VFYW: Nerds And NASCAR Drivers
For contest #367, the city is much more interesting that it seems at first glance.
(For the View From Your Window contest, the results below exceed the content limit for Substack’s email service, so to ensure that you see the full results, click the headline above.)
Our CO/NJ super-sleuth is sore over last week’s contest:
As usual, after the results come out on the Saturday morning after I fail to identify the window, I spend the entire time kicking myself for missing it. This time is particularly painful, because during my search for the view, after searching for power lines in Riyadh and finding a photo of these located at Northern Ring Road and King Fahd Road, I entered an intersection into Google Maps to take a look around. I cannot believe I missed what was right in front of my face:
Well, as a consolation, I think you told me some time ago that getting the city right counts as a correct answer. Did I preserve my streak? I am hoping for a positive ruling from the official …
Yes, so sayeth the VFYW magistrate. Our super-sleuth in southern France sent a late entry last week:
No real time to look. It looks very Middle East to me, so I am going with Jeddah — even though I never found the electric pylons I can see in the distance.
Tonight we’re trying out the Fire & Powder cocktail. I think my ginger is fiercer than my fellow sleuth’s, but it’s quite yummy and original!
It so happened because my husband — who doesn’t read the VFYW but sometimes helps along with the pictures — came home with a bottle of Japanese gin. Fate had played its hand: I had to try the cocktail!
A look back at another contest:
I’m a first-time competitor, and some recent contest results tell me I’m not the only one from Bend. I also want to mention that in the Aruba contest a few months ago, I had the slightly shocking/disorienting experience of looking at the picture and realizing I had seen that view from almost exactly the same spot. I’m an airline pilot, and as it turns out, that’s our layover hotel when we fly to Aruba.
On to this week’s view, here’s our long-time sleuth in Bend:
This looks vaguely Canadian. No front license plates eliminates Ontario and B.C. I’m going with Calgary, Alberta.
Another sleuth looks further into the license plates:
I solved this week’s contest in large part due to the following map, which shows all of the states that don’t require license plates on the fronts of cars (only the back). Given that most of them are in the South, and our picture has a few leafless trees, it was basically a case of starting in Michigan and working my way south, checking the skylines of midsize cities for a match.
A gut guess from this sleuth:
Once in a while I try to give these a go, but I’m building a bookcase right now, so I’m just going to take a guess! It looks like Emeryville, CA, home of Pixar.
Some more clues from this sleuth:
The cars and license plates clearly indicate North America, and the “lofts” sign makes it an English-speaking country. The deciduous trees indicate we’re not too deep in the Sun Belt, and yet the huge sidewalk cafe and balconies show we’re not too far north. The lack of visible mountains suggests we’re not in the West.
A sleuth in NJ guesses Chicago. Another city:
I’m guessing that this photo was taken in the newish Philly neighborhood of Northern Liberties, southwest of Fishtown. I was walking there with my son-in-law last year and he said, “Jared Kushner owns all of this.” It had that look of trying-too-hard modern, with the fake-Dutch orange balconies and bare sidewalks with no trees. (I think Jared sold it, but who cares.)
Thanks for letting me guess with nothing but impulsive gut-level research! Have a great weekend :)
From a previous winner in Durham:
Immediate impression was USA based on roads, cars and architecture. I initially guessed Oklahoma or Kansas (flyover country).
But he got to the right state after “googling the highest buildings in each state.” Another sleuth was “led me down the rabbit-hole of antennas vs antennae.” Another teaser:
A sleuth in Austin names the right city:
This picture had all the markings of a city in the Midwest on the come-up. “Lofts” in the name of a brand new building. Five-over-one apartment buildings. Distinctive brand new “interesting” lighting fixtures on extra-wide sidewalks with brick inlays. A new hotel (probably a Hyatt Place) with a “fin” on the roof peeking up. But also late model cars, not trucks, meaning it’s neither Texas nor the Sunbelt at large.
At first it reminded me of St. Louis, city of my birth, for both the commitment to renewal projects of this scale and its location near a central business district and the extremely ‘80s office tower in the distance on the left. But of course I knew it’s another city, as those three skyscrapers (the ‘80s office tower, the twin-spired ‘90s tower, and the delightfully modern building on the right) are not in St. Louis.
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