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Flannel 411: America’s top hipster cities

Hipster dudes wearing flannel shirts.

Hipster dudes wearing flannel shirts.Not sure if you live in a hipster mecca? That guy over there on the unicycle with the 4G retro-hacked Gameboy clutching a growler of Pliny the Younger and asking for directions to the store where he can get his Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter fixed says “Yes, you do.”

Still not sure? Travel + Leisure Magazine has just released its list of America’s Best Cities for Hipsters, which depending on how you look at it is either an advertisement for where to go if you want to talk about manscaping your ironic mustache, or a welcome warning about the absolute worst places in America to live. Grading criteria are things like indie art scene, cool food places, per capita absinthe consumption, live music venues, local microbrews, archaic transport availability, weird animals as inconvenient pets, and some other stuff that probably makes you want to punch orphans.

Here are your top 10:

  1. Seattle
  2. Portland
  3. San Francisco
  4. New Orleans
  5. Portland, Maine
  6. Providence
  7. Austin
  8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Denver

Portlandia: Overexposure for hipsters everywhere.Thanks to Portlandia, we get two Portland’s on the list which is twice as insufferable and that actually seems quite appropriate. Hipsters at this very moment are desperately scouring atlases and road maps in search of towns named Portland that haven’t been relentlessly overexposed by popular culture.

We’d beg to differ on the ordering of this list, by the way. Portland should be No. 1, followed by:

Los Angeles –  All the hipsters that we know happen to live in Los Angeles, where they’re clustered in the Silver Lake-Echo Park-Hollywood triangle. Frankly, you can’t drive down Sunset Boulevard in this part of town without nearly hitting a hipster or three as they stroll down the sidewalk or ride their vintage bikes or drive around in a Prius. A complete micro-culture has grown up around their existence, with organic food grocery stories, local arts and craft galleries, and of course plenty of dive bars.

Austin – It’s pretty funny that you can go to Austin these days and see a lot more hipsters than cowboys, but that’s the reality of how Texas’ favorite weird city has transitioned. With a burgeoning tech economy (Apple just announced a major expansion there) Austin looks to overtake San Francisco or LA as the hipster hangout with the best weather sometime very soon. Turns out Tex Mex is great food for vegetarians, and there’s a thriving art scene.

New York – I haven’t been to New York in awhile, but word on the street is that there are plenty of hipsters hanging out there. In fact, they’ve actually been there all along. After all, nobody does dive bars, being cool and wearing thick-framed glasses like New York City – they basically invented them. The hipsters in New York, if they’re anything like most anyone in New York, probably think that they’re too cool to be considered hipsters. Fair enough.

And a few other thoughts, while we have your attention…

San Francisco isn’t even the top hipster dog in the Bay Area, the cool kids in Oakland have taken all their Jeffrey Campbell ankle shag boots.

San Juan? Is it even possible to drink coffee in a tropical environment? I bet you won’t see one guy in that town wearing a toque and lederhosen as he plays his pan flute.

This list is actually very good news for these cities, there’s nothing hipsters hate more than mainstream recognition. As soon as they see the list they’ll be headed for the exits, looking for the next place they can say they were the first to discover. Sacramento, Louisville, and Portland, AR you might want to start building walls now…!

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