U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-17-2015, 10:41 AM
 
31 posts, read 27,817 times
Reputation: 27

Advertisements

Hello,

My name is Darren Lamb. I am currently a 20 year old college sophomore but I hope to gain some information about possible mid-large sized cities for after graduation. I am looking for a city (I could settle for a smaller, accessible suburb) with a population anywhere from 400,000 - 1,000,000. This is really just a real of thumb, I am completely open to Chicago or NYC (I may be getting to ambitious here) but they are incredibly pricey.

Personally, I am a left-leaning moderate, single, I plan to work in the human services after graduation (enter your "you can't afford here, here, and here" comment), I will also hope to be fluent in Spanish as well. I am also a huge music lover so the local music scene/ability to get good concerts is important to me. It may also be important to note that I am currently from a small farming community in the middle of no where central Illinois. I imagine there will be some pretty big culture shock(s) moving to any town that is more than 4,400 (laughable, I know). Are there some cities that are easier to assimilate to than others?

As far as regions/states go, I am completely opposed to California (any stereotype will do). I am opposed to Texas as well (even though I know Austin may actually be a really great fit for me) because it is way too bible thumpy and conservative. As far as the two largest states in the country, I am generally opposed to the south (too conservative, I know there are pockets of liberalness - Asheville, NC is cool).

Ultimately, I've done some estimations and I believe rent (for just me - I'll probably get a roommate sometime) is $600-$900 a month (I'm low-balling it to see if there really are places like that). I've heard that a rule of thumb is "Safe, cheap, or accessible. You can only pick two." That said, I definitely prefer the cheap and safe over the accessible. I can ride my bike, walk, or drive to the places I need to go.

In conclusion, I am looking for any mid-large sized city(ies) that leans left, has a great music scene (not a huge party goer, so the bar scene is too important to me), has an general feel of alternative-ness/embraces the arts community/supports public aid (human service worker here). Obviously, generally low crime would be essential.

Thanks for your future responses. If there is anything I missed, I am open to any and all suggestions!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-17-2015, 11:13 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,502 posts, read 62,199,370 times
Reputation: 32187
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenlamb45 View Post
...hope to gain some information about possible mid-large sized cities for after graduation.
I am looking for...

I am open to any and all suggestions!
START with the short list of places where you have solid job offers
doing what interests you and which pay enough to afford the life you want to have.

When you have that short list (3 or maybe 4 cities)...
read their newspapers online and lurk in the forums for those cities...
THEN come back and ask a few pointed questions about each...
THEN visit them.

hth
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-18-2015, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,566 posts, read 748,003 times
Reputation: 1669
Louisville, KY would seem to meet many of your criteria - if being located in a quasi-southern state isn't a deal breaker. The city proper is within your desired population range and it has an active arts and cultural scene, and is fairly moderate to liberal politically with a low cost of living. It's also within a day's drive of your hometown in Illinois and pretty safe in most areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-18-2015, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Miami, Floroda
650 posts, read 604,420 times
Reputation: 371
Austin isn't conservative just saying.

And you don't want people saying you can't afford these cities. Well working in human services as a single person you can't afford these places. Columbus probably would be your only option.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2015, 11:46 AM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
9,035 posts, read 4,123,391 times
Reputation: 7689
Portland, Seattle, Austin, Denver, or San Francisco.

I know Austin is in Texas but it is very different from most of the rest of the state. It's one of the best places to be in your twenties right now. San Francisco is as well if you can afford it, even though that's in California and you said that you don't like California.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2015, 12:36 PM
 
29,946 posts, read 27,396,115 times
Reputation: 18529
Get rid of the Southern bias and seriously consider the Raleigh/Durham area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2015, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,672,920 times
Reputation: 35449
The OP's choices are the among the most expensive and hyped cities with make them the most costly yet he says he doesn't want to hear he can't afford them. Why those cities in particular? He then rejects entire regions that may suit both his wallet and his needs without appearing as actually ever having been there. It makes it difficult to advise him.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,056,373 times
Reputation: 3925
Unemployment in the Twin Cities is at 3.3% right now and there are labor shortages in almost every sector so it is probably the easiest place on your list to get a job. The Twin Cities are more expensive than any metro in the Midwest besides Chicago but they also have a significantly higher pay scale so they are still affordable by most wage to cost of living comparisons.

You should also note that Chicago is cheaper than Seattle and Boston.

I get the impression that Denver has gotten much more expensive in the last few years, but I don't have any first hand knowledge.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2015, 02:16 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,269 posts, read 6,351,433 times
Reputation: 9061
In the Northeast consider both Providence RI and Baltimore MD. You might have to go above that $900 limit a tad to land in a nice neighborhood (maybe not, though), and both meet all your other criteria. Both are generally underrated smaller cities IMO and Baltimore does have, contrary to popular opinion, safe neighborhoods where young people will congregate. Providence certainly does. Both cities are close to larger (and more expensive) cities, like Boston and DC, respectively, if you want more variety, and both also have easy access to beaches if that's important to you. The Baltimore area (not just the city) has a stronger job market that Providence right now, but neither are horrible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2015, 02:27 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,466,747 times
Reputation: 2855
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
The OP's choices are the among the most expensive and hyped cities with make them the most costly yet he says he doesn't want to hear he can't afford them. Why those cities in particular? He then rejects entire regions that may actually suit both his wallet and his needs. It makes it difficult to advise him.
Minervah and I are often in agreement, and agree here too.

She's lived in Portland and now lives in Cle, and I live in Portland now but would move back to the midwest but for family ties out here.

For someone in your line of work, I really can't recommend Portland. It's not affordable even if you can get a non-profit job, and competition is fierce for the non-profit jobs that exist. The music scene is fine but it's nothing you can't get a lot of other places - better for some genres than for others.

You could probably stick it out for a few years renting a room in a house and living on the cheap, even if you ended up as a barista like everyone else. But it would be a tough place to make a career.

Especially being from rural IL, MSP/Cleveland/Columbus/Indy/Pitt or even Chicagoland would be better choices for actually building a life/career I'd say. Plus, if things go south where you are, it's must easier to move around that region.

Once you get out to Portland, if things don't work out, it's a long way to anywhere else.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top