Give place a chance
There's a new entry among hot self-help topics. In his latest book, Who's Your City?, Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) makes a strong case for place being just as relevant and crucial to our well-being as finding the perfect mate or achieving the ideal weight. Where we choose to live, he writes, "can determine the income we earn, the people we meet, the friends we make, the partners we choose, and the options available to our children and families. . . . In many ways, it is a prerequisite to everything else." So, where to go? Boston? Chicago? Austin? San Francisco? Center city, suburbs or outlying areas? As Florida points out, different areas have different personalities just as we dosee chapter 11 to discover which of the "Big Five" personality categories you fall into. But a psychological fit is not enough. Not surprisingly then, some cities and regions show up in several slots on his guides to the "Best Places" to live according to a person's life stage and situation. Whether you are male, female, heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or whether you are single, a mid-career professional, married with or without children, or looking to retire, when things go awry in life, Florida stresses that it is easier to put things back together when there are job opportunities and social opportunities for dating or just hanging out. Who's Your City? is well-documented with statistics, maps and charts for the scholarly. But Florida's down-to-earth writing and 10-step plan for choosing the place that fits best will help make deciding where to settle a most enjoyable endeavor. Linda Stankard is a real estate agent in New York.