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Old 10-19-2015, 04:41 PM
 
31 posts, read 27,780 times
Reputation: 27

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Hi everyone,

I appreciate everyone's time and responses. I was not anticipating this many replies. It was really a halfhearted attempt to gain some new information/recommendation on a few cities I have heard about/visited. Again, thanks.

As far as my original post, my ultimate goal was not to offend anyone with the "opposed to California/Texas/South comment". I would not intentionally do so. My only concern with the southern United States is that not only am I a liberal, it is that I'm also an atheist (please do not think I'm some arrogant, snooty, "I'm smarter because I'm not religious", crazy neo-liberal. I am very moderate and very reserved with my views. I am not confrontational). I really do not want to meet some nice people in cities like Asheville, Raleigh/Durham, or Austin and then have people view me as some devil worshiper baby eater (lol) when that conversation of "so what church do you go to?" comes up. Ultimately, I do not want a bible thrown at my head or shoved down my throat. I have family who has lived/spent time in the Bible belt and they say it's as bad as it's made out to be. That was the direction of the comment about being "opposed to the south".

As far as California, there are other reasons I do not want to live there other than the stupid stereotypes it has. I hope to move from Illinois (a terribly corrupt state) and not move to another horribly run state. Plus, it really is expensive (and admittedly, pretty far from home - yes, so is Seattle and Portland, I know). As a future human services worker, I really can't see myself affording any relatively big city in California.

As far as the comment from Minervah, I really did not want to come off as picky. I tend to believe that I'm a pretty down-to-Earth guy and I was really trying to see what people had to say about general list of cities. Thank you for your comment, however. Plus, my "you can't afford here, here and here" comment was just a joke. It was not meant to be taken seriously. It was more for me than anyone else. It was me mocking everyone who has told me that you can’t afford anything as a human services worker and them ignoring the fact that one’s spending and budget is more important. And, like I mentioned, it was a halfhearted attempt to learn about some relatively large and liberal cities. As a current college student, I still have time to search for more affordable cities and/or neighborhoods/suburbs. Thank you again for your time.

For the rest of you who mentioned information about Boston, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Twin Cities, ect, you have all given me something to think about and consider. Like many of you have said too, I think visiting would my top 2-3 cities is probably the best way to get accustomed to them.

Ultimately, I can see where people thought my initial posting was completely unrealistic with the cities I was considering and my anticipated rent cap. That was not my overall intent. I was really aiming my post at possible alternatives (which some of you gave me) such as closer (and possibly cheaper) suburbs or towns. To me, moving away from small town America is essential to me. I really do not fit the mold of a country music-listening, church goin’, high school football lovin’, kind of guy. I just cannot see myself living in a small town like that when I have graduated.

Lastly, like I mentioned to Minervah, I consider myself a down-to-Earth person. If a town/neighborhood/general part of town is too expensive, I’m not going to kill myself to pay rent every month. I am completely open to old apartments (apartments on top of bakeries, grocery stores, old record stores run by hippies, mom and pop shops, you know? Do places like that still exist???). I consider myself open-minded to anything that is relatively cheap and safe. Apartment has a draft? I’ll get a space heater from Goodwill or buy another blanket or put plastic over the windows. No dryer/washer in the apartment? Well, damn. That’s a deal breaker. I have to rent a room from some old couple? That’s not going to happen.

I was being sarcastic above but I hope it shows that moving to a city is a lot more important to me than the newest apartment complex/community. I really am looking for relatively cheap, safe, and somewhere close/in the city.

I hope this better explains my current position. Any info would, again, be greatly appreciated!

Thank you all and have an awesome week!
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:50 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,263 posts, read 6,343,100 times
Reputation: 9056
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenlamb45 View Post
Hi everyone,

... I really do not want to meet some nice people in cities like Asheville, Raleigh/Durham, or Austin and then have people view me as some devil worshiper baby eater (lol) when that conversation of "so what church do you go to?" comes up. Ultimately, I do not want a bible thrown at my head or shoved down my throat. I have family who has lived/spent time in the Bible belt and they say it's as bad as it's made out to be. That was the direction of the comment about being "opposed to the south".

As far as California, there are other reasons I do not want to live there other than the stupid stereotypes it has. I hope to move from Illinois (a terribly corrupt state) and not move to another horribly run state... P
Thank you all and have an awesome week!
You really are wrong here on two points.

There are places in the South that are not overtly and heavily religious and nobody will ever care that you are an athiest, especially if you re a non-confrontational sort. There are areas of many Southern cities--Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Tallahassee, Nashville, Asheville, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill -- where you could live your life just fine w/o being attacked by bible-thumpers. This is because no one lives in a whole city. They live in NEIGHBORHOODS within a city, which is something you should always remember. Finding the neighborhoods you like may be possible in any number of places.

Moreover, if just the sight of people going to church or crosses on the side of the road or people talking about their church makes you uncomfortable, you are probably not as open-minded as you think.

Secondly, how you figure California is "horribly run" is beyond me, when the state is flush, balanced budget, has a very high bond rating (much higher than Illinois), is more or less successfully dealing with its four-year-long drought, and seen a steady drop in unemployment over the past year, with sub 4% rates in some areas. You may not like Cali for any number of reasons, but being "horribly run" is not a real one.

At any rate, I hope you find the place that's right for you, though I suspect that being less rigid and somewhat more informed in your assumptions about different areas of the country could make that easier to do.

Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:52 AM
 
3,955 posts, read 3,487,388 times
Reputation: 6331
I think your problem here is that you speak with such authority on these vague generalizations you have made in writing off entire states or regions. It's pretty clear you've not experienced these places for yourself, and you are functioning off of media and pop culture driven stigmas. I have seen so many people with these types of strong opinions granted to them by CNN, run off to their perceived utopias only to be miserable. In truth there are several places you have boxed yourself out of where you would be happy. I'm sure you'll move to a place where everything is organic, the eggs are cage free, and the idealism is so smug and thick you could cut it with a spoon. Only to realize you can't get your head as far enough up your own rear end to identify with the locals, and start missing the midwest.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:58 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,461,251 times
Reputation: 2855
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenlamb45 View Post
To me, moving away from small town America is essential to me. I really do not fit the mold of a country music-listening, church goiní, high school football loviní, kind of guy. I just cannot see myself living in a small town like that when I have graduated.

Lastly, like I mentioned to Minervah, I consider myself a down-to-Earth person. If a town/neighborhood/general part of town is too expensive, Iím not going to kill myself to pay rent every month. I am completely open to old apartments (apartments on top of bakeries, grocery stores, old record stores run by hippies, mom and pop shops, you know? Do places like that still exist???). I consider myself open-minded to anything that is relatively cheap and safe. Apartment has a draft? Iíll get a space heater from Goodwill or buy another blanket or put plastic over the windows. No dryer/washer in the apartment? Well, damn. Thatís a deal breaker. I have to rent a room from some old couple? Thatís not going to happen.
Agree with citylove and mjlo, but would also note:

-not all rural areas are the same, though certainly the stereotype exists because of how they "tend" to be. But one can find rural areas where religion and/or the religion of football are not that pertinent to peoples' lives.

-On your housing choices, two observations: one, these places ARE drying up in many places as housing stock upscales, and these previously undesirable spots are turned into hip upscale lofts, etc. And two, living like this may be appealing for a few years, but will probably get old.

And if at some point as you approach 30 (which will come up faster than you might think) you decide to settle down and get married/have kids, that may either change your perspective, or someone else may insist you change. Living frugally is advisable, but in some of these cities even these "bargain" units will stretch your budget. It's one thing to choose a city and then opt for the least desirable housing to be able to save/build towards a future, and another to pick the least desirable housing in the city you chose because it is literally the only thing you can afford and still be able to afford that ramen.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
3,266 posts, read 3,245,510 times
Reputation: 3697
Default I'm looking for...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I think your problem here is that you speak with such authority on these vague generalizations you have made in writing off entire states or regions. It's pretty clear you've not experienced these places for yourself, and you are functioning off of media and pop culture driven stigmas. I have seen so many people with these types of strong opinions granted to them by CNN, run off to their perceived utopias only to be miserable. In truth there are several places you have boxed yourself out of where you would be happy. I'm sure you'll move to a place where everything is organic, the eggs are cage free, and the idealism is so smug and thick you could cut it with a spoon. Only to realize you can't get your head as far enough up your own rear end to identify with the locals, and start missing the midwest.
Let's be honest here mjlo. There are at least as many if not more people driven to their ideas about a city, state or region by what they are told on Fox News. And there are plenty of "smug" people of all political stripes in this country.

Speaking to the op about what has been called by others here as your regional bias against the South, I can understand your thinking. I grew up next door to Illinois in a similarly-sized small town as you are in & left for metro Atlanta as a young man.
Sure, it's a vibrant & multi-cultural city wth much opportunity for a young person but the problem with it, and places such as Austin or Raleigh-Durham that are similarly energetic & progressive is the that they all exist in states that are run by increasingly troglodyte-ultra conservative politicians who do little legislatively or in policy to help their poor or middle income populations.
To make matters worse, they bring their religious values to the fore in how they run the state governments & pass laws that interfere with life decisions that should be personal for individuals to make.
Think in terms of how behind the times in social terms most of the southern states are as regards laws they have & do pass & you get the thrust of what I despise about living in a decent metro in a state that is run by social & religious conservatives.

Last edited by atler8; 10-20-2015 at 11:18 AM.. Reason: spelling error
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:33 AM
 
3,955 posts, read 3,487,388 times
Reputation: 6331
Quote:
Originally Posted by atler8 View Post
Let's be honest here mjlo. There are at least as many if not more people driven to their ideas about a city, state or region by what they are told on Fox News. And there are plenty of "smug" people of all political stripes in this country.
Of course there are, that's the nature of political opinions I didn't suggest otherwise. Be they progressive or conservative they tend to stir emotional responses in people. Emotional responses are by nature not rational. My point is that it is a disservice to oneself to write something off without having first hand experience and knowledge of it.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:44 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
8,953 posts, read 4,099,289 times
Reputation: 7631
Austin is young and liberal. I don't see being an atheist being an issue for you there, especially if you live in Austin itself (the suburbs may be a bit more religious and conservative). If being in a city with as few religious people as possible is important to you, you probably need to consider San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle as they are the most unchurched cities in the country.

You can find live and let live neighborhoods in any number of cities across the country even if the cities themselves don't check off all of your boxes.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
Reputation: 35449
[url="[QUOTE] I am completely open to old apartments (apartments on top of bakeries, grocery stores, old record stores run by hippies, mom and pop shops, you know? Do places like that still exist???).[/QUOTE]

They exist in Cleveland where I live."]
Quote:
I am completely open to old apartments (apartments on top of bakeries, grocery stores, old record stores run by hippies, mom and pop shops, you know? Do places like that still exist???).
They exist in Cleveland near where I live. Other areas too.

http://coventryvillage.org/

Most cities will have older sections where apartments can be found on top of stores. It's still very common. Even a newer city like Portland, OR where I used to live had them in the older neighborhood in which I lived. It's not so unusual. But the rents there are still very high even for those apartments. It's not so much the type of apartment as it is the city the apartment is in.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
1,206 posts, read 1,197,382 times
Reputation: 1377
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenlamb45 View Post
Hi everyone,

I appreciate everyone's time and responses. I was not anticipating this many replies. It was really a halfhearted attempt to gain some new information/recommendation on a few cities I have heard about/visited. Again, thanks.

As far as my original post, my ultimate goal was not to offend anyone with the "opposed to California/Texas/South comment". I would not intentionally do so. My only concern with the southern United States is that not only am I a liberal, it is that I'm also an atheist (please do not think I'm some arrogant, snooty, "I'm smarter because I'm not religious", crazy neo-liberal. I am very moderate and very reserved with my views. I am not confrontational). I really do not want to meet some nice people in cities like Asheville, Raleigh/Durham, or Austin and then have people view me as some devil worshiper baby eater (lol) when that conversation of "so what church do you go to?" comes up. Ultimately, I do not want a bible thrown at my head or shoved down my throat. I have family who has lived/spent time in the Bible belt and they say it's as bad as it's made out to be. That was the direction of the comment about being "opposed to the south".

As far as California, there are other reasons I do not want to live there other than the stupid stereotypes it has. I hope to move from Illinois (a terribly corrupt state) and not move to another horribly run state. Plus, it really is expensive (and admittedly, pretty far from home - yes, so is Seattle and Portland, I know). As a future human services worker, I really can't see myself affording any relatively big city in California.

As far as the comment from Minervah, I really did not want to come off as picky. I tend to believe that I'm a pretty down-to-Earth guy and I was really trying to see what people had to say about general list of cities. Thank you for your comment, however. Plus, my "you can't afford here, here and here" comment was just a joke. It was not meant to be taken seriously. It was more for me than anyone else. It was me mocking everyone who has told me that you canít afford anything as a human services worker and them ignoring the fact that oneís spending and budget is more important. And, like I mentioned, it was a halfhearted attempt to learn about some relatively large and liberal cities. As a current college student, I still have time to search for more affordable cities and/or neighborhoods/suburbs. Thank you again for your time.

For the rest of you who mentioned information about Boston, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Twin Cities, ect, you have all given me something to think about and consider. Like many of you have said too, I think visiting would my top 2-3 cities is probably the best way to get accustomed to them.

Ultimately, I can see where people thought my initial posting was completely unrealistic with the cities I was considering and my anticipated rent cap. That was not my overall intent. I was really aiming my post at possible alternatives (which some of you gave me) such as closer (and possibly cheaper) suburbs or towns. To me, moving away from small town America is essential to me. I really do not fit the mold of a country music-listening, church goiní, high school football loviní, kind of guy. I just cannot see myself living in a small town like that when I have graduated.

Lastly, like I mentioned to Minervah, I consider myself a down-to-Earth person. If a town/neighborhood/general part of town is too expensive, Iím not going to kill myself to pay rent every month. I am completely open to old apartments (apartments on top of bakeries, grocery stores, old record stores run by hippies, mom and pop shops, you know? Do places like that still exist???). I consider myself open-minded to anything that is relatively cheap and safe. Apartment has a draft? Iíll get a space heater from Goodwill or buy another blanket or put plastic over the windows. No dryer/washer in the apartment? Well, damn. Thatís a deal breaker. I have to rent a room from some old couple? Thatís not going to happen.

I was being sarcastic above but I hope it shows that moving to a city is a lot more important to me than the newest apartment complex/community. I really am looking for relatively cheap, safe, and somewhere close/in the city.

I hope this better explains my current position. Any info would, again, be greatly appreciated!

Thank you all and have an awesome week!
I just don't think Darren is a good fit for Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, if you look for trouble you'll probably find it. We DO have some churches here. I think he would be very uncomfortable.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:26 PM
 
Location: DC
2,044 posts, read 2,286,566 times
Reputation: 1777
Chicago is actually cheaper than many of the cities you listed. Boston and Seattle are right there with DC in terms of cost. Portland and Denver are cheaper than those two, but still more expensive than Chicago. You basically threw out a bunch of high cost of living cities more expensive than Chicago.

Best answer...Twin Cities.
Awesome economy, great communities, terrible weather. Also fairly liberal. Cheaper than Chicago.

Also consider: Pittsburgh.

Awesome city...likely in your budget.

I think Providence RI might be a good fit as well. You get New England culture without it being crazy expensive like Boston.

Three cities, I think you will enjoy at least one.
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