Yes, it’s hip to be square in Somerville

hipsterSomerville residents are, by far, the hippiest in America. At least, that’s what author Carrie Russell says.

In her blog post, Russell, who penned Drowning Cactus, a book slotted for release later this summer and partially based in the ‘Ville, states that Somerville — and not San Francisco, Los Angeles or even Seattle — is the hippiest city in America.

She makes it clear that this is nothing but her opinion, even if the oh-so ironic blog post is titled “New Study Names Hippest city in America.”


“The facts in this post may or may not be strictly statistically accurate but instead are based on standards methods of casual observation,” she writes. “Statistics are for nerds. Hipsters rely on bold inference.”

Critics will bash Russell, though, for the fact she is not even a Somerville resident. The author is currently a Pennsylvania resident and studied at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard Universities, making her a former Cantabrigian.

But, if she doesn’t live in Somerville, where did she get all those observations, then? Well, as it turns out, Drowning Cactus partially takes place in Somerville. Therefore, the author knows a thing or two about the city.

But, also, her facebook feed is always exploding with Somerville’s hippiest.

“I keep seeing Facebook posts from friends there who have just come from a potluck dinner with the mayor or attended a Marshmallow Fluff Fest,” she says. “Supporters of public transportation, rescue kittens and the arts dominate this fiercely vibrant city in Massachusetts.”

Even if major media outlets don’t necessarily agree with Russell (Somerville wasn’t even close to Forbes’ top 20 list), she found some support in the commentaries of her blog post. “From Somerville-born and raised, I always knew we were ‘hip’,” writes Jackie Vargus.

She did find some criticism, too.

“How are Cambridge or Allston less hip than Somerville?,” asked an anonymous commenter. Yet another anonymous commenter was a bit harsher.

“As someone who has lived in Somerville, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. This blog post is just silly,” comments the reader. “The metrics being used to test ‘hip’ are so 2000 and late, it’s insane. Each of these cities has something great to offer but let’s not mistake Somerville’s ability to replicate the cool things that were happening a decade ago in other locations for ‘hipness’ today.”

Maybe there isn’t a study per se that shows Somerville as a very hip city. Perhaps, some of us don’t necessarily feel hip. But the fact the young writer thought we were hip should already say something.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have a potluck dinner with the mayor to attend. –Lucas Parolin

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