Friday, January 21, 2011

America's Favorite Cities? Not D.C.

The District didn't get a rousing vote of approval from the nation in Travel and Leisure's annual survey "America's Favorite Cities," released in T and L's last issue.

Both visitors and residents ranked 35 U.S. cities on their culture, shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and other factors, and it's safe to say the two groups' feelings don't always jibe. This year, D.C. fell behind on everything but culture -- in the ratings by both groups.

Here's the worst of it: We are now the fifth-rudest city in the nation, and we fell to 31st in friendliness. A former intern in D.C. told T & L about a time she passed out on the Metro and no one came to her aid.

But it's OK, because we're pretty, right? No. Our attractiveness has fallen to No. 30, according to both residents and visitors -- 30 out of 35.

The only laurels we can safely rest on are our smarts. We say we're the No. 1 most intelligent city in the nation, and visitors say we're fourth. (It feels like a high school contest in which we've been dubbed both a nerd and ugly-duckling who compensates by being aloof. Reese Witherspoon in "Election," anyone?)

Some more bad news:  The glories of finger-licking BBQ and a good pizza pie elude the District, with both categories falling to the late 20s overall. Our live music concerts are way down there too.

But hey, we've got one thing to hold on to: Our cultural edge. The No. 1 ranking for historical sites and museums and galleries remains ours. We're the second-best cultural getaway in the nation. The only problem? Survey respondents say our hotels aren't cheap and we're sure not romantic.

We'll keep visitors coming anyway by plying them with more big-name restaurants and better ethnic food than ever before. So take that, New York! And visitors love our public transportation. (I have to ask, have they actually ridden the Metro?)

The best thing about this list? Being able to pit two cities against each other. Yes, I've already checked out the District vs. New York. No, the results aren't pretty, with a big LOSER tag next to our name. Same for Chicago.

But hey, we beat Orlando. And that's really saying something.

No comments:

Post a Comment