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Old 01-13-2012, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (By the way of Seattle)
35 posts, read 66,087 times
Reputation: 30

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So my newly-wed husband and I both live in Brooklyn, NY, and are looking for a place great for kids. As much as we love Brooklyn, but with so many crime ridden pockets and bad public schools, we have decided that it may not be the right place for a child to grow up. On top of that, hubby has lived here all of his life, and wouldn't mind moving to some place new.
We've been looking and trying to figure out where to go however, I want to narrow down my list of places to go.

As for me, I grew up in Seattle, and would not mind going back and raising my kids there. Unfortunately, my dad's family lives in LA and my mum's is in Alabama (Two places I'd NEVER live). I don't like car oriented places, which Seattle and LA both are. I want my kids to think it's normal to walk and/or ride to places. I would rather not have a place with a lot of sprawl around it either to the point that you have to drive at least an hour to be in the country.
I also don't want to move to the Midwest (although I wouldn't mind Chicago), or anywhere in the South (despite my family living there).

To be more specific, we want a place with good public schools. Shoud be in a short distance of nature as well as cultural opportunities nearby. I like to live in the city and go on holiday in the country. I strongly prefer that it's NOT A SUBURB, as we both hate the white-washed world of the suburbs, but still at least moderately safe. Our beliefs are generally liberal, so a left-leaning or politically moderate area would be great. I would prefer a cooler climate, as I don't do well with heat, and if possible near great snowboarding destinations as well.

Here's some top picks I've already got down
-Portland, OR
-Eugene, OR
-Olympia, WA
-San Francisco Bay Area
-Boulder, CO and Manitou Springs, CO
-Albuquerque, NM and Santa Fe, NM
-Chicago, IL
-Boston, MA
-Spokane, WA
-Bellingham, WA
-Santa Barbara, CA
-Ashland, OR
-Ithaca, NY

Some I like, but don't entirely fit my criteria
-San Diego, CA (has a conservative streak, and I don't like SoCal that much, at least it would be near my family.)
-Long Beach, CA (The only problem is it's surrounded by LA, but at least I'd be near family.)
-Austin, TX (Too damn hot in the summer, but other than that great)
-Denver, CO (Sprawl-y and too much like LA, and crap schools, but close to great snowboarding)
-Flagstaff, AZ (Not many jobs and possibly too remote. I love Arizona as I used to go there a lot when I was little, but I don't like heat so I could NOT deal with living in Phoenix or Tucson. Most likely I'll end up having a holiday house here or something.)
-Sedona and Prescott, AZ (Even more remote and even fewer jobs, See Flagstaff)

I've also looked at moving to Vancouver or Montreal up in Canada, but I feel moving to a new country may be to stressful.

I'm also quite aware that some of these places are very expensive to live in, but I'm hoping if I can find a good job that won't matter as much. And I should add that I have a masters in Linguistics with a minor in Music Theory, hubby has a Bacholer's Degree in Astronomy.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:21 PM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Look into Ithaca and the overall cost of living is at the national average. As for jobs, you could possibly look here: Central New York Jobs

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:01 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,983 times
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As far as Boston goes, I wouldn't recommend living within Boston itself if you're looking for good public schools. However, you could live in Brookline (namely the northern part of the city) and benefit from the urban lifestyle (almost completely surrounded by the city of Boston) as well as strong public schools. If you can afford it...

Great snowboarding in the White Mountains of NH which are a 2 hour drive away. Sprawl is worse in some directions than others; but you can easily escape to the small towns and rural landscapes to the northwest of the city or along the North Shore.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:53 AM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Also, if you don't mind other Upstate NY areas, perhaps places like Kenmore, Brighton, DeWitt(around East Genesee Street) and Delmar are walkable suburban areas next to or close to more liberal parts of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, in that order. There are other similar communities in those areas and smaller metros that may fit your criteria as well. All have good to great schools as well. For jobs, this could help: Central New York Jobs

Here's some info: http://www.villageofkenmore.org/

http://www.townofbrighton.org/index.aspx?MOBILE=OFF
http://rocwiki.org/Neighborhoods

http://www.townofdewitt.com/

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delmar,_New_York
http://www.townofbethlehem.org/

Some others you may are here: http://www.niskayuna.org/Public_Documents/index

http://www.vestalny.com/

http://www.newhartfordtown.com/
http://villageofnewhartford.com/content

http://www.brockportny.org/

http://www.amherst.ny.us/

http://www.townofmanlius.org/
http://www.manliusvillage.org/
http://www.fayettevilleny.gov/

http://www.cityofplattsburgh.com/
http://www.northcountrychamber.com/ (it is across the lake from Burlington VT as well)

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 01-14-2012 at 04:17 AM..
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
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Even though Boulder has over-bikelaned and pedestrianized its city, I don't feel that it is particularly walkable, and overall has an extra level of weirdness to it. If you choose Spokane, take a look at Browne's Addition, and the lower (northern end) of South Hill. I'm particularly fond of Ashland as well.

I don't know how Long Beach ended up in your "maybe" list.

Quote:
-Denver, CO (Sprawl-y and too much like LA, and crap schools, but close to great snowboarding)
There are some areas within the c/c of Denver that would suit you, the Highland neighborhood, the area near DU, as well as Congress and Cheesman Park (among others). My kids attend one of Denver's "crap schools" and are doing just fine (we even like the school). The thing about Denver and Colorado, is that your kids can attend any public school of your choosing, as long as there's room -- the only thing you would have to be responsible for is getting them there. We just went through the choice procedure for our oldest (who is entering middle school), and they make the process very easy.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (By the way of Seattle)
35 posts, read 66,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Even though Boulder has over-bikelaned and pedestrianized its city, I don't feel that it is particularly walkable, and overall has an extra level of weirdness to it.
Well what do you mean by "weirdness" specifically?
Quote:
I don't know how Long Beach ended up in your "maybe" list.
I like Long Beach, it's very diverse and has lots to do. It's really the only part of the LA metro I'd even consider residing in.
Quote:
My kids attend one of Denver's "crap schools" and are doing just fine (we even like the school). The thing about Denver and Colorado, is that your kids can attend any public school of your choosing, as long as there's room -- the only thing you would have to be responsible for is getting them there. We just went through the choice procedure for our oldest (who is entering middle school), and they make the process very easy.
Interesting. One of my friends moved to Lakewood and parents constantly complained about how terrible their local High School (Green Mountain) was. So maybe it's just the suburbs of Denver? I'm not sure.
Thanks for your input
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
Reputation: 13004
Quote:
Originally Posted by where2raise View Post
Well what do you mean by "weirdness" specifically?
I like Long Beach, it's very diverse and has lots to do. It's really the only part of the LA metro I'd even consider residing in.

Interesting. One of my friends moved to Lakewood and parents constantly complained about how terrible their local High School (Green Mountain) was. So maybe it's just the suburbs of Denver? I'm not sure.
Thanks for your input
Boulder has a weird ultra-liberal (don't get me wrong, I'm liberal too) vibe to it. Think Berkeley on steroids. It's hard to explain, but off-the-wall stuff comes outta there all the time (Port-A-Potty peeping Tom, an old lady who gardens naked, bears breaking into houses {ok, I know that one is nobody's fault }). It's one of those "it" places that people like to brag about living in. They like to run through town naked every Halloween. $300K for a fixer 70's era tract home. They even have an occupy camp. It's known as the "People's Republic of Boulder". Spitting your gum out on the street may get you referred to the Kyoto Protocol. Prairie dogs are revered.

Keep Boulder Weird - home

Visit Boulder first to see if you mesh, but Fort Collins may be a good town to consider in its place.

I was born in Long Beach, and IMO the majority of it is run-down or suburban. The areas near the water are nice, but it didn't really pop in my head considering what you want, and what you had as your other choices.

Re: Denver, Green Mountain HS is considered an above-average school in an above-average district, IMO it's odd that your friends didn't like it. Apples to apples, I found the schools I grew up with in CA to be better overall than many of the ones here (all of the CO schools my kids have attended seem exceedingly easy), but there is nothing inherently wrong with them, and you can get your kids into a good school (arts focused, public charter, high-scoring traditional, etc) if you try hard enough. I hear very few complaints about any of the better suburban districts, and most of the complaints about DPS (Denver city district) come from people who have never had kids enroll in it (got their opinion from the paper, the news, demographic biases, ancient history regarding racial busing and snow days, etc).
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (By the way of Seattle)
35 posts, read 66,087 times
Reputation: 30
Yeah I kind of knew Boulder would be something along those lines no doubt about it, I just wanted to hear what your take on it was. Fort Collins is a bit more conservative from what I hear, lots of high tech jobs there from what I've heard.

I see what you mean though. My friend moved there from Mercer Island (wealthy suburb of Seattle, some of the highest-scoring public schools in the nation), and that might explain it.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,320 posts, read 55,131,075 times
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Honestly its not where you raise your family, but HOW you raise your family. I know that geography plays a certain role, but you two sound level-headed enough that you'd do a fine job anywhere. Just saying.

Anyway, there are several places in the Bay Area that meet all of your criteria. As far as schools+sunny but cool weather+walkable/transit friendly+safe+close to nature+left leaning, the first places that come to mind are the 2 towns of Alameda and Albany, both across the bay from the City. After that parts of SF itself, parts of Berkeley and parts of Oakland do meet all of your criteria quite nicely. I would also check out the Peninsula towns of Burlingame and San Mateo.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:55 AM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Honestly its not where you raise your family, but HOW you raise your family. I know that geography plays a certain role, but you two sound level-headed enough that you'd do a fine job anywhere. Just saying.
It
Anyway, there are several places in the Bay Area that meet all of your criteria. As far as schools+sunny but cool weather+walkable/transit friendly+safe+close to nature+left leaning, the first places that come to mind are the 2 towns of Alameda and Albany, both across the bay from the City. After that parts of SF itself, parts of Berkeley and parts of Oakland do meet all of your criteria quite nicely. I would also check out the Peninsula towns of Burlingame and San Mateo.
Good point about how it's how the kids are raised and not necessarily where they are raised. For instance, Syracuse City Schools get scrutinized due to performance, but you still get kids that go on to attend Ivy League schools, military academies, Little Ivies and other colleges in spite of overall performance. Same goes for other urban districts across the country.

Also, this doesn't hurt either: Say Yes to Education - Syracuse
I think many people would consider a school district where you can go to a variety of colleges for free.
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