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Old 06-12-2013, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
138 posts, read 196,697 times
Reputation: 61

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I am an American who has been living in Australia for the last few years.
When I lived in America I always lived in small towns. Now I live in downtown Sydney Australia and love it.
Now that I have experienced downtown living I don't want to give it up.
However, I would like to move back to America but I haven't yet decided where to move. My Australian friends are trying to convince me to move to New York but I think that is too big for me.

Here is what I am looking for:
I gave up my car when I moved here and I have never missed it. I want to move somewhere that I can walk easily to anywhere I need to go.

I also want to move to a downtown with an active nightlife, great shopping, a china town, lots of restaurants. plenty of places to go for a morning coffee, and plenty of park space.

I also want to move to a city that feels like a city. Vibrant and booming. I was thinking about Chicago but I'm afraid that might be too big, however I've never been there so I wouldn't know what to expect.

Can anybody recomend somewhere that might suit me?
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:43 PM
 
56,510 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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What is considered to be too big?
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:05 PM
 
9,383 posts, read 9,529,334 times
Reputation: 5786
Boston if you prefer Dunkins
Seattle for Starbucks
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,448 posts, read 7,515,654 times
Reputation: 4334
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasR30 View Post
I also want to move to a downtown with an active nightlife, great shopping, a china town, lots of restaurants. plenty of places to go for a morning coffee, and plenty of park space.
Outside of New York, there are only a handful of fairly large American downtowns that are generally considered to be "vibrant" with lots of amenities. Your options are essentially:

- Chicago
- San Francisco
- Philadelphia
- Boston

Next tier of downtowns, which are quickly becoming more vibrant:

- Washington, DC
- Seattle

The following tier, which have developing or smaller downtowns:

- Atlanta
- Baltimore
- Denver
- Los Angeles
- Portland
- Minneapolis

Good luck!

Last edited by Duderino; 06-12-2013 at 06:20 PM..
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
138 posts, read 196,697 times
Reputation: 61
Thanks Duderino, that is helpful. I was thinking of Chicago and San Francisco. Those are the ones I have researched. I haven't looked into Philadelphia or Boston yet. I think a life in Boston sounds like fun.

Oh, and I mean Starbucks type coffee rather than Dunken Donuts.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:06 PM
 
7,238 posts, read 10,889,101 times
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I agree with everyone else, Chicago and San Francisco would be your best choices.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,438 posts, read 4,222,507 times
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Chicago and Boston are a lot colder than Sydney in winter, aren't they? Does Sydney get buried in snow a few times a year?

Portland might work for you.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,310,239 times
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I'd consider SF, Boston or DC if you have money, Chicago if you don't. Chicago and SF are pretty easily the second best downtowns in the USA IMO, but I say SF because I feel like you'd assimilate better there given your Australian background. If you provided more information about your likes, your job, etc. perhaps people could better steer you in the right direction. I don't mean to downplay downtown's significance in your life but I'm assuming there are other key factors at play as well (e.g. weather, income, job, schools, etc.).

If I were you I'd try to make SF work, simply because it's so damn cool and so much fun to live in! Me being me, I'd pick Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Philly, etc. because weather doesn't deter me and I like the culture of those cities more than the others. Culture is a very important criteria for me, but it's very hard to measure.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
138 posts, read 196,697 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
Chicago and Boston are a lot colder than Sydney in winter, aren't they? Does Sydney get buried in snow a few times a year?

Portland might work for you.
It's winter in Sydney right now and it is 65 degrees and sunny. However, I actually like the snow. As long as the summers are nice.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
138 posts, read 196,697 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
I'd consider SF, Boston or DC if you have money, Chicago if you don't. Chicago and SF are pretty easily the second best downtowns in the USA IMO, but I say SF because I feel like you'd assimilate better there given your Australian background. If you provided more information about your likes, your job, etc. perhaps people could better steer you in the right direction. I don't mean to downplay downtown's significance in your life but I'm assuming there are other key factors at play as well (e.g. weather, income, job, schools, etc.).

If I were you I'd try to make SF work, simply because it's so damn cool and so much fun to live in! Me being me, I'd pick Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Philly, etc. because weather doesn't deter me and I like the culture of those cities more than the others. Culture is a very important criteria for me, but it's very hard to measure.
Weather isn't that important to me either. The Sydney sun is nice but not necessary. I have an HR background, mostly in retail. Which is part of the reason a strong retail core is important to me. My soon to be wife is a medical specialist so a good local hospital is also important (but I imagine all major cities have access to that). We have no kids nor do we plan to have any so a that isn't a factor either. Cost of living isn't an issue because I believe we both have reasonable earning potential.

The advice you guys are giving is incredible.
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