Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm no hipster...

After three long hours of kid-wrangling at a car dealership yesterday, J and I decided to reward ourselves with a couple of great take-away coffees on the way home. We were passing through Old Pasadena, where Intelligentsia is, and it had been a while since we last treated ourselves.

J sat with the kids in the car while I ran in to grab the coffees. The queue was out the door - longer than I'd ever seen it. As I waited, I did some people-watching. This is a favourite past time of mine, and one that I don't have the luxury of doing much of these days.

Watching the baristas, and the majority of customers, was a little like being at the zoo.

You see, I'm no hipster (I have countless photos to prove this). They were.

They were achingly hip. Effortlessly groovy hair? Check. Tattoos nicely hinted at? Check. Funky outfits? Check. The latest in Apple technology on display? Check. Small offspring perfectly accessorised in vintage gear? Check.

We sometimes get a coffee from Intelligentsia because they make such damn good coffee. Coffee that almost gives you a religious experience.

We don't go there for the vibe. The vibe doesn't excite me. The baristas take themselves just a little too seriously.

Anyhow. I was waiting in the line, people-watching, when a song came over the speakers. A song that sounded so familiar, and one that I'd heard a few times recently. I was trying to figure out how I knew this music, when it suddenly came to me:

I tell you, it took all of my restraint not to laugh out loud. Portlandia is a new show that I've been watching, and have fallen in love with. It's incredibly funny, and pokes a lot of fun at the various groovy, alternative cultures within Portland.

Although the show is set and filmed in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, it's not mocking Portland itself. It's a show which could be set within just about any Western city. It would work just as easily if it were set in Sydney's Newtown, or Brighton in the UK, to name a few places. For the record, I've been to Portland, adored it, and have some wonderful friends who live there.

But how I love this show. It's delicious. It's clever. Some of the characters are so 'wrong' that I'm transported back a decade, when I used to watch The League of Gentlemen (in my opinion, one of the best dark comedies ever) and was pushed far outside my comfort zone. 

So, standing in line for my coffee, people-watching the hipsters, hearing the music, thinking of Portlandia and how fitting the music was... it was one of those moments where I wished more than anything I had J right beside me. He would have got it. He would have known why I was about to explode into giggles. When I was back in the car, coffees in hand, he laughed as soon as I mentioned which piece of music had been playing inside.

He totally had the same thoughts... and that's why I adore him.

For now? I'll leave you with a clip about my new favourite TV show:


  1. Oh, I love that! I so wish J had been there, too. But then, he didn't need to be. He got it anyway. I fucking love that.

    For what it's worth, I think you two make an incredibly hip couple. And your daughters? The ultimate funky accessories!

  2. I'm with Ange. I think you would have fit right in.

    I have to see this show. It sounds right up my alley.

  3. I beg to differ, ladies... but thank you.

    Mel, you would love Portlandia. Sketches with the main characters all played by the same two people. Gender is no barrier. Sound familiar?

  4. Are you talking about Old Pasadena near Glendale? Our first house was there! Are in you LA?

  5. Yep, I'm in LA - in Glendale, no less!

    Old Pasadena has been more of a recent discovery for us... it's a lovely area. If it didn't mean such a long bike ride for J to work (in Glendale), we'd consider moving to Pasadena.

  6. Oh my God, you mean ... like Little Britain?

    I'm sure you haven't noticed this but I love Emily Howard.

    (Are there many little old ladies in Pasadena?)


    My favorite scene so far? The student who comes into the bookstore and asks for a book that is clearly sitting on an upper shelf. The employees insist as they flap at the book with ineffective hands that they "can't quite reach it."


    And Aimee Mann as the maid?

    And the dumpster diving couple?

    And the Anime coffeehouse spoof?

    So much to love.

    Happy sighs.

    Love that show.

    Plus also? I live just outside of Portland. In case that wasn't clear. Snort!

  8. Just last weekend a friend made me watch the song from that show and it was SO hilarious! I seriously must start watching!

  9. Mel - yes... kind of a Northwest Pacific version of Little Britain. It has a nice quirk to it, so see if you can get you hands on it :)

  10. Kris - the scene you described had me in stitches too! And I loved the Anime sketch, because I love all things Japanese (but that's another story).

    The raging cyclist always makes me laugh. There are so many cyclists like that in Sydney.

    I knew you live near Portland, that was clear ;)

    Thanks for coming!

  11. Sorry, I didn't see your comment, Megan! Yes, the dream of the 90s is alive in Portland... so funny! That clip gave flashbacks to my university days ;)

  12. Love it! And sooo love that J 'got' it too, even though he wasn't there at the time. Awesome. You guys are great xx