My favorite cities

You didn’t ask, but here are my top 10 favorite cities.

I’m leaving out Boston, Dover, N.H., and Portland, Maine, because I’ve called all of them home at some time in my life.

1. Chicago — I just returned from there, so it might benefit from the recency effect. Still, I have a feeling this one will stay with me like a lost first love. chicagoEye-popping architecture, a huge city yet replete with personal space, phenomenal museums and attractions. And it’s a beef and beer mecca.
2. Las Vegas — No better place to be an insomniac. A whole new city every five years.
3. Munich — Great food, friendly people (most of whom speak English exceptionally well) and medieval charm. Rumor has it they sell beer.
4. Paris — Springtime in Paris, right? I was there in 2007 during the elections. Few sites are more spectacular than the Eiffel Tower lit up in red, white and blue.
5. New York — So nice they named it twice. This town has everything, most especially good-looking people, except smiles.
6. New Orleans — Best food on earth … and I’ve eaten in Paris. Languid and fun, and you can drink in the street.
7. San Francisco — Postcard-level beauty, excitement and generally gorgeous weather in a marvelously historic burg.
8. Santa Fe — I defy you to find a bad meal in this place, whether at a five-star restaurant or a roadhouse. Surrounded by the glorious Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
9. Seattle — Can be gloomy (though the weather’s always been great when I’ve been there), with a slightly hardscrabble flavor. Yet the people are friendly without being cloying and the Jet City has lots of attractions, including the real rock-and-roll hall of fame, the Jimi Hendrix Experience Music Project.
10. Quebec — Old-world charm and a cozy vibe. Rain and snow are abundant but, taken with the mighty St. Lawrence River, the place seems like a dream.


3 thoughts on “My favorite cities

  1. Oooh! I love lists like these -and I see you have a few that I very much want to visit, namely Chicago, Seattle, and Quebec.

    Very funny about New York “so nice they named it twice.” The smile-lack is quite apt. Certainly Boston could compete in that department. This guy has taken it upon himself to improve our odds (of winning a smile contest w/NYC), but I’m not sure if it’s working:

    • Thanks for the feedback, Phoebe. There’s nothing I could say about New York that hasn’t been said already (and a million times better). I was born in Boston, but that doesn’t cool my ardor for New York (except, of course, the Yankees). Cheers!

  2. A couple things I left out: The small-but-splendid Chuck Jones Gallery ( is not to be missed when you visit Santa Fe. If you time your visit in December, the streets are lined with luminaria, which is a bonus.

    An hour’s drive north of San Francisco is Sonoma Valley and, more specifically, sleepy Santa Rosa. That town has some surprisingly excellent sushi and the sublime Charles Schulz Museum (, featuring a Snoopy labyrinth!

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