While New Jersey tends to conjure up images of subdivisions and shopping malls that decidedly lack hipness, two Garden State cities are apparently a bit more desirable for those of the hipster persuasion than one might think.
LawnStarter recently released their 2021 rankings of the Best Cities for Hipsters. The Austin-based landscaper booking company took the 150 biggest cities in the country and measured their appeal based on 23 anti-mainstream factors ranging from the number of thrift stores, farmers markets, and record stores per capita plus other considerations like urban gardening and biker-friendliness.
Based on the criteria, Jersey City ranked fifth in the country in terms of hipster charm. New Jersey’s second-largest city drew particularly high rankings in the fashion category, which took into consideration the availability of thrift stores, vintage clothiers, and tattoo parlors. Chilltown’s food and drink scene, which judged craft breweries, dive bars, and coffee roasteries, ranked eighth-best for hipsters.
Jersey City also ranked eighth in the country in the hipster culture category, which took into account record and music stores per capita, antique shops, and galleries. Chilltown was determined to have the second most art events per 100,000 residents of any city in the country, ranking only behind Yonkers, New York.
Despite its decidedly lower hipster profile, Newark managed to crack the list’s top 50 and was ranked the 41st best city for hipsters. Brick City’s best ranking at tenth came in the fashion category, although their 75th place finish in food scene consideration could stand to improve.
New York City, home to the stereotypical Williamsburg hipster, ranked surprisingly low on the list. The Big Apple came in at 67th, perhaps once and for all proving that the borough of Brooklyn does not consist entirely of neighborhoods adjacent to Manhattan-bound bridges.
Besides Jersey City, the top five spots on LawnStarter’s study included some usual suspects and what some might consider a Sunshine State surprise. San Francisco topped the list and was promptly followed by second-place Portland, with Oakland, California, not far behind in third. Fourth place went to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.