Silverlake is the Brooklyn of Los Angeles. Hipsters in skinny jeans took over apartments and opened boutiques, determined to make the place their own. Like Brooklyn, the new residents ignored the neighborhood's checkered past and redefined it as a subculture mecca, for good or for Pabst Blue Ribbon.
I sometimes felt like an outsider shopping at these boutiques, as if wearing a fanny pack only they could see. The aloof shop girls and boys were pin thin, had perfectly mussed hair and were always listening to an indie band that was 3 months ahead of my own natural discovery. I on the other hand eat gluten, have shiny hair and still like The Shins.
Well, the economy has rocked even this stalwart Indier-Than-Thou scene. Boutiques are struggling, and instead of peering at one another like nosy neighbors to see who falls first, they have decided to band together. Los Feliz and Silverlake shops set up booths and threw a Recessionista party! There was an open bar, a DJ and heart-stoppingly low prices. As I perused aisle after aisle of reinvented vintage and owl pins made of felt, I felt the love between the once-competitive designers. As the free liquor flowed, there was much, "I've always admired your knitwear," and "I have been jealous of your window displays for years!"
It was nice. Or maybe it was my armful of $4 tees from Blood is the New Black. Regardless, they are learning to love thy neighbor, and their community rushed out to love thy sale. These hipsters are hell-bent on making their neighborhood thrive so they can once again peer at us civilians with the fanny packs only they can see.