The Personality of Cities

I’m in Baltimore at RailsConf right now, and wandering around the downtown I’ve been struck by the character of the city, and how it compares to other cities.

Baltimore seems to be a beautiful city with an undercurrent of poverty. We’ve seen a lot of homeless in the downtown core, and I’ve sensed just a menacing feeling. The further you get from the water, the less polished the city gets.

Chicago was an absolutely gorgeous city, but just outside of downtown you have areas of profound poverty. The downtown seems like a fat banker polishing his pocket watch and puffing on a stogie.

Las Vegas is the partied out girl in the corner who’s friends should have taken her home two hours ago.

Toronto meanwhile is like your country cousin dressed up in a suit, he looks refined, but he’s down to earth.

London Ontario? It’s a 20 year old kid in his father’s borrowed suit, it doesn’t quite fit him, but he’s really trying to make it fit.


UFC 129, Truly an Epic Show

Way back in 2005, when I was still living in Toronto, Ryan and I decided we need to go to Vegas to see UFC 54, which was highlighted by Randy Couture vs Chuck Liddell for the light heavyweight championship.

It was the payoff for the televised “The Ultimate Fighter” show which had just debuted on Spike TV. We got to Vegas, watched the weigh ins, and then went to buy tickets at the box office. We paid $50.00 for our tickets to that show, and the 18,000 strong crowd was absolutely electric.

We saw some amazing fights that night including two, that five years later are still highlight material before live events.

When the UFC came to Canada for the GSP vs Serra blow-off, we went, and the show was unbelievable, I’ve never heard a crowd like that.

We went back to Montreal in December for GSP vs Koscheck, and while the show was good, it didn’t rival my first two UFC shows.

The thing that sucked is that as the UFC increased in popularity, the ticket prices have gotten exponentially higher. At the last show in !ontreal, we spent $180 on tickets, for 200 level seats.

I knew I had to go to Toronto, but $100.00 for 500 level seats seemed ridiculous. Still, I am a ridiculous human, so me and six buddies shelled out a hundred bucks each to sit in the bleeders.




The crowd was so loud, not quite as loud as 23,000 people witnessing GSP dominate Matt Serra convincingly, but really loud (in fairness I don’t think I’ll ever hear anything as loud as that show).

The fights were amazing. We saw KO’s, distances, and submissions. The two main events were amazing, and the whole show was spectacular from start to finish.

So at the end of the night was it worth $100.00 to be in the building with 55,000 of my fellow UFC fans?

Hells yeah.