Albuquerque, New Mexico, started paying the homeless to clean up homeless camps around the city. The participants must work hard and on average five to six hours a day. In return, they get $9 an hour plus a lunch of sandwiches, chips and granola bars.
2. Parking in San Francisco is so scarce that the parking spot attached to your property can add up to $100,000 to the property's value.
3. Seattle has a "tiny house" village that homeless residents can use to sleep, eat and shower. It costs residents $90 a month to cover utilities and is designed to help them get back on their feet.
4. In order to stop being routinely flooded, the city of Sacramento, California created a 59,000-acre man-made wetland that redirects flooding around the city. It provides key breeding and feeding ground for hundreds of species.
5. Kansas City blatantly ignored the prohibition. People were able to buy booze a few blocks down from the police station. They got away with it scot-free for all 13 years (1920 to 1933) the prohibition was in effect.
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In 1998, the city of Des Moines, Iowa rejected a pedestrian bridge design for being "too modern." The design was based on plans made by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1504.
7. It is legal in New York to own a monkey if you are paralyzed and the monkey is trained to perform household tasks for you.
8. Chicago has a large pack of coyotes that patrol the city, hunting rats.
9. Downtown Seattle actually sits on top of the original city from the 1800s. It was rebuilt on top of approximately 20-foot high walled tunnels following a great fire, in order to prevent floods from high tide and sewage. You can go underground to see the original city remnants.
10. 94% of the people who live in Minneapolis are within a 10-minute walk to a park.
Chicago had a huge heatwave in 1995 that killed hundreds, and the bodies of 41 victims were never claimed. They were buried in a mass grave in Homewood, Illinois.
12. The city of Detroit sits on top of a working salt mine. This mine has provided road salt for most of North America since 1910.
13. A major reason Los Angeles grew to be so huge was because the city controlled the entire area's water supply. The only way surrounding towns could get water was to annex themselves to Los Angeles.
14. Lexington, Kentucky accepts canned food as payment for parking fines to feed the homeless.
15. The city of Denver was originally awarded the honor of hosting the 1976 Winter Olympics. The people of Colorado, however, voted against funding the games, and Innsbruck (Austria) ended up hosting them. This is the only time in history that a city has been awarded the games but rejected them later.
Boston has hidden poems on its sidewalks that are only visible when wet. When it rains, pedestrians are treated to the work of Langston Hughes and others.
17. Las Vegas almost built a full-scale replica of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. The project had funding but was blocked by the CEO of Paramount.
18. Webber Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota has an all-natural swimming pool. It is a self-contained swimming vessel that uses plants and natural microbes from a nearby regeneration pond to clarify and purify the water instead of chemicals for sterilization or disinfection.
19. Lincoln, Nebraska was named after Abraham Lincoln as a ploy to keep Nebraska's capital as Omaha. Many people in Nebraska had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and it was assumed that the legislature would not change the capital if the new capital were named after Abraham Lincoln.
20. Miami is the only major American city that was founded by a woman. Julia Tuttle, a woman from Cleveland, purchased 640 acres in present-day downtown Miami to start a new chapter in her life after her husband died.
Portland was named by a coin flip. Had the coin landed the other way, the city would have been Boston, Oregon.
22. The city of Detroit has its own local currency, fully backed by U.S. currency. It's printed in $3 bills and features the Spirit of Detroit over the Detroit Skyline.
23. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has mythical creatures, that are nearly imperceptible, hidden throughout the exhibits.
24. Jacksonville, Florida was the winter filming capital of the early US movie industry but conservative residents objected, a mayor was elected on anti-movie platform, and so the industry moved on to Southern California.
25. Las Vegas used to host atomic bomb parties. Chamber of commerce advertised atomic bomb detonation times and the best spots for watching them. Casinos offered special “atomic cocktails” and “Dawn Bomb Parties” and women dressed as mushroom clouds for the “Miss Atomic Energy” crown at the Sands.