In this week’s CultureMap article, “More than Trader Joe’s in store: Seaholm development targets ‘urban bohemians,'” managing partner of Seaholm LLC, John Rosato, used the titular term when describing the sort of clientele they want their future tenants to cater to. A lot of you thought the phrase “urban bohemian” sounded like the verbal equivalent of dragging your nails across a chalkboard, but I have news for you, it ain’t nothing new.
Try on this word for size: Bobo. Bourgeois bohemian. Does that make you want to throw up a little in your mouth, too?
“Bobo” was coined by David Brooks in his 2000 social commentary, Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. The book describes the rise of upper middle class and their penchant for spending big bucks on organic food, brand new electric cars and all-American clothing.
They are a hybrid of the “liberal idealism of the 1960s and the self-interest of the 1980s” a.k.a. hipsters with money. Bobos are essentially good people, but their image evokes a twinge of jealousy and hate from the rest of us in “lower middle class.” We “lobos” (lower middle class bohemians) try to partake in the ideals of bobos, but only when we can afford it.
Thank God for food trucks.
If you’re not sure if you’re a bobo, here is a self checklist to find out…