Okay, I’ll bite: Ten on Tuesday.
Ten favorite cities. You’ll get a sense of the theme here:
1. Chicago – Home. And the best place to stage a weekend getaway for yourself to a thoroughly livable place with a lot to see, minus the cattitude of the East Coast. On the LYS front, I received the warmest welcome EVER in a shop when visiting Knitwerks.
2. New Orleans – Walk around New Orleans and you have this sense that at the edges of your vision, you can actually see things moldering into decay. NOLA has an edginess I love, fabulous music in places like the onetime brothel called The Funky Butt (closed since Katrina), and the best food in the world. The original barbecued shrimp (which have nothing to do with BBQ sauce) and time warp at Pascale’s Manale, oysters at Acme Oyster, and all the grits and biscuits you can handle at Mother’s — plus Audubon Park to walk it all off.
3. Asheville, NC – The part of NC where the most talented artisans live. Fabulous food and a downtown that has been preserved and turned into an eclectic, thriving community. Nice weather, plus the annual Southeastern Annual Fiber Fair.
4. Wakefield, RI – Main Street lives on, complete with an LYS and the best. ice cream. ever. at Brickley’s. We spend many summer weekends here, walking around or in the adjacent village of Peace Dale, home of Sweet Cakes bakery, the Jonnycake Center (thrift shop) and Children’s Cottage (consignment shop).
5. Louisville – Louisville is the Gateway to the South – a highly cultured place mixing Southern charm with Midwest warmth. Visit Churchill Downs sometime other than Derby weekend.
6. Northampton, Mass. – The scene of the best date I ever had with DH. You can walk around all day and be endlessly amused and well-fed — and that’s without even stopping in at Webs.
7. Quimper, Bretagne, France – Quimper (cam-PAIR) combines the ancient and the nouveau, and for those who prefer the road less traveled, represents real France in the ways that visiting Paris does not. It reminds me of Maine in many ways, down to the twang in the local accent and the reliance on fishing as a way of life.
8. Burlington, Vt. – Close enough for a weekend drive, Burlington has a little of everything and it only gets better year after year. A Single Pebble is a singular experience. And a visit to the impossibly tiny Green Mountain Spinnery store is right on the way.
9. Maine – Anywhere in Maine works for me. I particularly love the rocky shore, the warm tidal pools and frigid Atlantic, and lobster rolls everywhere. People here are just different. And that’s a good thing.
10. Austin, Texas – Texas is large enough to have room for one funky city. Thank heavens I used to visit it often.
Hmmm. Where to next?