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Thread summary:

Relocating: college graduate, affordable, job market, four seasons, business degree.

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Old 02-12-2008, 02:20 PM
 
24 posts, read 83,501 times
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Let me first say that this is EXTREMELY long, but I am really hoping for a lot of responses. Therefore, even if you don't want to read it all(as I'm sure you won't) it'd be so helpful to just skim a bit of it and give me your insights.

I am a 22 y/o recent college graduate trying to figure out my next move. I will preface this all by saying that I went to school in Charleston, SC and absolutely loved it. It had almost everything I was looking for, but after 4 years there, it's time to check out a different city. My interests include music, sports(Dodgers, Eagles, Clemson), and happy hour.

Originally from NJ, and currently back here, I had been planning a move up north to the nyc area. However the more I thought about moving up there, the more I realized nyc just isnt for me. I love the opportunity it has, but aside from that, I'm just not crazy about it. I think I'm just not crazy about big cities, I guess.

The cities I'm currently deciding on are Austin, Portland, Philly, Tampa, Denver, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh. They are all very different and located in different parts of the country.

I'm looking for a city that has a lot of the same characteristics as Charleston. I realize I won't find an exact replica, but I'm honestly not looking for the exact same thing--otherwise I'd just move back there! What I am looking for is some combination of:

-Lots of young people
-Walking Distance to nightlife
-Affordability(looking at 2BR/$1600 max...I'll have a roommate)
-Many restaurants(not chains) in the immediate area...I'll be waiting tables until I get my feet on the ground
Proximity to the beach
-Laid back vibe--What I mean by this is I'm not crazy about huge clubs with flashing lights and techno music...More into sports bars, drinking beers at restaurants with outside patios, happy hour at mexican restaurants, etc.
-Some sort of local sports scene
-A place where decent concerts come through
-While I plan on waiting tables for a bit wherever I go, eventually it'd be nice to know I'm in a place that has a decent job market for someone with a Business degree
-Minimal need for a car- I realize its convenient to have a car anywhere, but since my current car is a piece of junk, theres just no telling when it's going to give in and strand me.
-Weather: I enjoy 4 seasons, but in a give and take situation, I'd much rather do without snowy winters.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Now I realize there probably isn't a city that matches all of those criteria, but that's why I'm looking for a nice combination of all of them. I've done my homework, and know a little bit about each city, but there's only so much I can find out from "googling." Here are my current thoughts though...

Denver: Lots I like about it here. LoDo seems like the kind of bar district I'd love to be around, and living near it is reasonable. Ton of young people, and seems to have a lot of employment options. Not near a beach, but I can deal with that. The winters seem brutal though, and thats a big strike against it. Also, not in proximity of many other cities...almost feel sort of trapped there. Nice that it has a local sports environment too, but the weather here still seems like a deciding factor.

Austin: I've seen it highly recommended many places, and I can see why. Lively area around 6th street, huge music scene, seems to be very walkable. Don't know much about the neighborhoods here, but everythign I've looked at near 6th street is out of my range. The bars do seem right up my alley though. Can someone recommend slightly more affordable neighborhoods while still being walking distance to the "action?"

Portland: I lived in Wyoming this summer and met a TON of people who had nothing but glowing things to say about Portland. Near the beach and the mountains, its very active and lots of young people are flocking there. Supposedly a nice downtown, and very walkable I hear. Is the weather really as gloomy as I've read? Don't know if I could wake up to 300 days of clouds a year. Any recommended neighborhoods here?

Nashville: I hear its an up-and-coming city, obviously with a strong music presence, and has a couple pro sports teams. Downtown is supposed to be pretty lame, but midtown near Belmont and Vanderbilt are apparently really young, vibrant areas. Places are extremely affordable as well. 4 seasons, which is a plus, including mild winters. Very far from the beach though.

Tampa: I've heard such mixed reactions here...some say its a great little city, while others think it's the lamest they've ever lived in. Not really interested in living in Ybor City as my impression is its a bunch of large clubs that are frequented by a bunch of tools. South Tampa/Hyde Park area I hear is great. Also interested in St. Pete...is the downtown area there pretty cool? Doesn't seem to have much of a music scene but does have a pro football and baseball team(even if it is the Devil Rays). Supposedly the job market is terrible?

Charlotte/Raleigh: I grouped these together for the sake of saving space and because they seem similar. Neither are really close to a beach, though Raleigh is much closer. Raleigh I hear is more sprawled, while Charlotte's uptown is pretty cool. Raleigh also makes me nervous as I would be competing for jobs with UNC/Duke/Wake Forest graduates. My little CofC diploma probably won't do as much for me. Seems like a car is a necessity in both of these cities. Both extremely affordable as well.

Philly: I'm only an hour or so from Philly, but have spent very little time there. Could probably get by without a car, and has the best pro football team in the world. Somewhat affordable, but the city itself doesn't seem to have the personality I'm looking for. It always seems gloomy for some reason. Also, being from NJ, moving to Philly just doesn't seem as "sexy" as some of the other cities.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
OK I realized that reads like a novel, but like I said, I have been researching this a lot. I'm looking for peoples' opinions that have lived or visited in one of more of these citiies to first-tell me if my analysis is correct, and two-give me some recommendations/suggestions. Is it worth spending a few years of my life living in any of these cities? If you're not familiar with these areas but have lived somewhere else you think is what I'm looking for, please post your suggestions as well.

Thank you in advance to whoever is kind enough to give me some feedback. I would be happy to do the same if anyone has questions about NJ, Charleston, Jackson Hole, or Sydney(Australia).
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,293 posts, read 5,591,947 times
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I say Austin or Denver. This is the time in your life to experience a different vibe/lifestyle and going back East would be more of the same for you. BTW, Denver winters are great. 30 and snowy on Tuesday, 62 and sunny the next day.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:27 PM
 
14 posts, read 26,354 times
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There's only one answer... Austin!
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:57 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,859 posts, read 21,155,925 times
Reputation: 9421
Don't forget about Louisville!

Great nightlife, lots of artsy neighborhoods, tons of local restaurants and shops, low crime rate (8th safest large city), and very affordable housing ( A 2 nice bedroom here would run around $500-$600).

Louisville has a vibrant nightlife and music scene. Bardstown Road alone offers 20 bars which have live bands every night. The Jazz Factory Downtown is also really nice
http://static1.bareka.com/photos/medium/7150116/untitled.jpg (broken link)

http://static1.bareka.com/photos/medium/7144304/untitled.jpg (broken link)


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d0/TH259.jpg/300px-TH259.jpg (broken link)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a5/TH228.jpg/300px-TH228.jpg (broken link)

Louisville is home to the largest Victorian Historic Preservation District in the US
http://static2.bareka.com/photos/medium/7119801/untitled.jpg (broken link)

http://static2.bareka.com/photos/medium/4463673/james-court-fountain.jpg (broken link)

http://static2.bareka.com/photos/medium/4463733/pink-palace-james-court.jpg (broken link)
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:25 PM
 
11,895 posts, read 32,938,393 times
Reputation: 8666
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsiddons View Post
I'm looking for a city that has a lot of the same characteristics as Charleston. I realize I won't find an exact replica, but I'm honestly not looking for the exact same thing--otherwise I'd just move back there! What I am looking for is some combination of:

-Lots of young people
-Walking Distance to nightlife
-Affordability(looking at 2BR/$1600 max...I'll have a roommate)
-Many restaurants(not chains) in the immediate area...I'll be waiting tables until I get my feet on the ground
Proximity to the beach
-Laid back vibe--What I mean by this is I'm not crazy about huge clubs with flashing lights and techno music...More into sports bars, drinking beers at restaurants with outside patios, happy hour at mexican restaurants, etc.
-Some sort of local sports scene
-A place where decent concerts come through
-While I plan on waiting tables for a bit wherever I go, eventually it'd be nice to know I'm in a place that has a decent job market for someone with a Business degree
-Minimal need for a car- I realize its convenient to have a car anywhere, but since my current car is a piece of junk, theres just no telling when it's going to give in and strand me.
-Weather: I enjoy 4 seasons, but in a give and take situation, I'd much rather do without snowy winters.
You are not alone, and I think you picked 8 very nice places. No matter which one you choose, you'll probably find a lot of things to like and some things not to like. You should probably sit down and prioritize your requirements and see just which one(s) you don't need as badly.

As for Nashville, it does sound like it offers everything you mention except proximity to beaches. However, there are two large lakes in Nashville, one of which has a "beach" called Nasvhille Shores. Also, Nashville is an easy half-day's drive to the beaches on the Gulf Coast.

With a dozen colleges and universities including two medical schools and thousands of graduate students at Vanderbilt, Nashville is a very young city with more nightlife than probably any other city its size except maybe Austin (certainly more than poor ol' Louisville).

And Nashville is not all country, either. Among non-country musicians who call (or have called) Nashville home: Jimi Hendrix, Kim Carnes, Steve Winwood, Sheryl Crow, Aaron Neville, Jimmy Buffett, Michael McDonald, and Peter Frampton. The Nashville Symphony just won three Grammy awards.

Besides the two professional sports teams in Nashville and its AAA baseball team, the Nashville metro area has two NCAA Division 1 schools (Vanderbilt and MTSU) plus all those other colleges and their sports programs. It would be difficult to think of another similarly-sized metro area with as many basketball arenas and football stadiums.

I'm originally from Tampa and like it there. However, Tampa doesn't quite have the same vibe as Nashville or Austin. Tampa is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't ever want to live there again.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Denver
456 posts, read 1,440,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leighland View Post
I say Austin or Denver. This is the time in your life to experience a different vibe/lifestyle and going back East would be more of the same for you. BTW, Denver winters are great. 30 and snowy on Tuesday, 62 and sunny the next day.


True that! Denver winters are mild, contrary to popular belief!

High of 50 and sunny today! Of course snow is in the forecast, but it'll melt away the next day anyway!
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:05 PM
Her
 
291 posts, read 745,408 times
Reputation: 354
I am pretty much in the same boat. I went from being sure Austin was where I wanted to be to thinking about Omaha. I visited Austin and LOVED it. It was pretty, clean, and the people were really friendly. However, I am now sold on Louisville. I have been researching it and it seems great. Its been called "the new Austin" by some. Its srill affordable and I'm anxious. Just throwing it out there!!
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:08 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by katmoney View Post
True that! Denver winters are mild, contrary to popular belief!

High of 50 and sunny today! Of course snow is in the forecast, but it'll melt away the next day anyway!
Absolutely! The record highs in Jan/Feb are in the 70s. This is not Minnesota! Sometimes there are weeks of warm, sunny weather between the snowfalls.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:17 PM
 
24 posts, read 83,501 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Her View Post
I am pretty much in the same boat. I went from being sure Austin was where I wanted to be to thinking about Omaha. I visited Austin and LOVED it. It was pretty, clean, and the people were really friendly. However, I am now sold on Louisville. I have been researching it and it seems great. Its been called "the new Austin" by some. Its srill affordable and I'm anxious. Just throwing it out there!!
Haha sounds exactly where I am. One of those 8 cities I listed I was certain was going to be "it." In the last hour though, I have researched Louisville, Birmingham, and now Houston. While I ruled out Birmingham almost immediately(no offense to anyone living there), Louisville caught my eye. I can't seem to get a feel for the "bar district" though. I've seen lots of pictures of the beautiful victorian homes down there, but not much for where the entertainment is.

Houston is also now extremely interesting to me. I think I am officially adding it to my list as #9. I have been researching Rice Village and Midtown. Does anyone have any thoughts on those 2 areas? Which is better for someone such as myself?

Thanks again to everyone who has responded so far. You are all starting to overwhelm me though...I was hoping you'd make it easy and all agree on a single city, haha. Obviously that wasn't going to happen, but seriously, thanks so much for helping me out.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:19 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,859 posts, read 21,155,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Absolutely! The record highs in Jan/Feb are in the 70s. This is not Minnesota! Sometimes there are weeks of warm, sunny weather between the snowfalls.
Denver gets more inches of snow per year than Minneapolis! (55 inches to 45)
Louisville only gets 16 inches of snow a year


Moderator cut: URL removed

Geography of Louisville, Kentucky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Louisville's main entertainment district is along a 4 miles of Bardstown Rd (an area known as The Highlands)
Frankfort Ave, and 4th Street Downtown also offer a lot of night life

Frankort Ave


4th Street


Moderator cut: copyright violation

Last edited by Marka; 02-17-2008 at 02:07 PM..
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