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Old 12-28-2010, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
62 posts, read 117,248 times
Reputation: 16

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Our family is considering a move out of ATX, which seems to be WAY against the flow of traffic, which for us, is kind of the point.

Twenty years ago, we loved this town. It was carefree and a bit strange. Cowboys, punks, hippies and yuppies all made for a fascinating mix of culture and politics.

We could move freely via automobile, generally avoid crime, live comfortably on average salaries, and not worry too much about planning ahead for entertainment and leisure.

For better and worse, those days are behind us. Traffic is snarled, many of our old haunts have been razed, you can't get a table at your old standby restaurant, and things are beginning to look more and more homogeneous in entertainment districts.

But this is not an indictment of Austin, it's a REALLY long request for folks to lend a hand to find out where folks think there's a place out there that is *sort of* similar to Austin 20+ years ago.

We demand tolerance of a city. Not in a PC kind of way. In a leave us alone and we'll leave you alone kind. Go to church four times a week? Great. Have full sleeves and a collar with plugs and a submissive boyfriend. Fantastic. Just don't preach you to me, and I'm happy to call you neighbor and have a coffee or a beer with you.

We want good food availability, including organic produce and meats, decent local/regional restaurant options. Local/regional fresh seafood if at all possible.

We don't mind a little traffic in a commute, but if it consumes planning even on the weekends, then we don't want in. We're looking at places that are metro areas of 600,000 to 1,000,000 or so, give or take.

We like cities that care about planning enough to still have standing trees after development (Houston and Jacksonville need not apply), but don't suffocate development (and especially downtown re-development) with petty neighborhood association pressure.

We want a comparable cost-of-living to Austin, which is still respectable, but rising quickly.

And we'd like some place that enjoys celebrating in the form of festivals throughout the year. If at least some of those are family friendly, then that's fantastic.

We don't like bitter cold (Minnesota, New England, Upper Midwest, Upper Mid-Atlantic), but aren't afraid of 'true' seasons (Lower Midwest/Middle South).

Employment is still necessary, but only for one of us. The other is working mobile and can do it anywhere there is an internet connection. We have some flexibility here.

Education is important. We have two children and we aren't afraid of them going to public school, but we want one where parents still give a damn. Private school is certainly an option as well, depending on cost of living and location.

One of us was born and raised in the South (Savannah/Atlanta/Florida), and the other on the cusp of the South and Southwest (Houston/Austin). We have collectively lived in Brooklyn, Kansas City, Miami and throughout Central Texas.

We aren't really concerned about culture shock, *except* when it comes to activities and access to goods mentioned above.

I know. A lot to ask, but we're ready to move along and here are some that we're considering.

Can you help us add to the list to research?

Thanks so much,

-E

List so far:

Albuquerque
Huntsville, AL
San Juan, PR (surrounding)
Savannah
Memphis
Kansas City

And that's about it. Any suggestions, folks?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:53 AM
 
56,587 posts, read 80,870,855 times
Reputation: 12500
Perhaps the Raleigh or Durham-Chapel Hill area of NC. Carrboro seems to be a community in that area that gets mentioned a lot and would seem to fit your desires in a community.

Maybe something like the Tidewater area of VA would work due to it's access to the ocean and being a conglomerate of 7 good sized cities and plenty of other nearby communities as well.

Columbus OH might be a good fit as well.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
687 posts, read 1,374,460 times
Reputation: 538
Albuquerque might be a good fit. The only thing missing there would be fresh seafood and more limited dining options than what you have in Austin. It's a great and unique city, though, and a much slower and relaxed pace of living in my opinion. It's full of little hole in the wall places that only locals haunt and have been around for years. Plus, it's close to Santa Fe without having to pay the expensive price of having to live in Santa Fe.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,241,442 times
Reputation: 36087
Try San Marcos , Texas. Very nice, livable town, cheaper than Austin, and you can quickly drive to Austin for anything you miss.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:39 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,799,113 times
Reputation: 11136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Perhaps the Raleigh or Durham-Chapel Hill area of NC. Carrboro seems to be a community in that area that gets mentioned a lot and would seem to fit your desires in a community.

Maybe something like the Tidewater area of VA would work due to it's access to the ocean and being a conglomerate of 7 good sized cities and plenty of other nearby communities as well.

Columbus OH might be a good fit as well.
I totally agree. While the combined metro (CSA) is about the same size as Austin, the three primary cities are each smaller and have their own identities. Everything on your wish list can be found in one of the Triangle cities.
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
62 posts, read 117,248 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks for all the responses thus far. We'll be looking at R/D/CH, for sure.

Unfortunately, as much as I have sentimental ties to San Marcos (including working there currently), it can't support our needs in easy access to amenities or education.
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:04 PM
 
5,691 posts, read 8,756,281 times
Reputation: 4911
Check out Knoxville or Nashville. Although Nashville has some bad traffic you may be able to find a spot where it is minimal. Better airport in Nashville.

Knoxville has a lot of trees and festivals, plus the appalachian culture is one of live and let live.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:10 AM
 
56,587 posts, read 80,870,855 times
Reputation: 12500
If weather and size wasn't a factor, Ithaca NY would be perfect. Visitor Info | Visit Ithaca
Ithaca¬*
Home > Downtown Ithaca Alliance
Ithaca, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
989 posts, read 1,930,652 times
Reputation: 975
I'd say:

1. Asheville
2. Raleigh/Durham
3. Madison(bad winters though...)
4. Columbus
5. Nashville(maybe...)

You could always check out Portland too, this is probably the closest to Austin but it also probably has the same type of problems that are chasing you away. Huntsville is a nice choice and I dunno, but I'd toss out somewhere like Pittsburgh or maybe Cincinatti as a wild card entry...not the same vibe as Austin at all, but both should have a lot of what you listed. All in all, Raleigh and Asheville are probably the closest. Raleligh is more of a work in progress that should hit stride very soon and Asheville is literally Austin's personality on a much smaller/non-major university type of scale. I'd honestly check out Asheville, I think it could be what you're after and then some.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:01 AM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 12,326,275 times
Reputation: 2698
Although it's part of the greater DC-Baltimore region, I think you should probably look into Annapolis. It has its own identity and is pretty overlooked but appears to be a probable option for you.
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