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Cities that feel different, despite being geographically "close"

Started by someone17, May 30, 2024, 01:09:26 AM

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Hunty2022

Lynchburg and Roanoke (both in VA).

Lynchburg feels like a small city along the James River with nice scenic views of the mountains from somewhat afar (about 20 miles to the Blue Ridge).

Roanoke feels like a somewhat bustling city surrounded by mountains no matter where you look, and those mountains feel like a short walking distance away (the Parkway is about 3 miles from the center point of the city that Google Maps put the Roanoke tag on).
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wriddle082

Quote from: Rothman on May 30, 2024, 06:47:28 PM
Quote from: wriddle082 on May 30, 2024, 04:28:49 PM^ All four of Tennessee's largest cities are very different from one another.

Downtown Memphis is older and feels very depressing.  The only safeish areas of the city proper are maybe along the Union Ave, Poplar Ave, and Walnut Grove Rd corridors (due east), and possibly around the University of Memphis.  Everyplace else is very dangerous.  The suburbs of Bartlett, Germantown, and Collierville are also considered safe, as well as most of the Mississippi suburbs, but the West Memphis, AR area is nearly as dangerous as Memphis proper.

Nashville is now thriving just about everywhere.  Even the traditionally dangerous parts of town (North Nashville, Bordeaux, and parts of Antioch) are experiencing regentrification.  There has always been some sort of industry there, but white collar/tech jobs are really starting to take off nowadays.  The suburbs are all pretty much generally safe, though LaVergne is starting to not be quite as safe.

Knoxville is very much an Appalachian city and proud of it.  Proximity to the vacation areas of the Smokey Mountains have driven its growth, but not by as much as Nashville.

Chattanooga is a nice mix of Atlanta, Nashville, and Knoxville.  The locals identify with Atlanta more than Nashville because it's closer, but their downtown entertainment district, while smaller, seems to have more in common with Nashville's, and it shares a lot of the same Appalachian traits with Knoxville.  It also once had a Birmingham feel with the old steel mills, but they are all shut down now.  Manufacturing is still big with a fairly new Volkswagen assembly plant.


Although Memphis is having some dark days right now, I find your assessment overly negative.

Maybe it is, but sadly I speak the truth.  Spend any amount of time there and you'll see.  I know at least three co-workers whose cars have been broken into while they were working in the Downtown area or other not-so-safe areas.  Cars are frequently stolen in Memphis and driven to chop shops across either state line, where they are usually never found intact again.  And speaking of driving, the drivers are some of the worst in the country, with speeding and accidents galore.

My father is a proud Memphis State graduate who refuses to call it the University of Memphis, and has a lot of fond memories of his time there.  I remember having some good times there when I was younger, and to this day I have never had better BBQ than the dry rub ribs at The Rendezvous.  So to me it's very sad to have witnessed the drastic and seemingly endless decline over the years.  What they really need is completely new leadership to make things right, but in a respectful way.  I just don't know if that will ever happen in our lifetimes.  Who knows, maybe that future new I-55 bridge will help?

Henry

Chicago and Milwaukee definitely qualify, especially in the industries they are best known for: One is a meatpacking hub, while the other is known for its beer factories. But those two cities will forever be tied together by Hollywood magic, thanks to the famous car chase scene from The Blues Brothers.
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Road Hog

Two very different cities are Little Rock and North Little Rock.

I lived in NLR and the culture is entirely different. It's very much like an Eastern city in that it's a collection of neighborhoods (Baring Cross, Levy, Amboy, downtown Argenta which is the old name for NLR etc.). Little Rock proper has its neighborhoods for sure but they aren't as prominent.

LilianaUwU

Not very close, but Montréal and Québec City feel way different from each other despite being only 250-300 km away. Montréal is a huge metropolis, and while Québec City's metropolitan area has reached a million people, it still has the feeling of a smaller town like Trois-Rivières or Sherbrooke.
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webny99

Quote from: TheStranger on May 30, 2024, 06:36:06 PMSince Louisville vs. Cincy was mentioned...a similar dynamic exists with the Bay Area vs. Sacramento:

- Sacramento's vibe is a bit more midwestern due to climate and flatter geography
- While lots of Bay Area people have moved to Sac, and I lived there for 7 years...there's a distinct, "We're Californian but we're not from the more famous areas" attitude in that part of the valley
- Sacramento has one sports team that is firmly a part of the municipal identity (the Kings) while the Bay has numerous sports teams, some of which reflect existing Oakland/SF rivalry splits

This sounds a lot like upstate NY vs NYC... in fact almost to a word. Obviously Sacremento=upstate and Bay Area=NYC in this scenario and the Bills are that one sports team, so being from Buffalo they're not as close geographically to NYC. But all three of these same dynamics clearly exist.

I'm just not sure how any of those same dynamics apply to Louisville vs. Cincinnati; those two cities seem quite similar compared to the larger vs. mid-sized cities in NoCal and NY state.

Rothman

Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

Max Rockatansky

Sacramento being so close to the Delta will make you think that you in Louisiana at times (sans humidity).  Stockton has that element also, but it is further removed from the city core.

TheStranger

Quote from: webny99 on May 31, 2024, 07:59:29 AM
Quote from: TheStrangerSince Louisville vs. Cincy was mentioned...a similar dynamic exists with the Bay Area vs. Sacramento:

- Sacramento's vibe is a bit more midwestern due to climate and flatter geography
- While lots of Bay Area people have moved to Sac, and I lived there for 7 years...there's a distinct, "We're Californian but we're not from the more famous areas" attitude in that part of the valley
- Sacramento has one sports team that is firmly a part of the municipal identity (the Kings) while the Bay has numerous sports teams, some of which reflect existing Oakland/SF rivalry splits

This sounds a lot like upstate NY vs NYC... in fact almost to a word. Obviously Sacremento=upstate and Bay Area=NYC in this scenario and the Bills are that one sports team, so being from Buffalo they're not as close geographically to NYC. But all three of these same dynamics clearly exist.

(correcting the quotations as I was the one who made the comments re: Sacramento, not bing101)

Buffalo does have the Sabres so they are not quite the one-sport town Sacramento is (also historically Buffalo was larger, which is how the AFL expanded there in the 1960s and the NHL in 1970 - while in comparison Sacramento has grown more over the last 25 to 40 years, the Kings moving there from Kansas City in 1985).

Quote from: webny99 on May 31, 2024, 07:59:29 AMI'm just not sure how any of those same dynamics apply to Louisville vs. Cincinnati; those two cities seem quite similar compared to the larger vs. mid-sized cities in NoCal and NY state.

Cincy has much more of a national reknown than Louisville:

- two major pro sports teams (Bengals, Reds) vs. zero (the main sporting focus in Louisville is UofL).  Reds are over a century old and were more successful in past decades, Bengals have existed since the late 1960s and have been to 3 Super Bowls
- Louisville's current population (larger than Detroit!) is primarily a function of a city/county merger, as opposed to growth within the original city core.  (Jefferson County pre-2003 also had the unique issue of lots of small "suburbs" that were no more than a single cul-de-sac or subdivision)
- Louisville's biggest sporting event, the Kentucky Derby, happens once a year
- Cincy's airport was a hub for Delta at one point if I'm not mistaken, I don't think Louisville's has ever been a passenger hub though it is where UPS Airlines bases most of their cargo fleet.
Chris Sampang

bing101

Quote from: Rothman on May 31, 2024, 08:16:17 AMBut...where us Upstate NY?

*ducks and runs*
Here is how a climate map defines upstate New York and it's in the Continental climate zones in blue.  :sombrero:

TheHighwayMan3561

I'd say Minneapolis and St. Paul feel pretty different. They did formerly have an intense rivalry and distaste for one another that time and growth have eroded away. St. Paul has a much more Victorian feel owing to Irish Catholic roots, while Minneapolis feels much more similar to Rust Belt cities in some aspects,
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vdeane

Quote from: bing101 on May 31, 2024, 01:57:49 PM
Quote from: Rothman on May 31, 2024, 08:16:17 AMBut...where us Upstate NY?

*ducks and runs*
Here is how a climate map defines upstate New York and it's in the Continental climate zones in blue.  :sombrero:

Dunkirk is downstate?  And Youngstown? :bigass:
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

bing101

Quote from: TheStranger on May 30, 2024, 07:31:03 PMHere's one I like bringing up a lot from personal experience:

In the Philippines' National Capital Region, Manila and Makati are next door neighbors, and Makati also borders the Bonifacio Global City district of Taguig.

Without going into the (very extensive) ongoing Makati/Taguig war over territorial control of BGC - which is still a problem even after Philippine courts have ruled that the BGC district is permanently Taguig's - here's the vibe differences I get in what is essentially less than 10 miles total from one end to the other.

Manila
- While the more prominent city historically, overcrowding there led to Makati going from an airport-centered suburb (not dissimilar to San Bruno, California) in the mid-1940s...to Makati being the financial capital of the Philippines, which it remains to this day despite the gleaming new developments in BGC.
- Binondo, the Chinatown/CBD north of the Pasig River, is all at once nicely developed (some newer malls) but also showing its age compared to the BGC and Makati skyscraper sets.
- Malate and Ermita once represented the main tourist areas with waterfront views and access along Roxas Boulevard; the hotel and entertainment district in Bay City in Pasay immediately to the south has taken over for most of that, centered around Mall of Asia.  for that matter, the Makati luxury hotel district near the core Greenbelt/Glorietta mall complex was created virtually overnight in 1976 and continues to provide its own set of first-world quality accomodations, too.
- While Manila has very good malls in city limits (namely Robinsons Manila and SM City Manila), they don't have the regional/tourist cache of say Mall of Asia, or Mandaluyong's Megamall, or Greenbelt/Glorietta, or the various malls and outdoor pedestrian street (Bonifacio High Street) in BGC.
- The abandoned/dilaipdated theater district along Rizal Avenue is roughly equivalent to Los Angeles' Broadway or San Francisco's Mid-Market.
- For historic reasons, Manila has most of the universities in the region, along the University Belt district.  (Though the University of the Philippines has a major campus in Quezon City's Diliman area, which is not immediately nearby to Manila's city limits)

Makati
- Prior to 1947, the main international airport (Nielsen Field) was operational in this city; when the airport closed due to the government moving all commercial air to NAIA, the old Nielsen Field runways became the three key streets of the CBD (Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue, Paseo de Roxas)
- Gated subdivisions near the CBD, i.e. Dasmarinas Village just south of the hotel district, Bel-Air Village
- 1960s photos show plenty of empty land south of Buendia Avenue and along Dela Rosa Street; though that slowly started fillling in by the mid-70s, 1960s Makati more resembled an Irvine than a major urban core.  But the skyscraper boom of the 90s firmly established Makati as a major city in its own right and not simply a business park suburb of Manila; by the time of my first visit (2016) the Ayala CBD offers similarities to San Francisco's Financial District in terms of density and walkability.
- Outside of the CBD, the apartment stock does look a tiny bit more dilapidated, whether its due to construction materials, paint quality, or the sheer amount of traffic and jeepney exhaust pollution.  That being said, even the less-luxurious parts of Makati overall look better than the poorer parts of Manila.
- the Rockwell district of Makati can be likened to a miniature version of West LA, with a luxury mall (Power Plant) and nicer restaurants/establishments somewhat hidden away from the rest the city.
- Poblacion, the original municipal center of Makati, can be likened to San Francisco's Civic Center, except that Poblacion also is the heart of Makati's nightlife and does have several decent hotels (if less luxurious than anything near Greenbelt mall).
- Amusingly, even though there are parts of residential Makati that superficially resemble the portions of Manila it borders (dilapidated low-rise housing), one way to tell the two cities apart is the quality of drivers: Makati drivers do crowd to intersections but they rarely ever ignore stoplights or do truly zany things on the road; Manila drivers ignore red lights and road markings are sometimes a suggestion.  (I've also seen a situation where someone placed a hot tub out on a public sidewalk on Pedro Gil Street in Manila...)


Bonifacio Global City
- Since development of this former American military base started ca. 1995, everything here is hyper modern, and the streets are very spread out.  Kinda reminds me of Dallas if Dallas didn't have any freeways cutting through it; BGC has a nearby partial expressway (C-5) on its south edge, but not really through town.
- Jeepneys are banned throughout most of the CBD, likely to discourage possible pollution in the area but also to prevent the disorganized stop-and-go pickup style of jeepney drivers from interfering with local traffic.
- If Makati is very much Manhattanized 1970s Western style, BGC is 90s-present hyper modern first world development, stylistically somewhere between an Irvine and a Dubai.  Large city blocks.
- BGC also has its thriving bits of nightlife, probably in part due to its modernity and perceived safety compared to Manila
- Lot less aggressive driving in BGC than Makati or Manila, and stoplights are always followed.  Feels like driving in Fremont in terms of everyone mostly sticking to traffic rules, not over-crowding, etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Clark_City

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Global_City

Clark Global City and New Clark City it's in a different part of the Philippines and it's basically if "California Forever" is a reality. New Clark City and Clark Global City are in places surrounding Clark Airport and Clark Air Force Base.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Forever

WillWeaverRVA

Quote from: Hunty2022 on May 30, 2024, 09:20:10 PMLynchburg and Roanoke (both in VA).

Lynchburg feels like a small city along the James River with nice scenic views of the mountains from somewhat afar (about 20 miles to the Blue Ridge).

Roanoke feels like a somewhat bustling city surrounded by mountains no matter where you look, and those mountains feel like a short walking distance away (the Parkway is about 3 miles from the center point of the city that Google Maps put the Roanoke tag on).

Roanoke feels like a much larger city than it actually is while Lynchburg feels fairly suburban with only a very small downtown area.
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bing101

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on May 31, 2024, 08:17:39 AMSacramento being so close to the Delta will make you think that you in Louisiana at times (sans humidity).  Stockton has that element also, but it is further removed from the city core.
Sacramento is more of a White Collar city from my time working and going to school there. Also Davis is Berkeley of the Sacramento Valley.

I understand once you get outside of the suburban sprawl of Sacramento Metro area plus parts of Solano County and travel to other parts of the valley it's more of agricultural and blue collar that made the Central Valley famous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockton,_California

Stockton the biggest claim to fame is that they have University of the Pacific and has been mentioned for being one of the largest cities in the San Joaquin Valley along with Fresno.

snowc

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TheStranger

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on May 31, 2024, 08:17:39 AMSacramento being so close to the Delta will make you think that you in Louisiana at times (sans humidity).  Stockton has that element also, but it is further removed from the city core.

Having visited Shreveport as part of my 2021 roadtrip, that city feels like...a hybrid of the sleepy aspects of downtown Sacramento, and the sketchier parts of downtown Stockton.

Though hey the El Dorado Hotel in Shreveport IS pretty decent.  Driving west along US 80 though and the realities of the less well-off in that area become very starkly noticeable.
Chris Sampang

DandyDan

Quote from: TheHighwayMan3561 on May 31, 2024, 03:00:14 PMI'd say Minneapolis and St. Paul feel pretty different. They did formerly have an intense rivalry and distaste for one another that time and growth have eroded away. St. Paul has a much more Victorian feel owing to Irish Catholic roots, while Minneapolis feels much more similar to Rust Belt cities in some aspects,
I always thought that originally, St. Paul was settled by Catholics and Minneapolis was primarily Lutherans of German and Scandinavian origin.

The one I definitely think about in Iowa that fits is Waterloo and Cedar Falls. Waterloo is old and industrial while Cedar Falls is a college town.
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Plutonic Panda

I gotta say Dallas and OKC feel like two different worlds to me. One is alive and popping and the other is called an up and coming city but is just dead most of time with few areas being the exception.

MikeTheActuary

Yes, I'm late to the thread.   I'll offer Toronto and Buffalo as two VERY different cities in relatively close proximity to one another.

Quote from: wriddle082 on May 30, 2024, 09:23:03 PMTo this day I have never had better BBQ than the dry rub ribs at The Rendezvous.

You poor, poor deprived soul.   Rendezvous is the overrated place that tourists go to.   There is much, much better 'que in Memphis, although opinions will vary on how to rank-order it.

I do think that you've overshot the mark in describing the situation in Memphis.   In the early 80's, it was worse, and I semi-disagree with your conflation of property crime and "safety".

Memphis is very much a place where "good" vs "bad" varies from block to block, although which ones are "good" and "bad" do evolve over time.

Part of Memphis' problem is that the city has never really recovered from the civil rights era.  Money left Memphis for Dallas and Atlanta, and more recently Nashville, making poverty and the issues it causes much, much easier to notice.

In more recent years, pressures on policing (e.g. accusations of bias and corruption influencing tactics, litigation making simple traffic stops and pursuits potentially expensive enough as to discourage them) and an apparently botched implementation of bail reform have definitely aggravated those challenges.

Memphis definitely has its challenges, and I will admit that I'm skeptical that the nature of political shenanigans (not unique to Memphis) will interfere with overcoming those challenges.

However, one of those challenges is that it has to overcome the perception of danger that is partially disconnected from the reality.

mgk920

Although not in the USA but still somewhat mutually close geographically, Seoul and Pyongyang are definitely different from each other.

 :-o

Mike

Bruce

Seattle and Vancouver: both are Pacific Northwestern, but Vancouver has a lot of Canadianisms (much larger Asian populations, higher density pockets, non-coherent road network).
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bing101

Quote from: mgk920 on June 16, 2024, 02:08:54 PMAlthough not in the USA but still somewhat mutually close geographically, Seoul and Pyongyang are definitely different from each other.

 :-o

Mike
Yes! and the stuff seen here with Korea resembles what Berlin used to be prior to 1991.

Dirt Roads

Still waiting for someone to mention the obvious: Raleigh and Durham in North Carolina. 

One major distinction is that Durham was a "tobacco factory town", with the major tobacco plants and warehouses nestled up against the downtown, with factory workers homes nearby.  On the other hand, Raleigh, being the state capital, had large and grand antebellum homes surrounding its downtown.  But due to the influence of tobacco magnate J. B. Duke, Durham certainly had its own grand and glorious sections, pushed back away from the downtown.

This distinction resulted in much different cultures.  Wealthy residents of Raleigh tended to have luxurious homes in the city, as well as small farms at the edge of the city limits where they lived during the summers to avoid malaria.  Wealthy residents of Durham, however, already lived in luxurious homes on small farms at the edge, so they tended to have "city homes" in places like New York and Boston to ride out the hot summer.

Long-term families in both cities have a reputation for looking down their noses at the other city. 

It is interesting to note that both cities have well-developed cultural arts communities, often competing against each other.  Folks in Durham often go to Raleigh for the symphonies and big concerts, and folks in Raleigh often go to Durham for its Broadway shows, cultural festivals and music.

Duke University may be the true Ivy League school of the South, but N. C. State University has quietly positioned itself as one of the best Biotech schools in the world.  In spite of its history linked to tobacco, you will not find any tobacco products at Duke University or Duke Hospital.  However, Raleigh is becoming a magnet for international tobacco corporations looking to enter the United States market. 

noelbotevera

Philadelphia and New York.

They both wallow in the pain of watching their basketball teams never get past the conference semifinals.

Both have really crappy suburbs in New Jersey. No, the American Dream mall will not convince me to visit the Meadowlands.

Otherwise they're worlds apart.
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