Posts Tagged ‘custom bicycle’

Hipster’s Don’t Wear Glitter

October 23, 2015

I protested over some of the best sushi I have had in recent memory.

My friend looked at the waitress and asked her, “does she look like a hipster to you?”

The Japanese waitress looked at me, smiled, looked at my friend smiled, “she looks like a hipster.”

Damn it man.

My friend was joking, poking fun at me, but I do have some tell-tale signs of hipsterdom.

I work for tech.

Although I do not work in tech.

My family is a tech family, no getting around it, just none.

I work in the Mission District of San Francisco.

San Francisco is already up there on the hipster list, but the Mission?

Please.

It is über hipster.

And that’s not because there are so many Uber drivers in the bicycle lane waiting to pick up their fares from Tacolicious or Mosto or Dosa or Bar Tartine or dropping them off in front of Rhea’s Deli to get that one sandwich that goes so god damn good with that tall boy of Pabst Blue Ribbon that was drank at Mission Dolores Park that one day last week when the weather was so good.

“Come on!” My friend exclaimed, “you ride a fixie!”

Granted.

Yes.

I do.

“You worked at a bicycle company in the Mission!”

Yes.

I did that too.

I remember when I posted a photograph on Instagram, before everyone fucking knew what Instagram was (my Paris friend was shocked that I had been on Instagram so long, nearly four years, she hadn’t realized that the app has been around that long, but yeah, I got on the bandwagon awhile ago–the app just celebrated five years or publishing the selfie, remember what that used to be?  Literally, a self-portrait, I did a few of those before Instagram, in pencil) of my bicycle and one of the dad’s I used to nanny for commented:

“The hipster just got more hip, is that possible?”

The mom of the play date at work asked me on Tuesday night if I knew so and so, “you know, she’s really cool, and hip, like you.”

I don’t know the person she was referring to, but I can infer the compliment.

“Oh, we are going to be the envy of the neighborhood,” a mom who I ended up leaving after a really uncomfortable week of being overly micro managed, said as I agreed to be her nanny.

“We got our own hipster nanny!” She exclaimed and gave me a hug.

Note to self, if they hug you that much before the job is yours they might be neurotic.

I didn’t even know there was a candidate for nanny that was hipster, must be a subculture.

Speaking of.

Here’s a great definition for hipster courtesy of Wikipedia:

The hipster subculture is one of affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods,[1][2] broadly associated with indie and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store-bought clothes), generally progressive political views, organicand artisanal foods, and alternative lifestyles.[3][4][5] The subculture typically consists of white millennials living in urban areas.[6][7] It has been described as a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”.[8]

Hmm.

Let’s see.

I like subculture.

Ok, I can see that, ok, fine, a little hipstery there.

Affluent or middle class?

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

But then again, better off than I have ever been and were I living in the mid west I would be considered middle class.

Of course, I wouldn’t be making half of what I make here in the San Francisco as a nanny.

No way.

No how.

And in San Francisco I am not middle class and certainly not affluent.

Bohemian?

Sure.

I will go with that, although I think I am more of a sparkle pony than a Bohemian, but I have some of the trappings, I like art, I like music that doesn’t play on the top 40 radio stations.

When, in fact, was the last time I listened to the radio?

Oh.

Ha.

Yesterday, in the car with the mom on the way to the boys appointment to get their annual flu shot.

I got mine too.

I remember listening to the lyrics of the song that was playing and wondering, who the fuck writes this?

Awfulness.

But I love art and that is very Bohemian.

So ok, a couple of points on the hipster scale and I have tattoos and yes, I do have a one speed custom bicycle, but not because I am affluent, but because I worked in a bicycle shop and not because I had some rabid interest in bicycles, it sort of fell in my lap, my friend was the General Manager and really wanted me to come and work for him.

So I did.

And I built a bike.

But my bike, despite having hipster tendencies–one speed, custom paint job, Italian drop bars, steel frame–is so not a hipster ride.

The aesthetics are totally skewed.

Hello.

I have a deep midnight blue paint job with Rock Star Sparkle top coat.

Not one coat.

But two.

No hipster in their right mind has a whip with glitter.

Or a leather seat with embossed roses from Italy.

Just me.

What else?

Oh yeah, gentrifying neighborhoods.

Yeah.

I used to live in the Mission, but no longer.

I lived at 20th and York, paid $650 for my room with its own bath in a five bedroom house with four other girls.

I bet now that rent for my room would be $3,000.

I lived at 22nd and Alabama with a woman from Northern Italy who had rent control from having lived in the top of this Victorian forever and paid $500 for a huge room with everything included.

I also lived in an enormous Victorian on 23rd and Capp before it was gentrified, thank you very much, for $450 a month plus utilities.

God.

I have people question why the hell I moved out, but if you knew who my room-mate was you probably wouldn’t have moved in.

The last place I lived in the Mission was a tiny in-law at 22nd and Folsom and I paid $750 including all utilities.

That was about two and a half, three years ago, right as it was getting crazy.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

Whatever.

Everybody know how expensive it is to rent in San Francisco, and now I live in the Outer Sunset, where I am very happy and content to live.

Although it too is getting a little on the hipster side.

I’m definitely progressive, I definitely eat a lot of organic food, ok, sigh, I am looking more like a hipster every word I type.

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

I wear glasses with oversized wood frames.

I listen to alternative music.

Ever hear of jazz?

Yeah, like that.

But there’s a lot of music that I listen to that is definitely not mainstream, is underground, and is alternative.

Fuck.

I guess I am a hipster.

Wait.

Millennials.

Nope.

Fuck that.

I am so not a Millennial.

Not by a long shot.

I’m way too old.

Gen X thank you very much.

There.

See.

Not a hipster.

Well.

I guess I have some characteristics.

(Wrecking Ball coffee in my cupboard from Washington State)

Converse on my feet.

Fixie in the garage.

Yes I did own a vintage Vespa, well, I thought it was a Vespa.

But.

I protest.

I am still to glittery to be hip.

And I eschew cigarettes, tall boys, tech talk, Tinder, festival clothes, floppy hats, jean shorts (unless I’m rocking some funky tights), happy hour in the Mission, and snobbery.

See.

I’m too nice to be a hipster.

So there.

“I’m just joking!” My friend laughed at me, “you know I’m just joking.”

I do.

I do, I know.

I am willing to admit that I am often mistaken for a hipster but as soon as I wave my hand and give you a hug the truth comes out.

Oh!

Your’s so nice.

You must be from the Midwest!

Yup.

I’m not hipster.

I’m a Sconnie.

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Going Back In

May 27, 2013

Moving forward-looking backward.

This is what I don’t want to be doing.

I need to turn around and face forward, walk towards.

Towards San Francisco, let’s be honest.

See, every time I say, ok I am here in the East Bay, all I have to do is a little commute and every thing is cool, man, then I get on the BART train.

It’s not horrible, sometimes.

Then it is, like today, heading into the fray, literally, I had forgotten it was Carnival, I was on a car that was more crowded than a normal Sunday, and stinky, and loud, and I soon discovered why.

And I got to get off at 16th and Mission, which was a cluster fuck of crazy.

After having ridden too long on a car that stank of weed and beer and a long weekend.

I thought, I would live just about anywhere in San Francisco happy and without a care if I don’t have to do this commuting in and out so much any more.

When I am at Graceland, in the compound, I joke, but you catch my drift, I am happy, warm, cozy, on an island of loveliness.

The sun scatters down through the high palm trees and the cats run amok, inside and outside and the flowers bloom, the fig tree is pushing out gigantic globes of luxuriousness to be harvested later this season, the bed is comfortable, the bathtub, the claw foot mind you, is alluring, the sun smoothed out from the red and blue and yellow blocks of church stain glass windows spreading rainbows on the wood floors, beckons me to nap on the bench in the back room.

Then, I get on my bike and pedal out into the world and shall I say, my perspective is altered.  I cannot live on an island forever, I must foray out into the world.

What sucks, again, just a matter of perspective, but a hassle to deal with, is that I did no grocery shopping tonight.

I could not get out of the Mission in time to bust a move on Rainbow and once I was off the train in Fruitvale I just wanted to get back to the house.

Especially since I had the stank of vomit in my nose.

Some knuckle head from Hayward with an A’s cap askew on his tow head spewed chunks all over the last car.

Thank you jeebus that we had come up from under the Bay.

The entire car off loaded to move onto another train.

I could not believe how much vomit this kid had in his system.

Like, dude how many super burritos did you eat at El Farolito today?

Sad.

Such a waste.

I scrambled onto another car and was able to enjoy the rest of the ride and I had a fun conversation with a kid who had a beat up fixed gear who had all sorts of questions about my bicycle.

We bantered, flirted a little, not too seriously, albeit a bright, attractive, young man, his eyes were so red I could have gotten high if I stared at them too long, and I rode the rest of the way to the station chatting about riding fixed gear.

I am a little more comfortable on my bike then I was yesterday.

Reminded me of when I started riding bicycles in the first place.

I had moved out to Bay View and lived off Third Street at Palou.

The T-line had just gone in and the commute to work in the Mission was just too long.  I decided I was going to get a bicycle.  I could bring it in to my job and have a way to and from work that did not include the slow, still working out the kinks, new train line.

I walked into Pedal Revolution and told them I did not want “hip, slick, and cool, just something comfy I can get from point A to point B.”

They sold me a hybrid.

Which makes perfect sense, I would have done the same to me too.

Man, how far I have come.

I am still grateful for that bike though, it taught me that I am teachable.  It brought me too and from the Bay View and helped me haul groceries all over the city until I gave it up and switched to a one speed Pogliaghi steel frame an old lover left with me when he moved out of the city.

My room-mate at 23rd and Capp Street said, “you do not deserve this bike.”

He grunted, flipped it over, spun the back crank and shook his head.

Then he apologized, “sorry, I know that’s not very nice of me to say that, but it’s sort of like someone gave you a vintage Porsche and you asked, ‘what’s a Porsche?'”.

“This is that kind of good,” he shook his head again and, “enjoy the riding.”

Oh.

Man.

Did.

I.

Ever.

That bike was like when I realized I was not having orgasms when I was having sex.

I used to think, what is all the fuss about?

Then I found out.

That Pogliaghi was like that.

I felt like I was flying on silken wings, I had never ridden steel before, I had never ridden a one speed before, it was like someone handed me a Hitachi Magic Wand and said, “have fun kid.”

I smiled for days.

I could not wait to get on that bike.

Then I got hit by a car that turned right on 16th from Valencia without using a turn signal and bye-bye bike.

“You might be able to salvage it,” Clancy at Pedal Rev said, shaking his head sadly, “but, the frame is bent and it’s not safe, it could break at any point, you are going to take a huge risk anytime you sit in the saddle.”

I sighed.

“Take it, have it, I donate it to the shop, strip what you can use, and thanks for being honest with me,” I said.

“No.  Are you sure?”  Clancy pushed back his messenger hat and rubbed a hand through his red hair, “it’s still a really beautiful bike.”

“Yeah, but I can’t ride it, it’s yours.”  I walked out, borrowed a bike, walked, took the bus, and got around.  I managed until I got the Felt 35 road bike that I used for the Aidslifecycle, which I eventually sold to my co-worker at Mission Bicycle after I designed my current whip.

“How much did you pay,” he asked me admiring the rims.

“I did not pay retail, I used to work at the shop, I don’t even know what price to put on it, I was a kid in a candy store, I got to pick whatever I wanted, I mean, I have glitter paint, and an Italian saddle, hard to price that,” I said, but leaned in and whispered under my breath what I paid at cost.

“Holy shit, lucky you.” He smiled.

Then I was at Fruitvale and, disembarking, getting ready to ride down the three-day weekend busy streets with side shows happening here, and hookers hanging here, and crack a lack a lack happening there.

“I might have a room,” he said on the message.

“It’s in the Bayview.”

I live in East Oakland, that’s a step up.

I’m down.

When can I move in?

I already know how to get to Rainbow from your house.


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