City comeback bingo


Wichita has amenities that are promoted as creating an uncommonly superior quality of life here, but many are commonplace across the country.

A recent graphic appeared on several sites that comments on the efforts of cities and their residents to create distinctive amenities and characteristics. I’ve reproduced the text of the image below, because some of the text is difficult to read due to the busy background. (The image may be seen here.) How much of this is present in Wichita or your city?

This-City’s-Makin’-A-Comeback Bingo

Sure to become a favorite of every southern, mid-sized or rust-belt city, this game implores you to explore your city and find out what makes it unique … like every other place.

10 Brewpubs
Ramen, Ramen, Ramen!!!
Axe-throwing bar
Absurd rent in once-affordable places
“Crazy” donut recipe
Many empty lofts
Cupcake shop
Regional Banksy
Instagram wall
Spinning, crossfit, and yoga
Bar with “Whiskey” in name
Restaurant named (Something) & the (Something)
Tea shops
Those scooters
Chicago cows, but it’s a local thing
One good food truck out of 30
Quirky, local T-shirt industry
Unaffordable boutiques
People telling you how good it “used to be”
Dueling farmer’s markets
Empty apartments used for AirBnB
Vibrant kickball scene
Unused community garden
That one band/artist who made it
Guy with stories about band/artist who made it
Indie radio station with cult-like following
Displaced minorities
Airport that requires connection to somewhere interesting
Local fat-guy food
Regional influencer
Robust private schools for rich white transplants
Arts district
Local ice cream shop with “cornbread” and “Earl Gray” flavors

(I left off a square with foul language and corrected a few misspellings.)

These things are good to have, although people will disagree on items like scooters and absurd rent, and I suppose an unused community garden is, well, unused.

But often we hear Wichita’s boosters speak as though these things are unique to Wichita. By having them, they say, Wichita is a leader, and good things such as a flourishing economy will follow.

But we can’t afford to be lulled into complacency or a celebration of grand achievement when so much data says otherwise:

We should keep striving to grow our city, its economy, and the prosperity of its residents. What we’ve done, however, hasn’t worked very well, yet most of our leaders think we’re doing fine. With a new mayor, perhaps that will change.

For more about this and references to other writers on this topic, see Wichita, not that different


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