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Old 04-04-2017, 07:23 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,967 times
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My wife and I grew up in WV, met in college in WV, and have bounced around a bit since. We moved to Boston for my first job and currently live in Pittsburgh. I work in finance, so I have to be in a bigger city. We are hoping to start a family soon, but this problem is holding us back.

BOSTON was a tough adjustment, but we ended up loving it. Everything was beautiful and high in quality. The city is easy to travel around in and there is always something inspiring or interesting to do. Lots of career opportunities. Negatives are the insane cost of living and the distance to our families in WV. We would have to fly to see them that's both expensive and time consuming.

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.

We can't seem to find any other cities that would suit us better. The nicest places with job opportunities also have insane COL. The affordable places seem run down, dumpy, and depressing. Is it really a choice between (1) living in a traffic filled, depressing dump of a city; OR (2) living somewhere nice, but being broke forever?

What we would like is: a relatively progressive city with nice neighborhoods somewhere close (preferably walkable) to downtown; safe; not too bad to look at. I never knew finding those things would be so hard, as they don't seem like huge requirements for one of the most developed countries in the world.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:27 AM
 
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Perhaps parts of Charlotte would work. I say that due to being a finance employment hub.


Also, I thought that Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside and nearby neighborhoods were examples of Pittsburgh neighborhoods that would fit what you are looking for. So, I'm confused as to why you can't find what you are looking for in Pittsburgh.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:32 AM
 
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Columbus, OH could work for you guys.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:33 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Perhaps parts of Charlotte would work. I say that due to being a finance employment hub.
Also, I thought that Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside and nearby neighborhoods were examples of Pittsburgh neighborhoods that would fit what you are looking for. So, I'm confused as to why you can't find what you are looking for in Pittsburgh.
Thanks for the comment. I've definitely considered Charlotte, but from speaking with individuals who live there, it seems crime ridden and highly segregated. We also aren't religious and have concerns about living in the Bible Belt.

Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are a 25 minute commute to downtown via car or bus. Oakland is college student central. We just generally don't like Pittsburgh. We were excited to move here but all the hype seems for naught. All the neighborhoods in the actual city are run down, traveling anywhere is a nightmare, the quality of everything is questionable, and we just don't feel like it's a fit for us. Nothing is inspirational around us, and in general, it just doesn't feel "nice."

Not trying to be negative about it, but just honest. It seems crazy for me to sign myself up for a lifetime of long commutes just to live in a decent neighborhood.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:34 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,967 times
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Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Columbus, OH could work for you guys.
Thanks for this. We are actually visiting Columbus this week. It looks pretty great, especially the German Village. I love walkability and despise the American car culture city layout. We love hiking and are slightly concerned about the "flatness," but otherwise it looks like it could be great.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:40 AM
 
29,944 posts, read 27,386,421 times
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Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
Thanks for the comment. I've definitely considered Charlotte, but from speaking with individuals who live there, it seems crime ridden and highly segregated. We also aren't religious and have concerns about living in the Bible Belt.
Charlotte has its issues, but it's not a Baltimore or Memphis--far from it.

And if you're not religious, you'll be fine in Charlotte. Lots of people do church and lots of people don't.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
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Atlanta, Philadelphia.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:26 AM
 
53 posts, read 39,967 times
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Originally Posted by Western Urbanite View Post
Atlanta, Philadelphia.
I don't know much about either. I love the idea of Philadelphia because it seems quite walkable and affordable. I don't think there are many jobs in my specific field, which is the only negative I can think of. Great proximity to both nature and NYC is also a huge plus.

I'm not fond of the idea of Atlanta because of the car culture and my general preference against the south.

Thanks for the ideas. Philly really is worth trying to think more about.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,446 posts, read 2,289,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
Thanks for the comment. I've definitely considered Charlotte, but from speaking with individuals who live there, it seems crime ridden and highly segregated. We also aren't religious and have concerns about living in the Bible Belt.
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.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:30 AM
 
169 posts, read 137,358 times
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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.
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