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Old 07-30-2008, 02:41 PM
Location: Madison, WI
29 posts, read 80,504 times
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Hi I am a 57 year old currently single female (RN), with dreams of relocationg to a more moderate climate. I live in Madison,Wisconsin right now and want to move somewhere where I don't have to own a shovel!! I've enjoyed the diverse, progressive, liberal atmosphere here and hope to find somewhere similar. Also lots of variety for music..I have sisters living in Denver, Scottsdale and a daughter in San Diego. I have visited ABQ a couple of times, but didn't really see much of the Uptown area. I loved the weather while I was thereI stayed with a friend who lives blocks away from the university. I guess I'm wondering if ABQ or Rio Rancho would be a good fit for a woman my age moving alone (well, with 3 cats!) Is it easy to make friends there? I'm hoping to make some new connections and maybe even find my soul mate!
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:01 PM
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
3,598 posts, read 7,312,518 times
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Haven't ever been to Wisconsin, but based on the people I know from there, almost anywhere in NM will be a tough adjustment if you like a Wisconsin-style college-ish semiurban sociable atmosphere.

Arizona would be as well, though Tempe and Scottsdale might be closer to acceptable.

In much of NM and parts of Arizona, a shovel is still necessary every now and then.

Don't take my word for it. Hop on the next flight and tour both. Only you can answer if a place is acceptable for you.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:09 PM
Location: Phoenix metro
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I can tell you right now (based on my travels to AZ and NM), youre not gonna find anything remotely close to Madison. Tempe would be your best fit, but its still not anywhere near the level of Madison. What about Austin, TX? Thats definitely a lot closer to Madison than anything NM or AZ can offer.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:54 PM
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I wouldnt recommend Albuquerque. Not too much to do and kinda hard to meet people. Ive never been to Rio Rancho so I can't say. I think AZ and TX might have better options.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:39 PM
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
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rebabeso -

I am in my young 30s, a male; but I have lived a large chunk of my life in the Milwaukee area, although am obvioulsy quite familiar with Madison as well. Very recently (03-07), my wife and I resided in Albuquerque.

Sure, ABQ isn't Madison. For better or worse. ABQ is loosely more comparable to a Milwaukee than a Madison - Madison is a fairly small-big city (comparable in size to a Des Moinse, IA) and a college town (comparable to Ann Arbor, MI or Boulder CO, etc.).

Madison is a decent town. For me, it is too small and the political thing there doesn't do it for me, but whatever. I guess admittedly I am not a "college town" type of guy. But having said that, I wouldn't disagree in the least that it is a very nice town to reside in.

I think if you liked that Madison vibe, you'd fit in quite nicely - contrary to some others' opinions here - in the Albuquerque area in the areas around Downtown, UNM, Nob Hill, etc. I would say that these areas are much more laid back and accepting than much of Madison, but are very similar in many ways with much focus around the university and its lifestyle.

While sure, you might like a shovel in ABQ once in a while, most winters you wouldn't *need* one. Folks that talk about needing shovels in ABQ haven't lived in climates like you and I have. I lived in one of the - by far - top 2 snowiest winters in record-keeping history in ABQ in 2006, and even then, with the top all time snowfall, most of the folks on my block and surrounding blocks didn't have snow shovels. At that point, it would've helped drastically to have one, but that was a once-in-a-century kind of thing. ABQ averages 7 to 11 inches of snowfall annually - most of which melts quite rapidly. Compared to what we deal with up here in MKE (or you in Madison), the snowfall is laughable - enough to occasionally see it, but so little that it actually impacts your life.

You would love it when it *does* snow in ABQ. The places loses its mind and long-time ABQeans start talking about their town like it is Buffalo, NY. This is after a 2.5 inch snowfall. Schools will close. The locals will go nuts, huddling in. It is just a different mentality.

With what you like about Madison and what you are interested in, I *would* strongly urge you to consider Albuquerque - again, in the Nob Hill, UNM, Downtown areas primarily.

I would not suggest you consider Rio Rancho. I personally love RR (although prefer many parts of ABQ), but RR is more akin to maybe a Brookfield or an Oconomowoc outside of Milwaukee (if you are familiar) than Madison. Quite suburban. Quite standard suburban residential and basic commercial developments.

As for the towns in AZ, Flagstaff might be the closest you'd like, but that wouldn't be a significant "mild" upgrade from Madison. I respectfully disagree about Tempe...it is a college town, but in a much different way than Madison. Tempe would possibly be your best bet, but then you'd be dealing with 6 gruelingly scorching hot months and be akin to Madison in the "drunken, wild, fun college partying and cool bars / restaurants" sense but not in the sense I believe you are coming from. Scottsdale doesn't seem like it'd be your cup of tea - more Orange County, CA than Madison.

The only thing about Albuquerque is - again, it is much bigger city than Madison - and with that, you have the pros and cons of it. It is much more moderate politically than Madison, but again, in the areas I suggest, you'd have more of the Madison mindset - although again, not as strongly and in your face.

ABQ has 300+ days of sunshine per year, gorgeous views and sunrises/sunsets, extremely friendly and laid back folk, awesome cuisine (New Mexican), tremendously unique culture, and golf is a year-round sport; average highs of 45-to-55 in the winter, 65-85 in the springs/falls, and 80-to-low 100s in the summers...just perfect temps.

Coming from the Midwest, unless you are attached to the lakes and the half-of-a-year of greenery, you might just really love ABQ in the UNM area.

Oh, and mosquitoes are a next-to-never event in ABQ too. (This is another thing I chuckle to long-time ABQeans about...they say "you can find mosquitoes in ABQ"...ummm...they've never lived in the upper Midwest. I have more mosquito bites here taking out my garbage than I had in 4+ years in ABQ).
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:21 AM
1,763 posts, read 5,261,146 times
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rebabeso - If you are sure you'd like to try out Albuquerque, I think the areas around UNM/Nob Hill may work out for you. Much more walkable [in an urban sense] than many parts of the city.

I haven't heard Santa Fe mentioned yet, but it may well fit the bill, although it's a bit smaller than Madison. Although it colder than ABQ, it's probably quite a bit warmer & more sunny than Madison.

Another recommendation for NM is Silver City, with a population of 10K. I would describe it as progressive, although not necessarily liberal. Very friendly people there, and I could see it working nicely for a 50-something. I can't speak to their singles scene, though.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:15 PM
Location: Madison, WI
29 posts, read 80,504 times
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All very helpful suggestions..I have visited ABQ twice and may try to get there again in October. The Enchanted Homes Parade is always fun! All depends on where I can get a job too, of course. I am a bit leery of the Phoenix summers, but think it may be an easier place to "date" at my age. Anyone been to Tucson and how does that compare?
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:44 PM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
707 posts, read 2,649,593 times
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Tucson and ABQ used to be very similar except for climate. But Tucson has since become a hotbed for wealthy retirees seeking a sunny climate. There are many new upscale developments on the fringes of town, with a Ritz Carlton Resort under construction. Like Phoenix many of the big name Luxury Retailers are taking notice and opening shop there. Growth there is happening at a faster rate than here in ABQ and Tucson is slowly pulling away in population. While many great things are happening in beautiful Tucson, I believe ABQ is positioning itself better in the jobs department and smart growth. I also feel the Sandia Mountains are much prettier than anything in Tucson, El Paso, Phoenix, or Las Vegas. There is more greenery in the Sandia's which make them more pleasant to me. Tucson is certainly warmer which is evident by the resort feel all over the city with Palm Trees and Such (I love Palms). However I find ABQ has done a better job of growing and keeping true to its history. The other factor that is important to consider is Cost of Living. Homes are much more affordable here in ABQ and our median income is slightly higher as well.
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