The N&O's Raleigh Smackdown

I came back from a week long tour of Florida yesterday thinking that the cities in Florida were so much better than those in our great state. Sure our cities are nice, but there were many more pieces of public art, more exciting and vibrant downtowns, and more people actually out at night in downtown in Florida's cities. Also, Florida has at least 9 major-league professional teams while North Carolina has 3.

Apparently, Raleigh's actions in the Plensa plaza affair, where Raleigh is about to turn down a plaza designed by an internationally known artist and paid for with private funds, convinced the N&O that it was time to attack Raleigh for creating a boring city. The Q section of Sunday's N&O contained four articles on how boring the city is and how the boringness is created by reactionary "No-it-alls". The articles:
Is the Triangle Square?
We're an odd, intriguing mix of creativity and stodginess
Is the Triangle dull? What would brighten it up?
A lively city would stand up to 'No-It-Alls' who are quick to frown-down public art

I can not agree more with the N&O. I love the area, but I compare Raleigh's downtown to elevator music. You try not to offend anyone, and you end up with something that is bland and that no one likes. It is time for Raleigh's leaders to start holding off the reactionaries and start building a city that more reflects the dynamic workforce and population of the area. The future of the area depends on the ability of our downtowns to draw in young professionals, and Raleigh's downtown is not doing it now.


More than that

Russell is bad, but there is more to it than that. The response I get from people are the time is that "Raleigh is not big enough for that". But the Triangle is a big, wealthy, and growing area; we need to start some projects to keep the area growing and wealthy.

Yesterday when Christian Dems' posted

about Sinclair...I started wondering about Capital Broadcasting since they are affiliated with Fox News. I have caught them many times skewing their pieces to the right and have written to them about this.

Saw that Paul Pope is part of their team along with Jim Goodmon. I tried to reseach Pope, anyone know if he is of Puppetmaster kin?

Most of the info I got on both men seemed to be pretty liberal? Any ideas why they talk to the right instead of more progressive?

I think Goodmon's heart is in the right place.

and don't know anything about Paul Pope.

But I do know that commercially broadcast news, especially television news, is pure, unadulterated bullshit. I watch commercial news once a year just to remind myself how idiotic it is. It's the nature of the beast. A thoughtful approach to television news wouldn't get any viewers for cheesy car commercials and ambulance chasers.


Paul Pope is not related to Art.

comparison to fl not fair

I grew up outside Ft. Lauderdale and in many ways prefer NC to FL. Remember that the cities in FL are built for tourists, and have many downsides that are far worse than NC - crime, cost of living, traffic, hurricanes - for starters. Also, FL is 2x the population of NC, so many community projects will have more available funds, or users - thus the 2-3x pro sports. Consider the Dade/Broward/Palm Beach metro area, which is the drawing base for the Marlins/Heat/Dolphins/Panthers (hockey). It's close to 5 million people, and no NC metro area is even close to that.

Only a comparison of city centers

Was not a comparison of all aspects; as I said, I love living in the area, but I would like to have a more exciting downtown.

As far as the tourist attractions, I do not buy that as a reason for differences in the city center since most (or all in the case of Orlando) of the attractions are outside the city.

As far as population being a reason (in 2000):
Tampa=303,447; Orlando=185,951; Miami=362,470; Jacksonville (city has incorporated entire county)=735,,617
Raleigh=276,093; Greensboro=223,891; Charlotte=540,828
I know that there are other to compute population depending on where you put the boundary. But I think my basic point that North Carolina's cities are big enough to support more interesting attractions is still valid.


what cities did you visit?

Cities on this trip

Gainesville, Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando, and Jacksonville. But I have been in every city in Florida for extended periods throughout my life.

The only FL cities I know much about at all

Are Tallahassee (can you call that a city?) and Orlando. I've been to a few others. I do prefer NC (it just suits my personality better), but I agree that the Triangle's relatively down-to-earth personality shouldn't be a barrier to interesting projects.

Last summer I got to Atlanta in time to read that someone in the convention industry was advertising that ATL was a great place to bring your convention—because there's so little in the way of big attractions, you'll be assured that convention-goers will be in their seats during sessions. I guess that if boring is what you've got, you sell it. But it's still easier to find a good time in Atlanta than in Raleigh.


I have lived in Raleigh and Sarasota. I was facinated with Sarasota for about a year. The beaches are beautiful and there is a super art community. You think the Triangle traffic is bad.... I still have friends in Sarasota and it is a beautiful place, but I'm glad I'm in NC. Maybe it's because I'm just a tarheel born and a tarheel bred and when I die I'll be a tarheel dead.


Not a comparison of the two states

It was a comparison of the city centers of the two states. In a full comparison, I would have noted that North Carolina clearly has beeter mountains for instance.