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Old 03-15-2013, 12:32 AM
 
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I'm not a fan of skyscraper cities and the endless ugly traffic congestion they create. And the city streets that are more like racetracks. They're designed to cater to the automobile and people are a distant afterthought.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:05 AM
 
Location: Canada
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What I love is traditional American architecture, it's not something I've seen much of in the Canadian cities I've lived in and I find it quite stately and grand. It's always the first thing I notice in any American city.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Definitely agreed on both points. I noticed this trend with a lot of the newer development along the HBLR in Jersey City, it sort of mimics the old industrial and urban style of the area with modern amenities and conveniences.

Google Maps
I like those apartments. That's a nice-looking street.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I'm not a fan of skyscraper cities and the endless ugly traffic congestion they create. And the city streets that are more like racetracks. They're designed to cater to the automobile and people are a distant afterthought.
I get the gist of what you're saying, but to be fair, people use automobiles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I like those apartments. That's a nice-looking street.
Essex Street is definitely interesting, they did a great job at blending the new buildings into the surrounding neighborhood. What I find interesting is that the light rail goes up and down Essex, but it's a one way for vehicles, and even has a parking lane. The light rail uses it for two way traffic, which I've always found to be very interesting. It's weird riding on a train along a narrow street with cars parked next to you as you pass by...almost makes it feel like a bus, especially when the train is stuck at a red light or behind a slow or parallel parking driver. I'd imagine this exists a lot more in Europe, probably with two way traffic and parking on both sides.

On a slightly unrelated note of interesting light rail ROW in the US, but somewhat related to the thread, I find this block of Main Street in Houston to be really cool...

Google Maps
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:14 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
I've spent some time near here. Very neat looking, but "urban" Houston doesn't do it for me. Especially not in July.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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I love American cities because each region has its own distinct style and history and because they have such amazing potential. While our cities are generally not that old by world standards we do have some well preserved historic neighborhoods in most cities. I think how far most american downtowns have come in the last 20 years and it's staggering. The next 20 years will be equally amazing.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:11 AM
 
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A grand skyline is an incredibly sublime experience. Beautiful at sunrise and throughout the day, maybe even more beautiful at sunset and throughout the night.

I also like that for the most part, they're car friendly. I know a lot of city-lovers want areas that are easily walkable and have plenty of public transportation. I do too, but I absolutely love my car and find driving to be one of the most enjoyable and freeing experiences in life. Cruising around big cities is something I never get tired of.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lerner View Post
A grand skyline is an incredibly sublime experience. Beautiful at sunrise and throughout the day, maybe even more beautiful at sunset and throughout the night.

I also like that for the most part, they're car friendly. I know a lot of city-lovers want areas that are easily walkable and have plenty of public transportation. I do too, but I absolutely love my car and find driving to be one of the most enjoyable and freeing experiences in life. Cruising around big cities is something I never get tired of.
THIS!! I couldn't agree more, you basically described exactly how I feel to the T and put it much more succinctly than I did with my original reply to the OP.

I think this is part of the reason why I loved being in the Cincinnati-area last summer for work. Downtown from the distant suburb/near exurb I was staying at in 20 minutes via interstate highways, maybe 30-40 with traffic. Cheap, abundant parking and it still has a lot of people walking around with a pretty vibrant street life, even with a huge automotive infrastructure.

Freeway Approaching Downtown

Back home here in NYC, even in driver's hell of Manhattan, I still enjoy driving my car in greatly...I don't commute, if I did then I would take the express bus, but when I do go there I drive in 90% of the time (that 10% that I don't is when I know I'm gonna be out drinking )

It helps that I've lived here my whole life, so I know where to find free/cheap street parking in pretty much every neighborhood, and also regularly find $12-$14 ALL DAY coupons online for garages in Hell's Kitchen (near Times Square). That, and I have a relaxed but aggressive and defensive enough driving style to not only be able to handle, but sometimes enjoy driving the streets of Manhattan.

Our infrastructure is OLD but we do have some awesome, fun drives

Google Maps

Google Maps

You can drive AROUND Grand Central and THROUGH the Helmsley Building behind it!
Google Maps

Central Park Drive is surreal and scenic
Google Maps

Times Square isn't that bad, actually flows better now that they closed Broadway
Google Maps

Lower Manhattan's winding narrow streets are pretty fun to rip up at night, I used to park on this block all the time at night when I worked valet for Cipriani's on Wall Street years ago
Google Maps

Ok ok, enough NYC-whoring for now lol
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Thumb of Michigan
4,489 posts, read 6,792,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
I only like a few American cities. Most are too spread-out and car-dependent. As much as I love mass transit, it rarely makes financial sense to ride the trains or buses if you are in a carpool of more than one person. I much prefer denser cities in Asia with more modern, faster, cheaper, and cleaner mass transit. Or cities in Europe, with less sprawl and more character.

One major exception is San Francisco. I love that city, because it is small, dense, and picturesque. There are amazing views and scenery all over town. There's lots of stuff to do, making a walk around the peninsula great fun at any time of day or night. The night owl buses and BART overall really connect the city well.

NYC is okay too. There's quite a bit to do in Manhattan year-round. The subway might be ancient, filthy, and astronomically expensive, but it goes pretty much everywhere.

I like living in or near LA because of the economic opportunities, the great clubs, and entertainment options. The beaches, weather, and nearby scenery are great too. The city itself could use a lot of improvement, but it'll do for a place to make some money and have some fun.

Chicago isn't so bad when it's not frozen. There's some fun things to do on the loop. The lakefront green space is great, and the battleship-esque steel plating of the EL is very distinctive.

The rest of the American cities I've lived in or visited are meh, or worse. Indianapolis, Omaha, St. Louis, San Diego, Orlando are all ho-hum. I loathe Boston, Houston, and dislike D.C.

If I had my druthers, though, I'd rather live in a more vibrant city like Taipei or Hong Kong.
What makes you loathe Boston?
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:04 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I'd like Manhattan more if there was less car traffic to hear. A few cross paths through Central Park is necessary, but walking around a city park and still hearing lots of traffic is atrocious. High density bothers me much less than traffic noise. And the wide streets of many American cities faciliate too much traffic noise everywhere.

That said, I have enjoyed driving in NYC (at the right time, it can go from fun to miserable). And part of the fun is it seems like it feels like something one shouldn't do: my family's attitudes was it was a scary place to drive to. Entering Manhattan from the north* is fun: green at first, Hudson on your right the whole time and eventually tall buildings on the left. That said, it destroys the ambience of the green space right nearby.

*whoops, I see you posted that view already

Compared noisy Manhattan to this:

London, United Kingdom - Google Maps

not much fast-moving traffic right in the center. The buildings are mostly pretty, not overwhelming, looks like a much more peaceful place to stoll. Yet, compared to say Manhattan and many American downtowns, it seems almost too perfect looking. Less variety, somewhat less random-looking. This view has some variety, search a bit more I'll find a better comparison.
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