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Old 08-24-2014, 04:21 AM
1 posts, read 864 times
Reputation: 10


I thought about posting this in city vs. city but I can't narrow it down to two or three cities so I will "ask the audience" on this one. I hope you will find my criteria interesting, as they are a little different from the usual that is posted here. I have a few cities in mind but I don't want to bias the results just yet. I'm a middle class, white, 24 year old male from Detroit about to finish my masters degree and join the great Michigan brain drain. Distance from Detroit is not a factor in where I'm moving. When my friends and family ask me to visit, I'll send them plane tickets to visit me instead. The only way I'm returning to hell is when the devil drags me back himself.

So here are my criteria:

Walkability / Transit: I absolutely must be able to live a car-free lifestyle. This means groceries and other basic amenities are accessible on foot while the city proper is reasonably accessible by transit.

Size / Vibrancy: It needs to feel like a big city, with that electric vibe of the concrete jungle. I would set a hard 500,000 population floor for the metro area at the very least.

Infill growth, present and future: I am an urban designer. For those who don't know what that is, its sort of a hybrid between urban planner and architect. My industry thrives on infill projects within the city and densification in its forward-thinking suburbs. This is the most important factor in me getting and keeping a job.

Dark Underground Nightlife: A strong goth and/or metal scene is a must. Fetish scenes are not so much my thing but are usually a good indicator of the former two. General nightlife is important, but still secondary to this specific sector. A good rave scene is also a huge plus.

Livability: I would define this is as a typical professional salary divided by rent and groceries in a walkable neighborhood.

Climate: I have an aversion to extreme cold. Detroit/Chicago gets too cold in the winter for me. This last winter was particularly horrendous. If this were not an issue my choice would be simple and I'd move to Toronto. Outside of this concern, I don't care about weather and climate.

Colleges: I get along well with college students and will likely be dipping back into college to take classes for professional certificates and perhaps earn another degree. Cities with strong universities and a lot of college students are preferable.

Techie/Geeky People: I have a huge passion for science fiction and the like, and I want to find lots of people I can relate to. I also just tend to get along better with these types of people in general.

Some less important concerns / data that could possibly be relevant: I'm libertarian and non-religious. Places where people are preoccupied with religion and politics would get on my nerves. I also feel bogged down in places with a lot of complex bureaucracy, but I can certainly deal with it if need be. I'm also gay and single, but rather low-key about it. A gay community that is a bit less flamboyant than the rest would be a plus. Low crime is a plus, but coming from Detroit, anywhere where I'm not regularly harassed on the street I would consider "low crime". I can handle and even enjoy a standard poor/gritty neighborhood. A good mix of popular and off-the-beaten-path cultural amenities is a plus (museums, opera, theater, etc.). A major international airport is also a plus. Situation within a large/healthy/growing megaregion (such as DC-Boston corridor or Portland-Vancouver line) would be great. A strong local music scene is preferable (I'm an electronic music composer and metal guitarist). But these are all secondary to the bold criteria.

Things I absolutely do not care about:
Sports, Food, Nature, Scenery, Topography, Architecture/Skyline, Sports, History, Ethnic Diversity, Ecological Concerns, Childrearing/Family Concerns, Traffic/Road Quality, and Sports.

So city-data, where should I move?
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:48 AM
21,206 posts, read 30,412,852 times
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I'd say NYC hands down of course some will shriek "it's too exxpenssivve". Neighborhoods like the East Village, Chinatown/Bowery, Alphabet City, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), Dumbo/Vinegar Hill (Brooklyn) or Greenpoint (Brooklyn) would place you close to the areas you'd most like to hang out in.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:48 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,387 posts, read 41,942,096 times
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Based solely on the climate, transit, infill and nightlife preferences, I would say San Francisco.

Or Tampa, which is an underrated metal capital.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:12 PM
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,458,009 times
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There is no city that ticks all your boxes. Consider dropping some "absolutes."

SF has the size, tech, culture, goth, walkability & transit, in a megaregion, climate, colleges, super gay acceptance, but is built out with little room for infill, has heavy bureaucracy, and the COL is absurd.
LA has almost all of the above plus a wonderful climate, but low walkability, has been built out, and has heavy bureaucracy.
Chicago has almost all, plus it's is a major builder, but the climate is hard, has heavy bureaucracy, not in a megaregion, and maybe lacks the goth.
Seattle, Portland, barely make it for size but may be options
Winter leaves out the Midwest, East Coast
Some cities in Texas or the South if you can handle the politics?
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:15 PM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,464 posts, read 7,531,130 times
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I think both Philadelphia and Baltimore deserve a look, particularly due to lower COL in the Northeast Corridor. Both are situated in a megaregion you've indicated that you'd find desirable and cover essentially everything you're looking for (leaning more toward Philly for walkability/transit aspect). Both definitely have a big city feel, and you'll find many with a like-minded interests in urban planning, burgeoning tech scenes, "underground" nightlife, college scenes, and gay friendliness. Both are also tailor-made cities/regions for infill development as they continue to recover from deindustrialization.

Conversely, DC is not the type of town for "alternative people" (not talking of gay friendliness, but of people who don't fit the J. Crew/Brooks Brothers mold and, not to mention, people who are not politically-oriented/obsessed). It has a relatively conservative social culture compared to many other big cities.

Crime is a consideration, also, for both B'more and Philly but are far more safe than Detroit.

Good luck!

Last edited by Duderino; 08-24-2014 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:36 PM
29,946 posts, read 27,424,696 times
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Climate might be an issue, but otherwise Seattle seems to be a good choice.
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