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Old 03-28-2017, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
That statement was poorly worded, Pittsburgh should be considered alongside Columbus. The Twin Cities are expensive relative to most of the Midwest decide Chicago.

My point also was not that Detroit is superior to either Buffalo or Cincinnati. Nearly the the differences are relatively negligible. It doesn't make much sense to leave one for the others without some sort of major incentive. Especially when Detroit has taken a turn toward being considered cool whereas other cities in the region have not. The original poster wants something different but people are offering him smaller versions of the same.
I understand and somewhat agree with what you are saying, but there are some differences at least with Buffalo and likely Cincinnati. While not as strong as it once was, Buffalo still has more of an ethnic aspect to it(Irish in South Buffalo, a Polish presence still hanging on in parts of the Eastside, same with Italians on the Westside). It is also getting its share of refugees on its Westside from all over the world in recent years.

Those Buffalo neighborhoods I had previously mentioned are more in line with an Ann Arbor type of scene, but with more grit particularly in Allentown.

Having a 4 AM last call doesn't hurt.

Those are some things off the top of my head and hopefully someone from Cincinnati will chime in.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
-overall affordability, especially rent
-lots of diverse opportunities in general, especial career opportunities and social/entertainment opportunities
-feeling of safety; serene (ideally green) immediate living area this is also close to where things are happening—walkability or short driving distances
-strong presence of arts and arts community/culture, intellectualism, eclecticism/diversity, presence of young people (a mix of ages is totally fine, of course; I am 27)
Knoxville TN, has this but the "intellectualism, eclecticism/diversity" is set among a background that is primarily blue collar/middle class. It is also a spoke to Delta's DTW hub.

Lexington, KY is serene and cultured and might fit your 6 hour drive.

Louisville, KY is a bit more gritty but has a LOT going on that might interest you.
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:50 PM
 
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Thanks again for everyone's awesome suggestions so far! Maybe it's worth noting that I would certainly consider options that don't meet all of my ideals (the easy/cheap trip back was my largest concern at the moment), but the suggestions that do meet all or most of them have been incredibly enlightening. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical as to whether I could even meet all (or most) of my ideals in this part of the country, so this thread has really been an awesome surprise so far in that regard. Thanks projectmaximus, brodie734 and ckhthankgod for clarifying and parsing a lot of that stuff out for me. Hoping to learn more. :-)
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Detroit
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If your not counting Ann Arbor than I would do Grand Rapids or Cleveland.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:50 AM
 
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Columbus. Three hour drive. Great combo of young professionals/ college students. A city that is borderline large yet is small enough to easily navigate.
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:09 AM
 
1,788 posts, read 2,147,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
I really don't understand why someone seeking a vibrant, eclectic and intellectually stimulating atmosphere with the arts, green space and job opportunities would would voluntarily choose Buffalo or Cincinnati over Detroit. Detroit itself has more of pretty much everything on that list... Buffalo and Cincinnati are just smaller versions of the same old same... buffalo in particular it's just a smaller, whiter, older, poorer and less cool version of Detroit. Cincinnati has its own vibe and has some incredibly cool places, but it is still a declining Rust Belt metropolitan area with a lot of the usual racial strife and segregation problems that are endemic to this region and which the OP seems to want to escape by seeking out diverse cities.

If you want to be Bohemian and hippieish in this part of the country, you really only have a handful of options. You should stick to the college towns... in addition to Ann Arbor, Madison, and Columbus you should consider Pittsburgh and the the Twin Cities as an option that is more expensive and way further away from Detroit. Bloomington, Champaign, and Iowa City are smaller options that will get you a lot of the same stuff. Don't waste your time on places like Toledo or Akron or something, they are just mini versions of places you already know. No matter how many people on city data tell you they are cool, they probably really aren't.
To characterize Buffalo and Cincinnati as smaller versions of Detroit is demonstrating ignorance. The city of Cincinnati is 49% white, and 45% black. The city of Buffalo is 50% white, 39% black, and 10% Latino. Big difference between them and a city who lost 1.4 million of its white population between 1950 and 2000 (that's a 94% decline folks!) . Several of Detroit's suburbs have more white people than the city itself. Buffalo and Cincy have no where near as much devastation as Detroit, a much larger % of those cities are livable than Detroit.

And to speculate about what Ann Arbor could have become if Detroit wasn't in its sphere is also questionable. Ann Arbor wouldn't have been anything but a cute hilly small town if it hadn't poached the University of Michigan from Detroit after AA had been rejected for the Michigan state capitol. U of M is what made Ann Arbor - and U of M came from Detroit.

I pointed out the Over-the-Rhine community because there is no other neighborhood in the Midwest built like that; also it is adjacent to downtown, University of Cincinnati, home to one of the nation's greatest public markets, and it has a big art scene.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
If your not counting Ann Arbor than I would do Grand Rapids or Cleveland.
Thanks. Yeah, I mean, I'd love if I could make Ann Arbor work, but it just doesn't seem to be panning out so far. With my generic liberal arts BA, especially compared to the extremely high (and prestigious) education of much of the Ann Arbor population, I just don't seem to have many options there.
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
To characterize Buffalo and Cincinnati as smaller versions of Detroit is demonstrating ignorance. The city of Cincinnati is 49% white, and 45% black. The city of Buffalo is 50% white, 39% black, and 10% Latino. Big difference between them and a city who lost 1.4 million of its white population between 1950 and 2000 (that's a 94% decline folks!) . Several of Detroit's suburbs have more white people than the city itself. Buffalo and Cincy have no where near as much devastation as Detroit, a much larger % of those cities are livable than Detroit.

And to speculate about what Ann Arbor could have become if Detroit wasn't in its sphere is also questionable. Ann Arbor wouldn't have been anything but a cute hilly small town if it hadn't poached the University of Michigan from Detroit after AA had been rejected for the Michigan state capitol. U of M is what made Ann Arbor - and U of M came from Detroit.

I pointed out the Over-the-Rhine community because there is no other neighborhood in the Midwest built like that; also it is adjacent to downtown, University of Cincinnati, home to one of the nation's greatest public markets, and it has a big art scene.
You're missing the point, I know Cincinnati are not demographic matches for Detroit. But what do they offer (other than white people, apparently?) that Detroit doesn't? What is the incentive for the OP to leave Detroit for them? Neither really meet any of his criteria other than being close to Detroit... both are some form of shrinking rust belt city. Does Cincinnati, even it's artsy areas, offer " larger city opportunities and certain cultural elements in a place that is more condensed and feels a bit more "comfortable" (perhaps a bit more like a "community" than the large cities)"? Not really. It'd be just like staying in Detroit and living in Ferndale.

My Ann Arbor comment was merely about how, had it not been bounded to the north and east by Detroit's suburbs, it probably would have more growth potential than it does. It was not about Ann Arbor's innate superiority, it was a way of comparing Madison's rise to a quarter of a million people to Ann Arbor's relatively stagnant growth. Being hemmed in by the Detroit MSA on two sides means that it hasn't been able to really develop the same way as other Big Ten boomtowns like Columbus, Minneapolis and Madison. Companies that might have HQed in Ann Arbor otherwise can be based in Novi or Plymouth and get the best of both worlds in terms of the Detroit areas workforce and A2's brainforce.

There are places the OP would enjoy within his metrics. I don't want to harp on Madison again (though I will reiterate that it has everything the OP needs), but I agree with everyone that he should give Grand Rapids a second look (it is nowhere near as conservative as the rest of western Michigan and may surprise him) and he should also look into Pittsburgh and Columbus for bigger cities that have a similar general vibe.
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Detroit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DwellerofCities View Post
Thanks. Yeah, I mean, I'd love if I could make Ann Arbor work, but it just doesn't seem to be panning out so far. With my generic liberal arts BA, especially compared to the extremely high (and prestigious) education of much of the Ann Arbor population, I just don't seem to have many options there.
Depending on how far you want to commute, you can do like alot of people do, live in Ann Arbor and work in Wayne Co, Oakland Co, or Livingston Co. If you could commute say 30-45 min, you will have more options. But I understand if your looking for a smaller city lifestyle your damn sure not looking to commute halfway across Metro Detroit. Which is why Grand Rapids was my second option, getting around in the Grand Rapids area is much shorter and easier than the Detroit area by a long shot. You can even avoid the freeways altogether and still get everywhere in Grand Rapids at a decent time. And imo GR has the offerings of most other Mid sized cities and if I'm correct is slightly more affordable than Metro Detroit.
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:53 PM
 
35 posts, read 22,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
Depending on how far you want to commute, you can do like alot of people do, live in Ann Arbor and work in Wayne Co, Oakland Co, or Livingston Co. If you could commute say 30-45 min, you will have more options. But I understand if your looking for a smaller city lifestyle your damn sure not looking to commute halfway across Metro Detroit. Which is why Grand Rapids was my second option, getting around in the Grand Rapids area is much shorter and easier than the Detroit area by a long shot. You can even avoid the freeways altogether and still get everywhere in Grand Rapids at a decent time. And imo GR has the offerings of most other Mid sized cities and if I'm correct is slightly more affordable than Metro Detroit.
Thanks again, and I agree that Grand Rapids is a better option in that specific respect. And I get what people are saying about the vibe there. I've been there a few times, and there was certainly a good presence of young professionals, and it certainly wasn't a bad vibe -- it just wasn't "my" vibe, if you know what I mean.

But yeah, in terms of prioritizing ease/cost of visits back to metro-Detroit, I will probably add Grand Rapids to my job search.

Also (in summary): I'll be sure to do some more research on Columbus, since so many have suggested that it surprisingly meets a lot of my ideals, and it is a convenient 5 hour bus ride. I may also add Minneapolis to my search, which I've been considering for a while anyways for a lot of these reasons, and flights seem to largely be on the cheaper end. Unfortunately flights seem to be on the more expensive end for Madison, but I'll be putting some serious consideration into that.

I'm also curious about Nashville based on other things I've heard, which was mentioned a couple times here without dispute -- and appears to have cheaper flights as well. There's also been a lot of individual or less disputed suggestions that seem to warrant more research or additional opinions: Indianapolis, Charlotte, Knoxville, Cleveland?

Happy to hear any more insight or suggestions. :-) I'll be sure to do some of my own research on a couple of the more disputed ones, as well.
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