What exactly is a hipster? Are they defined by where they live in the city (Mission, Lower Haight, the ‘Loin)? By how they dress and look (skin-tight jeans, thrift store finds, dirty, greasy hair)? Or their behavior (smoking, drinking PBR, hanging out in the middle of the day in Dolores Park, riding fixies)? All of the above?

Andrew Leonard at the California Beat set out to find the answer to this niggling question. The resulting search was more difficult than it seemed. He searched high and low and even interviewed the bag-check lady at Thrift Town (a hipster Mecca of sorts), Debbie Olivero, about what she thought defined a hipster. And even she couldn’t quite give a clear answer.

But as Leonard writes, “In general, a hipster’s attitude can be described as faux apathetic, someone who wants to be unique but swims in a sea among many other counter-culture individuals. . .Hipsters, however we define them, have likely brought money into the Mission, helping keep afloat any number of dive bars, cafes, and excellent burrito shops.”

Well, at least that’s something.

For more, check out Leonard’s piece here.

Photo credit: Andrew Leonard/California Beat