How Your City Is Killing You With Ugliness

The modern world attempts to shun beauty.  Pause and think for a moment of something (not someone) beautiful.  Chances are you were thinking of something old.

Perhaps the Grand Canyon, or a similar beautiful and peaceful pastoral site formed millions of years ago.  Perhaps a sunrise on a beach far from the concrete jungle.  Perhaps a religious symbol or beautiful house of worship.  Perhaps a work of art or a classical masterwork of music.

One thing I can almost guarantee:  If you were thinking of a city or building, you were thinking of the ancient world.

Prague, Czechoslovakia

American intellectual Joseph Campbell stated

If you want to see what a society really believes in, look at what the biggest buildings on the horizon are dedicated to.

I recently returned from a two week trip to Mexico filled with churches and beautiful buildings constructed almost 500 years ago, which was far more beautiful than my 20th century American city.  The world of the 1500s seems so ancient and primitive, and yet paradoxically life was superior in many ways to The Current Year.

Florence, Italy

Of course, a mosquito carrying malaria could quickly end your life, as modern antibiotics and medicines did not exist, and a family would need to have several offspring to ensure that a couple of them survived childhood, as the infant mortality rate was much higher, but there was a solid framework built around a patriarchal family, who dined on fresh, local, farm raised food, as men toiled at physical work, which kept them strong and mentally focused, while women played to their strengths of being nurturing mothers and caregivers.

Public Life on Display in Vienna, Austria

These families lived in beautiful cities that were planned and designed with a purpose in mind. Indeed, many cities today exist in their current form only because we are still appreciating their ancient architecture.

The city of Florence holds less than 400,000 residents, and, without its incredible art and architecture, would be a typical small city in the interior of Italy.  And yet it receives 13 million tourists a year, primarily due to the wise decisions by past leaders that created a stimulating city filled with beautiful sights at every turn.


Design is the fundamental component of culture.

Detailed plans for the construction of the Palace and Gardens at Versailles

Whether one is speaking of a city, a song, an iPhone, or a website, the central question is what type of thing do I want to create, beyond its mere function?  Do I want a website that is filled with changing content, so people return to it?  Do I want a phone with a large screen that is easy to use and feels good in the hand or pocket?

Do I want a city that upholds beauty and ideals, reinforces structure and order, and makes people happy?  All of these questions begin with design.  And so much of the modern world is not designed at all.

The SJW has not planned or designed her life.  She is studying wymen’s studies because she is a brave, strong, and independent multisexual, and she will figure out how to earn a living later. The perpetual drunk has not planned anything besides at which bar or pub to spend the rest of this week’s paycheck. Whether on an individual, national, or global level, design is the fundamental concept of culture.

Successful people and successful civilizations have something in common: Planning

Indeed, despite evidence of individual conspiracies, I don’t believe the main problem with the modern world is that a secret society is executing a planned program of evil, but that there is simply no plan at all.

What we are seeing is not a coordinated plan of evil; it is what happens when there is no coordinated plan at all.

The Old World Order, held together by monarchs, patriarchy, religion, and philosophy, and reinforced by art, song, music, and architecture, is giving way to a new world where we just turn civilization over to the popularity contest of democracy, letting the masses take control of important ideas, whether they be creating fake outrage about non-problems, twerking, disfiguring your body and mind, or engaging in the twelve deadly sins.

What Is Beauty?

To some degree, the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is true.  However, there are objective standards of beauty.  We could all agree that Jessica Alba is more attractive than Rosie O’Donnell.  Angkor Wat is more beautiful than your DMV.  Throughout cultures and time, while beauty standards have changed, we all know what is beautiful and what is not.

Wat is the reason you have so many ugly buildings, America ?

So we know what is beautiful.  But what is beauty itself?  Why is it important?

Beauty represents an ideal.  A goal.  Goodness.  We seek pleasure and avoid pain, and we are drawn to the beautiful.  Humans are emotional beings and we are drawn to beautiful sights, beautiful sounds, and beautiful feelings.

In other words, beauty is NOT skin deep, but is fundamental to civilization.

The Importance Of Beautiful Design

Most of the modern world is not well designed.  I recently read a fascinating profile of Norwegian billionaire Fred Olsen, and he still wears a pair of wool pants he bought in the 1940s because they were well designed and well constructed.  Imagine if that same level of design and quality was applied to every article of clothing you’ve purchased.

Now imagine if that same level of design, quality, and beauty was applied to the city you live in.  If builders today took considered the effects their cities or buildings would have 100 years from now, instead of designing for planned obsolescence after a couple of decades.

Louis XIV had a more beautiful home than you

Architecture Is Civilization

In 1890 French writer (and outspoken critic of the Eiffel Tower) Guy de Maupassant wrote about architecture:

It is the least understood and the most forgotten of the arts today is perhaps also the most aesthetic, the most mysterious and the most nourished with ideas. It has had the privilege, across the centuries, of symbolizing as it were each age, of summarizing in a very small number of typical monuments a race and a civilization’s way of thinking, feeling and dreaming. A few temples and churches, palaces and châteaux contain more or less the world’s entire history of art, and express visually, better than books, through the harmony of lines and the charm of ornamentation all the grace and grandeur of an epoch.

Architecture is the visual public expression of a culture’s achievements, values, and outlook.

Modern Cities Are Bad

While production methods and technology have improved dramatically, the vast majority of beautiful, functional cities are old.  Why aren’t modern cities better than older ones?  Today, city life is more important than ever for employment.  Chances are, if you earned a college degree, you will need to live in a city in order to use it.  And yet the quality of modern cities is abysmally poor.

This feels like the model for many modern cities

A friend of mine recently left Austin, Texas, because the city of 200,000 at the time he was born has now grown to almost a million people, living, working, and parking in the same shrinking space. Modern cities lack public spaces, good transportation, beauty, and order.

A Good City Conveys Order, Resiliency and Timelessness

Living, commuting, walking, and working in a modern city has a profound impact on one’s mind and thought patterns.  There is a reason Henry David Thoreau escaped to nature in order to organize his thoughts for not only his famous book Walden, but also for his treatise on Civil Disobedience.

New York City balances order and symmetry with beauty

Most major European cities were designed with a balance between order and beauty.  A well designed city begins with prioritizing major monuments and public squares, positioned strategically so they are visible from any point, combined with a symmetrical grid system.  Balance and symmetry are used to convey order and stability.

NOLA: “Oops I Did It Again, for-go-ot to plan”

New Orleans is a badly planned American city.  Not only does it have typical modern ugly buildings outside the historic center, its lack of planning causes great havoc every few decades when living areas below sea level flood and are then rebuilt.  Its lack of symmetry and order conveys the idea of chaos.  And it is a chaotic place.  Most friends I know there have abandoned NOLA and commute from adjacent Jefferson Parrish.  Disorder conveys chaos and makes one feel that no one is in charge.

Too much symmetry without balance is unpleasant

Beauty Makes Us Feel Connected

Loneliness is a huge problem in the independent west, with one in eight people saying they have no real friends.  Beauty, and in particular beautiful architecture, helps one feel connected, integrated, important, and part of a larger whole.  The creation of well designed, beautiful buildings like the Great Pyramids or the Palace at Versailles, took the coordinated efforts of thousands of men, who certainly felt a sense of accomplishment and pride and sacrifice.  And the result of their combined efforts last centuries, and give future generations a sense of place and connection.

Telc, Prague: An example of balancing order with variety to create beauty

This sense of community comes from a public display of life.  Any great city has a large public space where people congregate.  In modern life, we often commute along sprawling highways to confined cubicles where we stare at tiny screens before returning back to our homes, with little public interaction.  We don’t see what other people are doing, or even know they are there.

The Piazza San Marco is a giant Living Room of Venice

We intrinsically crave public life, even if only to observe it from a distance.  I can make a cup of coffee at home for a fraction of the cost that Starbucks sells them for, but Starbucks is a highly successful business because it provides a tiny public space where people can congregate and be around others.

Beauty Gives Us Identity

Beauty stands as a stark contrast between the irrational whims of the age.  What is genuinely worth appreciating?  A timeless building that existed at the time of my grandfather gives me a sense of place and identity.  This identity gives us hope for the future.  We are the people that created this, because we are a good people who value beauty.

Versailles is a celebration of French ingenuity and culture

What does it say when we are only creating lifeless Amazon warehouses and ugly, nondescript buildings?

One More Crack In The Wall

The general decline and disorder in society combines with poorly designed and ugly cities to convey a sense of “We don’t really know who we are, what we stand for, or where we are headed” which is why so many men feel disconnected, confused, and don’t stand up to defend their culture, and explains the rise of globalism.

While there have been some advances in civilization, many truths discovered centuries ago have been forgotten.  Beauty should be honored and idealized, whether through city planning, architecture, art, literature, or through fat shaming and shunning of tattoos, multiple body piercings and promiscuity.  It’s time for beauty to be glorified and revered again.

Read More: How Modern Architecture Destroys Your Relationships

556 thoughts on “How Your City Is Killing You With Ugliness”

    1. 70s architects ruined everything with brutalism, which is that ugly and bulky exposed concrete and brick.

      1. I actually like the Bauhaus influence and sense of permanence in many fortress-like modernist, brutalist works of architecture.

    2. Once Athens was like that!
      We decided to destroy the “non-convenient” neoclassical building that made the city more beautiful than Paris, as a French ambassador pointed out at the final half of the 19th century, to build worker homes:
      from the 500 buildings only 8 stand today…
      we can’t have nice things anymore either due to the proletariat or due to industrial design:
      Notice that the building has a name tag, vovos probably got inspired by a Marlboro pack of cigs…

    3. More like Urban planning often ends up toxic. Old cities were built well before Urban planning, and Urban planners decided to rip right through them with freeways and roads wider than the buildings are tall.

      1. Even if the USA (or some other western country) had supplied them with concrete, rebar, doors and windows, electrical wiring,, etc., etc., the Somalis wouldn’t have come up with anything much better than this.
        But of course it’s not due to racial differences and abilities. It’s due to white racism and the legacy of evil white colonialism. :-O

    4. Why aren’t you guys building cities? I mean, ROK would be far more suitable for the job than whoever the fuck does it nowadays.

  1. From the title I thought you were referring to the women in our cities.
    That really should go without saying anyway.

  2. Lolknee is going to go into the vapors that I’m posting this, as the resident intellectual redneck.
    I love the look of many American cities. The rest of humanity spent 40,000 years making buildings that squatted in the square like spiders looking for prey. We built buildings that are hands reaching up towards the stars, and many of them surpass the beauty of a moldy old European church any day of the week. (although I adore Gothic Churches, don’t misunderstand). American cities are full of energy and creativity the likes of which the rest of the world cannot even come close to comparing. So what that some “benevolent planners” didn’t direct it all with an iron fist? I get that you complimented NYC, which is great, it is beautiful.
    Our architecture is the “new kid on the block” so it’s no surprise that the Old Order looks down its nose at it. But that doesn’t make their critique valid. Every age has its new form, and the old school will always belittle it and declare how uncultured it is. Big whoop.
    As to lack of layout being logical in American cities (mostly), yes, true. The reason is, get this, liberty. We bought the land we wanted and built what we wanted on it without some dictating officials swooping down and telling us what to do every ten minutes. Granted, that was in the past and no longer exists, but it’s why things are what they are now. Sometimes it worked to great effect, other times not so much, but where it failed we rebuilt in a more logical way.
    None of this is meant to detract from the beauty of some European cities. But I can head to Columbus, Ohio and find a city that in it’s very own unique and distinct way is beautiful as well.

    1. I actually agree mostly GOJ. Aside from the fact that Cheyenne is a “city” and that every inch of grass ought to be paved, we mostly agree. The difference between a big city a place where people just buy land and do what they want isn’t only freedom though…yes, freedom is somewhat impinged…however, that is because you are looking for, as Leibniz would say, the best of all possible worlds. A city has to be good for everyone in it. We aren’t isolated with a homestead we are part of a large and thriving hive. Say what you want about what that means for the citizenry, I think positive you think negative, but one thing we would have to agree on is that if you are going to put 6 million people on a 22 mile island you are going to have a large and overarching plan that is enforced or you wind up with chaos. You can get away with shitty city planning in small cities like Boston, but larger ones can’t just be organic growth…..there needs to be some semblance or order.

      1. I changed it to Columbus.
        My point wasn’t modern city planning practices. I meant that orignally even our big cities were “buy and do what you want”. Of course that no longer exists. It was in reference to his comment about how basically American cities are uncouth because they’re not all European-y planned.

        1. I would consider Columbus a college town.
          Right, Boston was like that. But boston is a total disaster. The nice thing about NYC is that it has an inherent logic and symmetry to it as the OP points out. Street numbers going up? You are going north. Going down? South. Avenue numbers goin up west and down east. If I am on the corner of 1st and 73rd and need to get to 8th and 26th there are better or worse ways to go but if you just dropped me from a plane into the city and I had never been there before it wouldn’t be so hard. That requires a little draconian ass kicking

        2. Not the case in the outer boroughs, but definitely in Manhattan. Easy to do on a flat island, not so easy for a place like Boston.

        3. Yeah 100%
          When I say New York I mean manhattan. What the B and T folk are up to is beyond me lol.

        4. ah, boston, the city where two way streets end for no reason, and force you to get on the highway, for no reason

        5. I once asked a cop for directions and he looked at me like I was from mars like I should have known better than to even ask.

        6. Beacon Hill and some of the Back Bay are beautiful though, puts the West Village to shame

        7. Yes, it is a college town, and also a white collar town (lots of interesting HQ’s here). Columbus is more or less logically laid out, although we grew really fast in the late 1980’s through mid 1990’s and that kind of threw a bit of a monkey wrench into the general orderliness of it all. It is clean as heck downtown and parts of it have this quaint small town feel to it.
          For example the Short North is really fun. Arcs going on for blocks and blocks up rt. 23, all decked out in lights, with nice shops along the side, that have been here forever and are kind of iconic and interesting. This sits one block north of where the Arnold is held every year.

        8. with a population of 800k you are right. I would classify you guys as a small city but Englishmen who went up a hill and down a mountain level….like the next census could get you listed as “large town”
          Keep in mind, I consider Chicago to be a medium sized city.

        9. It is, to me, the perfect size for a city. I can get around to anything I want when I get there fairly quickly, plus it has all of the museum/artsy fartsy type stuff that other cities have, without any major crime (not that we don’t get our murders now and then) and it’s clean as a whistle. I feel literally safe as if it were noon, walking down the streets there at 2:00 am in the morning.
          There have been a couple of numbnut politicians that try and sneer and say we need this that or the other absurd amenity “to attract people to the city” but they are generally mocked and laughed out of office. We have plenty of people, it’s pleasant, everybody is basically super nice, and we have lots of white collar type industries here such that we make a really decent income.

        10. I get it. You and I are both holding 18 in a game of blackjack and sticking….for now….we all have our plans to a yet bluer heaven. I think the larger point was that there truly is an insane type of commute from the burbs when you are talking major cities.

        11. And that’s why if you don’t want the commute you choose a city size that fits your desired lifestyle. It is, as always, all a matter of what choices you make and what sacrifices you’re willing to make for them.

        12. I have to agree with you- Boston plus Cambridge is a bit less than 1 million people. Not too small(for me) not too big

        13. My point wasn’t modern city planning practices. I meant that orignally even our big cities were “buy and do what you want”.

          Sorry but having lived in places like that, I can say the logic and order of most European cities is far better than that.

        14. And Europe is dying. Ethnically and culturally. The vast majority of the logic and order came from Napoleon, btw, so it’s not like it’s a traditional European “thang”.

        15. Mate, even medieval cities have order and logic of some sort. The current decadence of Europe doesn’t have anything to do with our spiritual death (America may not be dying but for sure is becoming less western, and I am not talking about the Hispanics…). Of course the French Revolution is our bane…

    2. The problem with the so-called European-ey city planning is that it’s a one-liner. A big beautiful one liner, and end undo itself. It does not allow for future growth and development, in terms of style, design, technology,
      programming, or infrastructure. This is why these cities, or at least those parts planned and executed during the Renaissance, exist more as museums than functional cities.
      An oft-misused term in the world of architecture and design
      is “organic”. Hear it from any tattooed, pierced art student and you get images of curves and circles, and bubbly organism-like forms. That’s total rubbish. For something to be organic it needs to have the inherent ability to grow or replicate itself in an intelligent way. Its in the planning, not the form. Think of it as the DNA.
      For example, NYC was initially criticized for its extension
      of a regular, ‘boring’ grid to organize everything north of Houston Street in 1811. People called it stale, lifeless, etc. But what it did was plan for the orderly growth and development of the city without stamping a stale, stillborn design ‘language’ atop whatever was to get built within the grid.
      Similarly Philadelphia used the same rationale back in 1644 –
      a simple, orthogonal grid extended indefinitely beyond the bounds of the current city. Sure it didn’t immediately
      represent the idealized city of the day, but it’s sustained development and design for a good 300 + years.

    3. “So what that some ‘benevolent planners’ didn’t direct it all with an iron fist? ”
      Well you aren’t wrong, you aren’t even right. European cities are the organic cities, London was built over hundreds of years way before we had Urban planners with university degrees. On the other hand, American cities and suburbs are the product of extremely overpowered municipal planning.
      “None of this is meant to detract from the beauty of some European cities. But I can head to Columbus, Ohio and find a city that in it’s very own unique and distinct way is beautiful as well.”
      Your picture frame photo of Columbus looks great at all, but there are 2 major problems. 1) This is a picture frame photo, it has nothing to do with how the city looks from the streets. From the ground, that looks like this:
      Not as good, is it?
      2) This is the downtown, the very core of the city, most of the city actually looks like this:
      Miles, and miles, and miles of that. Not so nice now is it?

  3. Unfortunately so many of the older cities are cyclically ruined by landed cruises and other forms of mass tourism. Florence is a classic example of this trend. Easy cheap travel can fuck up the best designed cities in the world.
    If you want to see the places pictured sans pasty, loud fatasses in shorts and sandals, plan accordingly and work your way around the masses of idiots.

    1. It’s why I’d rather stay off the beaten path and hang around the small towns instead of the big cities filled with tourist traps.

  4. Ever drive to Houston, Texas, and check out the skyline as you’re approaching? Ugliest city in North America.

    1. Been there once and always thought Dallas-Ft. Worth was just as bad. San Antonio at least has some old Spanish missions. However, as much as that city has grown in the last ten years it’s gotten ridiculous.

        1. The city is taking in more than it was prepared for and building wherever there’s space. The fact there’s not any proper zoning doesn’t help.

    2. I live in Houston and…
      It’s complex. We’re 400 square miles of city. There are so many nooks and crannies in the winding automotive no-zoning rats nest of the city. Rice Village is charming, lower Westheimer is pleasingly funky, River Oaks has some jaw dropping mansions, and seeing what looks like an old west town surrounded by skyscrapers on Main is really quite something.
      That being said there is so much strip mall hell and it’s got to be the least walkable city of its size in North America

  5. In Copenhagen everything new they build is completely horrendous. I can’t help to think that it’s the elite trying to kill your spirit and will to live. Who can fight back if their spirit is broken ? When women are terrible and you live in a concrete/glass jungle you will have no pleasure in life anymore..and thus are easily controlled.
    This is basically how everything new looks these days.×250.jpg
    Fortunately we still have the old city, but it is slowly but surely being replaced

    1. They did the same thing to art, music and literature…now they’re working on the cities…because, “progressivism”.

      1. You can still hear and recognize music from 50-150 years ago, but music from 2-10 years ago? Forgotten.

        1. Was thinking the same thing just the other night. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, etc. – that music lives on. The latest three notes on a keyboard, with synth drums and some troglodytes chanting in the background about pussy and thuggery? Not so much. But it’s all done by, um…accident. Uh-huh.

        2. Classical from our era will be a scant few bands, just as classical from the Baroque and “Classical” era are a scant few composers compared to how many there were at the time.
          So 200 years from now they’ll still know Led Zepplin, maybe some The Who or whatever, but the rest will be long forgotten. Just like we don’t know the name of little Johann Schlusshoffman, a rant and raved composer from some small burough in Liechtenstein in the year 1650, today.

        3. “So 200 years from now they’ll still know Led Zepplin”
          No they wont, traditional western composers/musicians like Ludwig Beethoven or Dave Brubeck, created art music. Led Zepplin made pop sales, not art. If any notable pop musicians will be remembered, it will be David Bowie or Zappa. 200 years ago Antonio Salieri was a HUGE composer, as big or bigger than Mozart, and yet his work is pretty obscure to anyone besides traditional western musicians and art historians.

  6. Not that I spend a lot of time thinking about such things, but perhaps the complaint here is, in part, fueled by those charged with planning and city design increasingly letting considerations outside of their competence guide their work. (Think along the lines of social engineering and unintended consequences.)
    I sometimes wonder if cities would do well to abolish their planning departments. I’d suggest nothing good in design is decided by committee, anyway. The entire task, if required at all, could be left to a single person trained in classical art and architecture, coupled with the power to more-or-less rule by decree.
    What tasks could not be accomplished due to the limited time and attention of one man would rightfully become the domain of the local residents of an area. At first pass, it feels like it could be a potential recipe for the balance of order and beauty desired.

    1. Another problem is that the so-called ‘planning’ departments are infested with developers and outside interests, so they’re really not thinking big-picture/public good anyway.

      1. case in point: woman decides we need shitloads more of trees, bc ya know, oxygen. They were planted haphazardly all over the city. No one ever trims these trees, so the locals do a shitty job pruning(some just cut the tree down). These trees will eventually grow roots deep enough to puncture the non-pressurized sewer pipes, which will cost more to repair than it did to give us vital oxygen from said trees. The woman, whose name escapes me, no longer works in city govt although Im sure she got hella kickbacks from the companies that planted the trees

    1. NYC has some incredible skyscrapers, etc., but viewed from an aerial wide angle, to me it looks like pure hell. But I’m a country boy. If I had been born there, I’d probably think it looked fantastic. So it goes…

      1. See, I’m a country boy too, as you know. But just like a city boy can look at the Rockies and say “Gorgeous” without wanting to live there, I can do the same with cities.

        1. Me, too…I admire cities, the architecture, etc. But that “million ants in a jar” thing really gets to me after a while. Even though I’m usually right there, among the teeming multitudes, in Vegas or Phoenix, or wherever, when I’m making money, I isolate myself much of the time. And when I have to get away, I hit Flagstaff, Arizona, or even some podunk little town out in the country somewhere – like Ardmore, Oklahoma, just over the Texas border.

        2. With you on everything there Bob, down to the last letter.

        3. I think it is. My wife grew up 3 blocks from Red Square when she was a child and loves the big city. I can only take being in mass metro places like that for awhile and need to leave. I don’t mind visiting for a few weeks for business, party or visit, but live there.. nfw. It’s not for me.
          On the flip side, I see how people from the coasts or Europe come to US fly-over-country and have panic attacks. The wide open space and distances seem to intimidate them.

        4. Interesting about the panic attacks…never heard that one before. Makes sense, though, when you stop to think about it.

    2. From an outsiders view I see nothing wrong with that at all. A million arms reaching outwards towards the heavens.
      I’m a huge rural type fellow, and wouldn’t dare even consider letting some city type come in and pave Ohio from border to border. But that doesn’t mean that I have to be some “look down the nose” type at the achievements we’ve made in large American cities. I find that kind of skyline incredibly inspiring, it is literally the greatest men the world has ever seen making their mark on the earth and daring to aspire for more than living in some grass hut.

      1. It suggests overblown egos, nothing else. It’s like these modern paintings where people see all sorts of things but in reality it’s plain rubbish.

        1. Nope, It suggests something that it beyond your ken to understand even vaguely. You are free to live in a small grass hut and attend a small church squatting in the square and I don’t hold that against you, but big cities like NYC in the States are built by men who dream dreams you couldn’t access if you had a telepathy machine.

        2. awwww GOJ! My birthday isn’t until august, but I will take the early gift. Just remember, NYC isn’t just built by men who dream dreams…its also built by me….narcissistic, hedonist assholes. XD

        3. See it really is both. Cities and countryside are both beautiful and appeal to different parts of man.
          NYC is jaw dropping. I grew up in London and when I visited NYC for the first time I felt a no shit swell of pride in being an American.

        4. Right, exactly. I’m just about having perspective. Some may prefer the architecture that served truly functional needs back in 1400 as their standard of beauty. Great. No worries. To hold that view while discounting the amazing wonders we have in our own age seems a bit like looking down one’s nose at something new. I get that there are some ugly modern buildings, but then, there were some ugly ancient ones too.

        5. Some of the individual buildings are pure ego, sure but the planning and organization is excruciatingly democratic.

    3. just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. NYC is incredibly symmetrical. In fact, the most asymmetrical part of the city was the world trade center.

    4. Just because something looks bad with sky shots doesn’t make it “ugly”. 99.9999% of the time the city is being seen, it will be on the ground.

    1. that’s the radio tower in prague 2. It works very well for the most part, and there are ‘babies’ climbing up it

  7. Most of the beatiful cities are european – and in 100 years they will all be turned into public zoos for sharia apes hanging their laundry out the windows, and the streets will be public toilets.

    1. Ohio! lol! I love that building! It’s very original and unique and looks somewhat challenging to build.

        1. It’s the Longaberger HQ. It really actually makes sense in a way, I mean, they make baskets right? I’ve always found it kind of whimsical.

        2. Without the handles it wouldn’t really even make sense.
          End of the day though, free land and the ability to build what you want on it…America (outside of huge cities and subdivisions). I dig it just on that alone. It’s very creative.

        1. That reminds me – some nut out in Ohio built a scaled-down replica of Independence Hall in his front yard. Almost jack-knifed the Honda cruising past that….

        1. I’ll take nature’s beauty over man’s every time.
          Fact is, I dont consider many man made structures beautiful

        2. looks phallic? It is a 22 story triangular cock sticking out of 5th avenue and 23rd street and is the origin of the wolf whistle “23 skidoo”

        3. I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like it was taken with a fish-eye type lens.

        4. On its back, with the clam shell splayed wide, and a large antenna sticking out of it, that looks like a tampon…

        5. Land boobs!
          You see those in a lot of places. I think that there’s actually a functional reason for them, and they’re always located way outside of cities.

        6. That’s not buildings or architecture though, that’s some stinking hippy making everyday life profane for passersby.

  8. I have mixed feelings about Florence. It’s beautiful, but it’s a dark kind of beauty.
    Here is Dario Argento’s daughter visiting the Uffizi

        1. I’ve never understood the celebration around the leaning tower of Pisa. I’m actually serious here, and not being snarky. It is, literally, people getting all excited about bad engineering. To me it screams “big mistake, oops”.

        2. it’s because backpackers can take photos of each other pretending they are propping it up. One day someone’s going to be doing just that, and the whole thing will fall on top of them, which really will make for an interesting photo

        3. they are fantastic. Quite a few in france too, the italians probably did them best. Problem is you need to have a (rental) car to get to them

        4. True about the car. And then of course there’s nowhere to park. Carcassone in France is one I’d like to see.

        5. I just cannot fathom how this became a “thing”. Sure, mock it that’s cool, say Ooops, we need to do better in the future, look at what these dunderheads did, no problem. But some kind of “world landmark” status that I’m supposed to hold in awe? Um, no.

        1. An amazing and beautiful place with some really super architecture, but I think I had dysentery before the plane even landed when I went there.

        2. Any destination that features the words “shit covered streets” basically gets a pass from me.

        3. its a shame because there really is beautiful stuff to see in india its just….holy guacamole it is not inhabitable for anyone who has become used to first world living standards.

        4. Well, since at least 45% of its 1.2 billion population still defecates in the open…let’s just say that claim of yours is somewhat hard to believe…

        5. This may be the first time that we’re *both* too elitist for some destination. Will wonders never cease? heh

        6. That’s the government’s claim, not mine. Politicians everywhere are cut from the same cloth. I don’t believe a word they say.

      1. I miss London so much sometimes I could cry. Just so righteously built, even little buildings with small businesses could be beautiful there.

    1. London’s getting proper plastic nowadays, on the other hand, plenty of jobs in construction for everyone!

      1. The Eye seems entirely out of place and context to me. It makes London look like an amusement park.

        1. Yep that’s true and it’s nothing special about it, however, if youlook at the South Bank the architecture is yucky post WW2 concrete!

    1. Ha. Czechoslovakia was two incarnations ago, even.
      But, so the locals take the whole Czechia thing seriously?

      1. I am pretty sure they are on a plan to make the country a little easier to spell every 10 years. By 2050 they will just be “C”

        1. That’s Niagara Falls isn’t it, or is that Panama City (or that touristy city near the Great Smoky Mountains)? I’m not sure I’d cite modern tourist traps as somehow reflective of actual functional modern architecture. It’s like citing Cedar Point as an example of modern transportation.

        2. Yep they all have commonalities: rip off prices, tacky attractions and completely glossing over what may actually be very interesting history on site.

    1. Fun!
      What people are missing, I think, is context.
      The old school built buildings to accommodate what the great men of their times were doing. Normally that translates into castles, churches and large wasteful halls meant to convey “See how prosperous we are in France, Mr. Kraut? Now sit down and sign the surrender treaty and mind not to knock over anything else here in Versailles”. The normal housing reflected the sensibilities of the normal man and what he could afford, along with how he wished to modify it to fit in with the neighbors. That translates into things like Venice which, frankly, you couldn’t pay me to live in but in the big scheme of things is fine, nothing wrong with that at all.
      Modern architecture reflects *exactly the same* type of thinking, except we no longer fight many siege battles that have to withstand assault by Trebuchet, there aren’t many huge churches going up because many are schluffing off religion (or at least, sadly, Christianity) and modern normal people can afford to actually buy things that they want instead of what is strictly functional. Today’s great men function in commerce normally, in some degree or another, with a few in politics (arguably). They are going to want buildings that reflect their achievements, and these days, we have a much broadened sense of humor as well as desire for novelty.
      End of the day, while there are truly some ugly modern buildings, it’s not like we’re going to go back to building Gothic Churches and large ancient Greek government buildings any longer, the world simply has moved on.

      1. The lack of inexpensive SKILLED labor is a critical reason why we won’t see this architecture in new construction. The homes we live in also pale in comparison to the homes built by a pre WW2 labor force. Finish carpentry, masonry and and plasterwork in the US on even expensive homes is sloppy compared to what one can find in 100 year-old homes. When one does come across a craftsman, they’re typically Eastern European, where such artistry is still appreciated.
        Regarding today’s churches- the Megachurch is more soulless AV auditorium than place of worship. Even the Catholic churches of my youth, the cathedrals that made me feel small and in awe of my God, have been replaced with ugly, cheap “modern” facilities that foster no sense of respect for the Church or Christianity.

  9. cities are done – too hard to get around, too noisy, too cramped, too much crime.

  10. Florence is overwhelmed by tourists, and Venice is a dead city. Just a museum, try getting a drink after 10pm there. The picture of London flatters it – most of it is hideous. The city I dislike most is Paris, smells of piss and is full of snotty Parisians, and the suburbs .. well the less said the better. Also don’t get the reference to promiscuity screwing everything up. I’m pretty sure that most of the aristos who built these old cities were shagging everything that moved.

    1. Anywhere I go now, I tend to avoid the cities. Cities everywhere are ruined with the exception of St Petersburg which was splendid. Moscow is shit.

        1. I work for a family that has been building nyc real estate for 3 generations now. Like tom hagen says: I have a very special practice. I handle only one client.

        2. would be interesting to see that list of clients. Probably some major money laundering going on!!

    2. I like Paris and the smell of piss and unwashed armpits(used to be a joke but not anymore) is only in place such as Stalingrad, Galliani and Garre du Nord, busy hubs!

    1. Beautiful yes, but as far as architecture and engineering I think the gothic masters of Western Europe had them beat.

  11. “I don’t believe the main problem with the modern world is that a secret society is executing a planned program of evil…”
    It’s just easier to cleanse the earth of these people, send them to the far reaches of the universe and the mayor’s office will build a big police station, a bunch of townhouses, yuppies will buy in and bourgeois-fy it. And suddenly we’ll have a community. Yeah, there will be a bunch of people displaced, yeah there’ll be a bunch of crime problems. But it’s easier…”
    – The One Percent 2006 @ 23:09, on Youtube
    The plan has become much bigger at this point in time.

  12. Telč is city by its own, not a part of Prague. Apart from this the article is good and has its point.

  13. One of the things which saddens me most are all the old european cities that were bombed during WWII. Not just the Dresden’s & the Colognes, but all over europe (ever played the original call of duty?) It’s not just the destruction that was wrought but the sheer ideological vandalism and thuggery engaged in by the ideological modernist pigmies who tended to be put in charge of rebuilding. Like Europe England suffered badly. London suffered badly, but has recovered well because there’s money there. The centre of manchester isn’t bad, although I’m in two minds about it. Southampton was badly bombed, and was rebuilt with godawful social housing everywhere, and then there are those mostly dire garden cities. Oh, and I haven’t mentioned Birmingham, England’s motorway city. Seriously most post-WWII architects should have been put on trial as post-war criminals
    Fortunately beautiful cities still exist, in the UK Edinburgh & Bristol are pretty nice, but London is a massive sprawl that only looks good in the centre and the richer parts. Europe still has loads of beautiful cities. Prague & Budapest are my favourites as Paris & Vienna are too expensive, but Italy still has an abundance of beauty. If beautiful cities are mainly a thing of the past though the question is why? Space, money and over-crowding is obviously a major issue in determining whether architecture is going to be pleasing to the eye, but if large swathes of twentieth century architecture is anything but the main culprit is surely the progressive ideologies that have blighted the last hundred years. The serial music of Schoenberg is analogous to UK council housing or the communist block – look what those cunts did do the outskirts of beautiful krakow. As soon as you cross the river it’s nothing but concrete.
    Why did the planners who re-built the cities of europe create so many depressing monstrosities? Money, and over-crowding is only a part of it. If we want to live within beautiful or even pleasant surroundings once more we have to get rid of the malfunctioning ideologies poisoning the well of architecture. A great city, is the emblem of man and civilization, but the best seem somehow to point to God. Not quite sure whether NYC is a city of God, but it certainly points upwards as though it has an ambition in that direction

        1. how old are you, ninety? I visited Liverpool for the first time last year and I didn’t think it was too bad in the centre, however 5 minutes away in toxteth it is literally a no-man’s land full of boarded up houses you can buy for a tenner

        2. nah – but the post war bits are glaringly obvious, even in gritty Bootle. Fukkers blew up the church my great-grand-people got married in!

        3. It would be more in keeping with Liverpudlians if the church had been stolen and hawked down the pub to the nazis

    1. Now there I’m with you on modernists. That “social housing” crap is ugly in any book almost 100% of the time. It directly communicates the message in no uncertain terms that individuals are meaningless and cogs in a machine and generally unimportant and of no value. They are built gray, drab and dull no matter what coat of paint is put on the outside of them. I saw some of that shit squatting around near Islington and was totally put off by it.

      1. That “social housing” crap is 100% (((leftist))) homo shit that’s been bubbling up since the 1930s….
        Elitist commies deigning to decide whats best for “the people” while they retire to their villas on Lake Como…

      2. islington is generally pretty nice london wise. There are some nasty estates off the Caledonian Road and towards kings cross, but there are also a lot of really nice and very expensive town houses down that side. No want of dire social housing in london though

        1. Oh, no question. I just saw some of that public shit not too far from where I was staying there at the time. It was depressing and nearly inhumane compared to the surrounding region.

        2. islington is still a somewhat rough area with not a little violence for that very reason. On one side of the caledonian road you’ve got the kind of houses where boris johnson lives and on the other council estates where people are stabbed on a regular basis

        3. The whole borough of Islington is very safe.
          The neighboring borough Hackney however can be very dangerous.

        4. sure hackney is bad, but clapton to mare street isn’t as bad as it used to be – getting yuppied now the money is coming in, and they don’t even call it the murder mile so much these days. Still dodgy parts off the caledonian road I would have thought, although I haven’t been there in a couple of years

        5. The Caledonian Road and the surrounding areas are fine on my experience (I was there last week.
          Avoid Mare Street if you can.

        6. Well compared to mare street the cally road isn’t bad but there’s a bad estate there which has produced a murder or two, including the brother of that Eastender actress, though that was a long time ago I suppose. But no, mare street is a place you leave London to get away from

      3. Yet, ugly or not, if you are lucky enough to find a property for sale in Islington, the price is not going to be under £1,000,000. (about 1,280,000 USD).

    2. Noticed the commie blocks in Prague right as I was leaving for the airport! Ugly they are but Thamesmead/Abbey wood are way worse!

      1. I noticed those kind of blocks the first time I went back in the 90s, but less so more recently. I’m not sure where you were staying but there don’t seem to be that many near the centre any more. As I said in another post Krakow old town is lovely but once you get across the river the old commie blocks are everywhere. They need to knock them down in their entirety wherever they are

    1. I wouldn’t live in a city which cannot name it’s streets properly. 62nd av, 5th street? Me thinks that there’s a lack of creativity among city planners.

      1. 62nd ave? you must be talking about outer boroughs…I wouldn’t live there either. I mentioned before, when I say NYC I mean specifically Manhattan. Even when I talk to people in queens or Brooklyn I will say “when are you coming into new York” and that isn’t just me being a jackass. I think it is conventional wisdom here that if you say you are “going to new York” you specifically mean manhattan.

        1. in Astoria you have 31st street and 31st avenue but nothing beats the east village….the corner of 1st and 1st. I wasn’t sad to see Marz bar go because I am happy for the way the city is changing, but it sure was the end of an error when it did.

        2. dude Mars bar had to be the shittiest bar in the city, entire bldg coulda collapsed at any moment. how long ago was it knocked down for condos? 10?

        3. 2011 it closed. It was really fucking terrible. I had been going there since I was a teenager. I fucked a girl on the pin ball machine and got into my first legit bar fight there too.

        4. Save The Robots, Korova Milk Bar…
          wait, you’d still swing by that place from time to time?

        5. My apartment in college was around the corner from the Korova. Also Hogs and Heffers, the raccoon, Subway Inn, Winnie’s, Smith’s, Rodeo, all gone

        6. Nevada Smith’s is gone too? That biker bar on 10th or 11th on 16th is gone too- was that Hogs n Heffers? That place truly was dangerous, those bikers were always itchin for a scrum

        7. That was Heffers, right? Some female clients wanted to go there years ago, god what a disaster(it involved a flaming bartop). that stuff doesnt fly anymore

        8. yup o. and no, none of it flies any more. I remember doc holliday’s when you would be dancing on the bars and then have yourself a whisky from a pint glass and snort a line from the pile of blow on the corner of the bar. Now it is basically a theme restaurant.

    2. Two things about that:
      1. It’s the same in Paris. People kill to live there, and some places are just as bad as this one. The difference is that Paris is beautiful, your city is not. I don’t remember exactly how much is the number of mt2 to be a considered a flat able to be rented, but I don’t think this one fulfills even the french regulations (which are bad). That stupid kid is living in a closet.
      2. This kid does not get a lot of action; or at least not in his place.

      1. I would disagree with you that new York isn’t beautiful. While I will agree that it is not paris, there is a beauty here that I love very dearly. That you don’t see it or don’t find it to be so isn’t an arguable point. You don’t see the beauty. But I do. As for this kids apartment…that is odd even by our out of whack standards which is why it was made such a big deal of. In general you can get an apartment in a decent area around 500-750 square feet for 2000-2500/month.
        2) As for the kid not getting a lot of action….I think we don’t have enough to go on for that. I have seen girls bent over dumpsters getting fucked from behind or blowing guys on the subway. Whether or not he is getting any action in that little shit box is entirely up to how well he does with ladies and this is a very single man friendly city. I can very well imagine the proper personality getting dozens of women into that little place to ooh and ahhh about it and then finding clever ways to coit them.

      2. New York has it’s brand of cool, haven’t been there yet but the movies tell me there are a lot of people break dancing in the streets!

        1. lol
          Been there a couple of times. Functional buildings with a lot of concrete and glass. Some buildings that are bad imitation of European architecture, built by new money with lack of taste. Hollow cosmopolitan leftist people, lots of jews and lots of non whites (some doing ‘cool’ breakdancing’ and flash mobs on the street).
          Not my thing honestly.

        2. I haven’t been there yet but it doesn’t seem that bad of a city. It has it’s pretty parts!

  14. Some beautiful cities, or particular places in cities or its vicinity, in Europe:
    Schönbrunn (Vienna)
    Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna)
    Piran (Slovenia)
    Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Lisbon)
    Brügge (Belgium)
    Visby (Sweden)
    Hungarian Parliament Building (Budapest)
    Old Town (Stockholm)
    Aarhus (Denmark)

    1. I enjoy how well Europeans can take care of their older buildings. In my country, most of our downtowns are abandoned ghost towns populated by the doldrums of society.

    2. I would add to that list Hamburg and Antwerp (even though in the case of the former 99% of the elegant and old looking buildings had to be rebuilt after WWII).

      1. Yes. That’s true, although the city in its entirety is not that uplifting. Germany and also Normandie in France has some really nice towns and villages.

    1. I bet the thing is climate controlled. with a giant gaping hole to let the cool air out…

    2. I hate saying this, but there are a lot of middle eastern and Asian cities that put the west to shame.

        1. Exactly. In design, as well. The Burj Dubai is rip-off of a 1956 Frank Lloyd Wright design called “The Illinois”.

        2. I love Frank Lloyd Wright. Oh, the sweet memories when we had to build architectural models in my schools art class and I chose the Fallingwater as an inspiration. It was so much fun.
          And it was just 7 years ago.
          Feels like a century.
          You know, that whole social justice, mansplaining, white guilt, rape culture bullshit really started over in 2011….I remember everything that was before it as a state of an overly nostalgic, edenic dream.

        3. not just design, but in actual practicality. I do high rise residential developments in Manhattan. I have been offered several jobs that are 3 year turn arounds over in Dubai to manage or work on management teams for high rise construction. They have infinite amounts of money and do the coolest shit. The annual salary is nearly double what I make and living expenses are comped. The thing is, when the job is done the job is done and you can start over looking for the next job unlike my current position where I can pretty much assure myself lifetime job security.
          When those arabs with unlimited money decide to build something they use western designs, yes, but they also come to manhattan to poach construction management teams.

        4. Wright was a genius at his craft… I think the SJW militarism really caught on around 2011 as well. Obama’s ratings were at an all time low and he began to play the race card and support homosexuals to to gain traction for his reelection. And they fell for it.

        5. You can really see it by using Google Trends…just take a look at mansplaining and stare rape. Nonexistent until mid2012. Booming since then.
          The term cultural marxism was also nonexistent until 2012.

        6. I am not a gambler. I have a good job with a good number of years in. Ownership likes me. We have enough capital to keep building in perpetuity. They treat me with respect and I like my little life I’ve built. Sure, I could roll the dice and come up big, do a few huge projects, make a name for myself and start charging big money. But I don’t have the stomach for that. I like my steady check and retirement plan. Just how I am constituted.

        7. It could be, last big cash grab but by the time I’m ready to retire I’m not sure I’m going to want to traipse half way across to world to some desert. 20 years left so we shall see

        8. Totally, if the gig was in an interesting country then I could see the appeal but the I think the ME is really just about the cash!$
          Met people who went over there and that was by far the greatest motivation..
          Many years ago looked at it as a possibility for teaching English but opted for Japan with it’s good money, booze and of course the ladies…

  15. Suburbanization killed inner city planning.
    Prior to the automobile, you had densely populated vertical cities, efficient transportation, and high accessibility to businesses at any hour of the day. This creates communion and shared culture.
    Contrast this to west coast cities reliant upon the automobile: unchecked sprawl, cookie cutter neighborhoods, and downtowns that are practically dead after 4:30 pm, save for the homeless and drug dealers. As far as civic involvement, it is non-existent.
    I’m all in favor of the high rise regentrification projects.

    1. Glad it killed city planning then. The West Coast is a victim of it’s own failed attempts to control. The automobile is a historically new tool, and should be planned around accordingly instead of held in contempt. It isn’t going away, so adapt the world accordingly. The whole value of “shared culture” in an urban environment is not something I ever want to have to endure. Rural countryside ideally, suburban if I have to. People left the cities at the quickest opportunity when the car came along because they did NOT like having to live in those cramped quarters and endure the “culture” aka “smells” of their neighbors living five yards from them. Those that remained were happy where they were too. It’s not a huge big deal either way.
      Big cities are beautiful, but the ones that didn’t adapt to modern realities get what they get.

      1. “The automobile is a historically new tool, and should be planned around accordingly instead of held in contempt.”
        Up with Civil Engineering! Down with Social Engineering!
        Parking and traffic here in Philly is, well, ‘challenging’ and the best they can come up with is newer and more creative ways to penalize car ownership! That is LAZY planning!

        1. Yes. Decent regional rail into the surrounding counties. 2 subways lines in town. Could use more, but the density isn’t there. And you cant get density w/o mass transit. Catch 22.
          Fine by me though, density-wise – I like owning a house within a 20 minute walk to the center of town.

      2. the suburban I never freaking understood. For all my kidding, I do understand rural beauty. I’ve mentioned before my mothers family are farmers from upstate new York and I love spending time there and really do see the beauty of the orchards and the simple and quiet life. The urban life I obviously understand and is my preference. The suburbs though…..that I never freaking got. I think it was @disqus_tj7gjZttfg:disqus who put it so well some time ago: it really is the worst of both worlds

        1. Suburban is just a matter of convenience and people wanting to have nearby neighbors. It’s not a philosophical statement on beauty, rather, it’s driven by a lot of factors coming together into something that most agree isn’t too bad. The people in suburbs are not the kind that need or want the highest shelf Vietnamese takeout at 4:30 am in the morning, nor do they want to drive 15 miles to get to the nearest grocery store. They are truly convenient for raising a family without any of the nasty part of living in a city nor the isolation of living rural. It’s just how things fell out after the first wave of folks left the cities back in the early 1900’s but didn’t want to return to the inconvenience of rural life. To me it’s a wash. Life isn’t bad in them at all though.

        2. I guess. Doesn’t make sense to me I guess because I look at it differently. I look at the suburbs of all the lack of convince, culture and society of rural area with all the lack of privacy, space and connection to the land of the urban area.
          Living in a cookie cutter house with an easement separating me from the next cookie cutter house, having to trek an hour to work, having no real sign of life or culture or society while simultaneously having none of the benefits that rural living confer like being able to, say, decide you want horses one year or go quading on your own property etc makes 0 sense to me.

        3. That’s just the perception you get from websites and Hollywood (who hates anything flyover). Nobody has to trek an hour to work that I know of, ever. Even my office, which I don’t go to since I work at home, is 20 minutes tops and it’s all the way across town. There is plenty of convenience and things to do here, plenty of fine dining, entertainment and whatnot that I can literally walk to if I feel inclined to do so, or walk away from and not have to deal with it outside my bedroom window. It is probably, in my opinion, too convenient at times.
          The “suburban living” you’re talking about is the fake 1950’s one that Hollywood (again, the enemy of all things red state) put forth in Edward Scissorhands, which bears almost no resemblance to reality in the real world.
          I prefer rural of course, but I think suburban is given this really bad rap by people who have never actually lived in it (talking Hollywood producers here mostly). It’s peaceful, the neighbors are pleasant and my cookie cutter house can fit at least 2 to 3 of your entire apartnemt PLUS it has a nice yard with a garden and nobody coming to my trash checking to see if I’m recyling correctly.

        4. I knew one poor schmuck who let his wife move him close to a job she quickly left, but that was on the wrong side of a major city for his job. Took him an hour each way, assuming he beat rush hour.
          They could have lived in a suburb much closer to the job that actually paid the bills, but he was young and in love (read: beta).

        5. ask anyone who lives in long island just how long it takes to traverse 20 miles to get to work. I am not talking about Hollywood version, I am talking about what is real in this city. That may not be what goes on in the middle of wherever, but in LA and in NYC living in the suburbs means a long and arduous commute to work over a short space of time.
          I get your preference for rural. While I don’t share it, I can at least see the appeal. Maybe suburbia is different over there in the sticks than it is in major cities…that I can’t attest to.
          as for size of apartment versus house, of course you are right. But I can get to 50 Michelin starred restaurants, the walk to the Guggenheim for me is only 10 minutes and less than 15 to the met. I can walk to central park, live in a 24 hour a day city that the rest of the world revolves around and all the other nice little perks that living in manhattan provides.
          As for suburban living requiring massive commutes being some kind of Hollywood anti red state thing that’s crazy talk. That is the way it is….at least here and in California.

        6. See, that was his dumb move. When I first moved here I could and did ride a bicycle to work as it was literally only 1.5 miles up the road. Once that was gone I made it a point to get a job that was still fairly close and which I was sure would turn into work from home.

        7. As always, I never talk about things like this while referencing anything even vaguely close to NYC or LA. Suburban areas are usually thought of as some kind of “way outside the city” thing.

        8. But I don’t care about 50 Michelin starred restaurants being one block away and my museum patronage is pretty much pegged at once a decade or so. A little goes a long way. That’s all I”m talking about the preference thing. It seems one way to city people and another to rural people and neither one really has an accurate picture of what it’s really like since they’re both wedded to their own happy little realities. Which is great. I’ve done all three, and prefer rural, but know that suburban isn’t really Edward Scissorhands like is put out by some.
          And no, suburban living doesn’t require crazy commutes. You pick your neighborhood around areas where lots of jobs are only 15 minutes away. That’s the trick. Californians do almost everything universally wrong, so fuck them, they’d stupid right out of the gate. Where I live, every job I’ve held, not one has been over 20 minutes away and I’ve worked in quite a few jobs over the years since moving here.

        9. Most places in the States, cities expand outward. Someone builds a business on the edge of town, and enterprising construction outfits build suburbs to house the people who will move to work at that business.
          Granted, it’s not as borderline claustrophobic as New York, so you usually have to travel to get to certain fine dining or cultural locations (e.g. if you live in Clear Lake City, you have to drive an hour to get to the museums in downtown Houston). But if you are content not having such things at your fingertips, the suburbs are pleasant homes with decent location.

        10. It’s where the smart people flee to get out of the stink of the city here. :)))

        11. You are wrong. Where have you been? in the course of the last 20 years or so the more central parts of most US cities (previously condescendingly called as “inner cities”) have been cleaned up and become desirable places to live. AS a consequence, a large part of middle class Americans left the suburbia behind and moved to the central part of the city. These days, people prefer to live closer to amenities…jobs, health services, schools etc.
          On the other hand, the suburbia has been dying for years. (And jointly with it another classic American institution: the mall).
          I am sure your old fried “lolknee” (he claims to be a New Yorker) will explain to you how has that happened in NYC.

        12. its all in the viewing I guess. I don’t feel claustrophobic in nyc. Like bane said “i was born in the darkness” this feeling is home to me. I get panic attacks when I am away from it. As for the people who move out of the city, some see it as people expanding out looking for more room. I think a lot of locals, myself included, see it more often as people who just can’t hack the majors and need to get back to AA ball.

        13. Um, no, I’m not. I live in suburbia right now, and I own land in rural countryside (and building there this coming fall). I’m sitting right here dude. I get at least two calls weekly from realtors asking if I want to sell because people are desperate to get to the county I live in and they can’t build houses fast enough. A neighbor two doors down put his house on the market with an open house that started at noon and had an offer by 4pm.
          Nobody is fleeing to the inner city here except a few trendy hipsters bro. Sorry. The most you can say is “Maybe in some places, others not”.

        14. there is nothing 15 minutes away from manhattan. It doesn’t exist. You either live in manhattan or you commute for 45 minutes + or you work at odd ball hours.

        15. Which is why I made the smart choice and didn’t move to anywhere near NYC.

        16. Well of course, I’m only entitled to make my own choices.

        17. And how much square ft could you buy in NYC, LA,SF, Houston, Dallas, Seattle …from the price of your farmland (if you decided to sell). Not much, I guess.
          Thus the market values “inner cities” (the ones you look down upon) over rural areas.
          My point still stands.
          Btw…” except trendy hipsters” Does that apply to your friend, lolknee?

        18. My uncle got the money to build a bloody mansion and buy acres of property in Kansas (and build a house out there) because his house in the relatively remote suburbs of Dallas increased in value tenfold over a few years.

        19. Why would I want to buy property in any of those hellholes?
          You made no real point. Suburbs out here are booming and they can’t build them fast enough. When I put my house on the market I do not expect it to be on the market longer than about a week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I got an offer that was reasonable in a couple of days.
          Why do I care what city folk think of me anyway? I’m living in way more room than they are, no crime, nice large lawn, spacious garage filled with cars and toys, and I make more than most of them in salary. Heh. But hey, they always have convenient take out, I’ll give them that.
          What’s your obsession with lolknee btw? If you want to do a passive aggressive thing with him, don’t use me as your foil please.

        20. Yep. I think a lot of people take a few specific locations and generalize them as meaning “all”. An all too common malady.
          “Um yeah man, so all the burb’s in Detroit are like empty man, ergo, every burb across the nation is totally empty man!”

        21. hey how did I get dragged into this. ANd what’s this about “claiming” to be from new York. I am not just from here. I am new York.

        22. GOJ
          I have no obsession with anyone. However, you and lolknee seem to be a tag-team. Whenever one of you comments, the other will back him up soon.
          BTW, there are many decaying suburbs, particularly in the Rust Belt. You can only afford to drive everywhere if you have a job and a steady income. Once the jobs dry up…well, so do the suburbs.

        23. There are many decaying cities too. Like, you know, Detroit, or Toledo. Using your logic, that means cities in general are decaying and dying. If your point is “you need jobs to support suburbs” well yeah, duh, no kidding. You need jobs to support cities too. And you need crops to support rural living. It’s as if each unique area has an income industry that it supports or something.
          If you have a problem with lolknee that’s your issue, not mine.

        24. Detroit – ergo, all cities are crumbling
          That’s your logic chief.
          I’ll bet you live in a city and are looking to justify what may have turned out to be a choice you aren’t too happy with maybe?

        25. Really depends on the city, my man; if the city is dying and all the life is in the city then people tend to move close to work (the only place of high employment in the city) but in places such as London where the economy is booming there is YUGE demand in the city and even bigger in the suburbia. Close by cities are also in demand!

        26. Corrolary: “Detroit is a shithole urban area, so all urban areas are shitholes.”
          The people of a town or region define it more than anything else. If the people are law-abiding, productive members of society, the area will be prosperous and beautiful.
          Frankly, if Detroit were 100% repopulated by FOB Japanese migrants, it would swiftly become a beautiful place (if what I’ve seen in Japanese cities is any indication).

        27. Precisely correct. Columbus is doing great and my county is doing even better, ergo, suburbs and the general housing market are a seller’s dream right now. How this isn’t even basic common sense I’m not entirely certain.

        28. No, I never claimed all central parts of the cities are always perfect.
          It is you who claims suburbia is still the same as it was in the 1950s. Read again your own comments.

        29. Um, no, I actually said the opposite. Read again my comments. I distinctly said that this is not the Edward Scissorhands 1950’s version of suburbia out here.

        30. You’re right – all about the perspective you have. I can’t understand why people in the general New England area are obsessed with Baseball, but I can appreciate that they are (as a rule).
          It’s nice being challenged like this, lolknee. Not only is your perspective so wildly different from my own, but you can describe it clearly. I can’t say that for most people I’ve met.

        31. grumble grumble modern age drumble grumble pansy ass faggots grumble new fangled trimmers like some fancy rock star grumble

        32. why thank you. The one redeeming quality I do have which kind of makes my being an unrepentant asshole alright is I do understand that there is a measure of subjectivity here.

        33. Detroit is a blight on the midwest. Best that they let it collapse, bury the rubble and start from scratch.

        34. ” city that the rest of the world revolves around”

        35. Cities aren’t “nasty” because they are cities, they are nasty because of the people. If the suburban people populated the cities, the cities wouldn’t be nasty. I mean, what is convenient about having to drive 20 minutes to get to ANYTHING?

        36. It really isn’t. But it probably feels that way. It is ONE of the cities that the world revolves around though. London, Zurich, Paris, New York City and a few others. Each ones residents thinks “hey, center of the universe here”. NYC could have claimed the sole title until the 1990’s when businesses began quietly leaving due to taxes in an ever increasing exodus though.

        37. Philly metro is no picnic either, commute-wise. if you work down town, figure at least an hour door to door from 90% of the adjoining counties. HOWEVER – for most people the trade-off b/w “top shelf VC take out at 4:30 am” and “school where my kid wont get murdered” is a fair trade-off, commute included.

        38. I am feeling the pull as I get older since my interest in all the so-called cultural crap is waning. But with schools out of the equation, I really cant yet trade my 30-30 minutes foot-commute for a private parking space and a little more room. Time will tell though.

        39. ‘not hacking the majors’ puts a bit of a pejorative spin on it… cant fault a guy for trading a museum he’s been to 1000 times for a bit of grass and some nocturnal quiet.

        40. Took my own immigrant forebears approximately 1/2 a generation to jump the river from Manhattan…..
          While I say they just wanted a little more space and some quiet (in the relative wilderness of Astoria), they would certainly fall into @lolknee:disqus ‘s classification of non-hackers.

        41. This is a phenomenon, but it is a little overblown in the media. This whole “downsize and move to the city” is a very narrow, upper-income affectation.

        42. We’re seeing more than a few ex-suburban downsizers moving into my grossly inflated gentrified urban neighborhood. Honestly I think they’re just buying time before moving in with their suburban-based children!

        43. You might be able to imagine commuting from Deptford to Princeton. Do that for me, just for a moment. I bet you shed a tear. That tear is a window into my soul.

        44. Don’t know Philly that well, but Charlie delivering food at 430 am is far from the only benefit and some of the best schools (and worst) in the country are in Manhattan.
          I have zero clue how philly works. Like I have no idea what the set up is. I think I always picture as a slightly smaller New York with slightly more annoying sportsball fans

        45. I don’t fault him that for sure. I always feel the the constant moving energy of manhattan is something that isn’t for everyone and the people it is for tend to hack high pressure bla bla bla better but I’m sure a lot of that is my own prejudice

        46. lol your forebears moved a 15 minute N train ride from the city, not to Levittown which is closer to what I had in mind.
          That said, if they would have stuck around and bought up some of that cheap property on the UWS that was going for peanuts back 2 generations ago you would be living on your yacht now

        47. What do you think about the other NYC boroughs, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island ? I like some of the parks in Staten Island and some areas in Brooklyn, but I’ve seen few nice places outside of Manhattan (and Manhattan in itself is largely unpleasant).

        48. You’re not too far off. Its really not comparable to NY, but it has its moments. Anyone moving here who really wants NY winds up disappointed.
          The scale is entirely different – you can see the whole city in a weekend and never feel the need to return.

        49. fukkn ay…..If they’d have kept the house in Astoria I’d be a zillionaire. In fact my Old Man’s subsidizing his retirement off of his parent’s house in College Point which just sold for north of 800k…..
          And it took another two generations to get out to Levitown and beyond.

        50. Right! In Astoria double that price. If it was in the at the time uninhabitable neighborhood of SOHO you could add a 0 lol

        51. But even more than not knowing really what’s there…I don’t even know what shape it’s in. At least I can vaguely estimate it on a map. GOJ will think I’m kidding but on a map with no words I couldn’t point to Ohio

        52. Never been here? Not even for the mandatory 5th grade field trip?
          Lemme know – I’ll channel my inner tour guide and we’ll have a Time!

        53. I was there when I was a teenager and some buddies decided they would drive for cheese steaks m and that was it.

        54. I went to 5th grade in bushwick Brooklyn in the early 80’s. We didn’t have a trip and if we did Rikers Island would have been the destination so everyone could see their families

        55. funny that’s pretty much how I found this place….bang out of work, nothing to do, full tank of gas, beer money…..

        56. My google earth only shows manhattan for some reason. I think it is the special firewall I have

        57. You need to visit the suburbs of a city like Charlotte or Raleigh. 15-30m commutes and access to everything that’s in NYC at half the price (or less) with plenty of room, nice neighbors and low crime. Airports are no where near as painful as LGA and JFK, etc

        58. I was offered a job in charlotte and went there to check it out. There is a real boom time for building residential but if you think that in any way Charlotte offers everything manhattan does your nuts.
          Also, and this may just be because I do not fly more than once or twice a year, I’ve never had and issue with JFK or LGa

        59. Except for Broadway shows and the like, which I have no interest in, there is nothing that NYC offers that CLT doesn’t have. There are just as many steakhouses per capita, ethnic food places, bars/restauants per capita, things to do, plenty of cultural arts, sports teams, beautiful women per cap etc. Plus, I can get to Charleston in 2.5-3 hrs, Asheville in 2.5 hrs, etc. About the only real difference is you do have to drive while in NYC you do not.
          I, unfortunately, have to fly into LGA or JFK at least once per month for a 1 or 2 night stay in Midtown.

        60. I understand that people that fly often have issues. I don’t fly frequently enough to have a realistic sense of what goes on for commuters. But I have to say that I don’t think you could be more wrong about the charolette / NYC comparison. You are missing quite a lot if you really only see this

        61. LOL What do you think NYC has that Charlotte doesn’t? Feel free to provide examples.
          Let’s review – Charlotte has:
          Professional sports teams: Check (NBA, NFL and triple A baseball, others within 2 hr drive (NHL))
          Ethnic restaurants: You can eat any ethnic food in the world in Charlotte with roughly a 10 minute drive – virtually every major type of European, Asian, South American, Middle Eastern, Caribbean within 10 minute drive. In the last 2 weeks alone I’ve had Thai, Peruvian, Brazilian, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Spanish in addition to American food
          Fine dining: More steakhouse and upscale fine dining than you can possibly visit on any kind of budget in a dozen years. Del Frisco’s isn’t just in NYC.
          Bar Scene: several hundred bars/Pubs in Charlotte if not 4 digit
          Cultural/Performing arts/Museums – all here
          Zoo – 2 state zoos within 1 hour
          Terrific International airport with direct flights to just about anywhere you’d need to go – check
          Upscale shopping (Gucci, Prada, etc) – check – all here
          Tons of music venues with lots of visiting artists – check (and a lot more in 4 nearby cities)
          Tons of bankers – check
          Tons of company HQs – check
          Plenty of good paying jobs (including my >$300k/yr) – check
          Here’s what NYC has that Charlotte doesn’t have:
          More frequent performing arts (which I could care less about, and even if you did, with the amount of money you save you could fly to NYC multiple times a year to do just that)
          Get around without a car
          Tons and tons of tourists
          Insane congestions
          Noise – lots and lots of noise
          On the flip side, here is what Charlotte has that NYC *doesn’t* have (or at least not much of it):
          Space – I’m building a brand new 3100 sq ft 3 car garage home with everything upgraded for < $400k in the suburbs and will have a 16 minute commute and I have a 1/3 an acre
          Pools – tons of places to swim around here
          Water Parks/Rec Centers/etc – both family friend and world class training
          Hiking & (safe) biking
          ~15 breweries to visit – most within 10 minutes of each other
          Half dozen wineries
          Nascar (not my thing but lots of people like it)
          Plenty of Lakes within 30 minute drive to go out to the lake
          < 2 hr drive to Mtns
          <2.5 hr drive to multiple beaches
          Low taxes – no city income taxes and many of the suburbs the property taxes for a home are < $1500/yr.
          Unless you are REALLY into performing arts or obsessed with the bar scene, there is nothing that NYC has that CLT doesn’t have (and CLT has plenty of bars – probably over 500) – and if you really need to get to NYC from CLT, it’s less than a $200 flight r/t from Charlotte virtually all year – and with your cost of living 50-75% lower, pretty easy have money to do more.

        62. The TL:DR to what you just said is “I’ve been to Epcot so no need to go to Paris.

        63. Nope – not what I said at all and you haven’t provided a single thing NYC has that Charlotte doesn’t. And you keep ignoring that I’m in NYC ALL the time! I spend roughly a month a year in Midtown. In fact, I’ll be at the Intercontinental Barclays in Midtown the first two days in May and back again 2 weeks later before I go to Sweden for 2 weeks. I’ve also been to Toronto, SF, Chicago, LA, Munich, London, Prague, Barcelona, Rome, etc – it’s not like I don’t have a basis for comparison.

        64. I’m glad you enjoy charolette and have found your slice of heaven there. I’m not going to get into a debate with you about why nyc is simply a better place to live because it’s not. It’s not for everyone. That said, the comparison of cities is an absurdity. Everyone finds what they like. Your time in the city not withstanding I feel by the way you speak that you have a tourists eye view. I think it’s great you are happy where you are but I couldn’t live there…it’s simply not enough for me in ways that obviously don’t make sense to you.
          To each their own brother

        65. also, your exposure to midtown makes you roughly as qualified to comment on New York as flying from NY to Miami makes a person able to intelligently comment about North Carolina. You simply don’t understand the city….you make lists of number of sports teams and number of bars…in the end, Charolette is a mimetic city. It is Epcot Paris. Not the real deal

        66. So you can’t come up with one thing NYC has that Charlotte doesn’t, eh (and it’s not just Charlotte – there are plenty of other cities around the country with similar stories- Nashville, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, etc)?

        67. LOL – I don’t “understand” is not an answer for what NYC has that Charlotte (and dozens of other cities in the US) doesn’t. I understand the city just fine. I’m just not infatuated with it like you are. Have you even been to many other cities before of size like in Europe or other parts of the US? Given your limited exposure to the airport it doesn’t like it – I have. There really isn’t anything special about NYC. Of all the big cities I’ve been to, the only two I think are less fun is Toronto and Chicago.

        68. Still waiting for one thing NYC has that Charlotte doesn’t….that was your claim, not mine, so it should be easy for you to answer. Yes, it’s a smaller city but per capita its virtually proportional and it’s not like Charlotte is actually that small.

        69. Dude I’m not going to do the comparison. It’s like when children tell you how cool their toys are you don’t shit on them you let them have their fun.
          Charolette is a great place. So is Nashville. Austin I think sucks but some people love it.
          I’m sorry man, I disagree with you and think that you are absolutely insane to even start a comparison. You think I am wrong. That’s ok.

        70. Ok dude now you are getting annoying. You like Charolette. I get it. To a hick I am sure it seems like a real metropolis. Please, enjoy your home town. I’ll even concede your point. God. Your passion about this is off the charts. Fucking rubes man.

        71. I am not asking for a comparison. I asked you to answer your statement was that NYC has lots of things that Charlotte doesn’t. You’ve yet to provide one. The vibe between the two cities are different – one is gogogogo/alive/larger than life and the other is laid back/friendly/family oriented. But that is liking a vibe – not that there is anything more or less to do. No different than preferring a sport bar vs a night club. Both are going to serve you drinks of anything you want – but the vibes are very different. There are plenty of large cities that are fairly laid back (Munich, SF, Atlanta, etc)

        72. Your obsession with NYC is annoying as is your superiority complex with it. I like lots of cities in America – Charlotte is just the one I’m currently in (the last 2 years). I don’t think Charlotte is any better (or worse) than dozens of other cities I’ve visited or lived in the US. I was simply asking you to answer YOUR statement that NYC has things that Charlotte doesn’t. You’ve still not answered what these other things are.
          And nice job with the idiotic ad hominem attack – I can guarantee I am more educated and traveled than you.

        73. Ad hominem is a personal attack within a debate. That’s not what this is. This is me mocking you. The difference is that I am not debating you as you are quite clearly too immature and ignorant. At first I was placating you and now I am openly mocking you.
          As for your education, if you honesty have more education than I do you really ought to demand some refunds. As for your frequently flyer miles, I am sure you have been a tourist in many places. Very impressive. You have no idea what I’ve done in my life and I frankly don’t feel the need to tell you.
          I’ve tried to extricate myself from this moronic conversation politely and then in a rude yet dismissive way and neither one seemed to work.
          Now I’ll try blunt: go away

        74. Heh – typical – no answer to the question so resort to ad hominem attacks. Typical attitude of someone in grade school. Enjoy your city. Maybe I’ll see you there in a week.

        75. Maybe. I’ll let you know if I hit up any tourist joints or chain restaurants.

        76. I hate chain restaurants with the exception of some of the 5* steakhouses like Capital Grille, Ruths Chris and Del Friscos. To me, most of the restaurants in Midtown are touristy – even ones off the path a bit likes Lillie’s that don’t look like there are many tourists in there. If we’re not eating with bankers (and they usually reserve a spot), I frequently eat at the Harvard Club NYC rooftop bar & restaurant since I stay there about half my trips.

        77. Harvard club always a fun time. Rooftop at the Penninsula has an amazing bar. Def suggest if you don’t know it already

        78. Also if you want a solid steak choice in a fun environment try Wolfgangs on park and 33rd. There are a couple of Wolfgangs in town and honestly I’m not generally a fan. They really differ in quality location to location but the one on park is on point

        79. We probably got off to a bad start based on me being an arrogant jackass and a bit of a troll but you seem an alright sort. For what it’s worth, if you are in town feel free to message me for a drink. We are all here so there is plenty of ideological similarities even if you couldn’t possibly understand the real beauty of nyc 😉

        80. Cool – I’ll give that a try next time I’m eating down that way. I’ve been to WGP I think on 57th or 54th and wasn’t that impressed so its good to know they do vary by location. I’m going to be staying at the HC for 3 nights the first full week of June – I may hit you up for a drink if my schedule has a free night

        81. Yeah the WGP in the 50’s with the bar upfront is totally unacceptable. I really can’t figure why there is such a marked difference in quality from location to location, just something I noticed and Park is the best of them.
          Let me know when in town

      3. I have to disagree. A city’s design can inspire civic engagement and pride. When urban planners hollow out a downtown so that all remains are tent cities and drug addicts, the culture and politics will begin to reflect.

        1. Well that’s on the urban planners, it’s not the fault of people who left the city. Huge modern cities are a very new thing, a lot of people are just not cut out for them, and when the car came along they voted with their feet.

        2. Urban renewal projects are a huge waste of money. Seen it tried in a few places all it all falls apart as the riff raff remain, no employment and lack of taxable income base guaratees failure. No one will waste investing in those holes and after the race riots from a generation ago, no one is moving to downtown anytime soon.

        3. Top-down social engineering schemes masquerading as urban planning NEVER work. That kind of thinking is how we wound up with all the housing projects they’ve been imploding as of late…

        4. For some reason, they still say that home ownership causes financial and family stability. Some well-meaning idiots noticed that people who had homes were also hard-working family men and decided it was the homes that did it.
          Worthless people will continue to be worthless no matter where they live. A bum can move from Kansas to NYC, or LA to Gatlinberg, and nothing about the bum will change.
          All this to say, there’s a reason the inner cities look like a Middle Eastern warzone. It’s the people who live there – always has been, always will be, no matter how much money you piss away trying to improve it.

        5. What about central park. The filthy irish were never supposed to be there. THat’s why they started it on 59th street. No way those irish hooligans could figure out how to get that far north.

        6. If I showed you the rust belt hole I came from these days, its nothing but abandoned houses and empty lots (torn down houses condemned by the city). But every 10 years the city and state poor money down a drain to “renivate.” Nuts.

        7. worse…couldn’t afford the nickel for the subway so they just stayed in the points. Really, Central Park’s history is absolutely steeped in cultural elitism. It’s really beautiful. I actually have a book that is a turn of the century style guide for how to properly dress when going to the park. What kind of tie to wear for which park activities, whether to wear a vest or not depending on what you will be doing in the park. The book was a house warming gift for my last apartment which was right on CPW and is a true pleasure.
          When going to the park for a leisurely walk you should wear a shirt, collar, tie, vest, jacket and hat…lol

        8. It depends on the city. Large sections of NYC or downtown LA that were unliveable a decade ago have undergone mass gentrification by private investors. Where it goes wrong, at least in my city, is city council decides to build a section 8 tower right beside the new luxury high rises. They have since learned that is not a good idea.

        9. Not in nyc- we have plenty of that shit here- lower apts are subsidized by the taxpayer, higher floors pay top dollar to buy/rent. I remember, a few years ago, folks on a subsidy were bitching bc they had a separate elevator. mind boggles

        10. Several factors coincided to make suburbanization preferable to city living. Eminent domain to build the freeways, GM stomping out the electric rail system, deindustrialization. I do agree it was the fault of urban planners to allow the inner cities to rot.

        11. Williamsburg and Harlem in particular come to mind when I bring up NYC. By every account I personally heard, these were trash neighborhoods a decade ago have undergone massive renovation. That’s weird they’ll share private and public housing like that.

        12. Urban does not mean “huge city”. I can probably count the number of buildings more than 8 stories in Paris on my hands, and yet, it is the densest city in the western world. Copenhagen has as many people use their bicycle for commuting as use their car, and yet there aren’t any memorable skyscrapers in the city.

        13. Exactly, if we put all the middle class and rich people in cities and all the poor people in suburbs, cities would be the nice elite areas with good achievement and social outcomes and suburbs would be bad.

        14. I would agree that large metro cities like LA and especially NYC are exceptional as the already have supporting infrastructue and resources to validate block renewals. Key word in your post – “private investors.”
          Places I observed were midwest cities who were gutted by NAFTA and their populations decrease as people flee. Public monies were used, federal grants and debt were added to a shrinking tax pool.

    1. Qatar. I was expecting mud shacks, but they built a first rate city due to western investment. Now if only we can get the the westerners to invest in their own countries.

      1. its not so much western investment as they are awash in oil money, dont know what to do with it, and they give their money to western developers to build skyscrapers they dont really need(and probably are mostly empty)

        1. this is exactly right. It is easy to build a high end city in the desert if you are sitting on literally an infinite amount of money in a monarchy where your brother is the king so you have no pesky worry about any kind of regulations.

        2. I think if the business climate were made more favorable to American developers, something like this can happen domestically. Miami and Vegas seem to be booming with new projects. They both lie in low tax states, but then again, nothing compares to slave labor the arabs enjoy.

        3. well, from what Ive read, Bush Sr struck a deal with Arabia in the mid 70s- use the oil $$ to buy American bonds, rather than paying a dividend on the bonds, that $$ would be diverted to American companies who would build out their infrastructure- roads, buildings, power grid, etc…worked out well for 30 years or so

  16. “The general decline and disorder in society combines with poorly
    designed and ugly cities to convey a sense of “We don’t really know who
    we are, what we stand for, or where we are headed”

    Culture is religion externalized. This includes artistic and architectural expression.

    1. Yes, everything is a reflection but also—– anything worth doing is worth doing well. You get way more mileage out of the end result of something done well. What do you get out of the end result of something done poorly?

      1. Moral deficiency produces deficiency in every other area of life, or as you put it, “something done poorly”. We see it all around us today.

        . . . but also—– anything worth doing is worth doing well.

        “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; . . ” – Ecclesiastes 9:10 NASB
        Other than your use of the word “but”, which means, “on the contrary” or “except for the fact”, I agree with your statement. My main statement point that culture is religion externalized includes the principle of Ecclesiastes 9:10, at least for the Christian it does, and the great Western/Russian art and architecture reflects this principle. Art and architecture, as a reflection of a culture, is at its best when the culture is dominated or heavily influenced by the religion of Christianity.

        1. They were without any doubt the Pharisee religious sect, who were adherents to the Tradition of the Elders, which was later codified and is what we call Talmudic Judaism today by the Sephardi and Khazar “Jews”. Neither the Sephardi or Khazar “Jews” are the Israelites of the Bible and their religion is anti-Christian to its very core. It’s why they hated Him then and why they hate His people still today.

  17. I was just talking about this YESTERDAY. I don’t think ANYTHING should be built without a long-term meaningful plan that provides something efficient, meaningful (maybe “critical”) and pleasing to the citizens. This includes public spaces! And yes—– I would go so far as to say that it should support the culture. I agree with everything in the article.

  18. I think there’s another key problem that goes ignored too often. There is no civic pride among the residents of most cities.
    For contrast first, I point to the cities of Japan. When I was there, I discovered that every town had its own mascots and festivals. You didn’t see any trash cans on the streets, but it was clean wherever you went. Surprisingly few hooligans and ne’er-do-wells, and not a speck of graffiti in sight even off the beaten path.
    By contrast, one of the few cities with any degree of civic pride in the US is NYC. Every New Yorker is proud to live there, as near as I can tell, but the streets are filthy and many buildings seem almost held together by layers of spray paint.
    This is something that seriously needs addressing. If everyone just did the little things to keep their cities clean and orderly, the country would be a more beautiful place. The Don’t Mess With Texas campaign worked wonders for Texas highways, so we know it can work here.

      1. It’s just flat-out true, and I have black friends who say the same exact thing. Can’t deny the objective evidence. Most places in America that turn majority black = instant shithole.

    1. Yeah, but Japan has no diversity! A bunch of bigoted racists!
      DIEversity is strength, don’t you know.

  19. Denver and Houston are relatively “new” cities. Yet, I would prefer those two cities over any city of Europe.
    To the author : it`s not just about architecture. It is more about the people who inhabit a city. It is also about the city`s council, whether they actually care about the local citizens or not.

      1. The author praises cities like Florence, Viena, Prague or Budapest…yet most young people from those cities would rather want to live in any American or Canadian city of they had the chance.
        Nice architecture does not equal good living standards for the citizens. THus the author is wrong.

        1. Well, I’ve heard in Venice a can of Coke will cost you a whopping $10. So there.
          Then again, I’ve been in Houston before and I wouldn’t want to live there. Too big, chaotic and expansive. Denver is pretty nice and pleasant though. Ditto for Colorado Springs.

        2. Most young people of those cities want to go to the U.S. and Canada not because of their architecture and cities (that are mostly horrendous) but because their socialist governments (which by the way have never built anything worthy of remembrance in those countries) have destroyed the economy and ensured that only those connected will enjoy social mobility, while the rest of the country has to make do with scraps…only in that aspect, U.S. cleans the clocks of most of Western Europe.

        3. Most young people from those cities would prefer to live in the US or Canada because:
          a) either economic problems.
          b) ethnic brainwashing with multiculturality and diversity.
          Then, most of them, once option a) is solved, they go back, once they realize the destruction of option b).

        4. The B is the main reason. All those Hollywood movies and TV have left their mark.
          I live in a small town near Prague with about 10-15 thousand people. I have no need to move to some big city. I have everything I want. Mainly the piece and quiet.

    1. Interestingly, I lived in both cities and saw a lot of darkness there. What it is about urban areas that seems to attract criminal elements, I do not know.
      The suburban areas are fantastic, though.

      1. “What it is about urban areas that seems to attract criminal elements”
        I don’t know anything about either Denver or Houston, but I know here in NYC the very wealthy and the very poor live side by side. The absolute worst areas in the city are separated from one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world by about 3 miles or a 5 minute train stop and there are lots of different good and bad neighborhoods right up against each other.
        I am not from one of the good ones.
        When a lot of people are huddled together and there is a massive disparity….like I use a fork for cereal so I can save the milk for tomorrow and one mile away a kid the same age already has a trust fund worth 10 million dollars in his own name there breeds a lot of fucking resentment.
        As a kid I don’t know how many bikes I stole but “a few” wouldn’t cover it. Baseball caps, sneakers, money…whatever. It is very easy to see how a life of crime gets started when people with absolutely nothing living in such close proximity to people with absolutely everything.
        The gentrification that has happened over the last few decades has pushed the poorer people further and further away from the wealthy as poor neighborhoods like harlem began to be hip and eventually after hip became expensive, but also since the late 90’s the NYPD has essentially been a paramilitary force. Mandatory minimums on gun possession coupled with stop and frisk policies pretty much totally disarmed the city and the massive size and budget of the police force along with that gentrification and the policies which gave the police powers that would make GOJ’s cowboy hat spin created a very safe environment…such that a lot of people who have moved here in the last 10 years can’t even imagine that it used to be dangerous to live here.
        So for what it is worth, that is what draws the criminal element to NYC on the petty scale. We can talk about what draws the more organized criminal element another time, but for now I think this is more to your point. Again, if this is the case in other cities I simply do not know.

        1. Yes it’s called lolknee does the polka classics and is classified as a felony

        2. Houston, at least, is a bit more spread out than that. There are areas the size of NYC that look like they could have come out of a Mexican horror movie or some African warzone, and that’s where most of the crime in the city takes place (despite the greater Houston area being gigantic – around 10k square miles). Honestly, I don’t really understand what forces could make these particular areas both so densely populated by particular ethnicities and so crime-ridden.
          I kind of figured that the crime in NYC would start pretty much the way you describe, though. The richest and the poorest within feet of one another, you’re going to have crime.

        3. The Greater Houston Area. There’s a lot of nonsense in how Houston is measured, but the GHA covers eight counties.
          The land area is larger than New Jersey. There’s about 1k square feet of water area counted in that total.

        4. I can’t even fathom that much space and frankly it creeps me out. @bem called me on this perfectly. Some people have a fear of heights, I have a fear of widths. That sheer amount of space gives me the willies

        5. I can’t confirm the number, but I can say, Houston is pretty darn big. And that’s telling considering that, unlike the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, it can be considered the sole alpha city based on size and population.

        6. Every city has some bad neighborhoods. However, overall I found the people of Houston friendly and the city quiet safe.
          Also, Houston is racially more harmonious than some other major metropolitan areas.

        7. That makes sense since Houston is currently the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the US. (It took that title off Philadelphia about a decade ago or so.)

        8. Suffice it to say, most Houstonians haven’t even seen most of the neighborhoods in Houston, even if they’ve lived there their whole lives.
          EDIT: It would probably be accurate to say most Houstonians haven’t met anyone from half the neighborhoods, either. That’s how big we’re talking.
          By comparison, you can do a walking tour of NYC in a day or two.

        9. No, its larger, the greater urban area of Houston is 4.3k kilometres squared (1660 miles). I read somewhere that the area inside the outermost freeway ring can fit Paris, New York, and London combined inside.

        10. The same goes for LA. The highest crime rates were concentrated where rich communities stood side by side to poor communities. Unlike, NY, our city erroneously sprawled without any forethought.
          The real estate prices are a touch lower in the south central area which is inviting massive gentrification. Communities that were war zones 15 years ago, are now displaced by mini malls and Starbucks. Gentrification is a force for good.

      2. I have seen much less crime in Denver and Houston than some of the “older cities” the author speaks so highly about…

        1. Really? The murder rate in Vienna is 0.5 murders per every 100 thousand people, that is probably one of the lowest in the world, I can’t even think of anywhere lower. Houston is 13.3 murders per every 100 thousand people.

      3. Population density has a dehumanizing factor called the “Bystander Effect”.
        In the countryside, people will stop in -30 degree weather to help you change a flat tire. In the city, people will walk past a grandma that has fallen down the subway stairs and not think twice.

    2. Houston rather than Europe? Why would you want to live in a city where your only transportation option is car?

  20. This article is a great example of what ROK does best. I hope to see more intelligent and contextual content like this. Since I’ve been criticial of some articles recently, it’s only appropriate I should also praise those that show the potential of this site.

  21. A good friend of mine works at a firm that, among other things, does studies on how various infrastructure issues can negatively impact interstate commerce. I once asked him what was the worst thing he’d ever seen in terms of poor city planning.
    He told me about this mid-sized city that is located in a prime spot at the intersection of one of the larger rivers in the country and one of the larger interstate highway corridors that crosses multiple states. It has everything it needs to be a booming city in terms of transportation, manufacturing, recreation, etc.
    But it was so badly planned (or totally unplanned) as it grew after the interstate came through, that it has essentially become a chokepoint, literally in terms of travel and transportation, but also figuratively in terms of any growth of the city just makes the problem even worse on everyone in the entire region. The failure to properly plan the city literally took its most important asset and turned it into its most terrible liability. And this affects hundreds of thousands of people per day — it has been documented that this chokepoint hampers interstate travel and commerce for several states away.
    Because the majority of the “chokepoint” area is so miserable, it has turned into a racial problem… and the dynamics of the racial issue are such that it cannot be fixed. The things it would take to directly fix the problem would negatively affect the minority community in the area, meaning fixing it is racist. But developing a workaround would cut that community out of the development, which is also racist.
    So its a huge, multistate financial, commercial, resource and community problem, but the governments involved have just given up on trying to fix it because they know, politically, it can’t be done.
    My friend went into a lot more detail about the politics of it, and he told me that the problem was really a great moneymaker for his company — every couple of years, either the city or the state commissions a study of the impact of the problem or various ways to fix it, and every few years, they win the bid to do the work, so they make a ton of money essentially doing something they’ve done ten times before, knowing it will never be used.
    I remember it all very clearly because when he first described the problem, I thought there was no way it could be that bad. Then about three years later, I just happened to drive through that city on a long road trip. The problem was about 10 times worse than he described, and easily the worse issue we had on the entire multi-state drive, and it was obvious that it was actually a daily problem, not just a bad day or a fluke. It was absolutely laughable.

        1. Sounds right actually. Sin City is a hell of a nasty place. It’s like God took Ohio and said “let it be beautiful” then put Sin City and Cleveland on the borders as some way to balance it out.

      1. Good guess. Could be Cincinnati or Lexington, Kentucky(Im totally talking out the arse)

      2. Putting the decline of Saint Louis down to bad traffic planning is quite a drastic overstatement, there are a tonne of things that led to the decline, and traffic is just one.

  22. Dude. Hear-hear!
    New developments are ugly as sin everywhere they crop up. Ugly or plain. It’s obvious that dollars used to be worth more when you look at building and material costs. Show me a world where women exit the work force, and I’ll show you… well, every beautiful civilization up until now. Is it in the plastic? Is that why everybody’s balls are falling off? My father died when I was 17, and I still see the value in the way the world was. I want the old world back. Damn you, Satan, for helping fat women turn society into a mad house… a mad house with vinyl siding.

    1. whats amazing about the WD Concert Hall is that the concave and reflective surface was focusing sunlight (much like a magnifying glass might) and heating up nearby condos, creating hot spots on the street of 140 F, and blinding drivers. They ended up having to sand down the surface to reduce its reflectiveness.

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