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Highlifeman21
11-06-2007, 09:27 PM
1. Minneapolis
2. Indianapolis
3. Cincinnati
4. St. Louis
5. Houston
6. Milwaukee
7. Dallas
8. Pittsburgh
9. Columbus
10. Atlanta

5 out of 6 NL Central Cities, interesting.

http://promo.realestate.yahoo.com/most_affordable_places_to_live_well.html

TeamBoone
11-06-2007, 10:02 PM
You're link doesn't work... no www and too many dots/spaces toward the end. I tried a few different ways but still couldn't get it to work.

wolfboy
11-06-2007, 10:08 PM
The list is "Most Affordable Places To Live Well"

http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/realestate/2007/11/05/homes-property-affordable-forbeslife-cx_mw_1106realestate.html


3. Cincinnati
The Queen City is one of the most affordable in the country, in terms of cost of living and housing. Median-earning residents here can afford 76.5% of the homes on the market. Not that they need it (it's the fifth cheapest city to live in), but housing affordability leaves Cincinnatians with plenty of cash on hand. The city is in the bottom half of Sperling's measure.

Unassisted
11-06-2007, 10:15 PM
Half of the list is rust-belt cities. That's why housing is cheap there.

Highlifeman21
11-06-2007, 10:33 PM
You're link doesn't work... no www and too many dots/spaces toward the end. I tried a few different ways but still couldn't get it to work.

I think I fixed the link.

Falls City Beer
11-06-2007, 10:42 PM
Half of the list is rust-belt cities. That's why housing is cheap there.

And Dallas and Houston are total armpits, like my own city, Philadelphia.

So it's easy to understand why these places are cheap.

MWM
11-07-2007, 08:19 AM
1. Minneapolis
2. Indianapolis
3. Cincinnati
4. St. Louis
5. Houston
6. Milwaukee
7. Dallas
8. Pittsburgh
9. Columbus
10. Atlanta

5 out of 6 NL Central Cities, interesting.

http://promo.realestate.yahoo.com/most_affordable_places_to_live_well.html

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

Couldn't agree more. :thumbup:

wheels
11-07-2007, 09:02 AM
MInneapolis rules as a city, but that weather is dreaful.

We all know about the cold, but I've spent lots of time there in the summer months, and the heat and humidity are on a par with St. Louis. That's probably why it's so cheap.

Course, they have a ton of record stores, and I also got to feel and hear bullets whizzing over my head at Prince's now defunct Glam Slam. Fits all of the criteria for an awesome city.

MWM
11-07-2007, 09:36 AM
MInneapolis rules as a city, but that weather is dreaful.

We all know about the cold, but I've spent lots of time there in the summer months, and the heat and humidity are on a par with St. Louis. That's probably why it's so cheap.

Course, they have a ton of record stores, and I also got to feel and hear bullets whizzing over my head at Prince's now defunct Glam Slam. Fits all of the criteria for an awesome city.


A - I've lived here 3 straight summers and the summer weather here is great. It's nowhere near St. Louis. Sure, it has its days or the occasional week where it's hot and sticky, but for the most part, it stays in the low to mid 80s with medium level humidity. I know I spent most of the summers of my life in Cincy, and the weather is SOOOOO much better in the summer than there. One of the thinfgs my wife and I love most about the city is the weather in the summer. It's fantastic. And she's from San Diego, so she knows great weather.

B - The winters here are colder than most of the midwest. But the extreme cold you hear so much about only last a couple of weeks. Most of the winter it stays in the high teens to mid 20s. But there's always a couple of weeks, where it's so freaking cold you just can't go outside unless you absolutely have to.

But the other side of that is that it's sunny all winter. It's the darndest thing. You can look outside and it can be 10 below zero, and you'd swear it was a warm sunny day. Most midwest cities have cloud cover most of the winter and it's gloomy the entire time. Here it's blue skies and sunny every day. Having experienced both, I'll take the sun and colder temps.

But the people who have lived here most of their lives LOVE the winter. It's weird, they spend more time doing outside winter activities than they so summer. Everyone seems to play broomball or hockey. Tons of people ice fish in the lakes. There's snowmobiles all over the place. Seriously, they ride them on the sidewalks here in the winter. When there's snow on the ground, you can't drive very far without seeing people out on their snowmobiles.

It's the most outdoor active place I've ver been. There's a reason why the Twin cities have the fewest hours of TV watched per capita of anywhere in the US. I've never seen so much outdoor activity in my life. It's contagious as well. My family is quickly becoming very outdoor active.

C - It's not that cheap. That's one of the misconceptions here. The house I bought here cost about 60% more here than it would have cost in the Cincy suburbs. I wish it was cheaper, but outside of Chicago, it's probably the most expensive place to live in the midwest.

westofyou
11-07-2007, 09:37 AM
I hear Akron is pretty affordable too.

registerthis
11-07-2007, 09:40 AM
And Dallas and Houston are total armpits, like my own city, Philadelphia.

I gotta say, though, that me and the Mrs. spent a few days in Philly in August and were pleasantly surprised. It didn't seem to me to be the Filthadelphia of old, we actually enjoyed putting around downtown and seeing the sites. Now I know that there are plenty of crap 'hoods still left in Philly, but my impression was that the city had come a long way. I certainly have warmer thoughts of Philly than I do of Houston. (Never set foot in Dallas).

Roy Tucker
11-07-2007, 09:46 AM
I maintain that the quality of life in the Midwest is a well-kept secret.

Not terribly sexy or trendy, but if you want a rock-solid lifestyle, its the place to be.

registerthis
11-07-2007, 10:17 AM
I maintain that the quality of life in the Midwest is a well-kept secret.

Not terribly sexy or trendy, but if you want a rock-solid lifestyle, its the place to be.

Indeed. Although I greatly enjoy living in D.C., I likely wouldn't be here if my work hadn't led me here. The culture, restaurants and other trappings of urban life are nice, and we enjoy them as much as we can...but there are certainly days when I yearn for the unclogged streets, affordable houses, and generally less-hectic pace of life of the midwest.

westofyou
11-07-2007, 10:23 AM
I yearn for the unclogged streets, affordable houses, and generally less-hectic pace of life of the midwest.

Those things are not exclusive to the MW, the west is full of all the same qualities and ample BLM land (as opposed to private farm land)

Unassisted
11-07-2007, 10:25 AM
A - I've lived here 3 straight summers and the summer weather here is great.
In the 10 years I lived in Wisconsin (which precede your 3 years), I remember seeing stories on the news about terrible thunderstorms and tornadoes hitting Minneapolis what seemed like every summer. We had our share of that kind of weather in Wisconsin, but it always seemed like your city got hit worse than we did.

I don't doubt your experience, but it's very different than what I perceived about Minny during my time in the upper midwest.

Also, I was reminded recently how the snow or sleet that we saw so many times on Halloween in that part of the country was always a drag.

registerthis
11-07-2007, 10:29 AM
Those things are not exclusive to the MW

Perhaps not, but the midwest is what I know.

MWM
11-07-2007, 10:31 AM
In the 10 years I lived in Wisconsin (which precede your 3 years), I remember seeing stories on the news about terrible thunderstorms and tornadoes hitting Minneapolis what seemed like every summer. We had our share of that kind of weather in Wisconsin, but it always seemed like your city got hit worse than we did.

I don't doubt your experience, but it's very different than what I perceived about Minny during my time in the upper midwest.

Also, I was reminded recently how the snow or sleet that we saw so many times on Halloween in that part of the country was always a drag.

Sure, we get some nasty thunderstorms in the spring and fall, and occasionally in the summer, but it's not like it's more than once or twice a year. That doesn't take away from the overall quality of the weather here in the warm months.

The only real problem I have with the weather is the month of March. Most of my life I remember March as the month where things warmed up. Here, that doesn't happen. It doesn't really start to crack 50 degrees until April. That extra weeks of winter when I'm jonesing for warm weather is not fun at all.

M2
11-07-2007, 01:20 PM
I'm a firm believer that if you're going to live in a suburb, then it doesn't really matter which suburb you live in. I know they're not all the same, but in any metropolitan area you usually can find a suburb that will suit you (assuming you don't mind suburbs). Using that criteria I can certainly see where midwestern cities would fare well. You've got established, affordable communities throughout the region.

What amazes me is the folks who are paying through the nose to live in expensive, anonymous burbs around some cities (e.g. San Francisco, L.A., New York and Boston). Obviously they've got employment in the area, but they're going broke to live in proximity to a city they almost never enter for any reason other than work. It's madness if you ask me.

westofyou
11-07-2007, 01:34 PM
What amazes me is the folks who are paying through the nose to live in expensive, anonymous burbs around some cities (e.g. San Francisco, L.A., New York and Boston). Obviously they've got employment in the area, but they're going broke to live in proximity to a city they almost never enter for any reason other than work. It's madness if you ask me.

In SF a former client of mine has an office on Van Ness, about 6 blocks up off of Market. There is a woman there that commutes there everyday from Modesto, 90 miles away in the Central Valley, she drives about 60 miles to BART and then rides that into the city.

I'd rather kill then pull that commute off.

RANDY IN INDY
11-07-2007, 01:55 PM
We really like it here, outside of Charlotte. It's a great place to live, weather is great for most of the year and it is close to the beach and the mountains. Schools are great. It is getting a little pricey to live here and the development is never ending. If we ever make a work move again, it looks like Indianapolis. I've heard good and bad. Anyone want to share who lives in or around Indy? The one thing I would hate to leave, for my son, is the year round baseball opportunities here around Charlotte

registerthis
11-07-2007, 02:07 PM
What amazes me is the folks who are paying through the nose to live in expensive, anonymous burbs around some cities (e.g. San Francisco, L.A., New York and Boston). Obviously they've got employment in the area, but they're going broke to live in proximity to a city they almost never enter for any reason other than work. It's madness if you ask me.

Could not agree with you more. It doesn't make any sense to me. My wife and I have both said that when/if the time comes that we look to move out of the city and into a suburb, we're looking beyond the D.C. region. I simply don't understand the theory behind paying 2-3 times as much to live in a bedroom community of a city you rarely venture into. You might as well be living in Kalamazoo at that point.

Rojo
11-07-2007, 02:25 PM
What amazes me is the folks who are paying through the nose to live in expensive, anonymous burbs around some cities (e.g. San Francisco, L.A., New York and Boston). Obviously they've got employment in the area, but they're going broke to live in proximity to a city they almost never enter for any reason other than work. It's madness if you ask me.

Especially at $3/gallon.

fearofpopvol1
11-07-2007, 03:42 PM
We really like it here, outside of Charlotte. It's a great place to live, weather is great for most of the year and it is close to the beach and the mountains. Schools are great. It is getting a little pricey to live here and the development is never ending. If we ever make a work move again, it looks like Indianapolis. I've heard good and bad. Anyone want to share who lives in or around Indy? The one thing I would hate to leave, for my son, is the year round baseball opportunities here around Charlotte

Lived in Indy for 25 years. I think it's a great place to live and a great place to raise a family. It's changing some, but I've had friends who'd never been come and visit and totally walk away saying they could live there. The biggest issue really is to make sure you live somewhere that has a good school system. The IPS (Indianapolis Public School) system is not very good, but it's pretty avoidable as there are many school districts that are not included in that. As a cherry on top, FSN Ohio broadcasts their games in Indy!

Anyway, the cost of living out here in NYC is indeed ridiculous and the adjustment period was long, but once you get here, it's hard to leave. It really has everything you'd ever want (other than a yard).

RANDY IN INDY
11-07-2007, 04:32 PM
As a cherry on top, FSN Ohio broadcasts their games in Indy!

That also is a cherry on top here in Charlotte!

TC81190
11-07-2007, 06:43 PM
w00t. Cincinnati might be a little boring, but I love living around here. I can see why it's picked that high on that list.

Rojo
11-07-2007, 07:42 PM
Half of the list is rust-belt cities. That's why housing is cheap there.


N is for New Haven
A is for Akron
F is for Flint
T is for Toledo
A is for American Industry.

vaticanplum
11-07-2007, 08:13 PM
I'm a firm believer that if you're going to live in a suburb, then it doesn't really matter which suburb you live in. I know they're not all the same, but in any metropolitan area you usually can find a suburb that will suit you (assuming you don't mind suburbs). Using that criteria I can certainly see where midwestern cities would fare well. You've got established, affordable communities throughout the region.

What amazes me is the folks who are paying through the nose to live in expensive, anonymous burbs around some cities (e.g. San Francisco, L.A., New York and Boston). Obviously they've got employment in the area, but they're going broke to live in proximity to a city they almost never enter for any reason other than work. It's madness if you ask me.

I see your point but I don't know if I entirely agree, for one major reason: landscape. If you're indoor people or if your kids' outdoor time centers mainly around neighborhood bike riding (do kids still do that?), then yes, I think you're right. But there is a huge difference between the redwoods and wine country in northern California and the Hudson River Valley and New England in general. (Not to mention the major differences in climate between, say, suburbs surrounding San Francisco vs. suburbs surrounding Burlington, Vermont.) Some people feed off the mountains and others need to be near water. Now, I realize that the pace of modern life doesn't always allow for taking advantage of the outdoors all the time, but say a family with little kids takes a foray to an area outside the city once every month or so -- that has a huge impact on a child and his early memories. Me personally, I have noticed that I am very affected by terrain no matter where I am, even just what I see going to and from work every day.

Now, I don't think families particularly choose to live places based on these things, but I genuinely think it has a subconscious effect on people that ties them to certain places against logic sometimes. For a lot of people, of course, there are familial ties as well. I know several people who grew up in major cities, then moved out as adults because the cost of living has skyrocketed enough that they couldn't live at the same standard of their parents if they remained in the city, but they didn't want to leave the family and friends they know. Given the population centered in cities, I'd bet there are a lot of people like that.

BoydsOfSummer
11-07-2007, 08:25 PM
I'm seriously considering moving west myself. Around the Yellowstone region maybe. Is anyone living there now or have inn the past? When that volcano goes up, I want to be ground zero so I don't suffer. :eek:

I wanna be a cowboy...or something.

MWM
11-07-2007, 08:28 PM
I lived in Idaho for two years. I'd go back in a heart beat if I could make a career there.

M2
11-07-2007, 08:48 PM
I see your point but I don't know if I entirely agree, for one major reason: landscape. If you're indoor people or if your kids' outdoor time centers mainly around neighborhood bike riding (do kids still do that?), then yes, I think you're right. But there is a huge difference between the redwoods and wine country in northern California and the Hudson River Valley and New England in general. (Not to mention the major differences in climate between, say, suburbs surrounding San Francisco vs. suburbs surrounding Burlington, Vermont.) Some people feed off the mountains and others need to be near water. Now, I realize that the pace of modern life doesn't always allow for taking advantage of the outdoors all the time, but say a family with little kids takes a foray to an area outside the city once every month or so -- that has a huge impact on a child and his early memories. Me personally, I have noticed that I am very affected by terrain no matter where I am, even just what I see going to and from work every day.

Now, I don't think families particularly choose to live places based on these things, but I genuinely think it has a subconscious effect on people that ties them to certain places against logic sometimes. For a lot of people, of course, there are familial ties as well. I know several people who grew up in major cities, then moved out as adults because the cost of living has skyrocketed enough that they couldn't live at the same standard of their parents if they remained in the city, but they didn't want to leave the family and friends they know. Given the population centered in cities, I'd bet there are a lot of people like that.

I agree to an extent, though many/most suburbs beat the terrain right out of the terrain. On a 60 degree day, most cul de sacs look the same.

I'm sometimes surprised how insular the suburbs can be. I've got relatives outside of Philadelphia who not only rarely venture into the city, but they also rarely venture out into the countryside beyond where they live. I think some of it has to do with the overly scheduled nature of familial life these days. Once you get done shuttling the kids to all their activities and lessons, you've got just about enough time to pass out. You don't take that Sunday hike. You don't go to that downtown ethnic festival.

So you're right that there's an incredible amount to do and see that can be a massive value add to wherever you live, but I get the sense that a lot of people do very little of it. For my own part I can tesify that I do far less than I'd like to (though I'm told we do a better than fair job by others). A few years back I consciously resolved to approach where I live like a tourist and it's not a bad rule of thumb. It really does help you get the most out of where you live.

cincinnati chili
11-08-2007, 01:09 AM
We studied Minneapolis in my Land Use class last week. It's one of the few cities in the country that's implemented a quasi-successful growth management plan. Apparently, that's a good thing, because there are miles and miles of open land around Minneapolis/St. Paul. It had the potential (and still does) for out-of-control sprawl.

One theory for its success is its "regional sales tax." I guess that for years (maybe still?), if one suburb attracted a shopping mall or something, that suburb would collect only 55% of the revenues and the other 45% would be shared by the rest of the metro-area. Arguably, what happened was that towns stopped whoring themselves out just to bring in needless large-scale retail and needless congestion. The towns determined it was sometimes more beneficial for the neighboring town to have the big box stores. Their residents could jump over the border and enjoy the uses, collect a share of the 45%, while the neighboring town in question had to spend a good chunk of its 55% to service the infrastructure.

If you believe the theory, this led to the creation of retail that was actually [Ineeded[/I] instead of retail that merely maintained a tax base.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 05:57 AM
I guess I've never understood the claim that all suburbs are the same and they are a sea of sameness. I know a lot of folks here are big fans of urban living, but I think the claim of sameness by people who don't like suburbs anyway rings a bit hollow. Yes, you have to make an effort to find areas that aren't just a carbon copy of another, but they can be found. And I would argue found prettly easily.

Are there suburbs that are just carbon copies with row after row of cookie cutter homes? Absoutley. In those cases I agree whole heartedly with the claims of "sameness". But while it's a matter of subjectiveness, I don't think you can make the claim that say Milford (yes, I'm biased), Mason, Harrison and West Chester have exactly the same feel and are carbon copies of each other.

I guess I just get a kick out of those who champion urban living always finding a way to knock the brubs. Especially when I sit in my house in a division where no two houses are the same and look out the windows at the thick woods across the street. In an area with a definate "feal" and individuality. I have an advantage of not having to commute to the same office everyday. If I did, I'd likely live as close to my office as possible.

But in the city you have apartment buildings where every last appartment has the same layout, and from outside the building the appearance of each unit is identical....but it's the burbs that are the villans of conformity?

Urban living...suburban living and rural living.....none of them is more enlightened then the other.

dman
11-08-2007, 06:15 AM
I hear Akron is pretty affordable too.

A lot of that is changing with the explosion of high dolar houses in some of the nearby suburbs such as Boston Heights, Stow, and Cuyahoga Falls where the average home value is $275K. More of that is starting to creep south toward the Akron area.

cincinnati chili
11-08-2007, 09:07 AM
I guess I just get a kick out of those who champion urban living always finding a way to knock the brubs. Especially when I sit in my house in a division where no two houses are the same and look out the windows at the thick woods across the street. In an area with a definate "feal" and individuality. I have an advantage of not having to commute to the same office everyday. If I did, I'd likely live as close to my office as possible.




In the next 40 years, the US is going to have to double the amount of housing units that it currently has.

For that reason it's important that we have a variety of different tastes. Yes, there's a current backlash against the suburbs. Living in downtown lofts is getting more "hip." I prefer to live near where I work, and prefer some of the amenities of the inner city.

But considering how many suburban units we've already built, we NEED to continue to have a good portion of people preferring suburban living. Otherwise, we will be totally screwed when those areas are vacated.

To put it another way: the increasing desire to live in the suburbs has resulted in sprawl; too much desire to live in the the inner city creates problems of density.

There needs to be a balance.

CySeymour
11-08-2007, 09:14 AM
The biggest issue really is to make sure you live somewhere that has a good school system. The IPS (Indianapolis Public School) system is not very good, but it's pretty avoidable as there are many school districts that are not included in that.

IPS is aweful. However, I live up in Hamilton County, just north of the city. The schools up here are awesome. I think one of the best kept secrets of the mid-west.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 09:50 AM
I guess I just get a kick out of those who champion urban living always finding a way to knock the brubs.

I get a kick out of the other side championing the unsafeness of the cities that they are fleeing myself, even though most of them don't enter the city but once or twice every 2 months.

I watched northern Atlanta sag beneath the weight of same style housing and I'm seeing the same thing in northern Cincinnati. Most are designed without sidewalks or within walking distance of stores and amenities, and the cherry on top? none of the side roads are build to withstand the huge influx of automobiles.

Sprawl is an issue in most of the cities listed in the aforementioned list, most don't limit growth and most have massive traffic issues in the attempt to get to these affordable homes.

If I ever had to spend an hour commuting I think I'd die.

But that's just me.

SunDeck
11-08-2007, 10:30 AM
What amazes me is the folks who are paying through the nose to live in expensive, anonymous burbs around some cities (e.g. San Francisco, L.A., New York and Boston). Obviously they've got employment in the area, but they're going broke to live in proximity to a city they almost never enter for any reason other than work. It's madness if you ask me.

Roger that. I had an opportunity in Denver earlier this year and it was exactly that conundrum. Denver is a wonderful town and I would love to live out there. But in the end, we decided that living in the suburbs, say, in Cincinnati is really not all that different from living in the suburbs in Denver. And more expensive, at that.
Sure, there are the Rockies right next door, but when you consider that 90% of my life would be spent commuting, working and living in a burb, it makes the lure of the mountains a little less of a factor.

Personally, I'd like to see a rating of towns that foster the lowest impact by their residents. Not just things like public transit and recycling, but also the availability of affordable housing and good schools within the high density population centers. That has always driven us in our choices, the desire to find a place where we don't have to commute long distances, but where the schools are also high quality.

We moved out of Cincinnati primarily because we knew that we could not live within the city limits and guarantee that our kids would have access to good schools. The Oak Hills school systems, for instance, is fantastic, but having grown up out in that area of town I knew I didn't want to live there. Our preference was to live close to our workplaces (downtown) AND to have good schools. Unfortunately, that just didn't exist there for us. So we packed up and found a place where that equation worked.

It's a shame. Cincinnati has great neighborhoods, all within an easy drive or bus ride to downtown. But the school system is just too much of a risk. The choices are to send your kids to parochial school or play the game of trying to keep your kids out of the bad schools. No thanks.

BRM
11-08-2007, 10:57 AM
If I ever had to spend an hour commuting I think I'd die.

But that's just me.

Traffic and crowds bother me far more than a commute. I drive 35 miles to work every day but a little over 25 of it is on a state road with almost no traffic. I enjoy that part of the drive. It's my own quiet time. :)

I'm not a fan of suburbs or urban living personally. I'm definitely a rural person. I'd rather have room to breathe, so to speak.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 11:01 AM
Traffic and crowds bother me far more than a commute. I drive 35 miles to work every day but a little over 25 of it is on a state road with almost no traffic. I enjoy that part of the drive. It's my own quiet time. :)

I'm not a fan of suburbs or urban living personally. I'm definitely a rural person. I'd rather have room to breathe, so to speak.

I'm speaking more of the 1 hour each way trip.

Example: We had a business in Northern Atlanta, our office was 6 miles away, I lived in CA, but spent two weeks a month in ATL, those were the days I had to commute.

In the morning we'd leave at 8:50 and get there in 10 minutes.

It would take 45 minutes to get home in the evening.

Those 45 minutes were painful, now 35 miles with no traffic jams is just being in the car.

BRM
11-08-2007, 11:06 AM
In the morning we'd leave at 8:50 and get there in 10 minutes.

It would take 45 minutes to get home in the evening.

Those 45 minutes were painful, now 35 miles with no traffic jams is just being in the car.

I agree. Driving 35-40 minutes with little traffic is pretty easy. I would go bonkers if it took me 45 minutes to an hour to drive 6 or 8 miles. Lots of people do it every day though.

Strikes Out Looking
11-08-2007, 11:14 AM
I think it's a personal decision for everyone. When my wife and I were single and just married, we lived in DC--but when the kids came along we moved to the suburbs. We moved for one reason--schools.

I think there are a number of decisions going into where you live besides cost and traffic. Career opportunity, shared interests, religion, and other things all come into the picture. And as someone who grew up in Hamilton and couldn't wait to leave (from the age of about 12 on), I realize I'm paying alot more to live in Montgomery County MD than I would in Butler County, OH.

M2
11-08-2007, 11:42 AM
Ltlabner, it's not that every suburb looks like every other suburb, it's that the suburbs around City A are going to be a lot like the suburbs around City B, which are a lot like the suburbs around City C. For instance, I know areas outside of Wilmington, DE that could be the twin of the northern section of Burlington, VT, which is a lot like parts of Natick, MA outside of Boston.

I understand not every portion of the suburbs are identical. I was raised in numerous suburbs, I know there's upscale sections and working class sections and modern sections and cookie cutter sections built in the 50s-70s, etc. There's nothing wrong with preferring one section of the suburbs to another. For instance, if I had to live in a suburb, I'd want it to be one with a small town feel where I could still walk from my residence to the town center.

And there's nothing wrong with liking suburban living. I don't think anyone in this thread has knocked suburban living (in fact I think you're being a little bit paranoid about this). What people have said is Cincinnati and some of the other cities listed by Forbes definitely do suburban living better than many of the bigger cities in the U.S. They offer all the plusses of suburban living without the insane price tag. Smaller ciities also have a lesser magnitude of commuter/sprawl issues.

I fully understand a lot of people are extremely comforatble in the suburbs. We're a suburban nation for the most part. I know from experience that a lot of people often forget what their suburbs are connected to (both the city and the countryside), but that doesn't diminish the quality of the suburb, it only means that those individuals aren't taking advantage of what the area has to offer.

In general I'd say America does suburbs pretty well. It's why you can find a lot of options on that front all across the country. We don't do cities as well. If you really like urban living, you're more limited in your choices.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 12:24 PM
I get a kick out of the other side championing the unsafeness of the cities that they are fleeing myself, even though most of them don't enter the city but once or twice every 2 months.

I watched northern Atlanta sag beneath the weight of same style housing and I'm seeing the same thing in northern Cincinnati. Most are designed without sidewalks or within walking distance of stores and amenities, and the cherry on top? none of the side roads are build to withstand the huge influx of automobiles.

Sprawl is an issue in most of the cities listed in the aforementioned list, most don't limit growth and most have massive traffic issues in the attempt to get to these affordable homes.

If I ever had to spend an hour commuting I think I'd die.

But that's just me.

So I have to visit Cincy on a certian schedule to hold an opinion regarding it's saftey? While you are a bonafide expert on Masons sprawl from 4,000miles away and a twice yearly visit? Yea...riiiiggghhhtt.

One thing we can agree on totally, most city/county planners generally do a horrable job managing growth. No agrument from me at all. It's a shame really that the metro area of Cincy as a whole doesn't work together instead of having such a fractured approach to managing growth.

fearofpopvol1
11-08-2007, 02:06 PM
IPS is aweful. However, I live up in Hamilton County, just north of the city. The schools up here are awesome. I think one of the best kept secrets of the mid-west.

I agree completely. Fishers and Noblesville in particular seem to still have a very reasonable cost of living as well. Just don't plan on speeding if you're driving in Hamilton County!

vaticanplum
11-08-2007, 02:33 PM
I guess I've never understood the claim that all suburbs are the same and they are a sea of sameness. I know a lot of folks here are big fans of urban living, but I think the claim of sameness by people who don't like suburbs anyway rings a bit hollow. Yes, you have to make an effort to find areas that aren't just a carbon copy of another, but they can be found. And I would argue found prettly easily.

Are there suburbs that are just carbon copies with row after row of cookie cutter homes? Absoutley. In those cases I agree whole heartedly with the claims of "sameness". But while it's a matter of subjectiveness, I don't think you can make the claim that say Milford (yes, I'm biased), Mason, Harrison and West Chester have exactly the same feel and are carbon copies of each other.

I guess I just get a kick out of those who champion urban living always finding a way to knock the brubs. Especially when I sit in my house in a division where no two houses are the same and look out the windows at the thick woods across the street. In an area with a definate "feal" and individuality. I have an advantage of not having to commute to the same office everyday. If I did, I'd likely live as close to my office as possible.

But in the city you have apartment buildings where every last appartment has the same layout, and from outside the building the appearance of each unit is identical....but it's the burbs that are the villans of conformity?

Urban living...suburban living and rural living.....none of them is more enlightened then the other.

I don't think of Milford as a suburb, but more about that in a second.

Ltlabner, if I may speak frankly, you've been easily offended by this same debate before, but as M2 said I haven't seen anyone knocking suburban living in this thread. In fact i believe that a huge point of this thread is affordability of places (generally regarded as a good thing) and suburbs are typically more affordable places to live than urban areas depending on the city. Some people like suburbs and hate urban living and vice versa. That's just personal taste; no one's knocking the opposite of their own. I don't see anyone talking about "enlightenment".

I like old crap. This is a running theme in my life: I like secondhand things, I studied history, I hang out with my grandparents regularly. And thus I am also partial to older buildings and street layouts, and since much of this country's growth happened around cities, that's typically where my own tastes lie and that's where I tend to live. With this comes a lot of things that I see as good (quirky architecture, typically a lot of ethnic feels to neighborhoods since the country used to be much more segmented and cities haven't grown out of it, easy access to a lot of things especially transportation) and a lot of really annoying stuff (high cost of living, less space and natural greenery, things breaking down all over the place). My work, too, tends to have to keep me near bigger cities, when I am really doing what I want anyway.

I don't think of Milford -- central Milford -- as a suburb largely because it is so old. I think of it as a village with a standard Main Street layout, which happened to spread beyond its center as it grew. And I think it grew very well -- closer you get to that downtown main street the better laid out the land is, with the river, that retreat center, etc. Sure, there are newer suburbs around that, but people have to live somewhere. I love Milford. I live in the city of Cincinnati and honestly I couldn't afford to live in Milford and could not get used to driving on the highway to go to work every day, but I think it would be a fine place to live.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 03:01 PM
Ltlabner, if I may speak frankly, you've been easily offended by this same debate before, but as M2 said I haven't seen anyone knocking suburban living in this thread.

If you can't decipher the snide and condescending nature of some of the comments about those who choose to live in the suburbs in this, and other threads in the past, then I'm not sure I'd ever be able to explain it to your satisfaction.

Here's maybe a generic example. Someone posits, "I'd like to live downtown but I worry about having a family in a high crime area". Response; "that's because you are scared of people who are different than you". It's been said before in almost those exact words. Tell me how that isn't condescending. Tell me how that isn't acting superior and dare I say "enlightened" ?

That's one example but I think it highlights the nature of the comments that bug me. Of course, by replying to them, then I'm the bad guy and "easily offended".

One topic of this thread is people moving to the burbs and forgetting the city and what it offers. It's a huge issue, but one that I view as chicken and the egg. Do people abandon downtown because there's little to do and high crime, or do you end up with nothing to do and high crime because people quit going downtown. But instead the premise is that those in the suburbs don't go downtown because they are scared, or not hip enough, or not urbane enough to appreicate the finer things of downtown, or whatever. ( "Nothing to do" is hyperbole I admit but I'm talking about family oriented activities after 6pm most weekends/weeknights. )

I don't think the burbs are perfect by any strech. Hell, there are all sorts of (self-inflicted) problems out here. I don't think the city is an evil place that is scary. Everywhere you live has pro's and con's. Frankly, if I had the money I'd live about 15 miles further out, but that's a different matter. I just get irritated when the comments start to fly about how folks don't like various aspects about the suburbs but when someone dares to point out a shortcomming of urban living they are quickly told they are racists, conformists, too stupid to do anything but follow the heard, etc.

Falls City Beer
11-08-2007, 03:15 PM
If you can't decipher the snide and condescending nature of some of the comments about those who choose to live in the suburbs in this, and other threads in the past, then I'm not sure I'd ever be able to explain it to your satisfaction.

Here's maybe a generic example. Someone posits, "I'd like to live downtown but I worry about having a family in a high crime area". Response; "that's because you are scared of people who are different than you". It's been said before in almost those exact words. Tell me how that isn't condescending. Tell me how that isn't acting superior and dare I say "enlightened" ?

That's one example but I think it highlights the nature of the comments that bug me. Of course, by replying to them, then I'm the bad guy and "easily offended".

One topic of this thread is people moving to the burbs and forgetting the city and what it offers. It's a huge issue, but one that I view as chicken and the egg. Do people abandon downtown because there's little to do and high crime, or do you end up with nothing to do and high crime because people quit going downtown. But instead the premise is that those in the suburbs don't go downtown because they are scared, or not hip enough, or not urbane enough to appreicate the finer things of downtown, or whatever. ( "Nothing to do" is hyperbole I admit but I'm talking about family oriented activities after 6pm most weekends/weeknights. )

I don't think the burbs are perfect by any strech. Hell, there are all sorts of (self-inflicted) problems out here. I don't think the city is an evil place that is scary. Everywhere you live has pro's and con's. Frankly, if I had the money I'd live about 15 miles further out, but that's a different matter. I just get irritated when the comments start to fly about how folks don't like various aspects about the suburbs but when someone dares to point out a shortcomming of urban living they are quickly told they are racists, conformists, too stupid to do anything but follow the heard, etc.

So it's uncommon for people to move to the burbs because of racial difference? I beg to differ.

registerthis
11-08-2007, 03:18 PM
Here's maybe a generic example. Someone posits, "I'd like to live downtown but I worry about having a family in a high crime area". Response; "that's because you are scared of people who are different than you".

Who here has said that?

Shoot, go look at my thread in the Peanut Gallery. I love our neighborhood, but can understand completely why someone would be averse to moving here due to the crime that goes on.

No one here is crucifying you or anyone else for living in the burbs. There's advantages and disadvantages to both city living and suburban living (and rural living, for that matter). I personally *prefer* the urban lifestyle, but certainly not everyone will. I'm just not seeing all of these snide comments that you say you're reading here. the whole discussion seemed pretty reasonable to me.

registerthis
11-08-2007, 03:21 PM
So it's uncommon for people to move to the burbs because of racial difference? I beg to differ.

Goodness yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Street_Corridor

pedro
11-08-2007, 03:24 PM
Who here has said that?

Shoot, go look at my thread in the Peanut Gallery. I love our neighborhood, but can understand completely why someone would be averse to moving here due to the crime that goes on.

No one here is crucifying you or anyone else for living in the burbs. There's advantages and disadvantages to both city living and suburban living (and rural living, for that matter). I personally *prefer* the urban lifestyle, but certainly not everyone will. I'm just not seeing all of these snide comments that you say you're reading here. the whole discussion seemed pretty reasonable to me.


I believe Ltabner may be refereing to a post I made after IIRC he said he didn't like to take his family to Reds games because it was dangerous near the stadium. I could be wrong though, he may not have been the one who made that comment, it might have been another poster who I won't name unless he joins the converstation.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 03:26 PM
Who here has said that?

Shoot, go look at my thread in the Peanut Gallery. I love our neighborhood, but can understand completely why someone would be averse to moving here due to the crime that goes on.

No one here is crucifying you or anyone else for living in the burbs. There's advantages and disadvantages to both city living and suburban living (and rural living, for that matter). I personally *prefer* the urban lifestyle, but certainly not everyone will. I'm just not seeing all of these snide comments that you say you're reading here. the whole discussion seemed pretty reasonable to me.

Again, if those comments go over your head, then I'll never be able to explain it to you. Do a little searching of old threads and you'll know exactly who I am talking about. The search tool is very handy.

Yea, your peanut gallery thread wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the urban-lifestyle. It was...well...wack. That's for sure.

There has been a pattern of snideocity towards those of us who don't care for urban living and dare to voice our opinions across various threads relating to living downtown or the city in general. Comment on crime it's because you are a racist. Comment on crowed living conditions and it's because you are a selfish pig who wants more land. Comment on dirty environment and it's because you just want to live in a cookie-cutter world. Frankly, I don't think most of the folks I have in mind even realize the level of condesention they hold on the subject.

Anyway, this is a coversation probably best had on PM. I'm sure most people could care less about my irritation at the urban-eliete crowd.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 03:28 PM
So it's uncommon for people to move to the burbs because of racial difference? I beg to differ.

Sure that takes place. Never said it didn't.

I was refering to pointing out the level of crime in the general downtown area and having it thrown back at me that I was just a flat out racist who didn't like people who were different than me.

SunDeck
11-08-2007, 03:35 PM
Westwood is a suburb. Clifton is a suburb. Price Hill is a suburb. These places are dear to me.

And I hope VP didn't mean to refer to her grandparents as old crap.

BRM
11-08-2007, 03:38 PM
Comment on crowed living conditions and it's because you are a selfish pig who wants more land.

Guilty as charged on that one. I really dislike crowds in general and I definitely want more land. I never thought of myself as a selfish pig though. :)

M2
11-08-2007, 03:41 PM
Again, if those comments go over your head, then I'll never be able to explain it to you. Do a little searching of old threads and you'll know exactly who I am talking about. The search tool is very handy.

Yea, your peanut gallery thread wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the urban-lifestyle. It was...well...wack. That's for sure.

There has been a pattern of snideocity towards those of us who don't care for urban living and dare to voice our opinions across various threads relating to living downtown or the city in general. Comment on crime it's because you are a racist. Comment on crowed living conditions and it's because you are a selfish pig who wants more land. Comment on dirty environment and it's because you just want to live in a cookie-cutter world. Frankly, I don't think most of the folks I have in mind even realize the level of condesention they hold on the subject.

Anyway, this is a coversation probably best had on PM. I'm sure most people could care less about my irritation at the urban-eliete crowd.

Oh please, enough with the wounded bird routine. Most people in this thread, even those of us who prefer urban living, were being complimentary about the Cincinnati suburbs, saying that it represents a great value.

If you've got some lingering something or other from another thread then do us a favor and deal with it in that thread or via PM. What you've done right here is introduce a lot of senseless noise and accusation into what had been, IMO, an enjoyable thread.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 03:47 PM
Oh please, enough with the wounded bird routine. Most people in this thread, even those of us who prefer urban living, were being complimentary about the Cincinnati suburbs, saying that it represents a great value.

If you've got some lingering something or other from another thread then do us a favor and deal with it in that thread or via PM. What you've done right here is introduce a lot of senseless noise and accusation into what had been, IMO, an enjoyable thread.

Ah...another vote for different opinions and open-mindedness.

IslandRed
11-08-2007, 03:47 PM
I'm sometimes surprised how insular the suburbs can be. I've got relatives outside of Philadelphia who not only rarely venture into the city, but they also rarely venture out into the countryside beyond where they live. I think some of it has to do with the overly scheduled nature of familial life these days. Once you get done shuttling the kids to all their activities and lessons, you've got just about enough time to pass out. You don't take that Sunday hike. You don't go to that downtown ethnic festival.

So you're right that there's an incredible amount to do and see that can be a massive value add to wherever you live, but I get the sense that a lot of people do very little of it. For my own part I can tesify that I do far less than I'd like to (though I'm told we do a better than fair job by others). A few years back I consciously resolved to approach where I live like a tourist and it's not a bad rule of thumb. It really does help you get the most out of where you live.

Good point. I used to live on a barrier island in Florida (thus the RZ nickname), one of the few remaining such places that hasn't been taken over by condos. I loved living in a beach town. I did not, however, actually go to the beach very much. Now that I don't live there, I kind of wish I'd taken a few more walks or learned to surf or something.

pedro
11-08-2007, 03:53 PM
When I lived in Atlanta I used to get constant commentary from the folks that I worked with about how I was crazy to live in the city.

My response was always that living in the north atlanta suburbs would have been dangerous..... to my mental health.

M2
11-08-2007, 04:02 PM
Ah...another vote for different opinions and open-mindedness.

No, just one for you not hijacking the thread with your paranoia.

pedro
11-08-2007, 04:03 PM
But the suburbs of cincinnati are a lot nicer than those in atlanta. much more character IMO.

pedro
11-08-2007, 04:05 PM
IMO Atlanta gets lumped into these lists because people living almost in tennesee have super cheap house prices that skew the data. Atlanta is a great place but teh suburbs that get included in these type of studies stretch to almost 50 miles outside teh city limits.

registerthis
11-08-2007, 04:06 PM
Do a little searching of old threads and you'll know exactly who I am talking about. The search tool is very handy.


I'm sorry--I though you were referring to this thread. I just don't feel like doing a board search to find some comments that may or may not be taking potshots at suburbanites.

Rojo
11-08-2007, 04:09 PM
I don't think of Milford -- central Milford -- as a suburb largely because it is so old. I think of it as a village with a standard Main Street layout, which happened to spread beyond its center as it grew. And I think it grew very well -- closer you get to that downtown main street the better laid out the land is, with the river, that retreat center, etc. Sure, there are newer suburbs around that, but people have to live somewhere. I love Milford. I live in the city of Cincinnati and honestly I couldn't afford to live in Milford and could not get used to driving on the highway to go to work every day, but I think it would be a fine place to live.

The village concept is key. Most big cities are groups of villages (neighborhoods) clustered around a downtown. I live in the Inner Sunset "village" in SF. It has its own shopping district, parks, restaurants and bars. Many suburbs are villages as well.

But what you started seeing in the 70's were not villages, they weren't "mixed use" to use land planning vernacular. These are the places that you have to get in the car to get a cup of coffee or a quart of milk. I guess people are fine with that, maybe because their into their vehicles. I honestly don't know.

I'm a urban planning neophyte but I guess a lot of this is you can lay at the foot of this man:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_moses

M2
11-08-2007, 04:12 PM
Good point. I used to live on a barrier island in Florida (thus the RZ nickname), one of the few remaining such places that hasn't been taken over by condos. I loved living in a beach town. I did not, however, actually go to the beach very much. Now that I don't live there, I kind of wish I'd taken a few more walks or learned to surf or something.

When I was at the beach this summer the thing that kept popping through my head is that if I don't learn how to surf and then spend a summer where that's my main pursuit, then I have completely screwed up on the whole living life to its fullest thing.

I'm a damn fine body surfer, but I need to get up on a board.

As an aside, I'm a big water fan. I like being in it, on it and near it (particularly in it). It goes back to what VP was saying about landscape.

vaticanplum
11-08-2007, 04:13 PM
I believe Ltabner may be refereing to a post I made after IIRC he said he didn't like to take his family to Reds games because it was dangerous near the stadium. I could be wrong though, he may not have been the one who made that comment, it might have been another poster who I won't name unless he joins the converstation.

Well, crikey, I remember that thread and I said something like that too, but all I remember saying was responding to a post that mentioned the crime and homeless people outside the stadium and I pointed out that there's very little crime near the stadium (fact), that those homeless people are responsible for very little crime, both in general and near the stadium (fact), and that people who held such fallacious opinions about the stadium were likely not going to be spending much time downtown anyway (opinion, but a logical extension of those facts, and not intended to be a putdown of those people). I certainly never said anything, nor intended to imply anything, making this into a matter of cities vs. suburbs or the nature of people who live in either one. I'm an all-inclusive stereotyper: there are "enlightened" people and buffoons all over the place. And I've lived in the suburbs, the countryside, and cities of various sizes, so I state that stereotype with experienced conviction.

I pointed all this out, Ltlabner, because it is one of my personal goals to be as open-minded as I can, and I abhor pretension while knowing deep down that many (though by not all means all) of the things I like in life veer toward things that are widely regarded as pretentious. So I am perpetually aware of this and perhaps just as sensitive to being classified as one of your snobby so-called "enlightened ones" as you seem to be of being classified as some kind of suburban numbskull. I would really hate that about myself if I gave off that impression, and I normally don't pay much mind to what kind of impression I give off. So I really read through this thread to try to understand where you are coming from, but I honestly don't see it. I see maybe, occasionally, remarks that -- only if looked at through certain eyes which really wanted to see it -- border on the condescending or whatever on this board. But I didn't see any on this thread. The closest I see to anyone going over the line of reasonable discussion or a statement of personal taste was saying that someone's opinionated thread was "wack".

Anyway, I'm sorry I played a part in the disintegration of this discussion. I like living in Cincinnati and I would definitely concur that it's a place where it's more affordable to live well. Cincinnati would shoot up to above #1 if it could do something about transporation, though. The cost of having a car here (something I haven't had to worry about for ten years before I moved here) has just about knocked me out. Car payment, insurance and gas all far negate what I save in rent. But there is really no other viable option: not having a car here would severely decrease my quality of life.

And I did not mean to refer to my grandparents as old crap. They are the bestest ever...are perhaps breaking down a bit though :)

Strikes Out Looking
11-08-2007, 04:13 PM
Question--are the "suburbs" of Cincy really suburbs in the classic sense? I ask because most of the "suburbs" in Hamilton County were really seperate cities and as long as I can remember, had their own working areas, such as the industrial area in and near Sharonville (GE and Ford).

And as someone who grew up in Hamilton in the 70's, it was always interesting that Hamilton never considered itself a suburb but a seperate city (with Fairfield as its suburb).

Thus, I really think the suburban area of Cincy much different than that of an east coast (DC, NY, Boston) or western (Denver, LA, Phoenix) city that I've spent time in.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 04:17 PM
When I was at the beach this summer the thing that kept popping through my head is that if I don't learn how to surf and then spend a summer where that's my main pursuit, then I have completely screwed up on the whole living life to its fullest thing.

I'm a damn fine body surfer, but I need to get up on a board.

As an aside, I'm a big water fan. I like being in it, on it and near it (particularly in it). It goes back to what VP was saying about landscape.

In the past month I've been to the beach twice, the top of Mt Hood and I've hiked to the top of the Gorge twice. Sometimes I don't do any of those things in three months, if it's there you have to occasionally use it or you'll miss it when you or it is gone.

vaticanplum
11-08-2007, 04:20 PM
In the past month I've been to the beach twice, the top of Mt Hood and I've hiked to the top of the Gorge twice. Sometimes I do any of those things in three months, if it's there you have to occasionally use it or you'll miss it when you or it is gone.

You guys in the Pacific Northwest have a complete embarassment of natural riches. Rainforests over here, mountains over there, oh look, there's the ocean. It's insane. I maintain that the reason modern coffee living took off in Seattle is because unless they drugged people up on caffeine, they'd never be motivated to hole up in an office and get work done.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 04:23 PM
You guys in the Pacific Northwest have a complete embarassment of natural riches. Rainforests over here, mountains over there, oh look, there's the ocean. It's insane. I maintain that the reason modern coffee living took off in Seattle is because unless they drugged people up on caffeine, they'd never be motivated to hole up in an office and get work done.

A buddy of mine who lives in Rosco Village in Chicago came out last week, first time ever. We drove to the beach on Friday, did downtown Saturday and went up to the mountain on Sunday.

A true city guy he is, as we were driving through the Columbia River Gorge he asked, "Who maintains the grounds here?"

Cracked me up.

registerthis
11-08-2007, 04:23 PM
The closest I see to anyone going over the line of reasonable discussion or a statement of personal taste was saying that someone's opinionated thread was "wack".

For the record, I'm going to assume that Ltlabner used that term because that's how I titled my thread in the Peanut Gallery.

Roy Tucker
11-08-2007, 04:25 PM
vp, I'm not exactly sure what your exact point was, but I enjoy reading what you write.

Some burbs have much character, and others are as homogeneous as a loaf of Wonder Bread. We live in Mason and its pretty nice. Lots of SUVs and soccer moms, but then, I'm married to one and she's OK.

When I worked downtown Cinci, I was more aware and hence, participated more in downtown stuff (theatre, events, etc.).

But now that I'm out here in Blue Ash, the number of times we trek downtown has diminished. Not because of fear or worry. Just because of convenience. After all family events are said and done, spare time is precious.

My only wish was that when I was single, I lived downtown in a loft. Always wanted to do that. But CPS schools scared us off.

registerthis
11-08-2007, 04:29 PM
You guys in the Pacific Northwest have a complete embarassment of natural riches. Rainforests over here, mountains over there, oh look, there's the ocean. It's insane. I maintain that the reason modern coffee living took off in Seattle is because unless they drugged people up on caffeine, they'd never be motivated to hole up in an office and get work done.

It's one of the things I love most about the D.C. region. Aside from parks galore in D.C. itself, Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains are only 2 hours away, Virginia's wine region is 1 1/2 hours, and the beach and the eastern shore are 2-3 hours. Add in the Potomac River Gorge (just across the District line in Maryland) and Chesapeake Bay, and it's a pretty darn fine place to be if you're looking for weekend escapes. It's not as diverse as what you may find near, say, Seattle...but we do have more sun. :)

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 04:32 PM
For the record, I'm going to assume that Ltlabner used that term because that's how I titled my thread in the Peanut Gallery.

Exactly right...no offense was intended.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Some burbs have much character, and others are as homogeneous as a loaf of Wonder Bread. We live in Mason and its pretty nice. Lots of SUVs and soccer moms, but then, I'm married to one and she's OK.


I've lived in faceless suburbs, hand crafted planned villages, small towns, small cities and big cities, they all have good points and bad points. For my money the newer developments and gated communities sprouting up around America are the most egregious in their lack of originality, starting with some of the community names... example "Ashley's Crossing" in Alpharetta Georgia.

Yeechhh

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 04:35 PM
Question--are the "suburbs" of Cincy really suburbs in the classic sense? I ask because most of the "suburbs" in Hamilton County were really seperate cities and as long as I can remember, had their own working areas, such as the industrial area in and near Sharonville (GE and Ford).

And as someone who grew up in Hamilton in the 70's, it was always interesting that Hamilton never considered itself a suburb but a seperate city (with Fairfield as its suburb).

Thus, I really think the suburban area of Cincy much different than that of an east coast (DC, NY, Boston) or western (Denver, LA, Phoenix) city that I've spent time in.

That's a good point. What do folks consider actual suburbs of Cincy?

I consider anything from Harrison to Milford, Florance to West-Chester suburbs of Cincy. No real rational reason behind it, but that's sorta what my mind deliniates as burbs to Cincy.

vaticanplum
11-08-2007, 04:44 PM
Exactly right...no offense was intended.

I did not know that and I apologize. I just visited the Peanut Gallery and was blessed enough to enjoy the thread.

Ok, so then I officially have not seen ANY potshots on this thread. That was easy.

Falls City Beer
11-08-2007, 04:54 PM
I like the country--if I could make an easy commute, I'd live in the country. I'm serious.

But I can't make an easy commute with what I do; and further, I'm just not willing to give up all the restaurants I'm near in the city. Food is by far the biggest draw for me to the urban center. There's just no variety in food choices in the burbs, much less the country. For most that's a minor consideration; for me it's genuinely huge.

BRM
11-08-2007, 05:03 PM
Variety? There are 2 restaurants within 10 miles of where I live. Subway and a small "mom and pop" joint. You'd hate it FCB.

I do miss going out to eat. My wife and I used to go out regularly when we lived near Colorado Springs. Now it's something we plan ahead for once or twice per month.

M2
11-08-2007, 05:16 PM
In the past month I've been to the beach twice, the top of Mt Hood and I've hiked to the top of the Gorge twice. Sometimes I don't do any of those things in three months, if it's there you have to occasionally use it or you'll miss it when you or it is gone.

True enough, though, as you know, I've got major issues with any beach where you've got to wear a parka.

Strikes Out, you raise a good point. IMO there is a marked difference between the suburbs around older cities (which are often small towns and villages) and the massive sprawl you see around younger cities (particularly in the west and the south).

That said, a lot of those towns and villages have multiple personalities. For instance, around Boston a typical town will have the downtown area, where you've got your town hall and shops and the housing is a little older and more densely packed.

Then you've got a more spacious, traditional upscale section. There'll be a country club out there. Often you'll find a small college in that section of town and the houses are huge and crazy expensive. Generally this section is every bit as old as the downtown, it's just the traditional tony section of town.

Then you've got an area that was built out post WWII. The houses there tend to be modest and fairly uniform. This is where a lot of the exodus out of the cities landed 50 years ago. Many of these homes are now being knocked down and replaced by newer, larger ones.

Finally you've got your more recent subdivisions, which really could be in Anywhere, USA. The houses aren't all the same, in fact they're decked out to make you never want to step outside, but they're isolated, both from the neighboring homes and from the rest of town.

That tends to be your standard mix in this area. I know it holds true up and down the east coast and I suspect it's probably common in the midwest as well. Newer cities tend to have newer suburbs that are more like that last category.

registerthis
11-08-2007, 05:57 PM
Since moving here, I've become somewhat of a student of D.C. history and growth. People who haven't been here frequently have an opinion of D.C. being a rather homogenous city with lots of white marble federal buildings, row houses, and security ballards. Well, yeah, there's an element of truth to that. But a lot of people don't realize that D.C. also has a lot of distinct neighborhoods that arose over the last hundred or so years, many arising almost as independent villages.

There's Mount Pleasant (http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/information2550/information.htm?area=14786), a predominantly Latino neighborhood located in central D.C. that even has its own town square. Ledroit Park (http://www.exploredc.org/index.php?id=83) is a primarily residential community that started as a segregated, planned community around 1900, then became majority African American by the 1940s. Brookland (http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/information2550/information.htm?area=2518) is a northeastern neighborhood that features a town-like layout, complete with a Main St. Perhaps two of D.C.'s most famous neighborhoods--Georgetown (http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/information2550/information.htm?area=2526) and Capitol Hill (http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/information2550/information.htm?area=2519)--developed as self-sustaining neighborhoods that are now fairly well integrated into the city as a whole.

I dunno, I think it's pretty interesting stuff.

deltachi8
11-08-2007, 06:27 PM
Well, as it looks like I am Houston bound in 2008, I like the list.

:-)

Cyclone792
11-08-2007, 06:33 PM
I'm in West Chester, which stands probably alongside Mason as the King of Cincy's suburban sprawl. Maybe in 20 years when Cincy and Dayton is one metro area, the Reds can give VP a heart attack by relocating to West Chester. ;) After all, Bud Selig, III will be informing everybody by that time that GABP is outdated and a new park will be necessary for the Reds to survive.

I watched as the Voice of America transformed from a barren field into a mixture of a massive park and a bunch of commercial development, and not far from that I watched as an entire highway was constructed. Between those areas a huge state of the art hospital is now going up.

I've told people before I could eat at a different restaurant that's less than five miles where I live every day for an entire month. Sure, some of them would be the usual corporate restaurant types, but there's also some good little mom and pop joints mixed in. You just have to know where to look. They've been trying to turn several pockets into areas where you can dump your car in one spot and have plenty of places to go to consume several evenings, but it remains to be seen how well that's going to work.

The people I feel for are the ones who work in West Chester, but do not live here. Those are the ones who see and experience nothing but the noise and traffic. Less than 10 years ago when I was in high school, we could drag race (and did drag race) down Union Centre during afternoon rush hour. Hop on Union Centre during afternoon rush hour now, and you'll sit for 15 minutes trying to drive a quarter mile. But I've lived here for years, and I know the area and back roads. So when it's afternoon rush hour, I just head for the back roads with little to no traffic.

Overall, I don't mind living here, and it's not as bad to get down in the city as it may seem. I'm less than 10 minutes away from three different highways, including I-75 (though that highway needs some serious freakin' help). When I want to go to a Reds game, I go to a Reds game. When I want to have a couple beers in Mt. Adams, in downtown, or in Newport, I go have a couple beers there.

I do admit, though, that I sure as heck wouldn't mind living in a downtown loft either.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 06:46 PM
The people I feel for are the ones who work in West Chester, but do not live here. Those are the ones who see and experience nothing but the noise and traffic. Less than 10 years ago when I was in high school, we could drag race (and did drag race) down Union Centre during afternoon rush hour. Hop on Union Centre during afternoon rush hour now, and you'll sit for 15 minutes trying to drive a quarter mile. But I've lived here for years, and I know the area and back roads. So when it's afternoon rush hour, I just head for the back roads with little to no traffic.

My wifes parents moved from Terrace Park to about one mile from Union Centre, to say it's different coming in for a visit is an understatement.

Ltlabner
11-08-2007, 07:14 PM
I'm in West Chester, which stands probably alongside Mason as the King of Cincy's suburban sprawl.

I grew up in West Chester and sound like my grand-father when I launch into a "I remember when...." speech. Lakota Hills was all the rage when we lived on the wrong side of the tracks east of I75.

VOA turning on and blasting through your radio and telephone was always my favorite, however.

MWM
11-08-2007, 07:32 PM
I've lived in faceless suburbs, hand crafted planned villages, small towns, small cities and big cities, they all have good points and bad points. For my money the newer developments and gated communities sprouting up around America are the most egregious in their lack of originality, starting with some of the community names... example "Ashley's Crossing" in Alpharetta Georgia.

Yeechhh

Nothing personal, woy, but I don't really give a damn about all that stuff you mentioned. I want a nice house with space for all my kids to have bedrooms; and where they can have space in the house where they can all be by themselves doing different things. I want the to have enough room that they can have a nice back yard to play in like I did. I want there to be kids around for them to socialize with. I want there to be quiet streets where they can ride their bikes, and a park close by with lots of space where they can go and just run. There's a lot to be gained by having more room, especially when you have a large family.

And I want this without having to work 3 jobs just to pay the mortgage. There's a lot of other things I want for my kids in their upbringing that I can find a lot easier in the burbs. That's how I decide where we're going to live. And if it isn't original or unique, or is faceless as you call it, I really don't care. It serves a purpose in raising my family. A home is a home not because of how it looks from the outside, or what it's surrounded by, but by what takes place inside. I'm much more worried about that than whether my home is original. The architectural artistry of my neighborhood means about as much to me who Pairs Hilton is dating.

I really do see why some people love urban living. I could do it if I were single or it wer just me and my wife. And I also realize some people don't have kids, etc... And I'm not saying everyone who has kids want the same thing as I do for a family life. So the above is not about saying that's what's best for everyone, with or without a family. But the point is, to some people, such as myself, the things you point to as "egregious" mean absolutely nothing. There are much much more important factors in choosing where to live. Some people value stuff like originality, to other people, space is what matters most. Different strokes.....

But I'm with FCB, if I could pull it off, I'd go out and get about 50-60 acres and build a home. I'd love to live in the country.

Rojo
11-08-2007, 07:54 PM
Nothing personal, woy, but I don't really give a damn about all that stuff you mentioned. I want a nice house with space for all my kids to have bedrooms; and where they can have space in the house where they can all be by themselves doing different things. I want the to have enough room that they can have a nice back yard to play in like I did. I want there to be kids around for them to socialize with. I want there to be quiet streets where they can ride their bikes, and a park close by with lots of space where they can go and just run. There's a lot to be gained by having more room, especially when you have a large family.

Hey that's cool. What gets me are the McMansions -- the SUV's of houses. I saw some up close for the first time last fall canvassing for a Congressional candidate in Lodi.

Falls City Beer
11-08-2007, 07:58 PM
Hey that's cool. What gets me are the McMansions -- the SUV's of houses. I saw some up close for the first time last fall canvassing for a Congressional candidate in Lodi.

McMansions tend to be products of shoddy labor, building with the cheapest resources possible.

It's another reason I like the city: brick housing meant to last for over a century. They have that in the country, too, but unless the burb you're living in is over 50 years old, you're not likely to find a brick house in the exurbs.

MWM
11-08-2007, 08:12 PM
Yeah, I hate siding. I love brick. Unfortunately, in my area, there's very little brick. When I build the house I want (no, it won't be a mcmansion), it will be all brick and rock. The lack of brick is all about getting more house on the inside while sacrificing the look on the outside. I live in a sided house, but there wasn't a lot of choices in my price range.

What I dislike most about the newer, plain neighborhoods is the lack of tall trees. That's one thing I miss about my old neighborhood. My new neighborhood has next to no trees bigger than about 8 feet tall. I love tree-lined streets.

I drove through several older neighborhood in Toronto today (I'm in a hotel in downtown right now), and I can totall see the appeal of these older neighborhoods with more personality. I really do. But the houses were right on top of each other, and the yards were tiny. But the scenery was nice. I kept saying that if it were just my wife and I, we would totally move to a place like that.

Rojo
11-08-2007, 08:22 PM
What I dislike most about the newer, plain neighborhoods is the lack of tall trees. That's one thing I miss about my old neighborhood. My new neighborhood has next to no trees bigger than about 8 feet tall. I love tree-lined streets.

I noticed that in Lodi as well. They had nice tree-lined older neighborhoods close to downtown. But they were mostly Mexican neighborhoods. The anglos had moved to the McMansion subdivisions that were sprouting up on former grape fields outside of town. Why?

M2
11-08-2007, 08:42 PM
I like tiny yards, less maintenance. We've got a brick patio out back. It essentially is our back yard. I LOOOOOVE the brick patio. We've got a big park at the end of the street if we need greenery.

Though we've got plenty of good sized trees along the street.

Heath
11-08-2007, 10:02 PM
What's interesting is that the urban centers aren't big massive buildings in a center, its the large scale shopping/residential/commercial areas. I was reading an article in Newsweek (I think) about how some of the bigger cities are removing urban blight with a bulldozer and replacing them with grass and open areas. Sort of rural being reintroduced to the urban.

I live in a Midwestern small town. There is very little crime and I have a nice stucco home with a small yard that is a small house payment. I live in an area where I can get to three major cities in an hour and a half and 5 other large cities in about 4 hours. I like it.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 10:15 PM
I like tiny yards, less maintenance. We've got a brick patio out back. It essentially is our back yard. I LOOOOOVE the brick patio. We've got a big park at the end of the street if we need greenery.

Though we've got plenty of good sized trees along the street.

I like yards.. period... and land too.. bi do all my own yard work and all that rot, wouldn't have it any other way.


Nothing personal, woy, but I don't really give a damn about all that stuff you mentioned.

What stuff?

The sprawl is what gives you land without native trees older then 10 years, also state routes used as massive thru ways when they were never intended to be that way.

Space?

I'm all for it, especially in homes with more then 5 people, I'm just looking for something beyond Levittown.

westofyou
11-08-2007, 10:17 PM
McMansions tend to be products of shoddy labor, building with the cheapest resources possible.


Yep, my folks had one... it was nothing like the 105 year old plaster wall home I have as far as cutting out noise. Dry wall is a wonder and a nightmare all in one hanging.

wally post
11-08-2007, 10:50 PM
I live right in the middle of the Apple. When people ask me what it's like?... I like to say: "it's like living in Rome at the time of Jesus". finding a bad restaurant is almost impossible - the food is amazing and the people are jewels of this planet. Yeah - it is expensive Really expensive, but worth it.

dman
11-08-2007, 11:20 PM
Guilty as charged on that one. I really dislike crowds in general and I definitely want more land. I never thought of myself as a selfish pig though. :)

I haven't taken the time to read every post, but you don't have to to be able to understand what is going on.

BRM, I'm totally with you on this. If I had my way, I'd have enough land to be able to go out and get lost once a day in an area of my property that I never knew I had.

Personally, for the most part, I don't find urban dwellers to be elitists in any way, just the same as I don't find most suburban dwellers to be such.

We all make chioces in the variations of the lifestyles we live that reflect what kind of environment that we need to live in. For my family and I, we are into horses and it just isn't feasible to be near a city to where I can't have the property enough to keep them, and at nearly $400 per month to board per horse, we couldn't afford to let somebody else do it for us while we would dwell in the Columbus area.

On the other hand, it would be nice, especially at $3.19 per gallon of gas, to be somewhere closer to where I could walk to a lot of places (or ride my bicycle or even a COTA bus), but I have adopted a way of living that requires me to live farther out.

To call someone an "elitist" for being an urban dweller or someone a selfish pig for living farther out from the city is just way out of line, IMO.

One of the things that is starting to irk me about the burbs though is the amount of "cookie cutter home" subdivisions where a many of these developers are putting three houses per acre.

cincinnati chili
11-08-2007, 11:23 PM
Westwood is a suburb. Clifton is a suburb. Price Hill is a suburb. These places are dear to me.

Are you calling these suburbs from an aesthetic standpoint? ("streetcar suburbs?").

Clifton's been part of the city of Cincinnati since the 19th century. I think Price Hill is too, but I could be wrong. Those are city neighborhoods as far as I'm concerned. Technically and spiritually.

I realize Clifton looks a lot more pastoral than many suburbs. When I lived in Somerville, Mass., I was 3 miles from downtown Boston (as the crow flies), it was extremely densely populated and polluted. Not the suburban ideal by any stretch.


I think our perceptions of "city" and "suburb" will change in some parts of the country soon.

If anyone's gone to Paris, you'll note that the inner city, while densely populated is characterized by buildings of 6 stories are less. Very, very expensive real estate. Desirable place to live and exist for many people. By contrast, many of the suburbs have high-rise apartments with no character, are less less expensive, crime-ridden, downtrodden etc.

As people alluded to, ensuring better public schools in our urban centers would go a long way in changing perceptions.

KronoRed
11-09-2007, 01:44 AM
I like tiny yards, less maintenance. We've got a brick patio out back. It essentially is our back yard. I LOOOOOVE the brick patio. We've got a big park at the end of the street if we need greenery.

Though we've got plenty of good sized trees along the street.

I'm all about tiny yards and no yard work but I want space, it's not fun to be right on top of your neighbors so you can hear when 7 year old neighbor boy is getting reprimanded because he has a problem with forgetting to flush after he uses the bathroom.

Being close to stuff is nice, being close to neighbors is NOT.

MWM
11-09-2007, 02:08 AM
What stuff?

All the stuff about the "egregious" neighborhood setups lacking in originality, etc... My point was that there are some who couldn't care less about any of that. I'm one of them. It doesnt bother me that my house looks a lot like the other houses in my neighborhood. It doesn't add nor detract from utility I get from my home. I view my home differently.



The sprawl is what gives you land without native trees older then 10 years, also state routes used as massive thru ways when they were never intended to be that way.

Yep, there are trade-offs, but I'm grateful for this sprawl that's spoken of so harshly at times. Without it, I couldn't provide my family with the life we currently have. Point blank, to live in an urban area with a family of 5 in a house that's anywhere near as comfortable as mine would cost almost double. So I'll take the trade-offs that come with the sprawl.

You can't have it all without a lot of money. So you make choices based on your needs and preferences. Mine lead to the burbs. And urban sprawl has allowed it to happen. I still don't get why some people have such a problem with it. If you like urban living, live in an urban area. If you like suburban living, find a nice suburb to live in.

There are definitely things I love about being in the city. Tonight, I left my hotel in Toronto about 9pm and decided to get a late dinner. Within a few blocks walking there were dozens of great little restaurants of all genres with lots of personality and atmosphere. I slipped into a small place that had a reputation for great Thai food (and it delivered). I got done a little after 10pm (when most places in the burbs would have been long closed) and walked by a movie theatre on the way back to the hotel. It turns out the show I wanted to see had one that started at 10:45, so I stopped in and watched it. Got out about 1:15am and was back to the hotel in less than 10 mminutes. There was still a lot going on during my walk home. I could have slipped into several pubs and grabbed a beer if I wanted. I get the appeal of it. But I love suburban living, and make no apologies for it.

SandyD
11-09-2007, 07:37 AM
I agree. Driving 35-40 minutes with little traffic is pretty easy. I would go bonkers if it took me 45 minutes to an hour to drive 6 or 8 miles. Lots of people do it every day though.


That's my life. And I pretty much hate it.

RFS62
11-09-2007, 08:21 AM
I've lived in a lot of places all over the country in the past 30 years. I always look for a place on the outskirts of a city or town.

Tucson is a hidden gem. You could drive up to Mount Lemon and ski in the morning and drive back down and play golf or tennis the same afternoon. I lived about a mile from Sabino Canyon park there, one of the favorite places I've ever been. If I wanted to drive into town for city life, it was a winding canyon road, fun to drive on.

But the desert isn't for everyone.

registerthis
11-09-2007, 09:51 AM
Are you calling these suburbs from an aesthetic standpoint? ("streetcar suburbs?").

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_streetcars

"Streetcar suburbs" have a very interesting history here in D.C.

wally post
11-09-2007, 09:55 AM
I'm all about tiny yards and no yard work but I want space, it's not fun to be right on top of your neighbors so you can hear when 7 year old neighbor boy is getting reprimanded because he has a problem with forgetting to flush after he uses the bathroom.

Being close to stuff is nice, being close to neighbors is NOT.

No matter how much land you possess, you STILL have neighbors and they can ruin your world just as easily as one that is 40 feet away. I've seen it with friends who own 90 acres.

Falls City Beer
11-09-2007, 10:07 AM
I like Tucson a lot too. I love driving the desert at night, under a bright moon. Beautiful.

dabvu2498
11-09-2007, 10:09 AM
No matter how much land you possess, you STILL have neighbors and they can ruin your world just as easily as one that is 40 feet away. I've seen it with friends who own 90 acres.

Sure, but at least they won't see you if you decide to go take a leak off your back porch at night when you let the dogs out.

Not that I know anyone that does that or anything.

westofyou
11-09-2007, 10:10 AM
I like Tucson a lot too. I love driving the desert at night, under a bright moon. Beautiful.

Nothing like a day in Saguaro National Park too, the Sonora desert has charms all its own.

BRM
11-09-2007, 10:10 AM
No matter how much land you possess, you STILL have neighbors and they can ruin your world just as easily as one that is 40 feet away. I've seen it with friends who own 90 acres.

This is a good point but the odds of having bad neighbors are much higher in subdivisions, suburbs or urban. Just due to the numbers. When you live in town, you have lots and lots of neighbors. I have a grand total of 2 where I live and they are both super people. That said, by only having 2, if one was a total jerk it would be a real drag.

BRM
11-09-2007, 10:12 AM
I've lived in a lot of places all over the country in the past 30 years. I always look for a place on the outskirts of a city or town.

Tucson is a hidden gem. You could drive up to Mount Lemon and ski in the morning and drive back down and play golf or tennis the same afternoon. I lived about a mile from Sabino Canyon park there, one of the favorite places I've ever been. If I wanted to drive into town for city life, it was a winding canyon road, fun to drive on.

But the desert isn't for everyone.

I've driven through Tucson a few times and I think it's a beautiful place. I could live near there, definitely.

westofyou
11-09-2007, 10:13 AM
Sure, but at least they won't see you if you decide to go take a leak off your back porch at night when you let the dogs out.

Not that I know anyone that does that or anything.

My buddy used to live out along the river on 52, his neighbor was a strange dude, who poached deer with a salt lick and hid in his house in an easy chair drinking Hudy... waiting.

Anyway my buddy HATED him, so he would go out when the guy wasn't home and urinate all along his property line and hang tufts of hair in hope the deer would avoid his yard.

registerthis
11-09-2007, 10:18 AM
No matter how much land you possess, you STILL have neighbors and they can ruin your world just as easily as one that is 40 feet away. I've seen it with friends who own 90 acres.

Yep. My father-in-law owns a cabin down in the Shenandoah, where the minimum subdivide is 25 acres. We're headed down there this weekend, and he called us last night to warn us that one of the neighbor's horses had been getting loose and roaming around the property.

BRM
11-09-2007, 10:26 AM
Horses and cattle both get loose and wander onto my property from time to time. It doesn't bother me. I can see how some would be upset with it though.

registerthis
11-09-2007, 10:32 AM
Horses and cattle both get loose and wander onto my property from time to time. It doesn't bother me. I can see how some would be upset with it though.

It's really not that big of a deal--he told us in a somewhat-amused tone of voice. My wife used to ride horses so she could probably lead it back if it wanders over. I was only seconding Wally's point, that neighbors--even those that live half a mile away--can be a disturbance.

dabvu2498
11-09-2007, 10:32 AM
Yep. My father-in-law owns a cabin down in the Shenandoah, where the minimum subdivide is 25 acres. We're headed down there this weekend, and he called us last night to warn us that one of the neighbor's horses had been getting loose and roaming around the property.

I used to do some work for a farmer in Preble County who had real neighbor issues when the farm across the street got subdivided.

This guy would have Miller Brewing in Trenton truck out their "sludge" from the beer-making process to use as fertilizer on his alfalfa and winter wheat fields. For about 5 days after that stuff was spread, it smelled like absolute death. Literally, it smelled like decaying bodies.

So a couple of his neighbors living in the new subdivision across the street called the EPA. Of course, the EPA guy had to follow up on the report and it was a big hassle, even though what my friend did was absolutely legal.

They even called to complain about the noises his cows made in the middle of the night during breeding season. And heaven forbid if he had a fence issue and a cow or two got loose.

Hazards of life in the country.

BRM
11-09-2007, 10:36 AM
It's really not that big of a deal--he told us in a somewhat-amused tone of voice. My wife used to ride horses so she could probably lead it back if it wanders over. I was only seconding Wally's point, that neighbors--even those that live half a mile away--can be a disturbance.

I totally agree. You can have a bad neighbor anywhere. We lived in town for 10 years before moving where we are now and I can honestly say we never had a bad neighbor there either. We've been lucky I guess.

BRM
11-09-2007, 10:37 AM
I used to do some work for a farmer in Preble County who had real neighbor issues when the farm across the street got subdivided.

This guy would have Miller Brewing in Trenton truck out their "sludge" from the beer-making process to use as fertilizer on his alfalfa and winter wheat fields. For about 5 days after that stuff was spread, it smelled like absolute death. Literally, it smelled like decaying bodies.

So a couple of his neighbors living in the new subdivision across the street called the EPA. Of course, the EPA guy had to follow up on the report and it was a big hassle, even though what my friend did was absolutely legal.

They even called to complain about the noises his cows made in the middle of the night during breeding season. And heaven forbid if he had a fence issue and a cow or two got loose.

Hazards of life in the country.

This is sort of like people who buy a home near an airport and then gripe about the noise. What did you expect?

Rojo
11-09-2007, 01:25 PM
This is sort of like people who buy a home near an airport and then gripe about the noise. What did you expect?

Anyone see Natural History of the Chicken? It was excellent. Anyhow, one of the stories was about an Ohio suburb that was opening up in former farm land and the yuppies griping about the roosters. Incredible.

pedro
11-09-2007, 01:32 PM
my problem with a lot of the newer suburbs, especially in atlanta is the need to drive everywhere, even to the local park, and the total lack of any sidewalks on major roads so it's impossible to walk anywhere, even if you wanted to.

M2
11-09-2007, 01:59 PM
This is sort of like people who buy a home near an airport and then gripe about the noise. What did you expect?

There's a fascinating subspecies of this type on Nantucket.

When you fly from the north (Boston, Cape Cod) you plane is directed over what used to be the largely deserted eastern portion of the island. The planes have to come in low (1,000 feet) because it's a small island and they need to bank and then land at the airport on the southeast of the island.

What happened is portions of that scrub oak expanse have now been developed with McMansions for yuppies who love nature and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Of course, now they've got these pesky prop planes buzzing over their house all day long.

It doesn't matter that the route was their before the houses were. It doesn't matter that its the rapacious yuppies who create the demand for daily commuter airplane traffic over the island. They claim it's ruining the pristine nature in that section of the island. Yes, the pristine portion of the island where they've built their sprawling homes complete with lawns.

Their solutions to the problem include having the planes from the north skirt all the way around the island, adding time and expense to the trips and needlessly burning crazy amounts of extra fuel over the course of a year. Barring that, they'd like to see the planes come in at a significantly higher height, meaning planes either have to fly much farther off the southern edge of the island (back to the time, money, fuel thing again) or nosedive at the runway.

Roy Tucker
11-09-2007, 02:01 PM
my problem with a lot of the newer suburbs, especially in atlanta is the need to drive everywhere, even to the local park, and the total lack of any sidewalks on major roads so it's impossible to walk anywhere, even if you wanted to.

Our local township and adjacent city have finally gotten the message that we don't want to have to drive everywhere (I write a lot of letters and attend township/city meetings).

Our grid of sidewalks and bike paths is getting pretty decent.

The upside of local politics is that citizens can actually affect how things are done.

pedro
11-09-2007, 02:03 PM
Our local township and adjacent city have finally gotten the message that we don't want to have to drive everywhere (I write a lot of letters and attend township/city meetings).

Our grid of sidewalks and bike paths is getting pretty decent.

The upside of local politics is that citizens can actually affect how things are done.

that's good roy. bike/walking paths are a huge factor in quality of life as far as i'm concerned.

BRM
11-09-2007, 02:05 PM
There's a fascinating subspecies of this type on Nantucket.

When you fly from the north (Boston, Cape Cod) you plane is directed over what used to be the largely deserted eastern portion of the island. The planes have to come in low (1,000 feet) because it's a small island and they need to bank and then land at the airport on the southeast of the island.

What happened is portions of that scrub oak expanse have now been developed with McMansions for yuppies who love nature and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Of course, now they've got these pesky prop planes buzzing over their house all day long.

It doesn't matter that the route was their before the houses were. It doesn't matter that its the rapacious yuppies who create the demand for daily commuter airplane traffic over the island. They claim it's ruining the pristine nature in that section of the island. Yes, the pristine portion of the island where they've built their sprawling homes complete with lawns.

Their solutions to the problem include having the planes from the north skirt all the way around the island, adding time and expense to the trips and needlessly burning crazy amounts of extra fuel over the course of a year. Barring that, they'd like to see the planes come in at a significantly higher height, meaning planes either have to fly much farther off the southern edge of the island (back to the time, money, fuel thing again) or nosedive at the runway.

This sort of thing is ridiculous. Tell these people to just shut their yaps.

Rojo
11-09-2007, 02:16 PM
You can't have it all without a lot of money. So you make choices based on your needs and preferences. Mine lead to the burbs. And urban sprawl has allowed it to happen. I still don't get why some people have such a problem with it.

There are many forbiden political/economic/social arguments against sprawl.

Roy Tucker
11-09-2007, 02:27 PM
There are many forbiden political/economic/social arguments against sprawl.

I can't speak for MWM, but there is a difference between sprawl and growth in my mind.

If a suburb's growth is well-conceived, well-planned, and well-executed with a proper mix of homes, businesses, parks, etc., it can be a good thing.

If a local governement is weak or *****'s themselves out to the highest bidder and the growth is ill-planned, executed, etc., then I call that sprawl.

westofyou
11-09-2007, 02:27 PM
There are many forbiden political/economic/social arguments against sprawl.

Yep there are.

One issue I have is that in places like Atlanta the first wave of suburbs evidently weren't enough as far as home size goes and I'm fairly certain that there were more bodies in those homes then there are in most of the newer ones. (my wife grew up in a 3 bedroom ranch home and now her folks live in a 6 bedroom house in a neighborhood that I get lost in every time I visit because each street and home looks the same.)

When those get too small the another sub division pops up[ about 4 miles up the road and it too has three sprawl malls with luxury grocery stores... which eventually muscle out the stores that were built for the 1980's wave of expansion.

Rojo
11-09-2007, 02:41 PM
One issue I have is that in places like Atlanta the first wave of suburbs evidently weren't enough as far as home size goes and I'm fairly certain that there were more bodies in those homes then there are in most of the newer ones.


Yeah, I question the need for this much space. I looked it up just -- the average size of new houses has more than doubled since 1950 even though families are smaller.

Everyone wants more space -- I'd like a bigger apartment -- but it comes at a cost.

MWM
11-09-2007, 04:33 PM
that's good roy. bike/walking paths are a huge factor in quality of life as far as i'm concerned.

This is one of the things I love about Minnesota. There are biking and walking trails EVERYWHERE. Every town has them. I live is a small town right on the outskirts of what would be considered suburban MInneapolis (30 miles west), and I have several walking trails I can catch in any direction within a few blocks of my house. We take advantage of them, especially in the summer.

MWM
11-09-2007, 04:36 PM
There are many forbiden political/economic/social arguments against sprawl.

Yep, but they're not all black and white either. There are plenty of arguments opposing those arguments as well.

dman
11-09-2007, 05:07 PM
Sure, but at least they won't see you if you decide to go take a leak off your back porch at night when you let the dogs out.

Not that I know anyone that does that or anything.

Have you been spying on me? :ughmamoru

pedro
11-09-2007, 05:25 PM
This is one of the things I love about Minnesota. There are biking and walking trails EVERYWHERE. Every town has them. I live is a small town right on the outskirts of what would be considered suburban MInneapolis (30 miles west), and I have several walking trails I can catch in any direction within a few blocks of my house. We take advantage of them, especially in the summer.


that's the residue of good civic planning, something which is just not occuring in a lot of places with unchecked, unmanaged growth. suburbs, if planned right, with the schools and road infrastructure to support the rate of growth can be just swell. however, in areas where they just throw up subdivisions willy nilly to feed the cheap housing market w/out thought or care as to what it does to local services they aren't so great. minneapolis has always been a pretty progressive city. it doesn;t surprise me that they've gotten it right where you live.

nate
11-09-2007, 05:39 PM
that's the residue of good civic planning, something which is just not occuring in a lot of places with unchecked, unmanaged growth. suburbs, if planned right, with the schools and road infrastructure to support the rate of growth can be just swell. however, in areas where they just throw up subdivisions willy nilly to feed the cheap housing market w/out thought or care as to what it does to local services they aren't so great. minneapolis has always been a pretty progressive city. it doesn;t surprise me that they've gotten it right where you live.

I used to ride from my house down to the beach when I lived in southern Orange County. Great trails where you could ride all the way from Dana Point up to Trabuco Canyon (where the recent fires were). All sorts of nutty wildlife out there from tarantulas to rattlesnakes to mountain lions. That's a good kick from the coast to the canyon since you're going uphill the entire time. The ride home is pretty fun though.

The absolute worst bike riding city I've been in was Boston. It was OK once you got the Esplanade but until then it was taking your life in your hands. Once while trying to cross Mass Ave _with_ the right of way, a guy pulled out in front of me trying to make the corner. When the front of his car started turning my front wheel I kindly let him know what was up with a few "hammer fists" to his hood. Good times!

Here in Nashville, there aren't a lot of places to ride from my driveway. However, there are some of the most excellent public parks with trails for walking, running, riding and, of course, horses. Since its so hilly here, you'll be using your lower gears but attain the coveted "legs of teak" in no time!

nate
11-09-2007, 05:43 PM
McMansions tend to be products of shoddy labor, building with the cheapest resources possible.

It's another reason I like the city: brick housing meant to last for over a century. They have that in the country, too, but unless the burb you're living in is over 50 years old, you're not likely to find a brick house in the exurbs.

From what I've seen in Tennessee, its the norm.

I'll tell my story about urban vs. suburban living because its recent. Last year, the wife and I wanted to move out of LA because of traffic, soaring cost of living and were tired of high-speed chases/police helicopters/neighbors with a serious lack of couth WRT when to play their stereo and at what volume.

We chose Nashville because we're both musicians and our cashed-in California house dollar would go a lot farther than in NYC. After doing lots of online research, we came here to check out the area fully intent on getting a loft right in the heart of downtown. We say many different places and were really impressed by how nice some of the features were. For example, one place was an old "burlap sack mill" and many of the units had retained the original steel beams with pulleys still attached. They'd also left the original wood floor but refinished it, stains and all. 25' ceilings, cool built-in units, little gathering areas, coffee shops, etc. All sorts of really cool stuff. Very hip.

Then they started talking about the price which seemed reasonable until you added in the association fees which seemed to run around $200-400 per month, buying parking space which was $25,000 per (and we have two cars) and you still share a wall with someone else. Not good for people who make noise and only want to hear their noise.

Anyhow, those "cons" outweighed the pros of getting into the 'burbs and buying a house. We're incredibly happy with the place we got and, through blind luck, the neighbors! In LA, we had one neighbor we were friendly with. Here, we know everybody on the street and frequently get together for dinner, drinks, etc.

Just my long-winded way to say that I agree with the folks who say its a personal choice living in the burbs, city or country. My wife and I feel that from here, we can get a good dose of all that in 20 minutes.

Falls City Beer
11-09-2007, 06:16 PM
From what I've seen in Tennessee, its the norm.

I'll tell my story about urban vs. suburban living because its recent. Last year, the wife and I wanted to move out of LA because of traffic, soaring cost of living and were tired of high-speed chases/police helicopters/neighbors with a serious lack of couth WRT when to play their stereo and at what volume.

We chose Nashville because we're both musicians and our cashed-in California house dollar would go a lot farther than in NYC. After doing lots of online research, we came here to check out the area fully intent on getting a loft right in the heart of downtown. We say many different places and were really impressed by how nice some of the features were. For example, one place was an old "burlap sack mill" and many of the units had retained the original steel beams with pulleys still attached. They'd also left the original wood floor but refinished it, stains and all. 25' ceilings, cool built-in units, little gathering areas, coffee shops, etc. All sorts of really cool stuff. Very hip.

Then they started talking about the price which seemed reasonable until you added in the association fees which seemed to run around $200-400 per month, buying parking space which was $25,000 per (and we have two cars) and you still share a wall with someone else. Not good for people who make noise and only want to hear their noise.

Anyhow, those "cons" outweighed the pros of getting into the 'burbs and buying a house. We're incredibly happy with the place we got and, through blind luck, the neighbors! In LA, we had one neighbor we were friendly with. Here, we know everybody on the street and frequently get together for dinner, drinks, etc.

Just my long-winded way to say that I agree with the folks who say its a personal choice living in the burbs, city or country. My wife and I feel that from here, we can get a good dose of all that in 20 minutes.

What's the norm? Brick houses in the burbs?

Not in Franklin, where my brother in law lives. And only in the really expensive parts of places like Brentwood. Older parts of the urban expansion like Green Hills and around Belmont have many beautiful nice old brick homes. Gorgeous, really. But the paperthin walls of the exurbs are alive and well in Franklin, TN.

nate
11-09-2007, 06:45 PM
What's the norm? Brick houses in the burbs?

Not in Franklin, where my brother in law lives. And only in the really expensive parts of places like Brentwood. Older parts of the urban expansion like Green Hills and around Belmont have many beautiful nice old brick homes. Gorgeous, really. But the paperthin walls of the exurbs are alive and well in Franklin, TN.

I've seen lots of brick homes in all those places. Both new and old. I would say the majority _are_ brick.

Brentwood is literally across the street and every house on my block is brick.

Falls City Beer
11-09-2007, 06:53 PM
I've seen lots of brick homes in all those places. Both new and old. I would say the majority _are_ brick.

Brentwood is literally across the street and every house on my block is brick.

Brentwood's kind of bad example--it's pretty rich over there. But Franklin is very McMansiony. Certainly not majority brick. And I don't just mean veneer brick; I'm talking about brick everything.

Rojo
11-09-2007, 07:32 PM
that's the residue of good civic planning, something which is just not occuring in a lot of places with unchecked, unmanaged growth.

See I don't know if its just an unplanned/planned dichotomy. When Ike built the freeways that lead to sprawl, that was a plan.

Suburbs means more houses, more washing machines, more frigidaires and, of course, more cars. And you need people to build those.

We forget that the politicians were worried that the Great Depression would pick up where it left off when the boys came back home after the War. They were also still pretty scared of bolshevism.

M2
11-10-2007, 01:45 AM
See I don't know if its just an unplanned/planned dichotomy. When Ike built the freeways that lead to sprawl, that was a plan.

Suburbs means more houses, more washing machines, more frigidaires and, of course, more cars. And you need people to build those.

We forget that the politicians were worried that the Great Depression would pick up where it left off when the boys came back home after the War. They were also still pretty scared of bolshevism.

And it shouldn't be forgotten that individuals, after living through the privations of the Depression and a world war, were aching for a different life. They'd been living on top of each other, scraping by for so long that they craved some abundance in the worst way.

My grandparents bought a three-bedroom split-level in the burbs west of Philly, complete with a garage, two bathrooms, a full dining room and a decent yard. As far as they were concerned, that was the very embodiment of the good life, a style of living that only the wealthy had enjoyed for most of their lives.

Two generations later, my sisters and I, raised suburbs (me) and small towns (my sisters) -- mom and dad took a 14-year baby hiatus between me and them -- are most comfortable in the city, but that's probably because we're not living hand to mouth in the city.

SandyD
11-10-2007, 08:16 AM
My sister has lived in a couple of nice neighborhoods in Houston ... so she doesn't have a long commute.

There's a little undeveloped property behind her lot that has some really old, tall trees. Not for walking thru, but makes a nice backdrop to the neighborhood. And she has guinea fowl that roam her neighborhood. So, it has a country feel. There are no sidewalks, and the park is far enough away, that she doesn't want to walk with the kids. (Twins age 4)

She is thinking about moving out to the suburbs later, but she really doesn't want the commute. Houston traffic is horrendous.

One thing about driving in Houston ... and Dallas/Ft Worth ... they don't give you much warning before freeways split ... by the time you see the signs, you'd better be in the lane that goes the way you want.

And, traffic exiting the freeway has the right of way on the service road. (Service road traffic has to yield to the exiting traffic)

I loved living in Tucson ... years ago ... but I believe it's changed, and I would not like it as much now. Loved the desert, tho.

IslandRed
11-10-2007, 08:36 AM
Brentwood's kind of bad example--it's pretty rich over there. But Franklin is very McMansiony. Certainly not majority brick. And I don't just mean veneer brick; I'm talking about brick everything.

Based on that standard, most new construction in this country -- or at least the South -- is "McMansiony." I can't remember the last time I saw a new house structure built out of brick. I see a decent amount of concrete-block structure in Florida because of the hurricane factor, or in upscale homes here in Tennessee, but otherwise, frame construction with a veneer of brick or siding or whatever is just how it's done.

That's a reflection of today's mobile society, I guess. When a typical family only stays in a house 5-6 years, there's not much incentive to pay a lot more to build a house to last 100 years instead of 50.

cincinnati chili
11-10-2007, 10:17 AM
We chose Nashville because we're both musicians and our cashed-in California house dollar would go a lot farther than in NYC.

Good luck with your music career, Nate.


I can't speak for MWM, but there is a difference between sprawl and growth in my mind.

Sprawl is one of the the two products of growth. The other is density.

Let's say one million people want to move to metro-Denver in the next 20 years. People don't understand this, but there's no conceivable way to prevent this. It's impossible. You can't pass a law saying homes will cost double if you're an out-of-towner.

You have degrees of choice as an urban planner: 1. allow development of the non-dense suburbs (sprawl); 2. entice more people to the urban core (density).

It's my understanding that 20 or 30 years ago, San Diego hired some of the best land use people in the country to develop a plan to LIMIT (notice I didn't say prevent, because it's impossible) sprawl. The plan worked. The people of San Diego hated it. Why did they hate it? Because what they did was rezone many of the city-center neighborhoods multi-family, rather than single-family. This indeed enticed many people to near the city center, thereby limiting sprawl. But it also changed the character of certain neighborhoods in ways people didn't like.

Rojo
11-11-2007, 02:38 PM
And it shouldn't be forgotten that individuals, after living through the privations of the Depression and a world war, were aching for a different life. They'd been living on top of each other, scraping by for so long that they craved some abundance in the worst way.

Sure. Its also true that modern high-yeild agriculture was opening up farmland. So there's your supply and your demand. But the bridge was government subsidies of the automobile and oil industries.

vaticanplum
11-11-2007, 03:42 PM
And it shouldn't be forgotten that individuals, after living through the privations of the Depression and a world war, were aching for a different life. They'd been living on top of each other, scraping by for so long that they craved some abundance in the worst way.

My grandparents bought a three-bedroom split-level in the burbs west of Philly, complete with a garage, two bathrooms, a full dining room and a decent yard. As far as they were concerned, that was the very embodiment of the good life, a style of living that only the wealthy had enjoyed for most of their lives.

Two generations later, my sisters and I, raised suburbs (me) and small towns (my sisters) -- mom and dad took a 14-year baby hiatus between me and them -- are most comfortable in the city, but that's probably because we're not living hand to mouth in the city.

And don't forget crime. My mom is the second of seven kids and she spent her childhood in Clifton, Walnut Hills and South Cuminsville, but the summer before her senior year of high school my grandparents uprooted the family and moved them to Anderson Township (which was just beginning as a suburb then). My mom's youngest siblings had a very different childhood than she did.

The reason they moved didn't have to do with money or commute time or anything like that. They were happy where they were and they loved their house and church and the schools. But when the riots happened the neighborhood just became more dangerous than they were comfortable with. My grandmother in particular would have liked to have stayed and I think is not happy with the idea that she ran away from a problem rather than trying to contribute to fixing it, but when you've got a bunch of little kids running around you don't always have the luxury of thinking far beyond your own front porch.

I think present-day urban crime is often misrepresented and misunderstood (I see a ton of that in Cincinnati), in part because people have now been in suburbs for generations and are farther removed from city living than their ancestors. But at a certain time urban crime was a very real threat and the government hadn't yet learned to deal with it very well.

dman
11-11-2007, 07:48 PM
People don't understand this, but there's no conceivable way to prevent this. It's impossible. You can't pass a law saying homes will cost double if you're an out-of-towner.


While you may not be able to pass a law saying that homes will cost double for out of towners, our county and township commissioners (I say them because they are the most likely of folks to deal with sprawl) can opt to change the zoning of a specific area in such a way that it will prevent a subdivision like the one up the road from me that has 300 homes on 100 acres. I doubt one could ever find officials with the stones enough to take such a stance though.

westofyou
11-11-2007, 08:03 PM
I doubt one could ever find officials with the stones enough to take such a stance though.

http://www.yeson49.com/


PORTLAND, OR., Nov. 7, 2007 — The result of yesterday’s election marks an important point in Oregon—a majority of Oregonians voted "Yes" on Measure 49.

Oregon voters have said loudly and clearly that they think farmland, forests and areas where groundwater is limited should be protected from inappropriate development. At the same time, Oregonians have clarified rules to allow longtime landowners to develop a few homes on these lands.

In passing Measure 49, Oregonians rejected the extremism of Measure 49 opponents in favor of rules that acknowledge all property owners and restore certainty in Oregon’s land use system.

The campaign for Measure 49 involved thousands of Oregonians, many of whom stepped forward to talk about how Measure 37 affects them and how Measure 49 helps them. At the end of the day, it was this authenticity that resonated with voters.

With provisions of Measure 49, farms, forests and water win back protections granted decades ago by Oregon law.

"Although Oregonians certainly support the home-building rights Measure 37 granted to long-time landowners, they also recognize a need to support working farms, forests and water, which is exactly how Measure 49 works," says Bruce Chapin, a regional director of the statewide Oregon Farm Bureau Federation and a third-generation farmer who is manager of Chapin Orchards outside Keizer.

These lands became vulnerable to development proposed by upwards of 7,500 claims that were filed following the implementation in 2005 of Measure 37. Thousands of these claims propose something other than a few homes — subdivisions of dozens, hundreds and even thousands of homes are proposed, as are strip malls, destination resorts, gravel mines and other inappropriate developments.

Some of this development already is under construction. Without the protections of Measure 49, construction likely would begin in the coming year on hundreds of additional developments.

dman
11-11-2007, 10:26 PM
West of You, I stand corrected. That news is a breath of fresh air. Now if that kind of thinking makes it's way eastward. I really don't have a problem with farmers selling their land if they are ready to give up the business, but if property is going to be developed, I would rather see it done in 5-10 acre increments.