You guys heard about that absolutely absurd Forbes article where Silver Lake was named the “best Hipster neighborhood”, right? We thought so. The news breaking last Thursday like a cold wave up the spine, inspiring a lot of cringes and protestations. It’s an absurd notion and, although Silver Lake is “hipstery,” isn’t that 90% of Los Angeles? Let’s face it: Forbes has no idea what a hipster is and certainly isn’t aware that Los Angeles is a center of people doing their own thing. Silver Lake wears their people on the surface, we guess. After some e-mailing and Tweeting with Alissa Walker , we wanted to follow up Forbes’ article with a few other Los Angeles neighborhoods that are pretty great. Take that, Forbes!
To contextualize their article, with data from NextDoor.com (whatever that is) they counted down the twenty “best hipster neighborhoods.” Walkability and coffee shops in addition to food trucks, famers markets, bars, concentration of artists, and more were taking into account. Silver Lake won because it–apparently–is home to the “nation’s most lauded food trucks and farmer’s markets” (?????) and because it has “one of the largest creative class communities in the country” (??????). They note lots of Modernist architecture is in he neighborhood, which actually is a fact–but there’s lots of Modernist architecture throughout all of Los Angeles. Whatever. Anyway, here are some other places they and NextDoor should consider for their next round.
Neighborhood: Highland Park
Its Heart: York and Avenue 50; Figueroa and Avenue 59
Attractions: The York, Maximiliano, Good Girl Dinette, THIS, La Cuevita/Little Cave, Mount Analog, Night Gallery, Occidental College
Hipster Cred: It’s still heavily gentrifying, there’s a college here, it’s far from everything, and you still can get called names by locals for just walking down the street. Hardcore.
Who Lives Here: People who like tacos (Perhaps the *new* food truck?) and who really care about living in Highland Park.
Neighborhood: Abbot Kinney/Venice
Its Heart: Abbot Kinney (Duh.) but technically Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd
Attractions: Sunny Spot, Lemonade, Steven Alan, Gjelina, Tasting Kitchen, Axe, Intelligentsia, Gant, Jack Spade, Tortoise, Roosterfish, A+R, that food truck corner on Abbot Kinney and Palms (guess that’s a big qualifier for them?)
Hipster Cred: GQ CALLED IT THE COOLEST BLOCK IN AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Who Lives Here: People who like the beach, being far away from everyone else, and who like to ~*~d00b~*~
Neighborhood: Echo Park
Its Heart: Sunset Blvd and Echo Park (Duh.)
Attractions: Taco Zone, The Echo/Echoplex, Origami Vinyl, Short Stop, The Park, Gold Room, Brite Spot, That American Apparel on Sunset, Mohawk Bend, PETA, El Prado, Little Joy, Sunset Beer
Hipster Cred: There’s a lake here that is totally drained and has been for months. How ironic is that? Also it is the ^kEwL kOnnEcToR^ between Silver Lake and Downtown.
Who Lives Here: People who like tacos (Perhaps the *new* food truck?) and people who will soon be moving to Highland Park.
Neighborhood: Downtown Los Angeles
Its Heart: There are a lot: Seventh and Grand, Main and Sixth, Mateo and Industrial, 3rd and Traction
Attractions: The Standard, Perch, The Smell, MOCA, Seventh Grand, Bottega Louie, Mas Malo, Nickel Diner, Varnish/Cole’s, Edison, Villains, The Gorbals, Wurstküche, Pattern Bar, La Cita, Church and State, Umamicatessen, Golden Gopher, the American Apparel Factory/Factory Store
Hipster Cred: Has the charm of Silver Lake with enough pee smell to last you a lifetime. Great for artists, “artists,” fashion people, “fashion people,” and people in the market to open restaurants. Totally bike friendly, too–so much so that CicLAvia is held here many times a year.
Who Lives Here: People who want to be in New York, people who want to be in San Francisco, people who have a lot of money to spend on a loft, and people who will soon be moving to Highland Park.
Its Heart: Chung King Row
Attractions: Ooga Booga, Hop Louie, FYF, Fifth Floor, all the art galleries
Hipster Cred: Just visit Ooga Booga.
Who Lives Here: People who want affordable rent in a Best Hipster Neighborhood (but aren’t ready to commit to Highland Park/they like Chinese food more than tacos).
Its Heart: Franklin Village; Sunset and Vine
Attractions: Powerhouse, 101 Coffee Shop, Frolic Room, The Woods, Hungry Cat, Amoeba, Space15twenty, Toi, Meltdown, The Oaks Gourmet, The Bar, Musso and Frank, The Hollywood Bowl, Umami, American Apparel, Bronson Canyon, The Standard Hollywood, The Roosevelt
Hipster Cred: It’s the most mainstream part of town which can only mean it has a very alternative under belly lurking around Franklin.
Who Lives Here: People who want the walkability and Metro accessibility of Downtown but hate pee smell and lofts. They also are more tolerant of tourists and weekend bridge and tunnelers. (Note: Franklin Village is code for “I’d live in Silver Lake but I don’t for whatever reason.”)
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
Its Heart: Robertson from Burton to Melrose
Attractions: American Apparel, Lemonade, Dominicks, Steven Alan, The Cheese Store Beverly Hills, The Larder at Maple Avenue, Lobby Bar at Beverly Hilton, Taschen, some Yayoi Kusama sculptures
Hipster Cred: Slums of Beverly Hills
Who Lives Here: Hipsters who come from money and are still in money, AKA Hipsters born in Beverly Hills. Who are we kidding: Beverly Hills is not hipster…but it did inspire Ariel Pink’s “Beverly Kills.”
Its Heart: A Few: La Brea between Beverly and 2nd, Beverly between La Brea and Fairfax, 3rd Street between Fairfax and La Cienega, Fairfax between Melrose and Beverly, Melrose from Crescent Heights to La Cienega
Attractions: St&ndard Goods, Union, A+R, Terroni, Heath, American Rag, Umami, OK, Son of a Gun, Plastica, Supreme, Animal, Goodwill, OF, RVCA, La Otra Taqueria Escuela, The Original Farmers Market, Undefeated, Lawson Fenning, General Quarters
Hipster Cred: It’s a retail and food destination. Why does this matter? Hipsters really only care about material things.
Who Lives Here: For the hipsters who don’t have the cash for Beverly Hills but do have the cash for fancy things.
Neighborhood: Los Feliz
Its Heart: Los Feliz Vilage
Attractions: Skylight Books, Bru, Dresden Room, Bar Covell, Little Dom’s, Steven Alan, Tiki Ti, The Vista, Cheetah’s, Goodwill, Ozzie Dots, Squaresville, Confederacy, Trails, Umami, American Apparel
Hipster Cred: Like Echo Park, this is the filler zone between Mid-City/Hollywood and Silver Lake. It’s a bit more sophisticated, though.
Who Lives Here: The hipster who wants quaint walkability but also has money to spend.
• Little Tokyo (Technically Downtown)
• Culver City
• Baldwin Hills
• West Adams/Exposition Park
• Pacific Palisades
• Sherman Oaks
• Joshua Tree
• Long Beach
• The Ace Palm Springs
• Hancock Park
I’m sure we missed a lot of best hipster neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Any other spots we should point out to Forbes? Or is Silver Lake really the only place in Los Angeles where artists, food trucks, farmers markets, and coffee shops abound? Do we all need to figure out a definition of the word “hipster” to present to Forbes?