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What are your 10 favorite cities in the world?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by drizzt3117, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I was in Berlin quite a bit in the years following the wall coming down (starting from about a week after the first hole in the wall). that was very very cool - now the construction is mostly over and it actually seems a little deader than I would have expected. The area around the Brandengerg gate, which was the hottest spot in the world in the early ninties is dead.

    I am still not sure how great Beruit is - I haven't been and I am not planning on going (I have this thing about being chaided to a radiator), but I have heard it has some pretty good clubs and some pretty good resteraunts. I think that when people talk about how great it is, they are comparing it to the total hellhole that it was for 3 decades, not so much comparing it to Amsterdam, for instance.

    Amman is a favorite of mine - not because it is a fantastic city, but because of personnal memories and its quirky nature. Not that it is a bad city, it has its pretty parts, and some nice places to eat and hand out, and the people are very, very nice. I was there for almost a year, before and after the peace process with Israel started, and helped set up representation of a few multinational companies there, while helping some jordanian companies export to israel. at teh time, the city had 3 chinese resteraunts, one run by an ex-red chinese military pilot who had come to teach jordanian pilots and defected to jordan to run a resteraunt, and the otehr 2 run by people he had hired and then had left him. there were no bars, except in teh US embassy and a few hotels, so if you wanted to drink you needed to buy a bottle from a little kiosk owned by a christian and then drink at home (or hand out with the ex-pats in the embassy bar). the other social activitiy was sitting in a cafe and smoking a water pipe (tabacco) and drinking tea. I had some very good friends and great memories of that time.
     
  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I am now settled down for the afternoon, so I will eleborate

    London

    love the "city" (the business district) love the activity, some of my favorite chinese food, great beer, great pub culture, love the way men dress, love the public transport, love the shopping, love the airport (the one that counts, heathrow)and the trains

    Budapest

    great archetecture, good food, good enough beer, love the baths, excellent soul. good airport. I used to hub through here a lot and pop into the city for a day at the baths with a massage.

    Prague

    one of those cities where you are always surrounded by beuty. also, a place where people will drink beer for breakfast and toast with brandy at 10 am, without seeing anything weird. also, you can never hae too much bread dumpling now, can you?

    Vienna

    beuty every where, the opera, the museuams, the coffee shops.

    Dussledorf

    personnal favorite - great beer( a specific kind of ale that is only found there. much imitated, never very well) , great city, great river, great museums, an aqarium with lively and happy penguins

    Bankok
    temples, massage, food, river travel

    Mumbai
    just a wild and crazy city - I once counted 18 different species of animals I saw in one day, some of the best food in the world, some pretty good clubs. and just a lot of wierd shit - slums next to high rise office buildings, cows, pigs, monkeys, the occasional elephant and/or naked holy man on the street. Also, I build my career here, met some very very tough people, lived in some of the best hotels in the world for 3 years, had a blast in general and have some good friends.

    Tel Aviv
    my old stomping ground - history built in to a modern city, a city I watched grow up, from having a single tall building to having a fantastic skyline, and city that you can go from beachfront cafe to airport business lounge (after check in) in less than 30 minutes.

    Paris
    best food, best museums, and, with all the evils af the french, I still have some effection for those frog eating buggers.

    Palermo
    beutiful, great food, no tourists, great opera.

    honorable mention -

    bratislava
    just a very pretty city

    sofia

    a pretty city, no tourists, great flea market, fantasticly beutiful women (I am sorry that I never made it there single)

    Amman

    vancuver
    beutiful, coffee culture, mix of outdoors and city

    philidelphia

    berlin

    great city, large but well set up, international, fast moving, good food and coffee, great museums, great culture.

    stuttgart - city with a great soul. its personna is much like I would like to be - masculine, tough, cultured - a well educated brawler in a nice suit. largest percentage of city is devoted to public culture of any city in germany, great museums, but also several factories and people from stuttgart have reputation in germany as tough guys.

    cartagena - simple the most beutifull city I have ever seen, fantastic beaches, great fruit, an old world fortress in the new world.
     
  3. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    Funny you say that, because from what I have heard, Lebanon is a far more welcoming and accepting culture than Jordan. Although of course you are speaking from first hand experince, whereas I am speaking from what I have heard from Arabs in Dubai and London.

    Also, the only places I have seen in the Arab world are Dubai, Bahrain and Kuwait, and I have never been to the western arab countries. I would assume they are somewhat different?? However, it seems that most of the people you meet in Dubai, both socialy and for business are Lebanese, Jordinian or Indian/Pakistani, with the exception of the odd Emarati when you go to the top level in firms, the Lebanese always rave about the party scene in Beirut, and how it is better than London or Dubai. So these are the main reasons why I wish to visit the area.

    EDIT: I take it, from what you said that Amman is quite dead in terms of nightlife then? Or has much changed?
     
  4. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I agree that some of Bratislava is very pretty, I think much of it looks a bit Soviet era though, like the huge bridge over the Danube, and many buildings have shell fragment and bullet damage still. That area around the opera house (embassy row) is quite nice though, and the castle is nice (but prague's is better)
     
  5. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    I agree, the Prague Castle is incredible, but the thing about Prague that makes everything nice to me is the people...we happened to be there during the first few days after the floods in '02, and the people were caring and thoughtful toward tourist, even though thier lives were in a shambles....to bad they joined the EU and all of the prices are going so high.
     
  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    The only thing about Prague and Bratislava, as well as most of Eastern Europe, is be careful about your possessions as there are quite a few pickpockets there.
     
  7. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    I'm not too far into my travel life, but here goes:

    1. NYC. In addition to everything already mentioned, it's home for me.

    2. New Orleans. The history, the energy, and it hasn't been mentioned yet.

    3. Boston. American history at its best, the culture, the eclectic neighborhoods. Real sense of community among those who live there.

    4. Positano. All the serenity that Sorrento lacks. As if it needed any more romanticism, Steinbeck and Harper's Bazaar. And the food.

    5. Naples. Dirty, romantic, grimy, historic, and worth the visit just for the best damn pizza in the world.

    6. Florence, narrowly over Rome. The DeMedicis as one family midwifed more creativity into the world than the entire living population today.

    7. Paro because I've never experienced such complete and utter silence anywhere else in the world. Thimpu because seeing the government wheels turning is fascinating. Both because eight out of ten people have never even heard of Bhutan : )

    The rest of the list is open...Tokyoslim you've piqued my curiosity for Tokyo, then there's Talinn and Sofia and Vienna for the ball season and Milan and Sao Paulo and Havana and Biarritz and Rio and...
     
  8. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    I suppose a pattern with my choices tends to be cities that are very spread out, and require car travel; the exceptions being London, Singapore and perhaps Manhattan. I don't like Vienna, Paris, Rome, and cities like that not only for reasons individual to the respective cities, but also genrally due to the fact that they are very concentrated, and don't offer a great deal of variety.

    I don't like Paris because, although it is a very nice place, it is also quite ridiculous in some ways, you can try and shop for hours and not even be able to find the shop you want, I find this is the case in Manhattan as well, you know all the good shops are on 5th 57th and Madison, and in Soho, but the amount of walking drives me nuts. Paris, it seems like you have to travel across the city to go from one shop to the other, and without some serious use of Taxis, or renting a car and finding your way, and also Parking, you are pretty restricted. Food can be impecable, or it can be French people taking the piss out of a brit in their restaurants. It certainly is beautiful along the Seine, and near the Louvre, but I really cannot see any charm to the Eifel Tower.

    I will continue later.
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    If you think that Vienna doesn't offer a great deal of variety, you've obviously not spent much time there. From Hapsburg style palaces to ultramodern facilities and buildings like the Millenium Tower and the UNO complex and that whole area, the city is quite diverse, and has always been a melting pot as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Paris is pretty diverse as well, and I think it's a bit amusing for someone from the UK criticizing french food, but that's just me.
     
  10. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    My experince in Vienna has always been merely a couple of days prior to continuing to Salzburg and the Alps or Prague. So perhaps you are right. Vienna is a beautiful city, but from what I have seen it is all very baroque, from Kohlmarkt, to the Kartner Ring and even the finest hotels (Sacher and Intercontintal).

    Crticising French food? Where? I said the food is impecable, but sometimes at the more touristy places, where they can see we are English, try and take the piss by giving me a burnt steak, when asked for medium-rare and other such antics.

    How can you say those cities are diverse in contrast to say London, Manhattan, Bangkok, or Dubai. Take for example London, say you begin your day waking up in the Dorchester, in a traditionaly English furnished room, and you have an English cooked breakfast in the same hotel, then you shop in Harrods for traditional tailored attire, with a quick oysters and champagne in Harrods, continue on to Bond Street and Mayfair, where you take part in some more fashionable Italian style shopping, after this you visit the Saatchi gallery, and then the National Portrait, once again huge contrasts, after this you go to Edgware Road, where you have a Shwarma, some fresh juice and Balklava, then you go to Oxford Street and Regents Street for some Birtish style shopping, then you have high tea at the Ritz in a more renassance style atmosphere, you then go on to the Sanderson Bar for apiterifs, for some modern British style, and then on to dinner at Roka for some Japenese, then you make the decision for choosing to go Oriental, Retro, or Ultra-Fashionable, at either Opium, Attica, or Sketch respectivly,before returning to you you hotel to sleep.
     
  11. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    London is certainly a diverse city, but I think all of the major imperial capitals are quite diverse. Certainly some of Vienna is baroque, but if you have spent most of your time inside the ring, that's what you're going to see... try going to the outer districts. I lived in the 19th when I was there, and there are some amazing things from Grinzing, which is similar to a little Austrian village, to the Karl Marx Hof, which was built by socialist central planners in the 1930s as a communal apartment complex, since renovated into modern luxury apartments.

    I didn't think Bangkok was too diverse, although it was certainly a very interesting city, Chiang Mai may be more interesting yet, and certainly Singapore and KL are more so IMO (even if they aren't as fun)
     
  12. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    drrzt,

    I actually like the bridge in Brataslava (go figure taste), and I found that the castle was cooler than in Prague (from the outside as least). the castle in brataslava really looks like what it was - a fort used to hold down the people. the castle in prague is too baroque for me.

    that said, prague is definatly the more beutiful place, jsut very touristy.
     
  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I can't believe I have left our New Orleans - great food, some very good live music (restoration hall and snug harbor) huge amounts of mediocre music, but you can hear 10 lives sets a day, if you want.

    Amsterdam used to ba favorite, but I was there earlier this year and I jsut felt old. I prebrably spent 10 weekends a year there for most of my twenties and had a blast, now nothing seems that atractive to me, the city hasn't changed, there is just so much that a (faithful) married, middle aged father who needs to wake up with a clear head can do in Amsterdam.
     
  14. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Just so you guys know what we're talking about, this is Bratislava. The aboveformentioned bridge: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    Yes, I have only been inside the ring (and more so toward the south and central part) realy, so I think that would explain it.

    I think, in respect to your Bangkok comment, it comes down to what you see as diverse, if we say diverse in the sense that I described London, and you Vienna, sure it is certainly not diverse at all, its 85% Thai, 5% Chinese, 5% Western, and 5% Indian, Burmese, Lao, Vietnamese etc. I'm sure interesting is a better word to describe Bangkok.
     
  16. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I don't think it's diverse compared to Singapore which is a mix of Indian, Malay, and Chinese... BTW Thailand has a higher percentage of Chinese, probably 20% or so, and they hold a big amount of the money in that country.
     
  17. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    Yes, Singapore is a lot more diverse than Bangkok. I am still surprised to hear that you think Paris is diverse though.
     
  18. Kaga

    Kaga Senior member

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    Surely you mean afternoon tea. High tea was more like a supper -- a substantial evening meal usually involving meat, generally (forgive my saying it) applied to the evening meal of the lower orders. It's a common misnomer to call "afternoon tea" "high tea."
     
  19. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Paris has a large amount of Algerian, Turkish, and other North African people, as much as the French would like to hide that particular fact.
     
  20. bryce330

    bryce330 Senior member

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    1. London
    2. Rome
    3. NYC
    4. Naples
    5. Venice
    6. Chicago
    7. Amsterdam

    I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned Naples - beautiful setting, interesting people, amazing food, great museums, great shopping, etc.
     

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