In today's first round of the "Greatest American City" tournament, we have the contenders Chicago, weighing in as the country's third largest city, with broad shoulders and thick midwestern accents, and New York--slick and fast paced! Let's begin the battle:
1) Nickname: Chicago takes "The Windy City" and New York takes "The Big Apple". Frankly, the apple thing makes no sense, especially since apple country is much further upstate. Point goes to Chicago.
2) Pizza style: Chicago basically serves a pot pie that's pizza-flavored. New York pizza is incomparable. Many points to NY!
3) Director who bases all their films there: Chicago has John Hughes. Those films don't age so well! New York has Martin Scorcese, whose films are excellent. But wait! Scorcese's Oscar-winning epic, "The Departed", actually took place in Boston. Disqualification! Point to Chicago.
4) Sports: Chicago has exactly one football team, with a storied history and greats such as George Halas, Walter Payton, and those guys from "Brian's Song". (No, I'm not crying, it's just dusty in here!) New York has, count 'em, TWO football teams! Except they both share a stadium....in Jersey. I cry for real now, as I give points to Chicago.
5) Buildings: New York has the Empire State Building, which beats Chicago's Sears Tower. (Fun fact--as a native New Yorker, I've never climbed the ESB, but did climb the Sears when I was a tourist in Chicago.) Granted, Sears is taller, but the ESB is instantly recognizable with its art-deco style, and attraction for large apes. Point to NYC.
6) Famous criminals: Chicago has Al Capone, Sam Giancana and that Dr. Holmes guy who murdered all those people at the 1893 Worlds Fair. NYC has Son of Sam, John Gotti, and Elliot Spitzer. Ugh, points to Chicago!
7) Presidents: Chicago produced Barack Obama, which is very impressive until you remember that NYC produced Teddy Roosevelt who shot so many animals he became a conservationist just so he could save a few animals to shoot for later. NYC has to get the point on this one.
8) Songs Referencing the City: Chicago has Elvis' "In the Ghetto". New York has Sinatra's "New York, New York." Points to NYC--unless you want to be "face down with a gun in [your] hand" like the subject of Elvis' ballad.
Hmm, tie score! We'll have to see both NYC and Chicago advance to the next round. Stay tuned for more...