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.