This blog is dedicated to a colleague of mine at the Star who simply LOVES lists.
I spotted an item on the forbes.com website the other day listing the world's most beautiful cities. Not the cities best for doing business or best quality of life but, simply, most beautiful. A lot more open to interpretation and less scientific, but probably just as valid as anything more business-oriented.
Forbes pulled together architectural and city planning types (they're always eager for publicity) and came up with the following list. I don't think it was in order but I could be wrong. There are some surprises, so without further adieu here ya go:
Fully deserved marks for Vancouver, for sure. On a clear day, there's perhaps no city more beautiful in the world. On a day-to-day basis, I'd take Paris. But on a lovely spring day with a dusting of snow on the mountains Vancouver can't be beat. Even San Francisco falls a bit short.
Ontario, not surprisingly, gets shut out again. Not to mention New Brunswick, Alberta, Florida, Ohio and Arkansas.
The list has some surprises. I think Cambridge is lovely, and the publicity with William and Kate as Duke and Duchess probably doesn't hurt, but I don't think of it as a city so much as a big town. Anyway, it's just fine.
I was surprised to see Chicago on the list, to be honest. I know the new "bean" sculpture is popular and it's a very handsome city to be sure, but I'd probably put Stockholm or maybe Barcelona above Chicago.
Tokyo is an interesting choice. The editors said it was partly physical beauty but also the way the whole city works, which I couldn't agree more about. It's remarkable that way. There aren't many gorgeous buildings and the physical geography is nothing special, but the way it all knits together, along with the pockets of stunning gardens and temples, make it awfully impressive as a whole. So kudos for thinking outside the box a bit on that one.
But still, it's odd to see just the one Asia city, compared to four in North America and five in Europe, all in England, Italy and France. There's nothing in South America; no Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, which is too bad.
Anyway, as my colleague would no doubt agree, that's what make lists so much fun. Right? I mean, Ilove listening to the top songs of all time on the radio but if I hear one more Oldies 1150 Countdown with "Satisfaction" as top song of all time I'm gonna hurl. Great song, but SO OVERPLAYED. See also: "Hotel California" and "Hey Jude," the latter a huge fave of mine but there's only so much you can take.
You know what? It would be like dating Penelope Cruz every night. After, oh, I don't know, 83 or 84 years you might want something else.