The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 December 2004

Go North, the rush is on

US News and World Report has an end-of-year cover story with the unlikely title 50 Ways To Improve Your Life In 2005. To give them credit, unlike Paul Simon, US News does actually list all 50 Ways; however, I doubt anyone is going to take them up on all 50, especially #8: Move to Bismarck.

My fondness for North Dakota is on the record, and indeed I can imagine some people for whom the Peace Garden state might be just this side of paradise, but the key word here is "some." From a hotel room in Fargo this summer, I wrote:

Not everyone can live here — not everyone should live here, perhaps — but the place has its rewards, if you know how to look for them.

US News found quite a few:

Yes, the winters are cold, the New York Philharmonic never visits, and it's more than 1,000 miles to the nearest coast. But North Dakota boasts shorter commutes, less violent crime, and better high school graduation rates than any other state in the union. Add in the capital's stable economy and low unemployment, affordable housing, sunny skies, and year-round recreation, and you've got a near-perfect recipe for low-stress living.

It helps, I suppose, if you're about my age or older and have lost the urge to go bar-hopping on a regular basis. And if that cold-winter business disturbs you, well, there's always South Dakota.

Posted at 6:00 PM to Almost Yogurt

Umm. Right this sec (The first night of winter) the wind chill in Bismarck is -11F.



Yeah, I'm a wimp.

Posted by: Dan at 10:40 PM on 21 December 2004

About what it's going to be here tonight, in other words.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:14 AM on 22 December 2004

Yes, the winters are cold, the New York Philharmonic never visits, and it's more than 1,000 miles to the nearest coast.

I'm sold.

Oh wait -- that's supposed to be the downside. Never mind then.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:46 AM on 22 December 2004

Ya know, I really enjoy your posts, but the thing that I admire most are the wide range of references that your titles encompass.

I strive to be as wise and creative as you.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 10:13 AM on 22 December 2004

"Wide range" can also be seen as "desperately clutching for relevance," especially if you recognized this title as coming from the 1960 film North to Alaska and its spiffy Johnny Horton theme and wondered what the hell Alaska had to do with North Dakota other than the fact that they both share a border with the Canadians.

Posted by: CGHill at 2:41 PM on 22 December 2004