When you think “cool”, do you think of the Bayou City? If you live in Houston, you probably do, and Houston also has something many other major cities don’t: jobs.

 

Houston has business-friendly policies, which keeps the job market humming, and young professionals flock there in response. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is only 33.

 

In mid 2012, Houston topped the list of Forbes coolest cities in America. “Over the past decade, the dreary corporate cityscape has been quietly transforming. Stylish housing developments have popped up downtown, restaurants have taken up residence in former factories and art galleries like the Station Museum have been inhabiting warehouses.”

 

“Combine that with a strong theater scene, world-class museums and a multicultural, zoning-free mashup of a streetscape and you have the recipe for the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Coolest Cities to Live.” Forbes tallied restaurants and bars per capita, weeding out chain establishments — Applebee’s has less sizzle than a local chef’s bistro. Forbes also looked at each city’s cultural composition using Sperling’s Diversity Index. It measures the likelihood of meeting another person of a different race or ethnicity. Increased diversity tends to lead to a larger assortment of interesting shops, restaurants and events.

 

“Using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we factored in median age, favoring places with a large young adult population. We ranked the cities based on net migration and also on unemployment rates, since a city’s offerings are only as good as the amount of people who want and can afford to enjoy them.”

 

If being named the “coolest city in America” isn’t enough, the New York Times just named The Bayou City #7 of “The 46 Places to Go in 2013”. Houston is one of only six U.S. destinations to make the list, and the only one in Texas. The list includes international destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, Nicaragua and Amsterdam.

 

Ingrid K. Williams had this to say on behalf of the N.Y. Times:  “What’s Big in Texas?

Culture and Food. Houston is probably best known as the Texan center for energy and industry, but it’s making a bid to be the state’s cultural and culinary capital as well. The Houston Museum District is a formidable coterie of institutions that includes the Rothko Chapel, the Museum of African American Culture, which made its debut last February; and the Asia Society Texas Center, which opened in a stunning Yoshio Taniguchi-designed building in April. And last summer, the Houston Museum of Natural Science opened a 30,000-square-foot hall of paleontology in a new $85 million wing. Meanwhile, the city’s dining scene is also heating up, with three of the city’s newest restaurants — Oxheart, Underbelly and Uchi — placing on national best-new-restaurant lists.”

 

Sources: Forbes.comNYTimes.com

 

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