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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:23 PM
Chisouthside Chisouthside is offline
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DTLA is definitely dense and getting denser. I think downtown San Jose is actually closer to what people envision when they think of Downtown LA without having visited. DTSJ feels more sparse and boring with a lot of empty lots and low rises. Downtown LA on the other hand feels more dense and active and it's only getting better.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:28 PM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
For sure--once you leave metro Chicago the density quickly turns positively hicktown rural. That's even worse in Indiana because when you head to Wisconsin you still have Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee.

But NW Indiana is positively rural, and quite depressing outside of the Indiana Dunes and some of the cool steel mills.

LA is nothing at all like that. It never gets rural until you get REALLY REALLY the hell far away
Yea, I just drove to 6 Flags Great America on I-294 from Midway. It's a long, long way as well and you never leave the burbs.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:28 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ You obviously have limited experience with this.

I've spent years driving around Chicagoland, and I can tell you that it can often be maddening. Sure there are lucky days/times, but for the most part it can take quite a while to traverse the region via the Illinois tollway and get to the other side.

Now I'm not interested in some silly pissing match about which region takes longer to drive through--so I'll concede that NY and LA are definitely worse. But the notion that you can get from Chicago to its outskirts "in a heartbeat" is just ludicrous.
Yes, Chicago has shitacular traffic but the distance from the Loop to the country is surprisingly short given Chicagoland's size. We drove from Chicago to SW Michigan to drink wonderful beer last week and I noticed how fast the 'city' drops off.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:32 PM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Yea, you go from city to country quick, going east. It's very bizarre.
Like, where the hell are the suburbs in Indiana? I'm sure they're there, but you just don't see it.
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:35 PM
Handro Handro is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yea, you go from city to country quick, going east. It's very bizarre.
Like, where the hell are the suburbs in Indiana? I'm sure they're there, but you just don't see it.
I don't know, in my head I always forget Indiana is considered part of the metro and I've lived in Chicagoland my entire life. South, West and North you feel the population, but it really does drop off like a cliff at the IN border.
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:36 PM
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Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yea, you go from city to country quick, going east. It's very bizarre.
Like, where the hell are the suburbs in Indiana? I'm sure they're there, but you just don't see it.
NW indiana, particularly the part that the indiana toll road goes through, is largely industrial wastelands. gigantic steel mills, huge refineries, vast fields of long-ago abandoned slag, etc.

it's one of the most industrially-scarred landscapes in the nation.

but Lake County, IN is home to nearly a half million people, so they are there, but not always apparent from the expressways through all of the industry.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:38 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yea, you go from city to country quick, going east. It's very bizarre.
Like, where the hell are the suburbs in Indiana? I'm sure they're there, but you just don't see it.
The "suburbs" in Indiana are all north, hugging Lake Michigan, far from I-94.

But that's okay, because if you indeed paid attention while going on this trip you'll have noticed that there are other "special" attractions being advertised for many a lonely traveler along the way...
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:39 PM
Chisouthside Chisouthside is offline
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Originally Posted by Handro View Post
I don't know, in my head I always forget Indiana is considered part of the metro and I've lived in Chicagoland my entire life. South, West and North you feel the population, but it really does drop off like a cliff at the IN border.
once you pass east chicago into gary it definitely drops off but when taking the highway to Michigan you bypass alot of the suburbs located south of Gary. Even Gary at it's southern border is not as bombed out as the area adjacent to the highway.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:41 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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LA was city-suburb for like 3 hours before it started to feel like countryside, and traffic was relatively light at the time. Even NYC seems like you hit the hinterlands sooner than LA.
Yeah, distance wise, L.A. stretches on farther in some ways. Manhattan to the Poconos is roughly 80 miles, and the Poconos is about 20-30 miles into the hinterlands. Downtown L.A. to San Bernadino looks to be about 60-65 miles, and feels very suburban the entire way. But going north on I-5, L.A.'s urbanity does seem to drop off closer to the city than other directions.

Of course, if you go north or south on I-95 from Manhattan, there are hardly any hinterlands between Boston and Northern Virginia.
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:44 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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I would also add that if you want to "see" the NW Indiana burbs a bit better (which is a strange thing to be interested in--they aren't pretty unless you're into post-industrial porn), you should take the I-90 tollway instead of I-94 next time you're in the area.

Most people take I-94 so they aren't going to experience that.
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 8:33 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
NW indiana, particularly the part that the indiana toll road goes through, is largely industrial wastelands. gigantic steel mills, huge refineries, vast fields of long-ago abandoned slag, etc.

it's one of the most industrially-scarred landscapes in the nation.

but Lake County, IN is home to nearly a half million people, so they are there, but not always apparent from the expressways through all of the industry.
We'd go to Chicago a lot when my family lived in Cincinnati and I remember my brother and I begging my dad to figure out a way to get us there without having to drive through Gary because the smell was terrible. My fuzzy memory of these instances is that one minute, we're driving through cornfields, then all of a sudden we were heading northbound on the Dan Ryan...
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 8:56 PM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Yeah, distance wise, L.A. stretches on farther in some ways. Manhattan to the Poconos is roughly 80 miles, and the Poconos is about 20-30 miles into the hinterlands. Downtown L.A. to San Bernadino looks to be about 60-65 miles, and feels very suburban the entire way. But going north on I-5, L.A.'s urbanity does seem to drop off closer to the city than other directions.

Of course, if you go north or south on I-95 from Manhattan, there are hardly any hinterlands between Boston and Northern Virginia.
Yes, it drops off on I-5 in the northern LA stretches, but that's mostly due to getting into the mountain communities. They're developed, but they're less dense/quieter than the rest of LA burbs. It feels much further away from the city than it actually is (by LA standards anyway). Once you leave Burbank, you're getting into the outskirts.
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 8:58 PM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I would also add that if you want to "see" the NW Indiana burbs a bit better (which is a strange thing to be interested in--they aren't pretty unless you're into post-industrial porn), you should take the I-90 tollway instead of I-94 next time you're in the area.

Most people take I-94 so they aren't going to experience that.
It's more out of curiousity than anything .
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 10:59 PM
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If you're just looking at core to core, Chicago feels like a much bigger and important city than LA. But if you look at the metro level, or even just driving from one end of the city to the other, it's pretty clear that LA is substantially larger. LA just doesn't end, and nearly every parcel in the entire basin and surrounding valleys is built out. DTLA still feels woefully undersized and definitely a TON rougher around the edges than our peer cities' downtowns, though it has gotten a lot better and continues to improve. There are some big projects underway right now, but DTLA still has a ways to go before it can really be mentioned in the same breath as center city Chicago or even SF. It will be interesting to see if the 3 new subway stops from the regional connector project will spur new growth. They don't seem to be located in places that will have much impact, but we'll see. While I appreciate the grit and vintage vibe the Historic Core has today, I'd absolutely love to see the area clean and economically vibrant, and the theaters restored to their original uses on Broadway.
The Bunker hill stop is a block from the Grand ave project and the Colburn expansion. The 2nd and Broadway station will have the two, 50 story towers by Onni at the former LA Times parking lot, the 40 story tower on top of the new station and a couple blocks from both Grand Ave and the Civic center, which will be getting a new park and several new highrises. Not much going in near the new Arts District / Little Tokyo station though, but its mostly built out in that area
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 11:09 PM
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Interestingly enough, you can actually drive north / east and be in a national forest (Angeles National Forest, which are the San Gabriels you see behind the skyline / Rose Bowl covered in snow and is approximately 700,000 acres) within 30 min of Downtown LA and if you continue up another 30 min, you'll be in an alpine forest at 8000 plus feet. However, North and South from Downtown LA stretches forever.
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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 2:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Yes, Chicago has shitacular traffic but the distance from the Loop to the country is surprisingly short given Chicagoland's size. We drove from Chicago to SW Michigan to drink wonderful beer last week and I noticed how fast the 'city' drops off.
Of course the city drops off, you are at the Indiana border not far from the cities southern corporation limits.Another thing about Chicago is that it is in the Midwest, but it is dense and resembles a more East coast feel because of the way the housing is constructed and the bustle is continual. When I lived in L.A it was a huge city, but I always felt like I was in suburbia. I guess that is a part of the attraction for many.
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 3:33 AM
Emprise du Lion Emprise du Lion is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yea, you go from city to country quick, going east. It's very bizarre.
Like, where the hell are the suburbs in Indiana? I'm sure they're there, but you just don't see it.
State borders are definitely more than just arbitrary lines in the sand in most multi-state metro areas.

In my native St. Louis you can see similar developmental drop off once you cross into Illinois, albeit on a smaller metro level.

Downtown St. Louis is literally sitting on the state line, the Mississippi River, and yet there are random cornfields in Illinois in between the cities and towns in the Metro East (the Illinois suburbs) with views of Arch that are closer to downtown St. Louis than St. Louis' own inner ring suburbs are in Missouri. Illinois just never saw the same level of development due to the state divide, the river, etc.
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 4:17 AM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Driving from Chicago, it's a pretty quick drive to the hinterlands of Indiana, especially when there is no traffic. It takes a couple of hours to feel like you've hit the hinterlands when driving from downtown L.A. or Manhattan under even light traffic. A normal traffic jam in either city will easily make a trip to the countryside a 4- or 5-hour drive.
Ah yes, the 4-5 hour drive to the country side, very true.

I find its easier to enter the city, but harder to escape it. When one is on the BQE/Belt Parkway/Cross-Bronx/LIC Expressway ... there's a thing called NYC special relativity that kicks in. When sitting in mind numbing traffic, time slows down. 20 minute delays feel like an hour. Hour long delays feel like 3 hours. Usually time slows down the faster one goes, but remember, this is NYC special relativity. There's a difference!!!

This relativity even effects the traffic lights. The green light seems to turn red very quickly. The transition from yellow to red occurs in fractions of a second. And just when you start moving... you gain momentum... only to find yourself in another hour long delay.

And thats just normal traffic on any given weekday... the horror that awaits those pre-holiday days where it seems like everyone is on the road.
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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 4:45 AM
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Of course the city drops off, you are at the Indiana border not far from the cities southern corporation limits.Another thing about Chicago is that it is in the Midwest, but it is dense and resembles a more East coast feel because of the way the housing is constructed and the bustle is continual. When I lived in L.A it was a huge city, but I always felt like I was in suburbia. I guess that is a part of the attraction for many.
State line doesn't mean much when it comes to metro areas. The fact that the city of Chicago almost borders Indiana, you'd think the 'city' would go on for several miles in that direction, not taper off pretty dramatically. Then again. that side of town isn't exactly attractive much like here in Houston where it also tapers off on the east side much quicker than it does in the other directions. I'm 30 miles north of downtown and in the suburbs. 30 miles east of downtown is quasi rural.
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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2019, 6:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Emprise du Lion View Post
State borders are definitely more than just arbitrary lines in the sand in most multi-state metro areas.

In my native St. Louis you can see similar developmental drop off once you cross into Illinois, albeit on a smaller metro level.

Downtown St. Louis is literally sitting on the state line, the Mississippi River, and yet there are random cornfields in Illinois in between the cities and towns in the Metro East (the Illinois suburbs) with views of Arch that are closer to downtown St. Louis than St. Louis' own inner ring suburbs are in Missouri. Illinois just never saw the same level of development due to the state divide, the river, etc.
It's an even starker contrast in Memphis, granted, in an even smaller metro area. But downtown Memphis sits right on the Arkansas state line, but aside from maybe one town it is literally nothing but rural land for miles immediately on the other side of the river. Take a look at this old stock photo for example... literally nothing over there... it's kind of bizarre:

Untitled by wcm1111, on Flickr
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