A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Why do Mexicans never cross the border in groups of three?"/"Because a sign says ‘No Trespassing.‘“ (4/28)
“What kind of magic does a vegan wizard use?"/"Soycery.” (4/28)
“Running is like coffee, I’m much nicer after I’ve had one” (4/27)
“Don’t just chase your dreams. Run them down” (4/27)
“Monday is one of my favorite days of the week—my 7th favorite” (4/27)
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Entry from August 19, 2008
“Edmonton is to Calgary as Austin is to Houston”

"Edmonton is to Calgary as Austin is to Houston” (Edmonton:Calgary::Austin:Houston) compares a capital city and a largest city. The Canadian province of Alberta (where Edmonton is the capital and Calgary is the most populous city) has been called the “Texas of Canada.” Calgary has been called “Houston Lite/Baby Houston” and “Houston of the North.” The popular Texas examples puts the Canadian cities in an easily understood context.


Disparate
Edmonton:Calgary::Austin:Houston
Posted by enkerli on April 9, 2008
Or “Edmonton is to Calgary as Austin is to Houston.” (Can’t remember how this form is called but it’s pretty common.)

At the risk of inflaming some city rivalries, I propose that Edmonton and Austin might be functionally equivalent cities in their respective contexts. I say this without having been to Alberta or even to Houston. But I get the feeling my analogy isn’t too far off.

An newspaper article about Edmonton confirmed my earlier suspicion (been thinking about this for a while, actually).

Alberta and Texas have several things in common, including cattle and oil (along with cultural correlates like rodeo and external signs of wealth). Texans seem to know relatively little about Alberta but I get the impression Albertans can relate to some dimensions of Texas culture. Possibly more than most other Canadians.

Some Albertans I’ve met in the past have described Calgary and Edmonton as radically different cities. One (Calgary, I assume) is taken to be quite representative of the province as a whole, including its financial potential. Edmonton, on the other hand, was taken as a “different” city from the rest of the province. If, as that newspaper article implies, Edmonton used to be Alberta’s ”cultural capital,” it all seems to make sense, to me. Even if it’s not that accurate. Significance and truth are different things.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, August 19, 2008 • Permalink