The mention of the Time Out NY 50 Best Blocks in the City article in Extra Extra yesterday really got some conversation started. Here are some of those comments:

Hmm, that is a pretty weird list. Other than 20th between 9th and 10th, I can't agree with any of those picks. I have to say it: this is utter and irrational reverse-snobbism. Having grown up on the UES, I am completely aware of that neighborhood's deficiencies and I understand that there were various criteria taken into account by TimeOut. But, damn. No 78th between Park and Lex (or any of the other 50 quite townhouse streets)? Was price weighted? It's nice to live in Jake Boobkin's coveted below-14th-Street-or-Williamsburg Green Zone of Awesomeness, but when I stop by my parent's house I do notice that it is, you know, a lot nicer.

Luke - 100% agreed. Expand the list to top 30 prettiest blocks, and I might buy it. Not one block in Brooklyn Heights? In historic Prospect Park South? On the UES/UWS? Riverside Drive? Forest Hills/Jamaica Estates? Surely you jest. I'm also a tremendous fan of Fuller Street in Windsor Terrace, if anybody knows where that is. I'm obsessed with it, really.

one thing that caught my eye from that list was that all but one of the top 10 scored a 6 in 'New York-ocity'. If yr going to include such a vague and ambiguous category, then at least vary the scoring a little bit to fool us...

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing on the Time Out picks re Ditmas area... not to mention, they gave the Red Hook street a "6" for transportation, the same as the Manhattan address on the upper west side that followed... um, really? Red Hook has transportation as good at the UWS? Yeah right. Maybe in their Fairway-colored dreams.

Much of the carping appears to have been a result of Time Out's devilishly sophisticated scoring mechanism, which rated the blocks along six categories (Aesthetics, Amenities, Green factor, Noise and traffic, Public transit, New York-ocity, Affordability). Certainly "New York-ocity" leaves some room for bias and subjectivity-- and probably resulted in the poor showing for the outer boroughs ("Manhattan led the way with 25 entries, followed by Brooklyn with 14; Queens with six; the Bronx with three; and Staten Island with two.") On the other hand, since affordability was taken into account, many of the most expensive blocks in the Village, Upper East Side, and Brooklyn Heights were left off the list.

We took a closer look-- mapping the top 25 blocks using Wayfaring above. After intense study, we've decided that the list is something of a crap-shoot-- it's interesting in that it points out some blocks and neighborhoods that we've never heard of, and identifies qualities that make some neighborhoods desireable-- but the actual street-selection is too biased to be meaningful in any real way. Of course, that won't stop it from pissing you off once you realize your neighborhood was completely ignored. Let the carping being. [Related: the chattering classes at Curbed and Brownstoner are also discussing the list.]