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Subject: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Trimac20 on 02/20/06 at 8:09 am

I'm at University at the moment studying Urban and Regional Planning, and after I graduated I intend to work overseas (eventually), possible the UK or US. Just wondering, in your opinion, which city in the United States is the best place to live in in the 21st century? I know it's a broad question, but don't base it on 'livability.' I don't think I'd be too keen on a megacity like L.A. or New York, perhaps I'd live in somewhere like Washington D.C. or New Jersey...Just wondered what you all thought.


Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Stanley on 02/20/06 at 10:42 am

I would say Atlanta. The cost of living is cheap, it's a nice size city (not too big like New York or L.A., but big enough to have everything you need), and the crime rate there is much lower compared to 10-15 years ago.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/20/06 at 11:52 am

Don't live in Atlanta, it's all sprawl and probably hard for an immigrant to adjust to. New Jersey is pretty damn nice if you know how to be looking, it's low cost and near major cities, with diverse ethnicities (and the best Italian food outside of Italy, probably.) Try and look in Essex County, especially West Orange and South Orange, which have alot of bargain deals, or the Clifton area. Also, there's Bergen County. Ask me if you have any more questions. Chicago is an amazing city that's getting better all the time, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh are cheap and up-and-coming. Minneapolis is another great American city. If you like educational life, Boston is probably your ticket. Portland, Milwaukee, and St. Louis are other great small American cities.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/21/06 at 1:39 am

Northwest Represent: Seattle and Portland.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Trimac20 on 02/21/06 at 2:13 am


Don't live in Atlanta, it's all sprawl and probably hard for an immigrant to adjust to. New Jersey is pretty damn nice if you know how to be looking, it's low cost and near major cities, with diverse ethnicities (and the best Italian food outside of Italy, probably.) Try and look in Essex County, especially West Orange and South Orange, which have alot of bargain deals, or the Clifton area. Also, there's Bergen County. Ask me if you have any more questions. Chicago is an amazing city that's getting better all the time, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh are cheap and up-and-coming. Minneapolis is another great American city. If you like educational life, Boston is probably your ticket. Portland, Milwaukee, and St. Louis are other great small American cities.


I don't know about New Jersey having the best Italian food outside Italy (I've never been to the US, but you know), but you have to come to Melbourne; there are streets that selling nothing but Italian food. Boston sounds nice, if only it wasn't so cold (I come from Australia, so anything below about 20C (68F) is cold. lol.), though a place like San Diego would be most like Perth. Personally I'd prefer living in a less car dominated place. I also heard St. Louis has the highest-crime rate of any major city in the US...

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: bbigd04 on 02/21/06 at 2:19 am


Don't live in Atlanta, it's all sprawl and probably hard for an immigrant to adjust to. New Jersey is pretty damn nice if you know how to be looking, it's low cost and near major cities, with diverse ethnicities (and the best Italian food outside of Italy, probably.) Try and look in Essex County, especially West Orange and South Orange, which have alot of bargain deals, or the Clifton area. Also, there's Bergen County. Ask me if you have any more questions. Chicago is an amazing city that's getting better all the time, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh are cheap and up-and-coming. Minneapolis is another great American city. If you like educational life, Boston is probably your ticket. Portland, Milwaukee, and St. Louis are other great small American cities.


Cleveland up and coming? We've been losing population for years, there's little jobs here, the school are an embarrassment, and the actual city is pretty bad except for the far westside. The only good thing about here is things are pretty cheap. Thankfully I live just outside the city, where it's a lot better.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/21/06 at 8:14 am

I expect Cleveland will be making a major comeback in years to come...the metro area hasn't exactly been losing population, its just the city itself. A car undominated place is probably best described as Boston, you don't much need a car there, really.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: gmann on 02/21/06 at 1:13 pm


I expect Cleveland will be making a major comeback in years to come...the metro area hasn't exactly been losing population, its just the city itself. A car undominated place is probably best described as Boston, you don't much need a car there, really.


How about Columbus, Ohio? Of the medium-sized towns I've been to, I'd say it's pretty cool.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/21/06 at 3:31 pm

Columbus, Ohio seems nice. There's also Baltimore, that's a nice upper mid-sized city.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: bbigd04 on 02/21/06 at 3:56 pm


I expect Cleveland will be making a major comeback in years to come...the metro area hasn't exactly been losing population, its just the city itself. A car undominated place is probably best described as Boston, you don't much need a car there, really.


Yea actually the metro area is not bad, but the city itself is not so nice.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/21/06 at 5:40 pm

People generally have bad perceptions about the rust belt, they're fairly liberal places that really want attention and people to move there. And they're cheap-Pittsburgh and Cleveland are probably just about the cheapest cities you can get for relative cultural value, which they have nearly as much of as Metro Detroit, a far larger area.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: GoodRedShirt on 02/21/06 at 5:44 pm

From a survey done sometime in the last 5 years:

Melbourne, Australia, has been rated the best city in the world to call home.
In a survey of 130 cities, international newspaper The Economist rated Melbourne and Vancouver in Canada as the best cities in the world in which to live.
In achieving a near-perfect score, Melbourne was rewarded for its excellent lifestyle based on outstanding scores for safety, culture and environment, education, recreation, weather and infrastructure.


^ Melbourne sounds like a nice place. Don't know much about Vancouver.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: GoodRedShirt on 02/21/06 at 5:53 pm

^ Of course if you (Trimac20) wanted to move overseas, Melbourne wouldn't be on the list.  ::)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: kellygoo72 on 02/22/06 at 2:17 am

Raytown USA LOL  or....another planet! ;)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: La Sine Pesroh on 02/22/06 at 3:40 pm

I guess it comes down to what activities you enjoy, and what kind of climate and terrain you prefer. Donnie Darko reccomended Portland or Seattle, and I myself think that the Pacific Northwest is one of the cooler regions in the US. I have a brother who lives in Eugene, Oregon, and that's a good, mid-sized college town. The only real drawback to the Northwest, IMO, is that it rains a lot. If you like the mountains, there's Denver or Salt Lake City. If you like the ocean you have all kinds of options on both coasts.
  But, since everyone in this thread so far has been partial to their own neck of the woods, which is perfectly all right, I'd might as well follow suit and recommend Omaha, Nebraska. It's a good Midwestern city of about 500,000 with plenty to do for someone your age. And, since Omaha has been experiencing major growth over the last 10-15 years (along with many other medium-sized Midwestern cities), I'm sure you could find some excellent job prospects in the field you are studying. Not to mention that the cost of living is quite a bit less than comparable sized cities on the coasts.
    Velvetoneo mentioned Minneapolis, which I also think is a way cool city. It's about the same size as Omaha, and Minnesota is famous for its 10,000 lakes.  Plus the people in Minnesota are some of the nicest on the whole planet. The only drawback is that it gets colder than hell in the winter.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Sister Morphine on 02/22/06 at 3:57 pm

Chicago.


Why?  It's my hometown so I'm hopelessly biased, but it's got a lot of great things going for it.  Navy Pier, a great zoo, cultural museums, Buckingham Fountain, great downtown area, Lake Shore Drive/the lake itself.......I'm getting homesick, so I better stop.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/22/06 at 5:18 pm

Why are you living in sprawling Atlanta if you love Chicago so, Sister Morphine? I visited there for a few days last summer, I'm from North NJ, and fell utterly in love with it and I'm probably going to University of Chicago.

If you want more recommendations on New Jersey, Jersey gets a seriously bad rap. We're extremely diverse and densely populated, with lots of gorgeous mountains and woodland preserves running through even the most densely populated areas, and though this is changing in some spots, NJ lacks class attitude relative to NYC and some other Northeastern cities. Segregation and the mafia are problems, but we have great architecture and we're the center of the international pharmaceutical and dye industries, and we're extremely economically prosperous. Also, the food is amazing-you can find Indian, Chinese, Arabic, South American, Italian (more of those than any else), Korean, Filipino, Polish, Russian, Jewish, Turkish, and West Indian neighborhoods in extremely close proximity to each other. And not too far from the densely populated urban areas are pleasant mountains and pristine lakes, and the "estate country" and meadows of central NJ, which has horse farms. Then there's the great Jersey shore, which offers resorts ranging from elegant to furiously proletariat, and wonderful places like gambling mecca Atlantic City, alcoholic theme park Wildwood, and genteel, Victorian Cape May. We're like NYC without the same level of pretentiousness and attitude for our diversity and economy, and you can find culture here if you're open-minded and don't have closed attitudes about the 'burbs.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/23/06 at 11:19 am

I'm going to bump this.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/23/06 at 2:18 pm

How about Walnut Creek, California. The temperature is Meditteranean. You have Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Berkelely all at your doorstep. Our newspaper just wrote an article about how Nations as far as Japan and Russia are coming to Walnut Creek to see why it has been so successful to balance a upper middle class living standard without the stress of a big city or the strains of too little. Walnut Creek is really an ideal place to live. I may make my home here in just a few months.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Sister Morphine on 02/23/06 at 2:20 pm


Why are you living in sprawling Atlanta if you love Chicago so, Sister Morphine? I visited there for a few days last summer, I'm from North NJ, and fell utterly in love with it and I'm probably going to University of Chicago.

If you want more recommendations on New Jersey, Jersey gets a seriously bad rap. We're extremely diverse and densely populated, with lots of gorgeous mountains and woodland preserves running through even the most densely populated areas, and though this is changing in some spots, NJ lacks class attitude relative to NYC and some other Northeastern cities. Segregation and the mafia are problems, but we have great architecture and we're the center of the international pharmaceutical and dye industries, and we're extremely economically prosperous. Also, the food is amazing-you can find Indian, Chinese, Arabic, South American, Italian (more of those than any else), Korean, Filipino, Polish, Russian, Jewish, Turkish, and West Indian neighborhoods in extremely close proximity to each other. And not too far from the densely populated urban areas are pleasant mountains and pristine lakes, and the "estate country" and meadows of central NJ, which has horse farms. Then there's the great Jersey shore, which offers resorts ranging from elegant to furiously proletariat, and wonderful places like gambling mecca Atlantic City, alcoholic theme park Wildwood, and genteel, Victorian Cape May. We're like NYC without the same level of pretentiousness and attitude for our diversity and economy, and you can find culture here if you're open-minded and don't have closed attitudes about the 'burbs.



My dad's job transferred the family down here about 5 years ago.  Seeing as I had no money, no job and no place to stay in the city, I had no choice but to move with them.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Mushroom on 02/23/06 at 3:04 pm

Any city other then Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/23/06 at 6:06 pm


Any city other then Los Angeles or San Francisco.


Just out of SF are great places to live (except for Berkeley - it's just too hippy over there)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/23/06 at 6:17 pm

Sister Morphine: that sucks.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/23/06 at 6:18 pm


Just out of SF are great places to live (except for Berkeley - it's just too hippy over there)


The South Bay is hella nice  8)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/23/06 at 6:22 pm

Why are there so many California transplants throughout the west coast? Maybe it just has something to do with the pioneering California spirit. The sense I've always gotten is SF transplants go to other further inland cities or Oregon/Washington, bringing the Bay Spirit there, and LA people go to Nevada (Vegas, basically), Arizona (Phoenix, basically), and Colorado, bringing that spirit there. California is hella overcrowded, I guess...I really want to go there sometime, it must be so popular for a reason, N. California anyway.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/23/06 at 6:23 pm


Why are there so many California transplants throughout the west coast? Maybe it just has something to do with the pioneering California spirit. The sense I've always gotten is SF transplants go to other further inland cities or Oregon/Washington, bringing the Bay Spirit there, and LA people go to Nevada (Vegas, basically), Arizona (Phoenix, basically), and Colorado, bringing that spirit there. California is hella overcrowded, I guess...I really want to go there sometime, it must be so popular for a reason, N. California anyway.


Colorado's the west coast?  It's almost in the middle of the country.  ;D

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/23/06 at 6:27 pm


Why are there so many California transplants throughout the west coast? Maybe it just has something to do with the pioneering California spirit. The sense I've always gotten is SF transplants go to other further inland cities or Oregon/Washington, bringing the Bay Spirit there, and LA people go to Nevada (Vegas, basically), Arizona (Phoenix, basically), and Colorado, bringing that spirit there. California is hella overcrowded, I guess...I really want to go there sometime, it must be so popular for a reason, N. California anyway.


Believe it or not, it isn't all that crowded. It's so large of a state that the urban sprawl doesn't seem all that congested. I mean, in most big cities, it's obviously more concentrated, but most parts of California are rather empty and open spaced little Levittowns.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: batfan2005 on 02/23/06 at 6:37 pm

A lot of people would say that San Diego is the greatest city in the world. There are so many out-of-staters moving there over the last few years, which explains they had one of the biggest real estate booms of any metro area (along with Las Vegas and Phoenix). I'd say if you can afford it, it would be a nice place to live. The weather is nice most of the time, and it has a very low crime rate. It is similar to Australia, only more crowded and expensive.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/23/06 at 6:44 pm


Believe it or not, it isn't all that crowded. It's so large of a state that the urban sprawl doesn't seem all that congested. I mean, in most big cities, it's obviously more concentrated, but most parts of California are rather empty and open spaced little Levittowns.


Definitely.  Actually, most of California is pretty rural.  The Central Valley could be Kansas as far as I'm concerned, and Marin County is very Oregonish.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/23/06 at 6:53 pm

The Central Valley is like Oklahoma or Texas, from what I've gathered, especially around Bakersfield and Fresno, even as Bay Area and SoCal transplants move there for the low cost of living. Marin County and N. California, again from what I've gathered, is basically the Pacific Northwest. It's like that with NJ, the crowded northern part of the state where most people live is different from the rest of the state. The rest of the state is halfway to the south and shares alot more in common with semi-South areas like rural Maryland and Delaware than anything else, or with rural Pennsylvania. Some of the areas in Camden and Burlington County are Philly suburbs that are very Philadelphian, but in general rural south Jersey is pretty vacant...it's full of horse farms and big market gardens, it's not very Jersey at all. Jersey is Morris, upper Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Essex, Union, Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson counties, the rest is South Jersey, the Delaware Valley, or the Shawr/Shawuh (Shore to people from around where I am, South Jerseyans say it halfway to the South in places.)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/23/06 at 7:49 pm


The Central Valley is like Oklahoma or Texas, from what I've gathered, especially around Bakersfield and Fresno, even as Bay Area and SoCal transplants move there for the low cost of living. Marin County and N. California, again from what I've gathered, is basically the Pacific Northwest. It's like that with NJ, the crowded northern part of the state where most people live is different from the rest of the state. The rest of the state is halfway to the south and shares alot more in common with semi-South areas like rural Maryland and Delaware than anything else, or with rural Pennsylvania. Some of the areas in Camden and Burlington County are Philly suburbs that are very Philadelphian, but in general rural south Jersey is pretty vacant...it's full of horse farms and big market gardens, it's not very Jersey at all. Jersey is Morris, upper Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Essex, Union, Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson counties, the rest is South Jersey, the Delaware Valley, or the Shawr/Shawuh (Shore to people from around where I am, South Jerseyans say it halfway to the South in places.)


There are parts of California that could be just blah. Like driving through Gilroy (the Garlic Capital of the World) is boring as heck to drive through. Or down highway 5 down to Los Angeles can be rather Texas/Oklahoma like. Once you pass "The Grapevine" things get a bit more scenic.

I think a lot of states have more diversity than we give them credit for. A lot of them get generalized often because of certain popular cities or certain things that seem to shape a portion of that state. I'm sure Jersey has a lot to offer. And to be honest, I'd like to do a John Stienbeck "Travels with Charlie" kind of thing and just explore what every state has to offer in a real folksy kind of manner, leaving the underlining stereotypes behind.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: rich1981 on 02/23/06 at 8:03 pm

San Diego, the city I live in has its ups and downs. The weather is usually nice and the inner city isn't as congestedas some others, but the traffic can be nasty. Probably my biggest complaint is the cost of living, especially homes which is what I will be dealing with in a matter months since my family has been dying to move to another home after 8 long years. This is especially the case since we rent this one, because I am trying to purchase a new one so in the meantime I'll be looking for a nice place to live in that is not too close to the beach where the prices are sky high but hopefully decent and of course it helps to have a car because everything is so spread out wide and public transportation is getting worse and worse every year which is what I've been going through for the past 20+ years so if you plan to move to San Diego keep all this in mind.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/23/06 at 10:59 pm

Yeah, people get a really sheeshty image of NJ because we're so industrialized and stink in parts because of all the chemical factories and oil refineries, etc., but they provide good jobs, both office and industrial, to our state. But we have lots of ethnic culture, the most diners and Italian restaurants per capita in the world, desolate and scenic Pine Barrens, endless beaches and lowland swamps, scenic meadows covered in horse farms, and desolate lakes surrounded by mountain ridges.
This is the quintessential NJ more than the yuppie condos NYCers are dying to scourge our land with.

I really want to do that to, Ultraviolet...go on a "Travels with Charlie" type thing through the whole country and really experience it. Alot of people around where I am are pretty damn cynical about anything between the coasts and don't have their minds open to it, I'm trying to escape my engrained perceptions to that effect.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/23/06 at 11:08 pm


Yeah, people get a really sheeshty image of NJ because we're so industrialized and stink in parts because of all the chemical factories and oil refineries, etc., but they provide good jobs, both office and industrial, to our state. But we have lots of ethnic culture, the most diners and Italian restaurants per capita in the world, desolate and scenic Pine Barrens, endless beaches and lowland swamps, scenic meadows covered in horse farms, and desolate lakes surrounded by mountain ridges.
This is the quintessential NJ more than the yuppie condos NYCers are dying to scourge our land with.

I really want to do that to, Ultraviolet...go on a "Travels with Charlie" type thing through the whole country and really experience it. Alot of people around where I am are pretty damn cynical about anything between the coasts and don't have their minds open to it, I'm trying to escape my engrained perceptions to that effect.


People seem to get a similiar impression with Oakland (the other side of the San Francisco Bay), like people who haven't visited New Jersey. But Oakland has a beautiful harbour, a nice zoo, some very nice Victorian neighborhoods (Crocker Heights, Montclair & Piedmont), and just as many rolling hills and great restaurants, and get this - BETTER WEATHER. Yet, it seems to always get a bad rap because of the inner city crime, the industrial part of it, and etc.

Oakland is like the San Francisco that never could. It seemed like it couldn't get itself going like SF, even though it's so much better situated than SF. I actually distaste portions of SF because of it's overcrowded streets, the pretentious stores and attitudes and restarants. But, don't get me wrong - it's still a lovely city by far, but I feel kinda like you do when it comes to New Jersey vs. New Yorkers (Manhattanites, per say) - I prefer the easy going stuff most the time - not the pretentious lifestyle that SF-ers prefer to live.

Yeah, driving the country is the best way to see it. I drove through parts of Arizona, Nevada and Utah last May and what an itneresting ride that was :0)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/23/06 at 11:19 pm


The Central Valley is like Oklahoma or Texas, from what I've gathered, especially around Bakersfield and Fresno, even as Bay Area and SoCal transplants move there for the low cost of living. Marin County and N. California, again from what I've gathered, is basically the Pacific Northwest. It's like that with NJ, the crowded northern part of the state where most people live is different from the rest of the state. The rest of the state is halfway to the south and shares alot more in common with semi-South areas like rural Maryland and Delaware than anything else, or with rural Pennsylvania. Some of the areas in Camden and Burlington County are Philly suburbs that are very Philadelphian, but in general rural south Jersey is pretty vacant...it's full of horse farms and big market gardens, it's not very Jersey at all. Jersey is Morris, upper Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Essex, Union, Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson counties, the rest is South Jersey, the Delaware Valley, or the Shawr/Shawuh (Shore to people from around where I am, South Jerseyans say it halfway to the South in places.)


Yeah, the Central Valley is alot like Texas (although I haven't been to Texas).  It's a nasty, dry place, full of crime (I think) and poverty. 
Yeah, the northern coast of California is definitely a part of the Pacific Northwest.  I've always said the Pacific Northwest begins in the Bay Area and ends in Alaska.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/23/06 at 11:41 pm


People seem to get a similiar impression with Oakland (the other side of the San Francisco Bay), like people who haven't visited New Jersey. But Oakland has a beautiful harbour, a nice zoo, some very nice Victorian neighborhoods (Crocker Heights, Montclair & Piedmont), and just as many rolling hills and great restaurants, and get this - BETTER WEATHER. Yet, it seems to always get a bad rap because of the inner city crime, the industrial part of it, and etc.

Oakland is like the San Francisco that never could. It seemed like it couldn't get itself going like SF, even though it's so much better situated than SF. I actually distaste portions of SF because of it's overcrowded streets, the pretentious stores and attitudes and restarants. But, don't get me wrong - it's still a lovely city by far, but I feel kinda like you do when it comes to New Jersey vs. New Yorkers (Manhattanites, per say) - I prefer the easy going stuff most the time - not the pretentious lifestyle that SF-ers prefer to live.

Yeah, driving the country is the best way to see it. I drove through parts of Arizona, Nevada and Utah last May and what an itneresting ride that was :0)


Yeah, I definitely feel the same way as you do. I think Oakland and the East Bay has alot of similarity to Newark and northern New Jersey as a whole, we have alot of industrial cities that could've competed with New York at one point if we'd gotten together and consolidated. Newark Bay is a better natural harbor than New York Harbor and the weather is slightly better, but New York City always got the best over Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Paterson, which together could've been a huge city. Newark was once predicted to be the world's largest and greatest industrial city, and we have a big spirit of invention comparable to the Bay Area-Edison had his laboratory about 10 minutes from my house in the suburb of West Orange, the first commercially viable plastic was invented in Newark, along with patent leather, zinc electroplating, and the modern pharmaceutical industry. Paterson was the US' first planned industrial city and started the country's industrial spark. In the first half of the 20th century, North Jersey was the center of the high-tech industries (whatever that meant then), and was home to companies making the first calculators, advanced electronics, records (US' first RCA plant), and lots of pharmaceuticals and such. But that side of the river has always been way, way snootier than us and had a way more diversified economy, and so NYC narrowly survived the suburbanization of the mid-20th century, but we didn't, and Newark is like an East Coast Detroit.

I feel the same way you do about SF, I like this side of the river better because it's more laid-back and the increasingly pretentious and chi-chi attitude of NYC gets to me, but I like living near NYC and all the cultural institutions and stuff there-near enough to access it but maintain a healthy enough distance not to become a cynical, jaded New Yorker. I think the Oakland area is wackily similar to Essex County, we similarly have depressed urban areas near the water with lots of industry and then very nice Victorian neighborhoods and fairly diverse burbs with older Victorian housing (one of ours is actually named Montclair  :)) and the town I live in, the exact same size as Piedmont, has often been compared to it as a Victorian island of prosperity within less prosperous areas, and almost no business, and very, very old houses.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/24/06 at 10:42 am

Bump....I like the discussion on this thread...

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: deadrockstar on 02/24/06 at 10:51 am


Yeah, the Central Valley is alot like Texas (although I haven't been to Texas).  It's a nasty, dry place, full of crime (I think) and poverty. 
Yeah, the northern coast of California is definitely a part of the Pacific Northwest.  I've always said the Pacific Northwest begins in the Bay Area and ends in Alaska.


Texas isn't all desert and semi-arid.

The Houston area is about as rainy as Louisiana, England, Oregon and Washington, etc.

The northeast part gets a normal amount of rainfall. What you are thinking of would describe West Texas and Central Texas.  But thing is, the majority of Texans DON'T live in these desert-like areas. The great majority of the population is in East Texas which is green and gets plenty of rain. Yet people STILL picture "desert" when they think of here.  :-\\

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Mr Tumnus on 02/24/06 at 10:57 am

OK let's pretend there's actually a world outside of America 

I'd love to live in Paris and watch all those effortless stylish Frenchies strutting about, or maybe
Geneva, (Switzerland has no air pollution and is one of the cleanest countries in the World)

Back to the US and I'd like to try out Boston despite the aloofness of it's residents    ;D

Shouldn't forget London, but I already lived there for 4 years so I'm ticking that off my list.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/24/06 at 6:23 pm


Texas isn't all desert and semi-arid.

The Houston area is about as rainy as Louisiana, England, Oregon and Washington, etc.

The northeast part gets a normal amount of rainfall. What you are thinking of would describe West Texas and Central Texas.  But thing is, the majority of Texans DON'T live in these desert-like areas. The great majority of the population is in East Texas which is green and gets plenty of rain. Yet people STILL picture "desert" when they think of here.  :-\\


That's true.  Even Oregon is about 50-55% arid/semiarid.  Every western state has a prairie, desert, or both.  Except Alaska, but they have a tundra so I guess that kind of counts.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/24/06 at 6:26 pm

Isn't there a deserty region in east Oregon/Washington full of tough cattle traders and salt plains that's like the "American Outback?"

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/24/06 at 6:29 pm


Isn't there a deserty region in east Oregon/Washington full of tough cattle traders and salt plains that's like the "American Outback?"


Yes!

Eastern Oregon is like Nevada, very Western, very arid, with forests only up in the mountains.  There are certain areas of Eastern Oregon that are green though, like parts of the Blue Mountains.  Eastern Washington is a mix of Nevada-ish stuff and Midwest-like irrigated farmlands, with some interior B.C.-type wooded mountains in the northeast corner of the state.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/24/06 at 6:30 pm

And there's a giant nuclear power plant somewhere in E. Washington surrounded by apple farms, or something...it's probably one of the country's least-discovered and most interesting areas. And they mine uranium there.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/24/06 at 6:38 pm


And there's a giant nuclear power plant somewhere in E. Washington surrounded by apple farms, or something...it's probably one of the country's least-discovered and most interesting areas. And they mine uranium there.


Yeah, the Northwest in general is quite remote.

Did you know that nearly half of Washington and around half of Oregon gets less than 20 inches of rain a year?  Only the western parts of the Pacific Northwest are notably rainy.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Mushroom on 02/24/06 at 6:45 pm


Just out of SF are great places to live (except for Berkeley - it's just too hippy over there)


I lived in Vallejo from 1990-1993.  I had never lived in an area so insane in my entire life.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Mushroom on 02/24/06 at 6:48 pm


Why are there so many California transplants throughout the west coast?


A lot of people leave for economic reasons, or to try and find a better place to raise their kids.  California is so expensive nowadays, it is almost impossible to buy a home unless you have a 6 figure income.  Because of that, they move to places where they may make 30% less, but even then can still afford to buy a house and raise a family.

I know that is why my family moved to Idaho in 1975.  And over the years, a lot of other people did the same thing.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/24/06 at 7:33 pm

Also, I've read that over the years lots of middle-class, conservative whites from LA left for various reasons, including the high immigration since the 1980s, the Rodney King Riots, and the political changes. Areas like Garden Grove and the w. OC and the San Gabriel Valley used to be full of middle-class whites, along with the e. San Fernando Valley. Of course, many people moved to newer, nicer areas of Orange County, San Diego County, and Ventura County, along with the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. But alot of people moved to places like Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada, giving them L.A.-like characteristics.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: deadrockstar on 02/24/06 at 11:55 pm


Just out of SF are great places to live (except for Berkeley - it's just too hippy over there)


I'm a hippie.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/24/06 at 11:57 pm


I'm a hippie.


Me too, kind of.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/25/06 at 12:06 am

Me three, I suppose. But I'm not really a West Coast person...I could imagine myself in SF, but I want to stay in the NE quadrant of the country, preferably Chicago or Jersey. I don't want to go too far from my roots.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/25/06 at 12:44 am


Me three, I suppose. But I'm not really a West Coast person...I could imagine myself in SF, but I want to stay in the NE quadrant of the country, preferably Chicago or Jersey. I don't want to go too far from my roots.


Oh, were you sarcastic when you claimed to be a Conservative?  ;D

I've never been out East.  I've lived in Great Falls, MT, which I suppose a few might call the Midwest.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/25/06 at 12:46 am

Totally. Totally sarcastic...I was considering putting a winkie there...but that's so obvious!

Montana  is the Intermountain  West-the Midwest with cowboys and cults.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/25/06 at 12:49 am


Totally. Totally sarcastic...I was considering putting a winkie there...but that's so obvious!

Montana  is the Intermountain  West-the Midwest with cowboys and cults.

Ah.  Thank God  ;D


Yeah, here's a secret: Are you not in the South, on the West Coast or in BosWash?  Well, then you're in the Midwest  ;D

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/25/06 at 12:54 am

A good way to define the Midwest is German America, the Midwest roughly corresponds to the areas with high German ancestry, if you use those terms. Even places like Phoenix, Arizona sort of have a Midwestern bland, Great Plains-y aspect to them because of the people who live there.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/25/06 at 12:55 am


A good way to define the Midwest is German America, the Midwest roughly corresponds to the areas with high German ancestry, if you use those terms. Even places like Phoenix, Arizona sort of have a Midwestern bland, Great Plains-y aspect to them because of the people who live there.


That's true.  Even Oregon is very Midwestern, compared to say California. 

Anywhere with Jello or Casserole is the Midwest.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/25/06 at 1:01 am

Yeah, you're right. However, even certain areas of California and suburbs of L.A. have a Midwest-on-the-Sea vibe to them, like parts of San Diego and Orange Counties.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/25/06 at 1:02 am


Yeah, you're right. However, even certain areas of California and suburbs of L.A. have a Midwest-on-the-Sea vibe to them, like parts of San Diego and Orange Counties.


Yeah.  They call it "Middle America".

Of course, obnoxious people in Detroit think Iowa isn't the Midwest.  Give me a break.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/25/06 at 1:09 am

You can subdivide the Midwest pretty easily.

The Rust Belt: NE Ohio, N Indiana, Michigan, W. Pennsylvania and New York.
The New Urban Midwest/Upper Midwest: Central Ohio and Indiana, parts of N Indiana, most of Illinois with people in it, Wisconsin, Minnesota, St. Louis part of Missouri.
The Great Plains/True Midwest: Kansas, The Dakotas, Nebraska, the farming parts of Illinois, Iowa, W. Missouri around Kansas City.
The Intermountain Midwest: Montana, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, e. Oregon and Washington.
Midwest-on-the-Desert: Phoenix and Las Vegas, in areas.
Midwest-on-the-Sea/"Californian Middle America": Parts of Orange and San Diego Counties and the Inland Empire and Antelope Valley.
Hick California: Bakersfield and the Central Valley.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/25/06 at 1:14 am


You can subdivide the Midwest pretty easily.

The Rust Belt: NE Ohio, N Indiana, Michigan, W. Pennsylvania and New York.
The New Urban Midwest/Upper Midwest: Central Ohio and Indiana, parts of N Indiana, most of Illinois with people in it, Wisconsin, Minnesota, St. Louis part of Missouri.
The Great Plains/True Midwest: Kansas, The Dakotas, Nebraska, the farming parts of Illinois, Iowa, W. Missouri around Kansas City.
The Intermountain Midwest: Montana, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, e. Oregon and Washington.
Midwest-on-the-Desert: Phoenix and Las Vegas, in areas.
Midwest-on-the-Sea/"Californian Middle America": Parts of Orange and San Diego Counties and the Inland Empire and Antelope Valley.
Hick California: Bakersfield and the Central Valley.


That sounds right.

Although Montana isn't all mountains and stuff ... there are wheat fields and stuff there too.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/25/06 at 1:23 am

E. Montana and E. Colorado are more like the Dakotas.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/25/06 at 1:35 am


E. Montana and E. Colorado are more like the Dakotas.


Yeah ... Montana east of the Rockies is really West Dakota.  Real MT is the part near Idaho.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Trimac20 on 02/26/06 at 6:48 am


How about Walnut Creek, California. The temperature is Meditteranean. You have Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Berkelely all at your doorstep. Our newspaper just wrote an article about how Nations as far as Japan and Russia are coming to Walnut Creek to see why it has been so successful to balance a upper middle class living standard without the stress of a big city or the strains of too little. Walnut Creek is really an ideal place to live. I may make my home here in just a few months.


San Francisco sounds like an alright sort of place (though it sounds self-consciously 'hip' to me) because of the whole hippie thing. Is the hippie movement (what's left of it) any stronger in SF than in other parts of the country? Can one still score LSD on the street?  ;) That, I think, will be THE defining factor.

But seriously though, I hear it's one of the priciest places in live in (without having to live in a cramped flat). I think Buffalo or something was the cheapest.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: deadrockstar on 02/26/06 at 11:15 am


San Francisco sounds like an alright sort of place (though it sounds self-consciously 'hip' to me) because of the whole hippie thing. Is the hippie movement (what's left of it) any stronger in SF than in other parts of the country? Can one still score LSD on the street?  ;) That, I think, will be THE defining factor.

But seriously though, I hear it's one of the priciest places in live in (without having to live in a cramped flat). I think Buffalo or something was the cheapest.


I don't know about San Francisco, but you still can in Austin.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/26/06 at 11:56 am

If you want to live cheap, you should probably go to the Midwest (Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Chicago even), Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Jersey maybe.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 02/26/06 at 11:57 am

Honolulu, Hawaii is supposed to be the 3rd safest city in the U.S.  :)

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/26/06 at 12:07 pm


Honolulu, Hawaii is supposed to be the 3rd safest city in the U.S.  :)


If safety is what you want, Pittsburgh is safe, cheap, and culturally interesting.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/26/06 at 4:24 pm


San Francisco sounds like an alright sort of place (though it sounds self-consciously 'hip' to me) because of the whole hippie thing. Is the hippie movement (what's left of it) any stronger in SF than in other parts of the country? Can one still score LSD on the street?  ;) That, I think, will be THE defining factor.

But seriously though, I hear it's one of the priciest places in live in (without having to live in a cramped flat). I think Buffalo or something was the cheapest.


San Francisco is a beautiful city and actually rather not all that intimidating, as far as social status goes. It's a friendly city, and even Haight-Ashbury (the discrict that's best defined as the Hippie area) is not all that bad (still has more homeless people there than I've seen throughout the city, but you can kinda ignore it - if you want to, that is). I think along the Embarcadero are some fairly nice condos and also I find it to be one of the safer parts of the city, maybe next to where people like Sharon Stone, Robin Williams, and various other San Francisco-ites have lived. Now, depending on cost-wise, I'm sure SF has it's deep-pocketed prices, but I'm sure you can find a nice Victorian to live in (like in Full House, lol), which has been converted into apartments.

I actually looked into living in Buffalo, New York. I found it to be a nice area (never been there, but it appears that way to me), and it seems to have similar amenities that we have here in the Bay Area. It's too bad it's gotta get so cold over there.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: STAR70 on 02/26/06 at 5:04 pm

Avoid the former "Confederate" States, as they have a long and notorious  history of genocide,slavery, and racial segregation.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/26/06 at 8:52 pm

I think I might be going to San Francisco this summer. Any recommendations as to what to do?

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/27/06 at 12:28 am


I think I might be going to San Francisco this summer. Any recommendations as to what to do?


I would suggest Chinatown, Monterey (around 110-150 miles south of SF, if you get time, they have an awesome harbor and from what I've heard a cool aquarium), the Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Woods up in Marin County.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 12:34 am


I would suggest Chinatown, Monterey (around 110-150 miles south of SF, if you get time, they have an awesome harbor and from what I've heard a cool aquarium), the Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Woods up in Marin County.


Gracias! I think I'm going this summer for vacation, and though part of me wants to go to L.A., I want to see San Francisco. But there're still alot of reasons I want L.A.: The Norton Simon Museum, The Getty Museum, The Huntington Library, the beaches, and just to see the damn place. It's pretty foreign to a Northeasterner.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/27/06 at 12:36 am

Yeah, I would actually suggest LA.  Or maybe you can come to Portland or Seattle, but California is where the Easterner should really go.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 12:41 am


Yeah, I would actually suggest LA.  Or maybe you can come to Portland or Seattle, but California is where the Easterner should really go.


My dad hates L.A. and his girlfriend despises it, but I want to see L.A. as you said, as an Easterner whose only trips out of the Northeast have been to Chicago for three days, England for two weeks, and Miami for a few days when I was three to visit my dying great-grandmother. Also, the museums are great. I've never been to a place where beaches actually merge with the city, though I would've liked to have seen L.A. in its pre-Rodney King '80s heyday, when it was inarguably the center of American pop culture.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/27/06 at 12:43 am

Yeah, see LA.  I've only been there twice, and that was to go to Disneyland, and once of them I can't even remember since I was a baby.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 12:45 am


Yeah, see LA.  I've only been there twice, and that was to go to Disneyland, and once of them I can't even remember since I was a baby.


I've never been to a Disneyland or Disneyworld.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/27/06 at 12:53 am


I've never been to a Disneyland or Disneyworld.


Disneyland's cool, but probably a bit overrated.  But you haven't lived a full life if you've never been there.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 1:01 am


Disneyland's cool, but probably a bit overrated.  But you haven't lived a full life if you've never been there.


People have told me that. I'd also sort of like to see the way people live in places like Orange County and San Diego, that'd probably be even more foreign to me than L.A.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: Trimac20 on 02/27/06 at 3:09 am

Don't you watch the O.C., velvetoneo?

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 6:18 am

Nope, everyone in my school does, and they pattern their vaguely debauched, "look at me" lifestyles on it. Except it snows here, and them trying so hard to be like that is funny.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/27/06 at 3:50 pm


Gracias! I think I'm going this summer for vacation, and though part of me wants to go to L.A., I want to see San Francisco. But there're still alot of reasons I want L.A.: The Norton Simon Museum, The Getty Museum, The Huntington Library, the beaches, and just to see the damn place. It's pretty foreign to a Northeasterner.


I've been to the Getty Museum in LA. It's stunning, but there is SO much to see, that we couldn't fit it all in one afternoon, which is all the time we had. We were outside the Huntington Museum and realised they were closed. We were all set to go, too. So we wandered off into the LA Arboretum which was very neat!

And about Disneyland - No, no, no - Disneyland will NEVER be overrated. It lives up to all the best standards that an amusement park should be. I've been to Disneyland three times (1988, 1989 and 2004) - and it's never ceased to amaze me.

San Francisco - one of my favorite places to go - beautiful views from Pier 39 (there are some great eateries over there with Bay Bridge views (not Golden Gate). Muir Woods is also great to visit. Very different atmosphere from the hubbub of the city. But, I warn you - bring warm clothes because SF and that area can get very cold in the summertime.  Make sure to check out the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park and the newly designed/renovated de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Also, the Conservatory of Flowers is very beautiful, too. There's more to advise on, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 4:03 pm


I've been to the Getty Museum in LA. It's stunning, but there is SO much to see, that we couldn't fit it all in one afternoon, which is all the time we had. We were outside the Huntington Museum and realised they were closed. We were all set to go, too. So we wandered off into the LA Arboretum which was very neat!

And about Disneyland - No, no, no - Disneyland will NEVER be overrated. It lives up to all the best standards that an amusement park should be. I've been to Disneyland three times (1988, 1989 and 2004) - and it's never ceased to amaze me.

San Francisco - one of my favorite places to go - beautiful views from Pier 39 (there are some great eateries over there with Bay Bridge views (not Golden Gate). Muir Woods is also great to visit. Very different atmosphere from the hubbub of the city. But, I warn you - bring warm clothes because SF and that area can get very cold in the summertime.  Make sure to check out the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park and the newly designed/renovated de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Also, the Conservatory of Flowers is very beautiful, too. There's more to advise on, but I'll leave it at that for now.


Other than Chinatown, are there any really good ethnic neighborhoods?

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/27/06 at 4:46 pm


Other than Chinatown, are there any really good ethnic neighborhoods?


Japantown is unique. I prefer it to Chinatown as it's not really all that rundown and they have an interior mall which is fun to walk through. I think there are some neighborhoods that are Jewish focused, or some Italian neighborhoods (I'm sure NYC beats us with the Italian kind of neighborhoods, though, lol). Think of San Francisco as soft, very nature oriented - despite it's big city feel.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 5:01 pm


Japantown is unique. I prefer it to Chinatown as it's not really all that rundown and they have an interior mall which is fun to walk through. I think there are some neighborhoods that are Jewish focused, or some Italian neighborhoods (I'm sure NYC beats us with the Italian kind of neighborhoods, though, lol). Think of San Francisco as soft, very nature oriented - despite it's big city feel.


For Italian neighborhoods, come to some of NY's outer boroughs, the entire state of New Jersey (I live right next to a small shopping area with an Italian deli, bakery, and two Italian restaurants), Long Island, and Connecticut. Little Italy isn't the real deal anymore, really. I want to go to San Francisco but there are also L.A. things I want to do, and I don't know if we'll have time to do both: The Getty Museum, The Huntington Library, The Norton Simon Museum, old Pasadena, Hollywood stuff, the beach culture, etc.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/27/06 at 5:37 pm


For Italian neighborhoods, come to some of NY's outer boroughs, the entire state of New Jersey (I live right next to a small shopping area with an Italian deli, bakery, and two Italian restaurants), Long Island, and Connecticut. Little Italy isn't the real deal anymore, really. I want to go to San Francisco but there are also L.A. things I want to do, and I don't know if we'll have time to do both: The Getty Museum, The Huntington Library, The Norton Simon Museum, old Pasadena, Hollywood stuff, the beach culture, etc.


L.A. is beyond belief sometimes. And that's not really in the best sense of the word. It's sprawling, and there's SO much to see everywhere you turn. Pasadena I found very nice. Some parts were a bit run down, others were very well kept and rather affluent. I have not been to the heart of L.A. except by just a very slow traffic run through on the Freeway in the 80's - when L.A. looked more seedy. I have never even been to the ocean in L.A. which I'd like to do. Santa Monica pier is suppose to be very nice. Sort of like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - old timey kind of fun.

Subject: Re: Best City to Live in in the 21st Century...

Written By: velvetoneo on 02/27/06 at 8:44 pm


L.A. is beyond belief sometimes. And that's not really in the best sense of the word. It's sprawling, and there's SO much to see everywhere you turn. Pasadena I found very nice. Some parts were a bit run down, others were very well kept and rather affluent. I have not been to the heart of L.A. except by just a very slow traffic run through on the Freeway in the 80's - when L.A. looked more seedy. I have never even been to the ocean in L.A. which I'd like to do. Santa Monica pier is suppose to be very nice. Sort of like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - old timey kind of fun.


I've honestly been to like three or four beaches on my life, one in Rhode Island and the rest in Jersey. I've been to Cape May, it's like a Victorian village on the sea, and President's Beach in Long Branch, which is sort of a past-its-prime mob resort. Oh, and I've been to Coney Island off season. That stupid redevelopment plan hopefully isn't going to go through.

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