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Old 06-18-2009, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Winnetka, IL & Rolling Hills, CA
1,273 posts, read 2,763,219 times
Reputation: 537

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Quote:
Originally Posted by need2m0ve View Post
We are a young family with 2 girls (7 and 4) living in Chicago considering moving to either Stamford, CT or Southern California (San Diego, Orange County or north LA if it makes sense). We'd be doing this on our own ... so no job relos etc.

We'd like to know what makes most sense for us. And if someone can give us some pros/cons on each. Important things to us:

a. Schools... Schools... Schools. Good schools are a must
b. Economy (being able to find jobs in IT)
c. Low-crime, safe neighborhoods
d. Family friendly (parks, things for kids to do etc.)

Your Opinions would be much appreciated.
Chicago's economy while bad is better than Stamford/New York metro and Southern California's. I wouldn't move anywhere without a job. That is a very bad decision.

California's schools in general do not have the standards of the schools in Illinois and Connecticut. California has some good schools and most of them are located in Orange County and there are very prestigious private and public schools in Northern Los Angeles County. San Diego County is a mixed bag when it comes to schools.

IT jobs are probably hardest to find in Fairfield County, CT. Connecticut isn't know for IT, nor is Chicago for that matter. I think Southern California would have the largest IT sector, but jobs are scarce right now in Southern California.

There are plenty of low crime areas in both Southern California and Fairfield County, CT. IMO Chicago is the most family friendly metro as a whole of those mentioned, but Fairfield County, CT is a better place to raise kids IMO of the two.

All of these areas are very expensive, but coming from Chicago I am assuming you are comfortable with the million-dollar+ price tags of the homes in family friendly areas.

To give you an idea Fairfield County, CT closely resembles Chicago's North Shore and the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County also closely resembles Chicago's North Shore without the water.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:54 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
372 posts, read 738,266 times
Reputation: 192
Question Climate is important to the quality of life

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExNooYawk View Post
I agree with everything you say, but you are ignoring the downside. Winter. It's long, cold and gray. From November until April, you can only look forward to the occasional nice day. That's a big drawback for a lot of people. Other than Winter, it's perfect. :rolleyes:
I would agree that the climate and natural geography of a region would be among the most important characteristics to consider when deciding where to live. If one enjoys being outdoors alot, as I do, I wouldn't like to live in a region that has a cold, damp climate, as Connecticut is known to have. Currently I live in Arizona, which usually has a warm, dry climate. I enjoy the climate here, even during a hot month like June.

While California does have many problems, it does feature an excellent climate, and there is a great deal of spectacular scenery. Southern California borders the Pacific Ocean and there are mountains that exceeed 11,000 feet in elevation, which is something that Connecticut cannot match.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,971 posts, read 12,262,095 times
Reputation: 4771
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highpointer View Post
there are mountains that exceeed 11,000 feet in elevation, which is something that Connecticut cannot match.
Ain't that the truth! Hard to imagine that Avon Mountain is called a mountain after being in Big Bear!
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,337 posts, read 6,048,407 times
Reputation: 1055
Quote:
Originally Posted by need2m0ve View Post
We are a young family with 2 girls (7 and 4) living in Chicago considering moving to either Stamford, CT or Southern California (San Diego, Orange County or north LA if it makes sense). We'd be doing this on our own ... so no job relos etc.

We'd like to know what makes most sense for us. And if someone can give us some pros/cons on each. Important things to us:

a. Schools... Schools... Schools. Good schools are a must
b. Economy (being able to find jobs in IT)
c. Low-crime, safe neighborhoods
d. Family friendly (parks, things for kids to do etc.)

Your Opinions would be much appreciated.
Hope you decide to make Fairfield County your home!
a. Regarding schools--I'd recommend Fairfield, CT--just outside of Bridgeport. Schools are outstanding. My daughter is enrolled there and the attention given to each student is tremendous. Really excellent education.
b. IT jobs are found in pockets of certain industries. They are tough to find, depending on what specific industry your husband is in within IT. But the great thing is that living in Fairfield County allows for lots of options as long as someone is open to commuting--NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Northern NJ, and of course Fairfield Counties are all accessible.
c. Low crime is the staple here in Fairfield County. With the exception of most of Bridgeport, pockets of Norwalk and Stamford, all towns and areas here are extremely safe and ideal for families.
d. It is a great quality of life in Fairfield County. Parks, outdoor recreation, sports access, and many cultural institutions are here and within very close range.

I hope you wind up picking SW CT. It's expensive, but ideal for family life.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,663,478 times
Reputation: 1919
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExNooYawk View Post
I agree with everything you say, but you are ignoring the downside. Winter. It's long, cold and gray. From November until April, you can only look forward to the occasional nice day. That's a big drawback for a lot of people. Other than Winter, it's perfect.
Well, as someone who spent a few “winters” and “summers” along the California coast let me dispel a myth:

While obviously coastal California has milder winters than the Tri-State area …summers in coastal California leave a lot to be desired. Granted the whole Eastern US has had an unusually cool and damp spring this year… but summer in the Tri-State area is typical hotter, sunnier, and nicer than on the California coast. Last May, I left an 80 F beach in Connecticut, when I landed at LAX it was cold, foggy, and 61 F. The whole months of May, June, and part of July in Santa Barbara was foggy, cold, and damp. We wore JACKETS” on the beach in California in late June! Trust me the “May gray”, “June Gloom”, are no joke. By the way…the Pacific is Freeeeeezing cold. If your used to warm ocean water on East Coast beaches in Long Island Sound or points south - forget it...the Pacific is freezing off California! The ocean currents come right of Alaska (lol).
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:34 AM
 
5,250 posts, read 3,905,068 times
Reputation: 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavehunter007 View Post
Well, as someone who spent a few “winters” and “summers” along the California coast let me dispel a myth:

While obviously coastal California has milder winters than the Tri-State area …summers in coastal California leave a lot to be desired. Granted the whole Eastern US has had an unusually cool and damp spring this year… but summer in the Tri-State area is typical hotter, sunnier, and nicer than on the California coast. Last May, I left an 80 F beach in Connecticut, when I landed at LAX it was cold, foggy, and 61 F. The whole months of May, June, and part of July in Santa Barbara was foggy, cold, and damp. We wore JACKETS” on the beach in California in late June! Trust me the “May gray”, “June Gloom”, are no joke. By the way…the Pacific is Freeeeeezing cold. If your used to warm ocean water on East Coast beaches in Long Island Sound or points south - forget it...the Pacific is freezing off California! The ocean currents come right of Alaska (lol).
You can swim in the ocean off Long Island and Rhode Island for about a month and a half a year. Wouldn't call that warm.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,663,478 times
Reputation: 1919
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp03 View Post
You can swim in the ocean off Long Island and Rhode Island for about a month and a half a year. Wouldn't call that warm.
Obviously you don’t spend too much time in the ocean (lol). The beaches from Rhode Island to New Jersey have people swimming from late May to mid October. In fact, late September and early October has the warmest water of the whole year. Last fall, there were people swimming in Westerly (RI/CT line) a week before Halloween.

Let me guess…you live in northern Connecticut (lol).
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Groton, CT
182 posts, read 339,595 times
Reputation: 100
Wavehunter007 has a good point about the beaches. I was in San Quintin Mexico a couple of years ago doing some service projects around the area, and we decided to go to the beach... in the middle of August... It was about 103 degrees outside and none of us could stay in the water for more than ten minutes at a time because we were literally turning blue. The water off of CT and even RI is warmer in the middle of May than the water off of the west coast of Mexico is in August. Maybe the water here isn't exactly Gulf-of-Mexico warm, but it is far from as cold as the Pacific. I couldn't imagine trying to legitimately swim farther north in say, San Diego.


To comment on the original post, I have never been to school in California, but I have been to school in Connecticut, and then moved to Virginia, and I can personally attest to the difference in educational standards between Connecticut and even a state such as Virginia which itself (much as California) has its fair share of very very excellent and prestigious schools. I had never been a slack off in school while living in Connecticut, I would be quite attentive and put forth quite a bit of effort to try and stay ahead in class, then we moved to Virginia, and we were literally learning things that I had learned 2-3 years earlier in Connecticut. I began sleeping in class on a daily basis and still held the top spot in my class. I had a reading level that was slightly higher than average in CT and was considered 5 years advanced when I was in Virginia. I am sure that there were probably much better schools in other places in Virginia, and that there are probably some pretty rough and avoidable schools here in Connecticut, but the overall standards in CT are higher than anywhere else. Private schools in CT are not as prevalent as in many other parts of the country for the simple fact that our public schools are generally very good.

CT is generally recognized as being a very education oriented state, and it is very true. We are very education oriented almost to the point of sometimes excluding many people that no longer value those services in their lives, and there is no huge alarm sounding here saying that we need to change that.

As for Climate, it really all depends on your taste. If you prefer the dry warm steady climate of the southwest, then obviously SoCal is for you in that regard; but if you like the climate of Chicago, with the changing seasons and some humidity, then I would say Connecticut is for you. I have been to SoCal in the summer, and I have been to Chicago in the winter, and I can guarantee you that Connecticut's climate is much more mild than either, especially along the coast. We generally don't have to deal with too much snow, as in Chicago, and the temperatures usually don't get as cold, and definitely don't stay as cold, as they do in Chicago. Yes the sky does get grey and cloudy for most of the winter, but that is how the winter is across the entirety of the northern half of north america during the winter. As a matter of fact, I was in Peru a couple of years ago and that is how their winter is, and they have a rainforrest. Grey and cloudy is normal for winter across the globe.

During the summer, the temperatures usually stay between about 70 and 95 degrees, and if you are near the coast you usually have a nice moderate sea breeze to keep things cool. The downfall however is the humidity. As with all of the east coast, we suffer from humidity. Pretty harsh humidity as a matter of fact. Humidity that you won't feel in SoCal. If you don't mind humidity so much, then the summers here are prime. Spring and Autumn can not be beat here.

The economy in CT is not so much focused on IT jobs, however It looks like you have clearly have experience and skill, so you could probably find a job with a company in the Stamford area, or if you don't mind commuting (as it would seem seeing as you were talking about flying to work a couple times a week) then you could almost definitely find a job in NY.

CT has plenty of family friendly activities. I personally am an outdoors kind of person, and found that, having lived in Texas for a year, I much preferred the activity climate of CT over the southwest. There are tons of beautiful parks all across CT, beaches, museums, entertainment venues, quaint downtown sections, and even rural communities with farms and orchards that you can access. The best part of it all is that even from the furthest corner of Connecticut, you can reach pretty much everything within two hours. and just beyond that two hours is all of New England and the Mid-Atlantic. There are tons of family activities available here, including winter activities.

I hope you decide to make Connecticut your home. We would love to have you here.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Fairfield County, CT
12,011 posts, read 12,609,927 times
Reputation: 3324
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrotonMan View Post
During the summer, the temperatures usually stay between about 70 and 95 degrees, and if you are near the coast you usually have a nice moderate sea breeze to keep things cool. The downfall however is the humidity. As with all of the east coast, we suffer from humidity. Pretty harsh humidity as a matter of fact. Humidity that you won't feel in SoCal. If you don't mind humidity so much, then the summers here are prime. Spring and Autumn can not be beat here.
Very true - also don't forget about "June Gloom" that SoCal deals with every May-June. It's cloudy and can get chilly.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:50 PM
 
5,250 posts, read 3,905,068 times
Reputation: 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavehunter007 View Post
Obviously you don’t spend too much time in the ocean (lol). The beaches from Rhode Island to New Jersey have people swimming from late May to mid October. In fact, late September and early October has the warmest water of the whole year. Last fall, there were people swimming in Westerly (RI/CT line) a week before Halloween.

Let me guess…you live in northern Connecticut (lol).
What??

If you want to swim in 65 degrees? The ocean temp off Rhode Island is over 70 exactly 1 month a year ...look it up.
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