Where the Party At, LA and New York?

Where the Party At, LA and New York?

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Taryn Williford
Apr 15, 2009

Every few years, especially in areas as urban and dense as New York City and Los Angeles, there's a new hip neighborhood where everyone wants to be. But somebody actually took the time to study and map out the cool neighborhoods in LA and NYC based on—get this—the frequency of Getty Images from parties there. Guess what? The party spots in aren't in trendy Silver Lake or Williamsburg...

041509_tf_buzz_la.jpg041509_tf_buzz_nyc.jpgThis isn't just the product of a bored artist. Elizabeth Currid, an assistant professor in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and her co-author, Sarah Williams, the director of the Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, went through thousands of photographs from Getty Images for an entire year, starting in March 2006, that documented flashy parties and smaller affairs on both coasts.

So what did they discover? Grouping the photos by themed groups; film, fashion, theater, art, music and television; they found that the most party-hopping areas in New York are around Lincoln and Rockefeller Centers, and down Broadway from Times Square into SoHo. In Los Angeles, the great parties are in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, along the Sunset Strip.

All of the data was collected onto wall-hang-worthy maps that look like they've been heat-scanned. It might actually be a really cool alternative to the Ork city posters if you could blow it up a bit. Get a close-up look at the maps here.

The article at the New York Times Online that covered this project goes more in-depth about why they found the buzzed-about spots sticking to traditional old-guard party spots and why the up-and-coming trendy areas didn't get much attention this time around. It's a great read for those interested in cultural studies. Check it out here.

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