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How Smart Are LA Residents? Survey Says "Not Very"

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Photo by Lucyrk via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr


Photo by Lucyrk via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Travel + Leisure is at it again, with their America's Favorite Cities survey that ranks 35 urban U.S. cities on a variety of cultural, shopping and restaurant criteria. On the surface, the results are all business as usual. Los Angeles comes in at #4 for best luxury stores, #6 for big-name restaurants and a respectable #8 for big-name luxury hotels and weather. These results are somewhat on par with rankings from previous years, though we've lost major points on weather (used to be at #3) and our live-music scene once ranked #8 and now we're at #14. Yet, when it comes to ranking intelligence, Los Angeles visitors ranked LA #34 out of 35 for intelligence and residents - that's you - placed LA's intelligence at #32. That's right, we think we're stupid.It gets worse. Los Angeles visitors ranked our friendliness as the worst of all 35 cities and residents - again, you! - ranked our friendliness at #34. So we think we're mean and stupid? What gives LA? How can this be?

While there are many other criteria you can play with in Travel + Leisure's survey results, including head-to-head city face-off battles and finding out which city ranked highest for essentials like "wild weekends" (LA takes the #9 spot), stylish residents (we're #6) and the quality of our coffee bars (residents deemed our coffee a disappointing #20), we have to wonder just who these "resident" Angelenos are that deigned to rank themselves unfriendly and unintelligent.

Turns out these "residents" simply had to respond to an online survey and were "asked to identify whether they live in or had visited the cities they rated." Are there secret survey-takers out there who wish to shame our fair city in such silly tests? Maybe. Yet, Los Angeles didn't rank all that well in intelligence last year either. Or friendliness. Or cleanliness.

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So what is it LA? Do we have an image problem or a rogue survey-takers problem?