Wednesday, August 6, 2014

America's Coolest City Is.... Washington, DC?!?

Coming out of college, I had multiple job offers to mull over, and literally sat down one night to do a "pros/cons" list to sort it all out. I didn't have a Lebron James-style "Decision" in the end, but I eventually settled on Washington, DC for a multitude of reasons. It was close to my native NC. The weather was good. It was a major city, but not a huge city. The money was good. And oh yeah, it was "cool", by whatever subjective measure one determines coolness. For me, the "coolness" had to do with it being the "Chocolate City", one that was majority black, with great nightlife options, a reputation for beautiful, upwardly mobile sistas, and a place where I could see myself succeeding career-wise. So yeah, DC was "cool".

I could have gone a number of other arguably "cooler" places, like Los Angeles or Atlanta, but this was the best choice, and I'm still here 2 decades (damn I'm old!) later. I love it here, and I'll prolly never leave. That said, as much as I love DC, I don't think anyone would consider it the "Coolest" city in America. Apparently, Forbes does.
Flooded with politicos and political junkies, Washington, D.C., often comes off as a city steeped in raw ambition. But the nation’s capital deserves to be known for something else: coolness.

While “cool” might not be the first word that comes to mind when contemplating the latest standoff in Congress, D.C. nonetheless has a lot to offer those who call it home. Among its best features: abundant entertainment and recreational options, an ethnically and culturally diverse population, and a big chunk of people age 20 to 34–nearly 30% of the metro area’s population. There’s certainly plenty to do, from visiting the many museums along the National Mall to taking in a Washington Nationals game to simply enjoying the cherry blossoms in springtime.

“D.C. is a high-amenity city. It has its share of cultural arts. It has its share of natural beauty,” says Stuart Gabriel, Director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Add the city’s constantly refreshing population–the metro area has grown by 4.9% since 2010 thanks to net migration alone–and Washington, D.C., holds the perfect formula to land the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Coolest Cities. And by “cool,” we mean cool to live in.
Anytime someone begins describing DC as a city full of "politicos", they immediately lose any credibility with me. I mean, come on, there might be a few thousand people combined working on the Hill and in the media here tops. The city is 650,000 strong. Add in the rest of the DMV and this is a region of around 5 million people. It's a huge area, full of very diverse people. An overwhelming majority of them don't work for the government, and only a miniscule amount are involved in politics. Simply put, there's a lot more to DC than Obama. I get how an outsider would assume that, but come on, that's just lazy. It would be like assuming everyone in LA is a struggling actor, or that everyone from the South Side of Chicago is a Vicelord. Actually, that 2nd one might be accurate.

Anyways, as I guy who lives here, no, DC is emphatically not the coolest place in America. In no specific order, New York City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Seattle are a handful of places off the top of my head that are "cooler". No, it's not Milwaukee or Cincinnati, but DC isn't the coolest place in America. Come on, sonn.

The list also had Houston as #4, which should tell you all you need to know.

Anyways, pointless question time...

Question: What's America's coolest city? What's the "least cool/most lame" place you've been?

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