Visit These San Francisco Hot Spots For The Wanna-be Hipster In You

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Everyone wants to be cool, but those hipsters got it all figured out. In fact, hipsters are what cool people call cool. On my recent jaunt to San Francisco, I tried to nail down the reasons why. The fashion? The state of mind? The trust funds?

Certainly, the neighborhoods and shops that draw hipsters foster an increased essence of hipsterism. If you ever find yourself in skinnier jeans than your girlfriend, or even if you’re a wanna-be with an affinity for indie rock and mumblecore films, make sure you visit these spots welcoming both the rookie and seasoned hipster.

Hipster 101 tells you to head directly to Haight Street — it’s known locally as hipsterville. This storied neighborhood — once home to Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix — is now an area of vintage shops, eclectic restaurants, and a cacophony of street life. There, you will find two venues recently named by Let’s Go as “hipster kindergartens for SF newbies.”

The only thing missing from one of their choices, Red Vic Movie House (1727 Haight St.), is hipster pretension. Still worker-owned and operated after 30 years, you can lounge in their signature couches and snack on organic treats while you watch a movie you’ve likely never heard of.  Since it was opened by a few friends who loved movies and who decided to get together to run their own cinema, the thick love of movies makes any degree of hipster feel at home.

Only blocks away from Red Vic, Amoeba Music is less a music store than it is music Neverland. Music from every corner of the world, a full document of staff recommendations, and full live shows envelop you only steps down your  first corridor. Maybe I was lucky the day I wandered Amoeba’s boulevards; I was a few hours away from meeting RuPaul at a signing.

Before you go, newbie, just note it is no longer recommended that one use the word “cool,” if you are going to be dabbling in this sub-culture. As Robert Lanham, author of The Hipster Handbook notes, hipsters would instead say “deck.” And being cool typically doesn’t involve taking pictures of the Haight/Ashbury street signs — that’s where I veered off the path of deck-ness. Don’t say we never tried to help.

[Hipsters in SOMA by .melanie/Flickr]

By Jon Wick


About the Author

Jon lives in Butte, Montana, spending most of his time on skis or bikes; sometimes both. He began travel writing while teaching in Korea and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Technical Communication at Montana Tech. Jon has begun writing his first book, The Story of Will, whose movie rights are still (very) available. Catch more of Jon at (@ExpedJon)

© 2020