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Old 12-16-2017, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Austell, Georgia
2,155 posts, read 3,060,775 times
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Salt Lake City was a very pleasant surprise for me.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Detroit
983 posts, read 1,440,339 times
Reputation: 1065
Des Moines - Much nicer of a small city than I thought it would be. I actually always enjoy visiting.

Detroit - Much better than people think it is. Parts (most) of the city is still pretty bad, but there is a lot of good happening around downtown and midtown. Lots of history too.

Brownsville/McAllen TX - I wasn’t expecting the region to be so populated. I was only there for about a week, but I enjoyed it.

St. Paul - Way more overshadowed by Minneapolis than it should be. Yes, Minneapolis is the more big and happening place, but St. Paul is a great city even without Minneapolis. I love the downtown (besides driving haha - those drunken Irishmen). It feels less sterile than downtown Minneapolis. The neighborhoods are very nice too. The city has more hills than Minneapolis, although it doesn’t have the lakes. It deserves way more recognition than it gets.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Montreal/Miami/Toronto
994 posts, read 657,977 times
Reputation: 1091
This isn't about me personally, but about some friends of mine. My friends from Miami never came to Montreal until recently because they thought it was a French city exclusively, and they always heard that it's dirty, dangerous, always frozen (stereotypical stuff).
The group finally came this summer (6 people) and were blown away by it. They didn't expect it to be a big, diverse and cosmopolitan city. They loved how clean it was, all the events, nightlife, scenery, QOL, cultural/linguistic diversity etc... and in fact 4 of them have moved here, just from that one experience. So it was pretty awesome to see their reaction after all the crap they said haha.
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:58 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,945 posts, read 12,425,091 times
Reputation: 4880
I'd say Los Angeles. The glamorous image that Hollywood presents is definitely not true for most of greater LA. Large portions of Los Angeles resembled a Third World city and there was a lot of grittiness throughout. Even Hollywood itself wasn't as nice as I had expected and Venice Beach felt very trashy and full of weird people. A lot of the Inland Empire was also kind of depressing and not as nice as other Southwest cities like Las Vegas or Phoenix.

I did like Orange County and San Diego though.

I expected Miami to be a Third World city similar to a typical Latin American city but it was more well kept than I expected though there certainly ARE a lot of very run down parts of town. But physically it still looked more like an American city while culturally its not really an American city.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,645 posts, read 8,402,542 times
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Most of my judgements on a place largely stem from the feel out of some place's size. So for me, a place anchoring a metropolitan region of 7 million isn't what it used to be. Just not big enough anymore. That size makes it a dime a dozen worldwide. Especially given the way the world constantly keeps redefining what a big city is and 7 million just doesn't feel the part.

I suppose it is an okay size, but you're sort of stuck with the middle of the road attributes with everything. The place is too large to have the benefits of a smaller region and too small to have the benefits of a megasized bigger region. You have the harshest attributes of both on top of it all. I still like Miami anyways, but the other American metropolitan regions that are similarly sized to Miami (5-9 million), not so much, on this same basis.

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 12-20-2017 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:17 PM
 
528 posts, read 458,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facts Kill Rhetoric View Post
Most of my judgements on a place largely stem from the feel out of some place's size. So for me, a place anchoring a metropolitan region of 7 million isn't what it used to be. Just not big enough anymore. That size makes it a dime a dozen worldwide. Especially given the way the world constantly keeps redefining what a big city is and 7 million just doesn't feel the part.

I suppose it is an okay size, but you're sort of stuck with the middle of the road attributes with everything. The place is too large to have the benefits of a smaller region and too small to have the benefits of a megasized bigger region. You have the harshest attributes of both on top of it all. I still like Miami anyways, but the other American metropolitan regions that are similarly sized to Miami (5-9 million), not so much, on this same basis.
Your point that 5-9 million sized metros lack the positives of both larger areas and smaller areas is a really good one, I think. Thanks for bringing it up! I find this to be an issue with areas like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, even SF and maybe Philly.

I don't believe size always equates to amenities in a practical sense. I honestly believe Varna, Bulgaria (inner city 335k / province 500k) offers as much as Miami (well, not the traffic congestion, at least, and the world's most ancient gold to boot).
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:49 PM
 
53 posts, read 27,800 times
Reputation: 44
Good surprise.

Miami, lived here for 2 months for a travel job. Outside of Miami Beach there is a lot of nice sections. The local food is fantastic with so many great Latin restaurants. There are some really beautiful communities like Coral Gables and Pinecrest that have gorgeous tree-lined streets. Despite being flat, I love the tropical scenery there and the sunrise/sunset is really breathtaking. The city has an interesting local culture and unique diversity. The people were also a lot friendlier and nicer than I expected.

Bad surprise/disappointment.

Phoenix, lived here 2 months as well. When I visited for a weekend, I enjoyed it. However, after being there for some time I ended up not liking it. All the restaurants, entertainment, etc. were I've been to were ok, but nothing to write home about. The summer was unbearably hot and the scenery became an eyesore after awhile with the brown, lack of trees, and every building/house being some shade of tan. Overall I found it to be a very bland place considering it's size and population growth.

Last edited by BigBlue123; 12-26-2017 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:54 PM
 
2,518 posts, read 2,305,064 times
Reputation: 1874
Good surprises (meaning I didn't have much expectations):

Sacramento
Richmond
Nashville
Kansas City

All were alot more urban and walkable then I had thought with lots of cool neighborhoods.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
5,230 posts, read 3,779,608 times
Reputation: 6175
Recent surprise was Vegas. Thought it would be small and tacky, but Holy Mother of God! What an over-the-top mind blowing place. If it wasn't so damn hot and dry, I'd consider moving there.

LA was a let down. Downtown was meh and as you leave the downtown area, the scene quickly turns into a scene from some dystopian movie. I expected much more...
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
87 posts, read 61,688 times
Reputation: 94
Boston was my biggest letdown it was just very eh.. for it's size.

Louisville surprised me for what I expected it to be. I thought it would be a city we would stay a night in and leave but actually it was pretty awesome. I LOVE the districts that are in downtown awesomely artsy...
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