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]

Ex-TSA official risks up to a decade in the slammer for jewelry theft

Are fees for extra bags reason enough to keep you from checking luggage? Well, thanks to a rogue Transportation Safety Administration, you now have another one. Randy Pepper, a former TSA supervisor has entered a guilty plea, admitting to the theft of more than $20,000 in passenger belongings, including jewelry, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The 50-year-old, on whom the traveling public relied to protect its bags, was fired in July 2009, when another TSA employee saw him lifting items from passenger luggage. When officials turned to the security video, they got confirmation. According to prosecutors, the loot included gold diamond rings and sterling silver necklaces.

Now, Pepper faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is set for November, and the naughty ex-TSA official is expected to get a prison term of between six months and a year.

[photo by amandabhslater via Flickr]

Off & Away goes international

Off & Away the recently launched luxury travel auction site is offering up its first international destination. On June 7, 2010, the site will send a stay at La Amada in Cancun under the virtual gavel. Other upcoming auctions include the Andaz in New York (June 9, 2010), Turtle Bay in Hawaii (June 9, 2010) and the Alexis in Seattle (June 10, 2010).

The greatest concentration of luxury deals on Off & Away so far appears to be in New York, so if you’re looking to take a trip out here, putting in a bid might not be a bad idea.

NY is being auctioned off right now. Only 1 hour left. Did you know that we’ve had auctions go for as little as $20? than a minute ago via HootSuite

Strangely, Off & Away rewards valiant losing efforts. According to the rules:

  • If you’re outbid, apply up to 110% of your used bids towards another room
  • Select from any of our 50,000 partner hotels at the Web’s best published rates

Airport food nastier than airline food

And you thought airline food was nasty …

Airport restaurants have been spanked hundreds of times over the past year for food safety violations, according to a USA Today review of inspection records. Check it out – close to 800 restaurants in 10 airports had tuna and turkey sandwiches that weren’t kept cold enough, raw meat getting a little too chummy with ready-to-eat meals, rat droppings and kitchens that didn’t have soap for employee hand-washing.


Yea, it gets nastier. Forty-two percent of the 57 restaurants at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were found to have at least one “critical” violation each. At Reagan National Airport, it was even more disgusting: 77 percent of 35 restaurants. These were violations of a caliber that make the risk of illness common.

JFK, apparently, isn’t so bad. According to the New York City health department, “Restaurants at JFK have had relatively few problems with rodents in comparison to restaurants citywide.”

That’s one hell of a vote of confidence!

[Photo by asplosh via Flickr]

NYC best city for singles (if you own a computer)

Looking for love lust on your next vacation? Your next trip should be to New York, which has knocked Atlanta out of the top spot as the best city in the country for singles. And, why wouldn’t it? You have more than 8 million people chasing their dreams, so the choices are endless. There’s one of everything, so in one night, you could meet every flavor of scumbag available. But, there’s an upside to all this variety, so don’t give up hope yet!

Atlanta fell to the sixth position, with Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C. occupying the second through fifth spots in this annual survey by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Philadelphia round out the top 10.

This is New York’s first time in the #1 spot, which evaluates 40 of the largest cities in the United States for “coolness, cost of living alone, culture, job growth, online dting, nightlife, and ratio of singles to the entire population.” Notably absent are: willingness of hot girls in that city to talk to you, cost of buying several drinks for someone genuinely out of your league and adult bookstores nearby to help you when you strike out yet again.

Well … I think New York would win on that one, too.

What pushed New York into the winners circle, apparently, was the number of people with online dating accounts. The city has more people hitting the web to scratch their various itches than any other city in the country.