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Justin Bimmer

America's Greatest city.

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I have traveled to many many cities in America and I am just curious to see what everybody thinks is the greatest city in America.

Here are the rules:

1) You must pick a city outside of the state you live in if you have traveled out of the state you live in.

2) If you wish, you may also pick a city inside of the state you live in if you really think it is worthy as well.

3) Optional - Pit the two choices against each other for fun.

So here are my picks:

1) Phoenix -- It's dry, hot, new, fresh, and has hot women.

2) Los Angeles -- Because even if there are many cities around it, LA is all encompassing. Entertainment, Beaches, Theme Parks, and lots of different people to watch.

3) If only there was a way to meld Phoenix and LA together and subtract the smog. I wish the electric car would get here faster because there is some scenic views from both of those cities that gets bogged down by all the car exhaust.

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Hmmmm....that's a tough one. There are so many different cities that offer so many different things......but here are MY favorite cities (metropolitan areas:)

My absolute favorite place I've ever lived is southern California, Los Angeles. Most for the reasons mentioned above. There is so much to offer, that for me, it overcomes the negatives (high cost of housing, congestion.)

I call Atlanta and Philadelphia as close runner-ups. I've travelled to Atlanta alot for work and find it a truly charming city.

I lived in Philadelphia for two years and it was the biggest surprise ever. I never thought I would enjoy Philly (cold, gritty, bastard step-child to NYC...these were all my impressions before-hand) but I found a beautiful city with amazing culture, nightlife, dining.....all at a fraction of the housing costs of New York.

Miami/Fort Lauderdale is my only pick in Florida. To me, cities like Tampa and Orlando are too bland, too catered to seniors (my folks even retired in Tampa....lol), so forth and so on. But I like Miami for some of the same reasons other people hate it....it's edgy....and I kinda like that. There's a unique culture there.

Unfortunately, nothing in the midwest comes close. Maybe Chicago....but if I was going to do Chicago, I'd just go ahead and do NYC.

Speaking of The Big Apple.....NYC misses out on my list......not because it's not a great city, and it certainly has a world-wide impact. Been to NYC many, many times....and it IS an experience.....and it has an amazing energy. BUT, I find it ugly in a physical sense....compared to, say, San Francisco which is one of the most beautiful cities in my mind with it's hilly topography, the bay, and an amazing blend of modern and victorian architecture. Then there is the weather in NY.....cold in the winter, humid in the summer. Finally, it's tough to access if you choose to live in the area, but out in a suburb.

Seattle hits my favorite list....even with the rain. What a GREAT city.....and a great city to live IN. Love the modernity of it and the high-tech energy.

Nothing in Texas or Oklahoma does it for me anymore. But I would probably live there before anywhere in the midwest.

Finally, I'd have to say that I'll always like Las Vegas and Phoenix.....because I find the desert absolutely BEAUTIFUL, in a minimalist sort of way. I love the desert topography, desert mountains, the cactus and palm trees, the tile-roofed houses, all that kind of southwestern architecture and feel.

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Having lived in Phoenix almost a year now, I do love the winter weather..don't care for the summer heat..the restaurant selection here an in the burbs (esp. Scottsdale and Tempe) is excellent. I just can't get excited by the desert...just too ugly, beige, dry and dusty...and all the boring cookie-cutter stucco houses w/ red tile roofs in the newer areas. There is some interesting Mid Century Modern architecture in the older parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale, though. Great airport. Too many golfers. Too many seniors.

Having lived in Denver for 6 years and Colorado 11+, it's on my list of my favorite American cities...modern, close to the mountains, great airport, nice restaurant selection, very lively downtown (much nicer than Phoenix's, IMHO). Plenty of high tech companies and jobs.

My favorite big city is probably Chicago---love the iconic architecture, the grit, the scenery on the lake and the river, the distinctive neighborhoods, downtown, etc. Not as mammoth as NYC, but just as brutal and the winters.

I love the LA metro area, I'd never get bored there... so vast, so much to do, so many choices. At some point in my life, I want to live in So Cal for a while, and in the SF Bay Area. (I've worked briefly in San Jose, but never lived there).

Boston and San Francisco are favorites also, very iconic, very historic, yet very modern and dynamic. Great places to travel for a long weekend or a week, like Chicago. Great food.

I like Pittsburgh a lot, spent a fair bit of time there as a kid, it's definitely changed (mostly for the better, IMHO) in the last 30 years. Very photogenic with the rivers and bridges, not pretentious at all, IMHO. It's the place I'd live if I wanted to be closer to my Mom and brother.

I like the Miami area...have so many old friends there, haven't spent much time there since the late '80s, but it's so diverse, so international... and the ocean setting very appealing. I still have a strong connection to the nearby Keys from my past there.

Nothing in Texas or the South deeply appeals to me..

One city I haven't spent much time in that I want to go back to soon and explore is Seattle and the surrounding area. Hmmm..mountains, ocean, forests, near Canada, modern w/ a lot of high tech. Hmmm.

Edited by moltar
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Chicago is hands down my favorite American city. I also love New York, but Chicago is a little more accessible, a little newer feeling (lots of new construction going up on the south side of Grant Park), and the lake keeps temps fairly mild during the summer. Driving in the Loop isn't nearly as much of a hassle as driving in Manhattan. Chicago has converted much of its old railyards and industrial areas along the lakefront into greenway space. Plus, you have the birthplace of the skyscraper, and the tradition continues with Trump Tower and the Chicago Spire.

Seattle is another great city. Nice mild climate, some neat old architecture around Pioneer Square, maritime waterfront, scenic surroundings, and a decent nightlife scene.

LA is a very cosmopolitan city but I have never been there, so I'd probably want to visit before judging it too much.

If you're talking smaller cities, Kansas City is pretty underrated. Like most Midwestern cities, they have been redeveloping downtown over the last decade and the new Power & Light District is a pretty happening place.

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Been to LA, could never live there. :yuck:

Been to Phoenix, I could live there... esp. in the suburbs. :)

I love Boston & I love N.Y.C., I could prob. live in Boston,

but I doubt I could live in N.Y., but don;t ask me which

city I like better, they're both amazing & crappy in their

own ways, but I have a place in my heart for both.

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Phoenix has been in the news lately- the new #1 kidnap-for-ransom city in the U.S., coutesy of illegal immigrants & the Mexican drug cartels. 1 per day plus lots of the chopping off of hands & feet for slow payment. It's already in TX & CA, too - unless the gov't gets serious about border control, it's only going to get worse and more widespread.

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Philly was HORRID!!! When I was there. Even their airport was horrible.

If you want to throw a smaller city into the Honorable Mention category:

Des Moines, IA is pretty sweet for being basically in the middle of nowhere.

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Los Angeles hands down. San Diego has slightly better weather, but with the problems in Tijuana, and the lack of such varied entertainment options and access to culture that LA has...plus LA's more "central" location, makes it a winner.

I have a soft spot for Houston, but LA still blows it out of the water.

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Hmmmm....that's a tough one. There are so many different cities that offer so many different things......but here are MY favorite cities (metropolitan areas:)

My absolute favorite place I've ever lived is southern California, Los Angeles. Most for the reasons mentioned above. There is so much to offer, that for me, it overcomes the negatives (high cost of housing, congestion.)

I call Atlanta and Philadelphia as close runner-ups. I've travelled to Atlanta alot for work and find it a truly charming city.

I lived in Philadelphia for two years and it was the biggest surprise ever. I never thought I would enjoy Philly (cold, gritty, bastard step-child to NYC...these were all my impressions before-hand) but I found a beautiful city with amazing culture, nightlife, dining.....all at a fraction of the housing costs of New York.

Miami/Fort Lauderdale is my only pick in Florida. To me, cities like Tampa and Orlando are too bland, too catered to seniors (my folks even retired in Tampa....lol), so forth and so on. But I like Miami for some of the same reasons other people hate it....it's edgy....and I kinda like that. There's a unique culture there.

Unfortunately, nothing in the midwest comes close. Maybe Chicago....but if I was going to do Chicago, I'd just go ahead and do NYC.

Speaking of The Big Apple.....NYC misses out on my list......not because it's not a great city, and it certainly has a world-wide impact. Been to NYC many, many times....and it IS an experience.....and it has an amazing energy. BUT, I find it ugly in a physical sense....compared to, say, San Francisco which is one of the most beautiful cities in my mind with it's hilly topography, the bay, and an amazing blend of modern and victorian architecture. Then there is the weather in NY.....cold in the winter, humid in the summer. Finally, it's tough to access if you choose to live in the area, but out in a suburb.

Seattle hits my favorite list....even with the rain. What a GREAT city.....and a great city to live IN. Love the modernity of it and the high-tech energy.

Nothing in Texas or Oklahoma does it for me anymore. But I would probably live there before anywhere in the midwest.

Finally, I'd have to say that I'll always like Las Vegas and Phoenix.....because I find the desert absolutely BEAUTIFUL, in a minimalist sort of way. I love the desert topography, desert mountains, the cactus and palm trees, the tile-roofed houses, all that kind of southwestern architecture and feel.

What a great post! I agree with most of it.

My 2 favorite cities:

1) Los Angeles (my birthplace)

2) Atlanta

Los Angeles is the only major city (SD is not major) where you can be at a palm-lined waterfront and get a glimpse of snow-capped mountains in the background. Yes, after it rains, the skies are clear enough to where that is possible. Also, the air is dirty, but it's getting better. Los Angeles has so much to offer. To anyone who bashes it, either (a) you haven't been there, or (b) you didn't see it correctly (meaning you were in bumper to bumper traffic on I-10 in El Monte or on I-5 through City of Commerce, both of which are :puke:). I took my cousin from Europe there in 2004 and she was very impressed. The problem with LA is that those of us who grew up there, despite having professional educations, have been priced out of anything that compares to what we grew up in, basic "3+2+family room stucco 1-story homes with 2-car garages," or from purchasing in decent neighborhoods. The weather band of 55-87 F is out of this world. Such is life.

Atlanta is where I lived for a few years after spending 2 years in SoCal after college. Atlanta is drop-dead gorgeous. All the brick homes set in stands of Southern pine that are hidden from view as one flies over it. Atlanta was proclaimed by the US Forest Service to be the most forested city in the US (it's actually not Seattle or Portland). It has good weather, a nice skyline, reasonably affordable housing, people from all over the world and a kick-ass fixed rail rapid transit system that I would race along with in my car when it skirted the freeway. I only left it to go to grad school and wish I had never left. For the beach, there was always the Florida Panhandle (Pensacola, baby). Atlanta, however, has become unwieldy and the curved, narrow country roads that were never meant to be absorbed into a large city can't move the traffic.

Comparisons:

LA and other California cities: San Francisco is postcard perfect but I would never want to live there. It is more expensive than LA, too compact, too pissy and politically correct, and does not have the free wheeling irreverence that LA has. Plus, it is much further to snow and mountains from SF and the beaches are much colder, to the point that you can't use them. San Diego has a lot of bubbleheaded people. A lot of the BPs in high school went to SDSU to major in marketing or communications and then waited on tables to bask in SD's hedonism, but the intellectual crowd headed up to Berkeley and Santa Cruz, both :puke: for the "have to make a statement" types that keep on hanging out there too long after they graduated or never even went to school there.

Other Southeastern cities: don't know the others that well. As Atlanta has mushroomed, it is no longer pulling in people and transplants have begun considering other Southeastern cities, much to the chagrin of those living in those other booming cities in NC, VA, etc. I don't know if Texas is the Southeast, but I only really like Houston. Unlike Dallas, which is brownish and is covered in mesquite, Houston is green and has many pines. In Houston, a drive through a ritzy area called Memorial Parkway is pretty impressive. I also don't know if I consider Florida the Southeast, because it is a world unto itself. What you give up in topography, you get in a better beach than you do in CA. The water is actually warm and it's turquoise colored. The architecture in the bigger cities, particularly at the Gulf or ocean's edge, is very interesting. I like Florida and think I could live there if I had to, as I have friends who made the CA to FL move, are ok with it, and are still in FL.

Other regions:

Northwest: In a word, NO. It is now expensive and some parts of Seattle are almost as expensive as LA or SD, and you need a "discount" to live in that depressing weather, to live around so many ugly women and to put up with the anti-California snide comments.

Southwest: Las Vegas has soooo much white trash and shady characters. Phoenix has its share, too. Both are hemmed in by nice mountains and the stark beauty of the desert, but 100 degrees for 3 to 4 months, no matter how dry, saps the living crap out of someone.

Midwest: Can't do it. Went to grad school there. Probably the nicest, most genuine people in America, but can't handle the winter and the summers aren't so great. I usually agree with mustang84, but I dislike Chicago intensely. Yes, "the Loop" is interesting, but it thins out to this vapid grid-shaped flatness that doesn't offer many interesting day-trip opportunities. Plus, I remember the arrogance of Chi-caaah-go types, something that I've never seen in Northeasterners* who don't have the need to defend their cities because their cities speak for themselves

Northeast: New York, and its greater metro area, is stunning. When I began being interested in cities, I liked looking at maps. The tri-state area of metro New York has breathtaking geography....much of it on different islands, with rivers and estuaries...and even more dramatic topography is not very far away. I have always gotten along better with NYers than Chicagoans (don't know why) and, like the OC, if I ever had to make a drastic move, it would be to NY before Chicago. *People in NY have rarely been rude to me and are very salt-of-the-earth, tell-it-like-it-is types who have a great sarcasm about life. Boston is also interesting, but the weather is harsher and extra points to Boston for being the closest major US city to Montreal. I hate Washington DC as it's a transient rotating door that depends on who's in power at the time and is stuffy, pretentious and bureaucratic. Can't say a lot about Philly and Baltimore, etc., as I only have passed through them, and I know they have some nice enclaves that most of the public does not see once they've seen Independence Hall and the Inner Harbor, respectively. They are also closer to Atlantic beaches than DC.

Immediately outside of the US: Montreal, Montreal and Montreal. I have come to like Toronto less and less, and I used to go to Vancouver once a month when I lived in Seattle after grad school, so I'm kind of bored with it.

Edited by trinacriabob
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Out of the ones I've been to..

1. NY

2. San Fran

3. Chicago

Have yet to see Seattle, Portland, Denver, anything in Texas

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Nashville/Jackson TN corridor (I-40)

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"It's kinda like Nashville, with a tan" ... Shawn Mullins ... 'Rockabye'

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I grew up in a Boston suburb and I really like the city. Not too big and lots of historical and cool places to visit. I also really like San Francisco. New York is fun to visit but way too hectic for me. I like Washington DC for its monuments and museums, but I hear the city is actually pretty ghetto in most places.

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