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City vs. City #1a: Portland, OR or Boston, MA

choice time

  • Portland, OR

    Votes: 9 24.3%
  • Boston, MA

    Votes: 20 54.1%
  • Confound this coastal bias!

    Votes: 8 21.6%

  • Total voters
    37

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
Cardinal mentioned this on the St. Louis/KC thread, and it seemed like a good idea. Here goes.

Portland--
Planning Paradise?
Big Urban Growth Boundary

Boston--
Love that dirty water... (thanks Standells)
Big dig

Who takes it? Whose cuisine reigns supreme? (Not really, I'm gong for overall city, but theIron Chef reference was too good to pass up)
 

moose

Member
Messages
109
Points
6
Funny story.

Portland was very nearly named Boston when it was founded. The two founders (Lovejoy & Pettygrove) flipped a coin (each wanting to name their new town after their east coast hometown). Portland, Maine, was the winner.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Having just been to Portland, I vote Boston. Much of downtown Portland's success comes from its efforts in making its downtown more like the pedestrian friendly, vibrant mixed use place that Boston already is. Despite the urban growth boundary, Portland seemed oddly low-density and "modern" compared to what I'm used to, especially east of the river. I was surprised at the number of surface parking lots downtown. Keep in mind I didn't see much outside of downtown, so I still don't have a picture of the residential neighborhoods.

But don't get me wrong Portland was pretty awesome in its own way - convenient transit, walkability, parks, laidback vibe, superior coffee, NW landscape, etc. People in Portland complain about the weather, but I'd take rain over snow any day.



Questions: Does Portland have any really bad neighborhoods?

How does the city address the homeless youth problem? - Does the city consider it politically incorrect to infringe on people's lifestyles? I had a hard time explaining to my wife that although people kept asking me if I wanted to buy drugs, it seemed a lot safer than other cities.
 

japrovo

Member
Messages
103
Points
6
Seabishop said:
Despite the urban growth boundary, Portland seemed oddly low-density and "modern" compared to what I'm used to, especially east of the river. I was surprised at the number of surface parking lots downtown. /B]
Its apples and oranges don't you think? The UBG was put in place in the late 1970s. Boston has a few hundred years head start on building up the density to eliminate surface parking. But I agree on the weather---Winter in Boston lasts what about 9 months out of the year? Portland's famous rain only runs about five or maybe six months in a bad year.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
japrovo said:
But I agree on the weather---Winter in Boston lasts what about 9 months out of the year? Portland's famous rain only runs about five or maybe six months in a bad year.
What is it with people on the west coast thinking that it snows 9 months out of the year in the North East?
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
japrovo said:
Its apples and oranges don't you think? The UBG was put in place in the late 1970s. Boston has a few hundred years head start on building up the density to eliminate surface parking. But I agree on the weather---Winter in Boston lasts what about 9 months out of the year? Portland's famous rain only runs about five or maybe six months in a bad year.
I've never been to Portland, but agree with japrovo that the comparison to Boston seems like apples and oranges. Boston is so much bigger than Portland. For awhile here, there was a debate comparing Boston to Seattle, which is more appropriate, but the Boston metro area is still quite a bit larger than there.

I lived in Boston for 8 years and can tell you that winter is about November to late March - not 9 months. Not that I think their climate is ideal; summer can be scalding hot; fall and spring very rainy.
 

Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
Portland Maine vs. Portland Oregon!

Much closer in size and demography!

NOT to hijack this thread or anything, but-

My vote would be for Portland Maine, but perhaps I'm biased. I, too, found Portland (OR) to be somewhat low density and modern for my tastes.

Portland, ME lacks the transit and the huge in-town park of Portland, OR, but in my opinion, boasts a much nicer and more extensive waterfront, much more beautiful architecture, denser neighborhoods, and just as many plazas and pedestrian amenities as our west-coast counterpart.

PS- if you don't like winter, move south!
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Didn't we just do this??? Or did we compare Boston to someplace else?

.... I love Boston though....but never have been to the West Coast.
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
751
Points
21
IMHO, the scale to which Boston has been able to blend the old with the new is remarkable. Everybody should take pride in what Boston has been able to do. I can't wait to visit again.

My Favorite US Cities (pop. 250,000+) :

1. Seattle - the vistas & young people do it for me
2. Boston - the history & young people do it for me
3. Portland - IMBYism
4. S.F. - despite its issues, hard to beat the Bay area
5. Chicago - the loveable midwest at its finest

So, here's one Oregonian that gives the nod to Boston, despite the apples to oranges thing.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
plankton said:
IMHO, the scale to which Boston has been able to blend the old with the new is remarkable. Everybody should take pride in what Boston has been able to do. I can't wait to visit again.

My Favorite US Cities (pop. 250,000+) :

1. Seattle - the vistas & young people do it for me
2. Boston - the history & young people do it for me
3. Buffalo - Industrialism
4. S.F. - despite its issues, hard to beat the Bay area
5. Chicago - the loveable midwest at its finest

So, here's one Oregonian that gives the nod to Boston, despite the apples to oranges thing.
Thanks for the support, go Rumpy's Rampage!!!
 

rrk

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
I went to college in Portland and recently moved to Boston. As people have said they are really different cities size-wise.

Honestly, I am very dissapointed at Boston's urbanism. It has all the great things we planning minded people think a city should have: walkable streets, density, public transportation but it comes out being far less than its potential.

Most people in the city proper use public transit but everybody hates it, it is inefficient and dirty and never runs on time. The ticketing system is arcane the bus drivers make 30 bucks an hr (no joke) and the MTA is the number one polluter in town.

Portlanders are much more car reliant but a large number rides the MAX and the buses, even large numbers of car owners. The max trains are clean and drivers are friendly and the system is rapidly expanding.

FACT: all traffic lights (even downtown!) in boston require pedestrians to press a cross button to get a green signal and wait another cycle for it to happen! No wonder people jaywalk, walking a couple blocks legally takes 30 minutes!

While transportation is my favorite example, parallels exists in all facets.

Access to the outdoors and recreation is far better in Portland.
I also like the less elitest air in that city.

Boston is still the big old bad american city in spirit, while Portland models itself after a more laid-back civilized European city, or the civically-minded New England of old

Boston is more urban, though, and for now is better for those who want the true urban experience, but Portland is way ahead if you give it a handicap.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
rrk said:

FACT: all traffic lights (even downtown!) in boston require pedestrians to press a cross button to get a green signal and wait another cycle for it to happen! No wonder people jaywalk, walking a couple blocks legally takes 30 minutes!
That's total bullshit. There are a few of those in Chicago and I always jaywalk at them because I refuse to push a button to excercise my right to cross a street.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
Boston all the way - the best big city in the U.S. to walk - very pedestrian friendly, great mix of old and new, Portland's best (only?) attraction - Mt.Hood is too far away,...
Portland is a great city, nevermind. Still, it's WAY overrated, especially its transit system - it's basically OK in the centre of the city (where it's not really needed anyway...) and is not so much useful /comprehensive outside the CBD. Yes, flashy urban design is something planners love to "show off" in Portland - I'm not impressed, sorry...
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
751
Points
21
bocian:

I must disagree with parts of your assessment of Portland. While not every city in the US is able to consume massive amounts of federal dollars for their transportation projects (ah em, big dig), Portland's light rail system, MAX, extends east ~10 miles to serve a nice population base and west to serve another. It serves the airport and also extends to north portland. At some point MAX will head further north across the Columbia River to serve Washington's fastest growing city, Vancouver, and south to other populated areas. So, to say MAX is not comprehensive is not only premature thinking but (IMHO) flat out wrong. I live 70 miles west of Portland and due to a 30 year old UGB and the most westerly station of MAX, I, and other coasties, are able to get in and out of the city, any time of day, any day of the week, without a problem.

And, as for Mt. Hood being Portland's best (only) attraction? Puhleeze, for starters Mt. St. Helens is closer to PDX than Mt. Hood. Ever heard of Forest Park, the US's largest urban park. Hawthorne District, Nob Hill, Mt. Tabor, Rose Garden, to name a few.....

And to think, I voted for Boston in the thread. I stil think Boston is the tops, but I just can't stand to see Portland slighted like that.

I'm done now.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

Cyburbian
Messages
216
Points
9
I've lived in Boston for a while and I would take Portland over Boston..I know thats seems astonishing! Portland has so much going for its self. Boston has plenty of tradittion and Cambridge is my favorite place over Boston proper.
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
I haven't been to Portland, so my vote for it is very skewed.

I visited Boston/Cambridge for a few days, and I liked it though.

Interestingly, most people in my dorm (basically everyone I've talked to) absolutely hate Boston. They say there's nothing to do in Boston (including the people who live like a mile or so from downtown), which is a massive surprise for me to hear.
 

Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
Solipsa said:
Interestingly, most people in my dorm (basically everyone I've talked to) absolutely hate Boston. They say there's nothing to do in Boston (including the people who live like a mile or so from downtown), which is a massive surprise for me to hear.
I have to say I agree. Boston is the closest city of over 100,000 to me, and I find very limited reasons to ever visit there. When I do, I find that there's not much more for me to do there than here in my town of 10,000.

The neighborhoods of Boston & Cambridge are wonderful to stroll around, and there's a good aquarium and museums and the freedom trail and all, but all in all, I'd say its probably a nice place to visit, but maybe not to live? After being there 5 or so times, I've found the enchantment has completely worn off.

Just my impression...
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
Solipsa said:
I haven't been to Portland, so my vote for it is very skewed.

I visited Boston/Cambridge for a few days, and I liked it though.

Interestingly, most people in my dorm (basically everyone I've talked to) absolutely hate Boston. They say there's nothing to do in Boston (including the people who live like a mile or so from downtown), which is a massive surprise for me to hear.
your friends must be pretty dull. what did they mean there was nothing to do? what were they looking for? there is lots ot do there....nice parks, world class art, science, history museums, good areas to walk around, the symphony, shopping, great restaurants and bars, sports events...
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,089
Points
54
Haven' t visited either place.
If I was to go which one should first?
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,134
Points
28
moose said:
Funny story.

Portland was very nearly named Boston when it was founded. The two founders (Lovejoy & Pettygrove) flipped a coin (each wanting to name their new town after their east coast hometown). Portland, Maine, was the winner.
Those Oregonians like naming their towns after other towns I guess. Toledo, Oregon is named after Toledo, Ohio
 

mpodemski

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
I live in Los Angeles but I have spent lots of time in both cities. Boston is more urban, because it is older and on the east coast. I would say that Portland is definitely allot hipper than Boston. The Bars and restaurants are better designed. There were also more record stores and a cooler music scene in Portland. I would say Portland is definitely one of the hippest cities in the US.
 

benk928

Cyburbian
Messages
31
Points
2
come on, now

The problem with the "there's nothing to do" argument is that it's so widespread. I assume, Solipsa, that by mentioning "dorm" you are a college student like myself. Unless you live in New York City, it seems like everyone complains about not having anything to do. No one ever asks what they would do if they could do something. I lived in Virginia Beach for a long time, and people were baffled at the fact that I didn't go to the oceanfront all the time. My friends who live in the DC area sure as hell aren't taking advantage of all the museums and culture in that area. I guess I feel like it's a weak argument, since no matter where you live, you take what you have for granted. Plus, people love to complain. :)

-Ben
 

Agcrisco

Cyburbian
Messages
34
Points
2
MaineMan said:
Much closer in size and demography!

NOT to hijack this thread or anything, but-

My vote would be for Portland Maine, but perhaps I'm biased. I, too, found Portland (OR) to be somewhat low density and modern for my tastes.

Portland, ME lacks the transit and the huge in-town park of Portland, OR, but in my opinion, boasts a much nicer and more extensive waterfront, much more beautiful architecture, denser neighborhoods, and just as many plazas and pedestrian amenities as our west-coast counterpart.

PS- if you don't like winter, move south!

NOTE: Do a google search on the population of Portland, OR. and its MSA.
 

Cirrus

Cyburbian
Messages
303
Points
11
Have not been to Portland, but if it's anything like Boulder (flashy urban design masking an above average, but still mostly modern western city), I will have to go with the old school urbanity of Boston. That everyone rides the T despite it being old and dingy and that everyone walks despite the poorly planned sidewalks speaks volumes about how Boston functions - it needs no handicap.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Rumpy Tuna said:
What is it with people on the west coast thinking that it snows 9 months out of the year in the North East?
seriously. i had friends who were amazed when i told them that it only snowed once a year in NC . . . but then they told me that NC "isn't really the east coast."
Winter in Philly is mid-december to mid-march.

I haven't been to Portland but I have a friend from San Diego who just moved there via Philly and can't stop raving about it. I will visit soon.

I like boston for it's urbanness and transit and it has a lot of great institutions but it also has some really sour people and some really bad drivers. I also think boston hipsters might outrank their NYC cousins when it comes to a "superiority" complex. Roll that all in to being a ridiculously expensive place to live and might have to go with portland (but for now i'm reserving judgement). If Portland is trying to be anything like Vancouver, BC i'll take it.

Seabishop said:
I had a hard time explaining to my wife that although people kept asking me if I wanted to buy drugs, it seemed a lot safer than other cities.
this is funny. it's also funny how people feel a place is "unsafe" if there are homeless people around. I'd heard about "agressive panhandlers" from a west coast friend but laughed it off saying "this is philly there's practically a homeless union here." When i was in Seattle two years ago this guy stood in front of us on the sidewalk and asked us if we had any change and we politely said "no, sorry" and kept walking. He followed us cursing at us as we went so we stopped and turned around and my friend, responding to one of his complaints said, "you're gonna have more problems than that if you keep following us" so he shut up and crossed the street and started doing it again.

i chalk it up to timidity. they've been getting away with it for too long and realize that people are scared of them for no real reason so they use it to their advantage.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
jresta said:
I heard about "agressive panhandlers" from a west coast friend but laughed it off saying "this is philly there's practically a homeless union here." When i was in Seattle two years ago this guy stood in front of us on the sidewalk and asked us if we had any change and we politely said "no, sorry" and kept walking. He followed us cursing at us as we went so we stopped and turned around and my friend, responding to one of his complaints said, "you're gonna have more problems than that if you keep following us" so he shut up and crossed the street and started doing it again.

i chalk it up to timidity. they've been getting away with it for too long and realize that people are scared of them for no real reason so they use it to their advantage.
My "solution" for homeless harassment during my innumerable city walks (I am an obsessive walker-although I dirve far too many miles to get to my favorite walking places) is to dress way down (SF has too many hills anyway-dress clothes would be ruined :) ) AND to bring along my (big) dogs. I've never been hassled-and most of the bums are too busy cooing over my basenji and collie mix to be harrassing me. I've never really been bothered, to be honest. They probably consider me too eccentric to bother. :)
 

Agcrisco

Cyburbian
Messages
34
Points
2
Portland History

Portland has a TON of historic buildings. The east coast is in a different league. Of course the east has more old buildings.

Among the western half of the country, Porland has a vast amount of historical buildings. Ive been up and down the west coast and Portland ranks up there with San Fran in culture and in the preservation of it. I read that alot of people find PSU as a prefurable college to go to. I wish the students and alumni would deny claims that Portland isnt historical. Yes, there are a TON of new high rises being built and already built, but that dosent mean the historic buildings are gone! Every other city is largely planned on the "American" bluprint. Portland and San Fran are highly walkable cities in which people love to walk due to the "cozy feeling" you get from the narrow and numerous blocks.
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
I'm amazed this thread is still kicking, but another 2 cents from me.

Another reaffirmation of why Portland rules: Portland is 4th in growth rate of the ever-so-important (i guess) demographic of the 25-34 year olds. That's not really the reason why it rules. The reason why it rules is that Portland is special among the cities that nurture this demographic in that about 2/3rds of these peeps settle within a 3-mile radius of Pioneer Square (aka the heart of downtown), that is, the "lifeblood" of the future of a city (whoever did this study sure puts alot of emphasis on the entrepreneurial spirit of this demographic) is settling near the urban core whereas in all other cities in the study (i think there were like 100) they were mainly suburban settlers. Way to break the status quo, Portland!

Maybe I should get my Portland pics from my visit earlier this month posted...
 

Agcrisco

Cyburbian
Messages
34
Points
2
Its been awhile sence Ive been there, so when I visited the city changed SO much. The amount of new condos that are being built, and recently built are numerous. There great condos, but if there was one thing I didnt like about them was that a good number of them looked alike. We should get used to it since theres going to be a bunch more in the south end and around the new public market.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
:-#
Solipsa said:
The reason why it rules is that Portland is special among the cities that nurture this demographic in that about 2/3rds of these peeps settle within a 3-mile radius of Pioneer Square (aka the heart of downtown), that is, the "lifeblood" of the future of a city (whoever did this study sure puts alot of emphasis on the entrepreneurial spirit of this demographic) is settling near the urban core whereas in all other cities in the study (i think there were like 100) they were mainly suburban settlers
God, you have made me feel old. I have never in my life used the term "PEEPS" in any conversation not dealing with a popular breakfast restaurant chain in Denver.

My only question would be: when the peeps starting have chicks, will they move to "better" suburban school districts?
 

VTPlanner

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Solipsa said:
I'm amazed this thread is still kicking, but another 2 cents from me.

Another reaffirmation of why Portland rules: Portland is 4th in growth rate of the ever-so-important (i guess) demographic of the 25-34 year olds. That's not really the reason why it rules. The reason why it rules is that Portland is special among the cities that nurture this demographic in that about 2/3rds of these peeps settle within a 3-mile radius of Pioneer Square (aka the heart of downtown), that is, the "lifeblood" of the future of a city (whoever did this study sure puts alot of emphasis on the entrepreneurial spirit of this demographic) is settling near the urban core whereas in all other cities in the study (i think there were like 100) they were mainly suburban settlers. Way to break the status quo, Portland!

Maybe I should get my Portland pics from my visit earlier this month posted...
Perhaps it was because I was living in New York City at the time, but when I spent a week in Portland, OR (to see if I wanted to live there), I found it incredibly beautiful yet surprisingly boring. The downtown core is modern, clean and bustling during the day, but when I went down there in the evening, it was a ghost town. The restaurants seemed to close at 9pm, and coming from New York, 9pm was almost an early dinner, we barely made it in time to get something to eat one night. I did like the fact you could go across the river and feel like you're in a smaller city or town, but again, I found that relatively boring, especially at night. I loved the beauty of the city, both inside and out of the UGB, the public transit system, but it was lacking that energy you only find in the east coast cities.
 

Agcrisco

Cyburbian
Messages
34
Points
2
VTPlanner said:
Perhaps it was because I was living in New York City at the time, but when I spent a week in Portland, OR (to see if I wanted to live there), I found it incredibly beautiful yet surprisingly boring. The downtown core is modern, clean and bustling during the day, but when I went down there in the evening, it was a ghost town. The restaurants seemed to close at 9pm, and coming from New York, 9pm was almost an early dinner, we barely made it in time to get something to eat one night. I did like the fact you could go across the river and feel like you're in a smaller city or town, but again, I found that relatively boring, especially at night. I loved the beauty of the city, both inside and out of the UGB, the public transit system, but it was lacking that energy you only find in the east coast cities.
Portland and Phoenix are among the best party destinations in the western half of the US. I dont know what days you ventured to "go out", but "Thursty Thursday" is the designated party day in Oregon. Friday and Sat. are good, but Thursday is the day. Portland is notorious for having "too many" strip clubs! In addition, it is noted for it's pubs, wine, and seting the countrie's bench mark for micro brews. I havent been to the east, but out here Portland's night life is by far not considerd boring during these three nights of the week.
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
A little bit of boosterism from Agcrisco.

During my stay in Portland, I kinda noticed a similar phenomenon. Significant parts of downtown closed down "early" (by my new-Chicago-spoiled standards), but there were a few areas that stayed hopping late (Old Town clubs, for one).

And God, you've made me feel overly young. "Peeps" has just slipped into my diction, which I suppose is a turn for the worse. Anyway, I don't really see why the "peeps" would be compelled to move to "better" suburban school districts since Lincoln High School (located right near downtown and serving the core area) is among the best (if not the best) in the Portland area. Now if they only could manage a budget for a full school year...
 

VTPlanner

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Agcrisco said:
Portland and Phoenix are among the best party destinations in the western half of the US. I dont know what days you ventured to "go out", but "Thursty Thursday" is the designated party day in Oregon. Friday and Sat. are good, but Thursday is the day. Portland is notorious for having "too many" strip clubs! In addition, it is noted for it's pubs, wine, and seting the countrie's bench mark for micro brews. I havent been to the east, but out here Portland's night life is by far not considerd boring during these three nights of the week.
I went into the heart of the downtown at 9pm and just got in the door of a restaurant as they were closing the door, and there were hardly any people in the downtown. Perhaps I was in the wrong part of town, but when i ventured to the Southeast quadrant (I think that's where it was, across the river from downtown and where the crowd is younger and has a more small town feel), I did hit a brewery, but it closed at 11pm, even in Vermont where i live now bars are open till 2pm every night of the week (not that I go often, but at least it's there). It just seemed to me that the downtown was really the business center with some upscale shopping, at night it was completely dead. Again, perhaps it was because I was coming from New York City, but the city didn't seem to have much energy at night. I think your impression of "nightlife" would change instantly with a trip to NYC. I also hear similar complaints from from East coasters going west. However, you will never find the natural beauty of quality of life outside New York City that seemed to evident in the Portland area.
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
751
Points
21
even though I voted for Boston in the poll........

For all you Chi-town, NYC'ers, next time you're in Stumptown consider migrating to the 20th-40th blocks of SE Belmont & SE Hawthorne for nightlife that goes beyond 11 PM. IMHO Portland's best clubs are intermingled in the SE/NE 'hoods. That's what makes Portland, well, Portland. With some exceptions, downtown isn't really the best spot for late night antics. Try the Space Room or Dots or any corner pub in the SE/NE neighborhoods that looks lively and you should be set. Man, this thread is making me thirsty... :b: - mmmmm, porter.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
plankton said:
For all you Chi-town, NYC'ers, next time you're in Stumptown consider migrating to the 20th-40th blocks of SE Belmont & SE Hawthorne for nightlife that goes beyond 11 PM. IMHO Portland's best clubs are intermingled in the SE/NE 'hoods. That's what makes Portland, well, Portland. With some exceptions, downtown isn't really the best spot for late night antics. Try the Space Room or Dots or any corner pub in the SE/NE neighborhoods that looks lively and you should be set. Man, this thread is making me thirsty... :b: - mmmmm, porter.
If you were in downtown Manhattan looking for clubs or late night eats - or street life for that matter - people would laugh then point you uptown. I didn't see a whole lot of nightlife inside the loop in Chicago either but i figured out rather quickly that most of it was north of downtown. Similarly, the nightlife in Philly is concentrated along the river, nowhere near the office towers and condos.
 

Agcrisco

Cyburbian
Messages
34
Points
2
Im sure everyone would agree that the east coast is in another league than the west coast. It also aplys to lots of other things including night life. No one can seriously compare New York and Boston to Portland. Moreover, I dont think everyone whos been to Portland knows where to go. There is in fact a thriving night life in Portland. Just off of the top of my head, I know of two large gay night clubs which span two sides of two blocks. Give me a call and ill show you around on Thur Fri or Sat.
 

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
Yeah, I definitely did quite a bit of strolling on Hawthorne. It's kind of awe-inspiring to have so many funky locales with a huge hill (mt. tabor?) in the background. (EDIT: since my two main homes, chitown and dallas, are very very very flat)

I don't think many big cities have impressive nightlives in their CBD. It seems office development isn't terribly favorable to night clubs and the like.
 
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