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Old 02-22-2014, 09:44 PM
 
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What U.S. cities, besides NYC, do you feel are the closest equivalents of Chinese cities in terms of atmosphere. As in, stuff going on all the time, massive crowds of people, and very exciting in general. After living in China for 4 years and returning to the States, I'm still looking to move to a city that has the similar feel of living in a city like Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing, etc. I have been targeting L.A. because it's close by, but I think unless you're living in the downtown area it feels like a typical suburban sprawl?
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by guawazi View Post
What U.S. cities, besides NYC, do you feel are the closest equivalents of Chinese cities in terms of atmosphere. As in, stuff going on all the time, massive crowds of people, and very exciting in general. After living in China for 4 years and returning to the States, I'm still looking to move to a city that has the similar feel of living in a city like Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing, etc. I have been targeting L.A. because it's close by, but I think unless you're living in the downtown area it feels like a typical suburban sprawl?
Beijing feels sprawly as well.

Shanghai, maybe Chicago?

Chengdu, maybe somewhere way smaller. Whatever a very mini-Chicago might be. Milwaukee?
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:44 AM
 
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What comes to mind perhaps are Washington, D.C., Philadelphia or Miami perhaps and maybe even Fort Lauderdale.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Beijing feels sprawly as well.

Shanghai, maybe Chicago?

Chengdu, maybe somewhere way smaller. Whatever a very mini-Chicago might be. Milwaukee?
are you kidding me?

Shanghai is certainly similar to NYC in terms of urban vibes, if not exceeding it. Comparing Shanghai to Chicago is ridiculous. LA doesn't come close to having the similar level of urban experience in Shanghai either. Shanghai doesn't have large low rise suburbs that are pure residential establishment. Almost all streets are mixed-use with retails. Shanghai can only be put in the context of Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York when it comes to this kind of thing. No other American city is even close. Americans do think really highly of their cities, don't they?

Chengdu = Milwaukee? Have you even been to Chengdu? I guess certainly not. I have. At 10 pm on a Tuesday night, the streets (not necessarily downtown core) is packed with people eating, shopping and most of the stores are open. Can you say the same about some sleepy towns like Milwaukee? There are completely different games. Chicago or San Francisco are even as vibrant as Chengdu.

In case you didn't know, Chengdu has 7.3 million urban residents with a density of 11500/sq km in the urban core (higher than San Francisco), Milwaukee has 1.3 million urban residents with large sleepy suburbs. Can you even start to compare? Milwaukee is a boring small town compared to Chengdu.

If 80% of a city is composed to two story residential houses with no retail/office, you can't start comparing it to mid and large Chinese cities.

Last edited by botticelli; 02-23-2014 at 07:03 AM..
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
are you kidding me?

Shanghai is certainly similar to NYC in terms of urban vibes, if not exceeding it. Comparing Shanghai to Chicago is ridiculous. LA doesn't come close to having the similar level of urban experience in Shanghai either. Shanghai doesn't have large low rise suburbs that are pure residential establishment. Almost all streets are mixed-use with retails. Shanghai can only be put in the context of Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York when it comes to this kind of thing. No other American city is even close. Americans do think really highly of their cities, don't they?

Chengdu = Milwaukee? Have you even been to Chengdu? I guess certainly not. I have. At 10 pm on a Tuesday night, the streets (not necessarily downtown core) is packed with people eating, shopping and most of the stores are open. Can you say the same about some sleepy towns like Milwaukee? There are completely different games. Chicago or San Francisco are even as vibrant as Chengdu.

In case you didn't know, Chengdu has 7.3 million urban residents with a density of 11500/sq km in the urban core (higher than San Francisco), Milwaukee has 1.3 million urban residents with large sleepy suburbs. Can you even start to compare? Milwaukee is a boring small town compared to Chengdu.

If 80% of a city is composed to two story residential houses with no retail/office, you can't start comparing it to mid and large Chinese cities.
I have been to Chengdu, but it was about 10 years ago. Despite the population sizes of most Asian cities, you really can't compare them to equal population places in the U.S.

Actually the problem is that NO Asia cities are comparable to ANY American cities.

I lived in NYC for 3 years, and Shanghai doesn't remind me of NYC whatsoever. I was just in Shanghai again about 6 months ago, my third time there.

You are right that Chicago isn't a fair comparison, but New York City is a MUCH worse comparison.

But, in general, as a person who has lived in Pacific Asia for a very long time, the ONLY city that remotely feels a bit like Asia on any measure, would actually be New York City, because the entire city is walkable and mixed use. But, at the same time, NYC is completely completely completely different at the same time. Nowhere in Asia has the range of diversity and energy and worldliness and 'center of the world' and everything else that NYC has.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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^ agree about the worldly feel, except the OP was talking about the busy and vibrant urban experience, not "center of the world" feel.

Chengdu 10 years ago? LOL! You do know China is growing 10% a year right? Many cities get 3 times bigger within 10 years, districts completely transformed, transit tripled or quadrupled. You probably can think American city looks essentially the same as it was 10 years ago, but not Chinese cities.

10 years ago, Shanghai had 4 subway lines. Now it has 16. Ten years ago, China has no high speed rail, now it has by far the world's largest. 10 years ago, the west hardly pays much attention to China as its economy is smaller than France, now it is more than 4 times that of France. Need I say more?

Speaking of urban feel and interesting street life, most US cities are extremely boring. Most stores shut down by 7pm outside a few large urban cores. There is nothing more soulless and boring than the typical pure single family houses that seem to absolutely dominate all American cities including major ones such as Boston, Seattle, Chicago and Washington DC with their completely car dependent pathetic life.

Chicago street life comparing to Shanghai? OMG... Chicago does have a few very busy commercial streets in the city center and near north, but vast majority of the city is pure houses with hardly any amenities within walking distance.

Let me tell you this: the Shanghainese buy their groceries every day, or every other day at least, because almost every apartment building has one or more fresh grocery markets within walking distance, so that they enjoy their fresh meat and vegetable on the table every day. Chicagoans do grocery shopping every week and eat frozen beef and food out of cans most of the time because the closest grocery store is 20 minutes drive away;

Most Shanghainese walk/take a subway ride to theatres, stores, restaurants, the Chicagoans mostly need to drive to anywhere that has anything other than houses. Department stores closes at 11pm in Shanghai and Huaihai, Nanjing Road etc are packed with people every single night, many restaurants open 24/7

Stores such as Macy's/Nordstrom in Chicago opens at 11am and close at 6pm on Sunday, while Parkson etc in Shanghai opens at 9:30am and closes at 10pm - yes, they open earlier on weekends but people will go there shopping, unless in Chicago because it makes no sense to open at 9:30 as most people don't have time to drive from their suburban homes to downtown by 11.

Chicago outside the loop and near north is just a big low rise sprawling suburb. Shanghai is more like Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn. Not even belong to the same league in the context of urban vibrancy.

Metropolitan Chicago spreads over 28000 sq km, with less than 10M people, shanghai has 23M people on 6300 sq km of land. It is not even the same game, buddy. The city of Chicago has 2.7M on 606 sq km, within the Shanghai "outter ring" (central Shanghai), which is about 630km sq, there are about 12M residents. Chicago would seem like a pretty small and uneventful city by Shanghai standard. In fact Chicago should be compared with second tier cities such as Hangzhou and Nanjing, both have about 7-8M people with very high urban vibrancy as well.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
^ agree about the worldly feel, except the OP was talking about the busy and vibrant urban experience, not "center of the world" feel.

Chengdu 10 years ago? LOL! You do know China is growing 10% a year right? Many cities get 3 times bigger within 10 years, districts completely transformed, transit tripled or quadrupled. You probably can think American city looks essentially the same as it was 10 years ago, but not Chinese cities.

10 years ago, Shanghai had 4 subway lines. Now it has 16. Ten years ago, China has no high speed rail, now it has by far the world's largest. 10 years ago, the west hardly pays much attention to China as its economy is smaller than France, now it is more than 4 times that of France. Need I say more?

Speaking of urban feel and interesting street life, most US cities are extremely boring. Most stores shut down by 7pm outside a few large urban cores. There is nothing more soulless and boring than the typical pure single family houses that seem to absolutely dominate all American cities including major ones such as Boston, Seattle, Chicago and Washington DC with their completely car dependent pathetic life.

Chicago street life comparing to Shanghai? OMG... Chicago does have a few very busy commercial streets in the city center and near north, but vast majority of the city is pure houses with hardly any amenities within walking distance.

Let me tell you this: the Shanghainese buy their groceries every day, or every other day at least, because almost every apartment building has one or more fresh grocery markets within walking distance, so that they enjoy their fresh meat and vegetable on the table every day. Chicagoans do grocery shopping every week and eat frozen beef and food out of cans most of the time because the closest grocery store is 20 minutes drive away;

Most Shanghainese walk/take a subway ride to theatres, stores, restaurants, the Chicagoans mostly need to drive to anywhere that has anything other than houses. Department stores closes at 11pm in Shanghai and Huaihai, Nanjing Road etc are packed with people every single night, many restaurants open 24/7

Stores such as Macy's/Nordstrom in Chicago opens at 11am and close at 6pm on Sunday, while Parkson etc in Shanghai opens at 9:30am and closes at 10pm - yes, they open earlier on weekends but people will go there shopping, unless in Chicago because it makes no sense to open at 9:30 as most people don't have time to drive from their suburban homes to downtown by 11.

Chicago outside the loop and near north is just a big low rise sprawling suburb. Shanghai is more like Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn. Not even belong to the same league in the context of urban vibrancy.

Metropolitan Chicago spreads over 28000 sq km, with less than 10M people, shanghai has 23M people on 6300 sq km of land. It is not even the same game, buddy. The city of Chicago has 2.7M on 606 sq km, within the Shanghai "outter ring" (central Shanghai), which is about 630km sq, there are about 12M residents. Chicago would seem like a pretty small and uneventful city by Shanghai standard. In fact Chicago should be compared with second tier cities such as Hangzhou and Nanjing, both have about 7-8M people with very high urban vibrancy as well.
Personally, I find Shanghai nowhere near like living in New York City. I find Shanghai a bit on the dull and boring side myself. I don't think the nightlife is all that good, and I don't find the Chinese people there all that interesting, cosmopolitan, or much of anything else that I'd attribute to New Yorkers. I don't even find the Shanghai people could compare to Chicago for that matter.

Chengdu, despite being 7 million, is actually VERY small and irrelevant in the Asia sphere of things. Personally I find Guangzhou and Shenzhen to be even more boring and dull despite being way more larger than Chengdu. So, population size doesn't necessary make it automatically more interesting.

If we're ONLY talking about vibrancy, than pretty much everywhere in Asia, is more vibrant than 98% of the U.S. though. So, if that's the ONLY criteria, and re-reading the OP again, it seems it might be the ONLY criteria, than New York City wins by default.

What's confusing is the OP is asking for US-China equivalents and states various Chinese cities, which leads to a direct comparison to different cities. Meanwhile, the majority of Asia is way more dynamic, walkable, street life oriented, and everything else, that only NYC provides. It doesn't mean they are equivalent to NYC though. It just means that Asian/Chinese cities are so way different from American cities, that you really can't compare or make equivalents whatsoever.

Last edited by Tiger Beer; 02-23-2014 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Personally, I find Shanghai nowhere near like living in New York City. I find Shanghai a bit on the dull and boring side myself. I don't think the nightlife is all that good, and I don't find the Chinese people there all that interesting, cosmopolitan, or much of anything else that I'd attribute to New Yorkers. I don't even find the Shanghai people could compare to Chicago for that matter.

Chengdu, despite being 7 million, is actually VERY small and irrelevant in the Asia sphere of things. Personally I find Guangzhou and Shenzhen to be even more boring and dull despite being way more larger than Chengdu. So, population size doesn't necessary make it automatically more interesting.

If we're ONLY talking about vibrancy, than pretty much everywhere in Asia, is more vibrant than 98% of the U.S. though. So, if that's the ONLY criteria, and re-reading the OP again, it seems it might be the ONLY criteria, than New York City wins by default.

What's confusing is the OP is asking for US-China equivalents and states various Chinese cities, which leads to a direct comparison to different cities. Meanwhile, the majority of Asia is way more dynamic, walkable, street life oriented, and everything else, that only NYC provides. It doesn't mean they are equivalent to NYC though. It just means that Asian/Chinese cities are so way different from American cities, that you really can't compare or make equivalents whatsoever.
You didn't find Chinese cities interesting, that's understandable - most Chinese don't find American cities interesting either. Yes, they move to America for better standard living, but the more boring suburban lifestyle is not one of the reasons. The typical hamburger and hotdog type of food definitely didn't help either.

I agree with no Chinese city is at par with NYC in general.. of course, few cities in the world is, but Chicago? The city where a 100 people are already murdered by the end of February every year? LOL.

It looks clear that the OP WAS talking about city vibrancy and walkability to amenities such as shops, restaurants, hospitals, grocery store etc, and in that respect, almost all American cities except NYC do miserably, worse than major European, Asian and South American cities for sure. In terms of lifestyle, North America and Oceania are the most boring places to be on earth with their car dependent culture and huge suburbs.

American cities are far wealthier and orderly, for sure, no one denies there. China is poorer and chaotic, and not as clean, but spend some time in second tier cities such as Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Hangzhou etc, take their subways, take a stroll at 9pm on weekday nights, and you will never have the illusion that American cities such as Chicago, Boston and San Fran are anywhere close to their vibrancy.

by the way, any comments regarding the store hours on Sundays? that's a clear indication of how much average people are involved in the street life in their cities.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
You didn't find Chinese cities interesting, that's understandable - most Chinese don't find American cities interesting either. Yes, they move to America for better standard living, but the more boring suburban lifestyle is not one of the reasons.
Unfortunately, many do move to suburbs. The trend of this generation of many Chinese and Asian emigrating to the U.S., is to go directly into the suburbs for the good schools, bigger houses, etc.

I don't necessary agree with that, as I've never lived in a suburb myself, and never had an interest in that. But, that's unfortunately where this generation of Chinese/Asian most often go when they move to the U.S.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Stores such as Macy's/Nordstrom in Chicago opens at 11am and close at 6pm on Sunday, while Parkson etc in Shanghai opens at 9:30am and closes at 10pm - yes, they open earlier on weekends but people will go there shopping, unless in Chicago because it makes no sense to open at 9:30 as most people don't have time to drive from their suburban homes to downtown by 11.
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
by the way, any comments regarding the store hours on Sundays? that's a clear indication of how much average people are involved in the street life in their cities.
No, no comment on it.

I live in Asia, and have for 18 years. I haven't stepped into a Macys/Nordstroms in...almost never?

But, if you believe that Nordstroms/Macys is the baromoter of what 'average' people do on their Sundays...than alright. I don't feel particularly inclined or interested in commenting on Nordstroms opening hours or what an average person is though.

Apologize for sounding snarky, but I'm just reciprocating the tone I'm picking up here. But, I do agree that street life is pretty much dead in the U.S.

Last edited by Tiger Beer; 02-23-2014 at 10:42 AM..
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