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Thread: HGTV's Top 10 places to live in America..

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    HGTV's Top 10 places to live in America..

    What Are Our Top 10 and Why?

    These 10 utopian havens are located in different regions of the U.S. and rated by such factors as school systems, employment opportunities and just plain "gut" reactions. From the small, pristine village to the vibrant metropolis, all 10 towns are exciting, alive and full of possibility.

    #10
    Salida, Colorado - an undiscovered jewel southwest of Denver and a great arts town near several amazing ski resorts.

    #9
    Jupiter, Florida - a tropical paradise about an hour north of Miami. It boasts some of the best schools in Florida (and some of the best fishing in America).

    #8
    Saratoga Springs, New York - winner of an award for the best "Main Street" in the country and home of one of the most beautiful horse racing tracks ever built.

    #7
    Seattle, Washington - here you'll find coastline, culture, computer software, and waterfront ambience unrivaled for a major city.

    #6
    Sedona, Arizona - backdrop for Hollywood westerns, with redrock formations that seem to be sculpted by a higher power.

    #5
    Santa Barbara, California - Spanish flavor with a laid-back lifestyle and exquisite houses. The beaches and marine activities are among the best on the Pacific coast.

    #4
    Portland, Maine - the essence of New England, with craggy coast, great food and some of the best public schools anywhere in the country.

    #3
    Austin, Texas - the live music capital of the world. The home of creativity and casual style, and the President happens to love it, too.

    #2
    Grand Marais, Minnesota - a tiny artist's haven on the shores of the Great Lakes.

    #1
    Downtown New York City, NY - the most electric, vibrant, proud place anywhere in the country right now. The culture, the ethnic mix, the cuisine, the revitalized harbor along the Hudson River ? New York can't be beat. Former Mayor Ed Koch appears in this segment to tell the nation why New Yorkers stand tall and still rave about the power of "Downtown."

    Discuss.......

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Ill pass on Seattle-their traffic is worse than DC and their tax situation sounds scary (just had best friend from there up for a visit)
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I always hate these top places to live things...

    Everywhere has its ups and downs. I for one, could not live anywhere other than Philly.

    #10
    Salida, Colorado - I don't ski and hate the fact that artsy towns are considered great places to live.

    #9
    Jupiter, Florida - Have you ever been to Florida in August?? Nuff said.

    #8
    Saratoga Springs, New York - What constitutes the "Best Main Street"??

    #7
    Seattle, Washington - here you'll find coastline, culture, computer software, and waterfront ambience unrivaled for a major city....and alot of washed up wanna-be rockers/drug-addicts.

    #6
    Sedona, Arizona - I love Arizona....

    #5
    Santa Barbara, California - I can't stand the "rich and famous" definitly not the place for me.

    #4
    Portland, Maine - Too cold

    #3
    Austin, Texas - Also the home of Lance Armstrong...all he ever does is bitch about this god foresaken town. I'll take his word for it.

    #2
    Grand Marais, Minnesota - Too cold

    #1
    Downtown New York City, NY - Too many people, too many cabs, too much trash, that horrible accent....THE GIANTS...no way!!! Not for me.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Ill pass on Seattle-their traffic is worse than DC and their tax situation sounds scary (just had best friend from there up for a visit)
    Property taxes are high... but there is no State Income Tax, so you end up not forking over too much to the gov.

  5. #5
          Downtown's avatar
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    Re: HGTV's Top 10 places to live in America..

    Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    What Are Our Top 10 and Why?

    #8
    Saratoga Springs, New York - winner of an award for the best "Main Street" in the country and home of one of the most beautiful horse racing tracks ever built.

    #4
    Portland, Maine - the essence of New England, with craggy coast, great food and some of the best public schools anywhere in the country.


    #1
    Downtown New York City, NY - the most electric, vibrant, proud place anywhere in the country right now. The culture, the ethnic mix, the cuisine, the revitalized harbor along the Hudson River ? New York can't be beat. Former Mayor Ed Koch appears in this segment to tell the nation why New Yorkers stand tall and still rave about the power of "Downtown."

    Discuss.......
    Yay! Saratoga Springs - I used to work on Broadway (their main street) and this city really is as charming as everyone says it is. If we hadn't gotten our jobs with the town we work for now and have to conform to their residency requirement, this is where we'd live. it's the only central city in the capital district that actually gained population, and my parents plan on retiring there just because of their vibrant downtown, walkability and thriving arts community. i can't express enough how much i love this city.

    Portland Maine would be my second choice of places to live, even though it is cold, it is just such a nice city - lots and lots to do, and not *too* far up into Maine that it is as remote as other cities in the state.

    NYC - i'm so glad i have friends to visit that live in manhattan because i could never afford to live here, and especially would never put my kids into the public school system there.

  6. #6
    maudit anglais
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    There seems to be a mistake with that list. I always figured the best place to live in America was Canada!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Nice try, Tranplanner, but Canada isn't even in America! If it was, perhaps I would cast a vote for Vancouver, BC. As long as we are talking about other continents, I will, sight unseen, also vote for Wellington.

  8. #8
    maudit anglais
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    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    Nice try, Tranplanner, but Canada isn't even in America!
    That was my point

  9. #9
    Cyburbian prudence's avatar
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    Portland, ME

    I agree with Portland, ME being a top-5 city. My first visit was in October and I fell in love with it. I would move in a minute if I found the right job...
    "Dear Prudence...won't you open up your eyes? "

  10. #10
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    There are lots of planning jobs in maine, however they would all mean a reverse commute from portland to somewhere else.

    I have never stopped in portland, but have driven by many times and have heard great things. One downer though is that it is becoming a bit touristy for locals likes. I get the maine american TV stations and thats how it appears on them.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  11. #11

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    Those top 10 lists are so subjective, and it's especially galling when they try to make is appear objective by using statistics to prove that place A is better than place B. School systems are always part of the formula, but I personally couldn't care less because I have no children. Climate is another one - I like snow, so no city in the south would ever make my top ten list. Here is how I would evaluate places I have lived:

    1) New York City (Queens): It doesn't get any more exciting than living in NYC. Almost everything is easily accessible by public transit at all hours, including the suburbs. You can live there your entire life, eat out every meal every day and never visit the same restaurant twice. Expensive? You bet, but you don't have to live in Manhattan to have easy access to it whenever you please. My best friend had to move way out into the New Jersey suburbs just to find an apartment he could afford, but thanks to NJ Transit, his commute is actually shorter now than it was when he lived in subway-deprived southeast Queens.

    2) Lancaster, PA: It was quite a culture shock when my career path took me out of metropolis and into the Amish country of Pennsylvania, but Lancaster County has a lot going for it. For starters, the city of Lancaster is actually pretty cool. Lots of historic townhomes, funky shops and night clubs literally five minutes from pristine farmland. Lancaster County has dozens of quaint little towns, each with a rich history of its own. On the downside, the county is growing rapidly and may eventually look like just another Philly suburb unless the county can put together a good growth plan. Increased vehicular traffic competes with Amish buggy traffic on major thoroughfares. The Wal-Mart battles in Lancaster County are the stuff of legend, but every one that manages to get built is packed with shoppers. Even the Amish shop at Wal-Mart, which puts up hitching posts for the horses in the parking lot!

    3) Cleveland, OH: Cleveland is an old rust belt city trying very hard to reinvent itself with very mixed results. The 1990s saw Cleveland undertake a much-publicized renaissance with the construction of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Jacobs Field, Browns Stadium, downtown apartments and shopping centers and the establishment of entertainment districts like the Flats and the Warehouse District. New housing subdivisions, aided by tax abatements, are springing up inside city limits boasting $200,000 homes in neighborhoods once ravaged by race riots. Housing remains cheap by large city standards. If I picked up my house and moved it to NYC, I could never afford it. Despite the renaissance, this city still struggles mightily against the tide. It is the 3rd most segregated city in America, poverty and unemployment are way above the national average and the suburban migration continues, albeit at a slower pace than years ago. If not for the new stadiums, most suburbanites would probably never set foot in the city. The anti-urban mentality is very strong here. If not for the steadfast presence of "old money" types, this town would never support the great orchestra, museums and theaters that manage to survive here.

    4) Albany, NY: For the most part, Albany is a bland, 9-5 city of government workers who commute by car from even blander suburbs. If not for the major universities in the area, nightlife would be nonexistent. The skyline is dominated by two of the world's largest concrete slabs, the Empire State Plaza and the State University campus, my alma mater. The only thing giving Albany the nod over #5 is my personal climate preference: you hardly ever need A/C during the summer, and every winter you're practically guaranteed at least one whopper of a snowstorm where everything comes to a standstill.

    5) Harrisburg, PA: Only 30 miles from Lancaster, but very different. Harrisburg is basically a 1/2 sized version of Albany. It's a 9-5 oriented state capital, bit this time without a major university to breathe life into the city. Rush-hour traffic is very bad considering the population. Living in the city puts you at a disadvantage because most amenities are in the suburbs. I could not even get a pizza delivered on Sunday where I lived! Harrisburg's saving grace is a very powerful mayor who has managed to get a lot of cool stuff built downtown. Actually, downtown Harrisburg is much more alive today than it was when I lived there.

  12. #12
    INACTIVE
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    biases- I don't want to drive, dislike cold weather, want plenty of action and activism, walkable communities.
    1 nyc (except Statten) great transit, plenty to do, different nationalities,stores close by, safe
    2 Philly-good transit, nice parks, historic cheap housing
    3Chicago-good transit, active streets
    4Boston-good transit, many historic neighborhoods, safe, college excitement
    5Baltimore-Historic housing, some interesting neighborhoods
    6Bay area(SF too expensive me thinks) good transit, nice weather, progressive
    7Portland Or-good transit, progressive, heading in right direction?
    8Washington-good transit, activist, nice weather, lots going on, some historic buildings
    9-I've run out of Us cities, how about London UK or Montreal PQ

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