Jun 29, 2015

The 10 Worst Drives in America, and Why They're Worth It

I hate driving: the congestion, the rude drivers, the lack of parking.  I try to live in a gay neighborhood, where everything is in walking distance, or barring that, at least walking distance from work.

Here are the worst cities for driving in America, and the reasons they are worth it.

1. Washington, DC.  It's a big square bisected by the Potomac, with streets all the same, except for NW, NE, SW, or SE.   If you mix them up, you end up in a war zone on the south side.

Worth the drive: the Mall at dawn, just as the sun is rising over the Capitol, followed by the National Museum of Art and Kramer's Books and Afterwords on Dupont Circle

2. Oklahoma City. It's 40 miles from one end to the other, and the only way to get anywhere is to go through the heart of downtown.

Worth the drive: The National Cowboy Hall of Fame, La Salsa Grille for Tex-Mex, and then Oklahoma City's gay neighborhood" on 39th Street.

3. Fort Lauderdale.  The highways are Road Warrior death zones.  Where else can you see a car zoom sideways across eight lanes of traffic to squeeze in between two cars at 80 miles an hour?

Worth the drive: The Sebastian Street Beach, Thai food, and The Club on Oakland Park.

4. San Francisco.  If your destination is 2 miles away, it will take you 20 minutes to drive there and an hour to find a parking space, which will be 2 miles from your destination.

Worth the drive: Castro Street at dawn, South of Market after dark

5. Los Angeles.  Don't ever go on the freeways.  Not at 2:00 am on a Tuesday morning.  They are bumper to bumper 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Worth the drive: Brunch at the French Quarter, down to Melrose for the Pacific Design Center and the Bodhi Tree, and then hang out in West Hollywood.

More after the break.

6. Houston.  100 miles from one end to the other, and lanes on the highway change from northbound to southbound at random.

Worth the drive: Museum Row

7. Atlanta.  18 streets named Peachtree that all intersect with each other: "You want the corner of Peachtree Lane and Peachtree Avenue South, which is a block from Peachtree Circle and Peachtree Avenue Street North."

Worth the drive: 56% of the population is black.  Oh, and if you have any free time left, you can visit The World of Coca Cola

8. Cleveland.  Signs pointing to freeway entrances are nowhere near the freeways they allude to, and the east-west ones actually go north-south.

Worth the drive: The Cleveland Museum of Art, followed by the Flexx Club.

See: A Beefcake Tour of Cleveland.

9. Indianapolis.  Every street downtown is a one way, including several in a row that are one ways in the same direction.  Everywhere you want to go requires a torturous roundabout.

Worth the drive: the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians, followed by The Works.

See: Matt the Bartender, Nudity, and the Y2K Bug.

10. New York.  It's not a question of freeways -- there's literally no way to drive into the city, unless you want to spend 6 hours going 5 miles.

Worth the drive: Everything.  But if I had to choose, I would say the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the gay neighborhood of the East Village.

See also: The 10 Best Gay Neighborhoods in North America.

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