I’m moving, so time to unearth a lot of stuff that’s been cluttering my shelves. (Back before the interwebs, I felt compelled to keep a lot of magazine back issues around for reference.) In 1997, the Utne Reader ran a list of Hip Hot Spots which listed first-tier and up-and-coming hip hoods nationally. Let’s grade them less on their ability to find hot spots but for their prescience in seeing where the trends were going. 12 years on, the “hip” spot should now be safely square, and the upstart should be where it all is, if still a bit quiet.
- New Orleans: Lower Garden; Marigny/Bywater. Good pick, and the shift did happen — but nobody could’ve foreseen how Katrina would tilt the city uptown.
- SF: Inner Mission; Hunters Point/Bayview. Didn’t happen. Even the hypercharged decade in between couldn’t dethrone the Mission.
- NYC: Williamsburg; Red Hook. Didn’t happen. Red Hook might be the only neighborhood described in the Times as having its gentrification fail.
- Montréal: Plateau; Little Italy. Close; Mile End isn’t quite Little Italy, but it certainly took over from the Plateau.
- Toronto: College/Clinton; Kensington. Yes and no; College is hopeless, and Kensington resurgent, but who could’ve miss Queen?
- Chicago: Wicker Park; Pilsen. Not so much. Wicker Park has lost edge, but still has dibs on hipster social life; Pilsen has been slow to mature, and the “Chicago Arts District” didn’t help matters along.
- Seattle: Belltown; Pike/Pine. Spot on.
- Philadelphia: Olde City; Northern Liberties. Spot on.
- Vancouver: Commercial Drive; Mt. Pleasant. Correct.
- Minneapolis: Whittier; Northeast. Correct, although the shift has been slow.
- LA: Los Feliz; Echo Park. Can’t argue, but Echo Park still plays underdog to Silverlake.
- Detroit: Hamtramck; Woodward. Can’t honestly comment, but I can’t imagine that many people get priced out of anything in the D.
- DC: U Street; Mt. Pleasant. Yeah, can’t argue.
- Boston: Davis Square; Jamaica Plain. No quibbles.
- Miami: Lincoln Road; Buena Vista (Design District). Correct.
Verdict: investors, drop your Forbes subscriptions and grab the Utne instead.
I came across the article when I moved to Pilsen. It kind of made me feel a little better about moving there, but I’m glad it hasn’t turned into Wicker Park or a place with Starbucks or Big Banks (well, Bank of America and Harris have moved in within the past 2 years).
This reminds me. I need to go grocery shopping at La Case Del Pueblo. No one has cheaper prices overall. Since I moved to Bridgeport, though, it’s out of the way.
Here’s the article I wrote about Pilsen and gentrification: