Monday, September 3, 2012

unconventional cities

This is of no significance, but it tickles my trivia sense enough to record.

So the Republican convention was in Tampa, and the Democratic one will be in Charlotte. I've never been to either city. After having gotten to all 50 U.S. states, I'm in search of new criteria by which to consider myself less well-traveled domestically, and I find that the official list of metropolitan statistical areas does nicely, as those two regions are the two largest on the list that I have, in fact, never been to. If the Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach-Norfolk) area doesn't count, because I've been to Williamsburg which is technically within its ambit, then the only others in the top 50 I've missed are Jacksonville and Birmingham.

It's not a coincidence that all five of these are in the South. That's the region of the country in which my travels are the most spotty, and indeed, of the next fifty MSAs (I lost patience at counting after that), 6 of the 10 I haven't visited are also in the South. The closest I've been to Tampa is Orlando, and the closest I've been to Charlotte is Raleigh/Durham on one side and Columbia on the other, 20 years apart and under very different circumstances.

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