If you've ever lived in San Francisco, you know that moving to a neighborhood is sort of akin to picking a college: You go where you are most likely to fit in and simply pray to God that you get good housing (or at the very least a roommate or nine who aren't terrible). It is a city driven largely by its crazy identity and what part of that crazy identity you connect with.
Hipsters move to The Mission.
Bros and sorority girls move to The Marina.
Gay guys move to The Castro.
Young married couples with one foot in the suburbs move to Noe Valley.
Lesbians move to Bernal Heights.
People who don't like/want to talk to other people move to the Outer Sunset (I kid, I kid.) (Sorta.)
Point being, it's a pretty fair assessment to say that if you fall under the category of a "person” in general, there's a place for you in San Francisco.
Which is why I'm so frickin' confused. I don't know where I fit in.
Growing up, I think it's fair to say I was a bit of a bro, bro. Let me define that in the most cliche, pigeon-holing way possible:
I wore Abercrombie & Fitch (a lot). And polos (gasp), sometimes in colors that looked dangerously close to being pastel. And watched sports. Like, a lot. I played drinking games at an alarming rate. I went to the University of Colorado, for chrissakes.
I seemed destined to move to the Marina. But a funny thing happened on my way there…
I turned into a bit of a f*cking hipster. Or at least I thought I did.
I got insanely into music. And I did it the only way a hipster can: I started getting into bands that you'd probably never heard of.
Then came the skinnier pair of jeans.
And the decidedly hipster pair of black-rimmed Ray-Ban eyeglasses.
And the penchant for always wanting to go to dive bars.
And the finding it entirely okay to spend $4.00 on a cup of coffee.
And the becoming known as the "artsy" kid amongst all the friends you grew up with.
The renting of a studio apartment in a hip Valencia St. building in the Mission.
I had done it. I had found my home. I had found my "who I was." I found where I fit in.
And then an even funnier thing happened: I realized I wasn't exactly a hipster.
I'd go out in the Mission and realize I looked nothing like the real hipsters: I was the one in the Halloween costume. I didn't have any tattoos. Or a mustache. My thrift store t-shirt wasn't as shitty-but-really-cool looking as theirs. Hell, half the time I was wearing a J. Crew button up and (gulp) going to my full-time job. I still really liked sports. (You ever try watching a sporting event in the Mission? Here's a hint…go to the Phoenix. It's the one people refer to as "The Marina Bar.")
So, presumably, I should start hanging out in The Marina, right?
I look nothing like the real bros. I could not attract a Marina girl if my life depended on it. I love to watch sports but I’m terrible at playing them. I bitch about the music that plays at bars there because (hipster alert) I typically f*cking hate pop music. Bottom line: every time I've hung out with hipsters, I feel like I don't fit in…
Because I'm too much of a bro.
Yet I can't hang out in The Marina…
Because I'm too much of a f*cking hipster.
Which brings me to my point…
And I'm okay with that.
We live in a city where everyone bitches about how one group of people is more pretentious than the other. Hipsters usually hate bro's, bro's usually hate hipsters, etc.
And that's bullshit.
Any hipster who says they hate bro's? Acts like a goddamn Mission-bro: they're dicks to everyone, they act holier-than-thou and strictly date their own kind.
Any bro who hates hipsters? Stop it. In three months you'll be wearing whatever clothes hipsters are wearing now (skinny jeans, Ray-Bans, etc.) because, deep down? You sort of like it.
Bros, hipsters … for the sake of my finding an identity in this town: can we call a truce?
I’ve seen both sides pretty regularly. We're not all that different.
We all hate Muni. We all love beer, whether we’re drinking it out of a PBR can or a red Dixie cup with a ping pong ball in it. We all seem to agree on the film Wet Hot American Summer, the show “Modern Family,” and Aziz Ansari in general.
And we all have the same goddamn iPhone.
Hipsters can be Bro-y. Bro's can be hipster-ish. It’s okay.
Come on, everyone. Let’s be friends.
Do it for me. Please.
I need to find a neighborhood to live in already.