Grassroots Effort Takes East Village from #1 Hipster Mecca to #8 in a Day


This morning, EV Grieve reported that the East Village was ranked the #1 hipster neighborhood in New York on crowd-sourcing neighborhood information site The local blog’s post prompted readers, “You can go there yourself to rate and review…. and really blow the curve.” Who would have thought it would actually work?

As of this post, the Voice‘s playground of a backyard, better known as the East Village, is ranked eighth! Hopefully no one wanting to live in hipsterville signed a lease based on Nabewise’s earlier declaration — if so they’ll need to migrate a little farther south to the Lower East Side (now #1!) for the true “hipster” experience, however fleeting.

Ann Baldinucci, founder of Nabewise, explained that the site’s rankings sometimes change rapidly because the sample size isn’t very big — the site launched in January. “As more and more people use our site, the data becomes more and more accurate,” she said.

She added that the rankings may change day-to-day but paint a useful picture of the neighborhood when viewed along with the descriptions and photos that are also available on the site. EV Grieve unknowingly jumped right through this budding site’s crowd-sourcing loophole.

We contacted the EV blogger, and here’s the response we received:

Ha! That’s funny. Perhaps horrified East Village residents went to NabeWise and voted the LES, Greenpoint, etc., as the most hipsterishtastic nabe. If my post inspired anyone to actually do this, then I’m pretty honored. Blog power! Woo!

Uh, but seriously, I really don’t know what to say about where the East Village falls on the hipster scale — because I’m not really sure what hipster means in this context. Or any context. Not to be all Times Standards Editor about it, but hipster is such a grossly overused term that means nothing anymore. I first used the term in high school to describe my friend Rob, who was reading Ginsberg while we were all stealing looks at our moms’ copy of The Lonely Lady. Never spoke to him again after he discovered that i erased Hooligans in favor of Duran Duran’s Rio.

To hipster or not to hipster, that is the question. Frankly, discussions of the overuse of “hipster” only seem to beget more hipster (see the New York Times and Dov Charney, to start). But is hipster in the Oxford Dictionary of English yet? Cause that’s when we’ll really know it’s all over.