Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Greatest American City, Round Two!

In Round Two, we have longtime contenders Detroit and Memphis. Detroit made it through the regionals, beating upstart Saginaw, while Memphis managed to pull off an upset against Gary, Indiana. (Sorry to all residents of Gary--but you can't rest on your laurels just because you're the origin city of the Jackson Five. You gotta fight on in all categories!)

1) Musical Influence: Memphis has produced a lot of blues music, and some terrific R&B under the Stax label. Detroit, of course, brought us the Motown sound of the sixties. This will have to be a push.

2) Food: Memphis is well known for its barbecue, particularly its ribs. Detroit is also well known for its ribs, particularly the ribs of a tourist who had his inisdes gutted while mistakenly walking into the wrong neighborhood. Points go to Memphis.

3) View: people in Memphis get a nice view of the Mississippi River, the longest river in North America. Detroiters get a view of Canada, the most wannabe-U.S. country in North America. (Mexico is too busy trying to be Argentina to waste its time trying to be us). Much as I like Canada, I have to give points to Memphis. Better catch up, Detroit!

4) Memphis has no NFL franchise, while Detroit has the Lions. I have to give points to Memphis here, since the Lions are so bad the city would be better off with no team at all. Not looking good, Detroit!

5) Famous Natives: Memphis is home to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate cavalry commander and founding member of the KKK. Ok, Detroit HAS to be able to top that! Detroit has produced Eminem. It's hard to say which guy white people should be more ashamed of, so this will also be a push.

6) Great Companies: Memphis has FedEx, which was featured with excellent product placement in the movie Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks. Ok, let's see what Detroit has--General Motors. Featured in that Michael Moore film, "Roger and Me". (Which I thought would have been about the director's brother, Roger, who played James Bond. Boy was I disappointed!) Points go to Memphis, since Moore's film hardly made anyone want to buy a GM.

Well, looks like Memphis took this one pretty handily. Sorry Michiganders!


  1. Diva--I've heard good things! I'd try to include it on any cross country trip.

  2. Nothing personal, never been to Memphis (or Detroit, for that matter). But apparently Memphis is the #1 city with the ugliest people int he US... gotta count for something, me thinks


  3. Titania--I don't know about that Huffpo article! What methodology are they even using? For example, they listed DC among the ugly cities!

  4. My hometown is baller. You also forgot the regular showdown in crime stats between Memphis and Detroit for most violent city in the US, with St. Louis (my second home!) playing spoiler each year.

  5. Hannah--no one tops Detroit on the violence list! They're even farming a part of the city now.