New York City Versus Toronto
March 9, 2009 | Reviews
Lest you get the impression we watch 30 Rock, we don’t. Why? You can find less mugging for the camera when the Channel 6 weatherman visits an elementary school. 30 Rock is like Ally McBeal without the anorexia. What it has is the opposite: the increasingly hefty Alec Baldwin, easily the most talented Baldwin when it comes to eating your way out of the movie business. Tracy ‘what’s happ’n, chief?’ Morgan is about as funny as a cataract, but is occasionally funny because he inexplicably speaks in 90s Ebonics (we are not sure if this is intentional). It’s also got a guy with weird hair and a hat, who should be funny and Stephen Wright but isn’t and isn’t.
Steve Martin got us thinking…
1. What’s a genuinely funny guy like that doing on a crummy show like 30 Rock? (which we initially thought was 3rd Rock, a possible but unlikely spin-off for John Lithgow) and…
2. Maybe there is something to this Toronto pot-shot.
To change things up a little after our killer chimp horror movie list and our 10 Unique Implements That Have Killed People in Horror Movies, we thought we’d do the following little run down for you: NYC VS Toronto, The Big Apple VS The Big Smoke, Gotham VS Hog Town…you get the idea.
New York Versus Toronto:
In New York, people build on vacant lots. In Toronto, the vacant lot becomes a focal point of much discussion.
New York attracts the best and brightest across the nation. Toronto attracts the best and brightest from across the nation who then go to New York.
In New York, a successful writer gets by with a small apartment. In Toronto, a successful writer teaches on the side.
In New York, a successful young novelist is 31 and single. In Toronto, a successful young novelist is 48, divorced, with two kids.
In New York, there is cut-throat dog-eat-dog competition. In Toronto, there is as well, but a dog-eat-dog municipal leash bylaw is strongly enforced.
New York is the city that never sleeps. Toronto had a 1AM last call in the 90s. (this was fortuitously extended when The Shark Guys achieved the legal age of 19, almost as if we had friends at city hall)
In New York, when a new subway line is needed, it’s built. In Toronto, it’s treated like a vacant lot.
New York has a slogan and t-shirts are hawked with this slogan. In Toronto, there are numerous slogans, none of which stick and certainly not to a T-shirt.
New York has a ferry that offers a spectacular view of the skyline. Toronto has a ferry that offers a spectacular view of the skyline and costs $5.
New Yorkers think their city is great. Torontonians think their city could be world class.
Everyone outside of New York hates it, but flocks to it. Everyone outside of Toronto hates it.
Many movies and TV shows are filmed in New York. Many movies and TV shows are filmed in Toronto, and passed off as New York.
In New York, a month is required to get a sense of the city. In Toronto, a long weekend will suffice if you hustle.
New Yorkers are gruff and unfriendly, until you interact with them and find out this is often not the case. Torontonians are gruff and unfriendly, until you interact with them and…(fill this in if you live elsewhere in Canada)
When abroad, Torontonians are treated like Americans until this is corrected and then they’re treated as Canadians. New Yorkers are treated like New Yorkers.
There is a huge Italian population in New York. There is a huge Italian population in Toronto, yet finding good pizza is difficult, a decent baked ziti next to impossible.
In New York, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. In Toronto, if you can make it there, you try LA or New York.
New York sets trends, Toronto takes these trends and disseminates them throughout Canada (unless it’s music, where we set trends and await New York’s validation).
New York is unlike any other place on earth. Toronto is a much larger, more diverse, Northeastern version of Seattle with a better tower.
New York has Times Square. Toronto has Yonge Dundas Square, which is often compared to Times Square.
New York has a spectacular park enjoyed by everyone. Toronto has a spectacular park enjoyed by people who live near it.
New York has a spectacular bridge that is celebrated on film. Toronto has a spectacular bridge that people frequently jumped off until suicide barriers were erected.
New York has a massive Chinese population and incredible Chinese cuisine. Toronto has a massive Chinese population and incredible Chinese cuisine, out in the suburbs.
In New York there are happy hours and you can buy beer around the clock in a corner store. In Toronto, there are no happy hours and you buy your beer from a government monopoly. During a recent World Cup, local businesses petitioned the city to extend bar hours for the week of the tournament, to accommodate the games’ time difference so locals could enjoy the biggest sporting event in the world—it was turned down.
In New York, there are more than 100 ethnic groups, nearly half the population is foreign-born and there is food from all over the world. In Toronto, there are more than 100 ethnic groups, nearly half the population is foreign-born and there is food from all over the world, but on Mondays, a surprising number of restaurants are closed.
In New York, the subway runs all night. In Toronto, the subway starts running at 6AM (9AM on Sunday)
On the Waterfront, Rear Window, The French Connection, The Godfather, Network, Annie Hall, just to name a few, were set in New York. Both of us at one point lived in Toronto and can’t think of one film actually set here off the top of our heads.
[Editor’s note: We’ve spent considerable amounts of time in both cities. If you’d like to pit one city against another, preferably ones we’ve never set foot in—we’d appreciate the challenge— please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to accommodate]