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Old 08-19-2007, 11:52 AM
 
10 posts, read 24,345 times
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I grew up in San Diego and currently reside in Tucson, and although I really love San Diego, unless my parents suddenly died and I inherited the house, or the cost of living plummets drastically, I'm never going to live there again.

I'm a Radiation Therapist, so the job market isn't too shabby. The pay is modest, but I'm able to live extremely comfortably here in Tucson with my current salary (a little over 49k) and I'd like to find a place that'd allow me to keep my current lifestyle.

What I'm looking for:
- Lots of single professional (preferably attractive as well) women.
- Reasonable cost of living (I like to max out my roth ira and 401k, I like to save at least 2k a year for travel money, and I like to do all this while living in a medium-sized 1 bedroom apartment in a decent part of town).
- Low humidity (I've been to Austin in the summer 3 times, first time I was killed by the humidity the first day as it rained heavily the night prior to my arrival, but I got used to it quickly. But humidity like in the deep south and Florida is completely intolerable to me).
- Friendly people. Here in Tucson I have only 1 neighbor who's friendly, a nice black family. I feel like a dork sometimes when I return greetings too enthusiastically, but I like being around friendly people.
- A place where people won't assume I'm an "illegal" until they get to know me. My father is part Native American and my mother's Irish, both from families with a long line of American Citizens.
- A place with fun things to do aside from bar hopping, clubbing, and visiting museums.

Places I've been that I liked:
Chicago, IL
Austin, TX
Durham, NC
Portland, OR
San Diego, CA (My favorite city, out of my price range though.)

I'm open to suggestions for other cities/opinions on the ones I listed. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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I'd suggest Chicago first, then Austin and Portland. Alot of cities fit those parameters though.
****.com
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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I have two problems with Chicago; I drive a Jeep wrangler and while I loved the atmosphere about the city, I didn't see much in the way of outdoor activities. I can't imagine Chicago winters in a Jeep.

From what I saw of the cities I listed, Austin had the nicest people, Durham had the most professional single women, and Portland had more for an outdoor activity lover like me.

I took the test on ****.com and my top 10 was comprised of cities in Arkansas and Louisiana, both of which tend to be extremely humid (and I recall checking the "strongly disagree" box to the question about humidity), so I'm not sure what to make of it.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,280,038 times
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Quote:
Chicago, IL
Austin, TX
Durham, NC
Portland, OR
San Diego, CA (My favorite city, out of my price range though.)
Well since you say San Diego is out of your price range, I'd also cross off Portland since it's also pretty expensive. Never been to NC and have no interest to go so I can't comment on Durham.

Chicago wouldn't be bad but it does get intolerably cold and since you're living in Tucson, it'll be a drastic change from what you're used to. Chicago also doesn't have many outdoor activities like we have in AZ.

Austin might be your best bet on that list. It's a bit less expensive than Tucson, a good job market, has quite a few outdoors activities (albeit nothing like Tucson), and has a GREAT downtown area with live music every night. Austin does have more humidity but it's nothing like FL or the deep south.

You might also want to look at San Antonio or possibly Dallas.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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Really? I thought that Portland was actually slightly cheaper than Chicago and after skimming through craigslist for 1br apartments, it seems like I could definitely afford to put a roof over my head in Portland, even taking the high income tax into account.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,394,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm83 View Post
I have two problems with Chicago; I drive a Jeep wrangler and while I loved the atmosphere about the city, I didn't see much in the way of outdoor activities. I can't imagine Chicago winters in a Jeep.
Most of Chicago's outdoor activities are man made, but theyre definitely there. I think biking/rollerblading/walking/etc along the lakefront is about as cool as outdoor activities can get. Theres nothing like being along the beach in summer, with a nice breeze off the beautiful lake, taking it all in while being at the foot of the greatest skyline in America. Its something that everyone should experience. There are also tons of beach volleyball games all summer if youre interested. A short hour drive into the burbs will land you at dozens of forest preserves, which offer fishing, hiking, swimming, camping, etc. Someone once told me that Chicagoland has more preserved nature sites than any other city in the USA, and Id be led to believe them. Whats nice is that after spending all day in the preserves, you can go back home to Chicago, eat at the best restaurants in the nation, enjoy the best nightlife of the cities youre inquiring about, and get a big-city feel (if thats your thing).

Also, if you can handle Tucson's coldest nights, youll be fine here. Our avergate winter temps are comparable to Tucson's lows. Throw in a week of single digit temps () and you have an average Chicago winter. There is also alot more snow here, obviously, which you can also enjoy. As for the Jeep issue, why would that make a difference? Chicagoland is the Jeep capital of the world, lol. Spend a day in the western burbs and youll see more Wranglers, Cherokees, Compasses, Liberties than you can shake a stick at. If youre concerned about the rag-top Wrangler being cold? Theyre not bad at all in winter. Ive had several friends with new Wranglers, old CJ5, etc, etc that were completely fine in winter. But not only are they warm, youll love the 4WD in the winter. You know, up here youll actually need to use the 4WD unlike the tards in Tucson that buy them for an "image", knowing full well theyll never see an ounce of mud/snow. There are several Jeep clubs in the area that do weekend off-roading if youre into that sort of thing too.

Sorry for the book, just figured Id inform you that Chicagoland is not ALL blacktop and traffic jams. Here are some links you should check out.

Yes, this is Chicago.
http://home.uchicago.edu/~msinkinson/Photos/chicago2.jpg (broken link)

Illinois Beach State Park (complete with swimming, hiking, biking, etc). There are even cacti that grow there naturally:
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/image/vbig/340.jpg
http://chicagowildernessmag.org/issues/winter2005/images/beach_junipers_horiz.jpg (broken link)

Also close by is the Indiana Dunes State Park:
http://p.vtourist.com/2299244-Indian...State_Park.jpg

http://www.greatlakesadventure.com/photos/Dunes809.jpg

http://www.fpdcc.com/cover.php?page=map (broken link)
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Denver
692 posts, read 2,419,982 times
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The biggest adjustment to Chicago would be traffic. (BIG TIME)
The cost of gas and insurance is high too.
Renting is O.K. in Portland - even better over the river -
when it's time to purchase than it gets expensive.
Not close to San Diego expensive but more than Chicago.
Having said that the parts of Chicagoland I wold like to live
would be expensive too ( high property taxes ).


But hey, well worth a vacation to check out the vibe.

Maybe one of these days Steve-o will throw a city-data
party in Busse woods or some trendy neighborhood venue
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,280,038 times
Reputation: 3935
Quote:
Really? I thought that Portland was actually slightly cheaper than Chicago and after skimming through craigslist for 1br apartments, it seems like I could definitely afford to put a roof over my head in Portland, even taking the high income tax into account.
Well it depends, for renting Chicago would be more expensive but for buying, then it'd be Portland. Chicago is actually pretty affordable as long as you don't live in one of the trendy neighborhoods.

Quote:
Whats nice is that after spending all day in the preserves, you can go back home to Chicago, eat at the best restaurants in the nation, enjoy the best nightlife of the cities youre inquiring about, and get a big-city feel (if thats your thing).
Best restaurants in the nation? I'd say that honor would go to Las Vegas or NYC. Best nightlife in those cities, I'd say would go to Austin. Chicago's nightlife is more of a club-type atmosphere while Austin is much more laid back and "feel the music" atmosphere.

Quote:
Chicagoland is the Jeep capital of the world
I'd say that honor goes to Phoenix!
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:34 PM
 
10 posts, read 24,345 times
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Well, I don't plan on buying, but it seems like you can find decent places in my price range in Chicago and Portland. How're the taxes in Chicago?

Quote:
I'd say that honor goes to Phoenix!
Does Phoenix have a map that plots out the location and difficulty level of Jeep trails that you can buy at any outdoorsy type store by asking for "The Map"? If not, I'd say that honor goes to Tucson!
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Denver
692 posts, read 2,419,982 times
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Quote:
How're the taxes in Chicago?
Funny you should ask.
Just this weekend we we're looking at Elmhurst real estate. (online)
The taxes were all over the board.
For 2 different 600k properties the taxes were 10.3k and 7.7k
in the same town. (go figure)
Even in the early 90s I had a 80k home in Lake Co. and was paying 3k.
My mom has a house in the city she paid, get this, 13k back in the 70s.

Excuse me I have to cry now.
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