Dallas Isn’t as Great a City to Live in as Tulsa or Baltimore or Lincoln, Nebraska?

True story: I’m working my way through the acclaimed HBO series The Wire, and I’m most of the way through the third season. If you’ve seen the show, you know that’s there absolutely no way not to come away from each episode with one overriding question in your mind: Why the hell does anybody live in Baltimore?

Yesterday I put this very question to a member of the People Newspapers staff who used to live in Baltimore, award-winning reporter Bradford Pearson. He mentioned something about being able to afford living cheap in some sort of haunted mansion, and that there aren’t drug dealers on every corner, just most corners. I remained unconvinced.

But lo and behold, Bloomberg Businessweek has come out with a list of the best American cities to live in, and Baltimore is No. 29 of the 50 that are ranked. This is not, in itself, remarkable, except that our own fair city, Dallas, comes in at just No. 41. Among the other municipalities outdoing us are Lincoln, Nebraska, and Tulsa, Oklahoma? Truly?

Businessweek’s write-up on Baltimore mentions that it’s got a high unemployment rate (11.1 percent) and the fourth-worst crime rate on the list. And yet they’d still rather live there than here?  I won’t bore you with what they wrote about Dallas, since it’s nothing that you haven’t read many times before (big stuff, glitz, fried foods, bull riding). How can they get away with judging us based on some silly TV show that wasn’t even on HBO?

Perhaps contributing to our underwhelming placement is the photo they chose to run, which seems to have been taken mid-winter in some nondescript corner of downtown.

If you care, San Francisco finished No. 1, and we were behind all the other major Texas cities – San Antonio (30), Houston (22), and Austin (8).


  • Joy

    Houston??? The city that smells like a refinery? That’s even hotter than Dallas? That has to evacuate for hurricanes? That isn’t known for JR or Neiman’s? That has a snoozefest for a skyline? That has a female, Democratic mayor? Oh, wait. Houston, gotcha.


  • bigjondaniel

    Wait -so you complain about the Dallas “image” (big stuff, glitz, fried foods, bull riding), and then use The Wire as your guide to Ballmer? Hon, you are failing at irony

  • @bigjondaniel: Or perhaps you are?

  • bigjondaniel

    Nope, I would’t say that. You were being sarcastic. It would be ironic if someone at D Magazine didn’t project the “chip on the shoulder” Dallas mentality, and had a sense for what was vaguely racist. (Hi Zac, yes, “there I go again…”. No I’m not trolling you

  • mm

    Some nondescript corner of downtown? It’s a graveyard, for crying out loud.

  • Bob

    Looks like Fort Worth can’t get no respect. First, Businessweek disses the town by not ranking them in the top 50, then D Magazine disses them by excluding them from “all the other major Texas cities.” I guess cows and Cliburn aren’t enough anymore.

  • J bennett

    It just has so little REAL vitality…like what really goes on after 5pm in Dallas….seriously?

  • @BigJonDaniel- Are all the Baltimore cliches in your post your attempt at irony?