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Old 10-07-2017, 07:16 AM
 
1,290 posts, read 1,123,930 times
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Dallas and Houston. Don't know what I was expecting exactly but I had only really been to Northern Cities so I was surprised at the lack of historic character. But in hindsight it makes sense - post-war Sunbelt development.

Atlanta. Was surprised at how green and hilly it was. What a gorgeous area.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:46 AM
 
9,382 posts, read 9,532,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Rochester. Not a run down industrial Rust Belt town even though most residents think it is. From what natives had said I was expecting a pure ghetto. I almost cancelled the trip. Was I wrong. I guess you have to be an outsider from another Rust Belt city visiting to appreciate all Rochester offers. The downtown is new and clean. The city has a good music and art scene. The access to water sports is above par. It's the one inland city I have been to in the US that is closest to what life is like on the beach. Rochester is definitely a boat lovers paradise. The only two obstacles holding Rochester back from being a boom town are the weather and politics. I could see Amazon or another company moving their headquarters to Rochester because there is so much potential, especially with RIT at the outside of the city.
Rochester over the last 30 years was somewhat of a minor miracle. In the late 80s Xerox and Kodak has combined 25% of the job market cornered. They both collapsed, and Rochester kept growing slowly. It would have been like if Metro Pittsburgh had never lost population during the steel mill closings.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:54 AM
 
Location: New York Metropolitan Area
406 posts, read 287,937 times
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Charleston SC. Very very underrated city, thought the nightlife/bar scene was fantastic, amazing food scene for it's size, really green and beachy suburbs, and the people were wonderful. Was expecting a tiny little college town.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:13 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,263 posts, read 6,343,100 times
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Seattle surprised me greatly. Supposedly folks there are not that friendly and pretty aloof. But I had the warmest most cordial interactions there with everyone I met. So much so that I could envision living there.

Oakland, to which I’ve now been several times, proved much more complex than its stereotypical image of either crime-ridden or overrun with hipsters and techies. The mix of ethnicities and economic classes, depending on the area, is really intriguing, although folks there tell me that generally speaking most municipal services basically suck.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:36 PM
 
56,538 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Rochester over the last 30 years was somewhat of a minor miracle. In the late 80s Xerox and Kodak has combined 25% of the job market cornered. They both collapsed, and Rochester kept growing slowly. It would have been like if Metro Pittsburgh had never lost population during the steel mill closings.
A lot of that is due to talent from those companies forming smaller companies and now the area is seeing investment into its Photonics sector: Construction underway for 'TAP' photonics facility in Rochester | WXXI News

Rochester Photonics Hub | WXXI News

That is why the area has a higher than average educational attainment and it is higher than quite a few bigger metros in that regard.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:42 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,721 posts, read 9,018,166 times
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Seattle, Denver, and Detroit.

I first visited Seattle at 14 and didn't know it was so green and had so many trees. I also didn't realize it was so close to wilderness.

I had always thought Denver was up in the mountains and was shocked to see its actually more on the plains. Personally I think Denver is one of the most overrated places in the USA.

Detroit has a reputation of being a gritty, crime ridden place. While there are areas like that, I found a lot of the city to be beautiful with great people. The zoo is a hidden gem and the Henry Ford Museum is fascinating.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Rochester
846 posts, read 1,635,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Rochester. Not a run down industrial Rust Belt town even though most residents think it is. From what natives had said I was expecting a pure ghetto. I almost cancelled the trip. Was I wrong. I guess you have to be an outsider from another Rust Belt city visiting to appreciate all Rochester offers. The downtown is new and clean. The city has a good music and art scene. The access to water sports is above par. It's the one inland city I have been to in the US that is closest to what life is like on the beach. Rochester is definitely a boat lovers paradise. The only two obstacles holding Rochester back from being a boom town are the weather and politics. I could see Amazon or another company moving their headquarters to Rochester because there is so much potential, especially with RIT at the outside of the city.
Glad to see Rochester given recognition for being the hidden gem it is. Culture is certainly not lacking here and the entire region is undergoing extensive revitalization. As a native myself, I'll admit we certainly have some pessimistic people. Don't mind them. Most residents do bash the city citing high crime and a declining economy, but there is so much more this region has to offer that most of those who move away realize very quickly, many of them returning not long after their relocation. Allow me to leave you with this quote by Henry Clune...

"Removed temporarily from the city, the good Rochesterian will eulogize the town to all who will listen and to many who won't"

To answer the OP's question, the only place that didn't exactly meet my expectations was Montreal. I was expecting this bustling, cosmopolitan cultural mecca reminiscent of a major European city. In reality, what I saw was a very nice city, but an underwhelming one. My first impression actually reminded me more of an American city than anything. Most people on the street spoke English, not French, and the streets weren't the cleanest when I visited. The vibrancy was average, even a bit quiet for a city of its size. I was actually far more impressed with Ottawa, which I was in the day before. The countryside of Quebec however was the complete opposite. The province is a beautiful, lush Francophone land with charming small towns spread along the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. I will say I was only there for a day and a half nearly a decade ago, likely not enough time to experience even a fraction of what it has to offer, and perhaps I didn't make it to the right areas. I would like to return to Montreal soon to give it a second chance, but that's the only major area I've seen that didn't turn out how I thought it would.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
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When I moved to Tucson for college I thought it would be an almost carbon copy of Phoenix. That couldn't be further from the truth. Tucson has a lot of craziness and strange activities, whereas Phoenix is more bread and butter by comparison. Since Tucson isn't flooded by transplants like Phoenix is, Tucson is more... err.... culturally natural to Arizona. And it's amazing to see the differences between the two.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
5,643 posts, read 7,444,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
When I moved to Tucson for college I thought it would be an almost carbon copy of Phoenix. That couldn't be further from the truth. Tucson has a lot of craziness and strange activities, whereas Phoenix is more bread and butter by comparison. Since Tucson isn't flooded by transplants like Phoenix is, Tucson is more... err.... culturally natural to Arizona. And it's amazing to see the differences between the two.
Having lived in both Tucson and Phoenix, I cannot agree with you more. Back in the early 90's, these metros seemed to have somewhat of a more common feel than they do now, but Phoenix has definitely changed more. I sometimes miss these cities before the influx of new transplants to AZ; however, I too was one of these new residents.

I've visited Austin a few times after living there in the late 80's/early 90's and it's easy to notice just how much it has changed and continues to. While there were still elements of the Austin I knew, it certainly changed much more than I expected it to. To me, it felt like it lost part of its soul and uniqueness. However, I think that many transient cities and cities that have experienced explosive growth are like that. People move away, businesses come and go, new elements arise, and the old gets pushed out in favor of the new. Sometimes, the only way to relive the feelings one once had about previous times and places is through one's memories, and it can often feel like a lonely past when you know that you can never go back and re-experience the way things used to be.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:07 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,574 posts, read 15,041,157 times
Reputation: 12118
Seattle surprised me. Educated, cordial population. Didn't get the "Seattle Freeze"
that you hear about.
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