The term "hipster" might have been mainstreamed in part by Brooklyn resident Robert Lanham's 2003 book, "The Hipster Handbook," but the term has a long history, with many attempts made to define it over the years.
"Though the irony-sporting, status quo–abhorring, plaid-clad denizens of Williamsburg are a distinctly modern species, the hipster as a genus has its roots in the 1930s and '40s," Dan Fletcher wrote in a 2009 article for Time. "The name itself was coined after the jazz age, when hip arose to describe aficionados of the growing scene."
What it means now to be an "aficionado of the growing scene" has certainly been a point of discussion.
"The Hipster Handbook" describes young urbanites with "mop-top haircuts, swinging retro pocketbooks, talking on cell phones, smoking European cigarettes ... strutting in platform shoes with a biography of Che Guevara sticking out of their bags."
Similarly, Time offered this description: "take your grandmother's sweater and Bob Dylan's Wayfarers, add jean shorts, Converse All-Stars and a can of Pabst and bam — hipster."
And as sites like Pop Break have pointed out, the term means different things in different regions of the country. The difference between East and West Coast hipsters, for example, has been a common source of debate.
But one thing that all hipsters and documentarians can probably agree on is that people learning about hipsters for the first time are in for some confusion.
That was the case with Lorena, who had never heard the term "hipster" before she moved to New York from France last summer.
In order to get a handle on hipsters -- Brooklyn hipsters, in any case -- Lorena went on a "Hipster Hunt" in Brooklyn to create a video guide for the unacquainted, with help from an "accidental hipster" and Columbia Journalism School Prof. David Hajdu.
Check out the video above.
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