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Old 03-14-2007, 06:41 AM
Location: ATL
84 posts, read 269,050 times
Reputation: 21


I'm a 38 yr old active white female considering two job offers in either Austin or Atlanta. I'm originally from New Orleans and have been living and working in Manhattan for eight years and find I've become a cynical New Yorker. It's dirty, cramped, way too expensive, over rated, shallow dating scene. I need to spread out and be able to afford a better quality of life and meet quality people who are not so flaky and always trying to compete with you. Real people. I love New York in many regards, but I had my fill and I can always come back and visit New York as a tourist someday.
I visited Austin last year and fell in love with so many aspects and will be spending next weekend in Atlanta to check it out. Can anyone share their pros and cons of living in both cities?
I'm looking for a city that has both a cosmopolitan flare (professional) singles, great outdoor activities, arts (music, film), good shopping, real estate value, good continuing education and a smart casual lifestyle. (Gee, does that sound too yuppie?!)
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:01 AM
Location: Austin, TX
10,934 posts, read 25,229,920 times
Reputation: 4977
Both cities can meet your criteria...but some criteria more than others . Atlanta is definitely more cosmopolitan, but at a cost of the casual lifestyle. Austin will have more music/film, probably, but less in the way of museums/off-broadway shows, etc. Atlanta has higher-end shopping (in general), but Austin is 'improving' (matter of opinion ) in that area. Both have miserable traffic, but Atlanta traffic is currently worse, while Austin is, unfortunately, trying to catch-up.

In some ways, Dallas and Atlanta are competing for the title of 'cosmopolitan' city of the South, so a lot of the business and shopping seems to be developing along competing parallel lines. Austin tried to resist becoming to cosmo for years, although it has been happening.

Both cities are in very nice physical locations, with Atlanta being more 'lush' most of the year and Austin a little more toward the 'rugged'. Atlanta is definitely more humid, although not quite as hot in the summer.

I spent quite a bit of time in Atlanta for work, and enjoyed the city immensely. The one thing I noticed was that there seemed to be more angry/unhappy people in Atlanta, and I was never sure why. Sometimes, it seemed to be the 'default' mood. In all my life, I have never (as a group) seen so many unhappy, angry (or sometimes just depressed) people as the employees at the airport. I hated flying in and out of there. I have never actually lived there, so this may be a little bit of an over generalized perception, but it turned me off to Atlanta as a place to live.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:16 PM
Location: Downtown Orlando, FL
631 posts, read 2,056,075 times
Reputation: 289
I used to drive through Atlanta when I would drive from Orlando to Tennessee on holidays. Absolutely the worst traffic I have ever witnessed!
In high school I was mugged camping out for tickets to The Cure...but that was quite a long time ago
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:16 PM
Location: ATL
84 posts, read 269,050 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks for the above comments. I'm looking forward to my visit to Atlanta next weekend to sort things out. Traffic is certainly a concern, but can't be much worse than when I lived in DC and had to deal with the Beltway and Rt 66.
Plus I work out of my home and travel to appointments in between rush hour. My folks live on the Panhandle and are getting older and it would only be a few hours drive from Atlanta. Lush and green does sound appealing.
Hmmm.........stay tuned.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:09 AM
Location: Downtown Austin
5,798 posts, read 13,715,638 times
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My folks live on the Panhandle and are getting older and it would only be a few hours drive from Atlanta.
That would be a biggy for me. I lost my Dad a little over a year ago and wish I could have seen him more often the last few years. He was living in Atlanta for the three years prior to me bringing him and my Mom back to Austin about 4 months before he died.

But that issue aside, I visit relatives in Atlanta 2 or 3 times a year. We were just there after christmas with the kids. I would say it's too big, but coming from New York it might be downsizing for you. It is very stretched out now. I have Uncles in Cumming and Cousins in Rex, about 70 miles apart but they all think they live "in Atlanta".

Atlanta does have a better ethnic mix. Austin is fairly white-bread but with a good latino culture of course. Atlanta has more museums (we just visited the High Museum Louvre exhibit. Fantastic) and other attractions, major league sports, etc. Austin is still a medium size town in those respects.

If I was going to live in Atlanta, I'd probably be looking hard at the Decatur area. Otherwise, there are a lot of "edge cities" now, where you can live near Atlanta without ever going there unless you need/want to. That's how it is for my relatives. Austin is growing our own edge areas, (Hutto, Buda, Kyle, Cedar Park, Leander), but they are all still a 30 minute drive from Austin.

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Old 03-15-2007, 08:24 AM
Location: ATL
84 posts, read 269,050 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks for sharing, Steve. Well, as you can imagine I do like to be in the heart of everything and consider myself more urban than suburban. So for me without having too much culture shock after leaving the bustle and noise of New York, I would opt for being in Atlanta proper as opposed to the 'burbs'. Not quite ready for homogeneous living and cookie cutter lay-out of homes just yet. Maybe when the husband and kids come along one day???
Friends have commented that Buckhead, midtown and Vining's area may be my speed. I will check it out.
I really do love the Latino culture influence in Austin. Especially cuisine...I love everything spicy...especially breakfast taco's!! I was also a bit concerned about not having enough diversity and meeting people from around the world. That's one thing I do enjoy about NYC. It really broadens the horizon a bit. Plus I like to hop on a plan and and reach far ends of the earth quickly from an international airport which ATL does have.
I will keep you posted...it's a tough call...Austin really is a special place.
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:02 AM
Location: Austin TX
1,209 posts, read 5,433,966 times
Reputation: 409
Default what's most important?

Originally Posted by rdhbs93 View Post
I'm looking for a city that has both a cosmopolitan flare (professional) singles, great outdoor activities, arts (music, film), good shopping, real estate value, good continuing education and a smart casual lifestyle. (Gee, does that sound too yuppie?!)
Sounds like you should try Chicago or San Francisco, actually, although both areas can be a bit cramped like NY (SF more so than Chicago). Both cities have everything you are looking for.

I was born/raised/worked in Chicago until I was almost 30, and live in austin now after stops in San Fran, southern Orange County and Arizona. austin rates pretty high on my list of places to live, but I wouldn't consider it cosmopolitan. It is definitely a small town feel in the downtown area. Compared to SF and Chicago, it's nowhere near as diverse a population. I went back to SF recently and was kind of bowled over at the ethnic mix - I had forgotten what a melting pot it is - it's truly awesome.

I think you'll probably have to prioritize that list of all the things you want out of a new location. If finding "real" people and non flaky guys are the most important thing, you'll probably have to give up city sophistication and all that comes with it, unfortunately! Or, live in another big city and meet your mate at Club Med, like I did. Best of luck to you!
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:20 PM
4 posts, read 16,343 times
Reputation: 10
Default Hello

Hi there,
Just saw this forum. I am in the similar sitaution.Just moved from NYC to Boston and definitely want to move down south ( ATlanta / austin).
I am more of a nature person ( lakes/hills) and loved Austin as route 360, 2222 have all these houses on hills overlooking lake. ALso at the same time the city is young and fun. Only drawback is that small airport and not many direct flights and not sure how good it is when it comes to looking for jobs. Atlanta is a bigger city in that aspect. DId you get a chance to visit Atlanta? Which one do you think its beter to live when it comes to quality of life? Thanks
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:24 PM
3,191 posts, read 7,305,788 times
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Atlanta is very hilly also and near mountains
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:42 PM
95 posts, read 289,915 times
Reputation: 56
I lived in Atlanta for 15 years and definitely loved it. It is certainly a more "citified" city than Austin (though I bet you the city proper is similar in population size - it's the metropolitan statistical area that's huge), and one of the things I loved most about it was that I could have my city fix (I lived in "intown" neighborhoods as they're called) but within a very short time get my country fix as well. The north Georgia mountains are beautiful, and the city itself is pretty green - I heard that airline pilots call it the city of trees. (speaking of airlines, though, the joke is that when you go to hell you have to change planes in Atlanta - but not so much an issue if you're originating there, I suppose!). Being near my folks would be a wonderful option to me, I have to say - and we used to run down to the Panhandle on a moment's notice for fun - Savannah, too. Much more ethnic diversity there than Austin. What I did not enjoy at all was the traffic, and the rising intown prices after the Olympics when the city and developers really worked on luring higher income folks back to live in the city - but I bet the real estate price craziness has subsided in recent years. It is largely a city of transplants (like Austin seems to be now) and has excellent universities including Emory and Georgia State. It doesn't have a "thing" like Austin has the music scene. I did love it and it would have been on my short list of cities if I hadn't been looking to start over somewhere completely new. I'm loving Austin too though!
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