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We take it for granted. We've got the nationally lauded satirical TV show. We walk around dressed like vaudeville performers. We listen to cool homegrown bands. We drink artisan beer made right down the street. We're the most hipster city in the country. Nay -- the world. The universe!

But such supreme confidence breeds complacency. We don't realize others are gunning for us, and maybe they're hungrier, even bigger attention junkies.

Maybe the competition has already won and we just haven't noticed. Des Moines entrepreneur and arts supporter Zachary Mannheimer says the Iowa capital has secretly become the country's "hipster" capital.

"What if I told you we have per capita the same amount of cultural amenities here that you do in New York?" he told a New York-based journalist for the National Journal last fall. "Get over your, 'How do we even pronounce Des Moines?' and 'Where is it?' and 'Why should I even care about it?' Get over it, and come out here and visit."

If the hipsters in New York (and Portland) do head out to Des Moines for a visit, will they want to stay? Here are 9 reasonsthe National Journal says the Midwest city is the most hipster city in the country:

• "The Des Moines metro area exceeds the overall U.S. in millennial growth by almost 10 percent."

• The cost of living is comfortably below the national average.

• Jobs are plentiful compared to larger, better-known cities that lure young job seekers.

• Forbes calls Des Moines the best city for young professionals.

• "There's no guarantees, but it is possible" that Des Moines is the next big music scene, says the Talking Heads' David Byrne.

• "The most aerodynamic racing bicycle in the world is made in a business park five blocks from downtown Des Moines at Rüster."

• The founder of Pinterest grew up in Des Moines.

• The tech start-up scene is booming; they're calling it Silicon Prairie.

• One recent survey found that Portland is the country's most gentrified city of this young century. Now gentrification has moved to Des Moines; it's particularly taking root in a part of downtown known previously for "dive bars."

-- Douglas Perry


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