Friday, October 28, 2016

Of Cities and Slogans

Gossips came late to the TV series Parks and Recreation, starting to binge-watch episodes only after its seventh and final season was already over. In a recently watched episode from Season 3, Leslie Knope, deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana, recounts all the slogans her city has had over the years, from the 19th-century slogans "The Paris of America" (1820-1824) and "The Akron of Southwest Indiana" (1824-1880), through such 20th-century slogans as "The Factory Fire Capital of America" (1945-1964), to the more recent slogan "First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity," adopted in 2009. If you are curious, you can view all twelve of Pawnee's city slogans here, on the fictional city's website. In Season 6, the Parks and Recreation Department holds a city forum to come up with a new slogan, to replace the one adopted in 2009. An excerpt from that forum can be viewed on YouTube.

My reason for going on at length about Pawnee, Indiana, and its slogans is to make the point that if Pawnee, albeit a fictional city, can change its slogan thirteen times since its founding in 1817, maybe Hudson, which seems to have had only one slogan in all of its 231 years, could consider doing the same. It is not known when "The Friendly City" was adopted as Hudson's slogan (my guess would be that it happened in the 1970s), but it's not very original (many other municipalities in the United States call themselves "The Friendly City") and it doesn't give a very accurate impression of our city (some people have found Hudson downright hostile). So here is my modest proposal--one made six years ago and now offered again. The City of Hudson should consider a new slogan--one that captures the spirit of Hudson today. Perhaps there could even be a city slogan forum to gather ideas. My personal suggestion is one that has been used since 2010 on the website "Upstate's Downtown."


  1. Maybe this is something that should be taken up by the Arts, Entertainment and Tourism Committee on the CC. A contest that could be held city-wide. How/where would the "slogan" be used? The Hudson Business Coalition has created a slogan with input from many business owners, but it may only apply to that segment of the general Hudson community.

  2. "Hudson, Gateway to Stottville."

  3. Upstate's Downtown, a short walk from Manhattan.