stltoday.com did an online feature called “The Least Popular Cities in America”. Flint, Michigan, came in 24th. South Bend, Indiana, was 15th. Surprisingly, St. Louis, the source of the feature, came in 16th. I would think they’d change the criteria so St. Louis would not qualify. I have to give them credit for honesty. The majority are in The Midwest.
This list is fairly predictable. Detroit, really? But only one city in California made the list–Santa Ana. I’ve never been there, so I did some research and found out that Santa Ana is 78% Latino. Its City Council is all Latino. Among its tourist attractions is the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House. It’s said to be a historic home and medical office. There’s only one TripAdvisor review of it and it’s a rave. I’m intrigued. If I go to Santa Ana, I’ll be reviewer #2.
My personal list of the least popular cities with a population of at least 100,000 at some time would surely be different from stl’s. On my list would be some surprises, like Scottsdale, Arizona. This is considered to be one of the most desirable, most affluent places in the world with a large number of deluxe accommodations. In one of them Ruth & I earned a credit card charge for several thousand dollars from a pro shop we’d never been in.
Before I say why Scottsdale is not especially desirable to me, let me say what is desirable about Scottsdale. I like its free downtown trolley that circles among stores selling art and a gigantic mall every 10 minutes. I really like Taliesin West. I like a couple of Scottsdale’s restaurants. However, it’s the kind of place where you seldom eat in the same restaurant twice because there are so many and they come and go.
What I can’t relate to is upper middle class sameness. Everything I have seen there except for Taliesin West looks like it was built in the last few years and designed by the same architect. From the trolley one sees public sculptures, a canal, lots of shops selling art, etc. A “Discover Scottsdale” brochure that I picked up in its visitor center boasts that this town has “2,500 retail destinations…stocked with treasures”. More than 100 of them sell art. The same brochure says there are 200 golf courses here and nearby. I suppose that if Ruth wanted to spend her day getting a prickly pear fruit and sugar scrub at a spa before hitting the stores while I tried yet another course before meeting her at yet another of Scottsdale’s more than 600 places to eat, we’d actually like this admittedly very popular destination.