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Old 05-19-2010, 06:23 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,465 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey gang,

Just stumbled upon you guys today, thought I'd throw myself into the deep end. (Don't flame my post just yet.)

I'm a 28-year-old lifelong California native who just took a job in Fairfield, Connecticut. I've lived briefly in the UK and South Africa, but no states other than CA.

I'm a total CT noob and have spent a total of six hours in your great state.

I guess I'm asking what I should look for in an apartment, what I should pay, what surprises are in store for me, etc.

I've got a good new job and can afford a decent place. I pay $700 for one bedroom a nice 3BR place ($2100 total) here in San Diego. Is that far less than CT? I've heard it's expensive. I was paying a grand for a studio in LA when I was in grad school.

I'm not really a New York fan (despite the fact that I love music and urban fixed gear riding and artsy culture and that sort of thing...) so proximity to the city isn't really a selling point. I guess I'd rather be closer to work than closer to NYC but I know loads of people reverse commute up the highway from places like Stamford, etc.

What are your thoughts about Fairfield proper? Too sleepy for a single 28-yr-old? I'm pretty bookish and looking forward to a quieter pace (without the California dude-bros.) Where do young(ish) professional people live in Connecticut?

Is it possible to bike to work most of the year? How bad is the snow/winter? Should I bring my truck or sell it before I move? etc etc.

Culture-wise what are the big shocks? I'm pretty apolitical/liberal, a vegetarian, former journalist, etc. Should I get a golden retriever? Do I need to buy sweaters and boat shoes? =)

I don't really know anyone on the East Coast and this is a bunch of firsts for me.

Thanks.

EDIT: I've been reading a lot about lyme disease too. How much of a real threat is it? I grew up with ticks around in Santa Barbara -- we always just tucked our pants into our socks and didn't worry. Is it much more intense/virulent in Connecticut (the namesake being Lyme, etc.)

Last edited by CAguyMoving2CT; 05-19-2010 at 06:41 PM..
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:55 PM
 
262 posts, read 519,421 times
Reputation: 127
Welcome to CT. Stamford is a very nice city and I believe it has a good singles scene for professionals. Having said that, if your job is in Fairfield why not live in Fairfield? It has a really nice mix of people and is pretty veggie friendly. You can always go to Stamford on the weekends if you want to be on the scene. There are a couple of strictly veggie places in town plus you can get veg at a lot of other places (some examples off the top of my head include Thai, Falafel, Veggie burgers, Italian, burritos*, Indian).
In town try Catch a Healthy Habit or Health in a Hurry. The former is a raw food spot and they do good smoothies, the latter is more classic veg food. Think hearty homemade stews. One town over in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport you'll find Bloodroot which is part feminist bookstore and part vegetarian restaurant. The location is amazing if a bit out of the way. Then there's Green Gourmet to Go. They are also in the Black Rock section of town and in my opinion the best of the bunch. I think all the above places have websites so google them for more specific info.
A quick look on Craigslist shows a pretty big spread in rents so check it out and see if any of it looks doable.

*burritos here are nothing like they are in CA you may have dreams about them for a while after you move
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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You sound like a laid back guy who would like the scene in Black Rock. You could rent a room there for about what you're paying now, but it will likely be in a multifamily house 60-100 years old. That could be a shock for someone from CA.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Location: W Hartford, CT
1,789 posts, read 3,449,806 times
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Stamford, South Norwalk (aka SoNo) and Black Rock all sound like places you might enjoy. All of these places have nice downtown areas with trendy places to hang out and meet people. You might also like Fairfield itself, although it's more subdued since it's actually a town and more expensive.

re: Lyme disease, it's true that the name derives from Old Lyme here in Conn, but if you're not deep in the woods or in knee-high grass there's no need to be overly concerned. I go for long walks on trails in the reservoir and when hiking and I've never had a problem.

If you haven't experience winter in the Northeast, you may be in for an eye-opening experience. But no worries, just get a sweater and a warmn coat and you'll be good. Andif you're living near the shore it's a bit milder and there's less snow there.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,541 posts, read 8,204,682 times
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I second the suggestions of SoNo and Black Rock. Black Rock is cheaper and closer, so that might be a better option. To the OP - I sent you a private message.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:59 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silli View Post
You sound like a laid back guy who would like the scene in Black Rock. You could rent a room there for about what you're paying now, but it will likely be in a multifamily house 60-100 years old. That could be a shock for someone from CA.
What's Black Rock all about?

And when you say a "multifamily house," what do you mean? Like a mansion subdivided into units?

That sounds reasonably cool, but I'm not a sharin'-the-hall-bathroom kind of guy...is that the typical scene?

My new bosses mentioned something about renting "carriage houses"...New England guesthouses on ancient property? I literally have no idea what I'm getting into!
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:02 PM
 
2,766 posts, read 8,853,158 times
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No, a multi-family is a home that has one apartment on each floor. They are generally older homes...not mansions by any means...we have more multi family rentals here then we do apartment complexes which they have more of out in CA.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:05 PM
 
490 posts, read 1,561,080 times
Reputation: 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAguyMoving2CT View Post
Hey gang,

Just stumbled upon you guys today, thought I'd throw myself into the deep end. (Don't flame my post just yet.)

I'm a 28-year-old lifelong California native who just took a job in Fairfield, Connecticut. I've lived briefly in the UK and South Africa, but no states other than CA.

I'm a total CT noob and have spent a total of six hours in your great state.

I guess I'm asking what I should look for in an apartment, what I should pay, what surprises are in store for me, etc.

I've got a good new job and can afford a decent place. I pay $700 for one bedroom a nice 3BR place ($2100 total) here in San Diego. Is that far less than CT? I've heard it's expensive. I was paying a grand for a studio in LA when I was in grad school.

I'm not really a New York fan (despite the fact that I love music and urban fixed gear riding and artsy culture and that sort of thing...) so proximity to the city isn't really a selling point. I guess I'd rather be closer to work than closer to NYC but I know loads of people reverse commute up the highway from places like Stamford, etc.

What are your thoughts about Fairfield proper? Too sleepy for a single 28-yr-old? I'm pretty bookish and looking forward to a quieter pace (without the California dude-bros.) Where do young(ish) professional people live in Connecticut?

Is it possible to bike to work most of the year? How bad is the snow/winter? Should I bring my truck or sell it before I move? etc etc.

Culture-wise what are the big shocks? I'm pretty apolitical/liberal, a vegetarian, former journalist, etc. Should I get a golden retriever? Do I need to buy sweaters and boat shoes? =)

I don't really know anyone on the East Coast and this is a bunch of firsts for me.

Thanks.

EDIT: I've been reading a lot about lyme disease too. How much of a real threat is it? I grew up with ticks around in Santa Barbara -- we always just tucked our pants into our socks and didn't worry. Is it much more intense/virulent in Connecticut (the namesake being Lyme, etc.)
I, too, think you will fit just right in CT because you seem down to earth. I think since you are into books and a quieter lifestyle, Fairfield may work for living too. I see lots of people reading on the beach even during fall/spring. Plus, Fairfield has two or three nice libraries. You'd probably like to hang out at the Borders bookstore where you can have a coffee and read their books at the same time. Rents have come down in Fairfield and it is possible to find a whole apt for $1000. At that price, the place will most likely be in a multifamily house.

About the culture in CT towns, people do keep to themselves but it is still possible to meet nice people. Winters are not too bad and I see people biking from spring to fall.

Wish you best luck with your relo!
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,541 posts, read 8,204,682 times
Reputation: 5791
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAguyMoving2CT View Post
What's Black Rock all about?

And when you say a "multifamily house," what do you mean? Like a mansion subdivided into units?

That sounds reasonably cool, but I'm not a sharin'-the-hall-bathroom kind of guy...is that the typical scene?

My new bosses mentioned something about renting "carriage houses"...New England guesthouses on ancient property? I literally have no idea what I'm getting into!
You should visit the area and look around.

Multi-family houses were built to handle more than one family, and they generally have at least 2 self-contained apartments, meaning kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc.

Black Rock is a nice section of Bridgeport, which is right next door to Fairfield. Very close. It has some cool bars, restaurants, etc. It's also right on the water and has a great park for jogging, biking, etc.
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
1,615 posts, read 2,418,054 times
Reputation: 1006
You'll get along just fine. BTW when you were born I was living in Chula Vista in those apts right off the 805. Before that College Ave and before that B and 24th Street.
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