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Old 12-04-2010, 01:27 PM
 
119 posts, read 239,895 times
Reputation: 43

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I need help making a decision. I can’t decide where to live, and I really have nothing holding me back from going somewhere. I have lived in Ohio all my life (grew up around Sandusky, lived in Columbus and Akron each for about 5 years), but have visited most of the major US cities. I am now back in the Sandusky, OH area....and I have found it to be mind-numbing. It is cold here (as is every winter), and I miss living near a college town. Of the places I’ve lived in Ohio, I can see myself in Columbus again. I have always looked at other cities across the US, however, as places that I would love to live...I need a change! Well, I am going to take the plunge this summer, I just need a few pointers from those who have actually lived elsewhere.

Here are the MUST HAVES that I am looking for in a city:
-near a major university and city (within at least a half hour)
-have good hiking/outdoor activities nearby
-have water (lake, ocean) within a half hour
-nice people who are nonjudgmental. Not TOO hipster, but not TOO conservative
- a decent singles scene (which usually comes with the above qualities)
-a GREAT live music scene of ALL genres
-a clean city with nice shopping and cute neighborhoods

Things that I like about climate, etc.:
-Not too extreme in terms of temps – not below freezing in winter, and not hot and humid all summer
- I would like there to be nice rural areas just outside of the city
- A safe city would be nice. I grew up around Cleveland and Akron, and those are not places that I would ever walk around after dark (or even drive around after dark)
- A nice city that I could eventually move out to a more rural/suburban area around, but still have access to the culture in the city.

I would like to find people that have similar interests:
- People with positive dispositions, hiking, kayaking, going to see rock shows, jazz shows, and blues shows, studying and going back to college to get advanced degrees, traveling, and taking an interest and accepting people.

Do any cities come to mind when you read the above “criteria?” I would tell you where I have been thinking, but I don’t want to influence anyone’s thoughts....I’d love to see where your expertise will take this!

Thank you SO much for input! I know that was a lot to read. Haha.

PS - I'm a 27 year old, single female and a high school teacher. I've toyed with the idea of going back to school full time to get a doctorate in English Lit so I can teach at the college level, or just get a teaching job. I'm pretty flexible and feel like I want to go wherever the current may take me (as long as I am getting paid or am able to get school loans and some sort of health insurance...haha.)
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:04 PM
 
726 posts, read 1,874,202 times
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Since you're from Sandusky I assume your idea of a lake is the "Great Lakes". Since most of the Great Lake cities are as cold or colder than Ohio that leaves you with the coasts. The Atlantic side will have more humidity, and since you are looking for hiking that probably means the Pacific coast. So you are looking at California, Oregon, Washington. I don't know about the live music scene but maybe Portland?
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:34 AM
 
56,991 posts, read 81,344,865 times
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Maybe a small city like Saratoga Springs near Albany NY, Lexington KY, Reno NV, Spokane WA and perhaps even Salt Lake City UT.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:15 AM
 
21,267 posts, read 30,535,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure Ray View Post
Here are the MUST HAVES that I am looking for in a city:
-near a major university and city (within at least a half hour)
-have good hiking/outdoor activities nearby
-have water (lake, ocean) within a half hour
-nice people who are nonjudgmental. Not TOO hipster, but not TOO conservative
- a decent singles scene (which usually comes with the above qualities)
-a GREAT live music scene of ALL genres
-a clean city with nice shopping and cute neighborhoods

Things that I like about climate, etc.:
-Not too extreme in terms of temps – not below freezing in winter, and not hot and humid all summer
- I would like there to be nice rural areas just outside of the city
- A safe city would be nice. I grew up around Cleveland and Akron, and those are not places that I would ever walk around after dark (or even drive around after dark)
- A nice city that I could eventually move out to a more rural/suburban area around, but still have access to the culture in the city.

I would like to find people that have similar interests:
- People with positive dispositions, hiking, kayaking, going to see rock shows, jazz shows, and blues shows, studying and going back to college to get advanced degrees, traveling, and taking an interest and accepting people.

Do any cities come to mind when you read the above “criteria?” I would tell you where I have been thinking, but I don’t want to influence anyone’s thoughts....I’d love to see where your expertise will take this!

Thank you SO much for input! I know that was a lot to read. Haha.

PS - I'm a 27 year old, single female and a high school teacher. I've toyed with the idea of going back to school full time to get a doctorate in English Lit so I can teach at the college level, or just get a teaching job. I'm pretty flexible and feel like I want to go wherever the current may take me (as long as I am getting paid or am able to get school loans and some sort of health insurance...haha.)
Whew! That was some tough criteria

All in all I think Washington DC/Northern Virginia could be a good fit for you. It hits pretty much all of the criteria you're looking for except the 30 minutes to a beach/lake and your climate requirements. There are many safe/walkable areas. I would recommend the NW section of DC, most specifically Upper NW which includes the neighborhoods of Dupont Circle, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park (top choice), Van Ness, Tenleytown and Friendship Heights. Across the river in Northern Virginia you might check out Arlington's Courthouse and Clarendon neighborhoods, as well as Old Town in Alexandria. Suburban Maryland offers some good choices in Bethesda and Rockville.

In terms of schools with your degree needs...

U of Maryland Ph.D. in English | English Department, University of Maryland
George Washington University GW MEMSI
Catholic University Graduate Study in English - Department of English Language and Literature

Also very importantly, there are jobs. The DC area has the lowest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area, at 5.9%. The national average is at 9.8%. The area has a reputation as being an expensive place to live but bear in mind salaries are reflective of that for the most part. The public transit system is excellent and many live without cars as a result, which can save you a ton of money and headaches.
Metro - Rail - Maps - Rail/Google Map

There's also the new car sharing service which should be in every city...great idea!
http://www.zipcar.com/dc/find-cars

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,244 posts, read 24,514,196 times
Reputation: 13030
The outdoorsy stuff and the climate wants are kind of eliminating everywhere in my head.

Fort Collins if you can deal with the occasional blizzard.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:44 AM
 
119 posts, read 239,895 times
Reputation: 43
Thanks, guys! I never really think of the east coast, but I know there are plenty of great places like some of you mentioned. The places I have been throwing around in my head are Seattle, Portland, Denver/Boulder, Fort Collins, and Nashville.

Each has good and bad - guess there is no perfect city out there, right? I love live music, but have been thinking that Nashville's music scene has become too touristy. If only the grunge of the 90s was still prevalent in Seattle, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

And that car-sharing thing in DC is awesome....why aren't more cities doing that!?

Thanks for your responses...I will have to look into DC and areas of NY more.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,244 posts, read 24,514,196 times
Reputation: 13030
Denver has car-sharing services as well.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:53 PM
 
56,991 posts, read 81,344,865 times
Reputation: 12599
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Denver has car-sharing services as well.
I know here in Upstate NY, Ithaca has a car share program. I believe that there is one associated with Syracuse University too. I'm sure there are some in other cities in the state too.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:13 PM
 
56,991 posts, read 81,344,865 times
Reputation: 12599
I was wondering if Morgantown WV would work considering that it is a college town, but is also just an hour south of Pittsburgh, if that?

Also, since you didn't mention affordability, what about the lower Hudson Valley area of NY. You might like nice small cities/villages like Nyack, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Ardsley, Croton-On-Hudson, Tarrytown, White Plains, New Rochelle and Peekskill. You go to NYC by train and you can get to the Catskills within a short drive. You have beaches on the Long Island Sound close by and you are right by the Hudson River. There are lakes close by too.

Central NJ around Princeton or New Brunswick could be a great option due to proximity to the beaches on the Jersey Shore, NYC, Philadelphia, The Poconos and other water based options.
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,438 posts, read 4,237,929 times
Reputation: 2627
Portland would fit except that the largest university in town is Portland State. Nothing wrong with PSU, but there's little or no reason why anyone from outside this area would have heard of it. If you really want a college town atmosphere and a major university, look at Eugene, home of the University of Oregon.
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