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Old 05-24-2014, 07:36 AM
Location: Cleveland
3,177 posts, read 3,828,620 times
Reputation: 2473


On a scale of 1-10, rank how open you perceive these cities to be of outsiders. By that I mean, how easy is it for an outsider to be accepted by the locals? If someone came from a different part of the country, or a different country entirely, would they have an easy time joining local social circles or not? 1 is the least open, 10 is the most. If you haven't been to one of these cities, or are not very familiar with it, please refrain from ranking it.

New York
New Orleans
Las Vegas
San Francisco

Last edited by Cleverfield; 05-24-2014 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:56 AM
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
10,411 posts, read 12,358,061 times
Reputation: 4839
Tier 1
Austin, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami

Tier 2
Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa

Tier 3
Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis

Tier 4
Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Raleigh

Tier 5
Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Birmingham
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:59 AM
29,719 posts, read 27,153,434 times
Reputation: 18264
Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
Tier 1
Austin, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami

Tier 2
Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa

Tier 3
Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis

Tier 4
Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Raleigh

Tier 5
Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Birmingham
Why is Raleigh in Tier 4? It belongs in Tier 1 or 2, easily. Nashville should be in Tier 2 or 3.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:08 AM
Location: Atlanta
2,851 posts, read 5,575,787 times
Reputation: 1723
If by outsiders you mean people not born there, Atlanta is mostly outsiders.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:09 AM
480 posts, read 655,417 times
Reputation: 654
Houston is obviously a Tier 1 because almost all of the residents are 1 or 2 generations deep and they keep coming with little problems.

I would put New Orleans as a Tier 4 or Tier 5 because they are outlier in the sunbelt.

I would say New York and LA prey on naive newcomers "hoping to make it". In order to maintain a relative standard of living in those cities you must be really rich ....or really poor.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:24 AM
Location: the Orion Spur
91 posts, read 85,322 times
Reputation: 109
Please keep in mind that this is based on my experience for the places I believe that I know more than just casually, and it's based on how easy or difficult it is to penetrate social circles.

Boston 8
Connecticut 7
New York 8
Jersey 7
Philadelphia 8
Delaware 7
Baltimore 9
Washington D.C. 5

Chicago 7
Cincinnati 7
Kansas City 8
Atlanta 8

San Francisco 5
LA 7

Let me explain: In the northeast, I believe that people are very friendly once you penetrate the hard exterior. In fact, native New Yorkers are some of the friendliest people I've ever met. This is true for people from Connecticut and New Jersey, in terms of inviting you into their home and their world. When I walk around Philadelphia, I feel as though I could stop nearly anyone and have a conversation with them. I believe it's a cultural thing in how you approach people. As just one example, there's a bar in Old City called National Mechanics that pretty much forces people at the bar to talk to one another. That is, the bartenders and patrons go out of their way to include newcomers in the conversation. It would feel rude to make a stranger feel excluded. Baltimore people, for some reason, are very friendly and inviting.

Not to digress, but I've always been perplexed by the stereotype that northeasters are rude and unfriendly until I read an article by a psychologist who explained that it's all about cultural differences. For instance, in the northeast, strangers generally don't talk to each other unless there is something wrong. So, two people waiting at a bus stop will be content not talking to each other and may find overly friendly people annoying. However, if the bus is late or the bus blows by without stopping, then they'll look at each other like, WTF? That negative event opens the door to talk to each other.

Another example I thought was interesting: Suppose you're in the checkout line at the bookstore behind someone who is obviously uncertain whether to purchase a book that you've read. In the northeast, a person will jump in and offer a suggestion and then immediately jump out and say nothing more. In a poll, many southerners found the behavior of jumping out and not saying more, after the initial suggestion, to be rude behavior. Whereas to me, if I were to continue to talk to that person I would feel rude, as if I had intruded on their space. It's ok for me to say buy it or don't buy it, but I would never keep talking. Some people in the poll thought the initial jumping in to offer an opinion to be rude behavior. If I find the link, I'll post it.

Washington D.C. is a little different. What I've seen and heard is that many people who you meet out and at parties are looking to network. Once they find out that they can't network through you, they'll quickly disengage and move on. I'm not saying they're rude, but I don't see this in other northeast cities.

Atlanta is also different. For as many times as I've been to Atlanta, I don't think I've ever met an Atlanta native. I mean that. My girlfriend went to high school in Atlanta, but she's from Asia. Everyone I meet there is from somewhere else. The people I meet seem very genuine and inviting, and I believe I could make good friends down there if I lived there.

I certainly don't mean to start an east/west battle, but here goes. In my experience, people on the west coast have been more superficially friendly, and it's much harder to penetrate social circles. On the east coast, once you make friends with someone, that person will invite you into their home as well as to family events. In my experience, I don't see that as much with west coast people. They're friendly and polite to you, but the friendship never goes beyond that superficial level.

As for San Francisco, I've had many friends, not just one or two, who moved out there for jobs and complained that it's very hard to penetrate social circles. I know two people here in Philadelphia who are from SF, and they absolutely fit that west coast model. That is, the friendship never goes beyond hanging out at the bar. One of them has been to my place a couple times, but she's never once invited me into her home. (And I'm aware I just set myself up for cute quips with that comment.) She's certainly a nice person, though.

As for LA, I used to do a lot of work in LA - SF as well - and I found the people to be much more inviting than I had assumed they would be. I wrongly assumed that LA would be like D.C., where everyone is trying to network, and I met very cool people I think I could become good friends with if I lived there. But I hear stories that in LA, like in SF, people tend to keep their friendships on a superficial level.

My experiences in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Kansas City have been positive, meeting people who seemed very genuine and inviting. They also seem like very hard working people.

It's difficult to move to a new city and make friends. It takes a lot of work. And you have to balance being persistent without seeming desperate and creepy.

Last edited by Mantronix4204; 05-24-2014 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:09 AM
1,097 posts, read 555,226 times
Reputation: 870
Boston as OPEN!? hahahahaha! I've seen posts on this site and read many a story about Boston as THE least friendly big city on the eastern seaboard! And having lived in D.C. Philly, Atlanta, and Texas, I feel I can talk with some authority. Also, I know others now in the south from up north, they all find northern cities , and they typically say southerners reach out more. I've met people from California who moved to Texas who said people were friendlier here.
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