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Old 07-12-2011, 06:58 PM
 
823 posts, read 684,120 times
Reputation: 519

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Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
It is kinda sad when Urbana doesn't know any more about itself than the University knows about its students. "Urbana offers its residents the best of small town living . . . " . Living in Urbana | City of Urbana .

Well that seals it, you win the argument. If it says so on an internet brochure created by some marketing person on behalf of the city, it must be true, right?

Wait, you forgot the other half which says "....and big city amenities" .

How unique. I'm sure no other city has ever made that claim . Who was that marketing person, a high schooler doing a summer internship?

Urbana is exactly what that phrase implies; a place with a bit of an identity crisis about whether it wants to be small-town or big-city. Truth is it combines some of the good and the bad of each. As does it's sister city, Champaign. There's very little difference in the quality of life for the regular residents of either of those cities. Characterizing Urbana as a quaint, idyllic, little family town and Champaign as little more than the stomping grounds for mobs of wild partying college kids is not truthful on either account.


Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
I've prefered life in Urbana over Champaign for 50 years.
That's a very cryptic phrase. You imply you've lived in Urbana for 50 years but don't really say it. If you have, is its possible your vision is shaped by memories of what Urbana used to be, making it difficult for you to be objective about what it is today? Or do you just have a severe case of the typical "superiority complex" that often sets in when one lives in one of these two towns for so long?

(For those unfamiliar, Urbana homers think Champaign is all partying rich white kids from conservative suburban Chicago, U of I grads who want to live the college party life forever, and the greedy business-types who exploit them both. Champaign homers think Urbana is all pipe-smoking professors in tweed jackets and Birkenstock-wearing hippies who got lost driving from Woodstock back to Berkeley. While there just a hint of truth in those two characterizations, both cities are obviously more complex and diverse than that.)

Last edited by madpaddy; 07-12-2011 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:23 PM
 
823 posts, read 684,120 times
Reputation: 519
LOL, found this nugget on the Champaign City website:

"Champaign offers urban perks with smaller city comforts."


Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn't it?
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,854 posts, read 15,191,833 times
Reputation: 5380
LOL I'm sure the Town of Urbana will be pleased to know the official Town website looks like it is nothing more than a brocure made by some kid in highschool. Sigh......

The fact remains I*like smaller towns, preferably county seats; ergo I prefer Urbana.

That the lines between Urbana and Champaign have blurred over the years is all blather. Normal and Bloomington are separated by less than two miles; so what. it still makes no difference, neither a snapshot in time nor facts can be rewritten. Factually, Champaign has 39,800 more*residents than dimuitive Urbana: (81,055-41,255=39,800). Champaign falls short of being twice the size of the Town of Urbana by nearly 1500 residents.

But when compared to the other flagship University town in central Illinois with 13,000 less students, U-C is smaller than B-N by nearly 7,000 residents. despite the fact B-N and U-C saw similar numbers in population gain in the last ten years.

And the winner is? I'll give anyone a quarter to call someone who genuinely cares; I know I don't.
I prefer Urbana and Normal and Lincoln and Eureka and Metamora and Peoria Heights and Farminton.

Census 2010 : Census 2010 Data
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:50 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,600 posts, read 57,896,760 times
Reputation: 25619
The differences between Urbana and Champaign are insignificant. There is no magic transformation that happens when you cross Wright Street from one to the other. The fact that the university straddles both means there are thousands of college students living in both, and in both cases you'd need to look toward the outskirts of town to avoid living among them. It also means being the county seat plays an insignificant role in Urbana's economic and cultural identity and its built environment compared to being co-host to a giant flagship state university.

Population differences notwithstanding, Urbana feels no more homey or small-town-like than Champaign because unless you know where the physical boundary is or pick up on small details like differences in street lights, you can't honestly tell where one stops and the other starts. Their identities are far more intertwined than separate; whether you choose Champaign or Urbana, you're simply part of a contiguous duo-metropolis of 90,000 people. If you want that small-town county-seat feel you get from places like Watseka or Monticello or Sullivan or Paxton, you'll need to live in one of those places because Urbana doesn't deliver it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,854 posts, read 15,191,833 times
Reputation: 5380
Actually I believe the 2010 census count is 122,305 for the Town of Urbana and the City of Champaign. The county seat may have litte to do with Urbana's cultural identity but it does have a great deal to do with county business which does have an direct effect on all the county. Champaign is only one community in a very large Ag county.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,890 times
Reputation: 10
I had to live in Champaign-Urbana for almost 2 years before the differences between the two towns became evident, and before they started to matter.

Really, the differences only matter if you take an interest in local politics: Urbana tends to be slightly crunchier, and Champaign makes an effort to be slightly more hospitable to business -- and there are some differences between the towns that fall out of this divide. For instance, Urbana tends to have larger parks -- so, if you live in Champaign, you might have to drive 3 miles to get to the big parks, rather than walk across the street. Most of the big-box stores are in Champaign, so if you'd rather go to Best Buy than to a park, you might want to live in Champaign. If you're from LA or the Washington DC area, this seems totally trivial (5 minutes in the car), and it is, but if you start walking/biking most places, it starts to matter.

If you're looking for a good place to live, pick one. Go with house or apartment that you like with a commute that works for you and go with it. I looked for a commute that had a bicycle-friendly route to my office. We ended up in a great neighborhood, and I have a good bicycle-friendly route to work -- which has been good for my health and my wallet.

If you want to live a car-heavy east-coast / west-coast lifestyle here, there's nothing stopping you, and it doesn't matter where you live. The traffic is a dream by east-coast / west-coast standards. Everything is close by, and free/cheap parking is available pretty much everywhere except for campus (which is either metered or requires a campus parking pass). If you don't mind driving everywhere (especially across Neil Street and the railroad tracks), or if you're a student, then the differences between Urbana and Champaign really don't exist for you. But, they can start to matter if you're the type that wants to have an opinion about what the new bike lanes are going to look like.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Austin, Houston, and San Antonio
1,437 posts, read 1,768,798 times
Reputation: 786
Quote:
I would not send any child to high school here
I lived in Champaign-Urbana for 22 years before I fled. I went to Champaign Central in the 1980s and it was the worst. And the UIUC is only good if you are 200% positive you know what you want to do in life, if you don't the UIUC will ruin your life for four years and even beyond. Been there, done that.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,854 posts, read 15,191,833 times
Reputation: 5380
I can understand why you might have been unhappy living in the flat Illinois Prairie instead of ________! I am, however, very skeptical when you state ". . . the UIUC will ruin your life. . . "

I submit, sir, if anyone ruined your life during "four years of university and beyond", it was your own actions, or lack thereof, that contributed to your future - and not the school.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,600 posts, read 57,896,760 times
Reputation: 25619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grouch View Post
Really, the differences only matter if you take an interest in local politics: Urbana tends to be slightly crunchier, and Champaign makes an effort to be slightly more hospitable to business -- and there are some differences between the towns that fall out of this divide. For instance, Urbana tends to have larger parks -- so, if you live in Champaign, you might have to drive 3 miles to get to the big parks, rather than walk across the street.
What, like everyone in Urbana lives right across the street from a big park whereas everyone in Champaign has to drive three miles to get to one? What a heaping pile of nonsense.

Maybe you can help me out here, because I fail to see how Urbana's park system is notably better than Champaign's. Both have plenty of parks big and small scattered throughout.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:31 PM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,028 posts, read 60,574,028 times
Reputation: 20182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grouch View Post
I had to live in Champaign-Urbana for almost 2 years before the differences between the two towns became evident, and before they started to matter.
I lived there for seven years, in Urbana and St. Joseph; DH lived there for 10, in both Champaign and Urbana. His assessment, which I agree with: "you have to see a sign to know when you've left one city and gone into the other". Both cities are heavy with university people, students, faculty and staff. There is another saying: "when it doesn't look flat any more, you've lived there too long".
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