If you work in food service, you know that Yelp can be a ton of BS. Foodier-than-thou reviewers blaming servers for the mistakes of the kitchen (and vice versa), and multiple haughty empty threats to take business elsewhere. But let’s be real about one thing: we’re still using it, aren’t we? So as everyone comes within an inch of getting fired over a misinformed customer review, Yelp keeps rolling out all this fun interactive crap that we can’t stop using. Presenting the Yelp Wordmap, which creates an ever-changing map of hotspots according to the number of reviews that mention certain buzzwords, such as “cheap,” “hipster,” and “PBR.”
So what is this besides a fun little distraction tool? On the off-chance you’re venturing outside your usual scene, it’s good to be prepared for anything – long waits, early closures, no bar. It’s better to be in an area that you know is a hot spot rather than traveling across Brooklyn for just one place.
Some results are slightly curious. Search for “cheap,” and almost all of Brooklyn is left out. Is it because we assume everything is cheap here, and therefore doesn’t need to be addressed in a Yelp review? Or is it because nothing is cheap, and Yelpers only use it if they’re insulting the quality of a restaurant? The answer probably lies somewhere in between.
Other spots where heat pops up on the map are pretty predictable, though no less hilarious and amusing. “Hangover” produces faint blushes all over Park Slope, Bed Stuy, and Cobble Hill, while “hipster” is met with an almost violently dark patch of red over Williamsburg.
More vague terms such as “patios,” “cocktails,” and “pasta” are everywhere, and “tourists” are nowhere in Brooklyn except for DUMBO. It seems like, as always, in addition to telling us where to go, Yelp proves just as helpful in telling us where the hell not to go.