Europe in the US

Jan 8th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Um, did you notice that this thread is 3 years old?
Dayle is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Yes, but it is quite interesting. I travel to the U.S. regularly and I notice developments there.

I notice an Americanization of European cities and I notice a Europeanization of American cities.

"Europeanization" means:

- inner-city slums and ghettos ("zones in transition", in terms of the Chicago School) have become revitalized and even gentrified; they have become safe and clean

- the few surviving old buildings are renovated and turned into shops, bars and cultural centers

- Americans move back into the city centers to live there

- Americans have started to walk through their cities

- they have started to shop in the cities

I noticed some of these developments last year in Los Angeles (at least the revitalization, thanks to the activities of numerous BIDs) and I noticed most of these elements in Denver, Austin and San Antonio. In these US cities people live like Europeans live in European cities.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Baltimore reminds me of Manchester.
Bird is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Cooperstown, New York. Small and charming. Not European actually, but having lived in Germany for three years and travel all over Europe, I found Cooperstown has that little village feel where you can get out and walk

And there is a small baseball Hall of Fame just outside of Hamburg.

Picadilly=Times Square

Champs Elysees=Fifth Avenue with plenty of chains stores and McDonald's, a few nice shops and Arc De Triomphe at one end and a park at the other.

Retiro=Central Park large park with some rowing in the middle

Kensington-Gramercy Park

Effiel Tower-Las Vegas

Disneyland France-Disneyland Florida

The point remains there are many things that are Europe, and not one thing that can be considered Europe.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Can you please explain your opinion on New Orleans, saying you think it's the most American/least European.

Most other posters indicated they think it's the most European.

Your criteria were walkability and pedestrians. Have you ever even been to New Orleans and walked around the French Quarter. That is about as walkable as any other place in the US, and it's definitely filled with pedestrians (sometimes too many )
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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I have to agree with him, I see very little that is European in feel, but my criteria is perhaps different. The French Quarter, which in fact is mostly Spanish architecture, is for the most part in a state of decay. Add the grime and dirt, sidewalks and obstructions that are hazardous while walking....and I will not mention the "C" word....I think you have to agree that it is not like Europe though it shares some architecture simialarities.

It does have its own uniqueness that is different than anywhere else in the U.S. but I think it does remind some people of a big decaying American city.

Now if you compare this to Amsterdam, or Quebec City etc. they are prestine, shopkeepers actually care that the shops and sidewalks are kept clean and painted nicely, flowers decorate the landscape etc.

So I guess when I think of European FQ does not fit the bill as per my vision of a European city.

There certainly is a lot of potential for the FQ!

Incidently last time I was down there, while walking with a friend at night, I walked into a protruding steel tube from a mangled police barricade, and could barely walk the rest of the way to the car. Was difficult to see it comming since the street light was burned out....THATS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!
mark99 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Paris, Texas?
Rich is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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I like New Orleans for the exact reasons you don't. I don't want a sanitized version. The fact that you say there is a lot of potential for the FQ tells me that you don't really understand or care to understand why millions visit New Orleans each year.

If you've been to Rome, you'll know that they don't modify historical artifacts/buildings because they want them preserved in their natural state. It's like that in New Orleans. The weathered buildings make the city seem more real, more charming...
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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Then I guess you will LOVE the fact that the Mayor is cancelling the daily scrub down of the French Quarter!
mark99 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 02:07 PM
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even if he does, it wouldn't be any different than it was before it was instituted.

Good thing it rains a lot in New Orleans to wash the previous day "sins" away
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Does make one wonder how long they want to spend in a place that has to wash their streets with a clorine bath each morning . .
Rich is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Most of the folks are tourists that cause a need to have to wash the streets each day.

bkluvsNola is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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OK you ARE starting to show your "true colors".

The FQ smelled of vomit and urine before the city started scrubbing and cleaning it daily. I know tons of people from out of town that refused to set foot in the FQ because it use their words "a cesspool".

I would challenge you anytime to a poll to ask people if they would prefer a clean and well taken care of FQ to a stinky and rundown (or as you call it unsanitized version) FQ.

Hey I love N.O as much as you do, but I also would like it taken care of as much as I love to take care of my home.

mark99 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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Where's the link that says the city will stop scrubbing down the quarter?
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Can you please explain your opinion on New Orleans, saying you think it's the most American/least European. <<<

First of all, I love New Orleans.

However, it is not European.

Urban geography has a typology of the "European City", the "American City", the "Latin American City", the "Asian City", the "Arabian City" etc.

And New Orleans meets the criteria of American Cities. Some examples:

- New Orleans - including the French Quarter - is built on a grid pattern while European cities of a more organic structure.

- New Orleans has the high-rise central business district which is typical for American Cities.

- New Orleans has the no-go-area right next to the CBD and the French Quarter (do not go across North Rampart St.) - you hardly find that in European cities.

The French Quarter is no exception. It has no European architecture, in fact, we call the architecture "colonial style". Unlike European Cities, the French Quarter has hardly a life of its own, but is a mostly touristified area. I really like this touristified area - you find this in some European Cities too, like Sevilla - but you do not find these mixed inner-city neighborhoods which are typical for European Cities. E.g. in European Cities, you find a neighborhood grocery store and a bakery and a bar at every street corner. And you find the local hanging around in parks and on small squares and on the sidewalks...

I repeat: I really love New Orleans - as I love Savannah and Santa Fe, but these cities are wonderful historic American Cities. Be proud of them.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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To BK:

Sad but true.....I'm sure that you really don't think this is a good idea.

Unfortunately N.O. citizens will have to suffer another year and a half under Nagin's totally innefective administration...and I am being kind saying that.

mark99 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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great restaurants,
sidewalk cafes,
old sections,
cigalechanta is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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You state "The French Quarter is no exception. It has no European architecture."

Have you heard of the Ursuline Convent? It has French architecture.

The rest of the quarter has Spanish architecture.

I can't see how you can say that a city like Austin, which I live in, is more like a European city than New Orleans.

Austin is a great American city that has done great stuff, the downtown area is on a grid (like the French Quarter), there are clusters of downtown skyscrapers similar to most American downtowns, there is an area of town close to downtown that is a do not cross line (I-35 - don't go east of it), and the rest of the city you must use a car to get around.

So, according to your criteria, Austin is an American city, but you claim it's more European. Please explain, I truly am confused by your comments.

There is one thing that's European in Austin, and that's probably Hippie Hollow (clothing optional beach), which shows the liberal attitude of Austinites. Austin is liberal, but the city does not resemble anything I've ever seen in Europe ever.

bkluvsNola is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 11:29 PM
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The architecture in New Orleans is its own and is neither French or Spanish. And the architecture in Spain varies widely from the Moorish influence in the South to Gaudi in Barcelona to the Belle Epoque in San Sebastian to castles in Castille and the covered arcades in Santiago. But there is none of it in NO.

Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 02:40 AM
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Of course, Austin is an American City. In the U.S., you simply do not find any city with a European structure. But Austin has some elements which makes us Europeans feel at home (we have been to Austin two weeks ago and all members of our travelling party had that feeling). These elements are:

- Walking. We noticed many more people walking through Downtown than in most other American cities. We noticed policemen on bicycles - IMO more European-style than American-style. In this respect, some other American cities are similar, e.g. Boston or New York.

- Shops, bars and beergardens in Downtown - certainly to a lesser extent than in European Cities, but more than in typical American Cities where you drive with your car for every activity.

- The Town Lake Park. In the park, you find people and acitivities like in any European City. We just felt like at home there.

- The people. Austin's motto is "keep Austin weird" and "weird" means for us Europeans "European-style", at least it means "non-American-suburban-puritan". Interestingly, in Austin people dress more like Europeans than in any other American city. I photographed people on the street and in clubs and you cannot tell if these pictures were taken in a European City or in Austin.

The architecture is definitly not European and not Spanish. Spanish cities look completely different. We call NOLA's architecture "colonial style". You find it in the Carribean, in Africa and in Asia.

In New Orleans, you find a style which is called "Italianate". This style was developed in Britain in 1802 and gained popularity in the USA during the 1840ies, promoted by architect Alexander Jackson Davis. You find many Italiante style houses in New Orleans but you find them hardly in Italy.

The USA have developed her own styles. E.g. in San Antonio, you find the King-Williams-District, a neighbourhood which was formed by wealthy German immigrants. The architecture is 100% American and absolutely non-German. And it is beautiful. Same is true for Fredericksburg, Gruene, Luckenbach and other "German" towns in the USA.

If posters here in this thread consider American cities like New Orleans, Savannah, Boston, Charleston or even Santa Fe (where the architecture is native American) as "European", they take it as European that these cities have preserved a lot of historical buildings - but these buildings are American-style not European-style.
traveller1959 is offline  

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