Dec. 05-- As your truly hip West Coast neighbors, we can appreciate good irony.
Vancouver, Washington, was recently named the country's "most hipster city" when it comes to tattoos, beer and other signs of "hipsterdom," according to a London-based moving-information company. Tacoma and Spokane ranked No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.
We (No. 20 Seattle) are collectively chuckling over our flat whites while the latest indie music plays in the background.
The company, called MoveHub, studied rent inflation to measure gentrification and the number of microbreweries, vegan stores, tattoo parlors and thrift shopsper 100,000 residents among the country's 150 most-populous cities for the "U.S. Hipster Index."
The Pacific Northwest's concentration of such establishments is unsurprisingly high. Washington is the only state with three top-10 cities.
And with a population around 175,000, the Portland suburb measured supremely for its proportion of microbreweries and tattoo shops. And its 16.2 percent increase in rent within the past year-as part of the region's rising housing prices-catapulted Vancouver's score to the top.
A similar city-by-city comparison by Forbes and Sperling's Best Places in October ranked Seattle No. 2 for its level of "cool," determined by its restaurants, world-class museums, sports teams, good hiking and reliable mass transit-just behind San Francisco.
But apparently for skinny jeans and fixed-gear bikes, we have to travel south.
"Living in Vancouver for many years, I would have to say that 98 percent of Vancouverites don't know what 'hipster' even means," one commenter wrote on MoveHub.
That even included the mayor, The Columbian reported, until media outlets reported on the ranking by MoveHub, a company that gathers data to aid moving decisions, and she did the research.
"There's no one prevailing definition, but common qualities (of hipsters) are easy enough to spot," MoveHub says. "Hipsters are a subculture of 20- to 30-somethings who position themselves as non-mainstream pioneers; freethinkers and nonconformist conformists."
Who knew it's hip to not be hip.
Here is the full list:
1. Vancouver, Washington
2. Salt Lake City
4. Boise, Idaho
5. Richmond, Virginia
9. Grand Rapids, Michigan
10. Rochester, New York
11. Orlando, Florida
13. Knoxville, Tennessee
14. Tucson, Arizona
15. Santa Rosa, California
16. Huntsville, Alabama
17. Tampa, Florida
18. Reno, Nevada
19. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Material from The Seattle Times archives was used in this report
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