Don't Believe the Hype

According to the new Money magazine list, Fort Collins, CO is the #1 Best Place to Live in America. I don't in particular disagree with this. Growing up in Greeley, a thirty-minute drive away, "Ft. Fun" was the place to go to...well, do anything, as Greeley's basically just a big worthless stinkhole of a city - especially when you're in high school and you've spent one two many evenings trying to be cool at Denny's.

Anyway, Ft. Collins is a good town. Close to the mountains, good restaurants and bars, home to Colorado State University, so there's some culture and some education, there's a lively downtown area...

But, as the wise philosopher once said, don't believe the hype.

I began to have my doubts about the value of the list when I looked farther down and saw that their next highest ranking for a city in Colorado was for Westminster. Westminster is a suburb, northwest of here on the highway to Boulder. It's not the worst of the suburbs - I believe that title goes to the evocatively named Commerce City - but it's not the best, either. It's a suburb, with all the strip malls and Crapplebee's restaurants and Borders book/music/movie superstores that implies. There not much particularly wrong with Westminster, but to borrow a phrase from someone speaking of another city, there's not much there there.

It was when I clicked on "Top Ten Big Cities" that the list lost its last shreds of credibility for me. The supposed #1 Big City in America is Colorado Springs. Stepford Springs, we like to call it. Home of Focus on the Family, the Promise Keepers and a dozen other crazy-as-fuck right-wing psuedo-Christian lunatic organizations. I don't want to say that Stepford Springs is right-wing and old-fashioned, but...well, let me put it this way - when there was a huge scandal a few years back revolving around the rape of female cadets at the Air Force Academy (which also makes its home in the Springs), I think most of the Stepford Springs residents were just confused about why the Academy was even admitting womenfolk in the first place. The Springs is scary, yo. I know the Money magazine folks have some sort of so-called "scientific" formula that they use to determine these rankings, but Jeebus, man...all I can tell you is that I wouldn't live in Colorado Springs for love or money.