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Old 11-15-2018, 09:15 AM
 
2,510 posts, read 2,265,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josef K. View Post
I did go back briefly, in 2012. Didn't have much time to look around, but it seemed a lot livelier than the rather dull, one-horse political town that I remembered.
It's definitely improved. I would even say that it's probably changed the most from an improvement standpoint within the last 20 years compared to any other city in the US. I grew up in the area and we would NEVER venture further east or north from Dupont Circle if we went into DC at all. Today it's a thriving city with lots of buzz on the streets with numerous vibrant neighborhoods that are all connected and walk able.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Cbus
1,720 posts, read 1,399,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josef K. View Post
Princeton, NJ - I visited there several times for my job. First impression: Cool, a college town with an elite university, within train distance of NYC. Seemed like a nice place.

Then I was relocated there. I discovered that the town and the uni were like a divorced couple not on speaking terms. Each stuck to its own sphere, and the town, while still pretty and civilized-looking, was dull as dirt and expensive to boot. The things you expect from college towns, like used bookstores, funky shops, good cheap eats, and an overall atmosphere of arty fun, were notably absent.

Washington, DC - This dates back to the early 90s, so my impressions are probably out of date. I hear things have improved since then. But here goes.

First impression: dignified, attractive city with monuments and museums. Just what a national capital is supposed to look like.

Later impression, after spending a couple of months there: a cultural wasteland, full of politicians and their attendant hangers-on. An occasional good bookstore, but the restaurants and entertainment venues seemed very ordinary. Not what you would expect for the capital of such a large and rich country. Also, around this time it had one of the worst murder rates in the whole country; areas in walking distance of the White House and Capitol Hill were plagued with gang violence. Granted, some of the surrounding suburbs were nice. But on the whole I did not find it an attractive place to live at the time.
As someone who grew up in Princeton you're spot on. The university itself is not integrated into the town at all. The area is aesthetically pleasing but the charm ends quickly there. The university's art museum is a gem though and I recommend you visit that if you ever find yourself back there.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,053 posts, read 3,377,056 times
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Not so much in the vein of "impressed me" but I had a much more favourable opinion of Denton, Texas when I first moved there, versus when I visited a year after moving out. Denton is a town that is a little bit overhyped by the people that live there. We get it, its a nice college town with a cute square and some decent bars and a pretty all right music scene. But some people describe it like its this quirky mix of small town meets artsy meets kinda-urban when its really just an overgrowing suburb and strip malls and over development are overcrowding the actual cool things about it. Plus, the road sucks.



Again, I enjoyed the time I was there, made good memories and all, but the people there overhype it to a degree. Still, if I had to return to Texas for God knows what reason, and it can't be Abilene, I would pick Denton over anywhere else in DFW.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,053 posts, read 3,377,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtinmemphis View Post
Atlanta Georgia

It seemed to be such a prosperous city back in the 80s and 90s.
Something happened after that. Today the city seems tacky and way too suburban. It seems southern to me.



Memphis Tennessee

Memphis was so much fun visiting growing up. Liberty Land, fairgrounds and Mall of Memphis where awesome. Can't stand the place today.

A city in Georgia seemed southern to you? Wow... that's insane!
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:40 PM
 
356 posts, read 148,727 times
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There are a few I'd put on the list (not to say I don't like them, because I still do, but here goes):

San Francisco: Certainly lots of things here and some really good restaurants and things to see, but the homeless population is really large (Seattle has a similar problem to a somewhat lesser extent), and it just feels really grimy and rather sleazy in places.

Charleston, SC: The first time I visited there (about 10 years ago), I really loved it, and it was already gentrifying a decent bit by that time. Since that time, it has exploded with wealth and traffic and all the things that come with that. It feels rather Disney World-ish now (prefer Savannah or Greenville at this point, perhaps Jacksonville too).

Orlando: Heard it was decent even outside of Disney, but found it rather meh. Nothing very interesting and rather dull in feel.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:14 PM
Status: "Charlotte Checkers Calder Cup Champions!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Planet Earth
7,218 posts, read 8,232,213 times
Reputation: 4907
Birmingham.

I ignored the "Birmingham is a dump" talk from my friends who either lived there or had been there. Since I'm in NC I thought of it as similar to Winston-Salem and/or Greensboro. Around the same size and historically blue-collar.

However after spending some time there recently helping one of those friends clean out a house, I began to see what they were talking about. To make a long story short, business does not get done in a timely manner and the quality of work overall is sub-par at best. This goes for restaurants, contractor needs, shopping visits, mechanic repairs. It was completely baffling how slow things got done there (3 months to replace 1 broken window, and we kept getting the run-around on why it was taking so long to do 10 minutes worth of work). We went out to eat at a local restaurant one night, only us two in the place around 7pm, an incredibly long wait for our meal that was undercooked. At the grocery store we had to flag someone down to check us out and we received attitude and a "f--- you" under their breath for interrupting their time on their cell phones.

The roads are also awful and in dire need of repair. Apparently there was some corruption surrounding the highway funds about 20 years ago, which is visible considering the roads look and feel like they haven't been repaired since the late 90's at best. We also discovered while there, the city does not provide its citizens garbage cans and recycling bins like (I'm assuming) most cities, you either have to buy one at Lowes or put your trash in a bag on the curb. Apparently there was some corruption surrounding this too.

Just an awful city thats never fully recovered from the civil rights era. On the plus side the suburbs (Hoover, Mountain Brook) are quite nice and livable, MB has some awesome views of the valley. But Birmingham as it is? Yeah, not impressed.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:57 AM
 
29,874 posts, read 27,333,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canes2006Champs View Post
Birmingham.

I ignored the "Birmingham is a dump" talk from my friends who either lived there or had been there. Since I'm in NC I thought of it as similar to Winston-Salem and/or Greensboro. Around the same size and historically blue-collar.

However after spending some time there recently helping one of those friends clean out a house, I began to see what they were talking about. To make a long story short, business does not get done in a timely manner and the quality of work overall is sub-par at best. This goes for restaurants, contractor needs, shopping visits, mechanic repairs. It was completely baffling how slow things got done there (3 months to replace 1 broken window, and we kept getting the run-around on why it was taking so long to do 10 minutes worth of work). We went out to eat at a local restaurant one night, only us two in the place around 7pm, an incredibly long wait for our meal that was undercooked. At the grocery store we had to flag someone down to check us out and we received attitude and a "f--- you" under their breath for interrupting their time on their cell phones.

The roads are also awful and in dire need of repair. Apparently there was some corruption surrounding the highway funds about 20 years ago, which is visible considering the roads look and feel like they haven't been repaired since the late 90's at best. We also discovered while there, the city does not provide its citizens garbage cans and recycling bins like (I'm assuming) most cities, you either have to buy one at Lowes or put your trash in a bag on the curb. Apparently there was some corruption surrounding this too.

Just an awful city thats never fully recovered from the civil rights era. On the plus side the suburbs (Hoover, Mountain Brook) are quite nice and livable, MB has some awesome views of the valley. But Birmingham as it is? Yeah, not impressed.
Did you at least get a chance to visit downtown?
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,734 posts, read 3,847,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDFan View Post
San Francisco: Certainly lots of things here and some really good restaurants and things to see, but the homeless population is really large (Seattle has a similar problem to a somewhat lesser extent), and it just feels really grimy and rather sleazy in places.
^Agree with this. SF feels very outdated, outside of the new Salesforce cluster... and this is coming from someone who lives on the East coast. The city also has severe quality of life issues that has to do with grime, dirt, and homelessness.

LA on the other hand, is surprisingly more of a city than it is given credit for.
Chicago is also very nice as long as you stay downtown and north.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:32 PM
 
374 posts, read 145,147 times
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I recently visited NYC after not having been there for over 20 years. I loved the New York City of the 80's and early 90's. Sure it was a bit seedier but also much more exciting than the NYC of 2018.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:43 PM
 
374 posts, read 145,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
I thought everyone knew Boston was like that? I always have. I was there recently and expected nothing more. It's a large-ish metro with a small, very dense urban core. Back Bay is bougie and beautiful. Dorchester, Roxbury, etc. are still rough in some areas. Seaport is modern and cold and expensive. South Boston is pretty and quiet. Nothing of my opinion changed. I knew the city emptied out at night and it would feel dead compared to NYC. I knew last call was early. I knew the people love their city more than they love their own family.

The main gripes about Boston are that it's dead after dark and lacks nightlife and vibrancy. It's definitely an amazingly urban city, but it's well-known for having subpar nightlife.

The difference between Boston and SF, to me, is that SF is talked up as this massive city with tons to do all day and night with world class everything that rivals NYC and makes LA look like the big loser of the west coast. OTOH, Boston is known for everything it is. Some people love it. if you want to live in a very urban, historic, cultural city with great job opportunities and liberal politics, but nightlife is not that important to you and a more conservative lifestyle is your aim, Boston is great for you. And no, not conservative politically, just in the dressing style and interests and social life. Boston meets up to expectations IMO. SF is actually small, dirty, overpriced, severely lacking in quality nightlife for how young and "hot" the city is, and it's not even close to NYC in any category. Boston does not try to be another city IMO. SF tries to be NYC, while constantly telling you it's better than both LA and NYC. They want to be the NYC of the west coast and take over the importance of LA on the coast. Boston does not try to act better than NYC. It knows it's different and enjoys that it's not NYC. SF wants with every ounce of its being to match NYC and LA, but can't, and that turns into a false sense of superiority and egotism. Boston knows what it is. SF does not.
Interesting take on SF and Boston. And I agree.
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