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Old 05-04-2015, 03:24 PM
2 posts, read 1,494 times
Reputation: 10


I am a 23 year old female college grad looking for a city to move to and begin my "adult" life. I'm planning to get my doctorate and become a therapist, and I'm trying to focus my search for schools based on a location I plan to settle down in. To get a feel for my lifestyle: I love spending my weekends outdoors, my nights going out in the city, and my day-to-day having educated conversations and debates with friends. My friends say I'm an old soul. Meaning I love to read, cook, garden, DIY, shop at farmers markets, bike to work, recycle, read periodicals, I play 7 instruments, etc. I'm very attracted to open-minded, green/ outdoorsy, intellectual environments. I maintain this weird dichotomy between science-y and artsy (I double majored in molecular biology and psychology, with minors in photography, music, and literature). In a dream world there would be a place to foster both of those lifestyles.

I grew up in the LA area and have never been much of a fan. It's far too hot (it isn't abnormal to see 100s in summer), the traffic is a nightmare (I hate hour-long commutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic to/from work), and I don't like how spread out the city is. The designated "downtown" is small, subpar and far from other areas, and the public transportation is a nightmare. If I want to go out with friends in the city at night, there isn't an easy way to hop around between places. It's also pretty dirty in my opinion, crime rates are high, rent is even higher, and there are only two seasons: summer and please-kill-me-am-I-in-hell heat. I'm a very outdoorsy person, and there isn't much variety for things to do outdoors, places to go, things to see. I enjoy horse back riding (I own two horses) hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, etc. vs. shopping.

I went to college in Santa Cruz, Ca (bay area) and I absolutely loved how different it was, which is what I was going for. The weather stayed between 50-80 year round, but for the most part it stays around 70. Clear sunny days are the norm, except for a few months of winter that will rain often (which i enjoy). It's directly on the beach (an absolute MUST for me). My place was a 5 min walk from the ocean, 15 min walk from a 250ft redwood forest. In my opinion its one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, next to Washington state area which is very similar. It's situated in the redwood forest, overlooking the ocean. I could go hiking in the mountains and surf 6 ft waves within the same morning if I so desired. It's a very liberal, open-minded town with a focus on outdoor recreation and a pretty intellectual college environment. It's very "me" to be honest. I loved it there. Downsides were that is was a very small town (at least for a SoCal girl). There weren't a lot of options as to where to go out at night. Few bars, few restaurants, not a lot of variety. If it was a little closer to a big town it would be perfect. But it was 1.5 hrs from SF and 45 min from San Jose. That was nice for a weekend get-away, but not feasible for anything more.

Current considerations:
Cities I've loved since childhood are San Francisco and Seattle. I've always wanted to live in a city-like atmosphere in my 20s-early 30s and then planned to settle down in a more urban area outside of the city. Where I could still work and play in the metropolitan area, but raise a family in a more small-town environment with bigger living quarters and possibly a small piece of land. I love the density of SF, and the districts. It's easy and relatively quick to go from russian hill, to china town, to the mission, over to berkley, etc. I need that variety, to be honest. If SF and Santa Cruz were within a 10-30 min commute, I would situate myself there in a heartbeat, because they both have incredible pros... On a different note, I've always seen seattle as one of the most perfect/beautiful places to live. But its a place Im less familiar with, which can be scary. My only concern is the wet cloudy weather. I could handle it, and honestly enjoy that if it's for 3-5 months in the year, but I'm hesitant about my ability to withstand that year-round. I'm told its quite an adjustment. I've visited and loved it, but that can't be likened to day-to-day life experience in that city. Also, does it have districts similar to SF? What about surrounding areas? In SF you're 2-3 hrs from Tahoe, and hour from Napa, 2 hours from Big Sur. What are the attractions around Seattle?

At the moment, SF is ranking number one, merely because it's what I know. Seattle is a close second. But I'm sure there are a ton of places out there that I don't even know about that may be even better fits. This is where you well-traveled individuals come in.... I have also considered New Jersey, Portland, NY, Boston, San Diego. Most of these places I'm not too familiar with, which you can tell by the fact that I'm mostly mentioning entire states vs cities, so insider knowledge is helpful.

Summary of what I'm looking for:
-I love college towns, but now that I'm growing up I'm looking for the young professional scene more, with room to grow as I get older.
-It must be coastal. One of my favorite things to do is spend time at the beach to relax after/before a stressful day. If I'm too far from the ocean I go absolutely insane, so middle america/ inward cities are out.
-Median weather is a big thing for me as well. If it's too cold or too hot, it's not fun being outdoors. And that's where I love to be most. I can compromise on this a bit, I understand most places aren't 50-80 year round. But please not 0s/100s ends of the spectrum. If anything I rather it be a bit colder than hotter. I can add layers, but I can't avoid heat stroke.
-A lot to do outdoors. To get an idea, I think washington is one of the most beautiful and fruitful places...I enjoy horse back riding (I own two horses) hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, surfing
-Urban/ metropolitan options that are dense and diverse
-Open-minded, green, intellectual environment.
-It's low on my list, but I've alway wanted to experience the seasons (or at least 3 of them: Fall, Spring, Summer, winter if it's mild- I like to visit the snow, but not a fan of digging my car out each morning. If it snows intermittently I'm okay.)

I understand this "perfect" city likely doesn't exist, and I am, of course, lenient and willing to negotiate in areas that are necessary. I'm just looking for the best match and I'm currently overwhelmed by all the options.

Thank you in advance for any opinions you can provide!

Last edited by sdmiliotti; 05-04-2015 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:56 PM
93 posts, read 76,244 times
Reputation: 52
I feel ya; also young, professional (male) who needs to be on the coast! Also in an active area.
Are you looking to stick to the West?

If no, how do you feel about

New Orleans
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:20 PM
2 posts, read 1,494 times
Reputation: 10

I'm not set on the west coast per se, but the idea of not being TOO far from family is a nice notion. I'm willing to move to the east coast, (parents grew up in NY/NJ, and they have great things to say) it's just so unknown to me I wouldn't know where to start.

I've looked into Boston and it seems great! Boston (and NJ) are tied for 3rd on my list. But the last time I was in Massachusetts was in elementary school so I don't have much of a basis to compare it to. I would like to visit and feel it out. Have any opinions on that area? ... Florida is far too hot and humid in my opinion. Visited for 3 weeks and that was even too much. I will look into New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah. Thanks!!
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:02 PM
93 posts, read 76,244 times
Reputation: 52
Im working in Boston now. And this city is busy! In all industries. Tons of opportunities with some of the best companies out there.
Also access to some of the best universities. Professionally its been great for me.

Bostons fast-paced and hardworking...which is good for the above reasons. But personally, I feel that reflects the culture of the city too much. Lots of rushed people. Lighten-up!

I've been to the south and I get really good 'vibes' from the culture and people out there (New Orleans & Savannah, heard the same for Charleston too).

I've got a great group of friends, family etc here if it weren't for that...I'd definitely be elsewhere!
This is definitely the time to do it while under 30
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:56 PM
1 posts, read 636 times
Reputation: 10
HI All! I lived on both west and east coast, and places in between. I think it depends on what you personally like and all of us are different is some ways. I love Seattle, Boston, and San Fran. because I HATE hot weather. Lived in South and hated it because it was summer from April through Oct. I loved the outdoors, but when it's not 95 and humid!!!
It's all what you like.
I hate sitting at a pool baking, boring.. but some people like it.. I love to swim laps and ride bikes, walk in rain.. But when that heat comes, goodbye!
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:11 PM
Location: Alameda, CA
43 posts, read 40,210 times
Reputation: 45
Unless you're made of money, stay away from SF. Rent is bonkers, food is ridiculously overpriced, public transportation within the city is a joke, traffic is as bad as L.A., the people are snooty about everything, and it's filthy. All this is why we're moving. Don't get me wrong- it's a beautiful city, but it's just not what it used to be.

I'd highly recommend Seattle or Boston.
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:39 PM
Location: Seattle
567 posts, read 569,713 times
Reputation: 521
I'll start out by saying I don't think any two cities are more similar than San Francisco and Seattle. I think the main differences are that SF is slightly sunnier, and slightly more mild. In the dead of winter, Seattle usually sits at 50 degrees with overcast and mist/ light rain, also foggy. It can also fluctuate to the 30's and 60's but that will only last for a week or so and then go back to right around 50. There are pretty much two seasons in Seattle as well only they are warm and cool. Cool being a very cloudy season and warm usually being sunny. The summers are a guaranteed paradise usually around 80 degrees and always sunny! The cool season is from mid Oct-late March. And the warm season usually starts late March-Mid Oct. Seattle has a lot of c\cool unique neighborhoods, they are more spread out and a little less dense than SF though. But I think that makes it more beautiful personally, having a forest, hill, or beach right there in the city. Some neighborhoods worth checking out are Ballard, the U district, Capitol Hill, Fremont, West Seattle, Queen Anne and so many more. There are also some cool neighborhoods outside the city limits. Attractions around the area are Portland, and Vancouver. Mt. Rainier, Olympics, Hoh rain forest, Columbia River Gorge, Couer D'alene, Cascade Mountains, small mountain towns such as Winthrop and Leavenworth, Anywhere in the puget sound (Point Defiance park in Tacoma, Golden Gardens, Alki, Blake Island), San Juan islands. Honestly so much to do, I think it's impossible to be bored. I will warn though that the winter weather can get tiresome. It's definitely mild but it is overcast and foggy most of the time. But I've found that as long as I'm not stuck inside and I'm outside doing things in the winter it's not so bad. Hope this helped
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