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Old 04-27-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,931,470 times
Reputation: 3554

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There's been a post recently about the worst suburb, so why not one about the best? The problem here is that everyone thinks their town is the best (I know I do) and often comparing two completely different but equally great suburbs is impossible, so.. I broke it down into 12 categories. Also, I know they all say "city" but that can mean anything. It can be the city, a suburb, a village, a charter township.. whatever.., just have some fun Okay, copy/paste/go:
  • Best city for young singles:
  • Best city for young families:
  • Best city for older families:
  • Best city for retirees:
  • Most improved city since 2000:
  • Most improvable, promising city going forward:
  • Most desirable "Affordable" city:
  • Most Down-to-Earth "high-income" city:
  • Best inner-ring suburb:
  • Best outer-ring suburb:
  • Best exurb:
  • Overall, best place to live in the entire metro:
Notes/Rules:
  • This is purely subjective, I'm sure it'll create some disagreements, but understand that another's opinion is not wrong, it's just different from your own, so try to respect that. I expect this to not be nearly as cut and dry as the "worst" city, which I think we all mostly agreed on.
  • Let's make a rule that, with the exception of the last one, you can't use the same city twice. I know that otherwise there are certain posters (myself included) who would list their home town 4 times, (as I just tried to do, before adding this note)
  • Let's call an "affordable" city a place where a family of 4 can reasonably own a house earning only 40k, assuming responsible budgeting.
  • Let's call a "high-income" city a place where a typical family of 4 within the city earns over 100k.
  • Let's define an "inner-ring" suburb is anything that borders Detroit or is within the first 6 mile "township" of Detroit. This means
  • And an "outer-ring" suburb is generally speaking the next two "townships"
  • And "exurbs" are places beyond what we typically think of as Metro Detroit, but are still heavily influenced by Detroit and would likely not exist without the city's economic anchor. Note: This means East Grand Rapids and Okemos are not Detroit exurbs.
  • Finally, "Improved" doesn't have to be blight improvement, it can be "this used to be farms, and now it's great!" - your call.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,931,470 times
Reputation: 3554
Okay, sorry, double-post, but since I made this, I'll go first:

Best city for young singles: Detroit - And I don't mean only Midtown, I think the opportunity available to young people moving into stable neighborhoods in the city is fantastic
Best city for young families: Berkley - This isn't bias; We looked in I believe 12 cities before buying a house and in the process, we decided Berkley was unquestionably the best fit for us
Best city for older families: Birmingham - I like Birmingham. Yes, it's a bit snobby, yes it's crowded, but you can't debate the quality of the schools and the stability of the neighbors. At 30, I'd feel like a little kid living there, but I could see myself moving here in 12-15 years when we are a two-income family with teenagers.
Best city for retirees: Rochester - Quaint walkable downtown marketed to an older population, proximity to hospitals, virtally zero crime, great place to retire.
Most improved city since 2000: Ferndale - I'll be honest, I don't know what to put here, but I hear Ferndale used to suck and I can asses that currently it's awesome.
Most improvable, promising city going forward: Pontiac - There's so much untapped potential in Pontiac. It's one B-List Dan Gilbert away from being a Kalamazoo.. or 10 solid small business owners away from being a Ferndale.
Most desirable "Affordable" city: Wyandotte - For a downriver town, Wyondotte doesn't get enough love. It's a cool town, with a nice downtown, and passable schools. I'd move here if it weren't such a long commute for me.
Most Down-to-Earth "high-income" city: Huntington Woods - Surprisingly high incomes (120k+, I believe) in a city with a lot of very modest bungalow style homes that borders Oak Park and sits 2 miles from Detroit. Everyone I've met from here has been very laid back and drives normal cars.
Best inner-ring suburb: Royal Oak - I love Royal Oak. It's everything an inner-ring suburb should be and it appears to many demographics from young professionals to retirees.
Best outer-ring suburb: Northville - Northville has all the space bonuses of outer ring suburban sprawl, without losing its quaint heart within the city. It has lots of local businesses and great schools.
Best exurb: Romeo I'm sure I'll have disagreement with this one, but I like the rural, hometown feel of Romeo. It's just the right mix of upscale and blue-collar ethics. It reminds me of my early-childhood living in an intermountain-west exurb.
Overall, best place to live in the entire metro (can be a repeat): Berkley - (...and I fully accept your bias accusations)
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
Reputation: 32943
The problem with best, is there are too many variable for what qualifies for best" in any given circumstances. It depends on what is important to you. Milford with its proximity to Kensington may be ideal for familiies in that regard, but its schools are kind of in the middle. Is that good enough? Some people think thy have to be in a school district with top ten schools for their kids to survive. Others feel a well parented student can thrive in any decent school district, so it does not really matter. NEw families with or without a substantial income?


Best city for young singles: Detroit - Kinda hard to argue this one. Once it would have been Ann Arbor, or Royal Oak, but both have bene eclipsed by the new and coming Detroit.

Best city for young families: How young? I would select Grosse Ile for families whose kids are 5 or over . Babies, not so much. If the family is young enough mom and Dad still want to go out partying every Friday and Saturday, that woudl be a different city. It also depends on whether soulless suburbia and/or KUWTJs is acceptable to the family. For those who find it ideal, Novi and Rochester Hills are hard to beat.

Best city for older families: I just cannot view Birmingham as ideal for anyone except those who find their self worth through ostentatious displays of wealth or pretend wealth. It is Physically neat, but I find the atmosphere repulsive. (People in supercars they have no idea how to drive or why they bought them and trophy wives with mini dogs in their purses). It represents one of the main reasons we wanted to get our kids away form Southern California. I guess I would choose Northville.

Best city for retirees: Since I cannot pick Grosse Ile again, I would toss up between Brighton and Rochester. Possibly Ann Arbor because the best medical care is readily available there. I guess I will be supportive and agree with Rochester for the same reasons as above.

Most improved city since 2000: Detroit wins this hands down, but is already used. Many of the Suburbs have not changed that much. Ferndale and Hamtrammk. Wyandotte, but I agree that wins elsewhere. The Grosse Pointe's have also improved by becoming a lot less snooty. Brighton massively improved (since 1985), I am not sure when that happened, it may have been before 2000. Just to be different I will go with Hamtrammak, but I shouldn't because I am incapable of spelling it correctly.

Most improvable, promising city going forward: Pontiac - There's so much untapped potential in Pontiac. I agree with you here. In part due to things I cannot discuss. I think Pontiac may become the coolest city outside of Detroit and Ann Arbor within the next 10 - 20 years. There is a lot of amazing architecture and a decent overall layout. They just need a few billion.

Most desirable "Affordable" city: Wyandotte - "For a downriver town, Wyondotte doesn't get enough love. It's a cool town, with a nice downtown, and passable schools." I agree here, Wyandotte is our place to go to hang out in a city atmosphere.
It has so many awesome places and is fun to walk around downtown. We likely would have bought an awesome historic house we found in Wyandotte, except we did not find the schools passable. It also has some crime issues in places and it also touches icky Ecorse. Which are the reasons we did not choose Wyandotte. On the plus side - They have some awesome festivals; a good sense of community; and although it is not a great school the architecture of the high school is awesome. The proximity to Downtown and Mid-town Detroit are about as good as you can get. About the same as Grosse Pointe if you hustle on the freeway (15 - 20 minutes); it has a lot of really good potential as well as the existing attributes; and average house price is $97,000. $400,000 or less gets you a jaw dropper on the water, or at least right in town. Funny thing is some of the nicest houses they have are on Jefferson right across the bridge from Icky Ecorse. One positive is it has its own electric plant and system, so when everyone else loses power, or had massive rate hikes, Wyandotte is protected. One concern is with 100+ years of Wyandotte Chemical/BASF, there are certain to be some pollution surprises all over the place. Now it is heavily regulated, but from the 1800s through about the 1960s - not really. What did they bury/dump/spill where?


Most Down-to-Earth "high-income" city: There are quite a few of them. I cannot pick Grosse Ile again? Grosse Pointe is actually pretty down to earth now. Not entirely, but it has made huge strides and it is a beautiful place. Hard to define High income. If $100,000 is High income, then I will have to choose between about 30 cities. No Canadian cities? Everything I would have picked a few years ago, has moved away from down to earth, at least by my definition. I guess I will just go with Tecumseh.


Best inner-ring suburb: Here I would pick Wyandotte again, but not sure it qualifies as inner ring. Plus I already used it. Downtown Royal Oak has become a bit too trendy and a bit overly get drunk and throw up atmosphere. I might choose Ferndale, but it just does not have enough going on and no Zoo. I guess I will reluctantly go with Royal Oak because of the zoo.

Best outer-ring suburb: Milford. I like Milford better than Northville even though it is much smaller of a town (Not sure how the population compares). It did not butcher its historic downtown as much, it is more down to earth, did not get as McMansioned up and it has Kensington! If I were to list my ten favorite places on earth, Kensington would be in there somewhere. Part of that is just because it has so many great memories. Kensington was my coming of age place (I worked there for 5 years, 18-23). Milford's weaknesses are access and schools. I would put Plymouth in Second place then Northville.

Best exurb: Chelsea. Unless I can use Ann Arbor, then Ann Arbor. Romeo is neat but it has a couple of strikes, It is really distant (to me) and it is one giant speed trap. Otherwise, awesome.

Overall, best place to live in the entire metro (can be a repeat): Too much depends. For me personally after two years of studying every community within about 100 miles of DTW, we choose Grosse Ile. However a lot of that was its uniqueness and the particular house we found (for $1). Also the community welcomed us like nothing we had seen before. We made offers/bids on homes in several other towns which would have been wonderful or possibly better in some ways (Ann Arbor, Lyon Township, Plymouth, Northville). We also found another dozen or more places we loved but did not find a house that attracted us (Franklin, Farmington, Walled Lake, Grosse Pointe . . .a bunch more) Then we found some places that we were really excited about, usually because we found an incredible house in our price range. These were houses that we were turning cartwheels excited about. But schools, safety, and/or access/distance were a problem. (Milford, Wyandotte, Detroit, China Township, Marshall). I think we would have felt any of these places were the best place to live had we gone there. Unfortunately at the time we were under the common misconception that it matters to be in a top rated school district and that shot down a lot of amazing options. Since then I have come to realize as long as they are good schools, they are probably good enough. A few points on a test score here and there really do not mean a lot. What matters more is specifics. Do they have a good vocal music teacher, a crew team, a great trumpet teacher, are the schools welcoming to kids who live on the fringe. Schools were a critical factor but only one factor. The biggest appeal and this remains true today was: Historic homes, water, eclectic architecture, a strong sense of community/place, and trees/open space. Safety, schools, even a downtown are sort of icing. So it will vary dramatically with personal priorities. Some people do not want to be on/near water and would not consider anything close to any water. Some want conformity. Some want chain restaurants and stores within a short drive. It is simply too personal to generalize.

Oh Saline, I should have put saline in there somewhere. How about for older families. That might be a good place to stick Saline in. Can I change my vote to Saline?

In five minutes I will probably think of three other communities that should get plugged in someplace.

The greatest strength of Detroit Metro is its amazing and I believe unparalleled variety of completely different amazing places to live. For me even from week to week I might change from any one of about 20 options.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 04-27-2017 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:01 AM
 
8 posts, read 7,905 times
Reputation: 11
Ann Arbor is #1, worth commuting from. Better than Birmingham or Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe, imo.

Clarkston is my absolute #1 small town.

Mid-sized #1 would be Brighton.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:04 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,709 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Best inner-ring suburb: Here I would pick Wyandotte again, but not sure it qualifies as inner ring. Plus I already used it. Downtown Royal Oak has become a bit too trendy and a bit overly get drunk and throw up atmosphere. I might choose Ferndale, but it just does not have enough going on and no Zoo. I guess I will reluctantly go with Royal Oak because of the zoo.
FERNDALE
Here is what is going on in Ferndale, since you’ve downplayed it on this forum several times.

In the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (that is, excluding Ann Arbor), Ferndale has the most significant dining and nightlife besides Detroit and Royal Oak. It offers more than other nodes of culture like Plymouth, Birmingham, Pontiac, Rochester, the Grosse Pointes, and yes even Wyandotte. On weekends and in nice weather, downtown Ferndale’s numerous nightlife spots, dining venues, and sidewalks are packed. If you go to downtown Wyandotte along Biddle Ave, it is quiet on weekend evenings although there are a couple of great spots like Whiskeys on the Water.

FERNDALE DINING NIGHTLIFE
-The Downtown Ferndale website lists 80 businesses in downtown Ferndale that are categorized as dining/entertainment - restaurants, coffee shops, bars, comedy clubs, dance clubs, concert venues
DINING & ENTERTAINMENT – Downtown Ferndale

-Several bars and restaurants in downtown Ferndale host live music acts frequently, including the New Way Bar, The Loving Touch, and Zeke’s Rock n Roll BBQ


RECENT MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTS in Ferndale:
Two-story office and retail development at the site of a demolished small apartment building

Developer ‘open to suggestions’ on downtown Ferndale office-retail project – 8-Wood Blog
Google Maps Streetview of the under-construction building


ACROSS THE STREET from the above building, on the site of a demolished Save-A-Lot Grocery, is a 4-story residential loft building (with 5,000 sq ft retail space) that is currently under construction


RECENT DINING DEVELOPMENTS in Ferndale
Otus Supply - $4 million, 10,000 sq foot restaurant that took 3 years to open – opened December 2016
Best New Restaurant #7: Otus Supply, Ferndale

Conserva - bar-forward full-service restaurant with a small, rotating menu of composed dishes like za'atar spiced octopus and smoked pork belly – opened December 2016
The Conserva officially debuts Saturday in Ferndale

Voyager - seafood restaurant and raw bar - opened in March 2017
http://detroit.eater.com/2017/3/15/1...d-opening-menu

New Ferndale brewery (Livernois Tap & Brewery) opening in May 2017
New Ferndale brewery is ready for a May opening | Table and Bar

LBGT
Ferndale is also is the center of the LGBT community in the metro area, so downtown Ferndale has a LGBT resource center, a gay bar, and a performing arts center called the Ringwald Theater that regularly hosts LGBT plays such as this.

FERNDALE FESTIVALS
-Pig and Whiskey Festival
-DIY Street Fair
-Funky Ferndale Art Fair
-Oktobeer Festival
-Metro Times Blowout (Music Festival THIS weekend - Metro Times Blowout 18 | April 29-May 2 | DETROIT | HAMTRAMCK | FERNDALE | HUNDREDS OF BANDS PLAYING 3 CITIES OVER 4 NIGHTS!)
-Ferndale Blues Festival
- the terminus of the Dream Cruise, hosting its own classic car show along East Nine Mile that weekend.

FAB CAB
Lastly, Ferndale is the municipality that proposed a new shuttle that would connect Royal Oak, Ferndale, the Avenue of Fashion and U of D-Mercy. Ferndale has committed $260,000.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,802,456 times
Reputation: 2624
I like this one Geo... can't use the same city twice. That actually makes you think a little bit lol.
  • Best city for young singles: Royal Oak (really Detroit but I'm saving that)
  • Best city for young families: Ferndale, pretty affordable for a young family.
  • Best city for older families: The Bloomfield's
  • Best city for retirees: The Grosse Pointe's
  • Most improved city since 2000: Idk. Not Detroit. It's improved from 2010 for sure but it's not at year 2000 level yet. Downtown is much better since then but the neighborhoods and some city services are not. When Detroit's neighborhoods or at least city services get back to year 2000 level and mix that with it's current downtown, investment in Detroit will probably skyrocket.
  • Most improvable, promising city going forward: Detroit
  • Most desirable "Affordable" city: Uhh Windsor
  • Most Down-to-Earth "high-income" city: Idek tbh. I'll go with Grosse Ile.
  • Best inner-ring suburb: Birmingham
  • Best outer-ring suburb: Ann Arbor
  • Best exurb: Those rich areas up by 28 mile where Eminiem lives at. I call that area the "new Bloomfield's".
  • Overall, best place to live in the entire metro: Detroit. Don't really care who disagrees, my opinion. The proximity to so many things, all of the events and gatherings and places to hang out in general, the people for the most part are cool af and look out for you, the best food scene. Of course where you live in the city will make a huge difference. If the crime and blight was tamed down overall, and the city government wasn't so DYSFUNCTIONAL and corrupt for years, man.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
Reputation: 32943
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
FERNDALE
Here is what is going on in Ferndale, since you’ve downplayed it on this forum several times.

In the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (that is, excluding Ann Arbor), Ferndale has the most significant dining and nightlife besides Detroit and Royal Oak. It offers more than other nodes of culture like Plymouth, Birmingham, Pontiac, Rochester, the Grosse Pointes, and yes even Wyandotte. On weekends and in nice weather, downtown Ferndale’s numerous nightlife spots, dining venues, and sidewalks are packed. If you go to downtown Wyandotte along Biddle Ave, it is quiet on weekend evenings although there are a couple of great spots like Whiskeys on the Water.
Woah there hoss,

No need to get all heated and defensive. Context is your friend. All I said was Ferndale does not have enough going on to rank it over Royal Oak IMO. No one said it is a horrible, lame, boring or otherwise imperfect city. You make a good choice, just breathe deeply.

It is a bit difficult to claim Ferndale has as much going on as Royal Oak, especially with no zoo. But maybe you view it differently, No need to go off, just say so, People can have differnet opinions about things and it is not an assault on your life choices.

I prefer Wyandotte becasue it is on the water, because it is more concentrated, because it is generally calmer. I cna make that choice, you can prefer Ferndale. No one needs to die over their preferences.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
Reputation: 32943
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
[*]Most Down-to-Earth "high-income" city: Idek tbh. I'll go with Grosse Ile.
[*]Overall, best place to live in the entire metro: Detroit. Don't really care who disagrees, my opinion. The proximity to so many things, all of the events and gatherings and places to hang out in general, the people for the most part are cool af and look out for you, the best food scene. Of course where you live in the city will make a huge difference. If the crime and blight was tamed down overall, and the city government wasn't so DYSFUNCTIONAL and corrupt for years, man.[/list]
Hooray! You rock!

I would agree with you on Detroit for individuals couples and dinks. I personally would really love to live downtown. I just got back from my lunchtime walk/drool over architecture along woodward, so I am in pro detroit extremist mode right now. But not for families. So it depends on who you are.

However I still look at the monster house in Boston Edison we looked at and could afford at the time with regrets. That place is absolutely amazing and it would be really awesome to be right in the City. (but the family thing. . . . )
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Ferndale
1 posts, read 2,443 times
Reputation: 11
I recently relocated for my employer, took up a position as vp (not important but pretty psyched about it). On the advice of my lawyer at Zamzow Fabian (in Grand Rapids, also not important) I chose Ferndale. And so far I could not be more pleased, I highly recommend it, drivable, tons of quality restaurants, and Starbucks nearby. If you have a choice, go there.
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Old 04-29-2017, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,802,456 times
Reputation: 2624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Hooray! You rock!

I would agree with you on Detroit for individuals couples and dinks. I personally would really love to live downtown. I just got back from my lunchtime walk/drool over architecture along woodward, so I am in pro detroit extremist mode right now. But not for families. So it depends on who you are.

However I still look at the monster house in Boston Edison we looked at and could afford at the time with regrets. That place is absolutely amazing and it would be really awesome to be right in the City. (but the family thing. . . . )
Lol and well yeah, I would be lying to you if I told you I don't think about playing it safe and moving to the burbs when I have kids and they start getting of school age. The "American Dream" for most Detroiters is getting a good job and settling down north of 8 mile or west of 275. So it's instinct for most older teens and young adults in Detroit to start thinking about Southfield, Farmington Hills, Canton, West Bloomfield, ect when they think about settling down and having a family. As hardcore of a Detroit supporter I am, I also think about that.
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