The time has come. You’ve entered college for the first time and you’re ready to stake out your new identity. You will transform, and gone will be the hopelessly un-hip nerd of your high school days. But no frat or sorority for you, my friend. When you shed your old geeky identity, in its place shall stand a plugged-in, with-it hep cat who only listens to the coolest music that nobody’s ever heard of, who rides the Albuquerque scene like an undulating wave and who is honestly, seriously thinking about buying a unicycle.
We here at the Alibi get it because we’ve been there. We want to help you become the uber-hipster of your dreams, and that’s why we’ve put together this survival guide of everything you’re going to need to get you started. Before you know it, you’ll be sneering at the masses with the best of us.
Sure, you can download the entire Western music canon onto your iPhone, but vinyl, man. It’s just such a warmer medium with an organic feel to it. Look at those spinning grooves; feel the heft of an imprinted disc. Plus, you’ve got to admit, the album-sized art is way cooler to look at. And can you really consider music yours if you don’t have to clean the cat hair off of it every once in a while? And hey, maybe someday you’ll even buy a turntable and listen to the damn things.
As the male peacock must spread his iridescent feathers to alert the world to his resplendent presence, so too must the male hipster maintain and shape a magnificent man-stache. You will need a carbon steel straight razor (no safety blades or, God forbid, cartridges for you) and its accoutrements (badger bristled brush and leather strop) to groom it perfectly, and then a dab of mustache wax to twizzle its ends into lady-killing horns. All of this is available at Model Pharmacy.
And the ladies need not feel left out. Model also offers eyebrow pencils, so you can perfect your Frida Kahlo look.
Not only is it a good way to keep your fashion just the right kind of retro, but shopping at vintage stores ensures that you’re not directly supporting the sweatshop garment industry. Plus, where else are you going to get a Captain Bucky O’Hare t-shirt and a crushed velvet dress for less than $20?
Let the technorati have their Kindles; a true hipster knows the only way to read J.G. Ballard is via a pocket-sized paperback nestled in one’s corduroy jacket. Used bookstores are getting harder to come by in the University area, but there are still a few clinging to survival. Bird Song specializes in sci-fi and literature, Book Stop focuses on the antiquarian, and the Book Case has ... well, who knows, but it’s always fun to browse through those teetering stacks.
The world needs more locally minded shoppers, and food is one of the best ways to put your money where your mouth is. La Montañita Co-op has been serving up organic, all natural and locally sourced foods for nearly 40 years, and it’s just a quick moped ride from campus. Also, make sure you check out the many, many growers markets in town (see downtowngrowers.com for more information).
We know that you’ll still sneak off to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and that’s okay. But you’re going to have to learn to sneer at mainstream tastes, and part of that is expanding your horizons into the world of foreign and independent film. With just a quick stroll down Central, you’ll find yourself at the storied Guild Theater, Albuquerque’s last remaining commercial art house cinema. Who cares what’s playing? It’s bound to be good, so pay your money at the door, stroll on in and let the vérité sweep over you.
Behold the ukulele, the official stringed instrument of hipsterdom. Some plucks and some strumming and suddenly you’re serenading with a Hawaiian lilt. Can it play a ballad? Can it play folk? Can it play rock? Yes, yes and yes! And there’s always tiptoeing through the tulips. Marc’s Guitar Center, right across the street from UNM, offers both the instrument and lessons to get you started.
Sure, you could purchase a bicycle like any normal human being would, but what about a unicycle? It’s kind of like a bike, but way less stable. And fast. And safe. But think how cool you’ll look! That’s the word, right? Cool? And lucky you, the Bike Coop, only a few blocks from campus, offers several models for sale. So there, mom.