Want to roll out of bed and pick up a cup of single-origin java from a coffee shop on your corner? Or grab a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich from a food truck parked down the street? Does a dream weekend include foraging for organic veggies at a farmers market and watching the latest hot indie band play on a small stage through the wee hours of the morning? Then, my hipster friend, Los Angeles’ Silver Lake is the neighborhood for you.
[Curious about the residential character of the top neighborhoods? See dozens of editor-selected images of Silver Lake listings in Los Angeles and Mission District listings in San Francisco on Yahoo! Homes' blog, Spaces.]
Silver Lake takes the top spot on Forbes’ inaugural list of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods. Nestled between Echo Park and Los Feliz, the trendy community boasts some of the nation’s most lauded food trucks and farmers markets, a multicultural blend of residents with eclectic professions, and a booming arts scene. Even the buildings exude an avant garde aesthetic a hipster could love: Silver Lake is home to some of the most celebrated modernist architecture in the country, including Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House and John Lautner’s Silvertop.
“It is amazing how many artists, musicians and designers and more traditionally ‘hipster’ occupations live in Silver Lake,” says Dabney Lawless, a vice president of Nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighborhoods. “It just blows every other neighborhood away.” In other words, if you want to slurp Pabst Blue Ribbon in your skinny jeans, you won’t be alone.
Behind the numbers
To compile our list, we took a quantitative approach to determining the places in which hipsterdom is most likely to flourish.
The San Francisco-based startup Nextdoor.com helped us dig through data on more than 250 neighborhoods in the biggest U.S. cities. We assessed each area’s walkability according to Walkscore.com; the number of neighborhood coffee shops per capita (with some help from NPD Group’s report); the assortment of local food trucks (and their ranking according to Zagat’s); the number and frequency of farmers markets; the selection of locally owned bars and restaurants; and the percentage of residents who work in artistic occupations. We also factored in Nextdoor’s Neighborhood “Hipness” Index, which is based on how often words associated with hipness (for example art, gallery, designer, musician) appeared on each Nextdoor neighborhood’s site pages, and Nextdoor conducted a survey in which members sounded off on their communities.
[Also on Yahoo! Homes: America's hippest cities.]
And now for the top 10, crowned by Silver Lake.