To honor Mom, maybe you should move to - Newark?

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2011 - 7:07 PM

You might think this is a good place to be a mom: great parks, no pterodactyls to swoop down and take your children off to their nests, lots of other moms so you don't feel like having a baby was a weird anomaly that science cannot fully explain, and ... did I mention the pterodactyls, lack of? OK. Some places aren't so hot -- try walking down a Manhattan sidewalk with a double stroller; it's like pushing a snowplow with flat tires through a riot. San Francisco has so few children people actually stop you and ask how you got those humans so small -- are they made of cotton? Did they shrink in the wash? But otherwise, you'd think any decent Midwestern city is as good as the other.

Hah! No. The Daily Beast/Newsweek website ranked 200 cities, and Minneapolis is #26. St. Paul is #66. (They were bottom of the list last year, so apparently that concentrated effort to stamp out baby-snatching trolls is working.) Minneapolis fared better as well; it was #179 last year. To give you an idea who beat us out in '10 -- well, if you saw a lot of pregnant women hanging around the airport, waiting for the contractions to start so they could get on a plane, they were probably headed to #26, Newark. Yes. Newark. Apparently the survey doesn't count those urban intangibles like "number of mobsters found in trunks." This year we were trounced by New Orleans and Jersey City, but we beat Scottsdale, Ariz., because we have a higher "pampering index" -- i.e., the number of brunch locales and hair salons. Seriously. I've been to Scottsdale. I love Scottsdale. Thirty-seven percent of its economy consists of pampering. They have stores that specialize in right-foot pedicures so you get the left done across town and feel like you've put in a full day's work.

So forget the usual Mom's Day ideas -- the elegant brunch, the bouquet, the charmingly hand-drawn card (remember, dads, if you supervise the drawing, one letter must be backward for special awww-inducing effect. No, the M doesn't count). If you want to really make Mom's day special, slap some tickets on the table and announce you're all moving to Cleveland. A website's rankings said you'd be better off! Er -- those are tears of happiness, right?

lileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 More daily at www.startribune.com/popcrush.

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