I have several criteria for the places I want to live: as I’ve said before, I want a healthy gay population (even though I’m not gay, I feel more comfortable when the queers are around), an indie bookstore and movie theater, and a coffee shop that serves frappuccino-like crap with whipped cream. Bonus points also go to neighborhoods with ne’er-do-well teens on skateboards, really good basketball hoops with nets, a park within walking distance, and either the view of a large body of water or a mountain. Park Slope has all that stuff except the water or mountain.
But after looking at the map, I’ve hit upon another really good way to pick a place to live, especially in New York: check out the blogs per subway station ratio on the nycbloggers website. I’d say that if you didn’t know anything about the town, simply picking a subway stop that has 10 or more bloggers represented is a good place to start.
Looking at the map of Manhattan, a few things are made obvious: first off, the Astor Place stop has a shitload of bloggers (most likely because of NYU) but it’s also in the East Village, a place where most of the things I listed can be found. Tons of lesbians, a park, good coffee shops, and two hole-in-the-wall indie movie theaters showing Kurosawa films. I believe the East Village should be abandoned at the age of 30 for health reasons, but it’s really great for a few years.
Other places with tons of bloggers: The Lower East Side and my old hood 1st Avenue and 14th St; the flamboyantly wonderful world of West 4th St.; the cool area up near Lincoln Center; the hipsters in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill; and of course, all the folks at my subway stop.
I know it’s not a perfect theory there are a confusing number of blogs to be found on the Upper East Side, and my disdain for that part of town has been relentlessly documented. That, and I have no clue what the hell people are writing about over at the fuckin’ Port Authority, but there seems to be more there than abandoned porn shops and sickening public restrooms.
But as I said, it’s a good start. Bloggers are good people; they are technophiles, extroverts, they pick their neighborhoods wisely, and generally have something to say. Except for those knitting blogs yeesh! Somebody put a cable-knit sock in those motherscratchers, please!