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Old 12-27-2010, 09:31 PM
1 posts, read 1,763 times
Reputation: 10


Hi everyone,

I was born and raised in the SF Bay Area, and then moved to rural Minnesota for college. Although I'd like to return to the Bay eventually, I want to try something new for a while after I graduate. I wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions for places to move based on what I like about where I've lived so far. I guess my basic considerations are a high availability of jobs, decent cost of living, a good arts (esp. performing) scene, and, ideally, good public transportation. So far my main candidates are Austin and Chicago, but I'm definitely open to hearing other ideas. I will say that I don't think of myself as much of a Northeast type. Oh, and I'm mixed race (Asian and white), and while I hardly expect a place to be racism-free (whatever that would mean), I would prefer that the place be reasonably diverse and/or tolerant of different kinds of people.

What I like about the Bay

- Food. Oh, the food. Fresh ingredients (especially produce) and any kind of cuisine you could want. Mmm.
- Weather. I am not the type to don my subzero sleeping bag of a parka when it gets below fifty degrees, but I do enjoy the whole lack of blizzards thing. Also, no humidity is a big plus.
- BART and (to a much, much smaller degree, the public buses). Even though everyone grumbles about the state of our public transportation, at least it's there.
- Politics. I think and vote liberal for the vast majority of the time. I'm not as liberal as some people in the Bay, which is a lot like saying that burning your hand on a stove isn't as bad as burning your hand in a volcano.
- Culture. Theater, music, art, sports, etc.
- Nature. I love the regional parks, and I love that Big Sur and Yosemite are just a drive away.

What I like about Minnesota

- Friendly attitude. In general, the Minnesota Nice does live up to its hype (except on the roads). I also like that things tend to be a little more laidback.
- Culture. Again, theater, music, art, sports ...
- Cost of living. Significantly lower than the Bay.

Thanks so much for your input!
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:56 PM
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,562,228 times
Reputation: 3232
You and me both. I'm an aviation graduate. Talk about a useless degree! I couldn't buy a job in my field.

Anyway, why not stay in rural Minnesota? I'm not sure which college you went to, but Mankato is a great town (if you did go to MSU or Bethany, then you're already here and can disregard this post). Plenty of jobs here, the cost of living is low (much lower than Chicago or the Bay), and we have that friendly attitude. We have a bus that goes everywhere here, so decent public transportation. Contrary to popular belief, you can build a career in a small town, you just have to think outside the box a little bit.

If you want a bigger city, check out Minneapolis-St. Paul. It's semi-Minnesotan, but with a cosmopolitan, progressive flair. Unemployment is higher, but still lower than California or Chicago. As for employment, there's General Mills, 3M, US Bank and TCF, to name a few large companies. You could probably find an entry-level job at one of those corporate behemoths, if that's your thing. MSP area has plenty of buses and trains.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:04 PM
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,562,228 times
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I'm not a big fan of Chicago. Being from West Michigan, I've spent a lot of time in Chicago, taking in the culture and doing the "big city" things like going on business trips and catching international flights. Chicago is just too big for me. The cost of living is insane and crime is very high. Plus, traffic is hell and the people are very rude. It's a very stressful, fast-paced city. Some people like that, but I certainly don't.

As for Austin (I assume you mean Texas, not MN), I don't know much about it. I know it has a liberal bent, but it's in Texas, so it's surrounding by gun-toting, Bush-voting neocons.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:15 AM
5,682 posts, read 8,752,084 times
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You might consider Atlanta or Houston. The Houston area has a lot of Vietnamese immigrants. Are you looking for a place where you can blend in??
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:27 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,822 posts, read 33,203,260 times
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Austin doesn't have the public transportation options you value. Traffic is a big issue there.

The city government there is liberal, but it's also the state capital. The governor and most of the state legislature have been red for more than a decade and are arguably getting even more so. In November, Governor Perry was re-elected to a 4th term, and got his largest margin of victory against his most well-funded opponent.

Houston might be a better match for your list among Texas cities. It has a Democrat mayor, better mass transit than Austin and the largest Asian population in Texas.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:22 AM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,789,347 times
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Seattle and Portland.

Both have a very robust arts scene, and have jobs in them. Portland more for the budding and independent scene, Seattle more for the scene which caters to the rich old Microsoft money and wine crowds (I'm being too harsh, there's still some good small time acts in Seattle).

They both match everything that you like about SF and Minnesota. Except the winters may get too gray for you (think 6/7 days of the week being rainy for five or six months).
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:26 AM
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I get the impression that the OP graduated from Carleton in Northfield..

MSP and SF are great choices, but with dramatically different weather and cost-of-living, as you already know..

I guess it would depend upon what you can afford, to some degree; you might be able to get your own place in MSP, while you'll probably have to share a place in SF...
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