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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Column: What is hip?

When you read the title of my column, I want you to read it how Tower of Power sings it. Did you do it? If you need a minute to Google the song, then take a moment. I had to look it up myself to find out who wrote it, if we’re being perfectly honest.? Now that I have vividly described how “What is hip?” should sound inside your head, we can continue with my column.

Davis is pretty Mnstrm. It’s hard to find a place that you feel like you can tell your friends about without them rubbing it in your face that they’ve been there and done that. We all want the satisfaction of doing something “hip”, as it is common knowledge that something’s coolness is inversely proportional to how many people know about it.

Firstly, we need to talk about what qualifies someone as a hipster or what makes a location hip. The most important quality to hold in regards to hipness is being different from mainstream culture. You wouldn’t see a hipster repping an Abercrombie and Fitch polo while rocking out to the Black Eyed Peas. You’d be much more likely to catch a hipster in an off-colored floral print romper humming Belle & Sebastian as they walk to class.?

I could talk all day about the subtle differences between living an indie versus an alternative life style, but that probably wouldn’t be relevant to you the reader.

The real question is — where does Davis hide its hipsters?

One semi-obvious location is Delta of Venus, near the corner of Second and B. I first stumbled upon DoV when I was catching brunch with a few friends from out of town. ?We sat down to eat and I was surprised to see they offer a full breakfast for only five dollars. However, after I got my plate I was whole-heartedly offended when I found myself asking, “Where’s the bacon?”

This conjecture arose not because I had forgotten to order a side of my favorite pig part, but because DoV is a mostly vegetarian restaurant. While it is not a fact that all hipsters are vegetarians, it is true that having one of these traits makes you more likely to have the other (They won’t let me put in the Venn Diagram I drew). ?By not serving a lot of meat, Delta of Venus effectively filters its customers to ensure only the most hip clientele visit their restaurant. The reason I say this is because of the steadily more apparent merging of hipsters and hippies, which leads me to my next hip locale.

The Davis area with the highest density of hipness is probably the on-campus cooperative housing. The mainstream simply does not flow through the co-ops.

They make community meals, grow their own organic food in a garden, and host parties where they have live, non-electronic music. Not only do they host bands you’ve probably never heard of, they live a life style that you will probably never experience.

Another hip location is the Davis Beer Shoppe. This place isn’t exactly a secret as it is often very crowded, but have you seen how they spell “Shoppe”?

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t come in and buy yourself a nice 22 oz. of Arrogant Bastard ale to enjoy at your own convenience. If Fratural ice and KeyBrone light are no longer up to your standards, then swing by here to grab a brew that will make people think that you think you’re better than them. When in doubt about what comments to make regarding your beer, just throw out adjectives like “Hoppy” and “Robust” and you’ll probably be fine.

If you don’t feel that you can keep up with all this hip action, then don’t beat yourself up too much. In reality, being a hipster is really about being yourself, no matter what you like. So keep enjoying top 40 music and don’t worry if you bought your clothes at Target, and not at Salvation Army. You can still be a hipster, the other hipsters just might frown at you a lot. A lot, a lot.

AARON WEISS doesn’t think he is more hip than you, but only because that wouldn’t be very hip. Tell him you’re judging him at atweiss@ucdavis.edu.



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