Good morning, it’s March 11, a Friday. Here are today’s pins.
The Economist Intelligence Unit published its Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2016, revealing that the world’s most expensive city is Singapore, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong. New York is in seventh place, and Los Angeles is in eighth place.
Wait, you say: New York is always pricey. Not so. In the 2011 report New York was way back in 49th place. The rise is due to “currency headwinds” rather than “relatively low” local inflation, the report says. That would mean all large American cities are becoming less tempting for people. Another indicator that the action is moving to small cities and suburbs.
Apple may release a smaller iPhone in 11 days. A four-inch “iPhone 5SE” is expected to be launched at an event March 21, along with other products. I still believe the Apple Watch’s day is coming, and soon, and seeing the shift back to small devices may be a signal.
The MTA (New York) is issuing new buses by 2020, and they’re allegedly designed to cater to Millennials. The big change is on-board wi-fi and USB ports. As the Atlantic’s City Lab deftly notes, it’s not exactly what Millennials want most – they’d rather have on-time buses that are more affordable and stop closer to home. Think simple, people.
Speaking of Millennial priorities, here’s a review of Modus Hotels’ Pod D.C. by a tag-team of a Millennial and Gen-X writer. Their verdict: it’s okay. The small room (150 square feet) means sacrifices were made, while there’s plenty of opportunity to plug in a device and take advantage of free wi-fi. But once again the priorities aren’t matching. Millennials simply want more affordable options with, if possible, a personal touch. When they stay in new places they want to feel like they’re discovering a cool new experience. The Millennial reviewer shows exactly what’s important to her when she mentions the hotel could offer a free bike service. That’s precisely the kind of thing Millennials would rather have.
Boston is having trouble with its rapidly changing housing market, so a Massachusetts Senate committee had an idea: “Millennial villages.” These villages – new units, all packed together, that are priced similar to duplexes and garden apartments – would attract Millennials (73.9 percent of Boston-area growth from 2000-12), who apparently all want to live together in a community, a la an Olympic village or cult complex.
Mental Floss brings up a good point: Drawing Millennials to Boston will probably drive up the cost of housing altogether, a la San Francisco. That’s a worry. Also, as Mental Floss notes, why is Boston treating the Millennial generation like some virus?
All Millennials want is cheap housing. And it should be close to city access. This is why they’ve all moved into the South End and Cambridge-Somerville. What Boston needs to think about is where those Millennials – that nasty virus – go once kids enter the picture, which is soon. Boston simply needs housing.