This may surprise you, and I’m sorry to say it, but it’s damn near impossible to find a hipster in Omaha. I know this goes against all the national press we’ve been getting about our music scene and indie subculture. But I’m here to set the record straight: there are no hipsters in Omaha.
I am certainly not a hipster, nor are any of my friends. Walking down our streets, it’s not uncommon to see a fully grown man wearing women’s jeans, cowboy boots, a sweater vest and and iPod, but one shouldn’t label him a hipster. We don’t even like using that word; it evokes a certain unease in our social circles, and it’s best to pretend that the H-word doesn’t even exist. So to assume that every guy in a deep-V tee, or every girl with a shaggy mullet, is a hipster would be wrong. I mean, if that were the case, we may be led to believe that Omaha is crawling with hipsters. But it’s not and we shouldn’t make such assumptions about these people. That said…
Here is a list of assumptions you can make:
1. They frequent Caffeine Dreams, despite the bad drinks.
2. Their favorite band is Wilco.
3. They are working towards/already have a bachelor’s degree, yet hold down a low-paying entry level job at an independent retail or food service establishment.
4. They rent a house with some friends. In the basement is a “practice area” for the band.
5. They have seen Tilly and the Wall live.
6. They own a scarf.
7. They think hipsters are fuckin’ annoying.
There are plenty of these types of people around here, but they are definitely not hipsters. I mean, any number of Omahans could be reading this right now and thinking, “If these are the qualifications of a hipster, then that would make ME a hipster.” But each of us is fairly certain of who we are and especially who we are not. After all, you may standing on O’Leaver’s Pub, watching a Baby Walrus show while holding a PBR and wearing skinny jeans, but it doesn’t mean anything. Sure, your shirt is pretty vintage-y, but rest assured Omahans, it could always be vintage-y-er.
So where does this horrible misconception come from?
I’m thinking it’s because there are so many hipster things in Omaha. You could live on Blueline coffee every morning, work somewhere in the Old Market, spend your free time shopping at Giving Tree or Thrift World, have dinner at McFoster’s, catch an evening showing at the Dundee Theatre, and finish the night at Brothers. And there are still dozens of other hipster places, like the 49er, Urban Outfitters, Ted and Wally’s, and everything between 52nd street and Iowa, but these are places and things.
It’s simply not fair to label us one way or another just because hipsters happen to like a some of the things we like. I’ll be the first to admit that both Omahans and hipsters like cardigans, starting bands and listening to experimental indie-folk noise pop. But it’s probably just a coincidence. After all, if were were all hipsters, then we would know.