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View Poll Results: What metro(s) would work best for a fresh start for my wife and I?
Minneapolis/St. Paul 29 49.15%
Pittsburgh 17 28.81%
St. Louis 8 13.56%
Research Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Cary) 4 6.78%
Kansas City 7 11.86%
Other 3 5.08%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 12-06-2011, 05:35 PM
 
32 posts, read 54,577 times
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Hey everyone,

I've been researching relocating to a new town for a sort of fresh start for my wife and I. Getting out of central Indiana (Muncie/Anderson) and checking out the city life. After some initial gathering and research, I've narrowed it down (mostly) to the above mentioned cities. My current ranking (and brief thoughts) is something like this:
  1. Minneapolis - Intrigued by the culture and support here on C-D. A little hesitant about the cold, admittedly.
  2. Research Triangle - Obviously a very healthy software job market (though perhaps with tight competition) and more mild winters, but appears to be suffering a bit of a sprawl issue.
  3. Kansas City - Another fairly healthy software market, but public transit is a bit of an issue.
  4. St. Louis - Really enjoyed the long weekend we spent here, but the racial and city/county division is very off-putting. The aroma of 'glory days' doesn't help.
  5. Pittsburgh - Seems to be a healthy software market, though the area exodus and public transit issues raise concern.
However, I'm also open to other suggestions within ~10 hours of Indianapolis. In searching for a place to live, I'm taking the following things into consideration:
  • Food/Grocery Variety - Would love a place with lots of different cuisines (esp. Japanese), a decent international grocery (ex: Jungle Jim's in Cincy, Saraga International in Indy), and a good spice shop (eg: Penzey's Spices)
  • Public Transit - Somewhere that it's feasible to actually rely on a bus/train. Not looking for Tokyo-level reliability, but moderately dependable with decent coverage would be nice.
  • Commute - Tied into the above. I currently take ~30 minute bus ride to work door to door. Plus/minus 15 minutes seems like a good commute time.
  • Healthy outlook - Around where I live, we're still stuck in the 'glory days' of the 70s. You can almost hear the swoosh as everything circles the drain. Would love to find a place with a bit of optimism and inhabitants that are actually happy they live where they do (vs. just settling for it).
  • Software/IT market - Would prefer areas with a variety of companies/opportunities versus 2 or 3 big lynchpin organizations. Locations with as much or more corporate than university/government work.
  • University - Wife wanting to go back. Bonus points if in city and/or has a strong ESL program.
  • ESL demand - Tied in to the above. No point in building a skill set if its not in demand.
  • Entertainment - We're more toward the parks/live performance/theater direction than clubs or sporting events.
  • Outdoor recreation - Would love an area with a good park system. The nearest decent park to us is in the next town over.
  • Attractions - Bonus points for any nearby attractions: zoo, aquarium (esp.), theme park
  • !Sprawl - One thing that drives me batty about the Indy metro is that even as a big city (read: higher population density), I'm still driving for 40 minutes to get from point A to point B. I might as well drive to another town at that point. Let's not forget that even in the metro you might be driving for an 1h+ to get to the airport.
  • All four seasons - I figure any of the above locations should fit into this criteria, but figured it worth mentioning.
  • Crime - Obviously, every city will have issues with this, but it's on the radar none-the-less. That said, I'm not not necessarily looking for Pleasantville, either. Hell, even in our small town my wife's folks just had a big drug bust down the block, but they're no worse for wear. Most folks are just living their lives. In general, just looking for somewhere that, unless you go looking for it, trouble typically won't come to find you. Not having crackhead neighbors would, all kidding aside, be a nice bonus.
  • Time to Indy - With family in the area, we'll likely be making the trip back on at least a semi-annual basis. Direct connecting flight or minimal driving time gets some bonus points.
  • Pop. size - Looking for big, but not too big. (i.e. Indy, but not Chicago). Right around the 1-4 million mark for the metro.
  • Midwest region - As mentioned above, focused on areas <~10 hours from Indy. With the exception of the Research Triangle, tending to lean more to the west.
  • !Industrialization - During our trip to Denver, the northeast area (Commerce City, Stapleton) left a poor impression on my wife. Looking for somewhere with a bit more scenery.
  • Walkability - After spending time in an outlier of Tokyo, I'm really enamored with a walkable city. Somewhere I can walk for 15-20 minutes to get to most of the daily needs, ideally with good sidewalks/trails along the way.
That said, I'd love to hear where people think would fit best for our fresh start based on what I'm looking for or for any recommendations of locations I haven't mentioned.

Thanks for all of your input!

Last edited by reticentwebdev; 12-06-2011 at 05:44 PM.. Reason: Add in note about walkability
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:06 PM
 
443 posts, read 489,014 times
Reputation: 619
One of the largest misconceptions about Pittsburgh is that there is an "exodus" now. This is not the case. In fact the younger population has been rising in the city. Fewer people have been leaving.
The population has been stabilizing.

A lot of people left in the 80s. Mostly younger people in the age of producing children, so a whole generation of children that were born were elsewhere. This still effected population now. But there is no longer a "exodus" in the burgh as there were decades ago. The population statistics actually show that there has been less exodus out of the burgh compared to other cities. It is actually attracting younger people.

All the cities seem cool in my opinion except for the Research Triangle in my opinion. I am not a fan of North Carolina cities. Sprawl, subdivisions, strip malls, and 90 style development is not my thing.

St. Louis and Kansas city were cool. Never been to Minneapolis. Pittsburgh is a great city filled with neighborhoods that all have their own identity. Pittsburgh's struggling with public transportation issues right now, but many cities are across the nation.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,909 posts, read 19,960,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKrab View Post
One of the largest misconceptions about Pittsburgh is that there is an "exodus" now. This is not the case. In fact the younger population has been rising in the city. Fewer people have been leaving.
The population has been stabilizing.

A lot of people left in the 80s. Mostly younger people in the age of producing children, so a whole generation of children that were born were elsewhere. This still effected population now. But there is no longer a "exodus" in the burgh as there were decades ago. The population statistics actually show that there has been less exodus out of the burgh compared to other cities. It is actually attracting younger people.

All the cities seem cool in my opinion except for the Research Triangle in my opinion. I am not a fan of North Carolina cities. Sprawl, subdivisions, strip malls, and 90 style development is not my thing.

St. Louis and Kansas city were cool. Never been to Minneapolis. Pittsburgh is a great city filled with neighborhoods that all have their own identity. Pittsburgh's struggling with public transportation issues right now, but many cities are across the nation.
ditto. Twin Cities, Pittsburgh, KC and StL would all be great and I would live in any of them. I'm not a fan of the Research Triangle though. That area would be one of the last places I would want to live.

Pittsburgh has really seen as nice rebound, I would love to see that city continue. They are expanding light rail to the north shore area, so that should help.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:35 PM
 
32 posts, read 54,577 times
Reputation: 11
Default Pittsburgh v. Indy on Clouds?

I've seen some stats that suggest Pittsburgh has quite a few more cloudy days than Indy. However, I also know that stats can lie. For those in the know, does Pittsburgh seem/feel like a cloudier city than Indy? How about in winter? Cold/snow/ice I can handle. It's the string of dull gray days that gets to me.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,587 posts, read 7,619,424 times
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Pittsburgh has a lot of cloudy days, but surprisingly we also have a lot of sunny days, and our winters aren't too bad. However, we have a very hilly terrain, which makes the icy roads kind of scary at times. Overall, Pittsburgh is a nice city. We have affordable housing, lots of jobs, and much less crime than St. Louis. We are having transit issues at the moment, but as for now the bus still serves most of the city, and we also have a light rail line serving the south hills neighborhoods. Pittsburgh has gorgeous scenery and most of the neighborhoods and inner suburbs are walkable. Pittsburgh feels like a lot of small towns stringed together. Many Pittsburghers are still stuck on the glory days before the steel bust in the 1980s. There is still a lot of local pessimism about the city, and a lot of people seem to wish they were somewhere else, but that is probably true of any city in the rust-belt or midwest.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:15 PM
 
976 posts, read 1,924,381 times
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the crime in st. louis is grossly and irresponsibly overexaggerated and not at all reflective with the day to day quality of life here. most neighborhoods in st. louis are as safe as any other peer city.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:17 PM
 
268 posts, read 325,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reticentwebdev View Post
I've seen some stats that suggest Pittsburgh has quite a few more cloudy days than Indy. However, I also know that stats can lie. For those in the know, does Pittsburgh seem/feel like a cloudier city than Indy? How about in winter? Cold/snow/ice I can handle. It's the string of dull gray days that gets to me.
Average stats Days of Sunshine:
Pittsburgh: 162 days of sunshine/year
Indy: 187 days of sunshine/year

Average stats % of Annual Sunshine
Pittsburgh: 45%
Indy: 55%

Summers in Pgh seem much sunnier than what the stats suggest. I wouldn't worry about cloudy days in the summer. Most are partly sunny with plenty of clear days as well. From Nov-March, Pittsburgh has TONS of cloudy days. Very low on sunshine. It seems Indy gets kinda grey too, but Pittsburgh is more so. Pittsburgh receives an almost endless string of dull gray days in the winter. Spring is usually refreshing though
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:15 AM
 
32 posts, read 54,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike02 View Post
From Nov-March, Pittsburgh has TONS of cloudy days. Very low on sunshine. It seems Indy gets kinda grey too, but Pittsburgh is more so. Pittsburgh receives an almost endless string of dull gray days in the winter. Spring is usually refreshing though
This. This is what I suspected might be the case. Not a deal breaker, but definitely something to weigh on!
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:35 AM
 
268 posts, read 325,636 times
Reputation: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by reticentwebdev View Post
This. This is what I suspected might be the case. Not a deal breaker, but definitely something to weigh on!
Here's something you could look at. It's a weather cam for Pittsburgh and you should look at it periodically throughout the day to give you an idea of the weather here. You can also google PennDOT traffic cams for the Pgh area as well.

Pittsburgh Weather, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Weather and Forecast - WTAE Pittsburgh's Channel 4 (http://www.wtae.com/weather/949920/media.html?qs=;ref=/weather/16425325/media.html;longname=Action%20Cam - broken link)

Today is Mostly Sunny. In fact, the next 7 days appear to be sunny as well . Maybe this will be a good Dec. after all.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:04 AM
 
443 posts, read 489,014 times
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I still remember many days in Pittsburgh during the winter when there is sun in January and February. I remember most winter days were low clouds off the lake with the sun peaking through. I do also remember days of straight clouds like in february. But to say the who time is nothing but clouds is misleading to say the least.

A day with separated cumulus clouds in the sky is recorded as "cloudy" even though the sun peaks through and doesn't have a "grey" feeling. These days never effected me.

Days that effected me were the low grey clouds. But all winter is not like that, and to say that a Pittsburgh winter is nothing but grey is a lie.
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