Posted by: bkivey | 13 May 2011

The Hippest Place in America – You Betcha!

Portland, OR, is in the first rank internationally for beer and nationally for food, but its collective psyche is fundamentally insecure. Historically overshadowed by its more glamorous cousins to the north and south, it has longed to establish an identity of its own. In recent years the constituency of the young, educated and underemployed has reached a sort of critical mass where the community of ‘creatives’ has attracted like folks from across the country. Being a very blue-green part of the country, the city has embraced this demographic and taken it as part of its identity.

This hasn’t been without hiccoughs. When it turned out that one of the ‘unique’ Portland slogans, “Keep Portland Weird”, was actually an import from Austin, TX, enthusiasm for that bit of bumper sticker wisdom waned considerably. As the economy has soured, the collective embrace of the slacker culture has cooled to the point where Portland is now sardonically referred to as the place young people go to retire.

Still, any PBR-drinking, iPod-wearing, fixie-riding hipster would tell you that Portland was the place to be.

Except, apparently, it isn’t.

From the blog, we find that an analysis of Google Search volumes reveals that the hippest place in America is: Minnesota.

Yes, the Land of 10,000 Lakes turns out to be the Land of 10,000 Slackers, based on search keywords containing the word ‘hipster’. New York is No. 2, presumably because of Williamsburg, NYC, while Oregon comes in at 3rd.

If you break it down by metropolitan area, things get worse:


Portland does no better than 6th, 6th! Behind Santa Barbara, for crying out loud! How in the world can Beervana keep its hipster cred? Well, its still the most bicycle-friendly place in America, right? Um, no. In its latest rankings Bicycling magazine ranked Portland 2nd, behind . . . Minneapolis.

Well, we still have medical marijuana.

Friday the 13th

Today is the day to stay away from black cats, ladders, and Sports Illustrated covers. If you fear this day, you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia. Some folks who didn’t do too well on Friday the 13th:

  • German investors. The Berlin Stock Exchange collapsed today in 1927, an event known as “Black Friday”.
  • Reggie Jackson. On this day in 1983, the slugger became the first major leaguer to accumulate 2,000 career strikeouts.

For some people, today has been auspicious. The Rolling Stones released “Paint It Black” today in 1966.


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