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Old 05-26-2011, 01:45 PM
 
82 posts, read 13,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermanpansy View Post
No it doesn't have a similar size downtown as Chicago. Chicago is almost like three San Francisco's.
How is this possible?

Chicago has something like 100 million square feet of downtown office space. San Francisco has something like 80 million square feet of downtown office space.

Both cities have similar amounts of downtown shopping and tourism-related uses. If anything, San Francisco seems somewhat more visitor/tourist oriented. It's more of a global destination.

In regards to demand, San Francisco prices are much higher, indicating greater demand.

Overall, they certainly seem comparable to me. I think one could make a reasonable argument for either city.

Maybe one could argue Chicago's downtown is somewhat larger than San Francisco, but 3 times? That's just absurd.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:49 PM
 
82 posts, read 13,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evissone View Post
I am totally with you.
Chicago's downtown is so much bigger than San Fran's... why do people not see that?? San Francisco is not that big at all!
It is about 3 times as Toronto's too, but many locals are in the illusion that Toronto and Chicago belong to the same league No they are not, in terms of skylines, commercial and entertainment activities, economic wealth, architectual beauty, transit, anything you name except safety.
Are these folks just Chicago homers or something? I don't get it.

If you have traveled to SF or Toronto, you would see they have large cores, comparable to Chicago. That isn't a knock on Chicago. Quite the opposite. It's saying Chicago has a world-class downtown core.

And the rest of your comments are just nonsense.

For example, skylines are completely irrelevent to the size and health of a downtown.

And Toronto has twice the transit ridership of Chicago, despite having smaller population, so how could it have worse transit?
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: The City
18,511 posts, read 14,507,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver111 View Post
Are these folks just Chicago homers or something? I don't get it.

If you have traveled to SF or Toronto, you would see they have large cores, comparable to Chicago. That isn't a knock on Chicago. Quite the opposite. It's saying Chicago has a world-class downtown core.

And the rest of your comments are just nonsense.

For example, skylines are completely irrelevent to the size and health of a downtown.

And Toronto has twice the transit ridership of Chicago, despite having smaller population, so how could it have worse transit?

On feel to me Chicago feels much more massive than SF (is it 3 times, not sure but a considerable differance on how big it feels); SF feels the size of Boston or Philly to me moreso. And while the office sq footage factors, it is by no means the sole factor. Boston has more office space than Philly but if pushed to say which DT feels larger to me it is Philly though they are both close
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:55 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 1,136,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver111 View Post
Are these folks just Chicago homers or something? I don't get it.

If you have traveled to SF or Toronto, you would see they have large cores, comparable to Chicago. That isn't a knock on Chicago. Quite the opposite. It's saying Chicago has a world-class downtown core.

And the rest of your comments are just nonsense.

For example, skylines are completely irrelevent to the size and health of a downtown.

And Toronto has twice the transit ridership of Chicago, despite having smaller population, so how could it have worse transit?
In honesty, I'm from Chicago and have been to each Toronto and SF many times. It's true, Chicago's downtown is certainly not three times the size of these two cities. However, unless you're myopic or delusional, neither Toronto nor San Francisco is physically, metaphysically, spiritually, musically, fundamentally, -- any ally-- as large as Chicago. They simply are not and you're kidding yourself if you think they are. That said, they are in shouting distance. Look at my previous post and see the ratings I gave them. The distance is pretty accurate. Toronto is roughly 75-80% of Chicago, San Francisco probably 65% the size of Chicago.

Also KidPhilly does a good job of expressing this directly above.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:01 PM
 
86 posts, read 20,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver111 View Post

And Toronto has twice the transit ridership of Chicago, despite having smaller population, so how could it have worse transit?
To be fair, Toronto has higher transit ridership because it is too expensive to drive. I choose not to own a car not because I don't need one, but it is too expensive to purchase (30-50% higher than in the US) and to insure (200-300% higher). I have many friends who don't drive due to the same reason. I owned a car when I was a student in LA, but now working in Toronto, I think it is too expensive and not worth it. If I move to Chicago, I will buy a car within a month. Do you think i enjoy taking the subway/bus for 20 minutes (after waiting for another 20) with 4 bags of grocery in hand every week?

In Toronto, you don't absolutely need a car, but not having one is a big inconvenience. We are not like New York where subway runs everywhere 24 hours and owning a vehicle becomes redundant.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX & Miami, FL
317 posts, read 85,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infamous Past View Post
I love Miami but it doesnt belong here.
Different things for different people, I'm mostly always in the minority for what I like so I don't take away from preferences of others.

Vibrancy is important but its just one factor of a downtown, and the downtown that is most unique always wins for what I like. There are hundreds of vibrant downtowns in the world, and how many stand out?

If a downtown has a decent amount of vibrancy, as in its not dead nor feels or looks like a ghost town then its enough for me to be contempt with vibrancy. However a downtown for me has to have more than just that, it has to look sexy architecturally, has to have a mind blowing setting, has to have the amenities, has to have the lodges, the parks, the museums, the attractions, and a very special bonus has to have water.

Also I don't think of the traditional border area as downtown, for me downtown is the downtown area and all the surrounding neighborhoods that touch it.

So San Francisco has views, hills, restaurants, breathtaking vistas, architecture, weather, shopping, museums, theaters, parks, night life, and art galleries in or around downtown. Win.

Chicago has Navy Pier, beaches, restaurants and some of the best, hookah bars, night life, museums, theaters, architecture, art galleries, zoo, parks, and more in or around the area of downtown.

Washington, take what I've said and apply it to only things you'll find in Washington and no where else.

Miami, do the same as above. Only except for Miami.

This list is my preference win, if we're talking strictly on vibrancy then its probably going to be a far different list than this. So "best" of anything isn't really something that can be upfront said as better than another, some may agree, many may not but that's why no downtown other than New York really does stand apart as "top dog". Right? I think of best as irreplaceably unique, not as the absolute most vibrant.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:11 PM
 
82 posts, read 13,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
However, unless you're myopic or delusional, neither Toronto nor San Francisco is physically, metaphysically, spiritually, musically, fundamentally, -- any ally-- as large as Chicago. They simply are not and you're kidding yourself if you think they are. That said, they are in shouting distance. Look at my previous post and see the ratings I gave them. The distance is pretty accurate. Toronto is roughly 75-80% of Chicago, San Francisco probably 65% the size of Chicago.
I think we're actually not too far apart in opinion.

If you're saying Toronto has 80% of Chicago's core size, and San Francisco has 65% of Chicago's core size, then to me they're reasonably comparable.

Those sound like three pretty comparable downtowns in raw size, IMO.

But "best" is more than just raw size. I think, given San Franciso's extremely high price/demand and international visitor pull, it really gives a ton of quality as well as quantity.

And, given downtown Toronto's huge transit share, multiculturalism, and the fact that it's the NYC or London of Canada puts it in this same general class.

So I think the three cities are roughly comparable. It isn't crazy to think Chicago is larger or better, but I also don't think it's crazy to consider the other two.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:28 PM
 
Location: NY/FL
818 posts, read 377,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Social Network View Post
Different things for different people, I'm mostly always in the minority for what I like so I don't take away from preferences of others.

Vibrancy is important but its just one factor of a downtown, and the downtown that is most unique always wins for what I like. There are hundreds of vibrant downtowns in the world, and how many stand out?

If a downtown has a decent amount of vibrancy, as in its not dead nor feels or looks like a ghost town then its enough for me to be contempt with vibrancy. However a downtown for me has to have more than just that, it has to look sexy architecturally, has to have a mind blowing setting, has to have the amenities, has to have the lodges, the parks, the museums, the attractions, and a very special bonus has to have water.

Also I don't think of the traditional border area as downtown, for me downtown is the downtown area and all the surrounding neighborhoods that touch it.

So San Francisco has views, hills, restaurants, breathtaking vistas, architecture, weather, shopping, museums, theaters, parks, night life, and art galleries in or around downtown. Win.

Chicago has Navy Pier, beaches, restaurants and some of the best, hookah bars, night life, museums, theaters, architecture, art galleries, zoo, parks, and more in or around the area of downtown.

Washington, take what I've said and apply it to only things you'll find in Washington and no where else.

Miami, do the same as above. Only except for Miami.

This list is my preference win, if we're talking strictly on vibrancy then its probably going to be a far different list than this. So "best" of anything isn't really something that can be upfront said as better than another, some may agree, many may not but that's why no downtown other than New York really does stand apart as "top dog". Right? I think of best as irreplaceably unique, not as the absolute most vibrant.
Alright bro, different approach but what you say makes sense. I agree NYC's downtown does stand out from the pack but after that is personal pick and I can see how someone can have more fun in DT Miami than DT Boston. BTW you stated reasons for SF and CHI, curious which one do you enjoy more?
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:32 PM
 
86 posts, read 20,559 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver111 View Post
I think we're actually not too far apart in opinion.

If you're saying Toronto has 80% of Chicago's core size, and San Francisco has 65% of Chicago's core size, then to me they're reasonably comparable.

Those sound like three pretty comparable downtowns in raw size, IMO.

But "best" is more than just raw size. I think, given San Franciso's extremely high price/demand and international visitor pull, it really gives a ton of quality as well as quantity.

And, given downtown Toronto's huge transit share, multiculturalism, and the fact that it's the NYC or London of Canada puts it in this same general class.

So I think the three cities are roughly comparable. It isn't crazy to think Chicago is larger or better, but I also don't think it's crazy to consider the other two.
Toronto's downtown core has many single family houses, which is why it fails to give a big city vibe as Chicago does. Most of the stores/restaurants/bars on our two busiest commercial street, Queen St West and Yonge st are located in small and narrow 2 story victorian houses. This is quite different from downtown elsewhere.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:38 PM
 
82 posts, read 13,320 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by evissone View Post
Toronto's downtown core has many single family houses, which is why it fails to give a big city vibe as Chicago does. Most of the stores/restaurants/bars on our two busiest commercial street, Queen St West and Yonge st are located in small and narrow 2 story victorian houses. This is quite different from downtown elsewhere.
This is true, because Toronto was a fairly unimportant city prior to WWII. It never built up the same big core relative to older cities.

But, I would not say that Toronto can't be compared to Chicago because it's a late bloomer.

After all, Chicago does not have the core rowhouses of Philly. Chicago has detached single family homes with yards within walking distance of the Loop (Old Town, Lincoln Park, South Loop, etc.) Philly is all rowhouses for miles and miles.

So do we say that Chicago's core isn't comparable to Philly's core because it was a (relatively) late bloomer? No way, IMO.
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