You know when mishaps happen and the victims say, “Well, yes, but I was asking for it?” This time, it’s literal. When we asked you for the best reason to visit your hometown, we were deluged with comments that ran generally along the lines of, “bars, pubs, cheap booze,” and the like. We’re not ones to judge; after all, we live in Berlin, home to most any vice you’d care to name (including pizza with corn and tuna on it). Still, amongst all the not-so-subtle pleas for AA sponsorship, there were a number of comments we really liked. Whether they touched us in sweet ways, resonated from personal experience, or just contained the most amount of coherency, here’s five people from five different cities, expressing their love for something other than drink.
Canada’s largest city may not be a patch on Montreal (sorry, true) but it often gets an undeserved rap as being the vanilla to Montreal’s artisanal chocolate. Aside from those aforementioned excellent bands (new Purity Ring album in 2014, please!) there’s…well, you can…hmn. The Kids In The Hall made it seem pretty cool…ok, wait! There’s Double Double Land, an amazing DIY venue that has played host to a variety of great underground bands including Angels In America, Extreme Animals, and Russian Tsarlag. The guy who runs it, Daniel Vila, also does a series of secret shows called AGAINST LIFE in weird areas like abandoned, flooded cinemas, trashed greenhouses, and random bridges. Not to mention the bizarrely wonderful, genderfucking SHIT FUN parties run by ϟ†Nϟ, the music of Petra Glynt, the excellent Pleasence Records, the dance pleasures of Mansion, Drake… Toronto, man.
2. Warsaw: “A fantastic music underground.”
Having visited the Polish capital several times, we can say for certainty that this is true. Aside from a variety of cutting-edge music parties like Brutaż and Vatican Vibes, the city also hosts DIY fashion labels like HAZZ and wonderful venues such as Cafe Kulturalna and Eufemia. Oh, and the world’s thinnest house.
3. Milan: “My grandma’s pumpkin risotto with beans and parmigiano.”
Italy, of course, is hardly bereft of grandmothers who are handy in this kitchen—this editor learned to love cooking from his own, in fact. She had a similar recipe, only she used maple-smoked bacon instead of beans and a pinch of chili seed to give it a kick. If you prefer the vegetarian option, thickly-sliced portobello mushrooms brushed with maple syrup and caramelized until crisp on both sides is pretty tasty too. Welcome to Electronic Eats.
4. Amsterdam: “There’s a good cross-section of cutting-edge music and a great deal of new and exciting parties and initiatives starting.”
Aside from the booze thing, this sort of statement was the most common answer our readers gave. We were busy with *ahem* other things when we were in Amsterdam, but we did meet some wonderful and inspiring people there ourselves. Our favorite? Musician and artist Kristy Fenton, who—aside from her work as Modern Witch—co-runs the underground publishing company Drippy Bone Books.
5. Halle: “To be bored and leave.”
We chose this one mainly because this is the answer we would have given ourselves. After all, isn’t that what hometowns are for? ~
Click here for more results from our 2013 Readers’ Poll.