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October 15, 2012 | by  | in Features |
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Living In A Hipster’s Paradise

It’s about the irony not the ironing

Wellington is known for its foul weather, its hobbit hotties and, increasingly, its hipsters.The hipster style has become an institution here over the last couple of years. It’s great to see Wellingtonians developing an individual culture, but often you can’t move for rolled-up chinos and David Bain jumpers.

Home for me is a small town a little north of here. I grew up being the only vegetarian in the village and, when I came of voting age, also became its only Green supporter. I got used to hushed conversations in corners and overhearing whispers of “that’s a shame, she looks so normal”. My mother’s friends still assure her over strong cups of tea that it’s just a phase.

Coming to Wellington was a smart move. People here don’t often ask whether chicken is a vegetable, nor do they invite you to dinner to make you watch them eating raw steaks (apparently there was still a point to be made). In Wellington I was “mainstream”. It was good for a while; being part of the masses was nice. Above all, it was easy. But the mainstream has been drying up lately, with the social current diverting over to an alternative (and hipper) path. My run of being smack bang in the middle of the majority was short-lived. Now being mainstream in Wellington ain’t so easy. First-world problems, right?

For the most part, I’m pretty happy with how I am. I’ve been told I should enhance my personal brand, but until they offer some LAWS 300 level points for that, it won’t be happening.That said, the need to fit in is an inherent part of the mainstream condition and some days you just have to be a chameleon. I’ve spent more afternoons than I care to admit, scouring my flatmates’ wardrobes, trying to fit in with a crowd of people who try to stand out. It’s not easy. If you want to try to blend on an everyday basis, boat shoes seem to be in.As is wearing sunglasses and sometimes beanies (I suspect beanie-wearing might be dictated by the waxing of the moon, but that’s just conjecture). Further, we all should learn to longboard; longboarding is bad-ass and great for toning the pins.

There are some substantial pluses to living in the country’s most alternative city. For one, if you head down to Dunedin or Canterbury for O Week (a magical time down south; nothing like the phantom events we have here) scarfies will pick up on the hipster scent. Having detected individuality, they shower you with respect. I don’t quite understand this, but it’s very pleasant.

I love living in a city where ironing isn’t advised. It saves time, effort and probably lives. Our fun-loving (read: always-a-little-bit- wasted) demographic should be kept away from things like irons. Ironing boards are also scoundrels and not to be trusted.

Loose clothing is encouraged here.This is a blessing as baggy clothes mean food. Lonely Planet says Wellington has more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than NewYork City.A statistic like that should be celebrated; don the oversized shirts, go out and get amongst the best pizza, pastries and booze you can find. In the past, to get rid of the muffin-top peeping over the pants, we were expected to cut out the muffins. No longer! Finally, someone’s figured out that the pants were the real culprit. Out with pants, in with muffins: hipster logic is genius!

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