By February 25, 2011 Read More →

Letter to Forbes Editor

Dear Forbes Editors:

Greetings from one of the greatest cities in the USA. Modesto, California is not the city that you statistically referenced in your article of the “Most Miserable Cities”. The city you referenced is merely a set of tables and numbers that share similar traits to many cities across the USA that are facing huge challenges in this economy. Your ranking does not even look at the things that make Modesto a top place to live. My guess is that you look beyond thenumbers for financial insight to company to determine the present or futurevalue and you should do the same for the cities you rank.

Modesto, USA is one of the classic American cities. Modesto is a diverse and vibrant community that offers far more than other cities statistically similar. Modesto was the feature of the famous film American Graffiti that ushered in the 50’s revival worldwide and visitors call from around the world to learn about Modesto and its Graffiti heritage. The community lifestyle that was captured in the award winning film by Modesto native George Lucas (creator of Star Warsetc) still rings true in Modesto today. We have a very connected community centered around a revitalized downtown home to lively arts, entertainment, music and dining. Modesto has the regionally prominent Gallo Center for the Arts, drawing visitors from around the state and Modesto is home to the beautifully restored 1934 State Theatre. Modesto hosts a top ranked symphony, ballet company, opera company, multiple performing arts organizations and an amazing young independent music scene with an huge annual black tie award show. Our locally owned restaurants and nightclubs rival those in the best cities. Legendry rock climber Royal Robbins, Olympian Suzy Powell, actors Jeremy Renner, Tim Olyphant and James Marsters all call Modesto home.

People move to Modesto because of the schools, the network of parks, artwalks, farmers market, urban trail network and the community support of our neighborhood groups. Modestoresidents get involved in their community. Today, Modesto still features roller skating car hops, Elvis karaoke, 50’s reviews, and the Graffiti Summer festival as well as the huge summer music festival X-fest, Modesto Marathon, Amgen Tour of California, our own pro baseball team the Modesto Nuts and you can walk the streets made famous by the cruising in American Graffiti.

These are not the features of a miserable city, but those of a leading city. Modesto’s agribusiness and rich farming community feeds much of the USA and the world and the Gallo Winery is the world’s largest. There are leading sporting, clothing, grocery and shoe companies based in Modesto as well as our network of innovative small businesses. CSU Stanislaus is nearby as is Modesto Junior College. Modesto has the best of the huge metro cities, but retains the small town charm that reminds us of the days of American Graffiti.

I have included copies of ModestoView Magazine that showcases the non-statistical good things that make Modesto a desirable place to live. I offer to give you a personal tour of our city before your next years rankings are made. Please visit before calculating.

Thanks for your consideration,

Chris Murphy Modesto resident, Publisher ModestoView & VP-Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.