Influencers and leaders share what they love (and miss) about their cities

Los Angeles

The City of Angels is home to Hollywood, fast cars, perfect weather, and almost 4 million people and diverse communities. See what Angelenos love and miss about LA.

Annenberg Beach House
"I love the Annenberg Beach House. This public space is the result of a unique partnership between the Annenberg Foundation, state parks and city of Santa Monica. The site had originally been Marion Davies' mansion, then the Sand and Sea Club, and is now a fabulous modern community structure complete with salt water pool, playground, cafe and beautiful frontage along the ocean"
Candace Nelson
Founder, Sprinkles Cupcakes; Judge, Food Network's Cupcake Wars
the moment when the McClure tunnel opens onto PCH and the ocean just opens up
"I love the moment when the McClure tunnel opens onto PCH and the ocean just opens up ‚ — waaaaahhhh — right in front of your eyes. It still gets me every time."
Quincy Houghton
Associate Director for Exhibitions and Public Programs, The J. Paul Getty Museum
the diversity of Angelenos
"I love the diversity of Angelenos whose adventurous spirits allow for the best artists in the world to come and perform at two of LA’s most iconic venues, the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall."
Deborah Borda
President & CEO, LA Philharmonic
food
"I love the food. LA has an incredible food scene given the diversity of its population. From Persian food to Korean, Japanese to Shanghainese, there is something for everyone and at every price point. One of my favorite meals in the city is at a little Oaxacan restaurant in a nondescript mini mall."
Anna Soellner
VP of Corporate Communications, Motion Picture Association of America
my acupuncturist Laurie Binder
"I love my acupuncturist Laurie Binder in Santa Monica, because seeing her is like visiting a good friend and 30 minutes with needles stuck all over my body is the most relaxed I am all week."
Diane Kuyoomjian
VP of Marketing, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
"I love the absence of urban hubris about LA. I often told people when recruiting them, that LA is the mirror image of NYC: It’s a great place to live, but not so much to just visit."
Daniel Neuman
Interim Director, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music; Mohindar Brar Sambhi Chair
"I love the amazing urban landscape that offers so many diverse points of reference for art production: the contrasts in neighborhood layouts and building designs, the infinite street grid offering endless horizons, the movement of automobiles everywhere and nowhere, the streams of people in old and new downtowns."
Diego Cardoso
Artist
"I love how vast Los Angeles can be with our various pockets of diverse communities, while at the same time maintaining a level of connection giving anyone an opportunity to be accepted and become a part of any community at any given moment."
Lisa Watson
CEO, Downtown Women's Center
"I love all the great places to eat with students and professional friends (Taylor’s Steakhouse, Taix, Café Pinot, Water Grill, Fogo de Chao, Musso and Franks, the list goes on)."
James Moore
Vice Dean for Academic Programs, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
"I love yoga with Vinnie Marino at Yogaworks. He has made me a better yogi and a better person, and his classes are the most uplifting and challenging that I've ever taken."
Claire Schmidt
Director of Programs, Thorn
"I love driving PCH north through Zuma Beach. The coast spreads out like a sigh of delight and immediate cares drift away. My soul is soothed and I inevitably smile."
Belinda Smith Walker
Founding Board Member, New Village Charter School

San Francisco

Known for its artsiness, thriving tech culture, and open-minded ethos, San Francisco has plenty to offer its diverse residents. See what San Francisans love and miss about the Bay Area.

come here to make their dreams come true
"I love that people — especially writers and artists of all kinds — still come here to make their dreams come true."
David Weir
Founding Editor, 7x7
running out to Ocean Beach
"I love running out to Ocean Beach and rewarding myself with a delicious coffee at Trouble and brunch at Outerlands."
Emma Acker
Assistant Curator of American Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
JoEllen
"I love JoEllen, our barista at Blue Bottle in Hayes Valley."
Phillip Kilbridge
Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco
the Castro Theatre
"I love the fact that we're home to the Castro Theatre, where I can watch classic movies (some great, some not) in perhaps the perfect setting."
Anthony Ha
Writer, TechCrunch
"I love how it sits on the edge of the universe, looking out into a wide ocean of possibilities. I love the fog for it slows down time and it envelopes you, allowing you time to get lost. And tacos!"
Om Malik
Founder, GigaOM
world-class surfing, food, art, music and engineering
"I love living in a place that offers world-class surfing, food, art, music and engineering within a 7-mile grid and that the city still doesn't take itself too seriously."
Josh McHugh
Co-Founder of Fanatical, President of INFORUM
California 1 bus line
"Riding the California 1 bus line. It connects the Chinatown in the Richmond to the Downtown Chinatown. You may as well be in China. You've got more live fish, birds, turtles, eels — whatever, than people riding that thing."
Jason Weiner
Executive Chef & Founder, Almond Restaurant
Stacks
"Stacks in Hayes Valley, the best place to get a quality pancake and breakfast in the city"
Rip Empson
Writer, TechCrunch

Seattle

With beautiful outdoors, great coffee, and laid-back attitudes, Seattleites have the best of all worlds. See what Seattleites love and miss about the Emerald City.

the authenticity and generosity of people in the startup and technology industries
"I love the authenticity and generosity of people in the startup and technology industries here in Seattle vs. Silicon Valley and New York. Also, I love how Seattle has not yet become as segmented between wealthy elites and the rest of the population as other cities (though I worry it's slowly happening)."
Rand Fishkin
CEO & Founder, Moz
the Cascade Mountains
"I miss the Cascade Mountains. New York's skyscrapers are exciting, but they're not covered in glaciers and you can't camp on them."
Judith Nelson
Violist, New York Philharmonic
I can justify investing in high tech rain gear
"I love how my friends are active, opinionated, and socially conscious, and I can justify investing in high tech rain gear."
Sarah Bryar
CEO, Rivet & Sway
the water, mountains, and parks
"I love the water, mountains, and parks that surround such as exciting innovation hub."
Shwetak Patel
Assistant Professor, University of Washington; Founder, Zensi
the breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier
"I love the breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and being a part of the best soccer city in the country."
John Cook
Co-founder, GeekWire
historic downtown districts
"I love the eclectic, historic downtown districts (Pioneer Square, the Space Needle, Pike Place market, the waterfront). You can relax, take in an excellent cup of coffee, and enjoy the fantastic views of the Emerald City."
James Filsinger
President & CEO, Yapta
my neighborhood forest at Seward Park
"I love walking through my neighborhood forest at Seward Park and feeling like I am in the backcountry far far away from the city."
Joanna Nelson de Flores
Green Cities Project Manager, Forterra
boutique and craft wineries and breweries
"I love having boutique and craft wineries and breweries in walking distance."
Amy Young
Associate Professor, Pacific Lutheran University
"I love how we pride ourselves on: independent thinking, coffee, technology, outdoor activities, and making the rest of the world think it rains here all the time (to prevent our city from becoming over-crowded, of course)."
Will Little
Co-founder & CEO, Code Fellows
Pike Place Market
"I love that on a rainy day — we get a few of those in Seattle — I love being at Pike Place Market looking flowers, vegetables and fruits that are fresh from the garden, then walking across the cobblestone street to the original Starbucks Coffee shop for a pumpkin spice latte in the fall."
Linda Thomas
Broadcast/Online Journalist

New York

New York City, America's capital for everything (food, culture, fashion), is unrivaled in its energy and excitement. The City That Never Sleeps is known as a place of opportunity and diversity. Trendsetting New Yorkers have plenty to love about their city—check out what they have to say!

Yaki Tori
"I miss the row of Japanese barbecue joints in the East Village."
Lauren Goode
Senior Editor, AllThingsD
Pizza place, Di Fara
"I love Di Fara Pizza. It could be argued the most civilized place on earth — except for the no air conditioning and the C Grade hanging in the window. But the pizza is sick. The old man is a true artisan."
Jason Weiner
Executive Chef & Founder, Almond Restaurant
Walking
"I love the walk from my apartment to wherever. I greet regular folks I see every day on my walk, and my canine sidekick Walter greets regular animal pals"
J.D. Heilprin
Founder, AGOGO
Assortment of places
"I miss watching jazz at sunset at Cafe Moto, late-night bowling at The Gutter, Steve's Key Lime Pies in Red Hook, hanging at Nunu Chocolates on Atlantic Ave, and whiskey and barbeque at Fette Sau."
Reid Carolin
American film producer, director, and screenwriter
Hair cut guy at Astor Hair
"Jay at Astor Hair, who is my guy because he puts up with me even when I'm micromanaging a $16 haircut."
Jason Chen
Senior Editor, Departures
The waterfront
"I love the on-going revival of the city's waterfront. Over the past few years, the shores of the Hudson and the East River have been vastly improved, and the beaches, which were on the upswing before Hurricane Sandy, are now recovering quickly. Governors Island, too, has played a huge part in the wonderful renaissance of the harbor that is one of my favorite things about living here."
Paul Brady
Deputy Consumer News Editor, Condé Nast Traveler
Neighborhood feel/walking
"The neighborhood feel of Washington Square Park — of having everything you need within walking distance of your doorsteps — and of the ease of access to anywhere in town. Riding your bike along the Hudson River gives you a chance to see all types of people with an astonishing view."
Craig Carroll
Visiting Scholar, NYU
Walking
"I love the walkability of the city. Even in the outer boroughs, I can get almost anywhere by wandering. I have never lived in a city designed by and for the wanderers, and I never want to leave."
Jaime Wright
Assistant Professor, St. John's University
Doughnut Plant
"I love Doughnut Plant– best. doughnuts. ever."
Carly Heitlinger
Director of New Media, Levo League
24-hour delis
"I love the 24-hour delis, because the guys at the counter don’t judge you for buying a single beer at 10pm on a Friday night. "
Lucy Madison
Writer & Journalist

Washington, D.C.

The epicenter of American politics, Washington DC is known for its rich history and culture. See what DC residents love and miss about our nation’s capital.

seeing the Supreme Court or Capitol buildings still gives me goosebumps
"I love that ten years later, seeing the Supreme Court or Capitol buildings still gives me goosebumps. Washington is a formidable city where great things happen. I remain in awe of the places and people that keep our amazing country slowly but surely moving forward."
Cameron McCosh
COO, American Action Forum
"I love the big city benefits with little town feel. From the history of old town, the fancy shops of Friendship Heights, or the ethnic food in Silver Spring all minutes apart, DC is a hundred cities in one."
Andrea Purse
VP Communications, Center for American Progress
Washington Wizards
"I love the Wizards and E Street Cinema."
Judd Legum
Editor in Chief, ThinkProgress
running through Meridian Hill Park in Columbia Heights
"I love running through Meridian Hill Park in Columbia Heights. It’s a busy but peaceful place, and offers incredible views of downtown. One of the main reasons I run is that the best chocolate chip cookies in DC can be found at Blind Dog Café, just two blocks from my House in Shaw."
Jeff Krehely
Vice President & Chief Foundation Officer, The Human Rights Campaign
the incredible sense of history and presence I get on my evening jog
"I love the incredible sense of history and presence I get on my evening jog. Running down 16th Street past the White House and down through the Monuments always reminds me that great things are possible."
Evan Burfield
Co-founder, 1776
the view of tidal basin at the Jefferson Memorial during cherry blossom season
"I love the view of tidal basin at the Jefferson Memorial during cherry blossom season; I love the feeling of AMERICA when I walk through the WWII memorial, and I love the streets and the sky aren't overpowered by skyscrapers."
Dan Simons
Concept Developer, Founding Farmers
a big city with a uniquely get-to-know-your-neighbors feel
"I love the neighborliness. Friends from out of town are always impressed when I'm sitting on my stoop or strolling to the Saturday market that I seem to know everyone. It's not because I'm particularly outgoing; it's just because D.C. is, I think, a big city with a uniquely get-to-know-your-neighbors feel."
Aaron Wiener
Staff Writer, Washington City Paper
the diversity that the Northern Virginia-DC-Maryland region has to offer
"I love the diversity that the Northern Virginia-DC-Maryland region has to offer. Diversity in culture, diversity in people, food, architecture and in STEM opportunities including jobs, education and government."
Padmanabhan Seshaiyer
Professor, George Mason University

Philadephia

The City of Brotherly Love and one of America's most historic cities is more than just cheesesteaks and Rocky steps. Philadelphia is also home to its great people — see what they love and miss about their town.

hoagie and water ice
"I miss being able to order a hoagie and a water ice without people looking at me like I'm crazy."
Beth Braverman
Senior Editor, The Fiscal Times
Fairmount Park
"I love Fairmount Park because I get to bike with my husband, take my dog there, and occasionally not think about work there."
Jane Golden
Executive Director, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
the resilience of the residents
"I miss the resilience of the residents — it often comes off as brusque or tough but those in the know have come to call it the "Philly attitude" and it's what gives the city its distinct flair."
Iris McCarthy
Food writer & Author
King of Prussia mall
"I miss the King of Prussia mall a lot — I used to go there almost every day after school, plus there's no sales tax on clothes or shoes!"
Courtney Friel
Anchor & Reporter, KTLA
BYOB restaurants
"I love all our wonderful BYOB restaurants. Matyson, Bibou, and Will are some of my favorites."
Patricia Rose
Director of Career Services, University of Pennsylvania
"I love how it's a grimy old city but we love it here and have given up chances to live in Austin, Texas and in glamorous Santa Barbara. Folks who live there think we're crazy, as indeed they should, but we're East Coast people, with Woodie Allen's sense of comic irony and deep attachments to friends and relations who live close by."
Herbert W. Simons
Emeritus Professor, Temple University

Chicago

Chicago’s cutting-edge architecture, incredible dining and friendly Midwestern culture attract plenty of residents and visitors, as does the deep-dish pizza. See what Chicagoans love and miss about the city.

"I miss drinking keg beer on a rooftop above Wrigley Field during a Cubs game."
Joshua Radin
American recording artist, songwriter and actor
Art Institute of Chicago
"I love The Art Institute of Chicago: I like to bring the kitchen team for trips to inspire new menu creations."
Graham Elliot
Chef & Owner, Graham Elliot; Judge, MasterChef
Pho Xe Tang
"I love Pho Xe Tank, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant and Yolk, my favorite breakfast restaurant. I also love Millennium Park, the Joffrey Ballet, and Bikram Yoga in the South Loop."
Scott Speck
Artistic Director, Chicago Philharmonic; Music Director, Joffrey Ballet
Lake Michigan
"I love Lake Michigan because it's massive and makes me miss being on the East or West Coast a little less."
Nancy Loo
Reporter & Anchor, WGN-TV
it's a big city but still has that Midwestern feel
"I miss how it's a big city but still has that Midwestern feel. Also, the transportation is really great; you can walk, take a bus, or take the metro to get most anywhere."
Taylor Seablom
NASA engineer
National Museum of Mexican Art
"I love the National Museum of Mexican Art and other community organizations such as Elevarte. The NMMA has done has been doing incredible work for the Mexican/American Art community."
Luis De La Torre
Artist
home to a people born of equal parts of grit and heart
"I live in Chicago and love it dearly because it is a beach city with four seasons, a cultural metropolis with without the exclusive costs (think of all those free concerts!), and it is home to a people born of equal parts of grit and heart."
Sonat Hart
President of Koval Distillery

Boston

A New England city with roots in the American Revolution and some of the most die-hard sports fans in the nation, Boston has the most colleges of any U.S. city as well as the best clam chowder. Check out what Bostonians love and miss about Beantown.

Boston Public Garden
"I love the Boston Public Garden - it's absolutely stunning all four seasons of the year."
Tom O'Keefe
Founder, BostonTweet
"I miss the positive energy — a combination between intellectual hunger and the desire to do good in the world."
Tal Ben-Shahar
Author, Happier
the Museum of Science
"I love the Museum of Science - it's so huge it never feels crowded and it captures all kids' attention and imaginations."
Mia Wenjen
Blogger, Pragmatic Mom; co-founder, Aquent
Charles River
"I love running along the Charles River."
Stephanie Kaplan
CEO & Editor in Chief, Her Campus
Sam's restaurant
"I love where I live because I can walk almost everywhere I need to go. One of my favorite places to walk to is Sam's restaurant on the waterfront in the Seaport district where the service is outstanding and the menu is delicious."
Maggie Connors
Artist, Fort Point Arts Community
Bobby's from Boston
"I love Bobby's from Boston. I have traveled the world and never found a better vintage clothing shop."
Greg Selkoe
Founder & CEO, Karmaloop
the diversity of our neighborhoods
"I live in Boston and I really love the diversity of our neighborhoods. From China to Cape Verde, from Ireland to El Salvador, we bring the language, food, culture and history of the world and we pack it into 90 square miles. You can't beat Boston pride - sometimes we get a little carried away, but there are no greater sports fans. My favorite theater - The Huntington, I have laughed, cried and been blown away by so many plays there. Finaliy, my favorite landmark, the African Meeting House - I feel honored to stand on the same floors that Frederick Douglass stood on."
Mariama White-Hammond
Executive Director of Project HIP-HOP

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