Originally Posted by bjohansson
I've spent a lot of time in Europe and truth be told, I love being there. If I thought I could make it work, I would have lived in Austria the rest of my life.
I'm sure I've offended a lot of people with my statement, but I stand by it. Do you want more? Here goes...
The parts of these cities that set them apart aren't where the average person lives. When you look at the average person's life in these cities, they're generally all the same. They live in something resembling the suburbs, they travel, mainly by public transportation, to work and back every day in the cities, rarely seeing the beauty and inspiring sights that many tourists see and link as the identity of the city. How many people live near the Louvre in Paris? How many people live near the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam? How many people live near the Kurfurstendamm in Berlin? How many people live near Picadilly Circus in London? Cetainly not the vast majority.
Unfortunately, most of the larger cities in Europe have become generic and dare I offend even more people??? Very similar to American cities, with their Euro-versions of Super Wal Mart and Home Depot in the "suburbs", unbearable traffic, and a general loss of identity. Outside of the tourist sites, they do all look the same. My point is that the average joe that lives and works in these cities has even less time to enjoy the wonders of them than the tourist. I didn't see this same thing in the smaller cities.
WARNING!!! POTENTIAL OFFENSIVE AND POLITICALLY INCORRECT STATEMENT AHEAD. WARNING!!!!
Please don't take this the wrong way...most of the cities have become so multi-cultural, they have lost their cultural identities as well. I'm not saying it's either bad or good, just that it's what I saw. This adds to my observation of the homogenization of the large European city.
There. I hope I haven't offended too many people, because that was never my intent. I stated my honest observations and have been called a fool. Perhaps I am a fool. But please recall the fools in Shakespeare's works and ponder the role of the fool.
Oh, you mean the suburbs
all look the same - NOT the CITIES.
Now I agree. And I agree that they are horrible.
I've never lived in a suburb in any
country, and thankfully all of my friends in NAmerica and Europe/UK live either in the cities or the countryside.
But I've had to drive through, and (rarely) even shop, in the suburbs - and without fail they are hellish and homogeneous, imo.
doesn't make for a homogeneous place, in my view.
Quite the opposite. I think multiculturalism prevents
is nothing like Paris
is nothing like New York
is nothing like Sydney
is nothing like Montreal
is nothing like London
But all of those are extremely multicultural cites. And they each have their own very distinct flavour.
Perhaps they have even stronger cultural identities
now than they would have had a hundred years ago because those identities are earned through people and institutions dealing with and accomodating the various cultures' ways of life, rather than merely being dictated by the ruling class and the church.
More spice = more fun, in my book.
Would the flavour of each of those cities have been more distinct without immigrants? Maybe, but in the most homogeneous way possible.
I think it is the cities that are the "crossroads of the world" that are the most interesting.
multiculturalism are kind of one-trick ponies, imo. And you can find that "trick', that homogeneousness in most small and/or isolated towns.
If you want a place without
multiculturalism try Twin Falls, Idaho, for example.
Me? I'll take a cosmopolitan city any day!
btw - I appreciate your role as the (Shakespearean) fool.