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Old 05-07-2007, 11:59 PM
 
125 posts, read 334,976 times
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Mead, Cyntmac, Manhatten-ite- You guys have me busting my sides with laughter, and the funniest thing is that you all are so right. I had to rethink my own post after that.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 11,939,651 times
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Ugh, Welcome to New York! Can you tell that we like to argue/debate a lot around here?

I agree with the previous poster that Bayside is really nice, but I was reading the Mayor's PlaNYC the other day and it stated that the LIRR trains going from Bayside to Penn Station are packed to the GILLS in the morning. As a result everyone has to stand becasue there are generally no seats available once the trains reach Bayside. Other than that Bayside is a wonderful area with a nice little shopping area on Bell Blvd. The neighborhood has a good mix of people, but it is mostly White (Italian, Irish, Jewish) and Asian (Korean & Chinese).

Forrest Hills is also really nice, but the congestion is insane. I was driving down one of the commercial strips, I believe it was Austin St, a couple of weeks back and it must have taken me half an hour to drive a couple of blocks. And mind you this was not during rush hour (I think it was like 2/3 pm or so).

If you are looking into Forrest Hills, also look into Middle Village. If you are going to bring a car into any of these areas just make sure that your place has a parking spot, as the street parking situation is quite bad.

Queens and Brooklyn are somewhat of a commuting conundrum for people from outside of the area, especially Queens. These areas generally have enough public transportation where you can get to your job in the city without too much of a hassle (although this is questionable in some of the farther reaches of Queens), but people who live there, unlike in Manhattan, generally want to have a car. This results in some really insane congestion and traffic jams because you have so many people living together in one area. I think the density of these areas is more akin to what you would see in cities in the rest of the world (Europe, Asia, etc). Most American cities seem to be content to have mile after mile of suburban sprawl developments.

Of course Southern California has its own share of congestion problems, so I'm not exactly sure how they would stack up against each other. The main difference is that people in Queens and Brooklyn would be much more likely to take a train/subway/bus to their job than people in Southern California who seem to like taking their cars more, even if it does result in a hellish commute.

Oh! One more thing. I would definitely recommend that you rent for a year before you purchase anything if you are unfamiliar with the area. If you purchase something you will really not be able to sell the house and recover the closing costs and whatnot until after owning the house for several years (the general rule of thumb is usually 5 years). So perhaps it would be wise to rent for a year and once you are more familiar with your surroundings you can buy a house/condo/co-op and put down roots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justone321 View Post
Mead, Cyntmac, Manhatten-ite- You guys have me busting my sides with laughter, and the funniest thing is that you all are so right. I had to rethink my own post after that.

Last edited by mead; 05-08-2007 at 01:22 AM..
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Monmouth County
75 posts, read 330,794 times
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There's nothing wrong with understanding the culture of an area. These forums are valuable to me because I can get feedback containing the info that can't be quantified on profile pages.

Are you really going to argue that subcultures aren't highly correlated with race? Even the progressives you speak of are aware of this; they are specifically seeking a subculture of educated, liberal, tolerant people, which would be reflected by a diverse neighborhood of educated people who don't segregate themselves.

Even though I come from an Irish-Catholic family, if I were relocating, I would be tempted to ask if an area was tooooo Catholic, because I find the religion inherently dysfunctional (I know I'm going to catch sh*t for that one). But is this feeling unacceptable even though I am more than qualified and justified in having such an opinion because I come from that background? Or is it ONLY acceptable because I come from that background? Is that fair to other groups who are uncomfortable with it?

I want a cultural melting pot, but I simultaneously want people with the same values that I have. And some subcultures just don't fit. That's reality.


P.S. What's with the guy from the Los Angeles area who can't spell Los Angeles? That's says a lot about L.A. intellectual culture for you!
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:42 PM
 
1,309 posts, read 3,084,730 times
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This whole thread cracks me up period...thanks gang...I was irritated about something today..then I came and read this post..and the last 10 were entertaining!
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:04 PM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,354,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ K View Post
Are you really going to argue that subcultures aren't highly correlated with race? Even the progressives you speak of are aware of this; they are specifically seeking a subculture of educated, liberal, tolerant people, which would be reflected by a diverse neighborhood of educated people who don't segregate themselves.

Even though I come from an Irish-Catholic family, if I were relocating, I would be tempted to ask if an area was tooooo Catholic, because I find the religion inherently dysfunctional (I know I'm going to catch sh*t for that one).

I want a cultural melting pot, but I simultaneously want people with the same values that I have. And some subcultures just don't fit. That's reality.

At least you know what you want. You have an edge over so many people on city-data. Not everyone would define a subculture the same way. That is actually a very heated topic. Many "liberal progressives" will segregate themselves in a place like NYC and they often have the income to allow for that.

Your religion is not really an issue in a city like NY but I guess that was just an example. Race and religion are really two very different things. I would define some religious groups as subcultures but being born a certain race would not attach you to any one subculture in and of itself. There is a long history of racial segregation in the US(it has been here since our inception) and there is no real parallel that can be made with religion.

Is it more acceptable for someone to isolate from a subculture that exists within their own race than within another race? In some people's view it is. People are afraid to label a group as a subculture especially when that group is drawn from a historically oppressed people of another race. They fear the rath of other progressives who may label them a bigot.

Regardless of any of this if someone has the means they can live selectively. In a large city it is very hard to find an entire neighborhood of people with the same "values". In 2007 that is very tough. That sounds more like a small town or a univerity town. People who like to exist in a comfort zone will tend not to be happy in any large city. It doesn't really matter how you define yourself. If you feel comfortable in the progressive zone, the libertarian zone, the far right zone, the twilight zone- you will be subject to other "subcultures" right in your own backyard. This generally results in less tolerance and more segregation for all parties concerned.

People have always sought out others with the same values. This has been true throughout history. It is not a progressive trend or a conservative one. The level of success one has with this has everything to do with income level. Money is the only thing that ensures your community's isolation from subversive "subcultures".
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:52 AM
 
1,308 posts, read 1,978,896 times
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After having kids who the world would not describe as "white", such discussions began to seem more and more important rather than simply entertaining. I find myself getting much more upset about people's stupid attitudes in regards to this topic, because I say to myself, well this person wouldn't want to live next door to my children and that's ridiculous. It's perfectly understandable to want to know as much as possible about the area that you're going to move into, but to have race be the only question that you ask? People vote with their feet in New York and they can live where they wish, but I think that these atttitudes of only wanting to live with your own kind or with certain people can result in landlords not renting to those of a particular race. I was sharing an apartment with a guy in Astoria before getting married to my husband. He was the son of the super and he was moving out and me and my now husband wanted to take over the lease. He told us frankly that the building didn't rent to black people. It was a great really cheap apartment and it pissed me off that we couldn't stay for this reason but that's life. I would like for these things not to affect my kids but that seems doubtful.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:26 AM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,354,581 times
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It seems really bizarre to ask about only that but remember there are people who come on here just to incite rather than to inquire. There are many threads on here that seem to be started just to bring out the derogatory. If you notice the same poster doing it again and again you can put them on ignore. People who are legitimately interested in these issues should start threads about them. That would be a way to channel a tiny bit of the frustration and possibly have a good dialogue.

Pretending like these things don't exist will not make them go away. It seems like really good people think that if they talk about this stuff it will just fan the flames. They are afraid of the whole subject really. They probably have no first hand experience with it and would avoid it at all costs. Your kids may never have that luxury but they will probably know how to speak about these things and they can teach their family members a thing or two hopefully.

Last edited by cyntmac; 05-09-2007 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:33 PM
 
5,601 posts, read 12,669,698 times
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You've made some excellent points on this thread, cyntmac. I tend to agree on just about everything you've said. *thumbs up*


Thanks.

--'rocco
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Thanks cyntmac. It's how amazing how segregated NYC is, although some neighborhoods are getting more integrated racially and economically. Or perhaps they are mixed simply because they are in transition. I wonder what the city will be like in 10 years.
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Monmouth County
75 posts, read 330,794 times
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Default Interesting post. Here's my long-winded reply!

Not everyone would define a subculture the same way. . . . Many "liberal progressives" will segregate themselves in a place like NYC and they often have the income to allow for that.

Yes, I can see liberals using NYC that way. The topic reminds me of what Conan O'Brien once said in an interview: NYC is this grand social experiment in which groups of all income levels, backgrounds, and races are stacked one on top of the other with a bunch bagels between them, and we're still not sure if the experiment succeeded. It was much funnier the way he put it!

I guess I wasn't speaking about progressives in general then, I was searching for a makeshift label for a certain type of mindset: the type of "progressives" I referred to are the ones looking for laid-back, tolerant, educated people, which could be reflected by a town that's very racially mixed. It's a "type" that has no formal label, so sorry if my descriptions confuse the issue. But those "types" may want to know the racial demographics because a community not segregating themselves by race is a good marker for the mindset of those people (and that's a community I'd want to live in!). Maybe some identify themselves primarily by intellectualism or an art scene or whatever, so they are bound to their neighbors in that regard, rather than on a subculture promoting (or inadvertently perpetuating) racial solidarity.

Yeah, I used the Catholic thing as an example, not because I think all Catholics hate homosexuals or are messed up from repressive sex stuff, but you should know the atmosphere of a town before you move there. I don't want to live in some predominantly conservative place--especially if they are extreme.

I think you may be confused about what I mean by "subculture." The prefix does not have any condescending connotations. It simply indicates that it's not the prevailing culture that is most recognizable to everyone, whether they subscribe to it or not (and I hope most people do subscribe to a subculture, as the prevailing culture seems to be this pathetic one allowing Paris Hilton to have a career). It has less to do with exclusion based on superficial things (a la High School cliques, or race), and more about finding people you connect with who help foster an atmosphere supporting the lifestyle you see yourself living. Music scenes are often related to the lifestyles and attitudes of the groups, although not perfect indicators of subcultural identity. Incidentally, music scenes correlate with race. That's the confounding issue. Race is more easily quantifiable than "atmosphere" or "which subcultures dominate the local scene?" But I would much rather be the lone white person in a black neighborhood that had generally the same goals and values than a white neighborhood with less common ground. Race isn't a perfect indicator.

Subculture is probably not a high priority for older people moving with families, because having their most important interests, values, and visions for the future validated by this primary unit is more than enough to buffer themselves from a community that won't understand it--whether the future neighbors are merely unaware and apathetic to the lifestyle/beliefs, outright reject it, whether they are a cohesive community, or a melting pot like NYC.

Young people without families, however, probably have this preference higher on the relocation checklist to ensure they meet lots of "their people." Alienation probably isn't part of their heightened social needs.

People are afraid to label a group as a subculture especially when that group is drawn from a historically oppressed people of another race. They fear the rath of other progressives who may label them a bigot.


I think people may be afraid to say they don't want to associate with a certain group if it correlates with race, yes. But again, that's race, not subculture, and your definition of subculture is saddled with unnecessary connotations. It's not racist to say that in the 80s there was a subculture of young black men doing this brand new thing they call "rap," any more than it is to say there was a subculture of white indie kids going to basement shows. I should be able to say both developing genres sound like crap regardless of my race, and I don't want to adapt my lifestyle to those kids who center their lives around it. Maybe in the 90s I wouldn't want to hang out with kids immersed in that "rap crap" culture or those "emo losers," regardless that they used to be strictly divided racially. Both underground movements have since moved into the mainstream, but they were subcultures before being adopted by our culture on a larger scale. Subculture really doesn't have a negative connotation. Unless, you know, you sneer while you say the word or something. However, I would have been tolerant of both examples and connected with those people based on some common ground as long as neither were the overwhelming culture within a community that isolated me.

Regardless of any of this if someone has the means they can live selectively. In a large city it is very hard to find an entire neighborhood of people with the same "values". In 2007 that is very tough.


I 100% agree, and I always wonder if life would be easier if towns would start organizing themselves the way corporations do: with a mission statement. "We all live organically, have solar-powered homes, don't use pesticides on our lawns, have a convenient hybrid-engine town trolly to cut down on car use, and we have extensive land-development restrictions to protect the open space you love for as long as you live here." And then some communities with that sentiment would further divide themselves. One town could say, "we are tree-huggers, but anti-drug," while the other green community could specify that they are Birkenstock-wearing hippies (I would like to find the former, not the latter. Damned drug-addled hippies!). People would break the unofficial "rules" all the time I'm sure, but still, it would be nice to easily find "your people." I want to be in a tribe, dammit! Where's my tribe?!

If you feel comfortable in the progressive zone, the libertarian zone, the far right zone, the twilight zone- you will be subject to other "subcultures" right in your own backyard. This generally results in less tolerance and more segregation for all parties concerned.

It's not necessarily about less tolerance. It's making sure you will meet people with some common ground (without implying that our equality and humanity doesn't give us all common ground). People ask about which NJ towns have strong Jewish communities sometimes, and I don't think they're anti-gentile or whatever. They have a vision for how they wish their community to be structured, which suits their values and beliefs, and some Jewish people may not find the small pockets within one community sufficient to meet all of those needs. It's hard to influence the environment you have to live in if no one sees eye-to-eye with you.

That said, diversity is great because even if your values are relegated to the minority, pushing them to the fore may still be possible and benefit the whole community. Jewish people relocating to my area in NJ was probably an important force in improving the public school system, for example. Good public schools are something that their community demands, and everyone is positively affected by it.


People have always sought out others with the same values. This has been true throughout history. It is not a progressive trend or a conservative one. The level of success one has with this has everything to do with income level. Money is the only thing that ensures your community's isolation from subversive "subcultures".

I never said it was ruled by some partisan dichotomy; I used that as an example. I also never said I disliked subversive subcultures--I think people should ask about them precisely because it's easier to find the ones they subscribe to! It's not about "isolation," or ensuring that you live in a stratified area! It's about ensuring there is a community you feel connected to. If they take that, and then try to make it some sort of enclave fortified with hate to keep The Others away, that's a mental problem, but not inherent to seeking subcultures.

Last edited by NJ K; 05-10-2007 at 02:54 PM..
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