Trending Up: Getting Wood

These were hip before any of us were hip

Hipsters are returning to the woods. Not in the Emersonian or Thoreauesque way but in the use it for everything way. Think of wood as the all-pupose reuse material of choice. We’ve covered this before so it’s time to actually call it a thing. Forget environment destroying metal for your bike frame, try bamboo. Bamboo is the hipster wood-of-choice these days. It’s sustainable, versatile and the slobby pandas who use it for food are obese and could use a bit less snaking material. Sure, using wood to replace structural material is all well and good but, as we know if its not over the top its not a hipster trend. We suggest replacing other things in your life with wood. Nothing says eco-awareness like using a wood bowl in the microwave. There’s no better way to get that smoked flavor on your ramen than covering the glass turn plate in your microwave with some chips you’ve shaved off your roommate Theo’s ancient familial hickory rocking chair.

Of course, demon plastic is your main target. The best way to replace it with wood is to build disposable hand hewn boxes for EVERYTHING! This is going to cost a ton of money and time but when you pull a finely mitered sandwich shaped box from your oak back-box and slide the top back to reveal the alpha sprout sandwich you’re having for lunch it will cause murmurs in the break-room. Don’t forget to smash it immediately after you’re done eating and bring a new one the next day.

The height of being a “woodie” is of course, wood underwear. Splinters be damned, this is for real and you cant go half way on this. Now, don’t lame out and make your spruce skivvies by constructing them from small panels lashed together with leather, it’s time to breakout the chisels and do it right! You better whittle and wear some one piece tighty woodys or go home and hang up your wooden castro hat.

Dialing up: No-phoning

Which one of you wants to carry a message to Flora at the artisan coffee shop?
Which one of you wants to carry a message to Flora at the artisan coffee shop?

“I don’t own a phone” you’ll remark coldly when that one barista named Flora finally asks you for your number. At first she’ll cock her head in slight confusion. She’ll quickly try to hide any lack of understanding and say “I get it.” You’ll nod in the affirmative as you gaze longingly out of the artisan coffee shop window and deliver the line that makes it all worth it: “I just feel like we all need to unplug.”

No-phoning is a very new trend that will never reach a high level of popularity, which is perfect. Additionally, not having a phone will enable you to explore other unique and envy-worthy communication techniques. You can try your hand at breeding and training homing pigeons. This is a classic example on how to multi-trend because telling people that you’re a pigeon fancier is Chernobyl-hot right now. Imagine the wonderment in Flora’s baby blue eyes when she receives her first pigeon-gram… you asking her out to see a private screening of an obscure silent film in your friend Theo’s basement that he has converted into a 1910-era moving picture theater.

String up some telegraph wires between local hotspots like the artisan coffee shop and that old book store that people stand around in front of. You can send coded messages that will require your friends Ike and Matilda to use a WWII Enigma machine to decode. After spending a solid 7 minutes of turning rotors and typing on something called a plugboard (awesome) they will receive your message: “Heading to the old book store that people stand around in front of, see you in about 7 minutes.” Just as they finish reading the message you will ride up on your Honda Hobbit and bask in hipster stardom.

Curing: Charcuterie

I’m just going to start off by giving you all the definition of charcuterie because 95% won’t know what it is and that makes this emerging hipster trend Goliath all the more awesome:

Charcuterie (/ʃɑrˌkuːtəˈriː/ or /ʃɑrˈkuːtəri/; northern French: is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef’s repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.

Now, every word of that definition is important buy let’s just focus in on this line: “a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration.” YES! Sooo hipster. It involves meat (hot right now), cooking/food prep (always hot), and most importantly, doing things in the old fashioned manner (hipster 101).

Trending Up: Tiny Food

Supershrink me!
Supershrink me!

Many of our recommended trends are naturally grandiose and full of noticeable flair. Not so with this up-and-comer. It’s all about subtlety and miniature modesty. It begins with you reading this article with studious interest and ends with you hosting an amazing hipster dinner party. After all, you haven’t thrown one since your coconut oil fiasco, so your friends will be chomping at the bit. In addition to this article I recommend picking up “Tiny Food Party!: Bite-Size Recipes for Miniature Meals” and reading it on some sort of public transportation.

First up, you’re going to need to make a trip to the farmers market (you already go there daily anyway). Don’t be distracted by the big beautiful local organic free-range cruelty-free fruits and veggies. You’re looking for only the littlest and cutest of the offerings. I suggest starting with a classic tiny food staple: baby corn. Everyone’s going to expect it so you might as well not let them down and it’s not as gauche as cocktail weenies. Proceed to fill your smallish free-cycled coffee bag with all sorts of tiny. Baby bok choy, baby carrots, baby zucchini, baby turnips, baby grapes, baby apples … you get the idea. Definitely get some shallots so you can make microscopic onion rings. Melt my heart, that will be darling.

Next up, animal products. Look, I realize that boss-level hipsters are all vegans and/or freegans, but many of your friends are scattered across the established hipster spectrum. Lots of them eat meat, but only if it’s ethically-raised free-range cruelty-free organic non-injected happy meat from a local farmstead that offers a free gym membership to the animals. Anyways, you’re gonna need some tiny cuts of meat. Everyone’s mind automatically jumps to baby back ribs because of Chili’s and Austin Powers 2, so we’re not going that route. Heck, just get a nice 10oz sirloin with good marbling and cut it into 37 tiny steaks. After that you’re definitely going to need some cage-free quail eggs. Wait. Quail eggs are gigantic. You’re gonna need hummingbird eggs. I’m not sure how we’re going to pull this one off. Heading to google … okay I’m back, first and foremost, holy smokes these things are adorable. It turns out that this is pretty easy. You just need to find a hummingbird nest with freshly laid eggs and take them. No problem! Beware though, it looks like the little bastards are pretty defensive. Don some sort of protective head cover when you harvest the eggs. In the event that you don’t own a beekeeping mask (which you should if you’re reading this) maybe you can up-cycle a bucket, don’t forget the eye holes. Pop the itty-bitty gems into your handcrafted danish modern tiny egg carton and off you go. Don’t worry, the momma bird will lay new eggs in a matter of days and all of this is totally free-range! As a bonus, you’re also foraging now (awesome), but that’s another trend for another day. While we’re foraging, another idea is rather than an enormous lobster tail, prep-up single crayfish tails for each plate. Don’t use a trap to procure them, catch them individually by hand. Your guests will marvel at your attention to detail.

Hand caught crayfish with nickle for proportions. It was delicious.
Crayfish, hand-caught by the author and niece Liv with nickel for scale. Yes, we really did this.

Now that your ingredients are assembled, and assuming your eyes weren’t feverishly eviscerated by angry hummingbirds, you’re ready for the big day. Dive deep into the theme by sending out tiny invites to your friends. Have the table set with dollhouse plates and tiny cutlery for at least ten solid hipster guests and make sure there is a tiny guide that details each course. In this guide you can’t use the words “gluten-free” enough. I don’t know what gluten is (something with wheat I think), but I do know that hipsters don’t want to eat it or even be in the same room with it. Hell, gluten is like hipster kryptonite. But I digress. Cooking time should be limited to a matter of seconds as the thermal mass of each item is so miniscule. Be careful not to overcook the steaks by searing them longer than 2-3 seconds per side. Also, watch those hummingbird eggs, they are properly poached the instant they hit boiling water. Season with extra small salt crystals and ultra-fine ground pepper (details, people). Garnish each plate with a single oregano leaf. As you nibble (never bite) go into detail about the health benefits of scaling down portion sizes and the unfortunate obesity epidemic in America. In addition to ungodly amounts of GMO corn syrup being injected into everything we consume, you’ll get to blame it on gluten, which your guests will love. Later on, at the after-party (hipsters LIVE for after-parties), while you are sip-chugging craft pico-brews from super tiny red plastic cups (if they give you any guff about plastic, tell them there’s a Low song about plastic cups so they can STFU) look upon your assembled hipster acolytes, stroke your beard, and proudly proclaim “micro-foods naturally have more micro-nutrients.” They can’t argue with that logic, even if they don’t know why.

Emerging: Shaking with both hands

hipsterhandshakeBro hugs are deader than Jean Stapleton, let’s pretend fist mashing never happened, and until the old-school gimme-five comes back, shaking with both hands (also known as a “two-shake” or a “bo’ shake”) is the social embrace of the moment. It begins life as your basic shake, but becomes almost self-aware with the addition of the second hand to the back of the shakee’s already-being-shook hand, usually a full second after the handshake has been originated. The result of this clasp is an additional degree of sincerity that, combined with solid eye-contact, let’s everyone know that you’re coming from a place that is equal parts deep and real, and still assures everyone you are not carrying a dagger up your sleeve (even if it’s just for eating with). This maneuver is delicate and has so many layers of meaning that we felt it was important to make our first howto video. So, please sit back and enjoy! You are officially lame if you dont go out immediately and try this at once. Notice that it’s not done correctly unless both participants emerge from the moment with a heightened sense of awkwardness and fragility which must be overcome with platitudes and small talk.

We’re also keeping our eye on the single-handsake/tricep squeeze lockup, but it’s not quite there yet.

Sharp: Eating with a dagger

This guy, because I couldn't find a picture of anyone eating with a dagger, that's how NOW this is
This guy, because I couldn’t find a picture of anyone eating with a dagger, that’s how NOW this is

Looking for a new gastronomic utensil trend to show everybody just what’s on the plate for the next hipster trend? Toss the forks, spoons, sporks, and chopsticks and reach for a Knight’s dress dagger. You’ll be the talk of the vegan bistro as you unsheathe your ancient cutlery and and literally go medieval on that tofu!

“This is the way that people ate for centuries,” you can remark snidely as your hipster friends look you up and down with astonishment. For extra effect, after you finish your coconut medallions, reach into your retro neon fanny pack, pull out a whetstone, and begin honing your blade. Make sure it’s razor sharp before moving on to your amaranth and quinoa casserole.

When the meal is complete, wipe the blade clean with your fine red silk pocket square, and hold your dagger aloft, as if you’ve just brought forth the sword from the stone. Play with the light in the room and be sure that everyone catches a glimmer of brilliant illumination. Resheathe your only utensil smugly and wait for the gushing compliments to pour in. You’re the sharpest hipster out there, with your scythe, back axe, and now dagger. You’re welcome.

Meta Level: Skateboard Glasses

Shredding is 20/20

We all know the quintessential hallmark of hipster-hipsterness is black plastic framed glasses. But let’s face it, you wouldn’t be here if you were the average hipster, you’re looking for the next hipster trend. You want to leave Kevin and his case of PBR in the dust on your way to a whole new meta-hipster plateau.

It’s time to trade in your plastic frames for wood ones. But not just any wood, you want reclaimed hipster genius. Head straight for refurbished skateboard wood frames. You may mastered the ollie back in the day, but your refusal to jump on board with mainstream health insurance would make practicing your laser flips and the resulting broken ankle an impossibility. Who can afford the deductible for that?

Chopping up: Back axing

The urban lumberjack, ready for anything

The normals are into carrying pocket knives and multi-tools, so what does a hipster do to really separate themselves from the flock? Carry a large Scandinavian forest axe on their back at all times of course!

Axes have been hot amongst a select group of urban lumberjacks for the last year or so, but this trend isn’t even close to reaching its full potential. Until you see that one dude named Kevin who still drinks PBR and rides a fixed gear bike sporting an axe you can wear yours with pride. Don’t just waltz into Wal-Mart and grab a fiberglass handled Fiskars or worse yet a Bear Grylls survival hatchet with nylon sheath. Make sure you buy one that was hand forged by a local artisan, maybe the guy who made your scythe. Bonus points if you make your own handle from native organic free-range hickory, or better yet ironwood.

Since the original posting of this important trend, Axes now have hero epic status. Ax Cop ALWAYS has his ax. What will you say when people ask you about your axe? (and you know they will, which you’ll love). “Why am I carrying an axe? Perhaps a better question is why aren’t you?”

Trending up: Baking Soda Shampoo

scrub that hair, hipster

So what if my Grandpa called them “dirty hippies”, we all know that modern day hipsters bathe and take pride in their manes of flowing hair. But why take a shower using traditional shampoo, full of its boring chemicals and potential carcinogens? In fact, many are pointing their fingers at manufactured items, wondering what’s really in their ingredients and what are these ingredients doing to our health … and, if we must shower, how can we be more hip about this?

Your next step: run to the cupboard, grab all the baking soda and vinegar you can find. While it may feel gritty at first, mush some of the baking soda and water through your locks. After rinsing, give yourself a splash of vinegar conditioning treatment. While the battle rages on over the best vinegar, apple cider or white distilled, the number of uses for this kitchen ingredient certainly continues to grow. Take it as a badge of pride when the other hipters look at your foaming swirly hairdoo and call you “volcano head.” For added pizzaz, try using the same process for your “south of the border” hair. Weee!


White Hot: Post-ironic Irony

wwfcapTen or fifteen years ago, in near-paleolithic hipster times, you’d see trustfunders in blue-collar foam domes and polyester work shirts with names like “Gus” or “Clement” embroidered on them. A PBR in hand, the most working-class of all working-class beers. And all of it was ironic, because these dudes had never worked a day in their lives, if you don’t count practicing with their experimental dronewave band as work. The girls were no different, piling on ugly sweaters and homemade smocks, ironically peering through granny glasses at their knitting, shakily riding coaster bikes with huge baskets on the front, crafting, baking, and basically doing everything their home economics teachers taught them to do in seventh grade, except, like, not for real.

Then something happened. Time passed. That money from the parents, which was never as much as one might have anticipated, ran low and fizzled out. Life happened. Those guys had to get jobs — pushing brooms, turning wrenches, carrying things, delivering things. Suddenly that ironic work shirt became pretty practical. On one’s own dime, saving money on cheap beer seemed like a good idea. Couples married. Children were born. Those girls who “like to knit” lost the quotation marks and became women who actually liked to knit. The granny glasses became actual bifocals. Crafting circles became a real social outlet. It still seemed a little punk rock to wipe that cake batter off of your sleeve tattoo, but the thrill of punk rock was nothing compared to the joy of baking a nice cake for your loved ones.

Irony, in these ancient circles at least, disappeared, replaced by a new, more humble, earnestness.

But that was then and this is now. That was them and this is you. You aren’t middle-aged. You sure as hell aren’t earnest. Swipe your ATM card: There’s plenty of money in your account. It’s time for a new hipster. A meta-hipster. It’s time for post-ironic irony.

Now listen up, because this is complicated and you should definitely not attempt this if you have any doubts about your ironic “abilities.” Where they zigged, you zig harder. Where they zagged, you zag like your life depended on it. Where they said, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a traditional American!” You say, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a pre-post-ironic previous-generation hipster!” And then you wink like your eyeball is about to fall out.

This is what makes it white hot: You’re going to have to step way outside your comfort zone. Seriously, you’re going to have to drink PBR. You’re going to have to dress like a buffoon, and not the good kind of buffoon but the lame kind of buffoon. You’re going to have to listen to Death Cab. It’s going to get ugly and dangerous.

But if you pull this off, you’re a hipster stuntman. You can do this. We know you can. And if you can’t, well, it was nice knowing you.