In response to popular demand I now offer a self-tagging town meme. For purposes of this meme, a town is defined as a municipality with a population under 1,000,000. If you do not have five favorite towns of this size, or five towns you consider overrated, you may fill in with cities, but you must make a note of this. In addition, you must differentiate, in your negative list, between towns which are awful and those which are merely overrated.
In my opinion there are altogether too many towns, both pleasant and unpleasant, to choose from rationally. I will therefore complete the meme based on what first comes to me. I reserve the right to revise my choices at a later date.
Runners-up: Seville, Spain; Fes, Morocco; Avignon, France; Suchitoto, El Salvador; Port of Spain, Trinidad.
1. Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico (arguably the worst place I have ever been).
2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (the ugliest, lowest, and meanest metropolitan area I have ever met).
3. Rancho Cucamonga, California (faux-desirable and insufferably sterile).
4. Columbus, Ohio (actually a city, but notably horrid enough to deserve a mention, and the nation’s most overrated university town).
5. Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the Chemical City – need I say more?).
Enjoy yourselves, now. I look forward to discovering what you will say! And speaking of cities, I would also like to bring your attention to Dambala’s recent post in response to an e-mail by a denizen of St. Tammany Parish.
People across the nation and the world need to know that most of New Orleans and large parts of the coast are still destroyed, that there are families today just getting back into their houses after almost two years, that scores of thousands are still displaced, that the suicide rate is way up, and that vital services are still sorely lacking. If you wonder why we are touchy about the hurricanes (and yes, there were two), or why we have not yet “moved on,” you might remember that we are still excavating ourselves from them day by day even if we are so used to it that we do not mention this in every conversation, and that the present situation did not come about by our choice.