Friday, February 1, 2013

Hipster Bread Lines

This morning I walked around the corner (so exciting after nearly three months driving to get anywhere in LA) to get a cup of coffee and a croissant when I encountered a line out the door of the popular French bakery on Fulton.

This is a sight that's not at all uncommon in Brooklyn or gentrified neighborhoods anywhere in New York. When I told a friend about this--as a way of explaining why I was a few minutes late--she laughed. "I call that the 'hipster bread line,'" she said laughing. In her Bed-Stuy neighborhood, there is a sandwich shop that always has a line that extends halfway down the block. She has never tried it and does not know what all the fuss is all about.

Real bread lines are certainly no laughing matter, especially in this woeful economy where so many have been forced to turn to soup kitchens and food banks to supplement their diets. The hipster bread line, however, is not the result of dire need but of affluence and selectiveness. It is the most privileged of bread lines. And also the most tattooed.

Yet in mocking this queu, I also mock myself. I stood in that line instead of getting on the bus and buying my coffee at the Starbucks near my destination. I chose being late over drinking highly acidic over-brewed coffee. (It really is a bit sad that opting not to buy a 2+ dollar cup of coffee is the pretentious choice in this scenario.) My hope is that in the coming year, the only people I see standing in line for food are those like me--picky and snobbish--not needy and underserved. 

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