Oh, The Places You'll Go
A friend just sent me a piece in the NY Post listing "The 15 best places to live in the US." Drumroll, please:
2. Bellevue, Washington
3. Charlottesville, Virginia
4. Long Beach, California
5. Denver, Colorado
7. Ann Arbor, Michigan
8. Bend, Oregon
9. Minneapolis, Minnesota
10. Lexington, Massachusetts
11. Asheville, North Carolina
12. Hoboken, New Jersey
13. Portland, Maine
14. Nashville, Tennessee
15. Cleveland, Ohio
You see these sorts of lists all the time, but it's often hard to figure out the criteria. Lists that are specific--lowest crime, best climate, cheapest rents--they're easy to understand. But this grab bag seems pretty bizarre.
I've been to most of these places and, as nice as some of them are, I don't get it. For instance, #1, Bozeman. A pleasant place in many ways, but remote and awfully cold in the winter. (Warm weather is not a factor on this list.)
Then there's Philadelphia. For years it was a punch line for comedians, but I guess it's gone up in estimation. But it's a big place with well over a million people. Some spots are wonderful, but a lot of it you wouldn't even want to drive through.
It's nice to see Ann Arbor on the list. It's one of my favorite places, but you better like the atmosphere of a college town.
And what of Hoboken? The main thing about it is it's easy to catch the train into Manhattan. So is that why you live somewhere--because you can go somewhere else? True, the place is relatively cheap. One of the reasons it's so cheap is because you're not living where the action is.
I've enjoyed the short stays I've spent in Nashville, but I don't love country music. Is that legal there?
Finally, we get Cleveland. The Mistake By The Lake. I know there are some very nice areas in Cleveland, as there are in any city of some size. But one of the selling points they mention is that median house prices are $60,000. If that's the measure of a best place to live, then I suggest they drive up the road a piece and move to my hometown of Detroit.