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Old 08-04-2012, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,328,114 times
Reputation: 4270

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Allow me to step into your criteria and map out what you're looking for based on what I feel you're saying:

Cons:
heat (is it fair to assume you don't like 90+ heat, but don't mind 80's? The Sun Belt might need to be eliminated with a FEW small exceptions)
not progressive (if ATL isn't progressive enough, I'd assume you want a VERY progressive city)
landlocked, (you want to be by a large body of water or simply on the coast?)
too many strip malls and not enough walkability (you aren't a fan of suburban-style development, you like urban living)
public schools aren't great (few places have great public schools far and wide, the few exceptions I can think of might include Minneapolis, Boston, or Seattle)

Pros:
1. Real feeling of community - walkability (to shops, restaurants, coffee...), sidewalks, friendly neighbors (great trick or treating!) (again, urban living is your preference)
3. Progressive minded - not too religious on any front, looking for accepting communities of creative people, writers, professors, entrepreneurs. (all the sudden Baltimore crept into my head....)
4. Proximity to a major city - happy to be out in a 'village' somewhere but it has to be less than 30 minutes by public transportation to a major city. (I recommend at this point that you live IN a major city, as this seems to be a particular like of yours)
5. Water - would be nice...maybe less than an hour from some large body of H2O. (again, maybe you should live someplace ON the water, and a LARGE body of water, at that -- a smaller lake may not do)
6. Open to all seasons but no killer winters. Which means Chicago is out. (No extreme heat OR cold. Now we're almost exclusively talking about a coastal city, with moderate temps)


Your post screams "coast, coast, coast"! Here's MY short list (in order from top to bottom):

1. Seattle (fits ALL criteria)
2. San Francisco (fits ALL criteria, schools are the only ?)
3. Boston (fits ALL criteria, except winters can be "extreme" if you're not used to the cold)
4. Los Angeles (schools are notoriously bad but it's a huge city, everything else seems to fit)
5. San Diego (schools the only major issue I see, its "urban" character is highly questionable too)
6. New York (4 seasons with few extremes IMO, schools are hit or miss (mostly miss), uber-urban)
7. Baltimore (schools aren't great, summers can be blisteringly hot, but fits most criteria)



If price-point is a sticky issue with you, most of those cities wouldn't make the cut. In that case, I'd offer a new list with cheaper cities and you'd HAVE to make some sacrifices from your "wants" list. Others to consider that are cheaper:

1. Chicago (a cheaper version of NYC, without as much hassle; winters can be cold, schools are blah)
2. Minneapolis (water everywhere but in small batches, bitterly cold winters at times, otherwise perfect)
3. Denver (no water, never heard a good thing about its schools, not super urban)
4. Salt Lake City (no water, never heard a good thing about its schools, not super urban)
5. Cleveland (schools aren't great, not progressive, only water is Lake Erie, winters are harsh)

Last edited by Min-Chi-Cbus; 08-04-2012 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,226,501 times
Reputation: 10285
Have you considered Long Beach, CA? Lots of walkable areas, a great climate, great and diverse community, and very progressive. Only down side is the schools aren't wonderful.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:33 PM
 
25 posts, read 27,028 times
Reputation: 14
wow, you've given me a lot to think about and I really appreciate all!
I'm thinking we should plan a Chicago visit mid January and really walk around (as much as possible!) to get a feel for the winters. These are all fantastic suggestions. Love Long Beach...
Anyway, thank you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
Allow me to step into your criteria and map out what you're looking for based on what I feel you're saying:

Cons:
heat (is it fair to assume you don't like 90+ heat, but don't mind 80's? The Sun Belt might need to be eliminated with a FEW small exceptions)
not progressive (if ATL isn't progressive enough, I'd assume you want a VERY progressive city)
landlocked, (you want to be by a large body of water or simply on the coast?)
too many strip malls and not enough walkability (you aren't a fan of suburban-style development, you like urban living)
public schools aren't great (few places have great public schools far and wide, the few exceptions I can think of might include Minneapolis, Boston, or Seattle)

Pros:
1. Real feeling of community - walkability (to shops, restaurants, coffee...), sidewalks, friendly neighbors (great trick or treating!) (again, urban living is your preference)
3. Progressive minded - not too religious on any front, looking for accepting communities of creative people, writers, professors, entrepreneurs. (all the sudden Baltimore crept into my head....)
4. Proximity to a major city - happy to be out in a 'village' somewhere but it has to be less than 30 minutes by public transportation to a major city. (I recommend at this point that you live IN a major city, as this seems to be a particular like of yours)
5. Water - would be nice...maybe less than an hour from some large body of H2O. (again, maybe you should live someplace ON the water, and a LARGE body of water, at that -- a smaller lake may not do)
6. Open to all seasons but no killer winters. Which means Chicago is out. (No extreme heat OR cold. Now we're almost exclusively talking about a coastal city, with moderate temps)


Your post screams "coast, coast, coast"! Here's MY short list (in order from top to bottom):

1. Seattle (fits ALL criteria)
2. San Francisco (fits ALL criteria, schools are the only ?)
3. Boston (fits ALL criteria, except winters can be "extreme" if you're not used to the cold)
4. Los Angeles (schools are notoriously bad but it's a huge city, everything else seems to fit)
5. San Diego (schools the only major issue I see, its "urban" character is highly questionable too)
6. New York (4 seasons with few extremes IMO, schools are hit or miss (mostly miss), uber-urban)
7. Baltimore (schools aren't great, summers can be blisteringly hot, but fits most criteria)



If price-point is a sticky issue with you, most of those cities wouldn't make the cut. In that case, I'd offer a new list with cheaper cities and you'd HAVE to make some sacrifices from your "wants" list. Others to consider that are cheaper:

1. Chicago (a cheaper version of NYC, without as much hassle; winters can be cold, schools are blah)
2. Minneapolis (water everywhere but in small batches, bitterly cold winters at times, otherwise perfect)
3. Denver (no water, never heard a good thing about its schools, not super urban)
4. Salt Lake City (no water, never heard a good thing about its schools, not super urban)
5. Cleveland (schools aren't great, not progressive, only water is Lake Erie, winters are harsh)
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:01 PM
 
56,752 posts, read 81,082,761 times
Reputation: 12552
Ithaca NY could work, but the snow may scare the OP. Perhaps Nyack NY, which is about 20 miles north of NYC. It is a very diverse community with good schools and is walkable. There are other nearby communities that feed into the Nyack Union Free SD too. Village of Nyack

Nyack Hospital - Exceptional Skill. Extraordinary Care.

Nyack Villager l News, Arts, Life in the Hudson River Villages

Nyack News and Views

Nyack Public Schools - Homepage

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/re...pagewanted=all
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:24 AM
 
25 posts, read 27,028 times
Reputation: 14
I know Denver isn't on the coast but it seems to offer a lot of what we are looking for. Will scan the Denver threads for info but if anyone lives in a great walkable, kid friendly (not too suburban) part of town please let us know! We seem to find these awesome urban and semi-urban communities but most of the kids are babies and toddlers and then they move to the suburbs. Our kids are older so we'd love to find areas where there are elementary aged kids too in-town. Thanks so much!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
1,309 posts, read 2,356,296 times
Reputation: 1196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broadrippleguy View Post
you should think more beyond landlocked.
just cause a city is landlock doesnt mean it doesnt offer alot of wonderful amendities. Which Indy does offer alot and its americas most affordable city.
Why can't you just accept that some people are not interested in Indianapolis?


My first thought was Philly and San Francisco. MAYBE the LA area. Seattle has a great community feel in lots of neighborhoods around, but I believe if you wanted to get into the city core you would have to drive from those places, as the PT sitch stands now.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,465 posts, read 7,535,383 times
Reputation: 4363
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlythomas View Post
Thanks. Not sure about Indy...very landlocked and I think Chicago is more of the city-size we'd be looking for in terms of being within 30 minutes. Anyone have any thoughts on Philly? One city I've never even visited but something about it seems so charming!
It does sound like Philly area would be a great candidate for your needs. Unfortunately, in terms of good public schools, outside of several very competitive charter schools, the city proper of Philadelphia would be tough to accommodate you. However, there are many suburbs that sound right up your alley.

Being within approximately 1-2 hours of the ocean, distinct four seasons (without the harsh winters), high-performing public schools, public transit/regional rail <30 min. to the city, and walkable communities (with relatively reasonable housing prices compared to other coastal metros); there are several potential areas to look into.

Look into towns such as Swarthmore, Wayne, Lansdale, Narberth, Media, Ambler, Jenkintown, Glenside and Ardmore (in Pennsylvania) and Collingswood and Haddonfield (in New Jersey) for the exact type of communities you're describing.

Good luck!

Last edited by Duderino; 08-06-2012 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:51 PM
 
1,634 posts, read 2,205,132 times
Reputation: 541
Washington, DC?
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:15 AM
 
25 posts, read 27,028 times
Reputation: 14
possibly...although I lived there for a year after college and found it a little too dry (not temperature-wise) for me! But could be a consideration! thanks again to all for their advice thus far...it's helping us narrow down our choices.
So now it's down to:
1. Denver
2. Long Beach
3. stay in Atlanta (really not my choice at all but could still be happening)
4. Chicago

criteria within these choices is (not necessarily in this order):
1. sense of community/kid friendly
2. quality of schools
3. quality of life
4. walkability
5. sense that people really enjoy their city

Thank you again for all of your insight!! you guys are great!
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,328,114 times
Reputation: 4270
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlythomas View Post
possibly...although I lived there for a year after college and found it a little too dry (not temperature-wise) for me! But could be a consideration! thanks again to all for their advice thus far...it's helping us narrow down our choices.
So now it's down to:
1. Denver
2. Long Beach
3. stay in Atlanta (really not my choice at all but could still be happening)
4. Chicago

criteria within these choices is (not necessarily in this order):
1. sense of community/kid friendly
2. quality of schools
3. quality of life
4. walkability
5. sense that people really enjoy their city

Thank you again for all of your insight!! you guys are great!
It's too bad you don't have the Minneapolis-St. Paul area on your list (winters, I'm assuming?), because it knocks every one of the highlighted (bolded) list items out of the park, better than any city on your list anyways. But I think Denver or Chicago then become your final choices, and I'd lean towards Denver of the two (for you that is, personally I prefer Chicago).

Glad you at least narrowed it down a bunch!
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