Some people like to travel to the same places over and over again – maybe to a particular beach town, a favorite mountain resort, or Disney. We definitely do this – although we travel to many other places too, Joe and I have been going to Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels TX almost every year since 2007.
When you visit the same place a lot, you start to get its vibe, and it’s often different from what a “one-time tourist” would get. You know what I mean. The establishments that are better, worse or more or less popular. Where you can get stuff cheaper. The neighborhoods that are fine and the ones you want to try to stay away from at nighttime. The restaurants that become your favorites. How the area has changed over time.
Anyway, a few years ago, I found a blog that draws maps. But they’re not just any maps… they’re of popular (and sometimes not-so-popular) locations. Instead of helping you get from Point A to Point B, they’re chock full of satirical, cynical and tongue-in-cheek humor regarding what can be found in different areas of said cities.
They call themselves Judgemental Maps and they’ve been on the ‘net (first on Tumblr, now on their own site, too) since around 2013 or so. They’re snarky, brutally honest and irreverent while pointing out areas of “carjackings,” “white guilt,” “Kardashian watchers” and “rich old people.” They’ve got a website with over 50,000 followers and a book that was the 26th best seller on Amazon in 2016. And lots and LOTS of judgemental maps.
Here’s what some publications have said about Judgemental Maps:
- “If you’re hypercritical, condescending, and snarky, you really need these maps.” – LA Weekly
- “Judgmental Maps lays out more practical, less politically correct distinctions for the places we call home… and the places we hate next to the places we call home.” – Paste Magazine
- “Stereotypes from sea to shining sea. Laugh at other cities and neighborhoods. Cry over your own.” – Jeff Greenspan, Freelance Creative Director and former Chief Creative Officer at Buzzfeed
- “Judgmental Maps are sure to offend just about everyone – and make them laugh their heads off at the same time.” – Bustle.com
Here are some examples:
(Note: If you haven’t figured it out, many maps are unsafe for work, children, or people without a dark sense of humor. Most maps have decidedly adult language and adult situations, including stereotypes, racial comments, sexually explicit comments, and other potentially offensive things that could offend some people. They are written as a form of satire and are meant to make people laugh, but if you’re easily offended by such things, please don’t read any further, as you will see all that and more on the maps posted below.)
(I mean it – last chance! You have been warned!)
New York <– Click on the link for more examples besides NYC (i.e., Williamsburg, Long Island, The Hamptons, Plattsburgh, Albany, etc.)
Florida <– Click on the link for more examples besides Walt Disney World (i.e., Tampa Bay, Orlando, Delray Beach, Key West, Sarasota, Jacksonville, etc.)
California <– Click on the link for more examples besides Marin County (i.e., San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, Anaheim, Long Beach, Ventura County, San Francisco, etc.)
Detroit, Michigan <– click on the link to see a version with larger printing
Auckland, New Zealand
Although it doesn’t appear that they’ve released any new maps since November 2021 (sadness), there are still plenty of judgemental maps (and even a whole book!) to look at – check them out at JudgementalMaps.com.
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Since you reproduce the map of NYC, let’s give credit to the original satirical map of the city by Rick Meyerowitz, used as the December 10, 2001 cover of The New Yorker:
Imitation is truly sincere flattery.