Not Another List

Fresh on the heels of the debacle of recommending New York City as a top holiday destination comes this attempt:

The coolest neighbourhoods in the world have been named by the influential Time Out guide, and Norrebro in Copenhagen has claimed the top spot.

I haven’t ever been to Copenhagen, so I can’t comment.  But given some of the other “cool” neighborhoods on the list, my only conclusion is that they’re either on the take, civic boosters, or haven’t actually been there since maybe 2005.  To whit:

#2:  Andersonville, Chicago.  When I lived near there, it was a nice place — just north of the summer bustle of Wrigley Field, I preferred going there in winter — but here’s the latest:

Come summer, Pride Month’s Midsommarfest celebrates Andersonville’s Swedish roots and LGBTQ+ culture. Make a flower crown or don a viking hat, taste Swedish delicacies, and rock out at the Pride stage.

That foolishness used to be confined to the neighborhood I actually lived in:  Lakeview a.k.a. Boys’ Town, where lots of single men lived in neat little apartments with their tiny dogs, and where clubs like The Manhole were the places to be seen.  So now it appears that the rot has spread further north, as these things do.  Pass.

#4:  Leith, Edinburgh.  It’s not bad, although I prefer Haymarket, which is less self-conscious a place (i.e. less precious), and should only be avoided on sporting occasions e.g. when Scotland is playing rugby against, well, anyone.  Okay.

#6:  Chelsea, NYC.  Oy.  To quote the article:  “Little Island, which is a new floating park, The High Line and Hudson River Park have all provided open space for people who needed it more than ever in 2021.”  All true, as long as you avoid the homeless encampments and accompanying discarded hypodermic needles, piles of human excrement and the most aggressive panhandlers in the world.  Pass.

#10:  Richmond, Melbourne.  Yeah right;  visit Richmond and get clubbed to the ground by the most aggressive and Covid-obsessed police force in the world.  Also (according to stepson, who once lived near there), it’s the most expensive place to eat or drink in Australia (“far worse than London”, was the actual quote).  Pass. 

#13:  Dalston, London.  I’ve only ever walked through Dalston, which lies more or less between Islington and Hackney (both haunts of the Tony Blair Set), but be my guest.  South Kensington is more my style, anyway.  Okay.

#14:  Silver Lake, Los Angeles.  Okay, Silver Lake is actually rather nice as it is a wealthy area and therefore pleasant to be in.  However, as with all good neighborhoods in LA, you have to swim through a sea of shit to get to the nice part, and I was last there in about 2007, so gawd knows what it’s like now.  Pass.

#18:  Villeray, Montreal.  Finally, a place I can recommend, if only to visit the Jean Talon Market at its southern corner.  Fine, it’s not the Old City (which is more French than many cities in France), but Villeray is wonderful, as is Plateau Mont-Royal just south of it.  Highly recommended.

Those are just the neighborhoods I know and have visited.  But once again, any list of top places that puts Paris’s exquisite Haut-Marais neighborhood at #36 (??!!) needs to be treated with some suspicion.

Feel free to browse the list and add your comments or recommendations.


  1. #6 – Is that photo of Chelsea, NY the best one they could find? It certainly doesn’t make me want to visit.
    #12 – Medillin?? Nope, not going any place that’s most famous for drug cartels.
    #15 – Dublin 8… highly recommend. I’d swear I’ve had a pint in that pub that’s pictured.

  2. My wife and I lived on Cornelia Ave (St?), just down the street from the Man Hole, in 1995. It was a pleasant neighborhood, except after baseball games. The crowd that the International Mr. Leather competition attracted was…amusing.

  3. “Time Out” as in out of the closet. You got taken, Kim.

    This is a variant on ”Men’s Travel.”

  4. Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

    I remember vividly the first time I went to LA. Caught the most heavily armored, dystopian cab I’ve ever been in, which I’m pretty sure was being driven by Det. Nick from Barney Miller, and started towards downtown. Just minutes into the ride, I see the Crenshaw exit, and realize, oh hell, I’m in the HOOD. I can handle going to the hood, but I need to KNOW that I’m going through the hood before I get there.

  5. While Villeray is a decent part of Montreal, and as you say, Old Montreal, I’d prefer the Plateau or Mile End. Just the right mix of everything.

    I would also add the Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto, between Woodbine and the Neville Loop. I lived there for 7 years, south of Queen and north of the lake. Breathtakingly beautiful, but today only affordable by the wealthiest people in Canada. But to visit, as a neighbourhood? Oh yeah, especially on a warm summer weekend (if you can stand the crowds).

    Copenhagen in general is OK, especially the postcard-like harbor, which admittedly was really nice but I don’t think I’d rate it as #1 for anything. Tivoli Gardens was closed during our visit and I would have liked to spend a few afternoons there. The main shopping district of Strøget wasn’t anything that great, and any city in Germany or Switzerland would put it to shame. A very close family friend lives there and we plan to go back when I don’t have to wear a face condom for 8 hours each way on the plane.

  6. Dalston? I spent 25 years in der Nähe von Dalston, it’s OK as long as you watch your step, try not to be Loud and American, Ears will raise and whiskers will twitch.

  7. Kim,
    Could you post some pictures of iconic English villages or other countryside pictures of places that you’ve visited?

    Cities are nice to visit from time to time.



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