The unfriendliest travel magazines

aoa_unfriendliest_travel_mags_mockup.jpgConde Nast Traveler ranked among the most unfriendly travel magazines in AOA's annual editors survey.

To be fair, CN Traveler is probably better known as a stepping stone in a publishing house that includes more prestigious publications such as Vogue, The New Yorker, and Wired than as a destination title. That may be why it scored low on our survey. Still, some AOA editors had strong opinions: The "anachronistic" travel title was described as "no doubt having bulletproof methodology for its surveys of 'unfriendly cities'" by one of editors, and another said it was best to avoid, because "I put absolutely zero stock in this."

Then, again, maybe that's what they were getting at.

[via everyone]


<3 this AOA! Excellent response!

I commend you in defending our glorious city against these not so credible magazine surveys...

I wanted to disagree with the ranking, and I thought long and hard on a rebuttal. Then a complaint that I've heard from newcomers many times over the years popped in my head, something which is true and you never notice until someone comments on it, that there is a cliquishness in any social setting and it's difficult to make friends. There are few bars, cafes, or any kind of hang outs where a person can go by themselves without worrying that they'll be perceived as a lonely, desperate weirdo, or worse, like someone who is there to hook up. Friendly conversations with strangers are a rare thing in these parts. There's our selfish and aggressive driving habits, I've had dingbats behind me sit on their horns while I'm waiting for a pedestrian to use their legal right of way at a crosswalk. Advancing into an intersection when the traffic ahead is not moving is a crime that I have never seen enforced, and there seems to be a rule at a lot of intersections that running a light after it's turned red is OK as long you don't hit anyone.

Still, I wouldn't trade it for the fake friendliness that's endemic to a lot of places I've visited.

*golf clap* Well done.

PS- I don't understand how we're the #13th unfriendliest city in the world, yet have the #1 party school in America. How does THAT work?

If you were to go by driving habits, this is absolutely true, and getting worse. I have never seen more impatient and rude drivers than in the Capital Region.

As somebody who grew up in Albany and essentially left for good in the middle of college I can agree with Tim. It is essentially not a friendly town. Maybe it is the general malaise of less than prosperous places and fear of change or progression. But I have had many times when I've come back where I have felt very very unwelcome. Maybe it is due to the fact that I don't fit the common outward appearance of most people around the parts. Nothing extreme, I just wear clothes that fit properly. There have been times I have gone to a bar, alone, just for a drink (an old school friends establishment, mind you) and have been pushed out of the way and f----- with for minding my own business.
It is a generally conservative and close minded place without knowing it and has a permanent chip on its shoulder for not being more important than it is. Those reasons lie within. It has a lot of potential but I don't see it happening.

Conde Nast Traveler forgot to mention that we're remarkably thin skinned.

Ahhhhhh Albany... can't you just smell it? Well that might be Cohos. But Albany is the perfect combination of political greed and urban decay. I have lived in many Albany neighborhood's and I can tell you it's either vial and decrepit or fake and political. The minority neighborhood's are left to fall into decay while the center square and other affluent neighborhood's are filled with rich liberals. Their collective head's buried in the piss and syringe filled sand of Washington park. Unfriendly Indeed. Possibly the worst city I have ever been in .A joke. A hat contest. It should be ranked higher. Be thankful for Newark.

+1000 internet points.

You've earned enough to claim a stuffed snark at the prize table.

The magazine should change its name to Conde Nasty Traveler.

I don't know. We're on the same list as Oakland, Los Angeles, and New Haven. That's some pretty find company for a little town like ours. I think I'd much rather be on that list than the one full of small towns in the south.

Maybe that's why I've grown to like it here.

I completely forgot this had happened to me a couple of weeks back until I was commenting on Val's blog:

As a sign of how unfriendly we are, I was riding my bike past Tricentennial Park a couple of weeks ago when I saw a couple hanging around Mayor Whalen, taking each other's picture with him. I spun around on my bike (in bike clothes that fit perhaps too well for ex-cap's tastes), came up by them and offered to take their picture together with the statue. I'm sure they wondered if I'd just ride off with their camera, but I happily took their picture, handed the camera back, and explained who the statue was, gave a little story about the Union Station, and was on my way.

So f--- you, Conde Nast.

We're not friendly?! Well FU, Conde Nast!

Yea, that'll show 'em ;)

Honestly though, it did seem like a pretty BS survey.

More interesting is the World list....I have a hard time believing that Albany is more unfriendly than Palestine, in this "scientific" poll (frankly I can't believe Albany would come up in a world discussion let alone a US discussion considering its size and irrelevance). That being said, making a Most _______ list is probably a boost to the self esteem of a place that suffers from a massive inferiority complex.

In defense of Albany, I find that a lot of the unfriendly people in Albany are not from the region, but rather transplants who are angry about being in the Capital Region.

I read this list last week but forgot to comment until now... Not only is Albany on the US list, but we rank #13 in the world? This, when every day somewhere in the world, there are wars, suicide bombings, etc. The list could be re-titled 'Unfriendliest city from this list of twenty randomly-selected world cities'

And their reasoning is even more confusing. We made the list because some consider us 'dull' and our weather is not great. This makes us an unfriendly city?

On second thought, the list should be re-titled '20 more ad impressions for our worthless website'.

I don't take these surveys too seriously. Some years back, as I planned my first trip to Seattle, I came across two or three such pieces warning how "cold" and "unfriendly" it would be to a visitor. My experience was so completely opposite. People were so friendly that I couldn't wait to go back and starting planning my next visit before I even got home.

And I can't imagine how this list could include Albany, but not Philadelphia. I've had to travel there about twice a year since 2005 and it is the rudest, most unfriendly city I've ever been to.

Albany isn't the friendliest at times, but it's definitely not in the Top 10, either. There are much worse places.

I'm an Albany transplant who met some of my current closest friends just by being friendly the first summer I got here - a random softball game in Ridgefield park, a group of slack liners setting up in Washington Park, people who walk through my neighborhood with their dogs, business owners in places I frequent. It's certainly easy to find the worst in a place, but its almost as easy to find the best in a city if you want to. Maybe it has to do with giving the city your best in the first place. 8 years later, I'm still here because I find the city to be fun, friendly, and now, having no previous connections to the place, teeming full of people I care about.

One thing about Albany (based on my almost 30 years living here) is that Albanians don't invite people to their homes very often. Dinner parties, drinks, or just asking a neighbor in for a cup of coffee. People tend to meet elsewhere for that kind of socializing.

As a transplant to Albany, I've found that people tend to socialize within their families. Most of the people from here have lots of family here, so they don't need to socialize with newcomers. If you don't have family here, you're pretty much on your own unless you find other people in a similar situation.

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