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Old 03-24-2007, 08:19 PM
 
156 posts, read 653,368 times
Reputation: 78

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bmurphy,
Well, if NYC is not off your list, I have to tell you that we do have some great beaches, not only here in NJ, but in NY there's Jones Beach, Brooklyn has Coney Island , there's Long Island and all the beaches there, and the Hamptons, wonderful beaches , big gay communities in a lot of towns too.
Asbury Park is cool, very gay, great beach and boardwalk, and 1 hr from NYC. The Jersey Shore is full of nice beaches and open-minded people, for the most part. You can walk the boardwalk from Ocean Grove to Belmar to Spring Lake to Sea Girt, like 4 miles each way, along with other walkers, runners and bikers, any time of year.
I am a beach nut also, and have been on all the beaches around NYC & NJ...they're clean, water is clean too, and lots of young people.
good luck. You can always send me a private message, if you need to know anything more specific or anything.
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:21 PM
 
Location: PA
669 posts, read 2,903,601 times
Reputation: 278
Thanks irie. I've been to some of the beaches in Southern New Jersey -- I LOVE Cape May and Wildwood -- and I've heard of Asbury Park, but never been there yet. I should check it out.

So many CHOICES!
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,124,096 times
Reputation: 2601
Default Santa Cruz

Okay, I missed some time here on the threads.

Santa Cruz: yes, very gay friendly. Actually, my daughter is close to your age -- she's 17 and still in high school, and she was just talking to me the other day about how many kids who are gay, lesbian or bi are coming out now at this age at her high school. She has a few gay guy friends whom she said were struggling with their gayness, but now have fully accepted it, and how glad she is for them (!) -- THAT is the California attitude.

Also, there IS a school of cosmetology in Santa Cruz -- in fact, we use it a lot. My daughter likes to fool around with her hair color, cuts, etc., and we often go there because it is much less expensive to have hair coloring, cuts, and styles with the students. Plus, the students will spend a lot of time with the client, and they're usually pretty young, so my daughter feels comfortable with them. Here is a link to the school:

http://www.shorelineworks.org/cosme.shtml

Now, I must tell you that I came to Santa Cruz 12 years ago with a nearly 6-year-old (my daughter), and at first I didn't think I'd make it here. I finally found an ad for a room for rent with a guy and his two kids and took it because I needed to get her enrolled in school, or move. Then I found a job in the paper -- not high-paying but it was a foot in the door.

THEN I decided I could use a government job that paid more and had better benefits, so I took all the exams I could qualify for at the Santa Cruz County Personnel office -- they have what is called an "interest list" which means you choose the positions that you think you would qualify for, and whenever the tests come up, they notify you of them. If you are in the top ten on the list, you will be called right away for an interview. If you are in the next ten (11-20), then you will be called after they have interviewed the first ten. I took something that was not in my field, however, it has worked out. Although I was actually a supervisor in a private agency, I am paid...get this...about $25,000 MORE a year at the County!! Hard to believe, but I am glad now that I made the change, and took the chance. Here is the Personnel link: http://www.jobaps.com/sc/

Without kids, you are much more flexible. Would you be coming to town with a friend or on your own?

I've said in other threads, and I know others have echoed it, that if you really feel pulled in a certain direction that you CAN make it! I know people in other cities, and in my home town who are shocked that I am living in one of the "most expensive" cities in the country -- however, I AM doing it -- and as a single parent with a kid!! That says a lot.

My point is, take a couple of trips -- I've already talked about the Greyhound Discovery Pass, which allows one to buy a one-price pass for a certain number of days, and then you can hop on and off the bus at any place that has a station -- I did that at one point when checking things out around the country -- it worked out fine. Sometimes I had friends in different cities to stay with, other times I took a Motel 6 or something. But I was able to see the terrain, get place to place, sleep on the bus to save money, and eat fruit and snacks that I brought along. It's a cheapo way to go, and it can work. Not for everyone, I agree, however, for me it was fine. If I needed to stay in a place longer, I used public transportation or rented a car. Here is the link for the Discovery Pass:

http://www.discoverypass.com/

As for prices in California, they do vary. If you are in Eureka, it is MUCH less expensive than San Francisco; LA tends to be very pricey; here in Santa Cruz, lots of young people have roommates because the weather is nice, there are tons of beaches and surfing, and lots of biking and hiking, so people tend to be outdoors a lot. Being indoors with roommates is less time than in a cloudy, grey, wet, cold place.

Now, Monterey and Carmel are quite lovely, but more conservative. I don't think you'll find a more accepting and tolerant community than the San Francisco/Santa Cruz/Berkeley areas. I would say about a third of the people I work with are gay or lesbian -- and very, very open about it!! We frequently have baby showers for gays having kids, and my post office box is near a co-worker who regularly shows me his "Out" magazine. VERY OPEN HERE!!

Of course, in other parts of the country it is not as accepted, and I would guess that there are "underground" gay communities -- here, it is just an accepted part of life. It is what it is -- some people are straight, some are gay, some are black, some are white, some are creative, some are techies....you get the idea -- we're all individuals. People who do not feel that way would not fit in here, and would either be defensive, or just move.

Personally, if I were you (and I'm not, so I'm only surmising), I'd pick a place that appeals to me geographically, a place that I know I can be myself, a place that has opportunities.

I'm from the northeast and a very cheap cost-of-living city - out here it is much more expensive, however, my salary is about 3 to 4 times more than I would get back there, I have less in the way of heating bills or air conditioning (the ocean breezes here cool things down, and there is much lower humidity than the eastcoast), and you only need one set of clothing, except for a warm coat on rainy days.

My daughter actually tells me that she is grateful that I moved her to Santa Cruz. She is aware that back east it was quite different, and she is thankful that she was mostly raised here. I frequently remind her that it is expensive here and that she will need to continue to pursue her education to stay here, but she is adamant -- this is where she wants to be.

I just think that you should go with your heart -- with what pulls you. You are still young -- you have time to try things out, make a few mistakes, and still be okay! You are lucky that you are thinking about your future now, where you want to be, what qualities you are seeking, and are actively pursuing your dream! I congratulate you on that, and I wish you the very best!!
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:41 PM
 
Location: PA
669 posts, read 2,903,601 times
Reputation: 278
Thanks VERY much for the long, informative post Wisteria. I'll check into that school, btw. As for Santa Cruz, it seems REALLY NICE, even though it was only suggested a little while ago, it seems perfect.
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, FL
523 posts, read 2,594,037 times
Reputation: 185
Clearwater beach sounds like the perfect place for you. I definately would not live in Ybor City. to near the housing projects and crime. Nice place to visit at nite life, but dont walk alone.
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