Gawker Says Hampden Is the Williamsburg of Baltimore
Maybe this just goes to show that trying to determine the most Williamsburg-ish neighborhood in every major city in the United States is a meaningless exercise, or maybe it goes to show that I am way off on what I think of as “Williamsburg-ish.”
Because why not, Gawker conducted a readers poll to decide which neighborhood in a given city is its “Williamsburg” and which its “Bushwick.” Apparently, our Williamsburg (Brooklyn’s soon-to-be-former hip artist enclave) is Hampden, and our Bushwick (Brooklyn’s current hip artist enclave) is Station North.
With all due respect to the Gawker commenters who voted for Hampden, the comparison is far from apt. Sure, Hampden is plenty artsy, and you can pay too much for a burger there, but as gentrified as it is, it still shows — at least superficially — its quirky, working-class roots. Overly ornamented lawns, townies shouting “Putcher coad awn!,” and even the occasional swastika-tattooed skinhead are sighted to this day in the neighborhood.
But, actually, I don’t think any neighborhood in Baltimore really fits the mold of either of these cities. I don’t know any young hip artists in Baltimore who say they’re “done with Hampden” or “so over Mt. Vernon” the way I hear their Brooklyn counterparts complain about their favorite neighborhoods.
Maybe it’s that gentrification is slower down here and the rent is still relatively cheap, or that we’re not so inundated with transplants that we’ve come to resent it, or maybe it’s something else entirely.
But anyway, none of the above, please.