June 09, 2008

Sorry Detroit. Sorry LA. Sorry Phoenix. Sorry Miami. You didn't quite make the list of "World's Best Cities" this year. Better luck next time.


Actually, not a lot of surprises on this list, except for some great cities that didn't make it. Maybe the biggest surprise is that Minneapolis ranked as the only mainland US entrant. Nice, friendly, well-planned city, but one of the best in the world? Nah.

I'd add these to the list (thinking about 'cities', not towns):

* Strasburg
* Budapest
* Prague
* Seattle
* Rome
* Florence

One thing to take away from lists like these is how America can make its cities better. Significant mass transit, subsidized independent shops, restaurants and cafes (versus chain stores), well-utilized outdoor gathering spaces, and closed-off pedestrian streets are an easy start for any mayor.

US cities will continue to lag unless the people demand something different. This list should inspire. And $10 gas could change everything.

Here's the Top 20 from Monocle magazine. Hack at it.


1 Copenhagen
2 Munich
3 Tokyo
4 Zürich
5 Helsinki
6 Vienna
7 Stockholm
8 Vancouver
9 Melbourne
10 Paris
11 Sydney
12 Honolulu
13 Madrid
14 Berlin
15 Barcelona
16 Montreal
17 Fukuoka
18 Amsterdam
19 Minneapolis
20 Kyoto

*Best global city : Paris
*Best business city: Madrid
*Best cultural city: Berlin
*Best design city: Copenhagen
*Best retail city: Fukuoka

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

LA, Phoenixm and Miami are shitholes.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

US cities will continue to lag unless the people demand something different.

Like what? Socialism?

No thanks. I enjoy living in the greatest country in the world, no matter what all the whiny lazy socialist types on this site will say.

Then again, the US has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world after Japan, and Messiah Obama wants to raise it to #1, so maybe I'll bail after all.

Tokyo-guy said...

I'm just waiting for all the SUV-driving suburban Americans to start screaming that all the European and Asian cities with significant mass transit, walkable streets, etc are inferior and "socialist." Will they try and hang onto their unsustainable lifestyle till the bitter end? I live in #3 by the way.

Anonymous said...

Honolulu is not a US city?

Anonymous said...

Last time I looked at a map Honolulu was a US city.

Mike F said...

Go Melbourne!
Ridiculously overpriced real estate (seriously) which shows only the very earliest stages of dropping in price (VERY tight rental market).

But a damn fine place to live.

Mike F

Anonymous said...

Was Fukuoka named by an Italian Enlisted man in the US Army after WWII? Fuk u OKah. I Googled it and it is a real city but is this a joke?

calebb said...

Woot! You said Seattle! See? In Seattle, we *ARE* immune to the housing bubbles that are popping all around us!

Anonymous said...

Chicago is pretty livable, though they could use a few less chain stores. NYC is a victim of its own success: too damn big, crowded, dirty and overpriced.

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis? They must be joking.

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA HA HA.

Car designer in Germany said...

Well, I'm from Munich and it is pretty nice here. Haven't regretted leaving the USA for a nice European city. But I'm not an America basher. I moved for personal reasons and not to thumb my nose at the American way of life.

But I really have come to appreciate the openness of the society here and the mass transit.

For example, there are no turnstiles to go through and riding the system is based on "honor" you don't get checked upon entering the subway, bus or tram, you may never get checked at all (i.e. you at at your word that you have a valid ticket). If you do get caught by the undercover monitors, you will be fined (and there are always enough riding "black" or "without a ticket"). But overall, the system works and most people pay because "it is the right thing to do."

Now can you imagine having that kind of system in the USA? in NYC? Or am I mistaken - does any city in the US allow you to just board and maybe not pay at all?

Plus, for all the freedom that the average American is constantly reminded of having by the media and politicians, etc. I have seen how more free a city can be (even one which is considered "conservative" by Germany). Can you imagine seeing nudity in a public park tolerated in the USA? Imagine the uproar if a woman's breast was shown in a shower gel commercial on NBC, ABC, or other network. Sex is treated much differently here than in the US.

Now I could also list all the things that are not so nice here like the growing population of angry retirees who constantly try to force others to conform to their version of what the social order should be.

Just the other day, a retired old man tried to run me down with his car - I was riding my bike down a one way street with plenty of room for him to drive by. What did he do? He drove straight at me until I could no longer get by and then told me that the road was a one way street and that I couldn't ride down it. I reminded him that he was not the police and that what he was doing was also illegal and also an endangerment of life. Imagine that guy trying to do that in Hartford or in a nice part of LA?

To sum it all up:

If you like walking around nude (or watching others do so) and drinking beer in public and don't miss having a gun and enjoy getting free porn commercials on the TV then move to Europe.

If you like driving around and drinking in your own home or in a bar, can't imagine living without your trusty machine gun and paying for porn then stay in the USA.

Tony the car designer

Boston Observer said...

Keith,

Just curious but when did Hawaii declare independence from the US?

Helsinki? Stockholm? Certainly nice cities and great to visit in the summer but the rest of the year...no thanks. Montreal is also intolerable in the winter.

High real estate prices and an oversupply of nutty left-wingers aside, Boston remains a great place to live.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Buenos Aires should be on the list. And even Houston, Texas - http://tinyurl.com/5mavo8 .

By the way, Kiplinger is also shouting out about "The Growing Mortgage Mess".

http://www.kiplinger.com/

Anonymous said...

>>>>>Maybe the biggest surprise is that Minneapolis ranked as the only US entrant.<<<<

Honolulu

Ummm....I know Hawaii was the 50th US state at one point. Did they break away from the Union and I didn't get the memo?

Scott said...

#12, Honolulu, would disagree with your statement that Minneapolis was the only US entrant...

Fred said...

Did we lose Hawaii in a war or something? (Honolulu at #12)

As a native Minnesotan, I would move back to Minneapolis in a second if they had good-paying jobs in my field. But I agree with Keith, I'm not sure that it really qualifies as a world-class city. This seems to be another of those studies where the writers try to be hip by choosing some random metrics that only they care about.

Anonymous said...

Seattle? Seriously? Come on Keith... I'd hardly say Seattle is "World Class"... and I live here. Vancouver is a much nicer city... but they probably have the biggest housing bubble in the world right now... So they will be off the list in 2 years or so when it implodes on itself and all the speculators from HK pack up and head back...

Anonymous said...

wow, look at those huge wasteful mcmansions along the water front. they would look exactly identical if they weren't painted different colors. those places must cost a bundle to heat and cool. is that photo a place in jersey or MD?

Mark in San Diego said...

Actually, I would put Portland, Or as best small city - great transit system that goes most places, and nice compact downtown that is walkable. . .clean, green, and decent economy. . .suprised NYC isn't on the list - great subway system and commuter rail. . .ok, big and gritty, but exciting. . .

hawver said...

Yeah, I can't think that much of this list if Minneapolis is the only US city to make it on. Come on now, there are plenty of better cities in the US (Boston, NYC, Chicago)

keith said...

Sorry Hawaii! I fixed the post..

But I'm not sure about honolulu either - isolated, expensive, Don Ho, tourists everywhere, friction between races... thoughts on that one?

I think the US has much much better than Honolulu or Minn. I'll take Denver, Portland, Seattle, Boston, San Fran and Chicago over those two..

Yet nothing in the US compares to the great cities in today's list. Nothing.

sundry vermin said...

The National Association of Realtors says Pending Home Sales Index shows 6.3% increase.


Can't beleive the NAR can even get print any more. Wonder what the misleading details will turn out to be this time.

keith said...

And yes, I know Don Ho is dead. But the memories remain..

Donald said...

Fukuoka: What an awful name for a city. Sounds too much like the F word. But who are we to complain? We have Intercourse, Pennsylvania and Hell, Michigan.

Fuck-u-Oka said...

"Fuku" means "Good Fortune" and "Oka" means "Hill".

Nevertheless, the name Fukuoka is pretty new; in ancient times it used to be called Hakata.

That name was put to that city around 1601, and as in the old miniseries "Shogun" there were some English folks in Japan then.

Turd World America said...

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com
"No thanks. I enjoy living in the greatest country in the world, no matter what all the whiny lazy socialist types on this site will say."

You are in denial. Seek professional help at once, or Vote for McCain. You deserve each other.

America is Dead. Turd World at BEST.

Anonymous said...

Really, what's a Gaijin suppose to do in Tokyo? Many are even barred from the good Soapland massage places.

Honestly, the cities which are world class are also accomodative of transnationals and those places would be more like Sydney, Amsterdam, Toronto, etc, than pristine places (see Tokyo and Paris) which resent foreign nationals from living there.

Granted, most of outside of the US, however, still the US has its Boulder, Burlington-VT, Portland, etc, just not LA-NY-DC.

Anonymous said...

"One thing to take away from lists like these is how America can make its cities better. Significant mass transit, subsidized independent shops, restaurants and cafes (versus chain stores), well-utilized outdoor gathering spaces, and closed-off pedestrian streets are an easy start for any mayor."

The Libertarians in Washington don't go for any of that central planning.

Kenduffelsniffenspotzen

Anonymous said...

Surprise the list was made up by EuroPeons who have been enslaved by their bureaucrats. They do nothing but sit at coffee shops chainsmoking and badmouthing everyone else as if they are gods.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I would put Portland, Or as best small city - great transit system that goes most places,

------------------------------------

on the eastside maybe. on the west the transit is spotty. I live in Beaverton and work 5 miles away, also in beaverton. in order to ride the bus to work I would need to walk .5 miles to the closest bus station, make a bus-bus transfer and then walk another .75 miles to the office. What is ironic is that I can see the MAX line from my office but the stop is about .5 miles away and the stop has no bus service! actually, there isn't a bus stop with in .75 miles of my office here just west of 185th.

It takes me about 12 min to drive to work and i have 4 different paths to take if there is any traffic congestion.

thedude said...

well, as a son of diplomatic parents i have lived in quite a few places.
yes, some european cities have nice old center of towns and walkable streets are very nice. but do you really want to live that close to your neighbor, hear him sneeze? everything is cramped.

Anonymous said...

You had to mention Seattle didn't you? The commenters at SeattleBubble.com have been supporting their predictions of doom by saying repeatedly that Seattle is a crappy place to live. And of course, the mayor's constant boasting that we have reached "world class" status only fuels their anger.
Overall if you look at it objectively Seattle isn't on par with New York Paris or London but neither ar its real estate prices. It still remains a nice place to live.

Anonymous said...

I see the criteria for a great city is pretty simple:

- expensive
- socialist
- high tax
- rapidly declining white population

Anonymous said...

Jim Johnson, A Former CEO Of Fannie Mae Chosen To Lead Obama's Vice Presidential Search Committee, Received Special Loans From Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo. "Countrywide Financial Corp. makes mortgage loans through a vast network of offices, brokers and call centers. But a few customers have gotten their loans a special way: through Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo. These borrowers, known internally as 'friends of Angelo' or FoA, include two former CEOs of Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of Countrywide's mortgages, say people familiar with the matter. One was James Johnson, a longtime Democratic Party power and an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, who this past week was named to a panel that is vetting running-mate possibilities for the presumed nominee." (Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, "Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans,"

Oh Keith, the irony of your love affair with Obama gets more delicious by the week.

michael said...

what were the criteria to make the list?

waikikiphotoblog said...

Here's why Honolulu made it on the list.

www.bluewaikiki.com

Unlike most tropical beaches, the minute you step off the sand, you're in a first world international city with great cuisine and cultural amenities.

dwr said...

"One thing to take away from lists like these is how America can make its cities better... subsidized independent shops"

You keep saying you're not a socialist Keith, but then over and over you seem to admit the truth. Please stay in Europe. We have plenty of socialists running around America as it is.

Anonymous said...

"subsidized small business"? You mean I have to pay for the shop through taxation even if they sell nothing I want? How screwed up is that? Knowing that most people commenting here are socialists, how would you feel if you were forced to subsidize a gun shop or Rush Limbaugh?

Anonymous said...

These lists are so lame. "Best" is in the eyes of the beholder. A retiree has different needs and desires than a 20 or 40 year old.

Besides I would not volunteer the gems anyway. This type of info tends to propagate and introduce the lemmings and the cockroaches.

The only benefactors are those who publish the list and make money on it.

Paul E. Math said...

"subsidized independent shops, restaurants and cafes"...?

I can't disagree more strongly with you in the area of government subsidies: have some faith in the market and keep the government out of it. I do NOT want my tax dollars paying for your croissant and capuccino nor do I ask you to pay for mine.

Otherwise, I am in favour of increased population density via construction of more residential units in downtown cores. I would also favour increased population density in secondary urban hubs which lie along an expanded mass transit system.

Residential construction, expanded mass transit and enhanced public greenspaces should all be self-funding over the long term: they should pay for themselves. I have no problem paying per subway use or for a monthly transit pass and I would have no problem paying per use or for a monthly pass at some botanical garden, soccer field, golf course, science center, aquarium, bike path, whatever.

Yes, it sucks to have to pay for stuff but someone has to. The people who use something should be the ones who pay for it.

corvinus said...

Hawaii is a U.S. state in the same way that French Guiana is a French department... de jure and only de jure.

It's not REALLY a U.S. state de facto -- it's an oddball with its own culture, history, language, racial makeup, and so forth. I don't understand why we ever made it one. Puerto Rico makes as much sense.

Anonymous said...

Funny how you fools don't take into consideration the quality of healthcare when selecting your so-called "dream cities". What happens when you get into a serious accident that requires last minute delicate surgery while you live in a place like Prague, for instance. Good luck!

I rather live in a city that can provided me with excellent healthcare, not only picturesque scenery or restaurants to stuff fat American faces.

Here's an example of another of your dream socialist cities in Europe, you know, one that Bitterrenter naively thinks it's paradise:

http://tinyurl.com/4s55xq

nerdbuff said...

The fact that Paris is much higher rated than Amsterdam makes me question the sanity of the list. I don't live there, but the fact that Chicago is not on the list at all makes me doubly suspicious.

BondsOfSteel said...

Vancouver vs. Seattle

I'm a Seattlite, so I admit I'm biased... but I would rank Seattle over Vancouver.

The cities are very similar. Vancover has better urban rail; Seattle's bus system is better. Seattle's traffic is a bit worse... but it's larger. Both have affordiblity issues.

Where Seattle wins is in nightlife/arts and crime. Vancouver especially has a problem with drug use. (E. Hastings/gastown is skeeetttchhhy!)

Oh, Seattle has much better beer. (Vancover wins in Asian food.)

BondsOfSteel said...

I just got back from Buenos Aries.

I really liked it... but Buenos Aries has too serious crime, polution, and poverty issues to be included on the top 20 list.

Anonymous said...

Avoid Minneapolis at all costs. Scum.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I wonder why then most Czechs, French, Italians, Russians, etc, always want to move to the US. For instance, FL has been invaded by French, Czechs, Russians, Italians, Germans, Canadians, Brits, etc.

I know lots of them who are living here in the US and don't want to go back to Europe, only to visit. I personally know several of them who live in my condo, workout at the gym, or attended college with me.
Many other Europeans want to live in South America, especially Spaniards, French, and Italians.

Keith and many other posters here have the opportunity to live like an eternal tourist in Europe, and then think that it'll be the same as working there for a living. Wrong. Try to be an entrepreneur in Europe to see how difficult it's. Or watch that big chunk of socialist taxes eating your paychecks, to really feel European.

Last time I lived in France, people were begging me to bring American Levi's jeans for them, while others were planning to move into another country. You can't even find a store like Office Depot to buy supplies, unless you take a couple of trains to Paris outskirts. Imagine spending 2 to 3 hours traveling by train or car just to buy a damn printer toner or Laser paper.

That's your wonderful socialism at work. Hey but you can stuff your fat face with French food. That's what's important to Americans. Ask if Keith has learned a second language while living all this time in Europe. They're there just to see buildings and to eat, while faking culture.

Anonymous said...

Just the other day, a retired old man tried to run me down with his car - I was riding my bike down a one way street with plenty of room for him to drive by.

Let it go, another American embarrassing us in Europe by trying to screw their organized system. What part of ONE WAY don't you understand? The German driver should have indeed run you over.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Buenos Aires should be on the list.

Buenos Aires? The same POS Buenos Aires I've been so many times? You must be out of your mind. Not only that, Argentina is even having a shortage of milk, energy, and inflation is at least 25%, while the gov lies that it's 9%. Argentina is a huge lie.

tokyo-guy said...

Keith, I lived in Honolulu for a year. Weather is nice, but there's not much going on outside Waikiki, and that's full of annoying tourists. And once you get outside the city proper, it's either third-world poor (chickens running around in the streets) or rich mainland people (authors, IT types who can tellecomute) living in McMansions up in the mountains. Bubble city.

And yes, there is friction between the races. Ever hear of "Kill Haole Day?" And yes, it's expensive, too. I remember paying $5 for a gallon of orange juice...this was around 2001, it must be more now.

As for public transport, there's no trains of course, but the bus system is decent.

Biggest thing for me is lack of jobs. I ended up finding a low-paying contract job at a consulting company. If I'd been able to find a better job, I might have stayed longer.

Anonymous said...

Lived in Minneapolis, loved it. But seriously they are a classic example of commercial chain, suburb, exurb U.S.A.

In case any of you have not been there the Mall of America (which I despised going to every time relatives visited) is the biggest collection of chain stores. There are 4 different gap stores in the MOA, Ambercrombie, etc.

tokyo-guy said...

Oh and Don Ho? I think the only people who care about him are tourists. They have their own huge "Hawaiian pop" industry, though. Go into and CD store and half the shelves are dedicated to it.

Anonymous said...

Totally Eurocentric list. I'd add:

Hong Kong
Johannesburg
Marrakech
Dubai
Rio
Sharm El Sheikh
Phuket
Sidi Bou Said
Buenos Aires
Dublin
Zanzibar
Istanbul
Greek Islands

Yoski said...

Best corruption city: Miami
Best drug trade city: Miami
Highest school dropouts city: Miami
Now don't be bad mouthing Miami, we got a few things going for ourselves down here.
In the housing crash we're second only to Vegas.

Ibod said...

Honolulu is a dump...spent a month there last October..besides the hideous shopping Disneyland for Japanese tourists, its an unfriendly,crowded,overpriced dependency living on the reputation of a few beaches.
Rampant homelessness,racism,panhandling, architecture reminiscent of Soviet apartment blocs and ugly military bases manned by low-life trash, its nothing but a colonial outpost.
It you're fooled into going, never leave the resort grounds.

ScottsdaleJake said...

frank@scottsdale....,

you couldn't make it in Scottsdale, the land of fast money and easy twat and wound up in California one of the most liberal and highly taxed states in the nation.
Where are you going to go, neocon loser? Try Baghdad.
By the way, you can get married in California now.

5th gen american. said...

I can see from the posters that the U.S. educational system is doing its usual knock down job

keith said..... Maybe the biggest surprise is that Minneapolis ranked as the only mainland US entrant

Thats mainland cities. mainland guys. Re-read and then post. Yeesh. By the way love the continued rant of living in greatest country in the world bullshit. Compared to where the illegals come from. Visiting usually does not give you insights. If you live in one of the OECD countries you will see why the ranking in the mag makes sense. 5th gen american former army guy and used to buy into the greatest country in the world bullshit. Now having lived in Australia and France--will nver go back. For what? The schools? Crime? Border enforecement? the taxes--actually u.s. taxes are higher than most countries and the services? the food? The urban design? Common pull your head out of your butt and see reality--our leaders have made our country a shithole.

Anonymous said...

"Let it go, another American embarrassing us in Europe by trying to screw their organized system. What part of ONE WAY don't you understand? The German driver should have indeed run you over."

Please give me a break dude! There was no sign - I took him at his word that it was a one way street! It was the way he tried to run me over to prove the point! If there's no sign telling me that, how the f*ck amd I supposed to know. Doesn't give you the right to enforce the law.

I know next time I see you standing too close to the doors of the subway and clearly breaking the law which is posted or not, maybe I should enforce the law by pushing you onto the tracks! I mean you're clearly not obeying the signs which say stand back, but which have also been removed for maintenance!

Run me over! Right- get your head out of your ass and take a look at what cars do to people when they hit them. Nobody has the right to enforce the law like that guy in the car. You're a typical American prick in you car casting judgement over the rest of the world of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Not all the traffic laws apply to bikes on the streets here, but you with your puny little brain would not understand that those lines on the street often indicate bike lanes! Yeah I was going the wrong way on what was essentially a street wide enough for 5 Hummers and this guy goes out of his way to try and cause harm.

God love what happens in America when all you "enforcers" get out there to make sure everyone conforms to your way of interpreting the laws. Bunch of f*cking idiot, self-rightous, fat-assed, blow-hards.

Anonymous said...

"Last time I lived in France, people were begging me to bring American Levi's jeans for them, while others were planning to move into another country. You can't even find a store like Office Depot to buy supplies, unless you take a couple of trains to Paris outskirts. Imagine spending 2 to 3 hours traveling by train or car just to buy a damn printer toner or Laser paper."

So when was the last time you lived in France? Must have been a while ago. Most department stores carry Levis and office supplies and if they don't, you can just order it online and have DHL second day it to your front door. Why drive by car or train for 2-3 hours? I would not even do that in America if I lived some place way out there.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:17 is dead on

I am friends with a guy from Denmark who moved to America after college and we met while working together in NYC. He was supposed to be there for a 1 year internship. He was the classic Euro socialist. Could have easily fit in on a blog like this. Europe was great. America sucked. European cities were wonderful because of good trains, etc. "Free" health care was wonderful. All the cliches.

Well it's 18 yeras later and he still lives in America.

Euro cities are great. I spent lots of time in Madrid and Amsterdam. I've also been to pretty much every city on the continent including Paris, Prague, Budapest, Milan, Rome, Bucharest, Moscow. And it was a lof of fun. But that is the point. I was there for fun. I was there on an expense account. I didn't worry about the prices of anything. I didn't care that that the average 2500 sq ft home in the US for a middle class person translates to a 2 bedroom apartment in most of Europe. I didn't care that there is a 20%+ VAT on every thing I buy. I didn't care that my marginal tax rate would be almost double what it is States side.

None of that shit matters when you're on a trip. Everyone goes to Europe sees the cool buildings, drinks funky beer, eats good food and thinks, gee this is so much nicer than Pittsburgh (or wherever they're from). And yea it is much nicer because you are only seeing the best that those cities have to offer. You don't go and see the muslim slums. You don't go to a hospital where there are hours and hours of wait times. You don't have elective surgery which can literally take years to schedule since health care is rationed by the government.

All you see is the postcard view and that is not reality. And for those of you who live there, you're most likely seeing a postcatd view as well.

When I lived in Madrid and Amsterdam, my employer paid for everything. I lived in Madrid for 8 months and Amserdam for 7 months. I had a subsidized apartment and a car allowance. Everything was set up for me when I got there. I didn't have to look for a job. I didn't try to start a business which involved a shitload of paperwork. I didn't have to employ anyone or deal with payroll. I didn't have to deal with most of the bureauracy that the average person there has to deal with.

And after my 1.5 years living in Europe I was glad to come home.

Anonymous said...

Moron said:

Geez, I wonder why then most Czechs, French, Italians, Russians, etc, always want to move to the US. For instance, FL has been invaded by French, Czechs, Russians, Italians, Germans, Canadians, Brits, etc.

Actually no. If you look at the data very few europeans immigrate to U.S. from the OECD countires. Russia with an economy poorer thean mexico cannot be compared to France where the average person earns more than 20% more than the bypical american. You mentioned FL so I am assuming becuase a few dozen douches are hanging out in cheap Miami condos there are millions of europeans clamoring to come to U.S. Not so, check the data its much like Miami where you are likely from with a lot of thridworlders comming in and a few rich folks enjoying the condos....

God you are stupid. You must be from Miami.

duder said...

i work in germany. net pay is about 50% of gross pay, plus 20% tax on most things i buy. gas around $8. paradise. and the public transportation system here in hannover (500.000 inhabitants isnt that great).

Anonymous said...

Arizona is a beautiful state, and if you avoid Scottsdale, you’ll be fine.

RT said...

Earlier poster said: "For example, there are no turnstiles to go through and riding the system is based on "honor".... Now can you imagine having that kind of system in the USA? in NYC? Or am I mistaken - does any city in the US allow you to just board and maybe not pay at all?"

Yes - the subway in Los Angeles works exactly the same way.

Anonymous said...

I've done a lot of traveling. And I do envy certain things about some of those cities on the list. But the bottom line is, it always feels good to come back to America.

Yes, cities here are far inferior to many of the popular world cities. But all things considered (cost of living, comparatively low taxes, quality of food, variety of terrains and climates), it's hard to beat our country as a place to live.

I love visiting those cities on the list, but I have no desire to live permanently in any of them. I'll always come back here.

Tokyo-guy said...

"Really, what's a Gaijin suppose to do in Tokyo?"

Get some real skills, learn some of the language, and you won't have to work at a language school.

Anonymous said...

And then, like clockwork, the rest of the dominoes started falling:

Bloomberg -- New Zealand home sales slumped 53 percent to a 16-year low in May, reinforcing speculation the central bank will cut interest rates from a record high.

The number of houses sold dropped to 4,373 last month from 9,285 residences a year earlier, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Inc. said in a report e-mailed to Bloomberg News today. That's the fewest since December 1991.

A cooling property market adds to signs the economy is slowing as retail spending drops, employers cut workers and construction declines.


http://tinyurl.com/62hetg

Anonymous said...

So when was the last time you lived in France? Must have been a while ago. Most department stores carry Levis and office supplies

I lived there in 2004. The French Levi's is crap and much more expensive, according to the locals. There aren't any major office supplies store in Paris, like Office Depot, you'll have to travel outside to find one. Ok then, I lived in the Quartier Latin, so tell me smart a$$, where can I find a store like Office Depot or Home Depot in the 5th Arr.? Tell me.

Anonymous said...

Best corruption city: Miami
Best drug trade city: Miami
Highest school dropouts city: Miami


Thanks to Carter during the Mariel fiasco.

Anonymous said...

i work in germany. net pay is about 50% of gross pay, plus 20% tax on most things i buy. gas around $8. paradise. and the public transportation system here in hannover (500.000 inhabitants isnt that great).

Me = Live oceanfront in the US for $950 per month, drive an used BMW X3 that I bought cheap for $19k, sales tax is 7% but I usually buy everything online tax free and with free delivery to my door, my Effective Tax Rate for last year was only 4.5%, gas is still $3.8 in my area, you can buy a condo for $150k with a 6% fix mortgage, etc. Yeah right, Europe is better. No but no thanks, I lived in Europe and I prefer money in my pocket and living better. When I miss Europe, I can jump in a plane for $500 and cross that Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

Over the past few years, Minneapolis crime has skyrocketed to a point where it's presently similar to Detroit & Milwaukee. I wonder if its inclusion on this list is based on past conditions or on factors that that exclude the crime rate.

Le Frog said...

"The French Levi's is crap and much more expensive, according to the locals. There aren't any major office supplies store in Paris, like Office Depot"

There's a good reason you won't find office supplies stores in Paris.

The French don't give a ratatouille if they have toner and printer paper.

They really don't give a shit about any of that stuff. They just wanna drink wine, make love, eat food that's got lots of butter and sleep i.e. make love lying down.

When they do need toner or paper, the have it delivered like any normal person would and then they get back to drinking wine, making love to their women and eating tortured animals with lots of butter and bacon.

And as far as Levis go, it's an import product for them, of course it's going to be expensive!

Anonymous said...

They really don't give a shit about any of that stuff. They just wanna drink wine, make love, eat food that's got lots of butter and sleep i.e. make love lying down.

Thanks for reinforcing my point that French are a bunch of bums who live out of sucking their little blessings from a medieval and antiquated socialist regime. Good luck being an entrepreneur there.

Regarding French sex life, sorry but you guys didn't even make the top 10 list, as evidenced by this comprehensive survey conducted by a major condom mfr:

http://tinyurl.com/5hl8kd

I guess you guys spend too much time drinking wine and forget about the ladies, huh? Don't worry because every time we foreigners visit there, we take care of the French ladies for you, "intellectuals" with a push paper government job.

Chan said...

Enough with the hating on Minneapolis. I've lived here all my life but been to every American city and most multiple times...as well as most of Western Europe. Minneapolis IS a great city. Some of the most educated, literate people. Some of the best natural spaces (parks, bike paths, greens, and lakes in the city), a great uptown and downtown city life, top public education, no crime (the guy comparing it to Detroit must be smoking crack or hasn't been to Detroit), great restaurants and very little in traffic. oh yeah...the most theatres per capita outside NYC, top art museums etc..! Other than winter and a bit better public transport...it has it all. Tons of high paying jobs in multiple industries as well.

Anonymous said...

---"Really, what's a Gaijin suppose to do in Tokyo?"---

::Get some real skills, learn some of the language, and you won't have to work at a language school.

Dude, ten years later, you're still a Gaijin, they never grant anyone citizenship.

Yes, I knew someone who took 15 years w/ several visa renewals, before PR status, but he'd finally gotten his US citizenship after it all.

Anonymous said...

"I see the criteria for a great city is pretty simple:

- expensive
- socialist
- high tax
- rapidly declining white population"

Oh, please. The US, where I presently live, is hands down more socialist than most of the EU. Western EU is largely genuinely liberal more in the Adam Smith way than the US. US is the largest corporate welfare nation, ever. Walk around in Amsterdam, in Münich, in Paris etc. and you will see genuine grass root level capitalism. Not just large chains benefiting from corporate welfare like over here in the States. Regarding the "rapidly declining white population", rubbish again. Finland, for example, is the most caucasian nation on the planet after Iceland. Yes, largely because of the climate, but still. Here in the states you are lucky to find an English speaking cab driver that is does not wear a turban, is not from Haiti/PR/Dominican Rep or somewhere else strange. Again, the US has its good sides too, like truly beautiful nature, but US cities are dull beyond belief. Even NYC is.

Anonymous said...

Chan said...
Enough with the hating on Minneapolis ...(the guy comparing it to Detroit must be smoking crack or hasn't been to Detroit),

In fact, I worked and lived in the Detroit area for 2 years for one of the big 3 automakers. I have also worked and lived in Cleveland and the Chicago areas, and I've been to Milwaukee as well. I was recently offered a job in Minneapolis and took a trip there to investigate the area. I spent 2 days in the North-side suburbs (where the job was located) and I was shocked by what I saw. I turned down the position. The North side crime rate is well-known by city residents and it's spreading. If you don't believe it, Google the information or compare the Minneapolis crime rate to the city of your choice using one of the many crime statistics tools on the Internet.