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Choirboy622

Most Eclectic, Funky urban cores?

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Which city listed of these four, in your opinion, has the most funky, eclectic (whatever those terms mean to you) core or downtown area? Go ahead and explain why you answered the way you did.

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huh?

Okay, it seems as though the original question was not clear. To phrase it differently, what city of the four mentioned has the core or downtown area that is the most "cool" or "hip?" Does that make it any clearer?

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Okay, I didn't think this question could possibly be so complicated, so let's try it again. :shok: I'll see if I can make it more simple. Which city has the best downtown?

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May I ask why the four were chosen?

Milwaukee - never been

Indianapolis - surprisingly nice, but not sure about 'funky', though there are 2 great neighborhoods to the east of downtown.

Louisville - again, a great surprise in particular Old Louisville. I believe though the counterculture center is along Bardstown Rd which is more of an inner-ring suburban area

Cincinnati - don't know enough, though great looking hilly city

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May I ask why the four were chosen?

Milwaukee - never been

Indianapolis - surprisingly nice, but not sure about 'funky', though there are 2 great neighborhoods to the east of downtown.

Louisville - again, a great surprise in particular Old Louisville. I believe though the counterculture center is along Bardstown Rd which is more of an inner-ring suburban area

Cincinnati - don't know enough, though great looking hilly city

I chose these four because they don't get talked about as often as Chicago, Minneapolis, or Atlanta for example. I live in Milwaukee now, but am curious about Indianapolis. In addition to Old Louisville, there are also Crescent Hill and The Highlands neighborhoods in Louisville that are pretty hip in my opinion. I just wanted to see how others felt about the four cities.

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I chose these four because they don't get talked about as often as Chicago, Minneapolis, or Atlanta for example. I live in Milwaukee now, but am curious about Indianapolis. In addition to Old Louisville, there are also Crescent Hill and The Highlands neighborhoods in Louisville that are pretty hip in my opinion. I just wanted to see how others felt about the four cities.

Louisville's hip neighborhoods are not suburban at all, lol. The hip and funky part of the Highlands center on the Bardstown/Baxter corridor with tons of shops and restaurants that range from thrift to upscale and most homes are around 100 years old. The area is a mix of shotguns and bungalows on its northern edge and huge mansions and 1920's apartment buildings on its southern edge around Cherokee and Tyler Parks. There are three 11 story midrises dating from 1930 overlooking a Frederick Law Olmstead Park (cherokee), as well as a newer 21 story condo tower built in 1980 to period acrchitecture. This area is about 3 miles from downtown. There is good infill and condo conversions in this area with several projects going on. The entire area was built around the turn of the century, so it was a streetcar suburb.

Louisville also has Crescent Hill/Clifton with its center of Frankfort Ave. This area is full of late nineteenth century Victorians and condo conversions. It is similar to the Highlands but not quite as funky. It is full of a lot of young professionals as well as younger families, and has more of an old Victorian village feel with railroad tracks running along much of Frankfort Ave, along with antique shops, stores, and tons of restaurants and bars.

Old Louisville is probably the most beautiful neighborhood, but it doesnt really have that funky shopping corridor yet. There are two upscale restuarants there, though, that Id pit against the best in almost any city (610 Magnolia and Buck's). Still, Old Louisville has a lot of alternative residents and it is probably the most diverse hood in the city-you have college students living above lesbians who live a block from some section 8 tenants. From 1st to 6th streets south of Oak, the neighborhood is in pretty good shape with its centerpiece, St James Court, at its heart.

Downtown Louisville is just north of Old Louisville and has seen a great renaissance, especially the east side of downtown where there are an increasing number of art galleries and eclectic restuarants, especially on Market street. There are several condo and apartment towers now, and there are more on the way with 1800 units planned or under development. It is nice, but I still wouldn't rate its funkiness with the Highlands yet, although that could change in 5 years or so.

To be complete, there is an area know as the "Heart of St Matthews" which is the north side of the inner ring suburb of St Matthews. No, this is no where near St Matthews mall which is in a cmpletely suburban area, but it is about 2 miles north of that mall. Built largely in the 1930's through 1950's, this area has a large collection of unique boutique shopping as well as eclectic and upscale restaurants and a handful of bars. A ton of young professionals move to this area because it has good property values and is close to the city as well as the suburban crap like malls and chains that people like.

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I seemed to think out of those listed that Indy has the most going for it in terms of being a great downtown. Cincinatti is nice to be in the summertime. I'm not much of a fan of Milwaukee, there doesn't seem to be much to do downtown and I've only driven through Louisville once but it seemed nice.

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Having lived in Milwaukee once upon a time, I want to support Milwaukee as an eclectic, funky city, in general. I wouldn't say that the downtown is the focus of it, though. Many of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown have distinct character, such as Bayview, Third Ward, East Side, and Riverwest, and others that I can't remember. Milwaukee is a festive city in general with a pub on every corner and a festival every weekend (outside of winter), which is characteristic of Wisconsin. Neighborhoods close to downtown all have a distinct image, but manage to blend well with each other. Personally, I think downtown is weak in its funkiness. Like most cities, it needs more housing.

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I like the downtown area of Indianapolis. The sidewalk cafes are cool, and with Indiana finally catching up to the 21st Century by observing Daylight Saving Time, people can sit outside, have dinner and some drinks in the twilight at 9:00 in the evening now. :shades::thumbsup:

But I also like downtown Milwaukee, with the rivers, canals, and the drawbridges over them. It's too bad that the weather near the lakefront sucks in the spring and fall. It can be 25* colder downtown than out in the far-western suburbs. :(

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none of the above, the funkiest would have to be memphis and new orleans, not these boring cities!

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none of the above, the funkiest would have to be memphis and new orleans, not these boring cities!

I've never been to either one, but I don't criticize them just because I haven't been there. Have you been to each of the four I asked about?

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I haven't been to Milwaukee, but I've been to the other five mentioned. I would say that Indy is too cvb-ish (a little too corporate and focused too much on creating a nice image). Nothing wrong with that, but I think that in many respects costs a downtown much of its funk vibe. My ranking would be N.O is #1 and 2, Memphis 3, Louisville 4, Cincy 5, then Indy 6.

I guess it depends on what people mean by funky. Eccentric? Unique? Those are hard to quantify and many of the often-regarded "best" downtowns imo rank very low on the eccentric, gritty, "funk" factor (i.e. Atlanta, Charlotte, Indy, Portland, etc). Usually because in order to achieve the lauded status cities often destroy the structures that contribute the funk -- old, derelict buildings that are saved. Often, the more derelict and struggling the downtown, the grittier and funkier it will be when it revives. Which is why I'd probably put Birmingham on the list, though I've never been, and I would say that Austin is an exception to the rule, because it has achieved a funky vibe without an epic struggle to overcome (unlike N.O., Memphis, B'ham, etc). Although maybe the sniper might be something?

edit: My ranking of funkiness of the 6 cities doesn't correlate with my ranking of the best downtowns. FYI.

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I've never been to either one, but I don't criticize them just because I haven't been there. Have you been to each of the four I asked about?

Been to all four, didn't really like any of them.

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Its a toss up between Louisville and Milwaukee.

Milwaukee is cool for the beer history in the town, and its been featured in many movies.

Louisville is actually a surprise in the state of KY. you come into louisville not expecting much (maybe a baseball bat factory) and you leave with much more then that.

Indianapolis and Cincinatti just leave me feeling cold, isolated, and alone. I can't explain it. in Indy it seemed everyone made a big deal about the "Circle Mall" and IMPO it was a little bit of a let-down. In cincinatti I don't think I have ever felt a more cold isolationist city before. to all the people in Cincinatti please prove me wrong, but you're about as inviting as a block of ice!

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Im sorry.... Ive been to those midwest cities and I was displeased by all of their Downtowns. The midwest's economy is so turbulant that things change rapidly so Im not sure how they are now, but when I was there 3 years ago, I was displeased with all except Chicago's Downtown... Now thats eclectic... Shopping galore, people and funky little places to watch those people go by.

I believe my four would have to be Northwest cities (sorry you midwestern fans :(...)

1. Seattle, Washington- Downtown has came along way since the early 90's. Theyve created micro-neighborhoods within Downtown and there's alot of people, shopping, activities, and nightlife. It's great! Now that may be a biased opinion cause Ive lived most of my life in Seattle, but oh well.... :)

2. Portland, Oregon- This place is functional; VERY FUNCTIONAL! Traffic moves swiftly, people are always happy, there's alot of people, good nightlife, etc... AND, it's easy to walk; blocks are narrow and if you have to get to one end of Downtown from the other, its easy! There's also micro-neighborhoods within Downtown as Seattle has... but Portland has a much slower pace than Seattle and their economy is still a bit in a drag, so thats why its number 2 (not to mention I never grew up there... LOL)

3. Spokane, Washington- This city of 200,000 has great weather to watch their lovely citizens. Downtown isnt larger than life and its very clean with little or no visible homeless people. Its clean. It has a 100 acre park in it with a river that goes through it. Lots of shopping; both department and small business and it continues to foster all Downtown development. It's Downtown, like Seattle's (although to a much greater degree), has came a long way since the 90's where there was absolutely NOTHING down there. Now, stuff stays going until about midnight, and starts all over around 5am, which is REALLY good for a city of 200,000 and a metro area of 650,000.

4. Tacoma, Washington- This is a city in the shadow of seattle and has struggled with that image since it's beginning. Now, however, it's finally finding it's place amongst the stars so-to-speak. Downtown has cleaned IMMENSELY (WAY WAY WAY more than Seattle or Spokane for that matter). In the early 90's you didnt DARE go down there unless you were a druggie or someone who drove Downtown to work their 9-5 job while parking their car in a secured garage. Now, it's very eclectic and to me, has more of a personality and definition than any other city listed. The reason it's not number one (at least for now) is because it has NO department stores and very little people (although its WAY WAY WAY more than before; and its a better crowd) and the stores that are down there dont really cater to the Downtown residents and they like to close at latest 7.... although closing times are increasing from what seems to be every year as Seattle residents fed-up with the astronomical prices come down to Tacoma.

I hope this wasnt too much to read, and I hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for your time!

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Lol, why is Milwaukee even in this list.

We can all agree that Milwaukee doesn't have a "funky" downtown. They barely even have a "downtown".

In fact, Kenosha, Wisconsin has a better downtown than Milyuckee.

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Lol, why is Milwaukee even in this list.

We can all agree that Milwaukee doesn't have a "funky" downtown. They barely even have a "downtown".

In fact, Kenosha, Wisconsin has a better downtown than Milyuckee.

Does Kenosha have a downtown? :unsure:

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Austin.

Bats. Bars. Bands. Bums. Bureaucrats. Bohemians. Bikes.

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Lol, why is Milwaukee even in this list.

We can all agree that Milwaukee doesn't have a "funky" downtown. They barely even have a "downtown".

In fact, Kenosha, Wisconsin has a better downtown than Milyuckee.

Wait a minute.

Are you talking about Kenosha Wisconsin?

Kenosha? Downtown? Huh? Really? Kenosha? Seriously? Kenosha? Ummm, did I hear you correctly?

Kenosha?

This is a "Laff Riot!"

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Wait a minute.

Are you talking about Kenosha Wisconsin?

Kenosha? Downtown? Huh? Really? Kenosha? Seriously? Kenosha? Ummm, did I hear you correctly?

Kenosha?

This is a "Laff Riot!"

Exactly. So you see my point.

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Denver is in my top ten of coolest US cities. Great mix of old architecture with modern. Everything is accessable via light rail, bus, or foot. Great neighboorhoods surround the downtown and the views are incredible. Because of the landscpae, you can literally see the entire city from specific locations. Rocky mountains in the background. Outside New York, its one of the best.

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Its a toss up between Louisville and Milwaukee.

Milwaukee is cool for the beer history in the town, and its been featured in many movies.

Louisville is actually a surprise in the state of KY. you come into louisville not expecting much (maybe a baseball bat factory) and you leave with much more then that.

Indianapolis and Cincinatti just leave me feeling cold, isolated, and alone. I can't explain it. in Indy it seemed everyone made a big deal about the "Circle Mall" and IMPO it was a little bit of a let-down. In cincinatti I don't think I have ever felt a more cold isolationist city before. to all the people in Cincinatti please prove me wrong, but you're about as inviting as a block of ice!

Cincinnati not CINCINATTI....learn how to spell.

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