Tacoma Urbanist

Aug. 20, 2008 at 12:05am

253 *Hipster Wear* Awaits Frost Park Chalkie Victor

This Friday 8/22/2008 is Frost Park Chalk Off Episode XX at noon at 9th and Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.

All are welcome.

What is a Tacoma Hipster?

Left photo : Various alternative band members outside of the infamous "Gloom House," a well recognized hipster hangout.

Right photo
: Well known hipsters outside of Paddy Coynes bathed in an "angelic" effect of my cell phone.

(click on photo for details)

Few words, if any, are as debated in Tacoma as the word "hipster."

A Google search of the words Tacoma and Hipster brings up a great number of results.

The entities groups that use the phase "Hipster" and "Tacoma," according to Google include:

Weekly Volcano
News Tribune
UWT Ledger
Exit 133
Tacoma Art Supply
Urban Xchange

Definition of A Hipster:

From Wikipedia:

Contemporary hipsters are largely associated with leftist or liberal social and political views and sometimes a general appreciation of intellectual pursuits, with an ironic appreciation of lowbrow or lower class culture and subculture. In 2003, Robert Lanham's satirical humor book The Hipster Handbook claimed that hipsters are young people with "...mop-top haircuts, swinging retro pocketbooks, talking on cell phones, smoking European cigarettes,...strutting in platform shoes with a biography of Che Guevara sticking out of their bags."

Comment: Unlike the term "gritty," the term "hipster" is often used in a complimentary or endearing manner.  At the same time, I have never know one to characterize themselves a "hipster."

The use of the term "hipster" has raised controversy as discussed by Blue in Exit 133 and RR Anderson on Feed Tacoma.

Returning Sponsor for Episode XX: Julie Bennett from Urban Xchange

The victor in Chalk Off Episode XX will receive a Tacoma cultural artifact: the last Daniel Blue 253 T shirt sold in the City of Tacoma:

The 253 T-shirts were long ago sold out.  The 253 T shirt for this Friday's contest was taken from a mannequin at Urban Xchange.  Julie sold it to me for a pittance.

The Many Daniel Blue 253 References


Tacomic and photoshop work by RR Anderson, each shows the iconic nature of the 253 Blue reference.

The 253 shirt is nothing less than a contemporary Tacoma cultural relic.    The 253 shirts are most likely Blue's most well known work in Tacoma.

Original Receipt of Authenticity

But how can one determine if the 253 shirt is authentic?  Here's how:

Here's the original tag.
  The left one shows the price while the right has the hand written notation "cons. Daniel blue #3.

The victor of Episode XX will be able to use the 253 shirt in an endless number of ways including:

1) Donning the 253 shirt
.  Any wearer of the 253 shirt acquires an an immediate elevated amount of "street cred" in Tacoma and all of the associated benefits.

2) Selling the 253 shirt at an artistic auction.
  Hard to say what this Tacoma artisit relic would go for at the right auction.   $150?   250?

3) Framing the 253 shirt suitable for hanging.  No better Tacoma cultural trophy than a framed and matted 253 shirt.

4) Incorporating the  shirt into other clothing or an art piece.

comments [23]  |  posted under tacoma


by Erik on 8/20/2008 @ 12:41am
Though not a frequent visitor, Blue is no stranger to Frost Park.

He engaged in one of the original pre-chalking "Take Back the Park" lunch gatherings.

An illustration of Blue was used by RR Anderson in the Art List Serve announcement for Frost Park:

Finally, Andrea sketched Daniel Blue for her entry and even included the 253 digits on the illustration:

Full size:


by intacoma on 8/20/2008 @ 8:25am
lol eriks obsession with hipster, this trend is obviously on its way out since its so mainstream. Which is the anti-hipster.

UrbanXchange has done a great job of tapping in and exploiting this subculture. As with tons and tons of other stores/brands. My favorite part is when hipsters purchase such items at high value to be "in" Also hipsters don't call themselves hipsters, a hipster calling another hipster a hipster is really calling them a poser. Oh dip


by Steph DeRosa on 8/20/2008 @ 9:47am
seriously. Agreed, intacoma. (on the obsession part)

and by the way - "hipster" is originally a pre-"hippie" culture of jazz music, poetry, and coffee spots ala San Fran. "Hippie" actually generated from "hipster" meaning a "baby hipster".

by Steph DeRosa on 8/20/2008 @ 9:47am
but it's cute how you wiki-ed it.

by Erik on 8/20/2008 @ 10:53am
lol eriks obsession with hipster, this trend is obviously on its way out since its so mainstream. Which is the anti-hipster.

It was a fun post to bring so many Tacoma "hipster" references together. In the print media, the Volcano looks to have used it more than any other.

Better than the term "gritty" IMO which basically means dirt.

However, I forgot to include a key Tacomic reference on it.

Here it is:

"Hipster Lunch Crisis"



by AngelaJossy on 8/20/2008 @ 1:22pm
Several years ago Doug "Hometown Celebrity" Mackey called me a scenester in his weekly column in the Volcano. I took it as a compliment.

Different from being a hipster, a scenester doesn't necessarily have to be "hip." , A scenester only has to be there "on the scene."

by Altered Chords on 8/20/2008 @ 1:29pm
Since dirvorcing, a 25 yr old colleague suggested I go to a certain store for jeans and a T-Shirt. These would make me look "hip" Turn me into a "hipster".

The T-Shirts we $130.00 and the jeans were on over $250.

I concluded that wearing them would make me look like one of those old guys trying to look young.

I invested my money in malted barley beverages.

Now, when I go to Frost Park, I wear my work clothes. They are most "un-hip". They are not the clothes I wear when I play music.

Should I change into more "hip" clothing before coming to Frost Park this Friday?

by KevinFreitas on 8/20/2008 @ 1:31pm
@Altered: If you do I'll totally join in. Oh, btw, what is hip?

by NineInchNachos on 8/20/2008 @ 1:34pm
those who embrace their un-hipness automatically become hip.

by Altered Chords on 8/20/2008 @ 1:38pm
Even Tower of Power could not identify the answer.

"what's hip today will someday be passe"

I think that being a "scenester" is hip. No need to invest in expensive clothing, cigarettes, gadgets etc.

by KevinFreitas on 8/20/2008 @ 1:47pm
Good catch on the ToP reference, Altered.

by Altered Chords on 8/20/2008 @ 2:03pm
That's hip right?

by Erik on 8/20/2008 @ 2:05pm
I love Tacoma's hipsters and Frost Park certainly its their share. The more the merrier.

The designation for me was long ago foreclosed though when I found myself once studying differential calculus on a Saturday night in college.

Should I change into more "hip" clothing before coming to Frost Park this Friday? Z

Either way works.

I would not describe most of the Chalk Off Challengers as hipsters though. They are more like X Men, just as Stowe portrays, each with a well designed and deliberate persona and each in command of the corner of their own world with adoring fans.

by tacomachickadee on 8/20/2008 @ 2:25pm
Dude. In Tacoma, gritty is not a bad word. We are Gritty Tacomans and proud of it. Just ask Sonja ...

And I don't think Andrea purposefully drew Daniel those many weeks ago ... at least I seem to recall her mentioning that the reference was accidental. (Andrea was still pretty new to Frost Park and the Tacoma scene at the time ... so seems quite likely.) Am I remembering wrong?

by Erik on 8/20/2008 @ 2:33pm
And I don't think Andrea purposefully drew Daniel those many weeks ago

One can never know the subjective mind of an artist.

Yet, she does name her piece "Blue Man" and puts tags of Daniel Blue on her flickr account for her photo of the piece.


But who knows, perhaps she unintentionally "channeled" him through the creative process and added the description later. I am not sure it matters.

At any rate, Daniel seemed to like the piece later when we showed him at BW during a prize transfer event and was even a bit flattered.

by tacomachickadee on 8/20/2008 @ 2:40pm
I'm probably imagining things. I blame mama brain ...

But my main point: Gritty ain't a bad word in T-town.

Think more on the "showing resolution and fortitude; plucky" side of the definition.

by intacoma on 8/20/2008 @ 3:17pm
I hope this trend takes off in Tacoma

by Altered Chords on 8/20/2008 @ 3:21pm
The lenghths people go to in order to look attractive.

What did those outfits cost?

by BikeMonthIntern on 8/20/2008 @ 3:45pm
Hi Erik, I'd really like to talk to you about the Downtown on the Go! campaign sponsoring a Chalk Off Episode. If you would send me an email at ekaster@cityoftacoma.org I'd like to hear more about becoming a sponsor and tell you our ideas.



by urbanX on 8/21/2008 @ 12:07am
i love the phrase "ironic appreciation" in the definition. How do you appreciate something ironically?
um....i guess the photo of daniel is part two of the cover art featuring him carrying a cross?
W.W.D.D.? W.T.F.?

by urbanX on 8/21/2008 @ 12:08am
yay for people over 40! Mike Ott is in the foggy picture...i you sure it wasn't a "drunken haze" that would be very gritty.....

by Erik on 9/25/2009 @ 12:29am
I just saw "this" tat on Facebook someone got:

by intacoma on 9/25/2009 @ 7:06am