What’s a microhood?

We define the places we travel by destination and name. You visit the country of Brazil. Or spend the weekend in Chicago. Hang out in the Latin Quarter in Paris. But as our traveling tastes have become ever-more specialized, there’s been a movement towards defining ever-smaller areas of turf, more specifically called “microhoods.” These specialized places represent areas within large cities, sometimes as small as a block or two, with a dense range of activities, shopping and nightlife options.

Your typical microhood can be found in some of the world’s biggest cities, places like New York City or San Francisco, where urban density is high enough to support a large variety of buildings and businesses in a small area. An area mentioned in a recent investigation of microhoods used the area tagged as “Folsoma” in San Francisco as an example, a small block within the city’s Mission District on Folsom between 7th and 8th Streets. This area, of course, lies within the larger “SoMa,” itself within the confines of the city of San Francisco.

Is the idea of defining a microhood simply a real estate marketing gimmick? Or is there a larger trend at work here? Perhaps as technology allows us ever-more detailed methods to document and explore strange places, the idea of the microhood makes more sense. For others, the microhood helps make sense of a visit to a large and overwhelming city, providing a suggestion of what’s worth seeing to help plan their stay. Ever heard of any microhoods during your travels? Tell us about it in the comments.