All of our friends and friends’ friends are such losers. We sent an intern to Manhattan to see if anyone there could tell us where the cool people are.
Jebediah Hudson III, backpacker: I’m wearing a bowtie. Hell if I know.
Bezil, Jamaican teenager hanging out in Union Square: Union Square.
What’s a cool person?
Cool people to me are people who are chill and don’t argue or fight. They can handle their own battles. They have friends. They don’t always hang out with you but go hang out with other people. People that smoke and get girls. (Long pause after he realizes our intern sounds pretty gay.) Or boys.
Lauren, visiting Manhattan from Portland, Oregon: They’re at new places, figuring out new things. You know—digging, exploration, and wonder.
Elisya, lives in Queens: I don’t know. I feel like they’re in Williamsburg. I mean I don’t really hang out there, but I feel like that’s where most people chill these days.
I guess you’re not cool then.
Leve, visiting Manhattan from Norway: Williamsburg.
OK. Clearly, the trail is leading us back to Williamsburg, near our office. Are the people in Williamsburg cool, or do they at least know where the cool people are?
Anne, moved to Williamsburg from New Jersey: The really hip jive bars. It has to be really hipster. Everything has to be flawless: the walls, the paintings. Well, things can be crooked, but in like an artistic slant.
Who are the cool people?
The cool people are the people with swag. They walk down the street like they own everything, and they pretend not to know that you’re there. They just walk on doing what they do.
Arthur, moved to Williamsburg from Upstate New York: That’s a terrible question.
Kate, moved to Williamsburg from Wisconsin: I think there’s levels of cool.
What are the levels of cool?
Kate: I don’t mean levels of cool in a horizontal way.
Arthur: You realize anything you say is going to sound awful on paper?
Kate: In the horizontality of coolness and who thinks what’s cool, I have to say I dropped by the Ace Hotel yesterday. It was like the Mecca of ultra cool, but in a way of cool that’s not cool in the circle of cool I’m from.
What circle of cool are you from?
Kate: The other day I was at the Boatel with my friend, which is cool, underground-art-weirdo cool. My friend brought up that Google has bought space, and on the second or third floor it’s gonna be a dog park. So there’s Google cool, where Google’s like, “You know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna do something crazy.”
Arthur: There has to be a cool that’s not style or community specific.
Kate: Well at the Boatel, the other guy was like, “That’s stupid.” I just feel like—maybe cool is based on socioeconomic factors.
But where are the cool people?
Monster, New York City native: The cool people? Actually, the cool people have all left New York now that I think about it.
Previously - Are Trees the Earth’s Hair?