Big Bill Morganfield performs at the 2007 Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival. Which is hipper, jazz or blues? Or is it the festival itself that’s ‘hip?’
Parking shortages. Exorbitant parking fines. Red tape at borough hall. Greedy landlords.
Among the many peeves, public floggings and constructive suggestions we expect to hear aired at tonight’s “economic summit” on how to revive Red Bank’s sagging commercial fortunes, one topic is unlikely to get much attention:
What to do about the relentless use of the word ‘hip’ to describe our little burg.
‘Hip City.’ ‘Hip Town.’ They’re the go-to phrases for phoned-in yet earnest descriptions of Red Bank like this one, and this one. And a thousand others, it seems.
Then there’s the TriCity News out of Asbury Park, which puts ‘Hip City’ in sardonic quotation marks yet is as boosterish about Red Bank as any chamber of commerce shill, suggesting that, deep down, it kinda likes the label.
Now, to be sure, with the national economy spiraling drainward and Red Bank showing no sign of bucking the tide, there are bigger and more substantive issues at stake here than semantics. No argument there.
But as long as we’re talking about a possible repositioning of downtown Red Bank in the public imagination, can somebody please come up with something better? How do we put an end to this plague of purported hipposity?