Thursday, June 10, 2010


Just some random thoughts about cities:

This is so clever: There’s a Starbuck’s next to every subway station in downtown Toronto. You come out of the subway, boom, there’s your coffee. BTW, “Tall, Grande and Venti” are the same in metric.

I’ve always wanted to live in Minneapolis. Maybe it’s because Mary Tyler Moore made it look so hip and glamorous when I was growing up. To me, “Minneapolis” means “cosmopolitan.”

I usually have a really good sense of direction and generally know which way I'm facing at all times. I come out of a subway, boom, east is that way. Except for when I’m in Seattle. I never know where I am or where I’m headed in Seattle. “The airport’s that way?”

Fifth Avenue in New York City and Michigan Avenue in Chicago are analogs of each other. Both of them run along the right side, lengthwise, of each city’s big parks as your heading out of town (Central Park and Millennium Park). Both have the ritzy stores where tourists like to shop.

I was born in San Antonio and spent a lot of time there growing up. It has the craziest layout of downtown streets of any city in America.

I still don’t know how to find my way around downtown San Antonio. It’s a miracle that the Mexican army was able to find the Alamo. I still have no idea where it is.

Chicago is laid out in a perfect grid with each city block measuring exactly one-tenth of a mile. If you’re at 6300 N. Clark, you’re exactly 63 blocks and 6.3 miles north of the center of downtown. If you’re at 4200 W. Division, you’re 42 blocks and 4.2 miles west of the center. That makes things easy. However, two main streets in Chicago are named “Chicago” and “Illinois.” Which is stupid.

I think Albany, NY has one of the most interesting skylines of any city in the U.S. It has these four, identical tall buildings and a flying-saucer shaped event center that is so very unique.

I used to drive through it quite often and would often find myself looking at its skyline rather than the highway.

The main part of Kansas City lies in Missouri. Only a small, scrubby suburb lies in Kansas.

Even though I grew up in Texas, I think the hottest I’ve ever been was in Des Moines while visiting an amusement park. It was 95 degrees, not a single breeze, and all that corn makes it extremely humid. Oh, and nothing is air conditioned in Des Moines. Nothing.

Even though I’ve traveled a lot, I’ve never been to any city in California. I’ve absolutely no desire to change that and can’t really say why.

I'd much rather go to Minneapolis. In January. Just like Mary Tyler Moore.

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At 10:55 AM , Blogger Bob said...

Too funny!
And useful, too!

At 10:42 AM , Blogger QuotidianEditorialist said...

Being a lover of factoids, I am so pleased to learn about the layout of Chicago. The system is clean and logical. Pefection! I do however concur about the streets named "Chicago" and "Illinois".

I too become confused in Seattle, even though I lived there for several years. I blame this on the fact that that ocean is on the "wrong" side.

At 1:44 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

That's just 'cause you're crazy. :) Minneapolis in January? Brrrrrrr!!!!!

Also, I'm quite sure that most places in Des Moines are now air conditioned. :)

At 10:54 PM , Blogger Barb said...

I too, love seeing city skylines. Not sure what it is about them ~ especially at night.

In Fla where I have spent most of my life, I always know what direction I'm facing. Mostly due to the beach. I was a bit confused when I first moved to the west coast of fla cause the ocean was on the wrong side!


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