Totally Off-Topic: Most Ironic Neighborhoods in America

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We're way too serious with our data analysis here at Behind the Net, so I wanted to break out of p-values and regression to the mean and apply a little data analysis to everyday life...

I was recently in Portland, OR, and I could not believe the sheer concentration of hipsters. (If you don't know what a hipster is, consider yourself lucky.) I mean, I live in San Francisco, and I lived in the Mission for six years, so there's no lack of mustachioed, inked-up tight-jean and 80s ray-ban wearing hipster dudes riding by me on fixies on their way to the record store. One of my favorite hole-in-the-wall latin american restaurants is under new ownership and now has a ridiculously-expensive tasting menu.

But Portland was on a whole other plain - animal skulls mounted on bike handlebars, food carts everywhere, restaurants with three things on the menu, and tons of those godawful oversized glasses. The place just dripped with irony. So I wondered...is my San Francisco-centrism blinding me to what are the most ironic neighborhoods and cities in the country are?

To answer that question, I went to Yelp. I went city-by-city, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, to find the greatest concentration of hipsters. And how did I do that? For hipsters, it was pretty easy - I typed 'hipster' into the search bar. But how do you find non-hipsters? Well, I'd say the establishments most contraindicated with hipsterism are sports bars. So a city's irony factor is just the ratio of 'hipster' hits to 'sports bar' hits.

First, the most ironic large neighborhoods:

Neighborhood Hipster Sports Bar Ratio
Williamsburg 410 87 4.7
Silver Lake, LA 131 42 3.1
Lower East Side 168 66 2.5
Capitol Hill, Seattle 147 58 2.5
Mission, San Francisco 410 178 2.3
Brooklyn (w/o Wmsbg) 358 181 2.0
Wicker Park, Chicago 142 77 1.8
Hollywood 208 124 1.7
Whittier, Minneapolis 153 151 1.0

Well, no surprises here. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but I went after the most famous ones in the most hipster cities. What about smaller neighborhoods?

Neighborhood Hipster Sports Bar Ratio
Little Five Points, Atlanta 21 5 4.2
Echo Park, Los Angeles 54 15 3.6
Mississippi, Portland 22 7 3.1
East Austin 48 17 2.8
Logan Square, Chicago 94 37 2.5
Hawthorne, Portland 48 22 2.2
Coventry, Cleveland 68 33 2.1
Humboldt, Portland 59 29 2.0
Jamaica Plain, Boston 37 19 1.9
Bucktown, Chicago 57 38 1.5

Again, not an exhaustive search. And some neighborhoods, like Bella Vista in Philadelphia, didn't have enough hits to really be relevant. If you've got some other neighborhoods for me to check out, feel free to comment.

Lastly, what about cities as a whole? These nine had roughly the same number of hipster hits as sports bars or more:

City Hipster Sports Bar Ratio
LA 2382 1691 1.4
Portland 610 478 1.3
Philadelphia 387 340 1.1
SF 1984 1792 1.1
Austin 456 414 1.1
New York 2062 1914 1.1
Minneapolis 159 155 1.0
Seattle 677 690 1.0
Oakland 460 474 1.0

I'm somewhat surprised that Philadelphia and Minneapolis ranked as highly as they did. And at the bottom end:

City Hipster Sports Bar Ratio
Phoenix 215 739 0.3
Miami 75 261 0.3
San Jose 188 775 0.2
Las Vegas 98 471 0.2
Orlando 37 214 0.2

These are definitely five deeply unironic cities. I've been to San Jose numerous times, and the actual meaning of everything there is certainly the same as the literal meaning.

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