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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:12 AM   #21
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Fresno's is on its way up check out the skyscraperpage forum
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:47 AM   #22
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I don't see how they came up with a tie between San Diego and San Francisco. San Diego's downtown is cute, but it does feel like a gentrified suburb next to San Francisco. Every time I go to the Gaslamp/East Village I feel like if I were in a made-up development filled with similar looking condo towers.

And to the guy who said San Jose had the best downtown, I hope you are being sarcastic! San Jose's downtown is so lacking it makes Oakland's look like a glorious and busy metropolitan center!
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 11:02 AM   #23
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The East Village doesn't have any identical condo towers, let alone ones that look alike.

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Old September 22nd, 2007, 06:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewback View Post
And to the guy who said San Jose had the best downtown, I hope you are being sarcastic! San Jose's downtown is so lacking it makes Oakland's look like a glorious and busy metropolitan center!
If you're talking relative to population, then yes. Otherwise, Oakland's is not really superior.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewback View Post
I don't see how they came up with a tie between San Diego and San Francisco. San Diego's downtown is cute, but it does feel like a gentrified suburb next to San Francisco. Every time I go to the Gaslamp/East Village I feel like if I were in a made-up development filled with similar looking condo towers.

And to the guy who said San Jose had the best downtown, I hope you are being sarcastic! San Jose's downtown is so lacking it makes Oakland's look like a glorious and busy metropolitan center!

Dewback, when did you move to Oakland?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 11:33 PM   #26
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Well, I moved to the Bay Area when I came to Cal. I lived in Berkeley my first year, but then I found a much better deal living in Oakland. The commute isn't bad, and this area of the city is relatively safe.

Krudmonk, when I saw San Jose's downtown my first reaction was: "THIS is their downtown!?" Oakland's downtown is not glamorous, but at least it has more density and better public transportation access (BART beats the VTA light rail system). Also, while I found Oakland's downtown to be too empty, San Jose's was even worse. It is understandable because it is where the valley meets the city, but still.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 03:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewback View Post
Krudmonk, when I saw San Jose's downtown my first reaction was: "THIS is their downtown!?" Oakland's downtown is not glamorous, but at least it has more density and better public transportation access (BART beats the VTA light rail system). Also, while I found Oakland's downtown to be too empty, San Jose's was even worse. It is understandable because it is where the valley meets the city, but still.
So you saw it once? I've seen Oakland's downtown at 10Am on a Friday morning and 10PM on a Friday night (on several occasions). It looked about the same, with a few scattered people. This is not to say I didn't have my fun, because I know to look beyond street traffic, but it was not at all a bustling core. Downtown Oakland also lacks the presence of an arena to occasionally create that spike in activity. SJSU further aids in presence during daytime hours. Of course, we sit in opposite positions in that I've seen the more of one and you have more of the other.

Also, what does "where the valley meets the city" even mean?

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Old September 24th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #28
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Hrmm... I really like San Diego and the direction in which the city is moving, but to tie it with San Francisco for downtown is a stretch. San Diego just doesn't have the maturity to equal San Fran. Give it another 5-10 years, maybe, and San Diego could be at that level.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #29
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Quote:
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berkeley top 5 best small town? hurm......
Thanks for someone pointing it out before me. I guess the subjective comes into play a lot here.

Personally, I rather like Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa, and I'm happy (though a bit confused) that San Mateo got an honorable mention. San Mateo downtown, though not bad by any standards, lack distinctiveness, and covers about 3 blocks by 4-5 blocks... all of which feature random little stores that... well, honestly, don't make it any distinctive than other downtowns, especially for a 90,000 people city. Central Park is also a bit of a misery.

Berkeley is a dump, I suppose if you're into "history" and "flavor" and all that stuff about Berkeley, it does have that vibe. Bums everywhere on the street, don't walk into People's Park I walk by there on the way to the BART station from my dorm, and it STINKS, BART station is a disgrace (though not the worst one), and everything has a dreary feel to it. Certainly not a happy place to be in. At least it has character I suppose, something that, admittedly, Santa Rosa doesn't.

Never been to Chico, and Santa Barbara is nice, but a bit overrated IMO.

Redwood City has always been a dreadful dead place in the past, but I agree that it's picked up, still, it, again, lacks definitive character (at night, I could almost confuse the place with Burlingame). Long way to go until it makes it up top, but I think it has to situate itself as the gate to Silicon Valley or something, make it more than just another small town downtown.

Santa Monica is overrated, but it is very, very nice, kudos for that.

I'm surprised SLO isn't there, one of the biggest cities between SF and LA, and it's got a downtown that has a mixture of a college atmosphere, and old school gentleman's feel, very classy, mixed with a huge block of brand new development. All in the middle of nowhere. It should've gotten an honorable mention.

As for the big towns, Anaheim is miserable, but Oakland really isn't that bad (during the day) nice clean, perhaps a bit quiet, but the newer developments around the BART station will make anything you've heard about Oakland disappear from the back of your mind.

SAN JOSE should've been up in the top five. The downtown core surprised me by how nice it was. It felt like a supped up suburban town, the perfect blend of the suburban peace and bliss you wish to find and the busy and hustle and bustle of a downtown. It's a bit monotonous, but very, VERY nice.

Oh, and Richmond isn't that bad. I would rather be in El Cerrito, but Richmond doesn't feel all that dangerous, certainly on the lower end, but I don't think it's one of the worst.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewback View Post
Well, I moved to the Bay Area when I came to Cal. I lived in Berkeley my first year, but then I found a much better deal living in Oakland. The commute isn't bad, and this area of the city is relatively safe.

Krudmonk, when I saw San Jose's downtown my first reaction was: "THIS is their downtown!?" Oakland's downtown is not glamorous, but at least it has more density and better public transportation access (BART beats the VTA light rail system). Also, while I found Oakland's downtown to be too empty, San Jose's was even worse. It is understandable because it is where the valley meets the city, but still.
I don't understand the thing about San Jose's downtown being too empty. During the weekdays most people are off to work, and to be honest, it is a disgrace the number of people that cross the downtown area (esp financial district) in not just SJ and Oakland, but even SF down Market street and LA in the financial center.

During the weekend, however, I find the Oakland stays pretty empty, without too much people (aside from Chinatown) but San Jose is bustling with activity, people crossing streets and sipping coffees on the roadside. That gives it such a warm feeling that San Francisco only matches, and not surpass.

Perhaps I've been too used to the way of life in Hong Kong, but cities in California all tend to disappoint me when it comes to how desolate the streetlife is. But Within that criteria, San Jose is definitely up there. It may not be hustle and bustle, but it is very warm and friendly, relaxed and (somehow) cultured (for lack of a better word)
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Old September 24th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by CU_rak View Post
Hrmm... I really like San Diego and the direction in which the city is moving, but to tie it with San Francisco for downtown is a stretch. San Diego just doesn't have the maturity to equal San Fran. Give it another 5-10 years, maybe, and San Diego could be at that level.
I think everyone in San Diego agrees with you. I would even tack on another 5 years to that also. We got a way to go...
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Old September 25th, 2007, 05:49 AM   #32
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Woohoo, go Pasadena!

LA should definitely follow Pasadena's script.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #33
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Fresno's is on its way up check out the skyscraperpage forum

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=136416
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Old September 25th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #34
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So you saw it once? I've seen Oakland's downtown at 10Am on a Friday morning and 10PM on a Friday night (on several occasions). It looked about the same, with a few scattered people. This is not to say I didn't have my fun, because I know to look beyond street traffic, but it was not at all a bustling core. Downtown Oakland also lacks the presence of an arena to occasionally create that spike in activity. SJSU further aids in presence during daytime hours. Of course, we sit in opposite positions in that I've seen the more of one and you have more of the other.
Downtown Oakland is not a bustling core except during commute times. Otherwise its pretty quiet but not dead(weekends and nights are dead though) Chinatown is pretty bustling during the day and evenings and Jack London Square can be jumping some weekend nights.

I do think Oakland has some very interesting neighborhoods in Downtown and right next to Downtown-Lake Merritt is a jewel and the confluence of Grand/Lakeshore make up a very vibrant area.....not to mention Piedmont Av and College Av which arent that far either.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 07:50 AM   #35
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wow, those pictures of Fresno were depressing, but wait til you see it in person, believe it or not, it gets much worse, when your driving down highway 99 you can barely see it, I think downtown Visalia is a bit better and its tallest are 6,8 and 9 story buildings

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Old November 25th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #36
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Old November 26th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #37
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What about downtown Sacramento compared to the downtowns of San Jose and Oakland? Personally, I think Sac's downtown sucks but hopefully with the railyards moving forward, the developers will make it more pedestrian friendly. Dtwn Sac is lacking residents thus no bars, clubs, retail, etc. Midtown is where its all at. I want to know what u guys think?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 03:16 AM   #38
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How about Down Town Mountain View? Pretty nice last time I was there. A Good mix of commercial big and smaller stores. It is admittedly kinda small but a nice Downtown never the less.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #39
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Mountain View is a bit small, as you said.

All it is is basically down Castro street from El Camino to the railroad.

It is rather nice, though, but lacks character somehow.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 02:13 AM   #40
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"I'm surprised SLO isn't there, one of the biggest cities between SF and LA, and it's got a downtown that has a mixture of a college atmosphere, and old school gentleman's feel, very classy, mixed with a huge block of brand new development. All in the middle of nowhere. It should've gotten an honorable mention. "

I agree that San Luis Obispo might be the nicest, but it is probably because the cities official population is actually around 75,000, but inside the city limits is only 44,000.. This does not include Cal Poly (16,000) and many residents who aren't incorporated for some reason (estimated at 15,000 people). The 'metropolitan' population of the area is 225,000..

Anyway, San Luis Obispo is a growing destination, with commercial flights to cities as far away as Salt Lake City.. and soon Denver/Seattle, so I consider it at least a small mid-sized city.. It's older than the U.S. (1772)

Here are some shots:

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there are 2 volcanoes in town, Cerro San Luis (Madonna Mt.) and Bishop's Peak

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4 blocks from downtown lies the San Luis Obispo trainstation, (and the northern terminus of the Pacific Surfliner line).

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performing arts center (outside downtown granted)



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Because the city is so old, you see things you don't in other California cities, such as unreinforced brick alleyways.

image hosted on flickr

the (central coast) famous BubbleGum Alley
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