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markhollin

Travel observations of other cities and countries

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Columbus is so underrated, in my opinion.  It's kind of like the perfect 'best of both worlds' situation... one foot in the sunbelt, and one foot in the rustbelt... it's growing and vibrant with a huge university population, but at the same time, it still has solid old bones and a very walkable, urban feel, as you said, even several miles outside of downtown in some directions.  

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On 5/14/2019 at 2:04 AM, Neigeville2 said:

Just have to say I did not find this to  be the case, really really did not like the English at all.  not at all.

Generalized statements are never very accurate. There are all kinds of people everywhere. I have met Brits who were anti-American snobs and have also met Brits who were welcoming and friendly.

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:38 PM, LA_TN said:

Last post on Birmingham...

A couple new buildings in the downtown core

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Under construction:

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Various

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Watts building, 1928 - 236 ft (14th tallest)

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Towers in the core

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I-20 rebuild through downtown

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Color signs, much detail

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Observations:
- Infrastructure is incredible. Great layout
- My experience driving downtown, in/out, etc was good (never experienced stoplight to stoplight to stoplight)
- I felt reasonably safe day and night in almost all areas I visited. No scooters!
- They bike rentals (like B-cycles)
- They have Top Golf
- No 500 homeless standing on every corner of town. Linn Park had a lot and saw some scattered around various places. I never ONCE heard vulgar language, harassment, etc (so, like Nashville 5 years ago)
- Empty lots and empty buildings downtown will be the future potential, but difficult to see a tall tower going up, except residential. Same blessing and curse as Nashville (lots of available lots, so nothing tall will be built)
- I was wowed!

Birmingham is a nice town. Nashville is a nice town too.

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2 hours ago, archilove said:

Generalized statements are never very accurate. There are all kinds of people everywhere. I have met Brits who were anti-American snobs and have also met Brits who were welcoming and friendly.

Just addressing my personal experience.  Some nice folks, lots of rude or distant/indifferent ones and for me the rude ones outweighed the pleasant ones.  Little of the relaxed openness you feel in Nashville or even more so in California where you  have pleasant conversations with strangers at bus stops and whatnot all the time.  It affects the overall tone of life.  Restaurant service can be robotic, impersonal, in a way you never encounter here (I'm told service in Norway, Austria, other germanic/scandinavian countries is even worse, I've never been).  On balance, interesting to visit but I would not find it an engaging place to live my everyday life.

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1 hour ago, Neigeville2 said:

Just addressing my personal experience.  Some nice folks, lots of rude or distant/indifferent ones and for me the rude ones outweighed the pleasant ones.  Little of the relaxed openness you feel in Nashville or even more so in California where you  have pleasant conversations with strangers at bus stops and whatnot all the time.  It affects the overall tone of life.  Restaurant service can be robotic, impersonal, in a way you never encounter here (I'm told service in Norway, Austria, other germanic/scandinavian countries is even worse, I've never been).  On balance, interesting to visit but I would not find it an engaging place to live my everyday life.

I read somewhere that restaurant service is unmatched in both the United States and Mexico (including hotels and resorts), in terms of hospitality. I can say the times I've been to Puerto Vallarta, everything was so awesome. Everything felt very personable.

 

Also, I thought Californians were known to be rude. I've never been there but it's what I've heard of my friends who live in Nashville and have visited SoCal.

Edited by OnePointEast

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3 hours ago, OnePointEast said:

I read somewhere that restaurant service is unmatched in both the United States and Mexico (including hotels and resorts), in terms of hospitality. I can say the times I've been to Puerto Vallarta, everything was so awesome. Everything felt very personable.

 

Also, I thought Californians were known to be rude. I've never been there but it's what I've heard of my friends who live in Nashville and have visited SoCal.

That isn't my experience at all either.  People generally seem super laid back and personable.  The only place I didn't really feel that was the case overall was out in suburban Orange County and in the suburban inland empire of Riverside/San Bernadino/Ontario... people were a bit more stand-offish there.  But LA, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento... I found people to be really easy to talk to and willing to help out.

Edited by BnaBreaker

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15 hours ago, Neigeville2 said:

Just addressing my personal experience.  Some nice folks, lots of rude or distant/indifferent ones and for me the rude ones outweighed the pleasant ones.  Little of the relaxed openness you feel in Nashville or even more so in California where you  have pleasant conversations with strangers at bus stops and whatnot all the time.  It affects the overall tone of life.  Restaurant service can be robotic, impersonal, in a way you never encounter here (I'm told service in Norway, Austria, other germanic/scandinavian countries is even worse, I've never been).  On balance, interesting to visit but I would not find it an engaging place to live my everyday life.

I've traveled to quite a few cities/rural areas in Germany and did find service in restaurants to be cold and indifferent for the most part, but not rude.  Stockholm Sweden actually had the nicest people in virtually every service job I had contact with.  They seem happy, friendly, educated and professional in most service jobs.  I'll never forget meeting a customer service rep in the subway in Stockholm, beautiful blonde, professionally dressed, perfect English (no accent), smiling, knowledgeable....think what we typically see here for a similar job.  

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2 hours ago, GreenHillsBoy said:

I've traveled to quite a few cities/rural areas in Germany and did find service in restaurants to be cold and indifferent for the most part, but not rude.  Stockholm Sweden actually had the nicest people in virtually every service job I had contact with.  They seem happy, friendly, educated and professional in most service jobs.  I'll never forget meeting a customer service rep in the subway in Stockholm, beautiful blonde, professionally dressed, perfect English (no accent), smiling, knowledgeable....think what we typically see here for a similar job.  

I just got back from spending a couple of weeks on business in France and Switzerland, and I definitely prefer eating out in Europe than here.  Not only is the food generally much better, but I can't stand how American food servers hover over me while I eat and pretend to be my best friend for the night.  And yes, Scandinavians are legendary for their friendliness and for their command of English.  Even bus drivers in Copenhagen speak flawless English.  I had a Swedish roommate when I lived in Brussels, and he said it's because American and British TV shows (which are probably 70% of their TV content) are shown in V.O. (version originale) with Swedish/Danish/Norwegian subtitles.  Whatever the reason, it makes visiting Scandinavian countries a real treat for anglophones.  Copenhagen and Stockholm, in particular, are absolutely delightful cities.

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55 minutes ago, jmtunafish said:

I just got back from spending a couple of weeks on business in France and Switzerland, and I definitely prefer eating out in Europe than here.  Not only is the food generally much better, but I can't stand how American food servers hover over me while I eat and pretend to be my best friend for the night.  

I don't know, I kind of like have American millennial servers tell me everything I order is "awesome!".     Sometimes, I even get an "awesome-sauce!", and then I know I've really done a good job of ordering.    

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23 minutes ago, CenterHill said:

I don't know, I kind of like have American millennial servers tell me everything I order is "awesome!".     Sometimes, I even get an "awesome-sauce!", and then I know I've really done a good job of ordering.    

I thought everything here is "amazing".....probably now the most used word beside "like" in the USA.

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On 6/10/2019 at 7:49 PM, Neigeville2 said:

have pleasant conversations with strangers at bus stops and whatnot

I've never quite understood the desire to talk to random strangers.

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I talk to strangers all the time downtown, I just dont take candy from them.

Seriously I have struck up conversations with people from all over the world on my walks around downtown. But I can strike up a conversation with a brick wall too. I am none to shy or bashful for those of you that know me.

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True story, but Ron has in fact talked to brick walls in his past. He was trying to uncover additional details about a future project.

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What is a "stranger"? 

4 hours ago, dmillsphoto said:

True story, but Ron has in fact talked to brick walls in his past. He was trying to uncover additional details about a future project.

If walls could talk... 

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On 6/12/2019 at 9:20 PM, nashmoney said:

And last my favorite city, Mobile:

I enjoyed the warm tropical climate, and the French Spanish influence of the city. Had dinner on the 34th floor of the Landmark tower, which gave me 360 views of the city! 

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Born and raised in Mobile, I visit often to see family.  A port city of any size has a slight cosmopolitan feel.  Lots of water (Mobile is the rainiest city in the U.S. receiving over 66" per year).  Beautiful trees, old homes and buildings.  Fantastic seafood.  Close to New Orleans and the white sand beaches that start at Gulf Shores and go east.   And I've never seen any sight that compares to the azaleas in bloom here.  No wonder it's called the Azalea City.

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On 5/31/2019 at 9:43 PM, OnePointEast said:

Wow. Birmingham looks amazing. I might make a move down there, someday. It looks very cozy, yet large enough for a city life. 

Birmingham is definitely a sleeper. It's only a matter of time before it takes off IMO.

Its main drawback now is that it lacks an "IT" factor. It's  ot a tourist destination like Nashville and it's not a corporate hub like Charlotte or Atlanta.

On 6/10/2019 at 9:01 PM, OnePointEast said:

I read somewhere that restaurant service is unmatched in both the United States and Mexico (including hotels and resorts), in terms of hospitality. I can say the times I've been to Puerto Vallarta, everything was so awesome. Everything felt very personable.

 

Also, I thought Californians were known to be rude. I've never been there but it's what I've heard of my friends who live in Nashville and have visited SoCal.

I've only been to LA, but the people there are surprisngly courteous for it to be such a big, crowded city. 

Not sure what it vouod be (maybe the weather?).

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43 minutes ago, nashmoney said:

I didn't know that Evansville has a large Italian and German population for a city of its size. There were tons of Italian and German restaurants in the town. 

 

Supposedly, it was the German immigrants to Owensboro, KY, just a few miles up river from Evansville, who brought sheep to the area, making Owensboro one of the few places where you can eat barbecue mutton.

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