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Dismuke
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Here's something interesting I found on the Fort Worth Forum at FortWorthArchitecture.com:

Dallas-Fort Worth now No. 4 in nation

Dallas Business Journal - 3:06 PM CDT Thursday

by Glenn HunterEditor

Dallas-Fort Worth has vaulted past greater Philadelphia to become the nation's fourth-largest metropolitan area, the Greater Dallas Chamber said Thursday.

The chamber based its claim on U.S. Census Bureau data that, in July 2005, showed D-FW in fifth place with 5.819 million residents, just behind Philadelphia's 5.823 million.

However, the chamber says, because the Metroplex gains about 365 new residents every day -- compared to just 72 for Philadelphia -- D-FW overtook the Pennyslvania metro last year and since has pulled well ahead.

D-FW's new position won't be official until July 2007, the chamber said, when the census bureau releases its latest population estimate.

Dr. Lyssa Jenkens, the chamber's chief economist, said the new ranking would cause "companies around the world to see Dallas-Fort Worth with new eyes."

Economist Ray Perryman, CEO of The Perryman Group in Waco, said surpassing Philadelphia would send a signal to investors that D-FW is "a fast-growing area, and that the area is indeed fast-growing relative to other areas.

"It's not a huge change," Perryman added, "but people will make note that we're moving up higher, that we're becoming more dynamic."

The chamber said New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are the nation's most populous metropolitan areas, in that order. Miami; Houston; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Detroit round out the top 10, in that order, following D-FW and Philadelphia.

Kind of neat. I am not into the sort of "mine is bigger than yours" nonsense that certain "civic booster" type collectivist mentalities tend to be obsessed with. However, for people such as myself who have niche tastes I think there are certain advantages inherent in living in or near to a very large metro area.

There are a great many very charming small towns and small cities out there and I think for those who tend to have mainstream tastes and interests, they are a very viable alternative to some of the hassles of big cities with their taxes, traffic and crime. I think as high speed Internet access becomes more widely available in remote areas, small towns which have been dying for decades might end up seeing a new era of prosperity.

On the other hand - how many fellow Objectivists could one expect to run into if one lived in a city such as Amarillo (not that Amarillo is an example of a charming small city!)?

Last year when I was in New York City to attend the Ayn Rand Centennial activities, I also attended two different performances of local bands which play 1920s and 1930s popular music in an authentic style. The only time I have ever been able to attend such a performance in all of Texas, let alone the Metroplex, was when such a band from Germany made a single performance stop in San Antonio. By putting up an announcement inviting Radio Dismuke listeners in the NYC area to join me for the performances, I was able to overnight meet a larger circle of people who share my passion for early 1900s music and pop culture than I have ever been able to come across in all the years I have lived in the Metroplex.

There is a HUGE concentration (relatively speaking, of course) of 1920s and 1930s enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area and a large concentration of Objectivists as well. When I finally get around to visiting LA, it is going to be a challenge for me to meet all of the various online friends I have made over the years in both areas of interest.

I think New York City is as close to a utopia as any post World War II city can be in terms of what a city should look and feel like. I would love to live there. The problem is: too much socialism. And the problem with LA is similar: too much socialism plus earthquakes, which is something I do not care to have to worry about.

For a very long time, I have always felt that all the majority of cool activities and people I run across online tend to be concentrated on the east and west coasts. In recent years, however, I have noticed that Texas is starting to become a distant third in that regard. This seems to be increasingly reflected in the concentration of participants on this forum: I have noticed quite a few are from Texas, though not all from D/FW. The same trend is also starting to emerge on The Fedora Lounge, a discussion board where lots of early 1900s enthusiasts participate. Of course, Objectivism and the early 1900s are just my particular niche interests - but I wouldn't be surprised if a similar trend is beginning to emerge for people with other obscure interests as well.

Of course, there are other factors beyond the size of a metro area that come into play. In the early 1990s, Austin was one of the big hot spots of local Objectivist activity with several later prominent Objectivists attending school there. But as for that city today - well, this Forum has a local section for Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston but not Austin and off the top of my head I can only think of one poster here who is from Austin. Clearly something other than size of the metro area was responsible for the level of early 1990s Objectivist activity in Austin. There was a small handful of individuals who made it happen. But, leaving out the factor of regional cultural differences, having a large metro area to draw from certainly helps if one wishes to build a local community of like minded people.

Long term, I think the outlook for the Metroplex and Texas in general is excellent. New York and California are both in the process of destroying themselves with their very statist and oppressive state and local governments. Why on earth a business that does not have to be there in order to be close to its market would even consider locating to those People's Republic microcosms is beyond me - and it is no wonder that there is a net exodus of businesses from those states. New York City's population continues to grow only because of foreign immigrants and the high birthrate of such immigrants - not because people and businesses are moving in from other areas of the USA. Local government in Texas is far from perfect - but we have no state income tax and it is certainly less insane than it is in other states. And the negative stereotypes about Texas may even help us as well. The last thing we need is a mass migration of people who think the likes of Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are civilized, decent and moral individuals worthy of respect and power to flood into Texas and ruin Texas like they did their home states. Perhaps our stereotype as being a redneck backwater will scare off the worst sort of people and, at the same time, be something that the better sort of people fleeing from those states will dismiss once they see the reality of the situation.

Unlike New York and Los Angeles, I suspect that the glory days of the Metroplex remain in the future and not in a wonderful past which may or may not be someday recaptured. Interestingly enough, there are some who predict that in a few decades, Fort Worth will eventually overtake Dallas as being the dominant city in the region. If so, that would certainly make for a very different Metroplex than the one we currently know. Since I first moved here from Dallas county in the early 1990s, Fort Worth has grown up a LOT in terms of available amenities relative to those available in Dallas. Last I checked Fort Worth by itself already ranks as the nation's 20th largest city. Regardless, it is certainly nice to be living in an area that one can see getting better with each passing year instead of the opposite. And if we can eventually catch up - or at least narrow the gap - with the "coolness" factor that the east and west costs currently offer despite being so heavily socialist, that would really be great.

Edited by Dismuke
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Ft Worth suburbs are more Texan native. Hank Hill would be from Ft Worth. Dallas and it's suburbs are more displaced yankees.

It's true. This Yankee, who married a Texan, had to live on the Dallas side. Fort Worth is fun to visit, but no need to live there.

By the way, I believe King of the Hill is supposed to take place in Garland....that is on the Dallas side, not Fort Worth. Not that it matters.....but thats what you keep telling me. And Kahn Jr. took a bus to Fort Worth to try out for that orchestra camp so I don't think they are in Fort Worth.

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It's true. This Yankee, who married a Texan, had to live on the Dallas side. Fort Worth is fun to visit, but no need to live there.

By the way, I believe King of the Hill is supposed to take place in Garland....that is on the Dallas side, not Fort Worth. Not that it matters.....but thats what you keep telling me. And Kahn Jr. took a bus to Fort Worth to try out for that orchestra camp so I don't think they are in Fort Worth.

Hank lives in Dallas side because he often stands in the alley behind his house which is a Dallas thing, Ft Worth suburbs don't normally have alleys. Some say it's because Mike Judge lived for quite a while in Garland, but that's in the details. Regardless of where Arlen finally lands, Hank would still be from Ft Worth, Dallas doesn't quite fit his style. He should have made Arlen be Arlington, would have been more suiting, but again, no alleys.

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It's true. This Yankee, who married a Texan, had to live on the Dallas side. Fort Worth is fun to visit, but no need to live there.

By the way, I believe King of the Hill is supposed to take place in Garland....that is on the Dallas side, not Fort Worth. Not that it matters.....but thats what you keep telling me. And Kahn Jr. took a bus to Fort Worth to try out for that orchestra camp so I don't think they are in Fort Worth.

Well, those are certainly the stereotypes that Fort Worth has had over the years. I grew up in Dallas County and once held similar views. But once I moved to Fort Worth - well, I fell in love with the city.

As with all stereotypes, there is an element of truth to the ones about Fort Worth. Until the 1970s, one of the major industries here was the meat packing plants which were located near the stockyards. Since that time, the stockyards have been turned into a big time western themed tourist trap thereby keeping the city's "cowtown" image and heritage alive.

For reasons that I am not exactly sure of, Fort Worth pretty much lagged behind (by Texas big city standards) in terms of growth during the 1960s - 1980s. Dallas has a very impressive skyline with a number of really interesting 1980s skyscrapers put up after architecture finally recovered from the 1960s and 1970s. Fort Worth's skyline is nowhere near as impressive and its newest skyscrapers are mostly much lower budget 1980s buildings that look more like stuff from the 1970s.

After having been used to Dallas, Fort Worth at first glance, initially struck me as being somewhat of a hick town. But that surface impression rapidly disintegrated as I got to know the city.

First off, in terms of the arts, Fort Worth has always been, in some ways, ahead of Dallas. The museums in Fort Worth are much better than the ones in Dallas - and Fort Worth has the good sense to put trash in its proper place by having a separate Modern Art Museum for the non-objective paint blob school of "art" thus keeping it out of the city's better museums. The Texas Ballet Theatre, which preforms now in both Dallas and Fort Worth is the old Fort Worth Ballet which has been going strong for decades. The attempts in Dallas to have their own ballet company went under years ago. Fort Worth has its own symphony and its own opera company - though Dallas has the larger and better companies in these areas. Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth is an incredible venue in which to see a performance.

And while Dallas has the region's "big city" image, Fort Worth has for the past few decades had the much more vibrant urban core. Many once-nice areas of Dallas turned into slums and are only recently being revitalized. Most such areas in Fort Worth never fell into such decline - though, like all big cities, Fort Worth has its share of bad neighborhoods. Fort Worth was one of the very first cities in the country to revitalize its once empty downtown. Dallas has only just started. The skyline of downtown Fort Worth my not be as impressive as Dallas from a distance - but if you actually go downtown, it is a world of difference. Despite its glamorous skyline, after 5:00 PM, downtown Dallas has, for decades, been a ghost town for all but the homeless. Only recently has that started to change in a somewhat anemic way.

Downtown Fort Worth is bustling with people on any evening of the week and, on Fridays and Saturdays, is packed. Many of the city's early 1900s vintage skyscrapers have been converted into high end loft apartments or condos - and they are currently doing so with the upper floors of the city's incredible art deco Texas & Pacific Railroad depot. Dallas has been trying to play "catch up" with downtown Fort Worth for years with regard to its downtown - and, unfortunately, it is going to take many more years for it to do so despite the progress that Dallas has made. One of the problems is Dallas tore down many of its charming early 1900s buildings during the 1960s and 1970s and replaced them with either parking lots or buildings with ugly bases which were not especially pedestrian friendly. Dallas has some incredible early 1900s buildings which have been empty for decades and are finally being converted to lofts. But because the downtown Dallas is so spread out and has large multi-block stretches which are very pedestrian unfriendly, it is hard for it to attract the sort of crowds that Fort Worth has on a regular basis as it is not a pleasant experience to walk from one area which has undergone a revival to another.

Here is a thread I put up on the Fort Worth Forum a couple of years ago of photos I took in downtown Fort Worth at dusk. My objective in taking the photos was to try my hand at photographing city lights - but they will provide a good example of how vibrant and alive downtown Fort Worth is at night. Note the people on the streets and the traffic in a couple of the photos (I was actually trying to avoid including people in most of the photos). Had I taken the pictures a couple of hours later, the streets would have been packed - and that is only more the case now than it was a couple of years ago when the photos were taken.

Being the bigger city, Dallas does have certain advantages. If one is into trendy clubs and rock music nightlife (which I am not), one pretty much has to go to Dallas. Same if one is into shopping at very high end retailers. We have Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth - with a Sears at the other end of the same mall. That would never happen in Dallas. The "uptown" area just north of downtown Dallas is, in my opinion, one of the nicest parts of that city and, much more so than downtown Dallas, has a "big city" feel to it. Fort Worth does not yet have any sort of equivalent, though based on projects that are in the works, I think it is only a matter of a few years before it does.

The biggest advantage Dallas has is with regards to jobs: being the bigger economy it has more to offer in that regard and a great many Fort Worth people such as myself end up having to commute to Dallas County on a daily basis. Even that, however, is starting to change somewhat for the better.

When Central Market came to the Metroplex a couple of years ago, they chose Fort Worth is the location for its very first D/FW location. That is certainly not the kind of establishment that a very successful company would seek to locate in the middle of hicksville.

All of this is why I said in my earlier posting that, if Fort Worth ever becomes the region's dominant city, it would make for a very different Metroplex than the one we know today because it would completely shatter to pieces the stereotypes that a great many people on the eastern side of the Metroplex have towards the western side. And it would have a big impact on how people in Dallas view their city. In the meanwhile, Fort Worth is definitely one of the Metroplex's top best kept secrets. In some respects, while I would love for the city to grown and prosper, I kind of hope it doesn't become the dominant city in the area. If the price of it doing so comes at the expense of its very unique charm - well, that wouldn't be a good thing.

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I would never go walking around Dallas late at night, but never had any sort of doubt about my safety walking around Ft Worth at night. Sundance Square is awesome, Ft Worth Museum of Science and history is one of the most enjoyable museums I've gone to. I miss life in Ft Worth.

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This is actually bot interesting and surprising to me. Growing up, which is quite a few years ago, Houston was always in a race with Chicago for being number 4. Considering the recent influx of people from New Orleans, I would have expected we'd be back.

Mind you, Houstonians can now say they have been shown size doesn't always equate to quality. <dig> Sugar Land is the 3rd best place to live in America according to Money Magazine.

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This is actually bot interesting and surprising to me. Growing up, which is quite a few years ago, Houston was always in a race with Chicago for being number 4. Considering the recent influx of people from New Orleans, I would have expected we'd be back.

Mind you, Houstonians can now say they have been shown size doesn't always equate to quality. <dig> Sugar Land is the 3rd best place to live in America according to Money Magazine.

Scott -

You are correct: according to the July 2005 estimated population figures, the city of Houston is currently ranked number 4 behind the city of Chicago. Dallas is actually ranked number 9 with San Antonio, believe it or not, at number 7 being the second largest city in Texas.

The figures under discussion in this thread are for metro areas which include suburbs and surrounding areas. Some cities such as Boston and Miami are relatively small but have very large metro areas. Other cities such as San Antonio are very large but living there, for all intents and purposes, is like living in a medium city because they are not part of a larger metro area. To me, when I am in San Antonio, I have the feeling that I am in a smaller city than even Austin or Fort Worth. And while Miami has a larger metro area than Houston's, the city itself is smaller than Omaha, Nebraska.

Other top ranked Texas cities, by the way, are Austin at 16, Fort Worth at 19 (it has moved up since the figure I quoted above) and El Paso at 21.

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The figures under discussion in this thread are for metro areas which include suburbs and surrounding areas.

To quote Homer J Simpson, D'oh! I'm so used to DFW being said in the same breath I think of it as a single entity. Still, DFW is such a tight knit metro area, it's pretty close to being a single city. Houston has an amazing amount of sprawl insasmuch as mayor Whitmire grabbed every piece of unincorporated land in the county that she could. So, I think it's a pretty honest comparison DFW Metro vs. Houston proper. Sure, there are some pretty heavy cultural differences between the Dallas and Fort Worth but the same can be said about The Wards in Houston and some of the overtaken areas that are still refered to as seperate entities by Houstonians.

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I'm so used to DFW being said in the same breath I think of it as a single entity. Still, DFW is such a tight knit metro area, it's pretty close to being a single city. Houston has an amazing amount of sprawl insasmuch as mayor Whitmire grabbed every piece of unincorporated land in the county that she could. So, I think it's a pretty honest comparison DFW Metro vs. Houston proper.

Except you guys have all the good Indian food joints and the huge Fiesta Marts. Those two restaurant recommendations of yours I tried out last time I was down there were wonderful - and the Fiesta Marts here range from ok, scaled down versions to downright iky. One of the things I love about Houston is that its ethnic diversity makes it feel so very cosmopolitan. D/FW as a whole is much more...I guess "mainstream" is a better way to describe it.

At least we don't have the humidity to such a degree - and no hurricanes either.

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One of the things I love about Houston is that its ethnic diversity makes it feel so very cosmopolitan.
Yup, that is one of the things I love about Houston. We are about as balanced racially as you can get. Giant east and central Asian populations, black, and unlike a lot of Texas cities, a varied origin to its Hispanic population. So, we have a really are lucky that way.

I notice in just about anywhere I go, the lack of one group or another.

D/FW as a whole is much more...I guess "mainstream" is a better way to describe it.
I know what you mean. I've been fortunate to have moved around a great deal and Dallas is very mainstream. I always thought that it lacked something. It's kind of like a city that tries to hard to be a cool city. Not that Houston is exactly a shining cultural center, but it does have a real "organic" feel to the city compared to many. But then that may be related to the whole lack of city planning and zoning laws.

At least we don't have the humidity to such a degree - and no hurricanes either.
Yes, we do get those. Still, I'd rather have 1 every handful of years than snow/ice in the winter or tornadoes that so much of the rest of Texas gets.
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Yes, we do get [hurricanes]. Still, I'd rather have 1 every handful of years than snow/ice in the winter or tornadoes that so much of the rest of Texas gets.

Actually, the very worst ice storm I have ever personally seen was when I was in Houston in January 1997. It was so bad that they had to close downtown and the Galleria area off because huge and extremely dangerous multi-story icicles kept crashing down from the tops of tall buildings. Here is a description of the storm that I googled up.

I am just glad we don't have to deal with earthquakes in these parts. At least with hurricanes and to a significantly lesser degree with tornados, one has at least some sort of warning. Still, it was VERY scary a couple of years ago when I had to exit the highway in a thunderstorm because it was raining too hard to drive and then heard the tornado sirens go off. I took refuge in a Wal-mart just as they were evacuating everyone in the store into the back room where I remained for well over an hour in a store without electricty (thus no air conditioning) with a couple of hundred people, many of them screaming kids, as one potentially tornadic cell after another moved over that particular part of town.

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  • 2 months later...
I would never go walking around Dallas late at night, but never had any sort of doubt about my safety walking around Ft Worth at night.

I've gone walking through downtown Dallas after midnight and felt totally safe. It is, as previously mentioned, a ghost town, at night. I walked from the West End north a couple of miles and saw only two people--a DART cleaning crew.

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