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Old 02-17-2019, 12:02 PM
 
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Who knew Downtown L.A. was safe and a spot to be in at nights?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnskjZuYm2s
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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^ LA is an interesting one. The downtown has remnants of kind of semi-oldness (for US standards) here and there. My dad is originally born and raised in LA - my grandmother had moved there in the 1930s along with other family from NYC and the Bay Area. My grandfather and family moved there around the same time. They would tell me how different things were down to the street car system. We thought around then was when my family had first arrived in LA. 1.5 years ago while doing some genealogy research, we found that my 3rd great grandfather had a brother who had moved from NYC to LA in the mid 1870s. Nobody was aware of this. We found out he started a food store in downtown LA and found some articles with him in it, one was about him getting thrown off a trolley car or something, and hitting his head on some stone on the sidewalk area. Descriptions of DTLA around that whole time - very interesting to say the least and how things changed with the invention of the car versus back then.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Rochester, N.Y
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I'm not sure any of them do anymore. At least at their peak. Obviously, NYC, Chicago, San Fran, Philly, Boston, etc. still have a lot of foot traffic, but probably not as much as at their peak. With people staying in their house in the tech age, plus the growth of sprawl and suburbs, and malls. I would venture to say none of them are like they used to be. Not if the population stayed the same. If a city grew, it might feel like it has a lot of foot traffic. But that would just be growth. I'm not sure per rate, that downtowns will ever be like their peaks. Plus, American's are fatter than ever because of technology. I'm not. I make it a point to not become a vegetable, but boy I got friends who blew up like sausages. Perhaps, I am to antsy for that. NY might seem like it, but even NYC probably lost a lot of people moving around due to technology. Many people sit around too much and play on the computer. I like to go to cities and explore, but I don't find a lot of people are out and about unless it's a really large city or a hip college town. Outside of that, many downtowns are dead.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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In terms of hustle and bustle feeling downtowns, my top 5 are: NYC, Philly, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:43 PM
 
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Seattle in the postwar years dominated local retail and office uses, but it was a fraction of its current size, didn't have many residents outside the lower working class (SROs were common), and had little business travel or tourism compared to today.

On the flip side, before malls, urban districts all over town had their own movie theaters, shoe stores, and so on. Today, very few districts can support a shoe store or a theater.

Downtown has more retail now than it did then, but has a fraction of the market share it used to have for durable goods. But the office, resident, business travel, and tourist crowds give it more buzz than ever...not in the Financial District outside of work hours but just about everywhere else.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermanpansy View Post
I'm not sure any of them do anymore. At least at their peak. Obviously, NYC, Chicago, San Fran, Philly, Boston, etc. still have a lot of foot traffic, but probably not as much as at their peak. With people staying in their house in the tech age, plus the growth of sprawl and suburbs, and malls. I would venture to say none of them are like they used to be. Not if the population stayed the same. If a city grew, it might feel like it has a lot of foot traffic. But that would just be growth. I'm not sure per rate, that downtowns will ever be like their peaks. Plus, American's are fatter than ever because of technology. I'm not. I make it a point to not become a vegetable, but boy I got friends who blew up like sausages. Perhaps, I am to antsy for that. NY might seem like it, but even NYC probably lost a lot of people moving around due to technology. Many people sit around too much and play on the computer. I like to go to cities and explore, but I don't find a lot of people are out and about unless it's a really large city or a hip college town. Outside of that, many downtowns are dead.
I have to disagree with you, although most cities are probably with less foot traffic, some, like Chicago, have more buildings, more tourism, and more people living downtown. Boston and San Francisco fit the bill here as well from the time that they were all more industrial. In the 1940s film of Chicago, Michigan Ave was just a shell of itself, and the Loop was missing so much in the form of buildings east of Michigan and throughout the Loop. Loop employment is a record levels now, and so is the number of people who live downtown, and so is tourism. That alone amounts to more foot traffic.

Sorry about most of some of your friends blowing up like sausages btw.........walk in NYC and Chicago and you will find some lean bacon people who still get around by foot.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermanpansy View Post
I'm not sure any of them do anymore. At least at their peak. Obviously, NYC, Chicago, San Fran, Philly, Boston, etc. still have a lot of foot traffic, but probably not as much as at their peak.
I'm not even sure that's true of some cities like Chicago. Chicago today has tens of thousands more people living downtown than compared to even the 1950s when the whole city was at peak population. Downtown there is not only bigger now, but more people live there too and I believe a lot more people work there. The makeup of the city's economics are even different where back then the city was more blue collar and today it's a lot more white collar than previously - the downtown area has boomed in both jobs and people. I think this has caused the city to kind of shift where the jobs are. Previously there were way more factories in the neighborhoods - and the tale of the US has been that it's gone away a lot. Since the city has shifted into more white collar compared to back then, a lot of those jobs which have increased are downtown and they continue to pour in. There's almost 135,000 more jobs downtown today than compared to even 2010. Downtown expanded by a lot too even geographically and more things that draw people in (i.e. Grant Park/Millennium Park, more museums, etc) and more bars, restaurants, shops, etc. Downtown back then was busy from what I've seen, but it's even busier today. Tourism per year is also millions above what it was in the 1950s, and there's a lot more hotels downtown for those tourists.

I think a number of people back in the day were downtown for shopping, but I think it was mainly centered around State Street in the Loop. Today there's still a lot of shopping on State Street, but there's a ton more retail on Michigan Avenue - which was not nearly as mature in this way as it is today, from what I understand. That's expanded to retail and if I was a betting man, I'd bet that more people come downtown today for shopping than back then due to the fact that there was even more retail in the non-downtown areas than today (still a lot, but moreso back then).


As far as NYC goes, I'm not even sure. The 1940s and 1950s had 200K+ more people in Manhattan than today. I'd bet that areas like Chinatown and Little Italy have less foot traffic than today (still a lot though, don't get me wrong) whereas places like SoHo have more. I could probably ask my mom since she has still real memories of Chinatown, Little Italy, West Village, etc from the 1950s.


And the fat comment is funny. Maybe in a lot of places, but if you actually go to places where people walk around a lot - NYC, various areas of Chicago, SF, Boston, DC, etc this is not that true at all. The average person is still healthy weight, not fat, in these places.

Last edited by marothisu; 02-17-2019 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the topper View Post
Meant this kind of hustle and bustle: begins at 4.02 mins. in the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO9J91V_ETE
Wow, Dallas looked like this? That's crazy.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Yeah, It's likely impossible to tell which cities come closest to their historic downtown pedestrian peaks, due to the simple fact that I don't think pedestrian counts were commonly recorded as they are now. Also important to note that most folks venturing downtown these days, even in the most robust cities, certainly aren't doing so out of necessity as was the case in the past (critical masses of employment, retail, and entertainment amenities are now found in multiple nodes/hubs across every major metro area). It's mostly out of novelty or leisure that folks now frequent any downtown.

But those who likely come closest relative to the question posed by the OP are the usual suspects for downtown residential and employment density--the "Big 6" of New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, SF and DC.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:30 PM
 
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Downtown Atlanta, too????? ATLANTA, GEORGIA USA - MY HOME TOWN
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