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How cool are we?

Way cool, apparently.

Houston is known for many things: Oil, NASA, urban sprawl and business-friendly policies. But the Texas city deserves to be known for something else: coolness.

The Bayou City may not be the first place you associate with being hip or trendy. But Houston has something many other major cities don’t: jobs. With the local economy humming through the recession, Houston enjoyed 2.6% job growth last year and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked there in response — particularly young professionals. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33.

The result? Over the past decade, the dreary corporate cityscape has been quietly transforming. Stylish housing developments have popped up downtown, restaurants have taken up residence in former factories and art galleries like the Station Museum have been inhabiting warehouses.

Combine that with a strong theater scene, world-class museums and a multicultural, zoning-free mashup of a streetscape and you have the recipe for the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Coolest Cities To Live.

I like the fact that it remains the case that national media outlets are incapable of saying something nice about Houston in a non-backhanded manner. I wouldn’t know what to do with unqualified adulation. Forbes is comparing MSAs, so this isn’t just Houston but the Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land MSA, so make of it what you will. The Statesman tries to put a positive spin on things for Austin, and Hair Balls, TM Daily Post, CultureMap, and Mean Green Cougar Red have more.

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