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Old 12-15-2015, 07:47 PM
 
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I was raised in New York City, lived internationally for a while, and 3 years ago, settled in Atlanta. I can't seem to get comfortable here.

I'm dedicated to my family and my work, have creative projects I like to work on, and I like to be out in nature when I can. I'm liberal, non-religious, and I like a sustainable, eco-concious lifestyle. I like the energy of cities, and having museums to go to, interesting restaurants, and to just be around new ideas and different perspectives. And water is nice.

Atlanta has its good points for me, but feels segregated, with a big gap between low and high economic levels and a lingering sense of "good ol' boys hanging on to the way things used to be because it works for us", and I haven't found that vibe of great architecture and scenery and community that I love.

I would love to relocate to Seattle or Portland OR, but it's a distance from my aging parents, and my husband is concerned about a massive earthquake—not in the Chicken Little sense, but enough to make me look further east as a compromise. I really like the PNW, and I'm wondering if there's something comparable anywhere to the east?

We have talked about it so much that we're in need of other ideas.

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
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Boston would be the closest fit. Strong Tech economy, including gaming industry; easy to find a quirky vibe in places like Cambridge and Somerville for example; located on the ocean; excellent park system; not surrounded by mountains but within striking distance of New Hampshire and Vermont for weekend or day trips. It's very liberal, very diverse, by the ocean, has that harbour/wharf feel to it.
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:22 PM
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Minneapolis is often compared to Seattle...if it's not too cold for you.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:55 PM
 
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Where do your parents live?
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Minneapolis and Denver have a number of similarities to Seattle, but they are both still pretty far from the east coast.

Maybe Richmond? I don't really know
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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I also second Boston, at least structurally. Culturally, they're pretty far apart in respect to class system and provincialism.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:11 PM
 
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Boston or if you could do smaller Portland, ME
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:09 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Two places. Northampton MA, which is about 2 hours west of Boston. Very artsy and quirky with a definite outdoorsy vibe. Every alternative, liberal idea and lifestyle you can imagine. Mountains, trails, bike paths, independent restaurants and bookstores. Five colleges are located here, including Smith and Mt Holyoke. There's a lot of interesting history and architecture. There are plays to go to and events at the colleges. The one problem is that so many Boston and NY people want to live there that there aren't too many jobs. But if you can find a job, it's a great place and not that far from NYC. I think they are expanding rail to NYC.

The other place is Portsmouth, NH. It's really wonderful but I don't know as much about it as I do about Northampton. It does have lots of cool restaurants and great things to do. Musicals held outdoors in a park, a genuine old fashioned music hall that hosts the most fabulous productions. Portsmouth is close to Maine (which is a perfect place to be near) and it has ocean. It tends to have the same vibe as Northampton, MA.I don't know about the job situation but there are surrounding towns that must have jobs and are a little bit cheaper to live in than Portsmouth itself. A definite outdoorsy vibe here too.

If you are looking for a city vibe, then it would probably be Northampton. The place has sprawled and grown so that it has everything anyone could ever want. No, it's not NYC but a lot of NYers have moved there and love it. It's a city in the country.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:34 AM
 
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I first thought Raleigh because of all the techies, but the OP might like Durham's architecture.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:54 AM
 
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Thank you very much! Creeksitter, my parents, like many peoples' parents, are in Florida.

In_newengland, that sounds interesting - do you know anything about schools in the area? Hoping for some good public high schools with art and music programs.

Boston, Minneapolis, Cambridge... all sound good. Would consider Boulder also, but am hoping for some diversity as well.

I feel like we have quite a few weekend trips ahead of us, which, honestly, is a great opportunity to get to know some more of the country, and I'm looking forward to it!
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