It all started with pickles in 2020 at the Hester Street Fair in Manhattan.
Nolita Dirtbag, who wishes to remain anonymous, was making counterfeit stickers mimicking the logos of popular New York-based establishments and handing them out with jars of homemade pickles. One was a riff on Aimé Leon Dore’s logo with a “I’m going to pee on the floor” sticker. The cheeky nods to some of the city’s biggest brands were a subtle way for the 25-year-old to put his spears aside and connect the packaging to his interest in streetwear. But in July 2021, he decided to take his jokes to Instagram and Nolita dust bag was born.
“I’ve made ridiculous memes all my life. I was born on the internet, grew up on Reddit and play Xbox,” says Nolita Dirtbag, who is just as funny on the phone as she is on IG. when asked about the impact he had on Nolita, he jokingly replies, saying, “I think it motivated more people to avoid him.” And when asked where he actually lives , he mocked himself, saying, “I live in a cage in the basement of the ALD store.” It’s easy to see why he’s so good at trivializing Nolita and the crowd she attracts.
For those unfamiliar, Nolita is a neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. One of its blocks, Mulberry Street, has recently become a hub for trendy millennials and Gen-Z’ers. It is home to the outposts of popular brands like Aimé Leon Dore and Noah, as well as restaurants like Ruby’s, Upside Pizza and Parm. It has also become a hotbed for spotting trendy streetwear outfits that include Carhartt double knee pants with paint splatterNew Balance 550s, Arc’teryx jackets and trucker hats. But Nolita Dirtbag doesn’t actually reside in the neighborhood from which her name derives. He remains in Brooklyn, but grew up in a suburb outside of New York. He took frequent summer trips growing up, but moved away permanently after graduating from college. These days, he spends time in blocks like Mulberry Street and the surrounding Dimes Square neighborhood about three days a week doing what he jokingly calls his “research and development.” He picks up people’s habits and uses them for memes posted on his IG account. From the start of the page, he found himself jotting down specific things he may have overlooked before.
“If I see a certain double-knee dude wearing JJJJound shoes bringing a plant back to his apartment, my mind starts racing a bit. What is this guy doing? Where does he eat? I definitely think about it a lot more,” he told Complex.