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NEW: Providence Named Top Hipster City by Travel + Leisure

Thursday, April 05, 2012

 

Hipster Central, according to Travel + Leisure: Providence's AS220

Providence nails another Top 10 nationwide today as Travel + Leisure names it among the Top 10 Cities for Hipsters in the United States.

The capital city, home to hipster hangouts like the Steelyard, AS220, and Olneyville Square is in fact the #6 Best City for Hipsters, according to latest ranking of America's largest cities released by the internationally renowned travel magazine. Seattle, WA crowned the list at #1, followed by Portland, OR (#2), San Francisco, CA (#3), New Orleans, LA (#4) and Portland, ME (#5). Providence was followed by Austin, TX at #7, and San Juan, PR, Philadelphia, PA, and Denver, CO at #8, #9, and #10. New York City ranked #12 and Boston #17.

What makes a city a hipster hangout?

The hip honor for Providence is the latest round of Travel + Leisure's America's Favorite City Survey, where readers ranked 35 metropolitan areas on culturally relevant features like live music, coffee bars, and independent boutiques. To zero in on the biggest hipster crowds, T+L says it factored in the results for the best microbrews and the most offbeat and tech-savvy locals.

"This academia-rich New England city has a concentrated mix of artists and nerds," writes T+L, "scoring high in the survey for its performance art and cafés." T+L names AS220 as the "artsy nerve center" of the city, which the magazine says boasts of stimulating Rhode Island’s “cultural mulch” through shows, a restaurant, a coffee bar, and a meeting space for the tech group Providence Geeks.

Defining today's hipster

Travel + Leisure admits this new ranking reflects its take on the debated term hipster, "which can inspire eye rolls or admiration," Katrina Brown Hunt writes. "Once used to describe counterculture types, hipster is now so prevalent it’s at a possible tipping point. Whatever your take, you generally know hipsters when you see them—most likely in funky, up-and-coming neighborhoods. A smirking attitude toward mainstream institutions means they tend to frequent cool, often idiosyncratic restaurants, shops, and bars—the same kinds of venues that appeal to travelers looking for what they can’t find at home. (Yelp.com now even has a search feature for “hipster” ambience.)

For the entire ranking, go here.

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