Spot-on Stereotypes: How These Cities Live Up to Poor Expectations

Although the United States is home to thousands of exciting cities and towns, not all are created equal. Some cities have poor reputations that seem unwarranted but, upon further review, are accurate. Recently, American citizens of all ages met in an online discussion to reveal spot-on city stereotypes that more visitors should know about.

1. New York City Is Filthy

New York City, New York
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I’ll never forget having the unenviable mission of traveling from Penn Station to Atlantic City via a Greyhound bus. Fresh off a three-month stay in Europe, I was shocked at how dirty Penn Station was! I couldn’t imagine overseas visitors to the United States seeing Penn Station and New York City for the first time; I’m sure they weren’t expecting rats and filth at nearly every corner. While New York City can be exhilarating, the city has a problem with rodents and trash that unfortunately still exists in 2023.

2. Urban Blight in Baltimore

Baltimore streets in spring, Maryland, USA
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Many people think Baltimore is going in the wrong direction, and the abundance of abandoned and worn-out homes throughout the city does nothing to dispel that notion. “There are indeed an alarming number of abandoned, dilapidated rowhomes in Baltimore,” reports one resident. “There are entire city blocks of them in some instances. It’s a serious problem we have with out-of-town developers speculatively buying up tons of properties all over the city and then leaving them to rot for various reasons. There are genuinely some parts of town that look like the set of a zombie movie.”

3. Depressing Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Any city that revolves around excessive drinking and gambling has a certain sense of sadness hovering over it, and Las Vegas is no exception. Millions of people visit Sin City to escape their day-to-day lives and live so excessively that it surely takes a few years off their lives! Unfortunately, underneath the glitz and glamor is an underlying sense of depression; after all, Las Vegas is an escape. When the good times end and the sun rises, you’re left with an empty wallet and the worst hangover of your life.

4. San Francisco’s Blight

San Francisco skyline
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Many people object to the mainstream media’s portrayal of San Francisco as dangerous and worn-down as “fake news,” sadly, the town lives up to this stereotype in 2023. While many pleasant and clean neighborhoods are scattered throughout the city, more and more areas of San Francisco have an ever-increasing homeless population that presents itself as a problem without a clear solution. Crime is rising in San Francisco, and as a result, many visitors refuse to visit the city in the condition it’s currently in.

5. Pretentiousness in D.C.

Washington, D.C.
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Blame it on the political landscape if you want, but people in Washington, D.C., have a reputation for being completely self-absorbed. One person explains. “When I visit friends in D.C. and meet their friends, all they talk about is work,” laments one man. “It is like a stupid contest to see who can sound more interesting or accomplished by which politician or think tank they work for. It’s very pretentious.”

6. Los Angeles Is Vain

Beverly Hills, CA, USA - January 23 2020: Los Angeles, Rodeo Drive shopping district in Beverly Hills.
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I’ll be blunt: Everything you’ve heard about Los Angeles is true. Everybody’s late, everybody’s two-faced, and plastic surgery is more prevalent than you think. Los Angeles is a vain city, and the “Keeping up with the Joneses” attitude shared by many of its residents makes a lot of people completely unbearable to be around! On the plus side, if you can ignore some bad apples, visiting Los Angeles is always fun and exciting; temper your expectations when meeting new people!

7. Cheyenne’s Loneliness

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I’m shocked whenever I hear about someone moving anywhere in Wyoming. Who would ever want to live their lives in such a desolate area? “There’s no denying that Wyoming, especially Cheyenne, is windy, cold, and lonesome,” explains one longtime Cheyenne resident. “I love living here, but it’s not for everyone.”

8. Boston’s Awful Infrastructure

Boston, Massachusetts
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From overwhelming traffic to nonsensical roadway layouts, Boston destroys souls with its terrible city planning infrastructure. “Massachusetts and the whole northeast is seriously underdeveloped regarding public transportation infrastructure,” reveals one woman. “It’s regrettable that I have no choice but to drive to Boston if I’m out there past a certain time as trains don’t run past 11 p.m. to certain destinations. The local bus schedule here runs ‘at-will’ due to a driver shortage, and I’ve been waiting at a stop for 1.5 hours before.”

9. Charleston’s Humidity

Charleston, South Carolina, USA cityscape in the historic French Quarter at twilight.
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Any town in the southern United States has a reputation for year-round high humidity. Still, Charleston, South Carolina, takes the cake for the most humid place I’ve ever been. The heat index routinely crosses the 120-degree mark in the summer, and when you add in 100% humidity, it’s a recipe for being uncomfortable with every step you take! For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would willingly choose to live there.

10. Detroit’s Terrible Roads

Looking at the skyline of Downtown Detroit from Michigan Avenue on a partly cloudy day.
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Detroit is in the middle of a citywide rejuvenation, but its reputation for having terrible city streets still exists in 2023. “People like to jokingly one-up with their state about the potholes, but Michigan is truly unparalleled, especially in the outskirts of Detroit,” explains one woman. “No other state is as bumpy across the board, including all the other northern winter states. We have the best drivers, although we’re probably both seeing the same behavior (insanity) but judging it in different lights.” You need good drivers to combat all the potholes!


10 Major US Cities That Offer Quick Access to Nature’s Beauty

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Who doesn’t like going on a relaxing (or strenuous, depending on your preference) hike that isn’t far from the middle of a bustling city? Millions of Americans hike at least once yearly, and most live close to bigger towns offering nearby trails just out of city limits. Recently, experienced hikers met in an online discussion to reveal the best U.S. cities that provide the quickest access to excellent hikes.

America’s Top 15 Hauntingly Creepy Destinations Would You Visit?

scared woman running

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Spooky spots have left the sweat-drenching scenes of nightmares; they now live on some eerie streets of America, sending shivers down the spine of adventurers who dare step foot on their soil. From abandoned asylums screaming that you steer clear of the knobs of their doors to haunting lighthouses remembered for the darkness they hold, tales of paranormal activities bind the land of the free, and an internet fandom of the dark vets these destinations as the creepiest of them all.

12 Famous American Small Towns That You Can Visit Today

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When we think of small American towns, specific images come to mind. Do you picture a place like the fictional towns of Stars Hollow, Cabot Cove, or Mayberry? It’s undeniable that little towns across the US have the wholesome, nostalgic, peaceful qualities we imagine. But smaller cities are more varied than we might think. Contributors on an online forum shared some of the most famous, and the choices may surprise you.

10 Expert Travel Hacks for Solo Female Tourists

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Traveling solo is challenging, especially for females. While the thrill of exploring a new place is exhilarating, there are plenty of tips and tricks savvy travelers swear by. Recently, solo female travelers met in an online discussion, put their heads together, and came up with a list of the essential travel hacks for any woman embarking on a solo adventure of a lifetime.

11 Tips for Staying Calm and Collected While Flying

Woman having headache in plane

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For millions of travelers worldwide, flying is the opposite of a calm and peaceful experience. Flight anxiety is real, and sometimes it can be crippling, especially during turbulence. However, hope is not lost! Recently, frequent fliers met in an online discussion to reveal the best tips and strategies for staying calm during your next flight.

This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.

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