Megan makes a good point on between-city comparisons here. You know, I’ve been in DC now for about six years, and it’s funny how much effort it takes to find and do new things. This isn’t at all because there aren’t new things to do. Rather, it’s a combination of: 1) having long ago picked all the low-hanging fruit, 2) having gathered a lot of information about activities I have done, and learned which of them I really like, and 3) having gotten much busier, increasing the opportunity cost of any one activity. So if we get a rare, free weekend, we’re like, you know, we could go try a new restaurant and bar down on H Street. Or we could go to Creme and eat those mushrooms in truffle oil, then have beers on the Wonderland patio, because by god we know we love those things. Seriously, those mushrooms are crazy delicious.
This becomes more pronounced when your utility depends on the actions of others. If the thing Ezra most enjoys about a place is the frequent presence of his buddies, he’ll keep going there even after he’s sick of always going to the same place. And there’s a collective action problem in choosing a new meeting place; no one person has an incentive to deviate away from the accepted spot, so unless everyone coordinates (or at least a critical mass), the spot never changes. Perhaps leading one to believe that the place has tons of great folks, but a pretty dull retail atmosphere.