The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #61

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A reader writes:

Enough with the clues! Dish hunters are smart enough not to need clues.

The clues are for readers such this one:

Victoria, British Columbia?  Is Victoria a common name for women anywhere these days?  No idea.  But I liked the hint aspect this week.  It got me to guess!

Another writes:

Ok a wild guess… The location looks like the Pacific Northwest or Australia or New Zealand to me. I then looked up the most common 1000 English female names. Victoria is #116 on the list.


Konstanz, Germany. Why? Well, there’s the name hint. Konstanz is the first city matching the hint that I could find in a Google Maps flyover of Central-ish Europe. An image search for Konstanz turns up some similar hills, but mostly it’s a stab in the dark.


The name clue leads me to “Alice,” but I’m not sure about the color of the mountain range – made greener by cloud cover?  And a deodar cedar in the foreground?  Hm… Alice Springs, Australia?


Helena, Montana? All I’ve got going are mountains, the hint, and blind ambition.


Boy, it’s hard to find place names that double as English-speaking woman names in Europe.  I decided it couldn’t be North America, the British Isles, Australia/NZ or any other English-speaking territory so I simply scanned northern Europe (large conifer tree) until my eye settled on a city or town with a suitable name.  I was excited about Sofia, Bulgaria at first, but then realized “Sofia” doesn’t fit the English-speaking qualifier.  Then I came to Jena, Germany, which looks plausible, and decided I’m done with this puzzle.


OK, I’m too lazy to look. But your clue “The city name is also a fairly common name for an English-speaking woman”, and the fact that I’ve been there, and that I’m listening to the group Florence and the Machine while I type, I’m going to guess Florence, Italy. I’ll let someone else win the exact building and window.


Bristol, England? It is only in the SSA’s list of women’s names for 2009 and 2010.


I’m going to go ahead and take a guess based on the clue: Kimberley, South Africa? For no other reason than it is also my name! And I have often wondered about that city in South Africa which made Kimberly a popular first name. Although, being American, I drop the “e” from the last syllable. Oh well, what can you do!

A reader whose first name is the name of the correct city writes:

Can I get any kind of credit for Victoria, Romania, a totally-wild guess based on a vague sense I have that this looks Eastern European and a quick Google looking for good British names?


Do you guys have any idea how much I had to get done this weekend?  I thought this would be easier given the clue, but I’ve spent hours now and still have no definitive location. I’m guessing Sofia, Bulgaria, based on the clue, the topography, and the prominent red roofs.  The roof of the building in the foreground looks very similar to the roof of the Neo-Baroque National Arts Gallery.  And the buildings in the background look like examples of Socialist Classicism or Stalinist Architecture.  But I’ve looked at the only aerial photos of Sofia I can find (no Google Street View) and I still can’t find that white building with the red shutters.  My dog is really mad at me right now for spending so much of this gorgeous weekend inside.


The “roladen” on the window are the type used in Germany, a window device I wish were as common here in Georgia  as there.  When it’s cold and dark, roll them down and voila, instant insulation; no more cold coming in through the glass.  While the hill in the background reminds me of the hillls above Heidelberg, Heidleberg, or even Heidi, is not a common famale’s name in the English speaking world.  Sofia is somewhat common, perhaps Sophie more so, and the hill backdropping the city looks like the one in Sofia.  As I only play when I think I’ve been there, and refuse to spend hours googling, I’ll say it’s two blocks below the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.

(Travel tip for Bulgaria:  they have the best variety of salads in Europe, with the standard shopska being outstanding.  Cannot find the white cheese they put on it outside of the country.)

Another gets on the right track:

OK. I’m writing from Paris (where I’m visiting family), so this week’s picture really looks and feel like home – that is, France. The few tells are: the slate roof, the conical orange chimney vents, the 1960s somewhat upscale social housing mixed in with the older 19th century buildings. The green hills in the distance really looks like the Ile de France cuesta. I say Ile de France because this is very dense urban settings, maybe Meaux, or Reims? – but honestly, the color of the roofs suggest it could be the outskirts of Lyon, or even somewhere in Burgundy (Macon?). I know I’m hedging. It just feels like home, anyways.

Another gets the right French city:

Shannon, Ireland, and Jena, Germany, immediately come to mind with the clue given, but the topographies of the two cities look nothing like the window. Not to mention that Shannon is often a men’s name especially in Ireland. Although the English pronunciation of Nancy is different from that of the French, the window is nonetheless that of the city in northeast France. The hill in the background looks similar as do the red roofs. Once administered by Germany, the German architectural influence is evident.

Another who correctly answered Nancy, France:

Ah, yes, who could miss that pine tree, a variant of conifer seen exclusively in eastern France. Yeah, all right, so I’m lying. The truth is that I decided this was sort of French-looking, so I scanned a list of French towns looking for women’s names, and found Nancy. I’m probably off by a continent or two, but I also decided this could be a college, and there are several such schools in or near the hills to the west of town. Otherwise, just not a heck of a lot of clues here.


Oh my god!  I finally got one! (I’m sure hundreds of others did, too, given the hint.) First, the buildings clearly scream “Europe.”  As far as cities with female names, my Screen shot 2011-08-02 at 12.49.36 PM first thoughts (Sofia, for instance) I tossed out because they weren’t really English-speaking first names.  I looked at Shannon, briefly, but the topography wasn’t right.  And then, a quick glance over a map of France lead me to Nancy – an English-speaking first name if there ever was one.  Google Maps confirmed the topography was correct and I searched the hills of Nancy for a landmark resembling the radio towers in the picture.  I found it and then moved back some and happened to find the exact building in the foreground.  And then I found that the photo was taken from the Cite Universitaire Monbois at 2, rue Ludovic Beauchet in Nancy.  I can’t tell what “floor” the picture was taken from, since the building is on a hillside and what is ground floor at the corner of rue Bleicher and rue Beauchet is a few storeys up down the hill.  I’m going to guess it was taken from the (European) 3rd floor on the northerly side of the building; see the attached picture.

I’m guessing I’ll be beaten by someone with a floor plan of the building who once lived there while studying abroad years ago and can tell the exact apartment number, but this is as close as I’m gonna get.

Another submits a closer view of the building:


Another at street level:


Choosing this week’s winner was really difficult, since there were about ten readers who nailed the university building in Nancy with great detail. And not a single one of them has gotten a difficult window in the past, so we can’t break the tie in that fashion. We decided to go with the submission that involved two players instead of just one:

My 12-year-old son was feeling a little under the weather yesterday evening, so rather than buggering off to sit in from of his Xbox, he decided to join me in the big bed where I was trying to figure out this week’s contest. With a little orientation, he got right into it, and we spent the rest of the evening, at least until the last of wakefulness, searching the streets of Nancy, France (I’m sure you’ll be perusing thousands of entries with the help of your clue, we could tell right away this vista could not be found in Mary, Turkmenistan…) We had found a few of the landmarks – the location of the antenna on the hill, the high-ish rise set of apartments by the river – but couldn’t quite locate the view.

Perhaps the night’s sleep did us well, because this morning we picked up where we left off, and with just a little bit of Google strolling, we happened upon the low block with the assymetric window pattern (on the campus of Universite Nancy), and from there, the Cite Universite was quickly discovered, on Rue Ludovic Beauchet 2. Guessing by the positioning of the coniferous tree out the window, we thing we’re looking out of the third floor window, fourth apartment from the north side, facing just north of east.

Anyways, even if we don’t get the book this time, thanks to you and the VFYW contest for the lovely evening together.