I'm in Chicago, where I grew up. It's so beautiful here. Biking around here, I get that same feeling of wondering why I live in ugly-ass Astoria as when I venture to, say, Brooklyn.
And what a biking city Chicago is! There were no bike lanes till Hizzhonor decided that Chicago would be a biking town. There are bike racks everywhere. And a lot of people biking. Gives me hope for NYC.
And regardless of will, Chicago is blessed with wide straight streets and traffic that doesn't drive too crazy. And it's flat here. Damn flat. It all makes for a good biking town.
Last night I biked to a bar about 9 miles away from my Wicker Park/Bucktown home base. That's a long ride in New York. But here it was a breeze. You just peddle and peddle and admire the trees and pretty homes and next thing you know, you're there. It's a very peaceful ride. I never feel that way in New York. Coming back home? Different route. Just as nice.
And the weather is even beautiful in Chicago. Well, except for those five months of winter.
[Update: Though I did have a very nice late-night ride on the lake front, biking west on North Ave I saw 1) a car get rear ended at a red light, and 2) a woman, the driver, puking out her car door. I'm sure they were plenty sober and no risk at all to me. While I guess I didn't have to ride on North Ave (in hindsight Armitage would have been the way to go), on this Saturday night, Chicago looked just as big and bad as NYC.]