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Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Tale of Two Cities: Part One

Charles Dickens I ain't. Nevertheless, (this week) I shall attempt here to throroughly examine, contrast and compare Anchorage and Fairbanks. There is a history of discordance in the discussions about which of Alaska's two biggest cities is the best. One problem is that there are so few "fair" comparisons that can be drawn. The lack of such equitable comparsions means that it's not possible to say definitively that one city is better than the other. Or is it? I'm gonna give it a shot, naturally. In order to do so I find it necessary to retard Anchorage's economic and cultural development to about 1960 while leaving Fairbanks in the 21st century. In 1960 the population of Anchorage was about 50,000. Depending on whether you count certain outlying areas around Fairbanks one can say that their current population is about the same.

Now we can make a more fair and balanced comparison between the two cities. In 1960 Anchorage didn't have anything nearly as cool as the Fairbanks Compost Facility. In 1960 (I'm pretty sure) there was no Fred Meyer in Anchorage. But Fairbanks has 3 Fred Meyer locations today (ok ok ... one of them is just a pharmacy). In 1960 Anchorage had one High School. If you count the one in Santa's hometown (North Pole) then Fairbanks has three. But to be fair lets not count NP. Fairbanks has 2 high schools. I don't even know if UAA was around in 1960. If it was then it was about as noticeable as a freckle on Conan O'Brien's ass. And today's UAF offers 163 different degrees which would no doubt far exceed the number of degrees that UAA offered in 1960.

So it's looking pretty grim for Anchorageites. When you examine both cities at common population points then it becomes clear that Fairbanks is a vastly superior town to Anchorage. I'll do my best the rest of this week to find other common comparators that will allow us to equitably judge which of Alaska's two biggest cities is really the best. Maybe by the time the hockey games get here I'll have established the answer definitively.


Chris said...

Wasn't 1960 the last time Anchorage won the Governor's Cup?

Donald said...

I wouldn't know. They tend keep real close track of that up in FBX. We UAA fans tend to keep track of the all time record between the schools.

I think UAA is 292-31-29 against UAF. Something like that anyway.

Anonymous said...

2001 or 2000 was the last tie we won the cup but we have won it more

Suze said...

And I think UAA won it every year under Talafous. Everything goes in cycles ... and that cycle is about to change again. :)

Anonymous said...

Suze, your honest prophetical optimism rocks! we have almost twice as many wins all time 72-48-9 and its time to hit 74 this weekend. The Cup has been theirs though, 8-5, it is unfortunate but since we are going on a streak to win many in a row It will be our record and they will have nothing to gloat over (I tried to think of how many many years in a row we should win to make me happy but I think that all will only suffice).

mmf said...

Gosh!...I just hope we can hold on to the early advantage!

mmf said...

Regardless of the topic (or in spite of it as the case may be), I enjoy reading your Blog. It is fairly well written and almost always entertaining, even if you are raging on Fairbanks.

But I sure hope you are doing this on company time. I would hate to think that you may be sitting around in your apartment all evening in your shorts, drinking beer, and missing out on the all the exciting things Anchorage has to offer.

mmf said...

I apologize for my third post in a row…but the internet has been down all day and I needed the fix!

Before you spend too much time on this…isn’t analyzing who is “best” between Anchorage and Fairbanks, kind of like arguing who has the coolest double-wide? I know you Anchorageites will take offense at that, Fairbanksians won’t really give a crap, and the rest of the WCHA and CCHA could probably care even less.

Donald said...

The ever burning question of whether it matters and if anyone who is actually reading this crap cares. As to the first question. No it doesn't matter. As to the second question; if they don't then it's easier to find something else to read on the internet than it is to change channels of the TV.

As to the question my time ... Methinks you assume that I spend a lot of time doing this. Truth is that most of my posts take about an hour to write. And yeah ... I guess you could say that is an hour of "company" time. LOL. And it's all just training for my upcoming novel about Fairbanks in 2644 and how the Earth's first elevator to space doesn't quite go all the way to the top.

The Internet was down? Didn't seem to be down here in Anchorage. ;-)

Jimjamesak said...

Viva Los Anchorage.

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