When I first moved to Texas a long time ago (first Houston, then Fort Worth), a wise transplanted Yankee told me that while Northerners are provincial and closed off, once they let you into their lives, you’ll be treated as family. Southerners, on the other hand, will welcome you with open arms but throw you under the bus if push comes to shove. Now, I’ve yet to be thrown under the bus by a Southerner, but I did date a girl from Atlanta who cheated on me as if it were her job and, with the exception of my wife, whom I met in Houston, my time in H-town did not net me a single lifelong friend. Fort Worth, however, reminds me a lot of my native Pittsburgh but only friendlier. My Pittsburgh buddies who’ve come to visit love it down here. They love the weather, they love my friends, and they love my hangouts. (First thing we do when they get off the plane is head straight to Joe T.’s –– keep in mind that my buddies are from Pittsburgh, whose general population is mostly black and white, and to them Taco Bell represents the apotheosis of Mexican cuisine.) (My buddies also demand to spend some time at the Flying Saucer and not only because of the hot waitresses in skimpy school-girl uniforms; something to do with an awesome beer selection or something.) I’ve made friends here in Fort Worth whom I will cherish forever no matter where I’m living on the planet.


I’ve never spent more than a couple of hours in Dallas and can’t really say anything good or bad about the city. Based on the stories I’ve heard, though, I can’t say I’m surprised to learn that Big D has dragged us smart, fun-lovin’, good-lookin’ Fort Worthians into the No. 10 spot on Travel + Leisure’s list of rudest American cities. Here’s what the magazine had to say about us:



“Big D is a big dud, according to voters, who find the city and its locals anything but fun-loving: Its cocktail hour ranks No. 29, and the live music is next to last (No. 34). And not only are the residents deemed not-so-smart (No. 28), they’re not even worth looking at, AFC readers said: The city ranks last for people-watching.”


Where to begin? Well, for one thing, I’m a pretty fun, not “not-so-smart” dude, and I know a lot of people, and no one I know reads Travel + Leisure, and something tells me that I wouldn’t even want to hang out with a Travel + Leisure reader, whose idea of a good cocktail hour probably involves $20 martinis and who thinks that an ’80s cover band qualifies as great live music. To show you how much Travel + Leisure readers know, Nashville –– a.k.a. Nashvegas –– came in No. 1 for live music (hahahaha!), followed by Austin (home of the most mediocre bar bands in the land), New Orleans (I guess for jazz), Las Vegas (Celine Dion, anyone?), and New York City (very credible). Dallas/Fort Worth ranks just above (gulp!) Anchorage for live music. Fucking Alaska! I mean, wow!


Now, you can insult our live music scene. And our brains (or lack thereof). And our cocktail hours. But when you start insulting our good looks (last for people watching?!), well, them’s fightin’ words.


(And contrary to my belief, New York City no longer wears the Rudest American City Crown.)




  1. The F-bomb? Really?
    As to the rest of the article/blog, also not impressed.
    I agree with the friendliness of Fort Worth people, but on a whole, the town is blase – at best.

  2. Sorry, Mr. Updike, that my prose does not meet your surely lofty standards. But what do you base your opinion of Fort Worth on? Do you live here? If so, you’ve been going to the wrong places and hanging out with the wrong people.

  3. Anybody who lives in Fort Worth and is evenly moderately fairminded about the ACLU (as an example of what a Texas conservative views as the most heinous organisation on Earth) would find Fort Worth to be a conservative, military meshuggana hellhole with too much traffic for the city’s size, run by a pasty white network of reactionary Republicans who actually believe we want a 500 milllion dollar downtown lake. Nonetheless, Cowtown does have the friendliest, dumbest and ugliest people in Texas…we just don’t celebrate diversity.

  4. Whoa, Duane. Are you questioning the Fort Worth myth? They’ll string you up for that.
    Still, it’s not so bad for a polluted, grid-locked, uber-Republican, military-industrial, frat-boy kind of place. So long as you are an uber-Republican frat-boy kinda guy. Or his girlfriend.
    And, in honor of the fat stock show, and speaking as someone whose family has been here since the 1800s and who lives in the same house his mother was born in eighty years ago, I would like to just add that I have had “cowboy” up to here. (Slices throat with index finger.)

  5. It’s true, I have perhaps not had the best tour of Fort Worth nightlife, but I HAVE toured everything else there is to tour. I’ve lived in Fort Worth for 6 years now, in the midst of raising two young daughters, and am moving back to Arizona because I am so bored here. I concur with Roy. Enough good-‘ol-boy clubbin’ to last a lifetime. I’ve had enough 🙁 Oh, and it’s Mrs. Updike to you 🙂