Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Morphing into a pseudo-hipster

Not a full-fledged hipster, mind you... I mean, I can tollerate them, but I don't like running with that high-maintenance, aesthetically annoying pack. Be that as it may, I'm willing to don the dark clothes, hang out in the hoity-toity spots, take part in the posh, hyper-intellectual discourse... I'll take the nomiker of pseudo-hipster and still sleep okay.

Anyway, here's my confession, for what it's worth.

Friday began like most of my Fridays tend to. I taught my two classes at Lincoln Center, then headed home to relax for a bit. Miraj, my buddy in the department, invited me out for dinner and drinks with him and one of his friends from his undergrad, Michael. We headed off toward Columbia University, where Michael's a PhD student in the philosophy department, and we had some take-out Arabian food at Michael's apartment. From there, we made our way to The Spotted Pig, a restaurant/bar in the meat packing district that reportedly had a good beer selection and a great review in the New York Times. Apparently, we weren't the only ones to see the review in the Times. Apart from the place being packed, it was filled to overspilling with the obvious side effects of Fall Fashion Week... models and weirdly ritzy older people all over the place. We managed to get our beers and tuck ourselves into a corner upstairs, only to realize that we were standing right next to the table where Rob Corddry, one of the correspondants for the Daily Show, was having dinner with a lady friend. We glared at him while stick-figure women in spaghetti string tops bounced off us in an effort to navigate through the crowd. One beer, though, was all we could take of this place, so we decided to walk around aimlessly until we could find another spot for another beer.

For a change of scene, we took a cab to the lower east side, where the hopping of bars truly began; we found another bar, and another, and another... each one a little more low-key than the last. Luckily, the beer did get better and better. No, really. It was better beer. It wasn't just the fact that we were getting more and more inebriated. By the end of the night, we ended up at a bar called The Library... two guesses on what the thematic decor was like... and found ourselves in the midst of... oh, yes... the elusive New York hipsters. At this place, we were pretty much up to our ears in freaking hipsters. There was a couple at the table across from ours who made out for the entirety of the hour-and-a-half that we were there... we're not entirely sure if they ever came up for air. Michael and I allowed ourselves to settle into the true spirit of the place and got into an hour-long, amicably energetic, slightly intoxicated argument about the philosophical context of capitalism as a purely socially ideological concept (and yes, for the record, I won that one). Once we were sure we'd had enough of the scenery, we called it a night; Michael caught a cab, while Miraj and I made our hiccupping, zig-zaggy way to the subway and back to the Bronx.

Oh, but the hipsterness continues. The next day, Miraj and I bit the bullet and went to an artsy movie about... wait for it... Heidegger. Oh, I know... there are better ways to hurt oneself. Nevertheless, Miraj and I decided to go. We're in a class that's studying Heidegger's Being and Time, and it seemed appropriately nerdy of us to go. For good nerdy measure, Miraj sent an email to everyone in the class, including the professor, to inform about the time and place. As we rode the subway to the theater at 2nd and 2nd (oh, believe it... there is such a place as 2nd and 2nd), the two of us jokingly debated over who might show up. We thought it would be absolutely hillarious if Dr. Wertz were to come, and feasible that a couple of our more eager classmates would make it (though we playfully wagered on one or two of them). We got there, and it was pretty much what you'd expect; it was tiny, and several unattractive, anti-social-looking people wearing black were standing there, either socializing smugly or standing in the miniscule ticket line. Then, a few minutes before they let us into the theater itself, one more audience member walked through the door. Do I even need to say who? The three of us joined the little heard of darkly-clad, ugly brand of hipsters, filing through a dark little hallway lit with a single red lightbulb (how freaking artsy can you get?) and ending up in a tiny theater with a tiny screen. I sat between Miraj and Dr. Wertz, and we sat through three and a half hours of reading subtitles while French philosophers talking about Heiddeger's work, all set to the backdrop of a trip up the Danube. Here's the worst part... I read those damn subtitles, I nodded at the points being made, I reacted reflectively as the images droned on and on. I'm not saying I loved it. I'm simply saying that it was... interesting. Like, in a good way. Sort of. Well, let's just say I didn't entirely hate it. Not entirely. I don't know. I feel kind of violated by the whole experience, but I'm sort of okay with it. Whatever... at least there was an intermission.

So there you have it. And trust me, I'm not out shopping for a new black beret or anything, so I'll thank everyone not to rub it in too much. Fine, so I'm guilty of taking part in a criminally snooty weekend. But I'll live it down, I swear. Remember... I've still got the whole rock star plan in the works, and I never want to be any kind of hipster musician. If that ever happens, fire at will.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily I'm reading your blog like a fiction novel. Scary, interesting and full of action. What can I say,
you have your father's genes always
had the need to know and passionate about learning more from
science,arts,history and philosophy;etc.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:45:00 AM  

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