Austin's South Congress neighborhood might have passed its through-being-cool stage long ago, but don't tell that to Architectural Digest. The area (technically at the Travis Heights-Bouldin Creek border, but who's counting?) made the cut in the publication's list of the 14 trendiest neighborhoods in American cities, taking its place alongside long-famous enclaves from as Greenwich Village to Venice Beach.
The study ("study"?) looked at living and entertainment expenses in 14 of the nation's "trendiest" cities to determine what it costs for residents of those areas to have an active offline social life. The report's baseline was a person who attends bothe an entertainment venue and an art venue once a week, dines out and buys coffee five times a week, and "enjoys a cocktail" twice per week.
The publication estimates that South Congress area residents spend about 16 percent of their monthly income, or $223 per week, on social expenses. That's probably if they stay out of the Hérmes store — which, granted, isn't one of the "coffee shops, top-notch restaurants, trendy cocktail bars, and live music venues" cited as part of the neighborhood's draw.
AD narrowed down its list of the trendy 14 from at 52 neighborhoods in the 100 most populous cities in the U.S., using census and Zillow data to determine median income and average rent costs.
The annual salary it calculated for a SoCo social butterfly's needs — $69,520 —is on the low end of the list, above only Philly's Fishtown ($60,000), just below Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward ($70,760) and way below Brooklyn's Williamsburg ($170,000) and Boston's South End ($161,000), the top two on the list.