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Old 12-12-2009, 02:44 PM
 
594 posts, read 1,536,934 times
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I actually grew up on the east coast, but now that I live out West, I'm always sort of taken aback by how flat cities like Chicago, Boston, NYC, etc are.

One the West Coast, hills and mountains (which means different views and vantage points) are such a huge part of the city. San Francisco, Seattle, LA, etc...are all sort of defined by their hills and how they divide and construct the city and its *feel*. Neighborhood like North Beach in San Francisco and Capitol Hill in Seattle are defined by the fact that they perch above downtown.

Even in terms of socio-economics across metro areas, the Hills play a role in differentiating the wealthy from the middle-class or slightly-less-wealthy (Berkeley--Berkeley Hills, Los Altos--Los Altos Hills, etc.)

It just completely changes the complexion of a city/metro area.

Something about the flat grid of east coast cities makes me feel like I can never "get above" the city. It feels more like the Matrix, or something, where you're like an ant in a maze or are stuck in the "system". Don't get me wrong, I love east coast cities but this aspect of it is always jarring from my perspective.

Just to be clear, Im not talking about "urban feel", density, or grittiness, as some West Coast cities are very urban/dense/gritty. Im talking specifically about the feeling of being unable to rise above the city (being in a building doesnt quite count). Like I said, it just makes you feel more "locked in" and completely changes the perspective of what it means to be *in a city*.

Anyone else agree or disagree?
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
299 posts, read 799,758 times
Reputation: 147
Yeah, good backdrops can really add to a skyline and at this point I couldn't live without mountains. Sorry but i'm not living on the east coast any time soon.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:42 PM
 
141 posts, read 151,574 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroJimmy2 View Post
I actually grew up on the east coast, but now that I live out West, I'm always sort of taken aback by how flat cities like Chicago, Boston, NYC, etc are.

One the West Coast, hills and mountains (which means different views and vantage points) are such a huge part of the city. San Francisco, Seattle, LA, etc...are all sort of defined by their hills and how they divide and construct the city and its *feel*. Neighborhood like North Beach in San Francisco and Capitol Hill in Seattle are defined by the fact that they perch above downtown.

Even in terms of socio-economics across metro areas, the Hills play a role in differentiating the wealthy from the middle-class or slightly-less-wealthy (Berkeley--Berkeley Hills, Los Altos--Los Altos Hills, etc.)

It just completely changes the complexion of a city/metro area.

Something about the flat grid of east coast cities makes me feel like I can never "get above" the city. It feels more like the Matrix, or something, where you're like an ant in a maze or are stuck in the "system". Don't get me wrong, I love east coast cities but this aspect of it is always jarring from my perspective.

Just to be clear, Im not talking about "urban feel", density, or grittiness, as some West Coast cities are very urban/dense/gritty. Im talking specifically about the feeling of being unable to rise above the city (being in a building doesnt quite count). Like I said, it just makes you feel more "locked in" and completely changes the perspective of what it means to be *in a city*.

Anyone else agree or disagree?
You need a life if you're in NYC and the "flat" terrain occupies your thoughts.

There are some things (lack of things) in some of those cities that take me back by surprise too. I've lived in very hilly towns, and I've never thought much (or cared) about hilly terrain. It's at the very bottom of what I look for within a city.

Now that I think about it, nearly all of the highest regarded world cities are all flat - New York, London, Paris, Tokyo. Berlin, Singapore, Amsterdam, Rome, Vienna, Sydney etc are too all "flat".

Last edited by CDGJFK; 12-12-2009 at 10:09 PM..
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:49 PM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
9,223 posts, read 13,832,798 times
Reputation: 3545
NYC isn't exactly all flat either. Boston definitely isn't.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,186 posts, read 10,299,394 times
Reputation: 1589
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroJimmy2 View Post
I actually grew up on the east coast, but now that I live out West, I'm always sort of taken aback by how flat cities like Chicago, Boston, NYC, etc are.

One the West Coast, hills and mountains (which means different views and vantage points) are such a huge part of the city. San Francisco, Seattle, LA, etc...are all sort of defined by their hills and how they divide and construct the city and its *feel*. Neighborhood like North Beach in San Francisco and Capitol Hill in Seattle are defined by the fact that they perch above downtown.

Even in terms of socio-economics across metro areas, the Hills play a role in differentiating the wealthy from the middle-class or slightly-less-wealthy (Berkeley--Berkeley Hills, Los Altos--Los Altos Hills, etc.)

It just completely changes the complexion of a city/metro area.

Something about the flat grid of east coast cities makes me feel like I can never "get above" the city. It feels more like the Matrix, or something, where you're like an ant in a maze or are stuck in the "system". Don't get me wrong, I love east coast cities but this aspect of it is always jarring from my perspective.

Just to be clear, Im not talking about "urban feel", density, or grittiness, as some West Coast cities are very urban/dense/gritty. Im talking specifically about the feeling of being unable to rise above the city (being in a building doesnt quite count). Like I said, it just makes you feel more "locked in" and completely changes the perspective of what it means to be *in a city*.

Anyone else agree or disagree?
I know exactly what you mean. Thats one of the reasons why i prefer west coast cities.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,400,887 times
Reputation: 10115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkhyperchaos View Post
Yeah, good backdrops can really add to a skyline and at this point I couldn't live without mountains. Sorry but i'm not living on the east coast any time soon.
Ooooh, Im gonna have fun with this thread.

There are TONS of East Coast cities that are surrounded by mountains and have some of the hilliest streets you could imagine! And for the record, there are just as many flat cities out West as there are out East.

Lets take a look at how "flat" some East Coast cities are, shall we? Here are just a few examples...

Asheville, NC:
Asheville, NC (Land of the Sky) on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/benpierce/354525727/ - broken link)

Duluth, MN has some of the hilliest streets anywhere in the country:
Flickr Photo Download: West Duluth hillside and skyline view from harbor (http://www.flickr.com/photos/esagor/2970880578/sizes/l/ - broken link)

Claimed to be the steepest street in the world (Pittsburgh, PA):
on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/puellaridarella/2374991648/ - broken link)

Chattanooga, TN:
Flickr Photo Download: Chatanooga (http://www.flickr.com/photos/auyuchuco/2437523794/sizes/l/ - broken link)

Lake Placid, NY:
Flickr Photo Download: Lake Placid downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveherb/3445545968/sizes/o/ - broken link)

Gatlinburg, TN:
Flickr Photo Download: Desolate (Comparitively) Gatlinburg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/38247503@N06/3529876204/sizes/o/ - broken link)

Sunset from the Cabin 2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluemiataman/2081779967/ - broken link)
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,131 posts, read 9,903,738 times
Reputation: 6423
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroJimmy2 View Post
I actually grew up on the east coast, but now that I live out West, I'm always sort of taken aback by how flat cities like Chicago, Boston, NYC, etc are.

One the West Coast, hills and mountains (which means different views and vantage points) are such a huge part of the city. San Francisco, Seattle, LA, etc...are all sort of defined by their hills and how they divide and construct the city and its *feel*. Neighborhood like North Beach in San Francisco and Capitol Hill in Seattle are defined by the fact that they perch above downtown.

Even in terms of socio-economics across metro areas, the Hills play a role in differentiating the wealthy from the middle-class or slightly-less-wealthy (Berkeley--Berkeley Hills, Los Altos--Los Altos Hills, etc.)

It just completely changes the complexion of a city/metro area.

Something about the flat grid of east coast cities makes me feel like I can never "get above" the city. It feels more like the Matrix, or something, where you're like an ant in a maze or are stuck in the "system". Don't get me wrong, I love east coast cities but this aspect of it is always jarring from my perspective.

Just to be clear, Im not talking about "urban feel", density, or grittiness, as some West Coast cities are very urban/dense/gritty. Im talking specifically about the feeling of being unable to rise above the city (being in a building doesnt quite count). Like I said, it just makes you feel more "locked in" and completely changes the perspective of what it means to be *in a city*.

Anyone else agree or disagree?
The West Coast cities are built on a active geological area called the Pacific Ring of Fire. This helps create those hills and mountains. In contrast most other cities are built in flat or relatively flat areas.

To answer your question, I think most people like to have hills in their area. Much more scenic and interesting.

However I am personally glad my own property is mostly flat. A friend of mine on the North Shore cannot not even use half his yard because it is on a steep slope. But on Long Island, the North Shore is certainly more scenic because it is hilly.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
299 posts, read 799,758 times
Reputation: 147
I was talking about backdrops for major cities. Not hills or backdrops for small unheard of cities. I'll admit, some of those pics surprised me but I really was talking about major cities with large skylines. You don't see snow capped peaks in the horizon of Philly or NYC. Thats what i'm talking about.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:25 PM
 
517 posts, read 1,155,723 times
Reputation: 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Ooooh, Im gonna have fun with this thread.

There are TONS of East Coast cities that are surrounded by mountains and have some of the hilliest streets you could imagine! And for the record, there are just as many flat cities out West as there are out East.

Lets take a look at how "flat" some East Coast cities are, shall we? Here are just a few examples...

Asheville, NC:
Asheville, NC (Land of the Sky) on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/benpierce/354525727/ - broken link)

Duluth, MN has some of the hilliest streets anywhere in the country:
Flickr Photo Download: West Duluth hillside and skyline view from harbor (http://www.flickr.com/photos/esagor/2970880578/sizes/l/ - broken link)

Claimed to be the steepest street in the world (Pittsburgh, PA):
on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/puellaridarella/2374991648/ - broken link)

Chattanooga, TN:
Flickr Photo Download: Chatanooga (http://www.flickr.com/photos/auyuchuco/2437523794/sizes/l/ - broken link)

Lake Placid, NY:
Flickr Photo Download: Lake Placid downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveherb/3445545968/sizes/o/ - broken link)

Gatlinburg, TN:
Flickr Photo Download: Desolate (Comparitively) Gatlinburg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/38247503@N06/3529876204/sizes/o/ - broken link)

Sunset from the Cabin 2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluemiataman/2081779967/ - broken link)
Minneosta is in the Midwest and I would consider Tennessee more South then East.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:30 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,131 posts, read 9,903,738 times
Reputation: 6423
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcee510 View Post
Minneosta is in the Midwest and I would consider Tennessee more South then East.
Reread the OP. He is comparing the Pacific coast to the East Coast and Midwest. He specifically mentioned Boston, NYC and Chicago.
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