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Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties Makes List Of America’s Top Hipster Neighborhoods

(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

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By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Head to Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood, and you’re sure to see them. The skinny jeans-wearing, PBR-swilling, facial hair-and-tattoo-loving segment of the population referred to (sometimes in reverence and other times in disdain) as “hipsters.”

They’re everywhere, and they’re already regulars in places that are so cool, so new, you haven’t even heard of them yet. And by the time you do, they’ll have moved on—strictly on principle.

But for now, NoLibs, roughly categorized as the up-and-coming neighborhood north of Old City and bordered by Girard Avenue to the north; Callowhill Street to the south; North 6th Street to the west; and the Delaware River to the east, is officially having its Hipster Moment.

How do we know? Because Forbes.com (one of the least hipster-y media outlets out there) said so. In their annual list of the 20 “Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods” in America, Philly’s NoLibs comes in at a pretty respectable 14.

The short write up praises the neighborhood’s “walkability” (it’s one of the areas with the highest on the list) as well as its restaurants, coffee shops and art galleries. It also makes note of NoLibs’ great nightlife and recognizes it as the location of Edgar Allen Poe’s former home.

Forbes, which created the list with the help of San Francisco-based startup Nextdoor.com, rated the hipster hoods according to walkability, number of coffee shops per capita, assortment of food trucks, number and frequency of farmers’ markets, selection of locally-owned bars and restaurants and percentage of residents who make a living in creative/artistic fields. Interestingly, Forbes says Nextdoor’s Neighborhood “Hipness” Index—or how often words associated with generic hipness, like “art,” “gallery,” and “musician,” appeared on Nextdoor neighborhood site pages—was also a factor.

Unsurprisingly, other hipster havens include neighborhoods in Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA. And of course, New York City’s hipster mecca, Williamsburg, Brooklyn ranked up there at number three. But the number one “Hippest Hipster” hood of 2012? Los Angeles’ Silver Lake came out on top, largely due to its “booming arts scene and one of the largest creative class communities in the country.”

As to any comparisons between the top-ranking neighborhoods and Philly’s Northern Liberties, the hipsters couldn’t be reached for comment. They’ve already packed up and set their sights on the next big thing: Fishtown.

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