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Old 10-08-2017, 11:04 AM
 
11,456 posts, read 6,581,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 585WNY View Post
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.
Did we go the same Montreal? I heard predominately French except on St Laurent Blvd. And the city was so clean that I remember seeing literally one piece of litter, which someone picked up as soon as I noticed it.

It felt more like a European city than an American one to me, for the most part.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:05 AM
 
11,456 posts, read 6,581,240 times
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Binghamton, NY

I had literally no idea what the place looked like before I went, and it turned out to be more urban than I expected. The neighborhoods filled with 2 family houses reminded me of Queens.

It was also more diverse than I expected.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,559 posts, read 10,268,098 times
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San Antonio. Living in Texas I figured (based on the hype) that I had to see the Alamo and the Riverwalk. San Antonio has some great architecture downtown, and the area around the Riverwalk and Alamo is really walkable. That being said, the Alamo and Riverwalk were both extremely underwhelming.

It takes quite a bit of time to get into the Alamo, and once you're inside you realize it's about the size of a school gymnasium. The courtyard out back is bigger than the structure itself. On top of that the Alamo was pretty much an afterthought for about 70 years. The building wasn't properly preserved and as a result looks nothing like it did during the siege.

The Riverwalk. Meh. It's essentially an overcrowded pedestrian mall built alongside a navigable flood control project.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
706 posts, read 513,457 times
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DFW. I was NOT expecting all those trees! I also didn't expect so few tornadoes.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,420,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1995 View Post
And the city was so clean that I remember seeing literally one piece of litter, which someone picked up as soon as I noticed it.
Toronto is like this as well.


I'm still trying to think of one. Everywhere I've been wasn't that big of a surprise to me. Some places impressed me more than I expected them to, but I can't think of one that I completely mis-characterized.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,113,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
I think my adoptive city, Pittsburgh surprises a lot of visitors.
When I went to Pittsburgh on business a few years ago, I was very pleasantly surprised.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,113,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecrowds View Post
Salt Lake City by far.

Very vibrant city with good sized nightlife. Huge infrastructure for a city of size with world-class hospitals, multiple universities in the metropolitan area and light/commuter rail.

Lots of very interesting neighborhoods. I love exurban areas but Salt Lake City is a neighborhood city, where each neighborhood is different.

Salt Lake City is a shockingly high-amenity city for a city of less than 200,000 people. In the middle of the city itself it seems so many times bigger than it is.

Some of the most exciting people and personalities I ever came across were in Salt Lake City. Some of the friendliest and unfriendliest people. Some of the healthiest people you could ever across and yet a city where many people have bad vice's

There seems to be so many events constantly going on Salt Lake City. It is one city I was glad to experience.

It is a super-liberal city in the middle of a very conservative state.

It has a very active city and seems so huge and vibrant compared to the population.

I don't think I ever had an unexciting moment in Salt Lake City. There is just so much to do there and the people are likely the most exciting of any city I have lived in.

The eastside of Salt Lake City is very active at night, with many places staying open well past midnight. Has a nightlife of a city several times it's size.

The number of hospitals, the amount of transit, really nice grocery stores and restaurants for the size of the place.
As a native Salt Laker, I was very happy to read your post. I think most people visiting Salt Lake City for the first time are quite pleasantly surprised. In addition to the things you mentioned, I often hear what a clean city it is.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,113,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDak15 View Post
Personally I think Denver is one of the most overrated places in the USA.
I'll second that.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,113,760 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.
I liked Rochester, too. Actually, we just passed through it, had dinner and spent the night, but my first impression was a good one. Also, my husband accidentally left his credit card laying on the table when we left the restaurant and it had been turned in when we returned. So that left us with good memories of the city. We actually commented that, just based on our first impression, it was a place we could imagine living.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,640,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZLiam View Post
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.
Yes they are almost polar opposites. You wouldn't think with them being a mere 100 miles apart but... it's so drastic.
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