Fall 2005
Kansas City
Once a swinging metropolis unfazed by Prohibition and busting with burlesque houses and jazz clubs, Kansas City in later years was law-abiding but perhaps a bit drab. Then, a few years ago, when local artists staked their claim to a largely abandoned square-mile area of old warehouses and dilapidated storefronts south of downtown, KC began to regain its color.

Just like any other plugged-in 14-year-old, Riga is getting hipper by the minute. Breaking away from Russia’s control in 1991 and joining Europe in May 2004, the biggest of the Baltic capitals is sprucing up its staid Communist image at breathtaking speed.

Once the cosmopolitan hub of the former Ottoman imperial capital, but then abandoned for more modern districts, Beyoglu recently has undergone a renaissance to become the most happening place in the Turkish city.

Hamburg is a large, sprawling city filled with cool, calm, patrician elegance on one hand, raucous Reeperbahn district low life on the other, with an added dash of harbor romance as large stretches of industrial waterside are renovated or reinvented.

Dutch chic is a rare mix of what’s hot, what’s cool. Take the Light Shade Shade—a classical chandelier enveloped in a contemporary, semitransparent film from homegrown creator Jurgen Bey.

Taiwan is a land of amazing food and endless shopping options that are open until the wee hours.

Summer 2005
While the Windy City may be known for its chichi shopping along the Magnificent Mile, aka Michigan Avenue, those young and in the know go off Chicago’s beaten path to the trendy Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood for a truly edgy, urban experience.

Even the grittier parts of copenhagen, a pristine, compact capital, are picturesque by metropolis standards—and getting hipper by the minute. Vesterbro, once the cradle of prostitution and porn, is today dotted with fashion boutiques and hip cafes that morph into seriously cool bars after dark.

The city that was built on gold in the late 1880s glitters with youthful brashness. Among all of South Africa’s major cities, Johannesburg—fondly referred to as Joburg or Jozi by residents—is without doubt the most vibrant and the most racially integrated, and the mix brings an exciting energy to fashion, food and fun.

Less than an hour’s drive from the capital, Brighton has long been attracting a cosmopolitan crowd in search of some sun—and starlight—with residents including Cate Blanchett, Paul McCartney, Nick Cave, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie.

For the uninitiated, the sandy beaches of Riccione on Italy’s Adriatic coast could come across as stuffy. Rows of color-coordinated chaise longues are stacked under canvas-topped pergolas.

Tokyo, the ever-changing metropolis, offers tons of exotica night and day to satisfy any appetite for the latest trends coming out of its edgy scene.

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