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"Post-recession Meccas for the young"
October 1, 2009 9:29 AM   Subscribe


 
There's something about hi-res photos of experts that I find so appealing..
posted by robself at 9:34 AM on October 1, 2009


Meanwhile, Ms. Kuhlman says, "we're only 15 minutes from a beautiful waterfall, and there are amazing places to hike."

If you can get there through all the traffic.
posted by blucevalo at 9:34 AM on October 1, 2009


Yay (I guess) Raleigh NC tied for seventh. But they mention the upcoming expansion of Ft. Bragg, which is about 90 minutes away. I don't quite get that.
posted by marxchivist at 9:37 AM on October 1, 2009


Damn. A few more cities my contemporaries are going to ruin...
posted by ZaneJ. at 9:40 AM on October 1, 2009


For a little while this decade quite a few young people moved to Providence after graduating from college, causing great excitement among certain people. I remember listening to a radio discussion about this and one of the panelists exclaimed at one point: "Providence is the Portland of the East Coast!"
posted by Kattullus at 9:42 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


And -- San Jose? Seriously? Its "downtown" (what there is of it that isn't boarded up) is about as lively and enticing as a pallet of concrete slabs. If you like boring and expensive all in one package, go to San Jose!

The rest of the cities I have no argument with as "meccas." But as far as young people (those who aren't independently wealthy) being able to afford living there? I don't see it.
posted by blucevalo at 9:44 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


San Jose, oh no. All I can say is that young people will be disappointed when they arrive and proceed to move to San Francisco like every young person before them, ever.
posted by GuyZero at 9:45 AM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Milwaukee is the Portland of the Midwest.

And people should be looking at Baltimore.
posted by josher71 at 9:46 AM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand the "new" part here. Haven't these places been magnets for at least the last 10-15 years if not (particularly New York) longer?
posted by weston at 9:47 AM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, NY and DC seem like they are magnets since the 1800s.
posted by josher71 at 9:50 AM on October 1, 2009


How about a list of the Next Youth Venus Flytrap Cities?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:53 AM on October 1, 2009


Milwaukee is the Portland of the Midwest.

And Omaha is the Milwaukee of the Great Plains.
posted by dersins at 9:56 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Venus Flytrap Cities? LA would top the list... Few cities can eat you up, drain you of all your creative juices and spit out as a husk of your former self quite as quickly...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:58 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Perhaps with the exception of San Jose, aren't all of these places already popular with the young?
posted by oddman at 9:58 AM on October 1, 2009


I think it's that one Burt Bacharach song putting San Jose over the top. The kids these days are suckers for an artful brass arrangement.
posted by Iridic at 10:04 AM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Dayton Ohio is the Portland Oregon of Montgomery County.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:13 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey but Pittsburgh is the Paris of Appalachia.
posted by octothorpe at 10:21 AM on October 1, 2009


Um, Portland? NYC? Austin (yay!)? Wouldn't this be more like, y'know, the current youth-magnet cities?
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:22 AM on October 1, 2009


Nashville is the Athens of the South.
posted by blucevalo at 10:25 AM on October 1, 2009


Lunar Base Delta is the Omaha of the Moon.
posted by DU at 10:27 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


The rest of the cities I have no argument with as "meccas." But as far as young people (those who aren't independently wealthy) being able to afford living there? I don't see it.

You are apparently unfamiliar with two young people habits: the first involves renting out an older house with 4 other people, splitting up all the rent. The second involves migrating to neighborhoods with low costs alongside other longtime residents who aren't independently wealthy.

Actually, really, if you can make Baltimore work for you (and many people can't, that's why they leave), then I think it's a great city to move to when you're just starting out: the inexpensive real estate and proximity to DC spells opportunity for a lot of people. Unfortunately, the lack of jobs within the city and the fact that anyone who finds better professional opportunities immediate leaves gives one pause.
posted by deanc at 10:28 AM on October 1, 2009


Portland is the Portland of the Pacific Northwest.
posted by wcfields at 10:30 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wouldn't Portland Maine be the Portland of the East Coast?

Also: Denver? Denver is boring and unfriendly as hell, with no culture or character at all. I guess it could attract the young religious right, what with Focus on the Family lurking a few miles south. And it's not in the mountains, as much as the residents like to brag about being rugged mountain dwellers. I'd move to Telluride or Grand Junction for that, or Boulder, I guess.

Decemberboy: Yeah, Austin has been popular for at least twenty years, right?
posted by Toothless Willy at 10:31 AM on October 1, 2009


Octothorpe - Have just returned from Pittsburgh, I'm considering moving there (I now live in the #3 youth magnet city). Holy shit it's awesome, and beautiful, and cheap, and full of young people and nice people and dollar beers and fifteen cent pierogies. And I could afford to own my own house there, despite being dirt broke by New York standards.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:32 AM on October 1, 2009


@Octothorpe: wow, that URL is amazing:

http://www.parisofappalachia.com/parisofappalachia.com/The_Paris_of_Appalachia.html

OK I GET IT IT'S THE FREAKING PARIS OF APPALACHIA
posted by en forme de poire at 10:35 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Toothless Willy: Wouldn't Portland Maine be the Portland of the East Coast?

Yes, thus the funny of what the radio person said.
posted by Kattullus at 10:35 AM on October 1, 2009


Toothless, that has not been my experience in Denver.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:42 AM on October 1, 2009


You are apparently unfamiliar with two young people habits: the first involves renting out an older house with 4 other people, splitting up all the rent. The second involves migrating to neighborhoods with low costs alongside other longtime residents who aren't independently wealthy.

Well, yes, I am very familiar with both, having done them myself in my wasted youth in San Francisco. But those kinda living arrangements, I don't think, are what the Wall Street Journal had in mind. Of New York City, the article opines, "The city is still unaffordable for many, and the less-pricey suburbs can impose enervating commutes."
posted by blucevalo at 10:45 AM on October 1, 2009


Oh, and in San Francisco (or San Jose), the rent split is more likely to be an older house with 5 or 6 people, given the cost of housing there nowadays.
posted by blucevalo at 10:54 AM on October 1, 2009


Reading about youth trends in the Wall Street Journal is just as enlightening as reading about fashion in the Wall Street Journal.

I remember reading in their fasion section several months ago about how it was becoming ok not to wear pantyhose to the office
posted by danny the boy at 10:59 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


but only in summer
posted by danny the boy at 11:06 AM on October 1, 2009


This is very true, but I'm only quoting from the article that was the original subject of the post.
posted by blucevalo at 11:06 AM on October 1, 2009


and you're looking to get fired
posted by danny the boy at 11:06 AM on October 1, 2009


And for the 10,000,000,000th time a mefi post about AMERICAN whatever that doesn't see it necessary, not a tiny bit, to mention or reflect on the fact that this is NOT a fucking list of "the" fucking youth magnet cities, but a (lazy and predictable) fucking list of fucking AMERICAN youth magnet cities.

Would it kill you people to qualify these things, EVER? The world is not the fucking US.

Fuck.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 11:15 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, were the links to the Wall Street Journal not enoughof a hint that this might be somehow related to the US? Or are you just bitter because any youth in their right mind wants to get the fuck away from Calgary?
posted by dersins at 11:22 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Best youth magnet cities in the solar system:

Number 15: Lunar Base Delta.
posted by gordie at 11:24 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think Canada has any youth magnet cities, other than "cities with universities".
posted by GuyZero at 11:25 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry I didn't mention it was US-only, being exclusionary was an honest mistake that I'll try not to repeat. I hope that cussing fit got it off your chest.
posted by Marnie at 11:27 AM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't Portland Maine be the Portland of the East Coast?

Actually, it's the other way 'round.

In 1843 Willian Overton of Tennessee and Bostonian Asa Lovejoy filed a 640-acre land claim with Oregon's provisional government. In 1845 Overton "sold his half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine in 1845. When it came time to name their new town, Pettygrove and Lovejoy both had the same idea; to name it after his home town. They flipped a coin to decide, and Pettygrove won." *
posted by ericb at 11:29 AM on October 1, 2009


For the past 15+ years every Austinite has been saying "Austin's not nearly as cool as it was (n-1)* years ago." Come on down, future post-recession youth! It's not cool here anymore!

It's true what you've heard. Austin's chief export is nostalgia.

*where n = the number of years ago they moved to Austin
posted by bluishorange at 11:34 AM on October 1, 2009


Milwaukee is the Portland of the Midwest.

Then what's Madison?
posted by cereselle at 11:39 AM on October 1, 2009


Um, Portland? NYC? Austin (yay!)? Wouldn't this be more like, y'know, the current youth-magnet cities?

This was kind of my thought as well. And as the second article makes clear, some of those cities are only still hot because people are moving there and burning through their savings. If the recession keeps going (or if jobs don't recover despite the official end of the recession, as has been predicted fairly often), that will change as they exhaust their savings and saturate the low-wage jobs available.

If people are still moving into cities with high unemployment and living there despite having jobs -- clearly an unsustainable situation -- I think it's a bit early to say what the "post-recession Meccas" are going to be.

Right now, it seems like several of the cities on the list (particularly Portland, OR, if the second article is to be believed) are coasting on inertia. If the recession outlasts the savings of people who are currently living there unemployed, they'll fall from the list as residents are forced to migrate to cities with better employment prospects, whether they want to or not.

But the fact that people are still moving to Portland, despite the high employment, shows that we haven't quite hit rock bottom yet. Some people apparently still have enough savings to decide where to live based on factors aside from "where can I get a job that will allow me to feed myself?"

If jobs don't recover fairly soon, that's going to become the dominant calculus.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:40 AM on October 1, 2009


If people are still moving into cities with high unemployment and living there despite not having jobs...

That makes somewhat more sense, I hope.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:45 AM on October 1, 2009


I'm really surprised that Baltimore isn't on the list. It's cheap as hell, sort-of-safe, and has a burgeoning IT and government contracting economy. It also has its own sort of cock-eyed charm to it.
posted by codacorolla at 11:47 AM on October 1, 2009


Well, the post didn't say "The greatest Youth Magnet Cities in the World" - it didn't qualify at all where the youth magnet cities are.

MeFi is, for better or worse, a community where Americans are in the majority. No one here is pretending that the US encompasses the entire world, just that it's assumed that a list of cities is going to be a list of American cities unless otherwise stated.

Now, if you want to start a cussing fit about the self-importance of Americans, I give you the term "The World Series." This? This is just the laziness of assuming that people in your personal sphere share your demographics.

I mean, get all bent about that if you want, but it's a pretty common thing and it just means that you're going to be spending a lot of your time being all bent.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:50 AM on October 1, 2009


I'm really surprised that Baltimore isn't on the list. It's cheap as hell, sort-of-safe, and has a burgeoning IT and government contracting economy. It also has its own sort of cock-eyed charm to it.

Too many young people have seen The Wire.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:50 AM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I like X is the Y of the Z comparisons.
posted by box at 12:16 PM on October 1, 2009


NEWSFLASH: CITIES WITH LARGE YOUTH POPULATIONS LIKELY TO ATTRACT MORE YOUTHS
posted by slapshot57 at 12:22 PM on October 1, 2009


seriously, have you been to baltimore? I'm saying this as a proud resident of maryland and someone who lived in baltimore for two years: Baltimore is a dump chock full of boarded up houses (but they've ben making good progress in the last decade)
posted by slapshot57 at 12:24 PM on October 1, 2009


Would it kill you people to qualify these things, EVER?

Actually, it would. If even one of us people qualified one of those things, even once, ever, every American citizen on the planet would immediately die in a messy explosion, like a TrueBlood vampire that's been staked. This includes people who hold other citizenships as well, and even people who are unaware that they hold (or are eligible to hold) US citizenship. It's all part of a pact Lincoln made with Nyarlathotep in 1863.

So thanks a bunch, Captain Genocide.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:57 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mississippi Avenue is the Portland of Portland.
posted by snofoam at 1:06 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like X is the Y of the Z comparisons.

X is the Y of the Z is the new X is the new Y.

For extra credit, solve for X. Please show your work.
posted by turaho at 1:07 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


My votes:
1. Minneapolis/St. Paul
2. DC (I ought to recuse myself, but....)
3. Raleigh
4. Boulder
5. Nashville
6. Atlanta
7. Chicago

These are the great Second Cities of the USA. Every other place on the list requires independently wealthy or voluntary ascetics. Young people (a group in which I've recently lost membership) ought to realize how much their overall quality of life depends on things like commute, community, meaningful work, and discretionary income.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:10 PM on October 1, 2009


Mississippi Avenue is the Portland of Portland.

The northwest corner of Mississippi & Shaver is the Portland of Mississippi Avenue.
posted by dersins at 1:10 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's something about hi-res photos of experts that I find so appealing..


It's probably gone forever now, but Trent Lott's website used to have a gigantic headshot on it. We're talking 50x life. If reproduced, it would have taken up an entire wall. You could see every single one of his pores. It was by far the best thing Trent Lott's ever done, or ever could have done, short of not being Trent Lott anymore.
posted by Copronymus at 1:26 PM on October 1, 2009


Every other place on the list requires independently wealthy or voluntary ascetics.

I already tried that angle. I got schooled on it pretty promptly.
posted by blucevalo at 1:50 PM on October 1, 2009


Of New York City, the article opines, "The city is still unaffordable for many, and the less-pricey suburbs can impose enervating commutes."

Yeah, when I lived in Queens I had a horrible 20 minute commute. I was crying every day that I had to sit on the train for 20 minutes. And it cost $2. HORRIBLE.
posted by kathrineg at 2:13 PM on October 1, 2009


The list, for the lazy:

1 (tie): Washington, D.C.
1 (tie): Seattle, WA
3: New York, NY
4: Portland, OR
5: Austin, TX
6: San Jose, CA
7 (tie): Denver, CO
7 (tie): Raleigh, NC
9: Dallas
10 (tie): Chicago
10 (tie): Boston

And yes, that's eleven.

Personal opinion: 1: ass, 2: dead, 3: expensive, 4: no jobs, 5: passe, 6: expensive, 7: wonderbread, 8: boring 9: EXTREME wonderbread 10: OK, maybe, 11: expensive
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:41 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when I lived in Queens I had a horrible 20 minute commute. I was crying every day that I had to sit on the train for 20 minutes. And it cost $2. HORRIBLE.

I think your and my idea of what constitutes a New York City suburb may be slightly divergent from what to the WSJ constitutes a New York City suburb.
posted by blucevalo at 2:59 PM on October 1, 2009


"I was young when Seattle was cool, so if I say Seattle is still cool for young people it means I'm still cool."

In other words:
"A DENIAL! A DENIAL! A DENIAL! A DENIAL!" *puts shotgun to head*
posted by qvantamon at 5:21 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Montreal.
posted by kaspen at 5:26 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like X is the Y of the Z comparisons.

X is the Y of the Z is the new X is the new Y.


You just had to ruin a good thing, didn't you?
posted by HumuloneRanger at 5:45 PM on October 1, 2009


Here's another WSJ article on the same topic from May, focusing on Portland.
posted by armage at 6:04 PM on October 1, 2009


Since there seems to be interest in so-called "youth meccas" outside of the US, does anyone have any comments from their parts of the world? I realize that the US is somewhat special in that it has so many metropolitan areas spread out over a wide area, while other advanced nations tend to be smaller with higher concentrations of housing, jobs, and culture in one or two cities.

Having said that, Japan's youth culture center is obviously Tokyo -- no where else can compare. But the nature of housing costs and distribution is much different than in US cities. Young people tend to live alone, and don't mind living far away from the center city in order to save money. Youth hot spots within Tokyo serve as youth commuter destinations rather than actual places to live (with a few exceptions).

Aside from the Shibuya-Harajuku conglomeration, the suburbs of Shimokitazawa and Kichijoji are also hives of youth activity, and are more affordable to boot. The entire Chuo Line from Nakano to Kokubunji as a whole is considered an incubation chamber for youth culture. Koenji, for example, is known for its punk and rock scene, while Asagaya has its many jazz cafes and Nakano is a kind of mini-Akihabara.

I know that there are other, similar youth-oriented neighborhoods in other cities (Osaka's Amerika-mura or perhaps Kyoto's Shinkyogoku), but not nearly to the same extent as in Tokyo.
posted by armage at 6:19 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just want to be on record saying that Worcester is the Paris of the 80's.
posted by ifandonlyif at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2009


Basmati is the Portland of the rices.
posted by qvantamon at 6:57 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Buffalo Township of Butler County, Pennsylvania is the Buffalo Township of Union County, Pennsylvania of Butler County, Pennsylvania.
posted by Iridic at 7:10 PM on October 1, 2009




Hmm, I'm in #1 and feeling extremely blah about it. I am trying to decide how much of that is DC's fault and how much is due to my current blah feelings about life in general. (Significant changes for me soon? YES) Perversely, right now my most intriguing professional opportunities are all in the middle of flipping nowhere.
posted by little e at 9:06 PM on October 1, 2009


Oh for god's sake why do we need this here.
posted by borges at 10:51 PM on October 1, 2009


Wouldn't Portland Maine be the Portland of the East Coast?

Actually, it's the other way 'round.


Thus, "The Real Portland." It's a distinction not unlike being "The Real Santo Gold."
posted by anthom at 6:26 AM on October 2, 2009


Heh. Little do they know.
posted by sciurus at 7:09 AM on October 2, 2009




Nashville is the Athens of the South.


I know you have the fancy Parthenon knock-off and all, but these folks might quibble.
posted by thivaia at 11:27 AM on October 3, 2009


Monterrey.
posted by elmono at 5:14 PM on October 6, 2009


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