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Cincinnati outranks Seattle in New York Times’ travel list

Large spheres take shape in front of an existing Amazon building, behind, as new construction continues across the street in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
LISTEN: Which would you rather visit: Seattle or Cincinnati?

Its gorgeous skyline rests over a body of water. This city boasts an array of microbreweries, farm-to-table restaurants, and a streetcar running through its downtown. That is why The New York Times says you must visit … Cincinnati?

“The list of places to go, Seattle ranks 44 out of 52, the lowest ranking American city on the (New York Times) list, and we rank behind … Cincinnati? Cincinnati outranks us?!” KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis said.

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The New York Time’s “52 Places to Go in 2018” features a globe-trotting itinerary of notable places to see in 2018. Seattle is listed among them, but what has had many scratching their heads is where it ranks. Not to mention, the cities that are placed higher than Seattle.

“Branson, Missouri outranks Seattle?” Lewis asks. “In case you want to go to the perpetual Kenny Rogers concert … Disney Springs, Florida outranks Seattle?!”

The top city for people to visit in 2018 is New Orleans. The city turns 300 this year. There’s the Gansu province in China at 17. Glasgow ranks 10th. Baltimore — aka the murder capitol of America, Lewis notes — is 15th (though, per capita, St. Louis has a higher murder rate).

Ranking Seattle

It’s important to consider how the New York Times is choosing these places and why Seattle gets a mention.

“They are looking at what is special about these particular places in the world in 2018,” Tom Tangney said.  “We are at the foot of the mountains, we have the water, all those natural beauties. But it’s the significance of the architecture in this town and it’s new architecture. And they focus on the Amazon spheres.”

As Jeff Bezos’ online retail giant continues to take over space in South Lake Union, the Amazon spheres have become its architectural centerpiece. They’ve garnered a lot of attention — for better and for worse. Of course, locals don’t call them spheres.

“There’s plenty of overhead pictures of the Bezos balls,” Lewis said. “And it looks exactly like the set from another Seattle institution – the video set from ‘Baby’s Got Back.’ If you look at them from above, it looks identical to that … this is why we are in the 40s on this list.”

According to the New York Times, Seattle makes it to No. 44 because:

Seattle design takes a bold turn in 2018. Multiyear renovations at the Space Needle are underway, including a restaurant complete with a rotating glass floor scheduled to open this spring. Downtown, tours of the gigantic NBBJ-designed Amazon Spheres filled with hundreds of plant species begin in early 2018. Autumn will see the opening of the Pacific Northwest’s largest hotel, the 45-story Hyatt Regency Seattle. Additionally, the Nordic Museum moves to a new Mithun-designed building featuring a sweeping, fjord-inspired hall in the historically Scandinavian Ballard neighborhood.

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