As primates, human beings are part of the most socially adept order in the entire animal kingdom, and our need for relationships and interaction is so ingrained into our being that it is the third tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
It’s largely for this reason that the COVID-19 lockdown has taken a significant toll on people’s mental health, and while breaking quarantine to socialize in large groups is ill-advised, the impulse is at least understandable.
But what if that impulse weren’t there? What if you lived in a city so devoid of a nightlife and cultural pizzazz that staying home is a more bearable task?
If you live in Frisco, McKinney or Plano, you don’t have to imagine such a scenario, because according to a study by LawnStarter, those three cities are in the “America’s 10 Best Cities to Be Stuck at Home” list, along with Des Moines, Iowa, and Overland Park, Kansas. Some contenders for the 10 worst cities include Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans.
Now, it’s worth noting that LawnStarter, a company that describes itself as Uber for people looking to get their grass cut, compiled a series of metrics, including crime rates, quality-of-life indexes and percentages of food-insecure households, which were applied to the 150 largest U.S. cities. But if you’re living an impoverished life in a crime-stricken community, wouldn’t it behoove you to stay home and abstain from going out anyway? Wouldn’t that help you save money and make you less vulnerable to violent crime?
There are many angles at which you can view this data, but beneath it all is a subtext that indicates one universal truth: Safe cities have a tendency to be boring, and some of the most dangerous cities are also the most exciting.
I mean, have you been to New Orleans? Sure, it has its share of crime, and the fact that it’s a natural disaster hotspot doesn’t make it any safer, but you can drink in public, join a parade, eat your weight in crawfish po boys, jam out to Dixieland jazz and play craps at a casino in the span of two hours. Memphis also has a banging music, culinary and nightlife scene, and say what you want about Detroit, but Motown didn’t exactly start in a gated community.
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If you want to dine somewhere nonhomogeneous in Frisco, your only two options are The Star and the Rail District, and even those places are rife with chain restaurants. And sure, Plano has Legacy Hall and Love and War, but even with such places does the city fail to match the cultural cachet of Dallas. McKinney might have some decent bars and restaurants, but the only place to catch live music is Hank’s Texas Grill.
Not that Plano, McKinney and Frisco are bad cities by any means, but it’s easy to stay home when the only nearby nightclub with even an iota of swank is Concrete Cowboy. If you’re unfortunate enough to live in New Orleans during these trying times, you’re forced to stay in lockdown while the city that gave us Louis Armstrong, oysters Rockefeller and Southern Decadence dangles right in front of you.
Who would have guessed that a lawn service provider wouldn’t properly consider such variables?
On the other hand, Plano, McKinney and Frisco have lots of yards that need cutting.