The Urbz: Sims in the City City Guide

We give you a look at where to go and what to do in EA's urban Sims game.

You'll go from 'hood to 'hood building your reputation in The Urbz.

EA and Maxis' latest console entry in the Sims franchise, The Urbz, puts an urban spin on the popular Sims premise. You'll be asked to guide an Urb through its daily life in the big city. Like in the previous Sims console games, you'll travel to different 'hoods with distinctly unique flavors. To give you an idea of just how much variety there is in the game, we're offering a visitor's guide to the faces, places, and spaces of the Urbz.

To see a particular area of the city, simply click its name below.

Entry 1: 125th Street
Entry 2: Gasoline Row
Entry 3: Central Station
Entry 4: Cosmo Street
Entry 5: Kicktail Park
Entry 6: The Foundry

BACKGROUND

Urbz Society and Conduct in the City

Black clothes, thick wallets, and thin waistlines are always the latest fashions it seems, but there isn't any one look you can adopt to fit into this city. Money still talks, but you've gotta have the rep and style to match your green if you want to make the scene. Appropriate attire is required everywhere. From Gasoline Row, where chaps and denim jeans are the fit, down to Central Station, where leather and lace blend as formal wear, out to 125th Street, where anything less than the coolest, hippest trends means you don't get in. It's style, it's attitude, and it's reputation.

Don't let yourself be spotted as an outsider--learn the moves and use 'em right to win the night. Staring up at the skyscrapers like you've never seen the city before will brand you as a tourist. But knowing the right greeting or how to jive with the folks in your local district makes all the difference between getting access and getting locked out.

What'll surprise you the most when visiting each district in the city is how people respond to you. They're not necessarily mean; in fact, they're amazingly friendly if you treat them with the appropriate respect. The denizens of the nine districts consider the districts cultural hubs and are a great resource for learning how to navigate the "mean streets" and live the dream in a city with a thousand stories.

In this City Guide to The Urbz: Sims in the City we'll walk you down each avenue and each uncharted alleyway and give you an insider's peek at what makes each district so distinct that the natives here stopped giving directions and now tell everyone, "Just take the metro; it'll put you in the heart of where you want to be...and it's damn cheaper than parking!"

125th Street

Welcome to Tar Beach, situated high above 125th Street. It's the closest you can get to the beach in this city. While it may not have the surf, it has a view of the turf. Set amid water towers and business parks, hot concrete and asphalt roofs string together TV antennas and clothes lines while life bustles by in the city far below. There are few external walls, except for the hidden apartment tucked under the water tower and a VIP den known as the Red Room--guarded by one of the city's high-paid bouncers. Getting on this list is gonna take some rep building.

Where to Go
The top floor of the city's main parking garage is the stage for the VIP room, where hip vehicles and unique social devices await the experienced traveler who has earned the rep to step past the velvet ropes. Smoke billows from the trash chimneys along with heat vents that spin endlessly away cooling off the various businesses beneath your feet.

Shopping
The side entrance to the largest custom clothing store in this part of the city extends southward. This is the shop to hunt through for the latest trends, riding the coolest vibes from music to movies and everything in between.

People You'll Meet
Running this neighborhood is Isis Ice. She's the queen of cool and owns the offbeat job at the rooftop. You've heard of pigeon coops? No one buys pigeons. So Isis looked around to see what pets are hot and who's buying what in Diamond Heights. She came up with ferrets (which are technically illegal but are much more profitable than pigeons), and her converted ferret coop is booming with business. Think you can tame a few? She'll pay you megabucks if you're good and will show you the ropes for getting around.

While you're here, watch your back with Toots Sweet and Lil'Bit--gorgeous on the outside but tough as coffin nails inside. These ladies made their way from nothing to self-started success stories. Along the way, they've danced, dined, decorated, and even done hair to keep their dreams alive. Now that they have reached those dreams, they won't let anyone take them away. Rounding out this area's notable personalities are chart stars Ridiculous D.O.G. and his cohort S.A. Loco. These bad boys know the street and have turned it into a hip beat that plays the airways.

How to Get There
125th Street is near the heart of the city, but it's aboveground, unlike Central Station. It sits west of the ritzy Diamond Heights district and is nestled within a canyon of skyscrapers that obscure the view southward to the South Side Bridge or westward to the Gasoline Row aqueduct. The half-dozen buildings that make up this open-air neighborhood connect via a web of walkways and simple gangplanks. A staircase leads to the basement where you grab the subway, and there's even a side entrance to the giant clothing store here on the northeast corner.

So bring some suntan lotion and a lot of attitude and be ready to show your stuff at a moment's notice, or you'll be outlawed just like those pigeon coops from this open-top city neighborhood.

Gasoline Row

See you at the duct...the aqueduct, that is. Gasoline Row is perched on the edge of an aqueduct that runs along the warehouse district at the city's edge. Surrounding G-Row are bunkers of the warehouse district, with armies of cargo trucks and speeding supply trains constantly flooding the area. G-Row is filled with highway travelers and bikers stopping for a bite, and during the day, you can buy sausages and bike parts. At night, the rowdy party-going crowds take over for late-night drink-offs and illegal drag races on the east side of the district. There's always some action in the back room if you have the rep and the cash to get in. Test your strength at the muscle-busting arm-wrestling robo machine!

Where to Go
The bar is the nerve center of Gasoline Row; serving strong beverages and exotic local concoctions. The bike parts in the back aren't exactly shrink-wrapped off an assembly line. Instead, the high-profit, low-price success of this place is due in part to the acquisition of parts from...dubious sources. Let's just say don't leave your motorcycle unattended here for too long (at least not until you're a regular). The back room sports great challenge devices for money-making and testing your muscles against the brawny patrons. Be sure to sneak out back for a quick sprint on the latest sports bikes (but wager cautiously)!

Shopping
G-Row's unique environment and location afford you furnishings unlike any other place. Where else can you find customized chrome chairs made of exhaust pipes and leather upholstered car seats as dining chairs? Fashion sense is localized to the culture--steel shaft boots, thick leather chaps, bike manufacturers' bandanas with logos, and hats and shades.

People You'll Meet
Duke runs the chop shop/sausage grill that's infamous throughout the city. He has spent several hard years on the road and is fiercely loyal, and his philosophy is "Live, and let the rest figure it out themselves." On any given night you'll bump into Sharky Splitz--a beauty and a beast who's a cool contrast of love and leather. Pork Chop, as his friends call him, is the oddest of the mix. No one really knows his history or age, or even cares to. He certainly has the most colorful stories--real or fictional! Other regulars you can find here include Jet, on his latest street racer (no doubt customized just beyond legal limits), and Suzie Mack, who knows all the right moves since she used to be a career counselor at the city university before switching to life on a grand touring bike. As she says, "You learn more when you see more."

How to Get There
Head east out of town toward the aqueduct. When you cross the bridge you'll see a shantytown of buildings surrounded by trucks, warehouses, and cargo trains. That's Gasoline Row. Preferably, first time visitors should take the subway, which is a short trip and certainly limits the "risks" of leaving your car or bike parked out front.

Don't dismiss this area thinking it's all gas pumps and mini-marts. It's a haven for certain elements, but the excellent location on the highway makes it an eclectic meeting place and a great place to go when you're looking for a good time. It's all about attitude.

Central Station

Central Station is the transportation hub and the underground haven for some of the city's seedier denizens. This urban dungeon exists beneath an expansive succession of support arches. Fluorescent lighting helps keep crime at bay for the regular commuters who stream through here. The wear and tear of years of abuse are visible throughout certain parts of the station as evidenced by the grime caked between the grouted tiles. However, the bathrooms are among the cleanest you'll find in the city, so you have nothing to fear if you feel the need to "do business" while passing through.

Where to Go
Three subway tracks service Central Station: the outer rails that head inbound to or outbound from Central Station and an inactive line that divides the station. The locals converted two parked train cars on the center "dead" line into a mini-arcade and clothing store for all of your studded patent-leather needs. As you enter the station from the stairs and cross the tracks to the opposite corner, you'll find the city-renowned piercing parlor. The parlor can generate a reasonable amount of income for up-and-coming body artists skilled enough to keep at least two out of three customers infection-free. Across from the parlor in a members-only enclosure is the Fight Cage. Anyone with the money to pay the cover charge and enough rep to get access inside can duke out his or her frustrations and potentially win back even more cash. Don't expect to step off the train and manage to get in without working in the underground crowd first.

Shopping
If you're a daring shopper looking for the most hardcore, out-of-this-world fashions, Central Station's clothing store is a must-see. It's tucked away in the converted subway car that sits to your immediate right as you come up the subway stair entrance. Don't let its makeshift appearance fool you: This store stocks only the best in ripped fishnet, stretch latex, and leopard pattern miniskirts. It also carries accessories you can't find anywhere else in the city such as do-it-yourself tattoos, custom piercings, crimped wigs, and more.

People You'll Meet
You'll be able to pick out the leader of Central Station's main outfit by his electric blue liberty spikes and the bulls-eye combo on his pasty scalp. Known as Kid Chaos, he runs his cynical, angst-ridden crew with fervor despite rarely showing emotion from behind his lacquered makeup. Scary Mary makes up his better half as a child prodigy turned social rebel. She loves the art of body modification, which shows in how she owns and runs the piercing parlor. Beezlebob Jones isn't the brightest barbell in the barrel, but he has his moments of semi-lucid thought. He's a shade less emaciated than his counterparts and sports a Mohawk that matches the color of his hero, Kid Chaos. Almost the exact opposite of Beezlebob Jones is the self-assured, uninhibited Genghis Lincoln. He wears his blood-red dreads in two high-topped pigtails that you'd better not pull if you know what's best for you. Bringing up the tail of this motley bunch is Frag Grrl, a woman who publicly jokes that her idea of a vacation is to drive cross-country on a crime spree. At least, everyone thinks she's joking.

How to Get There
As they say, all tracks lead through Central. Regardless of where you start, if you follow the pulse of the city, it will bring you here. If you're looking for the most direct route, take the subway from Gasoline Row. The stairs off the next stop past Gasoline Row lead right up to Central Station. Once you're in the station, a walkway bridges the two halves of the station, and both of the converted subway cars are open to foot traffic.

Cosmo Street

This is the place to be for lyrics, libations, and lively attitudes.

Situated on the waterfront, Cozmo Street offers some of the finest views in the city, and its interconnecting docks also offer easy access north to Kicktail Park or south to the bridge.

It's also a favored hangout for the Black Eyed Peas when they're in town. If you see them, make sure to introduce yourself.

Where to Go
If you're looking for a fun night on the town, then it's hard to go past the Performance Stage, which offers regular shows, and shows where amateurs are also allowed to get up on stage and show their talent. A fearless visitor to Cozmo St. could juggle fire or even swallow swords; but be careful, it can be dangerous. You might not want to indulge if your mood is poor, as accidents can happen…

A good way to get in with the crowd is to take a few shifts behind the bar and make some money mixing drinks. Impress enough of the crowd and you might even score an invitation backstage to meet the band.

Shopping
Cozmo St. offers the latest in cosmopolitan fashion. For guys, there's everything from modern suits to casual street wear; and for women, there are tartan skirts, berets, and stockings in a nice selection of autumnal shades. Keep in mind that your style affects how the world perceives you, so if your reputation isn't high enough, you'll need to buy the latest threads if you want to fit in. Of course, once you're "known," head back to this district and watch others copy your style!

People You'll Meet
If you're lucky, you'll get to rub elbows with Will.i.am, Fergie, Apl.d.ap, Taboo, and even their road manager Polo! These guys are always out to have a good time and the chances are good they'll put on a show...

How to Get There
If you've made some friends in Neon East you should be able to get directions to Cozmo St. It's on the water, so after you've secured an invitation, take the thruway around to the dockside where you'll find this stylish port of call.

Kicktail Park

Bump and grind takes on a different meaning in this concrete-rich, spark-throwing district of the city.

Grab your board, throw on your baggy pants, and tuck the hat down as low as it'll go--you've just broken through the barrier into Kicktail Park, the premier location for skateboarding fanatics and a totally chill place to hang.

Where to Go
Grind on the fountain to impress the locals so you can get an invitation into Floater's Air Bar, or take your board straight to the half-pipe out back to make some simoleans and maybe learn a new social move or three.

Kicktail Park is also the test location for a new chain: Major Monkey's Ice Cream Emporium. I'd urge you to try a bar or two, or pay for the light show if you've got the extra cash. Dude, it's all about the monkey.

The VIP Room in this area is known as Floaters Air Bar. To get in, you've got to impress the locals with your board moves, show the right threads, and get your mood high enough so you don't bring the party down. Once you've checked in here, you can hit the midnight party and kick it until the sun comes up.

Shopping
If you still have a yen for grunge, you've come to the right place to buy the latest in retro--from flannelette shirts, cargo pants, tie-dyed T-shirts, torn jeans, and unwashed hair that hangs down over your eyes.

Better still, you can buy all kinds of items to turn your home sweet home into a skater's dream. Prop up your shelves on cinder blocks, your table on milk crates, and install an arcade machine in your lounge to relive your rose-tinted college days.

People You'll Meet
Skid Mark runs the half-pipe, so if you need a job talk to him, but if you want to learn some new social moves to help you fit in then seek out Ally Stile or Trang Hang. Rounding out this district are Rolanda Skye and String Bean, both of whom are worth getting to know, as they are the tightest turners and grinders in the city.

How to Get There
It's below 125th near the new pipeline being constructed on the East End, which makes it perfect for...less-than-legal skateboarding.

The Foundry

If you want to get away from the traffic and crowds to kick back with the more Bohemian populace, hang a left over to The Foundry. Years ago, artists seeking affordable housing, open studio space, and a lifestyle away from the mainstream metropolis seeped into this deteriorating industrial district and gave it new verve. They converted the abandoned warehouses into lofted art studios, independent galleries, and coffee shops buzzing with shop talk and politics. Visitors are invited to pull up a chair at the local coffee shop or stroll through the galleries with a wine glass in hand.

Where to Go
Crispin's Cauldron is one of the most promising up-and-coming galleries. It specializes in postmodern sculpture and industrial metalsmithing. Visitors are always welcome as long as they know to keep their fingers away from the art for risk of losing appendages entirely!

Iron Age Coffee Haus offers the best espresso and Haus-made biscotti in the city. This is a perfect spot to relax and listen to the sound of summer raindrops tap dancing on the tin roofs.

You know the party's on when the neon and laser lights flare up around The Gearbox and engage in a high-tech Robo Battle--a "smashing" exposé of mechanical art.

Shopping
There's nothing like a funky wrought iron sculpture to finish off a modern bachelor (or bachelorette) pad; or better yet, a flaming wall-mounted torch to give it that "European" medieval feel.

In terms of clothing, while there is no better color than black, you can also get lovely shirts and scarves in gray, dark gray, light gray, gunmetal gray, and other subdued hues.

And what better way to fit in with the hip crowd than a few well-placed piercings? There are cool adornments for lobes, lips, and nostrils at very reasonable prices.

People You'll Meet
Crispin Black, as I mentioned earlier, is looking for someone to help him run his sculpting business, while Bella Ciao and Arthur Pop both have some hip moves to teach their friends. Neo Flange is the most intellectual, and it shows in his trendy urban "smart" clothing designs. The word on the street is that Roxanna Hardplace wants to hire someone to restyle a few of her less-attractive friends, but you'll need to get in tight with her before she'll offer you the gig.

The job here requires quick reflexes as you balance turning molten iron into works of art, keeping your basic needs in check, and socializing with the oh-so-hipper-than-thou crowd. Prove you can multitask with an eye for detail, and your rep in this district will skyrocket.

How to Get There
It's invite only at The Foundry, so you'll need to find someone with a friend in the right place. I've heard that these guys are surprisingly close to the kids down at Kicktail Park, so you might want to start looking there...

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