Thursday, March 18, 2004

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What does it take for a city to be "cool"? The Cool Cities idea is that a city should attract a young, creative population. The Michigan governor's office is pushing for Michigan cities to think this over. On Tuesday night, the Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force held a Town Hall meeting. Several webloggers went, including AAIO (you know it's going to be an uphill battle) and Brandon (I left feeling a little disillusioned). Ann Arbor may have a ways to go to get back its coolness, but Detroit has even further to go. The Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force has a weblog.

The one thing I would say on this topic is that living in Ann Arbor has changed my way of thinking on what kind of city I would like to live in, if I stay in the United States after graduation. Back when I lived just below Los Angeles (which I do miss sometimes), I was convinced that I would like to live in the downtown of a cosmopolitan city like New York, where I could eat at fancy restaurants, hang out at underground clubs and catch the artsy movie premieres. Since then, the things I'm looking for in a city haven't changed, but they may have come more into focus and I've reconsidered the possibility of living in a more "heartland" city, a not to booming town but one with a better sense of community and a focus—whether intentional or not—on making connections between people. Which, ultimately, is what really matters; right?

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