Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Subway Sightings

Last night, I read a brief article in Time Out New York by Steven Weiss and Zackary Sholem Berger titled "Hasidim vs. Hipsters." With the subhead, "Trucker hat, schmucker hat: Williamsburg's religious Jews want the 'hood's arty arrivistes to go away," the piece recounts how the Hasidim dislike the hipsters -- they bring higher real-estate prices and "morally suspect nightlife" -- and the hipsters dislike the Hasidim -- "When you willingly have ten-plus children based on your religious beliefs, feed most of them on food stamps, and displace everyone else in the neighborhood, there's hardly any sympathy to be had," says one acid-tongued transplant.

On the train this morning, I stood next to a seated Hasidim who was reading a Hebrew newspaper. Every so often, he'd peek at a magazine or another publication hidden beneath the newspaper, turn through several pages and then turn back to the paper.

That other publication? A Victoria's Secret catalog.

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