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Old 04-20-2007, 03:18 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 31,753,990 times
Reputation: 5220

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
I've stayed in downtown next door to the convention center and then also spent some time in the suburbs. It wasn't as though I had a negative experience - it's just that when the downtown core is more of an afterthought compared to the rest of the area, it doesn't provide a great first impression.
I totally agree - I also mentioned Houston as unimpressive. I just found the place (been several times, have family down there) as dull and uninspiring. I might say to mpope that he must've stayed in his room when in San Francisco , as I find San Fran to be a wonderful place and one of our nation's greatest cities.

I say potato, you say potahto - ain't life grand?
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:59 PM
 
111 posts, read 543,732 times
Reputation: 128
Durham, NC...

I recently went on a drive from Atlanta to Washington D.C. (Actually last Wednesday)... Anyway, we'd stopped in Durham at some "American Subway" shop to eat, and all I could do is look around outside of the window, taking in the neighborhood with sad eyes... I don't know if the entire city looks that way, but the neighborhood we were in looked so tore down. I mean, if I had to live there, I'd cry every day (and it's super hard for me to cry.)

Next up... I'd say Los Angeles, it's too crowded there to enjoy yourself, and all I see when I'm there is graffiti... It's dirty, super congested... and it lacks a true down town experience. For a big so-called famous city -- it's a BIG let down.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:04 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,765,930 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyhelena View Post
cosmopolitan? My brother lived there. I am looking for another city. I couldnt handle the S Florida heat-is it as bad as that?

Santa Monica has nice weather. I heard the cost of living is extreme there now, though.

D.C. is okay but I couldnt live there.
Yes Houston is very very cosmopolitan.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:12 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,765,930 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
I've stayed in downtown next door to the convention center and then also spent some time in the suburbs. It wasn't as though I had a negative experience - it's just that when the downtown core is more of an afterthought compared to the rest of the area, it doesn't provide a great first impression.

I guess you're right that an urban area doesn't necessarily mean that it's walkable and dense (L.A. isn't walkable yet it certainly is urban), but I think when you look at the places that have the most active and vibrant urban cores, they almost always have the walkability and density characteristics. Lots of places have sports teams, fine restaurants, bars, symphonies, theater, museums, etc. However, it's the places that offer all of those items in an environment where you can also work and live and then access all of that without even getting into a car that I consider to be a cut above as cities. I live in the suburbs now, so when I want to go to a city, I really want it to truly be a city as opposed to a quasi-suburb.
You are so right on all points. Only certain parts of it are "truly city." I was having this same conversation with another user in the Houston forum. Downtown is indeed an after thought! You really know your stuff because I thought I was the only one who thought that way. But even as tall and somewhat attractive as it is, downtown needs a major makeover that will attract more class.

As far as not having to use a car, Houston's public trans is relatively new and under development so it's pretty pitiful and the city is also working on some walking community projects, but to be honest with you, they just don't impress me much. But that says nothing for the rest of the city .
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:19 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,765,930 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
I totally agree - I also mentioned Houston as unimpressive. I just found the place (been several times, have family down there) as dull and uninspiring. I might say to mpope that he must've stayed in his room when in San Francisco , as I find San Fran to be a wonderful place and one of our nation's greatest cities.

I say potato, you say potahto - ain't life grand?
And actually I was all over SanFran looking for something to do. I don't doubt that San Fransisco is a great city, but it's not a great city for blacks; thus, it isn't everything it's made out to be when it comes to culture. If Houston is dull and uninspiring to anyone, then they either came to the city determined not to be happy or weren't correctly informed on where to go.
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,171,663 times
Reputation: 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
Buffalo - just miserable
Newark - horrible beyond words
Houston - probably #1 on my list.
Los Angeles proper - such a small downtown for such a large sprawling area
Indy - i get confused with columbus
Columbus - i get confused with indy

"impressive" to me doesn't mean they are a sh**hole (even though I think buffalo and newark are), just left me saying "eh" after visiting.

re: salt lake city - in a absolutely gorgeous setting. i found the ppl to be "different". friendly, but in a weird way. not much to do in the city proper. take away the scenery and it would be on my list as well, but the area left an impression that midwest cities didn't.
Houston recently made an "underrated cities" list on msnbc.com because so few outsiders know about all it has, they just see it from the freeways and don't get down in it much. Plus media coverage is usually only negative.

In reality, it has a downtown theatre district 2nd in size only to NYC's, top-notch culture/arts (many traveling exhibits come to only 3-4 US cities and Houston is often one of them), 3rd in the country in amount of fine arts museum space, a great opera, symphony and ballet, Natural Science Museum is one of the most visited in the country, numerous ethnic festivals and others. The museum district is fantastic. It also has fabulous restaurants, Wine Spectator and another publication have rated it 4th best in the country after NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.

Also there's the Uptown area for shopping, the Texas Medical Center is the largest grouping of hospitals and medical research facilities in the country, NASA is HQ of manned space flight, the city has one of the largest ports, and access to the bay and beach... bay area ranks 2nd or 3rd in the country as far as number of pleasure boats. It's also an international city and very diverse, ranks 2nd or 3rd in number of foreign consulates.

I could go on but...

The problem is, most people just have no idea...
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:20 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,765,930 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJP View Post
Houston recently made an "underrated cities" list on msnbc.com because so few outsiders know about all it has, they just see it from the freeways and don't get down in it much. Plus media coverage is usually only negative.

In reality, it has a downtown theatre district 2nd in size only to NYC's, top-notch culture/arts (many traveling exhibits come to only 3-4 US cities and Houston is often one of them), 3rd in the country in amount of fine arts museum space, a great opera, symphony and ballet, Natural Science Museum is one of the most visited in the country, numerous ethnic festivals and others. The museum district is fantastic. It also has fabulous restaurants, Wine Spectator and another publication have rated it 4th best in the country after NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.

Also there's the Uptown area for shopping, the Texas Medical Center is the largest grouping of hospitals and medical research facilities in the country, NASA is HQ of manned space flight, the city has one of the largest ports, and access to the bay and beach... bay area ranks 2nd or 3rd in the country as far as number of pleasure boats. It's also an international city and very diverse, ranks 2nd or 3rd in number of foreign consulates.

I could go on but...

The problem is, most people just have no idea...
I honestly have to say that I don't like it being on that list though. It makes it seem like it's so forgotten that it needs a publicist or something. Most of the elite world travelers into hob-nobbing are very very aware of Houston. The only people who are unaware, are...well, need I say?

I personally like the fact that many come here expecting little and are extremely shocked. Giving off somewhat of a "don't you feel silly" effect. Not everybody, though. Some people will dislike the city no matter what.
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:22 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,171,663 times
Reputation: 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
I don't want to seem too harsh since it sounds like you're from Houston, but the urban planning there (or lack thereof) makes Atlanta look like a well-organized and compact city. There are certainly a lot of things to do there on paper, but as a Chicagoan, I'd have to highly beg to differ that Houston is 2nd only to New York in terms of culture and nightlife. The Houston suburbs are as fine as any other city's suburbs, but as an urban environment, it's just not the same as New York, Chicago, Boston, or San Francisco. To me, Houston feels like a large conglomeration of suburbs - that certainly doesn't mean it isn't a nice place to live speaking as someone that's now a suburbanite - so it's not a place that comes to mind when looking for an urban place to visit.
He was probably just talking about the size of the theatre district, which is 2nd after NYC. I don't think anything else specific is that close to NYC, but it still is underrated in arts/culture (or people just don't know about it.)

The people in Houston who like a more dense feel usually live in areas like West University, Midtown, and a few others that are more walkable and dense. You'd never catch them in the 'burbs or other parts of Houston.

I think I read Houston has more master-planned communities than anywhere, which is probably what he meant in the suburbs comment. Those places are usually very well-planned, lots of parks, shopping, etc.
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,280,287 times
Reputation: 464
Yet more people who can't figure out how to drive Detroit style!

Ashland, Ohio doesn't rank: Ashland doesn't promise anything and thus it does not deliver. You just described most (not all) cities in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, etc etc etc

We've been here before:
You can't hold Moline or Davenport to the same standard as Madison or Ann Arbor.

Be nice to Ashland ... it's not Youngstown.
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Miami. Florida
942 posts, read 2,367,996 times
Reputation: 892
Miami


Im surprised more people didnt suggest it.
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