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Thread: What city is most representative of the character of your state?

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    What city is most representative of the character of your state?

    New York City may be a pinnacle of culture, worthy of worlwide note, but it is hardly typical of other cities found in New York.

    Perhaps in the case of Texas an argument could be made that a brash or atypical city is in fact most representative of the character of Texas, but I suspect that would be the exception rather than the rule.

    What city do you think is typical or most representative of cities found in your state? (and feel free to break it down by regions if you like)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    New Jersey....

    Woodbridge comes to mind as a good cross section of the best and worst the Dirty Jersey has to offer:

    Garden State Parkway, Turnpike, Route 1
    Woodbridge Mall
    Lots of small strip malls
    NJ Transit Rail
    Raritan Center (business park)
    Racially/Ethnically diverse population
    Middle of the road median household/family income
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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I would say Greensboro for NC...city meets country (NC has a very distinctive rural v. urban character)

    For Florida...hmmm...hard to pick one since the state so large and culturally diverse. I'll just throw Ft. Lauderdale out there.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    For South Carolina, I'll say Columbia. Despite being the largest city and the capital of the state, it is geographically and ideologically between the conservative Upstate and more liberal Lowcountry.

    Colorado is a bit tougher but I'm waffling between Denver and Loveland. I'll probably go with Loveland just because Denver's size is so unique in the state. Loveland is pretty unremarkable but so is much of the state.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    I would say Greensboro for NC...city meets country (NC has a very distinctive rural v. urban character)

    For Florida...hmmm...hard to pick one since the state so large and culturally diverse. I'll just throw Ft. Lauderdale out there.
    Interesting. In the original draft of my OP I listed the example of Greensboro as being typical of NC cities (but removed it).
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Pasadena could represent Southern California. The state is pretty diverse, but that city has enough environmental elements to cover the typical SoCal city.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    I would say Greensboro for NC...city meets country (NC has a very distinctive rural v. urban character)

    For Florida...hmmm...hard to pick one since the state so large and culturally diverse. I'll just throw Ft. Lauderdale out there.
    Funny, I was going to say Winston-Salem for NC.

    As for Florida its just such a mix (but definitly not Jax).
    I think St. Pete or Sarasota might be good for coastal areas - a mix of historic and beaches.
    For the interior part of the state maybe Ocala or Lakeland - mix of agricultural and small downtown
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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Akron, Ohio.

    Car city, with strong industrial roots. Working class people. Unions. Farmers.
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    Akron, Ohio.

    Car city, with strong industrial roots. Working class people. Unions. Farmers.
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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Lebron James!!!!
    And people who don't have the best interest of the state on their minds...
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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dw914er View post
    Pasadena could represent Southern California. The state is pretty diverse, but that city has enough environmental elements to cover the typical SoCal city.
    Pasadena wasn't the first thing that came to mind, but I can't really disagree. The first city that came to my mind for California was Santa Rosa. California is really two different states.
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Pasadena wasn't the first thing that came to mind, but I can't really disagree. The first city that came to my mind for California was Santa Rosa. California is really two different states.
    Santa Rosa would be good choice for Northern California. I was actually thinking there could be several different cities, which could represent the split between the 'Socal' and 'Norcal' areas, but you could have one for even the more rural cities/counties.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  13. #13
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    Not Gary, Indiana

    West Lafayette -
    5-10 minutes from farm fields
    College town
    off an Interstate
    not Indy or any of the donut communities around it
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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Maybe Helena. Missoula is too liberal. Bozeman is too cool and pricey. Billings is too big city. Great Falls, maybe, but still an Air Force town.

    Helena has about an even mix of Democrats and Republican (though the town is Democrat, the valley is largely Republican), good mix of rural and urban, history of ranching, farming and mining.

    Helena is a government town, though. That is probably representative of the state, which sucks strong on the government teat, though there is a lot of posturing to the contrary.
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'd pick Ft. Worth for Texas. Not too liberal, not too conservative, diversified business, more cosmopolitan than you might expect with the moniker of "Cowtown".
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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    California is really two different states.
    The same could be said for Oregon, except east and west. West of the Cascades, I'd say the Eugene/Springfield metro. On the east side, Pendleton.
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    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Illinois is tough to do. There is basically Chicago and then everywhere else. I guess a good representative city might be Peoria. Mostly urban but the outskirts are rural. There is diversity. It's industrial but also has some colleges and really nice areas on the waterfront. It's long been known as an Anytown, USA, hence the saying, "Will it play in Peoria?".

    My current home state is tougher. Phoenix is obviously much more urban than the rest of the state, but it accounts for a huge percentage of the population and is very large and geographically diverse, just like Arizona. Every housing type and demographic is represented in Phoenix, as well as every type of terrain for the most part, from desert to mountain to dense urban to suburban and even rural residential areas. I can't think of a city that would describe the state any better.
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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    The same could be said for Oregon, except east and west. West of the Cascades, I'd say the Eugene/Springfield metro. On the east side, Pendleton.
    Then there's Southern Oregon which is a completely different animal with Medford and Grants Pass.

    For CA, I would say Long Beach represents SoCal and Berkeley represents NoCal.

    I don't know what city best represents MA- maybe Milford?

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    In states with a rural-urban divide, you'd need two cities. Here in Colo we need a third with a mountain town as well.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    Illinois is tough to do. There is basically Chicago and then everywhere else..
    Same thing with New York. Considering the candidates from Upstate New York -- not what those from New York City see as Upstate, but the real Upstate:

    * Buffalo? Too Rust Belt Midwestern. Culturally, it has more in common with Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland than Rochester and points east.



    * Rochester? The anti-Buffalo, to the point where ireally representative of Upstate period, except for the accents. The Rochester metro is quite affluent, and feels more like a Columbus or Minneapolis than other cities in New York.



    * Binghamton? Too Pennsylvanian.



    * Albany? Too New Englandy.



    * Ithaca?



    That leaves Syracuse. It's smack in the middle of Upstate. Host of the New York State Fair. Home to hundreds of businesses named "Upstate [Something]". Diverse yet sluggish economy, typical of Upstate. Residents speak in a nasal accent somewhat reminiscent of Buffalo, but say "soda" like their downstate cousins instead of "pop". Major ethnic groups are Italian and Irish. Awful weather. Some residents are Bills fans, some cheer on the Giants and/or Jets.

    Folks, the most representative city of New York State. Syracuse.


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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    ^
    Syracuse isn't Jewish enough to be representative of NY state. How about Kingston?

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Funny, I was going to say Winston-Salem for NC.

    As for Florida its just such a mix (but definitly not Jax).
    I think St. Pete or Sarasota might be good for coastal areas - a mix of historic and beaches.
    For the interior part of the state maybe Ocala or Lakeland - mix of agricultural and small downtown
    We are geographically close on NC.

    Florida is really tough to pin down

    How about Daytona Beach, coastal, north, but not too north, a big tourist-y attraction
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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    I'd pick Ft. Worth for Texas. Not too liberal, not too conservative, diversified business, more cosmopolitan than you might expect with the moniker of "Cowtown".
    I was thinking the same thing--probably one of the few cities that captures nearly all of a Texas culture & built environment and packages it up in a single place.

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Hink probably nailed Ohio well.

    As for the State I know the best, Michigan....well.....I'd probably go with Lansing.

    State Capital, auto industry legacy, diverse, center-ish of the State (well Lower Peninsula at least), stable economy, if sluggish, major State University, the State's farming heartland surrounds it, easy access to the "urbanity" of SE MI, but also easy access to rural "upstate".

    What do the other Michigan natives think? maister, btrage, SWMIPlanner.....?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Hink probably nailed Ohio well.

    As for the State I know the best, Michigan....well.....I'd probably go with Lansing.

    State Capital, auto industry legacy, diverse, center-ish of the State (well Lower Peninsula at least), stable economy, if sluggish, major State University, the State's farming heartland surrounds it, easy access to the "urbanity" of SE MI, but also easy access to rural "upstate".

    What do the other Michigan natives think? maister, btrage, SWMIPlanner.....?
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