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Scarpelli87
04-14-2010, 02:39 AM
I am from a small town. Therefore I am not used to life in a big city like Chicago, New York etc. In my novel I have the use of both big cities and small towns.

If you live in a big city feel free to describe it! It can be in depth or just one sentence ANYTHING and everything is acceptable to me!

Kateness
04-14-2010, 03:17 AM
I lived in Philly for four years (college). It's louder than you think. You have to get used to crossing roads when the drivers don't actually care whether or not there's anything in front of them. There are so many stores. And so many people.

alleycat
04-14-2010, 03:32 AM
Just offering one little snippet. Remember that even in a big cities it's not all like downtown (or what you generally see on TV of a large city). There are neighborhoods within large cities that are somewhat like small towns to themselves.

Kateness
04-14-2010, 03:36 AM
Agreed. Center-city Philly has a totally different atmosphere than just-off-campus-west-philly.

Linda Adams
04-14-2010, 03:44 AM
The first thing that comes to mind is traffic. When I was kid, we used to drive from Los Angeles to Morro Bay (Central California; it's a small town). My brother always said he wished we could live in Morro Bay. My father's comment: No work. Cities often have big businesses, and lots of businesses. In Los Angeles, I could pretty much go 10-15 minutes in any direction and find some kind of mall. And of course, there were tons of aerospace companies everywhere. But that brings traffic. It was really common to find areas where the traffic came to a stop. We didn't have air conditioning in the car, so we'd sit sweltering in 90 degree heat, amidst all the other cars spewing off exhaust. I could literally look out the window while I was on the freeway and see the smashed cans on the shoulder because we going so slowly.

But the traffic in L.A. is mannerly. The traffic in Washington DC isn't. We're truly a mixing pot--military, diplomats, tourists, politicians, foreign visitors. Some people will cut across three lanes to make a left or right turn. And if it rains? Traffic instantly snarls up. Even if it's a sprinkle. We have a place called The Mixing Bowl, which is an area where a bunch of freeways converge. With places like that, you have to be paying attention because you could easily end up going in really the wrong direction. I would say traffic snarls up there, but in honestly, going north into DC, the traffic is backed up easily twenty miles as a matter of course. That doesn't include accidents, stalled cars, etc. We also have a strange area called Seven Corners, which is literally an intersection of streets with seven corners. My father--who is from Los Angeles--couldn't get over it. Seven Corners was like a strange alien life form.

Our traffic is so bad, we have a traffic advice column: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/metro/columns/drgridlock/

Then there's DC itself. Very poor signage. One time, when I was in the military, I had to pick up the commander's car in DC. It was this new, sleek black car with half a dozen antennas on the back. It looked like a car that someone would want to steal. I'm trying to find 66, and I'm lost because the signs aren't there. So I'm driving all over the place, looking for signs, and these guys are trying to flag me down to "help" me. No, thank you. I eventually found my way out by taking a chance at a fork and found a sign.

Down on South Capital Street (very poor area, but two Naval facilities and an army post are there), I was making a right turn and noticed that there was a body outline on the sidewalk ...

alleycat
04-14-2010, 03:47 AM
An off-topic (kind of funny) comment. I live in a metro area of a little over one-million, so it's not a huge city; still, there is always construction of one sort or the other going on. When I talk to or visit friends who live in a small county, they will sometimes mention some exciting news like a new Burger King going in. If there are two or three of them gathered, they might actually sit and discuss it like it was a major addition to area (which, I suppose, it is).

Kitty Pryde
04-14-2010, 03:58 AM
I live in LA. This morning at 3 am the cops were doing a helicopter chase nearby and the copter kept circling overhead. Not that fun. It's kinda smoggy here, but not as bad as it used to be, and probably not as bad as you might imagine. People have car accidents ALL THE TIME. There are parks all over the place. And frozen yogurt shops. For some reason we are obsessed with frozen yogurt shops, primarily Pinkberry and knockoffs of Pinkberry. If you're too poor for $4 yogurt, guys walk around many neighborhoods with freezer carts dinging a bell and selling ice cream pops for $1. I live in Hollywood, and it is overrun with tourists. The gym I go to is next door to a Madame Tussaud's wax museum :P

Within a few blocks of me there are Oaxacan, Thai, Indian, and Armenian restaurants, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Quiznos, vegan food, Cold Stone Creamery, a place disturbingly called Transylvania Restaurant (home of the Dracula Burger), 3 grocery stores, and 3 drugstores.

Mr Flibble
04-14-2010, 04:07 AM
An off-topic (kind of funny) comment. I live in a metro area of a little over one-million, so it's not a huge city; still, there is always construction of one sort or the other going on. When I talk to or visit friends who live in a small county, they will sometimes mention some exciting news like a new Burger King going in. If there are two or three of them gathered, they might actually sit and discuss it like it was a major addition to area (which, I suppose, it is).

The outrage / etc when they proposed ( don't know if they have) put a Mac D's in the souk in Marrakesh! Proposed in a fourteenth century building...

:D
Op - it depends what city - no two are exactly alike. I could tell you about Manchester UK but that won't do you much good if you're setting your peice in New York

Linda Adams
04-14-2010, 04:12 AM
I live in LA. This morning at 3 am the cops were doing a helicopter chase nearby and the copter kept circling overhead. Not that fun.

That's better than what happened where I'm at. I come home and find the street's closed off. Fire trucks and police everywhere. Right by where where I live, they had yellow tape up everywhere, and there were at least 20 police cars. Not a fire. The police stayed long, long after the fire left. I went back out and when I saw the news crew, I knew what happened: It was a body. A man committed suicide after shooting his girlfriend--and most oddly, that crime occurred near where I work, more than ten miles away!

Cliff Face
04-14-2010, 05:06 AM
Adelaide, the city near me, is a city of 1 million people, which I found surprising. I didn't think it would be that many.

Lots of people though, compared to where I live. I was in Adelaide the other day, and the main mall strip there has a big intersection at the end of it where you can cross the road. It reminded me of images I've seen of Japan intersections, where there are people all over the road crossing to get to where they're going - literally the entire road full of people.

Aside from all the people, the stores are better stocked and generally bigger. There are more sex shops, and the city actually has strip clubs, which most suburbs don't.

There are also parades every so often, which are big events and usually televised.

Oh, and the city is the only place I know of in South Australia that has a goth club (it has 3!) so it wins the state.

The city centre isn't all that big, and there aren't really many places to live, but around the city centre there's a fair amount of housing.

Midnight Star
04-14-2010, 05:12 AM
I live near Atlanta and have been there several times. It's one of the worst cities as far as traffic goes. Especially during rush hour on Fridays. I hear about a crash every day. It also has a decent amount of crime; I see reports in the newspaper of someone getting killed whether by murder or accident every week.

But, Atlanta has its upsides, too. The environment isn't terrible. I mean, there's still a good bit of crime and whatnot, but overall, it's a great city. There are a lot of businesses downtown, and most of the people that work in Atlanta live outside the actual city limits, so there isn't as much housing as you'd expect.

donroc
04-14-2010, 05:19 AM
Noise, high energy, great night life, more choices where I grew up, The City aka San Francisco.

Witch_turtle
04-14-2010, 06:01 AM
I don't live in a huge city, but I live in a crowded city. It's a relatively small area with way too many people crammed in. It's dirty, and cold, and traffic is absolutely incredibly bad. We are the home of crappy drivers. There are also a lot of potholes all over the roads. It's always hard to find parking.

But, that's probably not too helpful. I'm in Alberta. The biggest city in my vicinity which I have regularly visited is Edmonton, where the worlds largest mall is situated. (At least it was the world's largest mall last I heard. I wouldn't be surprised, though maybe a little disappointed, if somewhere else an even bigger one has sprouted up recently). Anyway, that place can get so crowded it's impossible to walk without bumping into someone. And people have a tendency to walk slooowly, or stand still, as if they own the place. Also, you're constantly being confronted by people trying to sell things, promote shows, or, as I recently learned, give you "FREE HUGS". Many stores are duplicated in this mall. There is a massive movie theatre, an ice skating rink, an animal cage (For a while it held a plethora of pink flamingos, then it was three toed sloths, and currently it holds a bunch of lemurs), a dolphin/sea lion tank which they do shows in, a mini-golf course, a segway track, an indoor amusement park (where I had one of the worst experiences of my life) and an enormous waterpark. There are fountains all over, a giant whale statue thing, and themed areas. Plus all the hundreds of stores and restaurants. You also see all kinds of interestingly dressed people. Rest assured, spending a day walking around in there can be killer on your legs/feet, especially as an out-of-townie who's A) not used to it and B) trying to get a lot done in a short amount of time.

I'm not sure any of that is really helpful. But since I, like you, am not used to life in a huge city, I can testify to the distinctly different "feeling" of walking around a huge place as compared to a smaller city. It's kind of exciting to have all those interesting things around you. It's much more difficult to get bored, but much easier to spend a lot of money. It's also more fun to just sit and "people-watch," since there are so many odd and unusual and beautiful and eccentric and generally a bigger variety of people. All in all it's a pretty 'magical' feeling place, at least in comparison to what I'm used to. I just get the impression that there is an intent to create an interesting, pleasing atmosphere, which doesn't exist where I live. Of course there is also the intent to sell as many things to as many people as possible, but where doesn't that exist? ;)

mtrenteseau
04-14-2010, 06:28 AM
I live near Atlanta and have been there several times. It's one of the worst cities as far as traffic goes. Especially during rush hour on Fridays. I hear about a crash every day. It also has a decent amount of crime; I see reports in the newspaper of someone getting killed whether by murder or accident every week.

But, Atlanta has its upsides, too. The environment isn't terrible. I mean, there's still a good bit of crime and whatnot, but overall, it's a great city. There are a lot of businesses downtown, and most of the people that work in Atlanta live outside the actual city limits, so there isn't as much housing as you'd expect.

This brings up another interesting point about all big cities - people who live outside them tend to have a different perspective of life inside, and people inside have a different perspective of life outside.

Midnight Star is "OTP," which means "outside the Perimeter," the highway that circles the city. The news often focuses on crime, fires, and traffic (in fact, I call the Sunday 12 o'clock news the "cuttin' and shootin' report"), so that affects an OTP's view of the city.

Those of us, like myself, who are "ITP," watch the same news and recognize that most of the crimes occur in bad neighborhoods that we would never be in for anything. But if something happens in Lilburn or Kennesaw, we tune it out as something that happened "out there."

Midnight Star
04-14-2010, 06:43 AM
This brings up another interesting point about all big cities - people who live outside them tend to have a different perspective of life inside, and people inside have a different perspective of life outside.

Midnight Star is "OTP," which means "outside the Perimeter," the highway that circles the city. The news often focuses on crime, fires, and traffic (in fact, I call the Sunday 12 o'clock news the "cuttin' and shootin' report"), so that affects an OTP's view of the city.

Those of us, like myself, who are "ITP," watch the same news and recognize that most of the crimes occur in bad neighborhoods that we would never be in for anything. But if something happens in Lilburn or Kennesaw, we tune it out as something that happened "out there."

You definitely make a good point, not just about Atlanta, but about any city. People who live there have a different perspective of the city than those who don't. That goes for small towns, too.

I could be wrong, but it seems like you took my post as though i was complaining about Atlanta. Reading over it again, I kind of understand that. I love the city of Atlanta. In fact, I'd rather live there than in the suburbs. I was jus trying to give my perspective, and I was a little short on time. :)

mtrenteseau
04-14-2010, 07:38 AM
I could be wrong, but it seems like you took my post as though i was complaining about Atlanta. Reading over it again, I kind of understand that. I love the city of Atlanta. In fact, I'd rather live there than in the suburbs. I was jus trying to give my perspective, and I was a little short on time. :)

I didn't take it as complaining. But it is a little OTP to lead off with the crime and traffic, and then talk about the shopping and nightlife. :)

eurodan49
04-14-2010, 07:48 AM
A small city’s got that “friendly” atmosphere. Forget that in a big one, people just don’t have the time to be friendly. A small one has that “neighborly” atmosphere, in a big city most people don’t know their neighbors. A big city is a cacophony and hodge-podge of colors, sounds and smells. Depending what part of a big city, you could walk around awestruck or mesmerized. In a small city everybody knows the Korean, who owns the laundry, or the Italian who owns the pizzeria. In a big city there are whole ethnic neighborhoods. Traffic must move on, you just can’t pull over to talk to Joe. Diners are impersonal eating places where you don’t go for a chat. Stores carry stuff that won’t get to the small city for two years or so. Nightlife is something that doesn’t stop at midnight. Downtown area is a sea of people. You better use the bus or metro if you want to get somewhere on time. Parking would cost you as much as a dinner. Oh yea, before I forget, people do speak funny.

third person
04-14-2010, 11:46 AM
New Yorker here. We walk everywhere--and we walk FAST. Pedestrians always have the right of way on the street, and that's why we're not afraid to walk against a red light. Think of a NY sidewalk as a highway. You've lanes for varying speeds, and we hate being cut off by slower people. Especially tourists.

Oh god, the tourists. We're often annoyed by their behaviour. Why? They randomly stop in the middle of the sidewalk, tripping up people who just want to get where they're going. Or they take up the entire sidewalk by walking "tandem". Or they look EVERYWHERE except in front of them. Which can be dangerous, because in the big city you should always be aware of your surroundings.

As much as we don't seem to like each other, we accept otherwise uncomfortably bodily contact on public transit when things get crowded as something we have to deal with, no matter how unpleasant. But it gets worse in cities that are big AND densely populated. Try taking the train in China's big cities. It's so crowded on those trains at rush hour people are shoved and stuffed in like a tin of sardines. NO THANKS.

We seem crude, impatient, self-involved, etc...and we are. But they're survival traits here. This is the concrete jungle. In the jungle you have to be tough or the predators will come sniffing around. And in the big city, there's no shortage of predators in any subculture or social/professional setting. The person who's all smiles and overly helpful may be the one you need to watch out for, while the person who (only) looks like they've a chip on their shoulder and keeps glancing at you is only deciding whether to tell you that your fly is undone.

This is fun. I'll add more when I think of more.

shaldna
04-14-2010, 12:10 PM
I live in Belfast, which is a strange city that sort of bleeds out over a five mile radius. It comprises of City Centre - where the main shopping is, but there are residential streets between shopping precincts and it all sort of bleeds together quite strangely.

Then the Metro zone extends out through about 10 smaller townships, each part of Belfast but with their own unique names and shopping centres etc.

DrZoidberg
04-14-2010, 03:49 PM
No matter where you are and at any hours you can always get good coffee, always. That's a pretty sweet thing about big cities. Going out for a beer Friday/Saturday night can turn into a major project.

I suggest watching all episodes of Seinfeld. You'll learn everything you need to know about big city life. There's more choices and opportunities but everything is also more complicated.

Maryn
04-14-2010, 04:20 PM
One thing that outsiders quickly learn when they move to a large city is that you avoid eye contact, unlike small towns. You don't nod a greeting to a stranger. It's one way people preserve their privacy when they are in close quarters, walking or on the subway or bus.

We walk everywhere. Most women aren't stupid enough to do that in high heels, like they do on TV.

People are more fashionable in general, and clearly spend more on their clothes and grooming than those in smaller communities.

There are more visible crazies in cities, the kind of population who are grey-brown from head to toe and have not bathed or changed clothes in years. Changing politics may swell or reduce their number, depending on the help available and whether they're forced to accept it, but they're always there in cities.

More and better restaurants, and of greater variety, some with months-long waiting lists.

All kinds of things that are open in the middle of the night, or very late or very early.

Traffic is awful. Parking is worse. It's sometimes impossible to find a legal parking place, including anything you pay for, within a mile of your destination.

Housing is smaller and expensive. Many adults have less "stuff" than their counterparts in smaller towns, where generous closets, rooms large enough for cabinets, and basement storage are common.

People seem to go out more. (Maybe to escape that tiny apartment?) Anything worth going to, from a movie to a club to a bar or restaurant, will be horrifically crowded.

Maryn, formerly of Boston

Noah Body
04-14-2010, 05:01 PM
Have lived in both NYC and Los Angeles, among others, and there are huge differences between them (I still work in NYC every day, but live in suburban Connecticut now). Are there any specific aspects of city life you're looking to discover? Better yet, is there a specific city you'd like to know more about? We can toss a zillion factoids your way, but if you have a specific setting, it might be worth your while to narrow the focus a bit.

dirtsider
04-14-2010, 05:14 PM
While I may not live in NYC, I do go there often to meet up with a friend who works there. I have to whole-heartedly agree with Third Person about the tourists. I've dubbed their type of walking as the "mall walk" because it happens there a lot too. It's as if they have all the time in the world to be in front of you. Places that tourists "must" go see tend to be very crowded and you feel like you're swimming through a mass of bodies rather than walking. You're not likely to get any where fast unless you're determined to, well, push your way through, in these places.

There's a lot of different types of places to go, particularly restaurants. While there are a lot of chain restaurants, it's a lot more fun to go find the smaller places that aren't in the main tourist areas. For instance, there was a small hummus restaurant that probably wouldn't hold more than 25 people, tops, but it had some really great food. My friend and I probably wouldn't have gone in if either one of us were on our own but we went in because it looked interesting to both of us.

Another thing, you're more likely to see homeless people lying out someplace, grabbing a chance to get some sleep. I've seen several crashed out in Penn Station (well, more accurately, Penn Terminal but most people just call it Penn Station). People also tend to ignore someone getting arrested right there in the middle of the sidewalk. But they will stop occasionally to listen to a street musician (aka busker), if they're really good.

You're also going to get a lot of street vendors, particularly in the touristy areas. Some are generally in one spot on a regular basis. A few actually have their wares in a blanket that ties up easily around the stuff so they can move to where the crowds are. Once they find someone who shows some interest, they'll open up their "shop", make their sales, and move on as necessary.

Namatu
04-14-2010, 06:30 PM
Then there's DC itself. Very poor signage. "Very poor" is being kind. It's atrocious. And so small and discrete, as if we don't want our attention drawn to things like major roads. I don't understand it.


Oh god, the tourists. We're often annoyed by their behaviour. Why? They randomly stop in the middle of the sidewalk, tripping up people who just want to get where they're going. Or they take up the entire sidewalk by walking "tandem". Or they look EVERYWHERE except in front of them. Which can be dangerous, because in the big city you should always be aware of your surroundings.YES. The tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk, who hog the poles on the subway (a bad behavior sadly not restricted to tourists), who stand on the walking side of the escalator (that's DC, not NYC). Get out of the way! I say this with a smile, really, usually. I've been a tourist in big cities often enough. I know it's all new to many of them and you don't automatically pick up on standard practices. I try to be patient and accepting, but sometimes it's really hard.


We walk everywhere. Most women aren't stupid enough to do that in high heels, like they do on TV.Tennis shoes, any kind of flat with a comfy sole, you'll see them on women in nice suits, flowy dresses, etc. But there are those who still wear high heels. They clearly hate comfort.

I've seen the same homeless people on the same corners for years.

Almost everyone is from somewhere else. Lots of transplants.

Libbie
04-14-2010, 07:31 PM
Public transport smells like urine.

Libbie
04-14-2010, 07:32 PM
Tennis shoes, any kind of flat with a comfy sole, you'll see them on women in nice suits, flowy dresses, etc. But there are those who still wear high heels. They clearly hate comfort.



No, we just know that if you buy expensive enough heels, they're just as comfortable as flats.

Fidjis. Seriously. Like walking on stylish air.

(Being a zoo keeper, I take every opportunity to dress nicely when I'm not at work. If that means bumming around the city with my friends on foot while wearing cute heels, I'll do it.)

DavidZahir
04-14-2010, 08:22 PM
Really, really depends on the city. I grew up in a large small town (Pensacola Florida--more like a cluster of small towns pretending to be a small city really) and my brother lived in one in Northern California for years while I spent a long summer in New Philadelphia Ohio. But I spent four years in NYC, have lived a decade here in LA after spending a decade in Redwood City (halfway point in an almost-unbroken string of suburbs between San Francisco and San Jose).

An amazing thing about all big cities is their variety. Not only multiple foods but (and this some find startling) multiple religions and churches. Small towns rarely have a "gay area" while big cities often do--just as they often have ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatowns, Little Italy, the French Quarter, etc. The result is a greater degree of practical tolerance, even among the overtly intolerant.

Some things I've noticed in comparing small towns and big cities:
-The number of local t.v. and radio stations.
-The availability of taxis.
-The proximity of airports, hence the appearance of large aircraft in the sky.
-The cleanliness of public restrooms (much greater in small towns).
-The "hours" of restaurants, which tend to be more-or-less uniform in small towns but all over the place in big cities.
-The number and scale of libraries (but this varies even more with cities--NYC has excellent libraries but most pubic libraries in LA are akin to small town libraries, i.e. small, limited, etc.)
-The amount of time it takes for shopkeepers to recognize you after you've shopped there.
-Lack of consensus, because larger populations mean it is harder to get the majority to agree on things.

Kitty Pryde
04-14-2010, 08:56 PM
LA public transit is a lot different from the NYC transit described above. First of all, if you aren't in a car, then you are considered either poor or crazy (before anyone gets offended, I share a car with my spouse so I am always on public transit. I am neither crazy nor poor, though drivers in cars must assume I am while I am waiting at the bus stop. It's mostly about perception. Though of my large number of middle-class acquaintances, I only know like 3 other people who use public transit.) People are fixated on parking zones and parking garages and parking meters. I've seen valet parking at the coffee shop.

The subway system in LA REALLY sucks compared to other big cities. For instance, you can't get to the beach or to UCLA or most parts of town on the subway. The train cars and buses are rarely crowded, though they have gotten busier since the economic crash. People would honestly rather be parked in traffic on the 101 for an hour than take a fifteen minute subway ride.

I think of LA as a safe place, though there are places I wouldn't go to alone at night. All the synagogues I have been to in LA have security guards (sometimes armed) out front on Friday nights during services. I only know of one person who has been a victim of crime in the city (mugged at gunpoint).

Oh yeah, one time a drunk bum threatened to beat up my partner on the bus on New Year's Eve. He felt she was looking insufficiently feminine and thus letting down black people everywhere (no, really). Then he followed us up to the front of the bus and wouldn't listen to the driver's requests to sit down and be quiet. I thought we were going to have to have an actual fist fight or something. But when he said to her "Don't you think you have a psychological problem?" a random crackhead lady shouted out "Sack-uh-logical? Sit yo ass down!" and everybody laughed and he retreated to the back of the bus in shame. It was scary at the time, although I can laugh about it now. The moral of the story is, sit up front with the crackheads, not at the back with the surly drunken bums. Crackheads got your back.

Captcha
04-15-2010, 02:15 AM
I used to live in big cities (Montreal and then Vancouver) and now live in a small town. The things I miss the most:

1) FOOD! Good food of all kinds is available in the city. And I tended to buy it more at markets and specialty shops. Here, I rarely eat out, and most of my food comes from a once weekly trip to the supermarket. And everywhere delivers in the city, where up here we have one pizza place that may or may not make the drive out, depending on how busy they are. Of course, I have room for my own garden, here, so it's a trade off.

2) Energy - it just feels faster in the city, as if there's more going on. When I visit, now, I'm kind of overwhelmed, but when I lived in the city it was just part of me.

3) Parks, Recreation areas - it sounds crazy, but I live on half an acre in a small town, and I have nowhere to visit nature! I see lots of it from my car windows, but there's no sidewalks, no parks, no public space at all, really. The closest I have is the cemetery.

4) Fashion, Attention to appearance - pros and cons, really, but when I was in the city, I was MUCH more concerned about my appearance. When I moved up here, nobody else seemed to care, and I stopped caring too. Which, overall is probably a good thing (inner beauty and all that), but I have to be careful not to cross the line into being a slob.

And I think I'm going to go against the majority and say that I met lots of friendly people in the cities. I knew the people who owned the neighbourhood stores and they'd greet me and chat; I knew the people in the apartments next to mine, and we'd have big parties all together when we could, to avoid the annoyance of one person's racket interfering with someone else's quiet night, etc. It might be a Canadian thing, or it might be because in both cities I lived almost, but not quite, downtown, so there wasn't the 'I'm too busy for you' attitude of the REAL downtown, but also wasn't the suburban car-culture disaffect that I've seen in some 'burbs.

Damn, now I miss the city...

StephanieFox
04-15-2010, 04:26 AM
Each city has a different feel. When you go to each city, you can almost feel (some of us can actually feel) a beat – a rhythm to each place that's very different from any other city.

NYC seems vital, alive and endless. Of D.C. it has been said that it's a city with northern charm and southern efficiency. It feels like a company town, which it is. It's got a paranoid feel about it.

Chicago has a metaphysical sense of death about it, but in a way it's more alive than NYC. It's gray.

Seattle is young and energetic. Portland is an old hippie.

Miami is part of Latin America and has a party feel about it.

Minneapolis is glass buildings, parks and an urban forest and focused on the 28 lakes. It's polite and hardworking. St. Paul is an older version of Minneapolis but focused on the Mississippi river.


I grew up and then went to college and grad school in towns. I do not miss them. I like the city. Minneapolis has a lot of green space. Just one of our parks is bigger than Central Park in NY. I can walk to four lakes and around them and you can meet people as you're out walking the dog. There's great restaurants, it's the 2nd best theatre town in the country (after NYC) but crime is low and I can walk by myself at night. I think it's the smaller towns that are less friendly. If you didn't grow up there, you're always a stranger.

johnnysannie
04-15-2010, 02:11 PM
I think it's the smaller towns that are less friendly. If you didn't grow up there, you're always a stranger.[/I]

I agree; I now live in a small town where people judge you by your local lineage - if you don't have multiple generations rooted here, you will remain a stranger. My husband was born here but his parents came from Louisiana so he is not considered a true "native".

I grew up in a large city and people were much friendlier than I have experienced in most small towns.

DoomBunny
04-16-2010, 02:38 PM
The first thing that hits me when I get off the train (car/plane/taxi/whatever) is the smell. Sydney smells like smoke, diesel, ocean (good and bad), unwashed people and stale food. Except for Chinatown, which smells like spicy stale food. Once you get used to it, it's actually quite pleasant. Melbourne is similar but spicier, and the river stinks.

When moving around don't stop, watch where you're going, be aware of your surroundings, and for the love of god don't make eye contact. And in the above examples, watch for trams when you step off the kerb. Sydney drivers are particularly aggressive so be careful crossing in the city.

Canberra is my most recent city experience, although to a real city-dweller it's just a glorified country town. People are extraordinarily arrogant and unfriendly, and stay well away from anyone young and erratic. Chances are they're one of the endemic population of rich young amphetamine abusers, and will thump you just to laugh at the look on your face.

Kathie Freeman
04-16-2010, 07:38 PM
No blue skies, no stars at night, no crickets chirping, lots of dead cats, dogs in the road, crap in the gutters, sirens all hours of the day and night.