Counting Hipsters

What is the population of hipsters in NYC?  For those people who say, “Too Many!” I’m here to tell you, “There is new hope!”

Hipsters are everywhere and most often found from anywhere with an Instagram account! The final frontier for Hipsters is to time travel back in time to grace the lost restaurants of NYC with their presence.  Forlini’s is the latest restaurant that will soon be left in the Instagram #hashtag wake. This previously off the hipster radar place is located in the no-man’s land between Little Italy bleeding into Chinatown, but close enough to mount a casually late, late night appearance on the downtrending LES. Vogue even created with the help of its creatives a clever #hashtag to memorialize its Forlini’s takeover ahead of the Met Ball with #spaghettiandmetballs. The selfies and food pornographers went wild! 283 posts on Instagram! Prior to this event, Forlini’s was not on anyone’s radar; except the regulars that have been going for decades.

Ratio of NYC Rats to NYC People Less Than Previously Thought

There is a longstanding debate whether there are more rats than people in NYC. Jonathan Auerbach, a 26-year-old Columbia doctoral student recently won the top prize from the 180-year-old Royal Statistical Society of London for his statistical analysis, “Does New York City Really Have as Many Rats as People?” Using his methodology he arrived at ~2 million rats; a quarter of the commonly accepted 1:1 ratio of NYC rats to New York humans.  Applying that same statistical approach to addressing the true population of hipsters and the Instagram set to New York humans gives us a sliver of hope.

A Hipster with a shovel in NYC is about as dangerous as a Hobo with a shotgun.

Like rats, hipsters are nocturnal and like to stay away from the crowds; but not too far away. As rats scampered among trash cans by moonlight in Chinatown, a procession of tall and very good looking people started entering an old Italian restaurant on Baxter Street called Forlini’s. This previous sentence was taken straight from an article I read in the NYT called How Forlini’s Survives the Instagram Horde.   If there’s anything worse than an old-school restaurant being uncool, it’s an old-school restaurant suddenly becoming hot.

My “Forlini’s” Experience From Long Ago

Like everyone, I have a wealthy and well-to-do friend in NYC. Some would call him a Finance Bro, but I will give him a pass since I’ve known him since middle school. Sometime around 2014, I met him for tacos at La Esquina  on Kenmare near SoHo.  My girlfriend and I met him after we went to see Grease on Broadway, because that’s what out of towners do. We didn’t know what kind of a place we were going to meet. We thought we were going to a local favorite Mexican restaurant known for its delicious Margaritas and tasty tacos.  In any event, we arrived to see Kirsten Dunst talking on her cell and smoking a cigarette outside the joint. This was my first sign that we weren’t going to Chi Chi’s.

We walked into the restaurant, my buddy gave his name, the hostess pulls back a large velvet curtain to walk us through the kitchen and down some stairs to be seated in a hidden dining room in the basement.  My first impression was, “This is cool!”. My next thought was, “Where’s the fire exit?” We settled into our menus and I see Angelica Huston eating at the next table.  We ordered Margaritas and beers and tacos.  The food arrived, we ate and left without ordering dessert $200 poorer.  On the way out the door, I remember overhearing someone remarking how that was the best Mexican food they’ve ever eaten. Of course, they highlighted how much  Mexican food they ate in Mexico to know what good Mexican food is. In my mind, I’m thinking, “STFU!”

There was no Instagram or #hashtag available to memorialize my La Esquina experience for personal gain or to court new followers to my life’s mission.   We can all agree there are a lot of hipsters running around town.  They are often obnoxiously taking selfies and anxiously creating food porn with their phones. However, there really aren’t as many of them as we believe there are.  Our reaction to them is similar to seeing a rat.  We react in horror and retract in fear upon seeing one.  As long as you don’t follow them on Instagram, it’s just another Jabroni trying hard to simply “\\BE_WHATEVER” or #SURVIVING across the digital landscape.

A regular at Forlini’s said it better than anyone, “Look, I love Forlini’s, but if someone proposed to me here, I’d probably kill them.” Tell that to the hipster who just made love to his cannoli and sacrificed his body with carbs to take the ultimate Instagram worthy creation. Never fear, their next post will be working off those carbs and detoxifying with Kombucha, Kale or any other Special K. In the end, was it worth all the trouble?