Denver, Colorado

Claim:

“The Houston of the Rockies”

Who:

High Country News

Why:

Home to numerous energy companies

And Also: 

Truly nightmarish traffic

Why Else:

Newbies think everyone wears hats and boots; almost no one does.

Brand Confusion Danger: 

Like us, Denverites love oysters—Rocky Mountain oysters, which are actually bull testicles.

Calgary, Alberta

Claim:

“The Houston of Canada”

Who:

NBC News

Why:

Being hurt by oil price declines

And Also:

Calgary Stampede and Houston Rodeo trail rides leave cities similarly blanketed in horse dung.

Why Else:

Calgary sprang up at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, Houston produces pipes at confluence of Houston Elbow & Nipple.

Brand Confusion Danger:

Theirs is frequently named the cleanest city on earth. Ours, not so much.

Darwin, Australia

Claim:

“The Houston of Northern Australia”

Who:

The Northern Territory News

Why:

Considered “vigorous and wealthy”

And Also:

Residents always talking about how it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

Why Else:

Each within striking distance of a tropical paradise: Bali and Bondi Beach vs. Bolivar and Beaumont

Brand Confusion Danger:

We would never just name a city after an evolutionary biologist. If anything, ours would be called both “Darwin” and “God.” 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Claim:

“Could well become the ‘Houston of Asia’”

Who:

Oilprice.com

Why:

Pro-business climate, regional center of oil/gas

And Also:

A resident is called a KLite, which was also the name of a popular Houston radio station in the ’80s.

Why Else:

Generally considered the fattest country in Southeast Asia

Brand Confusion Danger:

Berjaya Times Square is a crowded, pedestrian-only temple of consumerism where one frequently witnesses the lavish, sometimes vulgar spending habits of the nouveau riche. The Galleria is…not exactly the same.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Claim:

“Philly becomes the new Houston”

Who:

CNBC

Why:

City of Brotherly Love is “developing a reputation as a nexus of oil and gas transportation.”

And Also:

Iconic bronze Rocky Balboa inspires intermittent calls for an Urban Cowboy statue in Pasadena.

Why Else:

Two words: Texadelphia cheesesteaks

Brand Confusion Danger:

Astros’ mascot Orbit likes hugs and high-fives, and is locked in a perpetual smile. The Phillie Phanatic sports a “rally pelvis” and acts like—per Philadelphia magazine—“a raging, first-class a**hole.”

Basra, Iraq

Claim:

“The Houston of Iraq”

Who:

Iraqi ambassador to the US (writing in the Chron)

Why:

“Basra shares Houston’s can-do spirit.”

And Also:

Not a top-tier tourist attraction

Why Else:

Rooms at both the rebuilt Basra Sheraton and the Sheraton Suites Galleria have flat-screen TVs, hair dryers, and BBQ area featuring celebratory gunfire during soccer matches (Basra only).

Brand Confusion Danger:

When Houstonians complain about poor-quality roads dotted with landmines, they are not speaking literally.

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