Underneath the Grime: The Charm of America's Dodgiest Hoods


	L.A. Live is Dowtown Los Angeles's crown jewel.

L.A. Live is Dowtown Los Angeles's crown jewel. 

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Aug 5, 2013 —  In the land of the free and home of the brave, people of all stripes root for the underdog. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a guy or girl, fictional or real, young or old – Americans embrace the rough-around-the-edges hero with open arms.

In the same way, U.S. citizens can see the good underneath the graffiti in the country's outwardly dodgy neighborhoods. Take Bushwick in New York for example. The off-the-beaten-path area is a little grimy on the outside, yet houses a beloved DIY music scene that attracts local talent and hordes of passionate tunage fans.

Chicago’s Humboldt Park could use a paint job, but it doesn’t need any updates when it comes to scrumptious diners and bakeries. The heavily Puerto Rican and Polish area is chock-full of ethnic eateries that draw an eclectic clientele of Second City denizens.

There might be no better comeback story, however, than Downtown Los Angeles. The oft-maligned locale has come back to life in recent years with the addition of L.A. Live, and a plethora of hip and trendy bars like The Varnish.

As Americans get to know some of these neighborhoods better, they see that it’s just as important to cheer for the wrong side of the tracks as it is to champion the kid from it.

  • Bushwick

    New York

    Bushwick, New York.
  • Humboldt Park


    Humboldt Park, Chicago.
  • H Street Corridor

    Washington, DC

    H Street Corridor, Washington, DC.
  • Downtown

    Los Angeles

    Downtown, Los Angeles.
  • Civic Center / Tenderloin

    San Francisco

    Civic Center / Tenderloin, San Francisco.
  • Dorchester / Jamaica Plain


    Dorchester / Jamaica Plain, Boston.

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