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Old January 3rd, 2008, 06:31 AM   #1
cajun504
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Whats the most Cosmopolitan city in the south

I lived in New Orleans, on Beinville and N. Rendon, walking distance from the French Quarter, CBD, Carrolton Ave, City Park, Canal St, and Tulane Av. I had every thing I needed, groceries, a good job, recreation, higher education, and many big events, with out the use of a car , or even public transportation.

After the storm we have lived short term in some other cities, Baton Rouge, Little Rock, and Mobile, and none seem to be the same, Baton Rouge being the most different. This was brought to my a attention after jokes were made on a local BR radio station about New Orleans evecuees being compared to ants, covering the city and walking just to walk.

I dont mine the comparison, but in Baton Rouge you need at least a bus. I could be wrong but is New Orleans the only city in the south like this. Conversion and opinions on this would be great.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 02:13 PM   #2
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In most southern cities I have lived in or visited, there just isn't a pedestrian culture.

In Augusta, forget about it. There 's a Kroger on the edge of downtown, though the condos and apartments are over a bridge and freeway overpass several blocks away - not at all convenient. In Columbia, SC, there's a nice Publix downtown, but I don't know if it's walking distance to USC.

In Mobile, I would walk around my neighborhood (Michigan Ave. and Virginia St.) but not to any other part of town. I'd occasionally walk to downtown for Mardi Gras parades to avoid having to park, but it was a long walk (and I often complained ). When I lived on Airport Blvd., I didn't walk anywhere.

I was in Atlanta this weekend, and I'd say that might be the closest you can come to pre-Katrina NO. But I'd think you'd have to live in Buckhead or somewhere like Virginia-Highland, if you live out in the suburbs (where I did most of the time I lived there, in Gwinnett) it's as pedestrian-unfriendly as the smaller cities. Even when I lived "in town" (Clairmont Rd & I-85) I was more than 2-1/2 miles from the closest MARTA rail station, not walking distance IMO.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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Despite the debates on if its Southern or not, Washington, DC. Other than that metropolitan area and outside of New Orleans (I haven't visited since Katrina), I'd say Miami/Miami Beach. There are some large scale walkable areas there and its the densest, outside of pre-Katrina New Orleans, in the South.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 05:18 PM   #4
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My opinion, Washington DC is in no way the south.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 05:29 PM   #5
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This is a good topic. I think there are several good candidates small and large. note: a city's large size doesnt make it the most cosmopolitan city.

I think the historic district of Charleston, SC (which is a pretty big walkable area btw) is a great candidate and at the very least is in the top 5 in my book.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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I think that most people are confusing cosmopolitan with urban. Literally, cosmopolitan means:

Having constituent elements from all over the world or from many different parts of the world.


Having said that, there are really only 2 southern cities in my opinion, that could arguably be classified as cosmopolitan:

1) Miami
2) New Orleans

Historically, most southern cities have never been considered very worldly. Without a doubt, the most cosmopolitan cities in the US are New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 05:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnative View Post
I think that most people are confusing cosmopolitan with urban. Literally, cosmopolitan means:

Having constituent elements from all over the world or from many different parts of the world.


Having said that, there are really only 2 southern cities in my opinion, that could arguably be classified as cosmopolitan:

1) Miami
2) New Orleans

Historically, most southern cities have never been considered very worldly. Without a doubt, the most cosmopolitan cities in the US are New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Using your definition, Atlanta also qualifies as cosmopolitan and nationwide LA is as cosmopolitan as NYC and more so than Chi.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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(Meant for ncnative)
I was just posting the same thing when I noticed your post.
In fact cosmopolitan is in some ways synonymous with a large city.
I agree that some are confusing cosmopolitan with urban. I disagree with the cities you list. I think New Orleans is very provincial (or regional). Its kinda what makes it NO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakirz View Post

I was in Atlanta this weekend, and I'd say that might be the closest you can come to pre-Katrina NO. But I'd think you'd have to live in Buckhead or somewhere like Virginia-Highland, if you live out in the suburbs (where I did most of the time I lived there, in Gwinnett) it's as pedestrian-unfriendly as the smaller cities. Even when I lived "in town" (Clairmont Rd & I-85) I was more than 2-1/2 miles from the closest MARTA rail station, not walking distance IMO.
Clairmont Rd is by no means "in town".

Last edited by gwiATLeman; January 3rd, 2008 at 06:23 PM.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 06:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Using your definition, Atlanta also qualifies as cosmopolitan and nationwide LA is as cosmopolitan as NYC and more so than Chi.
I do not see Atlanta as being very cosmopolitan. Yes it has a large popoulation and yes there are alot of people from various cultures, but what you don't see are clusters of many different ethnicities and cultures that inherently define cosmopolitan cities like New York or San Fancisco.

Taking a large number of illegal immigrants or other minorities and sticking them in certain sections of town does not make a city cosmopolitan.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnative View Post
I do not see Atlanta as being very cosmopolitan. Yes it has a large popoulation and yes there are alot of people from various cultures, but what you don't see are clusters of many different ethnicities and cultures that inherently define cosmopolitan cities like New York or San Fancisco.

Taking a large number of illegal immigrants or other minorities and sticking them in certain sections of town does not make a city cosmopolitan.
There is a lot more cultural diversity in Atlanta than New Orleans which is a pretty unique place but not nearly as diverse as the other towns. Being able to pour a good cosmopolitan doesn't actually make a city "cosmopolitan".

I am not sure if the last line is a dig at LA, but LA is a lot more than illegal immigrants. We have huge Persian, Armenian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Israeli, Ethiopian, and European communities here in addition to our Spanish speaking population. As the country's movie and TV capital we have more creative people living here than in any other American city with the possible exception of NYC. In addition we have three of US News top thirty Universities (Cal Tech, UCLA, USC) and three of US News Top 15 Liberal Arts Colleges, second only to the state of Massachussetts in that regard. There are 56 orchestras in Los Angeles County and more in Orange, and the other surrounding counties. Most weeks you can select from more than 150 live theater performances. Our music scene rivals New York and London, and there are 300 museums in the greater LA area, more than Paris. We even have reasonably urban areas to walk though I admit they are not necessarily contiguous. LA is a difficult city to know for the casual tourist but just because our cultural amenities are spread out doesn't mean they don't exist.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svs View Post
There is a lot more cultural diversity in Atlanta than New Orleans which is a pretty unique place but not nearly as diverse as the other towns. Being able to pour a good cosmopolitan doesn't actually make a city "cosmopolitan".
The city of Atlanta & NO (not the metro area) are very similar in that almost 95% of the pop. are either black or white.

I think NO gets its cosmopolitan feeling from the number of different people that have formed its culture over the years. Many of these different cultures have merged over the years leaving their old world culture for the now existing one. This new culture may be more of a unified one but is very complex...thereby giving it its cosmolitan feel. This compared to a city like NY where many of the immigrant people often still live in their areas of the city retaining their ols world cultures & customs. I took the NY subway from Manhattan through Brooklyn to Coney Island & could tell what neighborhood I was in by who was on the subway train.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 05:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnative View Post

Taking a large number of illegal immigrants or other minorities and sticking them in certain sections of town does not make a city cosmopolitan.
I agree, but that was fucking hilarious
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Old January 4th, 2008, 05:44 AM   #13
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Greenparrot hit this on the head. Im a haft cajun, of Acadian decent, and my wife is French creole and her grandmother could not even speek english (french/cajun)

But I was not referring more to density them culture. I knew the way of life here was alot different but i never thought i would need a car so much in cities so big.

And remember, New Orleans was 450,000 people in just 197sq miles, 1.3 million in a metro not much bigger. many people dont know how land locked the city is. where the city stops, the bayous start. New Orleans is the 5th most densely populated metro in the US.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
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My opinion, Washington DC is in no way the south.
If not South, then no more North than South. It was basically founded by Southerners in any case.

I'm not defending it though, as it is a shrine to bloated and corrupt government.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun504 View Post
Greenparrot hit this on the head. Im a haft cajun, of Acadian decent, and my wife is French creole and her grandmother could not even speek english (french/cajun)

But I was not referring more to density them culture. I knew the way of life here was alot different but i never thought i would need a car so much in cities so big.

And remember, New Orleans was 450,000 people in just 197sq miles, 1.3 million in a metro not much bigger. many people dont know how land locked the city is. where the city stops, the bayous start. New Orleans is the 5th most densely populated metro in the US.
Our urban core is probably the #1 thing that surprises most outsiders. For a city our size, and with the lack of big business, we sure do have a very nice , dense, built-up, and compact downtown.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnative View Post
I do not see Atlanta as being very cosmopolitan. Yes it has a large popoulation and yes there are alot of people from various cultures, but what you don't see are clusters of many different ethnicities and cultures that inherently define cosmopolitan cities like New York or San Fancisco.

Taking a large number of illegal immigrants or other minorities and sticking them in certain sections of town does not make a city cosmopolitan.
HUh? I think even minorities and immigrants are allowed to choose where they live.

And now you're changing the definition to mean identical to NY and San Francisco.

Of course Atlanta is cosmopolitan as are Miami, Dallas and Houston, just not as cosmopolitan as NY.

Back to the point of what I think cajun504 meant with starting this thread. The most urban cities in the south I would say New Orleans and parts of Miami.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:34 PM   #17
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Imo, I can't put my finger on it, but there's definately a different feeling and vibe about Miami that gives it more of a cosmopolitan flair that Atlanta. It could be a combination of being a melting pot of international cultural diversity and having significant parts of the metro shaped by that. Atlanta, at least to me, feels like more of a traditional American dominated and influenced city.
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Last edited by Lakelander; January 4th, 2008 at 09:00 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #18
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IMO, I'd say, Miami.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 03:26 AM   #19
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1.Miami
2.Houston
3.Atlanta
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Old January 5th, 2008, 04:45 AM   #20
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Yeah, this thread seems to be about urban, not cosmopolitan... I would say Miami for cosmopolitan... I don't know about urban. I guess pre-Katrina NOLA. Maybe still NOLA. But with this whole new wave of urbanism I dont think it will continue to be NOLA.
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