Jen Clarke

Content + Strategy + Social

Memphis: so hipster even our water is underground

Originally posted March 13, 2013 at

I got an email yesterday about’s ranking of the least and most hipster cities in the country. Usually, I roll my eyes and think “Oh great, another one of these.” But this morning during yoga class, when I was supposed to be getting deep within myself, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Sure, Memphis may never be tops at putting birds on things or labeling things “artisan” but we’ve got a few things going for us.

1. Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

Mayor Wharton is the middle-aged guy at the rock show. You know the guy: he’s in the back, wearing a leather jacket that was vintage when he bought it 20 years ago, not talking to anyone. You feel a sense of self-satisfaction knowing that if the band is cool enough for him, you’re cool just because you’re in the same room. He may not be young like other “hipster mayors,” but he’s tuned in to the generation that’s taking ownership of the city. And his name is just two letters with a space between them!

2. Goner

Movoto’s ranking includes number of vinyl stores per capita. Well, Memphis may not have the most (especially when you leave out some of the hush-hush spots where the real audiophiles shop), we have the best. You’ll find Shangri-La on most of the “Best Record Stores in the U.S.” listicles that pop up around Record Store Day. And it’s true. But Goner is more than a record store. It’s more than Ex-Cult and Harlan T. Bobo and Ty Segall and Quintron and The Barbaras. It’s even more than Gonerfest. Just… search Google Images for “goner tattoo”. Get it now?

3. Our Memphis Grizzlies

The NBA team that’s currently third place in the West? You probably haven’t heard of them. While fans and media were busy diagramming Dwight Howard’s sentences and drawing fluid from Carmelo Anthony’s knee Memphis’ grittin’ grindin’ Grizzlies quietly stacked up 13 wins in 14 games. The Grizz are so underrated we don’t even have a bandwagon. The team’s got so many owners you’d think it was funded by Kickstarter. When the Grizzlies do get recognized, it’s for theiramazing taste in music.

4. Artisan? More like artesian.

We get designer water straight from the tap. That’s 100% savings on packaging costs, so it’s totally eco-friendly.  It makes everything taste better, from our homebrews to our pizza crust. Sup foodies?