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bobliocatt

Boston -- I think I've fallen in love

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Decided to take a couple of days off and head up to Boston, since I had never been there before and the flights from Florida were pretty cheap. Needless to say, I think I'm in love with this city. Now, if I could only come up with $400k for a 700sf condo.

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Wow, you really got around. I was thinking of heading up to Boston for a little photographic jaunt myself (I only live 50 minutes away), but now I don't need to anymore. Thanks for saving me the time! :D.

Of that entire group of great shots, I really liked this one a lot:

beaconhilll5zb.jpg

Great composition, tells the story, and it oozes character. Nicely done.

- Garris

Providence, RI

PS: Only 400K for that condo?? Wow, that's a steal by Boston standards!

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Great pics Lakelander, everytime I saw pics like that, make me think when is Florida cities going to look like that..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not to change the topic of the forum, but unless there is a major change in US attitudes towards urbanism and architecture, Florida cities (and new American cities in general) will probably never look that way, ever again... "Old" cities like Boston, Providence, NYC, Philly, Chicago, virtually all major European cities, etc, etc were designed and configured to human scale in an age before the automobile and in a time when cities represented the pinnicle of society and civilization.

Unfortunately, such a condition does not exist now. The unique character and gradeur of those cities will likely not be replicated within our lifetime. Good municipalities try to save and use as many of these old structures as possible. The best municipalities are able to require their newer developments build upon that character and enhance it.

But there will probably never be a "new" Boston in the US... For all the "new" cities I have been to with much to recommend about them (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Orlando, Atlanta, Jacksonville, etc, etc.), they somehow lack the intimacy and character of the oldest of the Northern, Midwestern, and Western cities.

Sometimes the contrasts are striking even in the same place. In Minneapolis and St Paul, for example, the sleek, hip, and shinny Minneapolis, the "newer" of the two cities, is often criticized by locals as being more sterile, cold, and clinical than St. Paul, which has retained much of its old street layout, older buildings, and intimate character, despite it also being the home to many newer structures.

- Garris

Providence, RI

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This isn't really a Floridian, Northern, Midwestern or regional type of issue. Really its just an age issue. For example, New Orleans has it.....Charlotte doesn't. Savannah has it.....Nashville doesn't. Like any other place Florida cities have older architectural-rich pedestrian friendly pockets, but the reality is, none of Florida's cities were the size of Boston, NYC or even Cincinnati, 100 years ago. These older places were designed for pedestrians first, because cars weren't even around.

Luckily, we are seeing a big trend of urban infill in our older pedestrian friendly core areas and leading the South in this arena. The state is also lucky to be the home of the Miami area, which, despite being fairly young in age, has developed to become one of the densest areas in the country.

Imo, Florida cities will never look like Boston, Philly or Providence and neither should they. Florida has its own unique architectural flair, history, landscape and climate and should continue to build upon that, in a pedestrian friendly manner. The only things I would remotely suggest taking away from some of these older cities would be the implementation of more rail transit and urban park space. Until then, we'll just have to live with Miami Beach being our dense, pedestrian friendly city.

aerial3_southbeach.jpg

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I just have to say I love the city of Boston.

There are so many neat aspects of the city from the major corporations with offices in downtown Boston to Washington Street where Filene's Basement and hundreds of more modern stores are located to the historic sites and North Ends Little Italy.

Also for anyone visiting who wants good photos take the Boston Harbor Tours which depart from the harbor by the Aquarium and the Boston Marriott Long Wharf.

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wow thelakelander, you really did get around. you took some nice pictures for sure. having lived in Greensboro, Charlotte and now the Boston area, there are definitely differences in the livability between older cities like Boston and newer cities. it's certainly nice to be able to leave your car at home and still get where you need to go.

having just finished working a job that required me to drive around Boston 10 to 12 hours a day, i can definitely say that it's much more of a hassle to drive in a city like Boston and much more convenient to take the T. and that's great because people should be encouraged to ride public transit. on the other hand, most newer cities are easier to navigate by car because they were built for car use, and public transportation in these areas usually leave much to be desired, especially when compared to the T. so, the environment continues to encourage people to use their cars and not take public transit. there definitely needs to be more of an effort to encourage true "city living" like in Boston and other older dense cities in more sprawled out newer cities.

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I think cities in the future might be a lot more dense,than they currently are in the south. Even in Florida,

Here's my theory- my parents were raised that the American Dream is the suburb,or in other words an area with nothing but houses for 3 sq. miles and low density. Their nightmare is the city,mine is the suburbs. As a kid I spent countless hours mowing the grass under the boiling sun,which instilled in me a hatred of large yards. All I could think of was what a waste of time it was,to spend an hour or 2 mowing grass,and all the water that is wasted when the sprinklers are running. I also hated having to ask my parents for a ride to a store,which wasn't just a few blocks away but a good 3 miles away. I'd like to live somewhere I can walk a block or 2 to a store,have barely a yard or no yard,and live in a dense dynamic area where there's always something going on. I can't be the only person that was raised in the suburbs in the 80's and 90's that thinks this way.

Great photos of Boston,I knew it was dense,but I didn't realize it had that many attached residentials.

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I think cities in the future might be a lot more dense,than they currently are in the south. Even in Florida,

Here's my theory- my parents were raised that the American Dream is the suburb,or in other words an area with nothing but houses for 3 sq. miles and low density. Their nightmare is the city,mine is the suburbs. As a kid I spent countless hours mowing the grass under the boiling sun,which instilled in me a hatred of large yards. All I could think of was what a waste of time it was,to spend an hour or 2 mowing grass,and all the water that is wasted when the sprinklers are running. I also hated having to ask my parents for a ride to a store,which wasn't just a few blocks away but a good 3 miles away. I'd like to live somewhere I can walk a block or 2 to a store,have barely a yard or no yard,and live in a dense dynamic area where there's always something going on. I can't be the only person that was raised in the suburbs in the 80's and 90's that thinks this way.

Great photos of Boston,I knew it was dense,but I didn't realize it had that many attached residentials.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I grew up in Melrose, MA, which is by all accounts suburban. But although the majority of the city is single family housing, there are denser areas with apartment buildings and 2-3 family houses. And in many parts one can easily walk to a store. There is also a subway terminus right over the border and 3 commuter rail stations inside. Melrose is 8 miles from downtown Boston and has a population density of 5779.8/mi

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I was born,and used to live in Metairie,just outside New Orleans,so I know suburb doesn't instantly mean low density or large areas of nothing but residentials. Still there are areas where you'd take a car to the store,unlike say Cleveland where a person it seems is only a block or 2 away from the store.

I guess you would call it inner suburb,I think I saw a classification for it. Metairie peaked at 164,160 and had 7,075 people per sq. mile. So for a suburb,especially in the south it was up there. To me a place isn't really urban or big city until it hits about 8,000-10,000 people per sq mile. Unless of course it has a low average density,but areas of density that exceeds this,like Cincinnati. Or even cities that are down in density,but still have that dense layout like Cleveland.

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I think cities in the future might be a lot more dense,than they currently are in the south. Even in Florida,

Here's my theory- my parents were raised that the American Dream is the suburb,or in other words an area with nothing but houses for 3 sq. miles and low density. Their nightmare is the city,mine is the suburbs. As a kid I spent countless hours mowing the grass under the boiling sun,which instilled in me a hatred of large yards. All I could think of was what a waste of time it was,to spend an hour or 2 mowing grass,and all the water that is wasted when the sprinklers are running. I also hated having to ask my parents for a ride to a store,which wasn't just a few blocks away but a good 3 miles away. I'd like to live somewhere I can walk a block or 2 to a store,have barely a yard or no yard,and live in a dense dynamic area where there's always something going on. I can't be the only person that was raised in the suburbs in the 80's and 90's that thinks this way.

Great photos of Boston,I knew it was dense,but I didn't realize it had that many attached residentials.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Amen to that, sounds almost just like my family. My parents grew up in the city but moved to the suburbs for high school and college. Their dream too, is the suburban one, where my dad can put on his leaf-blower backpack or hop on his riding lawnmower to mow a massive yard and then later hop in his Jeep SUV to drive five miles to the local mess of strip malls to shop for stuff.

I grew up in Warwick, RI, (just south of Providence, where the airport is located) which is very suburban although I did live right off a main street and could walk to school, the grocery store, etc. I wouldn't say its anywhere near as dense as Melrose, but it was at least an inner ring suburb where services were closer to residential areas and you could actually walk places. And there was frequent bus service as well. Then my parents thought that it got too congested, so they moved even farther away to an outer ring suburb into a one entrance only subdivision with big houses on big lots. I have the unfortunate experience of living at this hellhole every summer when I am home from school, but I try to make the best of it by walking wherever I can or taking the bus (both of which are much much harder now, and require at least a one mile walk). So I guess what I'm getting at is that I too hate the suburbs, and will be sure that my kids will grow up in a city, where I don't have to drive them everywhere and where they can enjoy freedom and not have to slave in a yard all day and be bored sitting inside a huge house playing video games getting fat because they cant walk anywhere.

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Amen to that, sounds almost just like my family.  My parents grew up in the city but moved to the suburbs for high school and college.  Their dream too, is the suburban one, where my dad can put on h

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Hm. My step-grandmother lived in Warrick. She's now in a nursing home in Pawtucket. From what I've seen during visits, these places don't seem to be total suburban horror. You should move to DT PVD or somewhere close when you need to first settle somewhere. Housing costs can be a hurdle to moving from a Boston suburn into Boston, but PVD sounds much more affordable.

The more I think about Melrose, the better I feel about how it isn't a total suburban horror. But it is white (nearly the same % as Warrick) and isn't livened up by the presense of any colleges the way much of the rest of the inner parts of metro Boston are. There's no significant history in Melrose and no attractions that bring people in. It is also a dry down, which ends up meaning there are liquor stores across every border. Though there is a very nice little DT. This is a shot I took in high school, a few years ago:

melrose.JPG

Oh, and for the heck of it, this the front porch of where I live now in a 2.5 family in Somerville:

house_me_small.JPG

I'm looking around for more pictures that show what life is like in Melrose but can't find anything.

Actually, here is the less than suburb building where I lived in Melrose:

.PZF03ZQNmZGV3Al0kYGRg.jpg

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I found these maps from the census website,showing persons per sq. mile in each city.

Melrose-

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Thema...000_PL_U_M00090

Warwick-

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Thema...000_PL_U_M00090

Metairie-

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Thema...000_PL_U_M00090

I like Melrose,it's a spiral of increasing density.

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None of these links work for me.

I found these maps from the census website,showing persons per sq. mile in each city.

Melrose-

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Thema...000_PL_U_M00090

Warwick-

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Thema...000_PL_U_M00090

Metairie-

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/Thema...000_PL_U_M00090

I like Melrose,it's a spiral of increasing density.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Maybe I burned it out from overuse. Try it again tomorrow.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm probably doing something wrong with several popup blockers and a firewall. If it works for you I don't see why it shouldn't work for me. If anyone wants to capture a screenshot (hit "print screen" and paste into an image editing program) I'd be delighted.

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Pawtucket is pretty urban, with its own small downtown and lots of dense housing. Warwick, although dense in its eastern and northern halves, is quite sprawling and low density to the south and west, making it very much a suburban horror, but still not as bad as North Kingstown, where my parents now reside.

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