Most Miserable Cities in the US: Forbes' Misery Measure

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In summary: Cadillac Eldorado with the top down, or a beautiful young woman in a fur coat walking down the street. He was a wealth of information for a 19 year old kid from the sticks. They are indeed miserable. The weather,traffic,roads, decrepit buildings, lack of anything even closely resembling a store within a mile of downtown, and political corruption are great.
  • #1
wolram
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http://www.eukn.org/eukn/news/2008/02/us-miserable-cities_1008.html

Research shows that many Americans have to live in miserable cities. The economic indicator most often used to measure misery is the Misery Index. A Misery Score also exists, which is the sum of corporate, personal, employer and sales taxes in different countries. The US Magazine ´Forbes´argued that there are more factors causing Americans misery. It created the Forbes Misery Measure and composed a list of the most miserable cities in the United States.
Forbes Magazine created its own Misery Measure and produced a list of America´s most miserable cities. The Misery Measure is based on unemployment and personal tax rates, but also adds four more factors that can make people miserable: commute times, weather, crime and toxic waste dump in your backyard.
The number one on the list of the most miserable cities in the United States is Detroit, followed by Stockton and Flint. However, important economic centres such as New York and Los Angeles score high on the list, and are said to ´induce a ton of misery´.

I do not know if this is true or not, but why stop at US cities which do you think are the most miserable?

Edit by Moonbear (direct link to article):http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/29/detroit-stockton-flint-biz-cz_kb_0130miserable.html
 
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  • #2
Don't know, Woolie! Maine has few places that could qualify as cities, but there are many, many town in which our high tax rates, severe job losses, and severely depressed property values are killers. Millinocket is a case in point. It once hosted a mighty pulp and paper mill powered by hydro-dams on the Penobscot river. Now, it's an empty eyesore, the entire tax-base of the town has fallen on owners of residential properties, whose houses are worth nothing (no jobs, poor school system, etc) and who can't afford to move unless they find new jobs somewhere else and give up all the equity that they thought they were building in their homes, and start over. That's tough, because there were multiple layoffs at the mill, and the employees who were left were older people with seniority. Pretty hard to start over from square one at age 50-60 or so.
 
  • #3
I go to school in Detroit, and went to undergrad in Flint.

They are indeed miserable. The weather,traffic,roads, decrepit buildings, lack of anything even closely resembling a store within a mile of downtown, and political corruption are great.

Flint I'm thankful for though. I will never again, in any city in the world, be afraid of walking down a street at 4am after living for 4 years in Flint.
 
  • #4
No wonder I am miserable. I live in L.A.

but my poor brother lives in Stockton!
 
  • #5
From my bit of the world - Doncaster or Hull
Thats why I live in Vancouver!
 
  • #6
  • #7
Math Is Hard said:
No wonder I am miserable. I live in L.A.

but my poor brother lives in Stockton!


I thought LA was supposed to be glamorous?
 
  • #8
K.J.Healey said:
I go to school in Detroit, and went to undergrad in Flint.

They are indeed miserable. The weather,traffic,roads, decrepit buildings, lack of anything even closely resembling a store within a mile of downtown, and political corruption are great.

Flint I'm thankful for though. I will never again, in any city in the world, be afraid of walking down a street at 4am after living for 4 years in Flint.
I was hitchhiking to see a girlfriend in Levittown PA and ended up walking so much around NYC that I went to the Port Authority bus station and bought a ticket to Trenton. I can tell you that getting dropped off at the Penn Station in Trenton on a Saturday night at midnight in 1971 was an eye opener. I had my knapsack and my Gibson 12 string in one of those cheesy "alligator" cardboard cases, and the clothes on my back. I made my way to a phone booth on the curb and called my girlfriend and asked if she could get her older sister (who had a car) to pick me up. She asked "Where are you in Trenton?" and I said "At the train station." She asked "What train station?" and I didn't have a clue so I hollered out to a very nattily-dressed black guy on a bench overlooking the busy bar across the street "Hey, sir, what train station is this?" He grinned and hollered back "Penn Central - it's the onliest one!", so I said to Jacki "Penn Central - it's the onliest one!" As we said our goodbyes, the black guy said "Get on over here! Let's sit a spell!" and he proceeded to educate this back-wood hick about Trenton night-life. He'd point out a white limo with blacked-out windows with a wing-shaped antenna on the trunk, and he'd say "That's the Man!" and sure enough that limo would stop in front of that bar every 10-15 minutes or so, and someone would get out and someone else would get in. He was particularly keen on the activities of a very, very, pretty lady across the street named Darlene, and called her over to see if we'd hit it up, but just then a Pontiac Bonneville rounded the corner at a fairly high rate of speed and he jumped up and said "Holy Sh*t! That's a whole car-full of white pu$$y! Get out on the curb and get ready to jump!" I gathered up my stuff and got out to the curb and the Bonnie came around again and Jacki and and her sisters all hollered "GET IN THE CAR!" I jumped in and we squealed tires out of there like we were in a drag-race. I looked back at my new friend and he was rocking back and forth, slapping his hands on his thighs, laughing like he might have spasms. Trenton was OK.
 
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  • #9
I guess it's what you're used to. I could never live in NY city because I love open spaces, lots of grass and trees, privacy, quiet and no crowds.

There are people that grew up in NY city that love it because they have never known anything else. They think living in an apartment the size of most people's closet is normal and love the fact that there are crowds everywhere and don't even notice the pollution and noise.
 
  • #10
I couldn't stand living in NYC and never actually enjoyed being there. Same with Philadelphia, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Houston, Indianapolis, Boston, etc, etc. I like to know my neighbors (they can drop in rarely, if they have something to exchange, etc) but not be surrounded by people. "Close" neighbors are people that live within 1/2 mile or so and have something in common. We have closer neighbors that we are not close to, and rarely speak to, but we have given coupons for discounts for New Balance shoes, etc. If we had a fire, accident, etc, they would be here in a a heartbeat. Others are geographically more distant, but even more committed if we need help. If I died tomorrow, I could rely on our neighbors to check our place, stop in and make sure my wife is OK, and help with firewood, storm-damaged trees, etc for free. We're pretty tight.
 
  • #11
wolram said:
I thought LA was supposed to be glamorous?
It is. What does that have to do with how miserable it is?

New York is the same way. It's a big city and not everyone lives in Manhattan.
 
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  • #12
I'd say my favorite place to live was Ballston Spa, NY. Just south of Saratoga Springs at the bottom of the Adirondack Mountains. It was wooded, secluded, but I was able to put the girls in the car and drive through Bennington, Vermont, visit the museum with the gravesite of Robert Frost and up north through the mountains, beautiful views, or on Route 2 through the Berkshires on a whim and visit places like Wilmington. It was great fun.
 
  • #13
turbo-1 said:
Trenton was OK.
Yeah, Camden really isn't that bad either (they are basically two halves of the same city). The maintenance guy at a client in Camden says if you spend enough time on the roof at night changing filters in HVAC units, you eventually get used to the gunfire...
 
  • #14
Evo said:
I could never live in NY city because I love open spaces, lots of grass and trees, privacy, quiet and no crowds.

I can't stand NYC because it's so slow. The old cliché is “In a New York minute” like things move really fast there but it seems like the exact opposite to me. You spend all of your time waiting for elevators or waiting to cross the street at every single block. And when you want to go somewhere that's only a few miles away it can take an hour whether you're on foot or in a car - there's just no way to get anywhere fast.

It's like living in a vat of molasses and it doesn't smell much better. :-p

Give me a well-designed, rapid transit city like Houston with lots of downtown parking, nice city parks, and rare traffic jams. (But give me air conditioning along with Houston.) And Mexican pananderias, yummm.
 
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  • #15
Yeah, Evo, Vermont and the Catskills are cool. I live in New Hampshire and pass through or visit them often. I don't know if you still live in this area but I must recommend Montreal and environs as well.
 
  • #16
russ_watters said:
It is. What does that have to do with how miserable it is?

New York is the same way. It's a big city and not everyone lives in Manhattan.

Well i am sure i do not know, i have never lived in a city or town, i just thought glamour went with happiness, the only time i ever go to town is to the dentists.
 
  • #17
CaptainQuasar said:
(But give me air conditioning along with Houston.) And Mexican pananderias, yummm.
My girlfriend and I used to go to Canal Street to get the pumpkin pastries at the Panaderías y Pastelerías. (I used to live in Houston) You can't live in Houston without air conditioning, if only to remove the humidity so you aren't breathing water.

CaptainQuasar said:
Yeah, Evo, Vermont and the Catskills are cool. I live in New Hampshire and pass through or visit them often. I don't know if you still live in this area but I must recommend Montreal and environs as well.
I no longer live there and I really miss it.
 
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  • #18
Evo said:
My girlfriend and I used to go to Canal Street to get the pumpkin pastries at the Panaderías y Pastelerías. (I used to live in Houston)

Did you ever go to the Arandas Bakeries? So, so excellent.

And I have to admit that one cool thing about NYC, Manhattan at least, is the Au Bon Pains every few blocks that half-price all of their goodies in the evening every day. I have to make sure to not go on business trips to Manhattan too often lest I gain fifty pounds eating a danish or two every night.
 
  • #19
CaptainQuasar said:
Did you ever go to the Arandas Bakeries? So, so excellent.
I don't remember any names, but I can still taste them like it was yesterday. Not too sweet, definitely could taste the pumpkin, a bit of cinnamon. I haven't found them anywhere else in the US.

I remember when I moved to Washington DC and there was not a single Mexican restaurant, my parents would ship me "Care" packages of Mexican food.

Also, in Houston, I worked with Mexicans that had relatives just brought over the border and got treated to things like tamales made with freshly boiled pig's head. The real stuff. You can't get this stuff in restaurants in the US.

turbo, living in Maine, I don't think you've ever tasted authentic Mexican food.
 
  • #20
Boiled pigs head, yuck that sounds so ww2 ration food.
 
  • #21
wolram said:
Boiled pigs head, yuck that sounds so ww2 ration food.
Not when it's turned into a delicacy by a Mexican Grandmother.
 
  • #22
Evo said:
turbo, living in Maine, I don't think you've ever tasted authentic Mexican food.

In NH there's a chain called “La Carreta” that's run by Mexicans. It's authentic, albeit authentic restaurant food as opposed to the common man's food. And they've given into the dark side and offer all kinds of silly fluorescent-colored Margaritas. But there's a giant replica of the http://www.crystalinks.com/aztecalendar.html" and Spanish Villa decor, which makes up for that a little bit.
 
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  • #23
wolram said:
Boiled pigs head, yuck that sounds so ww2 ration food.

Not at all, it's a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_cheese" !
 
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  • #24
I think cities have a mix of good and bad. There are a lot of positives (jobs, services, entertainment, museums, . . .) as well as negatives (crowds, noise, pollution, crime, . . .).

I live south and east of the Catskills, just outside of a small city/town. My office is in the city and it takes me about 12 minutes to from home to office by car.


In the NE, I have missed good Mexican food which is ubiquitous in Houston, but we recently discovered an authentic Mexican restaurant in our area, which is owned by a family who immigrated from Mexico about 30 years ago to the area. It's like Evo mentioned about the real thing.
 
  • #25
CaptainQuasar said:
Not at all, it's a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_cheese" !
In Mexican food, it's the meat on the head, primarily the cheek meat and around the ears which is considered the best tasting meat on the pig.

Head cheese is something different.
 
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  • #26
I miss living in New Mexico if only for the Mexican food (And New-Mexican food. "Red or Green anyone?)
Thats another city that is sort of miserable, Albuquerque. It has a lot of nice places, restaurants, the mountains; lots of character. But man, I think that city has at least 4 seasons of COPS dedicated to it.

But I still miss it, and Sandia Labs. Maybe some day when I finish this PhD...
 
  • #27
Gateshead high street is miserable :(. It sucks!
 
  • #28
Pig's head is classic food in Europe.
 
  • #29
Evo said:
In Mexican food, it's the meat on the head, primarily the cheek meat and around the ears which is considered the best tasting meat on the pig.

Head cheese is something different.

It's processed as a cold cut, but it's the same parts of a pig's head. It said so on TV.
 
  • #30
Please no more pigs head, i remember Arildnos photo of one in another thread, you guys must have cast iron bellies.
 
  • #31
In my family, head-cheese was treated as a highly-regarded cold-cut-type meat product, while other waste-meat products were just "food".
 
  • #32
Evo said:
I guess it's what you're used to. I could never live in NY city because I love open spaces, lots of grass and trees, privacy, quiet and no crowds.

There are people that grew up in NY city that love it because they have never known anything else. They think living in an apartment the size of most people's closet is normal and love the fact that there are crowds everywhere and don't even notice the pollution and noise.

I love cities, and I hope to eventually move to a big city, maybe go to grad school in or near one of the country's bigger cities, but NEVER would I consider New York! There is just something about the city that makes it undesirable. I think it has something to do with the fact that it is TOO big, even for a big city lover like me. It's so big as to be hindering. Now, Boston or Chicago! Those are cities I would love to live in!
 
  • #33
G01 said:
I love cities, and I hope to eventually move to a big city, maybe go to grad school in or near one of the country's bigger cities, but NEVER would I consider New York! There is just something about the city that makes it undesirable. I think it has something to do with the fact that it is TOO big, even for a big city lover like me. It's so big as to be hindering. Now, Boston or Chicago! Those are cities I would love to live in!
If you like to drive, NEVER consider Boston! Those people are the worst drivers in the world, and they are absolutely the rudest! I can tell you that driving in rush-hour traffic in Manhattan is a piece of cake compared to driving in "The Hub" any normal working day. If you're going to be driving a lot in Boston on any given day, you'd better be driving a rental, and let the rental company decide who has to pay for the damage that the creep caused who side-swiped you.
 
  • #34
I have to say, Houston bad drivers definitely beat out Boston's. There are lots of twelve-lane highways out there and the drivers are so accustomed to having an incredible amount of space around them that they don't feel obliged to drive in the same direction the road is going.
 
  • #35
CQ, when you are driving in Boston, you are driving on a spider-web-shaped net of roads that developed almost 300 years ago, and all the other drivers act like they hate you. You really have to experience Boston driving. This is the worst environment with the worst fellow-drivers that you can imagine. I have driven all over the US, (with the exception of the far-west with the stop and go traffic on the coastal highways,) and Boston is by FAR the suckiest place to drive in at least 4/5ths of the country. I have biker friends on the south side of Boston that would invite me and my wife down, and we would refuse every year. They would load up their Harleys on trailers and pickup-beds and come up to ride with us for 15-20 years over and over again. We wouldn't go there on a bet.
 
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