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Old 02-04-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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Hello there,
I need your help guys. I am a 31 year-old Cuban male who actually resides in Madrid, Spain. I am considering to relocate to USA but I am not sure which city would best fit my interests. I'd love to move to a city with lots of green space (I love outdoors), nature is very important to me, with lots of rivers and/or lakes all around, clean air, woods, low crime rates, all four seasons weather with a reasonable amount of snow in the winter (I also enjoy snowboarding and skiing), and a reasonable amount of sun all year. I'd also love a vibrant alternative rock music scene. I prefer a mid size city, nothing as large as NY, LA or Chicago and not so small either, something that feels like a small town but where not everybody knows each other. If possible, I'd like to be a drivable distance away from Montreal, Canada, as part of my family resides there, though that's not a key point in my choice (I can always take a plane). I love hiking, footing and riding bicycle as well. My English is quite good and fluent, so that should not be a problem. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:21 AM
PDF
 
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Well to start, are you eligible to work in the USA and stuff like that? Otherwise, Washington DC sounds like a great fit for you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Detroit
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Minneapolis could be a decent choice as well
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:11 AM
 
15 posts, read 49,690 times
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Originally Posted by PDF View Post
Well to start, are you eligible to work in the USA and stuff like that? Otherwise, Washington DC sounds like a great fit for you.
Have you heard about the Cuban Adjustment Act?
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Well, I'll say this with two points:

1) I suggest Minneapolis, Milwaukee, or even Madison, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee is a larger city, but the entire Minneapolis MSA is larger in population. Minneapolis is only about 380,000 people and St. Paul next to it is a little under 280,000. The entire area is a little over 3 million people. Lots of green space and a ton of lakes north of there (look up Boundary Waters).

For Milwaukee, it's nice and on the lake and just a short drive to Chicago. They actually get a number of good bands playing there too at one of their big venues. There's also a big rock festival there every year.

Madison is a few hours from Milwaukee and maybe around 225,000 people and has a major college there. They have 2 big lakes there as well and it's not very big.

2) About Chicago. It's a big city, but there are some areas where it actually feels a little bit more "small community" oriented. I'm talking about areas like Lincoln Square, Ravenswood or Andersonville, or places like Hyde Park (where University of Chicago is). My girlfriend used to live in Ravenswood area and it was very quiet and pretty green (even though you won't have a backyard if you rent a place). It's near a bunch of parks and Chicago has Lake Michigan (with beaches). I wouldn't count it out. It's a big city, but there are areas of it in the city that are surprisingly quiet and quaint where you don't feel like you're in a large city. I've lived in Minneapolis and Chicago and while Minneapolis is a great city, I much prefer Chicago. It's a world class city and not many in the world can compare to it.

The only downside is that for lakes that aren't lake michigan, the chicago river, and hiking and stuff, you have to go outside of town for it but not terribly far.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Well, I'll say this with two points:

1) I suggest Minneapolis, Milwaukee, or even Madison, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee is a larger city, but the entire Minneapolis MSA is larger in population. Minneapolis is only about 380,000 people and St. Paul next to it is a little under 280,000. The entire area is a little over 3 million people. Lots of green space and a ton of lakes north of there (look up Boundary Waters).

For Milwaukee, it's nice and on the lake and just a short drive to Chicago. They actually get a number of good bands playing there too at one of their big venues. There's also a big rock festival there every year.

Madison is a few hours from Milwaukee and maybe around 225,000 people and has a major college there. They have 2 big lakes there as well and it's not very big.

2) About Chicago. It's a big city, but there are some areas where it actually feels a little bit more "small community" oriented. I'm talking about areas like Lincoln Square, Ravenswood or Andersonville, or places like Hyde Park (where University of Chicago is). My girlfriend used to live in Ravenswood area and it was very quiet and pretty green (even though you won't have a backyard if you rent a place). It's near a bunch of parks and Chicago has Lake Michigan (with beaches). I wouldn't count it out. It's a big city, but there are areas of it in the city that are surprisingly quiet and quaint where you don't feel like you're in a large city. I've lived in Minneapolis and Chicago and while Minneapolis is a great city, I much prefer Chicago. It's a world class city and not many in the world can compare to it.

The only downside is that for lakes that aren't lake michigan, the chicago river, and hiking and stuff, you have to go outside of town for it but not terribly far.
Thanks a lot, your opinion helps a lot!!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Originally Posted by arielhben View Post
Thanks a lot, your opinion helps a lot!!!
No problem. I should add that none of these cities have a HUGE population of Cubans if that matters. Chicago has the most sizable population of all of them. There's some good Cuban restaurants and some Cuban markets here, but there's a lot of Puerto Ricans and Mexicans here instead. I think most Cubans are in Florida or NYC in the US.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
No problem. I should add that none of these cities have a HUGE population of Cubans if that matters. Chicago has the most sizable population of all of them. There's some good Cuban restaurants and some Cuban markets here, but there's a lot of Puerto Ricans and Mexicans here instead. I think most Cubans are in Florida or NYC in the US.
Yes, you're right. Most Cubans live in FL, especially Miami. I'm not strictly looking to relocate in a Cuban community, though. However, some countrymen would be great. I have been living in Europe for some years, so I guess I've got used to be a "stranger". Thx. (Chicago seems promising, but I also like Madison and the Twin Cities)
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,043,001 times
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Originally Posted by arielhben View Post
Yes, you're right. Most Cubans live in FL, especially Miami. I'm not strictly looking to relocate in a Cuban community, though. However, some countrymen would be great. I have been living in Europe for some years, so I guess I've got used to be a "stranger". Thx. (Chicago seems promising, but I also like Madison and the Twin Cities)
Makes sense to me. There's no cuban communities here in Chicago (or any other of the cities I mentioned), just cuban people and some food (there's a famous Cuban food place in Chicago actually). I think all of the cities are great especially if you want 4 seasons. Minneapolis is a little bit colder than Chicago in the winter (7-10 degrees F) and gets more snow, but it's still a good area. Summer in all areas is good, Chicago wins though. I have a friend here from Miami who is Cuban and loves Chicago FWIW. You want a smaller city, but it's possible within Chicago..just depends on where you live. The areas I mentioned are definitely quieter but still have stuff to do. Chicago also has by far the best public transit out of the three cities (second most extensive in the US only to NYC).

Milwaukee or Madison are good locations if you want to go to some of the cities more easily around. Of course, Chicago has two airports, one international which is one of the largest in the world. Minneapolis' airport is sizable too. Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the cities.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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I think Minneapolis wins for its accessibility to outdoorsy stuff though.

Here is a video on Andersonville in Chicago by the way
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