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Old 06-29-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
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While every city will have an interesting district, neighborhood or two that is lively or attractive, some cities are defined by their neighborhoods, or they have neighborhoods that have a particular appeal or personality. These neighborhoods are incredibly distinct, vibrant, and serve as a defining feature of a city's culture and vibe, either to locals, tourists, or both. In my experience, the big "neighborhood cities" are places like San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, DC, St. Louis, New Orleans, Boston, and a few others.

Which neighborhoods stand out to you in your city and why?

In SF, these are the ones that stand out to me:

North Beach
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...h_Beach_CA.jpg

North Beach is a great mashup of Italian heritage, throwback and current bohemian counterculture, tourists, locals, cafés, tittie bars, an encroaching Chinese influence, live music, echoes of Barbary Coast days, and more. It's seedy and sophisticated, historic and scenic. It's both refined and unlivable, depending on the block. It's San Francisco in about one square mile. I love it.

In 2012, I looked at an apartment for rent in North Beach for $2400. It was up an alley and down a narrow opening between two buildings, meaning only street parking would be an option and that would only be available 3-4 blocks away, if at all. The apartment was up a narrow staircase that demanded three 180-degree turns to get up to it, meaning no furniture that wasn't built on-site would fit. The place was smallish--600 square feet. It did have access to the roof deck, though. Even I, a North Beach aficionado couldn't see how to justify this place's cost.


Russian Hill
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E8aNfxD48i...tography-7.jpg

Just up the hill from North Beach, Russian Hill is quiet, despite its ground-zero location among some of the most traveled SF neighborhoods, because it is really steep from all approaches. Until the 70s or so, this was the more bohemian cousin to tony nearby Nob Hill. Now, it's mostly well-to-do transplants and old money in stately multi-family dwellings. Russian Hill oozes old SF charm, with iconic views to match. It has several streets that become stairs and hillside parks. The high streets of Upper Polk and Hyde each add to its character. Polk has a mini restaurant boom going on with high-end, even Michelin-starred spots mixing with taco bars, neighborhood hardware stores, bookstores, shops and a major player or two in both the coffee and craft beer movements in the City. Hyde is less traveled due to steep going, but it has a clanging cable car and tree-lined sidewalks with some amazing restaurants on both sides of it. It's a very romantic, locals avenue that's about as SF as it gets.


The Castro
http://www.sanfranciscophotoblog.com...-francisco.jpg

Probably the neighborhood that conjures the most visions of SF among first-time visitors is The Castro. It's super gay, bawdy, and colorful, yet well kept and full of nice homes and apartment buildings. There is a stronger sense of neighborhood here than probably anywhere else in SF. In other words, you know it the moment you set foot in the Castro.there are plenty of shops, bars, eateries and attractions that are completely unique to this neighborhood. It's surprisingly clean and tidy for such a popular nightlife area, too. Straight and gay alike can find fun things to do both in the neighborhood and in the adjacent areas.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
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For DC, I would say the nabes that give off the most neighborhoody vibe to me are:

Adams Morgan
Brookland
Capitol Hill
DuPont Circle
Anacostia
Petworth
Fort DuPont
Trinidad
Woodley Park
Mount Pleasant
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
6,212 posts, read 7,384,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcave360 View Post
For DC, I would say the nabes that give off the most neighborhoody vibe to me are:

Adams Morgan
Brookland
Capitol Hill
DuPont Circle
Anacostia
Petworth
Fort DuPont
Trinidad
Woodley Park
Mount Pleasant
And I forgot to add Tenleytown.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:50 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcave360 View Post
And I forgot to add Tenleytown.
And Cleveland Park.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: The City
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here is a decent link to some neighborhoods

Philadelphia Neighborhoods — visitphilly.com
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Isn't every older US metro of a certain size a "city of neighborhoods?" For Milwaukee: Neighborhoods of Milwaukee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Over-the-Rhine, Ohio
548 posts, read 654,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Isn't every older US metro of a certain size a "city of neighborhoods?" For Milwaukee: Neighborhoods of Milwaukee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interesting you mentioned Milwaukee, because I grew up there and now that I live in Cincinnati I understand what the OP is getting at. Yes, every city has neighborhoods...but in Milwaukee they're not REALLY that defined. East Side, North Side, South Side. Some special ones like Brady St, Riverwest, Sherman Park, Bayview. Those are all well defined, but there's a huge swath of the city where people just don't really acre what neighborhood they're in.

Conversely, in Cincinnati, all 52 neighborhoods are clearly defined and you know when you're going between them. People are proud of their neighborhoods and are quick to tell you, "No, you're on the other side of the street, that's not the same neighborhood." The neighborhoods in Cincinnati all have their own style, unique housing stock, different light poles, everything. They're all VERY different.

Honestly, the cities I'm intimately familiar with I'd define like this:

Neighborhood Cities:
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
St Louis

Cities with Neighborhoods:
Minneapolis
St Paul
Milwaukee
Chicago
Cleveland
Indianapolis
Columbus
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProkNo5 View Post
Interesting you mentioned Milwaukee, because I grew up there and now that I live in Cincinnati I understand what the OP is getting at. Yes, every city has neighborhoods...but in Milwaukee they're not REALLY that defined. East Side, North Side, South Side.
Well now...no one in Milwaukee says "North Side," or "South Side." "East Side" is a specific neighborhood north of downtown, sure (not the swath of the geographic east section of the city), but "South Side" is very well-defined neighborhoods like 3rd Ward, Bayview, Walkers, 5th Ward, etc., with different ethnicities and local festivals and demographic make-up. The same thing with "North Side," or "West Side," no one uses those terms if they are mentioning where they live. Every time I meet someone in Milwaukee and they tell me where they live, it's the neighborhood term, not a map-based direction. It's the most segregated city in the country, so obviously lines are drawn quite clearly here.

I'm not interested in whether Cincy has "more defined" neighborhoods at all, you very well may be right. But perhaps you haven't been in Milwaukee for a long time, or grew up in the suburbs? The reality isn't quite what you've described above.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,262,848 times
Reputation: 3145
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Isn't every older US metro of a certain size a "city of neighborhoods?" For Milwaukee: Neighborhoods of Milwaukee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have lived in Houston and Dallas as well. Neither of those cities had the kinds of distinct neighborhood boundaries in close proximity to one another that I'm talking about. There were plenty of different names of places and the economics of districts would change, of course, but major cultural, architectural, commercial, etc. indicators that promote and define certain neighborhoods' distinct character where more homogenous over larger areas.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:51 AM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,673,507 times
Reputation: 1838
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProkNo5 View Post
Interesting you mentioned Milwaukee, because I grew up there and now that I live in Cincinnati I understand what the OP is getting at. Yes, every city has neighborhoods...but in Milwaukee they're not REALLY that defined. East Side, North Side, South Side. Some special ones like Brady St, Riverwest, Sherman Park, Bayview. Those are all well defined, but there's a huge swath of the city where people just don't really acre what neighborhood they're in.

Conversely, in Cincinnati, all 52 neighborhoods are clearly defined and you know when you're going between them. People are proud of their neighborhoods and are quick to tell you, "No, you're on the other side of the street, that's not the same neighborhood." The neighborhoods in Cincinnati all have their own style, unique housing stock, different light poles, everything. They're all VERY different.

Honestly, the cities I'm intimately familiar with I'd define like this:

Neighborhood Cities:
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
St Louis

Cities with Neighborhoods:
Minneapolis
St Paul
Milwaukee
Chicago
Cleveland
Indianapolis
Columbus
Interesting how the big neighborhood cities here are all major river cities that grew up about the same time. Could it be because they all had longer growth periods due to the riverboat boom followed by the rail and heavy industrial boom, leading to different neighborhoods from different time periods? Just a theory.

Also, I feel like Cleveland is somewhat of a neighborhood city. I may be wrong though.

And for St. Louis and its neighborhoods, I'd say some of the defining neighborhoods would be the Central West End, Soulard, the Hill, Downtown, Grand Center, and Tower Grove South/East.
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