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Old 05-05-2016, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Nowhere I would like to be!
29 posts, read 27,576 times
Reputation: 32

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I will preface this by saying that I know that what I am looking for may not exist, but I have to try.

I am from Chicago. One of its many nicknames is "city of neighborhoods." I believe it is true. Each neighborhood in Chicago holds a piece of the predominant ethnic group that lived there within the architecture. When a new group comes in, it mostly adds it own stamp without totally changing it. That has always given a real sense of community. I am also a sucker for the different styles of architecture present in Chicago. I like old buildings. Chicago's downtown offers lots in way of entertainment and culture and the public transit system makes everything not too far away.

I have been living an hour away from Seattle the last 5/6 months. I like but don't love Seattle and hate the town that I live in. What I love about Seattle is its proximity to nature and the drama present in the nature (jagged mountains, inlet waves, hills, etc...). Washington (what I have seen of it) is a very visually beautiful state. Seattle does lack that neighborhood feel that I get while in Chicago. The public transit system here is not that good but workable if you live in Seattle and not across the Sound (as I do).

I am looking for a place that has a cozy neighborhood feel, architectural character (basically not bombarded with contemporary straight lines), a decent cultural/entertainment zone (even if it isn't downtown), a passable public transit system, and stunning dramatic (enough) natural beauty.

Does something in the Midwest or on the East coast come close to appeasing these desires?
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:42 PM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,247,428 times
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Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Boston
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:50 PM
 
56,618 posts, read 80,930,134 times
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Philadelphia and Pittsburgh come to mind.
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:55 PM
 
3,597 posts, read 1,529,535 times
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Pittsburgh is good. Affordable, good established neighborhoods, and the natural areas are very nice. Good transportation.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:16 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,440,738 times
Reputation: 12308
Tempted to say the Bay Area, San Francisco or Berkeley/Oakland.

Or maybe you might reconsider Chicago and aspire to live on the lakefront. It's really hard to get Chicago out of your blood. I know.

Or conversely, go for someplace completely different.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Southern California
270 posts, read 224,003 times
Reputation: 206
Before you head back to the Midwest or East, take a look at your NW neighbor, Portland. It's a match for everything you mentioned, plus it's close enough to drive down and check it out.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Southern California
270 posts, read 224,003 times
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I should amend that: everything you mentioned, except for ethnic neighborhoods.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:17 AM
 
5,694 posts, read 8,762,354 times
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Pittsburgh is the obvious answer, but Cincinatti is worth a look. Check out the Mainstrasse in Covington as well as Mt Adams and Over the Rhine.

A smaller warmer option is Chattanooga. Check out the St Elmo neighborhood and North Shore. Chattanooga has lookout mountain and signal mountain at around 2000' - above a base elevation of 7-800'. Transit isn't what you expect in Chicago but there are busses and you could use a bike to get around. Not much in the way of ethnic neighborhoods.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:06 AM
 
56,618 posts, read 80,930,134 times
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If you don't mind a smaller city/area, Albany NY's Center Square neighborhood with its Brownstones and close proximity to mountains, lakes and bigger cities may be worth a look. Same for nearby Schenectady and Troy, which also have similar neighborhoods in that metro area. Historic Center Square Neighborhood - Albany, NY

The Stockade Association | Committed to protecting, preserving and improving New York's first historic district.

Historic Downtown Troy
Downtown Troy - Downtown Troy BID

You may also like Syracuse, which still has somewhat of an ethnic feel in regards to some neighborhoods and has scenery like this: http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/fil...Wainwright.jpg

You may like Westcott(University influence), Downtown, Eastwood, North Salina/Little Italy(very diverse area now, but still has its share of Italian business and even old/long time residents), Tipperary Hill(Irish) or maybe Park Avenue/Auto Row(historically Polish). There is a decent bus system and most of the neighborhoods mentioned above have some degree of nightlife as well.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-06-2016 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,828,129 times
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Pittsburgh has horrible public transit and is becoming a commuter city. Rent is starting at $1200+ for a new 1br.


Boston, Buffalo, and Cleveland. At least you get what you pay for.
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