Thursday, July 9, 2009

My weekly list

Good morning, afternoon, evening to you all around the world. Today I was brainstorming ideas for blog posts and came up with the idea of a weekly top ten list. It isn't the most original idea out there, but as some of you know, I am a list lover! The fun part will be that each list is something random from week to week.

For my first weekly list, it is a topic I've thought about but have never put into words It is the top ten U.S. cities I've visited that I would move to. You won't see any California cities because I've never been there. So here we go!

10. Boston, Massachusetts

I've never been excited about the thought of moving to Boston. Growing up, my dreams consisted of seeing the big cities of the world outside of New England. Now that I think of it, maybe I visited Boston so many times as a kid with my grandparents and parents that I didn't appreciate how amazing it really is. As I grow a bit older (and maybe wiser), Boston seems to be a great place to reside. It's been my opinion that the New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont mentality differs slightly than that of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. I think the latter three are more fast paced, have slightly more attitude than the three states to the north. That's why I don't know if I'd fit in in Boston. I think I'm more laid back, less inclined to tell a New York Yankees fan off. But the fact that I know many people living there, most of my favorite sports teams are in Boston, and my family lives just two hours away are all reasons I'd choose to live in Boston.

9. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is an amazing city that I've only been to a couple times. I haven't had the opportunity to explore enough of it yet. But it is one of the busiest, most exciting cities in America. Luckily, this is another city where I know a dozen or so people. I think that when moving to a new place, it really helps to know people there. It makes the transition to an unfamiliar place easier.

Chicago does have it's fair share of loud mouths. Every Chicago person I know loves to let me know how amazing the Windy City is. I'm sure it's amazing, but honestly, Wrigley Field is only OK. Chicago has many pro sporting events and Broadway shows to frequent. And I've read that the restaurants are some of the best in the entire nation.

8. Washington D.C.

Believe it or not, I've been to Washington D.C. eight or nine times in my life. I have a few relatives who live not too far away in Virginia so I visited them a couple times growing up. I'm not sure if anyone lives right in D.C., but I would want to live somewhere close to the capitol. My eighth grade class spent a week there and I went to my Uncle Mark and Aunt Jodi's wedding there. In fact, I was in D.C. during the reading of the O.J. Simpson verdict in 1994, an event that most people remember where they were when it happened. D.C. to me was very clean, the transportation I remember was remarkable. The trains were near silent compared to the noisy ones I'd been on in Boston. Like the previous two cities, the nation's capital is busy and fast paced. A lot goes on there. Too bad most of the sports are dismal. I did get to see an NBA Washington Wizards game in 2000, but am not sure if I could get excited about the Washington Nationals.

7. San Antonio, Texas

I love Texas. I think a lot of people dislike this state because of the "Don't mess with Texas" attitude, but honestly, I find the people there very gracious and welcoming. Boston and Chicago people have more edge. But the Texans do have the guns, so it's good to stay on their good side. I've spent a few months of my life in Texas in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and suburbs near Houston and Austin. But I liked San Antonio the best. I've seen the Alamo twice and fell in love with it. It is kind of a boring building by itself, but the history behind it I enjoy. The Riverwalk and night life in San Antonio is impressive. And in 2008, when spending all this time in Texas with Up with People, I had my fair share of Tex-Mex food and cannot wait to try some when I return to the states. I'm not sure how being a Yankee-boy would help me out living in San Antonio, but I would definitely consider it.

6. Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina is another southern state I would move to. When I was in Up with People in 2000, my cast visited Raleigh for a few days. This city was very classy to me. I felt safe walking around the city. The sun was shining too. That's one thing about the city I want to live in; I want the weather to be sunny. If I lived in Raleigh, I'd have season tickets to the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, formerly the Whalers of Hartford. Another sporting bonus is that it is less than 30 miles to Chapel Hill. I've never been to a Duke or UNC sporting event, but would jump at the opportunity.

5. Key West, Florida

It's 5 o'clock somewhere...I used to visit Key West for five hours once every two weeks for about six months back in 2004 and 2007 while working for Carnival Cruise Lines. What a city. What I did most of the time there was eat and drink. I've tried to imagine what it would be like to live there. I don't think it would get old, honestly. It is a laid back lifestyle, but it is safe, clean and has gorgeous weather. The hurricanes that roll through there are a negative point, but I would leave the area if one was headed my way. Plus if I lived here, then you could come visit me.

4.Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I graduated from Carroll College in Waukesha, only a 20 minute drive from Mil-ee-wau-kay (Wayne's World joke). Milwaukee isn't as clean or maybe even as safe as Boston or Raleigh, but if you think about it, all the cities I've mentioned have some crime. As a resident though, I would hope to not work or live in a high crime area. Milwaukee is another small market city that I enjoy. You'll notice I put Chicago, Boston and D.C. towards the bottom of the list. My ideal city would be one that I don't get lost in. Milwaukee only has a couple buildings over ten stories tall. It feels like Manchester, New Hampshire in a way. But it has major league teams like the Bucks and Brewers. Brewers games are a ton of fun, not too expensive and easy to get to. The Wisconsin weather is a bit questionable, but if you've never met someone from Wisco, you are missing out. They are some of the friendliest people I've ever met. They have great tastes in food and love to drink beer!

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Another small market city that I'd choose to live in. Each Thanksgiving while attending college, I would drive eight hours from Waukesha to my Uncle Mark and Jodi's house in Minneapolis and have Thanksgiving dinner with them. There is so much to do here. There is live music every night, about a thousand coffee shops, and major league sports. The winters are hell, I give you that. It gets cold, but I am a New Englander, I can take anything. St. Paul, another great city, is right up the road from Minneapolis. Also, the University of Minnesota is there. I like any city with a major university in it. Much like San Antonio and Milwaukee, the people of Minnesota I truly enjoy.

2. New York City

"Freak Show Central" as Al Pacino's character referred to it in the movie Scent of a Woman. I don't know who said it, but someone once remarked that everybody should experience a year in New York City. It is an expensive city that I'm not ready to live in yet, but before I settle, I would consider a move here. Sports, Broadway Shows, comedy clubs, restaurants, you name it, it is here. It is only a half day drive to my home town in New Hampshire, so I like its location. I've never been worried about my safety in the city because there are people everywhere. And cleanliness, nobody moves to NYC for the cleanliness.

1. Denver, Colorado

I'm a little surprised myself that Denver made the top of my list. But going through all my factors for characteristics I like in a city, it fits. Remember, I like cleanliness, safety, a university, sports teams, arts, friends or family and sun shine. Denver offers all of that. Some of my close friends from Up with People reside there. Colorado Rockies baseball games are ridiculously cheap, fun, and right down town. They also have pro football, basketball and hockey. The downtown area is clean, and inexpensive to get around. There are many trails and parks to run or walk in. I just love traveling there and could definitely see myself living in Denver one day. I've always wanted to ski a couple times a year and as you know, Colorado has skiing!

That concludes my first weekly list. Because it is Friday where I am, I will try to post my weekly list on Fridays. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to email me any feedback or ideas for other lists. Until next time, see ya.

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