“Opening Soon” – The Culinary Tales of Union on Ossington Ave.

September 2, 2008

Teo Paul
Teo Paul Of Union on Ossington Avenue

As Toronto’s Entertainment District is under siege from local government and condo developers who greedily eye the large buildings in the area, and as King West becomes boring, while West Queen West loses its cache, the Ossington strip has become the new hotspot for the bohemian, avant-garde, and the hipster.

One of those making Ossington their home base is chef Teo Paul who will soon be opening the restaurant Union on this strip. He currently has a blog entitled Opening Soon that appears in Toronto Life magazine. He details the struggles of opening his joint and the joys that come with it. It’s worth more than a glance :)

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The Globalisation of Hip

August 15, 2008

“Hip” now moves faster and has more “sameness” thanks to globalisation

We can trot out cliches about globalisation like “the world is a global village” all day long, but in my opinion this current trend can be described as the “great leveler”. Globalisation has seen money move to places where the quickest profits can be made only to see it abandon those places once they found a more profitable location elsewhere. In the meantime, the world is becoming more similar from location to location as people consume the same products, are wearing the same clothes, and are exposed to the same culture.

Globalisation is also affecting Hipster culture as trends now move more quickly and with more force than they once did. Previously what was cool in New York wasn’t necessarily cool in Helsinki….but now what’s cool in Paris can be what’s cool in Buenos Aires in a matter of weeks. Tim Walker explores the globalisation of hip in: Meet the Global Scenster. Here’s an excerpt:

“Trends aren’t transmitted hierarchically, as they used to be,” explains Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, a trend forecasting company. “They’re now transmitted laterally and collaboratively via the internet. You once had a series of gatekeepers in the adoption of a trend: the innovator, the early adopter, the late adopter, the early mainstream, the late mainstream, and finally the conservative. But now it goes straight from the innovator to the mainstream.”

The global scenester stays on top of what’s cool worldwide by reading such urban culture despatches as The Cool Hunter, a blog begun in Sydney four years ago by Bill Tikos, which reports on the hippest fashion, furniture, and design culture. The Cool Hunter has more than 600,000 unique visitors per month, who pore over the contents of its licensed offshoots in the US, UK, Turkey, Italy, China, and Japan. Its global audience allows Tikos to homogenise cool worldwide.

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Do Hipsters Represent the End of History?

August 12, 2008


Hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as the end of civilization

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall Francis Fukuyama opined that the end of the Cold War also represented The End of History as liberal democracy was the only game left in town. Fukuyama later claimed that his thesis was incomplete. So if we’re not at the end of history, where are we?

The fine people at Adbusters are telling us hipsterism represents the end of Western Civilization. Doug Haddow explains:

Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.

But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

Read the rest of the article

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