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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:12 AM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
LOL, right on cue.

How dare anyone compare LA to any less glamourus city?

Try again. The links I posted are in LA's historic core, considered to be gritty.
Far from glamourus.

It's pretty obvious to most LA doesn't resemble the other sun belt cities. It might have things in common, like car dependency and multiple job centers, but thats about it.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:17 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Try again. The links I posted are in LA's historic core, considered to be gritty.
Far from glamrous.

I just find it funny Texans like to compare . It's pretty obvious to most they don't look the same.
I'm only half Texan. I spent almost as much of my childhood out there as I did down here. Anywho, I think I made it clear a few posts ago that LA is distinct from any other Sun Belt cities despite any cosmetic similarities.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
It's interesting how to the uninitiated or non-horticultural among us, the presence of sumac trees in he summer can give a pseudo-tropical feel to northern climes where you wouldn't expect it.
I've always liked the look of sumac trees too. Sometimes they're purposely grown as garden plants but you'll also see them scattered around all kinds of places, in the margins of neighborhoods, by roadsides, parking lots, and in parks and forest edges.

Sumac fruit in powdered form as a spice is used in Middle Eastern cuisines -- one of the Mediterranean/southern European species of sumac is used as one of the ingredients in za'atar spice mix. Native peoples in North America also consumed the berries of some edible sumac species -- those of the staghorn sumac found in Ontario and Quebec, and the northeast US can be ground, strained and used to make syrup for a pink lemonade. Though on the other hand, there's also a species of sumac, the poison sumac in North America that's toxic and causes rashes (more so than even poison ivy) found in wet swampy soil.

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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
(They're also gorgeous fire engine red in the autumn.)

The word 'sumac' traces its etymology from Old French sumac (13th century), from Mediaeval Latin sumach, from Arabic summāq (سماق), from Syriac summāq (ܣܡܘܩ)- meaning "red".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumac#Etymology
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:23 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
So you backtracked and basically agree with me now.
How did I backtrack? I said LA had a few minor similarities to some Sun Belt cities but is a world of its own and not really all that similar to any place.

I just laugh at the idea that some (fully) LA people think it's impossible that it can look or feel like any other Sun Belt city in any way. It's just too big and distinct (especially culturally) to be fairly analogized to any other not just Sun Belt city but US city (except maybe New York).
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
LOL, right on cue.

How dare anyone compare LA to any less glamourus city?
This thread began with folks discussing the visual nuances between the Great Lakes cities, pointing out differences in architecture and natural, built environments.

Based on those three categories, how does one think LA and Atlanta even remotely resemble each other? They're polar opposites. The only things these two cities really have in common are that they have warm weather and are generally characterized using vague terms like "spread out," "car-oriented," and "suburban." Otherwise, you can also find plenty of McMansions and strip malls in places like New Jersey; Fairfax County, VA; and Naperville, IL. And acting as if all suburbs are one in the same is intellectually lazy and irresponsible. Are all skyscraper districts or rowhouse neighborhoods the same?

Furthermore, why have multiple people readily dismissed geographic landscape (i.e. "without the hills")? Topography and climate are endemic to particular regions, and they influence these "stylistic differences." Yeah, let's just disregard the hilly terrain of SF or the fact that Manhattan is an island.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:54 AM
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Yup.

And the guy who compared Houston to LA cherry picked a couple of skyscraper blocks, that can be found in many cities.

i just found that to be an odd comparison.

Downtown LA is hard to compare to anything. It's not as built up and vibrant as NYC, Chicago, SF, Boston, Philly etc but it's older and denser than almost everywhere else.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:57 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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@Quixote

Topography (and every now and again, political geography) has to be so dramatic that it makes all the difference in the world. You're either in Manhattan or not, there's literally no gray area as you see in LA or countless other places. You're either in Washington DC or not. Meanwhile, with a place like Atlanta, how can you tell sometimes between the suburbs and city?

Yes, Atlanta has hills compared to the pancake flat Houston but it's not surrounded by water like San Francisco nor does it have distinguishing features like a street grid laid out over very steep hills, bridges in multiple directions, unique public transportation or architecture not often found in even its co-anchor cities, let alone in its metro as a whole. It's pretty obvious when you leave a few cities, such as San Francisco. Not so much in a typical Sun Belt city and that includes Houston.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:37 AM
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A *trained* eye can tell the difference between Atlanta and, say, Dallas. Atlanta tends to look more rural, Dallas extremely manicured. Differentiating between Atlanta and Charlotte or suburban DC is much trickier.

I'll agree with you about SF; it can't pass for anywhere else. Manhattan is also one of a kind, but show people a picture of the Chicago Loop and tell them it's NYC... most would believe you. Show someone a picture of a random Philadelphia neighborhood and tell them it's Baltimore... he/she likely wouldn't blink.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:42 AM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yup.

And the guy who compared Houston to LA cherry picked a couple of skyscraper blocks, that can be found in many cities.

i just found that to be an odd comparison.

Downtown LA is hard to compare to anything. It's not as built up and vibrant as NYC, Chicago, SF, Boston, Philly etc but it's older and denser than almost everywhere else.
It's funny because I think the particular street lio45 chose (Grand Avenue through Bunker Hill) with the tall skyscrapers, WDCH, Broad, palm trees, and mountains in the distance is a dead giveaway. The mere sight of a hill should tell you that it's not Houston, Dallas, Miami, or Phoenix.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
It's funny because I think the particular street lio45 chose (Grand Avenue through Bunker Hill) with the tall skyscrapers, WDCH, Broad, palm trees, and mountains in the distance is a dead giveaway.
That means I didn't cherry-pick enough then

(I just selected areas that I recalled I found surprisingly similar, and put the street view in them.)

The argument "someone who knows the city by heart will immediately be able to tell this view is City X and not City Y" does not invalidate at all City X looking like City Y.

And also, while I was exploring "the CBD" of LA (finding it surprisingly sterile for a city that size), my main focus wasn't how the mountains in the distance allow to distinguish the Sunbelt-Style Office Towers built form from Houston's... hope that's understandable? I generally find architecture to be more interesting and less interchangeable than distant mountains.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:50 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
A *trained* eye can tell the difference between Atlanta and, say, Dallas. Atlanta tends to look more rural, Dallas extremely manicured. Differentiating between Atlanta and Charlotte or suburban DC is much trickier.

I'll agree with you about SF; it can't pass for anywhere else. Manhattan is also one of a kind, but show people a picture of the Chicago Loop and tell them it's NYC... most would believe you. Show someone a picture of a random Philadelphia neighborhood and tell them it's Baltimore... he/she likely wouldn't blink.
I can tell the difference between different Sun Belt cities. It doesn't take a genius or even someone who hangs out on a website like this. It doesn't mean there aren't some striking similarities. No two places are exactly the same, how often do I have to explain that?
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:51 AM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
The mere sight of a hill should tell you that it's not Houston
"The built form looks like Houston's, but with hills" would be my point.

Hey, I've got an even better characteristic to look for than hills: license plates. If most of them say "California", you're in LA; if most of them say "Texas" you're in Houston. Very reliable!
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:53 AM
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I believe that cities in different regions of the country/ continent share characteristics while still being distinct. Sort of like what I was trying to show in my "Urban Analogues" thread.


The Great Lakes cities share some characteristics while still distinct. Even different parts of the Great Lakes are distinct. Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland, and even Detroit are not as flat and more Eastern than Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

Half of the West Coast (California) is part of the Sun Belt (Which is just all of the states that are in the southern half of the country. However, California developed before much of the rest. It had a good resource (gold) to attract people and people stayed and came for the weather and the economic opportunities that it grew to provide (oil, film, tech, food, etc). San Francisco developed largely before the world wars and is built in a dense fashion that is similar to the Northeast but unique in its own way. Los Angeles developed greatly prewar and interwar but reached its prominence afterwards. Even then, it has a dense suburban layout that gives people space and is continuous.


The dense suburban layout is something I have only seen in Southern California, the Bay Area, and South Florida. I'm also sure it may exist in the Texas metros. Outside of Florida, the Southeast is mainly just downtown areas surrounded by houses on acres of land like Atlanta and Charlotte.


I would argue that Miami and South Florida is distinct like others have mentioned. Outside of New Orleans, no other metro breaks out of the mold like South Florida. From West Palm Beach to possibly Dadeland, there is a continuous dense suburban layout that you can only observe in Long Island, NY, Southern California, and the Bay Area. In some ways, it's more similar to a Latin American or South Asian urban area than a Southern one in some respects.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:56 AM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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The dense suburban layout only exist in certain parts of Houston. It admittedly is rare and in certain cases isn't even in Houston proper but instead a city like "West University Place," for example.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:57 AM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yup.

And the guy who compared Houston to LA cherry picked a couple of skyscraper blocks, that can be found in many cities.

i just found that to be an odd comparison.
Actually that type of big 1980s glass skyscraper blocks on a square grid screams "Sunbelt" to the Northeasterner I am. That's what I'm saying. It can be found in newer cities, and it's what makes the CBDs of LA and Houston very similar to me.

Drop the little orange street view guy in Boston (random spot) and see if it looks like LA or Houston.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 4:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post

Based on those three categories, how does one think LA and Atlanta even remotely resemble each other?
Atlanta is starting to resemble LA.

Like LA, Atlanta started off suburban, but has grown to the point where it's at capacity and has to build up. There are a LOT of new midrises, highrises and lowrises around the city, to the point where its starting to push the limit of suburbia. There are intersections where the highrises are bunched up and forming canyons. The traffic is worse than LA too, on the freeway and the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/zoeNQi3qMdQ2 - Put some Palm Trees in this shot and it could double for an LA satellite city, or a city along Ventura Blvd. Like LA, the new construction in Atlanta is very colorful and outrageous. It has to get motorists attention. Peachtree is becoming the counterpart to Wilshire and there are ethnic burbs like LA. I'd say that ATL is more similar to suburban DC though.

LA is grittier though. LA is grittier than any sunbelt city not on the West Coast by far. LA has a very worn out look to it in most of the city. Its misleading if you look at footage or drive by fast. When you look closer you see all sorts of dingy, stained sidewalks, hand made signs, buildings with bars on the windows with stucco crumbling, and trash in some areas that's as bad or worse than any East Coast city. There's just too many streets with too much stuff going on across LA to compare it. This shot right here is something you'll only find in LA:

https://goo.gl/maps/BYCWXPicZRt - The density of stores is like that of a walkable neighborhood in an East Coast city, though there are virtually no people walking.

Your average LA block could have
- a few 1 story buildings right up to the sidewalk
- a 2 story strip mall with 45 stores
- a Dennys
- a 10 story indoor mall/movie theater complex with obnoxious signs
- a neo futuristic 80s bank with some bizarre outdoor Palm tree showcase
- a giant neon chicken advertising a car wash
- a glass and steel Chipotle with outdoor seating overlooking the car wash
- a Mattress Warehouse with 6 clashing colors of paint used on its facade
- a blue and white stucco Korean electronics store
- a few single family homes that date back to when it was a small town
- and then the odd 1930's walkup apartment building just to throw it off.

And it will still feel gritty and seedy somehow. No rhyme or reason, its Amazing. Its a bizarre Twilight Zone city. And it's not just this picture, its nearly every other street that's like this. That's why it rarely feels quiet, traffic everywhere you go, everywhere. LA is not suburbia. Its Cyborgsuburbia.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 5:15 AM
yaletown_fella yaletown_fella is offline
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Originally Posted by IrishIllini View Post
In terms of built environment, architecture, geography, etc. Every major city on the Great Lakes is built on a grid. All have or had strong cores. They're all fairly flat. Is there any other region with such a defining development pattern?

Great Lakes Cities
Chicago
Cleveland
Detroit
Milwaukee
Toronto
Toronto is less centralized than Chicago. It is the most multi nodular of all the cities.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 5:20 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
The argument "someone who knows the city by heart will immediately be able to tell this view is City X and not City Y" does not invalidate at all City X looking like City Y.
It actually kinda does, if the differences are notable enough. But what qualifies as "notable" varies from person to person, as does level of observance. And you don't necessarily have to be an "expert" to pick up on those differences.

Quote:
And also, while I was exploring "the CBD" of LA (finding it surprisingly sterile for a city that size), my main focus wasn't how the mountains in the distance allow to distinguish the Sunbelt-Style Office Towers built form from Houston's... hope that's understandable? I generally find architecture to be more interesting and less interchangeable than distant mountains.
First, I'd like to say that your Houston comparison was actually flattering to LA. That's a nice street in Downtown Houston.

But I couldn't disagree more with your point, especially if we're talking about CBDs with postmodern office towers; those are hardly distinctive. It's the reason why the Chicago Loop can pass for Gotham in the Dark Knight. "Oh, lots of tall modern buildings! It must be New York!"

I'm a very visual person in general, and I don't find man-made environments more "interesting" than natural environments (or vice versa). If I'm traveling to a new place, I'll look at the architecture, landscaping, signage, businesses, people, etc.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 5:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
I can tell the difference between different Sun Belt cities. It doesn't take a genius or even someone who hangs out on a website like this. It doesn't mean there aren't some striking similarities. No two places are exactly the same, how often do I have to explain that?
First you said they were "clones."

Then you said they were "fraternal twins."

Then you pretty much made my point for me.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 5:27 AM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Actually that type of big 1980s glass skyscraper blocks on a square grid screams "Sunbelt" to the Northeasterner I am. That's what I'm saying. It can be found in newer cities, and it's what makes the CBDs of LA and Houston very similar to me.

Drop the little orange street view guy in Boston (random spot) and see if it looks like LA or Houston.
But that's the thing. You've picked a couple of blocks and used a comparison for the entire downtowns' from that. It's just weird. That block doesn't represent downtown LA. It's actually one of the least interesting parts. That will change in the future, but it's hardly an area Angeleno's hang out at right now.

I'm sure someone from Baltimore or Pittsburgh can pick out a block or two that's similar to Manhattan. Hell, you can do that with LA. That doesn't mean those places are like NYC.

The storefronts in LA's older areas don't resemble Houston, Atlanta or Dallas for one.

Last edited by LA21st; Jan 28, 2018 at 5:38 AM.
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