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Forbes' Uncool Coolest Cities List

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CitySolver
CitySolver  
9/3/2014 1:45:21 PM
User Rank Blogger
Boston
The band Boston are cool though! I am obviously very misinformed about the city though. I thought East Coast was the place to be?

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
8/29/2014 12:07:20 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Aww, poor D.C.
Thank you, Jordan! I am here to mount a vigorous defense for Washington DC, which I arrived at in 1998 when it WAS hella stodgy, had no food scene to speak of, etc. This is where I could come today if I were just sprung from the Ivory Tower, regardless of whether or not I aspired to a career in politics. 

DC derives its energy from a) constant influx of people of all ages and backgrounds; b) a more-than-serviceable public transport system and c) years of accumulated resentment that Washington is a joke compared to a real city like NY or SF. Now that we have our own baseball team, a thriving real estate market (even in 2008 houses would sit on the market for like 8 hours only), top-notch coffee from Peregrine and Peet's, a bike-sharing program, and restaurants like Rose's Luxury, Bon Appetit's fave, we Have Arrived. I mean, we've always been here, but now we have more layers.

"Washington: We're More Than Monuments. 

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
8/28/2014 2:38:34 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Aww, poor D.C.
Jordan, that's the first articulate argument I've seen in favor of this list.  Well done.

Per capita does make a difference, I agree, and might even explain Riverside!

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
8/28/2014 2:36:41 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: JFK Boston
No, Boston is definitely not cool.

Now don't get me started.

 

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
8/28/2014 2:35:43 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Cooler than Coachella? Not hardly
"Listicles," like slide shows, are beloved by web journalists for a reason.  But if the list is going to be as silly as this one, just present it as a silly list.  Don't dress it up with consultants and statistics.

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
8/28/2014 2:34:36 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Beantown ahead of NYC
I thought it best not to comment on Boston.  As a Yankees fan, my remarks are sometimes a little harsh.  :)

jordanfraade
jordanfraade  
8/26/2014 4:10:05 PM
User Rank Blogger
Aww, poor D.C.
I was intrigued by this list too Kim, because the "Coolest Cities" phrase is often just a euphemism for "young people." I will have a piece of my own coming out on this shortly, but as someone who lived in D.C. for three years, I will say that when you look at Forbes' criteria, I think D.C. is a decent choice for the number-one spot. It's got boring bureaucrats and can be a bit stodgy, but I don't think the data are granular enough to make a list based on what *kind* of young people a city attracts (i.e. the bar for being called a "hipster" in D.C. is quite low, but that's not the sort of thing Forbes is able to take into account). I think it's hard to compete with D.C. when it comes to how many cultural resources you can pack into a mid-sized city.

As for NYC being the coolest...it might be useful to think of "aggregate cool" and "cool per capita" as two different things? NYC wins in the former category just by virtue of its being so massive, but the city is also diverse enough that the "cool stuff" is diluted by places where young people don't live, or neighborhoods that don't have good cultural resources. If you want to talk about "cool per capita," or a city that almost uniformly exudes the kind of "cool" that Forbes is after, I think it's hard to beat Portland, Oregon. I was surprised to see PDX not make the list at all!

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
8/26/2014 9:15:58 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Cooler than Coachella? Not hardly
I believe riverside also recycles like 98% of the water used to be put back into the system to be used for watering the lawns of parks and the like.

I probably would have gone with my home town of Burbank Ca, if the list includes food and entertainment and the like. My city is best. But thats just me.

Toby
Toby  
8/26/2014 4:03:38 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Washington Top Cool City? Nah
@Alan: Re "Austin? Too much hayseed. And the only thing "cool" about country music is the relief of turning off that brain-dead noise." Now that I have finished laughing and feeling mildly happy that someone else shares my views on the Music of the Country style, I have to say I am largely in agreement. i think Mags that run these Listicles are simply stuck with the same old cities when it comes to top tens so they mix it up at random. It is pretty clear what the top ten in the USA should be, NYC is on the top and Riverside just ain't there at all. 

CitySolver
CitySolver  
8/25/2014 2:47:36 PM
User Rank Blogger
JFK Boston
Hi Susan, As an outsider, ie not American, I was always under the impression that Boston was very cool, probably because of its association with JFK and smart casual fashion that is still cool today, but I still have not been so I am not an authority on this list at all!!

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