Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I Couldn’t Live Like That, No Siree!

Netscape is reporting that RelocateAmerica.com (slogan: "for those who can't locate America the first time") has released its list of the Top 100 Places to Live. These exercises always strike me as funny living in Santa Barbara, but heck, I'll play along, and a criterion like "affordable housing" certainly keeps many away from what we call America's Riviera without any irony. (Oh, I also lived in Happy Valley in Pennsylvania for six years, and that felt plenty ironic, to me at least, even the year in Fisherman's Paradise, but at least I never lived in Blue Ball, which is where you end up if you don't make it all the way to Intercourse when you drive all night.)

Be sure to check out the list, and then come back so I can make fun of it. I'll wait.

OK, so many of these town you can understand. Port St. Lucie, Florida has the Mets single A team, so you can see Mets prospects when they're young and bad and have a leg up on the rest of the sports world. Carlsbad, New Mexico has a cavern with a section still called Devil's Den (don't worry, the Christians will fix that) and one of the cultural highlights is an evening bat flight. That seems like a thrill that must be up there with Temecula, CA's flight of the glassy wing sharpshooter (aka, we had a wine industry, once, but nobody liked the wine anyway; come, visit--we still have air conditioning).

Kingman, Arizona, they've got the last stop that side of the Big Dessert (we've got water--drink up), the bones of Route 66 (bogus nostalgia is us), and more Denny's and Motel 6's per capita than anywhere in the U.S. Manhattan, Kansas is named after a damn fine cocktail, has a cutesy nickname (no, not "Where the Red Wine Is Chilled" but "The Little Apple") , and you don't have to worry about evolving. Celebration, Florida is for people who want to be Animatronic.

And you know that Vegas made the list solely for the criterion "activities, such as museums, theaters and sports" because they've also got the world's biggest rhinestone, the world's only outdoor PG-13 pirate porn, not just strip bars but a whole area called The Strip, Siegfried & Roy, cute white tigers, and more all-you-can-eat buffets than anywhere in the world. Cause that's America.


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