America By Cities- An Australian's Point of View
After living here for 15 years, I just thought I'd give my two-bob's worth without the magical romantics that seem to surround some of America's great cities. Have I been to any of them? Well, no, except for one. But you pick up a lot listening to local news and combining that with research.
So, here goes, this is my opinion of the shining lights of the United States of America.....
DETROIT - The MOST unfairly maligned city in the history of maligned cities. Thanks to Henry Ford, what was once a great city replete with public amenities in the 1920s, became a wasteland due to his "grand experiment" 20 years later. Trolley car (tram) tracks and railways were literally torn up and replaced with roads to enable his vision of cars taking over all transportation needs.
In subsequent decades, after it became clear that not everybody could afford to buy a car, Detroit has put up with a non-existent transport system, organised crime, corruption and governmental incompetence. From a weak foothold, every subsequent politician has tried to extract their gravy and feather their nest. This city is cursed with officials that literally do not give a shit.
On a personal note, cuisine in Michigan is kinda limited. Their state dish appears to be hot dogs covered in chili and chopped onions. It's not bad, but it ain't that great either.
NEW YORK CITY - Once upon a time, you could be and out of work actor and live in a shoe box. Or be Jack Johnson and basically give a gigantic "f&ck you!" for 20 years.
(one of my all time heroes)
But after 9-11, that all changed. The rates went up.
It is literally now one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in yet you have nothing to show for it EXCEPT for transport. It is admitted that to live in New York City means you don't need to own a car. "Seinfeld" then and "Seinfeld" now is apparently still the same.
There are a great many cities around the world that pride themselves on their public transport. Most of them boast a cost of living index far below that of New York City.
BUT, NYC does have extraordinary restaurants. I'll admit that. It's expensive, but they know what to eat.
Chicago - From the days of "Scarface" Capone until now, poor old Chicago cannot seem to lift itself above the stench of crime and anarchy.
To the utter amazement of most observers, Chicago has been the most violent city in the United States for the last five years. Has Chicago put their hand up when people point wrongly at Detroit? No.
(I am just making that point)
The current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, has not lost his job in over 6 years.
Food wise? Illinois have wonderful and cheap diners.
Houston, Texas - In the great southern state of Texas, there is this amazing city.
It is as literally cosmopolitan as it gets. Gondola rides, a terrific cuisine, being black and be served at a high end restaurant and nobody gives a shit about it.