In Which I Force You, The Reader, To Provide My Content

What do you like about the city where you live? What do you dislike? If you could, would you choose to live somewhere else?

What I like: Lynchburg, like most of central and southwest Virginia, is beautiful pretty much all year long. There are some good restaurants here, and a surprising number of outdoor recreation areas considering we’re not a major metro area. There are also some good people here. The cost of living is very, very low.

What I dislike: Jerry Falwell’s apparent stranglehold on the city. The hideous traffic and poorly planned development on Wards Road. Personal property taxes here are high compared to surrounding areas. There’s not a ton of things for young people to do. Public transportation is useless and virtually nonexistent, and trying to walk or bike in most parts of town is pretty much a death wish since we have narrow roads, lots of hills and curves, and few sidewalks.

18 Replies to “In Which I Force You, The Reader, To Provide My Content”

  1. I’m still in my honeymoon phase with Chicago, hit me back with this one after my second winter here.

  2. Los Angeles: Likes- the weather’s nice and bugs leave me alone. Also, the sunsets are generally very nice. um, more things are likely to come here, happen here or pass through here than many other places.

    Dislikes: Los Angeles.

  3. Pasadena, population 140,000:

    Two great, international art museums (Norton Simon and Huntington)
    The nation’s best science-oriented university (CalTech)
    The nation’s best evangelical seminary (Fuller)
    One of the nation’s best art schools (Art Center College of Design)
    One of the nation’s best community colleges (Pasadena City College)

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Close proximity to the Angeles National Forest and a thousand miles worth of trails

    The Rose Parade — the world begins its New Year with us! The Rose Bowl, still the granddaddy of ’em all.

    Dislikes: way too many people moving in, too many condos/townhouses being built

  4. Loudoun County, VA:
    Still relatively (semi-)rural in the Western part where we have a small sheep farm. Pastoral, rolling hills, old stone fences and German-crafted, weatherbeaten timberframe barns. Horses almost everywhere you look (Hunt Country USA). Highly educated populous. Easy access to Washington. Some public transit, bikeable trails and roads (some, anyway). Friendly neighbors, people in general.

    Dislikes: fastest growing county in the US; traffic congestion, greedy developers trying to develop every square inch they can with poorly designed sprawl tracts. A little too affluent.

  5. As far as Lynchburg goes, if oil production does begin to level off and begin a decline in the next X years, getting around would be expensive, perhaps leading to a minor exodus.

  6. Harrisonburg is cool because:
    * It’s the hometown of JMU… duh
    * You can get most anywhere in ~15 minutes
    * Public transportation is great
    * Lots and Lots of places to eat
    * Really cool local businesses and eateries
    * Buggy Tie up poles at the secret Wal-Mart
    * Extremely diverse (students at Harrisonburg High School speak ~57 different languages)
    * Not too big, not too small

    * It smells like dog food when it rains
    * Parking kinda sucks on campus
    * No Olive Garden or Sonic
    * No local channels available on DirecTV
    * I’m allergic to something the blooms or dies this time of year; I sneeze a lot
    * Off campus housing can get fairly expensive
    * Virginia in general is often too hot and humid for my liking

    I would probably move somewhere else if I got the chance. That is what excites me the most about post graduation career opportunities. I think it would be a really fun adventure to move somewhere random for a job and start a whole new life there.

  7. Likes : Lynchburg, VA is the 2nd safest city in the USA

    Dislikes: Lynchburg, VA is the 2nd “hill-i-est” city in the USA, right behind San Fransico

    And that is in fact the tour guide talking.

  8. Saint Paul, Minnesota.

    Likes: the kindness of its people; the well-tended gardens; the outdoor cafes; the liberal and moral political culture; the fact that we have old school, into-the-wee-hours, spirited political caucuses (at least the DFL, not sure what the Republicans do here); the passing of seasons; the laughter; the story-telling; the large Asian population and all the kickass restaurants that allows us; the Farmer’s Market; a love of low-profile architecture; independent, small business; the Twins; and a health-conscious population.

    Dislikes: It isn’t Copenhagen.

  9. St. Louis:
    Likes: Pretty diverse -The Hill (Italian), Dogtown (Irish), Dutchtown (German [?]), South Grand (Vietnamese and Korean), The South Side (where you now see political billboards in Bosnian), the Central West End (the “gayborhood”); these neighborhoods have defined boundaries and personalities, but the populations within each are just as diverse as the neighborhoods themselves. There are lots of great museums here: SLAM, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Eugene Field Toy Museum, The Westward Expansion Museum, the Missouri Historical Society (it’s boring, but some folks like it). It’s a great city for higher education – UMSL, Fontbonne, Webster, SLU, and Wash U., which is like the Harvard of the lower Midwest. St. Louis Community College is one of the best CC systems in the country. We’re a huge sports town even though we don’t have pro basketball. There are lots of parks (between my house and Jamie’s alone there are 5) and I live within walking distance of one. I love my beautiful neighborhood. I’m 5 minutes away from an entire other state.
    Dislikes: The public schools in the city suck suck suck. If I decided to stay in the city after I have kids, I’d have to cart them to schools in the county. There is virtually no public transportation to speak of (though it IS getting slightly better). Though there is a lot of diversity among white people, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you meet a black person they come from north of downtown, and if you meet a white person they come from south of downtown. Not always, but mostly. There is too much of the mini-mall culture and, thanks to suburban sprawl, you have to hike all over Missouri and Illinois to track down the local restaurants and shops. Illinois drivers.

  10. West Suburbs (Dupage Co) of Chicago

    I can get to 5 different malls in under 20 minutes
    It’s super close to Chicago but not so busy
    Public transportation to and from the city is awesome
    Able to actually have a front/back yard in the suburbs

    Stupid weather in Chicago is rediculous, hot one day and freezing the next making us sick very often
    Cost of living is so super high
    Too far from any ocean/real beach

  11. Dallas, Texas

    Likes: the people are generally very friendly (that Southern hospitality thing), the cost of living is low which is awesome, no freezing-ass sub-zero winters (Sorry, Chicago), the stars at night (are big and bright clap-clap-clap-clap), fairly easy to learn your way around the metroplex, the big-ass food and drink servings, the fact that I’m in a *great* location for taking road trips…And of course, my boyfriend Scott and his family.

    I had made the decision a long time ago (before I finished school) that when I did, I’d move back to Hawaii. Scott is really the only reason I stayed.

    Dislikes: No Pacific Ocean. It’s not Hawaii. It’s not Okinawa. My family is halfway across the globe. The traffic sucks. Too many big trucks and SUVs. Public transit is insufficient if you live out in the suburbs. The droughts and therefore ugly-ass, flat-ass landscape. And of course, the pretentiousness.

  12. Chicago

    Likes: The people here care about each other. They seem to care about being good people. Big cities seem to unite people. When it’s freezing we share it. When it’s raining and windy and when the train is stuck for twenty minutes, we share it. You can see someone on the street in those miserable moments and share a smile that seems to be a conversation all its own. We have all sorts of trees and gardens and green initiatives. We have beaches that are open to everyone. Public transportation everywhere. Bike paths. Recreation. Great neighborhoods where you can feel like you’re miles outside of the city. Seasons that actually change. Drinkable tap water. The soft white noise of distant activity that’s always there; you never feel alone, no matter what time it is. Great bars and restaurants, and you never have to go to the same place twice unless you want to. Diversity. Shops that aren’t owned by huge corporations. Independent book stores. A real arts scene—dozens of them, really. Culture. Industry. Adventure.

    Dislikes: A few weeks in winter are pretty rough. Gas bills. Bus exhaust. Waiting in line.

  13. Austin

    Likes: Spectacular views of the hill country from just about anywhere in the city. It’s the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capitol of the World” for good reason. The people here are down-to-earth and love to support local businesses. There are tons of non-profits here fighting to make Texas a blue state. Lots of delicious Mexican food. Hiking, biking, tubing, swimming, kayaking and camping. Celebrity sightings. Sunsets. What I love most about this city is as soon as I moved here I felt happier and that feeling hasn’t gone away.

    Dislikes: Traffic on 35 at all times of the day. Suprisingly, the public transportation here sucks. Summers are hotter than Hades.

  14. Boston

    Likes: Small city that is easy to master (except driving) in a short period of time. Well-developed areas outside the city for lots of living options. Close proximity to beaches and many small towns like Rockport, Newport RI and Portsmouth, NH. Lots of aggressive drivers, which make me feel right at home.

    Dislikes: The sports fanatics make me insane. Navigating anywhere in MA is a nightmare. Streets have no signs, they make random turns that set you off track and they’re constantly changing. The T does not compare to the NYC subway. The people are not very friendly. Our seasons are a mess (winter= Nov.- May, spring= late May-end of Jun, summer= July-Aug, fall=sept-oct) and the winters are never-ending.

  15. “Likes: The people here care about each other. They seem to care about being good people. Big cities seem to unite people. When it’s freezing we share it.”

    you think that about chicago, until you go somewhere that it is actually true.

    (27 years chicago, 1.5 portland, oregon. probably never to live in chicago again….)

  16. Boynton Beach, FL

    Likes: Every member of the family within 35 minutes drive. Warm on the outside – that blast of heat upon exiting a building or vehicle. Ray is here – this I like. Manicured lawns. Pools, breakfast, lunch and dinner outdoors…year-round. Affordable housing (at least when we bought). No one is a native, everyone is from somewhere else, makes for interesting stories.

    Dislikes: Cold on the inside, blatant overuse and abuse of air-conditioning. Surrounded by fake boobs and Botox (Boca to the South, Palm Beach to the West). Not much expression of individuality here – I love going back to California and being surounded by what my friend calls “the unique ones.” Speaking of Cali, Florida is so not into diversity. Sad. The worst of Florida though? I’d have to say the length of the stop lights. I know why everyone here runs reds – nevermind yellows. If you miss it, you can sit and wait for a good five minutes before its your turn again.

  17. Chicago, Illinois:

    Likes: Pretty reasonable cost of living for a big city. Always something new to do. Best art museum in the country. World-class urban parks, restaurants, and hotels. Easy to fly from here to anywhere in the world, and it’s easy to get back – anywhere in the lower 48 can be done out-and-back in a day if you have to. An amazingly alive city in summer – absolutely everyone is outside all the time. Architecture is second to none. Good public transportation accommodates total lack of parking in the Loop.

    Dislikes: Other than some of summer and most of autumn, the weather relentlessly sucks. The flat landscape is deeply uninteresting. There’s nothing particularly scenic within several hours’ driving time. Flying anywhere probably requires using O’Hare. Red and Blue Lines usually smell of urine. My feelings about the local sports teams range from apathy to utter loathing.

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