• You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to additional post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), view blogs, respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, so please join our community today! Just click here to register. You should turn your Ad Blocker off for this site or certain features may not work properly. If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us by clicking here.

Cities

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

White Raven
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
20,262
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
I have created a ranking of cities I've visited in America, from best to worst. Everyone is free to add their own rankings, and use their own rules, or lack there of. As for me, I will not be address inequality, homelessness, or gentrification, as these are problems in every city in America, as far as I know. I also will not be addressing crime; if you want to read about this you can read the comments section of any article or story concerning a major city. I don't find worn-out Republican talking points interesting, and I don't respect their thinking on it (which involves electing Republicans), so I will not be talking about it. I will be starting from the lowest:

11.
Las Vegas: This place was creepy. It seemed to me that it was a city built on consuming people. While you might be distracted be some of the whimsy or kitsch, it's hard to escape your gut awareness of this fact for long. I was on edge nearly the whole time, trying to avoid getting suckered into some kind of trap. For this reason, I put nothing into any of the machines. I felt threats everywhere, in a way I don't feel in Chicago. It was as though someone was trying to ensnare me everywhere I went.

I am referring to the Strip above. Outside of it, I don't have much experience, but they were more positive. I visited a store where I could buy a straw cowboy hat, and that made me pretty happy, as did the breakfast burrito I had. This city might receive higher rankings if I'd wandered off the strip more. Otherwise, this place did an excellent job of feeding into my paranoia.

10.

Wilmington: This one ranks low because there's not much of interest. There is no unique atmosphere, and little sites worth seeing. It's neat to explore the banks of the Christina River and discover old mills, some of which are being refurbished into apartments. I remember once it flooded over and went past the cherry trees in bloom. That was memorable, but mostly this place is credit card companies.
I am tempted to include the Andrew Wyeth Museum, which has some unbelievable paintings of winter and autumn landscapes. I loved the way he showed the beauty in what some may think of as barren landscapes; this resonated with me. I thought it was cool that he choose to focus on those seasons, rather than on summer and spring like most artists. The Wyeth Museum, however, is actually in Pennsylvania, which I've decided means that it doesn't count.

TWO INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT WILMINGTON
#1: The actress Aubrey Plaza is from here.
#2: Fight Club is set here. Edward Norton makes a sarcastic crack about "A Place to be Somebody" at the beginning of the film, and this is the motto of Wilmington. And remember how they destroyed all credit card company buildings at the end of the movie? Finance (credit cards especially) is an extremely important industry in Wilmington; many financial companies have headquarters there.

9.

Philadelphia: I spent the first 30 years of my life here. I suppose I should mention that technically I'm from Delco, but my major problem with this city seemed to apply regardless of where I was at the time. My major problem with this city is one of culture.

There are two sides to this:
First, there are too many rude assholes. This is not an easy place to be an eccentric single weirdo loner. People harass you if you just *look* like you might smoke marijuana, which can just mean wearing plaid and being heavily bearded. That's far from the only thing. I was riding on the trolley once and the guy sitting next to me harassed me about the book I was reading. The book in question was a tree identification guide; I was hoping I might learn some interesting information on my commute. I couldn't imagine that anyone else would mind. But apparently, someone had a problem with this. What I'm reading is nobody else's business. If I'm not bothering them, they should leave me alone, and not offer sarcastic comments about how boring it looks to them. I've been in Chicago for 8 years and this has never happened to me.

Second, there is not much pride in the city, which I think has to do with why Philadelphia sports fans go so crazy when a team is doing well. So many other large cities have pride: New York, Pittsburgh, Portland (Oregon), Chicago, and others I'm neglecting to mention because I haven't met enough people from there. This is a shame because I think there are many things to be proud of. There is something important about having pride in where you live, I think. It probably results in less rude assholes.

It is also an obnoxious experience to purchase beer and liquor there, because these are not allowed to be sold in grocery stores (thanks, Gifford Pinochot). Marijuana legalization also lags behind in Pennsylvania. (Unlike my sister, I'm not shocked Pennsylvania voted for Trump the first time around; even though it's considered Northern state it's actually somewhat conservative. The last year I lived there was 2016, and I only heard someone say something positive about Hillary once; I never heard anyone say anything negative about Trump.)

I want to be clear, there are awesome people in Philadelphia; I've made some cool friends here. I do have fond memories of this place. But growing up here gave me a massive chip on my shoulder that took a lot of work to remove; it didn't make me tougher.

I will go into detail on the positive things. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and everything on it is worth your time. Once my aunt and uncle were in town for lunch. We met up, and I wanted to go to the Free Library afterward. Because of this, I made my way over to the Parkway, where it is located. It was snowing that day, and bagpipes were playing in the Basilica. It was like being transported back in time.

I also have to mention the Penn Museum. The art museum gets all the attention because of Rocky, but this is just as worth seeing. This museum is about archaeology. Many prestigious universities have museums like this, but this is the biggest I've seen. Turn down a corner and find yourself face to face with something from your high school world history textbook. Visiting here gives you an entirely different conception of time and your place in it. You see pieces of jewelry on display that are thousands of years old, and you're reminded it belonged to someone. You start to realize that people who were alive then weren't actually that different from the people who are alive today, which has all sorts of implications. What will people say about our time a thousand years from now? What will they know? It's also great for coming up with your own crackpot theories about things.

Finally, I'm obligated to address all the historical sites, like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc. I was dragged here so often for class trips (I can't count how many class trips to these places I've been on) and whenever an out-of-town relative visited. I grew to hate this and was convinced I hated history as a subject for a long time. At the time, I think the exhibits in those places were relatively sanitized. My memories give me the impression that things haven't updated since the Bicentennial. I would imagine that since I was a kid it's been overhauled significantly. I'm referring to the fact that many of these people were slave owners, but also facts like Benjamin Franklin fathering bastards over France. The heroic myths are much less interesting than the truth. The history is much more interesting to me if they are people rather than demigods. History is much weirder than we think; we have often been taught a flattened version of it to better fit into our national mythology.
 

ceecee

Coolatta® Enjoyer
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
15,980
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
8w9
Interesting. I've been all over the US and there are places that simply have a terrible vibe/bad energy, regardless of the people or the "niceness" of the place. Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL, literally everywhere in MS - Oxford is fine and I lived there for a few months but take one step out of there, it feels like a horror movie and I truly feel bad for any normal person living in that state. York, PA - what in the fuck is wrong with that place/people? Maybe the proximity to Gettysburg and so much death but it feels like the air pressure is off or something. Perhaps that's the reason for all the confederate flags too, dunno. Las Vegas, NV - I couldn't wait to leave, it's just chaotic and unsettling. Much of the Gulf Coast feels polluted and dark - I mean, it is. Rust Chole really nailed the visceral feeling of the area in Louisiana but it's all over - Houston to Tallahassee. Charleston, SC. Don't even want to talk about it. Salt Lake City - just no. This state is theocracy full of insane cult members and you can't get a pitcher of beer. The vibe is absolutely off nearly everywhere we went BUT the natural world that's been bestowed upon Utah is almost unfair. Breathtaking, I highly recommend.

I liked Philly though. Lots of history and the people, well, these people are going to riot whether they win or lose in any sport and that just seems to be the way they are in life too. This isn't necessarily bad. But I've never been to Pittsburg and that's much closer to where I live. It's on my list. Also Buffalo. Don't get me wrong, there are fantastic US cities big and small. Portland, Maine, Boston, MA, Chicago, DC, Madison WI, Duluth MN...
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
20,631
MBTI Type
I
Enneagram
9w8
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
are singing groups of guys on street corners really a thing in Philly?
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
20,631
MBTI Type
I
Enneagram
9w8
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
I really dig small mountain cities. Asheville, NC is a cool city and you forget you're in the south. It's got a very laid back vibe. It's also weird that I barely saw any middle aged people--everyone looks like 20-30 something hipsters or retired hippies, but I think that contributes to the town's overall carefree vibe. People between 40 and 60 tend to be more stressed and bring a lot of anxiety to communities. Young people are too young to realize how fast life's going to pass them by and older retirees are just trying to enjoy and savor what time they have left. Good blend.
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
20,631
MBTI Type
I
Enneagram
9w8
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
Which ones?
Most of what I know of Philadelphia comes from the Rocky films and the film Philadelphia. I just assume that singing street gangs are a thing, and that I'll be accompanied by a sad Bruce Springsteen song as I stroll through a sad cityscape contemplating hiding my illness from my lawyer colleagues.
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
20,631
MBTI Type
I
Enneagram
9w8
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
I probably wouldn't want to live in Idaho, but there's some pretty little towns like American Falls that look like fairytalke 50s ideas of suburbia. That one had that classic western city grid (unlike East coast cities which tended to be planned poorly and haphazardly) and shit like a soda shop pharmacy. Problem is that there isn't much of value beneath the picturesque surface, and what is beneath the surface might better be avoided.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

White Raven
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
20,262
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
Most of what I know of Philadelphia comes from the Rocky films and the film Philadelphia. I just assume that singing street gangs are a thing, and that I'll be accompanied by a sad Bruce Springsteen song as I stroll through a sad cityscape contemplating hiding my illness from my lawyer colleagues.
Oh, there you go. I haven't seen any of those. Mostly I know Trading Places, Mannequin, Silver Linings Playbook, and M Night Shyamalan films.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

White Raven
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
20,262
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
Interesting. I've been all over the US and there are places that simply have a terrible vibe/bad energy, regardless of the people or the "niceness" of the place. Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL, literally everywhere in MS - Oxford is fine and I lived there for a few months but take one step out of there, it feels like a horror movie and I truly feel bad for any normal person living in that state. York, PA - what in the fuck is wrong with that place/people? Maybe the proximity to Gettysburg and so much death but it feels like the air pressure is off or something. Perhaps that's the reason for all the confederate flags too, dunno. Las Vegas, NV - I couldn't wait to leave, it's just chaotic and unsettling. Much of the Gulf Coast feels polluted and dark - I mean, it is. Rust Chole really nailed the visceral feeling of the area in Louisiana but it's all over - Houston to Tallahassee. Charleston, SC. Don't even want to talk about it. Salt Lake City - just no. This state is theocracy full of insane cult members and you can't get a pitcher of beer. The vibe is absolutely off nearly everywhere we went BUT the natural world that's been bestowed upon Utah is almost unfair. Breathtaking, I highly recommend.

I liked Philly though. Lots of history and the people, well, these people are going to riot whether they win or lose in any sport and that just seems to be the way they are in life too. This isn't necessarily bad. But I've never been to Pittsburg and that's much closer to where I live. It's on my list. Also Buffalo. Don't get me wrong, there are fantastic US cities big and small. Portland, Maine, Boston, MA, Chicago, DC, Madison WI, Duluth MN...
That's an interesting point. I did consider moving out of Delaware County and into Philadelphia but I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of moving at the time. Of course, the place I looked at was probably outside of my budget, and I didn't know how I could afford a moving truck, either. Maybe I would have liked living in Philly proper, though.
 

ceecee

Coolatta® Enjoyer
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
15,980
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
8w9
That's an interesting point. I did consider moving out of Delaware County and into Philadelphia but I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of moving at the time. Of course, the place I looked at was probably outside of my budget, and I didn't know how I could afford a moving truck, either. Maybe I would have liked living in Philly proper, though.
It seemed very working class, fuck off if you don't like it, sort of people and I'm ok with that. Chicago is kind of that way too but they are more no bullshit to the point authenticity that is more Midwest - and that's my people lol (but a bit different than the Detroit vibe). I would have started packing immediately had my husband been transferred to Chicago, it's such a great place.

I've never been to Ashville but I have been to that far western corner. It doesn't feel like NC, or the south at all (even though it's basically bordering TN and GA).I liked it. Been to Idaho and would not return but it pisses me off that Nazis have basically taken over that state - it's beautiful. Montana - my brother lives there so we've gone a few times. It's also beautiful but there is a lot of nothing as it is all over those states. Oh, I almost forgot. North and South Dakota. People should go there and get a better idea of what this country did to the indigenous people. I felt incredibly sad there and Mt. Rushmore was like the cherry on top of sad and how these monuments are just mythology - even the sculpture was a racist piece of shit. North Dakota is so dirty from oil and gas - I was not prepared for how much damage is being done there environmentally but consider the state govt and it's not surprising.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

White Raven
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
20,262
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
I've never been to Ashville but I have been to that far western corner. It doesn't feel like NC, or the south at all (even though it's basically bordering TN and GA).I liked it. Been to Idaho and would not return but it pisses me off that Nazis have basically taken over that state - it's beautiful.
Interesting story:

I used to know this guy from Oregon. I wasn't sure if he was more recently from Portland or a more rural part of the state, but I got along with him pretty well and I thought he was an interesting person to talk to. I never pressed him too hard on his politics but they didn't seem that bad. More recently I found out (via FB before I quit) that he moved to Idaho and I'm a little suspicious of that. Perhaps he just did that because he wanted to be closer to nature (the motive would fit given the context in which we knew each other), but part of me wonders if it signifies something darker.
 

chickpea

perfect person
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
5,738
MBTI Type
INFP
Enneagram
4w5
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
i'd like to hear the rest of your list, i just came here to say i hate san diego...
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

White Raven
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
20,262
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
i'd like to hear the rest of your list, i just came here to say i hate san diego...
I've never been there so it's not on the list. I'm also not including a lot of places where I saw one thing and that was it. I

I have been to Los Angeles, but it won't be on the list; I didn't have a positive impression but according to many people that live there, me and my traveling companions apparently made the mistake of going to Hollywood, which was dingy and depressing and not glamorous at all. If that info is correct I have to remove it from consideration.
 

chickpea

perfect person
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
5,738
MBTI Type
INFP
Enneagram
4w5
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
I've never been there so it's not on the list. I'm also not including a lot of places where I saw one thing and that was it. I

I have been to Los Angeles, but it won't be on the list; I didn't have a positive impression but according to many people that live there, me and my traveling companions apparently made the mistake of going to Hollywood, which was dingy and depressing and not glamorous at all. If that info is correct I have to remove it from consideration.
i lived in LA for a few months and still feel like i barely saw most of the city, it really is more like a collection of smaller cities so your experience is going to vary wildly based on which part you’re in. most of the touristy parts are very overrated and yeah depressing.

san diego is very beautiful and has great weather but seemed devoid of culture with a weird military frat-bro vibe on top. i’ve seen other people get angry at the assertion that it’s a culture-less city by saying that’s ignoring the impact mexican culture has on the city. to that i say… LA and SF has the same but better. they also put fries in burritos for some reason? that’s the only cultural innovation made in that city i’m aware of.

(this hate actually already existed but has been strengthened by the fact that last time i was there i got a ticket from a cop on a 4-wheeler for casually enjoying an alcoholic beverage on the beach. he tried to act like he really didn’t want to give me the ticket but he simply had to. now they made a typo with my address causing me to never receive my court date, and i am now in collections for missing a court date. incompetent fascists down there, truly)
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

White Raven
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
20,262
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
i lived in LA for a few months and still feel like i barely saw most of the city, it really is more like a collection of smaller cities so your experience is going to vary wildly based on which part you’re in. most of the touristy parts are very overrated and yeah depressing.
What were the smaller cities you liked the best?
san diego is very beautiful and has great weather but seemed devoid of culture with a weird military frat-bro vibe on top. i’ve seen other people get angry at the assertion that it’s a culture-less city by saying that’s ignoring the impact mexican culture has on the city. to that i say… LA and SF has the same but better. they also put fries in burritos for some reason? that’s the only cultural innovation made in that city i’m aware of.
Fries in burritos seems like heresy. I can't imagine enjoying that.
(this hate actually already existed but has been strengthened by the fact that last time i was there i got a ticket from a cop on a 4-wheeler for casually enjoying an alcoholic beverage on the beach. he tried to act like he really didn’t want to give me the ticket but he simply had to. now they made a typo with my address causing me to never receive my court date, and i am now in collections for missing a court date. incompetent fascists down there, truly)

Oh, I love whenever someone else fucks up but you're responsible for it. Great fun.
 
Top