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  #141  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
I know, it's odd. My wife, for instance, loves the townhouse/streetcar suburb aspect of Toronto ("the whole city is made of houses!") but every time we look around, she's like "of course, you would want a gate or something...".

Not really sure why it's the case, but fences (usually chain link or wood picket, sometimes hedges) are actually pretty common in many inner parts of the city - at least in the traditionally more working class areas: https://goo.gl/maps/KEnkWHEk9pmoNavR6

A lot less common in upscale areas though - but I'm not sure if it's that they've since been removed during renovations or just never existed in the first place: https://goo.gl/maps/ucwvd4DrMDEoDj7bA

But they definitely don't exist at all once you get out to the streetcar suburb areas or further: https://goo.gl/maps/si4N5GRPZZRznhjy7
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  #142  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
There are tons of beautiful suburbs, ranging from streetcar suburbs to suburbs with rolling hills and preserved farmland, some of them only 30 minutes from Center City Philadelphia.
Thanks for showing these. I am especially impressed with Kennett Square
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  #143  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
Anyhow, I don't mind the fencing. I think it looks nice
chicago's black iron fencing is visually porous enough that it's not nearly as big of an issue as places where walls/hedges are common.

that said, if given the choice to live on one of these two streets (the streets themselves, not the neighborhoods):

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8978...7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9475...7i16384!8i8192


i'd definitely take the latter.
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  #144  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:40 PM
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I've actually come to like the look of front fencing, which on the whole is a thoroughly non-North American thing. With exceptions as noted, of course. It's actually odd that Canada has as little as it does, considering that in other major British colonies it was the norm. It's the norm in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa - even when security isn't a concern.

At least privacy fencing in the backyard is common here... suburbs that lack backyard fencing or only have a small chain link one are disconcerting to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
that's odd. i've lived here for 43 years and have never been "trapped" by chicago fencing.
Happened to me while staying at an airbnb! I forget the exact circumstances but there was something about the gate that wasn't immediately obvious, but luckily the owner was able to solve it via texting pretty quickly.
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  #145  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 5:39 PM
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In Romania it's very common to have full-height non-transparent walls for the front yard on houses. It's also not common to have a backyard.
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  #146  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 6:26 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
In Romania it's very common to have full-height non-transparent walls for the front yard on houses. It's also not common to have a backyard.
I think Chicago has examples of this from some of the townhomes built in the 70s, 80s, etc in places like Sandburg Village, parts of Lincoln Park, etc etc.

I really can’t stand them, although I can understand why they were built this way at the time
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  #147  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 6:55 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I think Chicago has examples of this from some of the townhomes built in the 70s, 80s, etc in places like Sandburg Village, parts of Lincoln Park, etc etc.

I really can’t stand them, although I can understand why they were built this way at the time
yeah, you're talking about trash like these horrid beasts.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9062...7i16384!8i8192

life must have been utterly terrible back in the bad old days.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 20, 2019 at 7:16 PM.
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  #148  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 7:29 PM
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^ Ugh, horrible
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  #149  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Not really sure why it's the case, but fences (usually chain link or wood picket, sometimes hedges) are actually pretty common in many inner parts of the city - at least in the traditionally more working class areas: https://goo.gl/maps/KEnkWHEk9pmoNavR6

A lot less common in upscale areas though - but I'm not sure if it's that they've since been removed during renovations or just never existed in the first place: https://goo.gl/maps/ucwvd4DrMDEoDj7bA

But they definitely don't exist at all once you get out to the streetcar suburb areas or further: https://goo.gl/maps/si4N5GRPZZRznhjy7
On my street in Downtown East nearly every single home or apartment building has a black cast iron fence with a gate around the small front yards.
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  #150  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Ugh, horrible
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.4359...7i13312!8i6656 (wealthier neighborhood)
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.4698...7i13312!8i6656 (not as wealthy neighborhood)

Here is what I mean (although maybe a higher fraction than I immediately remember are transparent). What's nice is that that it makes it seem like there are no setbacks.
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  #151  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 1:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
where are you getting that 60,000 number from?

the densest census tract i can find in brookline is tract 4009 at ~29,500 ppsm. that's still extremely respectable for a burb, but 60,000 ppsm is another level of urban.

but yeah, brookline is a weird hybrid. the 7 smaller northern tracts are all quite urban in the 20,000 -30,000 ppsm range, then you have 3 middle tracts in the 10-15,000 ppsm, and finally the two large southern tracts in the 2,500 ppsm range.

that's quite a density spectrum for a 6.8 sq. mile burb . i can't think of any burbs in chicago quite like that. i mean, like you said, there are full-blown country estates in the southern end of brookline that are a mere 4.5 miles from boston city hall. you don't see shit like that in chicagoland until you're like 20 miles outside of downtown.
That's my bad, for some reason I mixed Coolidge Corner in with the Fenway and Longwood tracts to its immediate east. I should have realized that wasn't right.

But yeah, you summed up why I love Brookline with the census tract gradation. And that you get all this so close to downtown, with multiple Green Line stations. Whatever urban-suburban-(nearly) rural form you want to live in, it's available in Brookline. If you can afford it, of course.
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  #152  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 1:56 AM
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Here are some of those Boston burbs I mentioned before:

Lynn (95,000 people, 3.5 miles northeast of Boston, nice blue-collar bones):
https://goo.gl/maps/fxegCK5aiyUmBG8G7

Stoneham (22,000 people, 9 miles north of Boston, solidly Massachusetts middle-class):
https://goo.gl/maps/zt6mhoL47Ls7m6ED9

Melrose (28,000 people, 7 miles north of Boston, same as Stoneham):
https://goo.gl/maps/5gBpzgNvjJzsihUM7

Arlington (45,000 people, 6 miles northwest of Boston, basically North Cambridge, which it actually was at one point):
Downtown: https://goo.gl/maps/bWkDzAzgSkqBAsRg6
Arlington Heights neighborhood, one of my favorites: https://goo.gl/maps/B3uQFg4X16yQxUje8

Belmont (27,000 people, 6.5 miles northwest of Boston, upper-middle class, where Mitt Romney's MA residence is):
https://goo.gl/maps/hg3P8kEn36FivLhn7

Salem (43,000 people, 14 miles northeast of Boston, mixed middle and upper-middle, really worth checking out in Street View):
https://goo.gl/maps/Ey5wfLwQU8T4L9Gh6
https://goo.gl/maps/j87jbCzNz89pR7aT6
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  #153  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 3:30 AM
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Here are my favorite Providence suburbs. Similar vernacular to the Boston ones for obvious reasons, but with subtle differences (more gambrels and Capes).

Attleboro, MA (45,000 people, 10 miles northeast of Providence, working-class through and through, tons of awesome Portuguese bakeries, great little zoo):
https://goo.gl/maps/VtXXBmfMzktHSdnp9

Bristol, RI (23,000 people, 12 miles southeast of Providence, one of RI's wealthiest suburbs, home of the lovely Colt State Park):
Downtown: https://goo.gl/maps/xeS5x9dd51EbyECe8
Independence Park: https://goo.gl/maps/mAqkSbW8oiMTQNcQ8

Warren, RI: (12,000 people, 12 miles east of Providence, middle-class):
https://goo.gl/maps/roRrhkZtmVA8hRyE7
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  #154  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
That's my bad, for some reason I mixed Coolidge Corner in with the Fenway and Longwood tracts to its immediate east. I should have realized that wasn't right.

But yeah, you summed up why I love Brookline with the census tract gradation. And that you get all this so close to downtown, with multiple Green Line stations. Whatever urban-suburban-(nearly) rural form you want to live in, it's available in Brookline. If you can afford it, of course.
I lived in Brookline for years -- once off the C Line [off Winchester Street], close to CC, but a majority of the time off I lived next to D-Line [one stop away from Longwood], however I used to skip the D-Line and walk a tad bit farther to the E-Line just across the River Way [technically in Boston city limits] if I wanted to hit up the South End, or the backside of the Prudential Center/Copley Plaza -- especially on game days!]

Most of Brookline is 'Boston' -- the Southern half is another story.

-----

Back in the day when I lived off Winchester St:
Boston has always been a gritty working class city up until about the late 1990s. One of my sisters had an apartment in Brighton for about $400/month. At night, after supper, I used to walk her to her apartment because it was F'n dark and shady back then. And by back then, we're really not talking that long ago, gang.
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  #155  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 3:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Back in the day when I lived off Winchester St:
Boston has always been a gritty working class city up until about the late 1990s. One of my sisters had an apartment in Brighton for about $400/month. At night, after supper, I used to walk her to her apartment because it was F'n dark and shady back then. And by back then, we're really not talking that long ago, gang.
For real, you could buy an entire South End bowfront for $60-80k in 1993, methadone stoop-junkie included. That same bowfront won’t sell for less than $1 million now, at the low end. You might even still get the methadone junkie though if you’re on the BU Medical side of the South End...

I never got to go to college in Boston, but my brother lived in the Brighton student jungle in the early 2000s and it was still rough then.
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  #156  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 12:18 PM
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Those Boston burbs are incredible.
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  #157  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 3:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Here are my favorite Providence suburbs. Similar vernacular to the Boston ones for obvious reasons, but with subtle differences (more gambrels and Capes).

Bristol, RI (23,000 people, 12 miles southeast of Providence, one of RI's wealthiest suburbs, home of the lovely Colt State Park):
Downtown: https://goo.gl/maps/xeS5x9dd51EbyECe8
Independence Park: https://goo.gl/maps/mAqkSbW8oiMTQNcQ8

Warren, RI: (12,000 people, 12 miles east of Providence, middle-class):
https://goo.gl/maps/roRrhkZtmVA8hRyE7
Both have Colt State park right near there too...which is an amazing spot on a nice warm/sunny day.
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  #158  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 4:32 PM
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Does Boston even have suburbs in the traditional sense? I thought it was nothing but old New England towns or even cities (Salem) that were absorbed into Boston's sphere of influence.
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  #159  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 4:40 PM
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Does Boston even have suburbs in the traditional sense? I thought it was nothing but old New England towns or even cities (Salem) that were absorbed into Boston's sphere of influence.
There are some "new-growth" suburbs, but they won't make these lists. Well the towns are old, but they were tiny and there is not much old stuff there. Billerica is one example.
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  #160  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2019, 5:09 PM
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I don't care much for any of Houston's suburbs, to be honest. Most of Houston proper is suburban anyways

As for fences around residential front yards, I think they look ugly and are a cue signalling what kind of area it is. If you appreciate them you must be thinking of neighborhoods where these front yard fences are well maintained decorative elements whose style matches the architecture of the homes and have a consistent look from house to house. For example some old bourgeious east coast hood where all the victorian era red brick rowhouses have appropriate looking wrought iron fences a few feet from their stoops and basement stairs.

In Houston, desirable upper middle class neighborhoods have HOA's and deed restrictions that forbid them while poor and working class neighborhoods with high crime have fences around yards. These fences are either chain link or the cheap kind of fake wrought iron, or painted wood, and tend to be very tall. They are often rusty or peeling or are falling down. People also keep a lot of old vehicles and junk in their front yard.

I think it may be a hispanic thing, too. Not trying to be racist or imply that an influx of latinos makes a neighborhood bad, this is simply an observation of how lower income hispanic areas differ from comparable areas. Poor black(Acres Homes, 5th ward) and working class white(Pasadena) neighborhoods don't have front yard fences but across the road in Aldine or East End its all fences. In Mexico houses have walls around them, neighborhoods are just mazes of concrete walls. I'm sure its a cultural thing with a lot of well reasoned justifications, like people wanting the security and being able to delineate the entirety of their property as private space and making use of it. My personal opinion though is that makes the street feel cramped and enables people to turn their front yards into storage space that accumulate junk which becomes rat and mosquito hangouts.

The reality of living in a city with no zoning or planning whatsover is that you can only choose to live in a neighborhood which has a lot of restrictive bylaws and an expensive monthly fee but has great curb appeal and no sketchy neighbors, or you can live in a totally unrestricted area that may start to accumulate nuisance activities like truck storage lots or multiple trailers pushed together into makeshift slum apartments. The restrictive HOA neighborhoods also have things like good streets with curbs and sidewalks and streetlights and private parks for residents only, while in the unrestricted areas there are zero parks, blacktop one lane streets with huge culverts, leaning overhead power lines, etc.
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