July 13, 2010

Madison is the 95th best place to live.

According to Money Magazine, which notes: "This liberal town is packed with bookstores and has two lakes that offer plenty of recreational opportunities." Well, we have 5 lakes, so maybe we shouldn't trust you with the numbers. And these rankings are done by counting things, like the number of restaurants within 15 miles. Number of restaurants?! Are these restaurants any good? Oh, but why am I complaining when I'm linking. Obviously, I'm encouraging their crazy games.

80 comments:

TML said...

wasn't Madison--OK maybe that suburb right up next to it, Middleton?--voted the 2d best place to live not 4 years ago? That's a precipitous drop. What happened?

New said...

Madison is Obama/Biden country. It will be at least Jan. 2016. I campaigned there.

GOP will over-reach, as usual. GOP will kill their own. GOP will have scandals.

Face it. Nothing can slow us down till after 2016.

TML said...

Did I comment on the wrong post?

El Pollo Real said...

wasn't Madison--OK maybe that suburb right up next to it, Middleton?--voted the 2d best place to live not 4 years ago? That's a precipitous drop. What happened?

All them Hoosiers from down south moved to town? :)

traditionalguy said...

The territory you photograph looks fine. The college town atmosphere is a big plus. And the summer temps are pleasant, not that a sane person would want to live there in the winter among purple trees. Money Mag. is making it up.

Adam said...

Any ranking of places to live that includes housing prices is inherently unstable. Places where lots of people would like to live are expensive for exactly that reason. Given any variability at all in either the weights attached to amenities vs. prices these rankings can fluctuate wildly from year to year, even though the places themselves stay pretty much the same.

Schorsch said...

I call BS. I've lived near Columbia, MD (#2), and it's a strip mall, condo, "New Urban" wasteland. Hideous. And I spent enough time in Irvine, CA (#22) to find it vapid, pretentious, and boring. Plus literally nothing is open after 9:30.

Flexo said...

Gaithersburg, MD, is 25?????????

They obviously never bothered to actually go there.

Maybe 25th best place to live in the D.C. area, but nationwide it's actually got to be down around number 250.

David said...

And what demographic do these places have most in common?

White people! Lots of white people. Places white people like.

Having been a white person my entire life, I am not greatly offended by this.

But it tells me we have a ways to go. Or something. Actually, I'm not sure what this means, but my sense is that it reveals something "not good."

Flexo said...

And I'm from Ann Arbor.

One of the happiest days of my life was the day I moved the hell away from that town.

mesquito said...

I call bullshit as well.

The three Texas towns are bedroom bergs of hellish Dallas. I guess this is a sort of list for go-go yuppies with no discernable geographic loyalty.

former law student said...

Maybe he means the two lakes split by the Isthmus?

Tregonsee said...

And at least one town in AZ sued to have their town removed from the list because it attracted too many undesirables.

Michael Haz said...

Madison ranked #1 for cities having a convicted bomber/murderer/folk hero selling fruit juice on a university campus.

Skyler said...

The only place in Texas they liked is McKinney? Yeah, right. A list worth ignoring, for sure.

Skyler said...

Oh, wait, they like three even less significant Texas towns.

David said...

I am in Door County right now.

Tons of "liberal" and "artistic" retirees.

They do not like my suggested slogan: Door County: Where White People Go To Be White.

HDHouse said...

Well that's moving up some and I'm sure the folks from Gary Indiana will rebound.

sunsong said...

I think you are a great promoter of Wisconsin - and Madison. I didn't know much about it before. The pics are especially persuasive.

ricpic said...

Give me a small town in Iowa or Nebraska over these overhyped yuppiedoms any day. Was just in Aurora, Nebraska a few days ago. Beautiful intact small town. Big old nineteenth and early twentieth century homes located on quiet leafy backstreets a five minute walk from a compact cobblestoned downtown surrounding a classic courthouse. Lincoln, Nebraska is only 40 miles away with all the amenities you could ask for. Who needs withit overpriced places?

OnMyWay67 said...

My city has 330 lakes. I laugh at your five lakes Madison. I laugh! Ha ha! Dabblers!

Pogo said...

Money magazine placed our MN town in the top ten a whole buncha times in the 1990s.

Completely destroyed us.
Ain't on the list no mo', you may find.

Suddenly we had a lot of Chicago folks and Somalians here. Gang violence escalated and crime increased. Not that those things are related, of course.

When I retire, I will move away.
Far away.
Outta MN fer sure.

Pogo said...

You will know we've hit rock bottom when we have our very our Highway to Hell, that Boulevard Of Broken Dreams known as Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirstin said...

Irvine, California, is a planned community, so it's not surprising that someone would call it vapid, pretentious, and boring. But it also is home to the University of California. It is near Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, and the crime rate is very low.

The Drill SGT said...

@ Schorsch said...
@ Flexo said...

My firm is HQ'd in Columbia. It's a surban planned community. I detect a liberal bias in the scores. No way Gaithersburg should rank comparable Virginia suburbs.

I went to UCI (Irvine 22). Agree with the comment about the city itself. but Newport Beach, and the other beach cities are 10 minutes West.

FWIW, I live in Alexandria. Twice as good @ 47 as Madison @ 95 :)

Flexo said...

FWIW, I live in Alexandria. Twice as good @ 47 as Madison @ 95

Unfortunately, those idiot smart growthers are trying their best to destroy Alexandria and Arlington. That is one good thing, at least, about the economic downturn -- it is stalling the Stalinist urban village from making every square inch around here a hyper-dense, sky-rise, concrete hell.

rhhardin said...

"No town at all" in Ohio is not bad.

The town opens when you get up, and closes when you go to bed.

James said...

I once lived in Plymouth, MN...great town but I don't see how its #10. At that time I was the only black person in my census tract.

former law student said...

pogo causes me to wonder -- just how many Somalis read Money magazine, anyways?

blake said...

just how many Somalis read Money magazine, anyways?

Racist.

wv: stunder

"Stunder? I barely knew 'er!"

Dead Julius said...

Moral of the day: List-makers suck.

That's not to say that Madison is not a lovely place to live. Perhaps it is. But no national statistical aggregation is going to accurately reflect quality of life, which is an entirely subjective thing.

Maybe it works for magazine sales. But even as Internet linkbait it is tiresome; in a year or two, bloggers will just sigh "yeah, whatever" en masse and move on to the next potentially interesting thing.

Why don't you make a list, Althouse? A subjective list, not necessarily about places, but about whatever you want...

Dead Julius said...

Oh, now I remember that you made a list yesterday, Althouse. But that list was discouraging and cynical, so I don't count it.

blake said...

I've been Irvine and nearby Yorba Linda a lot lately.

But any comment I'd make about it would lend weight (however meager) to an already unserious discussion.

wv: prerace

Yeah, I did that to FLS there.

Synova said...

Rio Rancho, New Mexico got number 51.

Rio Rancho is new. New construction (not all of it the right side of shoddy) of huge houses jammed together and largely unoccupied, a big mall and new McShopping centers, brand new *gorgeous* schools that are apparently *not* part of Albuquerque Public Schools, and a Big Honking River with perhaps three bridges to handle all of the rush hour traffic (East in the morning, West after work) to and from Albuquerque (in the native Spanish "Big Honking River" is "Rio Grande"), and it's still sort of too far from Santa Fe for a useful commute.

It's certainly pretty, though, if one wants a 3000 or 4000 square foot faux-adobe house with contractor fixtures, a perfectly flat postage stamp of a yard and a Starbucks on the corner.

And air conditioning. Anything is really nice with air conditioning.

mesquito said...

Albuquergue is definetely a town white people like.

TosaGuy said...

i agree with ricpic. Aurora, NE is a great little town.

Seward, NE is also a very nice spot.

Synova said...

Pogo: "Suddenly we had a lot of Chicago folks and Somalians here. Gang violence escalated and crime increased. Not that those things are related, of course."

You can't blame the Somalians on Money Magazine when you know darn well it was the Lutherans responsible.

Chicago gangs? I'm unconvinced they listen to Money Magazine lists either.

Synova said...

I suppose white people like Albuquerque, but I think that Santa Fe is far more trendy.

You know what town was really pretty and I thought "wish there were jobs here" when we drove through? Aztec. It's up there South of Durango. Pretty little shops and shady side-streets.

But a person needs to work.

edutcher said...

The only place in PA is Abington???

Bucks County?

Everybody's right, only places where yuppie scum want to live.

Of course, Ann's old home of Wayne NJ (wherever that is) is on the list.

New said...

Madison is Obama/Biden country. It will be at least Jan. 2016. I campaigned there.

GOP will over-reach, as usual. GOP will kill their own. GOP will have scandals.

Face it. Nothing can slow us down till after 2016.


He forgot, "Today, Europe, Tomrrow the World".

Synova said...

I think that of the "drive through and feel wistful about not stopping" places, I'd go with McPherson, KS.

I might have to pretend to be more Swedish than I am, though, to fit in.

mesquito said...

I've seen it over and over again, Synova. Bozeman, Silver City, even Fredericksburg, Texas! One day they are normal towns, with normal people. You wake up one morning at there's a goddam "boutique" on every block, or a quirky bookstore or even (shudder) an art gallery. And the streets are packed with Unitarians in Volvos.

jimbino said...

Grammar counts, Ann.

The statement that Madison "has two lakes that offer plenty of recreational opportunities" does not deny that it has 5 lakes, only that the other three do not offer plenty of recreational opportunities, which is, no doubt, a matter of opinion, not fact.

If the "that" had been a ",which" your analysis would be correct, except that, even then, it does not say "only two lakes."

Freeman Hunt said...

Rogers, Arkansas is number ten. I live just south of there, and I grew up just north of there.

While I was growing up, Rogers would never have made a list like this. Then Walmart decided to require all vendors to have an office in this area, and Rogers got fancified. It's a pretty nice place now.

The mayor is running for Congress.

TML said...

Barrington IL is quite nice. I've come to really like it in the 8 months we've lived here. Great train service into Chicago, too.

Freeman Hunt said...

Owing to its very large Asian and Hispanic populations, Springdale, Arkansas is set to get the first "multicultural" Walmart in the country. It is intended as a test and a model for future such stores.

Incidentally, Rogers, Arkansas has the nicest Walmart in the country. It is the test and training store for executives.

An anecdote: People who shop at the Rogers store are accustomed to telling groups of people in suits "excuse me" and pushing carts past because these suited people are often in the way of aisles. (They always move quickly and politely.) My mother-in-law went to Sam's Club and encountered the same thing. "Excuse me," she said as she steered around the men. They grabbed her cart, "You can't go this way, ma'am!" Turned out, Laura Bush was visiting and these suits were Secret Service.

Bob said...

Only 7 cities from the deep south, most of those from Florida. 1 from South Carolina, 2 from North Carolina, 1 from Georgia. Nothing from Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana. Based on the methodology used and the results the list might more properly be called 100 Best Cities For Liberal Elitists To Live.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's a pretty nice place now.

By that, I mean that it's mostly not run down. There's a lot of shopping there, but I don't like to shop.

Most of the interesting things to do in Northwest Arkansas are in Bentonville or Fayetteville. I don't know why it has worked out that way.

former law student said...

Only 7 cities from the deep south, most of those from Florida.

Having to use air conditioning really knocks the ranking down.

former law student said...

Most of the interesting things to do in Northwest Arkansas

Does bass fishing mean nothing to you?

former law student said...

How did Boring brook get on that list? And ahead of Naperville, to boot. Peeps in the 'ville are not gonna be happy.

The other surprise is St. George, Utah, part of our National Sacrifice Area during the Atomic Age.

virgil xenophon said...

These surveys are ALWAYS totally BS. I remember one year a list of the most "bohemian" cities in the country came out. Terre Haute, Indiana ranked ahead of New Orleans. Case closed. Q.E.D.

PS: Mesquito, when you see them driving SAABs you've got to REALLY worry! (At least in the old days when SAAB was a Swedish-owned company that produced quality cars and still held the 'mystique,' Surveys of college faculties found that, although the maj. of libs drove Volvos, the MOST extreme left liberals drove SAABs LOL))

Howard said...

St. George is a surprise. Thought it was the only town in America with a 65 and older requirement.

Irvine, CA is a great town. Plenty of malls and freeway parking lots next to the defunct Lion Country Safari. I love all the peroxide-blonde 45-yo Moms in belly-shirts and skinny jeans out-whoring their 15-yo skanky daughters on their way to Nordstroms.

bagoh20 said...

As a citizen of the world, I find you have a fleshy and parochial palate with strong finish of rube.

Freeman Hunt said...

Does bass fishing mean nothing to you?

FLS is right. Rogers has the access to Beaver Lake. I don't know how to fish, but if you do know how to fish, and you like to do it, that's definitely the place. Actually a pretty great lake for all lake-type activities.

I did do one interesting thing in Rogers: I got married.

bagoh20 said...

Getting married is "interesting".

Was that in the vows?

Freeman Hunt said...

I like to drive through Rogers to get to Bentonville and peek in on the progress of this construction. Or to take the kids to Jump Zone, a place with very large, inflated, bouncy play areas. Selection depending upon whatever the day's cultural yearnings allow.

bagoh20 said...

I bet a large majority of Americans have never been to any of those places. That means something.

bagoh20 said...

St. George is heavily Mormon with the accompanying strange alcohol laws, which are comical at best.

Great hang gliding nearby with wonderful scenery from earth or sky.

Not much else to do there but hiking. Most of these places seem too small to have significant urban attractions like theater or music.

mesquito said...

Virgul Xenophon: Saabs or Volvos, it's time to leave when the newly-arrived pasty-faced hippies at the latte lounge start lecturing fifth-generation ranchers about "sustainability"

RLB_IV said...

I've lived in many states, they all have their charm, but California is the place to be for me. In ranking from the best is Shell Beach,Ca, San diego,Ca, Milwaukee, Wi. I love South Florida, from which I sprang, but it is too hot and humid for me now.
I hate air conditioning. We rarely use it here overlooking Morley Field and the zoo.

k*thy said...

Waukesha is 50? I grew up right next door - no way! I've been in Madison for a while now and like it a whole lot better. Better scale, more to do and closer to the outdoor things I enjoy.

bagoh20 said...

I absolutely love California in every way except for the living dinosaurs that rule the place making it almost unlivable for the warm-blooded, productive creatures they feed on.

MadisonMan said...

its vehicle registration suspended for not passing the emissions test.

Does Wisconsin even have a vehicle emission test requirement? I've never taken my car in for one.

Or is this a Milwaukee Co thing?

MadisonMan said...

I will add that if Money Magazine had the same places to live year after year, then people wouldn't buy the latest Magazine to see the new list that's the same as the old list.

David said...

bagoh20 said...
"I bet a large majority of Americans have never been to any of those places."

Quite possibly. I've been to 31 of them. Like I said, I've been white all my life. Most of these are White People Places.

(Yes, I counted--stupid me.)

Lived in one (Ann Arbor) but many, many moons ago, so it doesn't count.

Jim_J said...

If you live in S.E Wisconsin you're required to have emission testing every two years. DMV wouldn't issue license tag unless you prove your vehicle passed the test.

MadisonMan said...

Thanks Jim_J for the explanation.

bagoh20 said...

I've been in a lot of states, but only one of those towns. Even that was just passing through.

former law student said...

I've been to 31 of them.

That made me curious: my total is 21, not counting the ones I merely passed through on the highway.

c3 said...

Gilbert Az:
for those who enjoy 40 mile commutes

Scottsdale AZ:
implants not required but highly recommended

Milwaukie guy said...

Hillsboro [92] and Beaverton [98] are the Oregon cities to make the list. Not Bend, for instance which is on the other side of the Cascades in the high desert or weird Eugene at the upper end of the Willamette Valley.

David should come out to Oregon. We're just crawling with white people, unlike where I come from. I live right next to Portland which is the whitest of the biggest 40 cities. And that's the diverse part of Oregon.

And I like white people too. I think about 70% of Stuff White People Like is exactly Portland.

wv: larshmes: I can't wait for my girlfriend to get back from Spokane.

Kurt said...

Yes, that struck me as a rather odd list with so many generic suburbs ranking so high. I do like Fort Collins, CO, and would probably be happy to live there. I noticed that Boulder wasn't in the top 100 this year, which surprised me--but maybe in the age of Obama everyone is starting to get tired of those lefty cities, which would also explain why Madison ranked so low.

Deborah said...

Any list that includes a suburb of Atlanta as a good place to live is BS. Roswell? They obviously did not try to get from point a to point b on GA-400 or I-75. Roswell is a cute town but snotty.

HDHouse said...

In the later 60s, Michigan State played a football game in Madison so the band went as it was close and I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks there that saturday.

A.W. said...

i bet alot of people would say springfield is a great place to live in, if they could agree on which state it is in.

(simpsons riff)

MadisonMan said...

I've only been in 13 of them.

Going through the list made me see that Warrick RI is on it. Are the kidding? Try driving down Rte. 2 on a Saturday. It's Hell. I'd much rather live in Wickford.

Trooper York said...

How many points did you lose when they saw Garage eating road kill on the side of the road?

Just sayn?

James Wigderson said...

Waukesha's better. Money Magazine said so. And we have Republicans.

Beth said...

Skyler, if restaurants are a criteria, I don't know how they came up with McKinney. They must like Boston Market and Taco Bueno.

That being said, I always have a good time up that way. We spent part of our Katrina evacuation weeks in a little town just north of there.