Those esteemed judges of city life over at Kiplinger have announced their 2008 top 10 cities in the U.S. to live, work and play. At first glance, the list appears to be a validation for Raleigh, which ranks second behind the no-zoning utopia of Houston. On closer inspection, however, the list puts Raleigh with some strange company. Among the other cities making the list are Omaha, Provo, Fayetteville, DeMoines, Colorado Springs and Boise.
While we have long ago given up attempting to understand the logic of these rankings, this list seems particularly arbitrary. (Raleigh's ranking isn't all that surprising because the people who make these lists absolutely love Raleigh for some reason. If there was a top 10 list of the best cities located next to rivers, we're quite certain Raleigh would make it.) But some of these other places are not exactly synonymous with playing and partying. A few of them even seem like places that people might try to get away from for various reasons.
We're also highly suspicious of any rankings that rely heavily on this concept of "The Creative Class," which really just seems like an attempt to turn the world into a giant advertising agency where people are either creatives or noncreatives. What we really want to know is do people actually decide where to move based on these lists? Are there lots of recently arrived families in Raleigh that could have just as easily ended up in Boisie or Omaha?