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sywren

Help me move!

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I've had it with DC and the metro area. It's time to get out of here. I've told work that after June, I'm gone. Then I'm packing everything into storage, jumping in the Miata and leaving. Only here's the issue: I have no idea where I should move TO.

 

Last summer I drove around the US for two months, and I have a feeling I'll probably end up doing that again just to get a feel of various cities/towns. Hopefully I'll land somewhere I fall in love with and decide to stay there.

 

Really what I need from you all is this: Do you know of a vibrant, fun city or town with a strong art/music community that you would recommend?

 

Places that I'm NOT considering for various reasons (already lived there, been there and hated, etc...)

 

The South

DC and Baltimore (obviously)

New York

L.A.

Chicago

Seattle

Las Vegas

Anywhere that gets below 20F

Denver

 

Some places I'm considering but would like to hear more about from people who've lived there:

Boston

Portland, OR

San Francisco

New Mexico

Austin, TX

 

Please post! I'd love to hear any recommendations.

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Metro Boston Area. Includes Boston, Cambridge, Somerville. There are more parts but they're not worth half a damn, except maybe the north shore suburbs like Salem, Danvers (the witch cities), Manchester, Marblehead ($$$), Gloucester (mmm....fish).

 

PROS:

- Top drawer culture stuff. The art scene is ROCKIN'. I should know. I'm in it. :) All the museums are world class. Hundreds of galleries. Jumpin' music scene. Great dance clubs, rock clubs, jazz clubs. Even some not-sucky theater. My favorite ballet company of all time is in Cambridge (google Jose Mateo Sanctuary Theater). Plus culture fixes are available at all price ranges from $$$ to free.

 

- Top drawer food. The restaurant and bar scene in metro Boston is second to none. This city has so many great places to eat at every possible price range, that my first few months here, I didn't believe Bostonians knew how to cook at home. :) You can dine out in style on a budget any time you like in this town, on any kind of food you crave. Oh, and Massachusetts has to be the world capital of properly fried seafood.

 

- The city is really really pretty. Yes, it's true, brick sidewalks are a bitch to walk on, especially in winter because they ice up REAL good, but still, all that red brick has got a lot of character. There are tons of vest pocket parks greening up all the towns/neighborhoods. Plus more historic New England vernacular architecture than you can shake a stick at. I admit that, as a native New Yorker, I do feel that the downtown financial district (one of my favorite parts of town) looks a little like a Fisher-Price Playset version of the New York financial district, but it still rocks pretty good for city vibe.

 

- It's kind of fun to live in ground zero of the American Revolution. :) (Death to Tyrants!!) Me = history nerd. :)

 

- Cambridge contains both Harvard and MIT, as well as numerous other colleges/universities, and I have to say, all that brain power does make a difference to the street life.

 

- The public transit system is good enough for just about anything. I have issues with the MBTA that runs it, but I've become very hard to please in recent years. At least the trips are fast.

 

- It's an international city. It didn't used to be. It used to be a snobby anti-immigrant backwater. It's still snobby to the max, but about 10 years ago, the entire populaton of every country in the world decided to move here, apparently. It is much more civilized, to my tastes, now. :)

 

CONS:

 

- $$$. It costs to live here. Costs bad. Do not move here at this time without securing some kind of a job first, or you will have very little financial leeway to survive while you look for one.

 

- Health Insurance. Mass has the most fucked up excuse for a universal health insurance plan. Basically, it universally forces people to buy health insurance, whether you can afford it or not, and penalizes you in surcharges and taxes if you happen to get hit by a car or get cancer before you get insurance. I frigging hate it with a passion. This is another reason you must line up a job with benefits before moving here.

 

- Massachusetts has bad pollution, according to an EPA report released this year, and according to my lungs. But it does vary greatly from place to place.

 

- Massachusetts drivers are the second worst in the US (after Rhode Island), and believe me, it shows. Great gods, I have seen things on the streets here that defy both reason and physics. Never let your guard down.

 

- It gets cold here. This is New England. It has a winter. You will need to meet a sweater half of the year. However, you will not be cold inside buildings. Bostonians don't like to be cold. They heat their houses/offices as if they are looking forward to hell and want to get a taste of what awaits them.

 

- Crime is not great. Nowhere near as bad as I dealt with in NYC, but some security awareness is a must. It pays to know the neighborhoods.

 

SPECIAL NOTES:

 

- My career (in the arts) advanced more in Boston than in either New York or Vermont (the other two places I've lived), and I've been able to get higher paying day jobs here as well. If you pick your jobs well and manage your living budget, you can do very well here.

 

- I'm an outer boroughs kid (NYC reference) so I tend to be less interested in living in Boston proper. The only neighborhoods I personally would want to live in in the city proper would be the North End (hard to find a place) or the Back Bay (harder to afford a place). But my preference is for Cambridge and Somerville. I would look for apartments around Davis Square and Union Square in Somerville. East Somerville (my neighborhood) is nice and cheap, if you have a car, but not without one (I don't have a car, and it's a pain). I would also look for apartments in Cambridge around Porter Square (especially if you like sushi), Central Square (cheap but pick your streets carefully), Inman Square and/or the area between Inman, Central and Harvard Squares (known as the "golden triangle" by apartment hunters; great neighborhood; my mom lives there; I'm so jealous). Google those towns and squares for more info about them.

 

There. Add that to your Places Rated dossier.

 

Happy home hunting! :w00t:

Edited by peino

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Scranton PA is a pretty quiet and relatively safe place. Not so much culture going on, but it's close to New York, if you want culture.

Everything here is cheap, you can get a decent house for like 120K, the taxes are reasonable, no really big buildings, etc.

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Places that I'm NOT considering for various reasons (already lived there, been there and hated, etc...)

...

New York

...

Anywhere that gets below 20F

...

 

I live in upstate NY, and though there are things I dislike about it, I must say, the country around lake Seneca is beautiful, just beautiful. ;)

Our family also visits Southern PA from time to time, and the country down there is also very pretty...

Tomorrow may see me down there. Who knows?

 

Take care, and good luck with your move. :)

Edited by LIGHTspeed

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Does it have to be the USA? I can suggest a lot of great places. The first would be Auckland or anywhere on the South Island of NZ (yes I know Auckland is on the North Island)

If it has to be USA? Virginia is very nice, Savanah also is a very nice city, Newhampshire is very nice but does not reach your temperature criteria.

Edited by Wizzy

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Portland, Oregon is a very pretty city and you can see beautiful Mt Hood from almost anywhere. It rains quite a bit there but rarely gets below 0 farenheit. The Columbia Gorge,east of city, is one of the least know natural wonders in the USA, I think, with towering basalt cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Eugene, further south in the Willamette Valley, is another Oregon city you might consider. I no longer live in Oregon but grew up there and still consider it one of the finest states in the union.

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portland is only safe if you have defense 26 :)

 

and you said you dont want to live in the south but are considering texas?

 

i think with a thing like this your never really gonna know what a place is like until you've lived their and everyone is diffrent so there is a lot of luck involved in chosing the right place for you, dont get pulled in by things like natural beauty, once you've seen things 100 times they will not really be awe inspiring like they were the first time. keep in mind its the people you meet there that will determine your quality life far more than what the city itself is like.

 

good luck in finding somewhere to live

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portland is only safe if you have defense 26 :P

 

Was wondering how long that would take to crop up :)

 

Personally, I like the sound of Chicago. The city of eight million, there must be some artistic culture there. Any particular reason why you're not considering it? (I mean, why'd you dislike it?)

 

I just hope you find a cool place to live, with a nice, fast internet connection and employment that allows teleworking, so you can dual-class and work from home while running from Dragons in Idaloran, or hunting Leonard :hehe:

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Portland, OR

Portland is a wonderful city, I was born in one of its suburbs. There is plenty of culture and arts and music and stuff, at least I think so anyway.

 

I now live in a small town in the middle of oregon that doesn't make most maps, but has a lot of musical and art culture, but it gets well below 20F here :P

 

Portland and the surrounding area is great though, its pretty damp sometimes with rain, but on the plus side it has lots of green trees and lush areas :D It's very different from most big cities like DC, New York and such (I haven't lived in those places, but I've visited a lot ;) ). Oregon is just a beautiful state all around with the nice contrast of some decently sized cities, as well as a lot of wilderness and wildlife.

 

-edit-

And if I were you I'd check gas prices for the places you might plan to move to :P

Edited by Enly

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I now live in a small town in the middle of oregon that doesn't make most maps

Hehehe. You don't live in Boring do you? Nah that is more east than middle. :)

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Places that I'm NOT considering for various reasons (already lived there, been there and hated, etc...)

 

The South

Anywhere that gets below 20F

 

Some places I'm considering but would like to hear more about from people who've lived there:

Boston

Portland, OR

 

Thats a bit contradictory and doesn't leave many options.

Basically if you are adamant to not be in the south...

you're gonna hit cold cold winters.

 

Both Boston and Portland are very north and get the winter climate that go with it.

I'm an Arizona native and, like you, do NOT like the cold.

I've fallen in love with the small town life (with all the amenities of big city living within 30 miles)

of the mountains in southwestern North Carolina.

Not so southern you feel stifled by 'the south' (been there done that)

But nestled in a valley between mountains that protect from the worst of weather.

Personally, it's a great relief to be out of the middle of the 'big city'.

It is so peaceful out here.

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Do you know of a vibrant, fun city or town with a strong art/music community that you would recommend?

 

Please post! I'd love to hear any recommendations.

 

Brighton, Sussex, United Kingdom.

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Do you know of a vibrant, fun city or town with a strong art/music community that you would recommend?

-> Rio de Janeiro (São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro)

 

meets the temp standard also :)

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Do you know of a vibrant, fun city or town with a strong art/music community that you would recommend?

-> Rio de Janeiro (São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro)

 

meets the temp standard also :)

 

Brazil is definitely on my "must see" list. I've thought about doing another international move, but visa requirements and funds would dictate that I get a job together before I leave the US. Right now I'm on a sort of "let's just see if I like it first" mentality about the job issue. I know, not wise, but really nothing about this move is "wise".

 

Speaking of international moves, New Zealand and the UK are also places I hope to spend quite a bit of time exploring at some point; however, as an English (or ESL) teacher, the job issue really becomes a problem.

 

As for the US, I do keep considering Portland. I spent a few days there last summer (although I have to admit, the girlfriend I was visiting didn't really let me see much of it during the day :P ). I really had a good time and the city seemed to fit me well. She says it very rarely gets below freezing, so I should be comfortable temperature wise.

 

Chicago is a fun town and I know a few neighborhoods that I really like, but still on the list for various personal reasons.

 

Scranton I hadn't considered, but it has the convenience of being close to my family, most of whom live in Maryland. I'll have to go visit that area.

 

I'm definitely going to have to drive around and visit various places again before I decide. When I drove around the country last summer, I didn't really do it with the "should I move here" mentality. Unfortunately, the longer it takes me find a place, the longer I'll be away from EL! :devlish: I'll have to occasionally log on to forums and perhaps post a few pics of the journey.

Edited by sygon

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Scranton PA is a pretty quiet and relatively safe place. Not so much culture going on, but it's close to New York, if you want culture.

Everything here is cheap, you can get a decent house for like 120K, the taxes are reasonable, no really big buildings, etc.

Yeah i agree live in a town bout 30 minutes from there so i go there whenever someone is in the hospital, need to shop for clothes, etc. It's a nice place in my opinion too :)

 

*EDIT: HIt button twice :devlish:

Edited by bigshock28

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Assuming that you will consider Europe,

 

I know a place that's got :-

  • Direct trains to London, Paris and Brussels in under 2 hours! If you like, you could even drive down!
    Travel time to the middle of London will be half that in less than 2 years.
  • Nice weather. On the rare occasions when it snows here, it gets blamed on global warming! Normal temps in winter >= 25°F :)
  • Low crime. Non industrial, so you can actually breathe safely!
  • Nice people. I moved out from London and was shocked that the neighbours actually knew each other!

We call it Ashford, in the Garden of England. ;)

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Where i live in england been getting some freak weather lately...

 

Rain then thunder and hail along with sunshine

heatwaves then freezing winds

it's weird

 

not to put you off England though

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I would love to live in England. The only problem is that I'm an English teacher, and there isn't too high of a demand for yank teachers over there. I might infect your youth with horrors like "color" and definite articles in front of words like hospital. Oh well. I do plan to visit though!

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Actually you would be surprised of the demand for teachers in England. Obviously your considered a proffesional and so it would make it a hell of alot easier to aquire a work visa.

 

We actually had an American english teacher in high school, short bearded man who would forget what he was teaching and talk about why England needed to have wrestling in high school sports.

 

*edit* spelling lol

Edited by Ateh

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Yea come to England :pickaxe: Like anywhere the places vary greatly, EagleP's town sounds like a good start :P And Brighton has a lively music scene, though the art I've seen I always put down to tourism. England's romantic seaside resort of old too, though I've never lived there myself.

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