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Old 10-19-2018, 04:46 PM
 
89 posts, read 11,114 times
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Ridgewood is barely cheaper than Bushwick
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
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Another vote for Richmond. Check it out. It is small though, but a great Brooklyn-ish, or old Austin, vibe.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:09 PM
 
11 posts, read 3,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
If you aren't extremely scared of winter, then perhaps Chicago? Or even trying out Montreal if you're willing to leave the country. Also along those lines, if you're going for possibly just a scoot more diverse and overall bigger city-ish than Portland and don't mind winter, then Minneapolis/St. Paul might fit the bill.

Otherwise, Philadelphia seems like the best fit with the options and criteria you've listed. Philadelphia's also quite sizable and it may be that you're more of a Germantown / Mt. Airy area and other parts of Northwest Philadelphia sort of person than South Philly. Maybe you'll find a neighborhood you like in West Philadelphia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
Atlanta could be a good option. Young, fashionable, hip, laid back, open.. Head north and you have some semblance of true outdoors.

Otherwise, head to Chicago. It's the mecca of high fashion, culture, arts, and music outside of NYC and LA. And, the people are awesome. Plenty of areas with a laid back vibe, beautiful neighborhoods, and buzz. I'd specifically reccomend Bucktown or Wicker Park, through Logan Park or West Loop may work too.

Much easier on the wallet than NYC, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Surprised to see a mention of Montreal, but I agree.
I spent a few weeks in Chicago last summer and wasn't blown away by it either. I have been hearing good things about Minne though. Maybe I need to give Chicago and Philadelphia both another (longer) visit to see if they seem like a good fit for me. It's always so hard to tell from a vacation though.

I spent a month in Montreal two summers ago, and absolutely loved it. It has totally been in the back of my mind as a destination to move to, but don't know about any of the "moving out of country" logistics, especially when it comes to attending school. Definitely something I would like to look into
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:13 PM
 
11 posts, read 3,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlesaf3 View Post
Another vote for Richmond. Check it out. It is small though, but a great Brooklyn-ish, or old Austin, vibe.
I have a feeling Richmond might be a nice fit as well. I'm really going to try to make an effort to get down there for a few days sometime this month.

It seems like I have so many options in potential cities. Chicago, Minne, Philly, Montreal, Richmond all sound tempting. Some more so than others.

At the moment I'm thinking I might just end up back in Portland for a few years to finish up my BFA. That would give me some time to figure out another city to relocate to which I feel like is actually a good fit for me. And then I could complete my MFA in said new city.

I really appreciate all the suggestions guys. This has been a really tough decision for me. Thanks again!
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:11 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,175 posts, read 21,776,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1000flowersbloom View Post
I spent a few weeks in Chicago last summer and wasn't blown away by it either. I have been hearing good things about Minne though. Maybe I need to give Chicago and Philadelphia both another (longer) visit to see if they seem like a good fit for me. It's always so hard to tell from a vacation though.

I spent a month in Montreal two summers ago, and absolutely loved it. It has totally been in the back of my mind as a destination to move to, but don't know about any of the "moving out of country" logistics, especially when it comes to attending school. Definitely something I would like to look into
School itself is a pretty good way of moving to another country as most countries have student visas for people who get admitted to such and such. Once in school, it can potentially buy you enough time to seek out ways to get more permanent status if you like the place enough. Another thing is that the debt burden associated with going to graduate school in the US is very high compared to many other places even when accounting for being an international student. Leaving for a grad school program in say Canada, Germany, France, or Japan might ultimately be a pretty good deal.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Of the cities you listed, I too would reply "first Philly, then Richmond." My impression of the Virginia capital is that it actually has a pretty hip and urbane vibe, especially in the Fan District due west and a little south of downtown.

One of the things I've really had my consciousness raised, or perhaps reawakened, on over the last several months is the difference greenery can make in one's impression of a place. I grew up in one of the greenest cities in the country, Kansas City, Mo. (don't believe me? go visit - it will reward you), and the presence of all the trees and grass makes a big difference not only in its appearance but one's mood.

It just so happens that Philadelphia has the lowest tree canopy (the percentage of a city's land mass that is shaded by trees) of any city in the Northeast Corridor: a scant 20 percent. I'm sure this stat holds if you extend the territory to the entire Eastern seaboard, north and south (excluding South Florida).

Fishtown is something of an outlier in that it is (or was) a working-class rowhouse neighborhood whose residential blocks have significant tree coverage - even with the presence of our ubiquitous overhead utility transmission lines. Most such neighborhoods here in Philly look more like virtually treeless Point Breeze; you find the trees either in neighborhoods where twins dominate, like Spruce Hill in University City and the neighborhoods of the Upper Northwest (Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill), or in our affluent residential district that occupies the south half of Center City (Society Hill, Washington Square West, Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square).

You might want to rewind your mental video of the areas you visited and see whether I'm not onto something here.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:48 AM
 
11 posts, read 3,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
School itself is a pretty good way of moving to another country as most countries have student visas for people who get admitted to such and such. Once in school, it can potentially buy you enough time to seek out ways to get more permanent status if you like the place enough. Another thing is that the debt burden associated with going to graduate school in the US is very high compared to many other places even when accounting for being an international student. Leaving for a grad school program in say Canada, Germany, France, or Japan might ultimately be a pretty good deal.
That's kind of what I'm thinking! A friend of mine who is living in Norway told me that I could get my masters there for free!! Not that I am particularly set on Norway, but it seems like the lower cost/international experience would be a win win. I'll definitely keep that thought in mind!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Of the cities you listed, I too would reply "first Philly, then Richmond." My impression of the Virginia capital is that it actually has a pretty hip and urbane vibe, especially in the Fan District due west and a little south of downtown.

One of the things I've really had my consciousness raised, or perhaps reawakened, on over the last several months is the difference greenery can make in one's impression of a place. I grew up in one of the greenest cities in the country, Kansas City, Mo. (don't believe me? go visit - it will reward you), and the presence of all the trees and grass makes a big difference not only in its appearance but one's mood.

It just so happens that Philadelphia has the lowest tree canopy (the percentage of a city's land mass that is shaded by trees) of any city in the Northeast Corridor: a scant 20 percent. I'm sure this stat holds if you extend the territory to the entire Eastern seaboard, north and south (excluding South Florida).

Fishtown is something of an outlier in that it is (or was) a working-class rowhouse neighborhood whose residential blocks have significant tree coverage - even with the presence of our ubiquitous overhead utility transmission lines. Most such neighborhoods here in Philly look more like virtually treeless Point Breeze; you find the trees either in neighborhoods where twins dominate, like Spruce Hill in University City and the neighborhoods of the Upper Northwest (Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill), or in our affluent residential district that occupies the south half of Center City (Society Hill, Washington Square West, Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square).

You might want to rewind your mental video of the areas you visited and see whether I'm not onto something here.
Wow that totally makes sense! Now that I think about it, Fishtown, West Philly, and South of Center City all did seem like the most appealing neighborhoods. And they all did have a little bit more foliage! I even thought the same thing when I was walking around Clinton Hill in Brooklyn the other day. Sure the old Brownstones are really nice, but I think a lot of the appeal (to me) has to do with the amount of greenery in the neighborhood. Kind of just reminds me of Portland to some extent. I think the lack of trees and grass has been a major factor in what has been bothering me about Brooklyn. Most the neighborhood parks here are even pretty sad.

Also would love to visit KCMO some time soon! I was just talking to a friend who lives there yesterday about making a trip.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:00 PM
 
6 posts, read 878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Of the cities you listed, I too would reply "first Philly, then Richmond." My impression of the Virginia capital is that it actually has a pretty hip and urbane vibe, especially in the Fan District due west and a little south of downtown.

One of the things I've really had my consciousness raised, or perhaps reawakened, on over the last several months is the difference greenery can make in one's impression of a place. I grew up in one of the greenest cities in the country, Kansas City, Mo. (don't believe me? go visit - it will reward you), and the presence of all the trees and grass makes a big difference not only in its appearance but one's mood.

It just so happens that Philadelphia has the lowest tree canopy (the percentage of a city's land mass that is shaded by trees) of any city in the Northeast Corridor: a scant 20 percent. I'm sure this stat holds if you extend the territory to the entire Eastern seaboard, north and south (excluding South Florida).

Fishtown is something of an outlier in that it is (or was) a working-class rowhouse neighborhood whose residential blocks have significant tree coverage - even with the presence of our ubiquitous overhead utility transmission lines. Most such neighborhoods here in Philly look more like virtually treeless Point Breeze; you find the trees either in neighborhoods where twins dominate, like Spruce Hill in University City and the neighborhoods of the Upper Northwest (Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill), or in our affluent residential district that occupies the south half of Center City (Society Hill, Washington Square West, Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square).

You might want to rewind your mental video of the areas you visited and see whether I'm not onto something here.
Ironically, I find the Philly suburbs/metro to arguably be the most tree canopied.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1000flowersbloom View Post
Thanks so much for the great response! I'm still on the fence about my preferred city size. The longer I'm in NYC the more I miss being able to get anywhere in town on my bike. I'm thinking about heading down to check out Richmond for a few days sometime soon. Although it's so hard to judge a city by 2 or 3 days of being there.

Like I said, maybe I just got a bad impression of Philly. I had actually planned to move there before NYC, but got a late acceptance from a school in Brooklyn and ended up here.

When I visited Philly, I stayed down in Point Breeze for a couple nights and with another friend in West Philly (Spruce Hill?) for a couple nights. I liked West Philly more than Point Breeze/Passyunk, it reminded me of Portland to some extent. I wasn't blown away by City Center, but Fish Town seemed pretty cute. I had my bicycle with me and it seemed fairly easy to get around. I did ride up to Temple area (where I'd be going to school) and it seemed a little out of the way from things. But like I said, really hard to get a vibe from a few days there.

I guess "dirty" isn't really the right way to put it because the trash doesn't really bother me. It's more the lack of green space, the constant noise (yelling, honking, etc) and just general aggression/despair in the neighborhood that gets me down. I also think a big part of me was looking forward to exploring New England and all the states in close vicinity to NYC. Now I'm realizing that being in school full time and not owning a vehicle might make that a lot harder than I had imagined.

Lastly, it's already getting pretty cold here in New York. How bad are the winters actually? I feel like I'm really not looking forward to trudging through snow (or even freezing temps) back and forth to school everyday. I think I'd be more up to give it a chance if things were going better but it's just another negative on my list at the moment.

Thanks again for the thoughtful response. It definitely got me thinking. Maybe going back to school full time and adapting to the East Coast might be a little much for me. Maybe I would have a better time just spending my summers exploring out here. Or maybe I just need a little bit more affordable/laid back home base while I am finishing up my schooling.
New England isn't paved with gold. It's no different than the rest of the Northeast. History. Universities. Sports. Accents. Four seasons. Provincial. Congested. Etc.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Not in Quebec
244 posts, read 92,152 times
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I'm actually wondering the same question, Portland vs Philadelphia, and am big on the same things you are looking for OP, chiefly a strong underground/DIY arts scene. I'm a big fan of Portland's music scene, which made me really interested in the city, but as you mentioned there are some pretty serious changes underway in Portland, and I've read quite a bit about all the tensions and havoc it has wrought. Philadelphia may not have the green allure of Portland, but from my forays into the city, even for a little while, I've seen tons of underground art. It's fantastic. I'm trying to listen more to the Philadelphia music scene, and I'm starting to find some amazing groups. I've heard here and there that Philly's surge in popularity has made it difficult for some artists to remain, but I think things are settling. After all, Philadelphia is currently 500k people fewer than its peak around the mid 20th century, so there is always room.

I wouldn't leave out Baltimore either. My friend is there and she's having a great time playing in a band around the city.
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