This week, Yelp launched Wordmaps, a new tool that allows users to visualize patterns in commonly used words across 39 million Yelp reviews, such as “pasta,” “cocktails,” and “patio.” The words are then projected onto a heat map, showing neighborhoods around a particular city in which those words are heavily used by Yelpers.
Despite what you think about Yelp, the feature is actually pretty cool and can come in handy when figuring out where to hang out (and what areas to avoid) around Boston. In the Hub, Yelp picked 16 keywords to visualize, and while some of them are boring (see: noodles), others are crucial to your livelihood in Boston.
Below we’ve picked out the four most important Yelp Boston Wordmaps to memorize in order to make your life a little better (and a little less hipster).
Sorry, vegetarians, but bacon rules the world (or at least it should), and pork lovers need to know where to get their hands on the crispy stuff. According to Yelp, Harvard Square is a bubbling fountain of bacon, as is the Back Bay and Downtown Crossing. Go forth, bacon fiends.
This is map is a literal red flag for areas to avoid. Not surprisingly, the Faneuil area and all of the North End are a deep, deep shade of red, meaning you should only venture here for meals if you want to be seated next to a Hawaiian-shirt clad Dad forcing his kids to shovel down their overpriced cannolis so they can get to the next stop on the Freedom Trail ASAP.
If there’s one thing to take away from these maps, it’s that tourists and hipsters don’t mix – despite each group’s love for fanny packs. As a general note, across the river seems to be where hipsters run amuck. Given the above map and the one below, the safest place to avoid both groups simultaneously appears to be the South End.
Let’s end on a positive note. I like this map because it’s a good reminder of something we can often forget in the monotony of our daily lives: Boston is a really f*cking cool city, with sweeping views of the ocean, of rivers and of historic landmarks. Forget the tourists, hipsters and the bacon (OK, don’t forget the bacon), and make it a point to visit the spots that put on display the best views Boston has to offer.