I am wondering if there are any specific cities on the North American continent (not considering Mexico for the moment being, for reasons detailed below) that supernatural beings trying to live hidden amongst humanity would naturally flock to in order to hide.
Additional parameters for my question are as follows:
- Stereotypical masquerade rules apply. That is, the supernatural beings are in hiding, they want to remain hidden from mankind (and therefore can't openly form enclaves like "Little Transylvanias", and they aren't in a position where they can just brainwash rich people or government officials into giving them all upscale penthouse apartments. Government influence on the supernatural community is not a factor (i.e., I want to see what would happen without the government actually knowing about and trying to manage supernatural beings akin to Men in Black).
- The supernaturals want to live in as nice of an areas as possible. There's most likely a sliding scale between scrutiny and economic prosperity. In economically depressed areas people are more likely to not ask questions about mysterious neighbors, but living conditions are worse and the crime rate is higher. By contrast, if they tried moving into an upscale suburb or gated community there would likely be more security and economic prosperity but supernaturals would likely be subject to extreme scrutiny. Given this, the supernaturals would have to strike a balancing act between trying to live in as nice of an area as possible but at the same time subject to as little scrutiny as possible.
- The supernaturals want to stay beneath notice as much as possible. As a result they would probably aim for regions where the government and fellow citizens have as much of a laisse-faire attitude towards its citizens as possible. I don't know if that would make Canada or the U.S. more appealing.
- The supernaturals aren’t interested in starting their own city off in the middle of nowhere. Partly because such a thing would be incredibly difficult to hide a new city of supernaturals springing up, and partially because I’m interested in how closely any IRL area fits these criteria before creating a wholly fictional one.
- The supernatural beings aren’t interested in living in a non-urban area. It would be a lot easier for them if the supernatural beings if they were willing to live off in the woods as a hermit. However, the supernaturals in this case still want access to electricity, running water, and fresh coffee. So at most they would be willing to live in a suburban area that has easy access to an urban center. A city that has large amounts of wild spaces in proximity to urban areas might be a favorable factor for them.
- It would be nice if they could find an area where supernatural disputes can be easily covered up. I.e., places where it would be easy to cover up things like vampires occasionally preying on people, werewolf pack disputes spilling over into violence, etc. Obviously any kind of crime if it got too noticeable would end up bringing the wrath of the government down on them, but the question is if there are areas where supernatural plot and conflict would be more likely to be overlooked as long as it wasn’t too obvious.
- Asking about supernatural beings in hiding in general, not any specific type. Obviously different types of supernaturals would have different needs. Vampires that prey on humans would want areas where they could eat people without being discovered, werewolves would like areas with lots of forests, etc. However, I'm more wondering what would be the best cities in a general sense, rather than which would be best for a specific supernatural.
Worldbuilding SE already has this question (Best country for humans with superpowers to hide?), but there are some significant differences. I am interested in figuring out which specific cities would be the best place to hide, rather than countries. The other question is more talking about 50,000 superhumans migrating as a group (and therefore dealing with immigration laws) and talks about countries rather than specific cities. However, different regions of a single country can be dramatically different in terms of hideability. For example, in North America, hiding in Calgary or Denver would be a completely different experience than hiding in Toronto or New York City.
The main reason I'm asking this is that in urban fantasy series with supernatural beings there is often a single city that ends up being a hotbed of supernatural activity for plot-related reasons. New York City is especially popular for this purpose, but I’ve seen Seattle, Washington, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Tulsa, and even Cincinnati used. However, usually the city is picked first rather than picked considering what would make it a supernatural hotbed. What I’m wondering is if there are specific geographic, demographic, and socio-economic factors that would make supernatural beings under a Masquerade more likely to emigrate there and hence more likely to be hotspot cities for supernatural activity than others. I would be very interested in seeing if there are cities that could fill the role in other parts of the world like Europe, Australia, Japan, etc. (e.g., would Tokyo be better than Kyoto? Would Liverpool be better than London? Would Melbourne be better than Sydney? Would Perm be better than Saint Petersburg? Not to mention what would be the best areas in Mexico specifically), but I fear that would be too similar to the previously asked question so I am focusing on North America north of the Rio Grande given that most of these series tend to be set there. Trying to focus on the U.S. and Canada over Mexico given that Mexico seems like too much of an obvious answer.