Dead ends

The five places that should be struck from your bucket list

The Australian - The Deal - - Contents -


but it has a great PR ma­chine. There’s a rea­son the Denver Bron­cos lost this year’s Su­per Bowl and that’s be­cause it’s the beer cap­i­tal of the US and its sis­ter city is Ulan Ba­tor in Mon­go­lia. Brad and An­gelina hang out at the Griz­zly Rose in Denver about as of­ten as they do at the Grand Khan Ir­ish pub in Ulan Ba­tor. Denver In­ter­na­tional Air­port says it all. At 137.3sqkm, it’s big­ger than Man­hat­tan. Two words: drab and bor­ing. Al­ter­na­tive: New York.

Dis­ney­land in Cal­i­for­nia. Look, I have four kids. They were young once and I stupidly took them to the Hap­pi­est Place on Earth and stayed in the Wal­lyWorld ho­tel so we could get into the park early and my el­dest daugh­ter could be trau­ma­tised for life by Goofy, who snuck up on her and tried to mus­cle in on the hot dog she was eat­ing. For only $100 for you and an­other $100 each for ev­ery child over 10, you get two-hour queues, closed rides, the pop­u­la­tion of Dar­win and fat­ten­ing, soggy food and people. Two words: stay

John Con­nolly writes about life, leisure and tak­ing care of busi­ness

and away. Al­ter­na­tive: Coney Is­land, New York.

Bali: To para­phrase the song: “Bali will whis­per, here am I, your spe­cial is­land, come to me, come to me”. Don’t lis­ten. The Bali you dream about is the Bali of the Hip­pie Trail and

the world’s great­est surf movie, Morn­ing of the

Earth. The Bali of now is a mind-ex­pand­ing voy­age into cheap den­tal im­plants, the worst

Aus­tralian tourists, overnight nightmare flights, thiev­ing mon­keys, pol­luted beaches, mo­tor­cy­cle in­juries, glitzy ho­tels but un­be­liev­ably beau­ti­ful (in ev­ery sense of the word) Ba­li­nese people. Two words: bet­ter and yes­ter­day. Al­ter­na­tive: Coop­ers Beach, New York (sum­mer only).

Fish­er­man’s Wharf, San Fran­cisco: San Fran­cisco and ev­ery­thing within 300km of the city is fan­tas­tic. Ev­ery­thing ex­cept Fish­er­man’s Wharf, that is. When you think wharf you think quaint old sea per­sons (QOSPs) bring­ing home the day’s catch for you to eat while you watch the QOSPs wash down their boats, un­tan­gle the nets and pre­pare for an­other Hem­ing­wayesque day on the ocean. You don’t think Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve It or Not Mu­seum, the Har­ley David­son store, An­nie’s Hot Dogs and Pret­zels, Ap­ple­bee’s or the Hard Rock Cafe. There is a rea­son not many pris­on­ers tried to swim the 2.4km from Al­ca­traz to Fish­er­man’s Wharf. The food was bet­ter in jail. Two words: crook and ex­pen­sive. Al­ter­na­tive: The Wharf, Rock­away Park, New York.

Saint Martin in the Caribbean: Here’s your first clue: this is­land is 60/40 Dutch/French, so if you are forced to go, stay com­pletely away from the Dutch bit. Now the French bit could be not bad but just about ev­ery day about one mil­lion cruise ships pull into Philips­burg and the 20 mil­lion pas­sen­gers whose idea of a trop­i­cal par­adise is sit­ting on beach chairs with 19 mil­lion other pas­sen­gers sip­ping ex­pen­sive cock­tails, lis­ten­ing to very loud mu­sic and try­ing to turn very white skin very red go to the French side beaches. Quite rightly, the lo­cal per­sons don’t take much of a lik­ing to what ap­pear to them to be very rich whiteish people hav­ing a great time while they are job­less and fran­c­less so they turn to the na­tional sport of steal­ing. Two words: empty and pock­ets. Al­ter­na­tive: The rooftop pool at the Ho­tel Gan­sevoort in New York. Dutch name, French food, no crime.

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Crook and ex­pen­sive ... Fish­er­man’s Wharf, San Fran­cisco

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