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Old 07-18-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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I don't have much experience with greater New York's suburban areas, but I was wondering if some people on this board might have a take on any similarities, mostly culturally and demographically speaking, that might exist among suburban areas between Chicago and New York. This is not meant to be a "which suburbs are better" contest. I have just always been curious which suburban areas are more similar, for example:

Would Chicago's North Shore suburbs like Wilmette, Winnetka, Highland Park, Lake Forest, etc be more comparable to those in Westchester County or the northern portion of Long Island?

Would the combination of Chicago's inner ring western suburbs (Melrose Park, Berwyn, LaGrange) + Dupage County be more comparable to North Jersey?

Would the predominantly Irish/Polish/Italian Southwest suburbs of Chicago (Oak Lawn, Orland/Tinley) be more comparable to southern Long Island or somewhere in Jersey?

I understand these comparison aren't going to be perfect, but I'm curious what others might think, especially those that have lived in both areas.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:06 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I'm familar with NYC suburbs but have little experience with Chicago suburbs.

As for NYC suburbs, there's a lot of similarities between them but some overlap. By type of form:

1) Southern Long Island — continuously built up for a long distance, a lot is gridded. Mostly midcentury, fairly small lots
2) Northern Long Island Less dense in general, especially once get 5 miles away from the NYC border. Many expensive houses near the water on large lots, some cute small villages, but otherwise some typical midcentury suburbia
3) Westchester — some small cities, many old industrial ones, and large towns surrounded by more recent infill. Southern Westchester feels relatively old
4) New Jersey — outer parts relatively new stereotypical "sprawl", inner parts a mix, a bit unsure. Some old cities mixed in.

Long Island feels more uniform suburbia, with fewer patches of high or low density. Also not as many "edge cities" as in large concentrations of office jobs in one spot.

Demographically, all have wealthy and middle-class areas. Long Island is the mostly consistently middle-class, maybe upper-middle class but very low level of poverty but not quite as many rich people. Westchester, continuing on to Conneticut as well as few New Jersey sections has a bit more of the truly moneyed. Long Island is probably a bit more "white ethnic" than the others, Jews concentrate a bit in northern Long Island, especially the town of North Hempstead. But much of southern Westchester is heavily Italian-American and Jewish as well. All of the inner suburbs have diversified (both asians and hispanics) recently, but many outer suburbs are very white.

Last edited by nei; 07-18-2013 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:14 AM
 
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Nei, I would definitely disagree with your characterizations of Long Island. LI has massive wealth, especially on the North Shore. They also have tons of mansion-filled low density, but, again, all on North Shore.

I'm guessing based on your descriptions of LI (uniform suburbia, middle class), you're more familiar with the Mid-Island and (to a lesser extent) South Shore. The North Shore (and some parts of South Shore) is anything but uniform, is extremely wealthy (like some of the richest places on earth wealthy) and is very woodsy and undeveloped.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: NY, NY
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My niece plays for Northwestern and is from Long Island and gave me an interesting view on Chicago's burbs vs. NYC's burbs.

The Northern suburbs of Chicago correspond more to Westchester/Southern CT. Very similar housing types, and both appear to be more upper middle class. The Western and Southwestern suburbs are more like New Jersey or PA.

Honestly, Long Island is a little wierd. For one, its way more crowded and densely populated then any Chicago suburb. Most of LI is just continuous suburban development for like, 70+ miles. And LI is dominated by the beaches, its probably the biggest draw but I dont know if the lakefront communities are "working class" like LI.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:20 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCH_CDM View Post
Nei, I would definitely disagree with your characterizations of Long Island. LI has massive wealth, especially on the North Shore. They also have tons of mansion-filled low density, but, again, all on North Shore.

I'm guessing based on your descriptions of LI (uniform suburbia, middle class), you're more familiar with the Mid-Island and (to a lesser extent) South Shore. The North Shore (and some parts of South Shore) is anything but uniform, is extremely wealthy (like some of the richest places on earth wealthy) and is very woodsy and undeveloped.
No, I'm originally from near the North Shore (and a rather woodsy section at that). I meant in a relative sense. Overall, though, Long Island has less extreme wealth than Westchester or some of New Jersey, but obviously the North Shore has some very well off and woodsy sections.

I also made a typo in the previous post for (2).
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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Also, what's with all these NYC and Chicago threads? They're different cities and don't have much to do with one another. Obviously both have rich areas, poor areas, sprawl areas, dense areas, etc., but what's the point of these comparisons?

You could compare Detroit and LA, or Dallas and Portland, or New Orleans and Milwaukee, and come to the same conclusions. They all have some Mansion-filled suburban areas, some trashy suburbs, some ethnoburbs, some exurbs, etc.

If the poster is asking "What is the richest NYC suburban area, similar to North Shore", it's different in the NYC area. Chicagoland wealth tends to be heavily weighted to the North Side of the City and Northern suburbs. Yes, there are some exceptions, but most of the wealth is there.

In contrast, NYC doesn't have a "wealth direction". You can't say North/South/East/West is noticably richer or poorer than any other direction. If you want to know the wealthiest areas, they would be scattered about in every direction, but some of the best-known communities would be in Westchester County, NY, Fairfield County, CT, North Shore of LI, Hamptons, LI, parts of Bergen County, NJ, and a stretch of NJ from west of Newark (starting around Millburn or Livingston and then spreading out in a fan of wealth from about Bridgewater in the south to Dover in the north).

Then there are exceptions like Five Towns (South Shore LI), Colts Neck (NJ), NJ Hunt Country (north of Princeton) and the like. But there is no obvious "North Shore" like in Chicago where you can practically predict where the partners in the law firm live. It could be a ton of places in three different states.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, I'm originally from near the North Shore (and a rather woodsy section at that). I meant in a relative sense. Overall, though, Long Island has less extreme wealth than Westchester or some of New Jersey, but obviously the North Shore has some very well off and woodsy sections.
Nei, if you're from the North Shore, you know that it's 90% woodsy, lightly developed and wealthy for maybe 60 miles, from nearly the Queens line to the North Fork. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Its' also quite hilly, which is very different from the rest of LI.

There are no shopping malls, almost no tract home developments, etc. It has nothing to do with what you described, and we're talking like 30% of LI land area. All the tract homes and malls and middle class suburbia are in the Center Island, and to some extent in the South Shore.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:24 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCH_CDM View Post
Also, what's with all these NYC and Chicago threads? They're different cities and don't have much to do with one another. Obviously both have rich areas, poor areas, sprawl areas, dense areas, etc., but what's the point of these comparisons?
They're the two largest centralized cities in the country, old railroads, newer sprawl, big downtown, etc.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I hear the parties in West Egg get pretty crazy.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
They're the two largest centralized cities in the country, old railroads, newer sprawl, big downtown, etc.
Ok, but why compare? They aren't really similar in these characteristics. NYC is much older, much more centralized, very different railroad system, very different sprawl.

I don't see why it's logical to compare the largest and third largest cities just because they both have large downtowns. They're set up totally different, from different eras, with different development patterns.
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