I usually end up answering in comparison to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is charming and old.
Rotterdam has ugly buildings and has no charm.
I look at the grand, wide streets of Rotterdam and compare them to the other places I've been to around NL, and I think, "If Rotterdam didn't get bombed in WWII, we would be the grandest-looking city in NL.".
Well, unfortunately, it did get bombed and we ended up with loads of post-war blocks of brick and stone. Functional with no aesthetic.
Then last week, we went to Utrecht and saw the typical Dutch houses and shops, the canals and the cobblestoned streets. Well, what's the difference between that and Amsterdam? Besides having fewer Americans in their caps and windbreakers?
(I like American tourists, btw, they are so nice. And it's amusing how Canadians will wear a Canadian flag somewhere on them to, I dunno, let people know they are not Americans? Haha.)
Now I'm feeling thankful that I live in a - although ugly - unique city. Rotterdam is the only city with towering skyscrapers and wide avenues. My only wish is that they would hurry up the development so that we can see the amazing end result and start showing off to the others that we're so cosmopolitan :D Good thing I like bright lights and metropolitan cities!
If I ever go out walking again across the bridge to the area under development, I'll definitely snap some photos to post here. That area is a budding Manhattan and it's looking promising!
I'm looking forward to living in the charm of a 21st century modern city!