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America's Top 10 Underrated Cities

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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(note - the pic of the city is under the city paragraph)

Providence

The "Creative Capital" of Providence, R.I., has indeed been reborn in the last decade, as residents have reclaimed derelict buildings and two of the city's three rivers, created waterside walkways, and welcomed brand-name shopping. Today, visitors can take a gondola ride through downtown or, on select dates between June and October, enjoy the light of 100 bonfires along Providence's three rivers as part the WaterFires events – an evening fire sculpture festival set to music. When you add in a burgeoning dining scene, rich New England history, the new Chace Center at the Museum of Art – Rhode Island School of Design (it displays twice as much art as before), a monthly gallery night, and a renowned performing arts scene, this underrated city seems tailor-made for a quick and fulfilling getaway.

providence.jpg

Portland

It's a fantastic jumping-off point for a Pacific Northwest vacation – with proximity to the Oregon coast, Mount Hood, and Willamette Valley wine country – but there's much to see in the city limits too, as the "City of Roses" boasts beauty and culture aplenty. A stop at the Portland Art Museum is a must for art enthusiasts, as is the monthly First Thursdays tour, when downtown galleries stay open late. The promise of tax-free shopping, plus the bustling Saturday outdoor food and arts market (from late March to December), means plenty of retail therapy in this underrated city, too.

portland.jpg

Baltimore

Native blue crabs seasoned with Old Bay are reason enough to visit Baltimore, but there's much more to experience in this waterfront town. Take, for example, this underrated city's revitalized Inner Harbor area, where you'll find where you’ll find Kimpton’s new Hotel Monaco (opened in July 2009); the upscale neighborhood of Mount Vernon, home to the nation's first large-scale Washington Monument and the 29-room boutique Hotel Brexton (opened in March 2010); and Harbor East, where a number of hotels and restaurants are opening their doors. Its new, contemporary look aside, you can still discover some 300 years of American history along Baltimore's cobblestone streets (not only was the "Star Spangled Banner" written here, but abolitionist Frederick Douglass lived and worked in the historic waterfront community of Fells Point in the 1830s) and track down the settings for John Waters's films (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Female Trouble, among many others, were all shot here). Sports fans will also find no shortage of outlets, since Baltimore is also home to the Orioles baseball team, Ravens football team, and the Preakness (the second leg of the Triple Crown).

balt.jpg

Fort Lauderdale

Say goodbye to its days as a raucous spring break spot – today's Fort Lauderdale is all about upscale beach chic, as confirmed by the string of swanky new hotels on the block that have been developed over the last 5 years, like the Ritz-Carlton (formerly the St. Regis, opened in August 2008) and W Hotel (opened in May 2009). Stroll the stunning seaside promenade and comb a strand of sand that rivals Miami Beach, then set out for some irresistible shopping, and finally cap off your day with a culinary feast at one of the underrated city's stellar international restaurants. Combined with a surprisingly sophisticated arts and museum scene, an extensive yachting and golfing network, and one of America's top gay and lesbian scenes, Fort Lauderdale's status as Florida's fashionable destination du jour is long overdue.

ftlauderdale.jpg

Houston

Houston is proof that everything is indeed bigger in Texas. While better known for its big business and energy interests, this sprawling underrated city also hosts top-notch orchestra, opera, and ballet companies, a dynamic theater scene, great museums, and the world-renowned NASA Space Center. Shopping reigns supreme here – you'll find a huge concentration of shops and above-par outlet malls – and its cosmopolitan restaurant scene expands upon the state's traditional Tex-Mex offerings. Bold and impressive architecture helps define the cityscape, too (including the mammoth Astrodome) making this fourth-largest U.S, city a true star in the Lone Star State.

houston.jpg

Kansas City

With downtown's multi-billion dollar face-lift, pedestrian-friendly boulevards, and claim to having the most fountains of any city outside of Rome, Kansas City is definitely deserving of buzz. Plus, history buffs can learn about the underrated city's pioneer roots at the Arabia Steamboat Museum, while sports fans can visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a tribute to the excellent athletes forced to play in segregated leagues. Blues and jazz clubs also abound in this city where musicians like Count Basie and Charlie Parker got their start, particularly in the historic 18th and Vine District, where the American Jazz Museum is located. For some summertime family fun, head to mega-water park Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, which debuted in July 2009 as the brand’s first venture outside of Texas. Once you've worked up an appetite, you're also in for a treat, as this Midwestern city also boasts some of the country's best barbecue.

kansascity.jpg

Louisville

The Kentucky Derby may be its claim to fame, but the famous horse race isn't all Louisville has to offer. Nestled on the banks of the Ohio River, this Southern underrated city has loads of small-town charm, a cosmopolitan riverfront district, a diverse art scene – thanks to the Kentucky Center for the Arts – and a growing foodie market with its own Restaurant Row. Sports lovers should make a stop at the Louisville Slugger Museum, while history lovers can sip mint juleps on a river cruise aboard the Belle of Louisville, a National Historic Landmark.

louis.jpg

Minneapolis

When you think "Midwest architectural mecca" the first city that springs to mind is probably Chicago. But a burst of new buildings from the world's top architects – Herzog & de Meuron's Walker Art Center expansion, Jean Nouvel's Guthrie Theater, Michael Graves' addition to the Institute of Arts, and Frank Gehry’s add-on to the Weisman Museum (scheduled to open in fall 2011) – reinforces the fact that Minneapolis's cultural cachet doesn't entirely depend upon Prince (the city's most notorious native son). The underrated city's revitalization has spread to banks of the Mississippi, where the booming Mill District has shops, restaurants, and boutique hotels catering to style-savvy travelers, many of whom come for the tax-free shopping. Finally, even baseball fans can find reason to like the town: The brand-new Target Field opened for the 2010 season to replace the indoor (and much ridiculed) Metrodome as the Twins’ ballpark.

minnpls.jpg

Pittsburgh

Forget Pittsburgh's reputation for smokestacks and steel, because today this underrated city is sparkling with pristine parks, architectural assets, and three rivers flowing into downtown's "Golden Triangle." Several museums – the Carnegie Museum of Art among them – are worth hitting, but don't miss the Andy Warhol Museum, featuring over 12,000 of his works. A treasure trove of used books is found on the city's South Side, while nightlife is suddenly sizzling in neighborhoods like Oakland and the Strip District, thanks to thousands of college students from Carnegie Mellon (among others) and young professionals dancing and mingling in the bars and clubs.

pitts.jpg

Sacramento

Governor Schwarzenegger's much-ballyhooed magnetism aside, California's underrated capital has never had the same allure as say, San Francisco or Los Angeles. But with an increasingly sophisticated food scene – think farm-fresh Bolognese cuisine at Biba or maple-glazed pork chops at the clubby Esquire Grill, one of Ahnold's favorite restaurant – this agricultural hub appeals to even the snobbiest city slicker. Between bites, take in the Gold Rush-era charms of Old Sacramento, which are livelier than ever. This summer, the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation launches both a living history street theater program (catch reenactments of the Pony Express days) and Old Sacramento Underground tours, which delve into the alleyways that disappeared when Sacramento raised its streets in the 1870s. Later, bike along the banks of the Sacramento and American Rivers, and stroll amid downtown's stately Victorian homes and tall evergreens. You may even catch a glimpse of the "Governator" himself at the impressive capitol building. Wash it all down with a visit to the Sierra Foothill wineries (www.foothillwine.com) in the Shenandoah Valley – a mere 45-minute drive to the east.

10_sacramento_flickr_trailmix.net.jpg

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I only care about Portland from this whole list. Portland seems like such an utopian city from so far away in the Eastern coasts. Someday I will visit the American northwest in places like Portland and Seattle.


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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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Underrated?

First off, Houston sucks. It's the 4th largest city in the country, over crowded, traffic is a nightmare, humidity is a nightmare, due to the humidity pollution is a nightmare... It's a nice city to 'visit' because it is what it is, but to actually live there no?

The same goes for Minneapolis. Nice city to visit, not a place you want to live unless you like freezing winters, high taxes, and a government that can't get its head out of its own #######. That and the Timberwolves are horrible, lol. - I'd live in St. Paul before I'd live in Minneapolis. At least St. Paul doesn't have some of the scum on the downtown streets that you find in Minneapolis. - There's a good nightlife in Minneapolis, but not worth living there. If you want to live in that 'area' move to the southern suburbs like Eden Prairie, Apple Valley, Eagan, or Burnsville... but not into Minneapolis itself.

Edited by Paul and Vanessa

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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How is Portland underrated? I've always heard the opposite or it was where a lot of people wanted to go or enjoyed being there.

I've also heard that. I wouldn't mind living in many of those cities. I'd put Portland and Minneapolis at the top of my list.

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Houston good.gif

Although people from Dallas tend to disagree. Jealousy, maybe?


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Houston good.gif

Although people from Dallas tend to disagree. Jealousy, maybe?

:thumbs:

Houston is a wonderful place to live in. It is very diverse and multi-cultural for a state like Texas. I can drive down the street and find Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Middle-Eastern, Jamaican or Cantonese restaurants. There is never a shortage of bars, pubs & nightclubs here if you are into that sort of things. Otherwise you can check out the new plays at the theatre district, or the new exhibits at the many museums here or go to the opera.

Houston would definitely suck if you are a home-work-sleep kind of person.. but for all others, it is a great place to live.

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Woohoo, Portland!

And Portland drivers are voted the most courteous in 2009. http://www.autoblog....e-road-rageous/

A New York driver and a Portand driver arrive at a four-way stop at exactly the same time.

New York driver: "Whatsamattayou?"

Portland driver: "Nothing. Actually, I think you have the right of way. Thanks for asking. And thanks for waving, even if it was with just one finger."

Edited by Pinay Wife

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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Woohoo, Portland!

And Portland drivers are voted the most courteous in 2009. http://www.autoblog....e-road-rageous/

A New York driver and a Portand driver arrive at a four-way stop at exactly the same time.

New York driver: "Whatsamattayou?"

Portland driver: "Nothing. Actually, I think you have the right of way. Thanks for asking. And thanks for waving, even if it was with just one finger."

:lol::thumbs:

Maybe someday we'll come up there an visit. :)

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Burlington VT!!!!!!

Where 50,000 live like 50 million wish they could! Beautiful, crystal clear Lake Champlain on one side and the Green Mountains on the other.

Cold in winter.


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Underrated?

First off, Houston sucks. It's the 4th largest city in the country, over crowded, traffic is a nightmare, humidity is a nightmare, due to the humidity pollution is a nightmare... It's a nice city to 'visit' because it is what it is, but to actually live there no?

The same goes for Minneapolis. Nice city to visit, not a place you want to live unless you like freezing winters, high taxes, and a government that can't get its head out of its own #######. That and the Timberwolves are horrible, lol. - I'd live in St. Paul before I'd live in Minneapolis. At least St. Paul doesn't have some of the scum on the downtown streets that you find in Minneapolis. - There's a good nightlife in Minneapolis, but not worth living there. If you want to live in that 'area' move to the southern suburbs like Eden Prairie, Apple Valley, Eagan, or Burnsville... but not into Minneapolis itself.

well thank God I live in Apple Valley then... :thumbs:


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well thank God I live in Apple Valley then... :thumbs:

Many a times I spent at Bogart's there in Apple Valley listening to local music! :thumbs:


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The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Many a times I spent at Bogart's there in Apple Valley listening to local music! :thumbs:

I have many vague memories from that place as well...


Event Date

Service Center : California Service Center

Consulate :

I-129F Sent : 2010-03-09

I-129F Received : 2010-03-11

I-129F NOA1 : 2010-03-12 "touched"

I-129F NOA2 : 2010-04-29 APPROVED!!!!

NOA2 Hard Copy : 2010-05-04

NOA2 Sent to Embassy 2010-05-10

NOA2 Received 2010-05-13 (I hope it is ours anyway)

Packet 3 : 2010-05-20 Received!!!

Packet 4 : 2010-06-29 Received!!!

Interview: 2010-07-20 - APPROVED

Visa On Hand : 2010-07-21 ( Yahoo!!!)

POE - August 20, 2010

AOS,EAD & AP

October 15,2010 Sent AOS,EAD & AP ( Chicago Lockbox)

October 25,2010 - Received Hard Copies of AOS,EAD & AP

October 25, 2010 - Touched

October 27, 2010 - Received Biometric Scheduled ( dated 19.Nov.2010)

November 19, 2010 - Biometric Schedule done

December 09,2011 - Interview Notice Received - schedule on January 20, 2011

December 22,2010 - EAD Approved

December 23,2010 - AP Approved

December 30,2010 - AP Received

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January 20,2011 - interview - Approved - (Exactly my 5 months I landed in US)

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Country: Vietnam
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Houston good.gif

Although people from Dallas tend to disagree. Jealousy, maybe?

LOL, true. I go up to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area often and it does suck up that way so I can see them being upset.

Life is good down our way for sure. I live by the bay and the boardwalk. I go a few blocks to fish when the mood strikes me and great and affordable golfing near. Great food are all at hand and it is awesome to go to where the boats bring in the freshest of seafood. (except now I have connections to the boat owners themselves and get it almost free and right off the boat) My wife has found out about the great shopping. She loves Galveston. I can go into the city and see my fave sports teams. Or I can go a bit north to my land with acres of Oak trees and a stocked pond next to it. We have many great and unusual festivals. (Heard of the art car parade) My wife loves the museums. (I go all over the country and maybe the most beautiful museum area and park of them all) For some reason my wife loves all the animals and wildlife abounding. (as my wife noted to me about the turtle we have living near us that it is a very lucky turtle to live here and not Vietnam as she would have taken it home and cooked it there.) (I also noted that the dogs and cats are very lucky too and she agrees) Our cost of living is very good.

It does get hot and humid during the summer months but we know how to combat it here and the ladies do know how to dress for it. (Life is good when you see babes walking down in shorts and halters.) Traffic can be bad as any big city but we manage somehow as we are going home and our good life.good.gif

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