Ratings beratings

Esquire magazine, after naming Donn’s Depot one of the best bars in America for two years running (2005 and 2006), finds no Austin establishment mention-worthy this time around (June issue; not on line yet). This gross oversight causes one to doubt every other listing in the feature. Austin’s so full of great refuges that resemble no others. How could they have been overlooked? The full 2006 list remains on line, and the new one will probably go up as soon as the July issue is for sale.

And then there was the giant feature devoted to Bert Sperling, the “Best Places” guy (NYT; Sunday, May 6; byline Alina Tugend). In a callout entitled “The Current Crop of the Best Places for . . . ” Austin was not on the top ten for singles, for families with children, for empty nesters, or for retirees (although “Texas Hill Country” did appear on this list), but was number two for “young couples,” whatever that may mean.

These are the ten factors reported to be assigned a value and taken into consideration: economy and jobs; cost of living; climate; education; health and health care; crime; transportation; leisure; arts and culture; and quality of life, which includes physical setting, downtown core, heritage and overall appearance. Oh, well; with the exception of chefly newcomers, who wants to attract fresh newbies anyhow?

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