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Old 03-06-2011, 03:06 PM
21 posts, read 38,465 times
Reputation: 22


I know exactly what you're speaking of when you say being a non-native Texan, you could tell that you were never going to love it there. I've always felt like Texas and I are just not meant to be. Even when I visit Austin, which is a really cool city, I still feel like I could only visit and not live. Thanks for the advice. It's nice to hear that Boston could possibly be a place I could feel a connection with.

I can imagine relocating in you're 40s would be challenging. That's why I really want to test the waters now while my husband and I are still young and without kids. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:13 PM
5,757 posts, read 13,323,224 times
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I'll throw in my two cents on a few issues that have been raised here.

Cost of living: You said it's not an issue, but I would suggest doing some checking about just how high the cost of living is here. You may be in for a shock, and even if you can afford Boston, it's probably a good idea to at least have a clear picture of the change in cost of living that you'd be in for with this move.

Work in your and your husband's fields: I'm not familiar with the market in these fields, and I'd guess that others here are not either, since no one has answered that question yet, so this is still a question you need answers to before you'll know about how well this move would work.

Social life and making friends: Darien_Rod has a point but so does Forrestgump. Judging from your information about where you've lived, it sounds as if Boston is a much larger city than you're used to. Trying to say that "the people" are all this way or that way does not work so well in a city the size of Boston. Yes, there are older residential neighborhoods, and some suburban towns, where longtime residents form a tight circle and may shun outsiders, but not all areas are like this.

You may have to get used to a change from what you're used to in the way people typically interact when they're out in public, because in general people here may be somewhat reserved. You may find yourself at times having idle conversations with strangers, but this is not normally expected behavior in Boston, and people do often tend to feel it's best to err on the side of not intruding on another person's private reverie if you get no indication that the person wishes to engage in a bit of chitchat, and, judging by numerous comments I've seen on this forum, this can seem unfriendly to people accustomed to more gregarious behavior toward strangers as the norm. That's just the general way of interacting out in public, though. Find a neighborhood with other young people, consider joining groups involved in activities that interest you, and frequent the kinds of establishments Forrestgump suggested, and you should be able to develop a nice social life over time.

Weather: I'm not too surprised to read about your -22 weather. Inland areas well away from the ocean's moderating effects can have some extremes of temperature, and it can be surprisingly cold surprisingly far south and surprisingly hot well to the north. What could take some getting used to for you would be the amount of snow we get here, how short the days are in late fall and early winter, and especially the length of winter. Truth is it's been years since the last time we had anything like -22 temperatures around here, but the 0 or -5 weather we typically get a few times each winter, along with the fact that snow and more ordinary cold lurk around for a number of months, can make winter seem to drag after a while. People vary a lot in their tolerance to the weather here, and it's certainly not the far and frozen Arctic north country here, but the difference from what you're used to in the length of winter is something you should at least keep in mind when considering a move here.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:06 PM
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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Thanks for the advice ogre!

You make some great points in all areas. I guess I should have mentioned that my husband and I have been doing some research on the area for a little while now and we already have an idea of what type of apartment we're looking for and can afford. It is much more expensive there, but I'm not easily shocked when it comes to things like that.

Yes, we won't even start planning the move until we find and secure jobs in our fields. Hopefully I'll get some feedback on here about that.

As for the interaction between people, I'm actually really glad to hear that they are a lot more reserved. I'm a lot more of a reserved person. I've been mistaken as 'snobby' but really I'm just the type of person that keeps to myself in situations that don't pertain to me. That's how I was raised and it sounds like that's common behavior in Boston.

I didn't know the winter season lasted so long there. I'm not a winter person at all. Mostly I know it's necessary and just put up with it. That isn't something I find enjoyable, but I figure if I'm in an environment I enjoy than maybe I will be happier during the cold months.

Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:30 PM
21 posts, read 44,591 times
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A quick note on your question about the design/creative community. I currently am in CA, but when I was in my mid 20s relocated to Boston after living in NYC for 6 years.

If you are okay with working in advertising, there is a lot of great creative work in Boston. But please know that that is where most of the creative work is in that town. If you are looking for more true design, art, or anything in the non-advertising parts of film or TV, you really need to be in NYC or LA (or SF or London).

That said, the creative advertising community in Boston is full of awesome, smart, fun creative people of all ages. Try to get in at some of the local ad agencies or interactive shops as a designer.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:43 PM
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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Thanks so much chixor!

I thought I'd never get a response in that area.

I'm not opposed to working in advertising, in fact, I probably should get more experience there before wanting to work in a less 'ad heavy' area of design. Are you a designer as well?

Also, how would you compare California to Boston? I ask because we are really in the air right now on where to move and had Boston at the top of the list, but I'm still really trying to explore my options.

Thanks for the advice though. It's great to know the creative community is full of such great people. You've been a great help!
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:28 AM
Location: Hell's Kitchen, NYC
2,271 posts, read 4,410,431 times
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Originally Posted by drifter10 View Post
I graduated college last year and my husband graduates this year with a degree in Advertising. I'm a web and print graphic designer at a company here in Amarillo, TX but I'm originally from northern New Mexico near the Rockies and my husband is from West Virginia. He works part time at the same design company I do as an Account Manager while going to school.

We are dying out here in Texas. The strict conservative life in the Bible Belt and the lack of any diversity in culture or activities is just not working. I do enjoy the warm weather during the spring and summer, but it's not even that hot all the time. We definitely have bone chilling winters with the dry air and high winds from the lack of trees but without much snow. And we have dust storm warnings and it always smells like poop. Ha ha! We are both serious sports nuts and LOVE the outdoors.

I needed to get away so bad a couple of years ago that we found a summer camp in Maine and drove across the country to work there for the entire summer. Boston was a one of the cities on our list to stop and visit and we loved it. But I'm just worried that I only got the tourist viewpoint and not the resident.

We do need to find jobs there first before relocating. Is the Design and Creative Community good? Would it be really difficult to become a part of it since we don't really know anyone there yet?

Also, we're a young married couple that likes to have fun and have a lot of friends. Would it be really difficult to find a social scene for us?

I'm not too concerned about the cost of living. I know it's much higher, but that's not really a factor in the move. Pretty much what will make or break it is the job opportunities and fitting in socially.

Let me know what you think. Any info helps. Thanks!
Actually, as a native Texan living in Boston for just over 4 years now, my viewpoint is a little different. I actually found the city much more exciting as a tourist, primarily because you come, see the history, go to the sports games and leave. That said, there are more than a few places in Boston I like to go on a regular basis, but on many occasions, I find myself looking outwards to Cambridge, NYC, and other areas in New England.

I think the sports part is a great fit, but you sound like you'd be more interested somewhere else in New England...

Most of the young people here in Boston are single, already have social circles formed as they went to college around here, and the older residents are even tougher nuts to crack. This city is "cold" in many ways, and don't me wrong, it can be fun, but it seems like you're not interested in the European style urbanity and sensibility Boston is known for. In any case, knowing what I know about Amarillo, I agree that Boston would be a great cultural change, but far from a happy medium.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:52 PM
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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Thanks! I appreciate such an honest answer. It's nice to know also that you've experienced both areas. Makes your advice really significant. I was actually worried about all that you mentioned. My first place to move originally was NYC, but being from a town in the mountains (which I love), I don't think I could handle the overwhelming urban suffocation that comes with living there. I've visited NYC many times and have decided it can't be a place to live for me. With that said though, I know I need a large city. I am still hungry for the urban life, I just don't want to get swallowed by it. Plus, it's necessary in my line of work. Not many designers in the boondocks for a reason.

Cambridge seems nice though. Visited there this past January and really liked the vibe. I'm just still unsure about the overall fit for us there. All I'm sure of is we are in desperate need of a change.

Anyway, thanks again for the response. It's helped give me more insight.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:10 PM
158 posts, read 455,878 times
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For all intents and purposes Cambridge is Boston. Boston never incorporated a lot of the towns around it like other major cities. Cambridge is to Boston what a borough like Queens in to NYC. When you are getting advice about Boston from locals most people are talking about Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville...
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:06 PM
21 posts, read 38,465 times
Reputation: 22

Thanks. Ya, I know it's Boston. I just figured I'd mention how I felt about it separately since theSUBlime mentioned it separately.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:07 PM
5,757 posts, read 13,323,224 times
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To follow up a little on your description of your interactions with people, if you tend to keep to yourself in situations that aren't your concern, and prefer it that way, that sounds like a fit for Boston. As I said earlier, it's entirely possible to find yourself having a conversation with a stranger. The difference between Boston and some places is that light conversation with strangers is not necessarily expected in Boston. I generally find that people open up more in intimate settings like bars, coffee shops, and small restaurants. Of course if you go into a bar in an old neighborhood enclave where the same families have lived for generations, they may keep to themselves and seem unfriendly to outsiders even in this kind of social situation, but generally I find people to be more inclinde to loosen up and make conversation in social settings than they are when out and about.

Since you're still researching possibilities about where to live, I may be jumping the gun in talking about dealing with winter, but in case you find your way here I'll say that I think the best way to keep winter from weighing on you is to embrace winter. Get outside and enjoy some wintertime activities. If you can't bring yourself to embrace winter (as you did say you're not a winter person), at least try to take winter in stride and don't let it limit you. Bundle up and go outside for a walk. Get out and shop, dine, seek entertainment, just as you would in nicer weather. It might seem that you'd want to avoid being out in the cold in order to tolerate winter, but staying cooped up in the house to avoid the cold limits you, and that's what can really make winter a drag. Just go about your life, and winter isn't so bad.
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