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Thread: Neighborhoods hipsters would love ... if only they knew about them

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Neighborhoods hipsters would love ... if only they knew about them

    Damn Hipsters.



    Williamsburg? Mainstream. South Austin? It was so much better 15 years ago, before everybody found out about all the food trailers. Wicker Park? In the "not" column since Liz Phair sold out in '93.

    Hipsters have joined gays, granolas, artists, and young professionals in overeducated-but-underpaid fields like urban planning, in being forces that spark the gentrification of distressed or undiscovered urban neighborhoods. You know the routine; the first wave of urban pioneers is followed by middle-class urbanites, and finally capped off by well-off textbook yuppies who yammer on about "leveraging synergy".

    If there's anything that hipsters hate, though, it's when others discover and start to appreciate their obscure pleasures. An unknown band or an offbeat fashion accessory becomes an unloved trend when they're discovered by the outside world.

    Like trucker caps, skinny jeans, and Foster The People, It's only a matter of time before hipsters also abandon the 'hoods where they had a role in gentrifying. Where should they go, though? What neighborhoods are now completely, totally outside of the collective awareness of hipsters, neighborhoods so unknown and underground that not even the most connected alpha hipster with the most followed Tumbl blog has heard of them? We're not talking about places with even a few stray galleries, coffee shops or artist's spaces here and there, like Waterloo in Cleveland, or Pilsen in Chicago. Instead, these are places with authenticity in its purest form, untouched by anything that could remotely resemble a scene, much less the ironic consumption of even just one PBR. These are also neighborhoods where a hipster could quickly find themselves comfortable; urban but not "scary", affordable, well-located, and with a more-or-less intact fabric. They're also quirky in their own right, even with the lack of cool consignment or vinyl stores.

    My nomination: Kaisertown, a working-class, predominantly Polish-American neighborhood on Buffalo's East Side. At one time, most of Buffalo's East Side resembled Kaisertown. Today, Kaisertown, along with Lovejoy, another old ethnic blue-collar neighborhood directly to the north, are time capsules encased by a web of railroad yards; the last neighborhoods of their kind in a part of the city that is now otherwise associated with blight and poverty.

    Unlike Lovejoy, which has a reputation as being hostile to outsiders, Kaisertown is considered more welcoming, with its population of friendly, elderly babcias and dziadeks. Clinton Street, the commercial strip that runs through the heart of Kaisertown, is lined with locally owned meat markets, bakeries, pizzerias, hardware stores, and workingman's taverns that serve up both kinds, Genny and Genny Cream. Its side streets, bearing names like Gorski, Matejko, and Pulaski, are lined with modest but well-kept frame houses behind immaculate lawns. Corner bars with names like "Schu-Shine Inn" and "P&K's", tucked deep within Kaisertown's otherwise residential blocks, are a third place for those fleeing the oppression of their overbearing old ladies. A seven to ten minute drive through an industrial corridor full of potential performance spaces would land a hipster and their Mini Cooper in downtown Buffalo.









    While many neighborhoods throughout Buffalo are being rediscovered and rejuvenated, Kaisertown remains completely off the radar screen of Buffalo's urbanists. It's so far underground not even Buffalo's fledgling hipster community -- increasingly priced out of Allentown and Elmwood Village and now eying Black Rock as the next up-and-coming 'hood -- knows about the place.



    Okay. Maybe ONE hipster.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    LOL Best thread ever!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Dan,

    I wonder, these days, how many of these hipsters you refer to are unemployed and live at home with mom and dad? David Brooks made it seem like these folks evolved into Bobos, but is that even possible now?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    LOL Best thread ever!
    I'm trying to think of unknown neighborhoods around Detroit that hipsters would love. Hamtramck has been discovered, apparently. Mexicantown? There's not too much that's urban outside of the city that I know of.

    Chicago ... Berwyn seemed like an obvious choice, but they have an arts council, and it looks like it's at the very early stages of discovery. Maybe some neighborhood on the Northwest side? Cicero?

    NYC: the Ironbound in Newark? Something else in Jersey?

    Cleveland: Old Brooklyn?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    For Houston the main hipster areas are The Heights and Montrose. A possible new area that I see definately becoming more gentrified in the next few years is Northside Village. As this Google Map shows this area has incredible access to downtown Houston and is nuzzled nicely just inside the 610 loop. This neighborhood is working class and predominately hispanic. The neighborhood is pretty rough but has a nice healthy stock of houses. A new light rail line is being ran up from downtown along N. Main Street and Fulton Street. The neighborhood is already home to an awesome vegan Mexican restaurant. I see this area becoming a very big hipster enclave in the next 5 years.
    Last edited by rcgplanner; 15 May 2012 at 1:44 PM.

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I'm trying to think of unknown neighborhoods around Detroit that hipsters would love. Hamtramck has been discovered, apparently. Mexicantown? There's not too much that's urban outside of the city that I know of.

    Chicago ... Berwyn seemed like an obvious choice, but they have an arts council, and it looks like it's at the very early stages of discovery. Maybe some neighborhood on the Northwest side? Cicero?

    NYC: the Ironbound in Newark? Something else in Jersey?

    Cleveland: Old Brooklyn?
    Berwyn and Cicero are just too far removed to attract hipsters. Hipsters seem to be migrating northwest along Milwaukee. Logan Square is gentrifying pretty rapidly so now your starting to see hipsters in Avondale which is the next neighborhood northwest of it.

    Pilsen and Bridgeport on the south side are starting to see some hipsters too.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Berwyn and Cicero are just too far removed to attract hipsters. Hipsters seem to be migrating northwest along Milwaukee. Logan Square is gentrifying pretty rapidly so now your starting to see hipsters in Avondale which is the next neighborhood northwest of it.
    So, that means Irving Park or Old Irving Park?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    So, that means Irving Park or Old Irving Park?
    Some day. Maybe in 50 years Niles will be hipster central.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I'm trying to think of unknown neighborhoods around Detroit that hipsters would love. Hamtramck has been discovered, apparently. Mexicantown? There's not too much that's urban outside of the city that I know of.

    Chicago ... Berwyn seemed like an obvious choice, but they have an arts council, and it looks like it's at the very early stages of discovery. Maybe some neighborhood on the Northwest side? Cicero?

    NYC: the Ironbound in Newark? Something else in Jersey?

    Cleveland: Old Brooklyn?
    Detroit is becoming the hipster capital of the world if you ask me.

    Doesn't it seem like older, urban neighborhoods must first become hipster havens, before they begin to gentrify?
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Detroit is becoming the hipster capital of the world if you ask me.
    I think you misspelled "Austin."

    Seriously, I've been reading a lot about an influx of young creatives into Detroit, but is it really happening in big enough numbers to make a difference? Is it even noticeable on the ground? I don't think a twee mural in Woodbridge is a sign of being a "hipster capital".
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I think you misspelled "Austin."

    Seriously, I've been reading a lot about an influx of young creatives into Detroit, but is it really happening in big enough numbers to make a difference? Is it even noticeable on the ground? I don't think a twee mural in Woodbridge is a sign of being a "hipster capital".
    http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/d...oklyn_det.html

    http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2...cheap-rent.php

    http://www.changinggears.info/2012/0...okes-are-dumb/



    Austin is for fake hipsters. Real, urban hipsters can be found in the D.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I'm trying to think of unknown neighborhoods around Detroit that hipsters would love. Hamtramck has been discovered, apparently. Mexicantown? There's not too much that's urban outside of the city that I know of.
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Detroit is becoming the hipster capital of the world if you ask me.

    Doesn't it seem like older, urban neighborhoods must first become hipster havens, before they begin to gentrify?
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I think you misspelled "Austin."

    Seriously, I've been reading a lot about an influx of young creatives into Detroit, but is it really happening in big enough numbers to make a difference? Is it even noticeable on the ground? I don't think a twee mural in Woodbridge is a sign of being a "hipster capital".

    The other day I told my wife it was time to move when I saw a hipster couple riding through our neighborhood on their fixies while wearing matching skinny jeans on their way to the over-priced independent grocery store (probably to buy something from Zingerman's or Avalon Bakery). I think the female of the duo was even wearing a Sleater-Kinney shirt.

    Places like Austin or Seattle or Portland can definitely battle among themselves for the title of Hipster Capital of the World but Detroit is coming on strong and, if the patterns continue, will be a contender in the not-so-distant future. The Midtown, Corktown, and Woodbridge neighborhoods (not to mention nearly all of Hamtramck) are definitely becoming more and more packed with their type. If I had to guess on where the next concentration will appear in the city proper, my money would be on the Lafayette Park area since it is close to all of the amenities and offers the appeal of some very nice mid-century modern architecture (as opposed to the older stuff in those other areas). I don't see Mexicantown becoming a hipster enclave soon. It's very authentic, to borrow from Dan's dictionary, but is a bit removed from most of the cultural institutions that the Hipsters would probably want to be near.

    Once you get outside of the city and into the suburbs, there is one area that probably has hipster densities to rival anything you would find in much of Austin or Seattle. I'm talking of the Woodward Corridor cities of Royal Oak, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, tiny little predominantly residential Pleasant Ridge, and Berkley. Berkley in particular seems to really be packing in the hipsters in the last year or so. It has a decently sized, walkable downtown area with a good selection of restaurants and a few bars, decent schools, and a much lower frat-boy:hipster ratio than what you find these days in Royal Oak. Maybe it's just because I don't live far from these communities that I notice it, but my god the area is lousy with the hipsters these days.

    Some interesting spillover is already occurring too with young hipster Jewish folk electing to move to neighboring Oak Park. Many of them are choosing Oak Park as their first home after moving out of their parents houses, many of whom had moved out of Oak Park in the 1980s and 1990s in favor of West Bloomfield but anecdotal evidence shows Oak Park also attracting a fair amount of out-of-state (and international) immigration by young Jewish professionals who are priced out of places like New York, Boston, and Chicago. This goy occasionally subs on a bowling league sponsored by a local Temple and I cannot tell you how many emails I've gotten lately advertising kickball leagues, kosher cooking classes, and beer tasting events for young Jewish professionals.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Sold on Lafayette Park and a perhaps a critical mass of hipsters in the metro, if not necessarily in the city proper itself.

    For Buffalo, I might have said Black Rock a couple of years ago. Google Street View has been revisiting Buffalo, though, and there's now scenes like this scattered throughout the neighborhood.

    http://g.co/maps/vn6cf
    http://g.co/maps/f3e46
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I wonder has anyone ever considered/compared the processes of gentrification with ecological succession? It occurs to me there are numerous parallels (here's another link). In nature, a fire or a flood occurs decimating the existing vegetation and leaving an open field. First some very hardy windborne seeds of pioneer grasses/weeds 'colonize' the field, and these plants are in turn overtaken by a sequence of larger vegetation types, each successive layer in turn requiring greater water, light and other nutrient resources, until eventually the 'climax' vegetation comes to dominate the area.

    Gay males are sometimes cited as early 'pioneers' in the process of gentrification. I wonder....are hipsters perhaps the very first pioneer seeds in the gentrification process? (now go ahead and feel free to shoot up my analogy to pieces)

    Anywho, my nomination for Grand Rapids, MI would be the Fulton neighborhood.
    Last edited by Maister; 15 May 2012 at 5:48 PM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Sold on Lafayette Park and a perhaps a critical mass of hipsters in the metro, if not necessarily in the city proper itself.

    For Buffalo, I might have said Black Rock a couple of years ago. Google Street View has been revisiting Buffalo, though, and there's now scenes like this scattered throughout the neighborhood.

    http://g.co/maps/vn6cf
    http://g.co/maps/f3e46
    What makes the second one hipsterish? Is it the bike racks?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    What makes the second one hipsterish? Is it the bike racks?
    This. And a lot of recognition on local urbanist blogs.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I have to amend my previous response and say that Oak Park, MI will never be a true hipster haven since local ordinances forbid the purchase of wine, liquor, or beer for consumption on the premises. Where will the hipsters congregate for their PBR?
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    So, that means Irving Park or Old Irving Park?
    That's the "old neighborhood" for this cardinal's family, going back to the 1920's. And yes, it probably is poised to become the next place. Or one of them.

    Milwaukee is hard to guess. Perhaps the near south side? It is currently a mix of Hispanic with a lingering Polish and German contingent. Maybe along National Avenue from the Basilica east.

    Madison is a bit easier. Sherman Avenue and the old working class neighborhoods adjacent to Oscar Mayer.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    So far, we have:

    Buffalo: Kaisertown
    Houston: Northside Village
    Chicago: Irving Park
    Milwaukee: Near South Side
    Detroit: Lafayette Park
    Madison: Sherman Avenue
    New York: Newark/Ironbound
    Cleveland: Old Brooklyn

    Not too shabby.

    What about Philly? Boston? Toronto: anything down by Hamilton, perhaps? Montreal? Anything on the West Coast?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    What about Philly? Boston? Toronto: anything down by Hamilton, perhaps? Montreal? Anything on the West Coast?
    Boston and Cambridge are kind of hipstered out. Having a population of 250,000 or so college students will do that.

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    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    So far, we have:

    Buffalo: Kaisertown
    Houston: Northside Village
    Chicago: Irving Park
    Milwaukee: Near South Side
    Detroit: Lafayette Park
    Madison: Sherman Avenue
    New York: Newark/Ironbound
    Cleveland: Old Brooklyn

    Not too shabby.

    What about Philly? Boston? Toronto: anything down by Hamilton, perhaps? Montreal? Anything on the West Coast?
    I would still have to put my vote in for Northside Village in Houston. See my post above, but basically this neighborhood is on the cusp of a huge gentrification boom once the light rail light is complete.

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    Philly

    My own moniker comes to mind (no I don't live there) Nicetown, Erie-Tioga. An old "avenue," dedicated major transit hub. Big ole houses and great bbq options

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post

    Anything on the West Coast?
    San Francisco: The Haight-Ashbury and Fillmore districts?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    In Chicago in addition to Irving Park I'd add Portage Park as one place having potential for hipster gentrification.

    A good friend of mine who happens to be gay told me the cycle of gentrification works like this (not sure if he was being tongue in cheek): first the lesbians move in and fix up the outsides of the buildings, then the gays move in and decorate it and make it look pretty, then they get priced out once the yuppies discover it and all move it. I think in some places there is some truth to that!
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    In the Boston area, Davis and Union Squares, Somerville; Central Square, Cambridge; Jamaica Plain and Roslindale in Boston. But there is a constant shift from hip to too-hip to corporate. Harvard Square, for example, I would consider formerly hip, although it sure beats a suburban strip mall.

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