New York City
From the first moments I saw New York City, in the 1980s, it seemed a city collapsing on itself. In its dereliction, decay and overpopulation, it was the poster child for apocalyptic dysfunction. It scared me. The renaissance that followed has cleaned up much of the seediness, and even made parts of NYC quite beautiful, but hasn’t totally erased the feeling of dread. In some ways the carnival of commercialism and tourism that has replaced much of the city’s former cultural vitality adds a dose of its own ennui.