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Thread: Which City is the Best City in the World

  1. #1
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    Which City is the Best City in the World

    Since we previously rated the armpit cities of the World, lets go for the best......

    Same Guidelines as before:
    Try to give reasons why it is such a great place. Also, let's do places that you have lived or visited, rather than convicting on reputation.

    I would have to vote for Santa Barbara, CA. Beautiful along the coast there. Nice little town, and have family there who absolutely love it.Great weather.

  2. #2
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    Seeing as I have only been to a few cities in the world, I have several that I really like, several that I do not. Some are big, some are small.

    My favorite big city is San Francisco. Eliminating the housing situations (price), I find that I am always checking airfare, reading the SF paper, and remembering the times that I have spent there. It is one of the few places I think that I could live that is not in the mountains. I love the urban environment, the proximity to any sort of recreational activity, the level of citizen activism, and the distinct districts of the City.

    My second runner up would be Vancouver. It is a beautiful location and close to the mountains.

    As far as small cities/towns go, Jackson Hole, Wy is the top of my list, although with the development pattern over the last 10 years, it has lost some of it's allure. I have a long family history in the area, dating back to the late 1800's and early 1900's and it feels like a home away from home. Most of the small cities on my list are in the Rocky Mountains.

    I have not been to any European or Asian cities, but have always had a fascination with madrid and barcelona and they are the top cities that I would like to visit.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    I've never been anywhere that I could call the "best city in the world". I would imagine some place like Vancouver or San Francisco would be the ones for me, though.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    That depends upon which city I'm living in at the time.



    Honestly, I don't know if I've ever been to a city that's the, "best in the world." In any event, it's much easier to use our highly tuned power of critique to identify the arm pit negatives than it is to pick superlatives.

  5. #5

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    This is a difficult one, because every person has different goals

    San Francisco has to rank as my favorite, just for the sheer character of the city-a character that can't be created anymore in our rationalized, over-engineered world. There are too many superlatives. I can't afford to live there, but...I can at least drive less than an hour to visit.

    I have always loved Boston, as sorta the East Coast version of The City.

    I love Chicago for the vitality, the architecture, the vernacular of its housing stock, the Lake. Not the climate, though.

    Small cities I love:

    Sonoma. Sure it's cute and touristy, but it's a beautiful cute and touristy for food, wine, and even architecture lovers.

    San Luis Obispo, CA. THE perfect climate. Still a working class town, without the snobbery and silly "star power" of lovely Santa Barbara. Great bicycling country. Fantastic downtown. Beuatiful Mission Church and Creekwalk.

    Charlottesville, VA. Gorgeous historic University Town.

    New Castle, Delaware: the old Dutch core is just plain beautiful.

    Ashland, Oregon-beautiful setting and climate, lovely town park, great architecture. Not a big Shakespeare fan, but that adds to the tone.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Kalamazoo, cuz I got a gal there.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Chicago...hands down. Best architecture, best museums, best skyline, best culture, best art, best parks, best forest preserves, best American food, the strongest most stable economy a city can have, an awesome mass transit system, a variety of neighborhoods and housing styles, suburban downtowns, the heart of agriculture, the ultimate railroad hub, the leader in construction, the healthcare and insurance capital, fine colleges of all sorts, Lake Michigan, the largest arena, the most cherished ballpark, the most beloved sports teams, the tallest building in the U.S., a leader in chemical and other research, 2 lovely zoos, the greatest fountain, the best urban and suburban shopping, 4 seasons, nice people, a good work ethic, and Midwestern values.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    OK, he said "city". Kalamazoo and Santa Barbara are towns.

    I say either London or NYC. Reasons?
    You don't go to a CITY for the weather, the nature, the open spaces, the low cost of housing, the firendly people, etc.

    You go to a city for the cultural and informational buzz. You go to a city because it's where 99% of what you will beleive/desire/know ten years from now is being shaped right there, right now. IF that's your game, then London and NYC are your towns. Hands down.

    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    ...best American food...


    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    4 seasons
    yes: sleet, ice, polar wind and furnace. That's four, allright
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  9. #9
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca




    yes: sleet, ice, polar wind and furnace. That's four, allright
    LOL...no. It's 45 right here, right now. Anyone who complains about a Chicago winter is a wuss.

    --

    And as far as food...nobody makes a pizza, gyro, hot dog, or hamburger like we do in Chicago.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    OK, he said "city". Kalamazoo and Santa Barbara are towns.
    Fine then, I mean City, town or any other type of community!

    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    LOL...no. It's 45 right here, right now. Anyone who complains about a Chicago winter is a wuss.

    --

    And as far as food...nobody makes a pizza, gyro, hot dog, or hamburger like we do in Chicago.
    Chicago does have damn good pizza, great skyline, and I am a die hard cubs fan........

    I have family in Schaumburg, Oak Park, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Waukegan and the city.....


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    Last edited by NHPlanner; 22 Feb 2006 at 3:23 PM. Reason: double reply. Please consolidate multiple replies in a single post.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Out of only the cities that I have visited, I would say:

    Setting: Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, Miami/Miami Beach or Seattle

    Culture: New York, London or New Orleans

    Architecture/planning: Salvador da Bahia, Portland OR, Vancouver or Belo Horizonte

    Variety/diversity: New York, London, Boston or Philly

    Climate: Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver or Salvador da Bahia

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally posted by jase2244
    Fine then, I mean City, town or any other type of community!



    Chicago does have damn good pizza, great skyline, and I am a die hard cubs fan........

    I have family in Schaumburg, Oak Park, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Waukegan and the city.....


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    San Francisco is absolutely hands down my favorite large city in the United States. As for small to medium sized cities, my votes are for San Luis Obispo, CA, Burlington, VT, and Charlottesville, VA.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    This is a difficult one, because every person has different goals

    San Francisco has to rank as my favorite, just for the sheer character of the city-a character that can't be created anymore in our rationalized, over-engineered world. There are too many superlatives. I can't afford to live there, but...I can at least drive less than an hour to visit.

    I have always loved Boston, as sorta the East Coast version of The City.

    I love Chicago for the vitality, the architecture, the vernacular of its housing stock, the Lake. Not the climate, though.

    Small cities I love:

    Sonoma. Sure it's cute and touristy, but it's a beautiful cute and touristy for food, wine, and even architecture lovers.

    San Luis Obispo, CA. THE perfect climate. Still a working class town, without the snobbery and silly "star power" of lovely Santa Barbara. Great bicycling country. Fantastic downtown. Beuatiful Mission Church and Creekwalk.

    Charlottesville, VA. Gorgeous historic University Town.

    New Castle, Delaware: the old Dutch core is just plain beautiful.

    Ashland, Oregon-beautiful setting and climate, lovely town park, great architecture. Not a big Shakespeare fan, but that adds to the tone.
    BKM, I may not agree with your politics, but I definitely agree with your pics for favorite cities
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 22 Feb 2006 at 3:29 PM. Reason: double reply. PLEASE consolidate multiple replies in A SINGLE POST.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I have always loved Boston, as sorta the East Coast version of The City.
    Ugh, gag me!

    In Boston, people actually work for a living. The city has also managed to maintain some semblance of a working class and is primarily comprised of tightknit ethnic neighborhoods with rather large moderate/conservative populations (outside of yuppy downtown). I don't see the parallels. Boston is an east coast Seattle, if anything.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    Ugh, gag me!

    In Boston, people actually work for a living. The city has also managed to maintain some semblance of a working class and is primarily comprised of tightknit ethnic neighborhoods with rather large moderate/conservative populations (outside of yuppy downtown). I don't see the parallels. Boston is an east coast Seattle, if anything.
    Well...to a certain extent you are quoting a stereotype. San Francisco has plenty of gritty, dirty, neighborhoods. It's not all yuppies sipping lattes. Our ethnic neighborhoods are not as liberal as you might believe.

    I was talking more, though, about the scale and pattern of the city than any superiority of the population.

  15. #15

    Nyc

    New York City. Period.

    Diversity of people, very interesting people

    Arts, Culture hub of the nation- most plays, documentaries, concerts, artists come through or begin at NYC venues. Best museums.

    Food! cheap and expensive ( I can vouch for the variety of great cheap food- and restaurant week twice a year makes the expensive food slightly afforbable, at lunch)

    Great neighborhoods with unique architecture, histories (Harlem, West Village to name 2). The retail/residential mix makes most neighborhoods very convenient for daily and weekly needs.

    Shopping- not 5th Avenue- where only a tiny fraction of the population really shops- but all of the hundreds of thousands of stores (and street vendors) in the city where you can buy anything. I'm a big fan of getting groceries in Chinatown and Jackson Heights.

    Best public transportation in the country.

    Beautiful parks- starting with Central- but many people love their neighborhood parks and use them often. Perfect for people watching, people meeting, sports etc. In the summer they hold great events.

    There is so much that makes NYC the best- which means it doesn't matter if your apt. is tiny!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    OK, he said "city". Kalamazoo and Santa Barbara are towns.
    Kalamazoo and Santa Barbara are both legally called cities. Any distinction between a "city" and a "town" is arbitrary.

  17. #17
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    London - the dynamism and "center of the universe" feeling of NYC but a little more laid back and a more human scale. Plus the sense of history that North American cities lack, even if it's not as picture book pretty as a lot of continental European cities.

    In North America, Vancouver or San Fransisco.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Amsterdam is my vote because its urbanism is so innovative. The Dutch maximized the use of space through engineering and design. Plus, I love the tolerant cultural setting.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urbanliz
    New York City. Period.

    Diversity of people, very interesting people

    Arts, Culture hub of the nation- most plays, documentaries, concerts, artists come through or begin at NYC venues. Best museums.

    Food! cheap and expensive ( I can vouch for the variety of great cheap food- and restaurant week twice a year makes the expensive food slightly afforbable, at lunch)

    Great neighborhoods with unique architecture, histories (Harlem, West Village to name 2). The retail/residential mix makes most neighborhoods very convenient for daily and weekly needs.

    Shopping- not 5th Avenue- where only a tiny fraction of the population really shops- but all of the hundreds of thousands of stores (and street vendors) in the city where you can buy anything. I'm a big fan of getting groceries in Chinatown and Jackson Heights.

    Best public transportation in the country.

    Beautiful parks- starting with Central- but many people love their neighborhood parks and use them often. Perfect for people watching, people meeting, sports etc. In the summer they hold great events.

    There is so much that makes NYC the best- which means it doesn't matter if your apt. is tiny!
    I'll give you diversity. However, Chicagoans are more down-to-earth than the residents of any city its size.

    As far as culture.... Chicago has better museums and the world's greatest aquarium. We also have better zoos and better sports. And we are the blues capital. New York kicks our ass in plays and stuff though.

    As far as cheap food, Chicago has the world's greatest deep dish pizza, the world's greatest hamburgers, the best gyros, and the best hot dogs.

    As far as parks...we're equal. Grant Park/Millenium Park is just as good as Central Park. We also have some awesome large and small parks in the interior as well as elsewhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline. You guys have some nice parks as well.

    Best public transportation system? I don't know...we've got the el...nobody else has the el. We also kick ass in suburban transit as well.

    Shopping...we're pretty equal. We've got the worldwide famous Magnificent Mile, the greatest downtown department store in Marshall Field's, the 5th largest mall in the North America in Woodfield Mall, and we are a pioneer in outdoor lifestyle center malls. We also have some fine local retailers as well.

    Architecture/Neighborhoods...pretty equal as well.

    If New York has a leg up on Chicago, it's only because of it's size.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    I'll give you diversity. However, Chicagoans are more down-to-earth than the residents of any city its size. As far as culture.... Chicago has better museums and the world's greatest aquarium. We also have better zoos and better sports.
    As far as diversity and culture, Chicago is not even on the same page as New York. I can't believe anyone would even make this argument.

    American and International Cultural phenomenons invented in or dominated by the New York metro area: modern baseball, American pizza, bagels, deli sandwiches (reubens, etc.), hip hop, breakdancing, canal building (Erie Canal), dj-ing, graffiti, disco, 4-track subways, bridgebuilding (Brooklyn Bridge), the American mafia, American punk rock (Ramones & CBGBs), straight edge hardcore (Youth of Today), Archie Bunker/The Jeffersons, Harlem Renaissance, urban renewal & expressway/parkway building (Robert Moses), Frederick Law Olmsted, the tenement house, suburban tract housing (Levittown), stock trading, Andy Warhol, Donald Trump, Spike Lee, Bruce Springsteen, Broadway theatre, the original 1980 Yuppie, etc.

    Chicago: Al Capone, Sears catalog, livestock processing, architecture, sociology, the blues, deep dish pizza and the El.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    As far as diversity and culture, Chicago is not even on the same page as New York. I can't believe anyone would even make this argument.

    American and International Cultural phenomenons invented in or dominated by the New York metro area: modern baseball, American pizza, bagels, deli sandwiches (reubens, etc.), hip hop, breakdancing, canal building (Erie Canal), dj-ing, graffiti, disco, 4-track subways, bridgebuilding (Brooklyn Bridge), the American mafia, American punk rock (Ramones & CBGBs), straight edge hardcore (Youth of Today), Archie Bunker/The Jeffersons, Harlem Renaissance, urban renewal & expressway/parkway building (Robert Moses), Frederick Law Olmsted, the tenement house, suburban tract housing (Levittown), stock trading, Andy Warhol, Donald Trump, Spike Lee, Bruce Springsteen, Broadway theatre, the original 1980 Yuppie, etc.

    Chicago: Al Capone, Sears catalog, livestock processing, architecture, sociology, the blues, deep dish pizza and the El.
    Doesn't Chicago have Yuppies and trading? Doesn't Philly and most east coast cities have Levitowns? Doesn't Detroit have a strong musical heritage? Don't Detroit and Boston have parks by Olmstead too? Doesn't Cleveland and Chicago have parks by Daniel Burnham? Chicago has far more retail diversity than New York does. Hip-Hop and Breakdancing were a nationwide phenomena produced chiefly by the shared culture of cable TV. Your counter-arguements need to be better defined.

    How about?

    * Wall Street
    * Primary national news affiliates for broadcasting
    * Fully integrated transit system
    * New York has five burroghs with 7 million, Chicago only has 3 million tops.
    * Best Opera, Art Museums are in New York.
    * Land use mixtures such as Rockefeller Center/St. Pats/Saks Fifth Avenue creates great streetlife patterns.
    * Best place in america for smut.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  22. #22
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    As far as diversity and culture, Chicago is not even on the same page as New York. I can't believe anyone would even make this argument.

    American and International Cultural phenomenons invented in or dominated by the New York metro area: modern baseball, American pizza, bagels, deli sandwiches (reubens, etc.), hip hop, breakdancing, canal building (Erie Canal), dj-ing, graffiti, disco, 4-track subways, bridgebuilding (Brooklyn Bridge), the American mafia, American punk rock (Ramones & CBGBs), straight edge hardcore (Youth of Today), Archie Bunker/The Jeffersons, Harlem Renaissance, urban renewal & expressway/parkway building (Robert Moses), Frederick Law Olmsted, the tenement house, suburban tract housing (Levittown), stock trading, Andy Warhol, Donald Trump, Spike Lee, Bruce Springsteen, Broadway theatre, the original 1980 Yuppie, etc.

    Chicago: Al Capone, Sears catalog, livestock processing, architecture, sociology, the blues, deep dish pizza and the El.
    Nope, American pizza is Chicago, thank you. We dominate thin-crust AND deep dish.
    Chicago: Al Capone, Sears, Marshall Fields, livestock processinng, agriculture, the blues, deep dish pizza, the el, the railroad industry, alternative music (Smashing Pumpkins, Eddie Vedder, Local H, Fall Out Boy, Liz Phair), hip hop (Kanye West, R. Kelly, Twista), soul/gospel music, John Hughes movies (Home Alone, Ferris Bueller, etc.), the 1990s Bulls, Wrigley Field (which has never been renovated, thank you), Frederick Law Olmsted (Jackson Park, Riverside, etc.), Frank Lloyd Wright, McDonald's, Oprah Winfrey, Jesse Jackson, CLTV (pioneer in local cable news), WGN, Family Matters/Married with Children, the official dominaters of the Wisconsin tourism industry, The Taste of Chicago, the Fujita rating scale for tornadoes, the nuclear bomb, the Daley Machine, the trucking industry, the health care industry, suburban downtowns, Wrigley gum, construction, Navy Pier, public housing, deadly worker's strikes in the late 1800s, canal building (Illinois & Michigan Canal), reversing the flow of rivers, Midwestern values, the Jerry Springer show, The Jungle/Devil in the White City, urban disasters (fire; heat wave), hot dogs, Italian Beef, Polish sausage, Second City comedy group, Millenium Park, the 00s yuppie, lake effect snow, wireless telecommunications (Motorola), tollways, the Magnificent Mile, suburban riverboat casinos
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  23. #23
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Nope, American pizza is Chicago, thank you. We dominate thin-crust AND deep dish.
    Chicago: Al Capone, Sears, Marshall Fields, livestock processinng, agriculture, the blues, deep dish pizza, the el, the railroad industry, alternative music (Smashing Pumpkins, Eddie Vedder, Local H, Fall Out Boy, Liz Phair), hip hop (Kanye West, R. Kelly, Twista), soul/gospel music, John Hughes movies (Home Alone, Ferris Bueller, etc.), the 1990s Bulls, Wrigley Field (which has never been renovated, thank you), Frederick Law Olmsted (Jackson Park, Riverside, etc.), Frank Lloyd Wright, McDonald's, Oprah Winfrey, Jesse Jackson, CLTV (pioneer in local cable news), WGN, Family Matters/Married with Children, the official dominaters of the Wisconsin tourism industry, The Taste of Chicago, the Fujita rating scale for tornadoes, the nuclear bomb, the Daley Machine, the trucking industry, the health care industry, suburban downtowns, Wrigley gum, construction, Navy Pier, public housing, deadly worker's strikes in the late 1800s, canal building (Illinois & Michigan Canal), reversing the flow of rivers, Midwestern values, the Jerry Springer show, The Jungle/Devil in the White City, urban disasters (fire; heat wave), hot dogs, Italian Beef, Polish sausage, Second City comedy group, Millenium Park, the 00s yuppie, lake effect snow, wireless telecommunications (Motorola), tollways, the Magnificent Mile, suburban riverboat casinos

    hmmm I think Illinois is a bit dillusiional, not even I think Detroit is the center of the universe (though it is of mine).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    hmmm I think Illinois is a bit delusional, not even I think Detroit is the center of the universe (though it is of mine).
    Nah, just young You know he is delusional when he claims that Chicago thin crust pizza is the be all of the universe.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    I am not going to apologise for this biased view!

    I have been to the major cities in Australia and NZ and there is no place i prefer to be than in Sydney.

    In terms of Natural Environment- we kick the butt of every other major city in the world. We have our fair share of icons, ok perhaps not as historical as some may prefer, but people should recognise that we are a relatively young city.

    We have culture (you just have to look for it) and yes you can also get top quality food here too.

    Our sporting facilities are second to none- and we have a few beaches within the city as well as our harbour!

    Travel for 2 hours in any direction from Sydney and you have either hit bush or more beaches and bush!

    We are the friendliest people around and have an easy going attitude to everything.

    We throw the best NYE fireworks in the world and it is a very livable city.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

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