The weather is getting cooler and the World Series is almost upon us. The Royals, so far unbeaten in the postseason, will face the Giants, who've had quite a bit of luck in even-numbered years. So which team will win? You could use our highly sophisticated statistical analysis to make up your mind, or you could decide based on characters that have nothing to do with baseball, like ...
Iconic TV Shows
While there are plenty of TV shows set in Kansas or Missouri (think Smallville or Johnny Bravo, set in Missouri's fictional Aaron City), there are few set in KC itself. The most notable is probably Malcolm and Eddie, a UPN sitcom starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner (who you know as Theo Huxtable) and Eddie Griffin as owners of a wacky Irish bar. San Francisco, on the other hand, can count among their fictional residents a handful of witches, an OCD detective and the people who live in this house:
Don't recognize it? Maybe this will refresh your memory:
No matter which team wins the Series, there's going to be a great party. But the question is, would you rather celebrate an SF win with Colin Hanks, Aisha Tyler, Zooey Deschanel and Danny Glover or go to a rager at Paul Rudd's mom's house in KC?
Famous Native Sons and Daughters
If each city had its own currency, who do you think would be on the five dollar bill? Since San Francisco would probably put Steve Jobs on the hundred, maybe they'd go with Ansel Adams, Clint Eastwood, or Mel Blanc.
Kansas City could choose between Joan Crawford, Count Basie or Burt Bacharach, but it's hard to believe they wouldn't pick the most trusted man in America, Walter Cronkite. In fact, it's hard to believe he's not on our money already.
Songs About the City
Kansas City's 18th and Vine helped build jazz, but San Francisco is built on rock and roll. And sure, Candlestick Park, where the Giants played from 1960 until 2000, hosted the Beatles' final concert, but that's not the city the Fab Four recorded a song about:
San Fran will be just fine, though. They've got plenty of unofficial anthems to chose from:
Don't try to tell us that Ernest Hemingway, who briefly lived in Kansas City, a guy who wrote quite a few stories about men and animals in the wilderness, wasn't a little influenced by San Francisco's Jack London.
SF's also got Armistead Maupin and Shirley Jackson, while KC claims Robert A. Heinlein and William Least Heat-Moon. Robert Frost, born in San Francisco, wrote the poem you quoted in your college applications, and Calvin Trillin, born in Kansas City, wrote the poems you quoted in your cover letter that time you tried to intern for The New Yorker.
Both Kansas City and San Francisco host museums that are meant to show us what our homes should really look like. Johnson County Museum, just outside of KC, has the 1950s All-Electric House, which is meant to showcase the benefit of filling your house with appliances. On the other hand, the Musée Mécanique in SF's Fisherman's Wharf is meant to show you the benefit of filling your house with awesome antique arcade machines:
Equally essential is a healthy respect for baseball. KC is home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and San Francisco the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum. If history is your thing, you can check out Kansas City's National World War I Museum, located at the iconic Liberty Memorial. Fog City is home to many world-class museums, including the Walt Disney Family Museum and California Academy of Sciences.
There are few notable films actually set in Kansas City, but director Robert Altman, who was born there, was nominated for seven Oscars and was given an honorary statue in 2006.
San Francisco has been the stage for classics like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Mrs. Doubtfire and The Maltese Falcon, but it's probably most proud of being the location for American family drama The Room:
Scariest Haunted Place
Let's be real, Alcatraz is 100% percent haunted. Though it was only a federal prison for 29 years, it has been hosting military prisoners since the Civil War. Its longest-serving inmate's nickname was "Creepy." Don't believe us? Fine, why don't you just spend the night there?
Though its real claim to fame is being the inspiration for the greatest Sean Connery vs. Nicolas Cage car chase of all-time:
But Kansas City has plenty of terrifying sites of its own. If you feel like hanging out with bunch of angry Civil War ghosts, check out the John Wornall House, located just a few blocks from the location of the Battle of Westport. Or visit Union Station, where gangster "Pretty Boy" Floyd got into a shootout with federal agents. Or, really, go anywhere -- KC was recently named the haunted house capital of the world.
San Francisco has lots of seafood, of course, but it also has burritos. Reasonably academic studies have found them to be the best in the land:
But Kansas City has barbecue so good that it can't be understood by science. Only art will suffice:
The city traces its barbecue'n origins back to the early-1900s and residents hace since opened up classic eats such as Arthur Bryant, Gates and Sons, Oklahoma Joe's and B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ. Pork, beef, chicken, turkey and even fish are slow-cooked to saucy perfection.
By the Numbers
|Category||San Francisco||Kansas City|
|Year state joined the Union||1850||1821|
|Restaurants Guy Fieri has visited||18||12|
|Restaurants Anthony Bourdain has visited||11||7|
|Team-related Etsy crafts||2,459||1,026|
|Total 'American Emperors'||1 - Joshua Abraham Norton||George Brett|