By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 05, 2021 at 11:26 AM

The final round of voting in the Gray Invitational bracket is now open and you have 24 hours to choose America’s best city: New York or Milwaukee.

Los Angeles-based urbanist Nolan Gray pitted 64 cities against each other in an NCAA-style bracket in late October and, against the odds, Milwaukee has landed in the final against New York City.

Milwaukee beat Austin in the first round, Miami in the second round, then Minneapolis and, in the semis, Chicago, to face the Big Apple.

The poll – which is based only on how many folks vote for their favorite town – has drawn a ton of interest on Twitter and in the local media.

Twitterers were given 24 hours to vote in each round in a Twitter poll.

Really, it’s the kind of competition I can’t lose. I’m a New York kid and a Milwaukee adult.

I love both cities and I feel like a winner regardless of which takes the top spot.

But I also know that the two cities can hardly be compared.

New York is a world capital, the American (and often world) headquarters of everything from art to food to business to theater to fashion and more.

Milwaukee is the extremely livable, affordable, 15-minutes-to-everywhere gem with a stunning lakefront, an endless array of incomparable summer fun and more.

New York can never hope to boast anymore the kind of convenience and affordability that Milwaukee boasts, just as Milwaukee can never hope to match New York in many ways (including sub-ways).

So, in the end, the Gray Invitational is more an indicator of who feels more compelled to vote, and then, sheer numbers, right?

If even a small percentage of New Yorkers vote, Milwaukee has no hope. But don’t count out Brew City because Milwaukeeans are definitely more the hometown-proud type to click on a Twitter poll pitting Brew City against pretty much any other city.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.