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Old 11-29-2014, 11:21 AM
 
404 posts, read 737,677 times
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As the title says, list and rank the places you have lived in order of quality of life. Feel free to add as much or as little detail as you want. I'll start:

1. Breckenridge, CO - Beautiful scenery, great skiing, charming town, only real complaint is cost and lack of jobs.

2. Bethel, ME - Same as above on a smaller scale.

3. Boulder, CO - Great scenery, fun atmosphere, unique culture. Sprawling, far from skiing, expensive.

4. Scituate, MA - Nice summers and fall, good for families. Far from everything, not good for young adults.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,113,945 times
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1. Hartford County, CT - great scenery, four seasons, progressive politics, amenities, nice zoning, not too big or too small for me

2. Fairfield County, CT - extremely high cost of living, boring, horrific traffic congestion, lack of shopping centers for the middle class, too many rich people everywhere, income inequality is the highest in the nation

3. NYC - extremely high cost of living, I hate public transit, noise and city life in general
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,510,289 times
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1. Minneapolis, MN -- Progressive, clean city. Amazing culture and arts scene. Great parks. Civically engaged people. Moderate cost of living. Thriving economy. Public transportation isn't the greatest, but it's getting a lot better.

2. Chicago, IL -- COL is less than Philly, DC, Boston, and Seattle, yet the city offers so much more to see/do/experience. Very walkable and bikable. Very diverse. Great architecture. Though, life in Chicago can stressful. It's very segregated. Lots of obnoxious drunks. Reading about all the crime on South and West sides of the city, while not directly affecting my personal safety, depressed me.

3. Baltimore, MD -- Walkable, dense city with lots to see and do. I love the bay and being close to Philly and DC. Great street food. I love the big, lush trees and the redbrick row houses. Though, given what the city has to offer, the COL is not quite worth it. Looking forward to moving back to the Midwest (I have my eye on Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indy, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Louisville) in the next couple years.

4. Tucson, AZ -- Great outdoor activities. I love the mountains! The University of Arizona attracts interesting cultural events. I also enjoyed the laid-back attitude. Cost of living is low. Though the oppressive heat hinders being active in the summer months. Suburban sprawl is a big problem. Public transportation is poor.

5. Syracuse, NY -- Great farmers markets and a low cost of living. Close to the Finger Lakes with are amazingly beautiful. You have canoeing, skiing, and sailing in your back yard. Despite the fact that it is small enough to be very bikable, it is not bike friendly; I was almost killed biking down Erie Blvd. multiple times. The city suffers from horrible urban decay and is depressing. Economy is sluggish. It's gloomy. Despite the major university, the city also suffers from brain drain. Given it's size, the public transportation couldn't be any worse. The bus doesn't even serve the airport, meaning I'd have to shell out $70, round trip, for cab rides whenever I had to leave town.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Maryland
4,268 posts, read 5,473,848 times
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1) Madison, WI-- nice size city, relatively low COL compared to the amenities vs. big cities, decent bus system, nice outdoor opportunities

2) tie of Chicago, IL and Boston, MA--both wonderful urban amenities, great public transportation, love taking advantage of all the recreation at Lake Michigan or the ocean, rich and diverse populations, easily walkable and bikeable, barely used a car

3) tie of Springfield, IL and Peoria, IL--small cities, really low COL, near family, nice but small farmers markets, not super diverse and poor public transit, nice four seasons, nice walkable downtowns, still have to drive most places

4) Round Rock, TX--for all its lauded family friendliness, the extremely suburban life was really uninspiring, bad traffic and had to drive everywhere, so hot in the summer and unenjoyable, nice outdoor opportunities once outside of the suburbs
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Old 11-29-2014, 12:58 PM
 
56,531 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn.Davenport View Post
1. Minneapolis, MN -- Progressive, clean city. Amazing culture and arts scene. Great parks. Civically engaged people. Moderate cost of living. Thriving economy. Public transportation isn't the greatest, but it's getting a lot better.

2. Chicago, IL -- COL is less than Philly, DC, Boston, and Seattle, yet the city offers so much more to see/do/experience. Very walkable and bikable. Very diverse. Great architecture. Though, life in Chicago can stressful. It's very segregated. Lots of obnoxious drunks. Reading about all the crime on South and West sides of the city, while not directly affecting my personal safety, depressed me.

3. Baltimore, MD -- Walkable, dense city with lots to see and do. I love the bay and being close to Philly and DC. Great street food. I love the big, lush trees and the redbrick row houses. Though, given what the city has to offer, the COL is not quite worth it. Looking forward to moving back to the Midwest (I have my eye on Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indy, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Louisville) in the next couple years.

4. Tucson, AZ -- Great outdoor activities. I love the mountains! The University of Arizona attracts interesting cultural events. I also enjoyed the laid-back attitude. Cost of living is low. Though the oppressive heat hinders being active in the summer months. Suburban sprawl is a big problem. Public transportation is poor.

5. Syracuse, NY -- Great farmers markets and a low cost of living. Close to the Finger Lakes with are amazingly beautiful. You have canoeing, skiing, and sailing in your back yard. Despite the fact that it is small enough to be very bikable, it is not bike friendly; I was almost killed biking down Erie Blvd. multiple times. The city suffers from horrible urban decay and is depressing. Economy is sluggish. It's gloomy. Despite the major university, the city also suffers from brain drain. Given it's size, the public transportation couldn't be any worse. The bus doesn't even serve the airport, meaning I'd have to shell out $70, round trip, for cab rides whenever I had to leave town.
Erie Boulevard isn't really walkable and is built around cars, since it was infill for the original Erie Canal and is a strip of primarily big box stores. Most of the bike lanes in the city are on main streets and especially around/near Syracuse University and Westcott. It is also a hilly city as well.

Again, the city varies in terms of neighborhoods/looks and public transportation is best along the major streets. Health Care, higher education and some tech, as well as some manufacturing jobs are in the area. There is some brain drain, but it is actually middle of the pack in the percentage of people 25 and older with at least a Bachelor's degree in regards to the top 100 metros in the US(about 30% with at least a Bachelor's degree in the metro, which is around the national percentage).

I'll give you the bus service to the airport, but there is bus service to the Transportation Center, which has interstate bus and train service. I suggest SU Taxi to the airport.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:18 PM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
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1. Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro NC -- Moderate cost of living, well educated-progressive population in general, moderate four season climate, fantastic food/restaurant scene, not overbuilt/congested, friendly people, lots of outdoor recreational activities

2. Washington DC -- While expensive it offers world class transportation/infrastructure and cultural opportunity, well educated-progressive population, a thriving restaurant scene, excellent walkability, bike friendliness, beautiful neighborhoods with great architecture, lots of trees/greenspace, a big city feel with a human scale (not all vertical)

3. Philadelphia PA -- A mix of NYC and Boston in my opinion, with the charm of neither. It offers a more affordable cost of living if that's your primary criteria as well as a grungy to overall filthy "charm" that some seem to gravitate willingly toward. The food scene is actually quite good and there is some great architecture/history as well. A nice stepdown from those who can't hack NYC I suppose.

4. Orlando FL -- A small suburban sprawl city that has morphed into a "major metro area" through a continual string of strip malls and cookie cutter residential areas. "Culture" is largely limited to chain restaurants/retail and amusement park touristy endeavors sprinkled with small town attempts at theater and whatnot that are great for smaller towns, but not from a "major city' perspective. The vastly under-educated/non-progressive metro area population of over 2 million (75% of whom don't have college degrees) loves it just like it is.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,052,638 times
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1. Minneapolis - Lots to do. Big city amenities with a low cost of living. More diverse and cosmopolitan than most people realize if they haven't been there. Good music, art, theater and restaurant scenes. Fantastic parks. Lakes and beaches in the heart of the city. Crappy winter weather is made up for by the fact that the city is strong in nearly every other category.

2. Chicago - Great urban environment. The most affordable metropolis type city in the country. Anyone can find their niche there. Sometimes it seems like a city full of people with suburban and small town mindsets. Has some crime issues.

3. St Paul - Incredibly safe for a central city. Has some really beautiful Victorian neighborhoods. Surprisingly cheap. It can be incredibly boring and somewhat insular. Its best attribute is that it is next to Minneapolis.

4. Clinton/Utica, NY - Horrible. Like a redneck version of the Jersey Shore. A dying, decaying rustbelt crap hole full of racists, bigots and the sort of people who want to reach for their gun every time they hear the word culture. A place full of people who have given up. Was likely a beautiful area 100 years ago.

Last edited by Drewcifer; 12-01-2014 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Montana
522 posts, read 555,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewcifer View Post

4. Clinton/Utica, NY - Horrible. Like a redneck version of the Jersey Shore. A dying, decaying rustbelt crap hole full of racists, bigots and the sort of people who want to reach for their gun every time they hear the word culture. A place full of people who have given up. Was likely a beautiful area 100 years ago.
OMG. Sounds like I should stay away from Utica, huh?
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:51 PM
 
56,531 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewcifer View Post
1. Minneapolis - Lots to do. Big city amenities with a low cost of living. More diverse and cosmopolitan than most people realize if they haven't been there. Good music, art, theater and restaurant scenes. Fantastic parks. Lakes and beaches in the heart of the city. Crappy winter weather is made up for by the fact that the city is strong in nearly every other category.

2. Chicago - Great urban environment. The most affordable metropolis type city in the country. Anyone can find their niche there. Sometimes it seems like a city full of people with suburban and small town mindsets. Has some crime issues.

3. St Paul - Incredibly safe for a central city. Has some really beautiful Victorian neighborhoods. Surprisingly cheap. I can be incredibly boring and somewhat insular. Its best attribute is that it is next to Minneapolis.

4. Clinton/Utica, NY - Horrible. Like a redneck version of the Jersey Shore. A dying, decaying rustbelt crap hole full of racists, bigots and the sort of people who want to reach for their gun every time they hear the word culture. A place full of people who have given up. Was likely a beautiful area 100 years ago.
Clinton is actually home to Hamilton College, a small private college and has a small arts scene. Utica has a symphony, a ballet company and there is some live performing arts in Rome and Utica at places like the Capitol and Stanley Theaters, among some others. There's also the Pratt Institute at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute as well. I can maybe see the rural areas maybe being this way, but I'd think that those other communities would be balanced. Utica Art Association

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 12-01-2014 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Montana
522 posts, read 555,138 times
Reputation: 746
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
4. Orlando FL -- A small suburban sprawl city that has morphed into a "major metro area" through a continual string of strip malls and cookie cutter residential areas. "Culture" is largely limited to chain restaurants/retail and amusement park touristy endeavors sprinkled with small town attempts at theater and whatnot that are great for smaller towns, but not from a "major city' perspective. The vastly under-educated/non-progressive metro area population of over 2 million (75% of whom don't have college degrees) loves it just like it is.
Totally agree. And you know the weird thing? People I talk to always tell me how much they love Orlando! I honestly didn't even like the "upper class" Winter Park area either...! I guess we're the weird ones.
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