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Old 11-17-2011, 07:36 AM
 
13 posts, read 18,896 times
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Hello everyone, I would love some help! This is a long post but please bear with me. Here's the deal. My husband our two kids and I are Swedish. We are permanent residents and are extremely happy that we get to live in the US! We have lived in San Francisco and DC and we like both cities a lot, but...they both have some serious cons. The first in cost of living.

Regarding DC the second is weather - we really don't enjoy the summer heat and all the mosquitos. Third, we don't feel that we fit in: we are not much into politics, we are not much into networking, we are not socially ambitious and we felt a bit like DC was too much about who you are and who you know, and we really don't care about that. Also, day care costs are atrocious. We did love the restaurants in DC, Georgetown, the mall, the houses in Capitol Hill, well basically besides the cons listed above we love DC and were it not for the weather we would probably settle there.

As for San Francisco we don't like the expense and the dirt and the huge amount of homeless people and we felt that we were kind of boring there: we are not into partying or pot or the hippie scene. For insistence, Burning Man is anathema to everything we are. We do like the weather in San Francisco, we love the wineries and the food and also all the horseback riding stables on the peninsula. We are open to other areas in the Bay Area but don.t know much about them, except for Berkley which is lovely but not for us, too organic and granolaish. We are not 'alternative.'

We just don't know where to settle down. We want to find a place where we can set roots, make friends, have our kids grow up, go to school and call home.

We just turned forty. We are entrepreneurs, we work from home, we constantly have new business ideas, we live life our way without conforming to the way 'things should be done', traveling a lot, living life our way, but we are still pretty ordered and neat and believe in education and pulling your own weight and generally trying to be decent people.

This is what we are looking for:

Good weather: Not Sweden cold, not DC hot. The more temperate, outdoor lifestyle kind of weather the better.

Liberal to a degree, but not pot smoking, anarchist liberal, rather, democrat moderat liberal.

Little religion: we are atheists and we want our kids to make their own choice by being taught about all religions. This means we do not want religion/prayer in school.

Intelligent conversation with interesting people from all backgrounds. We will need to make new friends, so we are looking for advice on not just a city but also a neighborhood that welcomes foreigners and new people.

Cost: we understand that popular places cost more, but we would prefer something less expensive than SF or DC, but cost is not the most important, finding a great match is more importnat.

We have been thinking about Austin but we find such mixed reviews about it.

We also love New York and the vibe and the mix of people: business to arts to academia, but we don't want to live there and raise our son there, not enough green space and too cold/hot.

We also like parts of LA mainly because of natural beauty and the weather but I am kind of scared of the ideals: the beauty and size obsession and in some regards the shallowness.

We want to be able to walk to places, we want outdoor sports to a degree (hiking, horse back riding, tennis), we love eating out and good wine, we like (window)shopping and just strolling around...

We just want a nice life in a nice little house with a nice backyard where we can have friends over for dinner and drinks somewhere where we won't feel odd or out of place and where the vibe is warm and welcoming rather than one that measures people only on looks, money or how successful they are.

Good schools and day care are important, as are extra curricular activities.

Please let us know any suggestions! Thank you!

Last edited by Bo; 11-17-2011 at 03:19 PM.. Reason: Added parentheses items to thread title.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:44 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,285 posts, read 6,383,442 times
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Sounds like what you need is a good US university town, and there are many to choose from. Perhaps Charlottesville VA or the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill NC) in the Southeast might fit the bill. Those arease are home to U of Virginia and U of North Carolina/Duke, respectively. In the Midwest you might take a look at Ann Arbor (home of U Michigan). The weather there is four seasons, and winters are not as harsh as in some other Midwestern areas. And though I dont know where you'd do horesback riding, Evanston Il. -- just north of Chicago and home to Northwestern U. -- might also meet your parameters.

And as far as a city is concerned, I'd take a hard look at Atlanta, perhaps the most "northern" of Southern cities, with cultural opportunities, low (relatively speaking) housing costs, walkable in some neighborhoods (though you'd still probably want a car), and plenty of outdoor space. Downside: Atlanta will get very hot and humid in the summer and, as in most big cities, acceptable schooling for the kids might be tough to find.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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Perhaps Knoxville TN, Lexington KY or Columbus OH, among others.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
Sounds like what you need is a good US university town, and there are many to choose from. Perhaps Charlottesville VA or the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill NC) in the Southeast might fit the bill. Those arease are home to U of Virginia and U of North Carolina/Duke, respectively.
I agree 100% and would also recommend in particular either Chapel Hill or Carrboro, NC which offer everything on your criteria list.


Carrboro, North Carolina Overview
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carrboro, North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools - CHCCS: Who We are Facts & Figures
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:14 PM
 
1,738 posts, read 753,872 times
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San Diego, CA is GORGEOUS and the weather is glorious. While it can be expensive- it's less than San Francisco and the better parts of DC.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:30 PM
 
7,386 posts, read 13,280,630 times
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Seattle, Wa could fit the bill. Not too hot, not too cold... it is pretty overcast almost 3/4 the year though (and of course, we do have some rain). Lots of wineries in the state. Mountains for skiing and hiking, we have desert and rainforest as well. We do have beaches and the coastline isn't too far off. We do not have as many mosquitoes as the East coast. Schools are better in the suburbs, but there are some good schools within Seattle itself. People here are mostly reserved, but generally do not talk politics nor religion. Definitely more affordable than SF/DC.

I'd also throw in Minneapolis, but the only problem is... you don't want Sweden cold. But otherwise, it would fit mostly everything else.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:02 AM
Status: "Warrior fan no matter the roster" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,226 posts, read 10,471,782 times
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Yea, I was thinking Seattle may fit your descriptions the best. Mild weather, socially liberal, lots of green space, not terribly expensive.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:59 AM
 
21,277 posts, read 30,551,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Seattle, Wa could fit the bill. Not too hot, not too cold... it is pretty overcast almost 3/4 the year though (and of course, we do have some rain). Lots of wineries in the state. Mountains for skiing and hiking, we have desert and rainforest as well. We do have beaches and the coastline isn't too far off. We do not have as many mosquitoes as the East coast. Schools are better in the suburbs, but there are some good schools within Seattle itself. People here are mostly reserved, but generally do not talk politics nor religion. Definitely more affordable than SF/DC.
Worth noting is that Seattle is well known as a place where it's difficult to make friends and socialize, especially as a transplant...

Urban Dictionary: Seattle Freeze
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:18 AM
 
7,386 posts, read 13,280,630 times
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Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Worth noting is that Seattle is well known as a place where it's difficult to make friends and socialize, especially as a transplant...

Urban Dictionary: Seattle Freeze
Well... the only problem is... you also have too many people disputing its existence. Its a very contentious issue on the Seattle forum.

Seattle right now is almost 70% transplants, 30% natives. So technically it shouldn't be harder to make friends just because one is a transplant.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:12 AM
 
13 posts, read 18,896 times
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Thank you everyone!

Although we like Seattle, there is too much rain, too much gray. Coming from Sweden where it is either freezing or gray and raining for 8 months a year we want, nay need, more sun!

I visited San Diego briefly 1996. I hear it has changed a lot since then? Is that so? What areas would you recommend?

We have never visited NC but will definitely look into the university towns you mention.

Great tips, thank you very much, please keep the suggestions coming!
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