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Choirboy622

Euro-esque U.S. Cities?

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I'm interested in hearing your opinions on what cities in the States are most reminiscent of European cities. This could include the design of the cities, the culture, attitudes of the inhabitants, and anything else you might wish to mention.

I've read that Boston has a European feel to it because of the layout of the streets, although I have never been there, so I don't have first-hand knowledge of it.

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Charleston, SC (old part) because it is so old.

Washington DC

Portland, OR

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boston does have a european feel.

I would also add san diego

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New Orleans- at least the French Quarter- has a distinctively different flavor from most American cities.

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New Orleans- at least the French Quarter- has a distinctively different flavor from most American cities.

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I am considering a move to New England at some point in the future if I decide to change careers. I would like to live in a city which has a European feel to it, but currently do not wish to move to Montreal or Quebec city. :shades: Short of moving to Europe, this is my next choice.

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Why San Diego. I've been to Europe many times and San Dieogo. It has nothing remotely European in culture or layout? San Francisco, now we've got the Eurofeel down....

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The obvious answer is the colonial cities in America. These stand out to me:

Charleston (The Peninsula)

Boston (Downtown)

Philadelphia (Old City)

St. Augustine, FL

Washington has a very London or Paris type of feel- especially the old parts in and around Downtown, Georgetown, Adams Morgan, etc

Savannah (Downtown)

So to that end I would assume cities that I haven't been to Baltimore, Providence, Portland Maine, Norfolk, Wilmington NC, New Orleans, Mobile, and others would also feel fairly European.

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I am considering a move to New England at some point in the future if I decide to change careers. I would like to live in a city which has a European feel to it, but currently do not wish to move to Montreal or Quebec city. :shades: Short of moving to Europe, this is my next choice.

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I would say that most New England cities have a European feel to some extent. Most cities here were founded well before the Revolutionary War, and were actually under a monarchy during their formative years. They were initially laid out using European urban practices that hadn't changed much since the Middle Ages, and they industrialized at about the same time as European cities did. Further, the fact that New England languished through most of the second half of the 20th century means that the issue of automobile-centric sprawl isn't as pronounced here as elsewhere in the US (not to say that it isn't a problem here. It certainly is becoming one). New England cities, like those in Europe, tend to be quite dense and compact, and change over to open countryside fairly quickly at the outskirts. That countryside also tends to be more densely populated than that in much of the US, with hamlets and villages peppered every couple of miles. This is also more like the European pattern of development than the American pattern of city giving way to miles of sprawl, then miles of forest or farmland until the next city.

Outside of New England, about the only American cities I've been to that really made me think of Europe are Charleston, New Orleans, and San Francisco.

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While i agree most New England cities have a more "european" feel to them. I think it has to do with more than just the layout. I think there is a kind of European attitude that you find in the Northeast. Being more driven by culture for both good and bad, a much more urban attitude. And a much greater mix of ethnicities (not to say there are other cities that don't have these same qualities). So I think it is a mix. i think one big thing that is overlooked is ho much emphasis is put on design and looks versus comfortable feel.

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Savannah's definitely got a European feel to the downtown area of the city. The designation as a historic district has done wonders for preserving the European feel and look of the downtown area. Very much worth a visit if you are ever nearby.

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While i agree most New England cities have a more "European" feel to them. I think it has to do with more than just the layout. I think there is a kind of European attitude that you find in the Northeast. Being more driven by culture for both good and bad, a much more urban attitude. And a much greater mix of ethnicities (not to say there are other cities that don't have these same qualities). So I think it is a mix. i think one big thing that is overlooked is ho much emphasis is put on design and looks versus comfortable feel.

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Interesting that no one has mentioned New York. Its massive high rise districts might set it apart from its EU counterparts, but the rest of Manhattan is certainly as dense, mixed, walkable, diverse and culture-packed as London and Paris.

On the other hand, I can't think of anywhere in America that has pedestrian-only zones comparable to those I saw in Portuguese cities. There are definitely pedestrian-only districts here, such as Boston's Downtown Crossing. But the Portuguese districts are in a category of their own.

I definitely second JDC's mention of Portland, Maine--where I live now. My couple of trips to Europe taught me that I love Europe but I love places in America that are like Europe even more.

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The eastern seaboard is obviously more like Europe than the rest of the nation, simply b/c that's where Europeans landed first, and they are the oldest settlements. But admittedly, Comparing Europe to the US is different from comparing major European cities to major US cities. The same way that to a French, France is divided into two segments... Paris, et la Province (the city and the country).

New York has all of the energy of a European epicenter, but seems too structured to represent that "feel". Most European cities are on a disorderly street grid, and much more laid back than the Americas. For this reason, I would say that inner New Orleans has the most European style. The attitude blends in with Euro-culture.

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The eastern seaboard is obviously more like Europe than the rest of the nation, simply b/c that's where Europeans landed first, and they are the oldest settlements. But admittedly, Comparing Europe to the US is different from comparing major European cities to major US cities. The same way that to a French, France is divided into two segments... Paris, et la Province (the city and the country).

New York has all of the energy of a European epicenter, but seems too structured to represent that "feel". Most European cities are on a disorderly street grid, and much more laid back than the Americas. For this reason, I would say that inner New Orleans has the most European style. The attitude blends in with Euro-culture.

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I can certainly understand your view about New Orleans, especially the French Quarter. I have not been there; would you consider this feel to extend to the rest of the city also?

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I can certainly understand your view about New Orleans, especially the French Quarter. I have not been there; would you consider this feel to extend to the rest of the city also?

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^That is a good point. Not all of Europe fits the dense, urban, pedestrian-friendly stereotype. There are certainly many areas of sprawly, "American-style" development as well.

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^That is a good point. Not all of Europe fits the dense, urban, pedestrian-friendly stereotype. There are certainly many areas of sprawly, "American-style" development as well.

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I agree with many of the others on their choices. Of the areas I've actually visited, I'd choose:

Portland, OR

New Orleans (french Quarter feels like parts of Paris)

DC area: Georgetown

Boston

Savannah

San Francisco (parts)

I think the commonality of these is an urban feel, usually gridded streets, good historic building stock, friendly street environment, diverse street retail mix, and usually few skyscrapers.

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Euro-esque?

what the heck does that mean?

Athens, one of the largest cities in Europe has little resemblance to Amsterdam. Just like Los Angeles has little resemblance to Washington DC.

Europe has so many different cultures ethnic groups and religous backgrounds each prefering a different architectural style. I can only assume you are interested in western European colonial powerhouses. If that is the case I can say that many Eastern cities resemble London, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid. As a whole the only American city that has any chance of resembling a European city as a whole would be Washington DC. Most of what people think of when they say European cities are the low/mid rise buildings with ornamental fascades and grand boulevards. And that, ladies and gentlemen is DC. No other city of any size in America has such a landscape. They all have highrises built on the rubble of european styled midrises, and this is why our cities are not as attractive on the street level. There are parts of every US city that resemble some part of Europe. This is because at different parts of American history it was chic for the wealthy to build houses/offices that resembled popular European revival styles.

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