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Old 04-04-2017, 08:32 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by po-boy View Post
I don't think crime should be a major concern about Charlotte. Of course there is crime there (like everywhere), but I think its violent crime rate per capita is comparable to (and actually slightly lower than) Pittsburgh and Boston. I also don't think you would have a problem not being religious. It is a big city with lots of different types of people and not being religious won't be some huge mark against you. That being said, it might or might not be a great fit for y'all, but IMO you shouldn't rule it out for those two reasons.

If one of your main complaints with Pittsburgh is that it feels dreary and run down, you might like Charlotte, which has a downtown (uptown) that is very shiny and new feeling. Of course it doesn't have anything approaching the historic feel and walkability of Boston. And as the previous poster said, there is a big finance/banking sector. Probably not a bad drive to WV as well.
Thanks for the extra details. I think the weather in Charlotte would be a major plus for us, as we're both really into the outdoors, hiking, cycling, etc. I think my main concern about the religion aspect is that I have heard many people say that they're constantly being asked what church they go to when they meet people. I already have somewhat of a tough time in making connections, and I think that aspect turns me off even more because I don't have any interest in religion.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:36 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,866 times
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Originally Posted by CT356 View Post
It sounds like a few spots in Virginia might offer what you're looking for. Two that come to mind:

Alexandria, VA -- You get the DC job market but not quite as fast-paced as DC proper. You also get the option of quaint, walkable Old Town or more spacious and private suburban housing options. It's not cheap, but probably more affordable than Boston or New York.

Charlottesville, Va -- really nice medium-size town with many perks (good restaurants/cafes, lots of outdoor activities, mild weather, etc.). No idea what the job market is like down there though.
I LOVE Charlottesville. No jobs for me there, but I definitely like it. I'll look into Alexandria.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:40 AM
 
Location: East Coast
473 posts, read 271,113 times
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I wouldn't rule out the NY Metro, you don't have to live 45 minutes from Manhattan, there are many suburban cities with high paying jobs. Just my .02.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Koji7 View Post
I wouldn't rule out the NY Metro, you don't have to live 45 minutes from Manhattan, there are many suburban cities with high paying jobs. Just my .02.
Do you recommend any suburbs that are nice, affordable, and a <30 minute commute into the city by train? I love that scenario, but the area seems so immense that it's hard to know where to even start. @Koji7
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
I LOVE Charlottesville. No jobs for me there, but I definitely like it. I'll look into Alexandria.
Old Town Alexandria is incredibly quaint and walkable (and on the Metro line). Lots of great restaurants, a beautiful waterfront, mild winters, and just a happy & clean vibe, so it sounds like it might appeal to you. The down side is it's not cheap. Small row houses (under 1,000 square feet) start around $700-800k and that's even getting harder and harder to find. Lots of condo options though, which might be good route to take if you haven't started a family yet. That area seems like a nice balance between employment options and proximity to family in WV.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
Do you recommend any suburbs that are nice, affordable, and a <30 minute commute into the city by train? I love that scenario, but the area seems so immense that it's hard to know where to even start. @Koji7
Perhaps the Fleetwood area of Mount Vernon may work. I don't know if schools are an aspect and the SW portion of the city can be rough, but northern Mount Vernon is essentially a diverse, urban like suburban city just north of NYC/the Bronx.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2001/11/1...ent-leafy.html

Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Fleetwood, NY - Westchester Magazine - April 2013 - Westchester, NY

https://goo.gl/maps/LyWrKRAKYaH2

https://maps.google.com/?q=545%20Gra...de&hl=en&gl=us

This also may depend on what is affordable to you.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 04-04-2017 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:54 AM
 
169 posts, read 137,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
Do you recommend any suburbs that are nice, affordable, and a <30 minute commute into the city by train? I love that scenario, but the area seems so immense that it's hard to know where to even start. @Koji7
Sorry to keep weighing in but I'm familiar with this area too! Pleasantville might be a good fit for you. It has a walkable downtown, very family-friendly, relatively affordable for Westchester and about a 45-50 min train ride into Grand Central Station. Of course, you might be able to find a job in White Plains, which would give you a very short commute.

If you are set on a 30-min commute into the city, Hastings on Hudson is a great river town. Not cheap, but an easy commute.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,446 posts, read 2,287,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
Thanks for the extra details. I think the weather in Charlotte would be a major plus for us, as we're both really into the outdoors, hiking, cycling, etc. I think my main concern about the religion aspect is that I have heard many people say that they're constantly being asked what church they go to when they meet people. I already have somewhat of a tough time in making connections, and I think that aspect turns me off even more because I don't have any interest in religion.
I haven't lived in Charlotte so I can't say for sure, but in my experience from other large Southern cities (Raleigh, Atlanta, New Orleans) you might get asked about church on occasion, but it isn't like it is the first thing that comes up. It is probably somewhere after getting asked what part of town you live in, what you do for work, what your family situation is like (married? kids?), what your hobbies are, and what sports teams you like. I know some people find it offensive or invasive to be asked about religion, but I honestly don't think it is usually meant to be, it is just another way to learn about someone you are just meeting. If you get asked, you can just say you don't go b/c you aren't very religious. Most people will accept that and move on to some other topic.

I'll admit that in the South you are probably more likely to find a few people who are asking b/c they want to try to convince you to join them, or who might think it is odd that you don't go to church, but I have had that happen very few times, and much less so in bigger cites, among younger people, and in a professional setting.

Your mileage may vary, but it has never been a big deal to me.

And one more comment: I agree with the posters who have recommended Alexandria. It is a great area with a lot of charm. But the cost there is pretty high compared to most of the US.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,913,851 times
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Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
PITTSBURGH is not for us. We moved here because of all the positive press around the city being livable, but it feels like a dead end to us. Everything is run down, the weather is among the dreariest in the US, and the general vibe is depressing. Transit is nonexistent, meaning you have to drive everywhere, but there's always a traffic jam and no parking when you finally arrive. It is both close to family in WV and affordable. There are no nice neighborhoods anywhere near downtown and everyone commutes in via car from 20-30 minutes out.
Sorry, but I've lived in Pittsburgh for 12 years, and I really don't see this. I mean, I can understand your complaints on the weather and the strange attitude people have to deferring maintenance on the outside of their homes. But as to the other comments...

1. Transit here is decent for a city of its size - I've worked downtown the whole time I've lived here, and have always either taken a bus or ridden my bike to work. It's pretty good for getting to Oakland as well. It's of course not so good going elsewhere, but really, there's only around 10-12 cities in the country with better used transit than Pittsburgh.

2. I also don't understand the "no nice neighborhoods near downtown" part - unless you mean directly next to downtown. Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are unquestionably nice neighborhoods in the city - are they too far away? Areas like Lawrenceville, South Side, and the nice parts of the North Side are even closer - in some cases within walking distance of downtown.

3. I also don't understand the "everyone commutes via car from 20-30 minutes out" comment. Again, I work downtown, and the workforce is pretty evenly split between car commuters and transit commuters, with many of the younger people in particular taking the bus in.

If you don't like the city, that's your prerogative of course, but I didn't want readers to get some slanted view of what living in the City of Pittsburgh is like which doesn't align with reality (at least as I see it).

Edit: I'm guessing from your comments that your issue is you decided to move to a suburb of Pittsburgh, rather than the city, isn't it? Do you mind telling us where?

Last edited by eschaton; 04-04-2017 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:05 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Sorry, but I've lived in Pittsburgh for 12 years, and I really don't see this. I mean, I can understand your complaints on the weather and the strange attitude people have to deferring maintenance on the outside of their homes. But as to the other comments...

1. Transit here is decent for a city of its size - I've worked downtown the whole time I've lived here, and have always either taken a bus or ridden my bike to work. It's pretty good for getting to Oakland as well. It's of course not so good going elsewhere, but really, there's only around 10-12 cities in the country with better used transit than Pittsburgh.

2. I also don't understand the "no nice neighborhoods near downtown" part - unless you mean directly next to downtown. Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are unquestionably nice neighborhoods in the city - are they too far away? Areas like Lawrenceville, South Side, and the nice parts of the North Side are even closer - in some cases within walking distance of downtown.

3. I also don't understand the "everyone commutes via car from 20-30 minutes out" comment. Again, I work downtown, and the workforce is pretty evenly split between car commuters and transit commuters, with many of the younger people in particular taking the bus in.

If you don't like the city, that's your prerogative of course, but I didn't want readers to get some slanted view of what living in the City of Pittsburgh is like which doesn't align with reality (at least as I see it).
I know a lot of people love it here, I just don't see it. I don't want to make other people think it sucks, I'm just explaining why I think it sucks. Giving my perspective helps others give me advice.

1. When I say transit, I do mean public transit, but I also mean getting around in general. It's a nightmare. It doesn't help that GPS doesn't work here. Going anyplace is a daily battle. People run through stop signs and then slam on the brakes to avoid hitting me. I have to cross 4 lanes of busy traffic in a 50 foot section of road. Random roads are closed and there's no other decent way to get there. It took me an hour and 40 minutes to drive from Robinson to Oakland and back the other day. It's always up the side of a mountain and down the other with potholes and streets so narrow that my tiny car can barely fit through. Then there almost definitely won't be any parking when I finally arrive.

2. I do mean next to downtown. I've never been to a city that doesn't have decent neighborhoods next to downtown. Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are a 25 minute commute from downtown. That doesn't count as "in the city" to me, even if it is officially in the city. South Side and North Side aren't what I would refer to as "nice." At best they would be a compromise to avoid a long commute. South Side is dilapidated and North Side is fragmented between decent areas and boarded up buildings.

3. My comment about everyone commuting from outside the city was a generalization, so I could be wrong. Clearly not everyone does this but it seems that most people do.

I definitely don't like the city, but I encourage everyone to check it out for themselves to see what they think. It could be utopia for some, but it isn't for me and that's why I wanted some advice.

Edit: No problem, I moved to Robinson with the idea of finding a nice neighborhood in the city once I get to know the area. I've been spending time in all of the neighborhoods in the city for the past 6 months and I don't like any of them. I'm no stranger to an urban environment either, it's just not appealing to me in any way.
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