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TheStreet Open House

Buy Facebook, Other New Media Stocks or Live to Regret It

Stocks in this article: ZNGA AMZN P

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Howard Lindzon said it best in a nearly year-old blog post I love to cite:

There is NO Bubble ...There is Entrepreneur Envy!

Lindzon refers to the "Internet of 1999" as a mania and today's graceful collision between the Web and tech worlds "a phenomenon." That type of thinking makes me want to tap Lindzon on the rear as he slides into home plate.

It also builds an urge deep inside of me to verbally punk-slap the next person who refers to an Internet bubble, a tech bubble, a social media bubble or any other type of bubble that involves innovative companies, operating in perpetual start-up mode, with volatile stocks to the upside, downside or both.

"There is no there there"
I studied urban planning in undergraduate and graduate school. The quote, from Gertrude Stein -- "There is no there there" -- quickly became my favorite. Stein penned the famous words when she visited her hometown of Oakland, Calif., and could not find the house she grew up in. Because her connection to her roots seemingly disappeared, she concluded that there is no there there in Oakland.

Many urban enthusiasts use Stein's quote to describe the concept known as "placelessness," meaning places that lack a sense of place.

You can find environments with no sense of place just about anywhere. In fact, in these cases, place does not matter. A strip mall in Fresno bears little, if any distinction, from one in Phoenix.

An authenticity exudes, however, from places such as Manhattan that render them unique and give them a special sense of place. In other words, the built environment in Manhattan holds a meaningful association -- historical and otherwise -- to the place in which it is located.

Manhattan is distinct from downtown Philadelphia or downtown San Francisco, and within a great city, each neighborhood boasts its own sense of place. I have been to New York City only twice, but I can, within a split second, tell you if I am in Greenwich Village or the Upper West Side without reading a sign.

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