By Jon Keller, WBZ Political Editor

BOSTON (CBS) – Every year Travel and Leisure magazine runs an online survey ranking 35 American cities in a variety of categories in the opinion of residents of those cities and visitors, and this year’s results are in.

To some extent, they speak to the problematic nature of online surveys. For instance, while Boston understandably ranked very high as a place to visit on the Fourth of July, it’s hard to comprehend why out-of-towners ranked us only third in that category, behind San Diego and Portland, Maine. Even worse, Boston residents who responded to the survey ranked those two cities and Anchorage, Alaska higher than us as the place to be on the 4th.

Anchorage? Really?

I think Boston is a pretty cool place to be at Christmas-time, but Travel and Leisure’s readers felt otherwise, ranking us 28th out of 35 cities. Most of the places that beat us were warm weather cities, and if that’s what you want at Christmas, knock yourself out. But ranking Houston 13 notches higher than us as a Christmas destination? Are you kidding me?

Some of the survey results were downright insulting. Out-of-towners think New York, Atlanta and Miami have worse drivers than us? They must have stayed locked up in their hotel rooms when they were here.

Even stranger, Boston residents ranked Providence, Orlando, Miami, Washington and Salt Lake City drivers worse than we are. Surely they were goofing on Travel and Leisure.

But the most compelling part of the survey was the only finding that really matters, the Boston/New York comparison.

We are rated cleaner, safer, more affordable, and quieter, check, check, check and check, and far more intelligent too, double check. But Bostonians “less attractive” than New Yorkers? Who took this survey Mr. and Mrs. Magoo?

And New York was rated far better for people watching? Sure, if your idea of great people watching is guys with bad rugs and women with too much makeup.

Give me Carson Beach on a nice day any day, and you can keep Coney Island for yourself.


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