As much as I like Magnolia and I think it's a great addition to FW the more I hang out there the less organic it feels. Organic, in my opinion, are more established neighborhoods that have a bit more diversity in their nature, places that sit side by side without any rhyme or reason; kinda like many of the neighborhoods I experienced while living in SF & Chicago. Ones with higher end restaurants and bars, next to tattoo parlors, antique shops, boutique hotels, hole in the wall joints, delis, bookstores, record shops & other oddities. Don't get me wrong, I really like some of the places on Magnolia, but everything seems to be extremely "Kentrified" and put neatly in it's place (except for a few exceptions). It has too much of a produced vibe for me to label it organic. If it weren't for the bones of the older buildings it would feel a lot more like W. 7th than you might think and vice versa. That being said, I am grateful to have an area like this in FW to have as a destination. There wasn't anything like this while I was growing up here and coming of age.
I think South Main will be a little more "organic" in nature, more like Magnolia.
South Main and the area East towards S&R does seem to have a grittier feel to it and I prefer that over Magnolia, but with Kent & Co.'s headquarters there I don't know if that feel will remain. I truly hope I'm wrong about that.
I know what you're talking about. The buildings on Magnolia that have been built or renovated recently, for the most part, have been done one by one, as opposed to full block developments as found in other parts of town. I think that has really benefited the feel of the street. Yes, some of the design (architecture and signage) is maybe a little tone deaf to the appealing, organic, or bohemian vibe that has been in place in the Southside, but overall I don't think any of the newer projects seriously damage the appeal of the street and neighborhood. The most incompatible design has been the Moncrief Cancer Institute, which was set back from Magnolia with a driveway in front. Unfortunately the medical institutions seem to be less interested in really connecting their buildings to the streets than the residential and commercial uses. I hope that changes with each new medical building.