Best City Rivalries

  1. New York Vs Los Angeles

They are the two largest cities in the United States, divided by 3,000 diagonal miles of North American continent and a chasm of conflicting stereotypes. Theirs is a complex relationship.

The mere mention of their names evokes opposing images. One is vertical and cosmopolitan; the other is sprawling and casual. They are of one country but different worlds, and preference speaks volumes about the chooser. So take a side: New York or Los Angeles?

They famously fight for the affection of the entertainment business, especially in movies and music, and they increasingly argue their advantages in fashion, art, architecture and cuisine.

New Yorkers can’t imagine living anywhere less convenient, and Angelenos can’t fathom surviving an unending marathon of seasons. Residents of both cities are adamant that theirs is the best, and they’re both right — New York and L.A. are the best. It just depends which one you live in.

2. London vs Paris

3. Sydney vs Melbourne

Every city worth its art museum or revived waterfront has a rival city.
Usually they’re within easy driving distance and share the same highways, currency, soap operas, chain restaurants, hated domestic politicians, even more-despised international rivals and a hundred other things that confirm these two places actually have way more in common than they’d ever care to admit.
Every Barcelona has its Madrid. Every Dallas its Houston. Moscow its St. Petersburg. Sao Paolo its Rio.
But Australia’s two biggest cities have been relentlessly butting heads since Melbourne was founded in 1835 by exactly the sort of industrious Tasmanian pastoralists that Sydney’s founding felons couldn’t stand.
What continues to brutally divide these two cities, other than fewer than 500 miles, some beer brands, the usual sports grudges and less than two points on the latest annual “World’s Most Liveable Cities” list (Melbourne 97.5, Sydney 96.1)?
Self-proclaimed cultural capital of the known and unknown universes, Melbourne thinks Sydney is flashy and showy with little to no cultural taste. (But — not that Melbourne would ever admit it — with a pretty harbor, great beaches and warmer water.)
Sydney’s persistent inferiority complex is chalked up to a poisonous self-awareness that it’s a superficial tart, blessed with good looks, who dropped out of school early.
Melbourne is the sophisticated, wealthier sister with a MA from Oxford and innately more interesting.
Or so it claims.
As for Sydneysiders, they just think Melbourne is a constant weather anomaly with an unsophisticated mob of latte-sipping sports heads, so caught up in their own “we’re better than Sydney” pretension that it creates a reverse snobbery not worth even acknowledging.
“Deep down, you wish you were me,” feels Sydney. “Let me get back to my champagne and don’t stick your reflection in my sunglasses ever again.”
To prevent a family tragedy between these bitter sisters, the capital of Canberra was pretty much built from scratch somewhere in between. Charged with keeping things in order, the Spanx-wearing ugly sister is pretty much ignored by its cantankerous siblings.

4. Sao Paulo vs Rio de Janeiro

Let’s face it, if you had to name two Brazilian cities, the first two would be Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. One is the main touristic hub, not just of Brazil, but also of South America. The other is the economic centre of Brazil, and a magnet for business travellers.

When comparing two of Brazil’s most famous and most visited cities, there is a popular cliché that São Paulo is Brazil’s New York and Rio de Janeiro is Los Angeles. There is a degree of truth to this, especially in terms of the rivalry between the Cariocas (people from the city of Rio de Janeiro) and Paulistas (residents of São Paulo).

The stereotype goes that Cariocas are friendly, easy-going, lazy and always late (probably because they’re on the beach), while Paulistas are colder, fast-paced, workaholics and perpetually stressed. A quick look at the size and location of each city certainly explains the stereotype.

But a closer inspection reveals that it is not so straightforward. Rio is also an important business centre, while São Paulo definitely knows how to let its hair down. One thing that is for sure is that they both offer a lot for travellers visiting Brazil.

When it comes to natural beauty, Rio de Janeiro is the winner, hands down. The iconic morros (granite hills), framing the long stretches of white sandy beaches, and the world’s largest urban forest, make it a truly unique city. The Cariocas (and tourists) really make the most of the outdoors, spending lots of time on the beach, enjoying all kinds of water activities, jogging and cycle paths and hiking up the mountains. –

São Paulo, on the other hand, is a sprawling concrete jungle. It’s the largest city in South America, with 11 million inhabitants (far more if you include the metropolitan area). And it shows — with buildings as far as the eye can see.

The city has interesting architecture, with a mix of influences from European style to modern skyscrapers. A tour through downtown is a must to see some of the city’s notable architectural landmarks. Walk down Avenida Paulista, the main business centre of the city, lined with many restaurants and places of interest. To get a sense of the city, head up Edifício Itália, the second tallest building in São Paulo. From the observation deck, you’ll truly get a sense of the size of this cosmopolitan city.

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5. Toronto vs Montreal

5. Hong Kong versus Singapore

6. Shanghai versus Beijing

Alex Worker, Co-Founder of Hatchery
7.5 years in Beijing, recently moved to Shanghai
‘Shanghai feels like the China on show to the world – cosmopolitan, dense, dynamic and progressive. A growing “world” city. Beijing is the China on show to the rest of China – powerful, sprawling, ancient and modern, and where the large buildings and avenues make the individual feel very small until they step into the hutongs. The rivalry between the cities makes good practical sense – ultimately driving competition and innovation to help solve some of the key issues facing their residents and wider populous.’
Danni Zheng, Producer
8 years in Beijing, 3 years in Shanghai

‘I live in both Beijing and Shanghai – it’s kind of like going between divorced parents. You have issues with both, but you spend a lot of time defending each city to the other. When you get sick of either one, you run away to your glitzy Auntie Hong Kong for a bit.’

Morgan Short, Managing editor of SmartShanghai

7 years in Shanghai, 3 years in Beijing

‘As an important social commentator of merit and acclaim who has been privileged enough to sup the marrow and suck the blood of both the Shanghai and Beijing metropolises over the years, I’m here to report the following: They both fucking blow. It’s true. They both blow. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. SAD. Actually, not really. They’re both just so-so. What everyone always says is indeed true. Beijing has: better terrible bands; worse terrible weather; worse terrible western food; better terrible Chinese food. Compared to Shanghai. Shanghai has… you know. Whatever. It’s all exhausting. I hear Barcelona is pretty good.’

Elyse Ribbons, Entrepreneur and Media Maven

13 years in Beijing, 2 years in Shanghai

‘I’m in love with different parts of each city… Beijing to me isn’t just the architectural amazements that make up its olympic dynasty, nor is it the imperial history that makes up its core; it is the collective joy at the flourishing culture despite the horrible environment (sand storms, pollution, temperature extremes in summer and winter, and of course the traffic!). Shanghai is proud of its detached mental state, the city upon the sea that is the height of Chinese cosmopolitanism, with a strong business acumen and a delightful appreciation of fashion and the finer things in life.’

Carl Setzer, Owner and founder of Great Leap Brewing

8 years in Beijing, frequent visitor to Shanghai

‘Beijing has always felt like home to me. Even before starting Great Leap Brewing, we were planning on staying here for the long haul. It’s a place where you find both fugitives and refugees mixed in with bankers and political wonks. I’ve never been told to go back home, I’ve never felt “other”. Shanghai is a city that makes pointing out otherness an Olympic sport. I like to visit Shanghai, but Beijing tricks you into thinking it can be your home. Everyone likes an endearing confidence man.’

7. Minneapolis vs Saint Paul


8. Madrid vs Barcelona

9. Houston vs Dallas

Dallas advantages

  1. Better Air
  2. Better Sports Teams
  3. Stronger more diversified economy
  4. Longer Light rail
  5. No Natural Disasters
  6. Dallas has DFW airport one of the biggest airports in the world

Houston Advantages
1. Houston is more diverse in ethnic and religious backgrounds.
2. Houston is greener with more parks and forests.
3. Houston has access to beaches.
4. Houston has access to vacation cruiseline ships.
5. Houston is less hotter in summers (though more humid).
6, Houston is far less cold in winters.
7. Houston has more of international community.
8. Houston has a port (busiest in the US).
9. Houston has many countries consulates.
10. Houston has more restaurants and better variety of foods.
11. Houston has better museums.
12. Houston has a much better arts and entertainment scene.
13. Houston has better schools such as Rice University
14. Houston has a much better and largest world class Medical Center
15. Houston is closer to San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, and New Orleans.
16. Houston economy is strong and diverse, with more company headquarters.
17. Houston is the energy capital of the world.
18. NASA is in Houston.
19. Houston has better gardening options.
20. The tallest and 2nd tallest buildings in TX are in downtown Houston.

10. Calgary vs Edmonton

11. New York Vs Chicago

12. Los Angeles Versus San Francisco

13. Mumbai versus Delhi

14. Glasgow vs Edinburgh

15. Johannesburg versus Cape Town



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