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Old 03-07-2014, 08:14 PM
1,356 posts, read 1,645,138 times
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Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Your question is still way too broad. People choose to live where they lived based on more than just trends (thank heaven). "City living" is more than Times Square c. 1970. It is not a black and white question; there are hundreds of shades of grey because there are many differing types of city neighborhoods.
It's not black and white;(I don't even see how you can look at what I posted in my previous post and come to that conclusion) just answer the question. I'm going to assume "no" until otherwise.

Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I grew up in Boston, NYC, and London in the 70's and 80's. I then spent the late 80's early 90's moving between a number of cities (DC, SF, and Chicago) before settling in Chicago in 1992. So I'd say yeah, I'd stay, because I did when it was at it's "worst" and didn't mind it at all.

It does seem like you believe that US cities were like something out of "The Warriors" in the 70's, and they most definitely weren't. I remember the 4th of July on the Esplanade in Boston during the Bicentennial, going to the Bronx Zoo about once a week, the Silver Jubilee in London...basically just loads of great memories. Everything was a bit sketchier and dirtier, but I never walked around in fear. I've only been mugged twice (last time was 1991) and the only thing that really ever gave me pause was being a block away from an IRA bomb going off in the 80's. A lot of what is different in US today is also different across the country - more chains, people being less provincial, higher education and literacy rates, etc. It would take a hell of a lot more than just flight to bring cities back to what they were like in the 70's (and as I said, it wasn't that bad).
Before moving to a suburb, I lived in what most people would refer to as a "ghetto". It wasn't bad, but it definitely helped desensitized me to things that people refer to as "sketchy" such as old housing or an area of town with poor people. I don't think it was that bad either and one of my family members lived in another city during the height of urban disinvestment and enjoyed the experience. The city as a stigmatized place comes from people constantly hearing negative news about cities during that period. It wasn't uncommon to hear people say things like "oh man, you're going to get shot" whenever someone mentioned heading into the city nor is it uncommon to hear some transplants talk about the city being better off now that more of them are moving in. That's not to downplay how we let some of our most isolated neighborhoods turn into places that you didn't want to be in day or night during that period.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:25 PM
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Just because something isn't popular doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. The "return to the cities" is not something that started overnight--the seeds were planted decades ago, they are just now hitting the mainstream.

Cities during the age of flight were also places of possibility and potential. Cutting-edge "new wave"/"no wave" cinema emerged from New York during the era when it was considered the most wretched imaginable hive of despair and destruction:

"Liquid Sky 2" Is Coming
At the time you made the movie, did you consider yourself a New Yorker?

I think so. But most New Yorkers are people from different places. That’s one of the quintessential qualities of New York, being an international place. But it has many sides which, after the release of Liquid Sky, I could see were known very well all over the world. Things that make it a global center of culture. Like, CBGB was a center of world music, and every Japanese singer dreamed of coming here to see CBGBs. While for us, it was a small room where people drink beer and listen to singers.
You don’t think there are places like that today?

Probably in the late 70s or 80s it was more active, more alive, more interesting. Maybe it’s because we were there. But really, every big off-Broadway production was a big world event. Now, you wait for theater to come to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Times Square and 42nd street had whorehouses mixed with art galleries. My friend was living on 42nd street in a building occupied by whorehouses. All the prostitutes were his friends, they’d come to his loft if they needed to borrow something. That was New York life.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:02 AM
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I never said that just because something isn't trendy then it isn't worth doing nor did I say or imply that interesting things weren't happening during that period. Hip-hop as a counter-cultural movement came out of cities during that time period. Since then it has involved into a worldwide movement.

Documentaries like this one and the one I posted in a previous post help show that:

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:05 AM
Location: Philaburbia
32,542 posts, read 60,193,622 times
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Just because something isn't popular doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. The "return to the cities" is not something that started overnight--the seeds were planted decades ago, they are just now hitting the mainstream.
I agree. The reasons people choose to live in cities - or anywhere else - are fluid and what's trendy is such a small part of it. Living in the city is something people of my age did after college - until we started having kids. When those kids approached school age, the parents who weren't sending their kids to private school left for the burbs.

And it's not even as though cities emptied out completely - or even emptied of everyone who could afford to leave - 50-60 years ago when the trend was to move into the suburbs. People still lived there. People in middle and upper economic classes still lived there.

I'd wager if it became trendy to live in the suburbs again - and it will - one would have to examine the reasons why before making any pontifications.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:28 PM
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The reasons why in the 1950s and 1960s are worth examining. If segregation and institutionalized racial separation become the trend, or automobiles and home loans are heavily subsidized, then this will have an effect on suburban growth patterns.

One difference in the current milieu is that the young adults in the cities seem less interested in moving to the suburbs once they have kids. Instead, they are taking steps to make their city neighborhood more livable and safer for themselves and their kids. And of course there are also a larger number of previous generations who moved downtown and didn't bother moving back, who encourage these young families to stick around because we like safer urban neighborhoods too. Even if I still like going to nightclubs and art shows in my forties and fifties, it's nice to be able to walk home in relative safety.
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