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Having lived abroad and visited many places I know, as you all, that what the tourist sees is rarely a representation of the country.

What do you think are popular touristic Meccas which completely misrepresent the US?

In my opinion those are NYC and Las Vegas.

NYC, which I go to frequently and love, is not your typical city anywhere, it is distinct even in the US and does not represent the country.

Las Vegas, in my opinion, represents everything thatís bad about the US.
Everyone in those two cities are tourists, even if you live in the area.
Yep. I agree with you there.

I also would say the entire "rust belt" Detroit, Buffalo, etc. etc. They are remnants of a more prosperous era. While it's a real place it's nothing like what America really is or can be.
Yep, I would agree with that one too.
I agree with Vegas. Blech!

However, if you turn the question around, is there actually one city that DOES represent the US? This country is so big and diverse and its areas so varied that its tough to come up with a place that's representational.
That's just what I was going to ask!

What IS America? If not all these places added up together?

You could ask this question about any country I suppose.
Yep, it's true, I'd like to know what real Americans think. That's why I brought this question out of the archives!
I also heart NYC...

I don't really have a desire to go to Las Vegas either, but I'd like to see it once and experience it for myself. I know I'd end up crying or vomiting or something, but it'd be worth it.
NYC represents a HUGE part of America!!!
There is so much history that most native new yorkers have no idea. America was BORN because of this city. Don't judge it just from of Times Square.
I've only been to the USA for a couple of days and only been to LA, Vegas and NYC. I have to admit I was very surprised with Las Vegas, I thought it was a great city! Sure it's OTT and very tacky but that's what you expect. Do you go there thinking it's a representation of the real America? No. It's a tourist trap but it's very good at what it does.

New York on the other hand is just a great city full stop. I did basically no tourist stuff at all and generally spent the 4 days I was there ambling around Manhattan doing nothing in particular. I found it a great place to do nothing smile.gif I also did no shopping at all and probably spent less than $100.

I'd happily go back to either of these places.
"What happens in vegas, stays in vegas" lol I love that cliche quote.
I think of Vegas as more of an escape from the rest of America. It's so different from everything else we have here.
Kind of like Dubai maybe?
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Nov 7 2008, 10:35 AM) *

Kind of like Dubai maybe?

Actually yeah. Reminds me of the other thread that mentioned Dubai is somewhat like an escape since the surrounding countries and cities don't provide them as much freedom like Dubai does.

Although I think Vegas can shatter dreams because of betting - it gives people some sort of hope that one day they will "hit big". Vegas is beautiful on the outside but corrupt in the inside.
Hmmm, maybe it's just one of those things humans do...creating places of debauchery ...

Are there no casinos in Dubai?
Hehe, I heard it's also a little bit windy.

Yeah, I agree with you on Chicago, I thought it was great. The blues/jazz clubs were awesome, the art gallery, incredible. I had some fun times there back in the day.
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Nov 7 2008, 11:16 AM) *

Are there no casinos in Dubai?

No. They have strict anti-gambling laws. The QE2 ship just arrived there, and is becoming a hotel - they stripped the Casino out of that.

In reply to the original question:


It's America at it's worst. Strip malls, fast food chains, awful "attractions", and doing it's best to be the America you see in really bad feel good films where everything is fine and dandy.

Awful, awful, awful.

Las Vegas is similar, but the crapness is at least expected.
Hm, wow, I learned something again today. I never knew that.
I'm going to have to agree with you on Orlando, even though I've never been to Las Vegas.
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