New York: best and worst city in schismatic survey

If you want to travel like a local, then it makes sense to know something about your destination … and isn’t the best city to live attractive? It’s the kind of place you’d want to explore and see why it’s so loved. And at the same time, you’d probably want to avoid the worst of the worst – who would want to go there?

Well, a new Harris Interactive poll makes this thinking hard to execute, USA Today reports. According to 2,620 Americans, the best and worst are exactly the same. Asked the city in or near which they’d most like to live, New York came out on top. This hasn’t changed (except once) since Harris began posing the question in 1997.

Now, the other side of the issue, what is the most loathed city in America? Well, it seems to be New York. San Francisco and Los Angeles also made both lists.

To see the top and bottom 10, take a look below:
Top of the heap:
1. New York
2. San Diego
3. Las Vegas
4. Seattle
5. San Francisco
6. Los Angeles
7. Nashville
7. Atlanta (a tie)
9. Denver
10. Boston

Bottom of the barrel
1. New York
2. Detroit
3. Los Angeles
4. Chicago
5. Houston
6. Miami
7. Washington
8.San Francisco
9. Dallas
10. Phoenix (tied with New Orleans)

[photo by Francisco Diez via Flickr]

Getting drunk: Twenty cities that don’t know how to handle their liquor

California loves to get wasted! San Diego and San Jose are the top two cities that drink stupidly, according to a survey by They lead the country in alcohol-related driving violations, a dubious distinction to say the least. So, if you step into the crosswalk in these two spots, take an extra second to look both ways.

The reasons for hitting this list vary and include proximity to colleges and nightlife, and the presence of stringent enforcement may play a key role, the survey finds. If you think a lack of enforcement puts a city at the top of the list, remember that slapping the cuffs on a lot of people increases the instances of drunk driving, which actually pushes it up. explains:

San Diego most likely tops the list because its police departments are aggressive in making DUI arrests, and officers there arrest lots of drunk drivers, says Mark McCullough, a San Diego police department spokesperson specializing in DUI issues.

To pull the list of 20 drunk driving metropolitan areas together, according to Insurance Networking News, analyzed “percentage of its car insurance online quote requests for which users reported alcohol-related driving violations.”

So, who made the top 20? Take a look below:

  1. San Diego, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Charlotte, NC
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Indianapolis, IN
  7. Los Angeles, CA
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Jacksonville, FL
  11. San Antonio, TX
  12. Dallas, TX
  13. Houston, TX
  14. Fort Worth, TX
  15. Memphis, TN
  16. Philadelphia, PA
  17. New York, NY
  18. Baltimore, MD
  19. Chicago, IL
  20. Detroit, MI

Boston got lucky on this one. It was excluded because of a lack of data – not because the drivers there are absolutely nuts.

Disclosure: I learned how to drive in Boston.

[Via Insurance Networking News, photo by davidsonscott15 via Flickr]

Sweaty passenger chastises Delta on YouTube

It’s bad enough to hear about the misery of being stuck on the tarmac, but to see it adds another dimension. When Tony Morales was stuck on a Delta plane in Phoenix, sweat dripping from his head, he recorded a portion of his ordeal, even though he risked “getting yelled at for filming right now.”

Morales described the situation on the plane as “uncomfortable, hot, miserable – it just wasn’t fun,” according to MSNBC.

The passengers were stuck in their seats, since the plane had pushed back from the gate, meaning that they were stuck in a hot cabin, without any fluids except those gushing from their pores. One passenger was allowed to deplane, but Morales recalls that it was for medical reasons.

Delta says it’s looking into the incident, MSNBC reports:

“We have reached out to this customer for more information on his experience as the timeline we have does not coincide with his account,” Delta spokesperson Susan Chana Elliott told msnbc. “Although, we can confirm that the flight did return to the terminal, passengers were offered water during the delay and provided the option to deplane when it was determined that the flight could not depart due to the maintenance issue.”

Passengers were finally offered water as the plane was headed back to the gate, and they were permitted to get off, but only after the situation had dragged on for two and a half hours, Morales says.

NYC tops U.S. list of most expensive cities

It’s not exactly shocking to see that New York City is the most expensive city in the United States. Groceries, gasoline and other items tend to run a tad more than twice the national average. Whether you rent or buy, you’ll spend a fortune in this city, where the average price for a home is $1.1 million and an apartment, on average, will cost $3,400 a month.

So, how can so many bloggers live here? Remember: these are averages. That means someone has to be on the underside of them.

Housing prices were also among the reasons why San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. worked their way into top spots on the list. Average home prices shot past $600,000 in all four of these cities. In Austin, the average home price is a much more modest $226,998, and it’s even more comfortable in Nashville, at $201,020.

The measure used to determine the cost of leaving in each of the cities is based on expenses in six categories: groceries, housing (rent/mortgage), healthcare, utilities, transportation and miscellaneous items. The prices of 57 goods in these categories were used.Six of the most expensive cities in the country are in California, with four of them among the top 10. Texas has four – Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Most of the costliest cities are on the two coasts, though Chicago (14), Las Vegas (18), Phoenix (25) and St. Louis (35) made the top 40.

The most surprising appearance on the list of most expensive places to live is Detroit. Even though it’s plagued by unemployment of 16.7 percent, utilities are expensive. Electricity costs an average of $243.56 a month, compared to a mere $141.64 in Atlanta.

The ten most expensive cities on the list are:

  1. New York City
  2. San Francisco
  3. San Jose
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Washington DC
  6. San Diego
  7. Boston
  8. Philadeplhia
  9. Seattle
  10. Baltimore

Check out the full list here.



[Photo via MigrantBlogger]

Husband and wife team steals 1,000 bags

If you were to steal 1,000 pieces of luggage, where would you keep it all? Wherever they shoved the bags, Keith Wilson King and Stacy Lynne Legg-King saw the police pull them out of their house one-by-one and stack them in the yard. The duo had been pinching luggage from the baggage carousels at the Phoenix airport, amassing an impressive collection of stolen goods … so big the police couldn’t provide an exact number.

Phoenix Detective James Holiday called what the Kings did “a livelihood,” rather than the pieces of luggage picked up a bit at a time or only as a one-shot deal.

Keith King was originally arrested three weeks ago for misdemeanor theft. The police kept an eye on him, though. When he went back to the airport again, the police followed him home (on Monday). The next day, they searched the King home and found many, many more. Both King and his wife were arrested, with the latter also picked up on charges of tampering with evidence.

The moral of the story? Be careful what you check!

[Photo by sun dazed via Flickr]