Every major city has at least one: the “it” neighborhood where young creative types set trends in fashion, art, and music. September’s issue of Vogue lists the top hipster hotspots of the world in a new global “Coolest Neighborhoods” list, and China made the cut.
Joining locales such as Shimokitazawa in Tokyo (#1), Södermalm in Stockholm (#3), Bushwick in New York (#7), and Silver Lake in Los Angeles (#12) on the exclusive list of 15 is Beijing’s Dashanzi Art District, which is more commonly known as the 798 Art Zone. Ranked at number 15, it’s the only neighborhood in China to earn a spot and is one of three neighborhoods listed in Asia.
Here’s what the fashion magazine had to say about its choice:
Also known as the 798 Art Zone, the Dashanzi Art District in northeastern Beijing sprung up around—what else?—decommissioned military factories. The area now boasts world-class galleries, loft-style apartments, and trendy bookstores (check out Timezone 8), its cool-kid influx no doubt emblematic of China’s growing presence in global contemporary culture. Case in point: Long March Space, a showroom that works with such artists as Lin Tianmiao and Xu Zhen (and exhibited this past June at the prestigious Art Basel fair in Switzerland) and the London-based Saatchi Gallery, which notes that it holds “what many consider the most provocative exhibition programs in Beijing.”
In addition to 798, several hutong areas in Beijing have been labeled trendy neighborhoods by media sources. These include Nanluoguxiang and Gulou, which was profiled in The New York Times last year (and is now rapidly being torn down).