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24 Hour Cities

This American Life is probably one of the best programs on public radio. Yesterday's new episode is one of my favorite yet - five stories that all take place in the middle of the night. Download it on your iPod, listen to it at work, while you jog or whatever. If you haven't heard the show before, it's worth at least an hour of your time.

(from flickr user CC Chapman)

I get frustrated at times when I'm having a good night of writing, the clock strikes 10:00 and I have to leave my favorite coffee shop. There really aren't many other places to go at that hour in my neighborhood. Once things close for the night, they're closed for the night.

Recently I was in one of the more "happening" parts of downtown on a Tuesday night. The streets were dead. The person I was with commented that I shouldn't expect much and if I came back on Friday or Saturday night the neighborhood would be hopping. Regardless, that isn't what makes for a great 24-hour city.

A great 24-hour city should have a variety of things happening at all hours. It should be a place where you can live, work, shop, eat, see a movie, have a cup of coffee, or get a beer. There should be people out on the streets all the time. It shouldn't be limited to a place where people drive in from the suburbs to party two or three nights per week. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are very few of these places in the United States. What a shame.

Comments

Peter said…
there's one starbucks that stays open all night, here, in sf. it's always so crowded you can't get a seat.

i keep thinking i'd like to start my own all-night cafe, but i'm just not interested enough to do it. :)

at least give me a cafe open until about 2 am, ya know?
Rob Pitingolo said…
I know what you mean. There are a few bars in my neighborhood that stay open past midnight just about every night, but they're not great places to read, write, or generally get anything done.
Kristen said…
Yeah, People complain about crime in neighborhoods at night, but I think if we had more businesses that were open 24/7 that were legit(coffee shops, even the library), it would encourage people with honest intentions to work at night and keep the streets full of positive people all day. Hopefully we will see more businesses take advantage of this(especially around colleges)soon

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