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wolverine

Favorite Metro Cities and Suburbs

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Although much of metro Detroit is a sprawly mess, there are still some nice cities and suburbs within the region. The reason why I say "Cities" as well is to avoid the whole [place X] is not a suburb argument. Anyway here's my list

1. Ann Arbor

2. Royal Oak

3. Pontiac (mainly the downtown)

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Mount Clemens, the Macomb County seat, is also nice. It's the only thing resembling urbanity in the northeast suburbs.

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My problem with Ann Arbor is that it is taboo there to say "hi" to a stranger.  -_-

1. Hamtramck

2. Dearborn

3. Ypsilanti

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What do you expect when all the New Yorkers arrive in the fall?

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My problem with Ann Arbor is that it is taboo there to say "hi" to a stranger.  -_-

1. Hamtramck

2. Dearborn

3. Ypsilanti

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree fully. I remember asking about 25 people on the street in Ann Arbor directions to the train station and none of them knew and looked at me like I was an alien.

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Royal Oak and Ferndale are my favorites. I honestly don't really like living in Ann Arbor too much. It has to be one of the most self-important towns I've ever lived in.

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Rochester, my hometown, was recently named the 39th best place to live in America. Although I think those rankings are crap it doesnt really suprise me. The city has grown a ton in the couple of years and they are calling downtown Rochester little birmingham. The traffic really sucks though. I tend to stay off the roads around 5 because the entire city is like a big parking lot.

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Rochester, my hometown, was recently named the 39th best place to live in America.  Although I think those rankings are crap it doesnt really suprise me.  The city has grown a ton in the couple of years and they are calling downtown Rochester little birmingham.  The traffic really sucks though.  I tend to stay off the roads around 5 because the entire city is like a big parking lot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:lol: no kidding! I'm in Rochester Hills right now on vacation, and it is the unwritten rule never to go out between 430 and 6. LOL

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Its a nightmare. That is my biggest complaint about the place. Well second biggest. My biggest complaint is how uppity the whole area has become. I cant stand it.

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My biggest complaint is how uppity the whole area has become.  I cant stand it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Great point. Home prices have gone through the roof, and condo developments have sprung up everywhere. My biggest hate about Rochester/Rochester Hills is the STRIP MALLS! They are EVERYWHERE! Big huge parking lots and the same stupid stores.

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Great point. Home prices have gone through the roof, and condo developments have sprung up everywhere. My biggest hate about Rochester/Rochester Hills is the STRIP MALLS! They are EVERYWHERE! Big huge parking lots and the same stupid stores.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I find it funny how these places try to make the strip malls look urban with brick and "limestone/stucco" which is actually foamboard. Although the architecture is better than the strip mall of the 60's-80's, the big parking lot ain't foolin' us

It's really sad how some suburbs that actually looked good transfromed the opposite direction. Outside of Ann Arbor there's this stretch of Washtenaw that goes beneath US-23 and on to Ypsilanti. The whole stretch was developed in the 1950's or maybe early 1960's in the "post war era" suburban style. Buildings were constructed in rows with their fronts facing a small side road which ran along a larger busy road. People would park on that smaller road to get to the places they wanted. Essentially, it was still somewhat urban, but just lower density since the buildings were up against one another. Much of these buldings are gone now along that stretch, and have fallen victim to big box retail and large strip malls. It really could have been something cool if it was all preserved. But competition from Pittsfield township, and its easy access to I-94 probably caused Ann Arbor to change that area over. I doubt Ann Arbor would care anyways since there's never been a history of competition between the downtown and suburabn retail districts. Does anyone know if that area along Washtenaw where Arborland is has a name?

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Does anyone know if that area along Washtenaw where Arborland is has a name?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

washtenaw.jpg

Is this the area you speak of? I do not know the name but that whole section of Washtenaw could have been so much better. The hills and natural beauty of the roads just north of Washtenaw are really nice, not to mention some of Washtenaw is really nice. But there is too many crappy strip malls in that area, as you say, it could have been alot better.

On another note, I just found this site not too long ago and have found myself overly interested in the Architecture and new urban revival in downtown Detroit. I have attended many Tigers games downtown over the past 4 or 5 years and love the progress that I am seeing. I'm also happy that the Digital Media Studies program (Electronic Critique) I am in at University of Detroit Mercy will be working more closely with the Architecture program. But I'm happy to find such a great site where people share a great passion for Detroit and its amazing history of great architecture.

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Welcome to the site, JeffM. The area in the map above is exactly the area I'm talking about. I've always been impressed with the hilly landscape as well. I think they were trying to turn that area into another "Eisenhower blvd" corridor. Except, Eisenhower was done alot nicer despite it is the least dense area of the city, and very sprawly. But at least you get hills and trees to block the view of the parking lots.

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1. Ann Arbor

2. Hamtramck

3.4. Royal Oak/Birmingham (heresy?)

5/6. Ferndale/Ypsilanti

Berkley gets an honorable mention, especially for proximity to Woodward.

The one time I went to Pontiac it was a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and the place was a ghost town... nothing looked open, so I haven't had a chance to experience its nightlife.

Oh, yeah, can't forget Windsor. I would actually rate that as #1.

Yeah, Washtenaw is an eyesore all the way from downtown Ann Arbor to downtown Ypsi. What a shame. Arborland at least offers parking for park-and-ride. They really should focus more on making the corridor more transit/pedestrian-oriented though. HOV lanes, busways, more frequent/express busses, and eventually bringing back the interurban.

tomo

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