When you get a tip from a source that says, “This is dumb but I also like it,” you listen up, because that’s the kinda stuff that great content is made of.
It’s like that for Where Is Williamsburg?
Where Is Williamsburg? is an app that tells you which neighborhood is most like Williamsburg in each city around the world (every habitable continent!). In the app you can travel the map to any major city. Tapping the icon will zoom in and tell you “The Williamsburg of” whatever city you’re in.
I asked Katie from Baltimore what the Williamsburg of that city is.
“Hampden fer shure,” she replied by text, correctly. “Shut up. That’s amazing. I know my city.”
The app crowdsources responses, asking users whether it got the right nabe. You can respond “Agree,” “Meh” or “Disagree,” to which the app will respond “Thanks!” or “Lol” or “O RLY?” and then ask you to choose what you think is the more appropriate neighborhood in that city.
“Maybe you’re searching for pour-over coffee amidst an ugly green sea of Starbucks(™) or maybe you have the uncomfortable feeling that the people around you don’t get that your knuckle tattoos are ironic,” the app’s description reads.
Where Is Williamsburg? is the work of Kate Ray, an engineer at the Kickstarter-for-science-stuff company Experiment.
“Built on data curated by other people exactly like you, this app will ensure that you never end up too far from home.”
I tested the app out on my hometown of Philadelphia. According to the app, Fishtown is Williamsburg in Philadelphia (requisite NYT trend piece link here). Fishtown is a solid call, although there’s still a lot of leftovers there competing for air with the new artists. I might have said Northern Liberties, to the south, but this is quibbling.
Since it did well in Philadelphia and Baltimore, I decided to test out its international reach with my friend Karoline, from Hamburg. She said it’s Schanze, and sure enough…
“Yes, that’s it! This is incredible! This is exactly where I went out to dinner the other day. This is so funny,” she said, scrolling through the app. “Yeah, see these are all the cool spots.”
Good enough, but what’s really impressive about Where Is Williamsburg? is that it even nails the Williamsburg of Brooklyn: