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  #101  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:00 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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@JManc

Montrose? Really? Out of all of the areas of Houston that supposedly feel like LA, IDK about that.

I feel more like I'm in LA when I'm on the 10 (yep, it's out here too) stuck in traffic at some odd hour. That's as LA as you can get.

But aside from the overall layout and weather the majority of the year, it doesn't feel like LA too, too much. I say that because the biggest factor is the lack of elevation and the flora is different (especially along the freeways), even with the out of place palm trees the city and surrounding communities have put all over the place.

Houston is similar to LA because it's a Sun Belt city with traffic, at least temperate weather most of the year and with strip malls. And LA has way more different styles of housing, you don't get many McMansions until you get to the Outland Empire.
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  #102  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:10 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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That said, DTLA is similar not just to Houston but to a lot of places because it's bland, generic and full of skyscrapers; it's not really the heart of the city, just like in a lot of places (note "heart of the city" doesn't necessarily mean geographic center or even population center).
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  #103  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:13 PM
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downtown LA is bland?!?!?!
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  #104  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:16 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
downtown LA is bland?!?!?!
In my opinion, yes. I will add the caveat that I haven't been there in a few years, so maybe something has changed recently.
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  #105  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
SF's rowhome topography is more similar to the Mid-Atlantic than anything else in the country.

Much of why the Lakes cities look so similar visually is that they were developed in the same way, on similar topography, at the same time. The differences in vernacular are incredibly slight and it takes a trained eye to spot them.

I would also add I don't buy the whole Chicago-is-pancake-flat thing. Multiple terminal moraines (low relief) run through Chicagoland and the whole damn place is where it is because of a gap through the hill between the lake and the headwaters of the Illinois River. In fact, this belt of terminal moraines define the southern edge of the Great Lakes system, hydrologically, which is why the headwaters of the Allegheny (which are the hydrological headwaters of the Mississippi River system, believe it or not) are so close to Lake Erie ... and why the Illinois' headwaters are a stone's throw from Lake Michigan, even though those rivers drain into the Gulf of Mexico, a thousand miles the wrong way away.
the moraines don’t exhibit much relief at all...as a whole chicagoland is extraordinarily notable for its lack of topography compared to almost every other us region. the moraines are only noticeable because the surrounding topography is so incredibly flat. the city itself feels almost as flat as new orleans!

have you been to chicago? its the flattest midwestern region i can think of by quite a large margin. granted i don’t know greater detroit other than quick runs in and out on the expressway or flying.
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  #106  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:24 PM
jd3189 jd3189 is offline
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I guess the confusion over LA's downtown comes from what people are focusing on. LA's historic downtown is dense, prewar, and is similar to those in the Eastern cities (Hollywood's "NYC" substitute). It's shows that Los Angeles was already a big city before the car era. See the "LA Noir" thread in the photo section for more info.



The "newer" downtown LA is what people are comparing to Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, etc. It's where the US Bank tower and other office skyscrapers are located. It is unique in its own way but it is largely made up of the same car-centric posmodern architecture that helped a lot of Sunbelt cities form skylines in the 80s and 90s. Many of the tallest buildings from all those Sunbelt cities were built in that era.
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  #107  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:30 PM
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^ true and I made the clarification regarding DTLA. The areas where the skyscrapers are feels similar to Houston and other sunbelt cities...there's nothing in most Sun belt cities remotely similar to the older part of LA downtown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
@JManc

Montrose? Really? Out of all of the areas of Houston that supposedly feel like LA, IDK about that.
That was my personal opinion based on my observations of both places. There are parts the Montrose area that have similar vibe and feel to parts of LA. Especially north of Westheimer and in and around the Waugh Dr. area. Essentially the denser areas that are a tight mishmash new townhouses, older bungalows plus the few remaining garden style apartments.
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  #108  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 7:58 PM
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LA's historic core is still very much off the map for most people, even for many residents of the city. It's a bit run down and gritty. It's not advertised by the city as a place to visit. It's way off the typical tourist circuit. So it's understandable when casual visitors think DTLA looks just like any other sunbelt city like Houston or Dallas. LA's old bones are hidden away, in the shadow of a shiny modern skyline.

If you just looked at a typical postcard image of DTLA, you would never guess what it actually looks like at street level behind all those glass boxes.

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0458...2!8i6656?hl=en

It's really like having two cities in one.
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  #109  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 8:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
Houston is similar to LA because it's a Sun Belt city with traffic, at least temperate weather most of the year and with strip malls.
What? I don't think I've ever heard Houston's weather referred to as "temperate" lol.
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  #110  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post
I've never been to LA but based on the photos I've seen, its older areas have a weird similarity to Minneapolis and Denver. They aren't exactly the same but seem to be cut from the same cloth - vast swathes of 1920s streetcar suburbia, craftsman houses, bungalows, lots of stucco, vernacular prairie school apartment buildings, Spanish revival. The three of them were built the same way in the same era.
I think a better analogue for Denver is San Diego. Their downtowns are remarkably similar at street level.
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  #111  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 8:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishIllini View Post
LA isn't New York or Chicago, but it is fairly dense for being almost entirely detached SFHs. TBH, parts of LA feel a bit like some fringe neighborhoods and inner ring suburbs of Chicago to me.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9633...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9527...7i13312!8i6656
That’s not the city of LA, this is a suburb name South Gate.
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  #112  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 9:37 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishIllini View Post
LA may feel a bit like Atlanta in the sense that they both lack a central area that businesses and cultural amenities gravitate towards, but the development patterns aren't that similar IMO.
This isn't entirely true anymore.

I would agree that the economic base is still largely concentrated on the Westside, but DTLA is now pretty much the epicenter in terms of new amenities (food, art, retail) that appeal to the "hipster crowd" (the main drivers behind LA's urban renaissance). The Broad, for instance, was originally planned to be built in Santa Monica before Eli Broad chose its Downtown location across from MOCA and WDCH. Phillip Lim recently moved his boutique from West Hollywood to the Arts District, COS opened its third LA retail store in the Historic Core, Apple is rumored to be setting up shop in the ground floor space of the Tower Theatre, etc.

With all the new amenities, transit accessibility, and housing, the businesses will come back in due time.
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  #113  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 10:32 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
What? I don't think I've ever heard Houston's weather referred to as "temperate" lol.
My point is that Houston weather rarely goes below freezing and almost never for days at a time. It's a place, like LA and most of the Sun Belt, you can train year round for most non-winter related outdoor activities.
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  #114  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
What? I don't think I've ever heard Houston's weather referred to as "temperate" lol.
Actually, 8 months out of the year, it is actually fairly temperate. The other 4, it's hotter than the surface of the sun.
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  #115  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 11:59 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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Bringing this back to the question of Great Lakes cities, it's interesting to some similarities between L.A. and Detroit: both boomed in the early to mid 20th century(Detroit was late for the North, L.A. was early for the Sunbelt)were early examples of auto-dominated, weak-transit cities.

http://www.urbanophile.com/2012/02/2...pete-saunders/

Of course they had very different economies and locations.
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  #116  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2018, 12:17 AM
IrishIllini IrishIllini is offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisLA View Post
That’s not the city of LA, this is a suburb name South Gate.
I figured someone would say something about that, lol. I picked South Gate because it's about the same distance from DTLA (~12mi) as Jefferson Park (~10mi) is from downtown Chicago.
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  #117  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2018, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
DTLA reminds me a lot of downtown Houston or Dallas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd3189 View Post
The "newer" downtown LA is what people are comparing to Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, etc. It's where the US Bank tower and other office skyscrapers are located. It is unique in its own way but it is largely made up of the same car-centric posmodern architecture that helped a lot of Sunbelt cities form skylines in the 80s and 90s. Many of the tallest buildings from all those Sunbelt cities were built in that era.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
^ true and I made the clarification regarding DTLA. The areas where the skyscrapers are feels similar to Houston and other sunbelt cities...there's nothing in most Sun belt cities remotely similar to the older part of LA downtown.
Interesting. Seems I wasn't so crazy after all, with my impressions.
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  #118  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2018, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by badrunner View Post
So it's understandable when casual visitors think DTLA looks just like any other sunbelt city like Houston or Dallas. LA's old bones are hidden away, in the shadow of a shiny modern skyline.
Exactly. That's why the CBD struck me as typically Sunbelt (and very reminiscent of Houston's) when I visited.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
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 lived one hour away for some six months, so I went to LA plenty of times and tried to explore the city as much as I could. Obviously I ended up where the tallest buildings are, among other places. And yeah, at street level, it's not that interesting. Or at least it wasn't, back then. (A decade ago.)

I did not "pick a couple blocks"; those couple blocks are the CBD, like it or not. Where the shiny 80s and 90s glass towers that are the city's tallest are located. I've always been careful to say "the CBDs" in LA and Houston are strikingly similar, not the entire metro areas!
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  #119  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2018, 12:28 AM
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That skyscraper part makes sense. These cities were building them in the same era.
But as I've (and some others) have said, that's just one section, and maybe
30% of what downtown LA is.
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  #120  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2018, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
In my opinion, yes. I will add the caveat that I haven't been there in a few years, so maybe something has changed recently.
You could say that.
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