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Old 10-10-2017, 09:10 AM
499 posts, read 541,790 times
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New York: very dirty, especially, roads, sidewalks (should also have better street lamps and paving for a city with supposedly so much wealth) and subway. Most of all, not the 24 hours activity center people claim it to be. Times square was dead after the ball drop on New Years. Nasty people with nasty attitudes met my expectations though. I will give it credit for the incredible canyon of towers.

Atlanta: was mostly neutral on it but exceeded any expectations especially after more research, much larger city than I expected, has a subway that runs well and cheap, great airport with MARTA right to it. Stunning new architecture, clean, friendly people/southern hospitality, low cost of living, a lot of retail and headquarters/ regional offices didnt expect to be there. They get things done faster than the north considering "the south is suppose to be slow". Common sense prevails in Atlanta unlike the north. Blends urbanity and nature/trees very well. The city is a lot more urban than people give it credit for (especially downtown) and the traffic is not as bad as D.C.

Las Vegas: everything people say it is and more, large crowds of people still on the streets at 4am. I didnt expect it to be so cold in the mornings, but it heats up pretty quicky. Guess with no trees there are extreme changes in temperature. I call it the bee hive with the way the casinos behave.

Miami: Didnt expect the City of Miami to be so decaying, dead and desolate, South beach has nice beaches but not the active night life I expected. Cost of living is high for a place with no jobs and mostly a bunch of condo towers. Miami airport really sucks. I actually like Tampa's night life better.

Last edited by TheJetSet; 10-10-2017 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:41 AM
499 posts, read 541,790 times
Reputation: 214
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
People would be surprised at how nice Baltimore's Inner Harbor and downtown are given the reputation the city has in many places.

The Inner Harbor rocks, actually.
All the cities I've been to would be hard pressed to beat Baltimore's real estate, simply impressive. I think Baltimore has the greatest variety of rowhouses in the USA. It's the places like Broadway, Mt.Vernon, South Baltimore and Belvedere Square that make the city unique.

The city has very dense urban centers, very old architecture for the U.S., I do think the inner harbor retail needs to be redesigned in a major way but there's nothing like the Power Plant, simply amazing building, the city is smart/lucky to have kept most of its historic buildings. The high quality row houses are amazing too. They just need to clean house of the government and crime and get their game up.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:59 AM
Location: Virginia Beach
4,216 posts, read 2,850,740 times
Reputation: 4511
Originally Posted by l1995 View Post
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.
I LOVE Binghamton. I've been to four comparably sized cities, even living in one (Gainesville, Georgia), and Binghamton is by far my favorite. It has a very urban vibe for its size, friendly people, some very good looking women--which came as a surprise because that Southern Tier region generally is not great in this department--, a beautiful and vibrant downtown and some cool neighborhoods. That city has character. If I really wanted to live in a small city again, Binghamton would be at the top if the list!


Indianapolis: I was surprised at how large it was, but also at how "empty" it felt. It was incredibly boring, and I was there for four days. I thought downtown was "cute" but unimpressive, and the neighborhoods around the city? Very harsh on the eyes, not ugly, just very sterile and basic. When people on here use the word "sterile", Indy is the first city that jumps in my mind...

Atlanta: Numero uno on a city that just didn't do it for me. Expected something more grand, instead, I find Atlanta to be kind of average. Not a fan of local culture. The inner city neighborhoods that everyone gets excited about (Sweet Auburn, Little Five Points, etc), were not impressive in the least to me. I do appreciate that there is always activity and things to do there, but not a fan of the women, it's image, it's brand, almost anything!

Greensboro: Grew on me in subsequent trips, as I was able to appreciate it for what it is. But the perception it has throughout Carolina is that it is this city with strong character, buzzing with activity, full of energy and life, and it disappointed. Not nearly as "popping" as I was led to believe, small downtown and core even compared to similarly-sized cities, so suburban it's scary, the women were not nearly as pleasant to the eyes as I was led to believe...

On the flip side, there is a quaintness and sort of a "traditional" Carolina vibe that is very appealing. It is a beautiful city as well. Just didn't live up to the hype...

Sacramento: My hometown by birth, for which I left for LA at 5 years old before heading to the East Coast where I primarily grew up. After age 5 I never visited again until last year at age 27. I didn't have lofty expectations for it, I don't know what my expectations were, but some things that jumped out to me:

I wasn't ready for the summer heat and how dry it is. I can say it is a LOT more suburban than I would have guessed. California has this dense suburbia thing that can be a culture shock coming from the East Coast. It's got high density in parts, but is extremely suburban city. There are even rural looking areas within the city (thinking the fringes of Del Paso Heights, Valley Hi, etc)...

There are some gorgeous women around there, though! And Old Sac (downtown) was larger than I expected, nicer, but not quite as vibrant as I'd assume for a California city, though I would say it lacks vibrancy at all...

Cleveland: Definitely didn't live up to the image in my mind's eye. Oh, it is mostly urban (though it did have more suburbia than I'd thought). It is awesomely gritty and has distinct and strong local culture. I was just expecting something...grander. It was not as diverse as I'd thought it would be, definitely felt smaller than I was led to believe, had larger urban decay than I'd guess, and while the people were nice and full of life, I did feel the insular, closed-in nature of the locals to not necessarily be a positive. I enjoyed my trip there, but it didn't quite meet the expectations I had...

Buffalo: I don't understand people's fascination with the architecture there. It's not bland, but I don't get the hype. Also does NOT have this "larger feeling" vibe that people on here talk about. It feels smaller than several comparably sized cities (Memphis, Raleigh, Richmond), which is a surprise. Probably has the worst downtown of any of those cities, too...

On the plus side, I love it's diversity. I love the people, the "Buffalo vs everybody" vibe, the unique culture, the neighborhoods, the urbanity. I've been going to Buff for awhile and I almost moved there once, but I don't think it met the expectation I was given from small-town New Yorkers...

Norfolk: I'd been visiting this city since a child, and always loved it....as a visitor. Let me tell you, the perception has definitely changed living here. It's not nearly as urban as I thought it was and in fact is very suburban. The locals here are the angriest, bitchiest, people around. Very simple lifestyle here, certainly overpriced for its offerings, not diverse enough, small (though beautiful) downtown, and the neighborhoods? Largely unimpressive...

It is a pretty city and downtown is "cool", it's just small. Also decent shopping, but definitely a city that impresses more on visitation than residence...


Pittsburgh: Blew me away on a four day trip. Didn't expect that. Very, very, very vibrant, gorgeous, great architecture. Every hood has a unique characteristic. Awesome people, lots of activity. I was very impressed, the views of the surrounding hills and mountains are astounding. Feels larger than I would have thought, downtown is very popping...

Lacked the diversity I like, and the food I thought was a little underwhelming, but overall loved it!

Virginia Beach: Another city I grew up visiting that I didn't have much of an impression here but has surprised me living here. It is largely suburban but has more urbanity and walkability than people assume. Is the most diverse city in Virginia outside of NoVa, which is outstanding. Has a small but "cute" downtown. There is a good amount of things to do here (as well as Norfolk), but the surprise here is that you're led to believe Va Beach functions as a Norfolk suburb, which is not an accurate reflection. It very much stands on its own, in the sense that there is little anyone would have to go to Norfolk for (and vice versa), though neither city would be what it is without the other...

Very strong quality of life, better than in Norfolk to me, underrated in its offerings. Both cities are nice contrasts of each other, which helps them mesh well together, but The Beach exceeded expectations where Norfolk fell short...

Charlotte: Met every expectation I had and then some. I am a champion for this city, I would be talking all day to truly assess it. Somehow it is still underrared, but in my view there aren't 20 greater cities in the United States. More unique than given credit for, holds up VERY competitively to ANY city in that 2-3 million range and is a stronger, better city than most if them. I love Charlotte and it's my dream place to settle, though I don't think my woman will let me!
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:01 AM
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I had the opposite reaction with Miami. I expected it to be glitzy, sleazy South Beach trash, but I found it to be a real, vibrant city with a strong culture.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:37 AM
499 posts, read 541,790 times
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Forgot about Charlotte: it has potential but it's just too small for my liking, Beautiful architecture of new buildings but virtually no historic character, downtown (uptown) is pretty much it, outside the urban center it's very suburban and anywhere usa. It's going to be a while before it gets to a respectable size to compete against larger cities. I would probably be bored out of my mind if I lived there after a few months.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:54 PM
Location: Rochester
847 posts, read 1,640,725 times
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Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Wow, I totally disagree with this. The downtown strikes me as old and dead. Not physically unattractive at its core, but more or less like Buffalo's, except even emptier, less vibrant, and more depressing. There was recently an article on the front page the Buffalo News (I believe it was from last Sunday's edition) about a wheelchair-bound Rochester-based developer who's been buying up a lot of property in Buffalo of late using questionable financing methods...and even he said something to the effect of, 'I wish the city of Rochester was booming like Buffalo is right now'. And trust me, for all the 'renaissance' rhetoric, Buffalo is not booming...but compared to the city of Rochester, it likely is. Rochester has one of the highest sprawl scores in the country for a metro of X number of people and above (forget what X equaled...no less than 500k); it is not a city for urbanists IMO.
Hmm. I have to concede Buffalo has more new construction in their downtown area mainly due to public investment, and some impressive builds at that, but there's something to be said about Rochester's revitalization. When is the last time you were in downtown Rochester? I don't ask that in a condescending manner, the downtown truly has changed dramatically in the last two years, tops. Even as a resident, I'm impressed. If you look at the East End and Midtown districts, the change is palpable. What was admittedly a dead zone at the beginning of this decade has become one of the most vibrant areas of the city. While Rochester hasn't yet attracted the critical mass, state aid or retail investment (we didn't get a downtown Starbucks until this year) Buffalo enjoys, the residential population is exploding with thousands of new units on the way. According to this article, Rochester had almost 4,500 more downtown residents in 2015 than Buffalo had in 2016. Skyscrapers are being converted into apartments and condos, the Inner Loop has been filled in and is being turned into an urban boulevard and plans have been announced for a new high rise along Main Street. I was in downtown Buffalo last winter and loved it. Canalside and Chippewa Street were particularly impressive, as was Main Street compared to my previous visit. The light rail line really adds to the character of Buffalo, but it's downtown is honestly very comparable to downtown Rochester and in my opinion, actually feels older and emptier in the sense that it's vibrant areas are more spread out than the dense core of Rochester. We may not be a city for urbanists yet, but damnit we're trying!
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:45 PM
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The built environment of San Francisco was much less beautiful and "romantic" than I had pictured in my head. Also it was very dirty and a lot of not only homeless, but very crazy people wandering the streets.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:02 PM
Location: BMORE!
7,754 posts, read 6,172,161 times
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I spent extensive time in Baltimore two years ago, and I was actually let down. I always visualized Baltimore as being basically a mini-city, so I expected Downtown to be like Center City Philadelphia. The two are nothing alike though - Downtown Baltimore is more like a typical rust belt downtown - skyscrapers, parking lots, and few residents. Those big four-lane one way expressways don't make it fun to be a pedestrian either. Don't get me wrong, I liked the city, but given so many awesome neighborhoods were immediately adjacent to downtown the CBD felt like a big "hole" in the city.
Yea I agree that the adjacent neighborhoods take away from downtown. Downtown Baltimore is a little too compact for it to look like rust belt city, however. The only really wide Streets in downtown Baltimore is Light St. and Pratt Street. A little less known fact is that Baltimore has the 9th highest downtown population in the country, and currently building skyscrapers, and converting skyscrapers into condos and apartments, so the downtown population will continue to grow.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:49 PM
Location: Killeen, Tx
223 posts, read 126,427 times
Reputation: 147
Birmingham, Alabama.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:13 PM
1,018 posts, read 581,392 times
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Las Vegas - Was not impressed. Not glitz and glam like it is made out to be. A dirty, run down city with a very small strip that is walkable. Nothing to write home about.
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