Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is New York City really the best city in the world to visit this summer? Is it really the best city in the world to visit in any summer, for that matter?
Well, a leading world-wide tour operator seems to think so.
Online tour booking web site, Viator.com, released its list of the Top 10 summer 2012 destinations on Thursday, and the Big Apple topped the list. New York won out over other big world-class cities, such as London, Paris and Rome, through an online vote on Facebook.
The cities that follow New York on the list, in order from No. 2, to No. 10, are: London, Paris, Las Vegas, Rome, Sydney, Barcelona, Venice, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro.
I trust Viator, mainly because I’ve booked tours of Italy through them before, and I will likely use their services again this summer in London. If it was the company’s staff saying these are the top cities to visit, I could go with it — even if I don’t necessarily agree with the placement of some of these towns.
But, a bunch of Joe Schmoes on Facebook? “Oh [expletive] to the no,” as Whitney Houston used to say.
Sure, New York has the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Broadway, Times Square, and a bunch of obnoxious New York-bred celebrities who think it’s the greatest place on Earth, but I tend to think it is one of the world’s more overrated cities.
It’s really more of a winter time city, at best.
Let us be honest here about this. New York’s time to shine is Thanksgiving, to Jan. 1. That’s when you have a run that begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and ends with a crystal ball dropping in Times Square to mark the arrival of a new year. Stuck in between is a lot of ice skating under a big tree at Rockefeller Center, and Christmas shopping at F.A.O. Schwartz.
I’ll throw them a bone on this, and concede that nobody outdoes New York during the holidays, but that is where my praise for the city ends.
Trust me when I say it’s kinda lackluster in the summer. My mom is a native of Brooklyn, so I used to go up to the Big Apple every summer when I was a kid.
Maybe I’m just speaking as someone who has done everything there is to do in New York (and then done it again, and again, and again), but I could think of plenty of better places to visit in the summer.
Rome and Paris are two examples. Those are spring and summer cities. They are places you want to visit when you can wear short-sleeve shirts, and stroll leisurely past the shops on the Champs Elysees (July is the month when all of the stores in Paris hold their big sales), or the Via Nazionale.
Heck, even Las Vegas knows more than New York does about how to draw up more entertainment in a small confined space. When was the last time you saw commercials where people pile into a car and go on an impromptu road trip for “NEW YORK!”? Oh yeah, they don’t, because they’re too busy going to “VEGAS!”
And, then there is London. It’s a great city to visit. It is full of history, and culture. It’s hip, it’s got the “it” factor, and its celebrities can easily match up against New York’s celebrities.
On top of all of that, it is hosting this little party, with people coming from all over the world, this summer. Perhaps you’ve heard of this party, it’s called the Summer Olympics. Look, I know some people would never consider visiting a city while it’s hosting the Olympics, but it is one of those rare events that really proves to be a big-time party.
When has New York ever hosted an Olympics? Oh wait, it never has, and it lost in its most recent bid — for this summer’s games — to London (well technically, it finished behind a few other cities, including Paris, as well).
And, so here I am, coming to the conclusion that New York does not deserve its top-billing status on Viator’s list. At best, it should be No. 5, or No. 6, on the list. There are just too many far more deserving cities on the list for New York to be ranked where it is. Giving them the No. 1 spot, Facebook users, is what makes you deserve a grade of “M.E.F.E.,” for “MOST EPIC FAIL EVER!”
Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at email@example.com.