I hate the word “hipster.” We’ve collectively ruined it. It’s become a blanket term that applies to anything that’s not in the same, generic run of our society. A bar that has food trucks rather than a standing menu? “Hipster.” Skinny jeans? “Hipster.” Craft cocktails named after famous authors from The Jazz Age? “Hipster.” If it’s not Miller Lite, vodka-sodas, jeans-and-button-downs, or something you can find in Target, it’s considered that wretched word with the worst connotations to it: “Hipster.”
But call me a “hipster” all you want, because I’m about to go all in on some minor life changes that are either going to vastly improve my quality of life or further my spiral into being full-blown yuppie scum. Accepting it is half the battle while implementing it is the other half.
I want to buy a record player.
Yes, a record player. The ease and vast catalogue of having literally every single artist I listen to on Spotify (special shoutout to Bob Seger and Taylor Swift)? Yeah, I want to throw that out the window in favor of the hassle, price, and general inconvenience of record players.
I want to listen to Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” in the same way everyone listened to it when it was released. I want to pick up the needle on that record player and drop it precisely where “Blue in Green” starts just before walking over to my bar cart and pouring myself a nip of small batch Japanese whiskey. I want to hear the static I don’t get from my Bose Soundproof Headphones. The first step to enjoying the finer things in life is throwing it back to the old days. The record player is the perfect place to start.
I want to start going to going out in the recently gentrified part of town.
You can only hit the same circuit of bars so many times before you start to hate yourself for how much money you shell out to an establishment that willingly plays Top 40 songs only. When that American Express year-end statement hits my inbox, I cringe thinking about the sheer amount of shitty vodka-sodas I fought to order from the same bartender who had to have been thinking, “Doesn’t this dude have anywhere else to go?”
The only move? The “hipster” neighborhood. In Austin’s case, it’s the East Side. Much maligned by the general public, it’s an untapped resource of craft cocktails and music that comes from jukeboxes rather than a DJ who works in tech. Dingy, honest, overpriced. Ugh, those words are music to my ears. I’ll pay $12 for a strong cocktail if it gives me the solitude of knowing that I’m not contributing to the downfall of society by way of paying a bar that turns the corner to dudes doing coke in the bathroom.
I want to start eating hybrid pastries.
Cronuts, cruffins, whatever other pastry you can possibly mix with a croissant – I want ’em. It’s no secret that I’ve been binge-watching The Great British Baking Show (and have huge crushes on Martha and Chetna), and it was only a matter of time before I’d start getting way too into baking. Too lazy to figure out how to actually bake anything, I need a gateway drug. That gateway drug just so happens to be overspending on Instagrammable pastries from restaurants across town. If enjoying the sweet taste of a chocolate stuffed cruffin is wrong, I’ve never wanted to be more wrong.
I want to start camping despite being the least rustic person ever.
If you google The Word I Will Not Be Mentioning Again In This Column, you’ll probably see an outpouring of beards, axes, and flannel. Well, I’ve already got the beard. And as someone who has recently regretted turning down every childhood opportunity to go to camp that he was offered, camping intrigues the shit out of 30-year-old me. Turns out “The Great Outdoors” isn’t just a phenomenal movie starting John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, but it’s also a place where people go to get a little peace of mind and become one with themselves. Sure, I’ll probably get bit by toxic mosquitos and come back carrying Zika, but just imagine the Instagram opportunities.
I want to start really getting into coffee.
It comes with a heavy heart that I admit to this community that I’m out on cold brew. I respect those who inject it into their veins day in and day out in order to make their job tolerable, but cold brew has never been something I drink regularly. I’m an Iced American guy, everyone knows that about me. And more recently, I’ve been starting my day with iced butter coffees mixed with MCT oil and collagen peptides by way of my AeroPress. Yes, I’m officially the male version of Gwyneth Paltrow. The next step? Pour over. Yes, it takes forever to make and is completely unnecessary given the coffee utensils I already own, but it’s my destiny.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to scour eBay for old jazz records while I overcook the pastries I just put in the oven. .
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