A couple good reads over at wsj online:
'Youth Magnet' Cities Hit Midlife Crisis
Few Jobs in Places Like Portland and Austin, but the Hipsters Just Keep on Coming
The worst recession in a generation is disrupting migration patterns and overturning lives across the country. Yet, cities like Portland, along with Austin, Texas, Seattle and others, continue to be draws for the young, educated workers that communities and employers covet. What these cities share is a hard-to-quantify blend of climate, natural beauty, universities and — more than anything else — a reputation as a cool place to live. For now, an excess of young workers is adding to the ranks of the unemployed. But holding on to these people through the downturn will help cities turn around once the economy recovers.
From Patriarch to Patsy
A father of three young children discovers the humiliations of being a modern dad
Jerry Seinfeld once joked that if a Martian landed in New York and saw a bunch of humans following behind their dogs, scooping up poop and placing it in little plastic bags, he would conclude that dogs are in charge on this planet. He would think the same if he observed kids and their dads in any city in America. And unlike in the Seinfeld example, the Martian would be right.
In the most affluent parts of the Western world, a historic transference of power has taken place that is greater than anything achieved by the trade-union movement, the women's movement or the civil-rights movement — and it hasn't even been extended the courtesy of being called a movement. Fathers, who enjoyed absolute authority within the household for several millennia, now find themselves at the beck and call of their wives and children. Indeed, most of my male friends are not fathers in any traditional sense at all; they occupy roughly the same status in their households as the help. They don't guide their children through the moral quandaries of life — they guide them to their extracurricular activities from behind the wheel of a Dodge minivan.