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Tale of the tape: Houston vs. Phoenix

So we had a lot of fun comparing Houston and Chicago last week. After a few days in Phoenix, I decided to try it again.

Phoenix is awesome in a very different way. Great golf courses, weather, scenery…It’s in my top five of places I would live if I were to leave Houston. Like H Town, it is a relatively young city, and is very spread out. So the two have a lot in common.

So here we go…


SPORTS SCENE

The two scenes are pretty similar. Championships are rare. The fans are fickle, mainly because there are so many transplants. Phoenix has one title — the Diamondbacks — while Houston has the Rockets’ two. The Suns have been very similar to the Rockets over the years, minus the titles, but lately they have been abysmal. Phoenix has a slight edge in that there is an NHL team, but the Coyotes are terrible and have attendance issues, mainly because of the location in Glendale, and the team might eventually move. The downtown complex for the Suns and Diamondbacks is awesome, so the stadiums are a push. The Cardinals made a nice run two years ago, but have otherwise been mediocre.

The fan bases? When the Cubs visit, there are more Cubs fans that Diamondbacks fans. When the Cowboys come to town? It’s a Dallas crowd. Sound familiar?

Houston has a little more history and one more title.

EDGE: HOUSTON


DOWNTOWN

1194-central-phoenixeast-valley-light-rail-transit-600Phoenix’s downtown is about 15 years behind Houston in development. It’s small, clean and easy to get around. It even has a cute little train that looks just like MetroRail.  And the homeless? They all look like disheveled Sam Elliots. There are fewer, and they are less belligerent.

In 20 years, it might look a lot different. But the bar scene, the vibrancy…Big edge to H Town here.

EDGE: HOUSTON


THE BAR SCENE

Downtown Phoenix really doesn’t offer much. It’s mostly hotel bars and bars near the stadiums, and a college bar or two. The best bars are in the neighboring cities. But another big edge to Houston here.

EDGE: HOUSTON


FOOD

Phoenix has some great authentic Mexican, but hey, this is H Town’s go-to.

EDGE: HOUSTON


SCENERY

They have mountains. We have refineries. They have elevation. We have sea level. Huge win for them.

EDGE: PHOENIX


ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE PEOPLE

If we are just talking downtown, Houston wins. But Phoenix is also Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, etc. The women look very California-ish. The men are fit and tanned. We have better food, which leads to less attractive people.

17629804_10155186151703708_4148084280860650000_n

We have women who look like this. But men who looks like this, too. Edge to Phoenix.

EDGE: PHOENIX


WEATHER

This is not even a debate. Even when it is hot there — the temperatures are higher — it’s nothing compared to Houston. I once played golf in Phoenix in 110 degree weather. It was not bad. Two days later I played in 102 degree weather in Houston humidity. My shirt disintegrated by the eighth hole. I bought another at the turn. It was gone by 17. I sweated off 26 pounds that day. And oh, we have rain. And storms. This isn’t even close.

EDGE: PHOENIX 


THE WRAPUP

These are two very different but very cool cities. If we do these rankings 15 years from now, Phoenix might win them all. It’s a California lifestyle at non-California prices. The cost of living in Houston is less, but for what you get, Phoenix is great value. And as a place to visit? I’ll take Phoenix every time. The other categories I was going to include are basically pushes. So Houston emerges with a slight edge.

For now.

 

 

 

1 Comment on Tale of the tape: Houston vs. Phoenix

  1. As a recent Houstonian moved to Phoenix (last August due to the wife), would generally agree with all of the above. Food scene is improving across the city even since I got here but Houston has that hands down. As far as downtowns go, Not even close. Downtown is like the 5th place on the list when looking to go out on the town in Phoenix. Hopefully that improves in the future! All in all really love it here though.

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