1. They take day trips.
Ah, the day trippers. Columbia road is a-full of them. See also: Brick Lane; Broadway market and increasingly the Dolphin. The logic normally goes something like this: ‘ah, see how hip and happening east London is. Let’s go this weekend. Where shall we go?’ (Note: I’m not even including Shoreditch in this. Shoreditch is East London’s bastard son. It can be all right during the week, but during the weekend you’d sell your own mother to get the hell out of there).
And so they descend on East London. They’re read the Time Out piece on the Dolphin and they’ve followed it on Twitter, or whatever, so they boys don’t shave for a couple of days and the girls carefully crayon on a statement lip and a flicky eye and they hop on the 55 to Hackney after work and arrive at the Dolphin way ahead of time.
On Sundays they may Boris bike it up to Columbia Road and take pictures of all of the flower sellers to put on their Instagram. Or if they’re particularly adventurous they’ll go hang in London Fields and try to ignore the people keying ket next to them and then maybe buy a cheeky balloon off the black guys that sell laughing gas in the fields. They’ll round it off with an overpriced meal at some pizza joint they read about on Thrill List and then they’ll feel like they’ve ‘done’ East London for the weekend
2. They’re usually in a smug couple
Ok, so I recognise the smug couple phenomenon is not unique to Time Out Hipsters, and you can normally spot endless fucking smug couples walking their tiny dogs around Stoke Newington with an Observer tucked under their arms.
But Time Out hipsters are normally more coordinated than normal hipster couples. Time Out hipsters book their shit way in advance. They have their shit sorted. They’ve got their tickets for Somerset House screenings, and they’ve booked their week in Corfu way ahead of time. They do not turn up at airports sounding like they have a speech impediment due to an unfortunate and unplanned pre-holiday night in Fabric. They’re also probably in a Facebook relationship, which is something no self-respecting hipster worth their salt would ever do (why advertise you’re off the market?)
3. They have money
This one is entirely self explanatory. No loitering outside doors pleading your case for guestlist to unconcerned bouncers. No way. These guys just saunter straight in. Mind you, they probably bought their tickets on like 5th release on RA and paid like fifty quid, so who’s really winning here?
4. They eat food at festivals and drink alcohol in nightclubs
See that guy buying a round of sambucas at the bar in Fabric? Chances are that he’s a Time Out hipster. See that lithe, long-legged girl in the perfectly matchy-matchy denim cut offs standing on the roof of Netil House? What’s wrong with this image- she looks like a regular Hackney local, right?
Wrong. What’s wrong is that she is eating a hot dog. Hipsters do not eat on nights/days out. It’s just not done. I’ll leave you to guess why, but suffice to say hot dogs aren’t usually top of your list when you’ve taken a Sunday afternoon pill on the roof of some converted industrial estate close to Cambridge Heath or whatever.
5. They take pictures of their nights out and put them on Facebook.
Me and my friends- we have a ‘private album’. No one can ever see the private album. The private album consists of such gems as when my friend Kareem thought it would be a funny idea to throw a pint glass of water at Irish wan at a house party, and other visual delights. The pictures are poorly lit. We emerge out of them, bug eyed and with mascara smudges on our cheeks, grinning in dark nightclubs or occasionally snapped eating a Calippo on a Sunday afternoon bus of shame home following an after party.
No one wants to see that shit.
Time Out hipsters, however, take photos on nights out. Even better if there’s fancy dress involved. Time Out hipsters love a bit of fancy dress. Blitz parties and shit like that – any excuse to tag a couple of photos of yourself on Facebook. If you looked at a Time Out hipsters profile you’d think they went clubbing all the time (always in oddly well lit clubs). A Hackney hipster- well, you’d think they never went out. And that’s how it should stay. You never know who’s on your Facebook page.
Finally, I want to say one thing. You can normally spot a Time Out Hipster because, underneath it all, they’re not a dick. Which is definitely more than can be said for a lot of people living in Hackney. So be kind to the Time Out Hipsters, okay? Cut them some slack. They’re just trying to be cool, like the rest of us.
This piece first appeared on The Dalston Years