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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:17 PM
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A small European city linked by fast rail to others. Nowhere isolated.

Oxford has about 150k people, for instance. For better weather, somewhere like Segovia (which is much smaller, but still an hour by train from Madrid).
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:22 PM
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i find santa barbara to be slightly calcified but i would be looking somewhere in southern/central california, for sure.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:23 PM
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Timbuktu, Mali.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:24 PM
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Santa Fe, NM
Sedona, AZ
Fort Collins, CO
Monterey, CA
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Key West, FL

To name a few...
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:27 PM
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Santa Barbara may only be 95 miles from Los Angeles, but good luck getting anywhere close to Ventura on the 101 in under two hours...

Also, Flagstaff's metro population encompasses all of Coconino County (by land, the second largest county in the United States after San Bernardino County), which includes places such as Page (2.5 hours north of Flagstaff) and Fredonia. No idea why CSA/MSA is set up the way it is, but city population itself (outside of a few tiny suburbs) is around 70-75,000 by last estimates.

Sedona's scenery is gorgeous, but traffic is an absolute nightmare and the built environment of the city itself leaves a lot to be desired, aside from maybe Uptown.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:38 PM
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I often fantasize about living in a small Swiss city - with the country's incredibly dense rail network it functions almost like a supersized, diffuse metro area. And of course, with fantastic scenery and living standards.






And the little cities pack quite a metropolitan punch for their size. Big fan of Chur (pop. 35,000) in particular:


Chur
by Twjst, on Flickr


Zug (pop. 30,000) is nice too - and better-located - though a little dull.


https://news.bauwerk-parkett.com/new...n-zug/?lang=en
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  #27  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 6:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
A small European city linked by fast rail to others. Nowhere isolated.
Yeah this is easily my answer too.

If we have to give a specific answer, without knowing all that much about the smaller cities of Europe... IDK... here are the ten largest French urbanized areas below the 150k threshold:

Brest
Nîmes
Le mans
Aix-en-Provence
Clermont-Ferrand
Saint-Denis
Tours
Limoges
Amiens
Metz

Except Saint-Denis (on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean) the rest all look amazing and 1,000 times better than any US option. And that's just France. Never mind the rest of Europe.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 7:40 PM
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Yes, anywhere on Lac Leman is great.

I am also kind of into Norrköping lately.



Helsingborg, too.

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  #29  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 8:47 PM
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The best of Canada's <150,000 cities is probably Saint John, NB (pop. 126,000). As one of the oldest and historically largest cities that has since stagnated, it has an oversized 19th century urban core that's quite charming & densely built:

https://goo.gl/maps/QVknWzxWJ24dVYpD8
https://goo.gl/maps/7FRn7iL6fuSu8Wrc9
https://goo.gl/maps/y5FSVLTLWy7zgdEc6
https://goo.gl/maps/uaKbCRGfRoHyTkat8



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  #30  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 8:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Yeah this is easily my answer too.

If we have to give a specific answer, without knowing all that much about the smaller cities of Europe... IDK... here are the ten largest French urbanized areas below the 150k threshold:

Brest
Nîmes
Le mans
Aix-en-Provence
Clermont-Ferrand
Saint-Denis
Tours
Limoges
Amiens
Metz

Except Saint-Denis (on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean) the rest all look amazing and 1,000 times better than any US option. And that's just France. Never mind the rest of Europe.
Don't confuse urbanized area and city proper.
All of them have urban area over 150,000 inhabitants, even more if you include the metropolitan area.

------ urban - metropolitan area
Tours: 353,042 - 492,722
Clermont-Ferrand : 265,892 - 479,096
Metz: 285,268 - 389,849
Le Mans: 210,018 - 347,348
Brest: 200,530 - 318,829
Amiens: 162,637 - 295,892
Limoges: 183,347 - 283,823
Nîmes: 184,750 - 266,593
Saint-Denis (Réunion): 179,925 - 202,993

Aix-en-Provence: city proper 143,006 but it's part of Marseille metropolitan area: 1,752,398.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 9:37 PM
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^ But Aix-en-Provence isn’t part of metro Marseille as Americans would understand it. If you’re going to call Aix part of Marseille, then basically all of Holland is a metro area.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 9:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
i find santa barbara to be slightly calcified but i would be looking somewhere in southern/central california, for sure.
Slightly off-topic question: what’s the deal with Oxnard?

It is on a fertile plain halfway between Santa Barbara and Malibu with some of the world’s best weather, and yet on Google Maps it looks like it belongs in Nebraska.

If America had any kind of decent rail service places like that would boom.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 9:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Slightly off-topic question: what’s the deal with Oxnard?
probably the awful name.

if it had a sexy name like "malibu" or "santa barbara", it'd probably be a lot nicer.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 9:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Slightly off-topic question: what’s the deal with Oxnard?

It is on a fertile plain halfway between Santa Barbara and Malibu with some of the world’s best weather, and yet on Google Maps it looks like it belongs in Nebraska.

If America had any kind of decent rail service places like that would boom.
You mean Nebraska meets the barrio?

Oxnard has always been an agricultural town; I believe they're known for their strawberries. In fact, every year, Oxnard is host to the California Strawberry Festival.

Back in the 80s, the drive through Oxnard from LA to Santa Barbara was all agricultural, with strawberry fields galore. Now, not so much. Along the 101, many of the strawberry fields have given way to shopping centers and tract homes. Kind of sad, actually.

Oxnard does have a train station, though. Amtrak and Metrolink both stop there. I've stopped through there on my Amtrak rides to Santa Barbara and back.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 10:23 PM
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^ Amtrak doesn’t offer the frequency or speed of service required to really link it to LA and Santa Barbara though. That’s my point. The thoughtless development is another issue of course.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Slightly off-topic question: what’s the deal with Oxnard?

It is on a fertile plain halfway between Santa Barbara and Malibu with some of the world’s best weather, and yet on Google Maps it looks like it belongs in Nebraska.

If America had any kind of decent rail service places like that would boom.
Its far enough from LA to not really be part of that Metro and it was dominated by its Port/Naval base keeping it a sort of smallish industrial/agricultural town.

All the wealth goes to Malibu and Santa Barbara.

Its probably great to get a SoCal beach lifestyle for relatively cheap as long as you can live with not being in a "flashy" city
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  #37  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
^ But Aix-en-Provence isn’t part of metro Marseille as Americans would understand it. If you’re going to call Aix part of Marseille, then basically all of Holland is a metro area.
It's part of metro area as Americans census would define it. More like Dallas-Forth Worth than New York City.
Obviously, it's not a suburb, more like a second core of a larger metropoitan area. In census, the metropolitan area is called Marseille - Aix-en-Provence metropolitan area.
Aix-en-Provence being a city with a long history and Marseille having a pretty weak core (economically).

If we broke Marseille-Aix-en-Provence metro area in two, Aix-en-Provence would be well over 150,000 inhabitants and then excluded for this thread.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 10:45 PM
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^ Amtrak doesn’t offer the frequency or speed of service required to really link it to LA and Santa Barbara though. That’s my point. The thoughtless development is another issue of course.
Understood.

I know what you mean, but that's part of the fun, though... it's faster to drive from LA to Santa Barbara than taking Amtrak (barring any traffic delays, of course), but 3 steady hours from LA to Santa Barbara is a relaxing and beautiful ride. And then you end up at the little Mission-style train station in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara... it's such a nice experience. Although it would be nice to have more frequent service.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
Its far enough from LA to not really be part of that Metro and it was dominated by its Port/Naval base keeping it a sort of smallish industrial/agricultural town.

All the wealth goes to Malibu and Santa Barbara.

Its probably great to get a SoCal beach lifestyle for relatively cheap as long as you can live with not being in a "flashy" city
And that's another thing I don't like about Oxnard; part of what gives a city its character, of course, are the people who live there. There's an asshole/conservative/military element there that just gives off a bad vibe. And parts of the barrio sections feel unsafe. I believe Oxnard still has a big Latino gang element.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post

And that's another thing I don't like about Oxnard; part of what gives a city its character, of course, are the people who live there. There's an asshole/conservative/military element there that just gives off a bad vibe. And parts of the barrio sections feel unsafe. I believe Oxnard still has a big Latino gang element.
Well now this is an interesting sentiment about blue collar and military people isnt it. Asshole=Conservative=military.

I think we could do some interesting analysis on how you perceive people based on this statement alone.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2019, 10:55 PM
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Well now this is an interesting sentiment about blue collar and military people isnt it. Asshole=Conservative=military.

I think we could do some interesting analysis on how you perceive people based on this statement alone.
I don't mind "blue collar."

What I do mind are hyper-masculine hyper jingoistic guys that have a tendency to get drunk when not on base, and generally start acting like assholes.

I've seen it in Oceanside and San Diego, and Oxnard. I've seen fights break out among these kind of people. And I know people who've experienced the same thing. A female friend of mine and her boyfriend at the time were harassed by racist jarheads (her words). But this is all subjective, of course.

For what it's worth, I have a few relatives who were in the military. They agree with me that a lot of them can be assholes. I don't doubt that many of them have authoritarian personality disorder; some of them probably even joined because of that. These are the same people who become asshole cops (vs. good cops).
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