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Ultimate Urban Thread For Favorite American Cities  
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2594 times:

This thread is about American cities. I am curious to hear everyone’s opinion—Americans and non-Americans—on their favorite major American city and the reasons why. I have always been fascinated by urban issues, which is tied in many ways to aviation and transportation. Anyhow, I hope this thread has some meaningful discussion and does not become a pissing contest over the merits of Miami’s nightlife versus New Orleans’s nightlife, as the last similar thread quickly became. I have also included my opinions on the aviation infrastructure in the cities I mention. This is a long post, but I appreciate your patience and thank anyone who ventures to read the entire thing!

As for myself, I grew up in New York City. I was one of those people who always thought New York City was the center of the world, and could never imagine living elsewhere. Or to quote John Updike, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” In fact, some of my early posts on A.net very much reflect that attitude. I overlooked or was blind to New York’s many shortcomings—the decaying infrastructure, etc etc.

College brought me to Washington, DC, where I have lived for the past several years. I don’t quite know how I wound up in DC—I guess I really loved politics, I liked that it was close to NYC, and I always just assumed that college would be a four year experience followed by a return to New York. Anyway, needless to say I fell in love with Washington and have no plans to leave anytime soon. Over my years there, I have come to appreciate the differences between Washington and New York, while enjoying both cities for what they offer.

I find Washington to have all of the advantages of New York—a powerful cosmopolitan international city—without any of the disadvantages—poor infrastructure, relatively dirty, congested, etc. It feels like a small town but is in reality a major world city, perhaps the most important in the country and world. I love how all of the great neighborhoods are close to each other. I love walking around the city, and I love how pretty it is, especially in spring. It has wonderful cultural activities from the many museums to the Kennedy Center. It has great dining and wonderful ethnic food. Some call it “Hollywood for ugly people,” but I really do enjoy it when I see a “DC VIP” like George Stephanopoulos or Charlie Rangel walking around. For whatever reason, I think many people visit DC and find it to be boring—they think that it’s just a lot of monuments, but no real city. Well I think this is because it is hard to see everything on a short trip. It took me a while after moving there to explore all the areas, etc, and I am still finding new stuff now!

Now I should be clear about something. There are two DCs. There is the stereotypical one of violence and poverty, and this does exist in three of the four quadrants of the city. So when I am referring to the city, I am talking about Northwest, where I live, and where most professionals live. Northwest is where all the nice areas are, where the White House is, where all of the big law firms and companies are, etc. But there are also two New Yorks: Manhattan and everything else. And there are many parts of “everything else”, such as East New York, that are as bad as the poor areas of Washington. I just wanted to clear that up.

Anyhow, my mom jokes that the reason DC is in much better shape than New York is because the President lives there. Well I think there is some truth to this, in a general sense. You’re not going to find potholes on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the city is MUCH cleaner than New York.

Other advantages of DC. DC and Northern Virginia and the Maryland Suburbs = one large metropolitan area that is relatively new. Northern Virginia has been built up an incredible amount, and now has the HQs of a lot of businesses, especially in the defense industry. From where I live in DC, I love that I can easily drive out to the Northern Virginia suburbs for shopping or dinner. From NYC to drive out to the comparable suburbs would be a 1 ½ hour drive if there was no traffic. In DC, I can easily go to Pentagon City, or to Tyson’s Corner. Transportation is better (Metro access), and the roads are nicer to drive on. I love just how many different nice areas there are in the Washington metropolitan area. There is Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, and many more, all relatively close to the city. From Manhattan, you have Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx!

Finally, the airport situation is quite nice as well. DCA is one of the nicest airports in the world. The main terminal is gorgeous, it is always pretty quiet, you can walk from the curb to your gate in less than five minutes, and it is GREAT for people spotting. I once did the math and forget the number, but there is a flight to NYC on average of once every 25 minutes or so during the day. I love the feeling that I can be anywhere in DC, decide that I want to go to New York, get in a cab to DCA, and be on the next Delta Shuttle and be in NYC two hours later (not that I ever spontaneously do this, but I like the feeling nonetheless!) I’ve actually never flown from BWI, but many people schlep up there because of WN. But WN also now flies from IAD, which can be a pain to get to during rush hour, but otherwise is not bad, especially if a friend drives you. In my opinion, IAD is nothing special. The main terminal is nice from a historical aviation perspective, but the multiple concourses can be a pain. It will be nice once the underground people mover opens. I do, however, really like Concourse B. It has great stores and restaurants and has a nice mix of airlines (everything from jetBlue to Southwest to Virgin Atlantic to Air France).

I’ll end with a quote from the late Tim Russert about living in Washington: “Two things. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family; it has the civility of a small town but the energy of a great international city. Two, it’s filled with good and interesting people from all across the country who came here well-intentioned—you may not always agree with them, but they do want to do the right thing.” This sums up how I feel about Washington.

Now all of this being said, at least at this point in my life, NYC will still be “home,” partly because my family is still there and that is where I go for the holidays, etc. I still consider myself a New Yorker, and JFK is still my favorite airport in the world and that will never change. BUT, I am thrilled that I am able to have two identities as a New Yorker and as a Washingtonian. Two or so years ago I went through a phase where I was constantly criticizing New York and comparing it to DC in every possible way. But I have since realized I was wrong to compare them and constantly brag to my family about how much nicer DC was than NYC. In truth, both are great cities and they complement each other nicely. After all, there is a reason there are flights every 25 minutes between NYC and DC, in addition to the dozens of trains per day, even more buses, and thousands of people driving between the two cities on a daily basis. Both are huge metropolitan areas that deserve recognition as great cities.

There are also some things that New York has that DC does not. NYC truly is a 24-hour city; DC is not, but this does not bother me. NYC does have more diversity than DC, but it also has more than any place in the world. DC still has a lot of diversity though. One thing that NYC had that DC didn’t was that NYC was the headquarters of global finance. But in recent months, this has ebbed and some have argued that DC has usurped NYC as the real major decisions regarding the financial sector have been made in DC (the bailout decisions, etc). Another thing is that New York City is one of the best integrated cities in the world. DC, along with most other American cities, is still more or less de-facto segregated. In NYC, everyone more or less lives together—the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Jews, the Asians, and every other assorted minority. This is not to say that there aren’t still some racial tensions, but it is better now than at any time in my memory. I attribute a lot of this to a post 9/11 New York, and to the general improvements in New York City over the past twenty years.

Finally, since I mentioned the DC airport situation, let me say a word about NYC’s airports. None are as nice as DCA, however, NYC has a lot of things going for it. EWR is a global hub for Continental as well as having more service from random international airlines than most other American cities. Continental at EWR is the closest thing the United States has to a true global intercontinental hub—service to every major American city, every major European city, and a handful of cities in the Middle East, South America, and Asia. LGA is a very convenient airport for business travelers, but the main Central terminal is showing its age. The US Airways terminal is nice, but severely underused. The Delta terminal is old already. The only truly great thing at LGA is the Marine Air Terminal and the Delta Shuttle service. Finally, JFK is a wonderful airport though it has its downsides like every other one. But jetBlue is one of the nicest airlines in the country to fly, and can get you to most anywhere from JFK out of their gorgeous new terminal. American has an impressive terminal as well, and while it does not operate a hub on the scale of Continental at EWR, it still has a great operation. In fact, one could argue that it’s even better than Continental’s EWR operation because it focuses on a few select routes. For example, American doesn’t operate to a ton of cities, but they do have multiple 777s on JFK-LHR, flagship service to LAX and SFO, and a significant amount of flights to the Caribbean/Central & South America, as well a handful of other European and Asian (well one) destinations. Delta has also built up quite a nice operation, somewhat comparable to CO at EWR but less so in my opinion. Also, Delta is constrained by the fact that it operates out of two terminals that were designed in and for a different era. British Airways has its own terminal, and has a nice presence in the JFK-England market. And finally, there are the assorted international airlines. There are probably more at JFK than in any other city in the United States. Airlines like EgyptAir, Uzbekistan, Czech, etc. All in all, a great airport.

In short, I still say that NYC is wonderful, but I am of the opinion that there are other great places to live as well. I am still mindful when people, including posters on A.net, bash New York as a recent thread did. At the same time, I am equally disdainful of those who believe there is NO place to live BUT New York City. I recognize that New York City has its shortcomings, like any other city. But it is still the closest thing we have to a capital of the world.

Next on my list is Miami/Miami Beach. Boy, I do love Miami. Like many New Yorkers, I grew up traveling to South Florida at least once a year and often several times a year (there is a reason why South Florida is called New York City’s “sixth borough” and why JFK/LGA/EWR-MIA/FLL/PBI is the most heavily traveled air route in the country!). So it has always felt like a second home to me. But in the last few years I have grown to love it even more. It has a wonderful history, amazing diversity, great food, culture, and shopping, and of course, it’s HOT! I personally enjoy it in the off-season (summer), when you can jump into the ocean and it feels like you are entering a hot tub. But even in the winter, it is an amazing feeling to leave the cold winters and a few hours later to be sitting at News Cafe on Ocean Drive in South Beach. I love the Latin feel to the city, and the nice European presence as well. I also like how large the city and surrounding areas are. An hour or so drive to Boca, a 1 ½ hour drive to Palm Beach. I love having wonderful Cuban food at Versailles in Little Havana and then driving down Calle Ocho to Brickell, where a TON of new buildings have gone up in the last ten years, and downtown, which is undergoing a revitalization as well. Approaching Miami from I-95, Miami now has a bigger downtown than most other American cities. Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and all of the other neighborhoods are luscious and very pleasant. Finally, from an aviation perspective, you have three large airports, with MIA being perhaps the third best airport for spotting in the United States (after JFK and LAX, in my opinion). The new Concourse H/J at MIA looks wonderful, though I have yet to fly from there. In another few years when all of the construction is done, MIA will be a world-class airport.

I don’t think I would ever want to live in Miami, but I would love, in a dream world, to have a condo down there and fly down there whenever I need to escape the Northeast. Perhaps the thought of that will give me an incentive to continue to work hard in life  Smile

Those are my three favorite cities in the United States. I feel lucky to be associated with all three of them. Briefly about other cities. I have traveled to a lot of small and mid-size cities in the United States, but there are still a lot that I have not been to (Chicago and Houston being the two most important that I have yet to visit).

A city such as Charlotte seems rather ordinary to me—I don’t know why anyone would choose to live there over other places in the country, except if you worked for one of the big banks headquartered there. I visited Atlanta this past year and enjoyed it, although I could not see myself ever living there. San Francisco is one of the few places in the United States that reminds me of New York. I love the diversity, but I don’t like the amount of homeless people all over the place nor do I like the cool weather. Boston and Philadelphia are also nice, but the downtowns struck me as quite grungy (perhaps I was in the wrong areas). I have not thoroughly explored Los Angeles, but in my two times there I found it to be too spread out. Finally, a word about Las Vegas. I have traveled to Las Vegas five times in my life, more than any other place with the exception of South Florida. Las Vegas has always been one of my favorite cities, although I could never see myself living there. There is something so uniquely American about Las Vegas—I love flying there and looking down to the empty barren desert for a long time before suddenly appearing over the city and landing at McCarran. I always think to myself “Who thought to make a city here?”! I love how you can turn 360 degrees and be looking at the mountains in the distance the entire time. I love the sheer amount of huge resorts on such a small road. Las Vegas to me is a dream. You go there to get away, to feast, to utterly relax, and to soak it all in. In short, you go there to live a life that you can’t live at home. Of course, this view ignores the millions of people who ACTUALLY live there and support the industry that everyone else comes to Las Vegas for.

The United States is truly blessed with so many wonderful and different cities that are all part of our country. I look forward to hearing everyone’s opinions. For those of you who have read this far, I thank you for reading and wish you a Happy Holidays and a joyous New Year!

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

My favourite city to vist is NYC but I don't think I'd like to live there for more than a year. Its so much more convenient and cheaper living in a smaller city.

If I had to pick a large city to live in it would probably be Raleigh or Nashville. Big enough to have a good variety and small enough to feel "like home."


User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2534 times:

I had a somewhat different experience growing up. I grew up in Boston and couldn't wait to get out. It wasn't that I didn't like the city but I always felt that I just needed to get out and experience something new. I wasn't going to be one of those people that lived and died in the same place. Although I took a baby step and moved to Providence, RI at the age of 21, it wasn't until I was 24 that I finally took the plunge and moved to Canada. You know that expression that sometimes you need to take a step back to appreciate the whole picture, well that's certainly true in my case.

After I moved, albeit to a smaller city, all the things that I felt Boston lacked or didn't do right, I came to appreciate more. Having moved to what one might call a bit more of a "typical" North American city (largely built since the 1850s, vast expanse of suburbs, etc), I've come to appreciate the oldness and history of Boston. It's more European flavour (even if that means coming at the expense of a truly befitting skyline for the city). The diversity (while no Toronto or Los Angeles) of hearing several languages spoken on one city block.

My other favourite American cities are ones that I may not have visited in recent years, but still strike me as places where I could live and be happy.

Chicago: A truly world-class city. Great museums, great skyline, great energy. An embodiment of the American spirit in the Upper Midwest. No shortage of things to do during the day and night.

Minneapolis: Friendly, laid-back city. Lots of renowned cultural institutions and a city that makes full use of its four seasons.

San Francisco: The New York of the West Coast once upon a time. One of the most historic, beautiful, timeless cities anywhere. If it weren't for the prohibitive cost of living I would have been there years ago.

Washington: Great city, amazing museums and cultural institutions (best of all, most of them are free), the architecture and layout make parts feel very European. However, the one thing that I never liked about Washington was the crime. To borrow from the OP: "There is the stereotypical one of violence and poverty, and this does exist in three of the four quadrants of the city. So when I am referring to the city, I am talking about Northwest, where I live, and where most professionals live." That, to me, is a huge drawback. I wouldn't like living in a place where 75 % of the city is largely "off-limits". But, at the end of the day, DC is definitely a place I wouldn't hesitate longer than about 45 seconds to move to if I were offered a job or something.

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7187 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 2488 times:

Lived all my life in Miami FL and its a great city. I have seen it really grow and change. Miami has a lot of things to do. It is very diverse, highest percentage of foreign born residents in the world. World famous night life and a pretty laid back atmosphere. Basically Miami is an international destination in America. There is no city like Miami in the US, the weather is great, the crystal clear water of the beaches. The Florida Everglades are right near by, Biscayne National Park and the Coral Reef there and the Florida Keys. Downtown has turned into a international finance hub. The two largest cruise ships ports in the world. The culture diversity is just about the best part. Any where in the city you are bound to hear 5 different languages. The city itself has three official languages. Its a nice urban place, not to spread out but not to crowded either. Also its a true 24/7 city. No matter what part of town you are in there is something to do or somewhere to go any time of the day. 4 Professional sports teams to watch, the best high school sports in the country and than you have the "U". Its a city that is opened to anything. Miami Beach if my favourite spot, a nice urban place with fantastic night life and restaurants. Its amazing the change I have seen though in the Downtown and Midtown area. This transformation is making Miami a real world city. The only major problem in the city is poor public transportation.

I now go to school in Washington DC and this is my second favourite city in the US. Its a great place, I like politics and even intern with a member of Congress on the Hill. It is great, DC is a beautiful city. Mass Transit is great, I can walk anywhere, there is a lot to do also especially during the day time. Night not so much, well at least compared to Miami. This is one fault of DC. Daytime it is a hustle and bustle international world city. Night time not so much. More people should live downtown and clubs and bars should be able to stay open past 2:30am. But living in the worlds most powerful city is great! The museums, the buildings, politics everything about DC is great except for the not so great night life. Again though I am comparing it to Miami nightlife which is world famous. DC has a great feel to it, lots of green space, the weather is not too cold either. Also DCA is the best airport there is in the US. IAD is a bit far but not to long of a drive. Traffic can be bad but scene I barely drive in DC and use the Metro everywhere I go so the traffic does not bother me.

When I am done with school I would like to live in one of these two cities but with my career goals it looks like I might not be able to chose where I live.
After Miami and DC I would put these cities as the best of the US.
3. New York City
4. Los Angeles
5. San Francisco
6. Boston
7. Chicago
8. Seattle



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineBlueElephant From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 1813 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

Nice post mates.
I live in DC too..And I must say...
I do like it Although I think I should force myself to explore a bit more.

But you're right...its seems smaller but with a big important city feel to it.

I have a view of the arrivals and departures at DCA...and Its something I never get bored of.

Gravelly Point is a 10 minute bike ride for me...and its a great place to relax in the evenings, and Generally the city is very accessible.

In the summer on Saturday mornings, I'd take my cycle on the metro up to Woodley park...go through Adams Morgan (Jumbo Slice...decent pizza) and then ride all the way back to my place near Pentagon City.

I like the fact that I walk through that mall and hear at least 3 languages a day.

Anyway...seems that there are a lot of DC people on this forum...maybe a DC Meet may be in order at some point  Smile


User currently offlineN229NW From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 1954 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

My favorite is easily Boston.

Beautiful architecture and river and waterfront, walkable, public transport, truly spectacular autumn, charming, easy to bike and otherwise get around but still just big enough to be a real city--with its own accent, culture, etc. Full of students from the US and the world over. Great Airport. I include all areas (Cambridge, Brookline, etc.) that are technically separate cities but obviously part of the Boston city experience as part of "Boston."

Lived there until recently and I miss it...



It's people like you what cause unrest!
User currently offlineLXA333 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2416 times:

The best city in the USA is NYC! - JFK!(also favorite airport in the world), 24/7 open, hottest chicks in the universe, best bars, best football team, attracts the rich, wall street etc. etc. many reasons.

I've been to Chicago, Miami, D.C, Boston, and Philly and none of those cities come close in many different aspects.

I still have a couple other cities to explore. Soon I'll probably visit LA, San Fran, Seattle and Denver before moving to ethnic homeland in Europe permanently in 1.5 yrs.

My next favorite is probably Boston(even though they have the sox!), because it's such a calming place with not that much of a huge population. It also has a european taste to it.

NYC is probably the best city in the world, up there with Paris, London and Tokyo.

My favorite in order.
NYC
Boston
Miami
DC
Chicago
Philly

Bawn and raised a New Yawka baby! lol! NYC is the best!



SWISSAIR-Worlds most refreshing airline
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16878 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

I'm 33 and lived all but one year in either NYC or a Suburb in New Jersey, that one year I lived in Burke, Virginia (Fairfax County).

In a comparison between the Washington DC / Northern Virginia area vs NYC/NJ/Long Island the best place to live is hands down Northern Virginia. NYC and the Suburbs surrounding the City are way too expensive, the schools are too old, too crowded, underfunded and suffer from a serious malaise. The tax situation in the State of New York which has always been higher than most States has now reached the point of the absurdity, the life afforded most middle class families in Long Island, the Boroughs is a far cry from other parts of the Country. The entire infrastructure of the City, Long Island and Northern New Jersey is decrepit.

The steady stream of young people leaving the area for other parts of the Country will only increase now because of the weak economy and the financial industry ills as well as the ridiculous levels of taxation. If the taxes were paying for stuff like new highways, schools, improving the transit system then they would be acceptable to more people. However all these Billions in new taxes being raised are all going towards paying down already existing debt.

The best place to live (with or without a family) a middle-Upper Middle Class life are (IMO):

1.) Pacific Northwest
2.) Northern Virginia
3.) Central Florida
4.) Minnesota
5.) Vermont

The worst places to live (with or without a family) a Middle-Upper Middle Class life are (IMO):

1.) New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)
2.) Long Island
3.) New Jersey



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineAf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2693 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2387 times:

Minneapolis/St. Paul is a wonderful city to visit. Many activities to do in the Twin Cities in Summer and Winter. There are also many theaters and museums around the Twin Cities. Since our first light rail line was built Minneapolis and Bloomington have really changed to more friendly communities. If you like shopping go to the Mall of America. Mostly the only thing you see at MSP is NW plus a couple SY aircraft and other airlines, but if you're lucky enough a rare visitor comes to MSP. Some examples are the Royal Air Force L-1011s, VC-10s, and the An-225 and C-5 have been at MSP. Sometimes fighter jets will also be at MSP. And during the spring and summer in the evening times you might see the FI 752 from/to KEF arrive/depart.

St. Petersburg, Florida is a great place to spend vacation. When I walked out of the plane on the outdoor air stairs at PIE I could feel the warm and clean air of Florida. PIE has a few airlines (NK, G4, CanJet are some expamples) some I haven't seen before. Beach Boulevard has tons of restaurants, hotels, and beaches. Almost every hotel is walking distance to the beach. The only problem was the transportation. Only a few trolley buses was all we had. And the sunburn was another problem. When I get the chance I'll fly back to St. Petersburg just because I didn't experience enough of it.

Some other great cities:
New York City
Washington D.C.
Salt Lake City



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7187 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2383 times:



Quoting LXA333 (Reply 6):
hottest chicks in the universe,

I agree with that stuff NYC is great. I hate all NY sports teams but hottest chicks? I cant agree with that. Miami and all the Latin women and a good amount of Europeans too. Nothing beats Miami in this catagory in the US. IMO.

Also Miami on a aviation standpoint is the great. MIA is a great spotting airport lots of diversity with European Heavies, AA and lots of classics 727s,DC-8s,DC-10s,747-200s they are all here in MIA, even a DC-3 or two. Than you have FLL which is a fun place to spot. And of course there is OPF near by, where else can you see planes from the 1950s taxing next to Coast Gaurd planes, brand new biz jets and a AN-12 or AN-26. Also Florida is a major flight training centre in the world. Miami has alot of flight schools and alot of GA airports with a alot of cool near by destinations to fly your cessna too. Aviation is a big buisnes in Miami and many other parts of the state.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21654 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2370 times:

The problem I have with most US cities is that they're nice during the day, but at night, when all the offices downtown are closed and people have retreated to the suburbs, they turn into ghost towns. New York and Boston are exceptions to this, and I imagine that Philly, Chicago, San Francisco and LA are as well (though I haven't spent enough time in any of them to adequately judge). Example: I'm sitting here typing this at 3am, and I know that, were it not Christmas, I could go out and after no more than a ten minute walk be having a slice of good pizza (and I probably could do that even though it is Christmas). In my experience, there aren't many other cities where that's the case (I'm sure I could get a slice of pizza at 3am in a number of cities, but I'd have to get in a car to do it).

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
From where I live in DC, I love that I can easily drive out to the Northern Virginia suburbs for shopping or dinner. From NYC to drive out to the comparable suburbs would be a 1 ½ hour drive if there was no traffic.

This is true. But what makes New York City the city that it is is that people actually live in the city. You can legitimately live 365 days a year in New York and never have to get in a car, because everything you need to survive (and much more) is either within walking distance or a subway ride away. Other cities in the country may have small areas where that's the case, but none of them come close to having them on the same scale as New York. So yes, driving out to the suburbs from NYC to shop or have dinner would take a while. But why would you, when there's better stuff to be had in the city itself?

It's the old cities that are like that - the ones that were designed before the automobile came into vogue. They're the older cities - Boston, New York and Philadelphia. I haven't spent too much time in Philly, but I've spent plenty of time in Boston, and I like it for the same reasons. The neighborhoods in those cities are the ones that developers in other cities are trying to copy with new neighborhoods that have retail and residences all in the same place (and sometimes transit as well). I've visited some of them. In Denver, for instance, the old Stapleton airport is being developed into homes, and one area that I spent some time in is like that. It's nice, clean, pretty, etc. But all the stores are chains (upscale chains, but chains nevertheless), and it all feels sort of fake, as if it were created to be that way rather than developing naturally. Which, of course, it was.

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
You’re not going to find potholes on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the city is MUCH cleaner than New York.

This is true. New York is certainly not anti-septic. But I don't really see that as much of a drawback. When a place is too anti-septic, it starts to lose character. Which is a problem.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 7):
If the taxes were paying for stuff like new highways, schools, improving the transit system then they would be acceptable to more people. However all these Billions in new taxes being raised are all going towards paying down already existing debt.

This isn't really an economic thread, so I don't want to get too far off track, but that already existing debt is going to have to be paid off at some point. Pushing it farther down the line isn't a very attractive option.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2364 times:



Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
I overlooked or was blind to New York's many shortcomings---the decaying infrastructure, etc etc.

.....and inferior pizza to Chicago.  duck 

For large US cities of 1million or larger, I'd have to go with Chicago.
It's also a 24 hour city like New York with lots of culture and entertainment yet it's friendlier, cleaner, down to earth and cheaper. I like the 4 seasons too.
Riding the El train is a great experience. You get a 3rd. floor tour of the entire city. If you see a cool looking neighborhood, just get off the train and check it out.
The CTA runs perfectly 24 hours and they don't rip you off going to any of the two airports unlike New York & San Francisco.
Best of all, Chicago is a United Airlines hub.  Smile

San Francsico where I live is my favorite major city to live. It's even more diverse than Chicago, excellent choices of restaurants and eating out is very cheap. San Francisco is a very scenic city too. I just wish it was a 24 hour city with reliable public transportation.
Our MUNI lines suck! They should be paying people to ride it instead of charging people. It can ruin your experience visiting San Francisco if you rely on it.
Other than that, San Francisco is agreat city. Very laidback and doesn't have the pretentous attitude of self-importance found on the East Coast.
Bes of all, United Airlines and Virgin America has hubs here.  Smile

Los Angeles?
I've bashed that city enough in these boards.  Smile



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineStlgph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9391 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2340 times:

a potpourri of cities and comments, just kind of picked and choosed here and there from cities where memories stand out the most.


Chicago, Illinois -- love it. my favorite.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- fun place. very enjoyable. could live here.

Minneapolis, Minnesota -- i *love* this city. a lot. it's near the top of "places I could easily live."

Duluth, Minnesota -- a hidden gem. very, very beautiful place. have enjoyed every visit during every season.

Indianapolis, Indiana -- i like this city. a lot. could live here permanently.

Des Moines, Iowa -- very cool city, very & *very* clean. lots and i mean lots going on.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota -- an 'interesting' place. very good food, restaurants, fun nightlife, and the people are cold and horny.

Omaha, Nebraska -- lots of great concerts, very beautiful at night, but lacks *a lot* for 400,000+ people

Toledo, Ohio -- what a dump.

Columbus, Ohio -- very fun, place. unique city. great night life scene, great neighborhoods, i could live here permanently.

Saint Louis, Missouri -- my heart adores Saint Louis. had great times, lots of fun.

Kansas City, Missouri -- good place, but best experienced with the locals. doesn't sound like it would be all of that, but it's not a place to turn your back on.

Las Vegas, Nevada -- great place to visit for about 2 or 3 days.

Boston, Massachusetts -- another fantastic place, had a great time here, but definitely a city that's best experienced with the locals.

New York, New York -- a good town, great place to visit ... but not sure if I'd live there.

Rapid City, South Dakota -- a fun place to just go and escape to for about 2-3 days ... not what one would expect.

Miami, Florida -- great unique city ... great place to feel like a minority in your own country. best experienced with a local.

Tampa, Florida -- fun place. beautiful at night looking at it from the water. liveable.

Atlanta, Georgia -- been there, done that. not that excited about it, really.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- same as Atlanta.

Detroit, Michigan -- very nice suburbs .. um ... that's about it, *but* if you end up there for a rock concert ... it's definitely called "Detroit Rock City" for a reason.

Cleveland, Ohio -- a city that came as a surprise to me when I went there ... I enjoy Cleveland quite a bit ... have always been very entertained and had a good time here. on my list of "liveable" cities.

Denver, Colorado -- very nice, beautiful, but a little too slow for me. home of a great concert venue -- Red Rocks.

Wichita, Kansas -- a fun little oasis in the middle of ... "nowhere"

Peoria, Illinois -- working class people ... hard to sell humor, new friends, ideas, and jokes, too ... very much lives up to the "Will it play in Peoria?" matre.

Champaign, Illinois & Urbana, Illinois -- my favorite university town setting.

Los Angeles, California -- it is what it is.

Phoenix, Arizona -- enjoy Phoenix ... not a top destination, just end up there when I end up there.

New Orleans, Louisiana -- what a cluster.

Grand Rapids, Michigan -- neat city, nice selection of live concerts.

Lansing, Michigan -- great arts scene.

Baltimore, Maryland -- I'm sure it's nice and has its moments and perhaps I missed out on a lot of the offerings, but I was disappointed.

Nashville, Tennessee -- another city that surprised me. I don't go rushing back to visit but when I get there in passing or for whatever the reason, there aren't any complaints. Good music scene ... obviously.

Madison, Wisconsin -- oh the joys of this place. lots of fun, good times, and some very, very horny people live here.



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16878 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2307 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
Quoting Superfly (Reply 11):
.....and inferior pizza to Chicago.

I'll take pizza from Hoboken or Arthur Avenue anyday over Pizza Hut, which is what Chicago pizza basically is (pizza hut).

Bagels and Pizza are a NY, NJ and maybe Philly thing. Anywhere else you might as well go to your local Super Market's frozen food section and bring home a Mama Celeste to Microwave.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2536 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2298 times:



Quoting LH423 (Reply 2):
Chicago: A truly world-class city. Great museums, great skyline, great energy. An embodiment of the American spirit in the Upper Midwest. No shortage of things to do during the day and night.

 checkmark  If the weather wasn't so god-awful (too hot & humid in summer, just plain miserable in winter) I probably would have never left. A great, great city!

I love San Francisco too. Tremendous diversity, very scenic, friendly people, fantastic restaurants.

I am quite fond of the Pacific Northwest, but not really for the cities themselves. Seattle and Portland, while they have their charms, are not true cosmopolitan cities in the sense of places like Chicago, NYC, San Francisco ext. They are definitely not world-class. That being said however, I can't imagine a major city in any more beautiful natural setting that Seattle. Just standing on the shores of Elliot Bay and seeing the snow-capped Olympic Mountains to the west, the Cascade range to the east and the magnificent Mt. Rainier dominating the entire southern horizon is enough to tale yor breath away.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9391 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2297 times:



Quoting STT757 (Reply 14):
I'll take pizza from Hoboken or Arthur Avenue anyday over Pizza Hut, which is what Chicago pizza basically is (pizza hut).

umm.....not really. at all. even in the slightest.



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2284 times:



Quoting Stlgph (Reply 13):
Boston, Massachusetts -- another fantastic place, had a great time here, but definitely a city that's best experienced with the locals.

Agreed. Bostonians can be a tough nut to crack and for a visitor not knowing the city (especially on travelling alone), that can be somewhat off-putting.

So best to travel either with your own entourage or make sure you know someone who can show you were to go and help you meet people.

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2275 times:

My favorite would be St. Paul, MN. It is somewhat less frantic than the Minneapolis side, with plenty to do and many well preserved, neighborhoods. Milwaukee, WI would be my second favorite. That said, I have no desire to ever live in a town of over 80,000. Somewhere past that point I start to get the "lab rat in a maze" feeling.


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2251 times:



Quoting STT757 (Reply 13):
Chicago pizza basically is (pizza hut).

I guess you've never had a Chicago style pizza.  Sad
Try one next time you visit Chicago.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 14):
If the weather wasn't so god-awful (too hot & humid in summer, just plain miserable in winter) I probably would have never left. A great, great city!

I love San Francisco too. Tremendous diversity, very scenic, friendly people, fantastic restaurants.

If San Francisco had Chicago or Minneapolis weather, this would be my paradise.  Smile
I miss those 4 intense seasons of the Upper Midwest.
The people here in San Francisco would actually learn how to drive if we had some real weather.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTZ757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2869 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2248 times:



Quoting STT757 (Reply 13):
Pizza Hut, which is what Chicago pizza basically is (pizza hut).

Umm...What is your idea of Chicago style pizza?

Quoting STT757 (Reply 13):
Bagels and Pizza are a NY, NJ and maybe Philly thing.

Yeah, definately NJ and NY, but I have experienced some good pizza in Philly and even here in DE. I guess because the proximity is close.



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2536 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2244 times:



Quoting TZ757300 (Reply 19):
Umm...What is your idea of Chicago style pizza?

For me, Gino's East would be #1, followed by Uno's and Lou Malnati's.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2239 times:



Quoting ER757 (Reply 20):
For me, Gino's East would be #1,

...or Giordano's.  yes 



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21654 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2197 times:



Quoting Superfly (Reply 11):
.....and inferior pizza to Chicago.

What color is the sky in your alternate reality?  Smile

Quoting ER757 (Reply 20):
Gino's East would be #1,

If Gino's East is #1, then Chicago has a lot of catching up to do to be on par with New York. That place was seriously disappointing.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2194 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 22):
If Gino's East is #1, then Chicago has a lot of catching up to do to be on par with New York. That place was seriously disappointing.

New York pizza is nothing but a decent appetizer for the real deal, Chicago style deep dish!
Ideally with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives and tons of melted cheese!  yes 
Wash it down with some Goose Island Imperial IPA.
YUM, YUM! ! !



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTZ757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2869 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2175 times:



Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):

New York pizza is nothing but a decent appetizer for the real deal, Chicago style deep dish!

If you can't eat it with your hands it isn't pizza. I would Chicago style a Tomato pie. Something all the little kids would run after when Johnny's mom went and put it in the window.



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
25 STLGph : Lou Malnotti's! Gino's is fun. New York pizza stinks rabbit hole. too heavy for you, Alice?
26 Longhornmaniac : Well, my favorite cities are: 1. Austin- Austin has it all. Great food, great scenery, great climate (a little hot, but not too bad), great women, gre
27 TZ757300 : Sorry, Pizza is something to eat on the fly. You can't possibly do stuff like that with Chicago "style." If I want a heavy meal, I'll sit down and ha
28 Superfly : Cheap half-assed New York pizza is something you eat on the fly. Chicago restaurants can serve you that too with better quality, better taste, better
29 UAL757 : Haha yeah, I agree with these comments. KCMO 4 LIFE Joking aside, I do think Kansas City is a neat little place in the center of the US.
30 TZ757300 : Yeah, I'll stop the debate too. haha My favorite city would have to be Wilmington, DE. Not as major as all the rest on here (only 70k residents), but
31 MSYtristar : I love the urban density of New Orleans. The city is not dominated by retail sprawl and chain restaurants. I like the oldness of the city....you can s
32 Greggarious : Of course, he said that before the City of Miami was founded.
33 MSYtristar : Well hey I'm sure the statement was open for additions. Just leave the bland, no character, culturally deficient places off of it, ok?
34 Greggarious : Ha ha, Miami's got plenty of character! Mostly Latin American, but it's there. I will admit though, Miami has no sense of history at all (especially
35 MSYtristar : It certainly counts for something. MIA is a cool city. I got to spend some time there a few years ago and I really liked it. I'm not really a fan of
36 RGElectra80 : I have lived in 4 American cities, all very different, and have visited more. Columbia, SC - I was a kid and other than the zoo, there wasn't much els
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