Judging by the sheer number of people signing up to rent Seattle’s overpriced broom closets, our city is a desirable place to live. Arguably too desirable, considering the ever-skyrocketing housing costs.
But when the congested streets and staggering mortgages got you down, take solace in the fact that an online ranking confirms that we are indeed living in a very cool city. You might say we’re the municipal equivalent of Beyoncé, expensive denim jackets and cigarettes in the ‘70s (well, maybe not Beyoncé).
According to a new ranking from America’s leading business magazine and a 67-year-old man named Bert, Seattle is the second coolest city in America. Forbes hooked up with noted quality of life author Bert Sperling to calculate the cool points of the country’s 100 largest metros using “a few universal quotients of cool.” You can check out the precise methodology here, but in a nutshell, they looked at entertainment and recreation options, the food and drink scene, transit choices, population growth and where young people are living, among other factors.
The biz rag doesn’t give a ton of info about how each city scored, beyond the ranking. But we do know that Seattle earned the top spot in two categories: recreation and the jointly weighted coffee shops and breweries (no surprise on the latter). Apparently, we got docked for low small business growth and our lack of diversity.
The only town that cumulatively outranked us was San Francisco, a city we increasingly resemble in all the wrong ways. Forbes touted the city’s ratio of local-to-chain restaurants, one of the highest in the nation, as well as museums and reliable mass transit. San Francisco also scored points for hiking and biking options, and (ugh) NBA superteam the Golden State Warriors. San Diego, New Orleans and Portland rounded out the top five.
Noticeably absent from this list: alleged hipster mecca Columbus, Ohio.
Forbes and Sperling note that San Francisco, like many of the top cities, suffers from one glaring affliction; an influx of well-paid tech workers driving up home prices. Sperling argues that a city’s desirability (or coolness, if you will) drives the housing demand up. “It would be an anomaly if you found a place that was really really cool but was really really cheap,” he tells Forbes.
So, this is the burden of cool, huh? Maybe one day we’ll get the Sonics back and at least be No. 1.