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Megalomaniac
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but what is "cool?"

my vote goes to Ensley in Birmingham. it's so cool, there's a jazz classic about it, "Tuxedo Junction." nowadays, it feels like you're in a post-apocalyptic town.

so cool, you won't find a Starbucks, Ralph Lauren or whatever trendy crap abounds there.

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Megalomaniac
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dude, Ensley's got strip clubs, night clubs, thrift shops, a little art deco skyscraper, Fat Burger...it's the coolest!!!

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Cooper-Young in Memphis (Midtown area) is pretty cool although small. I also like Hillsboro Village in Nashville and Virginia Highlands in Atlanta. All three of these areas are vibrant and completely unlike the other.
 

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Capital City
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I'll agree with the poster above about "Little Five Points" in Atlanta, I was there this weekend and it was very...interesting :) There were quite a few pink-haired girls walking around, lol.

As I feel I should represent Raleigh somehow in this thread, Five Points in Raleigh is a very interesting area, with bars, antique shops, and restaurants. Also some nice old houses.
 

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I really like the Highlands in Louisville, it is (I think) 3 miles long and has tons of bars/clubs cheap restaurants/expensive restaurants, quirky local shops...record stores etc...I dont have any pictures, I wish I did....but if you know about it, you know its pretty awesome.

I have never really attributed peircing and tatoo shops to a fun thriving area or 'COOL' ... maybe thats a new development ... I cant wait for wig shops to be 'IN' :)
 

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They may be a little touristy, but I would have to say I like neighborhoods such as The French Quarter, South Beach, and The Battery in Charleston.


For non touristy neighborhoods, I am becoming a fan of Uptown Dallas. It is one big new urbanist village without the master planned feel.
 

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Architect
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My own . . .

West Lake in Martinez, a suburb of Augusta, GA. It is the second most upscale neighborhood in Augusta (next to the Hill, of course).

It is has its own golf course and is the residence of many famous golfers during the Masters.
 

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Capital City
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Another really cool place is downtown Wilmington, NC. There are new condo developments, a riverfront walk, cobblestone and brick streets, bars, nice restaurants, the USS North Carolina battleship, historic homes, and historic tours. Outside of Raleigh, its my favorite city in North Carolina.
 

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In Memphis, the South Main area is interesting. 99% gentrified and probably more expensive than cool:





Warehouse turned into a residence:



East of downtown, the Edge--sort of like South Main 10 years ago:

 
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