I’d like to start of the Chicago portion of this process with this fun fact about Chicago: according to some Chi-town residents, Chicago is not called the windy city because it is next to a giant and crazy amazing beautiful lake which causes great winds but because of the hot air of the politicians. All I have to say about that, is politicians are windy everywhere. But not every city has a ginormous, bluer than the bluest blue, lake of wonder.

Lake Michigan

Only Mildly Edited for Instagram!

After a long journey between the abysses (plural of abyss? I don’t know.) that are Ohio and Indiana, in which I listened to hours upon hours of some sort of true crime show on XM radio, I made it to Chicago right during rush hour. Nothing like a rush hour when your bladder is full, am I right? My goal for the day was to make it to Chicago with enough time to settle into my friend Sean’s home and then speed off to an improv show at The iO Theater. I was lucky enough to see Bunk Seven, a Harold team comprised of several talented individuals including a few buds of mine from the olde Temple U days. I used to watch these kids perform in sketch and improv all the time back in the day and it was really exciting to see how they had improved in their craft over the years. If you’re in Chicago and searching for a good improv show. I’d head over to iO.

The first half of Saturday I spent cruising Lake Michigan with My Sweet Genevieve. I’ve definitely got a thing for bodies of water, when I travel I always try to hit one up, but Lake Michigan may have marked it’s space in my heart as my favorite. I spent most of the time at Lake Michigan just wandering Lake Shore Drive but I did spot a delightful trapeze school and Belmont Harbor Dog Beach. Aaaand parking was free between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Magical place, Chicago.

Belmont Harbor Beach

The one on the left is kept trying to mount everybody.

The next half of I headed over to Evanston, where Northwestern University is located, to meet an old high school buddy who I hadn’t seen in five years after we got into a small fight over nothing and I told him “I would never speak to him ever again”, Joel. Apparently when I need a place to stay, I’ll forgive anything. We walked around the cute little town where there was some sort of art festival.  Apparently, in the few months that it’s warm in Chicago, there are a lot of art festivals in Evanston so if you’re headed that way, take a gander. It’s also worthwhile to head to Evanston for the cute shops/restaurants and beautiful Northwestern campus. While I was walking through there I couldn’t help but think “this could have been my life…why didn’t I transfer to Northwestern when Joel did? I’m a fool.” But then I remembered that Chicago is freezing and everyone here thinks they are the next Tina Fey and I decided Philly had been a good choice of place to grow into the fledgling adult I am today. Besides, Tina is from the Philly area so if I want to be the next “her” I’m just as on track as the Chicago kids.

The next day Genny and I headed to brunch at Tweet, near my one true love Lake Michigan, with some Chicago buddies and the lady who would be joining us on the rest of our travels, Christine. Tweet was everything: the decor was cuter than a place Cinderella would spruce up, the food was yum yum, and the cocktails were works of art. Meanwhile, the staff was really accomodating, allowing a gazillion of us to sit outside at a huge table and providing complimentary coffee while we waited to be seated.  The only downside was that Genny had to sit on the outside of the gated seated area, something her anxiety-ridden little brain could not handle. She spent most of the meal whining at me with her paws propped up on a flower basket attached to the iron fence.

Flower Pup

Like so.

After brunch, Christine and I stopped by Lake Michigan for a brief photo-taking session and then went on to Wicker Park.  Everybody told us Wicker Park was cool, so we went for it. And it was pretty cool. The actual park at Wicker Park is nice and it’s fun to walk in a specific neighborhood in a city because I like the ungodly combo of people-watching/architecture. I was slightly disappointed that most of the stores seemed like chains, but who am I to make comments about window-shopping? The only snag in our little Wicker Park journey was was that we missed The 606, which is an abandoned railroad track turned aboveground park. Right after I returned from Wicker Park, one of my friends informed me this park existed and I was sad. So sad.

That night Joel took me out with his Chitown buddies to Rosa’s Lounge, a jazz and blues club.  I had been told that Green Mill Cocktail Lounge was the jazz venue I wanted to see, once frequented by personal heroes of mine such as Al Capone, So at first I was a little bummed we were going to some place I had never heard of. I proceeded to get more grouchy when the cover charge was $20 when it is usually $12. But they served $15 pitchers of Stella and the music just got better and better as the night went on. The crowd was whacky: full of locals who have been going to the bar for decades, couples who were making dance babies on the floor, and the occaisonal crew of young music enthusiasts such as ourselves. The bartenders seem to know everyone at the bar and I ended up getting a free shot from one of them for some reason.  Around 2 in the morning after dancing for an hour straight to the riveting tones of a man who sounded a lot like an Evangelical minister, we decided it might be time to finish the night. I later found out you aren’t allowed to speak at all during the sets at Green Mill, so in hindsight I’m pretty stoked on Rosa’s.

This is a video I found on Rosa’s website

The next morning, after falling asleep at the ungodly hour of 4 AM, I woke up at the even ungodlier hour of 8:30 to pick up Christine and make our way to Omaha, where we have a friend in medical school. Im going to just throw at this pro-tip that driving in unfamiliar traffic when you are exhausted is not actually the best idea. At one point I made a grievious traffic error in which the backseat of my car toppled onto Genevieve after a very ferocious jolt. Thank G-d my veterinarian prescribed the pup some Xanax or she would have heavy-breathed her way across America after a seat attack such as that.

With Chicago under our belts, we began the not-as-flat-as-i-was-expecting journey through the Midwest. Stay tuned for Omaha and Kansas, the midwestern hot-spots that I will try to convince you are not as terrible as they sound. It’s going to be a blast.

Mission from God

“We’re on a mission from God”

Travel Tip: Never travel during vacation season so you can always find free parking wherever you go.


The beast isn’t totally dead yet, but American Apparel, Dov Charney’s brainchild and onetime outfitter of hipsters everywhere, is going through a public disintegration that signals the end of a fraught relationship between the hip and the company that tried to capture their money. AA filed for bankruptcy last week. It was never about the clothes, and probably to the company’s detriment.

The fact that AA was helmed by a seriously notorious pervert was never a secret, but the marketing almost celebrated the crassness of an owner who is now being pelted with lawsuits from former employees. Even when business was not awful, the transparent sexism of AA completely overshadowed the fact that they were using American labor to manufacture the clothes. Does diverting money away from international sweatshop exploitation make up for sexual harassment here in the States? What about the persistent rumors of discriminatory hiring practices in the storefronts? How about the fact that even the mannequins in the front of the shops were at one point decorated with comically heavy amounts of pubic hair in service of the CEO’s preferred aesthetic? The sheer amount of ways the sleaze overwhelmed their pro-worker policy doomed the experiment, even maybe along with hiring a unionized, American factory. Yet admitting defeat and saving overhead by shipping all of the manufacturing to the cheapest bidder would have been an indictment of the entire US manufacturing industry, especially the garment industry, and may never have been on the table. Still, Charney being the worst creep in the country other than Terry Richardson (and go figure, hiring Terry Richardson for a few photoshoots) did AA no favors.

Now, after vacillating between kicking out Charney and bringing him back over a period of several months, the tagline of using American workers is getting smaller and smaller at AA. And the affiliated workers are holding pro-Dov demonstrations, beating up an effigy of new CEO Paula Schneider. Stock prices are at an all time low. I guess what I’m trying to say is, once you start seeing AA clothes in your local thrift store, they’ll be worth double their usual hipster points. Be sure to be on the lookout.

Hey gang.

Some of you might not know that this very blog, this sweet lil aseemblage of the written word we all love so, had its beginnings as a travel blog. If you’re a recent bandwagon baby or only just stumbled upon Hipster Jew while googling “hot Jewish MILFS”  and were unaware of the HJ  genesis, that’s OK I also didn’t know. When I was informed of the babyhood of the blog I hold dear, I did some cyberstalking research and found some old travel content: a series on Chicky’s Birthright adventure. I just want to make sure you are all well-rounded readers of Hipster Jew content (even the Jewish MILF Googlers).

Anyway, at Hipster Jew, we like to party like it’s 2010 all the time (“heyyo someone pass me the jungle juice,”Did anyone bring the speakers for my Ipod”) so it should come as no surprise that we’re bringing the travel blog back. This time, your friendly neighborhood Schlitz Lipz is going to be sharing an extensive series on my travels across these Americas. That’s right, I left the bitter Northeast for the bright lights and broken dreams of Los Angeles and now you get to hear all about it. Or you can just read this article from The New York Times about New Yorkers fleeing for the West. it’s basically the same thing I’m writing but much, much shorter and with ten times better grammar. See, I care so much about your literacy…it’s almost humbling.

Continue Reading…

Guys. I’m feeling very.



conflicted right now.

At first I watched Taylor Swift’s new music video in collaboration with director Joseph Kahn, Wildest Dreams and I was blown away. Not only is the song pretty OK for the genre of pop, but I’m a sucker for old Hollywood. Give me an old-school film camera, a female lead with a head scarf, and some wide shots of a beautiful foreign landscape and I’m sold.

Savannah Swift

Oh My G-ddess there’s a GIRAFFE!!!!!

Then, I made the mistake of heading to my Facebook timeline. All my liberal activist (or at least social media activist) friends were NOT PLEASED with Taylor’s colonialist-loving, Africa-troping video.  Why? There aren’t any black people in an ENTIRE VIDEO about Africa (Edit: In a Washington Post article defending the video, Joseph Kahn explains that there are black people in the background of some shots he just didn’t cut to them for closeups) Also, it harkens back to colonialism, which pretty much nobody but those of white European descent can say was a good time for their ancestors. Furthermore, Africa is a HUGE COUNTRY (ahem CONTINENT DUH) with many, diverse nations so to portray it as if it is just Simba’s playground is offensive to all those nations.

THe Lion King

Offensive maybe, but damn, it looks like a good time. Hakuna Matata anyone?

Here, I describe the stages of feeling that went through me:

  •  DENIAL: Everyone needs to chill out. Why can no one ever make anything artistic without being criticized for being racist or anti-feminist, etc?
  • ANGER: Oh god I’m racist. I’m a privileged white girl who will never understand the struggle. I didn’t realize it was racist. HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THERE WEREN’T ANY BLACK PEOPLE. IT’S AFRICA!
  • BARGAINING: I just really like lions and zebras is that so bad? Oh god I’m racist.
  • DEPRESSION: Taylor Swift is racist. I’m racist. The world is a horrible place where people get murdered for no reason and babies are aways hungry and then they die.
  • ACCEPTANCE: Well, at least Nutella is still a thing…oooh oh and bananas. Bananas and nutella! And chocolate chip cookie dough icecream! Hold on, let me go to the fridge and see if I have those things.

It is literally impossible for me to come up with my own opinions anymore (thanks internet!) so I take you to the The Atlantic with an article that hit the nail on the hammer. Writer Spencer Kornhaber points out that the video is a nostalgic look at a world that clearly doesn’t exist. The makers of the video are looking nostalgically at movies  (not reality) that focus on the African savannah, and yes these films feature white people and white crew members because that’s what was done at the time.  The Atlantic continues that this is just nostalgia but even nostalgia can piss some people off, because in the nostalgic past, sh-t was f-cked up. Thanks again, white and WASPy ancestors.

I’m just left wondering, if everyone gets offended all the time and no one can make any sort of art without pissing someone off then where do we go from here? Do we just keep arguing on the comments sections in Youtube? I thought writing this post would make me feel less conflicted and sad about the state of the world, but here I am, one blog post down and one and 1/2 gin and tonics in and still very confused and sad.  Life is strange, guys.

Taylor Swift Brunette

The only real lesson I’ve learned from all this is that T Swift looks good with any shade of hair. Bitch.

And in a final note, can we all agree that it’s not a bad thing that Taylor is donating the proceeds of the video to the African Parks Foundation of America?  Maybe there are other causes, but geez, good acts shouldn’t be pooped on. Even if they are publicity stunts.

The Israeli occupation makes it impossible to buy drugs. Well, at least this fake Vice documentary by The Onion says so. Why does Israel have to be so mean? And why is The Onion so on point in their criticism of craptacular Vice documentaries? Seriously. Did anyone see the Vice Ebola documentary? It was pretty good. But I’m sure you didn’t see the other Vice Ebola documentary where all they did was run away from people selling monkey meat. I know Vice is trying to take an alt look at things and get into places no one else will go (See North Korea and ISIS) but holy hell most of their library is crap.

Anyways. Does anyone know of a good weed guy in Israel who won’t rip off tourists? I’m asking for all of our readers.

…. and it keeps getting better and better every time.

Film students, whether they be grad students or undergrad make some pretty awful short films. I think it’s a necessary part of the learning process (learning you need to get into another field RIGHT NOW) but I can’t be sure.  There’s just something about having 0 budget and trying to make a drama featuring 5 also college-age actors on location at the university library that just doesn’t work. Or at least doesn’t work very well.

But every rule has an exception. For example, there are blond Jews. They are rare and too beautiful to look at without your retinas burning, but goshdarnit they are there.The horrible awful short film rule by film students was broken by a Mr. Eli Shapiro. Don’t even pretended to be surprised that he’s one of The People because I know you aren’t. We’ve got movie-making in our bones.

Eli’s film, “Ike Interviews God”, is about a very average accountant named Ike who is given the opportunity out of billions of humans to talk to G-d.  When G-d is all like “Yo humanity sucks and I’m destroying the world,” Ike has to step in and try to save the day. Good luck, Ike. Good luck, world.

Ike from Ike Interviews God

This is Ike. I think white men are overrated, but I still probably WOULD if you get me.

The film won first at NYU’s New Visions and Voices Festival and also screened at several other festivals. The closest I’ve gotten to a screening at a festival was flashing a group of overweight bronies at Firefly, so needless to say I’m pretty impressed***.Congrats Eli. Uncle Woody would also be impressed with your film making chops if he actually used the internet and could watch this short on Short of the Week. I mention Uncle Woody so I can throw in a shameless plug to a previous Hipster Jew post I wrote and also because Ike Interviews God is Allen-esque, that is to say in the style of a neurotic Jew doing something and being neurotic while doing it.

Anyway, without further ado, watch this shiz. You won’t be disappointed.

IKE INTERVIEWS GOD from Eli Shapiro on Vimeo.


***Just in case my mother decides to read this blog post even though she traditionally doesn’t read Hipster Jew because it’s too vulgar for her WASPy self, this is NOT TRUE. I’ve never even been to Firefly because the concept of spending ,more than $50 to hang out with basic b*tches disgusts me. And the closest I’ve gotten to flashing someone was nighttime skinny dipping at jewish camp and there wasn’t anyone around except lake snakes and leeches.


****Oh also and Mom, I’ve never had sex so any allusions to that with with the actor who plays Ike and any non-white men are just, ha, for comedy purposes OK? It’s going to be a white wedding I promise please still maybe pay for a little bit of it if I you know, ever find someone self-hating enough to marry me.

Wet Hot American Summer is coming back with a 8 episode prequel to the 2001 movie via Netflix. Yes, that’s right! The 14 years older actors will be playing younger versions of the young camp counselors in the movie. So as you can assume, there is nothing else that I care about in this world than watching those 8 episodes. I will fondle some sweaters to get my hands on these episodes. I will run 50 miles to watch these episodes. I will… you get the point.

If you haven’t seen Wet Hot American Summer, you can go to Netflix and watch it right now.

Still not convinced? Look at this amazing cast!

Still not convinced? Get the fuck out! We don’t want your pageviews.

July 31st baby!

Happy 4th from me, @gigihadid, @marhunt, @britmaack, @serayah and @haimtheband :)

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

T-Swift, Haim, and a bunch of other people had, what looks to be, the perfect fourth of July. Does anyone know how I can get in on this? I know I have a lot of connections. I feel like it’s my right to hang out in Rhode Island with a bunch of good looking people. Who do I snapchat to get in on this?

T-Swift, please invite me next time (not desperate)