That’s Oaxaca, as seen from Monte Alban, which, for the sake of argument, and because I love it, I named as my favorite city Monday night. I was starting, and didn’t want to choose a place that would be the same as anyone else’s favorite at the Eurocentric table.
I was the only non-architect, designer or architectural historian at the table, too. I clinked my glass and began the game, citing the great colonial Mexican city I used often to visit when in graduate school for its beauty and its zocalo, the central square where everyone in town comes to stroll each night.
Then Liz, an architect, said London, where she lived for years as a student, for its walkable charm and historic fabric. Phoebe, an architect, said Paris, — where, hey, she lived as a student. Martin, a movie designer, said Tivoli, north of Rome, where he studied Hadrian’s Villa. Stefanos, an architect, said Rome, where he also studied. Gloria, an urbanist and author, said, with glee, “Cities in general! New York! Everywhere! They’re sexy!” She recalled the joy Minneapolis brought when as a rural Wisconsin girl she would visit with her family. Leon, an architect, said Lucca, the Tuscan town famous for its Renaissance walls.
What’s your favorite city in the world, and why? What could we learn from it here?