He notes the new Pew study that identifies Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Orlando and Tampa as the cities American would most like to live in.
And he stops to ask why these cities should represent the American Dream circa 2009.
They offer the dream, so characteristic on this continent, of having it all: the machine and the garden. The wide-open space and the casual wardrobes.
Brilliant. Is it true? Without tons more research, it is hard to say. But what an excellent start.
What I like about this speculation is the "bagginess" it identifies in the American dream. It wants X and not-X. City and not city. Well organized but not hierarchical. Clustered but distributed. Well defined but open-ended. Valued but not ideological. Machine but garden.
Brooks, David. 2009. “I Dream of Denver.” The New York Times, February 17 here (Accessed February 17, 2009).