The last three months have been less than fortifying for Fort Worth's self-esteem.
Now the folks at New York City-based Thrillist have perhaps unwittingly dealt us a back-handed compliment: apparently, Fort Worth is the most underrated city in Texas.
Try telling your sweetie his or her looks are "underrated" and see what happens.
Thrillist puts us right up there with such hip, hoppin' places as Ogden, Utah; Custer, South Dakota; Homer, Alaska; Carbondale, Illinois and Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Not that there's anything wrong with those spots, of course.
After dinging us with "people outside Texas generally regard Fort Worth as the last two letters in the Dallas airport code," which sadly may be true, Thrillist tries to make us feel a little better — and basically makes it a little worse.
Talking up the "odd" Stockyards, praising the "underrated" Fort Worth Zoo (that word again!), noting the "Kimball" (sic) Art Museum's original Michelangelo and, somewhat randomly, kissing up to the annual Rockin' the River festival doesn't quite cut it, Thrillist.
Because a Stockyards that contains both Billy Bob's and Joe T's, along with bars and saloons and shopping and restaurants and museums and buffalo burgers and a haunted bed and breakfast isn't "odd" — it's friggin' heaven.
Besides boasting the Texas Wild! exhibit — the only zoo exhibit Thrillist bothered to mention — the Fort Worth Zoo is the only one in America to have members of all four great ape families, it's the only zoo in Texas to house bonobos and it's one of only five zoos in the world to house both black and greater one-horned Asian rhinos. A recent USA Today ranking had it listed fourth best in the United States — hardly underrated.
And there's a heck of a lot more to the Kimbell Art Museum than that bizarre "The Torment of Saint Anthony" painting Michelangelo did when he was like 12.
Sure, it's the only Michelangelo original in the Americas, but this year alone brings exhibits of art from ancient Asia, graphic work by Goya and fashion from a revered Parisian couturier. Not to mention, you can bop on in and check out the esteemed museum's permanent collection any day. For free.
You won't find much disagreement in these parts that "underrated" is praise too faint for a city like Fort Worth, Thrillist. Perhaps next time you'll think twice about having your Miami editor write about Texas?