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View Poll Results: Are small metro areas a good compromise between living in a big city and a small town?
Yes, it's the best of both worlds 24 61.54%
No, it doesn't offer the benefits of either 15 38.46%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-26-2016, 10:21 PM
 
2,546 posts, read 1,637,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post

I hear you on the airport thing, though. There are really only 15-20 airports with really good direct flights, including international.
AGREED!
For example, Phoenix can get you anywhere direct in the US, Canada and Mexico but there is only 1 option to Europe via BA and there is nothing to Asia or South America.

Sacramento only has one international destination to Mexico. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, cleveland, St Louis , etc have very similar situation, just Canada or Mexico flights.

This would be my rank of airports with ease of international flight in order:
JFK/EWR
LAX
ORD
SFO
IAD
ATL
DFW
MIA
SEA
IAH
BOS
DTW
DEN
MSP
PHL

Last edited by Nn2036; 10-26-2016 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:27 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
8,965 posts, read 4,107,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
Jessem.....but some mid sized metros DO have the things you listed.

For example, Louisville has great and myriad ethnic options from Senegalese to German to Morroccan to French. You can buy most designer labels, even if there is no Bloomies or stand alone Prada store. It's just the pick may be less and you may have to go to a boutique to get it.

I hear you on the airport thing, though. There are really only 15-20 airports with really good direct flights, including international.
I think Louisville is right at the low end of the threshold which I would consider to be a mid-sized city, and of course with that comes a lot more options. It also punches above its weight and I believe its poised to see a boom. It has an excellent quality of life and I would live there in a heartbeat if it was an option.

As I can attest to from living in OKC, small metros can be hit or miss on ethnic cuisine. Many times, it can depend on the diversity of the people in an area and the cultural roots of the original settlers. Small cities may have certain ethnic cuisines that are great, but others can't be found. For instance, you can find wide variety of Asian food in OKC (thanks to the Asian influx post-Vietnam), but many of the European cuisines either don't exist here or are very Americanized, and that includes popular ones like French and Greek (order a gyro and they ask chicken or beef with no option of lamb? Come on!). This is one thing (out of many) that I really miss about living in a real city.

Last edited by bawac34618; 10-26-2016 at 10:36 PM..
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:05 PM
 
473 posts, read 358,780 times
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I would have to go with "neither." They're definitely not the best, but are they the worst? Meh. Small metros are just kind of meh.

To me, the best of both worlds is a close-in suburb of a major metro, preferably one with commuter rail access. You get all the excitement, job opportunities and access to amenities that a big city offers but you can retreat to a place that's a bit greener, a bit quieter and likely has better schools. That's where I'm happiest.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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I think Dayton OH does pretty well in this regard. We have Trader Joes, Whole Foods, microbreweries, and at least one quality, authentic restaurant (meaning, up to this California transplant's standards) of most ethnic cuisines. Traffic is light, housing is affordable (especially a HOUSE), and it's a lot less stress than living in a major metro.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,580 posts, read 17,553,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
Metro Louisville is about 50% more populated than Knoxille, and it's urban area is almost double. I'm not sure that it's a peer to peer comparison there. I'd agree with Greenville though.
Even comparing Knoxville to Grand Rapids, I still like GR better, barring the immediate scenery. Much better economy, more food, more happening place, lake nearby etc.

I think some of the NC metros outside of Charlotte/Raleigh also get overshadowed and aren't a real anchor, probably diminishing them somewhat.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
Louisville has amazing food, yes. Tons of diverse ethnic options that are hard to find even in larger cities. I can't comment on all the other small/midsize metros. The diversity of people is quite low, though, compared to larger metros. For its class, Louisville does pretty well I'd say. But that's the thing. For their size, there are some metros that outperform their class. But they simply can't compete with the big metros.

As for shopping. We don't have a collection of high end retail like surrounding larger metros. Cincinnati, Nashville, and Indianapolis have Nordstrom, we have The Rack. My favorite shoe store, though not designer, is Call It Spring. Cincinnati has one, but Louisville, Nash, and Indy don't. Cincy has a Macy's downtown. We don't have any shopping downtown. So there are definitely differences in the shopping experiences between smaller metros. I can't afford most of what I like anyway, but that's not the point here lol. For people who do value fashion and higher end retailers, smaller metros are lacking. Louisville is not SMALL when compared to other metros that come to mind, but even we suffer attracting these types of stores. There are some smaller metros that have higher incomes than Louisville that can support a Nordstrom or similar, but go too small, and there just isn't the population base for a Nordstrom. Again, some people don't want those stores so it doesn't affect their QOL. If I could afford it, I would shop there, though.

The biggest thing for me is live shows. Besides the biggest of biggest stars, not many artists even come to Louisville. I like electronic music. A few DJs come through here, but not many. I don't keep up on other genres, but I'm sure it's the same. Ticket sales are not going to be as high in smaller metros. Artists and DJs go for the bigger markets. Around here, they usually go to Cincinnati or Nashville, sometimes the closest they get is Chicago or Atlanta. For me, that's an important QOL aspect that a smaller/medium sized metro can never give me. To see my favorite artists and DJs live, I basically HAVE to be in a bigger metro.
I always thought Louisville had a great music scene, though admittedly I have no idea how it is for EDM. I went to Louisville a lot for rock shows that didn't come through Indy, especially during colder months.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:27 AM
 
6,961 posts, read 14,091,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I always thought Louisville had a great music scene, though admittedly I have no idea how it is for EDM. I went to Louisville a lot for rock shows that didn't come through Indy, especially during colder months.
Maybe for different genres, it's better. I definitely can't comment on most genres. But for the type of music I listen to, smaller metros are usually off the radar sadly.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:55 AM
 
226 posts, read 167,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingFar View Post
I would have to go with "neither." They're definitely not the best, but are they the worst? Meh. Small metros are just kind of meh.

To me, the best of both worlds is a close-in suburb of a major metro, preferably one with commuter rail access. You get all the excitement, job opportunities and access to amenities that a big city offers but you can retreat to a place that's a bit greener, a bit quieter and likely has better schools. That's where I'm happiest.
Now to me, that's the worst of both worlds. You have access to amenities, but it's usually a big production to get to them. Whenever something gets added, it's just more homes, more people, and more traffic. The commuter rail helps some, but in most places if people are going into the urban center for entertainment, rather than work, they still end up driving.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
400 posts, read 271,079 times
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Harrisburg, PA punches far above its weight. City proper is only 8 sq miles, but the urban area is 260 sq miles. If Lebanon MSA was included in Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA it would be over 700k, but currently at about 550k. We have the PA state capital, Hershey Park, museums, the Susquehanna River, AA baseball; and if you get bored we have access to nearby larger metros in Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, NYC. We are even closer to York, Lancaster, Reading, and Allentown. The Harrisburg area acts like a major city in ways. There is a lot of traffic due to having major interstates pass through (81, 83, 283, 76, 78, and 322, 22, 11, 15). There is a lot to do from the things noted above, to events at the Hershey Giant Center, to vineyards nearby, to nightlife on 2nd St and midtown. Also there are many good career opportunities in the region.

To me Harrisburg offers the best of both worlds in that the cost of living is still affordable (you can actually buy and own real estate here), but there are the sights, sounds, and feel of a larger city area either in your backyard, or just an hour drive to the other cities. Also, in your backyard are the beautiful mountains, state parks, Wildwood Park, and the river. So you are not far from nature either. The future is bright for this metro area. Many people seem to sometimes overlook S Central PA because they are drawn to thinking about Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But Harrisburg is still a decent contender as a metro area.

Last edited by g500; 10-27-2016 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:15 PM
 
5,691 posts, read 8,756,281 times
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Jesse, is this what you would call electronic music:

http://lineup.bigearsfestival.com/

or is it more like this, which I would call alternative or independent music:

http://www.thepilotlight.com/cgi-bin/calendar.pl

This is what's available in the more mainstream historic theaters:

Upcoming Music, Shows, Artists & Event Calendar | Historic Tennessee Theatre - Est. 1928 Knoxville, Tennessee

Event Calendar and Tickets | Bijou Theatre | Downtown Knoxville
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