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OKC Central: Millenials seek downtown lifestyle

A generation that grew up watching “Friends” and “Seinfeld” is increasingly attracted to living, working and playing in downtown Oklahoma City.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 11, 2012

/articleid/3708681/1/pictures/1826122">Photo - Karl Francel
Karl Francel

Theories abound about why suburban kids like Francel are turning into full-time downtowners as they come of age.

This month's issue of The Atlantic features a long essay on “The Cheapest Generation” that suggests the latest wave of twentysomethings are simply wanting to downsize their dependence on costly automobiles and traditional homes in the suburbs. Competing with the Joneses, it is theorized, is no longer that important.

As a Generation Xer, I see another possible cause for this shift to downtown living. My generation was the last that saw the suburban lifestyle idealized on shows like “The Partridge Family” and “The Brady Bunch.” Starting with “The Cosby Show,” and continuing with “Cheers,” “Friends” and “Seinfeld,” this latest generation grew up watching cool, interesting people living up life in the city. Did anyone really want to live the suburban life portrayed in “Roseanne” or “Growing Pains”?

The cause of the Millennials' move may be far more nuanced, but in Oklahoma City and elsewhere, have no doubt — downtown living is increasingly their dream come true.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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