Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 05-29-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Man with a tan hat
799 posts, read 1,543,215 times
Reputation: 1459

Advertisements

I was born and raised in a big, dirty, unsafe part of a huge city, and have only lived in cities my whole life. Seems on here, lots of people like to ask questions about safety, convenience and cost of various cities across the US (three things I take for granted-- cities can be unsafe, are usually more expensive than the surrounding areas, and generally easier to get around). This makes me think that a lot of folks who call themselves city folk are really looking for more of a suburban lifestyle without a car.

So, where is the dividing line, and what side do you fall on? There are a lot of "cities" that are really glorified suburbs (Tampa, I am lookin at you), and lots of 'burbs that have the charm, feel and amenities of a great urban neighborhood (Old Town Alexandria, VA, you on my list). Lets come out of the closet with our biases and discuss.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-30-2012, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
14,360 posts, read 16,843,936 times
Reputation: 12385
I grew up in an upper-middle class suburb in Connecticut. That said, I hated everything about it, and have spent my entire adult life in cities (Detroit, DC, New Haven, Pittsburgh).

I like grit, and I like living in cheap neighborhoods. While admittedly gentrification has some positives, I don't make enough to compete with the true yuppies (I'm glad I bought in my neighborhood when I could still get a rowhouse for around $50,000).

Safety concerns are overblown, I think. Never had an issue in Detroit or DC, despite their reputations. I've lived in Pittsburgh the longest, and I've had bikes stolen twice, and once had a generator taken out of my yard. But that's about it.

I also think school concerns are way, way overblown. For the most part, city schools suck because everyone who has the means takes their kids out of them, often leaving no one but poor minority students, who demographically speaking are likely to perform poorly regardless. It's a vicious cycle - the more "nice white families" leave, the worse the test scores get - which makes it appear as if the teaching quality is worse, which makes more "nice white families" leave again. I've read a lot about education, and your parents have a whole lot more to do with your educational outcomes than your school. I'm happy to enroll my daughter in city schools.

Just a note: Alexandria is a city - it's just a highly gentrified one which functionally acts as a suburb to DC. Hoboken, NJ is pretty similar now for NYC, and Cambridge, MA has had the same function for Boston for around 20 years now. Remember that prior to the 1950s, there were lots of middle-class and wealthy city neighborhoods within cities. It's just a return to an older urban form. Grit, crime and smog are not defining characteristics of a city neighborhood.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,950,385 times
Reputation: 912
I was raised in the suburbs but went to high school in the downtown of a 1 million (at the time) MSA and then went to college in the downtown of a 3 million (at the time) MSA.

As far as preferences I like dense development with ample single-family offerings (and a mix of townhomes is good), preferably with plenty of front porches, in a walkable, bike-path-able, park-laden environment that has easy access to downtown (by car, public transit, and bike, ALL three). I like most TNDs. In practical terms, Stapleton Denver is my favorite neighborhood development in the US, but other examples of what I'm most fond of include Alexandria, VA, Prospect Park South in Brooklyn, NY, Santa Monica, CA, Alameda, CA, Evanston, IL, or the East Nashville part of Nashville, TN.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,336 posts, read 6,907,244 times
Reputation: 2084
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisthedealwith View Post
This makes me think that a lot of folks who call themselves city folk are really looking for more of a suburban lifestyle without a car.
This is a succinct way of describing something I have been feeling for a while.
On our sub-forum, people always say, "I want to live in the City, but I want my house to be new, for there to be no crime occurring within a mile of anywhere I choose to go. And I'd like a school with a super-high rating. Boy, I love the diversity and charm of the city! So where should I move?"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,950,385 times
Reputation: 912
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
On our sub-forum, people always say, "I want to live in the City, but I want my house to be new, for there to be no crime occurring within a mile of anywhere I choose to go. And I'd like a school with a super-high rating. Boy, I love the diversity and charm of the city! So where should I move?"
I see that as a good thing. People are just stating what their idea of perfection is, and going about a process of finding out how they can maximize the aspects that contribute to their concept of perfection. Really it's no different from the process of finding where you'd most like to retire. Or what kind of person you'd most like to marry. Or the college you want to go to. It's a naturally recurring phenomenon in life to search for as close to perfect as one can get in the midst of a highly imperfect world. And there ARE places where crime is relatively minimal, schools are good, new development or new rennovation/revitalization is occurring, with access to city amenities. Few places will rank 10 out of 10 in all categories, but the search often generates 7s, 8s, 9s in varying categories that result in a choice a person can feel good about.

So I think it's perfectly ok to want city amenities but those other things too, one just has to find the location with the right balance for themselves. I don't think it correct to conclude that the urban experience has to be the same for everybody, that there is one and only one way to have an urban experience.

Last edited by MantaRay; 05-30-2012 at 10:30 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,835,991 times
Reputation: 2417
Maybe it would be helpful to define "urban" and "suburban" or a "city" vs. a "burb" for the sake of this conversation? Perhaps if we can agree on terms, we can better figure out on which side of the coin we bet.

For me, a "city" means
-densely populated
-walkable
-possessing one or several different neighborhoods
-characterized by diversity of options (entertainment, culture, education, etc.)
-having some large buildings and a business "core" of some sort (or several, depending on city size)
-possessing an airport

What did I miss?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:03 AM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top