Thanks to Paul B for this thought of a meme. My favourite twelve cities would be:
New York: stunning, uncanny, breath-takingly awesome - a city oft visited in the movies and TV and thankfully on a handful of occasions in 'reality' (though it is such unreal place, you can confuse the two).
London: easier to get to, and cheaper (free museums!), ergo a possible over-taker of NYC. Not quite the same pizzazz but a buzzy kind of place. Had a great weekend there so feeling more pro London right now!
Birmingham: I do have some residual disappointments - they lost two of the remaining pieces of inner city greenary when they redeveloped the area in front of the Rep and Symphony Hall, and where they put the Floozy in the Jacuzzi. They also demolished the Triangle cinema at Aston Uni. But I still love what has happened to Brum over recent years. A triumph of optimism and will.
Manchester: it was my in-transit home for quite some time whilst studying at Leeds and still living in the West Midlands (funnily I felt more at home in Manc than I ever did in Leeds itself). Always interesting, if not always in a good way. We had a great blogmeet there earlier this year which is the chief reason it makes the cut.
Amsterdam: my favourite European city of those visited. Relaxed. Fun. Full of culture. And the houses have big windows so you can see inside to all the big bookshelves. Heavenly!
Glasgow: it rained when we were there (quel surprise) but I say 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh'. 'nuf said...
Edinburgh: Hills! Views! A Castle! Fascinating to visit even though it was during the festival ;)
Aberdeen: this really makes the cut because of the lovely George, but we have had such great weather up there and have SOOO enjoyed the beach that I had to include it!
Venice: It smells. It's full of tourists. It's over-priced. And yet... It is beautiful and full of obscured delights down hidden passages. Plus, you know, Peggy Guggenheim lived there...
Paris: Spectacular but even though I love Before Sunrise/Sunset, I can't say I warm to the place overall. Nevertheless, a truly fabulous city to see and one not to be missed. Besides, Jarvis lives there...
Oxford/Cambridge: sorry but I can't separate the two as they (and their bookshops) are inextricably entwined in my minds eye!
Berlin: the only city on my list I haven't been to. I did want to try and keep this list to places I have actually been - that's not to say other places aren't well loved or haven't offered me some great experiences. And given those I haven't visited this is clearly a very small list. But I have to include Berlin as it is such a central place in German history. One day I will check out my German origins properly and actually visit the country!
So there you have it. 12 cities. What are yours?