The Hipster: A Pox On New York Since (At Least) 1965

by BILLY GRAY · January 6, 2010

Remember all those Decade In Review write-ups that prayed the end of the '00s would kill off the the epoch's most reviled creature, the hipster? Bad news: a blurb from an unearthed LBJ-era tourist guide reveals that the hipster invasion began long before the aughts, and that, like roaches, it will outlast us all.

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Insufficiently bummed out? Consider that the earlier crop of hipsters produced dashing, endearingly shy Jack Kerouac (pictured above), the man behind On the Road, Big Sur and the popularization of peyote buttons. Now compare that to contemporary hipster icon Gavin McInnes, a manchild who won't STFU and whose biggest achievement to date is drinking his own piss.

Thanks to Ephemeral New York for the Kerouac shot. And also for the excerpt from 1965's The New Inside Guide To Greenwich Village, which describes (surviving!) Greenwich Village hangout Kettle of Fish as the destination of choice for the "somewhat older hipster" who plays the jukebox "at least two levels above tolerance." See, annoying even back then! But, at least people had $2 steaks and 30 cent beers to make up for it.

(Photos Courtesy of Ephemeral New York)