The VFYW Contest: Winner #2

Vfyw-contest-2

A reader writes:

Not sure about this, but I think this is Honolulu, Hawaii – either toward the Moilili/University side where it’s sparser, or toward the Ala Moana Park side … sort of where Waikiki peters out?  Clouds are right, it’s the right place for the setting of the winter sun, and the buildings are all relatively early postwar.

Another writes:

I’m an architect, and the view from this particular window looks just like my stay several years ago in a Singapore Public Housing Estate. Judging by the location of the setting sun, I’d say Choa Chu Kang district.

Another:

I know it’s at the beach, and since I’m hoping January is a hint, I’m going to say somewhere warmer and where people flock for the summer. I have a 50/50 shot of getting sunrise or sunset right, so I’m going with sunrise, because the sky seems too orange to me. I guess my guess will be Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Another:

Looks to me like Tehran, Iran – north side of Elahiyeh facing south.

Another:

I’m gonna take a leap of faith and assume your reader is more likely to catch the sunset than the sunrise, so that means we’re looking at a western-facing beach.  Obviously tropical or subtropical, as indicated by the palm trees.  Architecture and surroundings are all pretty tidy-looking, ruling out most developing-country beach cities, which tend to have a fair share of grit.  Beach looks pretty straight and wide-open, meaning it’s not in a bay.  Shall we say Naples, Florida?

Another:

Looks like Communist architecture. Sofia, Bulgaria?

Another:

This one is too hard. If it is the evening, it could be Toronto, facing South to Lake Ontario. They have a lot of those Soviet-looking residential buildings, but the waterfront doesn’t look right.  It could be Odessa, Ukraine. What the hell, Toronto.  No, Odessa.  Odessa is my guess.

Another:

High rise concrete block apartments, looks like Communist architecture, so somewhere in the former Warsaw Pact or Soviet Union.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say Tallinn, Estonia.

Another:

St. Petersburg, FL?

Another:

The construction looks cheap and dated, but there is a beach. Manilla, Philippines?

Another:

Decidedly North American, but I’m guessing not US. The bland color of the lake behind the buildings seems oddly Canadian to me. I’m guessing Toronto.

Another:

Buildings look South American, and for some reason that feels like a sunset over the ocean.  Let’s go Valparaiso, Chile.

Another:

That definitely looks European to me, and not Western.  I see water, so that should narrow it down a bit.  I’m torn between Croatia (perhaps Split?) and something a little more mainstream, such as Athens.  Final Answer: Athens.

Another:

Spain, Canary Islands, Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

Another:

This is hilarious. Back in the pre-contest days, I would flippantly zero my eyes in on the new image, avoid the caption and pretty instantly come up with a winning guess. I figured I was at least partially right 70-80% of the time. Let’s say I graded on a curve and felt pretty smug about my VFYW-dar.

Now for the humiliating part. I initially had no impulse about this city. Too many clouds for the Persian Gulf. Not the usual US architecture. Vaguely east-Asian? Sunrise or sunset? Should be an easy guess if you’ve been there. I studied it some more. The main body of water (what looks like the ocean), the inland channel or river to the left, the low-slung apartment architecture, the clouds … WTF: Miami Beach, FL.

Close:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 7.15 am, on January 12, 2010.

Seventeen of the nearly 600 entries guessed correctly, but the first to do so came from reader E.G., who wrote:

As a frequent visitor to the east coast of Florida, I would have to guess the view of aging mid-rise condos looking out to the sea was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I am also inclined to believe this is Ft. Lauderdale since you probably have a large number of gay readers from that area.

It was a tough one, we know. We love this contest. Every Saturday?