Sunday, January 20, 2008

QC things we should be proud to have

According to this map on, the Quad City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is the 131st largest metro area in the United States. This is as of 2005. I couldn't find our world ranking, but the 400th largest metro area in the world was still over 1 million, so its safe to say we're probably not in the top 500.

So we're the 131st biggest community in the US. Pretty lowly, eh? Logically, we should only have amenities and events that over 100 other cities also have.

Lets look at some things that we have in the Quad Cities.

Bix7. An annual 7 mile road race through the streets of Davenport. According to this website, in 2006 it was the 77th largest timed race in the world, and the 25th largest timed race in America. Both of those figures are (unfortunately for our ranking) only counting people who finish the 7 mile course.
25th largest in the US, 77th largest in the world.

AHL Hockey. There are 30 NHL teams in the only league higher than the AHL. The AHL has 29 teams, with cities such as Milwaukee, Portland, and San Antonio having franchises in the same league as the Quad City Flames.
1 of 59 hockey teams in the top 2 leagues in North America

Gilda's Club. "A community meeting place for people living with cancer, their families and friends," founded by a few people including Gene Wilder, in memory of Gilda Radner.
1 of 22 in the world.

TPC at Deere Run. Tournament Players Club is a chain of American public and private golf clubs operated by the PGA Tour.
1 of 28 in the world.

John Deere Classic. A PGA Tour event held every year in July at the previously mentioned TPC at Deere Run.
1 of 49 tournaments in 2008.

Quad City Airshow -Each year, the show is capped by a performance by either the USAF Thunderbirds or the USN Blue Angels, and once, both. In 2008, the Blue Angels are scheduled to appear 37 times, including simple Fly-Bys. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to appear 39 times.
1 of 76 total Flight Demonstration Team events

Other impressive things:

Da Vinci Exhibit currently at the Putnam.
Chicago and Seattle are the only US cities to have this exhibit before us; Houston's next on the tour.

Coexistence exhibit that was here this past Fall.
Another exhibit where we were one of very few US stops during a world tour. Looking at list of hosts shows the QCs alongside cities such as Berlin, San Paulo, St. Petersburg, and Jerusalem.

An up-and-coming wireless internet technology. QCOnline's ongoing project will make us one of the first areas in the US with WiMax coverage.

Wilco and other tours.
Davenport was one of only a dozen or so stops during the US leg of Wilco's world tour. Reading the tour lists of many shows that come to the Adler and iWireless Center show the QC stop being one of the rare communities under a million people to host the show or concert.

And many more! Feel free to suggest your own additions to this list, because I know there are others out there. When people say there's nothing to do in the Quad Cities, they aren't looking hard enough. When our events and amenities put us in a class with metros several times our size, I suggest that's a sure sign of a community with a good quality of life.


pioneer98 said...

- John Deere related sites (Pavilion, Deere-Wiman house, Corporate HQ, etc).
- The national bike paths that intersect here, and our local path network. I bet we are pretty competitive nationwide in "miles of bike path per capita".
- Blackhawk State Historic Site

Other things that we should be proud of, but that don't necessarily offer "things to do":
- Quarters One and the Arsenal
- Palmer Chiropractic College

waldo said...

I bet we are pretty competitive nationwide in "miles of bike path per capita".
I'd be interested in seeing some sort of proof of this. As a cyclist not raised here, i gotta say the paths here suck.

QuadCityImages said...

Waldo, our paths can't be that bad, considering that American Trails chose to hold their 2006 National Trails Symposium here. Its only held every other year; 2008 will be Little Rock.

Our on-street paths suck (don't exist, yet), but as far as the riverfront paths and Duck Creek path, I've seen much bigger cities that don't have good trails like those.

As far as miles per capita, Des Moines probably takes that prize. I'm not sure how much of theirs are on/off streets, but they have bike paths to about everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the Debby Downer of this positive thread, but when I clicked on the map, it was actually a ranking of best places out of the 150 largest metro areas in the country in which to start a business.

Davenport, unfortunately, received a dismal 130 rating out of 150. Nearby Des Moines was 28th and nearby Madison was 10th.

So while I agree that we have some great and unique things going for us here, we still have A LOT of ground to make up economically after the devastating hits our manufacturing and agriculture base have taken.

QuadCityImages said...

That's pretty weird, because according to Wikipedia's table of US MSAs, we're ranked 131. I just knew I'd be better off using Forbes as a reference than Wiki. I found a US Census page that shows that we were #121 in 2000, so 131 in 2006 seems reasonable.

Anonymous said...

QCI: I think that's just a weird coincidence.

Otherwise, how do you explain the 10 next to Madision and the 28 next to Des Moines?

Anonymous said...

I also hate to be a negative nancy of the QCA, but I paid the like $23 fee to get into the DiVinci Exhibit at the Putnam and was not impressed. I paid a lot per child as well. My children LOVE the Putnam and we go regularly. They like the traveling exhibits, but LOVE the regular exhibits better like the mummies and the Prairie room.

I guess I wonder if the DiVinci exhibit was split up or something between the Putnam and the Figge. It was small. I turned the corner thinking that the exhibit continued and ran into the black wall. I wonder how much it costs to get into this thing in a big venue like Chicago. I wonder if we needed to charge more then the other venues because we don't have the same resources here. I love the thought of being on the big worldwide tour thing, but at what cost. I will be cautious in the future about paying so much. I went to see the Figge part as well and it was pretty cool. However, I bring my children there and we make a day of it. We spend a lot of time in the children's art section aswell and look around. We like the Figge and I am happy it is here.

The Putnam Divinci is not affordable. When in line, the people in front of us were told how much it was per person to get in and they were shocked. They declined to go in. Having these places here in the QCA is great, but they are not accessible to the general public. It is too bad.

QuadCityImages said...

Are you sure you saw all of it? The articles I read sounded like they had to put pieces of it all over the museum, including in some lecture hall they don't normally use for exhibits. Is there still a "regular" traveling exhibit there also?

Anonymous said...

I paid for both the regular Putnam and the DiVinci Exhibit and we went all over. It was too expensive for the show. But, the mummy exhibit has improved. It has now this cool maze like trail you follow and then there is a room with a dig with sand and so forth. It is good.

My point about the cost is that I wonder if it was so costly because we don't have the big city resources. Or if it was the same cost as the big cities but we have a cheaper cost of living here and we percieve it to be unreasonable.

I have the money to spare sort of. My bank isn't broken over this,but some do not have the resources to spare.So, this excludes those people. Poor and middle income folks cannot go see this.

Anonymous said...

I would guess it would be even more expensive in the big cities.

I went last weekend, and also came a way quite under-whelmed.

I thought there was supposed to be more authentic material. It seemed to be pretty much just a big model collection of things based on Da Vinci's designs, but nothing actually from his era. Also, about half of the "interactive" computer displays did not work.

I also found it ludicrous that you had to pay EXTRA if you wanted to see any of the regular museum collections on top of the exorbitant amount you had to pay to see the Da Vinci exhibit.

Anonymous said...

Me again. Sorry for spelling DaVinci wrong. Come to think of it, many of the wooden items were broken. Plus there was a bucket out by one because the roof of the museum was leaking. Under amused is the right was to describe this. Yes it was interesting, but not authentic. NO original items of his. While appreciated his brilliance, the cost was just nuts to see it. I expected more from this. It is too bad. What would have been intersting and more cost effective would have been a mixture of his art and inventions at the same price of admission. To charge extra made this a disappointing and slightly irritating experience. I left irritated by the waste of money.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I attended the Putnam. For two adults and one child it was $29.00. As a member of the Putnam I did not have to pay to visit the rest of the museum. I have attended special showings at the Field Museum in Chicago and paid extra to see the traveling exhibit. The plus was that as a member of the Putnam I was admitted into the permanent exhibits at no additional charge. All of the hands on were working yesterday. At no charge we went and watch the eagles. It was a good day for that.

QuadCityImages said...

I happen to have won a couple free tickets, so I'm just waiting for a day when the people I plan to go with all have some free time.

I had read all along that it was just models of his inventions, so I guess I'll be less disappointed than some of you about the lack of historical items. The worst thing for any kind of museum though is when things aren't working, so I'll be curious to see how things are when I visit.

Paying extra for the "special" traveling exhibits seems to be pretty common these days. I know the Body Worlds thing is always extra, and I paid extra to see a James Bond exhibit at the Phoenix Science Center once. Even as a Bond fan, that one was barely worth it. We'll see on this one.

Matt said...

I was wondering if anyone was writing about the DaVinci exhibit here, and it looks like I've found it. this must be the week of "normal readers turning into debbie downer," so pardon me as i rant a bit myself.

I was also rather unimpressed this saturday during my visit. actually, quite angry. i had a pair of comp tickets into general admission, and just like everyone else, was shocked to hear the 24 dollar charge (total) for myself and my wife. yes, it's industry standard nowadays to charge an additional fee for feature exhibits, but i've never seen anything this pricey for such crap in all my days as an exhibit developer at one of chicago's major museums. i was utterly embarrassed by how bad everything looked/flowed. no exhibits - rented/traveling or in-house - should look as poor as the DaVinci exhibit looked. text panel lighting was burnt out en masse. some panels were badly damaged but not fixed. ceiling leaks collected in buckets one foot away from roped-off items that said "do not touch!." The intro area was laughable and overall layout was abysmal. I couldn't believe the museum got away with outright blockage of exits. you literally snake through 3 or 4 rooms, and when you abruptly reach the end of the exhibit, you have to turn around and go backwards through the entire space in order to leave.


anyways, after that monstrosity, we actually had a somewhat decent time in the rest of the museum. the midwestern wetlands areas are still all right. same thing with the hall of animals (mammalia + arctic environment diorama). but the egypt section is poor.

meh. i hope things turn around there - there's so much potential to stay strong, but man... i'm not going to hold my breath.