June 20, 2008

Deconstructing the Hipster Hamlet

'Hipster Handbook' author and FREEwilliamsburg editor Robert Lanham defends the Brooklyn neighborhood everyone loves to hate.

Adam Rosen

“Where Brooklyn at?” the Notorious B.I.G. famously demanded to know in 1995. Not in Williamsburg, that's for damn sure. At least, not in the "Billyburg" of modernity, a netherworld where inhabitants “think the act of pairing aviator goggles with a handlebar mustache can be profound social commentary,” says Robert Lanham, Editor of the popular arts and culture guide,

Lanham is no hater. Like a non-anorexic corpus jammed violently into a pair of Levi’s 511s, FREEwilliamsburg is practically bursting with homage to indie rock. Rather, he's a taxonomist; a humble servant to an age-old discipline. But Lanham's subjects aren’t chinchillas or subtropical Ugandan wetlands grasses —they’re people. His knack for classification has led him to write two books (he authored a third on the evangelical right), each ethnological, and each entertaining as hell: The Hipster Handbook, and Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees and Other Creatures Unique to the Republic. Unsurprisingly, Williamsburg has proven an excellent location to conduct field research.

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Article by Adam Rosen

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