Several days ago I was returning to home to Albany aboard a train from day trip to New York City with my mother. While our train went along the east bank of the Hudson River, I thumbed through Stuff White People Like..The book is pretty funny and picks apart the pretense and snobbery of corny hipster folks who thinks the sun shines out of their asses. My mother is from a generation before and is not clued in on the hipster phenomena. She asked me why it was a bad thing to like organic food, National Public Radio, jazz and other things listed in the book. I assured her that it’s not bad to like them, but that many corny people do and elevate these things to annoying levels in order to make themselves feel above others. The result is that you start to dislike or shy away from some of the things you may otherwise like. She was still confused and so I asked her, “do you remember my old roommate Jake from San Francisco?”

Before I go any further, I should note that this post is not about hipsters, but rather some of the people I have shared space with for nearly the last decade. If some of them happen to be hipsters it simply reflects the places that I have lived including Boston and later Brooklyn. Thinking back to Jake Funderbick (names are slightly altered), got me thinking of the nearly 30 people I have lived in apartments with since 1999 and wanting to preserve them–the good and the bad–in my memory. Here are the first ten I feel comfortable writing about. They are in no particular ranking. All names have been changed.

#1 Jake Funterbick

I was tempted to actually use Jake’s full name and a current picture I was able to find of him for the site, but I decided that would be a little bit too far, so instead I pulled a photo I thought was appropriate given his pretentious, arrogant and snarky demeanor. I actually didn’t mind living with him too much. I was twenty and I didn’t expect much from the roommates I shared an apartment with while I was studying journalism at Emerson College and I’m sure they didn’t expect much from me. Jake could be a fun roommate, but within a week or two of living with him, I realized he had his head stuffed so far up his ass it was hard to relate with him. Jake was from San Francisco, the first Bay Area native I really got to know. And believe you me, he made it his job–along with talking about jazz, smoking cigarettes from a case and getting high–to let anyone and everyone know that he was from San Francisco. Everything with this guy seemed to go back to San Francisco. He was well-traveled, the kind of kid whose parents put him on a plane for Europe and Israel many times in his formative years, which is all good.

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