United States

Slack Attack

THOUGH I CONSIDER myself an athlete, I've never followed a disciplined training regimen. Mileage, heart rate, lactate threshold—these...

Washington, D.C.

THE REVIVAL: High crime, buttoned-up Beltway vibe, sweltering summers, a coked-out mayor, taxation without representation, and eight years of an unpopular administration aren't...

Chattanooga, TN

THE REVIVAL: Chattanooga's surrounded by mountains and rivers, but like so many manufacturing towns, it turned its back on its natural assets. In the mid-'60s, the city went...

New Orleans, LA

Rocheblave Street, in New Orleans's Broadmoor district, resounds with the squabbling of wild parakeets and the whine of power tools. It's a Monday morning in late April in this recovering 2,400...

Ogden, UT

THE REVIVAL: A hundred years ago, this Utah outpost 45 minutes north of

Portsmouth, NH

THE REVIVAL: A shipbuilding center in the 18th century, this Piscataqua River town, just up­­stream from the coast, lost its best customer (the British) after the War of...

Tacoma, WA

THE REVIVAL: Except for a brief heyday in the 1880s, when the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed and "the City of Destiny" became its western terminus, this

Ithaca, NY

THE REVIVAL: It's not too hard to shine when you boast more than a little Ivy League intellect, but even this progressive, two-college town at the foot of upstate New York's

Louisville, KY

THE REVIVAL: Louisville, a hub for higher education, horse culture, and bourbon distillation since the 19th century, never quite hit bottom. But this independent-minded, even...

Eureka, CA

THE REVIVAL: Four hours north of San...

Crested Butte, CO

THE REVIVAL: Crested Butte made its name as a coal town in the 1880s, then relaunched 80 years later as a ski bum's nirvana. But thanks to inconsistent snowfall and a remote,...

Columbia, MO

THE REVIVAL: Before the University of Missouri was established, in 1839, Columbia in the rolling foothills of the

The Rest of the Best

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI (POP. 14,100)In Oxford, bookish is beautiful. Despite Mississippi's ranking last in high school graduation and among the highest in poverty, the town...

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