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Old 12-05-2014, 02:50 PM
 
306 posts, read 593,351 times
Reputation: 174

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I was talking to a friend about the kind of place I want to live in and she suggested maybe less than 10 cities in the U.S. actually fit my criteria. What do you think? The main gist is I want to live in a metro city center and have a lot of convenience on foot.

Criteria for my new city:
  1. Don't need a car or a bike for anything. Everything can be done via walking and public transit. Cabs don't have to be everywhere like in New York, but they should be driving around to catch one. I don't bike and I don't want to own a car or need to rent one.
  2. Not oppressively hot in the summers.
  3. Not astronomical prices. I'd say $3000 for a one-bedroom, like in San Francisco, is a bit ridiculous. A one bedroom for $1500 or less would be ideal.
  4. Safe. Every city has bad parts, but I as a young woman, I want to walk in the main parts in broad daylight and not worry too much.
  5. Great local food and great local coffee and good bars too. I want to try new places all the time and I want it to be good, local, non-chain quality stuff. I want wherever I am in the city center for great food or coffee to be only a block or two away.

Cities I know meet my criteria are Chicago, New York and Portland, Oregon. NYC can be expensive, but if I lived outside of Manhattan, it'd probably be somewhat more affordable. I think Washington D.C. almost fits, but summer in D.C. is very hot and very humid and quite unpleasant to walk around in for me. Boston and San Francisco probably also fit, but seem rather expensive so I'm looking for more possibilities.

What other cities would you add to this list?

Last edited by muffincake; 12-05-2014 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,161,575 times
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DC is really no more hot than NYC TBH - In general both are oppresive at times in the summer

Off the top of my head and no real order

Boston
NYC
Philadelphia
DC
Chicago
SF


next tier
LA
Seattle
Pittsburgh
Portland
Baltimore
Cleveland
Cinci
and am sure more
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 811,102 times
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I've been looking for a similar spot -- though one with warm weather too and it's TOUGH -- most walkable cities are in the North or Northeast, especially those with good mass transit. You won't get a 1-BR in any of them for $1500; New York City, Chicago, DC, Boston, San Francisco, or Seattle (all very livable downtowns with good walking or mass-transit options and amenities - but expensive). LA is also pricey and walkability is questionable.

I lived in Seattle for 13 years and also Philly, and traveled to all the rest or have friends there, so my information isn't unreliable.

Philadelphia might be a possibility, as well as Portland.

If you don't mind cold weather, Buffalo, NY might fit your criteria; there are some good historic and affordable walkable neighborhoods with amenities, and a nice 1-BR can be had for about $750 (and most walkable 'hoods are quite safe). I've lived here for 7 years now, and though I am leaving in 2015 (I hate the weather) for the South, it does meet a lot of your criteria.
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:39 PM
 
306 posts, read 593,351 times
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Chicago is actually pretty affordable. I lived there recently. It's definitely cheaper than NYC, Boston, SF and DC. I am looking for advice from people who have lived in or been to the cities they are recommending, please!

Buffalo NY is not a city you can survive in 100% without a car. You will absolutely need a car for certain things. Please no ridiculous responses like this. Haha. Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:29 PM
 
56,617 posts, read 80,910,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muffincake View Post
Chicago is actually pretty affordable. I lived there recently. It's definitely cheaper than NYC, Boston, SF and DC. I am looking for advice from people who have lived in or been to the cities they are recommending, please!

Buffalo NY is not a city you can survive in 100% without a car. You will absolutely need a car for certain things. Please no ridiculous responses like this. Haha. Thanks!
Why is Buffalo a ridiculous response? List of U.S. cities with most households without a car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of U.S. cities with high transit ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 12-05-2014 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:35 PM
 
306 posts, read 593,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Why is Buffalo a ridiculous response?
Off topic. Back on topic please. Other city suggestions?
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:40 PM
 
56,617 posts, read 80,910,543 times
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These lists should help give you an idea, OP. Here is some more info: List of U.S. cities with most pedestrian commuters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of United States rapid transit systems by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of United States light rail systems by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of United States local bus agencies by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of United States commuter rail systems by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:10 PM
 
112 posts, read 77,283 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by muffincake View Post
Chicago is actually pretty affordable. I lived there recently. It's definitely cheaper than NYC, Boston, SF and DC. I am looking for advice from people who have lived in or been to the cities they are recommending, please!

Buffalo NY is not a city you can survive in 100% without a car. You will absolutely need a car for certain things. Please no ridiculous responses like this. Haha. Thanks!
So you must already know what cities to look at since you know which ones are ridiculous without even looking at them.

Why not check out the links and lose the attitude. Haha. Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,763,005 times
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Wake up, you are dreaming.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,458 posts, read 7,523,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muffincake View Post
Chicago is actually pretty affordable. I lived there recently. It's definitely cheaper than NYC, Boston, SF and DC. I am looking for advice from people who have lived in or been to the cities they are recommending, please!
In terms of truly robustly walkable cities that you're searching for, you're really not going to find a super long list. There are many cities that are making strides to improve their walkability, but in terms of a very convenient, day-to-day walkable lifestyle, unfortunately there are slim pickings.

The "Big 6" transit cities of the US include Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago and San Francisco, which also happen to be among the most walkable. Seattle is also highly walkable, but public transit would be a tier below these cities.

When you factor in affordability (every one of these cities would meet your other criteria just fine [with the already noted exception of DC summers]), Chicago and Philadelphia are definitely the most budget-friendly in the walkable/public transit-friendly class of cities.

Last edited by Duderino; 12-05-2014 at 10:35 PM..
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