- Some of the nation's best public schools along with some of the nation's most educated residents.
- Arts and cultural offerings which on a per-capita basis can match almost anywhere in the country.
- A beer and coffee scene that is vibrant by any standard.
- A proud history of forward thinking and open-mindedness.
- All of the above while having some of the shortest commute times among metro areas with over one million residents.
- All of the above while providing the second most affordable housing among 52 major U.S. markets.
Despite this difficult-to-replicate resume, we have a tendency to demand more. Obviously, requesting a more vibrant downtown is extremely reasonable and essentially mandatory for the success of the region. But beyond that, other overheard requests include:
- Neiman Marcus
- Chinese food on par with Chinatown in San Francisco, where 21% of residents are of Chinese ethnicity.
- Mexican food options available in El Paso, Texas, which is as close to being in Mexico without actually being in Mexico as possible.
- Double or triple the number of watering holes, as might be found in regions with double or triple the population.
While no one would reject these items should they appear, one has to wonder if we are asking too much? These desires may be the equivalent of:
- Expecting a $600-per-month one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.
- Expecting a 10-minute commute in Washington, D.C.
- Expecting 70-degree weather in January in Chicago.
- Expecting people in Kentucky to appreciate science (my wife is from there so it's all good).