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Thread: Short Exposure/Long Influence

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Short Exposure/Long Influence

    Has anyone ever either lived somewhere or visited somewhere for a relatively short span of time but later found that the place had a profound influence, impression, or effect, which may not have even been evident at the time?

    I visited SanFrancisco for only two days about 22 years ago, but I was just blown away with the hipness of the whole place (and before anyone asks - no, I didn't spend the time staggering around Haight-Ashbury discussing with passersby if dolphins have souls). I particularly remember seeing the palace of fine arts...there was simply no equivalent phenomenon in my midwestern experience. For me this place (and its people) will stand out in my memory as setting the standard for cool.
    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 munibulldog's avatar
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    After studying urban planning in various European countries, the City that most amazes me is Detroit. It is truly Gotham City.

    Well, OK, Chicago on Air Show day is pretty cool with stealth bombers flying over the skyscrapers.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Hands down Ely, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. I moved to Ely from Phoenix in the winter of 1979. Although I lived in Ely for only 6 months, living in the shadow of a cathedral, near the market and in a home that is older than the country I'm from, left a lasting impression and really spurred my interest in the form of the city. There is no place I'd rather live.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    D of C

    I only spent a week in Washington DC, but it has left an impression on me. I wasn't into city planning or urban form back then (I was only in high school), but it's one of the first places I remember really getting a sense of the city's form and the human interactions it encourages and discourages.
    JOE ILIFF
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  5. #5

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    I went on a two-week western trip when I was 18, and I visited Glacier National Park in Montana, Banff National Park in Alberta and Jasper National Park in B.C., and was BLOWN AWAY by the natural beauty. Being a city kid, I never much thought of rugged landscapes or the need to protect them, but that trip totally changed my perspective.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Has anyone ever either lived somewhere or visited somewhere for a relatively short span of time but later found that the place had a profound influence, impression, or effect, which may not have even been evident at the time?

    I visited SanFrancisco for only two days about 22 years ago, but I was just blown away with the hipness of the whole place (and before anyone asks - no, I didn't spend the time staggering around Haight-Ashbury discussing with passersby if dolphins have souls). I particularly remember seeing the palace of fine arts...there was simply no equivalent phenomenon in my midwestern experience. For me this place (and its people) will stand out in my memory as setting the standard for cool.
    WHATS THIS ABOUT DOLPHINS NOT HAVING SOULS?
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    The 3 years I spent in Mass. Loved the little towns, the scenery, etc. Seems like a long time, but the time away from campus was minimal. Fortunately, with the power of transference, I have gained a greater appreciation of small FL towns.

    And yeah, SC, what's about dolphins having no souls??

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I would say most of the travel I have done falls under this category. There are places in Europe that have really helped shape my ideals for a city, and in most cases I probably only spent a few days in those places. Of all the places I've been though, the two that I probably revisit in my mind the most often are the headlands of Marin County, totally peaceful and beautiful. The second place is the Sahara Desert, outside of the Siwa Oasis (just east of the Libya border). The austere beauty and solitude has become a meditation point for me. I only hope I can return someday.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Wildebeest and Mt. Kenya

    When I was 19 I took a trip to Kenya and got goose-bumps watching the 1 million wildebeest migrate on the Serengeti. Another was standing on Mt. Kenya at about 15,500 feet looking out over Northern Kenya....very cool.....

    or

    Spending 7 nights on the Loch Ness (on a boat) and between Inverness and Ft. Williams.....awsome......
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Spending 7 nights on the Loch Ness (on a boat) and between Inverness and Ft. Williams.....awsome......
    I've camped near Loch Ness several times. It is one of the most eireest bodies of water. The fishing sucks though.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    About 3 years ago, I spent a coupole hours in Seattle killing time between a flight from Denver and a train ride to Vancouver. I spent more time in Vancouver on that trip, but Seattle (and the couple hours my friend and I spent downtown) left a lasting impression. I loved the combination of city/waterfront/mountains. It has been a place I have wanted to visit and live in ever since.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Not actually short (2 years), but my stay in the US influenced me a lot... First off, I can now speak and write in English... I also have a broader view of other places that many here don't have.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    I've camped near Loch Ness several times. It is one of the most eireest bodies of water. The fishing sucks though.
    You need a really really big hook.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Thinking more about this: but I really liked Ely, Minnesota and the whole Boundary Waters area when I was there. Haven't been back in about 10 or so years though
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    I spent a good portion of a summer living with a friend in Chicago. If you add up all my years and match that against one (1) part of one (1) summer, I guess you could call it "short exposure".

    I liked a lot of things about Chicago. My time there (that summer and other times) has influenced me.

    When you approach Chicago from the east, via the Chicago Skyway, the city below you......belching smoke, acid fumes, huge smokestacks, falling-down buildings, row houses.....seems to speak in witchcraft, drawing you in. You want to look away from everything you have been told is bad.....but it is exciting and you just keep looking.

    When you leave the "safety" of your vehicle and you start to experience the city, such as in the downtown area, you are more alert.....sensing that you MUST be and yet your exhilaration continues. This place is "alive".

    Chicago seems to me what a city should be and what it shouldn't be.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    I spent three weeks trekking through the Bolivian Andes. Although the time I spent there was limited... the terrain at 15,000+ ft was so foreign and harsh that at times I felt I was in another world.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

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    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Loch Ness is indeed an eerie place. My group's tour guide told us that on every trip some people have to test the water. It stays 3 C year-round. Of course I had to take a swim. What a rush! Sneaking into Castle Urquhart at night was also something I'll always remember.
    I think the area that made the biggest impression on me in Scotland was the Isle of Skye, off the west coast. It was swathed in mist most of the time, very barren with few trees, lost of windswept moorland. Its probably the closest I'll ever get to being on another planet!
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  18. #18
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Not actually short (2 years), but my stay in the US influenced me a lot... First off, I can now speak and write in English... I also have a broader view of other places that many here don't have.
    When one resides in a foreign country it tends to have a significant effect on one's perceptions of lots of things. There are so many different facets of our own cultures that we just take for granted. When we are removed to a different environment and experience the loss of we take for normality it can open one's eyes and cause one to reflect more often on how different people approach similar issues, but in very different ways. I also think it causes us to learn as much about ourselves as often as we learn about other peoples.
    And I suppose it wouldn't even be necessary to travel to a foreign country to experience this, one could also experience this in their own country if the culture was different enough (e.g. Bear's Chicago experience)
    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

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    About 3 years ago, I spent a coupole hours in Seattle killing time between a flight from Denver and a train ride to Vancouver. I spent more time in Vancouver on that trip, but Seattle (and the couple hours my friend and I spent downtown) left a lasting impression. I loved the combination of city/waterfront/mountains. It has been a place I have wanted to visit and live in ever since.
    I'm with you, zmanPLAN. I too loved the combinatioin of city, waterfront, and mountains after I visited Vancouver, BC, and Dublin, Ireland. I can't wait to go to Seattle and see what it has to offer.

    What's so great about this combination for me is this: the ability to walk along a beach in a morning or an afternoon, the ability to go up the mountains and walk around in big thick forests on a weekend, and to go out and grab a bubble tea would be just great, wouldn't it?

  20. #20
    I would say that Washington DC and New York left a lasting impression on me given that I was only in each City for about a week.

    I loved the diversity and energy of Manhattan and I consider it one of the best places I have even been . DC had a cartain energy about it too but in a different way.

    I
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

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    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    La LA Land......

    Something about it, which was for the most part visiting a friend, but when we went down to the pacific in santa monica and I saw the mountions to the north (or as they probally call them hills there) as the sun was setting across the ocean, it was a really cool site to see. Plus surfing for the first time in the ocean was a bonus.

    I also liked the disparity between places that you'd normaly see while driving a car. Everything seemed seperated by the auto, yet so close if the transit was regular. Walking was a bitch though, like a Hanna Babarra cartoon.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Maybe Berlin, Germany. Comparing and contrasting the way East and West Berlin are laid out is fascinating. Due to their layout (with wide streets to accomodate displays of military prowess), East Berlin is always a couple degrees cooler than West Berlin.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  23. #23
    Cyburbian plankton's avatar
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    Although it was somewhat evident to me at the time, my three months spent in Springdale, Utah had a tremendous impact on me. Zion Canyon is like no place else I've ever experienced and I dream of living there again someday. Pink sandy beaches along the Virgin River, are you kidding me?!? I'm a northern boy tried and true and before getting sent to SW Utah for a short job stint, I never could have imagined living in the south. Now, I could definitely see it happening......water shortage anyone....

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