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urbanguy

Do you like the neighborhood you live in?

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So do you like living in your neighborhood? What is it like? Is it urban, suburban, etc? :)

Well as i was sitting down eating at this awesome Vietnamese Restaurant a few blocks away this morning, i started to think like wow i really love my neighborhood its a cool place. I live in a very centralized area its between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki its very urban, vibrant, walkable, not to mention very close to the beach! There are a ton of restaurants, hole in the wall eateries, shops, bars, clubs, strip clubs, etc all around i basically walk every where in this hood as there is a lot to see, do, eat, and experience. This part of town is the most Korean part of town its sometimes referred to as Koreatown, Little Seoul or Koreamoku (after a long street called Keeaumoku which runs thru it) by residents in the immediate area but its mixed with a lot of different businesses and restaurants ie: Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean, etc. The area is also over 40% foreign born a large chunk come from Korea as this seems to be the favored place to be for them, other residents in the area come from places like Jamaica, Trinidad, Micronesia/Marshall Islands, Samoa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Guam, Japan, China, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, India, Samoa, Jordan, etc to Afghanistan. Its a really cool place and there are quite a few stores, restaurants, etc that are open 24hrs a day so theres a lot of foot traffic, biking, jogging, etc that goes on here. It's also a booming area right now as two condo towers of 400ft+ are currently under construction another two about to go underconstruction accross the street from me probably by next year as there are selling there units now and possiblly another a few blocks down to begin by the end of next year not to mention the 3 story urban Wal-Mart/Sams Club currently underconstruction another block and half or so east of me which will also feature shops/eateries and ground/street level like some Filipino Bakery, Japanese restaurant, Hawaiian bbq, to chain stores like Jamba, Starbucks, and Cold Stone Cremary :P

Anyhoo the thing i dont like about the hood is the ugly homes and 1-3 story apartments that fill a large portion of the immediate area up... the designs had no love put into them and are eye sores but hey what you gonna do? :D They built many of these suckers before i was born so the beotchs that built it are probably dead by now! :P

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Guest donaltopablo

I live in a suburban neighborhood. It's not a bad neighborhood, about as quiet as they come, even more so in this price range of housing. The area is a little under developed. Grocery stores are near by, but otherwise pretty limited retail and resturant choices without making a few mile drive. However, most of the resturants and retail nearby are neighborhood owned stores and resturants, so it has a better vibe than the average suburb, not filled with chain stores and chain resturants.

I don't get a real strong neighborly feel though. They are all very nice, always say hi. But in 3 years here, it's been rare there has been any kind of general neighborhood gathering, and rarely stop by.

Personally, I wish I could move closer in to the city. Atlanta got some great stuff going on. I shall get down there sooner or later, probably some time after my business finishes taking off and I feel more confident about doubling or triping the cost of my house.

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^Is your neighborhood pretty walkable like are there stores or shops in the neighborhood or places you can just chill at? Even when it comes to grocery shopping in my hood i just walk to the grocery store i dont have to drive anywhere to find what i may need or like if i wanna relax have a cup of coffee or beer.

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Guest donaltopablo

^Is your neighborhood pretty walkable like are there stores or shops in the neighborhood or places you can just chill at? Even when it comes to grocery shopping in my hood i just walk to the grocery store i dont have to drive anywhere to find what i may need or like if i wanna relax have a cup of coffee or beer.

Unforunately, no. It's a 1 mile walk to a gas station, nearly 2 1/2 to a grocery store or neighborhood coffee shop. It's bike riding distance, definitely, but it would be a long walk. The street my neighborhood is on is purely older (60s) residential, so the houses are even more spread out than the neighborhood I live in.

There are businesses at the other end of the street my neighborhood is on, operating in commerical space. But none of it is retail, it's an electrican and brick company. Would be a great neighborhood spot for some retail, and walkable.

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^How far out of the city are you? Even though my area is very urban i actually live in a house there arent very many along my street though its mostly apartments and condos etc. but the convience factor is there i love the location.

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Guest donaltopablo

It's probably 25 miles outside of the city limits of Atlanta, and about 4-5 miles from the nearest suburban city limit. It's definitely a big change from Avondale Estates, where I lived before this, which was an older close in neighborhood, and very walkable even though it wasn't amazing dense.

But unforunately I needed room for my hobby, which meant I needed a garage and room for 4-5 cars. Despite the fact that I hate driving to work, I am a car lover, and probably would not own less than 3 cars no matter what, even if I never used a car for regular trips to the store or work.

I do try to be better than the average suburbanite with long commutes in an SUV though, lol. I live 7 miles from my store, and 10 miles from my part time job. I car pool (although with my wife to the store) to both places. Although, I do car pool in heavily modified cars without cats and questionable fuel tunes due to the modifications, so although I'm saving streets and traffic, I don't think I'm doing much for the enviornment LOL.

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^hehe living the American dream! :P Well, unfortunately like a lot of American cities the newer Honolulu suburbs are pretty nasty with the typical cookie cutter hoods with lifestyle centers, strip malls, or shopping centers i think its so sad because this city was quite a jewel urban-wise for decades as most people lived in the city limits and lived in highrises or dense urban neighborhoods which equalled less traffic on the roads and shorter commuter times but my how times have changed and the "American" way of life has really taken its toll. I travelled out to some of the newer neighborhoods about 20 or so miles west of town and it about made me puke very suburban and everyhood looked the same if it wasnt for my buddy with me i wouldnt have found my way out of that place it was like being in a room full of mirrors! haha Funny thing is that area which is known as "Kapolei" has also been dubbed this islands "Second City" as many branches of state, government, county jobs, retail/shopping, entertainment, etc and the like have set up shop in that area so that people could work and live there instead of commuting all the way to town and have to deal with traffic however its all a bunch of lowrises and cook cutter housing development! It really pisses me off i dont know who the heck is in charge but they are ruining this wonderful city! :angry:

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Guest donaltopablo

I assure you this wasn't my first choice is housing. In fact, I started off looking for a condo, then townhome. Finally, due to cost and need for garage and space for cars, I didn't have much choice but to pick the suburbs. So I picked one close to my place of work and where I was starting up my business.

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Fair enough

Here's the beach some blocks down from me

See the huge square empty lot on the left in this pic i live in a home across the street from it

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I live near this building in the pic

This is what is what has been approved for that empty lot. The first phase has already sold out

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See the cranes on the right side of the pic? These two towers are being built there

Hokua

Koolani

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kendall.jpg

Kendall, Florida

My sorry, suburban neighborhood. Janet Reno lives in the area as well. It's mostly single family houses, but there's maybe 30-40% apartments, townhouses and condos.

That's the community college right in the middle. There's not much commercial in the area. Some stuff within walking distance, but not much worth while. It's also very diverse. Hispanics of all flavors, jamaicans, orthodox jews, and gringos.

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Pittsburgh, PA, i like to think I live in it all lol

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Shadyside is a great neighbohood . . .

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Shadyside's wooden street paves its way to greatness

Roslyn Place's wood construction might be the only one of its kind in the contintental United States

Sunday, March 21, 2004

By Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When Allan Jacobs was choosing streets for inclusion in his 1993 book "Great Streets," the Champs-Elysees in Paris didn't make the cut, but an 18-house cul-de-sac in Pittsburgh did.

In relegating the world's most famous boulevard to "once-great" status, Jacobs cited its many barren spots, bizarrely pruned shrubbery and lack of shade. The fast-food joints and car showrooms didn't help.

On the other hand, Roslyn Place, an offshoot of the 5400 block of Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, exudes sense of place. It drips with aesthetic appeal. Eighteen handsome World War I-era homes, all but one red brick, huddle together in an intimate U-shaped community in which, Jacobs writes, "one must deal with a neighbor."

He would know. He once lived on Roslyn Place, where most of the residents have lived for decades and nurture a community commitment that advocates of cities champion. The days of stoop-sitting have dwindled as the population has aged, but many residents still interact daily and meet on nice days with brooms in hand.

Jacobs writes that the Roslyn plan could never be built today. For one thing, it may err too much on the side of human scale. Very little space separates houses. There are no garages. If cars are parked on both sides of the street, a large vehicle cannot pass between them. It's one reason residents say the city provides no street-sweeping service or snow removal.

The street deck itself would never be established today as it was in 1914, and that's the most intriguing characteristic of Roslyn Place. It may be the only viable wood-block street left in the contiguous United States. It was deemed historically significant in 1990 by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation as the only exposed-wood street in the city.

No others could be confirmed as having existed here.

In 1871, when Mrs. O'Leary's cow may have booted a lantern that set Chicago aflame, that city had many wooden streets; none remain today. In the 1920s, Beaumont, Texas, had wooden streets, but they flooded and were replaced with asphalt. Rain washed out Miami's wood-block streets before the advent of the motor car. In Baltimore city, the last cluster of wood-block streets was paved over in 1949.

Author Anne Rice refers to vampires lurking along wooden streets in old New Orleans. Edward Arnold, a streets engineer there, said none remains. "There were some sections in the older parts of town," he said, "but generally, they floated away."

Norfolk, Va., has the remains of wooden streets older than its cobblestones, but they are below traffic level. The remains were discovered during the building of a downtown mall four or five years ago, said Norma Swan, engineering technician for the city of Norfolk: "I have three blocks in my office."

No other references to wood streets in the United States could be found outside of Alaska. Henry Ford visited Ketchikan in 1916 and was responsible for widening what had been a 10-foot-wide plank street that could accommodate horse-drawn drays but not the town's first Model T. Today, the town of 14,000 has numerous elevated wooden sidewalks but just two wooden streets remaining, said Harvey Hansen, director of public works in Ketchikan. One wooden street also has survived in Petersburg, Alaska, a village on the southeastern peninsula.

Walter Kidney, a historian at the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, said wooden streets were a common surface when wood was plentiful and inexpensive. "It's a quiet surface, considering you might have had horse-drawn vehicles and steel or rod iron tires," he said.

Jacobs, a professor emeritus of city and regional planning at the University of California at Berkeley who worked for the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Commission when he lived here, said wood has become too costly for use as pavement and that one of its drawbacks is that it is slippery. But, he said, "Wood-block streets are quite durable and quite maintainable."

Indeed, the original wood blocks of Roslyn Place, a street that is just 18 1/2 feet across, lasted almost 70 years.

 

In 1914, when architect-engineer Thomas Rodd developed his acre-plus Shadyside estate into the Roslyn Place community, the houses were rentals. When, in the early '50s, they were put up for sale, prices ranged from $11,000-$16,000.

In the early '80s, when utility lines were being replaced, many of the wooden blocks fell apart in the digging, they recall. The city spent $75,000 to replace them in the summer of 1985. Sand and concrete were brushed between the blocks to fix them in place, but the wood should have been watered down and was not. That November, the street heaved right down the middle, and the city returned to mend the rift with asphalt, a little seam that runs down the middle of the street like a protruding backbone.

The city since has patched deteriorating spaces with wood blocks it keeps in store.

"The loveliness of this street is not the blocks but that we've had such a great diversity of people who have lived here," said longtime resident Aphia Abdou, citing an artist, a lawyer, a jewelry designer, a musicologist, a teacher, an economist, an engineer and a stock- broker. "And it's still an old-fashioned community where we look out for each other."

Mary Rafferty, a resident since 1950, said hers was a "great first house" that her family never outgrew. "It was a really great street when our kids were growing up," she said. In 1953, there were 38 children residing on Roslyn Place. "Now there are two children on the street."

Jim Frape, a silversmith who moved onto Roslyn Place in 1957, in the midst of that baby boom, said the wood blocks are "slippy in summer when it rains and in winter when there's ice, but it's kind of fun to shock people by telling them your street is made of wood."

If you walk down the middle of Roslyn and don't look closely, you could mistake the surface for bricks. The blocks are approximately of that size, and on a gray day, their color is indeterminate. But where a resident has swept the detritus of winter away, you can see the weathered gray-brown color, the wood grain and the cracks. If you listen to your footfall, the wood gives itself away.

Jose Martinez, an urban planner in Austin, Texas, has visited Pittsburgh with his wife, who is from here. He said he sought out Roslyn Place specifically because he had read about it in Jacobs' book.

"Engineers don't like things like wooden streets, but architects love things like that, and architecture should have more of a place in street design," said Martinez. "I hope your city never paves over that wooden street. The beauty also, I'm remembering, is the distances between the windows and the streets so that children could safely enjoy the street as a play space. The intimacy and neighborliness is what is beautiful. They complement each other so well that designers should learn from it and replicate the success of this development."

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i just visited pittsburgh for the first time a couple weeks ago- what a charming city. the downtown was quite a bit denser and bigger than i was expecting and, while there seemed like a lot to do, everything seemed closed and everyone seemed to be standing around and smoking. ;) unfortunately, i didn't get a chance to get out to the neighborhoods much but the surrounding views of the city look like they would be incredible.

as far as my neighborhood, it is certainly gritty. you are just as likely to find shattered auto glass on the sidewalk as you are a penny. sometimes i will walk out the front door of the apartment building to see a homeless man peeing in the street. while this does not paint the prettiest picture, the cass corridor (detroit) is actually a neat place to live. there are several good restaurants and bars and many major cultural institutions within walking distance. downtown is a bike ride away. every building and vacant lot that is cleaned up down here is a small victory. it is amazing to wake up every morning and see the massive disparity between the priveleged and the poor. it is a humbling experience.

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SUGARHOUSE - SALT LAKE CITY

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Five miles southeast of downtown and twenty minutes from excellent skiing lies a pretty, almost bohemian enclave. There aren't specific boundaries to the Sugarhouse neighborhood, but in general they're from 1300 South to 2700 South, and 600 East to 2100 East on the grid plan. The Sugarhouse area is home to Westminster College, the oldest four-year liberal arts college in Utah (founded in 1897). For golf lovers, the area also houses two of the oldest courses in Salt Lake: Forest Dale and Nibley Park. The Liberty Heights organic market and Sugarhouse Commons (a new mall) are two of Sugarhouse

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I wish I could live in Detroit! Oh well, I will be able to in four more years. :)

I don't have any photos of my neighborhood, but it is very difficult to find kind words for it. Every house is practically the same: a two story story colonial with vinyl siding, 3 windows on top, 2 windows & a door on the lower floor. And pretty much every single house is either white or gray on the outside. The lots are rather large, ranging from 1/2 acre to 2 acres in area. Many of the yards look like parks, with ponds and mature trees. However, there are no sidewalks. You can't walk anywhere. About the only things the neighborhood is convenient to is the neighborhood elementary school & I-75. You've got to drive at least two miles to get food. If you want any sort of ethnic food, you've got to drive probably 15 minutes. And that's if you want take out Chinese food. There's an ok Mexican place about four miles away. But other than that, you're choices are hamburgers or hotdogs. Forget about culture! If you want to go to a bookstore, you've got to go to Flint, 15 minutes away. Want to go see a play? Flint's cultural center has some good shows, but for a lot of shows, you've got to drive to Detroit. There's one coffeehouse, but it never seems to be open. The grocery store is convenient, about 1/2 mile away, but for clothes, you're looking at driving 15 minutes north to Flint, or 20 minutes south to Auburn Hills. As far as a community feeling...well, if you looked in my neighborhood, you'd be looking in the wrong place! Pretty much eveyone is a transplant from Oakland County.

The only saving grace is that the school system is one of the best in the state. Of course the excellent schools and low property values (when compared to metro Detroit) mean that people are pouring into the area. 48 subdivisions are currently under construction, and more are on the way. When I moved here, the whole area had about 20,000 residents. Now they're saying we'll surpass the city of Flint in population sometime between 2018 & 2020. Fortunately I'll be out of this place by then. Four months & three days until I move to Southfield...one step closer to Detroit!

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I just posted a photo thread of my neighbourhood, Federal Hill.

This is what the Providence Journal says about Federal Hill:

Federal Hill

Originally the land separating the Narragansett and Wampanoag Indian tribes, Federal Hill is now known as the "Little Italy" of Rhode Island.

The lifeline of Federal Hill is Atwells Avenue, packed with restaurants, Italian food stores and retail shops.

"In keeping with the patterns of the 'Old Country,' many of the businesses utilized the street level space for their commercial activities and occupied the upper floors for residences. During the 1930s, the streets of Federal Hill were usually teaming with vendors selling their goods in pushcarts and the sounds of live chickens and rabbits in wooden cages," The Providence Plan writes of the street.

An Italian pine, the source of pignoli nuts, hangs symbolically from the arch spanning Atwells Avenue at the beginning of the street as one crosses over Route 95.

The neighborhood holds an annual Columbus Day parade and festival in honor of the Italian discoverer of the New World that takes over the street for the weekend before Columbus Day.

In recent years, new immigrants, including Latinos and Asians, have made Federal Hill home. Their impact on the neighborhood is felt more and more each year as bodegas and restaurants reflecting their ethnicity open in the area.

-- Compiled by projo.com staff writers,

with Providence Journal file photos

And yes, I like my neighbourhood very much. :)

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I dont have a pic of where I live,

Basically it is your average working class English estate, all semi-detached houses with pretty big gardens. There is a main road at one end of it where there are lots of commerce, retail and service's. Plus a big park (one of the biggest in Europe) is about 10-15 minutes walking distance. So yea, I like it. :)

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Don't have any pics of where I live but I'll give a description. When people think of Uptown New Orleans, they think it's mansions and nice pretty houses which is true for the most part. Cross Martin Luther King Blvd. and you're in the Uptown ghetto, which consists of projects and wards. That's my world, I grew up in Uptown's 13th Ward which introduced me to killers, gangsters & hustlers plus the raging violence that goes along with it. I'm used to AK's/M-16's going off so it doesn't bother me. 13th Ward is DEEP inside the Uptown ghetto so you know it's gritty. If you're expecting to see blacks, whites and any other racial group here, forget it. The area has been/probably will be predominantly black for quite sometime unless gentrification takes place. People are proud of 13th Ward so if you talk bad about the community, you might find yourself staring at an AK-47. That's how we get down, we rep our ward seriously (I don't get down with the violent aspect of representing your city or geographic region). It stretches back from the MS River and is wedge-shaped. Valence St. is the principal street which runs North-South. I like it because I can go south on Valence and be in the Garden District in 5-10 minutes. It's in close proximity to Tulane & Loyola so that's another benefit. Some aspects of the 13 I enjoy, others I hate such as the raging violence.

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I live in Mid-City now, but, I did live in Uptown for a number of years, as well as the Irish Channel (I'm from the Irish Channel). I've loved all of the neighborhooods I've lived in New Orleans, but, I like deep urban, and all of those neighborhoods are deep urban.

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Well, this is an interesting discussion.

My neighborhood isn't much of a neighborhood at all. My building is an 18-story apt. tower surrounded by medical institutions and surface parking lots/garages. That's because it's on the cusp of the Detroit Medical Center. But just one street over is Detroit's "main street", Woodward Avenue, which is the epicenter of everything the city is made up of, most importantly the Cultural Center which is anchored by Wayne State University (MI's 3rd largest) and multiple museums, churches, beautiful homes as well as new modern developments and many renovated historic structures.

Another characteristic of my neighborhood is sirens...due to the Medical Center proximity. There is also a Detroit Police Precinct one block away and the Wayne State Univ. Police down the street from that...and Woodward is a major thoroughfare for fire trucks too. On the flip side, there are a lot of year round festivals that take place in my neighborhood which makes the area pretty desirable.

If I could change one thing to improve the hood, it would be to narrow the width of Woodward Avenue. It's wider than necessary width separates the vibrancy of either side, and having it more pedestrian and human friendly could really do a lot to improve the quality of life in the area. Also, we need more mixed use to encourage walkability and less single use zoned lots.

Here's 2 pictures that show the width of Woodward Avenue.

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Funny to see this topic be revived after being started nearly 4 years ago. But I would love to tell you about my new neighborhood, if you want to listen.

First, let me say that I was born in Boston, and then lived for many years in Richmond, VA. I'm a city kid and am used to walkability, public transit - and/or not owning my own car. I moved out of Richmond and into the suburbs at the lake in Charlotte, NC. I lasted about a year there and my wife and I realized that we just were not cut out for the 'burbs. So we sold our house and moved back to an inner city neighborhood called Noda (or as the realtor lingo calls it: The Arts District).

We are unbelievably more happy here. We can walk to dinner, music venues, art galleries. Our local shops are mom and pop, and we're hard pressed to find a chain store in Noda. We're 2 miles from center city, and located just 2 blocks from the proposed extension of the Lynx Blue Line (Light Rail). Our neighborhood is made up of modest bungalow houses (a former mill community) that have been renovated and updated with love in the last 10 years. 90% of our neighbors are young couples just like us who walk their dogs to the coffee shop (we can take the dog in with us, they even have treats for her). Our new mortgage is 2 times what it was in the burbs, and our house is about 1/2 the size, and 80 years older. But I wouldn't trade it in for anything. And much to my surprise, in the winter when the leaves are gone from the trees, we can see the city skyline poke over our roof.

My only complaint is that the Lynx line isn't extended from center city to here yet. The Amtrak and freight trains can be loud at times. And we don't have a grocery store in our neighborhood (we have a market called The Salvador Deli, but they don't have much for a market).

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I absolutely love the neighborhood living in the Easttown neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI. It truly is a neighborhood whre you can work, live, and play. Within walking distance of my apartment are, many nightlife options, Lake Michigan, the world famous Milwaukee Art Museum. My neighborhood has studios that rent for around $500 a month and condos that start over $1 million, so it is both affordable and upscale. And of course there is summertime with more festivals than it is possible to attend. Though I regularly attend Jazz in the Park just a block down from my street that brings out thousands every thursday during the summer.

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MAM

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I live in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood, which is actually now inner-city. In a word, it's eclectic. Instead of writing my own essay, I'm cutting and pasting what others say. But I will add this: We have a kick-ass Fourth of July Parade!

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I live in West Columbia. I'm about 4 miles from downtown Columbia, SC. Our "neighborhood" consists of two streets and their cross streets that connect them. It's full of old inner suburb ranch-type houses, mostly from the middle 50's. The neighborhood used to be much larger but a strip mall was built and then later a Super Wal-mart. That took up much of the old neighborhood. It also backs up to the railroad and they extended our street across to connect to another street and now there are brand new houses built over there. It's a pretty drastic change when you cross the railroad to say the least. Also, The interstate (I-26) runs almost right behind our neighborhood. Though technically it wasn't built to be too walkable, you tend to see a lot of people walking to Wal-mart, Ruby Tuesday, and the strip mall by Wal-mart.

This is what the http://www.westcolumbiasc.gov/ website says about it:

"The City of West Columbia is located in the eastern portion of Lexington County, along the Congaree and Saluda Rivers, within the Columbia metropolitan area. The City of West Columbia finds itself poised to take advantage of not only its place in the Central Midlands Region, but to also enhance the unique qualities in the City. The City is beginning to realize its untapped potential as a riverfront city as well as its rich heritage. In the next millennium, the City will focus itself on preserving unique, historic areas of the city as well as beautification, image, growth, and economic development.

West Columbia is a community on the Congaree River in Lexington County graced with tree-lined streets, quaint shops, long-time residents and young families. With a heritage rich in history, West Columbia is coming into its own. Historic areas stand side-by-side with new development which adds to the charm and livability of West Columbia. Protective of the natural beauty of the river and its small town feel, West Columbia sparkles on the river across the bridge from the capital city of Columbia. Whether you're looking for a place to live, start a business or just visit, West Columbia welcomes you to this jewel on the river. "

:shrugs: I like it and we're five minutes from downtown.

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I live in Medford Hillside in Medford, MA. It's near Tufts University where I go to school. Although Medford doesn't border Boston directly, it's closer to downtown than many of Boston's own neighborhoods inside the city limits. Most residents live in two- or three-family houses, but there are a few apartment buildings and single-family homes.

From here it's a short walk over the Mystic River to Medford Square, and a bit longer walk to Davis Square in Somerville (that's the closest T station to my house). There are several convenience stores, pizza shops and Dunkin Donuts in the immediate area and a few different MBTA bus lines run through the neighborhood.

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