Houston – The Place to Go?

Houston, TX

The New York Times announces “The 46 Places to Go in 2013

Now this is not just a list of interesting spots.  Oh, no.  This is a list of “THE” places you must visit, and because the places have been precisely and lovingly vetted and curated, there are exactly 46 of them.

Not 50 places, because any hack can throw together a list with a nice round number like that.  By choosing 46 locations, it lends an air of precision and perfection to the crafting of the list.

So check this out… At #7, out of all the places in the world, is Houston (yes, that Houston… Texas.)  Right after Rio, Marseille, Nicaragua, Accra (Ghana), Bhutan, and Amsterdam.  (“What’s in Houston?  Culture and food.”)

And the reason that their choice of Houston is interesting is that it was #1 in our list of the top 20 Coolest Cities in the U.S., which we did with Forbes in July 2012.

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Nice State, Mean State

One explanation why different states think the way they do

I’ve looked for explanations why there are geographic pockets of behavior or thinking.  I’ve looked for reasons to explain why some attributes, conditions, traits, behaviors, qualities and characteristics seem to cluster in certain areas, while residents of other places tend towards the opposite.

Why do certain states reliably vote in predictable patterns?  Why is the South especially prone to violent crime?  I’ve performed regression analyses and searched for correlations between certain variables such as income, education, climate, occupations, geography, housing, recreation, cost of living and crime.

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Positive U.S. Education

Asian children in a classroom working

I use a lot of metrics to measure and rate the quality of life in different cities and towns.  I haven’t seen anyone else use this particular measure but I think it provides a good insight into the sociological health of a place.

So, I was heartened to read about a trend in New York City.

Where the cost of living (and private schooling) is amongst the highest in the world, some of the wealthy are opting to send their kids to public schools.  There’s a twist as well – it’s foreigners who are leading this charge.

Why do they do it?

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