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Most underrated and overrated cities in the U.S?

Most underrated and overrated cities in the U.S?

Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 01:22 PM
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Most underrated and overrated cities in the U.S?

Most underrated:

Pittsburgh: Great museums, restaurants, neighborhoods. Definitely not the rust belt city people expect.

Milwaukee:Great people, great and inexpensive restaurants, beautiful Lake Michigan shorelines. Also excellent museums.

Providence:Not as hyped or as expensive as Boston, but a great destination. Excellent Italian restaurants without Boston's prices or traffic.

Most overrated

Seattle: Outside of the market area I didn't find much to do. Dirty looking runaways and gang bangers everywhere. People had an attitude. Traffic sucks. For my money I'll take Portland everytime.

Philadelphia: Outside of the Liberty Bell area, I don't know why anyone would hang around here when Washington, New York, or Boston are not far away.

Niagra Falls NY: I can understand why people want to see the falls. But the American said is tacky. The Canadian side is not much better. If you want to see the falls stay in Niagra on the Lake, Ontario.
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 01:30 PM
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Underrated-Columbus, Ohio, great art museum, shopping, brand new science center, great shopping (Easton Town Center) Historic neighborhoods, Italian and German Village, Short North art galleries, great restaurants, 2 brand new state of the art arenas for sporting events and concers, great metroparks, great zoo, low crime rate, nice airport.

Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 01:38 PM
Willy B
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Underrated: Indianapolis - lots of great restaurants and nice people.
Overrated: Atlanta - lots of driving to go nowhere.
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 01:47 PM
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Underrated - New York City. The crime and dirt are not as bad as people think and there are PLENTY of great places to eat that are not expensive. There are also numerous free things to do (Central Park, Staten Island Ferry, concerts, etc.)

Overrated - L.A. - You don't walk, you only drive. The people are as plastic as a Hollywood starlets chest, culture DOES not exist, and people care more about what you look like than what you know.
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 02:43 PM
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Underrated: Washington, D.C. A lot of people like to visit, but living in the area is nice, too, as you can enjoy all of this great free entertainment all the time.

Overrated: Can't think of any. For better or worse, most cities I've visited pretty much meet my expectations.
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 06:03 PM
Daniel Williams
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Most underrated:

Philadelphia. Only thing worth seeing is the Liberty Bell? Statements like that under-rate it. People told me they thought it was ugly, an industrial wasteland, maybe worth half a day. Until I discovered it for myself. South St., Reading Terminal Market, Manayunk, Rittenhouse Square, University City, Museum of Art, vibrant downtown...so much to love, yet always so put-down. Yep Philly's #1 underrated in my books.

Baltimore. Put down, slammed all the time. Before I moved here 2 years ago, Baltimore was synonymous with urban blight to me, and is to many others I've met. But the city has a unique charm, some truly world-class restaurants, an earthy joie de vivre and some very interesting neighborhoods full of colour and beautiful architecture (Federal Hill, Fell's Point, Charles Village, Mount vernon to name four).

Most overrated:

Williamsburg. I enjoyed going to college there, and yes it's historical. But it's also very artificial-feeling, not worth all the hoop-la it gets...I prefer history that feels real and not a big money-making operation. I'll take the streets of Cambridge, Mass anyday over Colonial Williamsburg.

That's my 2 cents. DAN
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 06:33 PM
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New Orleans (I'm a neat freak so a town like this will never pass muster. For crying out loud they hose down the streets in the French Quarter with BLEACH in the AM's just to get rid of the STENCH!)

Los Angeles
Tampa-St. Pete
Atlantic City
Branson, MO

St. Louis
Maine in general
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 08:01 PM
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I agree with Dan1 - Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.


Seattle (and I live here and love it, but it is definitely overrated! - this said after sitting in traffic at 2 PM today for one hour to go 11 miles!)

San Francisco - this used to be my "If I had all of the $$ in the world, where would I live city" now, with all of the AGGRESSIVE panhandling and the grime in the city it's losing it's luster. I still enjoy it a lot and visit it a lot, but it's really overrated as a whole.

Denver - too crowded, getting too expensive, everything closes by 10 PM

Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 11:26 PM
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Enough with all the Seattle bashing here!

It's an outstanding city. I live near the downtown core, and I find it utterly incomprehensible that someone would say that there "isn't much to do."

All within or on the edge of the downtown core: A new symphony hall, two museums (a third on the way), two shopping centers, two multiplex movie theaters and a third single-screen theater, an IMAX screen, an aquarium, two waterfront parks, at least 5 (that I can think of) food courts, 6 theater/live performance stages, a convention center, and only the best farmers' market in the US. And this doesn't include the clothing shops that run along 5th and 6th Avenues, the small boutiques, bars, and restaurants along 1st Avenue, the live music joints along 2nd Avenue, the hotels and apartments along 4th Avenue, the furniture and cooking supply stores that line Western Avenue, the interesting apartment buildings, restaurants and coffee shops in Belltown, the gallaries and live music joints in Pioneer Square.

And this doesn't include what's yet to come: an outdoor sculpture park along the waterfront by 2002, a new 11-story central library by 2003, a new opera house by 2003, a new city hall with adjoining park by 2003, and a new aquarium.

And it doesn't include the attractions of the surrounding neighborhoods, which have their own food and entertainment scenes. Nor have I mentioned the new baseball and football stadium located just south of downtown.

. . .You get the idea. Seattle's not Midtown Manhattan, to be sure, but I defy you to find a better city of comparable size anywhere in America.

Not everyone will like Seattle, and that's fine. It has its share of problems, and there are cities that I do think hold more appeal for a tourist than Seattle (Portland isn't among them). But to state that you don't like Seattle because "there are gang bangers everywhere" and to dismiss the city because you encounter "dirty-looking runaways" is an absolute joke. "People had an attitude." Wow, now that's a concrete, well-defined attribute to base one's opinion on. Maybe you were the one with the attitude.

I walk these streets every single day. Like any city, you will see some amount of "grit," but your negative generalizations lack any credibility.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 04:53 AM
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Overrated: NYC - I know, I am going to get a ration of sh*t for saying so, but let me explain. I grew up just outside NYC in the 60's-70's (when it was probably at its filthiest and sleaziest, and yet the most exciting place on earth) and worked on Wall St in the late 80's. Moved to Boston in the early 90's and did not go back to NYC as a tourist until after it had become "Giuliani-ized." I can honestly say that NYC has changed for the worse. Midtown used to be so amazing; there used to be this dichotomy between the salacious (ie Time Square) and the sophisticated (5th Ave). Now midtown is one giant shopping mall (NBA Store on 5th Ave? c'mon. And how many more "Model Cafe" / "All-Star Cafes" can one city bear? Don't even get me started on Broadway - now the street where mediocre Disney musicals go to die, but not before bilking millions out of stupid tourists who think Beauty&Beast on stage is good theatre). Give me the old, gritty NYC, at least it was exciting. NY has some great things (the Met) but overall it has become so bland.

Also, somewhat overrated is San Francisco. I liked it, but no place can possibly live up to the hype that is SF.

Not underrated, not overrated: LA - went for the first time this year and was pleasantly surprised that my body did not recoil in horror.

Underrated: Chicago. For a city of such great size and diversity (and with so many interesting things), Chicago gets minimal press.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 05:15 AM
Paul Rabe
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Under-rated: Indianapolis. Went just because I had never been there, and had a wonderful several days.

Over-rated: Atlantic City. Twenty years ago, people thought that building casinos would transform a dumpy city into a nice one. Now there's a bunch of casinos, with gambling but nothing else, surrounded by a dumpy city. Absolute proof that casinos don't revitalize a community.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 06:08 AM
Bob Brown
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I am not sure what kind of rating Atlanta has, but I live near there and avoid it when I can. Of course, I cannot totally stay away because it is the medical, commercial, and entertainment center for this part of the United States.
The population of the metro area is now said to be almost 4 million people, but is has a 2.5 track Metro system (one north - south line and one east - west line, with a fork in the north line) and a jammed freeway and surface road system that is not encouraging to drive. The city planners did not even run a subway line to Turner Field where the Braves play some 80 times a year!! At least the metro line goes to the airport, but considering that Hartsfield is the busiest airport in the US, relatively few people take the metro to it. Why? It is not easy to use!
Perhaps parking fees are too low!!
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 06:50 AM
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Over rated: Houston. Despite lots of $ for PR campaigns, it remains essentially a nouveau riche swamp with horrendous traffic and worse air quality, wrapped up in a thin veneer of attitude that doesn't quite conceal the essential trailer park mentality at its core.

SF- living on its laurels. Still cool to visit (briefly)but a victi of its own success.

LA: why bother? you can get all the same things at your local mall

Underrated: Boston (except in winter!)
Washington, D.C.
Portland, OR
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 08:29 AM
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Overrated-Seattle underwhelmed me somewhat and I liked it but wasnt terribly impressed.

Exactly as I thought it would be-Definitely New York was on the mark with what I expected. Big, Busy, etc. I had a good time but wouldnt want to live there.

Underrated-Oakland is the most underrated city Ive ever been to. I was expecting gangs and drugs but instead I got haute california cuisine and towering redwoods in fog-laden hills with billion-dollar views. The problems are there but I was blown away by the weather and the scenic vistas.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 08:50 AM
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Marty, thank you for mentioning Oakland, where I grew up. For whatever reason, the country can't get past the idea that it's all housing projects, gangs, and crime. It is a city--it has its crime, its run-down neighborhoods, a commercially depressing and dead downtown. And no, it's not a city that's a tourist attraction in itself. BUT, it also has beautiful neighborhoods like Rockridge, Piedmont, and the Grand Lake district, excellebt restaurants, charming shops, beautiful parks, a great climate, and of course, killer views of SF.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 09:03 AM
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overrated - would have to say Atlanta. CNN Center? Coca Cola World? eh.

underrated - Providence, RI (neat little city, not what i expected)
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 09:55 AM
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overrated - Atlanta, Los Angeles.

underrated - Austin, Charleston, Santa Fe, New York City.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 11:13 AM
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Thank you - you are so right about the "truth's email." I almost felt like a "traitor" and I've lived here for 13 years! The opinions expressed here are for discussion.

Truth - I also live in the city itself. I think there are many places I won't walk at night. Our city/state government is stagnant at trying to solve the problems that we are facing. Seattle is a great city, there is a lot to do, but we do have problems. Also, do you really think the number of food courts makes a good city?!
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 01:59 PM
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Message: Idsant

Hey, I'm going to Seattle tomorrow. Where are the places you wouldn't go at night? We are staying at a place at 2nd and Virginia, downtown.
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 07:27 PM
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I personally would not walk through Pioneer Square at night. But, I am usually alone when I'm downtown, so perhaps that has something to do with the way I view these things. I just don't think that's a great area. I would also watch walking up from Pike Place - 6th and 7th - kind of iffy. Other than these places, downtown is fine. You should have a great time here - tomorrow and Sunday are Seafair - if you get the opportunity, go and see the hydroplane races or visit the ships that are currently here.

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