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Old 09-25-2016, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Arch City
1,724 posts, read 1,226,850 times
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I'm talking cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. They get so much negative rap on here I thought I'd ask what positive traits exist in these cities. From my perspective, all are ethnically diverse, being a mixture of German, Irish, and in the case of the Great Lakes cities Eastern European ancestries. All have fabulous architecture and diverse climates. Many of them tend to have fantastic institutions. Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit and St. Louis are all known for their fantastic orchestras and institutions like History Museums and Art Museums. Chicago if included is especially prominent in this example. All of these cities have a low cost of living and very safe suburbs. Sports are big in all of these cities and most teams have a very loyal following among fans. Some fabulous academic institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis, Carnegie, University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Michigan, etc. Most of these cities have exquisite dining. What sorts of positive things do you think Rust Belt cities have?
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Windsor Ontario/Colchester Ontario
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To me they just feel like have more soul and sense of place compared to a lot of the booming metros of the south and west. Much more down to earth with less pretension and usually very friendly as well.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Terramaria
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In addition to what you've mentioned:

-Traffic usually isn't too bad since many of these cities transportation systems were built to handle a large volume of people.
-Have a stronger "blue collar" mentality with a more earthly attitude.
-Lots of the cultural past still intract with less gentrification
-Have a classic four-season climate
-Are generally located within a reasonable driving distance to a more white collar city for those seeking that "Big Time" getaway (Minneapolis, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Toronto, DC, NYC)
-While some of these cities have high crime, most of these tend to be concentration and generally don't spill over into the middle-or upper class areas.
-Aren't too far from lakes or mountains as a regular vacation destination

You could even include Baltimore and possibly Philadelphia to what you've mentioned.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:56 AM
 
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Patina
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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The Great Lakes Rust Belt cities are far different from the inland cities. They have their own vibe. Northern Ohio and WNY have their own Midwest charming character and a ridiculous amount of activities to choose from.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:19 AM
 
Location: San Francisco/East Bay and Los Angeles, formerly DC and Boston
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Affordable and moderately charming suburbs. Hard to find a place like Shaker Heights or Sewickley around Dallas or Atlanta.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Arch City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
The Great Lakes Rust Belt cities are far different from the inland cities. They have their own vibe. Northern Ohio and WNY have their own Midwest charming character and a ridiculous amount of activities to choose from.
Other than perhaps a larger Italian and Eastern European ancestry they aren't far different at all culturally or demographically.
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:20 PM
 
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I like music from a lot of those Rust Belt Cities so thats a positive thing I like about them.
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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Drove past St. Louis 3 weeks ago, have to say that city really surprised me. Western St. Louis is massive, used to be a very large industrial powerhouse in its heyday. Very sad to see how far the city has fallen though.

I live in a small rust-belt city in Indiana, something about rust-belt cities and their newest initiative to reinvent themselves really likens me to them. Though I don't work in the trades or manufacturing, I am part of a union, and I value the power and the mark that unions have made. Something about rust-belt cities and their skyrocketing growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries makes them havens for some very unique and often well preserved architecture that can be hard to find in other areas of the country.

St. Louis has so many historic brick buildings, entire sections of the city that are built of red brick, it's fascinating to drive through and observe, I really wish I could explore more of St. Louis, I just wish it wasn't as dangerous as it is. It often tops the charts of highest murder rate, even above Detroit and Baltimore.

Anyway, the midwestern rust-belt cities fit into a unique niche between many east coast cities and southern/western cities. The rust-belt cities saw their rise in the late 19th century and early 20th century, a large turning point in building style and architecture, I won't say it was the best, because I really adore early 19th century architecture as well, but it's definitely better than mid 20th century to today's architecture, so bland and boring. Entire neighborhoods in cities like St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Chicago, and Cincinnati are full of breath taking homes. What's not to be underrated is the smaller rust-belt cities undergoing their own renaissance and revitalization efforts, like South Bend, Fort Wayne, Kenosha, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Evansville, and others.

There's something about the way they designed cities in the late 19th century, even in small cities, they built buildings close to one another, narrow streets and sidewalks everywhere, houses were built within walking distance of stores and venues. Cities were more dense, with fewer large plots of land full of wasted space. The teeming urbanity of cities of this era really made them special.

I detest modern city design with the suburban sprawl, the countless subdivisions full of cookie cutter houses that all look the same, the strip mall after strip mall full of box office retail stores only serviced by their mammoth parking lots, no sidewalks, no bike lanes, no mass transit to these areas, unless you're in a major city. Car dependency has wreaked havoc on our cities, for a long time they have merely been places to drive past and clock into, not places to wander on foot and marvel at the ornate decorations on even the most modest of office buildings, I yearn for those days again, the art deco age of architecture was the pinnacle of this in my opinion.

Okay, rant over.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Most have a fantastic urban fabric that cannot be duplicated in newer cities, and the Rust Belt cities are generally very affordable.
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