Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So it's come to this....

Yep, a rerun. I'm dredging up my "Top 10 Overrated American Cities" post from my old myspace blog. My reasoning is hexfold:

- I want to start updating this blog at least once a week, and I don't have anything new tonight - I'm working on a couple pieces, but I won't finish anything this week. (and yeah, I'm aware that sportsthatareright is kinda jumping the shark here by virtue of the facts that a) I referred to a blog post as a "piece," b) I used the tern "jumping the shark," c) I'm running a rerun, and d) this list had a c and a d.

- This was one of my funnier posts on the old blog, though I don't necessarily believe in the contents of it gospel and verse anymore. I do stand behind everything I said about Texas though. I presume that this could be new material to a lot of people.

- To keep it real, I did minimal editing on this from its original form because, as always, I'm lazy. I changed the link on the Lawrence segment so that it goes to a page that actually exists, but the spirit behind the message remains. I removed a couple dated references regarding basketball and the 2008 election. Don't worry, they weren't interesting or funny. I also reversed it, going from 10 to 1, when the original went 1 to 10.

- This is probably the most caustic thing I ever posted, so take that for what it's worth. It's been a long week.

- I originally posted this in August of 2007. Because this puppy is two + years old, you can scroll down to my "Filthy Whore" post and see how much better I've gotten since I originally posted this.

- This post includes several quality jokes that I stand behind, surrounded by some horrible writing.

10. Lawrence, Kansas - not nearly as overrated as the other cities on this list. But oh, those Lawrence people are smug. They think Lawrence is the center of the world. Just look what this asshole wrote at It’s the kind of asshole that runs a link to himself.

9. Denver - I don’t ski. I don’t snowboard. Generally, I don’t like people that do. Also, my hatred of the Broncos knows no bounds.

8. Tampa - I had to pick a Florida city, and really, in a list of the top ten most overrated cities in the country, one could easily argue for a list of 10 Florida cities. Being that I don’t recognize Missouri as a state, Florida edges out Texas as my least favorite state. I’ve at least met cool people that were born in Texas. I’ve never met anyone cool that was actually born in Florida (largely because, like other places on this list, almost nobody is actually from Florida.) When I lived in Florida (if you can call it living) I did finally meet some people that were actually originally from said state (but not until I’d lived there several months) and they were terrible people. So, with the likes of Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, St. Pete, and Tallahassee as potential choices, Tampa won out for a few reasons. Jacksonville and St. Pete are both afterthoughts, so neither can qualify as “overrated.” Remember, this list isn’t the worst cities, its the most overrated. Orlando is a one-trick pony, and does it’s trick (theme parks) pretty well, so it doesn’t fit here. Miami is certainly overrated, but due to the fact that it spawned Sonny Crocket and Vice City, it gets a little leverage, Plus, the Dolphins, though I hate them, are the only professional sports team in Florida that I recognize, as they are one of only two teams (florida has 9 total pro teams, 10 if you count University of Miami football) that predate my existence. Tampa is basically known for two things: athletes’ off season homes (which I don’t understand as Tampa is an ugly, landlocked city with bad traffic, and beachfront property is only 20 miles away) and titty bars, and they can’t even do that right, as the titty bars are also known for their six-foot rule, ie, you can’t come within 6 feet of the dancers.

7. Olympia, WA - this is a small town, maybe the smallest on this list, but it gets a steady stream of fans. Basically, this is the city you run to (or take the Greyhound bus to) if you just can’t hack it in the cut-throat world of Portland. I don’t understand the appeal here. I’ve been a couple times. Rains a lot, like the rest of the Northwest. There’s good beer, like everywhere else in the region. but the city sucks. It’s depressing as hell, and there’s nothing to do but drink (which I’m all for, but you can drink anywhere.) To me, Olympia seems like a place where nutty people go to hide from the real world (um, unlike, uh, Seoul) yet still live a short distance from a major city. It’s kind of the drop off point for people who don’t have the guts to move to Bellingham (which has a much more distinct edge-of-the-world kind of feel, and is therefore a much better place.)

6. Boston. Okay, so I respect Fenway park, Paul Revere, the walkable-ness of the city, JFK, and the fact that Boston has one of four decent transit systems in the U.S. (the others, New York, Chicago, and Washington do not make this list.) But the accent, Harvard, the Red Sox, Romney, and the overall douchiness of the citizenry easily puts Boston on this overrated list. On the Red Sox - they are a poor man’s Yankees, that is, if the poor man has five dollars less than the rich man. The Sox and the Yanks are the same thing. I hate this rivalry, as the only good thing that can come out of the 112 games they play against each other a year is injuries on both sides. By the way, same deal for Duke-Carolina and Denver-Oakland. They are all just evil versus evil. Yet, it’s socially acceptable to say you are a Red Sox fan and maintain that you pull for the little guy, that you like the underdog. Horseshit. The Red Sox are every bit as much of an Evil Empire and bandwagon organization as the Yankees, and cheering for them doesn’t give you street cred. On the plus side, Boston often gets a reputation as a racist city, and when I was there, I didn’t encounter anybody who seemed to be racist. Of course, I didn’t encounter anybody from any other races either. Boston has all the ethnic diversity of North Korea.

5. Houston. This just seems like hell on earth to me. So, there’s the smog of Los Angeles, the traffic of Atlanta, the culture and history of Phoenix, the humidity of New Orleans, the sprawl of Dallas, the public transit options of Kansas City, the crime rate of Baltimore, and of course, Enron! This is a city whose top tourist attraction is a fucking mall, probably because when you are inside the mall, it means you aren’t stuck in traffic, or worse, outside in the soul-crushing heat and humidity. Plus, this city is chock full of billionaire robber barons that wear giant cowboy hats as they make money hand over fist in the oil industry, doing whatever they can to fuck over you personally and the country’s and world’s best interests collectively so that they can buy another ranch. Texas executes a lot of fucking people, and these soulless cocksuckers would be a great place to start.

4. Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale/Mesa/whatever other suburb there got to 300,000 people today. I have no clue what the appeal is here. It’s 100 fucking degrees every day. Great. Where do I sign up? Let’s not forget that, even more than Portland, nobody is really from here. It’s one giant strip mall that went up in the last few years. The population has grown literally 10-fold in the last 50 years. There is no history, no culture, and the invention of air conditioning is the only reason the city even exists.

3. Austin. Yeah, everybody loves Austin, it’s the greatest place in the universe, and if you go there, you are guaranteed to go to some club, pay 5 bucks to get in, see a band nobody’s ever heard of that turns out to be better than the Rolling Stones, BB King, Radiohead, and Johnny Cash combined while you are being served free drinks by a waitress that looks like a slightly sluttier version of your ex-girlfriend who later takes you back to her place and then buys you breakfast and a new car the next morning. That’s the word on Austin. But, the fact is, Austin exists for two reasons, and two reasons alone: it is the capital of Texas, and home of the “University” of Texas. UT is a big part of my “superschool” theory (along with Florida, Ohio State, and USC) and I believe they will soon ruin college sports. These 4 schools have so much money to spend on facilities and “recruiting” that they will ultimately destroy the competitive balance of college football and basketball. That’s another story though. Also - capital of Texas? How can Austin be considered a cool place with that moniker? Maybe there was a neighborhood with some cool bars and clubs on the Death Star too, but it was still the fucking Death Star. Austin gave W his platform to lose the 2000 election and assume the presidency.

2. St. Louis. How could St Louis be overrated, nonetheless my second most overrated city? Well, if somebody considers St. Louis to be even the second worst city in the country, that person is vastly overrating St. Louis. It is a hellhole, and the worst city in America. Worse than Gary. Worse than Cincinnati. Let me put it this way - I’d rather spend a week in East St. Louis than a weekend in St. Louis. Why is St. Louis the worst?

- Cardinals fans are whiney idiots that still bitch about the Denkinger call. Look, so Jose Orta wasn’t safe, but he wasn’t the potential 3rd out either, and the pinch runner the Royals put in for Orta was ultimately thrown out at third later in the inning, so all things being equal, the hit was meaningless. The royals won, straight up.

- Like Grandpa Simpson, I don’t consider Missouri a state. After all, this is the region with the glowing distinction of being the only territory north of the mason-dixon line to consider ownership of human beings to be totally kosher, not to mention the fact that these pro-slavery assholes burned my hometown to the ground on more than one occasion in their “noble” plight to continue their right to own other humans. Some may consider Columbia or Jefferson City to be the center of Missourah, but i say it gets worse the farther east you go. Kansas City gets a pass, as the home of my pro sports teams, Buck O’neil, Charlie Parker, and the best BBQ in the world, not to mention the fact that they have “Kansas” right there in the name. After that, every city is worse than the city wast of it, making St. Louis the worst of all, jammed 250 miles into Missourian No-Man’s-Land.

- The Arch sucks.

- Every time I’ve been in St. Louis, it seems like somebody has tried to kill me.

1. Portland, Oregon. I don’t get it. Come the fuck on. When my dad visited Korea, he was on a flight that went from Tokyo to Portland. People in Portland aren’t real people, and they shouldn’t be able to fly direct to Tokyo. Really, the Portland airport should only have nonstop flights to Lawrence, Omaha, and Minneapolis.

The reasons for Portland’s overratedness are multiple. Nobody lives there but hippies and hipsters, nobody is really from there, and you can’t even pump your own fucking gas. Portland is often compared to Seattle, but this is not a fair comparison, as Seattle is a great city and beats Portland in every conceivable way. Even the “good” things that Portland is known for - coffee, music, microbrews (taken way too far in Portland as every single man, woman, and child in Portland brews their own shitty beer) started in Seattle to begin with before Portland ripped them off. Plus, Portland has to be the worst sports town in the country, with no NFL or MLB presence, or even any nearby college teams worth a damn (Eugene is 3 hours away, not close enough be “nearby,” plus the Ducks traditionally suck at everything except maybe hackie sack).

This may not technically be Portland’s fault, but I have no problem issuing the blame here. Portland’s largest suburb (across the river in Washington) is named Vancouver, and is like 300 miles away from the real Vancouver, and even on the same fucking road as the real Vancouver. Which meant, when I lived in Tacoma and I told people I was taking a roadtrip to Vancouver, they had to ask which one. Who the fuck would take a roadtrip to Vancouver, Washington? ( by the way - Vancouver would totally be number 1 if I were to make a list of the top-10 most overrated North American cities. Skiing and swimming in the ocean in the same day? Come the fuck on, Vancouver, your Canadian ocean puts even Lake Michigan to shame in frigitity.)

The one good thing I will say about Portland is that when one of my friends moves there, I know that I won’t have to bother visiting them. Just as nobody is really from Portland, nobody ever really moves there either. I know I’ll never have to visit anybody there, because I don’t think anybody has ever lived there for longer than 4 months. I think even the mayor of Portland (though from what I understand, the title of mayor in Portland has been changed to lama) is some dude from Santa Cruz or Olympia or something who just got into town 3 weeks ago and is crashing on his buddy’s futon.


aaron said...

I missed this post the first time around, so thanks for re-posting it. I agree with you on almost every city listed ... except Portland. Portland is way cooler than Seattle in just about every way, including weather (it doesn't rain as much in Oregon as it does in Seattle, and the summers are warmer and dry). You really should visit us sometime.

Congrats on your return trip to Seoul, by the way. Hope you are having a blast. Love reading your blog posts.

Nathan said...

I have to back aaron up on the Portland call.. although I'll refrain from taking the bait too deeply. Portland really is a pretty great town (you can't call it a city if you can walk across downtown in less than 30 minutes). I'm a Seattle native, but I spent a couple years in Portland, and my personal perspective is that it's pretty much just like Seattle, except without all the rich a-holes from the neighboring suburbs and mega corporations.