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When Will We See Family Friendly Picks in DT News Best of?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2006, at 01:24PM

Last month in congratulating Jim & Celia on their engagement I wondered if this was evident of a shift in Downtown demographics from the single professional to the married professional. Frequent commenter David Kennedy sees even the next part of that trend, and wants to see the Downtown News help lead us there.

I see the Downtown News is looking for submissions to its annual Best of Downtown issue. The list that comes out of the balloting is often interesting and useful, particularly for those of us who live Downtown. However, I think it is about time that the categories be revised to reflect the changing realities of Downtown's residential demographics.

The key presumption of the ballot is that Downtown residents are affluent and single and by definition childless. Thus, the list has three main categories: restaurants, business and entertainment. Various entries reflect the ballot's presumption that Downtowners don't have kids -- late-night dining, various types of bars, place to meet singles.

A decade ago, this presumption was most certainly accurate. But, as the residential boom proceeds, it is reasonable to assume some of these single urban pioneers will get married and even have kids. I can think at least four families in my building who have children, who have just given birth or who are pregnant. My wife and I have just delivered twins a couple of months ago (joining the older sister). I think it goes without saying, families with kids have different priorities compared to those who are single and/or childless.

David's suggested additional categories after the jump.

David's Suggested Categories

Here are some suggestions for categories which I would make the Best of Downtown list more useful and complete.

  1. Pediatrician
  2. Daycare
  3. Kid-friendly park
  4. Kid-friendly restaurant
  5. Kid gear (i.e. strollers, cribs, etc.)
  6. Places to walk
  7. Kid-friendly museum
  8. Public elementary school
  9. Private elementary school
  10. Best library
  11. Sunday services
  12. Church for Baptism
  13. Swimming lessons
  14. Cultural enrichment

You get the idea.

The reason this is important is because as long as local media like the Downtown News continue to use outdated cliches (i.e. Downtown residential community is single and childless), important issues affecting Downtown residents vis a vis quality-of-life will not be reported accurately. If Downtown is to continue to grow and mature as a residential community, it is important that local media coverage be aware of and adapt to how the Downtown residential community is evolving. I'm sure the Downtown News can do better and I'm sure they will.


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