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Old 05-14-2010, 02:33 PM
 
4 posts, read 6,075 times
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I recently visited Pittsburgh, PA and must admit that every stereotype about the "Steel City" I had was proven wrong. I was absolutely stunned at how beautiful and (seemingly) prosperous/bustling the city was. Coming from Southern California, Pittsburgh has a fairly bad reputation as a polluted and depressing town with nothing going on. I found the opposite to be true. The city was fairly large and I saw tons of young, educated people enjoying themselves. It reminded me of a mini-New York (very mini haha) I was truly impressed and cannot wait to head back and would like to learn more about the city etc. I feel pretty silly about being so ignorant about Pittsburgh's "transformation" and it made me think" what else am I missing out there?"

So...My question for the forum is this "What city challenged your preconceived notions in the most dramatic way?"


As a first time poster, I'm excited to see your answers/hear your stories! I think,as a rule, it'd be best to only post about cities you haven't lived in.


Best,
Chester
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:03 PM
 
12,289 posts, read 15,184,803 times
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Houston TX. You expect to see everyone wearing cowboy boots. There are some of them, but mostly it is a businesslike city. And I saw more foreigners, not just Mexicans, but Indians and Chinese.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:07 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,217 posts, read 17,948,587 times
Reputation: 14655
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterA View Post
I recently visited Pittsburgh, PA and must admit that every stereotype about the "Steel City" I had was proven wrong. I was absolutely stunned at how beautiful and (seemingly) prosperous/bustling the city was. Coming from Southern California, Pittsburgh has a fairly bad reputation as a polluted and depressing town with nothing going on. I found the opposite to be true. The city was fairly large and I saw tons of young, educated people enjoying themselves. It reminded me of a mini-New York (very mini haha) I was truly impressed and cannot wait to head back and would like to learn more about the city etc. I feel pretty silly about being so ignorant about Pittsburgh's "transformation" and it made me think" what else am I missing out there?"

So...My question for the forum is this "What city challenged your preconceived notions in the most dramatic way?"


As a first time poster, I'm excited to see your answers/hear your stories! I think,as a rule, it'd be best to only post about cities you haven't lived in.


Best,
Chester
I think when it comes to perception gaps, Pittsburgh has, by far, the largest of any major U.S. city, and the second-largest ain't even in the rear-view mirror. All you need to know about this perception gap is that there are still plenty of people, including several Pittsburghers themselves, who believe that "all the smart people leave." Numbers released last month detail the total opposite. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, Pittsburgh has the fifth-highest percentage with college degrees, and the highest percentage with graduate/professional degrees (tied with Washington DC). In fact, the only age groups in Pittsburgh that lag the national average for educational attainment are the 55-to-64 segment, and the 65+ segment. This, among many other things, is why I believe that Pittsburgh is the most underrated major U.S. city by a considerable margin.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,034 posts, read 3,867,124 times
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I vote Anaheim, CA. I'm going for an opposite preconceived notion than the Pittsburgh one. I think the perception is that Anaheim is great when it is far from it.

People plan their summer trips to Disneyland and so look forward to visiting. They dream about the "Happiest Place on Earth" with little consideration for the surrounding neighborhoods. What they don't realize in advance is that the surrounding neighborhoods are very trashy. What other type of neighborhood would sustain high volumes of traffic, pollution, and tourists?

My cousins planned all year to visit D-Land when school was out. They stayed with my elderly grandma a few blocks away and decided to walk to and from the park. They were robbed of their purses and everything in them on their way back to the hotel. They are petrified to ever return. They were also amazed at the high prices for everything both inside and outside the park. Visit the McDonalds across the street and prepare to spend about double what you'd spend at any other McDs.

I think the areas immediately surrounding D-Land have improved over the years. But that only extends about 1/4 mile out in every direction.

I think the overall impression is that Anaheim is situated in Southern California and is home to D-Land and that it should be an awesome place to visit or even live. My grandma has been a resident of Anaheim for 35+ years and the areas around her small community are in a poor state. When I tell people she lives within a mile of D-Land, people who have never visited Anaheim always comment on how lucky she is. I beg to differ on that one. She was also recently involved in an attempted robbery when someone attempted to grab her purse while she walked along the sidewalk. She held on and was dragged into the street. The attacker finally gave up. Not one person stopped to help her.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:40 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
128 posts, read 263,471 times
Reputation: 82
The good...

Little Rock was a little nicer than I expected it to be and probably a lot nicer than most people would expect it to be. It has a solid little downtown area by the river and very pretty surrounding countryside. For a town its size it seemed like there was a pretty good amount of things to do there.

The bad...

L.A./ Hollywood -- you'd expect a town of its size to have some decent public transportation, not so obviously. Otherwise L.A. is about what you'd expect, but Hollywood is a major disappointment to people with preconcieved ideas.

The just a little bit different...

Boston -- not necessarily any better or worse than I expected, but the people were different. Southerners have this strange idea that Yankees are always rude and won't talk with strangers. Several people randomly started talking to me, dunno why...
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:07 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,217 posts, read 17,948,587 times
Reputation: 14655
Somebody asked for references to my statements above. They can be found here. (Scroll down for even more links.)
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:34 PM
 
521 posts, read 1,145,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
Somebody asked for references to my statements above. They can be found here. (Scroll down for even more links.)
that's some great reading material; i'll share that with some friends. I read the link to the Fiscal Policy Institute given in the other thread...both Pitt and Philly have to ramp up their attractiveness to immigrants as a means to grow their economies faster and be more healthy fiscally and economically.

from reading elsewhere I knew the 'Burgh was doing great job in turning itself around. It almost feels like it's doing much better in lots of things compared to its bigger in-state "rival", Philadelphia.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:59 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,217 posts, read 17,948,587 times
Reputation: 14655
Quote:
Originally Posted by a75206 View Post
that's some great reading material; i'll share that with some friends. I read the link to the Fiscal Policy Institute given in the other thread...both Pitt and Philly have to ramp up their attractiveness to immigrants as a means to grow their economies faster and be more healthy fiscally and economically.

from reading elsewhere I knew the 'Burgh was doing great job in turning itself around. It almost feels like it's doing much better in lots of things compared to its bigger in-state "rival", Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has the inside track on foreign immigration, not only due to its size and proximity to other extra-large cities, but also because the key to attracting more immigrants is to create population-dependent jobs. Because the Philadelphia MSA has never lost population, it's able to create population-dependent jobs more easily. (Population-dependent jobs include retailers, accountants, bankers, food service workers, teachers, etc.) The Pittsburgh MSA, on the other hand, has lost population for the last few decades, which acts as a drag on the creation of population-dependent jobs. Conversely, though, Pittsburgh has created population-independent jobs at a rate well above the national average. (Population-independent jobs include research scientists, engineers, computer programmers, etc.)

The problem is, about two thirds of all jobs created are population-dependent, and this is why Pittsburgh's total job creation has remained below the national average in spite of its high rate of population-independent job creation. As a result, Pittsburgh has few foreign immigrants for a city its size, but the ones it has are much more educated than the average immigrant. Indeed, Pittsburgh is the only major U.S. city in which over half of its foreign immigrants are college-educated -- and only Cincinnati comes close.

The key for Philadelphia is to keep doing what it's doing. It's reemerging as an immigrant magnet, and eventually there will be a critical mass of immigrants to give it a worldwide reputation once again. The key for Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is to keep growing population-independent jobs. The good news about population-independent jobs is that their salaries tend to be higher, and people with higher salaries tend to create demand for services more easily. Once that happens, then the population-dependent jobs will follow, and so will more foreign immigrants.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Bentonville, AR
1,028 posts, read 2,568,372 times
Reputation: 736
Oklahoma City- It's gotten more national attention after landing an NBA franchise but there has been a lot going on for years that made that possible.

Tulsa- For people from the NE wanting to move somewhere cheaper and still have beautiful scenery, this might be the place for you.

The three C's- Cleveland, Cincinatti and Columbus. None are perfect but all 3 cities are hated on and unfairly criticized.

Orlando- It's more than just Disney and amusement parks. The city itself is probably my favorite Florida city.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:44 PM
 
12,289 posts, read 15,184,803 times
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Orlando- It's more than just Disney and amusement parks. The city itself is probably my favorite Florida city.[/quote]

Thanks for reminding me! There is a lot of "Real Florida" there. Around Orlando you can go on cruises of the inland waterways, there is nightlife in the city. Orange groves are all around. Most visitors don't take any time to see the area after visiting the theme parks.
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