Monopoly Here and Now

April 24th, 2006

500Leigh Ann writes that Hasbro is updating Monopoly, replacing Baltic Avenue and the other streets from Atlantic City with twenty two famous landmarks from around the nation. Visit Hasbro’s Monopoly site and vote, or just look at the landmarks that Hasbro chose for the voting.

I was surprised at some of the choices. For example, start with Houston. The choices (every city had three) were:

JSC is a great landmark, recognized (by name, at least) around the world. If it weren’t here, I wouldn’t be here. Thankfully, it is winning the vote for Houston’s Monopoly landmark. But the Kemah Boardwalk? I don’t understand that choice at all; how many people outside Houston know about Kemah? Even stranger, the photo for Kemah shows the Houston downtown skyline. And what about the museum district? True, we have great museums in Houston, but how many people think of Houston and immediately say “Oh, the museum district! The Kemah boardwalk!”

Why isn’t the Astrodome on this list? True, it’s not in use anymore, but it was the world’s first indoor stadium, and it was once known as the Eighth Wonder of the World! Why isn’t the San Jacinto Monument on the list? It’s taller than DC’s Washington Monument, and is at least as well known as Kemah. They could also have chosen the beautiful Fred Hartman Bridge, Bayou Bend, or Tranquility Park. My list probably would have included the magnificent Houston Water Wall at the Transco Williams Tower. (OK, so nobody outside our city knows about those either, but they’re better than Kemah!)

At least Hasbro didn’t put the Houston Galleria on the list. It was the first Galleria mall, and is – last I heard – the largest. It also happens to be the number one tourist destination in and around Houston. How awful it would be to have our city represented in Monopoly by a SHOPPING MALL! (How does that feel, Minneapolis?)

Here are my votes for the new Monopoly landmarks, in the order I voted. If my vote didn’t coincide with the most popular landmark, I’ve included the most popular in parentheses:

  • Houston: JSC
  • New Orleans: Bourbon St (French Quarter) – Is there really much difference, in most people’s minds, between Bourbon St and the French Quarter?
  • Dallas: Cowboy Stadium
  • St. Louis: Gateway Arch – In some cities, there’s no debating the representative landmark. However, I would at least have put Busch Stadium on the list, even if it is about to be torn down.
  • Atlanta: Peachtree St. (Centennial Park). What about the High Museum of Art? Great landmark, and it even makes movie appearances.
  • Nashville: Grand Ole Opry – What else, really?
  • Orlando: Disney World – Yawn.
  • Miami: Coconut Grove (South Beach) – Zzzz.
  • Seattle: Puget Sound (Pioneer Square)
  • Honolulu: Diamond Head (Waikiki Beach)
  • Los Angeles: Sunset Blvd. (Hollywood) – Yeah, I guess Hollywood is the odds-on favorite here. I voted for the landmark that’s also one of my favorite movies.
  • San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge – Duh.
  • Las Vegas: Hoover Dam (Las Vegas Blvd) – Give me a big engineering marvel any day.
  • Phoenix: Camelback Mountain – Does any city have three more boring landmarks than Phoenix…
  • Denver: Red Rock Amphithreater – …unless maybe it’s Denver?
  • Minneapolis: Stone Arch Bridge (Mall of America)
  • Chicago: Wrigley Field – Duh!
  • Cleveland: Jacobs Field – Where’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  • Washington, DC: Lincoln Memorial (White House) – Now here’s a choice. DC has enough landmarks for its own version of Monopoly.
  • Philadelphia: Liberty Bell – Double DUH!
  • New York: Central Park (Times Square)
  • Boston: Fenway Park – The whole park? Why not just the Green Monster?

Will I be buying a copy of the Here and Now Edition of Monopoly? No. I’d much rather play the Spongebob Edition.

Update: John By the Bayou has the same thoughts about some of Houston’s landmarks. But John: nobody knows about the space center? Huh? The whole world knows about our space center!

4 Responses to “Monopoly Here and Now”

  1. Leigh Ann Says:

    Hello, IT Manager!

  2. Prentiss Riddle Says:

    You scared me — I thought they were going to ditch the classic street names for this scheme. But it turns out that the city landmarks are just for a special “Here and Now Edition”. It’ll line up next to the existing editions for specific cities, sports teams, the Simpsons, what have you — maybe it’s time for a Baghdad edition? Just so they still offer the classic edition, I don’t care…

  3. Stephen P Says:

    Hmmm….This whole concept of voting turns out to be relatively pointless. If you look at each city’s landmarks, one of the three choices is SUPER obvious each time and wins overwhelmingly. Who wouldn’t choose the Gateway Arch for St. Louis? And please God people, don’t let Kemah Boardwalk win. The last thing Tillman needs is more publicity.

  4. Jim Says:

    Hey, Stephen. Have you looked at Denver at Phoenix? I’d never even heard of their landmarks, so no choice was obvious there. You’re right on the mark for St. Louis. But you know the truth and I know the truth: this voting thing is just a marketing gimmick to draw attention to the game. I wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise. Would you?

    Prentiss: Baghdad Edition… HAAAAA HA! HA! HA!

    (I still want to play the Spongebob Edition.)