Liz Farrell

The power of ‘y’all’: Charleston and Savannah named friendliest cities in the world

I think I might have found the only travel magazine list that Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Beaufort haven’t made yet.

Conde Nast recently announced the friendliest and unfriendliest cities in the world in its 29th annual Traveler magazine Reader Choice Awards.

Not a one of us appeared on that friendliest list.

So I’m unfriending Traveler magazine and all of its readers as we speak. How dare they. Don’t they know about the law that says we have to be on every Best Place Ever list?

I guess we’re not “world-wide friendly” enough for their readers, I guess we didn’t wow them with our cheerfully transplanted Northerner vibes, but that’s OK.

Guess what, Traveler magazine, close enough.

Charleston was named THE friendliest city in all the land. And Savannah came in at No. 7.

This is the part where you go, “Um, didn’t a woman get stabbed right outside her front door in Savannah over the weekend?”

And I go “Shhhhhh! We don’t talk about such inconsistencies and ugliness around the Best Place Ever lists! Come closer so I can whisper in your ear, though ... they were also featured on CNN in May. It was a report that mentioned their charm. The piece was called ‘Southern charm, deadly streets’ on account of their record-setting homicides.”

Don’t worry. Not all friendly people kill.

Speaking of Southern charm, Charleston is charming the pants off Earth right now, which I think might annoy Savannah a little. And I get that.

Charleston is the sweet but Type-A girl who already went to Pure Barre this morning and writes thank-you notes the day after she receives a gift, whereas Savannah is still a little drunk from last night.

Savannah will totally get the next round, though. And she will hold your hair if you need her to. (Just don’t ask her why your boyfriend’s name is popping up on her phone and also tattooed on her forearm.)

The fact that both cities made the friendliest list right next to international cities, though, is a testament to the power of “Y’all.”

It’s such a welcoming, inclusive term, isn’t it? Even when it’s said in anger. It’s so soft and sleepy. You can’t mess it up. “Y’all are stupid!” makes me want to say “Thank you, friend!” every time.

Meanwhile in Newark, N.J., aka Traveler magazine’s unfriendliest city in the world ... wait. Before I continue, I need you to think about that for a second. Here are some questions to ponder: Doesn’t ISIS live in a city? What about drug cartel ZIP codes? And wasn’t there some sort of rape-mob somewhere?

Newark, N.J.

Least friendliest city.

In the war of Y’all versus Youse Guys, the South is coming in hot and buttered like a biscuit.

Back to Charleston and Savannah’s relationship, for a second.

I don’t mean to suggest one city is better than the other (even though one is No. 1 and the other is six down on the list).

To be fair, let’s just call the two cities frenemies and let’s call ourselves the third friend. The one who is cool by association and has the choice of aligning herself in whatever way she sees fit.

Like any good third friend, let’s stroke their egos, shall we?

Charleston is widely envied for its fashion sense and aesthetics.

It’s the foodiest food town in the South and home to a number of James Beard Award-winning chefs.

“Southern Charm,” the show that everyone there loves to hate to love — and featuring Hilton Head native Shep Rose — is filmed in Charleston. “Top Chef” just filmed there too.

Aaaaaaaaand ... Charleston has a Costco.

Mic drop. Just kidding, Savannah.

Savannah has seriously stepped up its restaurant game in the last five years.

It’s artsy and fun, and you can walk around with cocktails legally.

The squares are so romantic, you want to kiss the first person who hands you a palm-rose.

And, you know what, I think the people who live there are finally confident enough to stop answering “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” every time you ask “How are you?”

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