That seems to be the myth.
The ‘coolest places’, especially to the creative and entrepreneurial, are the most affordable with the best food/service. Atmosphere takes a back seat, not by choice, but by necessity. For instance, the favorite pub is commonly the dark, dingy one with the $2 draft beers, low ceilings, 1970s chairs and 30-year old carpets (ie the ugliest/cheapest building in an often ugly neighborhood). Pub designers, this does not mean ugly is cool – it means $2 draft beers are. Now, if you could keep that price, and instead have high ceilings, a creative paint scheme, funky chairs and a wood floor in a safe, vibrant neighborhood – you’d be ever more popular (and you’d need to build more).
On the flipside, Apple has totally figured out how to make something so beautiful, that millions who can’t afford its iPod (image above) are buying them anyway, just the same as people who can’t afford to travel to New Zealand are going anyway. The press calls it ‘new luxury’, and it’s about understanding what evokes such a strong emotional response that people spend more than they can.
So, think of CoolTowns as the “new affordable” – beautiful functionality that even the most creative can afford. A much less expensive iPod if you will… or a new $161K loft in the heart of Washington DC – see yesterday’s blog for such a myth.