Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

When Money Magazine releases its “Best Places to Live” issue, it usually makes for interesting reading. Ann Arbor made the top 25 (it was 25), although I’m feeling less than happy to be in Ann Arbor during this godforsaken Art Fair. But really, Tree Town is a great place to live and work.

The Top 10
1. Fort Collins, CO
2. Naperville, IL
3. Sugar Land, TX
4. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD
5. Cary, NC
6. Overland Park, KS
7. Scottsdale, AZ
8. Boise, ID
9. Fairfield, CT
10. Eden Prairie, MN

Also check out the skinniest cities, youngest cities, safest cities, and the cities with the best job growth.


  1. #1 Jayson
    July 20, 2006

    Ann Arbor would be higher on that list if:

    1.) it had fewer one ways
    2.) a law was passed to force college kids to remove the sensory depravation helmet they wear all day when they cross the street, so as to avoid me hitting them just because they’re too busy listening to joni mitchell on their ipods.
    (I picked joni mitchell at random. No Hate)
    3.) The art fair and any wolverine game in general did not utterly and completely devastate the traffic situation around the city for 50 miles. When I’m at 275 and m-14 and traffic is backed up to THERE………somebody get a bovine graft in there.

    I guess superficial complaints only speak well of ann arbor. I don’t understand how Boise Idaho beat it out, and I certainly don’t understand how ANYTHING in texas could have possibley have made that list.

  2. #2 coturnix
    July 20, 2006

    Jacksonville the youngest! Median age around 22 years? What is it, chockfull of daycares? It’s probably all those soldiers milling around while waiting to go to Iraq….
    And other stats are not that good – not much to do there.

  3. #3 Abel Pharmboy
    July 20, 2006

    When I saw that the great Coturnix had commented, I thought it was going to be a dig on Cary, NC, better-known in these parts as Containment Area for Relocated (or Rich) Yankees. Money also lists Raleigh, NC among the top 10 big cities and it really is on the way back, if you can stomach the ultraconservative, evangelical base, but I’ll take Durham or Chapel Hill over either, any day.

    Fort Collins is a true winner in every sense and you can actually afford to live there (unlike Boulder). Speaking of costs, I can’t even afford to buy gasoline in Fairfield, CT, much less buy a house.

    Have fun during Art Fair – just close your eyes, breathe deeply and embrace it – or head out of town if your mentor unchains you from the bench.

  4. #4 kemibe
    July 20, 2006

    Last time I was in Fort Collins it smelled strongly of cowcrap. Maybe that’s why it’s the best place to live — no one who visits for a weekend wants to relocate there because their olfactory glands don’t have a chance to accommodate. I’ve seen Newton, Mass. (#22) listed as having the lowest crime rate in the nation in a different survey, but it doesn’t even make the MONEY “safest” list.

    I’m not at all surprised to see San Francisco as the second leanest city, since everyone there either rides a bike or is homeless. But Houston at #3? I’m floored by that. My memories of Houston — all of Texas, in fact — involve ponderous, rib-eating people shuffling slowly around in the heat toward the next barbeque pit.

    Utah shouldn’t get to participate in the youngest cities contest, what with the average family having 14.6 kids and all.

    The safest cities list shakes out about as I’d expect, although Compton, Hialeah, and Detroit are conspicuously absent.

    I notice that “hottest” seems to be a ranking criterion. What’s up with that? Naturally, practically every city on that list is in either Arizona or Nevada. Christ in a Casino.

  5. #5 coturnix
    July 20, 2006

    If I commented on Cary my comment woule have been caught by the spam-blocker@#$%^&*(

    I lived there for 9 months and ran away to Chapel Hill as soon as I could.

  6. #6 Shelley Batts
    July 20, 2006

    What, Detoit isn’t one of the safest cities? 🙂

    The first time I went to Detroit, shortly after moving to Ann Arbor, our car was broken into during a concert. We parked RIGHT IN FRONT of the venue. They even stole our coats, and we had to ride back to Ann Arbor with busted out windows and no coats in November. Detroit blows.

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