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Rwarky

Describe the city you live in

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Describe the city you live in. Tell us what life is like in your town. Overall, do you like or dislike the area?

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Newnan, GA: Its' in metro Atlanta so of course it is a growing area. There are new subdivisions and new shopping centers popping up regularly. The growth is is done "willy nilly" though so it leads to the suburban problems like uncontrolled sprawl and traffic. Newnan is still unique from most growing towns in the metro though because it still has a beautiful and vibrant town square and beautiful old neighborhoods surrounding it. In this area you can still walk everywhere so it's pretty cool. However, the new area is car oriented.

The people here are very nice, but don't be fooled by the southern hospitality; people have their ways of being mean and rude around here. Newnan used to be run by a select group of families with all the money and the power; thankfully this is ending due to the influx of people, so there's more of a balance of power. The southern accent still prevails here, but you hear more and more other accents every day. There is a growing hispanic and Asian population; the black population has always been here.

Overall I enjoy living in Newnan, it's a town that's experiencing the benefits of being close to Atlanta and is still trying to hold on to its roots. In the end, Newnan will never be the old sleepy southern town it once was (to the chagrin of the Natives) but now it's developing its own brand new culture and it's always changing.

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Columbia, SC: Nice sized town. Not too big and not too small. Plenty of places to shop and live. The city is changing very fast all over and is growing everywhere you turn. From old neighborhoods to new ones. Has a southern feel too it.

In the middle of the state, so we have the best of both worlds. Less than an hour and half to the mountains and the beach. Near a major lake and three rivers. Alot of beautiful parks. Can be in North Carolina or Georgia and a little over an hour with Charlotte only an hour away depending on what side of Columbia you live. Culturally diverse. Has a young population. Great colleges.

Getting around is easy. We have 3 interstates (I-77, I-26, & I-20), that form a beltway around the city so it's very easy to get around the Columbia area. Downtown is starting to become the main spot and everyone wants to move back downtown. The weather is nice for 3/4 of the year except the hot summers...Beside that Columbia is a great place!

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Clear Lake City is a suburb of Houston that lies within the Houston city limits. It is 18 miles southeast of downtown and about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The biome is temperate brushland with small, scrubby trees and taller ones near the water. The area has an average elevation of 10-20ft above sea level and is bordered on the south by Clear Lake, an inlet from Galveston Bay, and Armand Bayou Nature Center, the largets urban wildlife preserve in the nation on the east.

There are around 70,000 - 100,000 people in the greater Clear Lake area. Many commute to Houston or Galveston, and many work in the area for NASA and other aerospace companies. Clear Lake City has a large asian population.

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I know its not in the south but i'm a southern boy so here it is Las Vegas NV- 450,00 MSA 2mil or so. Its hot, not enough water,and the traffic is horrible. Air quality sucks 10 months out of the year the schools are some of the worst in the country. Crime rate is ridiculous. I have to go to Wal-mart or the mall during the day for fear of robbery or worse. I can't afford a house. The average for a 3bdr 2bath is 350K and that is not in a good neighborhood. Did I mention traffic sucks. Especially when there is some huge event on the strip. Don't even bother taking the 15.

Now for some good things. Great resturants. Diverse population and endless amount of things to do. The number one thing that it has going for itself is the scenery. I love walking out of my house and seeing a snowcapped mountain when it is 100 degrees in the valley.

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Lizella, Ga...................HEAVEN....not even one stoplight, we just got a community bank, and a fire dept. open land, fresh air, and nice people. Plus im 20 minutes from Macon, Ga and an hour and a half from ATL.

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Washington, D.C....I live right downtown in Dupont Circle. Very bustling area. It's not quite New York but it has a lo0t to offer. Lots of good restaurants, museums and other cultural activities. I can walk to work too.

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Batesville, Mississippi - A small town of about 8,000 people 45 minutes south of Memphis, TN on I-55. The town is said to be "where the delta meets the hills" as the flat delta land turns to hill country. Batesville is currently experiencing steady growth and a revitalization of the downtown area. We have many amenities that similar sized towns in Mississippi usually don't have such as a Lowes, Tractor Supply Company, a factory outlet mall, and a Civic Center capable of seating 6300.

Batesville has a large black, and growing latino population. Race relations are good but we have our share of narrow minded people who can't see past the color of someone's skin.

There are two large lakes located about 10 miles from Batesville. One is to the northeast and one is to the southeast. They are Sardis and Enid respectively.

I don't have pictures at the moment but I will try to snap some shots of the square, Springfest is happening this weekend. Maybe I can get some shots in other areas too.

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Like NcSc I was raised in the South but have since moved elsewhere.

I live in Highland Park, NJ: A small town of 14,000 people in 1.8 sq. mi.

HP has a nice Main Street downtown that sustains itself for about 8 blocks before fizzling out. The housing stock is largely old--lots of Queen Anne and some Victorian homes, and also lots of arts & crafts homes. There are Turkish and Thai restaurants, Vietnamese and Kosher bakeries, Russian and Polish markets. There is a very large Orthodox Jewish population so there are several Kosher restaurants, Judaica shops, and lots of families walking the streets on Saturdays.

HP is located across the Raritan River from New Brunswick. I can walk to NB to go to the theaters, Rutgers events, and bars/restaurants that are more hip/urban/chic than what HP can offer. NB's train station can take me to New York City or Philadelphia for a day trip (We are located about 30 miles SW of NYC and 60 miles NE of Philly). It's great to take the train into the city on weekend evenings because you don't have to worry about parking or having a designated driver.

I was skeptical about moving to the Northeast, especially New Jersey, but I have to say it exceeded my expectations and I'm enjoying living here. Although I do miss friends and fam back in VA.

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Canton, Michigan: A 36 square mile suburb of Detroit with about 85,000 people. It's a very safe community with many places to shop but is growing like none other. There is always new strip malls and subdivisions. Canton was established in 1834. For a really long time it was rural and was known for having sweet corn.

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well, at a half hour out of atlanta, enjoy lizella while it lasts.

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Pittsburgh, PA: I like it a lot. It's got big city amenities but is safe and affordable. Lots of greenery and interesting landscape. Good restaurants, culture, nice and varied architecture. Four seasons, pretty safe from big weather disasters.

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Preston, CT. Small town of about 5,000 where the cows still outnumber the people. Situated between the two largest casinos in the world and in between New York and Boston, it has become prime real estate for developers who claim to love the character of the town, and not its prime location. Tomorrow the town votes on whether or not to turn the region into a sprawling mess. There's no way around that as the developer has said that he intends on building ancillary developments in various towns across the county, and once the main site is built the towns will be overwhelmed with residents that work at the main site and will be doing their best to attract commercial and industrial developments to supplement the tax base.

So ... greetings from the town that might sell out the rest of the "last green valley" in the Megalopolis.

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I live in Uptown New Orleans...the epitome of the urban experience, with restaurants, grocers, drug stores, bars, etc, all within walking distance of my home. My part of New Orleasn is very dense and I like it that way. What I like about where I live in New Orleans is the diversity of my neighborhood. We have millionaires, deadheads, middle class people, homeless people, musicians, tattooed and dyed-hair citizens, etc. all within 3 or 4 blocks of my home. The senses never get a rest in my neighborhood. This is what keeps me here, in addition to the fact that it is home. What I don't like about New Orleans is the serious urban issues that drain our community. We have a large problem with urban poverty and the negative issues that go along with it, which skews our statistics year in and year out.

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Within walking distance I have...

Work

Dog park

Two supermarkets...three really but two very close

Many restaurants

My local indy record store

My local indy bookstore which is the largest in the country

Hospital and my med doc and my psychiatrist

Vet and emergency after hours vet

Downtown and all that implies which is where work is

At least six movie theaters

Mass transit

Minor league baseball/soccer park

Hmmm...much more...

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I live downtown Manhattan in the East Village. It's dense, crowded, stinky, and hot. Within a 15 minute walk is Soho, Lower East Side, NoLita, Little Italy, West Village, Astor Place and the West Village. As much as I beotch about New York I am happy that I have two rivers, two decent parks, Washington Square and Thompkins Square, I have a million Starbucks, a million boutiques, train lines, and and excellent location for people watching.

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Louisville is my home city is a mid-sized Southern city (along with Memphis, Richmond, Nashville, Jacksonville in that tier) with a metro population of 1.2 million. Louisville is currently having a downtown rennisance with the hopes of a downtown arena, Museum Plaza (new tallest) and the newly anncounced River front towers along with 600 condos being built.

Skyline_wArena.jpg

Louisville has a very vibrant arts scene, that's up there with the "Major cities." Louisville also has a very extensive history and and beautiful artchitecture throughout the core city. Louisville's first suburub Old Louisville (in the Core city) displays Southern architecutre at it's finest and is the second largest collection of Victorian stlye homes. If I have enough time I'll post some picutres.

Louisville is just a great city to live in.

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Home town is Lexington,NC but I curently reside in Thomasville. Thomasville is way to suburban to me. The city dosen't seem as dense as my old town and T-ville has a bigger population. As for my home town. It's size is about 20,000 folks and its the county seat of the county. The whole area has been hit with job loses but the city still hasen't declined. Are downtown area looks more like one of a city much larger. We have a few midrises and are downtown revatilization has really helped the area out. Unlike T-ville, there is a grocery store almost every mile or less. We are famous for our BBQ and are becoming a some what tourist city for the area. A new vinery and Bob Timberlake's gallery lie within. Also in downtown we have the "Pigs in the City". I also like the fact the Lexington is an easy drive to any of our states major cities. 45 mins from Charlotte, 15 from Winston, 30 from G-boro, etc.

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Shreveport, LA:

City population: 205,000; Metro population +/- 400,000. Not too big, but not too small either.

Located in the far northwestern corner of Louisiana, its western city limit is only about 15 miles from the Texas state line, and its northern city limit is about 30 miles from the Arkansas state line. The city sits about 3 hours east of Dallas, 6 hours northwest of New Orleans, and 4 hours northeast of Houston. Shreveport is also the geographical and economical center of the region known as the Ark-La-Tex, which comprises over 1 million people in much of northeast Texas, southwest Arkansas, southeast Oklahoma, and northwest Louisiana.

Shreveport was always a decent-sized southern city with a vibrant downtown. In the late 60s or early 70s it seems most of the magic had been sucked out of the downtown area, but there was still a very busy nightlife down there with the area known as Shreve Square. This area was home to numerous bars and restaurants. At this particular time in Shreveport's history, oil was king. Suburbs had popped up all around the city to house the oilmen and their families, and there were also several oil companies located in these suburbs. Some of these suburbs included Blanchard, Mooringsport, Belcher, Oil City (obviously,) Vivian, Rodessa, and others. The oil industry had gotten so large around here at one time that oil companies were even moving their headquarters to Shreveport from other cities. All the success in the oil industry was the cause of the banking industry being fairly big here as well, which eventually led to the construction of many of the modern high-rise buildings that comprise this city's beautiful skyline today.

In the mid-80s, however, the oil industry completely busted in this region, causing oilmen to scramble for work elsewhere. Most of these oilmen moved to Houston, but many also relocated to Tulsa and other areas. This big bust in the oil industry caused a complete collapse of the entire Shreveport-Bossier area economy. Since these people were no longer living and spending their money in the area, and the people left living here didn't make much money, most restaurants and businesses ended up having to close as well, as did many of the banks who had made this area home. Throughout most of the late 1980s, this area continued to struggle with no hope in sight.

Fast-forward to the early 1990s. Casino "gaming" had been approved in the state of Louisiana, and Shreveport-Bossier was one of the regions in Louisiana being considered by the casino industry. Of course you had your naysayers who said casinos would do nothing but add to the problems by raising crime rates, further hurting the economy by sending all the money made to Las Vegas, and causing strains on families and marriages through gambling addictions. The casino industry was looking like an idea that would go nowhere. But in the end, a vote was held and casino "gaming" was voted in. In my personal opinion, as well as the opinions of many others, the casino industry was the best thing to happen to this area in about a decade.

The arrival of the casino industry raised wages in the area considerably, since almost all casino jobs paid higher wages than other companies in the area. For instance, if a janitor was making $5.05/hr at a local school, he probably would have been paid a starting wage of $6.00-$6.50/hr for the same position at a casino. This led to quite a revival of the local economy, which would play out for the next decade and then some.

Now we arrive at May 29, 2006. Since the casino industry arrived more than a decade ago, this area has seen wages rise considerably, new home construction increase exponentially, thousands of new hotel rooms built, a new convention center constructed, the arrival of the movie industry, the return of many national chain stores and restaurants as well as the addition of new national chains, long-needed road and freeway upgrades, a $1 billion expansion of the General Motors plant, and a multitude of new industries make this area home.

This area has become a much more cultural place in the last decade as well. The local arts community has grown larger and larger, and now an entire section of downtown, known as the West Edge Arts District, is dedicated to the arts. In addition, William Joyce, creator of Disney's Robots and Rolie Polie Olie, makes Shreveport his home and is very active in the local arts community. He has even been successful at getting Disney to open an animation studio in Shreveport over the last year.

In addition to the arts, this area has many other cultural offerings such as annual festivals aimed at different cultures like Cinco de Mayo (Hispanic) and Let the Good Times Roll (African-American.) Downtown Shreveport is home to numerous museums and the Sci-Port Discovery Center, which is currently expanding with a space center and planetarium to open later this year. Downtown is also home to the Multicultural Center of the South, which is dedicated to all the cultures living in this area. The SporTran urban transit system has allowed the Shreveport Regional Arts Council to convert many of its city buses into public works of art. These buses have been completely covered with murals depicting the many cultures and offerings of the local area.

I've always loved my area, but I've never been more proud than I am today to call it home and to spread the word about it. A few years ago, Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower started a campaign called 'Bring the Kids Home.' This campaign, while pure and well-intentioned, failed miserably. His idea behind the campaign was to get people who had moved away years earlier, for better opportunities, to return to this city and see what it had to offer at the time. The campaign appeared to be a bit premature, as many people wrote into the city's newspaper, The Shreveport Times, making a mockery of the city and Mayor Hightower, saying there was nothing to come home to. Thankfully, now a few years later, many of these people are starting to see that there is, in fact, something to come home to. There are more opportunities, both blue collar and white collor, and there is a fairly low cost of living and a very high quality of life. Crime is considerably lower, wages are considerably higher, and the area has developed quite a bit of culture which has been needed for a very long time.

Thanks, Rwarky, for starting this thread. What a great idea, I've enjoyed it thoroughly.

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I live in Bemidji, MN, a small city in northern Minnesota which serves as the county seat for Beltrami county. The city was largely founded by settlers moving north to trade in on the massive amounts of virgin timber that remained. As time went on, mass influxes of norwegian, swedish, and german immigrants defined the culture.

Attempts to farm were mostly futile, except dairy farming and hay due to a cold climate but the logging industry kept the city booming until the 1930s, when they ran out of timber. From 1930 to 1960, the city grew at a slow rate but during the 60s and into the early 1970s, the city began to deteriorate. With the passage of some pro-growth policies and an influx of tourists, plus the growing prestige of our city's college, the city began to grow again in the 1970s, mostly in the townships surrounding Bemidji (Bemidji is only 16 sq. miles). During the 1980s, a massive campaign was headed to renew downtown and provide incentives to develop down there. As a result, downtown is much healthier now than it was in 1980 when everything was moving out along a new strip NW of town.

During the 1990s, a substantial boom hit the area. The result was an increase in building permits from $80,000 in 1987 to $100,000,000 in 1999. Since 1997, the $ amount from building permits has remained above $50,000,000.. pretty good for a city of 12,000 residents.

The city now serves as a regional center for entertainment, shopping, government services, and education along with some lucrative new industries along with the old timber industries which are still continuing to operate in a healthy state thanks to more sustainable timber management regulations and massive tarrifs on Canadian lumber. :whistling::blink:

As far as culture goes. The city is dominated by scandinavian and native american cultures. You can probably find a Smorgasbord and a pow wow in the same day if you look around. We also have the largest of the Concordia language camps which operates a German, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, French, Spanish, and soon to be Russian and Arabic camps just north of town.

The city is a huge tourist draw in all four seasons (Winter for snowmobiling, ice fishing, Spring for walleye fishing, summer for hiking, camping, or just sitting by the lake, fall for fall colors and hunting) and in the winter we have 5,000 students at our local University. Because of this, and even though we are only a city of 12,000, our estimated draw of people that come to Bemidji to use its services number around 100,000.

The city is changing however. Faster and faster growth is prompting the city to put in policies that encourage "sustainable and smart growth patterns" that will allow the city to have all the amenities for everyone who wants to live here but still look like a park when you drive into it.

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Haven't lived here long (it'll be a year next week), but I'll give it a shot.

It's a decent sized city of 83.000 according to the city limits signs, but estimates place it closer to 100k. It is the county seat. The region was once populated by Dutch, so most of the folks here are blonde-haired, blue-eyeds. There's some fine lookin ladies here too. The economy around here as best as I can tell is based mostly on oil and ranching.

It's somewhat divided into two areas: The north part of town is closest to the freeway, which runs about 10 miles north of town. But because the north part is the poor part of town, nobody has wanted to spur the gentrification of it. Therefore development has spurted in the south part of town, away from the freeway. Whether that can be sustained or not is anybody's guess, but the city recently strip annexed lands adjacent to the major roads leading up to the interstate; perhaps they feel as I do that the city's growing, literally, in the wrong direction.

We have one mall, on the south side of town. It's modesly sized, but has some pretty good stores in it. Rumor has it they're planning a second mall further south. We have the usual Lowe's, Home Depot, Walgreen's, etc. around there. We have two Wal-Mart supercenters. There's also a state university, a junior college, and two high schools here. The university is why we moved here (I'm still in college).

The people here are honest, hardworking people, most of them churchgoers (somewhat unnerving to me, never having even been to a service). In that sense, the whole city sometimes seems like a club. In fact, the churches have so much power here that it is still a dry county (that is, no alcohol sales anywhere in this county), and they even blocked a Hooters that was apparently going to be built here several years ago.

Ordinances here are minimal, although since I live in the rural area about 9 miles outside of town, I don't really know what they are, nor would they affect me.

Transportationwise, it's pretty much solely based on cars. There is a VERY minimal mass transit system here, consisting of maybe a dozen buses. However, the roads are nicely laid out, with a "loop" surrounding the bulk of the city, with no stop signs and signals only at major intersections, making for a very easy drive to any part of the city. Just drive around the loop, duck into where you need to go, and get out. Not surprisingly, the town center is somewhat lacking in activity, whereas most of the businesses on the loop are going like gangbusters. There is another loop under construction which we unfortunately didn't know about until after buying the house. It runs no more then 3/4 of a mile from our house. Even worse, it will be a limited-access toll road (I like how NOBODY even took a vote on turning it into that...), which means we get basically all the shortcomings of living near a semi-busy road without any of the advantages. The location of it obviously reflects a belief that the growth of the city will continue southward.

We also have a few reservoirs around which should make this area a mecca for all kinds of watersports, but instead they decided to go east-coast style and sold off all the surrounding properties; as a result, there are no public access areas to the lakes. This is a real shame.

As for culture, there's not much here. Many of the international, or even American-but-gourmet foods I enjoyed in California are nonexistant here, so that has been the biggest struggle for me. There are a very few asians here, and some mexicans, but it is mostly black and white. There's a rose garden and a zoo, but neither are anything to write home about. The lack of culture and cosmopolitan atmosphere is probably the biggest drawback to me.

Do I like it here? Sure I do. But do I love it? Not really.

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I live in Wethersfield, CT which is the first town directly south of Hartford, CT. Wethersfield is a town of about 26,500 people and is the oldest town in CT. Hartford serves as the capital city of the state of CT and as a center of business for CT as well as for southern New England.

There are about 121,000 people in Hartford and more then 1,200,000 in Greater Hartford. Hartford was once one of the nation's greatest cites but suffered from the influx of highway construction which most notably led to the construction of I-84 and I-91 intersecting in downtown Hartford with I-84 cutting through the downtown area.

With all the highways Hartford's suburbs grew immensly and soon suburbs around Hartford started to fill up and people started moving farther out to towns 30 + mins away (without traffic) and now these communities are considered Hartford suburbs instead of rural areas. Greater Hartford is a very diverse area. In terms of suburbs there are very wealthy communties such as Avon, Simsbury, Farmington, Canton, Glastonbury as well as parts of East Hartford to less affluent communties that are home to many minorties such as Bloomfield, East Hartford and parts of Windsor. There are also many communities in between such as Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, South Windsor and Newington.

When people left Hartford for the suburbs they left many of the less affluent still in the cities...many living in the worst neighborhoods of the city. Although there were and still are city lovers who have stayed in various areas of the city through the good and the bad. Hartford is only 17 square miles and is made up of 17 neighborhoods which includes everything from:

Downtown/Central Business District: Home to numerous office buildings, Bushnell Center for Performing Arts, Hartford Stage, Capital Community College, Old State House, Wadsworth Atheneum, restaurants, nightclubs, Adriaens Landing (CT Convention Center, new Marriott Hotel, CT Center for Science & Exploration), Union Station (Train & Bus Station)

Asylum Hill: Just west of downtown the neighborhood was a very wealthy neighborhood during Hartford's heyday which has made it the home of the Mark Twain House, Harriett Beecher Stowe House, St. Josephs Cathedral and the headquarters of AETNA and The Hartford.

West End: Near the West Hartford border the west end is one of the city's finest neighborhoods which is home to many old victorain homes as well as the UCONN School of Law, Hartford Seminary and Watkinson School

Parkville: One of the main roads in the area is Park Street which is home to hundreds of hisapnic shops and restaurants that draw hispanics from all over the area as well as from Boston, NYC and western Mass. Former President Bill Clinton also visited.

Right now Hartord is seeing a citywide revitilization wave that features the addition of 1,000+ new residential units downtown to the construction of a new convention center, hotel and science center, to the relocation of a culinary school to Asylum Hill. The city is working very hard to get people back into the city after 5:00pm and on weekends by adding all these new residential units ....mostly downtown which are being housed in new buildings (the largest is the 36 story Hartford 21 tower) as well as in renovated buildings.

I do love living in the Hartford area. After going to visit places like Boston or New York I do sometimes wish Hartford was more urban and had not become such a victim of highway construction, white flight and sprawl but I still do love Hartford. Next year i'll be attending Manhattan College but my family will still be in Hartford and Hartford will always be a part of me.

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Pawtucket (The Bucket), RI: Small (pop. around 75,000) but dense city on the northern border of Providence. Home to many old factories and highly industrialized still. Big companies include Teknor Apex and Hasbro (the toy company). Pawtucket has a small downtown that is largely void of commercial development. This is changing, however, with the addition of some new restaurants and hopefully some new retail. There are no highrises except for a few 10-15 story apartment buildings and City Hall, but that's okay because downtown Providence is only four miles away.

I live in the neighborhood known as Darlington. The western end of this neighborhood is primarily 2-3 unit houses, with more single family homes as you head toward the east near Massachusetts. Central Ave and Newport Ave are the primary commercial strips in this area, Central being a nice urban strip of local bakeries, restaurants and other stores and Newport being more chains and a little more setbacks from the street. I can walk to the grocery store, the gym, two bakeries, every fast food chain in existence (for better or worse...), what seems like a million barber shops, 4 or 5 local restaurants, a meat market, local pizza and chinese food places and 3 bus lines. Overall I like the neighborhood primarily cause I can walk everywhere and it's suprisingly real quiet with few crime minus the usual drug deals.

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I live in Franklin, TN, the suburb of Nashville that many urbanists truly hate. And for a good reason. It's one of the sprawliest towns in the metro, and has nearly no organization, except for the wonderful downtown area. Population has gone from less than 5000 20 years ago to probably more than 50000 by now. The city has recently annexed land, which could cause the population to go to at least 60000 to 70000 in the next ten years. The Cool Springs area, a huge shopping/business area, is successfully sucking the business out of DT Nashville, but luckily, space is running out. That's the bad side of Franklin. Now to the good side.

Historic downtown Franklin is a wonderful 16 block area home to a thriving main street, which has a theater, many shops, and restaurants. There are also some new residential developments that could bring the dt population to about 100, which isn't bad for a suburban town. Around downtown is a historic and very well preserved residential area. Franklin was the site of the major Civil War Battle of Franklin. Although most of the battlefield is now home to a ghetto and Target, the city has done a lot, creating a system of parks, and also a trolley system used to take people from park to park and to other areas, such as dowtown and the new public library.

Around Franklin are beuatiful countrysides and farms. The area is known for its rolling hills, and the area south of Nashville is a great area to tour to see this.

That's basically it. Come visit our town anytime.

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