A City by Any Other Nickname

Hey San Jose, we just became the tenth largest city in America and all we get is Scott Herhold (link) and Tom McEnery (link) telling us don’t worry, be happy.  We didn’t crack the top ten by being complacent, so let’s seize the moment and strive for something to make us bigger and better.  How about a ballpark?  We still need a site. Or BART extension? We still need federal money, lots of it.  Or new city nickname?  Now, that’s something we can do.

We have two nicknames that no longer seem to fit given our newly discovered numerical superiority.  I know the “Garden City” represents a tie to our agricultural past, but so do the fruit trees in my backyard.  The “Capital of Silicon Valley” is good, but let’s face it Palo Alto and Sunnyvale can make the same claim – and with more engineers per capita.

To begin, let’s learn from the other American cities.  Here are ones I would rule out for what are—shall we say—obvious reasons:

Beaver, OK—Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World
International Falls, MN—The Icebox of the United States
Memphis, TN – The City that Elvis Ruined
Sturgis, MI—Curtain Rod Capital of the World
Gallup, NM – Drunk-Driving Capital of America
Cleveland, OH – Mistake on the Lake
Noxubee County, AL – Home of the Dancing Rabbit Festival and Magnolia Pilgrimage

The last one might work if we actually had a Dancing Rabbit Festival or Magnolia Pilgrimage.  But given the inordinate amount of time spent dealing with investigations at City Hall these days, it may be too big a challenge.

So, let the nominations begin.  We will forward all good suggestions the Convention and Visitors Bureau where they have to re-print stationery anyway to reflect our new municipal muscularity.

Note:  I found these nicknames on Doug Landauer’s interesting website (link).





  1. If Memphis is the “city that Elvis ruined”, then San Jose must be the “city that Gonzales ruined”.

    Your site can probably raise a lot of money by selling bumper stickers with that on it.

  2. How about just calling San Jose “The City.”  After all, it is the biggest City in northern California.  I don’t see calling San Francisco “the city”  since it’s population is less that that of SJ and SJ is the economic center of the Bay Area.

    All these nayasayers who call San Jose a suburb really should listen to how ridiculous they make themselves out to be.  The 10th largest U.S. city a suburb?? That sounds pretty crazy to me.