Dog daze! ‘Hipster Puppies’ invade DUMBO

Dog daze! ‘Hipster Puppies’ invade DUMBO
Photo by B. Janz

Bearded, plaid-wearing hipsters are coming to DUMBO this month — but don’t worry, these ones won’t lock you into a conversation about Slavoj Žižek or Animal Collective.

“Hipster Puppies” will invade powerhouse books on Aug. 25 — a bark-filled beauty pageant to celebrate Christopher Weingarten’s new photo book of dogs straight outta Williamsburg. In other words, if you like your pups with oversized glasses, headphones, and wool hats on them, this is the event and book for you.

“I wanted to have an event for the book, but I wanted an excuse for people to bring their dogs,” said Weingarten, a resident of Greenpoint. “It’s a lot more fun than me standing in front of people reading from my book.”

Weingarten began the puppies-as-hipsters craze last year on blogging website Tumblr as a light-hearted parody of the bedheaded, Kombucha-drinking Brooklynites who have turned Williamsburg into something of a national joke. The website launched the book, “Hipster Puppies,” which includes not only the photos of dogs looking like art school dropouts, but sarcastic captions that poke fun at the hipster lifestyle. One dog claims, for example, that he can taste the difference between regular and fair-trade coffee — and looking at the picture, you almost believe him.

Weingarten, who begrudgingly admits that he, too, is a hipster (must be the “artisanal ketchup” he buys at Smorgasburg), said it wasn’t difficult to find inspiration for the book.

“I wrote a huge chunk of it just walking up and down Bedford Avenue,” he said. “A lot of the captions come from the narcissism that comes with being an artistically inclined person interacting with other artistically-inclined people.”

But rather than make fun of people, Weingarten chose to relay his message through furry canine companions.

“I’m an amateur social anthropologist when it comes to people,” joked Weingarten. “But I’m a full-blown professor of hipster animals.”

His skills will be put to the test at the pageant, where he’ll have to choose the prize-winning pup. As guests sip on free cans of PBR (what else?), Weingarten will be judging each pupster’s accessories and attitude.

“It’s going to be really hard for me to not just go with the cutest dogs, because I’m very partial to smushy-faced pugs and Chihuahuas,” he said. “But I don’t want to compromise the integrity of the pageant. It’s going to be which one is the most hipster.”

Hipster Puppies Pageant at powerHouse Arena [37 Main Street at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049], Aug. 25, 7 pm.

Andy moved to San Francisco because it was more “laid-back” and “anticonsumerist” than New York, but still manages to drink two cups of Starbucks a day.
Photo by Michelle Schwartz