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Day 9: It’s cool

September 1, 2010

Forbes magazine recently published a ranking of the nations top ten “coolest” cities.  When I heard Seattle ranked 3rd on the list, I immediately assumed cool as in degrees (mostly cloudy lows in the mid to upper 40s, highs in the mid 60s a chance of sun in the afternoon).  That was not the case.  They meant cool as in hip, as in “That’s cool baby, you know how it is, rockin’ and rollin’ and what not.”  Where the survey had no real criteria other than perceived “coolness” Forbes did compare the results to AOL city search data and discovered the cool cities tended to be leaders in the arts, have a large number of museums, restaurants, bars/nightclubs, theaters, and sport venues. So it is true, coolness does seem to equate general rockin’ and rollin’ and what not.    Not surprisingly, New York topped the list, but the Big Apple had to share the spotlight with Sin City.  Las Vegas tied for 1st eliminating a 2nd place thus demoting Seatttle to a respectable 3rd.  The rest of the ranking went like this: 4. Chicago, IL  5.  San Francisco, CA  6.  Orlando, FL  7.  San Diego, CA  8.  Los Angeles, CA  9.  Miami, FL  10. Washington, DC

I can proudly say I have visited all ten coolest cities.  I have now lived in 5/10 cities (albeit one of them very briefly) as well as frequented two others.  As to the remaining three, honestly, I can’t complain about those either.  Taking those same cities, I’m not sure how I would rank my list.  Would I keep Seattle at #3?  It does seem to have an extraordinary amount of theaters for a city this side.  It supports the arts, maintains a thriving music community long after grunge spiked interest in the scene, and has a number of posh eateries cultivated by notable if not name chefs.  That combined with the innovative ambiance of geeks from Boeing, Microsoft, Adobe and Amazon and Seattle definitely feels positioned to create a next big thing.  Whether or not it happens, the potential for greatness most definitely enhances the cool factor.

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