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Old 04-20-2018, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,917,166 times
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There are basically four things which lead to distinct "neighborhood vibes" as opposed to a city seeming like one giant morass.

Distinct architecture: Older cities get points here, because building styles changed dramatically through the 19th and 20th centuries, and in general the older a neighborhood is the more likely it represents a distinctive local vernacular rather than just what was in fashion at the time. In contrast, starting in the streetcar era neighborhoods became a lot more samey, both nationally and within cities. Sometimes individual cities had dramatic shifts in architecture which can still be seen, such as when Boston shifted from building mostly brick to mostly wood-frame during the late 19th century.

Neighborhood business districts: It's hard for a neighborhood to have a distinct "sense of place" if it's just a collection of houses. Neighborhoods with strong identities have some sort of commercial business district which serves as the community focal point.

Topographic Barriers: Flat, sprawling cities don't really have clear boundaries to delineate where one neighborhood starts and another ends. Things like elevation changes, railroad tracks, rivers, and (unfortunately) major highways tend to cut off individual neighborhoods from their neighbors, making them feel more like tucked-away mini cities rather than just another part of a greater whole.

Demographic diversity: Even if neighborhoods are otherwise different, if they're all occupied by the same yuppies with the same yuppie stores, they don't seem as distinct. Divisions of people, rather than natural barriers, are in large part why distinct neighborhoods developed in say New York City, which has relatively few natural barriers.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:56 AM
 
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Nothing annoys me more than cities claim to have an absurd amount of neighborhoods, unless it's the CBD you are not a neighbirhood unless there is at least a middle school, a church and a park and a village

A 7-11, a starbucks, a sub shop and an apartment building is not a neighborhood.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:06 AM
 
7,701 posts, read 4,557,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post

Demographic diversity: Even if neighborhoods are otherwise different, if they're all occupied by the same yuppies with the same yuppie stores, they don't seem as distinct. Divisions of people, rather than natural barriers, are in large part why distinct neighborhoods developed in say New York City, which has relatively few natural barriers.
This is a great point. As demographic change, so do neighborhood boundaries. Manhattan neighborhoods are becoming more homogeneous and blending into each other. What's the real difference between Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea, these days? There isn't one. Morningside Heights went from being part of Harlem to part of the Upper West Side. Eventually all of Harlem is going to be the UWS, because the only real distinction between the neighborhoods was demographics.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:20 AM
 
6,960 posts, read 14,089,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrda99 View Post
So, it's mostly East Coast cities, huh?
How about Western cities, LA, SF, Seattle, Denver...?
The west coast never had the hyper-concentrated immigrant neighborhoods of the east coast. The closest examples would be in LA and SF at this point, though. Ask me 10 years ago, I'd say SF hands down. Currently, SF is mostly just a playground for rich white tech bros and the cultures have just blended together. And that's the major issue a lot of people have with SF right now. Before this tech boom, the Mission was basically all Latino bordered by the Castro to the west which is historically LGBT. Nob Hill is known as Snob Hill for how wealthy it is, but it borders the Tenderloin which is synonymous with poverty, homelessness, and open air drug markets.

LA now has some areas that quickly change. The new residential areas of DTLA border Skid Row. Koreatown is still heavily Korean, but borders heavily Latino neighborhoods like MacArthur Park. Los Feliz borders some pretty rough areas of East Hollywood. Southern parts of Hollywood are pretty rough, but border Hancock Park, one of the wealthiest parts of LA. The Palos Verdes Peninsula is extremely wealthy, but downhill on the east side is San Pedro, which is very differently socially and demographically.

These examples are nothing like the changes in older east coast cities, though. When I lived in Philly, I would get asked what street I live on. People would say "oh that's a great street", not "oh that's a great neighborhood." Philly can literally change block to block, street to street. Therefore, my votes for Philly. You can live on a beautiful street, but one tiny Philly size block away can get bad.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:48 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,989 posts, read 102,554,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrda99 View Post
So, it's mostly East Coast cities, huh?
How about Western cities, LA, SF, Seattle, Denver...?
I can speak to Denver. Denver has a lot of neighborhoods by anyone's definition, even eschaton's.

Distinct architecture: Lots of bungalow neighborhoods, but also architecture from the late 1800s (Denver was established in 1853, despite what people on the east coast think), Victorians, and into the post-war era. There are even a few more modern developments, both in infill (the old Stapleton airport, the old Lowry AFB) and in the land that was annexed in 1988 when DIA was built.

Neighborhood business districts: Yes. Tennyson St. and the 32nd-38th Ave corridors in the Highlands, Old South Pearl in Wash Park, Colfax Avenue all across the city has distinctive neighborhood businesses, ditto Federal Blvd, Broadway, 6th Avenue, Colorado Blvd, many others.

Topographic Barriers: The Platte River, Cherry Creek, I-25, I-70 (less so than I-25), Sloan's Lake, etc.

Demographic diversity: Northwest Denver used to be the Italian neighborhood, although now many of Italian ancestry have moved to the burbs, particularly the western burbs. Then the neighborhood became Anglo-Hispanic, is now becoming more hipster. South Federal has a lot of Asian, particularly Vietnamese residents and lots of Asian restaurants. Five Points was an African-American neighborhood, but it's becoming more hipster, too, sadly. The area around the U of Denver has a lot of students and probably some faculty. There are a couple of Jewish enclaves both in east and west Denver.
https://www.google.com/search?q=denv...QwWmOjtI8RhvM:

Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Nothing annoys me more than cities claim to have an absurd amount of neighborhoods, unless it's the CBD you are not a neighbirhood unless there is at least a middle school, a church and a park and a village

A 7-11, a starbucks, a sub shop and an apartment building is not a neighborhood.
Why a middle school? Why not elementary school? Those are the true neighborhood schools, at least around here. By MS they're more consolidated.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:55 AM
 
9,378 posts, read 9,534,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
I can speak to Denver. Denver has a lot of neighborhoods by anyone's definition, even eschaton's.

Distinct architecture: Lots of bungalow neighborhoods, but also architecture from the late 1800s (Denver was established in 1853, despite what people on the east coast think), Victorians, and into the post-war era. There are even a few more modern developments, both in infill (the old Stapleton airport, the old Lowry AFB) and in the land that was annexed in 1988 when DIA was built.

Neighborhood business districts: Yes. Tennyson St. and the 32nd-38th Ave corridors in the Highlands, Old South Pearl in Wash Park, Colfax Avenue all across the city has distinctive neighborhood businesses, ditto Federal Blvd, Broadway, 6th Avenue, Colorado Blvd, many others.

Topographic Barriers: The Platte River, Cherry Creek, I-25, I-70 (less so than I-25), Sloan's Lake, etc.

Demographic diversity: Northwest Denver used to be the Italian neighborhood, although now many of Italian ancestry have moved to the burbs, particularly the western burbs. Then the neighborhood became Anglo-Hispanic, is now becoming more hipster. South Federal has a lot of Asian, particularly Vietnamese residents and lots of Asian restaurants. Five Points was an African-American neighborhood, but it's becoming more hipster, too, sadly. The area around the U of Denver has a lot of students and probably some faculty. There are a couple of Jewish enclaves both in east and west Denver.
https://www.google.com/search?q=denv...QwWmOjtI8RhvM:



Why a middle school? Why not elementary school? Those are the true neighborhood schools, at least around here. By MS they're more consolidated.
The lower the density perhaps elementary schools would be enough but in high density city neighborhoods an elementary school would serve a very small area
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:10 PM
 
1,813 posts, read 3,422,872 times
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Boston may win the prize for neighborhoodiness. Some critics say it comes at the expense of a metropolitan atmosphere. The in-town neighborhoods are the most distinct from one another as to architecture, street plan and scale. North End has a medieval street plan and working-class-looking buildings; South End has English-style streets with little squares and brick row houses; Back Bay has an elegant, formal layout with buildings to match; Beacon Hill has its topography plus distinctive period row houses. The outer districts of the city have distinct socio-cultural identities but share similar building and street patterns-- lots of narrow streets dense with wood frame multifamilies and small brick apt buildings. They vary by class and ethnicity more than by building type; whereas the intown neighborhoods are really distinctive physically but increasingly homogenous culturally--i.e., all high end.

Similar dynamic in Brooklyn, where the brownstone belt is all pretty much high end now. While Carroll Gardens still has a little Italian feeling, Heights still seems waspy, etc., the whole area is increasingly affluent, whereas the building patterns and street layouts from the Heights to Carroll Gardens to Clinton Hill to Prospect Hgts to Park Slope are somewhat different from one another. Bedford-Stuyvesant is an exception. By contrast, southern and southeastern Brooklyn, south and east of Prospect Park, has a lot of ethnic and religious variety but the neighborhoods all look kind of alike and they all run into each other-- it's a huge monotonous sprawl although a dense and culturally diverse one.
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:15 PM
 
11,456 posts, read 6,575,220 times
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Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
Boston may win the prize for neighborhoodiness. Some critics say it comes at the expense of a metropolitan atmosphere. The in-town neighborhoods are the most distinct from one another as to architecture, street plan and scale. North End has a medieval street plan and working-class-looking buildings; South End has English-style streets with little squares and brick row houses; Back Bay has an elegant, formal layout with buildings to match; Beacon Hill has its topography plus distinctive period row houses. The outer districts of the city have distinct socio-cultural identities but share similar building and street patterns-- lots of narrow streets dense with wood frame multifamilies and small brick apt buildings. They vary by class and ethnicity more than by building type; whereas the intown neighborhoods are really distinctive physically but increasingly homogenous culturally--i.e., all high end.

Similar dynamic in Brooklyn, where the brownstone belt is all pretty much high end now. While Carroll Gardens still has a little Italian feeling, Heights still seems waspy, etc., the whole area is increasingly affluent, whereas the building patterns and street layouts from the Heights to Carroll Gardens to Clinton Hill to Prospect Hgts to Park Slope are somewhat different from one another. Bedford-Stuyvesant is an exception. By contrast, southern and southeastern Brooklyn, south and east of Prospect Park, has a lot of ethnic and religious variety but the neighborhoods all look kind of alike and they all run into each other-- it's a huge monotonous sprawl although a dense and culturally diverse one.
I disagree about NYC, you could take a drive going through Williamsburg, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, and Ridgewood and there would be a noticiably different vibe for each neighborhood
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,520 posts, read 704,421 times
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Not DC. The "up and coming urban" vibe seems remarkably similar in most of the parts I've visited, with the exception of the far-ish NW quadrant (Rock Creek Park, Chevy Chase, etc), which is quieter, leafier, and has bigger houses.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,112 posts, read 1,305,291 times
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Originally Posted by l1995 View Post
I disagree about NYC, you could take a drive going through Williamsburg, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, and Ridgewood and there would be a noticiably different vibe for each neighborhood
Agreed. I used to live in Carroll Gardens, which the above poster mentioned. Now I’m in Williamsburg. Outside of sharing a Brooklyn address, they have absolutely nothing in common! They don’t even look anything alike.

Going back to Carroll Gardens, it does blend into Cobble Hill to the North, which kind of blends with Boerum Hill, and to a lesser extent Brooklyn Heights (IMO Brooklyn Heights is very distinct from the others even though there are similarities).
But if you go East immediately from Carroll Gardens you get indistrial Gowanus which might just be the grittiest place in all of NYC and is like night/day from Carroll Gardens. Immediately West/South brings you to Red Hook, which is also very a big change.

Speaking of historic Brooklyn Heights, it’s a pretty big difference crossing from there over to modernized DUMBO and busting Downtown Brooklyn with all the new skyscrapers and high rises. And then there’s whatever you call that area between DUMBO and Hasidic South Williamsburg.

I think BK hoods are best viewed in groups: Sunset Park + Bay Ridge share similarities but are very different from Park Slope and Boerum Hill. East Williamsburg/Bushwick are nothing like Coney Island/Brighton Beach etc.

Last edited by That_One_Guy; 04-20-2018 at 08:23 PM.. Reason: Hit the send button too early by mistake
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