New York giving you ennui? Had it up to here with Beantown and Brotherly Love? You're not alone. From coast to coast, urban Americans are discovering a new host of metropolitan areas that float their collective boat - or microchip, as the case may be. Powered by 21st century economies and warm weather, these cities are more technologically savvy and ethnically diverse than ever before. And each one has its own unique flavor and style.

To be sure, Gotham and its contemporaries still reign supreme in terms of sheer numbers, but the up-and-coming cities listed below are currently exploding with growth. So if you're looking to relocate and think the Windy City is a bunch of hot air, keep reading and check out the new hot spots on the real estate market.

By the way, these rankings are derived from U.S. census data comparing 1990 city populations to 1998 populations (the most recent numbers available).

1. CITIES 10 - 8

Percent increase, 1990 - 1998: 6.8%

Once run primarily by the rough-n-tough oil industry, modern-day Dallas is very much a city in transition. Since black gold gave way to technology as king of the Dallas dollar, the economy has blown up, employing 5,000 more people this year than last. This shift has drawn an ethnically diverse group of younger residents to the area, chipping away at the Good-Old-Boys-network mentality that once pervaded the city and spurring some cultural diversity in the arts, as well.

Dallas is also safer than it's been in years. With the exception of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys, violent crime has dropped steadily over the past decade. In other words, you can park your car in a dark alley, but don't go anywhere near Texas Stadium during football season.

The tag on Dallas is that it has killer traffic. While the city is working hard to renovate a growing public transportation system, there's still a herd of cars clogging up the highways - not to mention your lungs.

Percent increase, 1990 - 1998: 8.0%

Houston is, in a word, large. Sprawling, even. Greater Houston is larger than two Rhode Islands, and the city employs more people than all of Colorado, which makes its rate of growth all the more puzzling.

There is a clear sense that the West dominates a portion of Houston culture and nightlife. Many historic downtown buildings have been renovated and converted to stylized residences, reminiscent of those in a John Wayne flick. The nation's most elaborate rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, can be found here, and country line dancing is still the rage at many a downtown club.

But Houston is so tremendously metropolitan that the cowboy hats and belt buckles could easily go unnoticed. This is a city that considers tourism a major industry, boasting 46,000 hotel rooms and 10,000 theater seats. However, Shell and Exxon are still the biggest employers - stark reminders that oil continues to reign supreme.

Percent increase, 1990 - 1998: 9.2%

Jacksonville is the fastest growing city in Florida, yet unlike its neighbors in southern Florida, the city's immigrants are predominantly under 65. Indeed, the median age in Jacksonville is 35-downright juvenile for the retirement-friendly Sunshine State.

The city plays host to a thriving talent community, supported in no small part by students attending nearby schools dedicated to the practical and performing arts. There are also several local artist guilds.

The job market in Jacksonville is continuing to blossom. Several companies keep their corporate headquarters in the downtown business district (including Winn Dixie, Inc.). The Navy also maintains two stations in the area, which employ a combined 30,000 "Jack-civilians." But the industry that's really taken city by storm is telecommunications.