On The Web – Finding Your Way To The Perfect Neighborhood


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Someone's having a neighborhood birthday party. Photo by George Williams.

Someone's having a neighborhood birthday party. Photo by George Williams.

Ann Montgomery moved 35 times in her life. That’s right, 35 times. And each time she moved she had the same dilemma – which neighborhood in this undiscovered new city should she call home sweet home? Like most of us, she turned to the modern-day oracle called the Internet, but was left with spotty googling and biased recommendations. On her last move to New York, she found herself roaming aimlessly looking for El Dorado.

Maybe it was this last move that inspired her. Or maybe the spinach-grapefruit smoothies she enjoyed along the way. Or maybe it was her business savoir faire that exposed a window of opportunity in the lack of a comprehensive resource on neighborhoods. Personally, I think it was the smoothie. Either way, it was this inspiration that lead her to cofound NabeWise.com, an amazing new website that helps you discover your perfect neighborhood.

We think neighborhoods are like people — each with a unique character, personality, and attitude. Whether you’re moving, traveling, or just daydreaming, we know you want to find a neighborhood that not only meets your practical needs, but also matches who you are.

Nabewise is literally putting neighborhoods on the map, capturing their ever-changing landscape offline, in a unique and friendly way online. For example, they take the local’s view on neighborhood names/boundaries, which can be a challenge to separate from marketing agencies’ and real estate agents’ efforts to rebrand these areas.

Editors write the intro to each neighborhood, but almost all the rest of the content is contributed by users, building resources organically from those who are part of the community. They then combine this local wisdom with valuable data such as maps, school ratings, real estate values, nightlife, dining, for a comprehensive snapshot of a neighborhood.

And it’s fun too! Use Nabewise to search neighborhoods with terms like “hipster” or “green” or “beautiful people” and add or omit as it fits you. Use the fun tag cloud for a general overview and check out their list of 5 highlights and lowlights for a more data-driven interpretation. Genius!

Nabewise currently has over 1,050 neighborhoods in 8 cities – and growing day by day. But there is a long path ahead given that there are over 80,000 neighborhoods in the U.S.A, 300 of which are in New York City alone. Yikes!

Photo of Capitol Hill, Seattle, by David McNeary.

Capitol Hill, Seattle. Photo by David McNeary.

We imagine that as the neighborhoods themselves continuously morph, so will the content on Nabewsise, a beautiful thing to watch (speaking of beautiful, did you see their team pictures? yeesh). Eventually, we’ll see how communities develop in positive ways (or not), how certain resources make neighborhoods better, and source ways in which communities organize. So even larger than a relocating tool, Nabewise shows how communities develop and grow.

Go ahead and check out Nabewise.com and put your stamp on your map because what better way to celebrate local living and being neighborly than by sharing your nabe wisdom?


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