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Old 05-02-2013, 08:37 PM
 
25 posts, read 42,359 times
Reputation: 21

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In August or September, my boyfriend and I are looking to move. We've been holed up in a small town in Florida for far too many years, and we can't wait to get out and experience life in a big city. We're trying to keep our options open - the plan is to apply for jobs anywhere that interests us and, if something comes through that we like, seize the opportunity and go. By that point, we'll have more than enough funds saved to finance the move, so the cost of moving and getting a new place is a non-issue. What we're trying to figure out, though, is what cities would suit us best. That's where I thought this forum may come in handy!

What's important to us:
- Great public transportation system. We currently have one vehicle, but it'd be great if we could sell it and take a subway or ride our bikes to work.
- Seasons. Living in Florida, you only experience two seasons - summer and not summer. We'd love to live somewhere with a bit more variety and a lot less humidity. Also, we don't mind the snow.
- Culture. We want to live somewhere with lots of community events, museums, concerts, and things to do in general. It'd be nice to be able to alleviate boredom by simply walking outside and exploring a new part of town, checking out a new bar, or seeing what's going on around town.
- Diversity. We love being surrounded by different languages, cultures and cuisines.
- Nature in relatively close proximity. We want to live in a very urban environment, but we want to have the option of heading an hour or so outside of the city to go hiking/biking on the weekends.
- Relatively affordable housing. We're looking to spend about $1600 a month on rent for a studio or 1 bedroom apartment in a low-crime area of town.

What isn't as important but would be great:
- Politically liberal city.
- Less religious city.
- Dog friendly. I'd love to have a big dog in the future, but I know a lot of apartments in major cities are pretty opposed to pets. I'm not even sure if there are cities known for being more accepting of pets, but I figured I'd put it out there.
- Great beer scene. We're pretty big fans of microbreweries and would love to live in a city with its own beer culture.

Places we've considered: NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle.

Is there anywhere we're missing? Do any of these cities particularly fit the mold?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,851 posts, read 19,178,267 times
Reputation: 6874
Based on your criteria, I think you'd have trouble finding that type of budget to work in San Francisco, NYC, Washington DC, and possibly Boston.

In places like Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Portland, and Seattle...$1600/month can pretty much get you a 1 bedroom in any neighborhood. I'll put it this way - I live in downtown Chicago and my 1 bedroom with 24 hour doorman and private gym is a little over $1300/month. Although that is a little under average for my area, you can get places easily for $1600/month. My girlfriend's place right near Wrigley Field was $1500/month for a TWO bedroom right near a bunch of things and public transit. Before that, she was a 10 minute train ride away in a quieter neighborhood (that still had plenty of restaurants) and her two bedroom was under $1200/month. Although under average for that area again, it's not uncommon to get a two bedroom in the $1300-$1500/month range even in a good neighborhood.

Based on my own experiences and I'm just going to rate Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Portland, and Seattle in this because the others may be more expensive.

Level of Urbanity:
1. Chicago
2. Philadelphia
3. Seattle
4. Portland/Denver

Public Transit:
1. Chicago - 2nd largest public transit system in the US after NYC. The city is also getting more and more bike friendly. About to unveil a city wide bike sharing system within a month.
2. Philadelphia
3. Seattle
4. Denver
5. Portland

Diversity and Culture
1. Chicago
2. Philadelphia
3. Seattle
4. Denver
5. Portland

Nature within the proximity
1. Denver
2. Seattle
3. Portland
4. Chicago - Chicago is flat, but it has Lake Michigan which looks like an ocean since it's so big. Almost 100% of the lakefront is public land and there is an 18 mile bike path along it and 30+ beaches. Within an hour or two you can be at other areas, even skiing.
5. Philadelphia


Personally, I love all the cities. They are all kind of different in a way. Chicago is the largest and the city itself is 80% larger than the next largest (Philadelphia). If you want an urban city where you don't have to own a car, that has diversity, liberal, etc but is pretty affordable for what it is. My choices would be first Chicago, then Philadelphia, then Seattle. Seattle is the safest of the three though city wide but less urban/diverse/etc than both Chicago and Philadelphia.

That is my two cents.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Keizer, OR
1,376 posts, read 2,534,774 times
Reputation: 1148
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Level of Urbanity:
1. Chicago
2. Philadelphia
3. Seattle
4. Portland/Denver

Public Transit:
1. Chicago - 2nd largest public transit system in the US after NYC. The city is also getting more and more bike friendly. About to unveil a city wide bike sharing system within a month.
2. Philadelphia
3. Seattle
4. Denver
5. Portland

Diversity and Culture
1. Chicago
2. Philadelphia
3. Seattle
4. Denver
5. Portland

Nature within the proximity
1. Denver
2. Seattle
3. Portland
4. Chicago - Chicago is flat, but it has Lake Michigan which looks like an ocean since it's so big. Almost 100% of the lakefront is public land and there is an 18 mile bike path along it and 30+ beaches. Within an hour or two you can be at other areas, even skiing.
5. Philadelphia
I would put Portland at 3rd for public transport followed by a tie between Seattle and Denver for 4th. I would also put Portland ahead of Seattle in terms of nature accessablity, especially since there are places within the Portland city limits where you can make one turn and it's as if you're no longer in the city. Seattle doesn't really have that. Plus Seattle has more traffic and more urban sprawl than Portland, which makes getting out of the city even harder. Denver is also debateable since it really takes about an hour to get to the mountains from Denver (at least 30 to get to the foothills).
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,113,736 times
Reputation: 4494
1. Seattle
2. Portland
3. San Francisco
4. Austin
5. Denver
6. Minneapolis
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:40 PM
 
21,327 posts, read 30,683,302 times
Reputation: 19869
Quote:
Originally Posted by samananana View Post
In August or September, my boyfriend and I are looking to move. We've been holed up in a small town in Florida for far too many years, and we can't wait to get out and experience life in a big city. We're trying to keep our options open - the plan is to apply for jobs anywhere that interests us and, if something comes through that we like, seize the opportunity and go. By that point, we'll have more than enough funds saved to finance the move, so the cost of moving and getting a new place is a non-issue. What we're trying to figure out, though, is what cities would suit us best. That's where I thought this forum may come in handy!

What's important to us:
- Great public transportation system. We currently have one vehicle, but it'd be great if we could sell it and take a subway or ride our bikes to work.
- Seasons. Living in Florida, you only experience two seasons - summer and not summer. We'd love to live somewhere with a bit more variety and a lot less humidity. Also, we don't mind the snow.
- Culture. We want to live somewhere with lots of community events, museums, concerts, and things to do in general. It'd be nice to be able to alleviate boredom by simply walking outside and exploring a new part of town, checking out a new bar, or seeing what's going on around town.
- Diversity. We love being surrounded by different languages, cultures and cuisines.
- Nature in relatively close proximity. We want to live in a very urban environment, but we want to have the option of heading an hour or so outside of the city to go hiking/biking on the weekends.
- Relatively affordable housing. We're looking to spend about $1600 a month on rent for a studio or 1 bedroom apartment in a low-crime area of town.

What isn't as important but would be great:
- Politically liberal city.
- Less religious city.
- Dog friendly. I'd love to have a big dog in the future, but I know a lot of apartments in major cities are pretty opposed to pets. I'm not even sure if there are cities known for being more accepting of pets, but I figured I'd put it out there.
- Great beer scene. We're pretty big fans of microbreweries and would love to live in a city with its own beer culture.

Places we've considered: NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle.

Is there anywhere we're missing? Do any of these cities particularly fit the mold?

Thanks in advance!
As a native Floridian (and current resident of Central Florida) I totally get your pain. I lived for many years in the Northeast US and would highly recommend it. Your budget totally fits there and it provides everything you're looking for. Boston in my opinion best fits your overall criteria and would point you toward the neighborhoods of Cambridge or Roslindale specifically.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:46 PM
 
57,348 posts, read 81,741,540 times
Reputation: 12703
Perhaps the East Side neighborhoods of Pittsburgh could work near University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon(Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, etc).
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:43 PM
 
275 posts, read 400,461 times
Reputation: 154
Philly, of course! Then San Francisco and the neighborhoods of lower Manhattan
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