Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Hip to Handle?

We forayed into the depths of Brooklyn this weekend, to Williamsburg, where you don't need a passport as much as a woolly cap, a goatee (men too!!), a baby in a sling, chic clothes that appear to be thrift but are really costly designer, and a certain slouch that denotes indifference to anything that is not informally modish. A British accent really helps, which gave me a slight advantage, and while it was initially a relief to be among creative sounding and looking individuals, after a few hours it began to wear off and take on a homogeneous quality all of it's own. We browsed a few of the thrift stores, picked up some vinyl, and hung out in a suitably mellow cafe with an adjoining, indoor playspace, so that the members of our party who could barely walk (and I don't mean those with nasty hangovers) could toddle, bite, push and fall on soft foam, in relative freedom, while we adults sat nearby, sipping chai lattes and discussing sustainable and social networking issues. We even managed to duck into a quick open house -- a 1700 square foot loft -- where we were attacked by a broker who was so incredibly aggressive that we almost succumbed and bought the place on the spot just to get him off our backs. It didn't take that long to get back to Manhattan, making us realize that 'coollness' was just a subway ride away -- and a short one at that. But once we were back uptown, in the relative suburbia of our northern locale, we couldn't help feeling that hip really works best when it stands out and that relocating to a place where everyone looks, sounds, and feels just like you do becomes an emotional prison of it's own. Each to his own, of course, and while it's definitely comes closest to the Portabello Road that we miss dearly, we fear that, generationally-speaking, we have missed the boat. Then again, my fifteen-year old, who I consider pretty chill, pronounced it a little too cool for it's own good, and that he prefers Brooklyn Heights. With you on that one, son.

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