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Conor features a Future of the City reader:

Recently, Portland residents have noticed that The New York Times has become fascinated with our city: coffee culture, carts that sell everything from Bangkok street food to fine crepes stuffed with artisanal ham, automated public restrooms, art fairs. The Times observes that no book store in New York compares with Powell's here in little Portland, Oregon, and sighs.

It makes me think that New York is envious of a city where the gravity is so light that new culture can actually form like bubbles and rise to the sky. How long has it been since a cultural phenomenon began and grew in New York? There are hip-hop, gay balls, punk rock -- but those famously began in the outer boroughs, not Manhattan. Has New York's gravity become so heavy that nothing new can grow?

(Photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk)

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