In the last week, Travel+Leisure magazine rolled out a series of lists tied to the publication’s America’s Favorite Cities series. Readers voted last year, and Atlanta made two appearances, marking both positive and negative perceptions of the city.
First, the good news: As a bit of a morale booster, Atlanta landed at number 16 on the list of America’s 20 Most Charming Cities.
While Atlanta is often found at the bottom of the list when it comes to preserving historic structures, somehow the city’s “historic charm” was cited as one of the reasons for the ranking.
According to Travel+Leisure, one of the common attributes found among many of the cities that made the list were “old neighborhoods that have found new life, with cobblestone streets as well as cool shops and little cafes.”
While it can be argued that many of Atlanta’s surviving older neighborhoods are seeing new life—especially along the Beltline—the idyllic picture painted by the article doesn’t really apply to Atlanta.
And in a list issued earlier this month by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Atlanta found itself nearly at the bottom of American cities when it came to surviving old buildings.
Meanwhile, on the more unflattering side of things, Atlanta ranked number 8 on the list of America’s Least Attractive Cities. Writes the magazine:
“Hotlanta? Not exactly, according to T+L readers, who were unimpressed with the city’s locals. Fortunately, they score well for intelligence, thanks to universities like Emory as well as headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies. Readers also think Atlantans are trendy, with a wealth of luxury stores and stylish boutiques as well as a nationally-recognized hip-hop and pop scene—Usher and Justin Bieber call the town home.”
The results seem rather contradictory, but maybe our ugliness is charming?