iPhone apps for the urban hipster

Oct 20, 2010
Shine

Like sports fans or teenagers, urban hipsters have their own favorite territory: thrift and coffee shops, indie rock concerts and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. As with all stereotypes, the ones referred to in this list don’t apply to every “hipster,” and some might sound like sweeping generalizations, but nevertheless, the legend that is urban hipsterism is not […]

Like sports fans or teenagers, urban hipsters have their own favorite territory: thrift and coffee shops, indie rock concerts and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. As with all stereotypes, the ones referred to in this list don’t apply to every “hipster,” and some might sound like sweeping generalizations, but nevertheless, the legend that is urban hipsterism is not made up, as these apps demonstrate.

ThriftBuddy (Free)

The first thing I did when opening up the ThriftBuddy app was search for nearby locations. It told me of the Salvation Army around the corner, of another one in the next town, and then loads more I’d never heard of, or had overlooked. The list it pulled up extended as far as the Bronx, New Jersey and even Long Island. There were so many thrift stores mentioned, I couldn’t have hit them all in a day if I tried… maybe not even in a week! Upon clicking on each different store, the address, phone number, store hours and distance from my current location came up. You can also upgrade to the pro version of ThriftBuddy to gain access to a shopping list, “trip plans” and more.

VegOut – Vegetarian Restaurant Guide ($2.99)

If you’re a vegetarian, the VegOut app will appeal to you for obvious reasons. But even hipsters who aren’t vegetarians are forced to alter their diets to make them animal-free on occasion — whether for a girlfriend or boyfriend, at a group potluck or out to dinner with vegan friends. This vegetarian restaurant guide processes your location, and within seconds presents you with an extensive list of veggie havens nearby. From inside my apartment, my iPod Touch brought up 161 restaurants that were either vegetarian, vegan or veg-friendly. And each spot I clicked on provided a list of essential information about itself like phone/address, web site, price and details, which led to reviews at HappyCow.net.

Free WiFi Coffee Shops ($2.99)

What do hipsters care about more than WiFi (bonus if it’s free) and coffee? Almost nothing. Well, possibly records or musical instruments or copies of books their friends have written, but it’s a close call. Using your home address or current location, the Free WiFi Coffee Shops app searches your immediate neighborhood, and finds out just where you can access the Internet free when you need to. Some of the info felt a bit outdated — the Greenpoint Coffee House, which is listed here, does not exist anymore (though they did used to have free WiFi) — but I was happy to find out Brooklyn Label has free Internet. I had always wondered and, well, I like their coffee.

Music Map: Indie Rock ($1.99)

Indie rock music is a hipster cliche, and with good reason. Without it, hipsters would have no shows to go to, no clothing styles to emulate, and no guitar solos, vocal patterns and distortion-heavy playing techniques to influence their own bands. With the Music Map: Indie Rock app, you choose a region and you get an instant selection of indie songs from the area selected; or you pick the Top 100, which, as you can probably guess, plays the top indie songs for your listening ears. Discover new bands or be reminded of old favorites like: Magnolia Electric Co., Harlem and Why?.

Bedbugs ‘n Things (99 cents)

If you live in an urban hipster-friendly neighborhood in any city worth stopping at on a road trip, you or one of your friends have had bedbugs at some point (probably somewhat recently). The price you pay for those unbeatable thrift store finds… sigh. Seriously though, as this week’s issue of New York magazine points out, vintage stores aren’t necessarily worse than regular stores; in fact, it’s the latter that have been popping up in the news lately as culprits. But either way, taking the right precautions — vintage store, new hipster boutique or neither — is imperative, and this app helps you do that. With Bedbugs ‘n Things, you can check out the Bug ID, which includes pictures of bugs in question, descriptions of what each looks like and where to find them. This app also includes a bite checker — photos of what all bites look like; treatments, which gets into methods of prevention, how to ditch said bugs if you have them, and how to avoid bug issues when traveling.

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Jesse Sposato

Jesse Sposato is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, and one of the founders and editors of Sadie Magazine, an online counter-culture magazine for young women.

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