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Friendly vs. Not-so-friendly Cities

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
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25
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.
 
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Messages
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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.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
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17,836
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59
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.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
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.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Dan said:
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.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
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3,904
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25
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!
 
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BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
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.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
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
 

jmf

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
17
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).
 

sthooligan

Member
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5
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0
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.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
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.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
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.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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3,838
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25
jmf said:
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.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
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.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
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3,904
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25
Michael Stumpf said:
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.
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
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
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
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).
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
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.
 

cnyOntario

Member
Messages
64
Points
4
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.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
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
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
Huston said:
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.
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
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24
plannerkat said:
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.
 

Sue

Member
Messages
21
Points
2
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!
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Agree with you about Philadelphia, Sue, and Missoula may be cool but. . .

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

(Just Kidding)
 

Sue

Member
Messages
21
Points
2
I live about 75 miles from missoulie.
Once an ol' lady made some sort of reference and patted her purse at a zoning meeting.
I'm not afraid of her I'm from Philly! Heehee.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Out of some the places I've been to:

Seattle: friendly

Oklahoma City: friendly, good samaritan friendly, and laid-back

Washington D.C.: mixed-bag, but that's because the entire city is a mixed bag; different strokes for different folks

Austin: friendly, but seemingly self-conscious of its "hip"ness

Dallas: Boston of the Southwest, and it's not even justified

Memphis: friendly, maybe except for Germantown, its version of Beverly Hills (that's right)

Cleveland: down-to-earth, but I wouldn't say friendly exactly
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
oulevin said:


Memphis: friendly, maybe except for Germantown, its version of Beverly Hills (that's right)

That’s funny. I have never heard it put that way, but you got it right. They “think” they live in Beverly Hills even though it is nothing more than sprawl with lots of square footage.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
New York - I don't think people are polite by any means but are def. more than helpful if you approach them properly.

Philly - the only big city i've been to where people say "hi" when walking down the street. It's a lot more laid back than NYC or NJ.
Aside from the AM or PM commute I almost always strike up a conversation on the bus or train if i'm travelling alone.

Charleston - I lived here for a year (in North Chuck) and people are polite and eager to exchange pleasantries but beyond that there are lots of bitter, nasty people - locals all. The "yankee transplants" live mostly in Mt. Pleasant and Isle of Palms and the only place you really bump into them is downtown. I think Columbia is much more laid back and friendly although maybe not as polite up front.

Boston - every local that i've met from there that I didn't have a connection with was for the most part pretty anti-social. It reminds me more of being in London where if you don't know the person you don't look at them or talk to them.

I definitely think that how you approach people has a lot to do with the response you get from people no matter where you are and I also think the amount of auto traffic people deal with has a direct bearing on their temperment. My blood pressure has gone way done since I gave up the tailpipe.
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
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24
jresta said:
I definitely think that how you approach people has a lot to do with the response you get from people no matter where you are...
Did I read on a post one time that you lived in Miss.? How did you find the people there? I used to live there (Oxford) and I think the niceness has spoiled me for the rest of my life, in comparison everyone else is now perceived as mean. However, being a college town, this was (I am sure) a skewed perception of reality.

Anyway, what did you think?
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
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3,904
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25
jresta said:
New York - I don't think people are polite by any means but are def. more than helpful if you approach them properly.


Charleston - I lived here for a year (in North Chuck) and people are polite and eager to exchange pleasantries but beyond that there are lots of bitter, nasty people - locals all. The "yankee transplants" live mostly in Mt. Pleasant and Isle of Palms and the only place you really bump into them is downtown. I think Columbia is much more laid back and friendly although maybe not as polite up front.
Living in North Chuck was your first mistake. Definitely the armpit of the Low Country. The only reason we ever went there was because we were forced to drive through on the way Upstate. What were you doing there?
I lived downtown and on James Island during my stint there and found the James Island people to be very friendly.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I forgot to mention one very unfriendly town, Moundsville, West Virginia. Well, I don't know if the whole town was unfriendly, but they make a really bad first impression. I was sightseeing hrough the area on my way to Wheeling and no sonner than I get into Moundsville does a town cop get behind me. I don't know if it was my out of state tags or what but I was followed the entire time I was in town. I even tried circling blocks and turning around in a parking lot to make sure I wasn't being paranoid. That's one place I will never return to.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
I feel like I need to defend Boston at this point. I admitted that people here are a bit cold, but they are not mean or antisocial. I think most folks here are willing to help each other, give directions to strangers, etc - you just can't expect everyone to be warm and cuddly when you walk down the street. It's a big expensive city, you never really feel any palpable warmth in any big city I've ever been in anyway. That's what small towns are for.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Huston - I never lived in Miss. I've lived in VA, NC, SC, and GA - that's it for the south.

Biscuit - I actually lived in Hanahan (aka Klanahan) and chose it because it's what i could afford. I worked downtown, actually at the ad agency upstairs from Banana Republic on King St, and didn't find people to be much different.

I don't know if it's my accent that led people to treat me differently(no one could ever tell where i was from they just knew i wasn't southern) but i've always found the whole "southern hospitality" thing to be very superficial.

. . . ohh and on that note. I moved to Charleston with my girlfriend whose mom is from Cuba and dad is from Poland. Growing up in NJ she didn't think of herself as anything else but another white girl. Man did they have it in for her.

at one job interview -
"peeeerkooooowskiii? is that jewish?"

at another also referring to her ethnicity-
"what are yewww?"

It was someone with dark hair and dark eyes who wasn't quite "white" but spoke in a definitively middle-class, white girl kind of way that totally threw off the over 40 crowd.

the black dudes loved her.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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18,287
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44
Montana

The cool thing about Montana is you can still drive with an open container of alcohol. That's friendly!!!
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
Philladelphia has gotten a lot of positives! I'm now feeling obligated to visit.

I personally love Austin. My favorite place thus far.
I lived in Dallas for a while and it's disgusting. Rude drivers, shallow people ie. who can boast the biggest SUV and biggest boobies! all the while being a soccer mom.
St. Louis people are both hot and cold. Kind of an extreme at either ends. Rude and s.l.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.w.w.w.w drivers.
St. Louis suburbs I've found to be very similar to the Dallas/Plano thing minus the boobies. There's this "high school" thing going on in St. Louis. First question is always "What high school did you go to?"<-- seems to tell your family history or something.
San Diego was great, loved it there.
Boston-cold.
New York- cold but intriguiging.
Chicago- warm but something strange.....can't place it.
Oklahoma City, Tulsa.....did you know you can actually buy LIVE BAIT from a vending machine??
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
bet on me...I didn't know that...maybe you can show me exactly where those machines are
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
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6,377
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29
Humm seems we have had this thread before and I stood up for DC
I love it here-the people seem very willing to help a stranger becouse everyone is from somewhere else. Its a very transitional town so that does change things but there is a good bit of southern charm.

Atlanta seems stuck up with no reason to be
Orlando is horrid-tourist and rednecks
Biloxi was even worse

Chicago was wonderful and so is Philly
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
My take

Unfriendly,
Beaumont, Texas if you are anything other than lilly white.
Big D. - Sucks
Oklahoma City if you have out of state tags.
France - May I live to see you suffer at the hands of a pissed USA.


Friendly.
Manhattan, Kansas - Nice party time college town.
Amsterdam, Netherlands. See Manhatan KS and add hookers and dope.
London - I had a great time there and everyone was just warm as could be. They used the F bomb more than I thought they would. Little old ladies said it more than I ever expected.
Bahrain, Bahrain - Yankee spend, spend spend.
KC
Munchen, FRG.
Prague, CZ
Antwerp, BG
Luxembourg, LX
Indy, IN
 

Beesball

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
Having lived in some of these places...

Atlanta: Exceedingly friendly, and shockingly so for a "yankee." I mean, people actually spoke to each other in stores! Having said that, the upper-class suburbs (e.g. Buckhead) are quite class-conscious, and their polite southern veneer doesn't hide their distaste for the outsider.

Washington DC: My hometown, and the least friendly city I've ever lived in. People here are just plain mean. Every social situation is viewed as a forum to see who has more clout.

St. Louis: The High School comment is so incredibly true and funny as hell. Was lots of fun being the only Jew in my high school there. No, we don't have horns...

SF Bay: I get the sense that it used to be a really friendly (if somewhat self-absorbed) place. But by the time I got there, the Sili Valley computer billionaires had taken over, sapping the region of all of its social charm (not to mention independent coffee houses, non-chain restaurants...) At least it's still pretty to look at.
 

chazbet

Member
Messages
9
Points
0
My experience:
Friendly :
KC/Kansas in general. Everyone says, "Have a great day" like they mean it. Took me a while to get used to it.
Chicago. A little bit of big city self-protectiveness like someone else mentioned but unpretentious and down to earth.
North Carolina. Not outgoing/extroverted the way the midwest is but very polite and cordial when you have a chance to break the ice.

Unfriendly :
DC. There's an old joke about it being the city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency. It's true.
Boston: Not awful, but still has New England reserve.
Baltimore. Worst city of all. If you're not from there; people are uncomprehending and incurious.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,836
Points
59
Beesball said:
St. Louis: The High School comment is so incredibly true and funny as hell. Was lots of fun being the only Jew in my high school there. No, we don't have horns...
St. Louis seems to be famous for that. I haven't encountered it in Kansas City, really. I think more folks here are from outside the area, although not that far outside.

The vast majority of folks living in the Buffalo area are natives, so you'll occasionally get the "what high school did you go to?" question. The question that's posted more often, though -- expecially if you have an ethnically ambiguous last name -- is "so, what are ya'?" (If you're in Cheektowaga, it's "so der, what are ya der?")
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
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24
PlannerGirl said:

Atlanta seems stuck up with no reason to be
Well it is a pretty big feet to get burned to the ground and then turn around and end up on top as one the, if not the, Country's greatest city!
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
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25
jresta said:

Boston - every local that i've met from there that I didn't have a connection with was for the most part pretty anti-social. It reminds me more of being in London where if you don't know the person you don't look at them or talk to them.
I guess that's why I don't consider Boston rude - its just normal for me to not greet or be greeted by strangers. I don't know how I'd handle living in the south where everyone is so dang friendly. I've been told the questions from strangers can get to you after a while and just seem nosey. But then again, I need to travel for myself and stop relying on the experience of others.
 
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