JIM SHARPE

Is Phoenix a ‘real’ city – and should I care?

Jun 12, 2017, 5:57 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2017, 8:33 pm
LISTEN: Sharper Point

Is Phoenix a big city or not?

That is the question Republic writer Brenna Goth posed in an article Sunday entitled, “Phoenix is the nation’s 5th largest — but is it a ‘real’ city?” 

She said that a lot of people who grew up in the Valley – like she did – think that one day they’ll move to a “big city.” In other words, Phoenix isn’t a big city – or at least not thought of as one. 

Phoenix “proper” (the area that is within its legal city limits) was just named the fifth-largest city in the U.S. – again. So I guess we’re doing a bunch of soul-searching trying to figure out if we really deserve that designation before we go around crowing about it. 

In her article, Ms. Goth wonders, “Will Phoenix ever have the cachet of cities such as Philadelphia, Seattle or San Francisco?” Then she goes on to essentially show why we’re not. 

She suggests that Phoenix doesn’t cut the mustard because it anchors a metro area that’s not even a top-10 metro area in the U.S. But we are No. 12 – and if you’re gonna talk about San Francisco and Seattle, there are only 20,000 fewer people in the federally-designated Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Statistical Area than in Greater San Francisco. And 150,000 people larger than Seattle’s metro. 

So, if it’s size that matters – we matter. 

There are many other arguments made in her article as to why we aren’t a big city before she gets to the question that everybody seems to get to: “Does Phoenix have Culture?” 

Somebody please cue me for my obligatory eye-roll! 

Ballet Arizona is one of the most respected troupes in the country, the Heard Museum possibly has the greatest collection of Native American art anywhere and have you been to the Arizona Science Center? I’m a member and it’s awesome. 

I could go on and on, but what’s really being suggested in this article (but is never really said) is that Phoenix isn’t enough like an East Coast or West Coast city (i.e. progressive) to be considered a big city. 

I left Los Angeles to come back to my home state of Arizona several years ago. There were many reasons why, but mountains in the middle of cities, wide-open spaces, unsurpassed beauty and liberalized gun laws don’t suck. I’m guessing the 33,000 people who moved to Phoenix last year (more than any other city in America), feel the same way. 

May I make a suggestion to the Arizona media people who continue wringing their hands asking, “are we are really a big city?” 

Please stop. 

The more you ask that question out loud, the more that people in “real” big cities don’t think we are. I’m assuming, of course, that these poor podunk-feeling media types care what the high-falutin’ big city folk think. 

Personally, I don’t care what their opinion is — they aren’t smart enough to live here. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Jim Sharpe

Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, speaks on stage at the Conservative Political...
Jim Sharpe

Why Kari Lake should tell Katie Hobbs to get a face tattoo

To ensure a fair election, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe has an outlandish idea: Kari Lake should insist Katie Hobbs get a face tattoo so the electorate can tell Hobbs apart from her twin sister.
2 months ago
(Twitter Photo/@RepAndyBiggsAZ)...
Jim Sharpe

Andy Biggs, Italian satellites and other GOP lunacy came out of Thursday’s Jan. 6 hearing

What came out of Thursday's Jan. 6 hearing -- including the claim U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona asked for a presidential pardon -- has KTAR News host Jim Sharpe believing some Republicans should be happy Donald Trump lost.
3 months ago
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...
Jim Sharpe

How did fewer Arizona drivers equal more road rage?

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe is peeved since road rage incidents in Arizona seem to be climbing despite fewer drivers on the road.
6 months ago
(AP Photo/David Goldman)...
Jim Sharpe

Too many ‘mental’ members in Arizona Legislature

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe wonders why Republican Arizona Legislature members continue to push bills that propagate the idea there was widespread election fraud in 2020.
6 months ago
(Screenshot via Maricopa County Attorney's Office YouTube)...
Jim Sharpe

Failing future — and current — victims means Maricopa County Attorney Adel should resign

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe believes Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel should resign after her office failed current -- and likely future -- victims by missing a charging deadline for about 200 cases.
7 months ago
Follow @JimSharpe...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Is Phoenix a ‘real’ city – and should I care?