Best "Big CITY?"

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by cyberpriusII, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    Another post got me thinking. Just what is the best big city?

    I am an Oregon native. I know the West Coast best (and being a bit snobbish, I would say the west is the best).

    I have been to Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Las Vegas (not big, I guess) and a few others, but have mostly been on the West Coast.

    I hate cities, pretty much. I am a backwoods sort of person. Not so much in attitude, but in mindset. I love the quiet, the open spaces. The noise and the press of people, not so much.

    But, if I had to pick my fave big city -- not that I have been to that many -- it would be San Francisco.

    Beautiful location. Lots of great places in the city to visit. You have the seashore, the bayshore, the islands, the theater, the street. And fantastic food and drink and lots of great places nearby to visit, plus it is bike-friendly.

    The big drawback is the homeless population. I do have some caring for them, but sometimes it is a bit much to have empathy.

    A couple of years ago my husband and I and another couple were visiting and waiting for a show and a very much troublemaking homeless person decided to get in our faces and DEMAND money.

    Three of us shrunk back, but my husband is 6'3" and 230 pounds of muscle (none of it much good in repairing the Prius), stepped forward and asked if the guy really wanted to continue this confrontation. Luckily, the guy backed off.

    Anyway, the city by the bay is my choice.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i like san fran, mostly because of the weather. all else aside, most cities are pretty much the same. i'm not attracted to much except the history. homeless are everywhere.

    we were in san fran 5 years ago, homeless didn't seem any worse than anywhere else. are they more entitled?

    when we were jogging through a park in phoenix about 10 years ago at sun up to beat the heat, there were thousands of men sleeping on the grass. that was a wakeup call.
     
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Aggressive panhandling is a crime here (Seattle region, not SF), so don't hesitate to call 911 when needed.

    Actually, when they are DEMANDING with any hint or threat of force or violence, they are committing robbery. That is a crime everywhere.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    mexico was the worst i've seen. parents? stay in the shadows and send their toddlers out to beg.
     
  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    You can take the MV Coho right into downtown Victoria BC. (does that count as a "big' city, were we restricted to the US?)

    [​IMG]

    Whenever i want a fantasy vacation, Victoria BC is my favorite Big City.
     
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  6. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    Going back to the original subject....

    My wife likes New York, but San Francisco is the only big US city I've liked (from an admittedly limited range). And I'm a real big city person. Honolulu is kind of OK - it reminds me of Blackpool, which is near where I grew up. I liked SF because it was unusually friendly for a big US city, and because it looked spectacular from a distance but was also pleasant up close.

    But I much prefer Sydney, which is where I live, and which a lot of people describe as being very similar to SF. In terms of being a spectacular-looking harbour city on a bay, with a big gay culture and loads of people from all over the world, that's true. But Sydney is cleaner, and friendlier, and has much nicer weather, and proper, usable beaches. Its only real problem is property prices, which are, I think, even worse than those in SF.

    Other than that.... Here are a few of my opinions and massive unjustifiable generalisations.

    I like Taipei. It's ugly as sin, but it's the friendliest developed-world city I've been to, and has a lovely atmosphere.

    I liked living in Shanghai, but the bits I like are really limited to the French Concession and Lujiazui. The rest of it is just a lot of concrete sprawl. But the French Concession is lovely, and Lujiazui is spectacular.

    Edinburgh is beautiful and friendly and fun and has great food and loads of interesting things to do. But the weather is really quite horrible.

    London is full of miserable people. There are loads of interesting things to see, but the atmosphere just sucks the life out of you.

    Shiraz is a delight. It's relaxed and friendly and full of really beautiful places to see, and has amazing ice cream. Esfahan is lovely too. Tehran is friendly but not pretty by any stretch of the imagination.

    Singapore is great to visit, because it's clean and it's easy to get around and the food is brilliant. But it's just a bit .... small. It's good to visit, but I think I'd find living there a bit limiting. I have lots of friends who love living there, though.

    Hong Kong was a great place to live, in large part because it's so concentrated. You can be in among 80-storey skyscrapers having an amazing meal, walk through huge crowds, and be in absolute wilderness 45 minutes later. Not many places offer you that.

    Hmmm..... I'll have a think about other places.
     
  7. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Not to disagree with above choices, but how small can be big?

    Really large cities seem to stumble over themselves. Perhaps Goldilocks resides in those large enough to sample 'the world'.

    A great city needs to be within an area that offers more than itself can. Folks on budgets appreciate those that are behind the curve in gentrification. Go east in Europe from Germany (not meaning to exclude other areas).

    For me, some almost-great cities fail because they sit in political hot zones.
     
  8. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    I can see that. I've never been further into Chongqing than the ring road, so I can't comment on the really big city. But Beijing I find is getting too big to function effectively. Even the government is realising that, and it's building a second city off to the East.

    That's certainly an issue - as I mentioned, it's a real problem for Sydney. And once that starts to happen, you risk hollowing out a city: if teachers and nurses and shopworkers can't afford to live here, who's going to do their jobs?

    Which ones?
     
  9. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    A friend just got a job offer in San Francisco after earning a degree from Claremont College, but she declined based on cost of living and the homeless problem.

    A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper said many in the tourism industry say the homeless problem is worse than ever.

    Kevin Carroll is the executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, which advocates for 110 hotels. Among hotel managers and owners, “everybody’s talking about it,” he said.


    “You see things on the streets that are just not humane,” he said. “People come into hotels saying, ‘What is going on out there?’ They’re just shocked. ... People say, ‘I love your city, I love your restaurants, but I’ll never come back.’”
     
  10. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    It's a while since I've been there: it sounds like the homelessness problem has got a lot worse. I assume this is related to the increase in the cost of living there.

    Your friend made a good decision: a pay rise that comes with a move to a more expensive city isn't a pay rise. And that whole thing just adds to the pressure of life. We're fine in Sydney, but people on even a pretty good wage struggle here, and it really makes them stressed.
     
  11. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Hot zones. Every time I've aspired to visit Bangkok, some political fluffle deferred me. Reckon I'm just a wimp.
     
  12. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    Honestly, the only way you can tell it's a riot in Bangkok and not just a normal day is that there are people dressed in party colours. The chaos is slightly more organised than usual.

    In about 1998 I had to go to Seoul for a few days to do some research for a finance company. My boss at the time was very kind: she knew I was interested in going to Korea, so she scheduled the trip so that I could spend a free weekend there. I decided to go to Seoul Tower for a look, because I do like tall buildings and TV towers (I was up Tianjin TV Tower a couple of weeks ago). The driver did a bit of a zig-zag to get there: at one point we were heading away from the tower, which I could see. I asked him why, and he said, "The quickest way during the week is down the main road, but it's a Saturday, so there's a riot there, so we have to go around it." (He could speak English.) I asked him what he meant, and he said, "Oh, a proper riot, with tear gas and stuff." We went along a parallel road, and sure enough, down the side streets I could see riot police and protesters and clouds of tear gas and bottles getting thrown and flames and all the usual rioty things. I asked what it was about, and he said, "I can't remember what it is today. But there's usually a big riot there on a Saturday. Somebody is angry about something political." Things have of course calmed down in South Korea in the 20 years since then, but it was an odd thing to see routine rioting.
     
  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Are you asking for a visit or to live in? Many big cities I love to visit, I would never want to live in. Then again, I generally do not like big city with too many people and cars. While I still love visiting Boston on occasion, I would not want to live there ever again. Big cities, I love to visit, Kyoto, Paris, Moscow, Athens to name a few.
     
  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I've been in almost every big city in the U.S. and quite a few in other countries. Many have some neat attractions (USS Midway in San Diego), museums in D.C. and so on. But as for the city itself. I am miserable in big cities. I'm very much a people person, but it's almost claustrophobic the way you can't get anywhere because there's always a herd of cars blocking the way.
     
  15. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    +1.

    There is NO TOWN bigger than about 10,000 souls that I have any interest in living in.
    I've lived in about a dozen US states and have visited many cities.
    If west coast elitists consider Charleston, SC to be a city, that's the one that I've lived in the longest, and I have wonderful memories of the people, medium memories of the city, and less than wonderful memories of the weather. Ashville NC (pop. 89,000) has stunning weather, fantastic people, and a person can actually afford to live there.
    Seattle would have been the only US city west of the Rockies that I would have ever voluntarily lived in, since I did live there for a year in 88.
    I went back to visit in 2000 and was appalled at the changes, and my understanding is that the last 18 years have accelerated those changes.
    I visited Frisco in '92 and was medium-impressed.
    I revisited a few years ago, and the Earth will be orbiting a cold dead star before I willingly spend another night there.

    Nowadays, Nashville is the only city that I regularly visit that's large enough to warrant HOV lanes....and if I were faced with a "live or die" choice that might be the city that I settled on to settle in.

    Obviously.....YMMV.
     
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  16. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I have lived in Phoenix (1975 to 77) Seattle (1977 to 1981) Toronto (1987) I visit cities all the time, mostly to get out of them. (My wife is an architect, so sometimes I go to look at buildings) Lately , I have been taking cruises to hang out near cities on the ocean, (New York Boston, Sad Diego, Vancouver, and next year Los Angeles and Honolulu) that way she gets to see cities I never enter! You don't have to pack and unpack each day, that is good!
     
  17. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    Denver obviously. No bias here at all :D. I like the balance of city life and ability to get outdoors easily. It's getting a bit too crowded now though or maybe it's just being in my 30s.

    In the US my favorites are Denver, San Fran, and Seattle. I also like Phoenix, Las Vegas (so long as you avoid all of the tourist areas), and NYC. I haven't been, but imagine liking New Orleans.

    I loved Vancouver in Canada, but yikes property prices!. In Europe my favorite to date is Berlin, but there are a lot of amazing cities I haven't visited yet. Great cities in southern Germany too (Stuttgart, Munich).

    In Russia my favorite is St. Petersburg. In SE Asia and India I generally hated the big cities and wanted out as fast as possible.

    Overall I'd say it very much depends on what you're into. If you want the city life but love outdoor sports, Denver is a great fit. If water sports or the beach are your thing, then San Diego, Atlanta, Miami, etc. might be the fit for you. If you're into the Burning Man lifestyle, San Francisco is amazing. If you like shouting at other people, then maybe you should move to New York (just kidding here...partially:p).
     
    #17 Kevin_Denver, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    dallas had some cool restaurants. and san antonio had the alamo.

    orlando is one of my favorites because of the culture, but only from november through april.
     
  19. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    I'm quite the opposite.

    I grew up in a town of 40,000, and my nearest two "big towns" had a little over 100,000 people each.

    After that, Cambridge (the proper one, not the cheap imitation in Massachusets) was the first city I lived in, and that hardly counts - it's only got about 120,000. And then Leeds (about 500,000), which was the first proper-sized city I lived in. I liked Leeds because it was big enough to actually have stuff, and to have some life to it, and to be a bit cosmopolitan - I'd grown up somewhere that wasn't just very small, but very white, so Leeds was something of a revelation. Before that, as a kid, my only experience of somewhere that size was regular visits to Glasgow, which I also very much liked for the same reasons.

    Since then, I've only lived in big cities - Tianjin (then about 10 million), London (about 8 million), Hong Kong (7 million), Taipei (which was fairly short term) (3 million), Shanghai (23 million) and Sydney (5 million). And while I've never actually lived there, I spend a lot of time in Beijing (20 million). Tianjin felt small, and Tianjin and Taipei were not especially cosmopolitan. But the others all had the things I like about big cities: lots of people, lots of life, lots of influences from different cultures from around the world, lots of things to do and see, and all the facilities you could ever want.

    After Shanghai, Sydney seemed - and still seems - very small. But it's got a broader mix of people from different cultures than any other city in the world, and that makes it interesting and exciting (and a good place to eat). And it's got lovely beaches; it's cleaner than most cities; and pollution isn't bad. So it has the advantages of a big city without many of the drawbacks.

    I can't see myself living in a small town again. I enjoy going back to my small hometown to see my sister and my parents and the (very few) friends who haven't left. But only to visit: I really don't think I could live somewhere that life is so slow.
     
  20. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    Kyoto, I think, is the big city for people who don't like big cities.

    It is a lovely place. But it feels so small and villagey (except for the area around the station). I do like it: it's very relaxing and calm. One of my best friends from university lives there, and he's been there now for a good 15 years. He loves it there, and I can understand why.
     
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