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Old 07-22-2012, 05:03 PM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,341,893 times
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Missoula is not conservative at all. It's very old-school earthy/granola with the more commonly seen trendy eco/green stuff found today, thrown in as well....It's absolutely gorgeous-in a valley surrounded by mtns, with a river running through it [yes, like the movie, though that was not the actual river filmed]. There is still some conservative flavor; it is Montana, after all-but MT in my experience, is a bit more 'leave us alone, libertarian', than right wing per se. Though there are pawn shops and gun shops around. It's a mix; it's a living city, not a white washed place; but i've found it pretty live and let live, to be honest. When you have under a million people in a state that large, you have to deal with each other in a different way; same with CO, though slightly larger at 3 plus million.

It's a 'common sense state', like Colorado [both of which I lived in for 3 years, each]...common sense states are hard to find these days! I have traveled quite a bit, both overseas and lived in several US states [originally from the NE, and currently in so cal for ten years] and Missoula is one of my absolute favorite places.
FWIW, there's a sizeable gay population and tons of artists/writers, you name it. It's very vibrant for its size, though, yes, the nearest city is 3 hours away, and that is spokane, wa.
So.....
When I first read your post, I immediately thought of Bellingham, WA, followed by Portland, OR, before reading that you are from PDX.
CO is a great place to live, but it's VERY brown and dry. Few trees unless at altitude, and extremely windy. But, lots of sun, great people and a nice quality of life. Friends of ours in boulder when we lived there, a lesbian couple, ended up moving to PDX, b/c the gay community in the boulder area is very small [denver's probably larger-boulder is very liberal, just not super diverse in day-to day living aspects. ie, our friends were lonely in that regard, but still liked living there.]

Ithaca is also a good choice.

Last edited by lrmsd; 07-22-2012 at 05:14 PM..
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:10 PM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,341,893 times
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Originally Posted by montanamom View Post
This is surprisingly, not what I found to be true in the University of Montana, Missoula area. I lived in the Bitteroot Valley and worked in Missoula - just about everyone I met was liberal leaning, Democrat voting, yet they still love their guns and their hunting. There is also an influx of Californians that has contributed to the liberal vibe. Not saying this is good or bad, I'm just saying you would be very surprised.
Actually, Missoula is an old school hippie town....on par with places like ithaca in terms of a history of herb shops, local artists, that kind of thing. And the University of MT has been around for awhile-so the town has cultivated that sophisticated college town culture in terms of attractions. And it's a very involved community, as well. Jeannette Rankin Peace Resource Center has been there forever [seems like], dedicated to the first US woman senator, who was also the only one who voted against entry to WW I and II, I believe. [they sell fair trade, and have been doing so for a couple of decade,s before it was popular].

When I lived there int he early 1990's, Californians were not appreciated, though just beginning to come in larger numbers. Many transplants do leave again after a few years, due to the rough winters, however. Also, the air quality with nearby paper mills, creates an inversion layer and it smells; it's pretty nasty and some are more affected than others. They do monitor and rate the air quality for citizens. some days are a stay indoors day. This is rare, and the inversion is only an issue during winter. [i had a friend who was an air monitor].

Also, it's one of those towns, like pdx, that used to be logging based, and now there's a delicate, ahem, semi-truce between environmentalists and loggers/other industries. The location gives you first hand experience with environmental politics, and their ES program is one of the top in the country. They also have a kick as* Creative Writing program. I have a friend who did a masters in French at U of M, but it's not a great school for languages overall. I think pdx is a better choice, as it's a large city.

One other choice that could appeal:
Arcata/Humboldt State-has some similarities to Missoula-though I do hear the negatives of the place have increased in recent years [in humboldt as a whole]. But, in state tution and a small school, in a beautiful place-with a strong GLBT community! Snow up in the mountains, cool weather nearly year round.

Also, Minneapolis is great, though no mountains.
Good luck!

Last edited by lrmsd; 07-22-2012 at 05:11 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Keizer, OR
1,376 posts, read 2,514,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrmsd View Post
One other choice that could appeal:
Arcata/Humboldt State-has some similarities to Missoula-though I do hear the negatives of the place have increased in recent years [in humboldt as a whole]. But, in state tution and a small school, in a beautiful place-with a strong GLBT community! Snow up in the mountains, cool weather nearly year round.

Also, Minneapolis is great, though no mountains.
Good luck!
I've looked at Humboldt, but they're mostly a school for botany and environmental science, not exactly what I'm looking for. However I love it up there and wouldn't mind it.
Thank you for filling me in on Missoula all the above posters, that helps a lot.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:52 AM
 
56,546 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Plattsburgh NY may work considering the state it is in, it had an openly gay/Republican mayor in recent years, has a 4 year SUNY campus, is on Lake Champlain, is a short drive to the Adirondacks and the Green Mtns., Montreal is about an hour and a half away(get an enhanced driver's license) and Burlington VT is across Lake Champlain.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danie...rt_(politician)

Straight Talk with Dan Stewart

Plattsburgh (city), New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Plattsburgh

SUNY Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce

Plattsburgh Pipeline - Music, Events, News, Radio, Business

All Points North - A Drag at the Drag Show
It looks like SUNY Plattsburgh has the programs that you are looking for as well: Art Program at SUNY Plattsburgh

Foreign Languages and Literature Program at SUNY Plattsburgh

Academic Majors at SUNY Plattsburgh

What could be cool is that you could go to Montreal and possibly put your foreign language skills to use right away. That's if you decided to go there. There's also a community college in the area. So, there is decent college age population there and along with the University of Vermont and other colleges across the lake near Burlington, you have a decent amount of people around that age, along with different scenes to check out. Clinton Community College

Grand Isle, VT - Plattsburgh, NY Ferry | Northern Crossing | 24/7 Service | Lake Champlain Ferries

Directions :: Lake Champlain Bikeways

Ausable Chasm

Lake Placid, NY - Invent Your Own Perfect Day

Saranac Lake, NY


The Historic Adirondack Coast - YouTube

Go Adirondack -Home Page - The Adirondack Coast - Lake Champlain - New York


Burlington, Vermont Tourism

Traveller | Tourism Montreal

Québec’s regions: Montréal, a French-speaking, multicultural metropolis and city of festivals
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:03 PM
 
704 posts, read 1,502,295 times
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Originally Posted by bgrn198 View Post
Boulder/Denver area
Maybe Boulder, but Boulder is a very different animal than Denver. And, if he's coming from Portland, the Denver area will be quite a bit more conservative. Whereas Portland is almost monolithically left-wing, the Denver area is more mixed, and conservatives have a big presence and strong voice. And Colorado as a whole is much more conservative than Oregon. Boulder is a pocket of intense liberalism in the middle of generally conservative territory. That's not the case with a Madison, Ithaca, etc.

Also, politics somewhat aside, Denver is very much "Middle America," and is thus much less hip than advertized. It's much more soccer-moms-and-SUVs than it is thick-rimmed-glasses-and-wine-tasting. There are certainly neighborhoods that are more hip in the urban parts of Denver, but the general feel of the area is pretty generic, family-focused, business-oriented, suburban, etc. But it is also very outdoorsy and health-conscious, though that is by no means a necessarily "hip" attribute.

A lot of this will also depend on the sense the OP gets from these places. It's entirely possible that there is a part of Denver that he or she can fit into, never have to deal with the suburbs, enjoy the city's liberal feel despite its conservative surroundings, and actually like the place much more than a truly liberal college town like Madison or Ithaca. Who knows? I don't think that Portland is very similar at all to Denver, and probably more similar to somewhere like Austin or Madison, but perhaps the outdoorsy thing is going to take precedence for the OP over everything else. For that matter, Salt Lake may also qualify, despite being less conservative and hip than Portland. I often find that what I read or hear about certain cities--even on here--is completely wrong. Much of that is simply due to preconceived notions and the unique experiences of others, too. So I'd say take what is said here with a grain of salt, take a campus visit at a school you'd like to attend, and see where you're at with all of that.

Last edited by GoneNative; 07-23-2012 at 03:17 PM..
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:11 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,054,278 times
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Let me suggest another area that has not been mentioned. The Pioneer Valley area of western Massachusetts, especially in the communities of Amherst and Northampton. These are college towns with a more liberal, sophisticated population. There should be enough to keep you busy there. Also, Springfield is nearby (though it is a bit rundown) or you could jump on the train to Boston. The weather is those parts is definitely "cool" too. The Berkshire Mountains are nearby providing you excellent opportunities for hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities. This is definitely an area for you to consider.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:37 PM
 
56,546 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
Let me suggest another area that has not been mentioned. The Pioneer Valley area of western Massachusetts, especially in the communities of Amherst and Northampton. These are college towns with a more liberal, sophisticated population. There should be enough to keep you busy there. Also, Springfield is nearby (though it is a bit rundown) or you could jump on the train to Boston. The weather is those parts is definitely "cool" too. The Berkshire Mountains are nearby providing you excellent opportunities for hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities. This is definitely an area for you to consider.
Great choice and Albany NY, with its Lark Street neighborhood, is close by as well. Lark Street BID :: Welcome

Lark Street - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also, this may interest you if you go with Plattsburgh or Burlington: Gay Village, Montreal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:59 PM
 
37 posts, read 70,430 times
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You are describing Portland. Just come back! (You can buy my house when I leave for someplace warm, but just like Portland in every other way). Would that such a place existed.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Here&There
2,209 posts, read 3,616,266 times
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Originally Posted by Girlkat187 View Post
You are describing Portland. Just come back! (You can buy my house when I leave for someplace warm, but just like Portland in every other way). Would that such a place existed.
Yeah really. If weather is a top criteria than the Northeast is out, the South, the Midwest, and Southwest including SoCal. Looks like you're going to be somewhere in the PNW ... Seattle or Portland? lol
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:10 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,648,773 times
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How about Toronto?
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