I have been thinking about Wellington a lot lately. Granted, I am in Wellington right now. I love Wellington, but I also love Des Moines. Maybe a comparison is due:
1. Waterfront: Wellington, Tasman Sea - Des Moines, Des Moines and Raccoon River
2. Center of Government: Wellington, National - Des Moines, State
3. Population (regional): Wellington, 504,000 - Des Moines, 525,000
4. Weather: Wellington, Cold, Hot, Windy - Des Moines, Frozen, Hot and Sometimes Windy
5. Cultural: Wellington, Te Papa - Des Moines, Science Center and Historical Society
1. Theaters (stage): Wellington, Heaps - Des Moines, Civic Center
2. Mass Transport: Wellington, Ferry, Train, Bus - Des Moines, Limited Bus
3. Suburbs: Wellington, none - Des Moines, Way too many
4. Shopping: Wellington, City Center - Des Moines, Corn Fields
5. Nightlife: Wellington, Like New York - Des Moines, Getting Better
To conclude, if Des Moines had a more vibrant city center, fewer suburbs, and a bit more culture it would be like Wellington. If Wellington were more spread out, had less mass transport and malls it would be like Des Moines.
They are both awesome cities.