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really bored of h**ster bashing

  • l

hello folks:

maybe i'm the only one, but i've really had it with bashing restaurants and their clientele for their age and the way they dress.

isn't this just flat out bigotry?

suppose i reviewed a restaurant or a taco stand or whatever, and said something like, "hey, great, authentic tacos, but the fanny packs and obesity of the people in line really ruined it for me. i hate going to restaurants filled with fat, polyester wearing people"?

wouldn't that just make me a jerk?

but, somehow, many chowposters find it o.k. to say how their dining experience was ruined by the h**ster crowd.

if a restaurant is filled with young people, dressed in the popular fashion of the day, does it really ruin your food? why are you focused on other people instead of your food and your dining companions?
and how do you know someone is a "h**ster" just by the clothes they wear? stuff goes in and out of style. maybe they've been dressing that way for years.

perhaps it's just me, but i've grown tired of the judgement of people on their looks here on chowhound.

rant over. thanks.

    1. re: Veggo

      Cute, yeah! Is that where ham comes from?

      1. re: Veggo

        We are rolling up on twenty years since Elaine ranted about stupid hamster doofuses.....where has the time gone

        1. re: Veggo

          They've just decoded hamster DNA: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

          Maybe this will lead to understanding why hamsters choose what and where they eat and drink.

        2. Maybe they're just bashing ironically.
          What's with the **?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Island

            island, because i find the full word obnoxious and essentially meaningless. thus, in my own pretentious way, i refuse to type it or say it.

            and doesn't doing something ironically make them that which they are bashing?

            1. re: linus

              Yet it's worthy of you posting about it? Sounds like you're more than bored.
              Hipster style is so common I no longer notice it. Only place I see mention is in Yelp where people with too much time on their hands erronously think their rambling "reviews" are witty or creative. However can't say the H-words are singled out any more than the other favs: cougars, senior citizens and tourists.

              1. re: Island

                >can't say the H-words are singled out any more than the other favs: cougars, senior citizens and tourists.

                Agreed, especially the last two. I'd add parents with young children. (And no, I don't fall into any of those categories.)

                1. re: squid kun

                  island and squid, thanks for participating.
                  your points are thoughtful.

          2. Yes, I'm tired of this also . Thanks for your post. You are able to flag a post, but I find that a bashing topic usually just continues on.

            1. I get where you're coming from but "bigotry" is a bit much, don't you think?

              When has an older generation NOT been annoyed and pissy at a younger generation?

              27 Replies
              1. re: Violatp

                i think judging people by their appearance is a form of bigotry, yes, definition wise.

                1. re: linus

                  Then you've had a very privileged life if you want to cry bigotry because someone thinks a handlebar mustache is stupid.

                  1. re: linus

                    to the best of my knowledge, no one has been denied the right to vote, to sit where they want on the bus, to live or work where they want, marry who they want, or to walk through the front door (as opposed to a back door labeled "hipsters only") because they were wearing an earring, a tattoo, and a vintage bowling shirt.

                    Bigotry isn't the right word for this situation.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Well said, S.

                      I would stand to applaud, but I'm afraid of spilling taco toppings on my size 16 polyester pants. I like me some tacos.

                      Now, I must away to listen to my old Tom Jones albums. He too rocked that polyester, far better than I, far better than I.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        while you both make excellent points, i suggest looking up the definition of the word.

                        also, you might want to take another look at the penultimate line of my original post.

                        1. re: linus

                          being bored of a phrase is not the same as bigotry.

                          You're still misusing the word -- rather significantly.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Judging others based upon existing prejudices is bigotry. As cresyd notes, the issue is bigotry, not systemic or institutional discrimination. The latter being a product of the widespread and entrenched acceptance of the former.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              well, sunshine, i asked if it was a form of bigotry. you don't think it is. thank you for participating.

                              1. re: linus

                                You *choose* to be a HIPster. You're not born with it.

                                Therefore it's not bigotry -- and regardless of what Webster says about it (old white guy and all....) there isn't anyone on this board who truly believes that being made fun of because of what you're wearing (something YOU have chosen to purchase and wear) is anywhere in the same universe as being shunned from social and legal activities because of the color of your skin.

                                People get talked down for all kinds of things -- too thin/fat, too short/tall, hair too long/short, facial hair/clean shaven, tattoos/no tats, being blonde, being redheaded, having straight hair, having curly hair, wearing high heels, wearing flats, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, drinking red wine, drinking white wine....

                                ....learn to be happy with the choices you make about yourself and about your own life...other people's opinions about minor crap like clothes and what you do with your life are just that -- opinions. Life's too short to get fussed about haters hatin'.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  It is bigotry. The fact that it's not in the historical realm of skin color or religion doesn't stop that.

                                  This is not bigotry that supports discrimination - it is still bigotry.

                            2. re: linus

                              You just made two mistakes on an internet discussion board.

                              1) Asking people to look up a word's definition.

                              2) Using the word "penultimate" and expecting people to know what it means (see above).

                                1. re: Josh

                                  most of us here know what bigotry and penultimate mean.

                                2. re: linus

                                  Oh, I'm well aware of the difference between bigotry and racism, sexism, et al. I still think you're grossly overstating considering the historical weight of the word.

                                  1. re: Violatp

                                    People seem to be confusing the word "bigotry" with "racism".

                                    Bigotry is nothing more than intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself. Not sure how much historical weight you need to see that judging people based on their clothing/facial hair/musical preferences qualifies.

                                3. re: sunshine842

                                  I think that people are inflating the word bigtry/bigot (from Merrian-Webster: "(one) intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices") with discrimination. Discrimination is where we get to denying the vote and sitting on the back of the bus. Now bigotry contributed to invidiuals supporting discriminatory systems - but on its own, just means someone sticking with their prejudicial opinions. Be it about skin color or mustaches.

                                  1. re: cresyd

                                    Agreed, cresyd. There is a conflation of narrow-mindedness (bigotry) with policy happening here, and it's a bit misguided on either side of the 'is it fair to hipsters?' divide.

                                4. re: linus

                                  Not at all .Bigotry is to strong of a word .We all put on our own costumes just for that to be judged .We're all cool today come tomorrow ??? We'd all laugh at the photo of my uncle in his "Zoot Suit " but he was cool and hip back in his day key chain and all. No one escapes looking dopey to others, That's just the way it is .So enjoy

                                  1. re: scunge

                                    zoot suits, beatniks, yuppies, and now hipsters.

                                    Every generation has someone to laugh at.

                                    bigotry runs far deeper than your choice of shirt -- let's reserve it for the big stuff, so as to not demean actual bigotry.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      sunshine, i think my point is words like "bigotry" and "prejudice" are words with definitions, and was postulating that by their definitions, the behaviour cited applies.

                                      it's important to realize bigotry is not a "contest." no one here, in my opinion, is equating bashing on chowhound with serious episodes from human history.
                                      simply, there are "levels" of bigotry, and i was wondering if this behaviour -- judging people on their appearance -- was low level bigotry.

                                      obviously, you disagree, and that's o.k. i disagree my usage of the term demeans the seriousness and impact of said term.

                                      thanks for your participation.

                                      1. re: linus

                                        This, my friends, is a hipster. The rest are just pretenders.

                                        1. re: grampart

                                          well played, grampart.

                                          honourable mention to slim gaillard.

                                      2. re: sunshine842

                                        Hey, you skipped hippies! Although I have a feeling we were both of that generation.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Because I'm of the generation, for me, "old hippie" has a definite connotation, not a negative one at all.

                                      3. re: scunge

                                        I think the thing is that "hipster" is used a pegorative and derisive term that goes beyond "gee those bell bottoms look silly". Sometimes it's directed at young people. Sometimes it's directed at various regions (ie Brooklyn). But I think the major point is that the way that linus is complaining of its usage on CH.

                                        The usage on CH that is being addressed is in regards to "this place is full of hipsters and thus ruined". Essentially the idea being that people of this ilk make being in an establishment unappealing. And for someone who feels like they're being spoken about, to say that such a sentence feels cruel is valid.

                                        Now most of us individually choose to discriminate establishments because the clientele isn't our favorite. I am an American who lives in Israel, and I try to avoid establishments in Israel with a large number of Americans. But if I'm going to comment about a restaurant, instead of saying "this restaurant is full of Americans and thus ruined" - that's not only a nasty thing to write - but it doesn't explain the complaint. However, if I say "this restaurant is very popular with tourists who tend to come in large groups and are very loud making the atmosphere unappealing (to me)" - then I've explained my complaint and not been nasty to all Americans. Not to mention, resulting to a tactic of "rounding up" all sorts of people I dislike. Americans are hardly the only tourist group in Israel that contribute to a certain atmosphere in restaurants that I dislike. But it's an easy throw away.

                                        If people want to defend this nastiness by saying that it's not bigotry just mean-spiritedness, so be it.

                                          1. re: cresyd

                                            interesting post, cresyd, and kind of explains -- better, mind you -- what i was asking in my original post. thanks for participating.

                                    2. I've found that folks hatin' on hipsters usually qualify as a hipster themselves. Kinda funny. But yea, it's become tiresome.

                                      That said, I did get a big kick out of this piece that was in the NYT not too long ago:


                                      1. To me it's like when a reviewer proudly points out that they were the only white person eating at a restaurant. Most people seem really attached to the idea that they've discovered some gem that others like them haven't (which is to some extent human nature, but it gets kind of old).

                                        1. I'm not really sure what age qualifies one as a hipster, but I'm 31 so I'd like to think I'm not far removed. Regardless, I don't tie the word to a specific age (I've seen them of all ages), but rather a personality. It doesn't have anything to do with fashion, either. To me, it's that annoying person who tries too hard to be cool and sneers at the average person who may be in a business suit or jeans and sneakers. THAT type is annoying. But a young adult in fashionable clothing? Fine by me. But I do agree that the term is overused.

                                          I will say that the clientele of a location does matter to me and can turn me off to a business and/or restaurant. Though I'm far more likely to run screaming in the opposite direction if I see a ton of yuppies than I am hipsters.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: BostonLover

                                            boston lover, how can you tell someone is "trying too hard to be cool" just by looking at them?

                                            o.k., if you enter a restaurant, and people are sneering at the comportment of other people, that should be called out.

                                            however, i don't think that's what's going on.

                                            1. re: linus

                                              "Trying too hard to be cool" = sneering at others for their choice of dress. Otherwise, I agree with you. One shouldn't be dismissed simply because they're young and wear a certain style of fashion. But typically, at least in my area, they aren't. It's only those who act like overgrown teenagers who are.

                                              1. re: BostonLover

                                                I'll be the first to admit (first on this thread, anyway), that I routinely sneer at others for their choice of dress. People that wear their pants below their @$$, for example, with 5+ inches of underwear showing. People that wear tank tops and flip flops in fine eating establishments. The woman that wore the peach dress to the wedding I went to last weekend - the dress that was bought 4 years ago for a prom, before she put on 30 pounds, the dress that she's now spilling out of. In a church.

                                                I proudly believe in appropriate dress wear for given situations. Want to show off your boxers? Great, do it in your own house. Want to weat flip flops and tank tops? Fine, do it on the way to the beach or at a baseball game. Got a dress that shows off your cleavage and ends 4 inches below your rear? I'm all for it - at a bar or club, not in a church.

                                                Hipsters. They're a dime a dozen in Minneapolis. Can be spotted riding their fixies, drinking PBR, and pouring Sriracha over anything on a plate. I treat them with the same disdain I treat those that wear tank tops and flip-flops when at a restaurant that should garner more respect. No special "bigotry" towards hipsters here, but a general "bigotry" towards those that either don't own mirrors, or have no class. (And yes, I put bigotry in "" because I agree with others here that it is an inappropriate term for what we're talking about).

                                                1. re: foreverhungry

                                                  "Pants below their @$$, with 5 plus inches of underwear showing"

                                                  Well Foreverhungry, I will go on record as saying I agree 100%. Most school districts have had to adopt policies to deal with this . Yet to hear a logical argument supporting such dress.

                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                    Yet to hear of freedom of expression you mean?

                                                    1. re: kpaxonite

                                                      Adults are free to dress as they see fit provided their choices do not violate laws prohibiting lewdness. Just as they are free to dress in the above mentioned manner, MANY others including myself find it offensive and that is our right and we are free to express it & so is a business owner who has a dress code banning such dress.

                                                      Children in school, well, the guarantee of Freedom Of Expression under the 1st Amendment, "loosely interrupted" to allow kids to expose 5 inches of their underwear above their sagging pants is the least of our kids problems.

                                                      Walking into virtually any US College Engineering class and seeing 80% foreign students who take their education back to their country and bring a better product to the global market faster and cheaper than the US is a crisis in the making according to the Wall Street Journal, but what the hell do they know. Lets fight to allow our kids to express themselves via their underwear. Maybe they can get a job as a house cleaner in a foreign country. Sorry for the rant, deeply concerned for the future of our kids.

                                          2. I guess I don't see the bashing of hipsters or really any other diners. Are you talking about here on CH?

                                              1. This is just so wrong. Hamsters are hard working people too.

                                                1. It's just easy to make fun of style that looks contrived. Doesn't matter if it's a hipster or not.

                                                  1. I don't think it's about looks. Hipsters are part of a trend of young, pretentious people. Complaining about hipsters is about complaining about that group/trend, not the clothes they wear. The clothes they wear are just the uniform you can identify them by.

                                                    And hipster fashion tries to imitate counterculture by being so aggressively different from what anyone else wars that I think it's really, really unlikely that many people have been dressing that way for years.

                                                    But most importantly, there's only one group of people who complain that places used to be cool until they started getting overrun with hipsters. And those people are also hipsters, who hate hipsters with a passion. So if you complain about hipster bashing, how is that itself not hipster bashing? :-)

                                                    17 Replies
                                                    1. re: A_Gonzalez

                                                      Please let me ask this again. Is this occurring on CH?

                                                        1. re: linus

                                                          I read few regional boards and none with regularity. Could you give me a link to one so I can see what the deal is? I see uncontrolled kids, loud drunks and bad tippers but not hipster bashing.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Quick example: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/913863

                                                            To note, the article quoted in the thread does not refer to people as hipsters. That was the poster's "editorial" note - also the use of "Brooklyn hipsters" is not the gist of the article which addresses a variety of New York City residents. While perhaps the comment was meant with sincerity, I personally sense snark.

                                                            1. re: cresyd

                                                              Thanks. I guess I get it :) Wasn't each of our generations just so much cooler than every other one? And we each got poked fun at.

                                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                                As the poster in question who linked the article - yes, the Daily News article does use the term hipster and all the people interviewed and photographed were Brooklyn residents (Bushwick, Flatbush, Prospect Heights). As for myself, I was a late hippie and an early punk, so people have been mocking my fashion sense for decades. I'm too old to be anything but an old bohemian - if I'm "snarky" towards younger bohemians, honey, I get to do that - especially since my "snark" was not about physical appearance, but about behavior. I think the major distinction with "hipsters" has more to do with money and the astronomical rents in NYC - you just can't be a poor artist here anymore - and artists with money always push out the involuntarily poor in neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Flatbush, Bushwick, and Prospect Heights. That's not their fault but you can see why it provokes hostility. Note that all the urban farmers quoted in the article spent several thousand dollars apiece on their gardens - that's kind of what would make them hipster gardeners rather than just city gardeners.

                                                        2. re: A_Gonzalez

                                                          "Hipster used to mean a rich kid from NYC who wore clothes from Goodwill.

                                                          Now hipster has become a word that 40 year olds use when they see someone who dresses in a way that makes them feel old or out of touch."

                                                          - The Oatmeal

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                              That's perfect. I think that now hipster is a bit like porn - in that it's a case of "I know it when I see it". But unlike a youth term like hippie that was used both pejoratively but also by people who thought of themselves as "hippies" - "hipster" is rarely used by people to define themselves.

                                                              In that sense, it's hard to see how it's anything other than a relatively pegorative word for a young person. Maybe amongst your friends and social groups there's a more solid definition - but in a review of a restaurant seeing "the food is really good, but the ambiance isn't so great because of how many hipsters now eat there" - all that can be taken from that is that eating around young trendy people is off putting to the reviewer.

                                                              Just because the sentence doesn't read "the food is really good, but the ambiance isn't so great because of how many *racial/ethnic group members historically discriminated against* now eat there" - doesn't mean it's not pegorative and a lazy way to dismiss a group of people.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                I sure don't need a hipster to make me feel old and out of touch, i feel that way when I wake up. And one more point, since no hipster has ever admitted to being one, how would they feel slighted by snide references to hipsters in posts?

                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                  Funny thing is, I'm in my 40's, and many of my 40 year old friends fit the hipster category (fixie, PBR, skinny jeans and plaid shirt, sriracha, ...). So I don't think it's an age issue.

                                                                  1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                    Yes! My aunt is 44 and can fit the bill. The age range is quite large.

                                                                2. re: A_Gonzalez

                                                                  a gonzalez:

                                                                  i dont understand your post at all, but others might, so thanks for contributing.

                                                                  1. re: A_Gonzalez

                                                                    Why are they pretentious? Do you know them personally?

                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                      I do, and yes, they are. I feel so blessed that my hipster friends and coworkers seem to be growing out of that phase.

                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                        Good thing you're not like them, eh?

                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                          No, even worse, I'm a geezer. Plain and simple.

                                                                  2. linus: i'm with you on this.
                                                                    in general i'm pretty grateful to the hipsters for helping to financially support the restaurants that i like.
                                                                    without them, many of my favorite restaurants wouldn't be able to survive.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      wsg, as someone who goes out to restaurants a lot, does the dress or physical appearance of the clientele have any kind of effect on your dining experience?

                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                        Not wsg, but when I find cool young people somewhere it makes me feel (a teensy bit) cool and young :) Truly.

                                                                    2. Though I agree that referring to the clientele of a restaurant with worn cliches is far from the best way to provide worthwhile information to other 'hounds, I think it's worse when we try and tell others what are acceptable words to use when expressing themselves. I feel the same way about the uptight policing of grammar and spelling. So, at the end of the day, my suggestion is to simply discount those posts that denigrate hipsters, lest someday this slope lead to a point where I can no longer comment about "thin-skinned, little bitches".

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm hip. When it was hip to be hep, I was hep. But I'm hip (with apologies to Dave Frishberg).

                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                          mgz, i'm not sure anyone here was telling anyone what words to use.

                                                                          i wasn't complaining so much about the words used as the idea of bashing a restaurant or a group of people based on their physical characteristics.

                                                                          for me, "simply discounting" sometimes isn't enough to make a thing go away.

                                                                          yes, it's probably wrong to tell people what words are acceptable. however, then it is also wrong to tell people they aren't allowed to question words as well, isn't it?

                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                            I guess, then, to put my point another way, is why take offense? Way I see it, it's better to tolerate and dismiss than it is to stifle. If someone's an asshole, they're an asshole. Whether they dislike a restaurant because it has too many hipsters, septuagenarians, or transvestites doesn't make that much difference to me.

                                                                            Perhaps the best solution we can all adopt is to simply respond, "I don't give a shit who eats there, how was the chow???"

                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                              respectfully, i've always found "why take offense" to be a weird question.
                                                                              people are free to be offended by anything they please. it's nice, however, when they explain why they're offended.

                                                                              and, while i'm all for being tolerant, sometimes more is required to make the world a better place.
                                                                              no one's denying anyone's right to free speech here. however, free speech comes with a price, and that is your speech is then open for all to praise or criticize.

                                                                              however, i'm totally on board with "who gives a shit eats there..." i think that's my point in general.

                                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                                Although, I am enough of an existentialist to believe that we choose to be offended and what will offend, I'll reserve that discussion for another time and forum. That being said, it does appear that we do agree, at bottom, on the ultimate issue - If the bread's good, I'll break it with hipsters, hippies, beats, bastards, and anyone else who can appreciate it.

                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                  Just make sure you are still in possession of your wallet when you leave :-)

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      Breaking bread with anybody who appreciates it.

                                                                        2. I don't particularly dislike hipsters. But those loutish 20 year old guys with caps on backwards....

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: sal_acid

                                                                            And I was raised in a time and place where it was improper for a man to wear a hat indoors where frontwards or backwards :) I've gotten over that.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              I hate a hat in a restaurant on a man.

                                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                                Me too. And I am one. Not a hat, a man.

                                                                          2. One of the problems seems to be the term "hipster" itself. It's so clichéd that it doesn't really mean anything. It's a lazy placeholder for a class of people you don't like. So when I see it here, I pretty much ignore it. It's just as tiresome as the anti-chain eatery bias, and sort of "only idiots would eat that garbage" attitude. I'm sure at some point, "hipster" will join "stinking hippy," "beatnik," "blackguard," and "poltroon" in the realm of archaic phraseology that nobody really uses anymore or cares about. Problem is, it'll almost certainly be replaced by some other vague term for "the other" that people will take offense at.

                                                                            1. As a person who recently referred to a business as selling "hipster food", I have read these comments with great interest. Most striking is that the meaning I was trying to convey was probably not the one readers too away with them.

                                                                              First of all, I don't find the term annoying or pejorative, and therefore I don't use it to imply that the subject matter is inherently irritating. I don't see any of the associated trappings as a sign to head to the exit. Now I see that as soon as I break out the h-word, other people see red.

                                                                              What do I see that makes me start typing "h-ster"? Let's start off with creative and offbeat. The food can either feature one or more of the following: novel flavor combinations; local, named food sources; house-made components from ketchup to bologna. Not necessarily expertly or incompetently executed. Not inexpensive. Typically heavy on the sodium. Fun.

                                                                              America: a country divided by a shared language.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: thinks too much

                                                                                So could paragraph three describe The French Laundry which, though I've never been, doesn't seem to fit hipster.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Good observation. I think at least some of the derivation of the hipster food mentality (as I see it) stems from reading about the French Laundry. Note: I have also never been to French Laundry.

                                                                                  I think that the word that would distinguish FL from H would be refined. Not to say that H food is unrefined, but that FL is presented as a pinnacle of refinement: ingredient quality, service, technique.

                                                                              2. Perhaps it is because I am too old and out of it, but I confess that I am not inclined to use the term because I really haven't figured out who or what a 'hipster' is.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                  i'm with you on that. i think the term is probably meaningless.

                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                    I just read the amusing definitions on the Urban Dictionary website. I was as out-of the know as Susancinsf, but I have a bit of the profile now.
                                                                                    Here in Florida, AKA heaven's waiting room, a hipster is any blue haired person who has had at least one hip replacement.

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                      Those hipsters are the original seapunks, inspiring the blue coifs sported by Katy Perry, Gaga and the like.

                                                                                      1. re: EM23

                                                                                        Be patient, it too shall pass.

                                                                                  2. re: susancinsf

                                                                                    Being hip ain't got nothing to do with age .....plenty of young dufus and clueless individuals . like my son and his friends . ......................................LOL

                                                                                  3. Where *do* some people get off bashing holsters? I hate it when that happens.

                                                                                    1. Linus,

                                                                                      In all seriousness, it depends on what the "popular fashion of the day" is. If folks are dressed appropriately for dining in the restaurant they select, that's marvelous.

                                                                                      The folks who complain about hipsters may really be complaining about the perceived gentrification that the hipster crowd purportedly bring with them.

                                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                        well, "appropriately for dining" is a whole other kettle o'fish perhaps best left to another thread.

                                                                                        as i mentioned upthread, i don't understand why people don't focus on their own meal and their own dining companions. other than occasionally ogling (o.k., it's more than occasional. guilty.) the odd pretty person, i don't give a shit what other people are wearing in a restaurant.
                                                                                        it doesn't make my food taste any different, nor make the people at my table any more or less charming.

                                                                                        the gentrification angle you write of is interesting. i guess i can cop to having griped about that in the past. i suppose that can have a definite effect on atmosphere, and maybe the ability to get a seat/table. but, if the food stays the same, that seems most important to me.

                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                          The lazy and incompetent try to blend in with the energetic and talented, until the world can distinguish between them.

                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                            What about the lazy and talented? We have rights too!

                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                              Indeed. You have the right to remain silent, and you use it...

                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                You'd think after all the times I've been told that, it would get easier to hear and accept. Something about steel bracelets makes this old drunk wanna talk though . . . .

                                                                                            2. re: Veggo

                                                                                              What about the industrious and incompetent? Do we get a seat at the table, too?

                                                                                            3. re: linus

                                                                                              "as i mentioned upthread, i don't understand why people don't focus on their own meal and their own dining companions. other than occasionally ogling (o.k., it's more than occasional. guilty.) the odd pretty person, i don't give a shit what other people are wearing in a restaurant."

                                                                                              Restaurant decor and other surroundings is very much part of the dining experience.Eating a meal on paper plates in a warehouse with people dressed in jeans a tee shirts would be a different experience than having the exact same food on china in a finely decored dining room with people in tuxedos and evening gowns. It's not just about taste. Eating out is a multi-sensory experience. To that extent, how your dining neighbors are dressed is a part of the sensory experience, to the same extent that the color of walls, the artwork, and the color of the linens are part of the experience. To some, it may be a greater part of the experience, and to others, less so.

                                                                                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                okey dokey.

                                                                                                "gee, look at the gross wardrobe on that dork at the next table. now, back to my pasta. tell me about your day, dear."

                                                                                                see how easy that is?

                                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                                  Unfortunately (or fortunately), it's not that easy. Just like you can't unhear things or untaste things, you can't unsee things.

                                                                                                  A neighboring restaurant goer that makes a crud racist comment would leave a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of my meal. Inappropriate conversations at neighboring tables have impacted my meals in the past, just like an inappropriate conversation at my table, when dining with friends of friends', have (negatively) impacted my meal.

                                                                                                  Tastes, smells, sounds, and sights linger, and they all contribute to a meal's experience. But hey, different people are wired different ways. Some, like you perhaps, may not really care about what sights are surrounding you at a meal. Others, like me, take it in as part of the meal. Eating a slice of Three Brother's pizza sitting on a bench on the boardwalk overlooking the Jersey shore is different than eating that same slice in my mom's kitchen. The taste might be the same, but the experience is different.

                                                                                                  By the way, did I mention, some of my best friends are hipsters? :)

                                                                                                  1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                    i think there's a vast difference between having to deal with loud or obnoxious diners than having to deal with wardrobe.

                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                      Agree. Unacceptable wardrobe can be rejected at the front door, whereas loud obnoxious diners are not thrown out until after they have been seated.

                                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                                        I didn't say anything about obnoxious (or loud, from veggo's post). Just that sights, sounds, smells, etc. all contribute to the dining experience to a varying degree.

                                                                                                        Where I live (Minneapolis), you can count the restaurants on one hand (and you might not need all your digits [or any]) that would not let someone in for "unacceptable wardrobe". Which is, to be honest, unfortunate.

                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                          My fiancé is greatly affected by others' wardrobe. In a fine dining white tablecloth establishment he has been offended by men in jean shorts, sweatpants, and caps.

                                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                                            It's an exhausting task trying to control the world at large, especially when that world spins without any knowledge or caring of ones "control fantasies."

                                                                                                            1. re: melpy

                                                                                                              Then your fiance should stay home. If the white cloth establishment doesn't care, why should he.

                                                                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                you are looking at a long, painful life my friend.

                                                                                                  2. From a mod perspective, it's fine for Linus to make this request, and people can either agree with his argument and go along with what he's asking, or not, as they prefer.

                                                                                                    We prefer that people focus on the food, but comments on the clientele of a restaurant are generally allowed, even if they're a bit insulting to hipsters, tourists or seniors. We understand it can be upsetting if you see yourself in a broad description that's used in an unflattering way -- or that it can just be a boring cliche, even if you don't -- but it's not something we moderate for.

                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                      Oh, sheesh, I forgot about (the dreaded) tourist :) Currently we're both seniors AND tourists but surprisingly the natives have been quite pleasant. Before today, I didn't know what a hipster is but always had the feeling that if a place is described that way that's it cool and young and I find that attractive. So someone could say, in a negative way, "OMG, it's full of hipsters" and my knee jerk reaction would be "oh, goodie, let's go THERE." Diff strokes.

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        Ditto, usually if the hipsters like the food I will like the food. I hate when hipsters are also picky people who complain about the food in their hip restaurant.

                                                                                                      2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                        i didn't make a request, just an observation and a little(or lot) of whining.

                                                                                                        making requests from the moderators about such things is fruitless. so be it.

                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                          I think your "request" was that folks stop "bashing" hipsters.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            if you'll read my original post again, you'll see i wrote i was merely tired of reading criticisms about peoples' looks on chowhound, and questioned why folks did it.
                                                                                                            i made no request.

                                                                                                            1. re: linus

                                                                                                              Oops, you're right. Sorry.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                no worries. like i said, requests to moderators are fruitless, and requests for civility among the posters nearly so.

                                                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                                                  I'm sorry but your experiences are obviously different from mine. I think I'll bow out now. Best of luck.

                                                                                                      3. I think you are mis-guided in your assumption this is only about looks. I have been one to complain about the "hipster vibe" in some restaurants. To me, the intended meaning is that it is attempting to appeal to a certain type of clientele which, yes I admit, makes me feel old and uncomfortable.

                                                                                                        My grandfather would never have wanted to go to a restaurant filled with "dirty hippies" in the late '60's. My parents would have been turned off by the mohawk hair styles and black leather clothes of '80's punks. None of them would have felt comfortable as middle aged adults dining among such groups. So, here I am, middle aged, and I complain about "hipsters."

                                                                                                        I don't like their dirty knit caps (that they wear at the table). I don't like the way they think they know everything about food and beer when if I dig a little deeper I discover how clueless they are. Sure, there are some, maybe even many, that have great causes they are actually working to understand and make change about. Just like some hippies and some punks, there will be members of this group that do great things. There will be many more that don't.

                                                                                                        Regardless, I think it gives a description of a place, the style and decor and the type of clientele it is seeking to attract. When that clientele is clearly not ME, I feel fine mentioning it. Oh, and I have mentioned "cougars" too. A bunch of women my age looking to flirt actually makes my husband uncomfortable.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                          How do you know they think they know everything about food and beer?

                                                                                                          Have you asked them their opinions?

                                                                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                                                                            The ones I have spoken to, yes. I have younger relatives that firmly fall into this group. Do I still love them? Absolutely. Do I enjoy spending time with them? Yes, until a group of their friends show up, then my husband and I know it is time for us to head home. It is just reality, not in any way meant to be offensive.

                                                                                                            Just a way to describe the general feel of certain places. For some, when included in a review, it may actually entice them to go to a place. I think some people are choosing to take offense at something for no reason. It has nothing to do with liking or disliking the people on a personal level. It has everything to do about the general vibe of where you choose to dine. If someone reviewed a restaurant and complained about all the middle aged businessmen that tend to eat there, I would completely understand what they are trying to convey about the tone of the place. I wouldn't be offended at all. If they said, "despite that, the food was pretty good" I'd probably recommend it as a new option for a meal with colleagues.

                                                                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                                                                              I have. They do. In fact they very often initiate the subjects.

                                                                                                          2. Agreed. Basically, I have no interest in an opinion that involves making vast generalizations about large groups of people. If you've actually met every hipster in the world, why then, you may make judgments about them.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                              To me it says much more about the insecurity and small mindedness of those denigrating "the other" (in this case a sub-set of young people who like to self-identify by their choices in clothing and facial hair) than it can ever possibly say about the group being denigrated.

                                                                                                              And just the sheer lack of logic behind dismissing the food (and all the while claiming to be a "chowhound") based on something so totally meaningless as the clothes and hair of the folks dining somewhere or other makes me do a double take.

                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                im so jealous servorg beat me to martin buber i may weep.

                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                  It's sister :) But thanks!

                                                                                                              2. I am pretty positive I am too old to be a hipster.

                                                                                                                I am old enough to recall fighting for the right to look and think differently than my mainstream culture "allowed".

                                                                                                                If people over 50 bash hipsters for looking, thinking or acting differently, then I say... Shame on them...how quickly they forget how it is to be young, cocksure, arrogant and think they know everything. I was like that and it was a very cool life phase.

                                                                                                                I look at hipsters and smile. I think they are kinda cute. I can't imagine not wanting to be in the same restaurant with anyone different from me. What a weird concept. Very "unAmerican" IMO.

                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                  I've always thought Adam or Eve was probably first to say, "In my day..." or "Kids these days..." or "Time was..." When I hear these kinds of phrases I instinctively root for the youngins. Every new generation is comparatively rude, wears ironic clothing and listens to crap music. It's what they are supposed to do.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                    "I can't imagine not wanting to be in the same restaurant with anyone different from me."

                                                                                                                    This is a really interesting thought, and something that, quite frankly, I wrestle with on my job.

                                                                                                                    We like to think that we love diversity, But what if that diversity was KKK members? Or racists? Sexists?

                                                                                                                    Point being (and this is what we talk about at my work), we like to believe that we are without biases, without prejudices, but in reality, we all have some. If someone here's racist language, they'll likely form an opinion about that person.

                                                                                                                    Same goes here. I love diversity, My job depends on diversity, When I'm at at a restaurant on the caliber of The French Laundry, I'd hope that there won't be butt cracks showing at the dining tables. Would anyone disagree?

                                                                                                                    1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                      if im eating that chow, and, especially, if someone else is paying, a little buttcrack here and there seems like a bargain.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                                                        Dare I say that cracked me up Linus. :>)

                                                                                                                      2. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                        I think that if you went to French Laundry and wrote that you felt the atmosphere had dropped off because you saw two people there with exposed butt cracks - that would be a very precise comment about specific diners you dislike.

                                                                                                                        But, if you were say "the French Laundry atmosphere has dropped because of the presence of hipsters/rappers/strippers/plumbers (or some other generalization of a group of people showing butt crack)" - that sentence reads far different. To say "I don't eat there because it's full of dirty rednecks" - one way to review. To say "I don't eat there because the last time I was there I heard a number of racial slurs that made me uncomfortable and it appeared that management seemed cool with it" - another way to review.

                                                                                                                        I think the point with a lot of these issues is that people are using blanket terms to describe groups of people as opposed to being specific. And in using blanket terms are far more likely to offend.

                                                                                                                        1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                          "We like to think that we love diversity, But what if that diversity was KKK members? Or racists? Sexists?"

                                                                                                                          They have as much right to articulate their opinions as anyone else. I don't have to agree with them. I can despise them. I can argue with them about how ignorant their prejudices are. To the extent that they break no laws or cause no injury, they are free to express whatever beliefs they hold. In fact, the repeated articulation of ignorant beliefs and opinions actually helps to illustrate how nonsensical they are; which, in turn, begins to lessen the numbers of those who hold to them.

                                                                                                                          "When I'm at at a restaurant on the caliber of The French Laundry, I'd hope that there won't be butt cracks showing at the dining tables. Would anyone disagree?"

                                                                                                                          Wholeheartedly. As I have previously noted, it may be the pinnacle of superficiality to judge the fashions of others. To subscribe to the notion that if someone else's sense of style does not conform to one's own notions, or those that may, season by season, be being sold to the easily manipulated, it is somehow wrong; is to promulgate an elevation of form over function that is utterly phony and purely self-serving.

                                                                                                                          There is no such thing as an objective rule of fashion because fashion is intangible, abstract. No matter how fashionable you think you are, I assure you someone else will examine what you're wearing and make themselves feel superior by denigrating your choices.

                                                                                                                          I say bring on the asscracks. We all got 'em, after all. Hell, if the food's really good, I don't care if the folks at the table next to me even have on pants at all.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                            "...I don't care if the folks at the table next to me even have on pants at all."

                                                                                                                            Hey, if you want to discuss the SF dining scene best to do it on the right board! (g)

                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                              " it may be the pinnacle of superficiality to judge the fashions of others."

                                                                                                                              Huh? Isn't that what fashion is all about? Wearing what you think looks good and not wearing what you think doesn't? Aren't runway shows all about judging fashion?

                                                                                                                              We clearly have different personalities. My fiancee often asks me if I like her dress/skirt/blouse/shoes/whatever, and I give her my honest opinion. I ask the same of her, and she gives me her honest opinion of what I'm wearing, and we adjust accordingly. We judge each other's wardrobe choices, and I appreciate her opinions.

                                                                                                                              For that matter, the same goes with food. We judge restaurants, we judge dishes, etc. There's also no objective rule of food, so why bother commenting on restaurants and dishes?

                                                                                                                              If you're fine with asscrack at a restaurant, have at it. Different strokes for different folks. In other words, don't judge me for not wanting to see a buttcrack while I'm having dinner.

                                                                                                                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                                That should have more accurately read "judge others by their fashions." My bad.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                  Yes, in that case, I agree with you.

                                                                                                                                  It's a very different thing to judge others' fashions, and to judge others by their fashions.

                                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                I think I would prefer to eat privately in a landfill.

                                                                                                                              3. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                                I would. Not that I love butt cracks, but the handful of times I've had meals where the bill was more than my paycheck, I couldn't tell you a thing about the other diners. I was too focused on my meal and my companions and discussing the food and our conversation and interacting with the wait staff to even pick up on others' clothing. Heck, my husband and I went out to a local spot last night and I was paying too much attention to him to notice the other diners. Might just be me, though. I've cultivated the skill of tuning people out.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                  I'm with you Hobbert. I don't usually notice others either. Except for the person who's much louder than everyone else in a nice quiet restaurant. Couldn't care less what that person is wearing, but the loud mouth iritates me epecially if on a phone. STFU.

                                                                                                                            2. Uh oh, looks like someone hit a nerve......

                                                                                                                              1. Who's been bashing hamsters? :)

                                                                                                                                  1. It's not about clothing style, it's about attitude. A rude, snobbish, stand-offish, pretentious attitude is offensive no matter what the offender is wearing or what age he/she is. So maybe when people judge "hipsters," they are condemning an attitude they mistakenly (or not) associate with people who, to them, are "hipsters."

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                      i think you make a good point. i have no problem with calling out bad behaviour, when it is observed.
                                                                                                                                      perhaps it's a case of the sins of a few being foisted upon the many.
                                                                                                                                      however, i'm not sure how one determines "attitude" from across a crowded room.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                        worse than hipsters are nouveau rich house wives with their blow outs.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: catroast

                                                                                                                                          "worse than hipsters are nouveau rich house wives with their blow outs."

                                                                                                                                          I hate it when nouveau rich house wives get flat tires.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: catroast

                                                                                                                                            So it's about which (perceived) demographic is worse? And you know who's "nouveau rich" just by looking at them?

                                                                                                                                        2. Is there any society in the world that doesn't judge on looks? It's nice to say "I'm above all that", and while I don't judge based on race, or designer label, or body size, I do make assumptions about people based on looks. It's in me, via nature, nuture, or whatever combo thereof.

                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                            true enough, pinehurst.
                                                                                                                                            but isn't it one thing to make those judgments, and another to put them in print here on chowhound?
                                                                                                                                            we all say things in private, and to our friends and family, that probably shouldn't be said in public, don't you think?
                                                                                                                                            context is everything.
                                                                                                                                            aren't we supposed to focus on the chow here?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                              The main focus is chow, for sure, but stuff seeps in. Witness the threads about noisy restaurants, restaurant decor, etc.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                true, but it's hard to imagine decibels and lamps with hurt feelings.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                  You're right. But the decibels and lamps do drive away faithful foodies.

                                                                                                                                                  What if, by playing Mumford & Sons at full blast, a neighborhood pub with excellent cottage pie and fine pours of Guinness loses a chunk of their regulars? Wouldn't that be a shame that the regulars were driven out by something as non-food as too loud music?

                                                                                                                                                  From the perspective of a paying customer, I want the management and chef(s) and servers to care about folks like me and you. If they go home or BOH and make fun of me for what I'm wearing, who cares? It doesn't affect my dining experience. I can't control what people say behind my back, and I don't need their approbation for the way I dress or the music I favor. Treat me right, feed me right, I'll eat with you.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                    i understand, pinehurst ol bean, but i was just joking around.

                                                                                                                                                    i think comments about a restaurant's decibel level and decor are in a different category than the wardrobe and tonsorial choices of the clientele.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                      I'll put it this way: if a hipster is bashed on chowhound, does it make the tacos at restaurant X any less delicious?

                                                                                                                                                      The hipsters or any customers---though they may be scintillating individuals all, as are the fanny packers and the 40 somethings in Tom Jones shirts--are just part of the decor to any diner. Just like a chair. Or the music.

                                                                                                                                                      Everything around me is part of my environment when I dine...part of the decor, the vibe of a place. That can enhance or detract from the dining experience.

                                                                                                                                                      For some folks, hipsters in the crowd, or folks in power suits, or folks in Prada, or goths in black (or Mumford and sons, or candlelight, or leather banquettes) enhance the experience of a meal. For others, no. That's it. It shouldn't bother the hipsters or non-hipster (squaresters?) diners, but if it bothers either, so what?

                                                                                                                                                      Back in 1984 when I was 14, I wore Roxy Music shirts and Smiths shirts and Duran Duran shirts and Echo and the Bunnymen shirts. I sported a quiff. I wore Chuck Taylors. I ate out. I, no doubt, horrified lots of diners and got disapproving looks. At the end of the day, who cares? I was a chowhound. Just a chowhound with particular tastes, and a propensity to wear my identity on my sleeve. Literally. I wasn't a victim. Just a kid.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                        The clientele is, of course, nothing like the decor of a restaurant, as the restaurant has no control over the dress or facial hair of its customers. Even the noise level is not totally within the restaurants control as the level of ambient noise from customers is directly attributable to the alcoholic intake of those folks (with things the restaurant does have some control over, like hard or soft surfaces, level of and type of music along with an open or closed kitchen, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                          I respectfully disagree with part of what you said. I once watched an impeccably dressed Michael Caine get denied access to the Ritz Carlton's restaurant (Boston, before it was the Taj) because he was wearing jeans. Restaurants can--and do--control the dress of their customers.

                                                                                                                                                          Facial hair--that's a good question. It'd be tough to enforce, that one. You're right on that.

                                                                                                                                                          Noise level is a choice: do restaurants want to use soundproofing options? Should they play Wagner or Wilco?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                            Okay, 1% of restaurants have a dress code. The 99% rule my dining world.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                              Was that recently? I have found that dress restrictions have been tempered a lot in the last few years. Maybe not at the Ritz, however.

                                                                                                                                            2. Images:


                                                                                                                                              I think these kids (to me they ARE kids!) look great and I'd be inclined to try to eat at a place that had folks that looked like this.

                                                                                                                                              1. If you are happy with how you dress, where you eat/drink, what you eat/drink, what cell phone you have, what car you have, etc...

                                                                                                                                                ...then why the hell would you care what others say or think about it?

                                                                                                                                                I learned really quickly in my line of work not to worry about what others say/think about me or I'd always be miserable and upset. As long as I'm doing a good job (which I always do), then I could care less what people say. I don't need their good opinion.

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                  i think maybe i expressed myself poorly, or a lot of folks are misunderstanding.

                                                                                                                                                  my "beef," if you want to call it that, is not that the aforementioned h**sters might be getting their feelings hurt.
                                                                                                                                                  it's that i do not understand how the presence of these people, or any people dressed a certain way, could affect your dining experience.
                                                                                                                                                  there are people whose dining experience is "less than" because of the presence of a certain clientele at a restaurant. and not, it seems, because they are behaving poorly, but because they dress and style themselves a certain way.
                                                                                                                                                  my point is NOT "who cares what other people think" but, "why does anyone care these people are in the restaurant and enjoying themselves?"

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                    is there some reason why we're continuing to write h**sters?

                                                                                                                                                    If we can say damn, hell, and fuck on these boards, let the hipsters roll.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                      Okay, I lied; I'm back; a little :) From this thread anyway, I don't really see the problem that you describe. Well, not to the extent. As Jacquilynne said, no more than seniors, tourists, etc. From the images I posted, it seems that hipsters dress a whole lot better than a lot of people in a restaurant. So what's the beef?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                        Well, in my city, many of the hipsters practice less than great personal hygiene. It's almost as if the worse they smell the cooler they are. We call it bohemian manfunk. So, yes, I'd rather not eat in the same dining area as they do.

                                                                                                                                                        I could care less how they look. I do care about how they smell.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                          i would never ask you to compromise your anonymity, but don't you think it would be a public service if you would name your city so people can avoid restaurants that serve these so called "h**sters"?

                                                                                                                                                          i ask because i have been very fortunate in being able to dine in a number of different cities, and i haven't noticed one demographic group being any more malodorous than any other. however, i may have just been lucky, so i would appreciate a fair warning.

                                                                                                                                                          on the other hand, my nephew does subscribe to a newsletter that said there is one segment of society that goes around sniffing the male population in restaurants.
                                                                                                                                                          there was some mention of this at the meetings as well.

                                                                                                                                                      1. It seems like everything there is to be said on this subject has already been said, and now the discussion is starting to head pretty far off topic, so we're going to close this thread now.