New York #1 – Tangier Number Two

Gibraltar_SRTM_lrg It's official: Lonely Planet has ranked the World's Top Ten Cities for 2011, and this city on the tip of Africa has made it to runner-up position, just after the Big Apple.  Here's what they say:

From its extraordinary position perched on the northwestern-most tip of Africa, Tangier looks in two directions: one face towards Spain and Europe, and the other into Africa. The ‘white city’ announces a culture excitingly different from that of its close cousins across the water. With the recent arrival of a new city governor, the town beach now sparkles, the hustlers are off the streets and even the taxi drivers are polite. A stylish new Tangier is being created with a dynamic arts community, renovated buildings, great shopping and chic new restaurants.

While we locals appreciate the plug, the hype might have gone a bit overboard, especially that bit about the hustlers.  But there is a definite "buzz" about Ibn Battuta's home town.

Local Woman Hits Big Time

Another bit of news is the selection of Yto Barrada, Tangier woman of culture (Cinémathèque, photographer, educator), as Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year 2011.  Yto, who was interviewed the other day on Tangier's international radio "Médi 1," was modest about her achievement, but passionate about her devotion to cinema and the visual arts.

I knew we were fortunate to have the Cinémathèque, which shows classics, new releases, and documentaries, a 5-minute walk from the Legation.  What I didn't know was what a rare institution this is on the south side of the Med.  We are very happy for Yto, and see this prize as just recognition of her talents.

Tangier rules!

(Strait of Gibraltar image: NASA)

Gerald Loftus

1 thought on “New York #1 – Tangier Number Two”

  1. i don’t really get why lonely planet listed tangier, but it was nice (if inexplicable). it has led to heated arguments on facebook between me and various friends about the incredible annoyance of people in tangier who harass tourists or perceived tourists. it was much better in marrakech a few years back when i was there. but that was when the king had just started his campaign to make it the main tourist destination of morocco.
    it sounds like a new education project is needed somehow. i wonder if public service announcements on tv would work? it’s just amazing to me that countries who desperately need tourists and their money, would routinely be so intolerable towards them.
    i mean, make up your mind. do you want tourists or not?

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