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EffSizzle
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For Seattleites like myself, I'd have to say that the Pike Place Market is the heart and soul of this beautiful city. Where or what is the heart and soul of your hometown?

 

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I dont get what you mean? But Anyway, Darling Harbour would be Sydney's heart and soul by night and QVB by day.

QVB (Heart and soul by day)




Darling Harbour (Heart and Soul by night):



Is that what you mean??? If I had to pick one from the above - it would be QVB (Queen Victoria Building) Its what makes Sydney - Sydney.
 

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Proud Torontonian
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Toronto

Financially: Bay Street

Culturally: Have to say Yonge and Dundas Square or Kensington Market
 

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Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland is often called "Portland's living room." It's fairly small, though. Personally, I think Waterfront Park is a better reply, but PCS is closer to being the "center of town."

 
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The Lakefront, without a doubt. Home of some of the largest ethnic festivals in the world/U.S. (Irish, German, Polish, Native American, Italian American, Asian, African, Mexican, etc.) as well as the worlds largest music festival (Summerfest). Plus, a Calatrava art museum, marinas, beaches, urban forests, airshows, kite flying parks, etc.

 

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HK has several.

From Codino Divino
http://pbase.com/accl

Business wise it's Central


In HK Island, the heart and soul are the areas along and around Hennessey Road especially Wan Chai and Causeway Bay


In Kowloon, the heart and soul are the areas along and around Nathan Road especially Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok
 

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Hong Kong's consistently bustling areas are the residential districts, but shopping areas always create a bustle. In Kowloon, it's definitely Mongkok. Tsim Sha Tsui is only busy for the touristy areas along the waterfront and Nathan Road, and even Nathan Road dies down a bit past Jordan. East TST is extremely quiet.
 

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Hong Kong's consistently bustling areas are the residential districts, but shopping areas always create a bustle. In Kowloon, it's definitely Mongkok. Tsim Sha Tsui is only busy for the touristy areas along the waterfront and Nathan Road, and even Nathan Road dies down a bit past Jordan. East TST is extremely quiet.
Yes TST East is less vibrant but there are reason why I didn't become as bustling as central TST. The main problem is TST East is inacessible. Prior to the Nathan Rd. - KCR underpass, no MTR station is connected to TST East. Also, to reach TST East, you have to walk either from The Promenade or the overpass on Chatham Rd.

Tsim Sha Tsui is still the heart of most tourists kinda like Koa Shan Rd. in BKK. And it's where Nathan Rd. starts.

Central is still the primary CBD in HK but when you look at it, the heart and soul within HK Island is actually in Causeway Bay.
 

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In Ny it would probley be Brooklyn as the culture center becuase of its ethnic neighborhoods.
Buissness woud have to be Midtown
 

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In Ny it would probley be Brooklyn as the culture center becuase of its ethnic neighborhoods.
Buissness woud have to be Midtown
That would be debatable since The Financial District is also a centre of business in NYC and it's still where Wall St. is located.

Midtown Manhattan would more be the heart and soul of NYC because it's not just a centre of business but also a centre of culture, entertainment and tourism.

Some of my Midtown pics ;)

http://www.pbase.com/wanchtography/nyc







 

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Yes TST East is less vibrant but there are reason why I didn't become as bustling as central TST. The main problem is TST East is inacessible. Prior to the Nathan Rd. - KCR underpass, no MTR station is connected to TST East. Also, to reach TST East, you have to walk either from The Promenade or the overpass on Chatham Rd.

Tsim Sha Tsui is still the heart of most tourists kinda like Koa Shan Rd. in BKK. And it's where Nathan Rd. starts.

Central is still the primary CBD in HK but when you look at it, the heart and soul within HK Island is actually in Causeway Bay.
TST East is actually very accessible now that the KCR has its terminus station there. It has several bridges linking to the waterfront as well. TST East has traditionally been a nightclub and entertainment area, and since these places are normally not busy during the day, the whole area is a bit deserted.

Similarly, the main waterfront area at TST is not very accessible either. You either have to go underground to cross Salisbury Road or loop all the way around the Star Ferry bus terminus.

Tsim Sha Tsui tries to be an upscale shopping area, but Mongkok is where all the action is on Kowloon.

The residential areas, however, are the most bustling at night outside the shopping districts.
 

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TST East is actually very accessible now that the KCR has its terminus station there. It has several bridges linking to the waterfront as well. TST East has traditionally been a nightclub and entertainment area, and since these places are normally not busy during the day, the whole area is a bit deserted.

Similarly, the main waterfront area at TST is not very accessible either. You either have to go underground to cross Salisbury Road or loop all the way around the Star Ferry bus terminus.

Tsim Sha Tsui tries to be an upscale shopping area, but Mongkok is where all the action is on Kowloon.

The residential areas, however, are the most bustling at night outside the shopping districts.
Today yes that TST East is easier to access. As for the promenade, there are also underpass that connect it with areas within Nathan Rd.

Residential areas may be bustling but definitely not the heart and soul of HK. But it's certain residential areas though. Ok, even Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok or any centre of activity have flats ontop of shopping malls or shopping centres. But residentials in suburban areas or New Towns may not be as bustling. Pok Fu Lam for example is pretty quiet at night.
 

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What do you define as "heart and soul" of a city?


If by that you mean where is the most activity (nightlife, etc) found, then without a doubt it's 5 points South. Full of life, 24/7. People hardly believe they're in Alabama when they're hanging out on the Southside, because it's a very urban neighborhood with almost everything you could want in an urban neighborhood (minus rail transit), and I guess when you think of Alabama, "urban" is not the first word that comes to mind.


But if by "heart and soul" you're talking about a city's history and heritage, then downtown would be it (Civil Rights district, 4th Avenue North/Black Business District, etc) or Sloss Furnance/East Birmingham because Birmingham's heritage is that of a steelmaking city, and that's where a lot of the old steel mills once were. Or perhaps on Red Mountain because that's where some of the oldest and most well kept houses that now belong to the old money (descendants of the city's old elite families) families live.
 
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