As a fan of the Top 10 list in almost any form (most of my wedding/birthday/retirement/etc party schtick is in the form of a Top 10), I was drawn to an article on MSNBC tonight entitled, "Top 10 Most Under-rated US Cities". I've travelled this great land of ours pretty extensively, and I was curious to see how the list stacked up against my experience.
MSNBC's list (actually picked up from ShermansTravel.com, whoever they are) reads thusly:
2. Ft. Lauderdale
4. Kansas City
This is total crap list.
Baltimore? OK, I'm kinda down with that. The Inner Harbor is cool, the newish baseball stadium is cool. I can live with that. Maybe not number 1, but up there.
Ft. Lauderdale? Again, not too upset with this. The beach makes up for a lot, and it's definitely not the Spring Break dump it was back in the day.
Houston? WTF? I'm out right here. I am currently IN Houston, so I think I speak with some authority. This town SUCKS. It's way better than it used to be: The omni-present road construction is largely complete, and the area around Minute Maid Park (I still want to call it Enron Field) is going to be pretty good once some more stuff gets built here. But, the traffic is God-awful, the climate is akin to a malaria swamp, and LARGE parts of the city are falling apart. Again, WTF? Number 3? You have GOT to be kidding
Kansas City? Well, OK. Maybe. The downtown area is nice and compact, and you certainly can't beat the BBQ. But the utterly decrepit baseball stadium ought to rule it out right away.
Louisville? The city I've spent the least time in, so I can't really comment. Seems like a stretch, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
Minneapolis? I can live with this one, if you include St. Paul. The climate rules against it, although summer is nice. It would be a lot nicer if it was warm more than three months a year though. And the Mall of America has GOT to go!
Pittsburgh? I don't have a lot of experience with this one, but based on the little I know, I'll go along with this.
Portland? Heck yes. I'm behind this one 100%. It ought to be higher.
Providence? Another one I can get behind. I'm out on the local accent and the preponderance of the color brown (in honor of the university, one assumes). But, overall, OK.
Sacramento? Another WTF? If you're looking for pre-fab, anonymous cities, go someplace like Phoenix or Dallas. They're much more affordable and offer much more to do.
One has to ask, where is Ft Worth? How about Austin? San Antonio? Or outside of Texas, how about San Diego, Tampa, Charleston, Santa Fe, or even Little Rock? None of those get props as "Big Cities", but all have some GREAT stuff going for them.
Well, that's the fun of Top 10 lists. I'm open to other suggestions as well.