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Thread: What city is the most out of place in your state?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    What city is the most out of place in your state?

    As inspired by this thread, I think many of us have visited cities that just don't feel like they belong in the state they're in. The demographics, culture, architecture, landscape, dominant political ideology, and/or other traits give the city and surrounding region a feel like ... well, the license plates you see on the cars are all from out of state/province drivers, or that it's an exclave of another state or part of the country.


    (from Forgotten Buffalo)

    What are some of those geographically misplaced cities that you've visited? What's the most out of place city in your state?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    In Arizona I'd probably say Sedona. It's a completely different landscape than anywhere else, very touristy, lots of millionaires from other parts of the US/world have homes there, pink jeeps driving around all over the place, and huge New Age scene makes it different than anywhere else in the state.

    For Illinois (where I'm from), maybe Galena? It's a touristy area in the hilly NW corner of Illinois right near the Mississippi. It's got nothing but antique shops and quaint restaurants and historic homes perfectly preserved up a steep hillside. The surrounding landscape makes it pretty unique but the architecture and history makes it feel like nowhere else in the state.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    There are some locational factors which can help explain its presence (e.g. just a short boat ride from Chi-Town), but I always thought Saugatuck was out of place. Here you have this beachfront community, with a vibrant arts scene - and I don't mean Aunt Millies quilts, tole painting, and Kinkade prints, but rather, you know... ART



    Saugatuck is also known for being a very tolerant/open-minded community attractive to gays. Mind you, this is located in the heart of uber conservative/somber Christian (or Dutch) Reformed country (think Holland, Zeeland, etc.)


    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 Coragus's avatar
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    Louisville, hands down. There's acutal culture there beyond college basketball.
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

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    Cyburbian
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    For South Carolina, I got to to go with Charleston. It may be the oldest and most famous city in the state but it's also so different architecturally and politically to what you'd find elsewhere in the state.

    For Colorado, I think it goes to Boulder by default.

    Some of the larger states I really have a problem coming up with some. Like would Miami or Key West really be out of place in Florida?

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    For California, it is defiantly the state of Jefferson, but than again, this state is so mish-mash it could stand to break up to a good 3 state chunk not divided between north and south, but rather between East(Inland)/West(Coastal CA)/State of Jefferson.
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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    It's gotta be Missoula. People are always saying "Missoula isn't Montana."
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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    For South Carolina, I got to to go with Charleston. It may be the oldest and most famous city in the state but it's also so different architecturally and politically to what you'd find elsewhere in the state.
    Whoops read the thread wrong.

    Charleston IS what everycity in SC wishes they could be.
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    There are some locational factors which can help explain its presence (e.g. just a short boat ride from Chi-Town), but I always thought Saugatuck was out of place. Here you have this beachfront community, with a vibrant arts scene - and I don't mean Aunt Millies quilts, tole painting, and Kinkade prints, but rather, you know... ART



    Saugatuck is also known for being a very tolerant/open-minded community attractive to gays. Mind you, this is located in the heart of uber conservative/somber Christian (or Dutch) Reformed country (think Holland, Zeeland, etc.)


    I also thought of Saugatuck. Very eclectic art scene, gay friendly, no ties to manufacturing or agricultural. Heavily influenced by affluent Chicagoland. Outside of the major metro areas of the State.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    For NC there are so many options.

    Asheville, with the informal slogan "Keep Asheville Weird" comes to mind. The mountains are a surprising mix of conservative families and the gay/lesbian/new age friendly Asheville.

    Other candidates would be Mt. Airy or Davidson
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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Cali. I'm thinking South Lake Tahoe.
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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    For Georgia, it has to be Savannah. A friend who used to work for the state in economic development once commented "there's a reason they consider themselves to be the Independent State of Savannah."
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    For NC there are so many options.

    Asheville, with the informal slogan "Keep Asheville Weird" comes to mind. The mountains are a surprising mix of conservative families and the gay/lesbian/new age friendly Asheville.

    Other candidates would be Mt. Airy or Davidson
    When I was in school in NC, Chapel HIll was considered the outlier... according to Jesse Helms, anyway.

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Texas' is pretty obvious, and ironically it is the capitol:

    Austin, Texas : a little blue oasis in a big red state

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Texas' is pretty obvious, and ironically it is the capitol:

    Austin, Texas : a little blue oasis in a big red state
    That was my first thought too but then I thought of Houston.

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    For NC there are so many options.

    Asheville, with the informal slogan "Keep Asheville Weird" comes to mind. The mountains are a surprising mix of conservative families and the gay/lesbian/new age friendly Asheville.

    Other candidates would be Mt. Airy or Davidson
    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    When I was in school in NC, Chapel HIll was considered the outlier... according to Jesse Helms, anyway.
    I'm going to say Fayetteville...military town, lots of people from elsewhere, (nickname 'Fayette-nam') because the town hasn't changed much since the 1960s.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Probably for Ohio would be Yellow Springs - a small village with a "crunchy" liberal populace and quircky viable vintage town center.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Florida...hmmm.

    Another large culturally diverse state, but I'll throw out Tallahassee, the capital. Its not a beach town, no large tourist attraction and a government/education-based economy.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    I'm going to say Fayetteville...military town, lots of people from elsewhere, (nickname 'Fayette-nam') because the town hasn't changed much since the 1960s.
    I think a good argument could made for a military town being out of place in a state where it's a unique entity, but there are several other bases in NC and the respective adjacent towns tend to share many of the same characteristics you typically associate with military towns (lots of shabby bars, tattoo parlors, pawn shops, lower end housing, etc.).

    For my money, I'd go with Asheville for the reasons Tide already mentioned.
    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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    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Iowa City, hands down. That town is so completely different than any other in the state.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    For Florida, I'd go with Boca Raton: it has been attractive to wealthy retirees from the northeast for so long, it's difficult to go anywhere there without the majority of people having a Long Island accent.

    I'd even throw in Miami; there is no other place in FL with such a diverse population and so many areas where English is really the second language. And it's the place where most of the really, really weird news in FL happens.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    This is the community that's most out of place in Texas, YFZ Ranch.
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    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    For Colorado, I think it goes to Boulder by default.
    I think you could make a pretty good argument for Colorado Springs, actually. While most of the Colorado has a very liberal, crunchy feel you then have Colorado Springs which is full of evangelical megachurches and is uber-Republican. In addition, it has the olympic training center and Air Force Academy which are both pretty unique things.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    Columbus, Indiana - the architectural examples

    The winner - Gary
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    For Colorado, I'd say Pueblo. While the other Front Range cities and metros are generally prosperous, affluent and attractive, Pueblo is more blue collar and economically depressed, has two downtowns that are struggling, and a viewscape along I-25 that is more reminiscent of a Texas city, with its proliferation of billboards and high rise signs, than other Colorado cities where sign codes tend to be very strict. The landscape is also more desert-like than the high prairie of cities to the north. Among a string of cities that includes Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs, Pueblo is the odd one out.

    Let's do a superficial comparison:

    Typical commercial strip in a Front Range suburb.



    Commercial strip in Pueblo.



    Colorado Springs may be uber-conservative, but if I'm driving around town it still feels like Colorado. Pueblo feels more like a smaller version of ...



    El Paso! Which just happens to be my nomination for Texas. Chihuahua Desert landscape, Southwestern architecture, defining mountain range, dominant Mexican culture, leans very Democrat, and less fanatically Texan or enthusiast about stereotypical Texas cultural icons. In a way, it feels like an outpost of Texas, but it's far more Southwestern or Mexican than Texan. I have a soft spot for the place, though.

    Anyhow, I think Pueblo is perhaps one of America's most geographically displaced cities, along with that exclave of Wisconsin called Buffalo, New York.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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