“Creating Hipsturbia in the Suburbs”

What happens when hipsters move to the suburbs? The New York Times takes a look at a few New York City suburbs where hipsters have moved:

You no longer have to take the L train to experience this slice of cosmopolitan bohemia. Instead, you’ll find it along the Metro-North Railroad, roughly 25 miles north of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the suburb of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Here, beside the gray-suited salarymen and four-door minivans, it is no longer unusual to see a heritage-clad novelist type with ironic mutton chops sipping shade-grown coffee at the patisserie, or hear 30-somethings in statement sneakers discuss their latest film project as they wait for the 9:06 to Grand Central.

As formerly boho environs of Brooklyn become unattainable due to creeping Manhattanization and seven-figure real estate prices, creative professionals of child-rearing age — the type of alt-culture-allegiant urbanites who once considered themselves too cool to ever leave the city — are starting to ponder the unthinkable: a move to the suburbs.

But only if they can bring a piece of the borough with them.

To ward off the nagging sense that a move to the suburbs is tantamount to becoming like one’s parents, this urban-zen generation is seeking out palatable alternatives — culturally attuned, sprawl-free New York river towns like Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Tarrytown — and importing the trappings of a twee lifestyle like bearded mixologists, locavore restaurants and antler-laden boutiques.

My quick thoughts:

1. If the future of American suburbs is indeed densification, as a number of experts have suggested, then this is something that was bound to happen. At the same time, it remains to be seen how much hipsters will really change or adapt to these communities.

2. Hipsters may be in the suburbs but I suspect some suburbs are a lot more palatable to them than others. In other words, perhaps they are more likely to move to places with artistic or creative backgrounds, where travel to the big city is relatively easy, and where there is room to create a small community. Additionally, perhaps these suburbs have to be friendly to hipsters – and this might require having a population of relatively educated residents.

3. Perhaps hipsters might even like the suburbs? This might go against their general outlook on life but the hipsters in the article, like many other Americans, can see some of the benefits of the suburban lifestyle. And if hipsters can survive and like parts of suburbs, why not academics?

0 thoughts on ““Creating Hipsturbia in the Suburbs”

  1. Pingback: “McAnger” over new big homes in New York City suburbs | Legally Sociable

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