For the hundreds of thousands of single women who live in or out of the fantasy land of Carrie Bradshaw's New York in "Sex and the City," this news can't come as a surprise.
New York is paradise – for men.
Now here comes the men's Web site, AskMen.com, with its buzz-driven annual list of the world's 29 most male-friendly cities
. Do you need to guess?
The Big Apple ranks No. 1, upsetting poor Chicago, last year's top of the world. After New York, it's the deluge, so to speak. You've got to go all the way across the world, across the Pacific Ocean, to Melbourne, Australia, and to Tokyo, ranked No. 2 and 3.
New York won hands down based on how great it is for men to work and play. The survey investigators
measured these standard factors (comments in parentheses are mine): cost of living (very high); culture (pop and haute); green space (more abundant than you might expect); number of vacation days (usually two/three weeks); the ratio of men to women (scarily in favor of men); the weather (comes and goes); new restaurants and clubs (no one does it better).
But those are not the only winning factors.
How about proximity to a bikini-laden
beach? On the high end, we've got the Hamptons; on the low end, the Jersey Shore.
And access to fashion? Every major designer in the world has a flagship store in this city, planted in a golden rectangle marked by Fifth Avenue, 57th Street, and Madison Avenue. Chic and avante garde shops have their stakes in SoHo, the West Village and the Meatpacking District. We even have Uniqlo!
"We're positioning the best cities that you can live in, say, for a year, somewhere exotic, with cultural options, and job opportunities as well, and also entertainment as a man, which includes clubs and fresh-air options," says James Bassil
, the Quebec-based Web site's editor-in-chief, told Reuters.
That's jargon for sex, party and money.
So let's get to the Carrie Bradshaw conundrum – a good man is hard to find. It's the lament of many women here that dateable men are either taken or gay. There are indeed more gay men in New York City than in almost any other big city in America (San Francisco may win that one).
But it's the ratio of men to women that makes this a heavenly place for men.
Single women between 25 and 44 far outnumber single men in most large cities on the East Coast, but New York City's "mating market" is the worst of all, according to an article in The New York Observer
two years ago that quoted Richard Florida, the author of "Who's Your City?" In New York's metropolitan area, single women outnumbered single men by more than 210,000, according to Mr. Florida. Those numbers were slightly better for single women in Washington, D.C., where they outnumbered men by 50,000.
New York is a sexual combustion engine. It attracts young, ambitious and successful people by the droves. It's a draw for highly educated, professional women in the prime of their marrying years. It's also a magnet for well-educated, highly sexual, money-driven men. But the problem is, there are far more women than men in the mix.
For women looking at it a certain way, with a gleam in their eye, New York's No.1 ranking for men could be welcome news. Excited and inspired by the survey, available guys will flock to the city and help balance the scales. But you've got to be a cockeyed optimist to believe that. When it comes to male-female expectations, it is still the old Venus vs. Mars.
"Guys prize different things in a city than women do, evaluating them in different ways," says AskMen's Bassil. No kidding. Sorry to say, he didn't elaborate, but one can imagine. Keep in mind, too, that AskMen helpfully lets women know what men want. AskMen's Top 99 Women of 2010 survey was topped by one Emmanuelle Chriqui, a Moroccan-Jewish starlet from Canada who played Sloan in the boys-in-overdrive HBO show, "Entourage."
For all those curious to know what cities follow New York, here's the complete list:
New York City, 1; Melbourne, 2; Tokyo, 3; Madrid, 4; London, 5; Cape Town, 6; Miami, 7;. Buenos Aires, 8; Sydney, 9; San Francisco, 10; Paris, 11; Los Angeles, 12; Hong Kong, 13; Tel Aviv, 14;. Barcelona, 15; Sao Paulo, 16; Berlin, 17; Lisbon, 18; Beirut, 19; Istanbul, 20; Shanghai, 21; Montreal, 22; Amsterdam, 23; Chicago, 24; Toronto, 25; Kyoto, 26; Bogota, 27; Rome, 28; Las Vegas, 29.
1. 1 So what are women to make of all this? Not much. Oh, you could leave New York and the East Coast and go west -- San Diego, Dallas and Seattle. It's where the boys are.