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Old 08-16-2020, 03:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evetteever View Post
Jesus, nitpicky, are we? "St. John's, Newfoundland" then...
If you had ever actually seen its architecture, somebody there would have pointed out the difference. How many of these cities have you actually seem, to compare them?
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:24 AM
 
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I am not an expert on architecture, but Paris and Rome have got to get special "6" rankings, and New York 5.5.

Not had the pleasure of being to London.

Little surprised at SF being a "4." Salseforce tower...the Pyramid building. A lot of SF's charm is in its smaller scale architecture, though. Old Victorian houses, North Beach hotel, these kinds of things.

Of course there are two great bridges.

Basically a lot of places in Italy will get 4 or 5.
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:04 PM
 
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I’ll play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evetteever View Post
Expanded list of world cities and my rankings:

(...)
Here is my armchair criticism or your armchair rankings:

St. Petersburg and Istanbul should both be 4, not 2-3. SpB is a textbook example of a destination for Russian architecture and it has many notable buildings. I spent a week there, mostly for the architecture. Same with Istanbul which has a lot of unique buildings in the old center, the European city (Galata) and on the banks of the Bosphorus.

As a Quebec City native, no way it’s a 5. Unusual architecture for North America but there are French cities (e.g., St-Malo) with a more cohesive and significant architecture. Really not sure about Montreal as a 4 either, I can’t see how it can be higher than Amsterdam for example. St. John’s is at most a 4 — it has a few nice streets of colored rowhouses but no way it’s a ‘resplendent’ city with consistently beautiful architecture, although it is indeed in a nice setting. But even then at 4, on the same level as Lisbon, Vienna or Madrid?? That’s still pushing it.

Please explain Zurich and Toulouse as 4s. Maybe I don’t understand your criteria.
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Old 08-16-2020, 01:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saybanana View Post
Do you just randomly go on google and search the city and rank them based on pictures you saw?
I research some of the cities I haven't visited, but I've traveled very extensively throughout Europe. I was asked by a friend how I decide whether a city is a "destination" or not (whether seen passing through, or not at all.) So I thought about it and wrote out this scale and my thoughts on the cities I've been to.

I haven't been to Alice Springs or Broome, and in the UK, I haven't been to Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes - etc...I have plans to return and visit more of these cities, the cities and towns I haven't visited are what I'd predict given my research - pictures and the like.
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
I’ll play.



Here is my armchair criticism or your armchair rankings:

St. Petersburg and Istanbul should both be 4, not 2-3. SpB is a textbook example of a destination for Russian architecture and it has many notable buildings. I spent a week there, mostly for the architecture. Same with Istanbul which has a lot of unique buildings in the old center, the European city (Galata) and on the banks of the Bosphorus.

As a Quebec City native, no way it’s a 5. Unusual architecture for North America but there are French cities (e.g., St-Malo) with a more cohesive and significant architecture. Really not sure about Montreal as a 4 either, I can’t see how it can be higher than Amsterdam for example. St. John’s is at most a 4 — it has a few nice streets of colored rowhouses but no way it’s a ‘resplendent’ city with consistently beautiful architecture, although it is indeed in a nice setting. But even then at 4, on the same level as Lisbon, Vienna or Madrid?? That’s still pushing it.

Please explain Zurich and Toulouse as 4s. Maybe I don’t understand your criteria.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure my original post clarifies that I'm being culturally relative - it's not exactly a global competition. I'm considering what cities are unique in the context of their country.

Quebec City is plenty cohesive, and the Chateau Frontenac is certainly a significant, elegant, elaborate, and unique structure. Old Montreal has a consistency of gorgeous buildings and shop fronts that I think definitely earn it a 4 for it's place in Canada - even in comparison to Amsterdam, I'd still say as such. I find Amsterdam's architecture to be pretty, but personally, a little boring. The housing alongside the canals is nice, historic, aesthetic, but basic and repetitive, imo.

I think you need to read my paragraph again. I write, paraphrasing, that a city that registers a 5 will properly display the architectural uniqueness or strengths of their own country. I also state that a 5 city might also make exceptionally good use of it's surrounding environment. It's definitely the case that most 5 cities will have a consistency of beautiful buildings and intricate and unique architecture - and I do consider St. John's overall pretty consistent. Most of it's architecture is pastel colored shacks and wooden sheds that pop, visually. Count in the excellent natural setting and the cherry on top that is the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, and you have a definite 5 city. France might have a larger collection of major cities, many with pretty, old-world architecture - but if I felt another city in France did a better job at a specific architectural style or layout than another, I would take that into account. It's about the most architecturally notable, resplendent cities in the context of that country, rather than the world.

There are rare exceptions where I'm harsh on a country - Australia and Brazil, ie - and I don't award it any 4's or 5's. This is because I don't personally feel that any city I've visited, or otherwise researched in that country has a unique, consistent, and/or grand enough architectural vernacular to warrant it ranking so high.

St. Petersburg was lowballed by me - I was ignorant - I might alternate Moscow's and St. Petersburg's scores. I visited Russia at age 10, and saw Moscow - not St. Petersburg.

Moscow and Istanbul are complicated to me, because of a lot of their architectural splendor comes in the form of resplendent solitary buildings - the Blue Mosque and Saint Basil's Cathedral. I've been to both - cities like Istanbul can often look collectively pretty, given their aesthetic, densely clustered arrangements of colored/differently textured buildings, but I found Istanbul's architecture to be rather plain, otherwise - a lot of it consisting of plain-ish commercial architecture. A lot of older, basic looking apartment buildings make up the urban landscape of Istanbul.
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave New World View Post
There's not a lot in places such as Poole, although the harbour is nice and most people couldn't even tell you where Rye was.

The other problem I have is that in terms of cities, you would have to spend a considerable amount of time living in them to get to know them properly in order to rank them in this way, and this especially applies to larger cities.
This is an architectural consideration for travel, so I don't find you would have to actually live in the cities to get a taste for whether the architecture of a specific city or town was worth a trip - that's the whole point of my rankings.
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cachibatches View Post
I am not an expert on architecture, but Paris and Rome have got to get special "6" rankings, and New York 5.5.

Not had the pleasure of being to London.

Little surprised at SF being a "4." Salseforce tower...the Pyramid building. A lot of SF's charm is in its smaller scale architecture, though. Old Victorian houses, North Beach hotel, these kinds of things.

Of course there are two great bridges.

Basically a lot of places in Italy will get 4 or 5.
1) No, 1 - 5, no "special 6s". That's sort of frivolous.

2) SF's architecture is well incorporated into it's landscape, and many streets and neighborhoods have gorgeous victorian, art-deco, beaux arts and early-to-mid 20th century touches, but a lot of it's architecture is of the smaller, less ostentatious, boxy variety, and therefore somewhat less impressive for the average tourist.

It is a magnificent architectural city overall, and I would stick by that 4 firmly.

Italy does indeed have a spectacular array of architecturally gorgeous cities - I don't know how to reconcile the sort of hideous tower block residential areas of much of Europe with the beautiful city centers!
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:30 PM
 
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I'm a little confused about whether a 1 is good for Indianapolis- it has a traffic circle around a gorgeous monumental column, and a gorgeous array of monuments outside of that - it's one of those Midwestern cities that is somewhat plain, but has a number of pretty touches here and there - the odd early skyscraper, a gorgeous and well incorporated city hall/museum/capitol building, some pretty residential architecture and sfh's nearby, beautifully incorporated green spaces and sculpture/public art...
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Great Britain
27,492 posts, read 13,714,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evetteever View Post
This is an architectural consideration for travel, so I don't find you would have to actually live in the cities to get a taste for whether the architecture of a specific city or town was worth a trip - that's the whole point of my rankings.
I don't think you can sum up the architecture in vast cities such as NYC or London with a lot of knowledge of the city. You may at best be able to sum up the central district and a few tourist traps but that's not really an in-depth ranking of the entire city.
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:44 PM
 
2,869 posts, read 5,153,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evetteever View Post
I think you need to read my paragraph again. I write, paraphrasing, that a city that registers a 5 will properly display the architectural uniqueness or strengths of their own country. I also state that a 5 city might also make exceptionally good use of it's surrounding environment. It's definitely the case that most 5 cities will have a consistency of beautiful buildings and intricate and unique architecture - and I do consider St. John's overall pretty consistent. Most of it's architecture is pastel colored shacks and wooden sheds that pop, visually. Count in the excellent natural setting and the cherry on top that is the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, and you have a definite 5 city. France might have a larger collection of major cities, many with pretty, old-world architecture - but if I felt another city in France did a better job at a specific architectural style or layout than another, I would take that into account. It's about the most architecturally notable, resplendent cities in the context of that country, rather than the world.

There are rare exceptions where I'm harsh on a country - Australia and Brazil, ie - and I don't award it any 4's or 5's. This is because I don't personally feel that any city I've visited, or otherwise researched in that country has a unique, consistent, and/or grand enough architectural vernacular to warrant it ranking so high.

St. Petersburg was lowballed by me - I was ignorant - I might alternate Moscow's and St. Petersburg's scores. I visited Russia at age 10, and saw Moscow - not St. Petersburg.

Moscow and Istanbul are complicated to me, because of a lot of their architectural splendor comes in the form of resplendent solitary buildings - the Blue Mosque and Saint Basil's Cathedral. I've been to both - cities like Istanbul can often look collectively pretty, given their aesthetic, densely clustered arrangements of colored/differently textured buildings, but I found Istanbul's architecture to be rather plain, otherwise - a lot of it consisting of plain-ish commercial architecture. A lot of older, basic looking apartment buildings make up the urban landscape of Istanbul.
I’m not sure I can reconcile the need for a city that is ‘representative of its country’s architecture’ with the idea that you want to rank cities on architectural beauty. Quebec City doesn’t look much like other cities in Canada, and to a large extent St. John’s doesn’t either (although it does look like other cities in New England). Quebec City is also only cohesive in its center — outside the core it is a very typical North American city.

For Brazil: maybe Salvador de Bahia?

Agree to disagree about Istanbul. Districts like Cukurcuma/Cihangir, Kumkapi, and the grand old homes on the Bosphorus are unique, and that’s in addition to the very large number of architecturally significant mosques and palaces. You cannot have places like Zurich, Munich, Providence, Toulouse or Montreal ranked higher than Istanbul on architecture.
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