what is the LA's European equivalent?

Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 02:36 AM
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what is the LA's European equivalent?

I've been wondering for some time.

I have a project for school where I create a travel guide of equivalents. I chose USA and Europe

So far I have chosen NYC and Paris as equivalents - to explain - both are the typical cities for the country/region, both are worldwide significant, both are very different in structure and buildings but actually the same in a way. Both cities are important in history, culture, art, fashion and business. If you think of Europe, you think of Eiffel tower. If you think of the USA, you think of the Statue of Liberty.

Both cities have influence on each other (in Paris we can find many NY styled restaurants, bars, etc., the same for NYC).

Many would say London is European equivalent for NYC but I don't agree. They look similar to each other, but the 'soul' of the cities is pretty much different.

Now I'have chosen Los Angeles from the USA and I am looking for the European equivalent.

So far I am choosing from:

Barcelona - has beaches like LA, the central ones and the farther ones such as Sitges, Garraf and Castelldefels. The climate of both cities is very similar, though LA is a bit hotter all year round.

LA is important in the entertainment industry and sports, Barcelona is important in sports (the biggest stadium is in Barcelona and it is the home city for FCB)

The downtown is very different from the rest of the city. In LA the DTLA is not a residing part of the city that much, it is dirtier but culturally still important. In Barcelona the Ciutat Vella is also dirtier and different, yet important with museums, architecture and restaurants.

Both are surrounded by mountains filled with luxury villas.

Cannes - the city lies near the sea with beaches, though it is a bit smaller and unimportant within Europe. It is a host city for many entertainment events and award shows. However it is small it's kind of interconnected with cities such as Nice (just 30km away) which makes the city urban area bigger

Italy - haven't chosen a city particularly yet, been thinking about Milan (doesn't have beaches) and Rome. Rome is near the beach, but the city culture is not very beach-like.

Do you have any ideas? or other city equivalents? Please share with me and help.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 03:03 AM
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I am not on board with the whole concept, but if I had to choose I'd say Monaco. Ugh.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 03:17 AM
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Because of its long history of filmmaking, Rome has some similarities to LA. Also Rome is a large city that sprawls. Rome is also very influential culturally for the rest of Italy, although it is true that most of the broadcast media is centered in Milan. Sports is very important to Milan, which is also more of a globalized city than Rome and other cities in Italy. You can eat sushi, bagels, burgers and empanadas in Milan very easily. (Not so many tacos and burritos yet.)

The city in Italy that most "feels" like a California city is Palermo. Palm trees, orange trees, the sea right there, and the easy-going pace of life is more like San Diego than NYC. It also has a lot of immigrants, and feels tied to places south of it (like LA is tied to Mexico). But Palermo is not the cultural powerhouse that Milan or Rome or LA is.

I think Barcelona has many aspects that are reminiscent of LA, including that much of the city was redesigned after the invention of the automobile to facilitate private car travel. It also has its own psychological space. It regards itself as a culture separate from the main body of Spain, in a way that Californians sometimes grow to think of themselves as their own nation. Many people liken Barcelona to San Francisco though, because of the hills, the food scene, the good tram system, etc.

I grew up in LA and I lived in London, and London often reminded me of LA mainly because it covered such a huge topography and sprawled. Just like greater LA incorporates lots of distinct places (Van Nuys, Hollywood, Burbank, Pasadena, Santa Monica etc), greater London also has many distinct locations within it that are talked about that way and regarded as distinct places, a megalopolis. When I lived in London it had not become the supercharged dynamic multicultural global finance center that it is today, making it a bit more like LA -- but the climate and the clinging to traditions makes for such a difference in mentality compared to LA, I do think Barcelona is more like LA in feeling and creativity.

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills tries (and fails!) to be like Paris, but othewise, except for the palm trees around Nice and all the one-story houses in the Riviera that are white stucco with red tile roofs, not many things in France remind me of LA.

The writer Fred Plotkin once remarked that NYC and Venice always struck him as similar places, and I can see why, but he was saying that the Venice of the past is like what NYC is today, so not the same thing.

Athens looks a lot like LA in many places. Lots of sprawl, smog, new apartment buildings and a very outdoorsy culture even though it is not on the beach. People like to eat street food too.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 03:24 AM
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By the way, I think your project is fun. America is still a Europen country at the root, and in recent years has been interested in important many elements of European urban life/design into its cities. Most "new" ideas about urban public space in America are consciously using European models.

If you go to the Netherlands you instantly see historic architecture and names of places that is the exact equivalent of the historic architecture and place names you find in NYC. But it has been a long time since Amsterdam has had the same global importance as NYC.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 03:27 AM
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sorry for my typo/autocorrect: that word should be "importing" (not important)

St Cirq,

Is there anything young or student oriented you don't despise on sight and want to slap down? Any fresh approaches and ideas from young people that you find delightful? Have you been this way all your life, or did you turn into this through some bitter experience?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 03:53 AM
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I would say Rome/Los Angeles & Brussels/New York.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 04:03 AM
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LA has been a total downer for me and I really cannot equate with any European city.
LA is for me a succession of towns withtou a real downtown center.

As for Brussels it is much nicer than NYC of course but for me bears no resemblance. It has no skyscraper except a few close to gare du Nord (what we call the WTC actaully) but that is for most of inhabitants a strange zone.

And it so much smaller.

Sandra : you do realize that you have zero credibility to make a rebuke to anybody, don't you ?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 04:10 AM
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I don't think there is a european equivalent for LA and would pick another US city.

The essence of LA is that it is NOT a city - it's just a large bunch of connected suburbs. And that is not the model for european cities at all.

Instead I would focus on finding an equivalent for Miami or Washington DC - much easier to identify a legitimate one.

And sorry - but I don't buy the NY equals Paris comparison. While I love Paris it really is not a twin of NY.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 04:28 AM
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Sandra,/Zeppole/Whatever I don't know where you get your ill-conceived notions about me or anybody else regarding children, or anything else, but I actually HAVE children (do YOU?).

Your opinions are utterly worthless on this board because you insist on being such a tyrant. No one cares that you live in Italy and berate everyone who goes there for their "uninformed" viewpoints and contradict many an Italian expert like bvlenci and Traveller 1959 for their excellent information. As noted, you have "zero credibility." Have you been this derogatory, insulting person all your life, or are there circumstances that have turned you into the witch that you are?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 04:57 AM
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Go up the coast a bit... to San Francisco. Its European sister is Lisboa
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:00 AM
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I am somewhat stumped with this question as I view LA as a pretty unique place. What comes immediately to mind is the South of France: Cannes, Nice, Cap Ferrat, Antibes etc.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:06 AM
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Good grief.

Los Angeles was once part of the Spanish empire and the Hapsburg empire. Do people seriously think there is no relationship between Los Angeles and Europe?

Not only that, but you don't think there are cities in Europe that have global influence in arts and media, or are bi-lingual, large immigrant populations, have a similar climate to Los Angeles or share LA's modern and post-modern attitudes?


St Cirq,

Your response is a blustering inability to come face to face with your repetitive pattern on this forum. A new young person posts and you attack their post. Right off the bat. By the first post or two in the thread, you've pounced. And if someone comes to their defense, you attack whomever defends their post, pouring on more bile. I'm not the tyrant bullying the young.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:13 AM
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whatthehell,

Why not reveal to the OP that St Cirq is simply your personal friend outside the forum and let them decide about who's got the cred. When I don't criticize St Cirq, you often agree with me.

The OP can also look up the threads you start where you encourage others to slam around new posters for fun. Goes to your credibility as well as to who is offering more to people asking questions here.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:20 AM
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Anyway, back to the poor OP's interesting topic:

You know, the fact that cities have the same climate and can grow the same food really does make for similar developments in their culture. Climate is not superficial to the economics of a city.

Whether a city develops along a river -- like NYC and Paris -- or develops in conjunction with a seaport -- like Barcelona and LA or SF -- can also give the deeper similarities.

I am really surprised that people who have been to Los Angeles don't notice anything about its history as a Spanish colony. (Where did you go?) Likewise, Barcelona stands out in my experience as a European city that is not only car-oriented, but also very fluid culturally, and as a place where people go to experiment with identity and changing identity and defining identity. Plus, it has a very powerful 20th art tradition, as does LA (with movies).

Hope more people will find it fun to think about cities in the world from a different angle -- what is similar about them and what is different. It's a rich vein to mine.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:21 AM
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And another thread deteriorates into a slanging match.

My impression of LA is a sprawl of neighbourhoods and suburbs, with no real centre, and little interest in it's past, populated by the mega rich and the poor, the middle classes being driven further and further out. That is also, increasingly, my impression of London.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:23 AM
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Monte Carlo and Monaco are globally the same.

Monaco is a 'principauté' (an area belonging to a prince) whilst Monte-Carlo is the residential part of Monaco, with the city itself more commonly called 'le rocher de Monaco'.

Monaco is also full of banks and has been known for money laundering for ages. A tort ou à raison...

So maybe the closest but ...
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:32 AM
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'When I don't criticize St Cirq, you often agree with me. '

StCirq is indeed a friend of mine. And for what it is worth, I like you too. There is no inconsistency here.

I do agree with you on some topics, because you may have interesting opinions, but you can be a witch too. I especially agree with you when it comes to migrants and such social topics where I usually find your posts particularly well balanced.

But no, you have no credibility when it comes to rebuking people, you have been too often too snarky.

Imho. and with sympathy.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:40 AM
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Ps : I like the 'Whatthehell' quite a lot. Could be my next name
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:45 AM
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As a native NY'er, I think the European city that is most like NY is London. The forms of transportation are similar, the immigrants from many countries are similar, the language, of course, the London skyline is changing, the museums are similar, both are not pretty cities but have a shared heritage. Each has the finance center of their continent.

Paris is much more beautiful city, but does not have the diversity of people and food as NYC. There are is something like 475 languages spoken in NY the borough of Queens is the most ethnically diverse area in the world. In fact linguists come to Queens to study dying foreign languages.

I do not know of any European city that even comes close to LA. It is a a car culture in a sprawling metropolis without change of season and a culture that is the unfathomable to most. There is no country or city in Europe that is dependent on a car culture even though Istanbul has urban sprawl, the comparison ends there.

I have spent much time in both in LA and Barcelona and maybe the climate and some of the topography are the same but the comparison ends there. The Catalans have their own distinct language, it is a culture that is over 2000 years old and the architecture is infused with modernisme. It is a walking city. The Catalans like to think they can speak Castilian better than any madrileño, while LA is detached from the rest of the country.

Obviously, one person's opinion.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:59 AM
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The Spanish culture of LA is currently more of a western hemisphere Latino community. It is as much Spanish these days as it Hapsburg. And it has sprawling Asian areas plus a strong Jewish and Farsi culture. There is nothing like that in Spain.
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