City ComparisonsPosted: March 18, 2012
I’ve long been fascinated by the fact that places are sometimes referred to as “the something of something else” (for example Montreal is the Paris of Canda).
I’m not sure why. Possibly because it strikes me as really stupid and a little derogatory – that a place is only important in it’s relation to something else or we can boil a place down to one or two characteristics. Maybe it’s because of how tenuous some of the comparisons are – Newport is the Welsh seattle anyone? Perhaps it’s because it strikes me as incredibly lazy journalism of the “band a + band b = band c” type. Probably it’s just because it strikes me as a little odd.
For whatever reason, I have developed a love for these stupid comparisons and began collecting them. And now, with a little help from my friends, I have a biased and completely incomplete list of them. These are all genuine. Google them.
In fact if you want to find more just think of
a) a famous place
b) a direction, country or landmass
type them into google and Bob’s your relative of choice.
17th Century Amsterdam = The California of the East
Why: Place for free thinking; vaguely “cool
19th Century St Etienne = The Birmingham of France
Why: Grew rapidly with coal and iron, apparently.
1930s Shanghai = The Liverpool of the East
Why: Big ol’ port
1990s Newport = The Welsh Seattle
Why: Good bands; had scene
Bangalore = The Silicon Valley of India
Why: Has lots of people answering phones.
Brighton = London on Sea
Why: Full of people who work in London
Bude, Cornwall = Brighton of the West
Why: Seaside town; probably “cool”
Cisely, Alaska = The Paris of the North
Why: Full of free thinkers (note: this place is not real)
Dunedin = The Edinburgh of the South
Why: It was formed by Scottish settlers who named it after Edinburgh.
Hebden Bridge = Brighton of Yorkshire
Why: Large gay population; vaguely “cool”
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) = The Paris of East
Why: Has culture; speak French
Johannesburg = The New York of Africa
Why: Has sky scrapers; is big.
Leeds = Knightsbridge of the North
Why: Has a Harvey Nichols
Liverpool = The Barcelona of the North
Why: Was European Capital of Culture, wanted to be more cultural
Many, Many cities = The Venice of the East
Why: Have canals; are east of Venice
Montreal = The Paris of Canada
Why: Speak French; is in Canada.
New York = Modern Day Sodom and Gomorrah
Why: Lax morals
Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bruges, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Manchester = The Venice of the North
Why: Have canals; are north of Venice
Shanghai = The New York of China
Why: Important commercial centre, but in China
Sheffield = The Rome of the North
Why: Built on seven hills
Sydney = The London of the South Seas
Why: Commercial centre that speaks English.