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Old 02-24-2014, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,059 posts, read 16,066,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Not straying too far off topic, I think it was an illustrative and brilliant commercial. It also sells the false ideal that if you work hard you'll live the good life. It is very American messaging. And included digs about the lazy Europeans too. Adding in our jingoistic attitude too. It was amazing how well they encapsulated so many American truisms in a single 60 second spot!

Imagine if those ad people were doing our political ads! They could sell us on eliminating taxes for the 1%.
I found it more sickeningly trite than I did tongue-in-cheek humorous. Digs at lazy Europeans I can get onboard behind. The whole high-fiving, chest puffed out fat boy "bro", comparing the Volt to landing on the moon, Microsoft, or Les Paul? No. Way too smug.
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:42 AM
 
97 posts, read 79,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
This commercial didn't make me want the car. But the subtle things in the commercial painted a not so subtle pic of what's important. I will try not to be super cynical here. Taking more vacation is lazy. Working hard is good, but notice the hero hardly interacted with his family. Yet he had a well paying enough job where he had the flexibility to leave and go when he chooses. Notice it wasn't in the wee hours of the morning he was leaving to commute. It was like late morning or perhaps afternoon.

It was sort of like a 50s time warp, wife stays home with the kids. Dad goes to work. But it is highly unrealistic these days unless you started with generational wealth. So the basic message is work hard, play hard but you better have a head start of privlege if you want the trappings of success.
Lovely breakdown. First time I watched the commercial: having respected this actor in his television roles I actually thought his line of "To buy stuff?" was heading a COMPLETELY different direction.

Bringing up Ali is comical. Didn't China recently land on the moon?

"You work hard, you create your own luck". I've had the discussion over luck before. Europeans & South Americans openly use the term in their culture while Americans tend to hate it. I think that is a by product of being a melting pot: You need the belief that no outside (out of your control) factors will effect your "chances". But also the de-christianization of the USA. To many, luck is too similar to faith and that has no place outside your own household.

The benefits of 2-extra weeks of Vacation versus a better car/stuff, well that all depends on what you plan to do with your 2 weeks. If it's take a few hour ride in a Train to a neighboring foreign country OR sit in front of a TV, well that decision is fairly easy.

This is a perfect example of the brilliant American advertising industry. In Europe, such half truths would make the audience question the legitimacy of the product. But in rather simplistic American culture, it's seen as a patriotic rally cry and as always in American society: Being different/individualistic is best.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I found it more sickeningly trite than I did tongue-in-cheek humorous. Digs at lazy Europeans I can get onboard behind. The whole high-fiving, chest puffed out fat boy "bro", comparing the Volt to landing on the moon, Microsoft, or Les Paul? No. Way too smug.
But oh so perfectly American. Which is exactly why it was brilliant.

I was laughing, but it wasn't meant to be a joke.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:27 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Overall I'd consider London to still have a higher built density than Philadelphia, but when you consider how much bigger London was historically, I'm not seeing how it reflects a culture of higher density.
FYI - I've been doing a bit of research on the demographic history of Philly and some neighborhoods in South Philly were hitting the 80,000 ppsm mark in 1940 and didn't get below 50,000 until the late 60s.

There are still a few South and North Philly tracts that are ~50,000ppm. The main reason (from what i can tell) that more aren't that dense is shrinking household size. Abandonment plays a much smaller role in most neighborhoods.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Paris
8,133 posts, read 6,671,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
So, again, you're comparing the land area of a metro area of +18 million people to a metro area of +12 million people.

You're comparing land area to land area. We already know that NYC is a larger city. We already know that the outer ring of suburbs around NYC is less dense than comparable areas of Paris . . . and most of that is because Paris is a much smaller city.

If you want to compare residential densities then compare how people actually live. The 2.2 million people in the City of Paris do not live more densely than the 3.4 million people in Manhattan and adjacent areas of Brooklyn. The 1.5 million people in Seine-Saint-Denis do not live at anywhere near the density of the 2.2 million people in Queens.
Ok, this is where the misunderstanding came from. The 56% and 64% figures I gave are percentages of the total urban area population, not of the land area.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:37 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Originally Posted by Rozenn View Post
Why would they? I think everybody values their time and comfort, American, European or else. Driving is more convenient for "average American", who lives further away from decent PT than his/her European counterpart.

My former job in Paris suburbs was 20 minutes away by car (freeway) and 1h15-1h30 away using the poor PT options available (bus + commuter train or bus all the way). It was a no-brainer for me, I decided to commute by car. My current one is probably 1 hour away by car taking traffic jams into account vs 40 minutes using the subway. Therefore my car stays in the garage.

Going back to the start of the thread...

Perhaps what nybbler meant was more at a group level. If driving is usually faster than transit, as long as there aren't parking issues and congestion issues, if speed is valued build as much road capacity as possible as well as parking. Easier to do when your city isn't old and dense to begin with, but even older and relatively dense American ones often tried rather hard to accommodate car traffic as much as possible and are reluctant to take away a car lane for more pedestrian / transit space.

[Few European cities would try to build as much highways through the center city as Boston, I think]. Most would have focused new development around transit more, too. This Parisian example you gave a while ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rozenn View Post
By a highway, but also by two well-used rail lines. Far more often, American development doesn't bother to place itself near rail transit.

Last edited by nei; 02-28-2014 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:30 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,890,268 times
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In the end Americans made this choice and continue to. Now we see Chinese doing the same and the highway system to need which will soon to surpass ours in a very limited area. Its not like the rich Europeans didn't own cars and they even had luxury train cars only they could afford.In the 50's Americans feel in love with the road trip and I still am myself.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Originally Posted by texdav View Post
In the end Americans made this choice and continue to. Now we see Chinese doing the same and the highway system to need which will soon to surpass ours in a very limited area. Its not like the rich Europeans didn't own cars and they even had luxury train cars only they could afford.In the 50's Americans feel in love with the road trip and I still am myself.
Driving everyday in traffic for your commute doesn't exactly offer that same freedom as a road trip.

I am not anti car but I am pro choice. I would like driving a lot more if I didn't have to take on the chore of driving everyday for work.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:05 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,856,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Going back to the start of the thread...

Perhaps what nybbler meant was more at a group level. If driving is usually faster than transit, as long as there aren't parking issues and congestion issues, if speed is valued build as much road capacity as possible as well as parking. Easier to do when your city isn't old and dense to begin with, but even older and relatively dense American ones often tried rather hard to accommodate car traffic as much as possible and are reluctant to take away a car lane for more pedestrian / transit space.

[Few European cities would try to build as much highways through the center city as Boston, I think]. Most would have focused new development around transit more, too. This Parisian example you gave a while ago:



By a highway, but also by two well-used rail lines. Far more often, American development doesn't bother to place itself near rail transit.
Lots of American cities already had sidewalks before the car for pedestrian safety(bikes, horse and carriage as well as street car are not good things to be walking too close to) and sanitation reasons so the pedestrian was usually accommodated already. It was just new development that might not have a sidewalk.

Street cars and autos don't mix well and Street cars have problems of their own so with the move to busses no need for rail. Taking away a car lane can be a waste of space if there are not enough busses or other transit to use it.

Europe is made up of small countries so being near a rail line not so hard and building those highways was possible because the US in the 50ies was very wealthy. The density is also a result of being small countries(small boarders) and higher land prices.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:13 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,856,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Driving everyday in traffic for your commute doesn't exactly offer that same freedom as a road trip.

I am not anti car but I am pro choice. I would like driving a lot more if I didn't have to take on the chore of driving everyday for work.
No, but it offers the freedom to come and go as you wish and not be tied to the schedule of public transit. Need to show up at work at 4 a.m., it is possible with a car not so possible(or dangerous...like get mugged cause no one is around) by bus. You can leave work and run errands or even run errands or travel further on a lunch break. If you stay late no worries about missing the last bus.

I know someone who is pro-car. You would have to pull the steering wheel out of her cold dead hands as the saying goes and even she hated driving to work due to traffic but she had no choice. There is plenty of transit in the area but she need to carry stuff, need to be able to go to different locations for work, needed to go to an 2nd job sometimes(which could be reached by transit but she also is someone who shouldn't be out in extreme cold for weather reasons) but then needed to come home late from that 2nd job(and not run as much risk of getting mugged/robbed/raped). Public transit does not fit the bill and biking would be impractical for many reasons.
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