The Hipster Invasion is Real, and It’s Coming!

Bay Ridge hipsters Brooklyn

  • Cool Bushwick band, right? WRONG. IT’S BAY RIDGE.

It’s actually happening—hipsters are invading Bay Ridge. Sure, laugh it up, and then the next thing you know, Caffe Cafe serves $11 coffee, Century 21 only sells skinny jeans, and the food at Chadwick’s is vegan. You might say, “they’d never make it this far south because the commute is too long,” but like viruses adapting to antibiotics, some of them have developed the ability to ride the subway for longer periods of time, and thus have spread cancerously to neighborhoods like ours.

There were warning signs that people didn’t take seriously. The Owl’s Head wine bar opened, catering to trendy youths with its wines and its foods from local independent vendors. The hipsters moved in to drink there. Then one of the neighborhood’s trendiest residents, the owner of the uber-hip Kettle Black and Ho’Brah, announced he’d open a third location, the full-hipster Lockyard. And people scoffed. While more hipsters moved in.

I’ve seen it: I’ve seen men wearing Club Masters in Three Jolly Pigeons, other men in red pants and Sex Pistols T-shirts under Elvis Costello-esque sports jackets on Shore Road. I’ve seen women wearing thick-framed glasses on Third Avenue sporting dresses with leggings.

Now Brooklyn Industries, with its relevant apparel, is opening a store in Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Paper reports, near 86th Street, which used to have real businesses like Record Factory but is increasingly crowded with hipster favorites like halal food trucks. In Journalism, three things makes a trend, which means that Bay Ridge has officially gone hipster.


  1. As the lone hipster south of 86th st for the last 4 years, I call bullshit. I only wish we could get some variety in this backwater. Siiiigh if only it were true! Every hipster knows that the last sanctioned year for shopping at Brooklyn Industries was 2006. It’s worse than the gap, which can at least offer a nicely ironic shopping experience. Wake me up when an Ace Hotel opens on shore road.

  2. You mean to say that young people working for low salaries in creative jobs are moving further out in Brooklyn as rents increase? I’m shocked.

  3. The real proof will be when things happening in Bayridge get noticed by the “hip” press. When Leske’s reopened in August ’12 in Bayridge hardly a peep in the media, but a 2nd store opening in South Slope generated huge buzz.

  4. “I’ve seen women wearing thick-framed glasses on Third Avenue sporting dresses with leggings.” Does ‘ole Henry mean ME?!?! A BAY RIDGE NATIVE and certified too-old-to-be-a-hipster and decidedly un-hip mom of two?!? I’m an OG, Henry. Some of “us” have always been here, you could’ve found us buying Black Flag and Crass tape cassettes from Steve at Record Factory in 1987. This faux controversy is getting old. Not everyone from BR is an antediluvian, Brooklyn stereotype. Not everyone wearing thick rimmed glasses is a hipster. I’m fucking blind, dude with – 4.25 vision!!! I’m just OLD.

  5. I’m curious to know why the photo used in this article shows a couple of faces NATIVE to Bay Ridge yet the article indicates they are invading. Henry, you went to school with John and Lou.

  6. You’re an ass. How dare these trendy people drink “wine” and food from “Local” vendors? What’s next? Caring about the neighborhood and bringing tax revenue in? Maybe they’ll open a bar that’s not a “bottle service” lounge and doesn’t smell like Drakkar Noir?

  7. Hank, you’re a real fucking comedian using that pic of the elusive Native Brooklyn Hipster band. Can’t say I didn’t laugh like hell. I mean, look at what Hipster trash John looks like in that pic… and Lou!

  8. Has anyone looked @ the Henry Stewart’s bio picture? What makes a hipster is their accepting a trend without any current cultural capital(e.g. waxed twirlable moustache). Mr. Stewart is wearing1) a tweed jacket(a hipster staple),2) with a bushy beard(see prior) while 3) sitting at an indoor table lit with a flashlight, all the while likely near a light switch. The diagnosis: ironic fluff piece by a hipster.

  9. Henry, why are you trying to incite a hipster riot? These are your friends pictured, who all grew up in Bay Ridge and went to Brooklyn College. I don’t understand, are you trying to create a hype for your blog?

  10. People try too hard to be the “hipsters”. I find them pretty ugly, and dirty looking with those long beards. The oversized pants that both sexes wear doesn’t look appealing either. Why do they even hide their eyes in thick frames? One day they’ll look at themselves and say “what was I thinking”?

  11. I lived in Bay Ridge for ten years and have to say this cannot hurt. Much as I loved the area for it’s tidy middle class/working class culture, it could be painfully dull and many times irritating in it’s trashy outer Brooklyn hickish-ness and inability to understand the concept of a bar without a TV above it or that a cobb salad is not an adequate option for vegetarians. But don’t confuse it for being a former slum like Bed-Stuy – there is lots of money in Bay Ridge and a lot of the locals own their homes and pour money into expensive cars they park all over the streets. It’s supremely safe (policed as much by residents as by the cops – many of whom are residents or relatives of residents), it’s the one republican assembly district in Brooklyn and its school district is the envy of the borough. So don’t expect the Salty Dog-loving locals much less the immigrant business owners who have long clamored to live there to go… at all – not quietly, not with a fight but AT ALL. Not saying this defiantly, just stating a fact. Bay Ridge will be much the same in five years except some of the laundromats will have baristas, beared 23 year olds at Hinsch (getting mercilessly harassed by the high school kids who hang out at the pizza place next door) and rents which would have gone up anyway (they went up at least 20% while I was out there). The area’s popular w/more than just hipsters. Sunset Park – now that’s another story.

  12. Hipsterphobia is so ubiquitous and boring that even this attempt at satire is just annoying.

    The term “hipster” evokes my own personal Godwin’s law – as soon as the word escapes someone’s lips I know I can just tune the rest out. It literally sounds like “Yeah, but the place is overrun with hipstummummummenummunaa (static) (fuzz)…”

  13. I attempted the commute to and from Manhattan for a couple of months after graduating college in the late 80’s, but found the R way to unreliable and slow. Most of my socializing in Manhattan involved a $25 dollar cab ride home (late 80’s prices!). Culturally, Bay Ridge is really lacking: no symphony, museums, or much else. But this sort of makes sense because the hard working, blue collar population doesn’t demand these services. Plus, the couple of annual drives to Manhattan are enough to satisfy any cultural yearnings.

    Relatives of mine who have lived in Bay Ridge for decades lament the arrival of immigrants who have populated the stretch of 5th avenue between 67th and 73rd streets. So the arrival of hipsters should be a relief to them. Hipsters often work in the creative fields and will bring much to the neighborhood: bars, cafe’s, art gallery and perhaps Bay Ridge’s first gay bar. They will help to make Bay Ridge a bit more culturally relevant so that people won’t automatically go to Manhattan when they need excitement.

    However, the hipsterization of Bay Ridge may never really get off the ground. Red Hook experienced a way of Hipsterization in the late 90’s. Restaurants and antique stores opened and more than a few closed because of poor demand. The same may happen in Bay Ridge.

    When I hear of a new restaurant opening in Bay Ridge, I contact my relatives and tell them I would like to take them. A couple of days later I’ll get a call: “I just talked to my neighbor who told me the food is overpriced at the new restaurant.” When Schnitzel Haus opened I took my relatives. I found the food to be good and so did my relatives. The portions were so large that they were able to take three doggie bags with them. But when they found out how much it cost, we never went back. So we returned to their old standby, the Bridgeview Diner.

    The other issue that may prevent Hipsterization from truly taking hold is that the R train is extremely slow and late night and weekend service sporadic. Traveling to and from work the R is somewhat fast, however soon after rush hour or on weekends, the R is slow to arrive and proceeds at a crawl. I often travel from Manhattan and these weekend trips to Bay Ridge always take MUCH longer than trips in the opposite direction through Manhattan. Any trip to Bay Ridge during non-rush hours always involves research on the MTA’s website.

    These people may actually hold the key to what ails Bay Ridge. At the very least they can make the neighborhood a bit more interesting and lively.

  14. To add to what has already been said in comments… “Hipsters” are a catch-all term that confuses people, and there are many types of people who fit into that category.

    People who work for a living but have interesting haircuts will not move to Bay Ridge in droves. They have too many more options.

    Cool people who are poor or are living on a fixed income/trust fund and have an incentive to save as much money as possible… they will move to Bay Ridge.

    But there are less of those people. Most “hipsters” are working or are independently wealthy enough to move into the “already hip” areas. The artist-type hipsters who have an incentive to move to an inconvenient area in order to save fifty bucks a month on rent aren’t moving to the city as much anymore. You might think you’re seeing them, but you’re just seeing people who dress like them.

  15. This is unacceptable! MY Bay Ridge is cheap stale beer and fighting outside of bars! Tell these damn hipsters to leave their talk of civility and rock n roll music at home! My comment was facetious if you couldn’t tell. Who the fuck really cares? 20-somethings will always follow a trend and this is what it is now.

  16. Its not so much the Hipsters, Its the landlords and developers that drive up rents in our city . My neighborhood has a huge population of NYU students who don’t mind living 3 and 4 to a small 2 bedroom apt. while the landlord knows he can get 3000,00 a month for it .—i’m talking Park Slope of course but you see the same thing happening all over Brooklyn to some degree. I’ve been here in Brooklyn for 37 years now and its only in the last 5 or 6 years that I’ve seen it go so out of control —talking rent —And lets face it there are in face a percentage of “hipsters that really do have mom and dad footing the bill to set them up here and money seems to not be a problem for some. The only thing I ask of you hipsters, be you rich or poor is have some respect for the rest of us less Techs and PLEASE, don’t be looking at your I phone while your dog is pissing on my tree.

  17. Bay Ridge has always been a family neighborhood where kids grow up and never manage to live somewhere else. The first generation to reach their twenties when “hipster” style is cool has, in fact, reached their twenties and are getting dressed in the morning. I was born and raised in Bay Ridge and am always conscious that because I clearly look like a hipster I am always an outlier in this neighborhood. Perhaps this moronic article is a hysterical, attention-seeking reaction to Bay Ridgers my age with hipster style. But when this style of dress reaches critical mass in Bay Ridge, which will only happen after the gentrification of Sunset Park, I’ll be surprised.

  18. “Also, people who look different from you will be on the streets and also in establishments you used to like. ”
    You’re really going to put this in an article for people to read?

    Also, it’s great to see you defend and follow up with yourself in the comments, taking tough stances as “wow you guys are so literal!”


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