Hipsters R Us?

  • Article by: KIM PALMER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 16, 2011 - 11:40 AM

One Web watcher says Minnesota is No. 1 when it comes to being hip.

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It's not Minnesota Nice to toot your own horn. So we'll do it for you. You, Minnesotans, are the hippest people in America.

Says who? BuzzFeed (www.buzzfeed.com), a website that tracks online activity, recently declared us the top "hipster state."

What makes us so hip? Well, apparently we spend a lot of time online searching "hipster"-related topics.

If that sounds a little more like wannabe hipness than the real thing, Chris Menning understands. He's the BuzzFeed viral media researcher who bestowed us with top hipster honors. But other hip hotspots, such as Portland, Ore., and the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York, also posted high numbers, leading Menning to conclude that Minnesota truly is hipster heaven. And we've got the live theater, bike trails, co-ops/farmers markets and folks sporting the "lumberjack look" to prove it.

Menning has firsthand experience with Minnesota Hip, having lived all over the state before moving to New York (No. 2 in hipness) last year. The term "hipster" has become one of "derision and insult," he said, but "it's time to fight back against that. It's not something to be ashamed of. So what if I ride my bike and buy organic groceries?"

Andrew Miller, who moved from Portland (No. 3), to Minneapolis last year, doesn't buy that Minnesota is the nation's hipster capital. "Not even close," he said. "And I mean that in a good way."

Oregonian hipsters are more image-conscious, he said. "There's a defined style of dress, musical preferences, even down to diet: a hipster is vegan and drinks PBR [Pabst Blue Ribbon beer]. There's certainly a hipster culture [in Minnesota] but people are much more open-minded about it. It's not in your face."

Here, you don't even have to be young and edgy to make the scene.

"As a 50-plus white male suburban dweller, no one is going to mistake me for a 'hipster,'" said Robert Moffitt, who lives in Blaine. "But I do enjoy visits to the 331 Club in northeast Minneapolis, Art-a-Whirl, the artwork of Adam Turman and a good local craft beer. So, yes, it's a good thing."

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