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Old 04-30-2013, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 106,795 times
Reputation: 34

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I've been a long time reader but first time poster and I desperately need some advice.
I currently live in Fresno, CA and absolutely hate it It's all mostly ag business and manufacturing here and very little room for growth. I want to move out of California but I'm having such a hard time deciding where to consider.
My first instinct was NYC. I lived a year in Beijing and absolutely loved the big city! More than anything, I loved how everyone was walking, biking, and public transportation was awesome. It made it seem like people actually existed and were alive! I loved how I could walk out and there'd by a grocery store or restaurant just a minute walking distance away. I really want to move somewhere where I don't need a car. I hate how Fresno is so spread out.That being said, everywhere I search online, people tell me it's a terrible idea for a mother and child to live there (as in single or divorced mother). All I keep hearing is that it's too expensive. I've considered San Francisco, but having been there several times, I didn't really like the vibe and I still want to go out of state. Putting that into consideration, I'm open to any place right now. I'll give you a list of things I strongly prefer (from most preferred to least):

-outside of CA
-great public transit (I don't want a spread out city and want to be able to get around without a car and not have to wait an hour for a bus or go 20 minutes away for the grocery store)
-don't want year round cold weather or tornadoes (snow is fine as long as I can have a summer)
-safe neighborhoods that are affordable (maybe pay less tax than what I do in CA)
-good schools
-good career opportunities (I'm currently an office assistant/receptionist but I don't want to limit myself to this forever; I have a BA in international econ)

Things that would make things all the better but are not necessary:
-large diverse population (I am willing to sacrifice this if everything else seems great and am also open to living outside a large city)
-nature near by

I'm open to tiny towns and large ones... However, I do not want to move to Oregon or Virginia because I have relatives there and definitely don't want to be close.

What cities can you suggest? Is NYC still possible (without ending up in the "projects")?
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:51 PM
 
7,238 posts, read 10,893,462 times
Reputation: 5583
Have you considered Chicago or Philadelphia?
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 106,795 times
Reputation: 34
313Weather I have not considered Philadelphia... but have considered Chicago although people tell me it has a bad job market. What are your opinions of Philadelphia or Chicago?
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:37 PM
 
7,238 posts, read 10,893,462 times
Reputation: 5583
Well they do have what you're looking for, in terms of the urban lifestyle, the large diverse population, nearby nature and and a lower COL in comparison to San Francisco and NYC.

If I were to move today, Chicago and Philadelphia would be 2 of my top places to relocate (from Detroit).

The job market in Chicago and Philadelphia isn't great, but I imagine it can't be much worse than what it is in California. You should be able to find something with your education and experience.

The better job prospects these days tend to be in sun belt cities (I.E. Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, D.C., etc.), which are generally suburban in nature.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 106,795 times
Reputation: 34
313Weather You're totally right on the unemployment... Fresno has a 14-16% unemployment rate and the whole central valley is worse off than any other part in California. I'm liking the way Chicago is looking and I keep hearing it has great public transportation. I will definitely consider it!
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,010,012 times
Reputation: 6805
Quote:
Originally Posted by neinei876 View Post
313Weather I have not considered Philadelphia... but have considered Chicago although people tell me it has a bad job market.
Not really all around. It depends on what you are going into...some areas are very very good in the markets and some are poor. Almost every city/msa in the US has things that it's really good with and things that you won't be good with. I live in Chicago and my personal "field" is great...I get contacted by people all the time looking to pull me away from my current job, but it's not like that for everything.

Also, define affordable? Let's say Rent + Utilities and what type of housing you're looking for (alone or roommates too?). There's really only a few cities where you can say things are very walkable, don't have to own a car, and can take public transit. IMO those areas are NYC, Chicago, DC, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and maybe a few others in smaller areas. The most affordable by far up there are Chicago and Philadelphia if you compare them against cities of their own kind.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 106,795 times
Reputation: 34
Marothisu, I would definitely be living without roommates since I have a daughter. Affordable is hard to define since it differs from city to city, and job to job. I am going to be going into administrative positions since those are where my strongest skills are but am also considering furthering my education (possibly in economics), so would like a broader range of opportunities but I guess that comes with most of the cities you listed above. I will definitely look into Chicago since it does have great public transit and is a big city.

Btw, what do you do for work and what is your opinion of Chicago? It'd be nice to hear it from someone who currently lives there.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:29 AM
 
56,588 posts, read 80,870,855 times
Reputation: 12500
If you don't mind a smaller city/town, look into Ithaca NY or Ann Arbor MI.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:01 AM
 
21,188 posts, read 30,359,201 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by neinei876 View Post
313Weather I have not considered Philadelphia... but have considered Chicago although people tell me it has a bad job market. What are your opinions of Philadelphia or Chicago?
Since you have a daughter and want to live in an urban environment I would steer clear of Philadelphia which has extremely poor-performing schools within the city limits. It's also as a result of that it's not so family-friendly in most areas since families with kids tend to gravitate to the suburbs where the schools are much better.

I would urge you to keep NYC as a possibility as close-in suburbs like Forest Hills or Kew Gardens in Queens, Montclair NJ or even Hoboken NJ (right across the river from NYC) are very walkable with lots of services/things to do nearby, have good schools generally and offer easy commutes to the city.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
1,196 posts, read 2,121,355 times
Reputation: 512
Washington, D.C. (City Proper and Metro)

-We have the best economy
-2nd best subway system in the country
-The Wealthiest counties
-The best schools (Maryland ranks #1 in the nation)
-Great Colleges
-Diversity
-Excellent Parks
-Bike lanes
-Bike Sharing
-One of the cleanest cities in the country
-Weather is four seasons
-Three airports
-Union station probably the best intercity station in the country. (You have Amtrak, Commuter trains, Metro, as well as Greyhoung, Bolt, Megabus, etc)
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