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Old 02-21-2010, 10:23 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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Downtown should be the the heart and soul of the city, a nucleus, a core. All Texas cities have a reputation to be auto dependent and sprawly. Out of the big 5 (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Ft. Worth) which city do you think has the best downtown. Many cities are reversing the trend of sprawl and actually putting life back into their downtowns building high rise condo towers. Which downtown is the most pedestrian friendly, has sidewalk culture, retail and cafes.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Rio Grande Valley/Tone City
362 posts, read 975,326 times
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San Antonio, Ft Worth, Austin, Houston and Dallas or tied.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Northeast Texas
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I like Austin downtown and Houston downtown & uptown.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
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Definately Fort Worth. Austin and San Antonio would be next in line. Downtown Houston and downtown Dallas suck.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,510 posts, read 24,376,436 times
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Wasn't there a thread about this just not long ago?
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Rio Grande Valley/Tone City
362 posts, read 975,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAnative10 View Post
Definately Fort Worth. Austin and San Antonio would be next in line. Downtown Houston and downtown Dallas suck.


I wouldn't put Ft Worth above San Antonio. The Riverwalk alone is un matched by any other city, then street level is pretty vibrant with things to see and do for both the visitor and local. The Riverwalk is suppose to have expaned into urban neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Austin has sixth street and warehouse district. Ft Worth has some neat museums but I'm actually going to change my opinion and say San Antonio, Austin then Ft Worth.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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Yeah, there was a thread about this a few pages back. In terms of raw residential numbers, San Antonio leads with about 25 000 people actually living downtown, Austin is second with about 18 000, and Houston and Dallas each have about 6 000 people living downtown. Don't know numbers for Fort Worth, but suspect they are equally pathetic. These are large metro areas and these small numbers point to how fundamentally suburban the big Metro areas are, but the numbers are I think indicative of what the O.P was asking. Downtown San Antonio has the tourist trap of the Riverwalk but the largest concentration of Art Deco skyscrapers in the state, and you could live a fairly urban life there, lacking in the basic necessities of a walkable big grocery store, good public transportation, but plenty restaurants, coffee-shops, nightlife etc and the adjacent Southtown/King Williams district is one of the most vibrant and architecturally significant urban neighborhoods in the state. Downtown Fort Worth has the tourist trap of Sundance Square, which is pretty, but more of an entertainment district than anything else and the adjacent Museum district has fabulous museums but is mostly morgue-like after dark. Downtown FW is a fun place to visit and drive in and out of if you live in Fort Worth, but not really livable in terms of everyday basics. Downtown Austin has the juvenile tourist trap of 6th Street, but is increasingly the most livable downtown in TX: much more than just an entertainment district - home to the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi and pretty lively day and night seven days a week, but in danger of becoming a rich person's ghetto with the highest price per square foot real estate in the state (close to $500 per square foot). But the Whole Foods world headquarters is there, and tons of trendy boutiques, bike shops, furniture stores etc. No hardware store yet, but otherwise everything you could need in walking distance. Downtown Houston and Dallas are basically commercial zones and largely deserted at night. Dallas has Main Street, which is like a fatter, older version of Austin's 6th Street without the live music, and strip mall kind of restaurants, but some very good museums in the vicinity. And downtown Houston lacks even that. Nevertheless Houston and Dallas have great adjacent urban neighborhoods which are lively and livable - Uptown in Dallas and Midtown and Montrose in Houston. The urban suburban neighborhoods in TX's largest cities - Dallas just east, north and south of downtown, and most of inner loop Houston are much more interesting and bigger than equivalent neighborhoods in Austin, San Antonio and definitely Fort Worth, though almost all of central Austin and increasingly central east Austin has a quasi-urban vibe, and I love Southtown in San Antonio. Dallas has by far the best public transportation in TX, followed by Houston, But living in downtown Dallas or Houston, you would mostly still need a car to buy groceries, go to the dry-cleaners, get a haircut etc. It would be easier to do all the above in the adjacent downtown neighborhoods in these cities. In Texas, you could live in downtown San Antonio and Austin and have an urban life, but it still would not be close to the kind of urban life you could have in cities of similar size or bigger on the east coast of the U.S., Chicago, Portland, Seattle, SF, any major European, Asian or Latin American City. TX cities grew in the era of the automobile, and consequently are sprawly and lack pedestrian life and all the possibilities it contains. I live in downtown Austin and like it well enough. I could imagine living in downtown San Antonio, but would not want to live in downtown Houston, Dallas or Fort Worth, but could quite happily live in some neighborhoods close to downtown Dallas - Uptown, Oak Lawn, Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, parts of East Dallas, North Oak Cliff and similarly for Houston - Montrose, Midtown, Rice Village - all charming quasi-urban places. If I got the right job, which paid enough money, I would move back to Manhattan - and nowhere in Texas is anywhere like there, but for my money, downtown Austin has the better apartments, better restaurants, better grocery stores, better nightlife and better walkability than any other downtown in Texas. Downtown Dallas has the best museums, and downtown Fort Worth probably has the most Texas charm and downtown San Antonio has the best architecture and downtown Houston has the best skyline. I suppose what I am really saying is that a downtown life with significant compromises is possible here, but if you want a classically urban life, there are much better places in the world than Texas.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,988 posts, read 32,106,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeinatx View Post
Yeah, there was a thread about this a few pages back. In terms of raw residential numbers, San Antonio leads with about 25 000 people actually living downtown, Austin is second with about 18 000, and Houston and Dallas each have about 6 000 people living downtown. Don't know numbers for Fort Worth, but suspect they are equally pathetic.

These are large metro areas and these small numbers point to how fundamentally suburban the big Metro areas are, but the numbers are I think indicative of what the O.P was asking. Downtown San Antonio has the tourist trap of the Riverwalk but the largest concentration of Art Deco skyscrapers in the state, and you could live a fairly urban life there, lacking in the basic necessities of a walkable big grocery store, good public transportation, but plenty restaurants, coffee-shops, nightlife etc and the adjacent Southtown/King Williams district is one of the most vibrant and architecturally significant urban neighborhoods in the state.

Downtown Fort Worth has the tourist trap of Sundance Square, which is pretty, but more of an entertainment district than anything else and the adjacent Museum district has fabulous museums but is mostly morgue-like after dark. Downtown FW is a fun place to visit and drive in and out of if you live in Fort Worth, but not really livable in terms of everyday basics.

Downtown Austin has the juvenile tourist trap of 6th Street, but is increasingly the most livable downtown in TX: much more than just an entertainment district - home to the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi and pretty lively day and night seven days a week, but in danger of becoming a rich person's ghetto with the highest price per square foot real estate in the state (close to $500 per square foot). But the Whole Foods world headquarters is there, and tons of trendy boutiques, bike shops, furniture stores etc. No hardware store yet, but otherwise everything you could need in walking distance.

Downtown Houston and Dallas are basically commercial zones and largely deserted at night. Dallas has Main Street, which is like a fatter, older version of Austin's 6th Street without the live music, and strip mall kind of restaurants, but some very good museums in the vicinity. And downtown Houston lacks even that. Nevertheless Houston and Dallas have great adjacent urban neighborhoods which are lively and livable - Uptown in Dallas and Midtown and Montrose in Houston. The urban suburban neighborhoods in TX's largest cities - Dallas just east, north and south of downtown, and most of inner loop Houston are much more interesting and bigger than equivalent neighborhoods in Austin, San Antonio and definitely Fort Worth, though almost all of central Austin and increasingly central east Austin has a quasi-urban vibe, and I love Southtown in San Antonio.

Dallas has by far the best public transportation in TX, followed by Houston, But living in downtown Dallas or Houston, you would mostly still need a car to buy groceries, go to the dry-cleaners, get a haircut etc. It would be easier to do all the above in the adjacent downtown neighborhoods in these cities.

In Texas, you could live in downtown San Antonio and Austin and have an urban life, but it still would not be close to the kind of urban life you could have in cities of similar size or bigger on the east coast of the U.S., Chicago, Portland, Seattle, SF, any major European, Asian or Latin American City. TX cities grew in the era of the automobile, and consequently are sprawly and lack pedestrian life and all the possibilities it contains.

I live in downtown Austin and like it well enough. I could imagine living in downtown San Antonio, but would not want to live in downtown Houston, Dallas or Fort Worth, but could quite happily live in some neighborhoods close to downtown Dallas - Uptown, Oak Lawn, Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, parts of East Dallas, North Oak Cliff and similarly for Houston - Montrose, Midtown, Rice Village - all charming quasi-urban places. If I got the right job, which paid enough money, I would move back to Manhattan - and nowhere in Texas is anywhere like there, but for my money, downtown Austin has the better apartments, better restaurants, better grocery stores, better nightlife and better walkability than any other downtown in Texas.

Downtown Dallas has the best museums, and downtown Fort Worth probably has the most Texas charm and downtown San Antonio has the best architecture and downtown Houston has the best skyline. I suppose what I am really saying is that a downtown life with significant compromises is possible here, but if you want a classically urban life, there are much better places in the world than Texas.
^^^^^Ok, much better
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I think Fort Worth has the best downtown but I admit to being biased. It's certanly better than that of Dallas. Austin's is not bad. And San Antonio's Riverwalk is nice (and somewhat touristy), although it doesn't count for all of downtown. I think there are so many variables that it's hard to say which one is best.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Abilene, Texas
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IMHO San Antonio has the best downtown, then Austin, then Ft. Worth.
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