years old at the minimum to be cool again.

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I think Carhartt is to overt to catch on like that. Plus Carhartt was big in hip-hop fashion in the mid-2000s, which being at the 10-year mark is freezing cold pop-culture wise. Stuff has to get 15 years old at the minimum to be cool again.

\

 

Good point.  Too bad too, I had an idea for an ad.  Pic of some of the target market doing whatever it is they do, pic of someone working outdoors in cold weather.  Same outfit.  Caption "To look authentic, be authentic".

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Santa Cruz is one of the only real hippie towns left in California, and some people want it to live on as a museum for 1960's coastal California culture.

 

Ocean Beach, San Diego.

 

Yeah OB is like a time warp.  There are other places like that all over the west coast, not sure when it will completely die.

 

Though one time in SF about 4 years ago I did see what looked like a super old beatnik with a cane, probably was in his 90s and was an original 0_o.  I guess there are some people who never let go of old subcultures, I'm kind of waiting for grey haired hipsters.

 

I also need to make a trip up to Logan Square to see if hipsterism is dying in Chicago.  Last time I was there it was still going strong, though we are a few years behind the coasts (though a pretty good indicator of when trends will begin to filter into the midwest - we'll get it before Ohio does).

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^The gray-haired hipsters are all over Oakland. In almost any white Oakland neighborhood besides Rockridge and Piedmont, you'll find them. Keep in mind hipsters were in full swing in the Bay by 1996, when Slate magazine published its first anti-hipster article about the Mission District. That'd put the original hipsters at about 40-50 years old. That first wave Mission hipster movement was Gen X and now mostly lives in Oakland.

 

So even though hipsters were most popular with Gen Y, Gen X invented them in San Francisco. The New York Times was already obsessed with SF Mission hipsters by the late 90's. Keep in mind that back in the 90's, the gold-plated SF hipster scene was completely different (and still is completely different) from the starving artist scene in Brooklyn. Hipsters were big money in the Bay from the start. San Francisco didn't take influence from anywhere else because this hipster scene got launched right at the start of the dot-com bubble. The first hipster wave was directly tied to that. That's why this current hipster exodus from the Mission District is so important to watch. It says something about the direction of the national economy for the next generation just like the dot-com bubble said something. Something big is about to happen. When the 1% moves its money, it usually is a warning sign...

 

After a decade or two of rent control and being able to gouge roommates, many first wave Mission hipsters have decamped for Oakland, and are paying all-cash for million dollar+ houses. But you'll notice that many of them are avoiding condos with HOA's, and instead are putting their money in duplexes and single-family homes with cheaper fees and the easy ability to get subtenants or renters without worrying about rent control regulations. There has been a mad investment rush to properties not subject to Oakland rent ordinance. Something is happening with the 1%. I think they're banking on a permanent generation of renters and permanent shift in the way we live.

 

In place of those original Mission hipster flats from the 90's are tech hostels, which are a growing way of living here for the youngest segment of Gen Y. There is a huge change underway right now in the Mission District. The area has been in hyper-gentrification for 20 years, but these tech hostels and frat houses/sorority houses for adults are a completely new trend. The 90's Mission hipsters weren't really about living like a college kid forever. They grew up and became the investor class.

 

In Old Mission District, Changing Grit to Gold

By EVELYN NIEVES

Published: January 21, 1999

 

AN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20— Sixteenth and Mission Streets, as busy as rush hour, is still the heart of the heart of the city's Spanish-speaking community. The fruit stands are still piled shoulder high with plantanos, yucca and mangoes, the saleswomen in the discount department stores still greet customers with ''Hola'' and families still wear their Sunday best to attend services at the Pentecostal Iglesia de JesuCristo.

 

Sixteenth and Valencia Streets, just one traffic light away, is another story. The people sipping lattes at the new Intermission Cafe are young, trendy and non-Hispanic. The shops -- from vintage clothing stores to bars to used-book stores -- cater to the same. Every weekend, the bars along Valencia draw upwardly mobile hipsters from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. They jam into the pubs and clubs, zigzagging into the streets like lines of dominoes.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/21/us/in-old-mission-district-changing-grit-to-gold.html

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More on the Levi's normcore marketing we've been seeing in SF for the past year. Without question, Levi's is one of San Francisco's greatest brands, but it struggled during the hipster era. We're going to have an epic San Francisco-Oakland battle here in the Bay. San Francisco is now marketing normcore while Oakland is still marketing hipster. I think Levi's is getting on the right track again and betting correctly:

 

I must be getting old because I don't understand what this normcore stuff is all about. Is it the new outfit for counterculter types (what we have referred to as hipsters over the last decade)? Or is it a backlash to counterculter? What is involved with normcore aside from dressing like you're straight out of the late 80s? Is there normcore music?

 

Also, not sure I agree with your take on Levis. Tight Levis have been heavily worn by hipsters for a while.

 

I think Carhartt is to overt to catch on like that. Plus Carhartt was big in hip-hop fashion in the mid-2000s, which being at the 10-year mark is freezing cold pop-culture wise. Stuff has to get 15 years old at the minimum to be cool again.

 

There is actually a Carhartt store in Wicker Park in Chicago, and it's sold as a fashion brand in European cities.

 

http://www.carhartt-wip.com/stores/5823

 

I also need to make a trip up to Logan Square to see if hipsterism is dying in Chicago.  Last time I was there it was still going strong, though we are a few years behind the coasts (though a pretty good indicator of when trends will begin to filter into the midwest - we'll get it before Ohio does).

 

There are lots of hipsters in Logan Square. Just a short time ago Wicker Park was a good blend of hipsters and yuppies, but over the last few years the hipsters have moved en masse to Logan Square. Logan Square is the hottest neighborhood in Chicago now, with tons of new business opening and new construction about to take off.

 

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2015/10/27/logan-square-permits.php

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2014/10/28/mapping-milwaukee-avenues-development-boom.php

 

In no time the hipsters will be priced out of Logan Square and take over Avondale. You also see hipsters in Chicago in Ukrainian Village, Humboldt Park, and Pilsen. Wicker Park is pretty much yuppie now with some leftover hipster elements, but is not in the frat bro style of the north side lakefront (the bros have made their inroads though).

 

Was in Brooklyn last summer it it appears there were tons hipsters there, so I don't see much change in the fad for now. Just maybe a differing style

 

http://cdn.pastemagazine.com/www/articles/2012/11/02/evolution-hipster.jpg

http://cdn.pastemagazine.com/www/articles/Evolution-of-a-Hipster_FINAL2015.jpg

 

 

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Also, not sure I agree with your take on Levis. Tight Levis have been heavily worn by hipsters for a while.

 

Levi's 501's were seen on first wave hipsters. The brand's sales struggled in recent years, thus the abrupt marketing shift from hipster to normcore. Clearly the hipster marketing wasn't working, and it's not surprising since they were losing the hipster base in their own backyard. 501's were big before the local clothing movement. Keep in mind anything seen in the Midwest is usually 5-10 years behind the Bay. I'm visiting Ohio this Christmas for the first time in years, so it will be interesting to see what trends have worked their way into the Midwest hipster scene. I get the impression hipsters only recently got big in Ohio, so it was firmly established right around the time it started dying out in San Francisco...

 

Also, talking to friends in Ohio, it sounds like hipster is still not mainstream in Ohio. I'm not sure if hipsters will ever be mainstream in Ohio...

 

Hipster was clearly mainstream in San Francisco, and then started dying out around 2013. It's still mainstream in Oakland, but early signs of weakness are being seen in the main nightlife hub of Uptown. Temescal's hipster scene is still running strong (and the hub of the local clothing movement), and the West Oakland hipster/burner scene is still strong. The overlap with Burning Man in Oakland is creating some weird hybrid fashion. I don't expect this burner stuff to go mainstream outside of the Bay. That's really a hyper local thing in SF/OAK. The Mission District/SOMA in SF and West Oakland are the only places I've ever seen burner fashion go mainstream (but mainly for events).

 

*Also keep in mind that unlike the hipster movement, the Bay is not marketing burners to the national masses like they marketed hipsters through social media, start-up business profiles, and tourism marketing.

 

This abrupt 180 shift in SF marketing is why I think hipsters are over. San Francisco brands almost always nail their marketing. The greatest marketing minds in the world are here. That's why so many start-ups get launched in SF and succeed. SF can sell a crazy product or service and make it seem like everyone needs it immediately or they'll be left behind. Hipsters are being left behind...

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I first saw hipsters in Ohio around 2004. It's mainstream in Chicago but not as much as on the west coast.  I agree that it's not totally mainstream in Ohio yet but at least in Cincy it's influenced broader culture the craft fairs are attended by people who aren't hipster for instance.

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Also, it turns out I was wrong. The first major Mission hipster article in San Francisco was in 1995. I think this predates Brooklyn's scene getting major media attention. 20 years is a long, long time for a fad. It's amazing how long it lasted. This got launched right before the first tech bubble and grew with it. Notice the tone difference from 1995 to 1999. The Mission District completely changed during that time period, becoming one of the most expensive places in the world.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle, one of the largest papers in the country at the time, published this early hipster article in 1995:

 

Neo-Hipsters Keep the Beat In the Mission

SAM WHITING, CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER Published 4:00 am, Sunday, November 26, 1995

 

On the power of poetry, John Ratliff, 55, expects to be named (not elected) president of the United States. This, of course, is a pedestrian ambition for a beat, but every day Ratliff jams a page full of scribbled rants and distributes it on 16th Street between Guerrero and Valencia.

 

"They like my paper. They reach out to me," he says of the hipsters in this New Bohemia where rents still favor roustabouts, the aggressively unemployed and liberal arts graduates in slow transition.

 

Day and night, aspiring poets and philosophers sit and stare out onto the pageant of 16th Street. They sit in the Mission Grounds (3170 16th; No. 1 on map) and Cafe Macondo (3159 16th; No. 2) in the lounge chairs and couches of Adobe Book Shop (3166 16th; No. 3) the bars of the Albion (3139 16th; No. 4), Kilowatt (3160 16th; No. 5) and Dalva (3121 16th; No. 6), the last named after a Jim Harrison book. When they have the scratch, they sit in the dark of the Roxie art house cinema (3117 16th; No. 7), cornerstone of the strip.

 

One essential element for spawning a beat spirit is plenty of public places to sit and smoke and drink and read and write and not spend money. The coffeehouses, bars and makeshift libraries form a trail down 16th and up Valencia to the New College of California (777 Valencia; No. 8), where undergraduates design their own curriculums. The college has a school of humanities and a graduate poetics department, where beat poets Diane DiPrima, Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer have taught. John Ratliff has not.

 

The Mission is "a low-rent intellectual center," says Scott Thompson, who is studying German literature while managing Adobe books, where people bring their own reading, flop down and remain undisturbed, without even pretending to browse.

 

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Neo-Hipsters-Keep-the-Beat-In-the-Mission-3019691.php

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Three weeks ago I went to downtown Chicago for the first time in about 10 years. Pulled up at the valet at the JW Marriott and the first thing I saw was a guy riding a penny farthing!


And they reckon that the last thing she saw in her life was
Sting, singing on the roof of the Barbican

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I first saw hipsters in Ohio around 2004. It's mainstream in Chicago but not as much as on the west coast.  I agree that it's not totally mainstream in Ohio yet but at least in Cincy it's influenced broader culture the craft fairs are attended by people who aren't hipster for instance.

 

This would make sense. About ten years after it went big in SF.

 

*I think there was a turning point in every major market when the biggest local paper did an in-depth expose on the scene. As far as I can tell, 1995 was the first time the San Francisco Chronicle did this.

 

I wonder when the Chicago Tribune started publishing hipster articles?

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Now that I think about it, many upper middle class fashion movements of the last 50 years started in San Francisco, and San Francisco has marketed every single one of them to the masses with no shame. The key difference between SF and NY/LA is SF is a small, provincial city with little to no room left for diversity. Almost everyone is of the same class and same educational background, so there just isn't room for counter-culture to stick around. NY and LA are gigantic and diverse cities, so there will likely always be a few hipsters creeping around a dark corner in the dive bar. In no way would I have called hipsters a mainstream movement in LA or NY. West LA supermodels remained the mainstream in SoCal. Manhattan yuppies remained the mainstream in New York. North Brooklyn became hipster mainstream, but it never overshadowed Manhattan as a center of wealth and influence. It's not like Manhattan was over. In that sense, it is similar to the situation in the Bay. Oakland got wealthy, but it never overshadowed San Francisco in wealth and influence. It's not like San Francisco was over.

 

SF is unique since it's purposely limited in population and diversity through zoning laws. It's an all-out, zero sum, cut-throat competition for cultural dominance, and no one is spared any mercy when their culture is up for replacement. They get evicted or bought out. It's like iOS9 replacing iOS8. You can't download the old one anymore. As a result, San Francisco is every urban tribe for themselves. Whenever the mainstream torch changes hands in San Francisco, that change is rapid and ruthless. All in the name of "tolerance".....

 

In the 1950's, the Beats ruled the San Francisco streets.

In the 1960's and 1970's, the Hippies thew the beats off the Golden Gate Bridge and took over San Francisco.

In the 1980's, the Yuppies threw the hippies off the Golden Gate bridge and took over San Francisco. The hippies swam to their friends in Berkeley.

In the 1990's, the Hipsters threw the yuppies off the Golden Gate Bridge and took over San Francisco. The yuppies and hippies swam back to San Francisco, and retrenched during tech bubble 1.0. For a rare moment in SF history, all of them got along until the bubble burst. Money has a way of making people happy...

 

In the 2000's, not a lot of changes happened since SF had the wind taken out of its sails. The hipsters continued to attract new recruits and took over Lower Haight while working their way out to Divisadero. When the national housing bubble burst, hipsters had an historic opportunity to take over more neighborhoods before tech bubble 2.0 filled up any remaining vacancies.

 

In the 2010's, the Techies threw the hipsters, yuppies, and hippies off the Golden Gate Bridge. The hipsters thought they swam back to SF, but it was actually Oakland this time. World weary and hungover from Burning Man, most of them decided to stay. Some swam back to the city, but got attacked by anti-hipster sea lions who controlled the waters under the Bay Bridge. Changing route and taking their chances with the Great White Sharks, they swam to the Outer Sunset. The yuppies, still full of cocaine and vinegar, swam back to San Francisco and recruited more of their friends from New York City and Boston this time to fight for control of key Google bus routes in the Mission. An all-out bro/hipster battle ensued.

 

In 2014, San Francisco reached peak douchebag. Something had to be done immediately, so local brands decided to start marketing normcore as a reaction against the conspicuous consumption that came to define the city.

 

In the 2020's?

 

*So really, what happens in the Mission defines America. Maybe tech bubble 2.0 is starting to burst?

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Three weeks ago I went to downtown Chicago for the first time in about 10 years. Pulled up at the valet at the JW Marriott and the first thing I saw was a guy riding a penny farthing!

 

The first time I noticed the bicycle hipster thing was in September of 2001, just a few days before the big terrorist attack.  I was driving north on I-93 in DT Boston and existed north of the river in Cambridge. I was a few blocks off the highway and saw about 8 guys bike by on those double-height bikes where they weld two old bike frames together.  FFW to 2015 and there is still some idiot in Cincinnati with long hair a and a jean jacket who bikes around on one of those things on a pretty regular basis, usually at night.  I got a really great giggle out of a girl I was out with about two years ago when I saw him putter by and I lobbed a "...well somebody needs some cheap attention" in his direction. In the spring of 2002 I waited tables at a restaurant with some guy named Franceso who rode the first fixie bike that I ever saw, usually barefoot.  He also had one of those double-stack bikes which he also liked to ride barefoot.  I saw him fall off the stupid thing and skin up the bottom of his bare feet one night in front of a bunch of customers sitting on the patio.  He was actually a really nice guy, though.     

 

Something that seemingly nobody remembers is that yuppies were using rollerblades as day-to-day transportation in the early and mid-90s.  I remember my first visit to New York City as much for the city as the swarms of rollerbladers who glided up and down the avenues and cross-streets and right into stores and restaurants.  I'll never forget the guy who I saw carrying a merry-go-round horse with no head on his shoulders while rollerblading near the Manhattan entrance to the Holland Tunnel.  There were absolutely zero bike lanes anywhere in America at that point, so all those rollerbladers were just out there in the street.  Given that rollerblading is so fundamentally more dangerous than riding a bicycle, I find it comical that 20 years later all these wannabes are so incapable of riding a bicycle in traffic. 

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Also, not sure I agree with your take on Levis. Tight Levis have been heavily worn by hipsters for a while.

 

Levi's 501's were seen on first wave hipsters. The brand's sales struggled in recent years, thus the abrupt marketing shift from hipster to normcore. Clearly the hipster marketing wasn't working, and it's not surprising since they were losing the hipster base in their own backyard. 501's were big before the local clothing movement. Keep in mind anything seen in the Midwest is usually 5-10 years behind the Bay. I'm visiting Ohio this Christmas for the first time in years, so it will be interesting to see what trends have worked their way into the Midwest hipster scene. I get the impression hipsters only recently got big in Ohio, so it was firmly established right around the time it started dying out in San Francisco...

 

Probably depends on where in Ohio you are talking about.  As a whole, Ohio is just more steady fashion-wise than "the Bay".... and the Bay area certainly is no NYC, Miami, or LA when it comes to fashion trends.  I realize I come from an area of Ohio (and Greater CLE for that matter) which marches to a bit of a different beat fashion-wise, but what is now considered "hipster" had its elements here well before it became really trendy is places that care more about trends.  Elements of it go back to the mid-90's and became more widespread later in that decade.

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I realize I come from an area of Ohio (and Greater CLE for that matter) which marches to a bit of a different beat fashion-wise, but what is now considered "hipster" had its elements here well before it became really trendy is places that care more about trends.  Elements of it go back to the mid-90's and became more widespread later in that decade.

 

Yep, flannel, Red Wings boots, Carhartt, and Levis are practically in our DNA up here.  The working class stuff that the hipsters jumped on never really disappeared here.

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Also, not sure I agree with your take on Levis. Tight Levis have been heavily worn by hipsters for a while.

 

Levi's 501's were seen on first wave hipsters. The brand's sales struggled in recent years, thus the abrupt marketing shift from hipster to normcore. Clearly the hipster marketing wasn't working, and it's not surprising since they were losing the hipster base in their own backyard. 501's were big before the local clothing movement. Keep in mind anything seen in the Midwest is usually 5-10 years behind the Bay. I'm visiting Ohio this Christmas for the first time in years, so it will be interesting to see what trends have worked their way into the Midwest hipster scene. I get the impression hipsters only recently got big in Ohio, so it was firmly established right around the time it started dying out in San Francisco...

 

Probably depends on where in Ohio you are talking about.  As a whole, Ohio is just more steady fashion-wise than "the Bay".... and the Bay area certainly is no NYC, Miami, or LA when it comes to fashion trends.  I realize I come from an area of Ohio (and Greater CLE for that matter) which marches to a bit of a different beat fashion-wise, but what is now considered "hipster" had its elements here well before it became really trendy is places that care more about trends.  Elements of it go back to the mid-90's and became more widespread later in that decade.

 

Haha, you're comparing good fashion to bad fashion. The Bay dominates when it comes to bad fashion. Brooklyn is five years behind SF (before the Mission hipster scene started collapsing) and Oakland. Brooklyn is in a time warp compared to the hipster scene here, at least partially due to much lower levels of income in Billyburg. LA and NY dominate good fashion. Hipster is bad fashion. Keep in mind a Rust Belt city like Cleveland is well-dressed and light on tattoos compared to a hipster city like Oakland. No city excels at looking bad better than Oakland. Oakland is the king of terrible fashion choices and represents a hipster mainstream ideal that no other city achieved, not even Portland. Temescal is unique in how terrible it is, and its hipsters revel in that fact (and how expensive it is with insane prices on hand-made leather goods). Portland hipsters don't hold a candle to Oakland hipsters (thank God), but Cascadia deserves some credit for being a source of inspiration. It has long been speculated that SF's Mission District experienced a large spike of immigration from Portland and Seattle in the 90's.

 

LA places like Silver Lake were just Tecate Lite versions of the Mission and didn't start anything. LA's scene was small and late to the game, because LA folks are overall way better dressed than Bay Area folks. You'll find Angelenos are very reluctant to look bad. I'd say LA is less trend obsessed than the Bay and New York since it generally is more of a polished "casual cool" SoCal style. SF really packaged this hipster movement and the marketing puff pieces go back to 1995. It's over now, and the Mission hipster eulogies keep pouring in, which means we're about to go through a big generational shift. I'm also banking on Uptown Oakland's scene being dead by 2017, right around the time Uber HQ opens. I think this will mean the next round of development in urban America is going to look a lot different. People here are already freaking out about the long-term viability of ultra-expensive organic restaurants and bars in Oakland. San Francisco is freaking out too. It marketed the hell out of the local food/drink movement so hard, a backlash could be coming...like In-N-Out Burger moving into Uptown Oakland or the Mission. In-N-Out Burger is hella normcore.

 

Normcore is Midwest teenage fashion. It's an example of the SF/NY taking Midwestern fashion and trying to repackage it for the coasts. Normally we've seen the opposite in the United States, like what happened with hipsters. Wealthy coastal cities typically market trends to middle America, not vice versa...could that model be falling apart?

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The downfall of Tecate beer is another sign the Mission hipster scene is dying out. The Mission hipster can't survive without Tecate, and the Bay's wannabe microbrew scene has its strongest bars in Oakland. One weird thing about San Francisco-Oakland is that its local beer scene is beaten handily by every other city on the West Coast. Plus Rust Belt cities like Detroit (or anywhere in Michigan), Toledo, and Cleveland utterly burn the Bay's microbreweries to the ground and urinate on the ashes. That makes me question if microbrews were ever actually a hipster trend or just a result of people being sick and tired of drinking urine swill...

 

The Bay never got too big into it, instead opting for all these insane, over-the-top cocktails that leave mere mortal cities in the dust. "Here, watch me hang upside down from a chandelier while cutting up a grapefruit, infusing it with hand-distilled vodka elderflower liquor, and lighting it on fire!" I think with strong beer cities like Portland not too far away, there was no point in trying to compete. Even at some of the main Oakland microbreweries, they typically have a good number of Portland beers on tap. :|

 

Beers Americans No Longer Drink

Business Insider

Michael B. Sauter, Sam Stebbins, Thomas C. Frohlich and Evan Comen

December 7, 2015

 

7. Tecate

> Sales change (2009-2014): -29.4%

> Parent company: Heineken N.V.

> Barrels shipped in 2014: 1.0 million

 

...and it looks like Midwestern college bro beer is in trouble too. I think this is great. I wish Natural Light was unpopular when I was in college. It would have changed the whole game:

 

9. Natural Light

> Sales change (2009-2014): -26.6%

> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev

> Barrels shipped in 2014: 6.8 million

 

6. Old Milwaukee

> Sales change (2009-2014): -38.1%

> Parent company: Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC.

> Barrels shipped in 2014: 610,000

 

What are kids ordering for kegs in Ohio these days?

 

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/12/07/beers-americans-no-longer-drink-2/

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The downfall of Tecate beer is another sign the Mission hipster scene is dying out. The Mission hipster can't survive without Tecate, and the Bay's wannabe microbrew scene has its strongest bars in Oakland. One weird thing about San Francisco-Oakland is that its local beer scene is beaten handily by every other city on the West Coast. Plus Rust Belt cities like Detroit (or anywhere in Michigan), Toledo, and Cleveland utterly burn the Bay's microbreweries to the ground and urinate on the ashes. That makes me question if microbrews were ever actually a hipster trend or just a result of people being sick and tired of drinking urine swill...

 

The Bay never got too big into it, instead opting for all these insane, over-the-top cocktails that leave mere mortal cities in the dust. "Here, watch me hang upside down from a chandelier while cutting up a grapefruit, infusing it with hand-distilled vodka elderflower liquor, and lighting it on fire!" I think with strong beer cities like Portland not too far away, there was no point in trying to compete. Even at some of the main Oakland microbreweries, they typically have a good number of Portland beers on tap. :|

 

Beers Americans No Longer Drink

Business Insider

Michael B. Sauter, Sam Stebbins, Thomas C. Frohlich and Evan Comen

December 7, 2015

 

7. Tecate

> Sales change (2009-2014): -29.4%

> Parent company: Heineken N.V.

> Barrels shipped in 2014: 1.0 million

 

...and it looks like Midwestern college bro beer is in trouble too. I think this is great. I wish Natural Light was unpopular when I was in college. It would have changed the whole game:

 

9. Natural Light

> Sales change (2009-2014): -26.6%

> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev

> Barrels shipped in 2014: 6.8 million

 

6. Old Milwaukee

> Sales change (2009-2014): -38.1%

> Parent company: Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC.

> Barrels shipped in 2014: 610,000

 

What are kids ordering for kegs in Ohio these days?

 

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/12/07/beers-americans-no-longer-drink-2/

 

Regular Budweiser is still our third highest volume bottled beer, behind Bud Light and Miller Lite.

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It's really fascinating to go back to 2012 and see how much the San Francisco hipster scene has changed since then (and mostly moved to Oakland). This video had some miscasts like the cute girl with the skunk hair (she's more of a NOPA girl than a Mission girl, which is a significantly different type of rich white girl), but some of the characters were pretty spot-on. This video was hugely controversial and set off a firestorm of nativist rage against Mission hipsters. The youtube comments are still entertaining to this day:

 

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This article from earlier this year decries the loss of San Francisco's gay culture...sez the city is now boring:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11594550/David-Hockney-too-many-gay-men-just-want-to-lead-ordinary-boring-lives.html

 

Yeah, the Castro is basically a tourist trap today. I'm not even gay, but I can recognize it has been in a slow, steady decline in terms of relevance. Unless you're gay, the Castro sucks. Hell, even if you are gay, I bet it still kind of sucks (it's suffocated by SF's last hipsters in Lower Haight and Mission). It's basically a tourism neighborhood where liberal parents take their kids to see what was once a vibrant gayborhood while gawking at buildings that were in "Milk". It seems like most of SF's gay and lesbian scene moved to Oakland or left the Bay entirely. Many long-time, old school SF gay folks blame hipsters for ruining the gay scene. One of the last lesbian bars closed in the Mission last year, but it was more sorority girls than hipsters who did this bar in. Inner Mission has gotten super sorortastic (just dressed down compared to the Marina). As far back as 2012, I remember raging with some sorority girls in their badass Victorian flat to whatever Calvin Harris song was big at the time. The Mission, along with most of SF, seemed majority Greek Life by 2014. The steady decline of SF's gay/lesbian scene is due to both hipsters and bros/broettes. It was the second wave Gen Y hipsters though. First wave Gen X hipsters seemed more accepting of LGTB culture, which is why this particular bar did well with the first wave hipsters:

 

The Mission’s Lexington Club announces closure, cites ‘a neighborhood that has dramatically changed’

By Paolo Lucchesi on October 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

 

After nearly two decades of business on the corner of 19th and Lexington, in the heart of the Mission District, lesbian bar Lexington Club has been sold, according to an announcement by owner Lila Thirkield on Facebook. According to sources at the bar, they’ve entered into a contract to sell the bar. There is no timeline yet for a closure, only that it is slated to happen sometime in 2015.

 

Here is Thirkield’s eloquent goodbye letter:

 

To My Dear Community –

 

It is with a heavy heart, great thought and consideration that I have made the very difficult decision to sell The Lexington Club.

 

Eighteen years ago I opened The Lex to create a space for the dykes, queers, artist…s, musicians and neighborhood folks who made up the community that surrounded it. Eighteen years later, I find myself struggling to run a neighborhood dyke bar in a neighborhood that has dramatically changed. A few years back my rent was raised to market rate, and though it was difficult, we seemed to weather it at first. But as the neighborhood continued to change, we began to see sales decline, and they continued to do so. We tried new concepts, different ways of doing things, but we were struggling. When a business caters to about 5% of the population, it has tremendous impact when 1% of them leave. When 3% or 4% of them can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood, or the City, it makes the business model unsustainable.

 

CONTINUED

http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2014/10/23/the-missions-lexington-club-announces-closure-cites-a-neighborhood-that-has-dramatically-changed/

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SF was also filled with intergenerational hipster class warfare. The first wave Gen X Mission hipsters were constantly hating on the second wave Gen Y Mission hipsters. Homeboy gets rich because of San Francisco, and then starts hating on the next generation of San Franciscans.

 

This article is due for a revival...

 

Douchebags Like You Are Ruining San Francisco

Chris Tacy

Filed to: HUMANITY

SAN FRANCISCO

DOUCHEBAGS

6/11/13 3:10pm

 

My Mea Culpa: I know that it’s people like me that started this S**t show in SF. I moved to The Mission back in the early 90s. I was part of the gentrification that started the whole trend of startups being centered in this neighborhood.

 

I sold a company at the height of the dot-com boom and I did my part to turn SF into the playground for the rich and educated that it’s become. I accept my portion of the blame - and am now trying to do what I can to stop things from getting worse and perhaps even get just a little bit better.

 

I moved to San Francisco in 1992. I was looking for a job - but I was also looking for a new life and a place that had hope and excitement and which provided a bigger, wider and more diverse world to play in. I found a city made up of wildly different people - of all types - spread across a huge range of little tribal neighborhoods. It was a massive melting pot of values, ethnicities, world views, ages and economic classes.

 

I fell in love with the city immediately. It was a place for experimentation and reinvention.

 

During the dot-com boom, the city started to lose some of its soul. Greed started to rule, and the city started to become more and more expensive. The weird craziness started to slip away. Experimentation and reinvention began to vanish as the cost of living in the city became prohibitive for artists and dreamers and anyone who didn’t work in tech.

 

After the crash, the city recovered a little. We started seeing diversity return. People began to experiment again. Maybe there was no more Red Man, but at least we had Bum Jovi.

 

And it wasn’t just about the money - for a while.

 

But now... Now it’s worse than it was in 2000. Now it’s only about the money. Now the only diversity we have left is ethnic diversity. Everyone is rich and privileged and entitled or hustling as hard as they can to become rich and privileged and entitled. A city once defined by people wanting to change the world is now defined by people who just want to be among the world’s richest. A culture that once understood history and tried to create it now has a memory that’s about 2 fiscal quarters long - and a vision that goes as far out as their funding allows.

 

San Francisco used to be weird. And we were proud of that. Now it's shockingly vanilla and suburban and conformist. It once felt like a city. Now it feels like a suburb.

And that's sad.

 

CONTINUED

http://valleywag.gawker.com/douchebags-like-you-are-ruining-san-francisco-512645164

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^From the above article:

 

Last month my new neighbors (4 sorority girls who apparently all work in social media marketing) threw a Cinco de Mayo party complete with straw sombreros, blender margaritas and a lot of shouting of “yo quiero taco bell.” Fucking seriously.

 

I think I was at this party in the Mission. It was a total shitshow in the classic day drinking SF sense. Everybody was leaning in, and I introduced slap the bag to some biz dev reps from Australia who had not yet gotten a taste of all-American drinking games. I remember tons of Aussies and Kiwis at this party, likely because this was also the year of America's Cup. There were sorority girls everywhere, and the Aussie girls were completely insane party animals. All the girls at this party drank me under the table. They also all seemed to work in tech doing sales, business development, community management, or marketing...

 

This day felt like a turning point in the Mission since it had a different energy that the neighborhood had never seen before. It was way more fun than the hipster parties, but everyone seemed filthy rich. I knew I was poorer than everyone there, but they were nice to me.

 

So yeah, maybe Cinco de Mayo 2013 can be pinpointed as a major turning point in San Francisco history. It spelled the end for Mission hipsters.

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I introduced slap the bag to some biz dev reps from Australia who had not yet gotten a taste of all-American drinking games.

 

Introducing drinking games to Aussies had to be a bit like introducing golf to Saudi princes....

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A new and somewhat repetitive article on Michael Alig...but what I really want to know is what he thinks about hipsters, now that he's been out for two years.  I mean, I really hate the guy -- first for killing someone -- but second turning into a junkie and trying to explain away the killing with his drug use.  I also, of course, don't like people who need to be the center of attention, especially people who don't have many or any talents other than being the center of attention.  I can't claim to have a finger on the pulse of whatever nightlife is happening in New York these days but I did like reading that he's being rejected by at least a few younger people. 

 

https://thump.vice.com/en_au/article/the-comeback-kid-michael-aligs-return-to-new-york-nightlife

 

Also, I have paid more attention to this guy than I would have otherwise because I have a friend from high school, who I also played in a band with for several years during college and maintain a pretty steady email correspondance with, who got married to Alig's publicist and biographer (she is mentioned in the article but I'll keep from repeating her name here to avoid google finding it).  I went to their wedding but haven't seen her since Alig got out of prison so I haven't been able to follow up.

 

I'm definitely one of the people who resents the disappearance of the New York of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, and gets upset at current party photography, since so many people seem to be mimicking that era without realizing that they're simply redoing something that Alig or Andy Warhol thought of 25 or 50 years ago, and that chances are the music was way, way better back then.  But Alig's persona has always seemed absolutely ridiculous. 

 

 

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A new and somewhat repetitive article on Michael Alig...but what I really want to know is what he thinks about hipsters, now that he's been out for two years.  I mean, I really hate the guy -- first for killing someone -- but second turning into a junkie and trying to explain away the killing with his drug use.  I also, of course, don't like people who need to be the center of attention, especially people who don't have many or any talents other than being the center of attention.  I can't claim to have a finger on the pulse of whatever nightlife is happening in New York these days but I did like reading that he's being rejected by at least a few younger people. 

 

https://thump.vice.com/en_au/article/the-comeback-kid-michael-aligs-return-to-new-york-nightlife

 

Also, I have paid more attention to this guy than I would have otherwise because I have a friend from high school, who I also played in a band with for several years during college and maintain a pretty steady email correspondance with, who got married to Alig's publicist and biographer (she is mentioned in the article but I'll keep from repeating her name here to avoid google finding it).  I went to their wedding but haven't seen her since Alig got out of prison so I haven't been able to follow up.

 

I'm definitely one of the people who resents the disappearance of the New York of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, and gets upset at current party photography, since so many people seem to be mimicking that era without realizing that they're simply redoing something that Alig or Andy Warhol thought of 25 or 50 years ago, and that chances are the music was way, way better back then.  But Alig's persona has always seemed absolutely ridiculous. 

 

 

 

That link's way NSFW, by the way....

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I'm definitely one of the people who resents the disappearance of the New York of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, and gets upset at current party photography, since so many people seem to be mimicking that era without realizing that they're simply redoing something that Alig or Andy Warhol thought of 25 or 50 years ago, and that chances are the music was way, way better back then.  But Alig's persona has always seemed absolutely ridiculous. 

 

 

 

I don't know man, Alig's parties probably had a lot of Gary Low playing at them.

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I imagine that some low-res clips from his parties are on youtube but I haven't watched any of them.  Oddy that low-res from VHS camcorders is now a coveted "look" that can't really be emulated digitally.  You can't get the flutter and tracking lines, the poor white balance, and the super-low contrast.  And almost all digital video now is shot on a camera with a larger sensor, so you can't get the flat 2-D look that all of the old cameras with small chips got.   

 

I'm at work so I can't do it but if you look at that Vice article's photographer's website (Rebecca Smythe or something like that), it's like Cobrasnake 2.0.  Tons and tons of "fabulous" party photos from 2014-2015.  It's like things are totally frozen in time from the nascent CBGB's and Max's Kansas City days, except now there are tons and tons of these people, and it doesn't look the same photographed with a digital camera (in the Terry Richardson harsh flash style) as it did on film, be it black & white or color slides (Nan Goldin, etc.).  Frankly I'm pretty sick of looking at party photos of "party people".  Fratty and Midwest middle-class partying has never been the object of any photographer's attention, but that's where the fresh material lies. 

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^Agree on that. The thing is the young bros/broettes are now afraid of their peers who visit websites like Jezebel trying to wreck their careers.

 

The Middle Class scene needs to be captured soon since it's literally dying out as we speak. 10 years from now, a lot of middle class culture will be gone and impossible to get back. The best parties are sorority parties in places like Marina District and Polk Street SF, parts of West LA, Vegas, and various other good club areas that are about dressing up and going all out (without committing violent crime). Middle Class Greek Life is really what to focus on since it has gotten so small and is now limited to just a handful of neighborhoods in big cities (excluding Chicago). Actually, just photographing North Side Chicago would get a lot of attention in other cities. Chicago is one of the last strongholds of urban middle class social life. Locally, UC Berkeley's Greek scene is fascinating since it's such a strong counter-culture node in the East Bay that is structured like a Big 10 school. Schools with strong Greek Life like UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, and UCLA would be good targets for the West Coast scene. This stuff won't be around much longer as first tier schools price out even the upper middle class. In the future, you're probably going to need to be 1% to realistically afford any schools in the top 50. Even with tuition assistance, the rents will be astronomical around these schools (already the case at Berkeley).

 

*A murderous addict deserves no sympathy and is getting way too much attention/glorification from New York media. Even in Oakland, he might be vilified. Our news media wouldn't sink to those lows. People don't have much empathy for addicts who come from privilege or commit violent crime.

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