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Old 04-04-2016, 08:02 AM
 
2,009 posts, read 4,405,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
To me this is the stumbling point of your post. Big cities are not usually close to "small cities," they're usually always surrounded by suburbs, or maybe by former towns that have become part of the metro and have no real personality left. Unless by "close" you mean 3-4 hours away? Which makes day trips a drag.
Generally speaking I think you're right. However, I think Milwaukee (WI) is a good example of a smaller city that is really only about 1.5 hours away by rail or car (in no traffic) to Chicago.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,514 posts, read 9,063,864 times
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Some other things I'd like to add to the smaller city list:

- Good healthcare options. Often people living in very rural environments or small towns do not have the best or even decent healthcare facilities. Where I live the hospital has a stage 3 ICU, which is the highest level there is, which means people get flown in by helicopter all over the area to come to this hospital.
- Generally speaking a decent small city will have ALL the same chain stores as a big city, only difference is they'll only have 1 or 2 of them, where a big city will have dozens of them and dozens of variants of them. There's only 1 Best Buy here, and 1 Macy's here, but we aren't big enough where we need 2.
- Better parking accessibility. There are a couple of parking garages that offer free parking if it's under 2 hours, and even the ones that charge are fairly cheap. Parking in NYC or Chicago is often going to be a lot more.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,512 posts, read 2,975,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
To me this is the stumbling point of your post. Big cities are not usually close to "small cities," they're usually always surrounded by suburbs, or maybe by former towns that have become part of the metro and have no real personality left. Unless by "close" you mean 3-4 hours away? Which makes day trips a drag.
No, small cities can be close to big cities--I'm living in one myself. The Wilmington portion of the Greater Philadelphia metro ("The Delaware Valley") is still very distinct in character, influence and personality, as Wilmington is the largest city for the entire state of Delaware, and anchors its own metro of 720,000. Wilmington is definitely not a suburb of Philadelphia, and I wouldn't really consider it a strong satellite city either--it's an anchor for sure, but definitely not as dependent on Philly as places like Chester, Upper Darby and Camden are.

Forbes Welcome

Back to the OP, I enjoy the lower cost of living provided here, while still having plenty of the same important amenities (mainly food and shopping) that Philadelphia has. I also enjoy being able to reliably find parking every night, something that I can not do in either New York City or Philadelphia without paying an arm and a leg. And there is a more intimate sense of community here, as I am far more apt to see familiar faces when out and about (which is both a pro and con, depending on circumstances). The only real drawback comes in the form of major cultural and pro sports offerings, but those are best enjoyed Fri-Sun anyways, and I'm less than 30 min from the Philly sports complex for those.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:53 AM
 
Location: in here, out there
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Peace and quiet. Those are my number one and two.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,830,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
So my list of pros for a small city are as follows:

- Lower cost of living
- Less traffic
- Easier to live in or near the city
- A sense of knowing a lot of people, but never knowing the whole town, like you might find in a town of about 30,000 people or less. It's easy to get connected and know who's who, but there are still plenty of new faces.
- Close to big cities for venues, sight seeing, and points of interest.
- Different sense of community. Here I read the paper and it everything they report directly covers the city I live in or the nearby towns, we're all affected by the news and happenings here. When I lived in Chicago I received the Tribune, but being in a far flung suburb I often found that what happens in Chicago has little to no effect on surburbanites. Even those living in the city live very different lives, often never visiting some parts of the city.

Feel free to add anything to the list, draw your own reasons on why you like or dislike small cities vs big cities. For the purpose of this discussion let's make a small city anything with a metro population of 200,000 to 999,999.

Life is even better in cities far under 200,000.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Life is even better in cities far under 200,000.
200,000 metro would be my cutoff point I think, smaller than that and cities begin to lose a lot of qualities and amenities of their larger peers. Where I lie there are two neighboring metros, one is roughly 350k the other is roughly 200k, there is a large difference in the services they provide and entertainment options.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,918 posts, read 36,220,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
To me this is the stumbling point of your post. Big cities are not usually close to "small cities," they're usually always surrounded by suburbs, or maybe by former towns that have become part of the metro and have no real personality left. Unless by "close" you mean 3-4 hours away? Which makes day trips a drag.

I'm lucky enough to live in a small city that's close to a big metro area. I live in Tyler, Texas (actually in a bedroom community of Tyler just outside the city limits) and the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is only an hour and a half drive for me. This makes the amenities there very close at hand and it's a very easy day trip. However, I only find that I drive to Dallas/Fort Worth about once every two or three months and it wouldn't be that often if we didn't have friends and family there.

My small city (Tyler metro population is around 216,000) is chock full of amenities - good schools, really superior shopping and restaurant options, beautiful neighborhoods with lots of affordable housing, a strong job market, a great medical community, lots of parks and lakes and plenty of outdoor activities available - it's great. To top it off, I don't even live in the heart of Tyler (and it's traffic and bustle) - I live on the outskirts and I get to enjoy the pleasures of an even smaller town center and a more rural feel. I really do feel like we have the best of all worlds.

I've had the pleasure of living in or just outside of several other small cities over my lifetime - Columbus OH, Norfolk and Newport News VA, Columbus GA, Temple TX, and Aschaffenburg Germany come to mind immediately when I think of the pleasant attributes of small cities (as opposed to small towns - I actually don't particularly like living in a very small town). All of those cities are within 2 hours (often less) of a larger metro area. Honestly I think such a lifestyle - for me, anyway - is just about perfect. I love the slower pace of life, the larger homes and lots, the quiet neighborhoods, the cleaner air of smaller cities, but I do want the amenities of a big metro to be fairly close at hand. That combo doesn't seem so difficult to find here in the US.

Here is some info on the little slice of Paradise that I've made my home for the past 20 years. I love me some Tyler, Texas!

http://www.visittyler.com/
http://www.tylertexas.com/

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 04-05-2016 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:12 AM
 
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I love living in a major metro, but I clearly see the value and draw to small cities. My favorite is Charleston, SC. Has a great sense of community, people are extremely friendly, stunningly beautiful, easy pace of life, easy to get around, incredible restaurants, great beaches, and you don't feel overwhelmed. Yet they have more than a tourism/retiree economy, like the Boeing Aircraft plant and Air Force and Navy bases. 3 great hospitals as well (St. Francis/Roper/Medical University of SC). It's the only smaller city/smaller metro I'd ever consider living. I know there are other good ones, but this is the one I'm most familiar with.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,514 posts, read 9,063,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm lucky enough to live in a small city that's close to a big metro area. I live in Tyler, Texas (actually in a bedroom community of Tyler just outside the city limits) and the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is only an hour and a half drive for me. This makes the amenities there very close at hand and it's a very easy day trip. However, I only find that I drive to Dallas/Fort Worth about once every two or three months and it wouldn't be that often if we didn't have friends and family there.

My small city (Tyler metro population is around 216,000) is chock full of amenities - good schools, really superior shopping and restaurant options, beautiful neighborhoods with lots of affordable housing, a strong job market, a great medical community, lots of parks and lakes and plenty of outdoor activities available - it's great. To top it off, I don't even live in the heart of Tyler (and it's traffic and bustle) - I live on the outskirts and I get to enjoy the pleasures of an even smaller town center and a more rural feel. I really do feel like we have the best of all worlds.

I've had the pleasure of living in or just outside of several other small cities over my lifetime - Columbus OH, Norfolk and Newport News VA, Columbus GA, Temple TX, and Aschaffenburg Germany come to mind immediately when I think of the pleasant attributes of small cities (as opposed to small towns - I actually don't particularly like living in a very small town). All of those cities are within 2 hours (often less) of a larger metro area. Honestly I think such a lifestyle - for me, anyway - is just about perfect. I love the slower pace of life, the larger homes and lots, the quiet neighborhoods, the cleaner air of smaller cities, but I do want the amenities of a big metro to be fairly close at hand. That combo doesn't seem so difficult to find here in the US.

Here is some info on the little slice of Paradise that I've made my home for the past 20 years. I love me some Tyler, Texas!

Welcome to Tyler, Texas
Home - Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, TX

I'm not sure most people would consider Columbus Ohio or even the Newport News area a small city. Columbus metro is over 2 million now, that's pretty sizable, but just my opinion.

I do completely relate to how you feel about Tyler, though I've never been there the way you describe it calls to mind how I would describe my city, in some ways. An hour and a half drive from Chicago, which has all you could ever want in a day trip, though my city offers a smaller slice of almost anything you'd find in a big city, and sometimes more than other comparable sized cities due to the presence of Notre Dame. I like that smaller cities have mostly the same amenities, just on a smaller scale and in a smaller package than their bigger city peers. For example, many people love the big city for the theaters and touring shows that come through, or the fine dining, or the auditorium or coliseum that houses entertainers. We have all of that, just on a smaller scale. Of course big cities are always going to offer more, but if you know what you're looking for you can find many of the same qualities in smaller cities.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,918 posts, read 36,220,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
I'm not sure most people would consider Columbus Ohio or even the Newport News area a small city. Columbus metro is over 2 million now, that's pretty sizable, but just my opinion.

I do completely relate to how you feel about Tyler, though I've never been there the way you describe it calls to mind how I would describe my city, in some ways. An hour and a half drive from Chicago, which has all you could ever want in a day trip, though my city offers a smaller slice of almost anything you'd find in a big city, and sometimes more than other comparable sized cities due to the presence of Notre Dame. I like that smaller cities have mostly the same amenities, just on a smaller scale and in a smaller package than their bigger city peers. For example, many people love the big city for the theaters and touring shows that come through, or the fine dining, or the auditorium or coliseum that houses entertainers. We have all of that, just on a smaller scale. Of course big cities are always going to offer more, but if you know what you're looking for you can find many of the same qualities in smaller cities.
LOL when I lived near Columbus OH it was a small city. Same with Newport News, VA, which still feels like a small city to me.

Like you, I like the amenities of smaller cities (not towns, cities). I also like being close enough for bigger venues when I want them, but without the hassle and expense of living right in the middle of a big metro area.

I'd like to visit Chicago one day. It seems like a fun city!
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