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Is the local charm gone, everywhere?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Downshift, Feb 28, 2021.

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  1. clayville

    clayville Tele-Meister

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    Burlington, VT is still a gorgeous, weird place, mostly off the beaten path (unless you're on your way to Montreal). My son goes to school there so I get up a few times a year. The main pedestrian "mall" is more mall-like than it once was but the geographic limitations of town seem to keep most of the dreck in check. Can you drop a couple hundred bucks on a gourmet meal? Sure... but fingers crossed it'll hang onto some of it's weirdness and the mom & pops for a while longer.

    Road tripped through southern Utah and northern Arizona two years ago (as one does) and my sense was that Instagram had almost ruined every single place we stopped. I'm gaping in awe gazing out from one spectacular overlook after another.... while everyone else is taking selfies and not even looking at the view. It was like they were just "tagging" places they'd seen on social media for their own social media feed: Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Horseshoe Bend near Page, Antelope Canyon, and the mother ditch of 'em all, the Grand Canyon all completely dominated by people grinning at their phones, ignoring the actual grandeur over their shoulders. Easily the most depressing part of the trip. But hey, I don't live there.
     
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  2. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    We’re already there, depending on where you live. But I make sure when I have to go out into the wasteland that I have something a little more appropriate than a machete.
     
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  3. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Everywhere is getting starbucked, sanitized, and homogenized. It is the corporate American way.
     
  4. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I lived in a small town in western Colorado for a long time. Our 'tourist season' was deer and elk season. During that time, I think the town netted about 70% of its 'take' for the year. The sleepy little stores downtown you could wander any other time of the year with few folks in them, during 'season' packed! All womenfolk stayed home during this period as the tourists were mostly male and feeling all manly being in the mtns etc and would often overstep what they would have behaved like back home.

    It was love hate at the time, but it just was. Today, that town has grown 10X in 20 years. It is now some sort of bedroom community and the mtns around there are fracked and stacked as they say. But, man, it was great when I lived there... quiet and you could drive up on the roan cliffs and not see a soul, even the back side of grand mesa was free of people. I kind of wonder if over by Hotchkiss has stayed small...
     
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  5. badger51

    badger51 Tele-Meister

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    My daughters family is moving to Mineral Point from Austin! We visited Austin frequently in the last six years. It’s still fun but it feels extremely crowded pretty much wherever you go.
    That is one of the reasons we moved from the Town of Middleton, WI to the Northwoods of WI
     
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  6. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Marfa!

    Oops!:oops:
     
  7. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    That's why I moved and got away from everything and everyone. I can live and die in peace here.
     
  8. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    The last line and Austin required a response.

    Change just happens. What's funny though is now people tease me about being in a town that became suburb. I'm near @blowtorch. I was born in Madison and came back for college, went to other places, came back. Now my "suburb" is more of a town or original than some of the places people think are cool.

    Also consider this occurrence. Where our cabin is became not as cool as it once was. The non-tourism part. It looks like what you mostly get you get when you are a left and forgotten town is modern angry, no skills for a decent wage, conspiracy prone redneckistan.

    As towns or individuals, we need to aim at least as high as being on the correct sides of the important measures - medians and means.
     
  9. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here in Outer Redneckia we're becoming a quaint movie set. Or at least we were until 2020 when almost all the yellow arrow signs suddenly disappeared for some "unknown reason".

    moviesign.JPG
     
  10. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    lmao, yeah, gonna have to disagree strongly with all that.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I grew up in a Maine destination town and was at times a part of the local select board regulation of growth.
    Kids who came here from cities and grew up into business people, wanted to start businesses here, but the paradise was pretty well developed and zoning generally didn't allow much growth.
    Eventually out of state developers went with the idea that they could afford lawyers to pursue zoning variances in court, for as long as it took to get their way.
    The town discovered that the cost of fighting all those imported developers was higher than the local budget could manage.

    Meanwhile out of state corporate income funded vacation home buyers started paying ten times what locals could afford on local income.
    This raised property values, which increased income for the town, allowing them to endure the lawsuits and preserve the whatever the hell you want to call natural beauty that everybody wants a piece of.

    Drive North 25 miles and we look at Portland, a fishing and college city that has city stuff like arenas, college town stuff like bars restaurants and apartment buildings, and a semi quaint semi industrial waterfront of piers and commercial fishing.

    As that area got popular, out of state vacationers didn't want to buy "city" homes but did want to visit, so what happened was airbnb made apartment building owners choose the better money weekly renters offered, and now locals and college students can't find or afford housing.
    This of course also created city infrastructure problems like parking etc, but again, local management and a comprehensive plan directs growth by what it allows.

    Meanwhile, head North further and inland, property is still cheap unless on one of the lakes that are popular, and since tourism is so central to the local economy while the former great industries like logging and manufacturing have been hurt.

    Funny that logging was hurt: used to be we had paper mills, and some of their export was tanker ships full of liquid paper pulp sent to China where all the books are made now.

    Seems like I recall some Chinese execs coming to tour our big paper mills, followed by them building their own operations and now not needing to buy our paper mills products.

    All the factors mix in with the increased desire to visit here, the transformation of family communities into recreations centers, and the lower income vs higher cost of living and of dwellings?
    Yeah it's a complex problem!
    The courts now recognize that "family homesteads" are being taken from families when it cost literally 5-10 x as much to live, and liens are foreclosed on at small portions of the artificially inflated "values".
    Tough problem that may not be fixable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Gila, if that's what you meant, otherwise its:

    O’odham, Diné, Nde, and N’dee
     
  13. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't know how much weight is given the opinion of grown-ups who use that expression :)
    either in or out of class ;)
     
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  14. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Where I live isn't charming, exactly--it's not a small town and the architecture is pretty lame post WWII brick colonials. But we have a little shopping "village" and I know the owners of the businesses and the people who work there, and I walk down and see neighbors. The restaurants are good. We have a beer garden. And before COVID we did neighborhood pot luck cookouts and Halloween parties. We lend each other tools and physical help. When our kids were little they ran from house to house. There was a sled hill and on snow days we'd have a dozen gravity assisted kids in the living room warming up by the wood stove, because we're near the bottom of the hill. It's no Sedona--it's not pretty like Sedona. But it's got its charms. Also I can find all kind of bands to play in within a mile or so.

    The charm is the the community, not the look, I guess

    We have in-laws who live in Shepherdstown WV, which is pretty darn charming though. We often think about retiring there, if we ever get to retire, which seems unlikely given college costs looming for our daughter.

    I should add it's expensive, where we live. We are on the low end of the income profile and the house was a really hard stretch for us at first. Taxes are high, but we feel like we get good value for our tax money. But its semi-urban. Urban is expensive, because people value that kind of walkability and the range of choices. it should be easier to find, because there's demand for it
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  15. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, areas marked by differences such as more or less educated, rural and urban are all over. The extremes that can make noise or attract attention and also cause trouble don't reflect most people. Having worked and travelled in other places in the world I also see how lots of the US doesn't have to get along or cooperate the way parts of the world do. Maybe hasn't had to get along is better.
     
  16. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    For years I've been reading that old industrial towns near big cities are the thing to watch. They have attractive housing, are cheap, and make a viable work/living place for people who don't have to go into an office everyday. We visited Easton, PA, not long ago--we were pretty impressed. Lots of nice old buildings, interesting restaurants, there's a college: Philly and NYC are both 1.5 hours or so away: you could drive part of the way and take a train the rest.
     
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  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yep, Maine, like every nice place, is currently being over-run with city folk from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc. Only rich people live in Portland now, or even visit there. Bon Appetite magazine recently named Portland as the best restaurant city in the USA, thanks a lot. Now, lunch for two costs a hundred dollars. We've had over a hundred craft breweries built here in the last 10 years, the most of any state. Case prices, for beer, of over $150 are common now.

    The lament here is that it seems like all these new people, who say they are fleeing from places that are wrecked and unlivable, are setting about to make their new home just like their old one. Awesome.
     
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  18. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    When big money shows up to exploit something or somewhere it inevitably loses some or all of it's charm. On a positive note I know of a guy (I don't know him personally) who took a good chunk of his fortune and bought up land, devalued it, and put it in conservancy across a whole county. It had a huge impact on development. In the next 100 years the county will double in population and still be a peaceful place. It will be awhile before all of his direct descendants are gone. I have seen him walking down the road and he knows he made the right choices.
     
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  19. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    As alluded to above, yes there are still a few spots, and I'm not tellin'. The reality is that "local charm" has become a corporate commodity, so its not made to last.
     
  20. TheDavis

    TheDavis Tele-Meister

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    Yeah I have a sister that grew up half the time on the Pima maricopa reservation which as I’m sure you’re aware is also just outside Phoenix so I figured it might be the same reservation she grew up on which is the only reservation I’ve spent a lot of time on. Close
     
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