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Old 07-08-2016, 01:55 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
449 posts, read 707,224 times
Reputation: 557

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You can surely tell where I am/have been in my screen name. In short, I left Florida in the mid 1990s, lived in the Cleveland area for a few years but left because the climate change was too much at the time, because I moved directly from Florida. I came to Raleigh-Durham, where I've been for 14 years. I came here in my mid-40s. I've been trying to make it work here, but it never has worked on any level - work, forming friendships beyond the acquaintance level - nothing. So, to make a long story short, I have decided to upgrade my skills and pursue a medical office administration certificate online, hopefully to find a job yet and still work for another 10 years. My educational background is a BA in Communication, adult education teaching, a paralegal certificate (never used, as right after earning it I took care of my ailing parents). I've got great written and verbal communication skills, data entry, and transcription experience too.

What I'm looking for:

- Being within 20 miles of a city (no need to be the size of NYC, but larger than Raleigh)
- Ethnic diversity, to be able to enjoy restaurants and markets, especially with at least a few that offer European food (here in NC it's Southern, Mexican, Chinese and Indian for the most part)
- Being near the water - no need for it to be the ocean; can be lakes too
- Reasonable cost of living (I am single, alone) particularly as I'm in my late 50s already
- Cultural activities - symphony concerts, art galleries, museums, festivals
- Weather - no longer an issue - it's all about dressing for the weather and I can deal with the cold now that I've gotten used to winter
- Friendly people, not surface level friendliness like "Have a Nice Day" but hopefully finding people my age to form friendships with, not only families with children. Here where I live it's mainly families and children or college students as there are several universities. I'd like to find others in my age bracket or with my interests so I can make some friends. And yes, I am familiar with Meetup!
- Not a deal breaker, but if there's a subway system, that'd be nice and be able to leave the car at home or in a lot to go downtown to performances or to work
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:07 PM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
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Given all of your criteria I think Chicago could be a really good match for in providing employment options, a reasonable cost of living, all of the cultural amenities including transit and ethnic diversity, as well as that friendliness so often missing in big cities.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:22 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,431,560 times
Reputation: 12307
Are you talking about renting or buying?
House, condo apartment? How big?
What is your budget? "Reasonable" COL is relative
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:16 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
449 posts, read 707,224 times
Reputation: 557
For the short term, renting. I'm hoping that the medical office certificate opens doors for me but I'm going to have to enlist with temp agencies and pick up clerical jobs meanwhile. I would like an apt. or condo about 700 sq. ft. if I can find something in the $600-$700 a month range.

I've visited Chicago in the past and loved it because it had so many of the things I'm looking for. It looks like Minneapolis might be in that league too, although housing looks pretty expensive. I've even thought of going back to Cleveland since it is familiar. Someone today said how about Atlanta, but I've been there and it really didn't impress me much.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:41 AM
 
56,539 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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Detroit seems like another option due to the criteria. Outside of the subway/rail aspect, you can find everything else. It may be a matter of where you want to be in the area, as there are select suburbs and city neighborhoods that would seem to fit.

I would also say Buffalo, as it has pretty much everything except for metro size. I think even if you add the adjacent Canadian population, it MAY be a wash with the Raleigh metro in terms of population. Correction, with the Canadian side added, the Buffalo area would have a little bit more people(roughly 1.5-1.6 million people)than the Raleigh metro, but still less than the Raleigh-Durham CSA(a little over 2 million people). With the Buffalo CSA and Niagara Region of Ontario combined it is about 1.7-1.8 million people.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 07-09-2016 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,144 posts, read 2,825,934 times
Reputation: 2858
Cleveland or Buffalo. I have only been to Rochester, NY once but I was highly impressed. Check that out too.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:02 AM
 
56,539 posts, read 80,847,919 times
Reputation: 12490
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Cleveland or Buffalo. I have only been to Rochester, NY once but I was highly impressed. Check that out too.
Only thing with Rochester is that its metro is still a little bit smaller than the Raleigh metro. What MAY work is if the OP lives in say an outer Eastern/Northeastern suburb of Buffalo or an outer Western suburb of Rochester, which could allow you to be in the other metro in minutes/under an hour.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:31 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19614
Quote:
Originally Posted by miamian in nc View Post
For the short term, renting. I'm hoping that the medical office certificate opens doors for me but I'm going to have to enlist with temp agencies and pick up clerical jobs meanwhile. I would like an apt. or condo about 700 sq. ft. if I can find something in the $600-$700 a month range.
That price range will eliminate pretty much all of the bigger cities. Though not thought of as a big transit city, Cincinnati could be a good option as it does have extensive bus service (along with a partnership with Uber) that many utilize along with most if not all of the other amenities you listed.

Cincinnati USA / Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau / CincyUSA.com
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,144 posts, read 2,825,934 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Only thing with Rochester is that its metro is still a little bit smaller than the Raleigh metro. What MAY work is if the OP lives in say an outer Eastern/Northeastern suburb of Buffalo or an outer Western suburb of Rochester, which could allow you to be in the other metro in minutes/under an hour.
Yes, and there is no rail line in Rochester. BUT I was insanely impressed with the number of festivals, sporting events, biking trails, and water activities in Rochester. Even though they are both port cities, Rochester seems to have more access to recreational lakes and rivers. There is also an Art district that I haven't visited yet. And like you said, the plus is that you can be to either city in about an hour.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:30 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
449 posts, read 707,224 times
Reputation: 557
Well, the monthly rent price will of course be one I hope will increase once I find a job. In doing research it seems some states' employment offices have some good training programs available, some at no cost. I'm verNy interested in good, supportive offices like these. The other day on Craig's List I noticed one in Minneapolis for a Community Health Advocate training program they're offering at no cost to the enrolled. Their website had another program to train one to work in a medical office setting. The employment office here in Durham has a few such programs including getting a CDL license, something in dialysis, and one in the hospitality industry. The first two don't appeal to me at all and the last one does but realistically I don't see there being tremendous opportunities there for a 55+ person like myself.

I probably mentioned that I've applied to a Medical Office Specialist certificate here in NC online...so it is a portable program but the cost will be roughly $1,000 for 9 credits, plus books. The certificate is 18 credits. I've grown tired of teaching ESL two nights a week to adults, having to scrounge more and more for employment here where I am. I've tried getting back into my own field of editorial research but people here don't know me and that experience was from over 20 years ago. So, that's why I'm eager to retrain. For the past 14 years I've taught ESL two nights a week to adults and the temp work (which has become less and less). I'm currently working part-time (18 hours) at a library, with no prospects of more hours, even moving up to library assistant will only give about 4 hours more! So, I'm working at library, typing for an old gent trying to write a book, and doing sporadic tutoring.

Sorry for rambling...but back to the topic - if I can get a full-time job then I would love to rent a condo or home. What's Philadelphia like? Have never been there. I loved Cleveland's West Side Market and being able to pick up Hungarian sausage there from time to time or else the poppyseed/nut rolls at the local supermarket. This is something I miss here in Raleigh - nothing like that here. Here, outside of the Southern cuisine it's Mexican, Salvadorean, Honduran, Indian, Chinese for the most part. In Cleveland, I belonged to a great choir too (Catholic Church) and here I've tried two choirs but miss the family feeling in the other choir; we used to go out for breakfast, etc. and it's just not like that here.
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