Since, as we all know,
we live in a loathsome world full of loathsome people Williamsburg is nothing if not a hub for would-be “street style” subjects and photographers, there is now a webcam that will take creep shots of you walking down Bedford, publish them on the internet, and allow anonymous strangers to judge your outfit via a rubric based on “top hats” awarded.
Gothamist reports that “Styleblaster” has set up a motion-sensor camera “a block from the hellmouth of the Bedford ‘L’ subway train” to take pictures of whoever happens to walk by in a neighborhood their website claims is “often described as a modern Haight-Ashbury, a cultural mecca for the Millenial generation.”
Now, while I have nothing but under-caffeinated bile to spew at these people — along with genuine qualms about the ethics and safety of publishing (and actively judging) time-stamped photographs of people in a specific location without their knowledge or consent, especially given that a lot of them appear to be under 18— there is one aspect of Styleblaster that is not completely terrible. Per their mission statement:
“Styleblaster documents all — the visiting fashion plates, the hipsters and have-nots, the native Polish and Italian proud who have for years called this neighborhood home. And above all — the dapper salarymen and businesswomen who stand to inherit the area.”
Stupidly worded, yes, but the catch-all nature of the camera does actually make for a mix of photos that is somewhat representative of the neighborhood’s wildly different demographics — you tend to see more middle-aged people and cops than “visiting fashion plates,” though this likely changes based on time of day. So, you know, sit back, click through, and judge either the people or the website itself. It’s shamefully addictive, and I assume time is limited before the first lawsuits roll in.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.