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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the past 2 weeks I have spent a lot of time in these 3 downtown areas. I know Cleveland may seem like a stretch so I'll save that for last. I went to NYC over the weekend to go apartment and job hunting with my girlfriend since she is in musical theater, has an agent, is going in for an audition for Mamma Mia on Broadway, blah blah blah. I have to say that outside of Times Square, minus being immaculately clean, NYC felt so much like the Windy City. The architecture is a lot different and suprisingly it didn't feel as high as Chicago's. One can obviously tell that both cities began their development around the same time. I still have more of a love affair with Chicago than NYC, although I'm waiting for Jivecity to come on here and miraculously change my opinion (that is a joke by the way, I'm from Cleveland we all have dry senses of humor and homeless people living on our doorstep to go along with our failing economy and lack of being as cool as St. Louis). I sound so bitter but I'm actually being sarcastic I swear. Anyway, New York is a wonderful city, and it is the only other city besides Chicago where I could see myself setting up a permanent residence once I finally get this damn bachelor's degree. Now onto Cleveland. I have to say that Cleveland definitely has the potential, and had the potential but blew it somehow, to be on par with New York and Chicago. We're obviously smaller but we actually have some of the coolest stuff I've ever seen in a city of its size. We have the rock hall, the great lakes science center, a public library the size of Chicago's (I'm a nerd so I like libraries), key tower, the terminal tower, the warehouse district, University Circle, the best orchestra in the country (usually ranked right behind Vienna for tops in the world), an amazing art museum, the second largest theater district outside of New York, and a shit load of other cool stuff that nobody ever notices because the only recognition we ever get is for having the largest number of people who make under 25,000 dollars a year in one metro area. Go figure. I have to say though, that Cleveland has the potential to be a major player and a wonderfully active city. We just need to get people to go further north than Strongsville and Parma to look for a place to live. I know this is a rant but I truly feel that Cleveland is the only mid-sized city that has the potential to be in Chicago's league. Our history has always been one of experimentation and liberal attitudes, and in the 50's and 60's that really bit us in the ass. We had the second suburb in the country (in the modern sense of the word, meaning sprawl), and the first suburb ro ever have more than 100,000 citizens. And people wonder why our downtown suffered so much. I guess I would like to extend an invitation to anyone on the Chicago board to give the cleve another chance and I also would like to ask, what do you think we could have done differently? How did Chicago remain successful with a city that was set-up with the same foundations as Cleveland? Chi-town is my favorite city, and ultimately where I would like to end up, but I will always feel that Cleveland is that diamond in the rough that will never get its chance to reach its full potential. Thank you all for listening and have a wonderful day!
 

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on a side note- NYC, Chicago, and Cleveland have one more thing in common that I just found, out I-80!! It is in all 3 metro but never go insde the city limits!!

Anyways, back on subject. I hope that Cleveland is doing better than before and gain population soon. SOme of my relatives live in Cleveland, I forgot what part, if I find out, I'll post it.

As for "what do you think we could have done differently?"
Make the lake more attractive... get rid of the nickname "mistake on the lake" and to me, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum shouldnt be by the lake, but more inner city. Clean the Cuyahoga River, I heard form many site, that the water turn black and then caught on fire.
 

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Thanks for the compliments about Chicago. There are certainly some similarities and differences with New York. Like you, the only other place I could see myself setting up a permanent residence is New York. I love that place. You'll get varying opinions or preferences on the whole New York vs. Chicago idea depending on the subject matter. I like Chicago better for several reasons, but I love New York. If I were from New York, I would probably like it better than Chicago, but I would love Chicago.

The architecture didn't feel as high to you there because it isn't. Chicago's tallest buildings are bigger than New York's. The difference is that New York has more buildings that Chicago. It carries out the density from Lower Manhattan to Midtown and beyond whereas Chicago's tapers off. Also, where Chicago's highrise development is limited to the lakefront along LSD and tapers off as you move West, New York's does not. Manhattan is completely closed in by skyscrapers, and to an even greater degree when you include Jersey City. Its fucking awesome.

As far as Celveland goes, I think it gets some very good reviews on this forum. I wouldn't give up on it yet. In many ways, it is similar to St. Louis, which is entering a surge in building. Cleveland has just as much if not more potential than St. Louis does.

At this point, Cleveland will never be on par with New York or Chicago, but that really doesn't matter because it doesn't have to be. It is and will be a gem of the midwest for many years to come, and in my mind will always be the greatest city in Ohio.
 

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one thing that facors negatively into the equation for cleveland is the state in which it resides. cleveland has to fight with columbus and cincy for attention even within its own state, whereas as NYC and chicago so utterly dominate the states that they are in that the residents adopt a "chicago" or "NYC" identity at the expense of an "illinois" or "new york state" identity.
 

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JB_Gold Coast said:
Thanks for the compliments about Chicago. There are certainly some similarities and differences with New York. Like you, the only other place I could see myself setting up a permanent residence is New York. I love that place. You'll get varying opinions or preferences on the whole New York vs. Chicago idea depending on the subject matter. I like Chicago better for several reasons, but I love New York. If I were from New York, I would probably like it better than Chicago, but I would love Chicago.

The architecture didn't feel as high to you there because it isn't. Chicago's tallest buildings are bigger than New York's. The difference is that New York has more buildings that Chicago. It carries out the density from Lower Manhattan to Midtown and beyond whereas Chicago's tapers off. Also, where Chicago's highrise development is limited to the lakefront along LSD and tapers off as you move West, New York's does not. Manhattan is completely closed in by skyscrapers, and to an even greater degree when you include Jersey City. Its fucking awesome.
JB, I do respect your love of NYC and its density. And I can fully understand how density and other massive issues appeal to you with NYC more than they do in Chicago. However, I think that what is important than Chicago never being able to compete with New York in density (it won't) is Chicago's total desire not compete with New York in density. I get the feeling that the very lack of Manhattan type of density is selling point to Chicagoans and those from other places who love our city. Hell, I know it works for me.

There already a whole slew of Asian cities that probably exceed NYC density and more on the way. My sense is Chicago's more rational approach will make it faire far better than NYC in the future, as density-for-density sake will become more and more in question and the ills of excessive density become more and more apparent.
 

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edsg25 said:
JB, I do respect your love of NYC and its density. And I can fully understand how density and other massive issues appeal to you with NYC more than they do in Chicago. However, I think that what is important than Chicago never being able to compete with New York in density (it won't) is Chicago's total desire not compete with New York in density. I get the feeling that the very lack of Manhattan type of density is selling point to Chicagoans and those from other places who love our city. Hell, I know it works for me.

There already a whole slew of Asian cities that probably exceed NYC density and more on the way. My sense is Chicago's more rational approach will make it faire far better than NYC in the future, as density-for-density sake will become more and more in question and the ills of excessive density become more and more apparent.
In full agreement. For the record, I do like Chicago better, especially the skyline and its relationship with the water. I never said the density of New York appealed to me more. And while were on the subject, Chicago is no slouch when it comes to density. It is very dense and very huge. I was merely pointing out some of the aspects of New York that I really like and make sure I give it its proper due, if for nothing else so I didn't end up getting skewered by Jive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you to some people for the compliments that had to do with Cleveland. I know that Cleveland will never be in the same league as Chicago, but I do feel that if Chicago were to ever claim a mini me, then Cleveland should be it! On a side note, I just read that the same guy who designed Crocker Park (really cool new urban project that combines retail with housing in an old-fashioned city set up, but usually located in a suburb) has just proposed a similar set up downtown! He wants to break ground in June and along with it would come some really great retail business with stores such as H&M, Saks, a Cheesecake Factory, and other things that our downtown so desperately needs. I want to write in an opinion article to let the developers know my fears, and tell them to look to Chicago and NYC so they can really incorporate all of the business in a healthy way that will let people navigate the rest of the city as well. Crocker Park and Legacy Villiage are such mucrochosms that they almost feel like really fancy outdoor malls. That would suck if it was downtown. Hopefully this will help rejuvinate the city even more, along with all of the new housing projects that are either proposed or under construction on the lakefront. I will just end my post by saying that Chicago is awesome, and if my city ever wants to reinvent itself, it should definitely take some cues from its older brother to the west.
 

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sharptent said:
one thing that facors negatively into the equation for cleveland is the state in which it resides. cleveland has to fight with columbus and cincy for attention even within its own state, whereas as NYC and chicago so utterly dominate the states that they are in that the residents adopt a "chicago" or "NYC" identity at the expense of an "illinois" or "new york state" identity.
Bingo. Ohio in general is the only state over 10 million without a "megacity" (aka 4 million and up). Cincinnati and Cleveland are at 2 million and combined with Dayton or Akron, around 3 million. That is as close as we get. In a sense, we are a smaller version of Texas (in terms of how cities are spread). Cincinnati was once the greatest city west of Philadelphia. Then Chicago bitchslapped us AND took our stock market. Oh well. Whoopy do. Then in the 1900's, Cleveland came along and boomed and was Ohio's largest city. Now both are sinking compared to the South/West and the only "hope" now is Columbus, in terms of growth. I truely hope all three Ohio cities "come back" and attempt to dominate some sort of field or whatever but I'm satisfied with the Three C's.
 

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Cleavland is a great city and has much potential. But to be Chicago's mini-me it would have to start by reinventing it's relationship with it's lakefront. As far as having a mini-me, Chicago already has one... Toronto. I've been there many times and it's the one I feel most at home in. It's lakefront, cleanliness and other factors add to the sense of being in a slightly smaller Chicago. I even like their Hooter's better, with it's rooftop garden offering excellent views of the skyline at night. But if you go I must warn you about Chloe... not exactly the best waitress ever.

BTW The Chicago Symphony Orchestra headed by Daniel Barenboim is second to none and is doing a fine job of carrying on Sir George Solti legacy of excellence.
 

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I think that the NE-ern tide that hit the Midwest at pretty much the same time to Chicago, Toronto, and Ohio. It gave the cities (and some smaller ones) denser and vibrant cores, and the foundations of public transit. I think Sharptent raises a good point about Chicago, NY [and Toronto] not having to compete in-state with any other cities, while Cleveland obviously had to. Chicago became a Midwest hub because of its transportation/railway links and a center for manufacturing and commerce, and Cleveland became the Philadelphia/Boston secondary city that it is today. I think each region eves out competiting cities and comes out with a dominant cities. I think this may or may not happen in the Southeast too, just because of the coreless sprawly character of its cities.
 

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I've spent a lot of time in Chicago and I used to live in Cleveland. The two cities are very similar. They both are on lakes and the both have rivers that run through the middle of downtown. Both cities have a rivalry between citizens on opposite sides of the rivers. Both cities have very similar architecture including the numerous beautiful bridges that cross their rivers.

Clevelanders and Chicagoans are very similar too...They have a similar ethnic make up consisting of many ethnic Europeans, African Americans and fairly large Puerto Rican communities. Chicagoans and Clevelanders are big city people but have a hometown friendliness unlike their peers in NYC and Boston IMO.

Another great thing about these cities is their great neighborhoods. Both cities have an appreciation for art and vast cultural attractions.

Cleveland is much more hilly and has more opportunities to view the city from many angles and elevations.

Much of what made Chicago so great and left Cleveland behind was the railroad in the 1800s which made Chicago the gateway between America's east and west. Ever since Chicago has been a magnet for industry.

Cleveland definitely has the potential to be Chicago's mini me. The cities just feel the same. I grew up in Cleveland and have been to other cities all over the world but something about Chicago feels familar almost like home to me even though I have no family there. That has to be because the cities are so alike.

Chicago is Cleveland on steroids.

Cleveland would have been great if it hadn't lost so many jobs.

Things Cleveland should learn from Chicago....

You must see the waterfront as public space, Cleveland's biggest mistake was not making the lakefront a grand boulevand and public space like Chicago's. Cleveland has been planning to do this since my grandparents were kids there. Its also doesn't help to have an expressway between the city and the lakefront, I mean, who's great idea was that?

Cleveland needs growth more than anything. It's already a great city it just needs a burst of energy.

Cleveland needs to reinvent itself as a cool artsy place. The people are already cool and creative but the city still has that boring, midwestern factory city reputation. Cleveland needs a good public relations agent.

But growth can solve all of these problems. Cleveland just needs more jobs and everything else will fall into place.

Good luck Cleveland!
 

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I think people sometimes forget that Cleveland also served the role of the midway point between Chicago and New York, the link between the two. In was in this role that Cleveland had the tallest building in the nation (Terminal Tower) outside of NYC for almost an eternity.

One other thing I see that is special about Cleveland: out of all cities in the middle west, none is closer physically, emotionally, and historically to the northeast than is Cleveland. As part of CT's western reserve, Cleveland creates more of an east coast traditonal environment than any other city in our region. The midwestern city most similiar to Cleveland in that sense is Chicago. Chicago, for all its individuality and its own brand of midwestern drive, was is a product of an East Coast/Midwestern alliance, Chicago serving as the western link for Great Lakes shipping and commerce, paired with NYC in the east. Eastern interests, particularly NYC's, helped separate Chgo from other midwestern cities.
 

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This topic has been much on my mind recently - I was born in Detroit & spent chunks of my childhood in the bedroom communities of NYC, but lived in Cleveland for years before relocating to Chicago in '04. I still reflexively compare Chicago to both Cleveland & NYC.

Cleveland & Chicago share a certain topography - the Great Lakes/river thing, as lauderdalegator points out (lake-effect snow, anyone?); they have experienced similar immigration patterns; they are both quite segregated (East/West, Cleve; North/South, Chicago); their CBDs are both encased by industrial zones. Both of their rivers have caught on fire (although Chicago's caught fire first!)

Cleveland has an extraordinary arts scene for a city of its size, the legacy of robber-baron endowments (though, honestly, Chicago's theater scene is more vibrant - Cleveland puts on mostly touring shows (CPT excepted)). You do need a car or bus pass in Cleveland - the Rapid is an excellent commuter rail system, but its inner-city stations were designed for population clusters that have since shifted - this is especially so on the East side. The city of Cleveland seems more focused on NYC than on Chicago.

Cleveland is a timber-frame city, having had no Great Fire to spur masonry construction. My last Cleveland 'hood of Tremont was a dynamic, fun place to live (and Civilization is a great coffee house), but I can't say that it really felt at all like Chicago (much wood, lower density). The Cleveland 'hood with the most "Chicago" feel to it is, IMHO, the W. 25th St./Market area.

The crucial difference between the two burgs, I posit, is that Cleveland has evolved primarily as an industrial producer, whereas Chicago has evolved primarily as an industrial processor. Transitioning into a service economy has come more naturally to Chicago than to Cleveland, because Chicago has always provided services in addition to supplying manufactured goods.

Somehow, Chicago manages to be pro-business and pro-labor simultaneously - the legacy of Carter Harrison? - the business/labor divide in Cleveland is huge, a real chasm.

What realy strikes me as different about the two cities (and this sounds kinda goofy, I know) is the quality of light. Cleveland gets serious lake effect cloud cover from Lake Erie, and the light there is soft & muted. On a clear day, Chicago's light is so very lucid, almost like San Francisco's. This was a real surprise to me. A blue Chicago sky can be so intense, I practically want to weep with joy (corny, but true).
 

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ColDayMan said:
Bingo. Ohio in general is the only state over 10 million without a "megacity" (aka 4 million and up). Cincinnati and Cleveland are at 2 million and combined with Dayton or Akron, around 3 million. That is as close as we get. In a sense, we are a smaller version of Texas (in terms of how cities are spread). Cincinnati was once the greatest city west of Philadelphia. Then Chicago bitchslapped us AND took our stock market. Oh well. Whoopy do. Then in the 1900's, Cleveland came along and boomed and was Ohio's largest city. Now both are sinking compared to the South/West and the only "hope" now is Columbus, in terms of growth. I truely hope all three Ohio cities "come back" and attempt to dominate some sort of field or whatever but I'm satisfied with the Three C's.
ColDay, since the rise of Columbus has been a relatively new thing (there was a time it was more Madison-like, mainly the home of the state capital and state u, but not huge city), is there a tendency in Cincy and Cleveland, two very well established cities, not to take it seriously?
 

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AREA in SQ mile POP Density
Columbus city, OH 210.3 711,470 3,383.1
Cincinnati city, OH 78.0 331,285 4,247.2
Cleveland city, OH 77.6 478,403 6,165.0

I dont think Colombus is the new hope, as they cheated(got more almost 3 times as much as the other Major C city in Ohio).
 

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Wow, I'm flattered that I've been mentioned so many times, but you people have me all wrong. I can easily see how one would prefer Chicago over New York, I just don't think anyone in their right mind could ever say Chicago is the superior city by any measurable standard. I don't know why it makes you guys so angry with me when I say that Chicago and New York are just not even on the same playing field IMO. Anyone has the right to disagree with me.

As for Cleveland, it has always been one of my very favorite cities and it used to be one of the major players (as did STL and several other places that have lost luster). But it is an old economy city. It probably won't ever be "sexy" to live in Cleveland, but I don't know why you'd want it to be. It's a hometown. It's got what you need, it just isn't glitzy. One drawback of Cleveland that doesn't plague places like Saint Louis, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati is that Cleveland is pretty fucking ugly when it comes to residential neighborhoods. It was built to be practical, functional and utilitarian, but not beautiful. It's not really going to exude an "oh my god, I can't believe I can afford one of these beautiful homes!" to the same degree as the other cities I mentioned. That's not an attack (because I absolutely love Cleveland), but it is the truth. The other cities are built primarily of brick, and that makes a huge difference, whereas Cleveland is mostly frame. It's just not that pretty of a city, although it does have examples of great architecture. I'm always rooting for Cleveland, and I know it will continue to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Monadnock, the way you put it was very well said. I have to agree that for the most part, a lot of Cleveland feels nothing like Chicago until you get downtown around Euclid and E. 9th, and also around W 25th. The fact that Cleveland has to compete with a lot more cities that are close by is an interesting point. I never stopped to think that cities like Chicago and New York are basically on their own when it comes to regional supremicy. Cleveland has to compete with Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinatti, Detroit, and to an extent Chicago. Compared to the cities we have to compete with (minus Chicago) I will always have a bias that says Cleveland is the superior based on the culture that exists within the city. But, again that's hometown bias so I could be totally wrong, but in my trips to the neighboring cities, none of them seemed as alive or as important as Cleveland. Until I actually visited Chicago, I knew nothing about the hugeness of it. I just thought it was like all of the other great lakes cities...run down, medium sized, and tortured by sprawl. I guess I didn't read enough when I was younder. :)
 
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