June 5, 2014

Why is New Orleans so haunted?

It’s a common question for a traveller to ask a local: What’s {insert city} like? Whether they’ve lived there or not, the answer is always murky, and as helpful as any bit of advice you get from a stranger. So I posed it to Google instead, hoping for something a little more objective.

I found it was much easier to troll than to distill clear facts (in my time frame of 20 minutes). What follows are largely unpleasant adjectives, and are probably a reflection of the way that some Google users think or have heard others think about these cities, rather than factual statements.

Results were gathered via the top two or three results to the question Why is (X) so….” I’m going straight for the juiciest stereotypes here, so please use your own knowledge and common sense to fill in the blanks. New Orleans wins the mildly interesting award for being (or being thought of as) a haunted city and Detroit’s (as I suspected) were the most depressing.  

Portland: White and weird

Seattle: White and rainy

Boston: White and racist

San Francisco: Expensive and cold

New York: Expensive and dirty

New Orleans: Dirty and haunted

Los Angeles: Ugly and dirty

Houston: Ugly and fat

Dallas: Boring and cheap

Phoenix: Boring and hot

Kansas City: Boring and dangerous

Chicago: Violent and dangerous

Miami: Dangerous and ghetto

Detroit: Ghetto and poor

new orleans data google

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