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Old 06-21-2015, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Syracuse, NY
723 posts, read 1,098,436 times
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Ok, assuming my employer has offices in each of these locations for me to transfer to ( that I'm looking forward to asap--but likely won't happen till next summer, which is fine because it gives me ample time to decide what goes and stays with me on the move, etc, ) but can I get some feedback on both pros and cons that people have about these villages/towns/cities who have either lived, or been here enough to say they're at least semi-knowledgeable about them?

I think each one has characteristics that I find appealing ( though I haven't been to any of them yet, but that will change this summer ) so getting some feedback on these areas of what people both like and dislike might help me narrow the list down even further, as it'd be much appreciated

Note: I think I have narrowed it down to 11 areas. They are not in any real order; except being alphabetized:


  • Albany, NY

  • Buffalo, NY


  • Des Moines, IA


  • Kingston, NY


  • Manchester, NH


  • Pittsburgh, PA


  • Portland, ME


  • Rochester, NY


  • Springfield, MA


  • Syracuse, NY


  • Worcester, MA


As for what I'm looking for, here is a list I have saved to my computer in case I need to refer to it later on:

I'm really looking for somewhere with these attributes, or at least as many of them as possible:


-- a place where one could live off of $30k/yr ( assuming if my salary transfers 100% to a new location. )


-- looking for a city, but with a city comes the crime and traffic and high cost of living with it, so maybe a small city ( less than 500k people perhaps? but I would be willing to go up to about about 2 million metro if the area was right. )


-- a place where the weather is similar to Portland, OR ( lots of cloudy, drizzly days I'm fine with ) and a place that is as close to being lush-green everywhere like Portland, OR, is preferred; though not mandatory. )


-- a "small town friendly" feel to it such as ma and pa stores everywhere, or at least a fair share of them, but not too far from a major city if I need to go there.


-- crime, traffic at low/moderate levels most of the time in relation to its size ( living in Portland, this one is a huge deal for me, as I drive for a living. )


-- as I'm not religious ( I'm agnostic actually ) churches in an area is not important to me, and if the area has a liberal-vibe to it, the better.


-- I love baseball, so a baseball-loving city/town would be great; even if means watching city leagues play against one another or even minor league ball.


-- natural food stores are a plus, or at least a farmers market nearby.


-- a place with a more "4 seasons" feel to it would be great, damp Spring days, warm Summer days, crisp Fall days, and I wouldn't mind some snow as long as you can drive in it.


-- and an area that is not the desert southwest, nor the bible belt southeast.


Oddly enough, one area I was looking at was Des Moines, IA/Iowa City, IA ( my employer has a location in each of them and the cost of living seems to be cheaper than here ) but of course it lacks a few of these attributes as well, so I started looking at the New England area/maybe mid-Atlantic states, from Pittsburgh area of PA to New York state, northward to Maine.

I like Des Moines as it's center to either coast and center to several larger cities if I needed to go there, but I realize its a sauna ( so I'm told ) in the summer time, and the Northeast/New England areas: I like the "charm" that I hear so much about New England.

However, I'd still like to hear people's pros and cons with any the cities I have listed.

Yeah, I know, Des Moines, IA and the northeast are probably not much alike ( I haven't been to either one yet; but will be travelling to check out a "possible area" later this summer ) but just trying to get an idea of what I'm looking for.

Thanks in advance to everyone who responds

Last edited by skylar0201; 06-21-2015 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:38 AM
PDF
 
11,386 posts, read 10,534,872 times
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Well, what do you like? That's all that matters. We need more info about what you like in a city, otherwise people will just say what they like.

Personally...I'd only consider Albany, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Syracuse, NY
723 posts, read 1,098,436 times
Reputation: 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
Well, what do you like? That's all that matters. We need more info about what you like in a city, otherwise people will just say what they like.

Personally...I'd only consider Albany, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh.

Oops, you're right. I just corrected it so my "points" I'm looking for are included, but again, I'd still like to hear others opinions of these places.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:04 PM
 
56,737 posts, read 81,061,259 times
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Out of the cities on the list, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, I know have what you are looking for, for sure.

Like I mentioned with Syracuse, the CNY Regional Market and NBT Bank Stadium(the minor league team baseball stadium) are right next to each other on the city's outer North Side. Both are also near the 6th biggest shopping center in the country and the biggest shopping center in NY State, as well as the area Transportation Center(interstate bus and train station).

Westcott on the city's East Side is a quirky/funky, liberal neighborhood blocks east of Syracuse University and could be an area of the city to consider. It has a seasonal farmers market on Wednesdays, a variety of restaurants, a theater with live bands/performances, a library, cafés and festivals/events(Westcott Cultural Festival, Art Walk, etc).

In between both areas is Eastwood, which is a solid and walkable community within the city's Northeastern corner, which is pretty affordable. Has a theater with events/performances, a couple of bookstores, some restaurants, a library, a gym and grocery stores/other shopping on the edge of the neighborhood.

If you are open to a suburb, the village of Liverpool, just north of the city and not too far from the stadium, mall, Regional Market, etc. Nice, walkable village with some restaurants, library, grocery store, cafés and this park: Onondaga Lake Park » Onondaga County Parks

There's this as well: Syracuse named #1 Most Affordable Housing Market - The Clark/Rotella Team - Real Estate Blog - Coldwell Banker Prime Properties

Surprised? Syracuse Tops List for Most Affordable Housing Market

That is from the last 2 Quarters.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:35 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,316,807 times
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You're not going to be able to survive anywhere in your list of New England cities on $ 30,000 a year. I'd add Kingston, NY to the too expensive overall list also.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Syracuse, NY
723 posts, read 1,098,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow wind View Post
You're not going to be able to survive anywhere in your list of New England cities on $ 30,000 a year. I'd add Kingston, NY to the too expensive overall list also.
Well, I just used the $30k/yr as a base, just because it's roughly what I'm making here and Portland historically doesn't pay the greatest of wages.

As per my H.R. dept, they did say that each city has its own wage scale set up; based on its location and COL surroundings. I'm hoping that it doesn't mean that lets say I wanted to go to Boston or NYC ( which I don't ) that I wouldn't be making something like $12/hr or something like that

I guess I didn't think of Kingston as being an expensive place, but if a lot of NYC residents are relocating there, that'd make sense. I did list Kingston though, because I did get confirmed that we do have an office there I could transfer to ( and C-D user, chkthankgod has confirmed to me before about baseball in the area in the past ) so thought I'd throw that out there to get a nice consensus of any additional pros/cons about it.

I wouldn't want to go where "everyone else is going" aka Portland, Phoenix, Atlanta, etc just because that's only going to drive up the COL in that region, and believe me, I'm getting a pretty good look at what's happening here ( average apt rent here jumping by over 30% in the last year alone, and home prices almost as much! ) The wages in Portland are too stagnant, and eventually this bubble's going to break here, and I don't want to be here when it does....

I do like the "typical New England charm/lifestyle" that is apparent in what I'm finding in MA, but that is why I said places like Springfield or Worcester or Manchester, because that'd be about as close to Boston as I'd ever want to live--close enough that if I needed to go there for medical care, etc I can, but far enough away to avoid the worst traffic and COL in that region as much as possible ( same with NYC, Philly, DC, etc. )

However, how do you feel about any of these cities--are you familiar enough about them and the pros and cons of any of them?
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Syracuse, NY
723 posts, read 1,098,436 times
Reputation: 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Out of the cities on the list, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, I know have what you are looking for, for sure.

Like I mentioned with Syracuse, the CNY Regional Market and NBT Bank Stadium(the minor league team baseball stadium) are right next to each other on the city's outer North Side. Both are also near the 6th biggest shopping center in the country and the biggest shopping center in NY State, as well as the area Transportation Center(interstate bus and train station).

Westcott on the city's East Side is a quirky/funky, liberal neighborhood blocks east of Syracuse University and could be an area of the city to consider. It has a seasonal farmers market on Wednesdays, a variety of restaurants, a theater with live bands/performances, a library, cafés and festivals/events(Westcott Cultural Festival, Art Walk, etc).

In between both areas is Eastwood, which is a solid and walkable community within the city's Northeastern corner, which is pretty affordable. Has a theater with events/performances, a couple of bookstores, some restaurants, a library, a gym and grocery stores/other shopping on the edge of the neighborhood.

If you are open to a suburb, the village of Liverpool, just north of the city and not too far from the stadium, mall, Regional Market, etc. Nice, walkable village with some restaurants, library, grocery store, cafés and this park: Onondaga Lake Park » Onondaga County Parks

There's this as well: Syracuse named #1 Most Affordable Housing Market - The Clark/Rotella Team - Real Estate Blog - Coldwell Banker Prime Properties

Surprised? Syracuse Tops List for Most Affordable Housing Market

That is from the last 2 Quarters.
Hey, I remember you! LOL

I wish I could find some others who are as detailed and knowledgeable about their cities in "my list of places" as you are with Syracuse

Syracuse definitely ranks very high--we have a location "in the general area" I'm told ( my H.R. crew isn't being straight with me on these places I'm finding out ) and I have at least signed up online to get openings in all the areas I have listed here, from our employee career portal at work, but if an office has a low turnover rate like Syracuse or other cities might have, I might never find out .

chkthankgod, so about the farmers market, as I'd likely be working on Wednesdays ( my job is typically Mon-Fri, but again that varies by location ) are there farmers markets in the Syracuse area open on weekends?

What I'd also like to find is similar to what we have here in Portland called "Portland Saturday Market".


Portland Saturday Market


It actually takes place both Sat & Sun from Mar-Dec underneath one of the downtown bridges--its usually very much like a hippy-hangout where vendors sell their crafts and such to interested folks--I actually bought a wallet made entirely of duct tape once, and a t-shirt made from hemp--that type of thing. Of course, along with it, are food vendors selling everything from elephant ears to shishkebabs. Not the type of thing you'd find on any street corner shop--that type of thing I enjoy too.

I did look up the Destiny shopping center there a few weeks ago. We have a massive mall here, but not quite like that, and I really like that Syracuse seems to be very centralized within the state. I can get to either somewhere like Toronto ( which I've been to once before and loved ) or Philadelphia ( I'm a Phillies baseball fan ) all about the same distance to one another.

The 140" snow average though scares me LOL. I grew up in very cold and windy conditions ( usually -15 to -35 or -50F wind chill temps on and off all winter long, but we only got about 2-3 ft of snow out of all that for the winter. ) I know you told me the plows are usually quick to plow the roads there, but I'm hoping with all that snow, that when it comes down, it comes down more vertical than horizontal.

I wouldn't mind investing in a snow blower ( can't imagine using a standard snow shovel there for that much snow, which is what I had to use in WY ) because as I said before, I'd give up our weather benefit here, for a place where I would like to buy a house one day ( huge plus in Syracuse over Portland I'm finding out and big thanks for the links there about the housing market there! )

You know, it makes me think and I don't remember asking you this before, I know Pittsburgh has an accent, upper New England has an accent, does Syracuse/Rochester areas and if so, what is it?
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,447 posts, read 11,948,134 times
Reputation: 10561
I'm just commenting on the ones I know about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Albany, NY
There are parts of Albany I like, but I think the best neighborhoods would be out of your price range, and I'm not sure if there's anywhere actively gentrifying there right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Manchester, NH
Not enough money to live comfortably in New Hampshire IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Pittsburgh, PA
I am sure you'd do great here, as I said before. I'm not a baseball fan, but PNC Park is supposed to be one of the best places to see a game in the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Portland, ME
It's a nice little city, but IMHO way too expensive of an area for you to afford what you are looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Springfield, MA
Absolutely not. Springfield is a rough city with virtually no redeeming qualities. By far the worst option on your list. Downtown is dead, and the only "nice" parts of the city are on the suburban-like fringes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Worcester, MA
A very "meh" city IMHO. Feels more like a giant suburb which is mildly gritty in places. Not as bad as Springfield, but you aren't going to find any middle class urban or gentrified neighborhoods there.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:17 AM
 
56,737 posts, read 81,061,259 times
Reputation: 12549
Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar0201 View Post
Hey, I remember you! LOL

I wish I could find some others who are as detailed and knowledgeable about their cities in "my list of places" as you are with Syracuse

Syracuse definitely ranks very high--we have a location "in the general area" I'm told ( my H.R. crew isn't being straight with me on these places I'm finding out ) and I have at least signed up online to get openings in all the areas I have listed here, from our employee career portal at work, but if an office has a low turnover rate like Syracuse or other cities might have, I might never find out .

chkthankgod, so about the farmers market, as I'd likely be working on Wednesdays ( my job is typically Mon-Fri, but again that varies by location ) are there farmers markets in the Syracuse area open on weekends?

What I'd also like to find is similar to what we have here in Portland called "Portland Saturday Market".


Portland Saturday Market


It actually takes place both Sat & Sun from Mar-Dec underneath one of the downtown bridges--its usually very much like a hippy-hangout where vendors sell their crafts and such to interested folks--I actually bought a wallet made entirely of duct tape once, and a t-shirt made from hemp--that type of thing. Of course, along with it, are food vendors selling everything from elephant ears to shishkebabs. Not the type of thing you'd find on any street corner shop--that type of thing I enjoy too.

I did look up the Destiny shopping center there a few weeks ago. We have a massive mall here, but not quite like that, and I really like that Syracuse seems to be very centralized within the state. I can get to either somewhere like Toronto ( which I've been to once before and loved ) or Philadelphia ( I'm a Phillies baseball fan ) all about the same distance to one another.

The 140" snow average though scares me LOL. I grew up in very cold and windy conditions ( usually -15 to -35 or -50F wind chill temps on and off all winter long, but we only got about 2-3 ft of snow out of all that for the winter. ) I know you told me the plows are usually quick to plow the roads there, but I'm hoping with all that snow, that when it comes down, it comes down more vertical than horizontal.

I wouldn't mind investing in a snow blower ( can't imagine using a standard snow shovel there for that much snow, which is what I had to use in WY ) because as I said before, I'd give up our weather benefit here, for a place where I would like to buy a house one day ( huge plus in Syracuse over Portland I'm finding out and big thanks for the links there about the housing market there! )

You know, it makes me think and I don't remember asking you this before, I know Pittsburgh has an accent, upper New England has an accent, does Syracuse/Rochester areas and if so, what is it?
Actually, the Regional Market is packed on Saturdays during the warmer months and you can find a variety of things there: CNY Regional Market - regional market, syracuse regional market, farmers market syracuse, regional market syracuse ny, cny regional market, syracuse flea market For instance, I actually got a crab sandwich cooked right on the premises there and you can get a bunch of crafts and the usual stuff from there as well.

Yes, the area gets a lot of snow, but it is based upon the metro and a lot of that high total is due to Oswego County, which is in the heart of the snow belt near Lake Ontario. The further away you get from the lake, the less average snowfall.

Also, that is true about Syracuse's location, as you are within 4-5 hours tops of Toronto, Montreal, Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and Baltimore. You also area close to mountains such as the Adirondacks, Catskills, Poconos and Berkshires. Plenty of water nearby with Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes as well.

Another thing I may not have mentioned, but Auburn, which is about 25 miles west of Syracuse, also has a minor league baseball team that is an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Syracuse's team is also affiliated with the Nationals as well. here's an interesting article about the price of attending a game in Auburn: Available Articles | Doubledays: report finds their games cost 20 percent less than the minor-league average

You might want to check Down Under in the Marshall/Crouse area of University Hill, which is a head shop that has leather goods and "more".

I don't think we have an accent, but certain parts of the city/area are known for having strong accents, like old Italian Nort' Siders. lol

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-22-2015 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:49 AM
 
56,737 posts, read 81,061,259 times
Reputation: 12549
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Actually, the Regional Market is packed on Saturdays during the warmer months and you can find a variety of things there: CNY Regional Market - regional market, syracuse regional market, farmers market syracuse, regional market syracuse ny, cny regional market, syracuse flea market For instance, I actually got a crab sandwich cooked right on the premises there and you can get a bunch of crafts and the usual stuff from there as well.

Yes, the area gets a lot of snow, but it is based upon the metro and a lot of that high total is due to Oswego County, which is in the heart of the snow belt near Lake Ontario. The further away you get from the lake, the less average snowfall.

Also, that is true about Syracuse's location, as you are within 4-5 hours tops of Toronto, Montreal, Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and Baltimore. You also area close to mountains such as the Adirondacks, Catskills, Poconos and Berkshires. Plenty of water nearby with Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes as well.

Another thing I may not have mentioned, but Auburn, which is about 25 miles west of Syracuse, also has a minor league baseball team that is an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Syracuse's team is also affiliated with the Nationals as well. here's an interesting article about the price of attending a game in Auburn: Available Articles | Doubledays: report finds their games cost 20 percent less than the minor-league average

You might want to check Down Under in the Marshall/Crouse area of University Hill, which is a head shop that has leather goods and "more".

I don't think we have an accent, but certain parts of the city/area are known for having strong accents, like old Italian Nort' Siders. lol
You may like this festival as well: AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival » Downtown Committee of Syracuse

Syracuse also hosts the NY State Fair and if you like other sports, there's Syracuse University Football and Basketball, as well as minor league/AHL Hockey.

Here are some street views of some of the areas mentioned earlier: Westcott: https://www.google.com/maps/place/We...1e49970c556987

Eastwood: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0684...7i13312!8i6656

Liverpool(village): https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1020...8i6656!6m1!1e1

Stadium/Regional Market/DestinyUSA: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0757...8i6656!6m1!1e1 (turn to the left for Regional market in foreground and mall in the background)
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