Some people (artist types) have launched a Williamsburg live fashion webcam blog project thing called Styleblaster. They've set up a camera a block away from the Bedford Avenue L train, which feeds live images of the passing throng of Brooklynites to a blog in real time. They claim to have "a unique and unmatched vantage point on the hippest block in New York City."
At first glance, this seems exactly like what our world doesn't need: real-time trendspotting and one more way to sit in your bedroom anonymously judging people. Sometimes it seems we've collectively decided that there's nothing more fun than hating on people that have extremely specific interests, unconventional taste in clothing, creative ambition, and few traditional "adult" responsibilities. Yes, these people can sometimes be fools and hypocrites, but the way the Internet treats them, you'd think *they* were the monsters responsible for everything that's wrong with America and the world, and not just pawns of the system like everyone else.
Anyway. Styleblaster actually turns out to be more than just a platform for judgement. Unlike the photo that I chose to illustrate this post (because I'm a jerk), most of the pictures that stream in don't actually show people that are mockable on the level of "Look At This Fucking Hipster." New York is for sure a good-looking and image-conscious city — but it turns out that even the people on the "hippest block in New York City" are just people, period.
Styleblaster has lots of ambitions: to eventually track the way street fashion changes according to season and also to demonstrate the way Bedford Avenue will continue to gentrify in the next few years, as even the trust-fundy creative types are pushed out by bankers and other high-rent (in all senses) professionals*.
All these plans sound cool, but I actually like the site the way it is now: a reminder that I live in a city of actual people — not walking clothing racks.
*I actually have a secret (not rlly secret) theory that soon everyone's going to start getting priced out of Brooklyn and will seek lower-rent refuge on the (increasingly more affordable!) island of Manhattan.