15 04 12 - 14:08
Low-rent restaurants can experiment at relatively low risk. If a food idea does not work out, the proprietor is not left with an expensive lease. As a result, a strip-mall restaurant is more likely to try daring ideas than is a restaurant in, say, a large shopping mall. The people with the best, most creative, most innovative cooking ideas are not always the people with the most money. Many of them end up in dumpier locales, where they gradually improve real-estate values.
A lot of awesome food can be found, of course, in high-rent districts, but it tends to come at awesomely high prices as well. Urban rents (on average) have been rising over the past few decades. Even the financial crisis has not overturned this longer-term trend. Growing tourism, falling rates of violent crime, and the general growth of commercial activity have all contributed to this phenomenon: the expensive places are costing more and more. As a result, the ethnic restaurants found in the middle of high-rent cities are becoming more upscale. The cheap, experimental ethnic restaurants are moving to the peripheries of major cities. (Just as high rents push out quirky food, so do they push out quirky culture, including clubbing scenes and offbeat art galleries.) Whether or not you like that development, itâs one you have to understand and, to some extent, work around.
I love exploring the suburbs for first-rate ethnic food. Many people consider suburbs a cultural wasteland, but I am very happy searching for food in Orange County, California; the area near San Jose; Northern Virginia, near D.C.; Somerville, Massachusetts; and so on. I donât always pre-Google to find the best place, and I donât keep tapping on my iPhone. I drive around and keep my eyes open for dining establishments likely to follow the economic rules for good, innovative, and affordable food. - The Atlantic
In the city, everyone is manic. 10,000 people for six foot square.
The suburbs are saner living.