Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for July, 2008

Where’s the best place to be a temp?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

I have some college available, but no degree. i can’t seem to find a good job here in San Antonio concerning labor. So If I do leave San Antonio, Well I’m out on the streets. I have no money and I need a job. So where the best place to be homeless? I would like to know so I can start out. I have a unique personality and love to ride bicycles, art, and anime.
I currently live in San Antonio and ever since I left CArdell Cabinets, well, I couldn’t get a job at all. I have had some temp jobs, but nothing perminent.
I am considering the military, but I want to hav a back up plan.

Please help.

Sent by Daniel from San Antonio, TX

Thoughts on who is Cheyenne?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Hello! Very interesting concept here. I am an entrepreneur in Cheyenne, Wyoming and I find it difficult to grow a business and prosper primarily due to the low population. However, the city and areas of Wyoming seem to be the best place to raise a family and purchase a home (no state income tax either). Any thoughts?

Sent by Pamela Girt from Cheyenne, Wyoming

LOST: please help! Where should the poor & disabled live?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

One category of people not addressed in Richard’s work (from what I know about it so far) is the category I’m in. I’m 42, still single, no kids, disabled due to an incurable/non-fatal incapacitating illness, & completely impoverished (on SSI). I’m definitely an “open to experience” type of person that he speaks of in his book–but I’ve been taken out of the game by illness, isolation, & poverty. I lived in Pittsburgh, PA for 32 years. There was a period of time where I was extremely creative (artist, acting, film, writing) & felt I had outgrown the city–and needed to move to a more progressive place. At the same time, though, my illness was progressing. I ended up having to apply for SSI, and was turned down. I was about to be homeless, and had to move to wherever I could find someone willing to help me. That turned out to be outside of the San Diego, CA area (a stranger on the internet helped me briefly). I was able to get SSI here, and feel financially TRAPPED here now. Other than getting the assistance here that I couldn’t get back east, I have HATED EVERY MOMENT of my life in this SOULLESS place. I HATE Southern CA!!! The people I’ve met here have been SHALLOW, NASTY, MEAN, SELFISH, CLOSE-MINDED, JUDGMENTAL, SUPERFICIAL, ULTRA CONSERVATIVE, & FLAKY. If they act nice for a moment, they switch to nasty the next. And they have all been COLD hearted. And NOBODY here takes friendship s eriously. I’ve been STUCK here for 10 years. I am surviving physically, but dying in every other way. I have not been able to make ONE friend here. (I had 100’s of friends back east–until I became ill & they all abandoned me.)

Where do people still treat the impoverished & disabled with dignity, kindness, friendship, support, & acceptance? Where can the poor still have a decent life? Where can the different & isolated find a community of people? Where would a person give me the time of day once they see my old car or find out that I’m on disability? People wont even speak to me here after they either find out I’m disabled or poor. They literally just walk away from me in mid sentence after I answer “the California interrogation” as I call it (i.e. as soon as they find out I’m poor and/or ill). Does anybody have any ideas for a better place for me?

Sent by Marie from Carlsbad, CA

Duluth, MN – As Many Musicians per capita as Austin?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Duluth, MN is a relatively unknown gem of a small city located in Northern, MN. Though having a population less than 100,000 resisdents, Duluth is the largest city on the largest freshwater lake in the world.Duluth is a popular place to attend college as there are more schools here than most cities of its size. Many older peole chooose to retire in Duluth since there are many hospitals and care giving facilities.Duluth is te eming with hipsters and intellectuals of all types. The Duluth Homegrown festival happens each spring where over 150 local bands play original music. Oddly, almost all of the most active promoters and well known musical acts came from another region or state and became successful in Duluth. The uploaded picture included here is a ‘zine published by local record collectors showcasing the lesser known, but regionally popular acts from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Along with Bob Dylan, the region has been and is still home to many talented acts that have become known around the world through sales of private pressing LPs and CDs and/or major label releases.Only a couple hours North of the Twin Cities, Dulth is often blessed with a visit from bands such as The Hold Steady or Jonathan Richman of The Modern Lovers only to name a couple. The DECC accomodates more major acts like Aerosmith. The small clubs, bars and coffee shops feature live music throughout the entire week. Duluth has be c ome a great place for expressive people and thinkers. The tough job market is saturated with students lined up just to be lucky enough to find a job at a gas station. Duluth is economically challenging and many creative people have been forced to make their own place in the market by going into business Low wages are balanced out by low cost of living. The region is full of politically active people from all over the spectrum, many who are members of the local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Abundant with cooperatives, one being a worker-owned/worker-run bakery, Duluth is a haven for hipsters of the social and political orientation.

Sent by Patrick from Duluth, MN

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

On the shores of Lake Michigan in SE Wisconsin, Kenosha is perfectly situated between Chicago and Milwaukee. A small city feel with big city amenities, Kenosha is a vibrant community of about 100k. We have miles of public shoreline, bicycle lanes, renowned museums, streetcars and walkable neighborhoods. Most exciting to artists is the recent planning of an arts-district neighborhood, KenoshaUnionParkProject(KUPP.) This desination neighborhood is focu sed on attracting diverse, creative residents. The nonprofit visual art center, Lemon Street Gallery, is leading the charge. Be careful if you come to visit…you will definately want to move here!

Sent by Melanie from Kenosha Wisconsin

Beachin

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Murrells Inlet, SCAfter living in Austin, Albuquerque, Virginia, Perth, & Houston, I’ve found Murrells Inlet, SC. A mix of my past locations. Between the entertainment, exceptional food, climate, clean beaches that can be enjoyed year round without layers of clothes and proximity to Charleston, SC, I believe that I’ve found MY CITY. It is about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach. The population here combines people from the south with northerners who have had enough o f traffic and cold weather. It is interesting and obvious that the people from the northeast that move here make a real effort to gear down to a more relaxing lifestyle. It seems to take some time, but, once they’re here for a few months, they become a part of that relaxed, less stressed base of the community. In fact that characteristic exudes from them. Courteous drivers are the norm.Being near the coast, it is humid in July & August, but it isn’t quite as humid as Austin in the hill country, where we moved from after 12 years. Austin is one of the best places to live for most people. But, it has become a congested little Houston. A distinct contrast to where I live now. The Myrtle Beach area is also growing, especially on the north side. The new Market Commons, a self sustaining community, just opened on the south side. Murrells Inlet, south of Myrtle Beach is also developing, but, due to the geographic layout, will reach its limits without becoming over populated. We’re s ituated between the ocean and the Waccamaw River which is part of the inter coastal waterway. Just minutes away, Myrtle Beach provides unlimited family activities; the first Hard Rock Theme Park opened this year. There are theaters, factory outlet centers, entertainment venues such as The House of Blues, and water parks, but the main family activities are still the beaches and businesses close by. You can launch a huge boat in the inlet into the ocean,or go up small creeks off the Waccamaw into wildlife filled cypress marshes that haven’t changed in hundreds of years, in a small john boat. There are waterfront restaurants on the ocean and fresh water sides of the village. And, they are excellent. Murrells Inlet’s moniker is “The Seafood Capital of South Carolina”. Fresh seafood in brought in daily. Medical facilities are top notch and plentiful. I paid 00 a year for taxes on my 300k house in Austin but pay 00 here for my house of the same price. There is a state income tax, b ut it is negligible and doesn’t make a dent in the difference. Pawleys Island, seven miles to the south of Murrells Inlet is the oldest vacation resort on the east coast. Quaint boutiques and specialty shops abound. The original hammock shop still exists. Many people that live here began visiting during their vacation and decided to make their dreams into realities instead of just hoping to live here one day. After being here nearly two years I’m extremely glad that I decided to just “do it”! Come see for yourself. We’ll be glad to have you! Brick Graham

Sent by Brick from Murrells Inlet, SC

Coral Gables – Great City

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Nevada from Coral Gables, FLCoral Gables, The City Beautiful, stands out as a rare pearl in South Florida, a cohesive community built on a grand scale that blends color, detail, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style to create a timeless grace and grandeur perfectly in harmony with the environment. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, Coral Gables is a great place to live, work, and expl ore. Discover Coral Gables, and the many amenities The City Beautiful has to offer.
Even as City Founder George Merrick was in the beginning stages of creating Coral Gables, he dreamed of it as an international city, inspired by the great Mediterranean cities and serving as a gateway to the Americas. Today, Merrick’s dream has come true. Not only is the City Beautiful a thriving, multi-cultural community, it also serves as a cultural and economic gateway to the Latin America region.
Aix-en-Provence, France
Cartagena, Colombia
Granada, Spain
La Antigua, Guatemala
Province of Pisa, Italy
Quito, Ecuador
sister citys to coral gables, fl

Sent by Nevada from Coral Gables , FL

Buffalo/Niagara

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

… As a print journalist of 35+ yrs. in the mainstream-&-gay media on both coasts (17 with “Billboard Magazine” in L.A. Vegas & the Bflo./Rochester, NY markets, I lived-&-worked in many other city/regions. But NONE can compare with western New York, it’s people, the 4-seasons, low cost-of-living, vibrant arts/theatre scene/architecture (includes 5-Frank Lloyd Wright creations!), pro sports teams, etc. It really is America’s “Best Kept Secret” ’til now!?!- I know.

Let’s hear those familiar “snow/winter”-&-Bflo. Bills Super Bowl jokes. But REALLY people!?! Snow MELTS, it’s GOOD to have a cleaned-up Lake Erie (one of the largest fresh water venues in-the-world!) & such vibrant greenery.

This Summer-of-’08, it does look like the “Land of Oz!” with all-the-rain we’ve been having. & Fall!?! “Forget-about-it!” The riot of bright-colored leaves HURTS-thee-EYES!?! & we’re now planning a major, state of-the-art Weather Museum for the lakefront to celebrate our good fortune. Just re-opened the re-watered Erie Canal Slip, which is being developed into a major historical site destination downtown! … Like the arts? Try restored Shea’s Theatre for the Performing Arts (reviewed Prince’s 1st. EVER concert here!), where major 1st. run, Broadway shows now appear. The Bflo. Philharmonic Orchestra is housed at acoustically-famous Kleinhans Music Hall (Summer’s at nearby Artpark in Niagara Falls, NY) & the A lbright-Knox Art Gallery is known worldwide for its modern art collection! + there is the new Burchfield/Penney Gallery at Bflo. State Univ. across-from-the Knox! & many more, smaller galleries! America’s Fair, one of the nation’s largest celebrations, starts Aug. 6th & there’s numerous ethnic festivals as-well-as other smaller, county fairs. – & “Yes,” the Bills still play at the 80,000-seat Ralph Wilson (55,000 season tickets sold this yr. already & almost ALL home games sold-out!) Reviewed the Rolling Stones & Jackson Five there. Our Bflo. Sabres skate at the 18,000-capacity HSBC Arena downtown. (5,000 fans cheered outside during a recent playoff game!) & the Triple A Bflo. Bisons play at the nearby Dunn Tire Park, which seats 18,000! (not bad for outdoor concerts either!)…

Now the restaurants: WOW!?! Take-you-PICK!?! From the famous Anchor Bar – home of the ORIGINAL Bflo. Chicken Wing – to so many others with the great ethnic Italian, Polish, German, Lebanese, Hispani c , African-American foods!?! Sahlen hot dogs, LaNova Pizza (Hillary & Bill Clinton’s fav!), beef-on-weck (mmm!), our amazing food stores with LOW prices compared to other cities! You CAN’T-go-WRONG!!!- & the economic/job scene’s getting brighter, especially with the Medical Corridor downtown with Bflo. General Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Research Center & related university/private sector spin-off businesses. Blue Cross/Blue Shield rennovated a new, impressive office building near WKBW TV-7’s studios. A new, federal court skycraper’s rising nearby. & the Seneca nation’s building their 0-million Bflo. Creek Casino/Hotel near the Erie Canal site in the Cobblestone District. 1,000 new jobs!…

A plug for my hometown of East Aurora, 18-miles southeast of Bflo. The arts-&-crafts Roycroft Inn-&-Campus is here as-well-as the headquarters for Fisher-Price Toys-&-Moog, Inc. (a major NASA contractor). Not forgetting Vidlers, an original 5-&-dime store on Main Street & numerous horse f arms around-the-area. We WERE the racing capital of-the-world in la late 1800’s!- & we do have an active, vibrant LGBT community in WNY with many groups, organizations. I sing in the Bflo. Gay Mens Chorus, which just attended their 2nd intl. Gay-&-Lesbian Choral Assoc. festival in Miami Beach, Fla. My late-mother helped start PFLAG here. I’ve also sung with la Westminster Presbyterian Church Choir (on-&-off for 21-yrs.!) + my 1st. book, about my career/life’s, in NYC about to-be-published. & I was listed in “Who’s Who in America – in the Media” the last, 2-yrs!… But, LAST-&-BEST is Niagara Falls, NY. If you’ve NEVER been or even if-you-have, it’s an UNFORGETABLE experience. Our side, which includes Goat Island & the Three Sisters Island (the U.S.’s 1st. ever Natl. Park!), is more natural-&-less commercial than our commercial Canadian neighbor’s. There’s SO much-to-see & do! Plan on at LEAST-a-week there!- So, YEAH: Reconsider & rethink WNY, Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier. Y o u’ll THANK-me-LATER!!! See you HERE!!!

Sent by Hanford Searl Jr. from Buffalo, NY

America’s Crossroad City

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Get a map of the USA and find Columbus, Ohio. Look at its location and the intersecting interstate roads. You soon see that Columbus, the 15th largest city in America, is in the middle of a massive part of the USA. After 911 a lot of NY City firms saw that and relocated here.

Columbus with a one day drive is within 42% of America’s population. A four distinct seasons climate with no real extremes and a very varied surrounding landscape is an attra ctive location to live in.

Central Ohio is an educational center as is all of Ohio. Beginning with the incredible Ohio State University main campus there are many various universities, colleges and trade schools and the cost of education here is very reasonable.

The life style is very salt of the earth midwestern. Lots of fairs and festivals, theme parks surrounding, lakes and streams, national forests, caves and rolling hills to amazing farms including the Amish. The cost of living is moderate. New Yorkers have written articles about being very concerned about relocating here until they found that under ,000 a month leases a beautiful condo and nice new homes are 140 to 300 thousand and 0,000 will buy an entry level mansion. Figure your costs at 1/3 that of New York City, or less. And yes, family run pizza shops and restaurants are just moments away from any residential area, Columbus is a center of warehousing because of its location and as a result warehouse outlet st o res surround us. The population is diverse, well educated and the people are friendly. Because of this middle of the roads location something else flows through Columbus. Traveling bands, artists, exhibitions and artist presentations of all kinds by default at some point find their tour bus or trucks of equipment driving through Columbus and so lots of concert venues exist here with reasonable priced tickets.

Fishing, racing, boating, college sports, and with the Golden Bear living here you know there are golf courses everywhere. Oh, Clapton lives here for a reason too. Live music of all kinds surrounds you in Columbus.

I have lived in LA, and Tampa, and have been in every state. I will take Columbus, and Ohio any day as the place in America to live for me.

Sent by Ronnie C. from Columbus, Ohio

A nomadic life – one city at a time.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I grew up in Nashville, TN, home to the Parthenon and all types of music, but most importantly for me, incredible green space and mountains nearby. In spite of blistering heat and humidity in the summer, I never wanted to be indoors.

But I have always been drawn to big cities and realized early on that Nashville was too small for me. Since leaving home for college (U of Michigan – Ann Arbor), I have lived in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego , New York and D.C. (Bethesda, MD) actually. And, reading Who’s Your City? answered many of the questions that I have spent 20+ years trying to figure out on my own.

Cities do have distinct personalities!!!!! I can honestly say that I would not have wanted to grow up anywhere but Nashville. It is a wonderful place to raise a family and is surrounded by many great educational institutions. Chicago is a great city, but the winters are ungodly. Detroit and I mix like oil and water. But if you have to live there, I say live in Royal Oak, Birmingham or Troy.

I love LA primarily because of how laid back it is. It is hard not to be happy when you can walk along the beach. Then there is San Diego, one of the most aesthetically beautiful cities in the U.S. But it has a small town feel – shops and restaurants close early and outside of the gas lamp district, there is not much going on at night. Hillcrest is a great area (predominantly gay which coincides with the book). But I get the fee ling that outside of this area, the rest of San Diego is conservative.

I admit that I was surprised that D.C. made the list of one of the most creative cities. There are probably neighborhoods that define this, but it is so politically overwhelming that I cannot see much beyond that.

Now, saving the best for last, New York, NY – hands down one of my favorite cities. When Richard talks about creative cities having an energy and openness, that is NY. I felt more at home there than I had living anywhere else. And the only thing missing for me was natural green space, more than just Central Park. Also I realize that climate is important. Temperate climates are best for me because I enjoy being outdoors year-round. After 13 years on and off in Ann Arbor/Detroit, if I never see another snowflake, it will be too soon! :-)

My recommendation to anyone who is trying to figure out where to live is to first read this book; then visit the city; find bloggers who hate it and see what they have to say (if what they hate is what you love – you’re in); and finally just move and rent, don’t buy! There is a reason that San Francisco and the Bay Area make the top of just about every list. It is NY on the West Coast, with green space, the ocean and mountains nearby. Reading this book helped me finally articulate exactly the right fit for me.

Could a move to the Bay Area possibly be my last? :-)

Sent by Taisha  from Bethesda, MD