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Old 04-04-2014, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,255 posts, read 4,184,009 times
Reputation: 1247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnar View Post
You bet. Try to find a place to use the bathroom in some of these areas. May as well just pull over on the side of the road and get it over with rather than hoping for something at the next exit 20 miles down the road and finding nothing, LOL!

I personally do not like Chicago very much. Nothing against big cities, but Chicago just doesn't excite me the way California cities do. A lot of that probably has to do with the cold and the snow, and as is typically indicative of so may Midwestern cities, the predominant color in Chicago is brown, which does not help during the dreary winter months. Many of the suburban communities linked to Chicago do not have the road infrastructure to support the population. Many roads still sorta look like two lane country roads that run between suburban communities that just blur into each other, one after the next. It's like that in many other places too, but so may of these Chicagoland communities are nothing special - they've just had greatness thrusted upon them (and the associated high prices for housing, taxes and amenities) because of their proximity to Chicago.

We still go down to Chicagoland from time to time and have some fun, but I'm always happy to leave. Chicago is just about the only place in the US that makes me thankful I live in WI, LOL!
They have great rail connectivity and most of the cities grew in relation to Chicago during the Industrial Revolution. They are not new places (unless you are talking about the farther out exurbs, some of them are new in terms of being suburban rather than rural). There is a lot more history there and urban history than there is here, that is for sure.

But most people from WI are a bit prejudiced (to say it nicely) against Illinois/Chicago
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:54 PM
 
Location: San Diego
254 posts, read 88,241 times
Reputation: 109
I could be wrong, but I doubt Evanston, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Oak Brook, Naperville, Lombard, etc are included in Chicago stats and these are not hick places.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,255 posts, read 4,184,009 times
Reputation: 1247
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchevere View Post
I could be wrong, but I doubt Evanston, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Oak Brook, Naperville, Lombard, etc are included in Chicago stats and these are not hick places.
correct. They are not included in the city limits of Chicago -- they are Chicago metro area just as Thousand Oaks or Malibu would be "LA metro" or Carlsbad would be "San Diego metro"

One thing about the Chicago area is there are FAR MORE small municpalities with their own jurisidictions around the city than there are in CA.

Yes, most people who leave Illinois will tell people they are from Chicago if they are from Lake Forest or Naperville -- its the Chicago metro and most people will not know where Deerfield, or Northbrook etc. are unless they have the same frame of reference...

usually conversation goes : oh you are from Chicago? yes, I'm from the Chicago area. where? Well I've lived all over, I grew up in "whatever city, north suburbs, have you heard of it? no, oh well it's near Great America" or whatever...

this is even with people who are also from the Chicago area, most south and north suburban people are unfamiliar with the jurisidictions, but they will know things like Great America or stadiums they saw concernts like Tinley Park, etc.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:31 AM
 
135 posts, read 133,203 times
Reputation: 80
This is an interesting thread. I have read most of pages 11-23. In same ways I agree with some of the complaints that I'm hearing as recurring themes on here.

Before I get into my 2 cents, I was curious from Elchevere, how did you like the bay area? I think you said you were there for 3 years...how did it compare to SD for your liking? Also, I don't know if you ever lived there, but do you like LA any better than SD? I ask because I had some similar complaints about SD than have you so I would appreciate your perspective on other cities that I'm thinking about. Thanks.

Last edited by gingerdancer; 04-05-2014 at 12:43 AM..
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:30 AM
 
135 posts, read 133,203 times
Reputation: 80
I have a love-hate relationship with SD. There were things I really liked, and miss now, but there were some other things that really bothered me. Starting with the negatives:

From a California perspective, given that this state tends to be health conscious, politically savvy, etc....I found SD to be a bit behind in this regard. And by 'a bit behind' i mean "completely apathetic." It seemed so long as the surf was up, the sun was shining, and they had a six pack of beer in tow, no one really wanted to think about or care about anything happening in the world outside the SD bubble. I would try to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with people and it always seemed to stray back to surface level - chargers, padres, the beach, fashion trends and designer jeans. The conversation and people seemed vacuous to me. To give an example: during those horrible 2007 fires, despite the lost homes everywhere you looked, all the talk on the radio was "were the Chargers still going to play." During a huge state of emergency. Nice priority.

I never met one person who liked NASCAR until I moved to SD. Needs no explanation.

The Arts: For a major nationally ranked city, I was very surprised at the lack of fine arts, and more importantly, the lack of interest in it from people aged 25-45. I don't expect opera going every weekend, but people were really uncultured for post-collegiate folk. Example: I had an online date. In my profile I mentioned that I love Chopin. On the date, the guy (who was late 30s) asked what band "choppin" was (as in choppin' up some celery). Never had heard of Chopin before. I didn't meet many people who were into classic movies, classical music...it just seemed to lack sophistication, refinement or maturity that a regular cosmopolitanism city would have. I mean, in LA people go to the LA Phil, listen to classical KUSC, go to jazz in the park, frequent art museums, art walks, go to plays. Not saying that's ALL they do, but it happens.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but there is a little too much emphasis on the military there. It's fine that it exists, but I had no idea how much it actually permeated into every part of the culture. (I left in 2007, btw.) Example: being instructed to give a standing salute at the Shamu show to support the Iraq war even tho about 80% of the country disagreed with it, as though we are cattle being told how to think. Another example: The SD Symphony at a pops concert giving a grand finale military tribute again and the 'great work' they were doing, and being told to stand again. Where on earth would private organizations in any other city do this? It was ridiculous.

Lack of critical thinking. I really can't stress this one enough.

I've never lived anywhere else where men (not all, of course) show up to a dinner date in flip flops and/or a baseball hat. People go out on the town dressed for a day at the beach. It's weird.

Elchevere mentioned the 8 yr college path of a jr college degree. I can sort of see that, more of what I saw was a collegiate mentally carrying in through one's 40s. Tatted up, living in PB at age 45, riding his skateboard, saying "Duuuuude" as if he was a 18 yr old college freshman, not a 28-45 yr old professional educated man. Speaking of PB, what an overrated town. Men - correction: males - spitting on the sidewalk as women walk by, sagging their pants, skateboard in hand, if not plowing someone over. It's like no one wanted to be a mature, civilized adult. I avoided PB and never understood why people loved it.

Moving on to the positives:

Unlike some posters, I actually LIKED the freeway system. It is very easy to get around in - direct routes to everywhere.

I found it generally to be a safe-ish, clean town, although even though the air smells okay (better than LA) it does have an F rating on the air quality according to data.

I enjoyed the many different walking/hiking trails and coastal paths, including walks through balboa park, and the fact that many of these paths were well lit and safe in the evenings, which is not the case in other cities. It seemed like I was always finding new places to go on walks. Mission bay was also great for rollerblading.

This may sound minor but the malls had free parking. Try parking in SF for the mall. Before the ballpark was oddly placed downtown, there was decent parking down there as well. After the ballpark was put in though you had to work your weekend outing downtown around the games.

For what arts there were, most of it was relatively affordable, if not sometimes FREE! The problem was finding people to do them with, if you were not in a relationship at the time. Balboa Park had a lot of free summer activities and concerts, and in fact it was my favorite landmark of San Diego. I never got sick of going on walks through there.

It is very easy to get around in, and living in Hillcrest, as I did, was central to everything.

Contrary to what some posters said, I actually never smelled pot around. Also contrary to what other posters said, I didn't see many hipsters outside of Northpark, but keep in mind I left in 07 so maybe it devolved since then.

Sometimes I miss SD but then I remember the things I didn't like about it. I had actually hoped that it has improved since I left, but in reading these posts, in an indirect way, it seems other posters had similar complaints as I did about it.

Last edited by gingerdancer; 04-05-2014 at 04:27 AM..
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:36 AM
 
369 posts, read 100,277 times
Reputation: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerdancer View Post
I have a love-hate relationship with SD. There were things I really liked, and miss now, but there were some other things that really bothered me. Starting with the negatives:

From a California perspective, given that this state tends to be health conscious, politically savvy, etc....I found SD to be a bit behind in this regard. And by 'a bit behind' i mean "completely apathetic." It seemed so long as the surf was up, the sun was shining, and they had a six pack of beer in tow, no one really wanted to think about or care about anything happening in the world outside the SD bubble. I would try to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with people and it always seemed to stray back to surface level - chargers, padres, the beach, fashion trends and designer jeans. The conversation and people seemed vacuous to me. To give an example: during those horrible 2007 fires, despite the lost homes everywhere you looked, all the talk on the radio was "were the Chargers still going to play." During a huge state of emergency. Nice priority.

I never met one person who liked NASCAR until I moved to SD. Needs no explanation.

The Arts: For a major nationally ranked city, I was very surprised at the lack of fine arts, and more importantly, the lack of interest in it from people aged 25-45. I don't expect opera going every weekend, but people were really uncultured for post-collegiate folk. Example: I had an online date. In my profile I mentioned that I love Chopin. On the date, the guy (who was late 30s) asked what band "choppin" was (as in choppin' up some celery). Never had heard of Chopin before. I didn't meet many people who were into classic movies, classical music...it just seemed to lack sophistication, refinement or maturity that a regular cosmopolitanism city would have. I mean, in LA people go to the LA Phil, listen to classical KUSC, go to jazz in the park, frequent art museums, art walks, go to plays. Not saying that's ALL they do, but it happens.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but there is a little too much emphasis on the military there. It's fine that it exists, but I had no idea how much it actually permeated into every part of the culture. (I left in 2007, btw.) Example: being instructed to give a standing salute at the Shamu show to support the Iraq war even tho about 80% of the country disagreed with it, as though we are cattle being told how to think. Another example: The SD Symphony at a pops concert giving a grand finale military tribute again and the 'great work' they were doing, and being told to stand again. Where on earth would private organizations in any other city do this? It was ridiculous.

Lack of critical thinking. I really can't stress this one enough.

I've never lived anywhere else where men (not all, of course) show up to a dinner date in flip flops and/or a baseball hat. People go out on the town dressed for a day at the beach. It's weird.

Elchevere mentioned the 8 yr college path of a jr college degree. I can sort of see that, more of what I saw was a collegiate mentally carrying in through one's 40s. Tatted up, living in PB at age 45, riding his skateboard, saying "Duuuuude" as if he was a 18 yr old college freshman, not a 28-45 yr old professional educated man. Speaking of PB, what an overrated town. Men - correction: males - spitting on the sidewalk as women walk by, sagging their pants, skateboard in hand, if not plowing someone over. It's like no one wanted to be a mature, civilized adult. I avoided PB and never understood why people loved it.

Moving on to the positives:

Unlike some posters, I actually LIKED the freeway system. It is very easy to get around in - direct routes to everywhere.

I found it generally to be a safe-ish, clean town, although even though the air smells okay (better than LA) it does have an F rating on the air quality according to data.

I enjoyed the many different walking/hiking trails and coastal paths, including walks through balboa park, and the fact that many of these paths were well lit and safe in the evenings, which is not the case in other cities. It seemed like I was always finding new places to go on walks. Mission bay was also great for rollerblading.

This may sound minor but the malls had free parking. Try parking in SF for the mall. Before the ballpark was oddly placed downtown, there was decent parking down there as well. After the ballpark was put in though you had to work your weekend outing downtown around the games.

For what arts there were, most of it was relatively affordable, if not sometimes FREE! The problem was finding people to do them with, if you were not in a relationship at the time. Balboa Park had a lot of free summer activities and concerts, and in fact it was my favorite landmark of San Diego. I never got sick of going on walks through there.

It is very easy to get around in, and living in Hillcrest, as I did, was central to everything.

Contrary to what some posters said, I actually never smelled pot around. Also contrary to what other posters said, I didn't see many hipsters outside of Northpark, but keep in mind I left in 07 so maybe it devolved since then.

Sometimes I miss SD but then I remember the things I didn't like about it. I had actually hoped that it has improved since I left, but in reading these posts, in an indirect way, it seems other posters had similar complaints as I did about it.
Wow you framed my impression of the city almost to a tee! Lol but haven't you heard the canned responses for every city on every thread? There are two basic standbyes:

(1) "Nice. Stereotype a city of 1,000,000 based upon some people you saw at the beach (insert undesireable culteral norm)".

(2) "It sounds like the problem is you. People create their own reality. It sounds like your negative attitude is attracting others with a negative attitude".

LOL there are so many things wrong with the logic of both (1) and (2) I don't know where to start. Notice that (1) basically calls out an infividual's ability to critically think. But I will not digress from the thread.

Overall I am still longing for that sun and the beach 1 week after leaving! SD does appear to be clean, safe and well planned with excellent infrastructure. However, I saw nothing intruiging or remotely interesting about the City of San Diego itself or the local culture. I must be missing something in the constant hoopla with SD, because as big cities go, this one rates on the low end IMO. It feels more like a gigantic beach "town" than a city, and that is great for some people. But there is also nothing wrong whatsoever about the desire for culture, energy and a more cosmopolitan environment.

The thing is, that weather and nature may just be more of a positive than what you give up by leaving city X. I am weighing the tradeoffs now myself.

Last edited by sacite; 04-05-2014 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:56 AM
 
Location: San Diego
254 posts, read 88,241 times
Reputation: 109
The "Peter Pan Syndrome"/never growing up, oblivious, 'bubble', small town with small town mentality analogies have all been well documented in this thread, so no further need to elaborate on.

Ginger--not sure I can be of much help to you regarding SF Bay Area as I lived there 30 years ago when I moved out West following business school (I worked in downtown SF but lived in Marin County--Mill Valley)...without question, SF is a city and far more sophisticated than SoCal as a whole (in fact, there was--and may still be--a vibe where NoCal'ers look down (almost borders on hatred) towards their SoCal'er compatriots, with most SoCal'ers I've met oblivious to this--maybe because many SoCal'ers I've met have not even visited this great city within their own state ). Anyways, I loved the cultural offerings of the city, the restaurant scene needs no explanation; the dress, intelligence, and positions people held, the arts, different neighborhoods, proximity to Napa and Sonoma, world class--not local--skiing within a 4 hour drive at Tahoe, Monterrery/Carmel to the south, etc. etc....Marin was heaven to me--even though it might not be the first choice of 20 somethings (when I lived there), its natural setting with rolling hills, Mt. Tam, and the bay (I lived on the water at Harbor Pt. which was on the Mill Valley/Tiburon border) yet only 15 minutes outside a major metropolitan city (that one could get to by car or ferry) was unique....you might like that area better better....the obvious is that you give up the beach (was never really a fan of Stinson Beach) and it rains considerably more during the winter months in NoCal than SoCal, though when you get outside of 'the city' into Marin or The East Bay the weather is nearly identical to SoCal from mid-April until the end of October.

Good luck with what you choose....the only area that MIGHT do it for me in SoCal is Santa Monica (especially off of Montana Avenue)....having followed up my stint in Marin with 17 years in Orange County (please--don't get me started on that one and talk about culture shock on opposite ends of the political spectrum), I highly doubt San Diego No. County would do it for me (though, to their benefit, I have never remotely encountered the snooty 'attitude' in No County that was prevalent in Newport Beach, etc...again, don't get me started). I used to escape OC on some weekends and spent time in Long Beach--liked the gritty, yet real feel of Belmont Shores and Naples (though Naples more upscale, not gritty) not to mention very good restaurants and some type of monthly event (car show, Christmas parade, festival, etc) taking place on 2nd Street as well as summer music events at the museum and by Pike Place--however, downtown Long Beach (Pine Avenue) was never able to get over the hump and revitalize that area to my liking and No. Long Beach does border some very bad neighborhoods. The 'less sophisticated' types that would show up on weekends on Pine remind me of the same 'less sophisticated' types that flock to The Gaslamp on weekends (maybe cousins).

Last edited by elchevere; 04-05-2014 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:02 PM
 
135 posts, read 133,203 times
Reputation: 80
elchevere: It's funny you mention Montanta Street in SM because it reminds me of the main walking street in the Marina district in SF - I think it's called Lombard but I don't recall. It's just like Montana street - little cafes and shops everywhere. The only places I'd live in LA are Santa Monica or Brentwood. I lived an Bentwood years ago right after college. The air quality is also less bad closer to the coast.

I know very little about the OC, I never spent time there, nor lived there and it seemed like a bunch of strip malls everywhere you went with a lot of cement and zero character. I'm sure there are some nice places to it, I just don't know them. The very few times I went out there I saw of a lot of older cougars wearing bling and designer everything, which did not save them from looking like leathered up handbag, a result that didn't seem to stop them from continuing to sunbathe. SD seemed to be going the way of the OC in some areas - like Mission valley. I hope it stopped there though, as there is still some quaintness left in LA Jolla and Hillcrect/Little Italy/Mission Hills. The handbag effect is in full swing down there though as well - especially in the Cougars of Del Mar (potential band name?). Some people look orange. Sunscreen, people.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:24 PM
 
135 posts, read 133,203 times
Reputation: 80
sacite: Rebuttals such as those you quoted are only applicable if someone complains that their GF dumped them there so they moved. Or I had one bad experience in this one bar. Living years in a city and generalizing multiple repeated experiences and observations (especially in various social circles) seem pretty valid.

"It feels more like a gigantic beach "town" than a city." I'd say this is true and it wouldn't be a problem if people simply enjoyed the beautiful coastline and that was it, but for some reason the sun seems to scorch the brain or something into this 'Whateva' mentally. Interestingly LA didn't have this feeling for me, even though it is near the coast. People seem more on the ball mentally and there is a lot of progressiveness there (huge GMO labeling festivals, etc). I know it's considered la-la land, but I will say people there do think. They also take better care of their skin. (SD is prettier though - and cleaner.)

If you want an example of the mindless to which I'm referring, there is a youtube of a guy who goes out to PB (pacific beach) sort of Jay Leno-style to ask questions to the general public out there to show how ignorant they are. I kid you not, he once asked last year what people thought of Martin Luther King Jr. dying THAT WEEK. Everyone was like, "dude that sucks, I didn't know he died." lol I'd never believe it if I didn't see it for myself. He also managed to get a bunch of signatures to "repeal the Bill of Rights" and some other outlandish ones.
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:14 PM
 
369 posts, read 100,277 times
Reputation: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerdancer View Post
sacite: Rebuttals such as those you quoted are only applicable if someone complains that their GF dumped them there so they moved. Or I had one bad experience in this one bar. Living years in a city and generalizing multiple repeated experiences and observations (especially in various social circles) seem pretty valid.

"It feels more like a gigantic beach "town" than a city." I'd say this is true and it wouldn't be a problem if people simply enjoyed the beautiful coastline and that was it, but for some reason the sun seems to scorch the brain or something into this 'Whateva' mentally. Interestingly LA didn't have this feeling for me, even though it is near the coast. People seem more on the ball mentally and there is a lot of progressiveness there (huge GMO labeling festivals, etc). I know it's considered la-la land, but I will say people there do think. They also take better care of their skin. (SD is prettier though - and cleaner.)

If you want an example of the mindless to which I'm referring, there is a youtube of a guy who goes out to PB (pacific beach) sort of Jay Leno-style to ask questions to the general public out there to show how ignorant they are. I kid you not, he once asked last year what people thought of Martin Luther King Jr. dying THAT WEEK. Everyone was like, "dude that sucks, I didn't know he died." lol I'd never believe it if I didn't see it for myself. He also managed to get a bunch of signatures to "repeal the Bill of Rights" and some other outlandish ones.
On the quotes: I think we are saying the same thing? You observe a social norm or the vibe of the culture as a whole and in response people claim that you are either generalizing or carrying a negative outlook on life. At least those are the canned responses I was referring to - which when decoded, really mean "I like it here. You don't. There must be something wrong with you".

Anyhow, I think SD has a lot to offer. For many reasons. But I also feel that it falls well short of the bill of goods that a lot of people sell it to be. For many of the reasons that you posted.
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