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Old 03-30-2012, 02:00 AM
 
1,185 posts, read 909,042 times
Reputation: 623

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I loved Chicago. I was there for a long time. I also admired NYC.

L.A. is my original home and I'm proud I'm from there. Comming back though made me realize what it could have been if it wasn't for the fools that decided on dismantling the trollys. Or the idea of creating huge suburbs. I know urban doesn't necessarily mean giant sky scrapers. But sucks that people refer to L.A. as "A giant suburb in search of a city".

And it also saddens me how neglected downtown has been until recently. If it was more cared for, it would have been the #1 spot to go in L.A.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
215 posts, read 247,382 times
Reputation: 235
This was definitely difficult for me to get over at first. I spent some time in all of the major job centers in LA and gained respect for the city. The thing about LA is that its so expansive, 503 sq miles to be exact. This being said if LA was the size of San Fran or even Chicago (234 sq miles) then downtown would be far more prominent. However with this much land, decentralization is bound to happen and it did.

I like to think of LA as a city in which you can live how you want, if you want urban than live in one of the denser neighborhoods. I am sure people will disagree with me, but this is my take.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
50,031 posts, read 42,368,204 times
Reputation: 21568
As mcuh as I would never move back, I think the city has a lot to offer. No, it isn't Chic or NYC or even SanFrancisco but it has its own charm and appeal. As for the downtown area, every city has pockets near the inner city that make people shutter.

Nita
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:27 AM
 
Location: NYC-Hell on Earth
966 posts, read 858,329 times
Reputation: 1210
If by "urban" you mean overcrowded, expensive, dirty, and rude, I am grateful that LA is nothing like NYC.

Never been to Chicago. Live in NYC. Multiple visits to LA.

As soon as possible, will leave NYC in a heartbeat for LA.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Southern California
890 posts, read 1,534,893 times
Reputation: 756
No snow is urban enough for me
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,116 posts, read 4,075,934 times
Reputation: 3503
If you want "truly urban" then you should pick Chicago or NYC - both cities do that exceedingly well!

But if you want what LA offers, then stay here.

Different places have different vibes, and personally I love LA just as it is!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
5,636 posts, read 2,660,012 times
Reputation: 3030
I personally think its great L.A. did its own thing instead of trying to be another NYC clone. Sure, the city planners dropped the ball chucking the old rail system--L.A. is actually denser than Chicago even at their core 50 sq miles and WAAAAAY denser at the metro (Los Angeles is the densest urban area in the country) and a comprehensive rail system would be quite useful right now to ease congestion--but it is what it is. The city will get it back eventually. I love this town.

Its also easy to forget how ridiculously young this city is, even by U.S. standards. The city's "look" is still evolving, changing, getting comfortable in its own skin. Nothing is set in stone yet. If people haven't realized that the "big suburb" cracks are woefully outdated, they will soon.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:05 PM
 
5,026 posts, read 5,857,784 times
Reputation: 3207
People have some major misconceptions about LA compared to other major cities.

To many there is a definition of many both here on this board as in real life about the concept of "urban" that is really limited. And "urban" in the minds of many hard core "urbanophiles" suggests that enjoying nature and the outdoors is for hicks.

There are people who think that living somewhere where there is any patch of grass or trees around the apartment buildings you live in makes you less urban, or that enjoying a park that is made of a wild natural landscape (Griffith Park) versus a completely artificially landscaped park (Central Park or Grant Park).

People having access to real nature is super important. To think that Chicagoans actually talk like Lake Michigan is an inland sea is sad. The Great Lakes never had much aquatic life that couldn't be found in a small pond. And being enclosed ecosystems that were basically dumping grounds for industry. In LA you have biodiverse tidepools and migrating grey wales just a few miles from one of the most important ports in all of North America.

Truth is, there are major misconceptions about LA. Truth is, the flatlands of the actual Los Angeles basin, comprise a greater stretch/area of population density of over 10,000 people/square mile than just about anywhere else. (Greater area than Chicago, and New York is broken up into islands). 10,000people/sq mi is my cut off. And some areas like Koreatown, while certainly not as dense as the densest areas of Chicago or New York) is still over 30,000 people/square mile. And LA is able to accomplish this density.

Downtown Chicago maybe more urban than downtown LA, but people in LA County live in a more "urban" environment than people who "claim" to be from Chicago. Because the actual populated parts of LA County (LA basin like I said is basically the biggest continuous stretch of pop. over 10,000 people/square mile. San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys are more suburban, but even those are more dense suburban and some of the most culturally/ethnically diverse areas in the country. (between 6,000 and 10,000 people/sq mi). Only 15 miles from downtown you have suburbs (I'm talking middle class areas, NOT rich) that are under 2,000 pp/sq mi. (all single family homes on half acre lots).

The reason why LA pulls off density without lookin as urban, is because its business districts are much more scattered, with mini skylines scattered all over the metro area, and composed almost entirely of more modern office buildings. In older more historic cities, those beautiful art deco skyscrapers often have very high vacancy. The LA basin became more urban/dense in the 80s, when you started having apartment buildings being built like crazy. Infill areas, because there was no more room to build. There are apartments everywhere and everyone rents. But because they are new and include landscaping, they are not like the rowhouses of back east, where they come right up to the sidewalk. Plus in LA, many homeowners have resorted to renting out rooms from their houses on their tiny lots, and in some cases even garages have been converted.

To me urban, means densely populated, regardless of whether it looks urban. It also includes a very cosmopolitan population with transplants from everywhere. And having some of the largest population of immigrants from Latin American, Asia, and the Middle East as well as being a heavyweight in an economic sense, like having one of Americas largest port, and being the entertainment capital, as well as one of Americas premier manufacturing center, in addition to having a significant (althoug not the largest) financial and technology industry. On top of that all its colleges/universities, and endless number of museums in LA county.

I really don't give a carp about what a city is supposed to look like. LA does its own thing, and doesn't care if people already have a preconceived notion of that. Because it doesn't need to. LA is not perfect, and does have some issues, but it has every reason to be self-confident.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:07 PM
 
Location: SLC, UT, Ketchum, ID, Southern Cal.
3,162 posts, read 4,663,624 times
Reputation: 1533
How do I feel? Perfectly fine. If I wanted to live in a city that feels like Chicago or NYC, I would simply live there.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: ?????????????
294 posts, read 540,659 times
Reputation: 266
Talking Hahaha, True Urban??

I feel, heh,.. whatever you find in Downtown can be found anywhere else. There is nothing special.
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