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Old 01-16-2013, 09:51 PM
 
487 posts, read 780,762 times
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I currently live in Vancouver. I love its natural beauty, yuppie-hippie vibe (yoga, natural food & living, but people aren't hardcore hippie; they shave and dress nicely), the fact it's medium-sized, feels modern, and is cosmopolitan. But it has a high cost of living; people seem hard to get to know unless; the culture is overwhelmingly Chinese, there are a lot of people very concerned with designer clothes & cars (I enjoy dressing in an eye-pleasing way, but not to show the world how rich I am, and then I keep hearing about how it's hard to find a job because people generally are very well-educated here and thus there's quite a bit of competition. Oh, and living in East Van, I come across zombie-like crackheads and prostitutes on a regular basis.

Portland and Seattle sound like the most attractive options in the US thus far. Minneapolis sounds worth a visit although sounds rather dry.

Cities I've considered & ruled out:
-Boston: too expensive; even more so than Vancouver!
-Washington, D.C.: high crime; expensive as Boston
-Brooklyn/NYC: gets very hot in the summer and of course is expensive
-Philadelphia: very high crime--twice the US average
-Chicago: a crime rate even higher than Philadelphia; no greenery
-Asheville; Burlington: too small. I need a city with at least 100,000 people. Can't do without city life.
-Austin: hot & humid; not much greenery;
-New Orleans: crime, heat, no hiking opportunities, at risk for more hurricanes
-San Francisco: lots of crime in surrounding areas like Oakland & Richmond, BART is annoying (the screeching one hears on it is deafening), housing options are crazy expensive, small, and not so modern, city streets smell like ****.

Favorable traits:
-not too hot/humid in summer (75 degrees is the cutoff)
-green; lots of good places to hike
-lots of natural food stores (Trader Joe's is good enough)
-population of mid-size city; at least 100,000 people
-a lively hip art gallery scene (hip as in, it's not all dull but pretty landscapes)
-more liberal people who recycle and think socialism is a good thing
-not too religious (that's why Salt Lake City, though pretty, is ruled out)
-lastly doesn't have a reputation as a sexually wild place; i don't want a man prone to cheat, go to strip clubs, hire prostitutes, hire 'sugar babies' etc.
-fairly affordable rent...by comparison, in Vancouver I pay 1800 for a small apartment.
-safe to walk around and not be afraid of getting shot or robbed!

I'm pretty sure I've thought of everything. If you can think of a place fitting this list outside of the US please do. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,322,771 times
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Hell, where do I belong?!

You sound like the Seattle/Portland type.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:18 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,269 posts, read 6,355,290 times
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I think you're overly worried about the crime thing. Street crime -- the muggings, burglaries, random shootings, and rapes that most women worry about -- dont happen in "cities". They happen in NEIGHBORHOODS in citites. Steer clear of the high crime neighborhoods and your chances of being a victim of that sort of thing drop dramatically.

Despite all the hoopla about the spate of murders in Chicago, for instance, most of the violence is limited to certain south and west side neighborhoods. The same paradigm holds true in Philadelphia, San Francisco/Oakland, NYC, and Washington DC. And in any of those cities you can find a place for less than $1800 a month, what you're paying now, in a neighborhood that's not a crime-ridden slum. So reconsider those cities and look carefully for neighborhoods that may meet your criteria and I think you'll have more choices. (Though I do think with the diverse criteria you listed, you may have to let some things pass. Otherwise you may be hunting for the unicorn.)

As to other cities, I'd also consider Denver in the U.S. and perhaps at the other end of Canada, Montreal.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:37 AM
 
487 posts, read 780,762 times
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But still you're sharing a city with thieves, murderers, gang members and whatnot, and if they want to hop over to the next neighborhood to do a robbery they have that option. My aunt lives in a nicer area of Richmond, California -- her house is at the very end of a hilly one-way street, and sure enough her house was broken into. Thanks though.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:55 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,277 posts, read 19,566,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djohanna View Post
But still you're sharing a city with thieves, murderers, gang members and whatnot, and if they want to hop over to the next neighborhood to do a robbery they have that option. My aunt lives in a nicer area of Richmond, California -- her house is at the very end of a hilly one-way street, and sure enough her house was broken into. Thanks though.
This rarely happens to the more affluent neighborhoods. The street criminals and gang members stay in their turf. They know that the police will hunt them down like savages if they try to do their stuff in an affluent neighborhood. That's why the Washington, D.C. metro area, for example, actually has very low crime outside of a certain known area which is mainly low-income.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:08 PM
 
56,696 posts, read 80,995,527 times
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I can't believe that I didn't mention this, but look into Ann Arbor MI or Madison WI. Both are over 100k and are liberal college towns. Ann Arbor's proximiyy to the Detroit metro may be a plus. Ann Arbor Area CVB

Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau

What about parts of Minneapolis?
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 PM
 
5,820 posts, read 5,190,191 times
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If you can adapt to a smaller city, what about Duluth, MN? Meets most of your wishes.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
13,358 posts, read 7,033,059 times
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Specifying that the city must have an average high temperature (I'm assuming it's the high temperature you're talking about and not the daily average) below 75 degrees in the summer kind of narrows it down a bit. Pretty much everywhere in the contiguous 48 states exceeds that in summer except on the West Coast. Maybe except for some parts of Northern Maine, northern areas near the Great Lakes, or locations at high altitudes, none of which would seem to be quite what you're looking for. Denver is at a high altitude, but it can get extremely hot in the summer. Unfortunately, you didn't care for San Francisco. Maybe San Diego? (Though its average high in August, the hottest month, is 77.) San Diego probably has a pretty high cost of living, though. It seems like Seattle would be the best fit for you. Similar climate as Vancouver, though I don't know much about the culture, cost of living, etc.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,691 posts, read 3,093,693 times
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Maby Boulder Colorado i'd say Seattle or Portland though
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,681,631 times
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You are talking about Vancouver BC right? Because my niece just moved from Toronto to Vancouver because she felt that Toronto was just as you described Vancouver and that Vancouver was laid back and the people were more real and easy going and the COL was less. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

As far as Portland or Seattle, there is not going to be all that much difference. They are less expensive of course than Vancouver but not all that much. There is a high cost of living in relation to salaries in Portland, people a bit hard to get to know, (Seattle Freeze, Portland Cautious) very strong job competition in Portland, rentals are high etc.

But you will find the yoga, green living, a bit of hippie culture if you look for it, natural beauty, yuppie-hippie vibe (yoga, natural food & living; I'm copying the things you like about Vancouver so you will be coming into what you like so you would be getting into pretty much the same of what you already have just a bit smaller and a tad less expensive.

I think you might enjoy Minneapolis. I like that city and it has the features you like if you can tolerate the weather.
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