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Old 06-20-2007, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
832 posts, read 3,556,980 times
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Regarding Tempe I haven't been there for a while so perhaps it has changed.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:41 AM
 
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
792 posts, read 2,903,581 times
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In regards to Tempe, I think you have to separate a vibrant town from what one would consider a legitimately good college town. Of course most I would garner a hunch would factor vibrancy and social scene into the equation. There is stuff going on in Tempe, no question. But it has no college feel to it what so ever in my opinion, especially considering we're talking a very large institution that sits just down the block from the main hub. Very strange.
I've spent lots of days and nights there and you get the feeling that it is simply another nightly stroll along the boulevard of Myrtle Beach or Virginia Beach: a magnet for those lifeless under 21-years of age who simply want to be seen and heard. I also get the impression Tempe attracts alot of people who choose to hang out there, whether they are ASU students or not, because Phoenix is so incredibly desolute after dark.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,784,746 times
Reputation: 1996
In the east...
Best:
Burlington, VT - Fun town in a gorgeous setting. Home to University of Vermont, Champlain College, St. Mike's, etc.
Ithaca, NY - Very similar to Burlington. Fun vibe, beautiful area. Home to Cornell University & Ithaca College.

In the west I really like Boulder & Berkeley.

Worst? Don't really have one...though I didnt get that great of a "collegetown vibe" in Tucson when I was there recently.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,169 posts, read 4,196,906 times
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Among the best college "towns" (communities whose identity and/or culture is dominated by an anchor college/university) that I know of:

-Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Boulder, Madison, Ithaca, Cambridge (MA)

Among the best college "cities" (urban places whose identity and/or culture is not necessarily shaped by any single anchor college, but contain interesting and engaging college-oriented neighborhoods):

-Milwaukee, Columbus, Chicago, Buffalo, NYC, Washington, Pittsburgh, Rochester


Some of the most flat-out boring college towns/cities I've been to:

-Montevallo (AL), Princeton (NJ), South Hadley (MA), Lewisburg (PA), Oxford (MS), Mobile (AL), Steubenville (OH), Stockton (CA), Rohnert Park (CA)
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,282,517 times
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Worst: Berkeley (car theft capital of NorCal), Terre Haute (meth capital of Indiana), Ypsilanti (blegh)

Worst campus-in-a-city: Columbus
Best campus-in-a-city: Pittsburgh

Merely OK: Charleston (IL), Kalamazoo

Best: Champaign, Chapel Hill, Charlottesville, Madison, State College
Besteresterest: Ann Arbor
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:53 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,188,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroline95 View Post
syracuse, NY or providence, RI
I have trouble thinking of Syracuse and Providence as "College Towns". These were once large and prosperous metropolitan areas where the Universities were just a small part of the local economy. Even today, these metros don't depend on their colleges for employment. You take the colleges out of Syracuse and Providence, you still have a large employment base. On the other hand you take the colleges out of Ithaca, NY or Lawrence, Kansas and the local economy virtually shuts down.

For example there are about 315,000 jobs in Metropolitan Syracuse. Only about 20,000 people are employed directly from colleges in the three county region. Even if some service jobs depend on the colleges, its not more than 3 times the 20,000. So lets say all the colleges shut down and you still have a mid-size metro with over 250,000 jobs.

Not to mention the Metropolitan population of Syracuse is about 650,000 and Metropolitan Providence is about 1,600,000.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:08 PM
 
442 posts, read 1,940,088 times
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Believe it or not, OK City has a great vibe. The University of Oklahoma has caused it to become a liberal city with lots of night spots and restaurants, if you like that sort of thing. Tulsa is great, too, but probably too dull for most people.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:29 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,019,618 times
Reputation: 3164
Rather than say "best and worst", I will list my favorites and not so favorite college towns:
Favorites
Madison, WI
Brookline,MA,
Cambridge, MA
Northampton, MA
Amherst, MA
Lexington, KY
Chapel Hill NC

Least Favorite
New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers)
New Haven, CT
Ithaca, NY
Burlington, VT

We have been to many more, but they didn't leave me with a strong reaction one way or the other.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,282,517 times
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I like Ithaca. The campus of the University of Rochester is suburban in character, although it is near one bad immediate inner city neighborhood.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:33 PM
 
154 posts, read 642,120 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellafinzi View Post
I have trouble thinking of Syracuse and Providence as "College Towns". These were once large and prosperous metropolitan areas where the Universities were just a small part of the local economy. Even today, these metros don't depend on their colleges for employment. You take the colleges out of Syracuse and Providence, you still have a large employment base. On the other hand you take the colleges out of Ithaca, NY or Lawrence, Kansas and the local economy virtually shuts down.

For example there are about 315,000 jobs in Metropolitan Syracuse. Only about 20,000 people are employed directly from colleges in the three county region. Even if some service jobs depend on the colleges, its not more than 3 times the 20,000. So lets say all the colleges shut down and you still have a mid-size metro with over 250,000 jobs.

Not to mention the Metropolitan population of Syracuse is about 650,000 and Metropolitan Providence is about 1,600,000.
i understand your point, but i didn't mean to list syracuse & providence so literally as college 'towns', trust me, i know that they are cities. i just meant that syracuse & providence are good cities with plenty of oppurtunities, that happen to be known for their universities as well. same reasons why other people have been mentioning other larger cities such as austin & madison in this same thread...
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