Hometown Meme Reloaded.

One month ago, in response to being tagged by Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing, I wrote my first meme (Four Neat Things About My Hometown) and subsequently tagged a whole bunch of people.

Quite a few did the meme (wrote about the meme? participated in the meme? propagated the meme? What's the correct term here?) and tagged other people, and so forth. Anyhow, it's neat to see how the meme propagated in just one month and to read about their hometowns.

Here are a few excerpts from various blogs, in no particular order:

Gerard Vlemmings of The Presurfer wrote about Tilburg, Netherlands:

Tilburg's Town Hall is actually a palace, built for King William II in 1849. He loved Tilburg and wanted a comfortable home to stay at whenever he was in the neighbourhood. 'Here I can breathe freely and I feel happy here,' he once said about the town. Unfortunately he died a couple of months before it was completed.

Norwood Matt of Stuff on Fire wrote about Cincinnati, Ohio:

Cincinnati Meme of Coolosity Roman Numeral III — We Got Pigs!

A while back, there, we got the bright idea of getting even more pigs. Hundreds of them. Hundreds of huge painted pigs. Cincinnati's nickname is Porkopolis (remember? Les Nessman would occasionally win a Silver Sow award on WKRP Cincinnati?) We thought that, if we put some lipstick on these pigs, we could sell them to unsuspecting liberals. And we did - to the tune of about $800,000. This was back in 2000, when $800,000 wouldn't buy very many painted pigs. We still have a pantload of them. They're everywhere. We're sick of them and we're sick of pig-related puns. Please, come and pick up your painted pigs. Really. We have plenty.

Gail Hapke of Scribal Terror also wrote about Cincinnati:

An important Cincinnatian comfort food is "chili spaghetti," i.e., spaghetti with chili used as a sauce, smothered in grated parmesan cheese. I still make it frequently and it has always been my kids' favorite.

Apparently, this triggered a heated discussion on her blog:

Hold it, hold it, hold it gosh darn one second. You cannot use any food that comes out of Frisch's as anything Cincinnati Original. When you talk Chile, you can only talk Skyline Chile. No execptions. Anything smothered in grated parmesan cheese knocks it right off the Cincinnati orginal map. I suspect you eat the chili spaghetti by sticking the fork in it and twirling?!! You see, THAT"S JUST WRONG!!!! Damit.

Tom Hirt of Goferboy wrote about (what else - what's up with this? Is this a conspiracy?) Cincinnati:

Can't forget to talk about Cincinnati's German Heritage. After all, we only sport the Largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany. And where else can you get Weird Al Yankawich to lead "The World's Largest Kazoo Band and Chicken Dance"? Yup, the sad fact is that only kids in Germany even attempt to do the Chicken dance. But don't tell the adult supervision here.

Miss Cellania demurred when asked to write about her hometown:

My town is SO small (chorus: how small is it?) that 1. if I wrote about it, I would lose the very last shred of anonymity I have left, and b. I can only think of two neat things about it that would interest you.

Instead, noting that I already changed the original meme, she opted to write about all of Kentucky. Lucky us, because she included this:

4 Neat Pieces of Eye Candy Born in Kentucky:
1. George Clooney
2. Johnny Depp
3. Ashley Judd
4. Billy Ray Cyrus

She also wrote about:

4 Neat Kentuckians You Don't Know:
1. Floyd Collins, cave exploring legend.
2. Edgar Cayce, mystical healer.
3. Randolph McCoy, the REAL McCoy.
4. Henry Earl, the Lexington town drunk.

We've actually featured Henry Earl on Neatorama quite a while ago. Sad to see that nothing has changed.

Jon Baas wrote about Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

1. Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
2. A great independant arts community. The Historic Third Ward.
3. Frozen custard and brats, two traditional Milwaukee foods.
4. Big city, small-town atmosphere.

John Walkenbach of J-Walk Blog wrote about Tucson, Arizona:

1. Saguaros everywhere. More generally, the desert vegetation is incredible.
2. Just about everyone has a mountain view.
3. A significant portion of the population leaves in the summer.
4. The people are much friendlier (compared to California).

The cactus plants on the left are actually sculptures by Eric Carroll.

Tons of neat comments followed John's entry - for example:

Mark on Chicago:

1. It's not NY
2. It's not LA
3. It doesn't care that it's not NY
4. It doesn't care that it's not LA

Ajos on Caledonia, Minnesota:

1. Is the Wild Turkey Capitol of Minnesota (yet ironically was one of the last "Dry Counties" in the state ;)

2. Is the birthplace of the famous Kunst brothers, otherwise known as the "Earthwalkers"

3. Some reports say that the first dandelion introduced into the United States was planted by Jacob Webster in Caledonia, Minnesota

4. Is the home of the tree from whose cuttings the Summercrisp Pear was developed. Originally called the Gaspard Pear #5 after amateur local orchardist John Gaspard, it gained in popularity as a result of its clean mellow flavor, cold-hardiness, and resistance to fireblight.

Trash Cardiom on Upper Hutt, New Zealand:

1) More fast food outlets per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand

2) More petrol stations per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand

3) More black jersey/black jeans/black boots per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand

4) I don't live there any more (and that's a relief).

Champton on Rome, New York:

1) Birthplace of Francis Bellamy, writer of the Pledge of Allegience.
2) Construction of the Erie Canal was started in 1809 in Rome.
3) We have a statue of Romulus and Remus from the mayor of Rome, Italy that's like, over a 100 years old now.
4) Home to the first Wal Mart Supercenter in NY State.

Nick on Niagara-on-the-Lake:

1. It takes three hyphens to spell.
2. It had an overhead sign that said Stop then Go, but I forget when they converted to conventional stoplights.
3. Everything is historic - eg. 1st golf course, 1st capital of canada, etc,etc.
4. It's not on the road to anywhere.

Rob of Gut Rumbles wrote about Savannah, Georgia:

St. Patrick's Day.

Savannah is a fairly conservative place, but once every year the city becomes a painted whore in full party mode. Drunken debauchery is the rule of the day, with a big parade thrown in for good measure. Port-o-Lets overflow with beer piss and downtown bars are standing room only. ...

One of my fondest St. Patrick's Day memories is holding my wanger with my left hand and shaking hands with Savannah Mayor John Rossikas (sp?) with my right as we both pissed in a River Street alley and I told him that I never voted for his ass. Hizzoner was drunk as a skunk.

Rita of Res Ipsa Loquitur wrote about Marhsall, Arkansas:

For all its attempt to capitalize on the Buffalo River tourists, it's still a very insular area. If you weren't born there, you will always be someone from 'away', even if you live there till you're 100. If you were born there, you will always be from there, no matter where you live. I can still write a check at just about any business in town....even though it will have an out-of-town address. Sometimes the proprietor might peer at me quizzically for a few minutes, then say, "Oh, you're [my parents'] girl ain't you? Why sure you can write a check, for a little over if'n you need some cash."

Which used to irritate the shit out of me when I was younger. Not the check writing, but the recognition. How could all these old people see my parents in my face? Now I'm one of them, and I know how. You just do.

All of which gives me a tremendous sense of my roots, my history, of my belonging somewhere. I didn't appreciate that when I was young. But I do now. And there are days when I long for the time when I can return. Return to a quieter place where clocks are only important when you have a doctor's appointment.

Life moves much slower there. Which gives you time to better appreciate the finer things in life....like how a cool breeze on a hot July day rustles the trees with its promise of rain. Or how the little creek sometimes seems to almost giggle as it rushes around the rocks.

By the way, Res ipsa loquitur is Latin for "The thing speaks for itself", a legal doctrine which

is applied to claims which, as a matter of law, do not have to be explained beyond the obvious facts. It is most useful to plaintiffs in negligence cases.

If the previous sentence didn't make sense, that's because Res ipsa loquitur is an unnecessarily difficult concept, hence the joke: "Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?" (The thing speaks for itself, but what the hell is it saying?")

Find out more about Marshall, Arkansas here: Link

Carin of Is This Blog On? wrote about Detroit, Michigan:

The "Hummer" was invented here. No, not that Hummer, but an ice cream drink with rum and Kahlua. They are delicious, but I think I made about 500,000 of them in my bartending career, and the mere thought of 'em now gives me nightmares.

If you're wondering about the Kahlua Hummer, DrinkNation's got the recipe.

Jim at Parkway Rest Stop wrote about Kearny (pronounced "CAR-nee"), New Jersey:

An “Ethnic” Small Town

Kearny was heavily populated with Scottish and Irish people (mostly Scottish), many of whom had parents or grandparents who immigrated to the U.S. to find work in the large thread mill in town. Over time, these folks sponsored their relatives, so it was not at all uncommon to find one’s self surrounded by people speaking with a thick Scottish accent. The town had (and still has) a Scottish butcher shop at which one can buy things like meat pies and haggis (I’ll take a Pasadena on the haggis), and it also boasts at least three fish and chips restaurants, an Irish-American Club, a Scottish-American Club, two pipe bands (one Scottish, one Irish), a place to buy bagpipes, kilts, and kilt stuff, and a store that specializes in darts and darts stuff.

Aye, ‘twas a bonny town, it was.

Steve "ILuvNUFC" at Look at This wrote about Newcastle, United Kingdom:

The People

Geordies, as we are known, are some of the best and friendliest people in the world.
We do have our fair share of idiots here in Newcastle but generally the warmth shown by the people is famous the world over. Don't just take my word for that. Ask Google if you need any more proof.

Apparently, Geordies talk in a weird dialect, too:

Geordie: Ye knaa what ah mean leik.
English: Do you konw what I mean?

Geordie: Whees i' the netty?
English: Who's in the lavatory?

Solcookie of the Quick and to the Pointless wrote about Houston, Texas:

#1 Authentic Mexican Food & Margaritas
From inexpensive Taqueria (taco stands) to expensive Tex Mex gourmet restaurants in the surrounding area.

100% Taquito
A very cheap place to grab a bite and have a Corona before you hit the bars in the Village.

Yes, I know it’s a chain, but damn their fajitas are so juicy and the service is one of the main reasons I go back for more - sizzzzzzle

El Tiempo Cantina
In my opinion, this place is over priced for the kind of pretentious service you receive, for example they make you feel you should be privileged to be in their restaurant. I am sucker, sometimes. The food is always delicious and the margaritas are strong! I always recommend the Don Julio margarita on the rocks with salt, please.

Ninfias on Navigation
Good food. Good ritas. Very good homemade tortillas!

I have never been in any of these food places, but based on the image on the Pappasito's website alone, I can tell I like the place!

Patrick O'Hannigan of The Paragraph Farmer wrote about San Diego, California:

On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in California was conducted by Fray Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, celebrating the feast day of San Diego (English-speaking folk call him Saint Didacus of Alcalá, if they remember him at all).

The picture on the left is Saint Didacus of Alcala, better known as San Diego.

Scott Gilbreath of Magic Statistics wrote about White Horse, Yukon, Canada:

Log skyscraper

Originally built in 1947 as rental housing, the ground floor is now a tourist trap souvenir shop, but the upper floors are still rented out. The photo on the right, taken in 2001 from the back alley, is from an online photo album “Historical photos of Whitehorse” at Ernie Bourassa’s MSN Groups page. (Ernie’s the mayor, and a fine one he is, too.)

Joel of On the Other Foot wrote about Moses Lake, Washington:

Four things even most Washingtonians don't know about Moses Lake

1. Evel Knievel made his first jump here, back in 1965.

2. Something like three-quarters of McDonald's french fries come from farms around Moses Lake and are stored here for processing. In your face, Idaho!

3. We have one of the biggest airports in America, and the second-longest runway west of the Mississippi. We're an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle, although so far none has ever landed here. But we can always hope!

4. At one time, the largest brothel in Washington was located in Wheeler, which is now part of Moses Lake. The joint is still there, I'm told, but it's a lot smaller than it used to be. I can't say for certain; I've never been there. Honest.

Apparently, there is also a kite festival in Moses Lake.

Olle Zackrisson of Cool Finds wrote about Stockholm, Sweden (you have to scroll to the 19 April 2006 entry, there is no permalink as far as I can find):

Harbor cranes painted to look like giraffes.

A Stockholm artist once proposed painting these old harbor cranes to look like giraffes, and the city actually let him! This was in 1994 I think, but the cranes have since been moved from their original location to Beckholmen where they can be seen today.

Other photos of giraffe-painted cranes: Emmanuel's TrekEarth Photo | Chris Lightfoot's Sundries (scroll to bottom) | Galen R. Frysinger's Stockholm Harbor

Diana at Cream of the Crock wrote about Ottawa, Canada:

On September 5, 1945, only weeks after the end of World War II, Ottawa was the site of the event that many people consider to be the official start of the Cold War. A Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, defected from the Soviet Embassy with over 100 secret documents. At first, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) refused to take the documents, since the Soviets were still allies of Canada and Britain, and the newspapers were not interested in the story. After hiding out for a night in a neighbour's apartment listening to his own being searched, Gouzenko finally persuaded the RCMP to look at his evidence, which provided proof of a massive Soviet spy networking operating in western countries, and, indirectly, led to the discovery that the Soviets were working on an atomic bomb to match that of the Americans.

Update 6/6/06: Hanan from grow-a-brain did a photoblog about Riverside - one particularly interesting photo is of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

It turned out that in 2000, when the statue was proposed, not everyone was thrilled:

Gandhi, who led non-violent protests during the Indian struggle for independence, is admired by many in the United States as a symbol of peace.

But many Muslims see him differently. Some blame Gandhi for failing to prevent the deaths of thousands of Muslims when religious fighting broke out in 1947 as India and Pakistan moved away from British colonial rule.

``He was not a hero to everybody,'' said Jamil Dada, an investment manager. Religious violence forced his grandparents to abandon their home and business when they fled India for Pakistan, he said.

Thankfully, the muslims withdrew their objection, and the Riverside Gandhi statue was finally installed.

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Your story about Gandhi statue is good but presents only one side. It says Muslims protested because they think Gandhi didn't prevent Muslim deaths. First of all, the unfortunate bloodshed happened on both sides. More Hindus were killed in what is now called Pakistan. Your story forgot to mention that. Secondly, on the day of independence, Gandhi was not in the capital city celebrating independence. He was in Bengal nursing wounds of riot victims. Those objecting to Gandhi statue should blame someone else who in the first place caused the partition of India. And that person is not Gandhi, but someone else.
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I wished I had found this website at the right time, but here is my towns claims to fame;

Fryeburg Maine; 1. Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of telivision lived here, while he was here he invented the Incubator and a vaccum wood drying method still used today. 2. Daniel Webster, (Websters Dictionary) started the high school in this town. 3. Admiral Perry, the first man to reach the North Pole lived here for a while. 4. Clarence E. Mulford, the fellow who wrote hopalong cassidy lived here.
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All I'm going to say is, the real McCoy is actual the real Mackay and is probably from Scotland.
It got converted into McCoy in the USA at a later date

Incidentally, this is a great meme and I applaud the creator, as well as the tagged for following it up.
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