Paris - New York (bis)

January 26, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

“How do you say hipster in French?” I asked yesterday. Now I know.

Much thanks to le formidable Baptiste Coulmont (my main man / my name man), who steered me to the source, graphics designer Vahram Muratyan.  Here is the counterpart to yesterday’s map – French quartiers mapped onto New York geography.

Both are from Muratyan’s book Paris Versus New York – a Tally of Two Cities (more info and posters here).  You can also get several of these graphics as posters.  Like this

An exhibit will be opening soon (Feb. 2) at the Shop at the Standard in Greenwich Village (St. Germain-des-Pres).


PCM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PCM said...

Sorry to be not clear. But is hipster in French "la barbe" or "un bobo"? Seriously. My interest in hipsters could be fodder for a book. My knowledge of french is zero.

Jay Livingston said...

La Barbe is the beard. The idea is that in Paris a beard is worn by a bobo, in NYC by a hipster. At first, I thought a bobo was the Parisian equivalent of a hipster. Now I'm not so sure. I'll have to find some Parisian sources to consult. I may try to get to that opening -- surely there will be some good informants in attendance.

I think that a couple of decades ago, the "bcbg" of Paris were sort of like the "yuppies" of the US, but also different. BCBG did not carry the same negative connotation. (Nobody would open or store or line of clothing called Yuppie.) So maybe it's the same for bobo/hipster. Look at the other graphic -- a glass of Bordeaux and a Cosmopolitan may both be drunk as an aperitif, but they are not the same.

What I find interesting -- and this is also in response to Anonymous's comment on the previous post -- is that similar new social types emerge in different societies. Also that similar cultural areas emerge in different cities and may often have a similar geographic relation to one another even though the cities are geographically very different.

Anonymous said...

-A hipster is called a "hipster" with a French accent.
-A "bobo" is short for "bohemian bourgeois". This is what hipsters become after 35 and have children and more money.
-"BCBG" is short for "bon chic bon genre" which would be closer to yuppie and from old money.