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Old 11-13-2007, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Between the cracks in the sidewalk
125 posts, read 158,983 times
Reputation: 85

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City-Dataphiles:

Where, in your opinion, would one find the most fecund ground for the creative intelligentsia in America? Today, NOT yesteryear. (I don't wanna hear from any Berzerkeley shills.)

By "intelligentsia," I mean: those dedicated to scholarly pursuits... including sincere creative artists of all stripes, from high-brow to folk... the American literati... modern-day philosophers... communities emphasizing the individual mind, but also equally community-sensitive.

Note: I am looking for smaller cities (<500,000 or so) and/ or towns. Read: I am NOT looking for big cities -- especially the usual meccas: San Francisco, Manhattan, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, etc.

[*Big Yawn* and aside] regarding the usual big cities: which tend to feature a gross excess of charlatans and poseurs... are more often than not too business-centric... overly dominated by the anti-WASP, "progressive liberal," which basically equates to an angry, antithetical, contrarian capitalist -- not the REAL socialist (not that socialism is a desirable system, by the way); rather, the puerile, nihilistic, born of the uber-urban-neo-Nietzsche beatnik-lite: skulking around all hard-ass and "creative" (but really derivative), studded up with bling up their noses, tatted out with bad technicolor body-"art" -- LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! I'm different...

Ah, these "edgy" scenesters: thrift store-clad, yet with trust funds to brace their fall: they hate everything out of the mainstream, yet they have carved out their own enclaves of "alternative," yet equally mainstream (and predictably vapid, insipid) conformism, their own homogenous groupthink-tanks, their own concrete jungle prisons (read: ghettos with Starbucks as opposed to pawn shops on the ground floors; marijuana smoke wafting in the breezeways as opposed to crack smoke; monthly rents as opposed to weekly and/ or Section 8; the shrieks of OH MY GAWD BECKY THAT'S HELLA RAD! as opposed to the blasts of gunshots).

Manhattanites, San Franciscans: foils to the idyllic suburban counterparts from whence they came and which prompted their rebellion (so long ago, I might add, that they have forgotten why and how and that there was indeed a conscious iconoclastic reaction on their part -- based on the fact that they were essentially too rich and normal and thus too complacent and too bored).

They love democracy, freedom, expression, enlightenment, tolerance, and peace. Yet they, given the choice and available financing (which they often don't have because their parents write 'em off for dissin' on the fam), would gladly throw their fellow hippies under a bus in order to live in a four-bedroom, gated, newly-façaded Victorian with a bay view at the apex of Pac Heights. Or, in a refurbed brownstone on the Upper West Side. They would, no question in my mind, were it legal, figuratively and even literally kill off all suburbanites, "the straights," and the WASPs by way of any legal loophole if they could so concoct a scheme (meaning they didn't have to pull the trigger).

They, the enlightened and tolerant: worshippers of scientifically rational thought and secularism: giving no credence to any spiritual, alinear, or intuitive viewpoints. The creationist models are laughingstocks; spiritual dimensions are considered neo-mythological and sci-fi fodder, not a legitimate frontier for exploration. To these antithetical dogmatists, their esteemed scientists (read: the boho priests) have all the answers (and yet none, ultimately, and ironically) in the way of ontological and metaphysical questions. Any theories not supported by Almighty Science are summarily discredited. Nietzsche said God is Dead God is Dead! Memo to neo-Nietz: he was saying that WE killed God, among other subtle interpretations. Now WHY would he say such a thing? Whoopi Goldberg, Larry Flynt, Bertrand Russell, the rasta guy across the hall, Mr. Tweed down at the you-na-verrrsity, that article in the Village Voice... and my dealer said it's true!!

[*Big Yawn* and aside redux] I’ve been there, done that in both SoCal and San Francisco. Got the T-shirt, and graduated from that tired-ass scene. Call me "ready to settle down," whatever. When I get ready to live in New York or Europe for a stint of research, it'll be in full-on transient mode, and with the escape-to-normalcy button well within reach.

Alrightee now, back to the question at hand...

Possible answers that I will entertain and, frankly expect to see: Princeton, NJ; Athens, GA; Amherst, MA; Chapel Hill, NC; Austin, TX; Asheville, NC; Santa Cruz, CA; Boulder, CO -- though these suggestions needn't be "college towns" per se.

Other qualifiers:

1. Walkability is key. I don’t wanna drive here and yon for every cotton pickin thang!

2. "Diversity" is no matter -- in fact, a predominance of Anglos/Europeans -- English-speaking -- is highly preferred. Make that a prerequisite!

[aside, part deux] It's hard enough already for a college-educated Westerner to engage in genuine and elevated literary and scholarly endeavors with all those pidgin-speaking nitwits on hand. This policy is respectfully reversed when engaged in activities on foreign soil. You know, that ole "When in Rome..." thing.

[yet another aside] The Great Unwashed castoffs -- expatriates from God-knows-where: now hunkered down, 12 to a (studio!) apartment (but the single white young professional couple can't rent one)... making those coveted greenbacks! -- by the sweat of their uneducated brows.... not assimilating (why would they?)... predestined to either blow this American pop stand and slink back to the far shores of their humble and BELOVED HOMELAND! (which they forsaked in order to GET RICH!) or unfortunately usually to stay put and make their signature contributions of uncultured barbarism to this once-great (or is it, never-was-great-because-it-took-on-too-much-riff-raff-too-soon?) land.

[SP's glossary aside] Democracy-in-practice (aka the U.S.A., circa now): 1. total unadulterated freedom for the masses!; the masses are always right!; pander to the masses!; import/ encourage the illegal immigration of more illiterate degenerate masses to make our cities and countrysides more filthier than you can POSSIBLY imagine (except if you've seen Idiocracy)!; dumb it down some more so we can include a greater swath of more increasingly foul masses!; gimme gimme gimme! now now now! fun button fun button!; Look Ma, I can build pre-fab crappy homes with my bare hands and live in an apartment and raise my 15 kids and buy 'em all iPods and Tommy!; freedom to do, to say, to ****, to ****, to **** on the sidewalk; freedom to curse, (uh, NOT!), to go 5-star dining whilst wearing flip flops and boardshorts, to buy a lot of over-priced, plastic, Chinese-produced garbage; the freedom to not read, but to memorize every line to every rap song, to watch every episode of... (I don't watch TV, so what's a popular show?); 2. dumb-ass style of government dreamed up by dumbasses who indoctrinated their offspring who were even dumber than they were. 3. a political philosophy which will soon be phased out by a tyrannical leader duly and freely elected by a nation of criminals, illiterates, and degenerates which will subsequently give way to the demolition of this almost-but-never-made-grand country of ours (because the inmates started running the asylum about 150 years ago). 4. **** culture, **** education, **** tradition.

3. If your city or town has more bong shops and tattoo parlors than strip malls, we have a problem.

4. If your city or town of Necksville has more strip malls than bookstores and art galleries (combined, to be fair), we have a major problem.

5. If the city's or town's idea of a "park" is the baseball diamond down at Guadalamacala Macala High School, it's a no-go.

6. If Bingo Night at the local civic center is listed in your city's or town's Read It and Weep under "Cultural Offerings," forget it, dude.

7. Bustling business environment is no matter; in fact, t'would be a hindrance.

[a syllogistic aside]
Business is dumb.
I am seeking a smart -- not dumb -- place.
Therefore, I am not seeking a business-centric place.

8. Local flavor, local traditions; unique provincialities, manners & mores -- all are welcomed!

9. "Internationally"-oriented mumbo-jumbo -- No way Jose!

Unless: these international characters, transients, tourists, transplants, immigrants, and (mostly) riff-raff are typically conforming to the local cultures AND vastly outnumbered to boot.

10. If any of you choose to recommend a place because of that inanity known as "POLITICAL AWARENESS," (or "social consciousness") you run the risk of being read the riot act by me -- to become the subject of one of my infamous (and believe me, widely-read) diatribes.

For those of you who know first-hand about the city/town/village you might be suggesting, please free to elaborate with anecdotal experiences, facts & figures, but especially opinions regarding the intelligence of your suggested place.

Thanks in advance. I anticipate a lively discussion.

To recapitulate, the question again: Name the most intelligent cities or towns in the U.S. Back up your answer(s).

P.S. I am not necessarily planning a move; but it never hurts to research a potential line of possibilities well in advance.

~ SP

Last edited by san phlegmatico; 11-13-2007 at 06:48 AM..
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:47 AM
 
7 posts, read 74,032 times
Reputation: 17
Did you write that after a night out?
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:03 AM
 
Location: .N6 A4
3,490 posts, read 4,385,846 times
Reputation: 2812
There can't possibly be a city worthy of you.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:12 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,026,505 times
Reputation: 3164
Too much Red Bull??
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:08 AM
 
1,119 posts, read 2,465,331 times
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I would say Seattle, DC, San Francisco, San Jose, Minneapolis, the cities with a high percent of their population (25 years old or older) who have completed college degrees or higher.

T&L also has a survey asking Americans which cities have the smartest people. And here are the rankings based on people's perceptions

People
Intelligent



1 4.60 Seattle
2 4.58 Minneapolis/St. Paul
3 4.56 Boston
4 4.54 Washington, D.C.
5 4.50 San Francisco
6 4.50 Portland, Oregon
7 4.48 Austin
8 4.33 New York
9 4.30 Chicago
10 4.27 Denver
11 4.26 Santa Fe
12 4.21 Charleston
13 4.09 San Diego
14 3.94 Philadelphia
15 3.92 Nashville
16 3.86 Honolulu
17 3.82 Atlanta
18 3.82 San Antonio
19 3.78 New Orleans
20 3.77 Phoenix/Scottsdale
21 3.70 Orlando
22 3.63 Dallas/Fort Worth
23 3.46 Miami
24 3.44 Las Vegas
25 3.43 Los Angeles

America's Favorite Cities 2007 | People | Intelligent | Travel + Leisure
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:51 AM
 
1,763 posts, read 5,387,162 times
Reputation: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by san phlegmatico View Post
City-Dataphiles:

Possible answers that I will entertain and, frankly expect to see: Princeton, NJ; Athens, GA; Amherst, MA; Chapel Hill, NC; Austin, TX; Asheville, NC; Santa Cruz, CA; Boulder, CO -- though these suggestions needn't be "college towns" per se.

~ SP
You can cross Chapel Hill, NC off your list. I would have heartily recommended it back in the mid 80's - it was everything you describe. But like so many places in the US, we have loved it to death. Ditto so many of the "college towns" so many people are looking to relocate to these days.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:03 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 12,877,088 times
Reputation: 1668
Quote:
8. Local flavor, local traditions; unique provincialities, manners & mores -- all are welcomed!
Well, thank goodness for that. I'd hate to think of a place were local flavor, manners, mores, and traditions are not welcome. In fact, I'm not even quite sure, on a sociological level, such place could even exist, as wouldn't that then be the local mores?

... as for the rest of your post ... uh, good luck there bud.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:11 AM
 
1,763 posts, read 5,387,162 times
Reputation: 798
Default Prague, duuuuuude.

Dear Phlegmatico,

Yes, as you can see, I've read your oh-so-entertaining SD posts.

As a follow-up to my "not Chapel Hill" post, I think you should look somewhere outside the US [not US-bashing here, at all]. You need someplace that doesn't have a large population of people with money, who flock to wherever the "good" places to live are. Retirees, nouveau-wealthy, etc.

My recommendation is Prague. If Prague is too big for you, look for someplace nearby. The Czech people are innovative, intelligent and unique. I think you'll find it very stimulating, and you may be left well behind in the rearview when it comes to lively and freeflowing discussions in coffeshops, regarding philosophy, metaphysics, etc. The ironic part is they will most likely be running circles around your intellect in your language, while if you conversed in theirs your words would resemble a verse out of The Cat in the Hat. My apologies if you speak fluent Czech...

Also, living somewhere all of a sudden you can no longer converse in your mother tongue is a very eye-opening & humbling experience, that anyone, including you, can benefit from!

Try it Mikey, you may like it.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:23 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 12,877,088 times
Reputation: 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Rankin View Post

Also, living somewhere all of a sudden you can no longer converse in your mother tongue is a very eye-opening & humbling experience, that anyone, including you, can benefit from!
That is so true. I've never lived for any length of time (beyond a few weeks) in a place where English was not the spoken language, but I recall with much embarrassment my pitiful attempts to speak German while traveling through that region of the world for a few weeks. It certainly is eye-opening.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Corvallis, OR
146 posts, read 755,149 times
Reputation: 68
You could always try Freetown Christiania in Denmark. The future of it looked rather bleak just a few years back, but now it seems to have established semi-legal status. Now, if you're looking for an area like this in the United States, I can only think of Portland, Oregon. I will add more to the discussion later, as I am very tired at the moment and will be taking a nap.

P.S.: I actually found it quite nice to read your post, and commend you on your wonderful use of the English language. In a way, your prose somewhat reminds me of the late great Hunter S. Thompson .
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