Travel & Leisure has surveyed 60,000+ respondents and the results are in for what’s the best city, it’s best and worst features etc. Here’s the original link and my interests are below.
Clubbing – At one point, New York was the clubbing capital of the world. And now, even being relegated to 3rd in America (according to this list), it’s definitely lost it’s luster and still doesn’t compare to the UK, Japan, Spain, Russia, Germany and well much of the EU. The Guliani and Bloomberg campaigns against nightlife in the city have killed the nocturnal nature of the clubs. They are no longer mysterious, dark and exciting as they once were. Even the promoters have played it safe with their music, opting for more bedroom DJs (CDJ, iPod and Serato mixers) than national & international superstars with deck skills and proper music selection. Seeing Austin and especially New Orleans on this list, I know there were some ballet suffers in the category. My list would be more like:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New York
Culture (over all)… you can’t compare to New York and I think the next best city really should start at #3. I hardly think Boston and Philly have nearly as much culture as SF. Do people even understand this question. I mean how are Charleston and Santa Fe in the top 10?
People (Overall). There is no doubt SF is tops on this one. But I’ve been to Seattle and there’s no comparison to the people in NY. NYC should be the easy #2. Something note worthy about the sub categories of this – Attractive tops were: Miami, San Diego, Charleston, Austin, Honolulu, LA, SF, St.Paul/Minneapolis, New York, then Denver….again another WHAT?!? There are a lot of lesser known places in the south that missed the list and NY near the bottom of the 10 – that’s ridiculous. Stylish fit the norm – NY, Miami, SF, LA (even though I think Miami should be # 4 on that list) but I guess the more stylish you [think you] are, the less Friendly. I think we know from Katrina that New Orleans is not Diverse and need not be in the top 10.
After Dark (Overall) – I really can’t say from experience that New Orleans is the best place for after dark, however, I can not see how New York & Las Vegas are not tops above NO.
It’s hard to say what are the best citys by “Characteristics (Overall)” – but apparently Portland Oregon has it. The most affordable spots are really all placed I don’t want to live and my top three (New York, SF and San Diego) are all on the bottom. The best weather is also my pick (San Diego) and except for Denver, all the top ten are southern cities that don’t get a winter. I found it interesting that the most unsafe city was New Orleans (Safety) but the perception is still there that New York is not the safest city, even though I feel easier moving around the boughs here than I do in parts of Chicago, SF, Las Vegas, even Austin, TX.
Wow –Pedestrian friendliness? Except for the snow, how is New York not more ped friendly than the hilly SF, the expansive DC and Austin cities, and the wet Seattle?
Food/Dining (Overall) – again, I’ve never been to Austin, but how can down home cookin in Austin even compare to the diversity and range in food in NY or SF for that matter? I don’t understand this one. Seattle, Portland, St. Paul and Charleston again are too high on this list. Notables, Chicago beat NY for best pizza, Seattle tops the coffee market of course, NY and SF are the most ethnic (there’s no Asian food in New Orleans people come on!), the south has the BBQ with Austin, San Antonio, Nashville and Charleston (but hello Memphis Que? didn’t even get to the list), and Big name restaurants topped the bill in NY (but again some ballot stuffing with New Orleans).
Shopping (overall) of course went to NY but I had no idea people are destine to go to Charleston over LA for shopping… wonderment.
Best Type of trip (Overall) goes to: San Diego, Honolulu, SF, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Charleston, New Orleans, San Antonio and Miami… Boston, Austin and NY are close behind but definitely don’t deserve that following.
So what this survey tells us about some of my favorite cites is people think New York is best in shopping, culture, people-watching, and big-name restaurants but if only it were affordable (worst on list). SF is ranked best in gay oops I mean people overall and fantastic neighborhoods,yet again is unaffordable compared to most. Miami has great nightlife and hot sexy people but has the worst drivers and transportation. LA has great luxury shops but some of the worst people and traffic is a nightmare (no there is no viable public transportation). Las Vegas is a great travel destination, for big weekends but don’t expect the best produce; besides who needs a salad when you’re drinking bottle service all weekend. New Orleans gets away with best live music, drinks and cheap eats but you’ll get robbed, stabbed or worse ; more than any other major town. DC has the best history but still wouldn’t want to pay THAT much to live there. Chicago gets marks for eats, city sites and some of the worst weather. Austin is great for the single person, hearing live music and BBQ but getting around is a pain, and bring your own style out because they don’t have much to offer.
I was quite disappointed in the amount of positive attributes selected to New Orleans and Charleston but quite pleased to find my top places to be in the top SF and NY.