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But again, even if Adrian was right (though he's not) that income, child-bearing age, location, etc all came together to produce an effect around late 90s/early 00s, it doesn't get us one step closer to explaining why the effect was restaurants as nightlife.

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QUOTE Perhaps the confusion arises because there are new optionsplaces like Momofuku Ssamwhere you get haute European cooking without most of the trappings. But it's a misconception to suggest that

First, anyplace that forces a male to wear ties is out.   Second, anyplace that feels like a Cathedral and forces hushed tones is out.   Third, anyplace the accepts reservations appears to be on

Just because something is a ten-course New Nordic tasting menu, that doesn't make it fine dining. You still have to see how good the ingredients are and the kitchen work is. It could still be ambitiou

that's what I figured with Dale. Sasha wasn't part of the industry and didn't pay his dues. he was a rich kid with a passion and opened at just the right time. he never would have made it in a regular bar (or would have needed to)

 

ETA: and we're better for it. but I find that today, as the SCBs have been completely taken over by industry folks (due to the profitability), that Sasha's role is forgotten or even disparaged...

I don't think Sasha's role has been forgotten among the first-wave SCB's. At least not any more than Jeremiah Tower's or Larry Forgione's has.

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Average age of first child, approximately zero at birth. ROTFL

 

There's no point hoping there might be a statistic which supports you. What we've seen is that age at birth of first child went up more sharply in the 1970s and 1980s than later, and that New York was ahead of that curve.

 

You're stuck in a rut. What you wanted to see explained is why income and other factors result in a craze for restaurants rather than something else. Establishing that income, etc, exists is not going to tell you that.

Seriously, where did you see that the age of first child for professionals in NYC went up before other places and then plateaued (as opposed to continued increasing while other places plateaued)? That's not in the CDC link or anything else that you've shown unless I missed it.

 

The stories of delayed childbirth, increasing professional income, and the gentrification of urban neighbourhoods is one of the big demographic stories of the last 20-25 years. It's hard to find a prior period with all three things and that seems to be a pretty compelling story for why you see lots of restaurants in places that show those characteristics.

 

 

"Plateaued" is only in your post as far as I can see.

 

Standing question: yes, fine, but why restaurants?

 

Here is the data. Hasn't really plateaued so much as slowed. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db21.pdf

 

If you really cared you could get the state by state data over time from the CDC - but it would seem unlikely to me that NY would have been that much faster.

 

Anywhoo - the big demographic change has been people with children choosing to stay in the city and moving out to the burbs at a slower rate - especially in the prime dining demo.

 

As for why the kiddies don't just drink and do drugs instead of eating - no idea. Maybe Nancy Reagan won.

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But again, even if Adrian was right (though he's not) that income, child-bearing age, location, etc all came together to produce an effect around late 90s/early 00s, it doesn't get us one step closer to explaining why the effect was restaurants as nightlife.

 

Well, nightlife used to center more around music but that stopped as we all know. So the social scene moved on to restaurants.

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Average age of first child, approximately zero at birth. ROTFL

 

There's no point hoping there might be a statistic which supports you. What we've seen is that age at birth of first child went up more sharply in the 1970s and 1980s than later, and that New York was ahead of that curve.

 

You're stuck in a rut. What you wanted to see explained is why income and other factors result in a craze for restaurants rather than something else. Establishing that income, etc, exists is not going to tell you that.

Seriously, where did you see that the age of first child for professionals in NYC went up before other places and then plateaued (as opposed to continued increasing while other places plateaued)? That's not in the CDC link or anything else that you've shown unless I missed it.

 

The stories of delayed childbirth, increasing professional income, and the gentrification of urban neighbourhoods is one of the big demographic stories of the last 20-25 years. It's hard to find a prior period with all three things and that seems to be a pretty compelling story for why you see lots of restaurants in places that show those characteristics.

 

 

"Plateaued" is only in your post as far as I can see.

 

Standing question: yes, fine, but why restaurants?

 

But you see why a plateau is necessary for your thesis, right? Because if the rise in age after 1990s was driven by a rise in young professional (yuppie?) types, then the data is entirely consistent with my thesis . Or if the average age of first childbirth among NYC professionals kept rising after 1990s, it's entirely consistent with my thesis. I'd actually love to see that data on age of first childbirth among those with university degrees, especially among professionals or those with post-secondary degrees for the past 30 years.

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Here is the data. Hasn't really plateaued so much as slowed. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db21.pdf

 

If you really cared you could get the state by state data over time from the CDC - but it would seem unlikely to me that NY would have been that much faster.

 

Anywhoo - the big demographic change has been people with children choosing to stay in the city and moving out to the burbs at a slower rate - especially in the prime dining demo.

 

Yeah, but this isn't really addressing the group of people we're talking about - professionals. I'd love to see the data on that. I agree with the last sentance, though.

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But again, even if Adrian was right (though he's not) that income, child-bearing age, location, etc all came together to produce an effect around late 90s/early 00s, it doesn't get us one step closer to explaining why the effect was restaurants as nightlife.

Revealed preferences. I don't think it's more complicated than (a large group of people) people in their late 20s early 30s want to go out, but they don't want to go out in the same way that they did when they were 19 or 22 or 25 and also don't want to the same places their empty nest parents go to. They also now have the money to spend on a slightly better meal and lots of people want that at all ages. And there are lots of couples who don't want to go to clubs or pick-up bars, and lots of singles who want to go on dates. This group didn't exist in the past the way it exists now.

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Here is the data. Hasn't really plateaued so much as slowed. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db21.pdf

 

If you really cared you could get the state by state data over time from the CDC - but it would seem unlikely to me that NY would have been that much faster.

 

Anywhoo - the big demographic change has been people with children choosing to stay in the city and moving out to the burbs at a slower rate - especially in the prime dining demo.

 

Yeah, but this isn't really addressing the group of people we're talking about - professionals. I'd love to see the data on that. I agree with the last sentance, though.

 

its not going to look very different TBH. higher starting point and ending point.

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Maybe. Take a look at this data set from Canada: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=75#M_2

 

You've seen 100% growth in the number of over 30 births in the past 20 years. Most of that is in, no surprise, Ontario, Quebec and BC and, I'd bet, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

 

Even if the rate is the same, the difference between having your first kid at 26 and having your first kid is 31. If you're in law, finance or any of those fields, that's a significant chunk of increased spending as young adult and probably spending on a different set of consumption goods. The preferences of people in their early 20s are very different from those in their late 20s or early 30s, even independant of income. And, as I'm sure you can attest, kids destroy your ability to go out (and probably change whether you have friends over or meet at a restaurant). It's only one factor, though.

 

ETA: Here's better data from 1994. First child birth for women with 16+ years of education is mostly in the 24-29 cohort and the 30-34 cohort. Something more granular would be nice, as would the same study from sometime in the past ten years to draw a trend.

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we aren't disagreeing with one another. I'm just saying I'd bet the shifts are homogenous.

No, I don't think we are. You would know better than anyone how fertility affects dining out.

 

ETA: And, other than the demographic shift, I don't think the answer to the question "why would a childless 30 year old with a high income who lives in a city want to eat dinner at decent restaurants as part of his or her nightlife?" to be a mysterious one (preferences combined with fashion, but those preferences are why food took hold as opposed to sculpture)

 

ETA 2: I'm ambivalent to whether the shifts are homogenous (in one sense, I could see it's not - non-urban educated groups delay to post college, educated urban groups delay to post grad-school or a few years on the job, so it's non-linear, on the other hand, it could just be that they have different initial means. I'd have to see the data.)

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Totally a tangent: why do you think we both credit Sasha and not Dale?

 

I kind of disagree that it's not Dale. I mean, Sasha certainly made it cooler and hipper and helped it grow, but Dale opened Blackbird with Audrey in '99, predating Milk and Honey by a year. And then Audrey blossomed at Bemelmans in 2001, which I think had a lot more impact than M&H.

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Kind of interestingly, during my one conversation with Sasha - at White Star - he mentioned Bemelmans as his favourite place to drink cocktails.

 

It's hard to think that any bar has had more impact than M&H when I'm in Singapore drinking at hidden "American-style speakeasy" doing "bespoke" cocktails without a menu.*

 

*Kind of like it's hard to say that Freeman's isn't influential when I'm in Chiang Mai drining beers at a barbershop-cum-American vintage-y clothing store-cum-bar.

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