- Buffalo - Way too spread out. You need a car just to survive. Typical mix of New York and Canadian tourist drivers. Being near two of the Great Lakes, gets way more than its share of snow every year. Favorite restaurant: Schwables' (the best roast beef on the planet) (people will stand in line out in the snow for this place).
- Charleston - Most severe case of blight I've ever seen. Once the Navy moved out, entire sections of town are empty. Heck, even the criminals avoid the area. Also best downtown recovery. Tourist section is fantastic. I recommend taking one of the graveyard tours on Halloween. Favorite restaurant - just about anything in the historic area.
- Chicago - Sends its snow to Buffalo, keeps the wind. Winters here are bitterly cold. Decent train system in that you can live/get around without a car. Restaurants believe in oversized portions. Favorite restaurant: Gojo's (low-price/great service) Harborfest a "must do".
- Honolulu/Pearl Harbor - Oahu considers politics a form of entertainment. Supporting actors are (I'll provide the links as I re-find them):
- the Chief of Police who was arrested for fixing tickets,
- the Mayor who was arrested for (more than once) getting drunk and pick a fight on an overseas flight,
- Emelda Marcos (after Ferdinand) who periodically claimed that living in the U.S. was like living in jail (she was living in her friends $3M mansion),
- a whole slew of lesser able-minded politicos
- morning rock jocks who make their living poking fun at the above
Having a car here is an extreme financial burden. (4M people on one island) There's no where to park, only one road on the island has a speed limit of 55 mph. Three others (that I've been on) are 45 mph. Everywhere else is 35 mph or less. Quickest way of getting around is by bus. One fare will get you within walking distance of most anywhere on the island. Favorite restaurant - the roach coach behind the motor rewind shop on the sub base (ask for the Bento).
- Naples - Scariest place to drive a car. Scariest place to rent a cab. Scariest place to ride a bus. Stop signs are considered advisories. Procedure for approaching an intersection: honk horn; listen; if you hear a bigger vehicles horn, stop, otherwise ignore the stop sign. Favorite restaurant: Momma's (in the Gut)(probably closed by now) Don't drink the water! Watch where you step! And yes, that IS Vesuvius to the east that looks like it's smoking.
- Orlando - Yet another city where you need a car to survive. The buses run everywhere, just not often enough. Cabs are expensive. Yet another town where the Navy has left. The city itself is surviving much better than Charleston because of the proximity to Disney World, the shuttle launches, and many other tourist attractions. Places to visit at night: Orange Blossum Trail. Places to avoid at night: Orange Blossum Trail. Favorite restaurant: closed about 20 years ago.
- Hampton Roads (aka Tidewater) - Not an actual city (in either case), these are the names for an area made up of five
While not even close to Oahu's view of politics as a form of entertainment, it has its own collection of the odd, offbeat, and dangerous to poke fun at:
- the state's most dangerous intersections. Because of the high number of transient military in the area, the populace has never settled on a style of driving. Very nerve-wracking during rush hour.
- Pat Robertson - whose Founders Inn closes down every year to avoid allowing anyone participating in Gay Pride Day to enter the restaurant. Same campus houses Regent University, and the Family Channel studios. Bigger satellite dishes (transmission types) than the local television stations. Also owns the housing development next to the largest active garbage dump in the area (which is rented out to the teachers at R.U.).
- the national headquarters of P.E.T.A. (yeah, all that gets cooked up here) - an interesting and not-well-known fact: P.E.T.A. does not take care of any animals. Their goal is to educate people, nothing more. Guess that explains having an entire office building on prime Norfolk waterfront.
- the Edgar Cayce foundation (but you already knew that)
- a city council member who has declared himself & his family as being out of the city police's jurisdiction and who has been the recipient of not one but two federal tax leins for back taxes. (I hereby nominate him for a position in the state or local government in Hawaii!)
- various morning shock jocks who poke fun at the above
Yet another place to live where you have to have a car to survive. While there are buses, they don't run everywhere. Chronic political campaign is "light rail" (politicians offer it up in referendum, it gets voted down). Second slowest road construction I've ever seen. Favorite restaurants: Franky's Ribs (voted "Best of the Beach")
Sunday, February 9, 2003
Interesting Places to Live
Over the years I've lived in/visited some interesting places. (Sometimes it's the Chinese definition of "interesting".) Here's a few comments about where I've been: