Dynamist Blog

Urban Aspirations

In response to all the buzz generated by Rod Dreher's question, "Is Dallas Good for Smart People?" opinion editors elsewhere are copying the idea, lining up pro, con, and maybe for questions like:

Is Boston good for aspiring models?
Is Manhattan a good place to raise children?
Is San Francisco good for conservatives?
Is Chicago good for vegetarians?
Is Silicon Valley good for artists?
Is Washington good for fashionistas?
Is Los Angeles good for pedestrians? (I may write in the affirmative.)

The funniest thing about the discussion in Dallas is how everyone assumes that the city should be good for intellectuals. (It's fine for "smart people.") Dallas is a city for normal people--people who focus on the reality at hand, not its deeper meaning; people who like their women pretty, their men successful, their children near at hand, their work productive, their religion inspiring. Intellectuals are weird. The only way to be an intellectual haven is either to have a very large population--large enough so that even a small percentage can constitute a critical mass--or to be a pretty strange city.

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