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View Poll Results: Which is more urban and has more of a "big city" feel?
Houston 69 29.11%
Seattle 168 70.89%
Voters: 237. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,670,057 times
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Seattle, definitely.

When I think of Seattle I think of the Space Needle (and the music museum/venue/restaurant under it), Bell District, Pike's Market, Pioneer Square, Lake Union, and other areas with awesome restaurants/nightlife, and many late nights stopping by Dick's burgers after being out and having a blast...not to mention a few casinos in the Seattle area.

When I think of Houston, I think of a sprawling, large city area, with a downtown that seems mostly, I don't know - "forced", like they're trying to make it a hotspot, but which closes too much down too early. I think of being in the Westheimer area, and how it's Houston but it's like being in Paramus, NJ (with more heat and humidity). I think of how little there is to talk about when I talk about Houston and how unimpressed I was and how my moderately high expectations were sorely disappointed.

It's a no-brainer, Seattle has the more "big city"-feel. Redmond and Kirkland, which are suburbs of Seattle, have a more urban or city feel than most parts of Houston proper (like Westheimer).

 
Old 08-19-2010, 08:08 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,161,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galounger View Post
So you feel like you're in a larger city in Providence, Rhode Island than in Los Angles?

Besides, Houston has lots of Apartments,Condominiums, Townhomes, and other high density dwellings. They are just missing the row homes which for some reason A lot of Northerners feel along with Brownstones are the be all and end all of urban living.

I think it is more the street level feel (neighborhood vibrance) with which he alluded (but he can correct me if I am wrong). What the rowhomes/brownstones do even moreso that highrises or modern townhomes (many seem removed, isolated for their privacy but in the act lessen the cohesion on vibrance even if just that half block removed, everything gets forced to the main throroughfare, which overpowers the neighborhood and continuity of walking vibrance) is take everything to the street level. Why in many ways areas of Manhattan with higher density will feel less vibrant than lessor desnity areas of the Village or Brooklyn or Boston or Philly even.

On PVD, it has some vibrant neighborhoods but may not have the cales, the ability to walk to many cohesively where Seattle may feel larger in the vibrant sense. There is no perfect formula.

Also why an area like River North (many newer hirise condos) in Chicago may have equal or higher density as Lincoln Park or Wicker Park yet their street level vibe in many ways feels more vibrant, especially in a living neighborhood sense.

There is some intangible energy that IMHO seems felt in only a handful of US cities. And most are this walkable street level environments where each neighborhood flows seemlessly into the next.

Last edited by kidphilly; 08-19-2010 at 08:20 AM..
 
Old 08-19-2010, 08:13 AM
 
886 posts, read 1,924,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
That is your opinion buddy. Yes, Houston does not come close to seattle's because it is already far ahead
Sure it's completely opinion.... I just don't think sheer size makes a difference for Houston.

I would rank cities like Pittsburgh and my own Kansas City as having better skylines then Houston as well. They have more distinct archetecture that sticks out in the skyline.

Houstons only looks big when you take a picture from far away, there is no density in the buildings. It's not the same as say Chicago and NYC where they are massive skylines with a lot of density and you can tell even if you take the pics up close. From ground level you can tell those cities are massive, I've been to Houston several times, from the ground you can't see a massive skyline.

I also think while height helps a skyline, its not the defining feature. Layout plays a huge part as well.

Seattles skyline has the Space needle, 1201 Third avenue, Columbia Center, Smith Tower, Westin Seattle..

Houston and Seattle both have a lot of modern glass buildings that have no real defining features. A few of the decent ones from Houston are: Williams Tower (which isn't downtown), Bank of America Center, Heritage Plaza...

The downtown buildings in Seattle look more dense, more tightly clustered, etc.. Houston looks big but sparce. Really without the mountains and the waterfront, Seattle still looks better, those are just the icing on the cake.
 
Old 08-19-2010, 08:36 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,161,575 times
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I miss skyline discussions
 
Old 08-19-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Pasadena
883 posts, read 1,975,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrizzle View Post
Sure it's completely opinion.... I just don't think sheer size makes a difference for Houston.

I would rank cities like Pittsburgh and my own Kansas City as having better skylines then Houston as well. They have more distinct archetecture that sticks out in the skyline.

Houstons only looks big when you take a picture from far away, there is no density in the buildings. It's not the same as say Chicago and NYC where they are massive skylines with a lot of density and you can tell even if you take the pics up close. From ground level you can tell those cities are massive, I've been to Houston several times, from the ground you can't see a massive skyline.

I also think while height helps a skyline, its not the defining feature. Layout plays a huge part as well.

Seattles skyline has the Space needle, 1201 Third avenue, Columbia Center, Smith Tower, Westin Seattle..

Houston and Seattle both have a lot of modern glass buildings that have no real defining features. A few of the decent ones from Houston are: Williams Tower (which isn't downtown), Bank of America Center, Heritage Plaza...

The downtown buildings in Seattle look more dense, more tightly clustered, etc.. Houston looks big but sparce. Really without the mountains and the waterfront, Seattle still looks better, those are just the icing on the cake.
The problem with Houston's downtown skyline is that developers built the skyline from a popular vantage point, downtown actually has a "skyline district" because thats the most known image of Houston's skyline. The problem is that most of downtown's tallest buildings were built in the foreground while the shorter buildings behind it, thus making look downtown Houston FAR LESS DENSE than it really is. One with no knowledge of the skyline, will think its just a dozen skyscrapers lined up, yet there are a lot of shorter buildings that don't get any recognition.

Houston's downtown skyline isn't like other skylines with the tallest buildings in the core, and shorter buildings surrounding them, so it provides the illusion, of a less than impressive skyline, but really tall one at that.

And I understand why one would like Pittsbugh more, but KC, no way. I've seen pictures, dense, urban and all that crap which is nice, but its way too small in comparison to Houston.

I'd post some great pictures of Houston, but I already got some infractions from the mods, which is totally unfair, because there's a ton of people here not following the rules..

Also, it get's frustrating when one says Houston is boring, a boring person that can't have fun in a metro of 6 million can only blame themselves. I understand that we are short on the attraction list compared to other metros, but Houston is huge, and there are plenty of great neighborhoods, but of course, people expect Houston to be like other cities, where exploring the city is easy, and all the things to do are in your face. Houston isn't like other cities, and if you can't venture off the beaten path, its your loss. You get disapointed coming to Houston, there are a ton of other cities you can go to.
 
Old 08-19-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,521 posts, read 23,108,472 times
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Houston's Downtown skyline density is best viewed from the South & East. The North & West angles are the ones that just look like a bunch of tall buildings spread apart in a perfect line with no infill.
 
Old 08-19-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Austin/Houston
2,832 posts, read 4,406,629 times
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Houston needs an iconic structure in its downtown like the space needle. Dallas has the blinking dandelion, NYC has the statue of liberty, St Louis has the arches, Chicago has the Sears Tower. Vegas has the replicas of the space needle (Stratosphere) and the Eifell Tower.

All Houston has is some neon ferris wheel by he Aquarium restaurant. BOOOOOOO!!!
 
Old 08-19-2010, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Jersey Boy living in Florida
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^ I think you meant the Empire State Building for NYC.
 
Old 08-19-2010, 12:22 PM
 
886 posts, read 1,924,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthmoreAve View Post
And I understand why one would like Pittsbugh more, but KC, no way. I've seen pictures, dense, urban and all that crap which is nice, but its way too small in comparison to Houston.
It's smaller, but it looks way more dense.... and the art deco archetecture stands out... it's more visually appealing.

Miami is way bigger, and i'd still take KCs skyline over it as well.... KCs has more soul...








Anyways getting off topic now I suppose...
 
Old 08-19-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Jersey Boy living in Florida
3,732 posts, read 7,097,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Agree LA is large and fairly dense for a long long distance, Houston is about half as dense for a somewhat smaller distance but in terms of feel, images from roads/highways only show the expanse not the feel. I know I have said this before but the feel of cities is never by car IMHO it is by foot, how does it feel inside the neighborhoods, that is how I judge cities on how they feel, not by car. Houston is bigger but in the core in many ways Seattle feels like a bigger city, which is obviously not true of the metro. But expanse does not always mean a place feels like a bigger city.

The core of SF to me feels like I am in a larger city than does LA.
Thats exactly what I've been talking about. If you're walking around certain neighborhoods, Seattle to me is going to feel bigger than Houston. Just because of the walkability factor.
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