Charles Dickens wrote the classic A Tale of Two Cities a century and a half ago. It's a story about two famous cities of the times, Paris and France, around the time of the French Revolution. These cities were the height of sophistication and enlightenment in the world, long before American cities caught up.
Three American cities did catch up and were at one time shining beacons of American success: San Francisco, Chicago, and Detroit.
San Francisco was the gateway to the Pacific and lands beyond – a beautiful city on hills with the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County, one of the wonders of the modern world. Chicago was the hub of transportation and commerce, connecting the eastern and western halves of the United States. Detroit was an industrial behemoth, home of the auto industry and the assembly line, bringing prosperity and convenience to millions.
Songs were written to celebrate these great cities. Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco. Chicago was Frank Sinatra's kind of town. And the Motown music genre began in the Motor City.