Most city centers in the West are somewhat divided into neighborhoods, each having its own history, architecture, and unique character. Some of us like finding ourselves in neighborhoods that are just out of the mainstream, seeing the local quirky crowd, and learning about the local fringe or sub-culture. There are a few little tips to help you discover where to go to get that fringe vibe.
Follow the Music
One of the best ways to find the right neighborhood to learn about a local community is through live gigs. Whether online or on notice boards, look for live gigs of bands you’ve never heard of. Pay attention to the terms in their posters to get an idea of their age and vibe.
Thrift, Vintage, or Second Hand
Thrift shops are a great indicator of the local crowd, specifically the local kind that doesn’t have a central sorting center that spreads the merchandise to different branches. Pop in to see the style the locals grew out of, and the price tags attached to the discarded items. If the shops are vintage and priced like designer apparel, this area isn’t quite what you are looking for.
A quick and easy “test” of a neighborhood is the state of its walls. Are they clean? Are they covered in posters, graffiti, or commissioned murals? Look at what the art has to say as well, it will tell you who made and why!