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SOME LIKE IT HOT

A new app helps you find the “Williamsburg” of any city in the world

Flickr/Nan Palmero/CC BY 2.0
Perfection.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

If you can’t go more than a few hours without an artisanal pour-over coffee, a Pabst Blue Ribbon in a mason jar, or blogging about why your music tastes are more refined than your friends’, then there’s a new travel app that’s perfect for you. But you probably haven’t heard of it.

Where Is Williamsburg?, a crowdsourced location app launched earlier this month, plots what’s considered the Williamsburg—New York City’s original hipster Mecca—of just about every major city around the world. The basis of the app came from a 2014 Gawker article mapping where the hippest neighborhoods in the US were, according to Springwise. Now, users can open the app and see the hipster hangout in their city, or move around a map to see where to go when they visit other cities. If they don’t agree, they can select where they believe to be the most hip area of town.

Where is Williamsburg?/Screenshot
Not Williamsburg.

The app also has helpful activity searches built in that use Foursquare location data so that the globetrotting hipster never feels they are without their creature comforts: Clicking on the beer can icon at the bottom will provide you with a list of every bar that serves PBR; clicking on the knife and fork will show you a list of brunch spots; the coffee cup is a list of places that serve pour-over coffee, and the jeans icon will show you where all the closest American Apparel outlets are located. Other than perhaps a place to get spare parts for your fixed-gear bike, or somewhere that sells beard oil, the app has pretty much everything you’d ever need.

But trends are fleeting, and it seems that even Williamsburg isn’t immune to becoming uncool. In the app, if you search in New York City for its Williamsburg, you actually get Bushwick, a different neighborhood in Brooklyn that’s not quite as developed as Williamsburg, but perhaps even more jam-packed with artist residences, craft beer bars, and flea markets.

Where is Williamsburg?/Screenshot
Miles away from Shoreditch.

As for outside of the US, spot checks suggest that many of the world’s cities have their hipster neighborhoods correctly identified—such as Kreuzberg in Berlin, or Vesterbro in Copenhagen—but be sure to double-check before heading on vacation. For example, in London, the app says that Shoreditch is the Williamsburg of the city (which is certainly true), but it marks as far further east in West Ham: Anybody looking for pour-over coffee or early-pressing vinyl out there is likely to get knifed.

Who said startups aren’t building anything useful anymore?

Image by Nan Palmero on Flickr, licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

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