Sociology

How to Stay Hip while Living in the Suburbs



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Being hip is a state of being that requires intelligence, creativity, an imagination, curiousity and action. Hipness is, far too often, confused with having the money and access to the latest in "hip" uniforms and structured activity. That is just spending money, being high maintenance and following others who take care of the intelligence, imagination curiousity and creativity for other people.

 A person who has true hipness will be hip at the top of an isolated mountain. Of course, the intensive and extensive effort that goes into maintaining appearances and being at the centers of hipness dies down as soon as one find out that looser is much more comfortable than tailored; and that being lower maintenance is just fine when stepping outside of the house.

There is the stigma of the suburb: that the bland housefrau and boring working husband society dictates a kid-centric and limited set of interests, or  that there is a supposed conservatism of activity, ideology and behavior. There are suburbs that are like this, but a wise and truly hip person will look for a more diverse and livelier suburb in the first place. 

Maintaining urban hipness requires getting out of the house, calls for much more driving, and involves finding the local arts or social groups that are hip. There is the commute that is required to get anywhere, but there are plenty of coffee shops, organizations and university hangouts. There is life beyond that which is depicted in the "Desperate Housewives" television series.

In the suburbs, being culturally sophisiticated, working on ones education, showing interest in other cultures and being well travelled is hip. It is common in many suburbs to find neighbors who regularly go to the farthest reaches of the planet, who can tackle the most challenging intellectual subjects, who are incredibly accomplished and who have interests and hobbies that cover the full range of human arts and skills.

The surbanite is the landed gentry. It is exceedingly hip to be the landed gentry and it always has been. But there has always been a divide between those who enjoy life in the country manor and those who are regulars at court. As a happy medium, go to the court from time to time!

Regular visits to the urban centers to visit friends, to attend events and to engage in regular activities are a way to stay connected to the latest in culture, style, creativity and image while enjoying the much easier, more relaxed and more nature-connected life in the suburbs. When children are involved, it is best to keep them regularly acquainted with the city in case they will be required to move back to the city or want to live there when they are grown.

Depending on the suburb, the level of hip can not only be sustained, but new and greater areas of hipness can be discovered. But this development happens only when the individual has the open mind that allows them to understand that a shallow and unimaginative approach to life is the real problem.  There is no real difference between the unimaginative suburbanite and the unimaginative urbanite, there are just different leads that are followed, some of which are categorized as "hip" and some of which are categorized as "unhip". 

In summary, finding the right suburb, using imagination, exercising curiosity, regular visits to the city and relaxing the preconceptions will help to avoid becoming trapped in a boring and uncool suburban neighborhood while being able to stay in touch with urban life. This adds up to maintaining what is hip.


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