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Hipsters and Cultural Diversity

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Isn't it the reverse? Isn't the current hipster aesthetic some combination of New York and scandanavian ideas? This is why I bring up Singapore - being asked, at the milk and honey clone above the third wave cafe, if I've ever been to "a speakeasy style cocktail bar" is remarkable. New York wasn't swallowed, New York is doing the swallowing.*

 

*caveat - lots of people wear cargo shots.

Is it? I mean nominally sure but really it's a homogenized global product. Again it's not fundamentally "New York", IMO.

 

This is all very fluffy and fuzzy... intentionally so.

The subway tile, the shabby chic - much of it seems to capture an aesthetic that, mostly, I think people either associate with tastefully done New York urban spaces (or scandanavian minimalism). it's tres Brooklyn because it reminds people of Brooklyn (and is probably created after a research trip to nyc). It may be first mover, or associative, but in a pre-insta world, it probably ends up being something that's much more localized.

 

Of course, it's hard to see that in way that it's easy to see taillevent as distinctly Parisian. But as an nyc outsider whose watched people explicitly import that aesthetic it's clear.

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Even if true, if you're a New Yorker, that's arguably even worse. Instead of having generic and internationalized, you now have generic and internationalized and a sense that you haven't even gone anywhere.

 

Like if you think about this as a bunch of lines radiating outward from New York, the New York is in some sense the closest to everyone else – i.e. the least distinct!

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In Stockholm, where most of the newer places were quite explicitly modeled on "Brooklyn", part of me felt proud and part of me felt "what the fuck am I paying for?"

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I think it makes the world as a whole poorer and worse off in terms of culture and diversity.

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I think the writer wrings her hands a bit much.  Interestingly, Eater LA does not include Roberta's in its current list of 38 essential local restaurants.

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My takeaways from the article are the writer probably graduated or otherwise left home in 2008, that she is committed to blanket-progressive causes, that she thinks LA is a city, and that selling out is selling out.

 

 

That stuff all seems true, but the core point is a bit more interesting. That the inevitability of her generation of young people becoming wealthy and powerful has also meant that her generation of young people have had the power to dictate mainstream tastes. And they did it in such a way that they won the fight over good taste - Blue Bottle is better than Starbucks, Shake Shack (yes Shake Shack) is better than McDonald's, and there's passable VPN style pizza in every major city - but the resultant mono-culture, not to mention the transformation of charming local experiences into national and multi-national brands, has proven to  be unsatisfying, notwithstanding the fact that the baseline quality of coffee, burgers, pizzas, restaurants, cocktails, etc. is better than it was before.

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but the resultant mono-culture, not to mention the transformation of charming local experiences into national and multi-national brands, has proven to  be unsatisfying, notwithstanding the fact that the baseline quality of coffee, burgers, pizzas, restaurants, cocktails, etc. is better than it was before.

 

 

Yes, but that's not exactly surprising. Also don't forget to throw in that talent doesn't scale.

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but the resultant mono-culture, not to mention the transformation of charming local experiences into national and multi-national brands, has proven to  be unsatisfying, notwithstanding the fact that the baseline quality of coffee, burgers, pizzas, restaurants, cocktails, etc. is better than it was before.

 

 

Yes, but that's not exactly surprising. Also don't forget to throw in that talent doesn't scale.

 

 

Agreed. But NYC restaurants really want to scale.

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As they should. They don't rely on local products or culture and they're tested for succeeding against a backdrop of ineptitude and unpredictability that is unique among developed countries.

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