|America's Toughest Cities |
|If your town’s not on this list, quit talking tough and get back to your scrapbooking.|
10. Milwaukee Wisconsin
America’s thirstiest city thrives despite the worst diet of any top-10 place. Only 22 percent of cheeseheads here eat their recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Adding to the toughness are overwhelmingly gray skies and a high incidence of "ladies" who smoke. Their problem and the solution? Beer.
9. Fort Worth Texas
You know a city is hard when you can walk down a block and not see a Starbucks. The tough side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has the fewest Starbucks per square mile of cities on this list. This model of urban sprawl also has the highest concentration of Trans Ams on the road. A coincidence? Shut up and sit down.
8. Columbus Ohio
In future Ohio State promo brochures, boosters can cite Maxim’s research: Columbus offers the highest concentration of cheap hotel rooms on this list and offers nonstop gloomy weather—183 cloudy days a year! So, kids, there’s no need to fork out big bucks for off-campus sex or fumble for sunglasses when the hangover hits.
7. San Diego California
Why the hell is this SoCal sweet spot on this list? Tough performances in three categories—tattoo parlors (one for every 13,600 residents), kung fu studios (one for every 104,600) and Marine enlistments (404 locals served in 2005). Were its name not German for a whale’s vagina, the triangle of tough would have made our top five.
6. Seattle Washington
How do locals offset the untoughness of the city’s minted Microsoft class? By strengthening their kung fu at one of the city’s dedicated studios—there’s one for every 64,000 residents—and by suffering heartache whenever their sports teams take the field. It’s a town so tough even the sun is afraid to show up every summer.
5. Houston Texas
Life is tough in the shadow of oil-industry profits. More than 23 percent of Houstonians have the balls to live without health insurance, and 715 of her sons served the Marines in 2005. They even support their MLB and NFL teams despite the fact zero World Series or Super Bowl championship banners hang in their stadiums.
4. Baltimore Maryland
In Bodymore, Murderland, there’s a funeral home for every 10,800 residents. Not that your loved ones will be able to afford a fitting farewell when you die eight years earlier than the national average: Last year the city sported an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. Only the strong survive here.
3. Detroit Michigan
The Motor City’s troubles are well-documented: the preponderance of unemployment and a football team that boasts a 24-72 record during the current GM’s tenure. Let Maxim add to that list: Detroit’s citizens survive a mere 27.6 miles from a nuclear power plant. That’s not just tough, that’s Homer Simpson tough.
2. Los Angeles California
Surely it’s hard to listen to Hollywood jibber-jabber all day. But for every Jake Gyllenhaal playing a jarhead for Hollywood bucks, there are countless more Angelenos signing up to join the Marines to serve team U.S.A. In 2005 more than 1,000 of L.A.’s sons put sacrifice before themselves, as actors bravely chirp about hybrid cars.
1. Chicago Illinois
What’s life like in Tough City, U.S.A.? Take a day off from the job you don’t have (5.2 percent unemployment) and hitch a ride with a female smoker (20 percent puff) to Wrigley Field. Look up (it’s gloomy 168 days a year), and scream, "God, give the Cubs a break!" You’ll hear nothing back. Tough people don’t need breaks.