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Thread: Friendly vs. Not-so-friendly Cities

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Friendly vs. Not-so-friendly Cities

    Based upon your experiences, which cities have more of a nice-'n-friendly population and which have more of a “not-so-friendly” vibe? I’m not talking about crime or liberal-ness, just the general level of friendliness and neighborliness.

    I was only in Toronto for 1 day but I seemed to encounter a certain level of rudeness there, and of course NYC . The only overly-friendly places I’ve been to have been tourist towns.

    Other people I know have offered these:
    Dallas – rude
    Austin – friendly
    Charleston – friendly
    New Orleans – frinedly
    Phoenix - friendly
    Boston – rude
    Montreal – rude

    For the sensitive: These are general perceptions by individuals. No one is labeling all residents of a given place as good or bad.
    Last edited by Seabishop; 07 May 2003 at 2:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    When I was in New York, I expected to encounter rudeness, but didn't. I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the people with whom I interacted.

    I definitely agree that Bostonians are up there on the rudeness scale......I'm related to two of them.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Very interesting.

    Considering my many visits to Toronto, I found the place polite, but not necessarily friendly. It seemed quite difficult to raise a conversation with one of the city's residents. Hamilton, on the other hand, strikes me as being both polite and very friendly.

    Kansas City is disturbingly friendly; it's hard to go to any public place without finding yourself in a conversation with a stranger.

    Chicago is very friendly. for a big city. Believe it or not, I think NYC is friendly, too ... natives seem rushed and blunt, but still friendly.

    Beyond the areas catering to tourists and horny GIs, I found Juarez to be a very friendly city, especially if you're Anglo and you make some attempt to speak Spanglish.

    Washington, DC really didn't seem too friendly to me.

    Denver is moderately friendly. There's a lot of Seattle and San Francisco-style attitude, though, especially among new residents.

    I'll agree with Austin being a friendly city, and Dallas being cold. The friendliest Texas town I've encountered is little Dell City, population about 500, located in the middle of nowhere about 100 miles east of El Paso.

    New Orleans seemed friendly.

    I spent a week in Los Angeles several years ago, while visiting my then-girlfriend's parents. I couldn't make heads or tails on the place.

    Santa Fe seems cold and distant; a beautiful city but not really friendly at all. Folks in Albuquerque and Las Cruces are nice, although there seems to be a collective dysfunctionality in those places.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I have not travelled too much, but here is my list.

    Friendly cities that I have been to:
    1) Saint John, NB
    2) Ottawa
    3) Victoria, BC
    4) Halifax is luke warm to friendly
    5) Liege, Belgium
    6) Detroit has its moments and places

    Rumour has it that St. John's NFLD is really friendly too, never had the money nor reason to go though.

    Unfriendly Cities
    1) Montreal
    2) Quebec City
    3) Fredericton,NB, really clique and status oriented.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by Dan
    I found Juarez to be a very friendly city
    I have to agree with Dan. I was only in Juarez a couple of hours and a complete stranger offered to get me a date with a young woman. Very friendly.

    One of the friendliest cities I ever visited was Nashville, Tennessee. In fact, the experience was so good that it enflamed an ethical conflict I had been having over the work I was doing at the time, and prompted me to return from the dark side. I couldn't go on doing something I knew would hurt people like them.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Maybe it's my southern raising, but I cannot tolerate rude and/or condescending people. And I know it's not fair to characterize an entire city as rude or friendly but my personal experience has been...

    DALLAS - One of the snottiest and rudist city I've ever been to (Texas new-money rude, bleeeech!)

    CHARLESTON, SC - The locals and the college students are very friendly. Some of the "from off" wealthy newcomers who have recently moved in can be a bit affected however.

    RICHMOND, VA - Friendly...if you are in the same socio-economic group. I found it to be a very class and income conscience city. I made some great friends there but also meet some really nasty people in the suburban West End.

    NEW YORK - I agree that people from NYC are friendly for the most part. Blunt and sometimes tactless, but friendly none the less.

    PITTSBURGH - A very friendly city. It's not uncommon to have conversations with total strangers while on the bus or just walking down the street. The atmosphere is a little insular, so it's a little harder to really feel part of the scene, but the people here are all-in-all very pleasant.

    WASHINGTON, DC - A mixed bag, but I'd have to rule DC as having a not-so friendly vibe. It seemed like a very "me" oriented city. A lot of self importance from living in the capital city I suppose (excluding Cyburbia members of course)

    THE ENTIRE STATE OF CONNECTICUT - Bleech!
    Last edited by biscuit; 07 May 2003 at 2:28 PM.

  7. #7

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    San Francisco- Not actively "rude" per se, but very, very aloof and standoffish-especially in places like Berkeley where the people's sense of self-importance is very exagerated

    Not a place where you will strike up a conversation with strangers-except for dog parks and with dog people. (which is why I usually bring my basenji with me to the city )

    Chicago-OK. Big city aloofness a bit, but not like SF area.

    Philadelphia-VERY friendly. When I was looking at Planning graduate programs, I visted Penn. I was "adopted" by a gypsy cab driver-Archie Bunker Blue Collar White Guy and his wife, a Jamaican??? black lady. They gave me a tour, steered me to a cheap but clean motel in Jersey, she introduced me to her daughter. She bought me lunch! Chattering the whole time about a variety of sundry topics-religion, race, neighborhoods, etc. Really, really unique two days! It still leaves me with a really warm feeling for the city.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Friendly:
    Rome (usually a good thing, but not when some guy is groping your behind on the bus)
    San Diego (downtown, not 'burbs like Rancho Bernardo)
    Cairo
    Prague
    Barcelona
    Vancouver, B.C.
    San Antonio
    Sedona

    Not-so-friendly:
    Los Angeles
    Santa Barbara (most snobby city I've ever encountered)
    London
    Boston
    Miami
    Geneva
    Milan

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
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    I have to disagree with Boston being unfriendly - I have always had good experiences there.

    Donk is right about St. John's, Newfoundland, it is very friendly. We lived there for 2-3 years and it was awesome.

    I can't think of any cities which I have found really rude except maybe the first time I was in Paris (1989). I found my last trip a little better (1999).

  10. #10
    Member sthooligan's avatar
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    I agree with biscuit, CT especially Fairlfield County can be very rude. However, since I did hail from that state at one point there are pockets that are tolerable.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    From what I've experienced:

    Friendly: Portland, ME; Madison, WI; Minneapolis; Seattle, St. Louis

    Unfriendly: Boston (for the most part- although I like it here); SF; DC; Atlanta

    Around the world, I've felt some warmth from people when I've been to Germany, England and India, especially.

  12. #12

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    Plug for the Midwest...

    My experience in Indianapolis and Cincinnati has been that both are friendly and polite, in a Ned Flanders kind of way.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Originally posted by jmf
    I have to disagree with Boston being unfriendly - I have always had good experiences there.
    I haven't found Boston rude either (aside from the drivers) but lots of people seem to think it is. Boston, can be an extreme mix of really white collar and really blue collar people so visitors have their choice of ways to be offended.

    I haven't noticed CT rudeness but it sure is depressing for the country's richest state.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Sorry, but my experiences in the northeast have not warmed me up the people out there (in general). I thought many of the people in the Boston area were unfriendly, if not rude. Connecticutt was much the same way.

    Virginia was a mixed bag. I agree that Richmond is very class-conscious. So is the Chesapeake Bay region. The exception is in areas that are very military. Further south, the people along the coast, all the way down to Cape Hatteras (yes, I know it is in North Carolina) were very friendly. So were many of the people in western Virginia. Charlottesvill reminded me quite a bit of Madison.

    Funny, but the people of Savannah seemed friendly, while those in Charleston, an hour or two away, did not.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    So were many of the people in western Virginia. Charlottesvill reminded me quite a bit of Madison.
    Funny, but the people of Savannah seemed friendly, while those in Charleston, an hour or two away, did not.
    I've never been a fan of Charlottesville. It's a nice place to visit but many of the people have that "old eastern Virginia" or perhaps wannabe aire about them. I have a firend from high school living there now who hates it and won't nothing more than toget out. I used to do a lot of consulting work in western, VA and agree that they are nice in that part of the state. I always enjoyed going to Roanoke.

    As for Charleston, It's not the same town I first moved to in 1995. With all the attention came more tourist, more wealthy from off homebuyers and more of an attempt by the city leaders to be a trendy "World Class" city. This is never a good thing for a normally laid back town to aspire to. Just as long as they keep the tradition of drinking at noon, I'll consider Charleston a friendly city.

  16. #16

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    Cold N' Warm

    Warm+Friendly:

    Atlanta (surprised me!)
    Austin
    Buffalo
    Denver (for the most part; limited to long-term residents)
    Phoenix ( ditto., except for the tony parts of Scottsdale)

    Cold+Indifferent

    Bay Area - yeah, there's all the amenities and charm but the
    locals generally percieve the place as the
    'center of the universe' and manifest that by
    numerous displays of arrogance. If somehow
    you changed the perception, would the real
    estate prices drop?
    Dallas-Ft. Worth - if I lived there, I'd be miserable, too
    Florida Cities - everyone seems to be from somewhere else
    and acts like it, too
    Las Vegas- Ditto

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Topping the rude list for me: Boca Raton FL. The snobbiest, pushiest bunch of people I've ever encountered (well, except maybe in any line at Disney World).

  18. #18

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    Charlottesville

    I loved UVA as a grad student, but I would have absolutely hated it as an undergrad. I mean, come on, Thomas Jefferson has been dead for what, 190 years?

    Charlottesville is a lovely town, but not as lovely as it should be. Highway 29 is just plain awful, downtown was pretty sleepy as a real center for the community, and housing prices are high. Dillon Rule must be a bitch to work under as a planner. I had a UVA professor who refused to patronize any business in unincorporated Albemarle County, which he considered a parasite.

    Still, when I look at my alumni magazine and think about how nice it would be to win the lottery and move to "Whispering Elms, a 63 acre estate in the foothill hunt country which features a brick 1769 manor house and ten acres fenced for horses" Charlottesville does sound great.

  19. #19
         
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    The Long Island Sound area just south of New Haven in Connecticut was the most unfriendly area I ever encountered. After my experience there, I realized this must be one of the reasons why people aren't flocking to Connecticut.

    The people there are very cold IMO. I am very sensitive and the people there make you feel unwelcome. If they act that way to keep people away, I think it is working. The feeling I got from Connecticut was not even a respectful sophistication but almost a streak of meanness.

    Montreal is not very friendly, but it has a high-class respectful sophistication feel. That I can tolerate. Same with Quebec City, the women are not bad there either.

    Outside of Ann Arbor, MI. Michigan people are nice.

    The eastern part of the Ohio Valley was friendly but different from the friendliness of Upstate NY. The Ohio Valley people seem to be in their own little world.

    Overall the friendliest people I encountered are in Central and Western Upstate New York. Syracuse and Buffalo people are the friendliest, then to a lesser degree Rochester.

    New York City people can be whole other topic. From my experience, they aren't rude but just uncaring. In NYC, how they act depends on their mood, I think.

    Hope I didn't offend anyone, this was just my opinion.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    I recently moved to Miami, Florida after living my entire life around the Southeast US and all I know, is if any place is less friendly than Miami, I feel sorry for the people who live there. Everyone here is just bitter and mean. It is amazing, you get 30 minutes away in any direction and people are friendly again. My guess is it is the high cost of living and traffic pissing everyone off.

    FIN
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Originally posted by Huston
    I recently moved to Miami, Florida after living my entire life around the Southeast US and all I know, is if any place is less friendly than Miami, I feel sorry for the people who live there. Everyone here is just bitter and mean. It is amazing, you get 30 minutes away in any direction and people are friendly again. My guess is it is the high cost of living and traffic pissing everyone off.

    FIN
    The drivers are psychotic and nearly everyone on the beach is unbelievably full of themselves and full of fake parts. Fun South Beach game my friends and I play: spot the real pair!

    My biggest complaint as a regular visitor to Miami is the assumption that everyone speaks spanish. I think it's pretty obvious that I'm not a native spanish speaker (red hair, green eyes, and very fair skin), but no matter where I go there people bust out speaking spanish first.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by plannerkat
    The drivers are psychotic and nearly everyone on the beach is unbelievably full of themselves and full of fake parts. Fun South Beach game my friends and I play: spot the real pair!

    My biggest complaint as a regular visitor to Miami is the assumption that everyone speaks spanish. I think it's pretty obvious that I'm not a native spanish speaker (red hair, green eyes, and very fair skin), but no matter where I go there people bust out speaking spanish first.

    I know that game!!!

    People are so fake it is comical; I actual like that part because it is just good ole fashion hilarity how shallow people can be. People take out second mortgages to buy lips here!

    As far as the Spanish thing, I speak it so I like to pretend I don’t, see what people start to say to each other confidentially about the situation and then interject in Spanish and see the look on their face. That is my favorite game. I don’t feel bad, because it is just rude to break out into “code” in the first place, which is what they think they are doing.

    Cheers.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Philadelphia...The City That Loves You Back!

  24. #24
    Member Sue's avatar
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    I've got to agree that most people in Philadelphia are just so down to earth and friendly. I grew up about an hour north, so my comment may be a little myoptic. I have travelled extensively throughout the country, lived in central Va for 4 years during college and now live in NW Montana. I've also spent lots of time in hot'lanta, NYC, Seattle, San Fransiso and Portland following my favorite band around.
    Still, Philly holds a special place in my heart....the entire place smells like a cheese steak, it's easy to get around in a car, you can stop on a street for directions and everyone behind you will stop and wait without being too agrivated, it's pedestrian friendly which keeps alot of the cars off the street, it's quaint and modern at the same time.
    Missoula, MT has some of the nicest, funnist, colorful creatures of any place I've ever been......and it's the only City in the country I know of with the word "SOUL" in it!

  25. #25

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    Agree with you about Philadelphia, Sue, and Missoula may be cool but. . .

    Don't they SHOOT Commie Planners 30 miles outside Missoula?

    (Just Kidding)

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