Is Luton really so bad?

Luton voted Britain's worst town--BBC (via pointer from libby Miller)

I'm in Luton usually at least once a year. My closest family outside my two nuclear units are there: the Anas (mother's maiden name). Aunt Arit and my three cousins (Uncle Joe is in Nigeria serving as a state health commissioner). I love visiting them, and Lori and I both thought "hey, Luton isn't all that bad" when we read the article.

But then I had to pull my focus a bit back from the well-kept Ana household to remember what I could of the big picture. Seems I think as little as I can of the actual town of Luton. I'm either at chez Ana or in London (there's a very handy rail line straight from Luton to King's Cross or City or even Gatwick). If I press myself, it does occur to me that Luton gives the impression of drabness and accidie that never properly troubles me because I only spend a week or so at a time there, and it's usually a well-appointed and happy week.

Of course there are other towns listed as the ten worst of which I have fond memory, because I was visiting friends: Bath (Libby Miller, Damien Steer, Dan Brickley, etc.) and Nottingham (Jeni Tennison). I guess it takes a fair amount of residence before town ever grows into more than a shell around one's attention to particular people.

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia