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

  1. #26
    Chairman of the bored Maister'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.....?
    For me it was a toss up between Lansing and Saginaw. But I was going to give the nod to Saginaw for the following reasons:
    - Saginaw followed the classic development pattern seen in Mich to a tee. Started as a fur trading post on a river, then in the 19th century became an important lumber center, and in the 20th century fell into the industrial mold.
    - the city was devastated by the decline of the auto industry when GM closed the steering plant and they experienced a population decline.
    - the city still pins its future hopes on the auto industry
    - the downtown is utilitarian and does not possess any great wealth of interesting buildings or architecture.
    - located in the heart of the Saginaw valley where two of the states biggest crops (sugar beets and soybeans) are grown
    - located in close proximity to an important tourist town (Frankenmuth)
    - the demographic patterns are pretty much what you'd expect with a typical Rust Bowl town (Great Northern migration, wartime boom, minority population remains clustered in decimated city center, etc)


    I think Michigan needs two representative cities: one for the UP and one for the LP
    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

  2. #27
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    ^
    Syracuse isn't Jewish enough to be representative of NY state. How about Kingston?
    Ever been to Syracuse University? Q.E.D.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #28
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    But I was going to give the nod to Saginaw for the following reasons

    I think Michigan needs two representative cities: one for the UP and one for the LP
    Yeah...I hear what you're laying down. I actually considered the two as well and Saginaw is definitely a good choice, but I still can't give up on Lansing. I still think having MSU and being the State Capital has a lot of value in terms of national representin', but Saginaw's fur trading and lumber history is very emblematic of Michigan history as well.

    As for a UP city...St. Ignace or Marquette? St. Ignace is near the Straits, a vacation destination, on the Lake and has seasonal population fluctuations. Marquette is the "big" city, likely the unofficial capital of the UP, on Lake Superior and has a state university.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian btrage'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.....?
    Lansing was also the first city that came to mind.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    As far as North Carolina goes, I think if you limit it to 200k and higher Winston Salem and Greensboro is it. However without limitations of population, I would go with Mount Airy. After all it is the inspiration for Mayberry in the Andy Griffin Show.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Lansing was also the first city that came to mind.
    I think you can make a good case for Lansing if you exclude East Lansing from the equation. I don't believe that any city that has a major university can be characterized as a proto-typical city of a state.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #32
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Michigan is much too diverse. It has lots of manufacturing, but a great deal of agricultural and wilderness areas as well. I am at a loss at trying to find a City that best represents it, but a good candidate is Toledo, Ohio.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #33
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    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
    I beg to differ with you on that. For Northern Indiana-I'd say either Goshen or Elkhart-industrial or post industrial, close to farm fields, multi ethnic, but strong German undercurrents. The rest of the state, Columbus or Greencastle

    KY-the natives would say Lexington. In truth, either Owensboro or Bardstown-small, long history-both have a true Kentucky feel

    MS-The upper 2/3rds-Jackson. The lower 1/3rd-tough call, different than the upper 2/3rds, but no one city really stands out.
    Last edited by Whose Yur Planner; 12 Feb 2013 at 2:32 PM.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    I beg to differ with you on that. For Northern Indiana-I'd say either Goshen or Elkhart-industrial or post industrial, close to farm fields, multi ethnic, but strong German undercurrents. The rest of the state, Columbus or Greencastle

    KY-the natives would say Lexington. In truth, either Owensboro or Bardstown-small, long history-both have a true Kentucky feel

    MS-The upper 2/3rds-Jackson. The lower 1/3rd-tough call, different than the upper 2/3rds, but no one city really stands out.
    I like you Greencastle and Owensboro selections.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I like Saginaw because of it's start as a fur trading/lumber history with later transition to industry, it's proximity to great lake, surrounded by agriculture, birthplace of yours truly The only thing missing is proximity to forests and inland lakes. Actually I like Marquette for an answer because it's historically its based in mining and eventually industry, right on the lake, forests all around, respect for history, but yet very progressive. Only thing missing would be agriculture. It's hard to pick just one.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    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.


    (from http://www.city-data.com/forum/syrac...cuse-ny-5.html)
    Good analysis, Dan. I totally agree.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  12. #37
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    When I lived in New Mexico, my friends and I had a saying:

    People in western New Mexico want to see the collapse of the United States, so they could form their own libertarian utopia.
    People in eastern New Mexico want to see the collapse of the United States, so the Republic of Texas could take over again.
    People in southern New Mexico want to see the collapse of the United States, so Mexico could take over again.
    People in northern New Mexico want to see the collapse of the United States, so Spain could take over again.

    New Mexico is a tough one. Let's look at the candidates:

    Albuquerque
    Pros: for all practical purposes the center of the state; a good mix of Anglo, Hispanic and Indian heritage; Route 66, Old Town.
    Cons: large city, and the resentment of others in the state that comes along with it.



    Las Cruces
    Pros: a "gentle blending" of Anglo and Hispanic cultures; great Mexican food; larger ag/rancher influence; politically moderate.
    Cons: rapid growth, becoming too polished and "Californicated"; considered by some as a suburb of El Paso; no Allsup's.



    Santa Fe
    Pros: state capital; the cultural heart of the state; landscape and architecture are the most typically New Mexican.
    Cons: too wealthy; too artsy-fartsy; politically very liberal; declining Hispanic influence.



    Farmington
    Pros: kind of average in all regards, relatively speaking; the built environment is generically New Mexican; good mix of Anglo, Hispanic and Native cultures.
    Cons: completely off the radar screen for most New Mexicans.



    Roswell, Clovis, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Portales, Artesia, etc
    Pros: smaller cities (10-50K); unpolished.
    Cons: small Hispanic influence; too "Texan", politically very conservative; "smell of money" and military influence in Clovis.



    Gallup
    Pros: smaller; poor; strong native/Indian cultural influence.
    Cons: the left armpit of the state. The right? Clovis.



    Alamogordo
    Pros: smaller; ugly; strange residents; unpolished; between the state's desert and high Sierra terrain.
    Cons: too conservative; small Hispanic influence for its location at the southern end of the state.



    Los Alamos
    Pros: pretty mesa landscape.
    Cons: pretty white; pretty rich; pretty well educated; pretty expensive; feels more like an exurb of Denver only populated by rocket scientists.



    Espanola
    Pros: very strong Hispanic cultural influence, center of the state's lowrider culture, poor, rugged terrain; small-ish.
    Cons: you gonna' get stabbed, ese. Pinche guero!



    IMHO, it comes down to Las Cruces, Farmington and Espanola. Las Cruces has the advantage of Anglo/Hispanic cultural blending and great food, but it doesn't have Allsup's, and it's too close to Texas. Espanola isn't very diverse, but since when does anyone think of people named "Biff", "Skip" and "Muffy" when you think of New Mexico? Farmington feels like a generic New Mexico city, with no qualities that stand out; not too rich, not too poor, not too prominent, and a good cross-section of the state's three dominant cultures. I could plop down the Google Streetview man anywhere in Farmington and think "Yup, that's New Mexico. (yawn)".

    The victor: Farmington.

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #38
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    As a former upstater, I would agree with Dan that Syracuse would be most representative of NY. It is a good mix of everything NY, big University, Erie Canal, beautiful architecture, old industry... bad weather.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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  14. #39
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post

    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
    I agree with St Pete or Sarasota for the coast: not too glitzy, and the retiree tsunami of decades past has ebbed. Pinellas County, in which St Pete is located, still has a good mix of funky beach towns and more upscale locales.

    Interior, Ocala and Lakeland are great choices, but I'd throw Gainesville in, too. Granted, it's got U of FL, but Lakeland has FL Southern with all those Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Ocala has the long tradition of thoroughbred farms, but that has moved away somewhat over the last few decades as suburbs took over.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    For FL I'm going to go with Palm Bay.

  16. #41
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    For FL I'm going to go with Palm Bay.
    Why?

  17. #42
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Palm Bay has rednecks, retirees, and displaced northerners in roughly equal numbers. Plus its coastal and along the I95 corridor.

  18. #43
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    New Jersey is a tough one to select just ONE, mainly because there's been a lot of change demographically over the past two decades. I think I'm going to need some help from my ex-pat Jersey Boys here.

    I am leaning towards Morristown....

    Decent size +/- 18,500
    Representative racial makeup
    Middle of the road median household income of $65K
    Bachelor degree attainment, 38%
    Nice, walkable downtown with good mix of businesses and a commuter train station
    Mix of characteristic housing stock
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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