Where the Hipsters Are 2013
America's next hipster cities: Tucson, Pittsburgh and a Texas enclave are prime candidates
Last year we created a list of the next hipster cities. The article, which provoked equal parts social media sharing and eye-rolling, claimed that Chattanooga, Detroit, Asheville, N.C., and Burlington, Vt., were the next hipster cities.
Some of our theories came true, while others did not. Detroit continues to dominate hipsterdom, while Burlington continues to be a delightfully sleepy hippie town. (Side note: We purposely left off cities like Austin, Portland, Nashville and New Orleans.)
In the 18 months that have passed, we've traveled quite a bit of the country and thought it was time to take a look at what new hipster cities have emerged on the scene.
What makes Tucson cool is that it's not Phoenix.
How could a place hotter than the devil's butt crack possibly be hip? Well, don't be surprised if you start seeing Tucson popping up more frequently on lists of unique places to live and visit.
What makes Tucson cool is that it's not Phoenix. What also makes Tucson cool is that it has a vibrant arts scene, gorgeous vintage architecture and inexpensive dwellings. Plus it's a popular place for cult classic musicians to inhabit. (Calexico and Giant Sand are current residents; Neko Case has also called it home.)
If you find yourself visiting Tucson, the only place to stay is Hotel Congress. Famous for being John Dillinger's hideout right before his capture, this boutique hotel is the epicenter of Tucson's arts and culture and features old-timey, inexpensive rooms; gourmet diner Cup Cafe; and bar/music venue Club Congress. The latter highlights a nightly roster of food fests, DJs, dance parties and sweet music acts — like this week's double bill of Howard Jones and Men Without Hats(!).
Tucson also features its own version of Austin's Sixth Street — 4th Avenue —which features your normal array of bars, bookstores, co-ops, markets and locally gift shops. The only difference is, a number of these businesses are 100 percent solar-powered!
If you're thinking of moving to Tucson, check out the neighborhood Barrio Santa Rosa, located within walking distance of downtown and featuring colorful adobe homes from the turn of the century.
The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, where Lee Harvey Oswald was caught, now features an array of Alamo Drafthouse-esque events.
Oak Cliff, Texas
Okay. Technically Oak Cliff is not a city; it's a neighborhood southwest of downtown Dallas. But just go with it. Oak Cliff has the culture and innovation of East Austin and the architecture of Austin's Hyde Park. Oak Cliff is no longer the neighborhood your friends tell you to stay away from; the bustling area is filled with reclaimed theaters, breweries, art spaces and boutique shops.
The place to stay in Oak Cliff is The Belmont, an art moderne boutique hotel with a breathtaking pool overlooking downtown Dallas. Rooms start at $109, and the hotel has an attached bar and award-winning restaurant next door, Smoke.
Another Oak Cliff must is the Texas Theatre. Known for being the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended after assassinating President Kennedy, the theater is now owned by four film professionals and features an array of Alamo Drafthouse-esque events and film festivals.
Located next to the Texas Theater is Veracruz Coastal hideout Mesa, which made news in Dallas recently after a surprise visit from Beyonce and Jay-Z. If you're into curios and vintage clothing, stroll the Bishop Arts District and check out shops with impossibly hip names such as M'antiques and We Are 1976.
Hip kids who stayed in Dallas are creating such things as School Class, a free community class center, and SisterBrother Mgmt, a new agency representing the best of Texas' creative photographers and stylists. P.S. Don't forget to check out vegan Spiral Diner!
Pittsburgh is bubbling with young people molding the city into what they want it to be.
Pittsburgh is one of those cities that continually shows up on lists of places that have redefined themselves. So what makes Pittsburgh so hip? It's still on the up.
If you move there now, you'll definitely be on the forefront of something unique. With more than 39 colleges and universities, Pittsburgh is bubbling with young people molding the city into what they want it to be.
If you're visiting Pittsburgh, check out Priory Hotel, a rustic boutique hotel in North Shore that is within walking distance to the museum of Pittsburgh's beloved son, Andy Warhol. Art is a way of life in Pittsburgh, with must-sees such as the Mattress Factory, a four-story warehouse featuring room-sized installations, and Penn Avenue Arts, an initiative to revitalize the Penn Avenue Corridor through art.
If you feel like channeling even more of your favorite toupee-wearing pop artist, check out Brillobox, a food/drinks/music/art hub located in Lawrenceville. If you're looking for something a little quieter, one of the city's most popular restaurants is Quiet Storm. This vegetarian/vegan diner features non-meat alternatives to such foodie gems as banh mi and Cubanos.
If all this isn't hipster enough for you, vintage clothing online icon ModCloth is located in Pittsburgh.