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View Poll Results: Which city?
Birmingham, AL 44 41.51%
Rochester, NY 62 58.49%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-2016, 06:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
I consider the suburban area schools of both essentially equal. Birmingham has highly rated suburban districts and some of the highest rated public high schools in the entire country...

Metro to metro, I do acknowledge that Rochester performs better in some metrics. However, my overall impression is that the metros are equal, so I had tone look at the core cities themselves. Make no mistake, these two cities are very much in the same tier, close to each other...

Birmingham is within 200 miles of Atlanta, while Rochester is within 200 miles of Toronto. Rochester is in the same state as New York, but the City is so far away and Rochester is large enough and has its own large impact and influence in New York State. And while Toronto is close, it is in a whole other country; it's influence is limited...

Rochester isn't particularly isolated; it's just "more" isolated than Birmingham. Birmingham is within 200 miles of more sizable metros, and yes, being boxed in by the Lake contributes to the isolation feel, in comparison...

Birmingham's downtown is larger and seemingly has more people around, giving it a more active and energetic feel. I can't say that as a fact, but my experience is Birmingham feels larger. Again, though, not dramatically larger. I was more struck by how small Rochester felt in comparison...
He was more talking about Buffalo, a city that's close enough that Rochester area residents make up a significant amount of say Bills season ticket holder, and the Owner of the Sabres lives in the Rochester Area.
Meanwhile, Birmingham is relatively close to Atlanta, but nowhere is commutable from its outer suburbs. While Rochester's Western Suburbs are about 35 minutes from Buffalo.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
I consider the suburban area schools of both essentially equal. Birmingham has highly rated suburban districts and some of the highest rated public high schools in the entire country...

Metro to metro, I do acknowledge that Rochester performs better in some metrics. However, my overall impression is that the metros are equal, so I had tone look at the core cities themselves. Make no mistake, these two cities are very much in the same tier, close to each other...

Birmingham is within 200 miles of Atlanta, while Rochester is within 200 miles of Toronto. Rochester is in the same state as New York, but the City is so far away and Rochester is large enough and has its own large impact and influence in New York State. And while Toronto is close, it is in a whole other country; it's influence is limited...

Rochester isn't particularly isolated; it's just "more" isolated than Birmingham. Birmingham is within 200 miles of more sizable metros, and yes, being boxed in by the Lake contributes to the isolation feel, in comparison...

Birmingham's downtown is larger and seemingly has more people around, giving it a more active and energetic feel. I can't say that as a fact, but my experience is Birmingham feels larger. Again, though, not dramatically larger. I was more struck by how small Rochester felt in comparison...
What are the nationally regarded school districts in the Birmingham area? In Rochester, Brighton, Pittsford, Honeoye Falls-Lima, Penfield and Fairport come to mind immediately.


What other major metros are close to Birmingham? Toronto can still have an influence, as it is not unusual for Upstate NY areas to get Canadian radio and TV stations or even have family in Upstate NY metro areas.


Birmingham is a bigger city in terms of land, but Rochester also has vibrancy in its SE Quadrant neighborhoods: Southeast Quadrant - Rochester Wiki Rochester also has multiple walkable suburbs and some with their own scenes like Brockport, Fairport, Pittsford, Webster, Spencerport, etc.


Keep in mind that I agree that they are similar. So, this isn't a knock on Birmingham either, but there may be some things being left out on the Rochester end. That's all.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
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https://k12.niche.com/rankings/publi.../best-overall/

Greater Birmingham makes two appearances on this list (65, 94). Greater Rochester makes one (54). Besides that, Rochester Public has the lowest graduation rate for black males in the entire nation, and Rochester Public is widely regarded amongst the worst in the nation. There are other high performing districts in both cities that aren't on that list...any objective look at this would at worst give a tie, but in no way is primary education in Greater Rochester ahead of primary education in Greater Birmingham. City and suburbs, collectively...

I didn't say Toronto has 'no' influence on Rochester. I used to live in Upstate/Western New York. I said ithat is "limited". Rochester has a pretty wide reputation within New York State...

"Major" metros in close proximity to Rochester: Buffalo and Toronto. "Major" metros within 200 miles of Birmingham: Atlanta and Nashville. Birmingham has more metros of 250k+ within 200 miles...

I would never debate that Rochester is the most urban, with the most "urban" suburbs. I'm not familiar enough with Birmingham to call on specific neighborhoods, so maybe Rochester has more lively neighborhoods. I wouldn't know. But downtown, I give it to Birmingham. This isn't some podunk, sleepy small southern town...

@ckhthankgod, I'm definitely agreeing with you they are similar. Just pointing out that Birmingham seems to be getting shortchanged on metrics of education and income as well...

@btown, oh I'm not arguing that Birmingham is commutable to Atlanta. But Rochester's proximity to Buffalo is precisely what works against it here. While obviously B'ham/Roc are similarly sized with similar offerings, Birmingham is the bigger fish in its pond, relatively speaking. Clearly, Rochester doesn't feel like a suburb, but if Birmingham were 75 miles from Nashville, I'd be stating the same thing in reverse...
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:50 AM
 
56,274 posts, read 80,446,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
https://k12.niche.com/rankings/publi.../best-overall/

Greater Birmingham makes two appearances on this list (65, 94). Greater Rochester makes one (54). Besides that, Rochester Public has the lowest graduation rate for black males in the entire nation, and Rochester Public is widely regarded amongst the worst in the nation. There are other high performing districts in both cities that aren't on that list...any objective look at this would at worst give a tie, but in no way is primary education in Greater Rochester ahead of primary education in Greater Birmingham. City and suburbs, collectively...

I didn't say Toronto has 'no' influence on Rochester. I used to live in Upstate/Western New York. I said ithat is "limited". Rochester has a pretty wide reputation within New York State...

"Major" metros in close proximity to Rochester: Buffalo and Toronto. "Major" metros within 200 miles of Birmingham: Atlanta and Nashville. Birmingham has more metros of 250k+ within 200 miles...

I would never debate that Rochester is the most urban, with the most "urban" suburbs. I'm not familiar enough with Birmingham to call on specific neighborhoods, so maybe Rochester has more lively neighborhoods. I wouldn't know. But downtown, I give it to Birmingham. This isn't some podunk, sleepy small southern town...

@ckhthankgod, I'm definitely agreeing with you they are similar. Just pointing out that Birmingham seems to be getting shortchanged on metrics of education and income as well...

@btown, oh I'm not arguing that Birmingham is commutable to Atlanta. But Rochester's proximity to Buffalo is precisely what works against it here. While obviously B'ham/Roc are similarly sized with similar offerings, Birmingham is the bigger fish in its pond, relatively speaking. Clearly, Rochester doesn't feel like a suburb, but if Birmingham were 75 miles from Nashville, I'd be stating the same thing in reverse...
That moniker for the RCSD is due to a foundation not counting Local diplomas from the district. It does have issues, but still has good programs at Wilson Magnet and School of the Arts has a high grad rate. I'm not sure about Birmingham City Schools, but unfortunately urban schools have struggles across the country. Newsweek and US News has multiple Rochester area high schools that are ranked in their publications.

I don't know if the proximity to major metros is that different, eventhough Nashville has more people than Buffalo. It is also a bigger metro in land size.

Proximity to 250k metros is arbitrary, but Syracuse has more people than any other metro near Birmingham. Proximity may or may not matter to some either way.

Birmingham does have Mountain Brook, which is the most affluent between the two, just over Pittsford. Both are similar demographically, but Pittsford may be a less more diverse.

I believe that Birmingham has Homewood as an example of another suburb with its own scene.

Also, I agree with the last part, as Rochester being close to Buffalo and Syracuse kind of "hurts" it in a comparison like this in terms of "sharing" attention within that 2 hour or so range.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-20-2016 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:27 AM
 
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Birmingham definitely feels bigger than Rochester.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SouthernBoy205 View Post
Birmingham definitely feels bigger than Rochester.
How?

Also, what areas would you consider to be the most urban in Birmingham?

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-20-2016 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:18 PM
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Location: Miami
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
https://k12.niche.com/rankings/publi.../best-overall/

I would never debate that Rochester is the most urban, with the most "urban" suburbs. I'm not familiar enough with Birmingham to call on specific neighborhoods, so maybe Rochester has more lively neighborhoods. I wouldn't know. But downtown, I give it to Birmingham. This isn't some podunk, sleepy small southern town...
Parkside, Five Points, Lakeview, The Highlands, Avondale, Woodlawn, Forest Park, UAB Area, Crestwood, etc. As far as Suburbs go, you have Trussville, Leeds, Hoover, Homewood, Mountain Brook, etc. Homewood actually being the most interesting, having the most diverse businesses, Hoover having the most things to do.

Actually, Birmingham is pretty comparable to most cities in NY outside of NYC, but like you said, Birmingham acts as the larger city; as far as Development, and proposed projects go.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
How?

Also, what areas would you consider to be the most urban in Birmingham?
I know this may be hard for you to believe, but Rochester doesn't feel like a large city. One thing I noticed, living in Upstate New York (and you and I have discussed this a few times over the years), is that Upstaters have an inflated sense of importance in regard to their cities, and a different definition of large and small. From a transplant's perspective...

Birmingham's downtown is noticeably larger, it seemingly has more pedestrian traffic (this isn't scientific, just the way it "seemed"), and the energy was more brusque/brisk. Believe it or not, Downtown Birmingham isn't some dead zone. Neither is Downtown Rochester, for that matter, but downtowns in Upstate New York are smallish, and somewhat sterile. Hard for me to explain, and at any rate, it's just an opinion I have, certainly doesn't make it factual...

Also, Birmingham has larger suburbs, that also makes it feel bigger. Rochester is boxed in between sizable metros. Huntsville is close to Birmingham, but doesn't have the duel Buff/Cuse effect that Rochester has. These are legit reasons Birmingham feels larger....

More urban? No. Birmingham definitely is gritty, but is wide and spaced out. But it does feel larger of the two...
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:22 PM
 
9,346 posts, read 9,481,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
I know this may be hard for you to believe, but Rochester doesn't feel like a large city. One thing I noticed, living in Upstate New York (and you and I have discussed this a few times over the years), is that Upstaters have an inflated sense of importance in regard to their cities, and a different definition of large and small. From a transplant's perspective...

Birmingham's downtown is noticeably larger, it seemingly has more pedestrian traffic (this isn't scientific, just the way it "seemed"), and the energy was more brusque/brisk. Believe it or not, Downtown Birmingham isn't some dead zone. Neither is Downtown Rochester, for that matter, but downtowns in Upstate New York are smallish, and somewhat sterile. Hard for me to explain, and at any rate, it's just an opinion I have, certainly doesn't make it factual...

Also, Birmingham has larger suburbs, that also makes it feel bigger. Rochester is boxed in between sizable metros. Huntsville is close to Birmingham, but doesn't have the duel Buff/Cuse effect that Rochester has. These are legit reasons Birmingham feels larger....

More urban? No. Birmingham definitely is gritty, but is wide and spaced out. But it does feel larger of the two...
I actually can see how someone can feel like they're in a bigger city when in Birmingham, just looking at a map, Rochester's Downtown is split by the Genesee River, and then part of it is over the railroad tracks/highway up near High Falls. Birmingham's inner core is geographically more cohesive, but not much larger.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:57 PM
 
56,274 posts, read 80,446,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
I know this may be hard for you to believe, but Rochester doesn't feel like a large city. One thing I noticed, living in Upstate New York (and you and I have discussed this a few times over the years), is that Upstaters have an inflated sense of importance in regard to their cities, and a different definition of large and small. From a transplant's perspective...

Birmingham's downtown is noticeably larger, it seemingly has more pedestrian traffic (this isn't scientific, just the way it "seemed"), and the energy was more brusque/brisk. Believe it or not, Downtown Birmingham isn't some dead zone. Neither is Downtown Rochester, for that matter, but downtowns in Upstate New York are smallish, and somewhat sterile. Hard for me to explain, and at any rate, it's just an opinion I have, certainly doesn't make it factual...

Also, Birmingham has larger suburbs, that also makes it feel bigger. Rochester is boxed in between sizable metros. Huntsville is close to Birmingham, but doesn't have the duel Buff/Cuse effect that Rochester has. These are legit reasons Birmingham feels larger....

More urban? No. Birmingham definitely is gritty, but is wide and spaced out. But it does feel larger of the two...
Yes, Downtowns like Rochester's can appear to be small, but as mentioned, they may be cut up by a River, railroad track, etc.

I don't know about Downtown Rochester being sterile, as it does have buildings with character that were spared.

Perhaps larger is right in terms of Birmingham, but perhaps we could ask which feels bigger, as Rochester's density may give it that effect in comparison. For instances, parts of the popular South Wedge, Monroe Village and Park Ave neighborhoods in the SE Quadrant have census tracts with 11-12,000 ppsm.
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