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LivingInThePast

Most Overrated Cities

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What cities (in real life) do you think are overrated?


While I can go into why San Francisco, New York City, and even Austin are overrated, I think that especially on ST (but the problem is everywhere), Vancouver is the most overrated city, anywhere. I'm probably going to state things others have stated, but here's a few points to glean:

 

 

Vancouver traffic is horrendous.  Far worse than Seattle.  Not as bad as Houston, but that's largely because Vancouver only has a quarter of the population of Houston.  Mass transit is problematic in Vancouver.  If it wasn't for the new lines very recently built for the Winter Olympics, the subway system would be a joke.  Some think it still is, since for the most part the trains only go where the tourists would want to, not the locals.  Bus service is very spotty and can't be easily extended because so many of them are electric.  In Houston if you want to make a new bus route, your drive the bus down the new route.  In Vancouver, you have to spend months running new overhead electrical lines for the pantographs.  In Vancouver there are a lot of places you simply cannot go via transit, or worse -- you can only get there on certain days.  More than once I've had to wait an hour or more for a bus.  That simply doesn't happen in cities that are serious about transit. (editor, from houstonarchitecture.com)

 

 

“Vancouver is a beautiful city”. This is patently false and is bad marketing. What really should be said is “Vancouver is a medicore city situated amongst beautiful surroundings”. There is no arguing that the mountains and ocean are a picturesque backdrop for the city. But Vancouver itself is pretty plain, and in some places downright unkempt (East Van, certain areas along Broadway, etc). Architecturally, Vancouver’s buildings aren’t very interesting either – just one copycat condo after another. The skyline is flat and without any kind of character. ("Mike", from this page's comment: http://btr.michaelkwan.com/2008/02/10/10-things-i-hate-about-vancouver/)

 

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I think within Texas, Dallas gets much more praise than it deserves. I've visited the place a couple of times, and it's really nothing special; just an endless sea of sprawl. Not a total hellhole like Waco, but it has the same flaws that detract from every other city in this state (including Austin). People talk about how the DART system makes Dallas a mass transit pioneer, yet the ridership per mile is very low and the trains don't go to many core neighborhoods. Seems like in this state, the quality of a city is based solely on the size of the house you can get in the burbs; things like transportation efficiency (other than automobiles), vibrant and enjoyable downtown areas, cultural offerings, commute time, and so on are just ignored. 

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Biggest problems of Dallas are the (comparatively) boring suburbs, which are the sprawl-causers. The inside of the city isn't bad, and I'd love to see Klyde Warren Park. The light rail is problematic--I did some calculations and found the ticket price for a "Reduced" ticket has almost doubled since 2004 taking into account inflation, and total ridership decreases the more miles they add.

 

I wouldn't say Waco is by any means overrated: the David Koresh incident was actually some miles out, but there's not much that you're missing (unless you're a fan of really old stuff, like early 1970s era Arby's)

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I wouldn't say Waco is by any means overrated: the David Koresh incident was actually some miles out, but there's not much that you're missing (unless you're a fan of really old stuff, like early 1970s era Arby's)

 

Depends on who you talk to. Back when I was at Baylor, I met people who thought that Waco was heaven on Earth. I still can't wrap my head around how they came to that conclusion, but they love that town.

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Phoenix Arizona.  Way too hot, way too dusty, not enough water.  Basically mankind trying to force a desert to be something it's not.  And the architecture, meh, not that exicting.

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Phoenix Arizona.  Way too hot, way too dusty, not enough water.  Basically mankind trying to force a desert to be something it's not.  And the architecture, meh, not that exicting.

Phoenix is alright, not to bad, but I feel that during the founding of the city they should have looked for a more prosperous location. I only visited there and could tell that this city didn't belong here. Rarely did I see people out and about during the summer time which was when I went. Most were inside, the fact that it requires so much energy to sustain a population is no good either. Walking from out side temp of 104 to inside temp of like 70 is not good, it's like walking into a deep freezer. The skyline for the city is not really impressive either, a lot of plain looking building with no real landmarks. The air port also isn't something to brag about, I will admit it's a lot better than Tucson to the south.

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I think Las Vegas in overrated.  I been through there a few times and quick frankly I'm not really impressed.  I believe there could be better uses of it resources and land than some sort of casino city.

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I wouldn't say Waco is by any means overrated: the David Koresh incident was actually some miles out, but there's not much that you're missing (unless you're a fan of really old stuff, like early 1970s era Arby's)

 

Depends on who you talk to. Back when I was at Baylor, I met people who thought that Waco was heaven on Earth. I still can't wrap my head around how they came to that conclusion, but they love that town.

 

 

It seems like in order for a place to be "overrated," it would first need to be rated highly (i.e., hyped, praised, etc).  Who's hyping/praising Waco?  I love Austin, but with all its hype, I can see some people considering it overrated.  Waco though?  I would be surprised if it was even in the average person's consciousness.  

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Austin, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago

 

All of these places are heavily over-rated in the minds of many.  All of them are dreadful places with too many people, horrid traffic, and in most cases, miserable people.

 

Dallas isn't over-rated.  It isn't rated highly to begin with, and it is certainly better than all those I list above unless you live for flair and glitz (which are also both over-rated)

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I am going to go on the offensive.  SF is overrated to a small degree, particularly with regard to the lack of real public transportation.  But how else is it overrated?  Booming economy, arguably the best concentration of restaurants and bars in the entire country (only NYC trumps SF in terms of food, and even that is debatable), 20 minute access to nature, hikes, beaches, amazing cycling and wine country, dense urban environment that promotes walkability, and yet not so dense that there is a decidedly human scale to the city.  Beautiful parks (Golden Gate alone is better than Central, easily, and then you have Land's End, Presidio, Fort Mason, Dolores), amazing bay view, density, amazing sports (made it to both the World Series AND Super Bowl last year), several world class museums (DeYoung, Legion of Honor, SF Moma, Cal Academy of Sciences, Asian Art Museum), amazing cultural facilities (opera, ballet, symphony), one of the most amazing music festivals in the country (recent headliners included PAUL MCCARTNEY, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers,  mean come on).  Not to mention iconic architecture and locations (Painted Ladies, Golden Gate Bridge, Transamerica, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Coit Tower).

I am obviously biased because I live here, but it is EASILY my favorite city in the entire country.  If you came here and only visited Fisherman's Wharf/Chinatown/Union Square, I get it, you fell for the tourist traps.

The cons are that it is too expensive (because everybody wants to live and work here) and that public transport needs to come a long way.

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I wouldn't say Waco is by any means overrated: the David Koresh incident was actually some miles out, but there's not much that you're missing (unless you're a fan of really old stuff, like early 1970s era Arby's)

 

Depends on who you talk to. Back when I was at Baylor, I met people who thought that Waco was heaven on Earth. I still can't wrap my head around how they came to that conclusion, but they love that town.

 

 

It seems like in order for a place to be "overrated," it would first need to be rated highly (i.e., hyped, praised, etc).  Who's hyping/praising Waco?  I love Austin, but with all its hype, I can see some people considering it overrated.  Waco though?  I would be surprised if it was even in the average person's consciousness.  

 

 

It's not the average person, but a small subset of religious conservatives that despise urbanity (they avoid downtown Austin like the plague and will not go deeper into Houston than the Beltway), love chain restaurants and chain churches, and consider themselves to be small-town Southerners despite growing up in the exurbs of DFW. Living around them long enough distorts your sense of reality.

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Los Angeles isn't overrated, if anything it is underrated. All over the internet people make fun of LA and talk nothing but negative things. It has a decent Bus system but the freeways are bad... Other than traffic and prices I don't get the hate. Living here close to the sea I can surf and snowboard on the same day. We have beautiful historic districts and there is tons of culture here. Art Everywhere. I swear we would be overrated if we got some more love. But now we probably one of the most underrated major cities

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As someone who's lived in the Austin area for the past 15 years, I can tell you that while Austin is a great place to live, it is overrated in some aspects.

 

People always talk about how bad the traffic is, but you don't actually realize HOW bad it is. I-35 through downtown has not changed since it was built, with the exception of an elevated stretch of highway. The freeway system is probably about 10 years behind the growth of the metro area, and the new-ish toll roads, while nice, aren't used as much as they were projected (especially SH 130 which is off to the east of the metro area, was supposed to be the road for semis but it costs way too much for them).

 

Also, Austin has a horrible mess that is mass transit. Bus service and commuter rail... That's it. And the commuter rail doesn't even go anywhere, and a low number of people use it (like 3,000 a day I think).

 

As for other aspects of Austin, like the "weirdness"... Well, Austin has definitely lost its weirdness over the past few years, but that was bound to happen as more and more people moved here.

 

However... it's still a fantastic city, they have a great park system and hike & bike trail, and the food trailers aren't bad either.  ;)

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