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Old 05-26-2014, 12:27 AM
 
18 posts, read 24,224 times
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I posted this in the NYC forum and got an abysmal response (aka no replies) so I'll see if you guys can give me an answer.

I know other cities resent being compared to NY and there is no other city completely similar to it in the world (maybe london) I'm just trying to create a rough comparison.

I'm a New Yorker born and raised. I spent my early life on the LES but my formative years were spent in Staten Island. My parents both grew up in Alphabet City/LES/East Village area. That was the real hipster neighborhood. It was grungy, a bit dangerous, had a diverse community, and a real arts scene. And the coolest part was a struggling young musician or artist or just young kid new to the city could afford to live there and not share a 2 bedroom with 5 other people. The apartment I was born in on Avenue A was a 2 bedroom we paid $750 for in 1995. Today that same apartment in that same building goes for $3500 + and it isn't even a nice building. It's completely unaffordable, and while a lot of people come to New York to make it..they can't actually afford to live here, even areas that I was told *never* to go to or even take the train through as a kid, like Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights are now getting over $2000 for a studio or 1 bed. But I'm rambling, what I'm asking is what city in America has good diversity, transport, a genuine (not yuppie hipster-fied) arts and music scene and is still affordable that a low wage person (like a young artist or musician or something) could afford to live alone and still be in or near the action. Philly? Chicago? Boston? LA? I don't live in the USA (I live in Germany but I've been bouncing around Europe since I left college) anymore but I'm curious to the opinion who are still in America..
What city evokes the vibe of artsy dirty 1960's/70's NY the most? I'm talking about the New York of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed or even like the NY in the movie Rent...
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,193 posts, read 10,407,297 times
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Philadelphia and Chicago come to mind first. Philly is probably the closest to New York culturally, and still has that grit/grime factor that makes native New Yorkers like yourself wax poetic. Chicago is more cosmopolitan but is also very affordable for a world-class city of its size, and the winters will probably keep it from becoming completely gentrified like New York or San Francisco any time soon.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:50 AM
 
18 posts, read 24,224 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
Philadelphia and Chicago come to mind first. Philly is probably the closest to New York culturally, and still has that grit/grime factor that makes native New Yorkers like yourself wax poetic. Chicago is more cosmopolitan but is also very affordable for a world-class city of its size, and the winters will probably keep it from becoming completely gentrified like New York or San Francisco any time soon.
I'll check out Philly. I'm thinking about coming back to America to be closer to family and also so I can live in my native language. Chicago seems cool too but it's location in the country is quite far removed from anything unless I wanna take a trip to Kenosha whereas Philly is a day trip from NYC DC Baltimore the Jersey shore
And it's not that I'm romanticising crime or anything - I like safety as much as the next guy but cities like NY have been over sanitized that once vibrant neighborhoods where kids grew up and normal people lived are now sterile playgrounds for the über rich champagne socialist yuppie set. Hell, CBGB is now a John Varvatos boutique...I'm all for clean streets and safety but not at the expense of turning a place like Manhattan into a gated island for rich white people from Iowa who claim to "love the energy of New York" but then complain about all the things thy make NY unique from say Des Moines or Tulsa. It's akin to a bunch of Americans moving to Paris and campaigning for street cafés to be shut down to reduce street noise...it defeats the purpose. I walked down my old street last visit (8months ago) and instead of the bodegas and shops and restaurants I remembered there was two 7-11's, a Starbucks and not a NY accent to be heard. Ok, I'm ranting. I'll stop now lol.
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
6,212 posts, read 7,382,929 times
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I heard DTLA is kinda similar in a way. It also has a growing Arts District as well.

And you can check out Baltimore too. For artist enclaves, you can explore the Mount Vernon and Hampden neighborhoods up there, most especially the former (looks like a neighborhood straight out of Brooklyn).

And you definitely can't go wrong with Philadelphia either.
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