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Old 05-06-2017, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
I would like a big city, something that resembles the density of San Francisco, in a place like Flagstaff with lots of mountains, colder and drier weather. Ideally it would snow less than Flagstaff because Flagstaff has a ridiculous amount of snow. But Flagstaff's weather is generally ideal, except a tad cold in the summer nights. Flagstaff's outdoor amenities are unmatched but it would be nice to come as close to that as possible.

Denver comes *really* close to this but can improve on its density and urban amenities and public transportation. Also I heard getting into the mountains is a bit ridiculous from Denver, which is a big con. Denver still has the big open skies and dry weather I am familiar with. I feel that if Denver was built more like Chicago then Denver would be a winner.

Seattle is another option but I'm not sure how I would handle the rain and overcast for an extended period. I love when it's cloudy and rainy here in Arizona but I can't say that would change if I lived in the complete polar opposite than the climate I live in now (Seattle is definitely a polar opposite from Phoenix, don't argue this you know it's true). Though if I discovered that the rain and clouds weren't a big deal for me, then Seattle would be a winner.

Humidity is oppressive for me so I wouldn't consider anything out East. I can't handle humidity unless it's in the 70s or below from my observation, it starts to inhibit my breathing if it goes higher than 75. After doing some searches on weather out East I discovered that pretty much limits me to New England, which I'm not sure is right for me either. Mainly cause to get the big city I want my only option is Boston.

I dislike California for many reasons, and no I wouldn't consider California.
Spokane, but you won't have SF's density (most places don't).

Denver doesn't even come close IMO.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Spokane, but you won't have SF's density (most places don't).

Denver doesn't even come close IMO.
How does Denver not come close to my options? I'm genuinely curious about how Spokane fills that but not Denver. Denver is still a much, much bigger city with at least an opportunity for me to get a job and hang out with young people my age.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
Reputation: 13004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
How does Denver not come close to my options? I'm genuinely curious about how Spokane fills that but not Denver. Denver is still a much, much bigger city with at least an opportunity for me to get a job and hang out with young people my age.
Denver
-doesn't resemble the density of SF, anywhere. Yeah, it has a dense business district, and a dozen or so hip semi-dense neighborhoods, but the vast majority of it is suburban.

-doesn't have "lots of mountains", it only has them within view. Denver is flat as a pancake, and to reach anything resembling the mountains/wild outdoors, you are looking at about 15 miles west of downtown, as every other direction does not get you mountains. Even Colorado Springs blows Denver away in this regard.

-doesn't look a thing like Flagstaff/environs: Denver's native biome is grassland/steppe, the only native trees are cottonwoods near creeks/rivers. Any other trees you see were placed there by man, whereas Flagstaff and Spokane are set in actual forests.

-will never (in our lifetimes) improve its public transportation beyond what is already in existence, or planned. The G Line has been held up for over a year now (even though it is done), and the remaining two lines to be built to the N/NW suburbs won't be finished until I'm in my 60's (I'm 33 now). Furthermore, the primary/most prudent use of the trains is for the suburban population, you wouldn't be using them much/at all in the most popular neighborhoods (the buses are the same as they are anywhere).

Your suggestion of Seattle is a decent one, but the climate is very unlike Flagstaff (or Denver for that matter), and if you care to experience snow regularly at all, you won't, and when you do it will be an apocalyptic experience (same for Portland if you've thought of that). And Seattle's public transit is a complete joke, even in comparison to Portland and Denver.

Spokane checks your climate and setting boxes perfectly. It is much larger than Flagstaff (combined Spokane/Kootenai county population is ~ 700K). Spokane does have a small (but obviously present) yuppie scene, and jobs and young people (contrary to popular belief).

You could very well be happy in Denver, or even a more urban city like Chicago, or somewhere you haven't even thought of yet. It boils down to what resonates with you in the end. I've lived in Denver for 10 years, and while everything about it works out for me on paper, there are a few things that are painfully missing about it that aren't easy fixes, and even some that I can't quite put my finger on. OTOH, my experiences with Spokane catch me by surprise every single time, and Chicago exceeds my wildest dreams every time I go there.

Jobs are plentiful in Denver (maybe even too plentiful), but the COL has skyrocketed. It doesn't feel like a flavor-of-the-decade, but I do wonder about its sustainability.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Denver
-doesn't resemble the density of SF, anywhere. Yeah, it has a dense business district, and a dozen or so hip semi-dense neighborhoods, but the vast majority of it is suburban.

-doesn't have "lots of mountains", it only has them within view. Denver is flat as a pancake, and to reach anything resembling the mountains/wild outdoors, you are looking at about 15 miles west of downtown, as every other direction does not get you mountains. Even Colorado Springs blows Denver away in this regard.

-doesn't look a thing like Flagstaff/environs: Denver's native biome is grassland/steppe, the only native trees are cottonwoods near creeks/rivers. Any other trees you see were placed there by man, whereas Flagstaff and Spokane are set in actual forests.

-will never (in our lifetimes) improve its public transportation beyond what is already in existence, or planned. The G Line has been held up for over a year now (even though it is done), and the remaining two lines to be built to the N/NW suburbs won't be finished until I'm in my 60's (I'm 33 now). Furthermore, the primary/most prudent use of the trains is for the suburban population, you wouldn't be using them much/at all in the most popular neighborhoods (the buses are the same as they are anywhere).

Your suggestion of Seattle is a decent one, but the climate is very unlike Flagstaff (or Denver for that matter), and if you care to experience snow regularly at all, you won't, and when you do it will be an apocalyptic experience (same for Portland if you've thought of that). And Seattle's public transit is a complete joke, even in comparison to Portland and Denver.

Spokane checks your climate and setting boxes perfectly. It is much larger than Flagstaff (combined Spokane/Kootenai county population is ~ 700K). Spokane does have a small (but obviously present) yuppie scene, and jobs and young people (contrary to popular belief).

You could very well be happy in Denver, or even a more urban city like Chicago, or somewhere you haven't even thought of yet. It boils down to what resonates with you in the end. I've lived in Denver for 10 years, and while everything about it works out for me on paper, there are a few things that are painfully missing about it that aren't easy fixes, and even some that I can't quite put my finger on. OTOH, my experiences with Spokane catch me by surprise every single time, and Chicago exceeds my wildest dreams every time I go there.

Jobs are plentiful in Denver (maybe even too plentiful), but the COL has skyrocketed. It doesn't feel like a flavor-of-the-decade, but I do wonder about its sustainability.
Yeah I know density is sort of a myth in the US as a whole, I would say NYC and SF are the only exceptions to the rule, and old, urban neighborhoods of some older cities like Philly and Boston. D.C. has a nice urban density, I think because of the skyline cap in D.C. limits, that enforced density to be spread out rather than a few skyscrapers and a bunch of SFHs with lots of space in between them like we see in the newer cities out West.

15 miles west is close from the Downtown area however. In Phoenix to get comparable mountains (snow capped with forests and skiing and all) you are looking at over 100 miles to Flagstaff. The I-17 is not a fun one either, though it would be interesting to compare it to the I-70.

Flagstaff's pine forest is something I love but Flagstaff sits in a small circle of its northern end completely surrounded by desert and grasslands North, West, and East of the town. Drive 20 minutes east of Flagstaff on the I-40 and you'll see what I mean. You hit the Painted Desert almost instantly. I like trees but I also like big open skies, it's a mixed bag for me. I've lived in the desert my whole life and seeing brown, flat with few trees isn't something that affects me negatively, rather it only makes me see forests and snow-capped mountains much more positively.

That's sad that Denver isn't planning on improving public transportation. Really all American cities should work on improving this, even New York City. I thought Denver's, err, extensive gentrification would include heavier support of public transit. Phoenix has been improving public transportation slowly but surely, but we've hit a brick wall on reaching an important corridor due to NIMBYs (Scottsdale Road). Is that's what happening in Denver? NIMBYs?

Seattle is a very beautiful city but yes I question its climate. That's something I would definitely need to travel to Seattle for and experience for myself during the winter. I love the rain and clouds and cold weather but in Arizona it's for a brief flirtatious period. Even during monsoon season. The question is whether I can handle that for a long period of time.

I have thought of Portland, I like that it's more alternative (which is something I admire of Tucson in comparison to Phoenix), has a giant forest park within its city... sounds too good to be true. But then comes in the urbanity/jobs thing again. It's like for me I can't win. Oregon's laws are a bit more preferable in my eyes compared to Washington. Washington has a couple laws on the books I straight up cannot stand, but that's for another thread.

I need to do more traveling throughout the country, most of my traveling has been internationally but as someone who would like to move out of Phoenix one day I should be narrowing down where I'd want to live.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Naples Island
1,011 posts, read 639,316 times
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Yes, I have. I live in an upscale neighborhood of Long Beach, CA.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Illinois
988 posts, read 593,270 times
Reputation: 1091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
I would like a big city, something that resembles the density of San Francisco, in a place like Flagstaff with lots of mountains, colder and drier weather. Ideally it would snow less than Flagstaff because Flagstaff has a ridiculous amount of snow. But Flagstaff's weather is generally ideal, except a tad cold in the summer nights. Flagstaff's outdoor amenities are unmatched but it would be nice to come as close to that as possible.

Denver comes *really* close to this but can improve on its density and urban amenities and public transportation. Also I heard getting into the mountains is a bit ridiculous from Denver, which is a big con. Denver still has the big open skies and dry weather I am familiar with. I feel that if Denver was built more like Chicago then Denver would be a winner.

Seattle is another option but I'm not sure how I would handle the rain and overcast for an extended period. I love when it's cloudy and rainy here in Arizona but I can't say that would change if I lived in the complete polar opposite than the climate I live in now (Seattle is definitely a polar opposite from Phoenix, don't argue this you know it's true). Though if I discovered that the rain and clouds weren't a big deal for me, then Seattle would be a winner.

Humidity is oppressive for me so I wouldn't consider anything out East. I can't handle humidity unless it's in the 70s or below from my observation, it starts to inhibit my breathing if it goes higher than 75. After doing some searches on weather out East I discovered that pretty much limits me to New England, which I'm not sure is right for me either. Mainly cause to get the big city I want my only option is Boston.

I dislike California for many reasons, and no I wouldn't consider California.
You probably need to move out of the US if you ever want to find your ideal. You've systematically eliminated every US location with this post.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
Reputation: 13004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
15 miles west is close from the Downtown area however. In Phoenix to get comparable mountains (snow capped with forests and skiing and all) you are looking at over 100 miles to Flagstaff. The I-17 is not a fun one either, though it would be interesting to compare it to the I-70.
Just didn't want you (or anybody else) to get the idea that Denver was actually in the mountains/trees.

I-17 is nothing compared to I-70 tbh. I-70 is two lanes in each direction much of the way between Denver and Glenwood Springs, and is overloaded with traffic much of the time, and add snow to the equation and forget it.....white knuckle all the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
That's sad that Denver isn't planning on improving public transportation. Really all American cities should work on improving this, even New York City. I thought Denver's, err, extensive gentrification would include heavier support of public transit. Phoenix has been improving public transportation slowly but surely, but we've hit a brick wall on reaching an important corridor due to NIMBYs (Scottsdale Road). Is that's what happening in Denver? NIMBYs?
Not at all, anymore. In the early/mid-2000s there was massive (mostly suburban) opposition to the reconstruction of I-25 to accommodate the first train line. That has all passed. There is nothing more to improve, the master plan originally adopted back then is still in force: the only problems are cost overruns, and a couple of toll lanes/bus lines added to the N and NW corridors due to delays in their train lines being built.

There really isn't anywhere to put anything else. The NW, SW, E, and SE parts of the c/c of Denver are pretty far away from any of the train lines. The NE and far SW suburbs will never get anything more than the buses they already have. There is nothing circling the periphery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Seattle is a very beautiful city but yes I question its climate. That's something I would definitely need to travel to Seattle for and experience for myself during the winter. I love the rain and clouds and cold weather but in Arizona it's for a brief flirtatious period. Even during monsoon season. The question is whether I can handle that for a long period of time.

I have thought of Portland, I like that it's more alternative (which is something I admire of Tucson in comparison to Phoenix), has a giant forest park within its city... sounds too good to be true. But then comes in the urbanity/jobs thing again. It's like for me I can't win. Oregon's laws are a bit more preferable in my eyes compared to Washington. Washington has a couple laws on the books I straight up cannot stand, but that's for another thread.

I need to do more traveling throughout the country, most of my traveling has been internationally but as someone who would like to move out of Phoenix one day I should be narrowing down where I'd want to live.
You should visit both. I know Seattle very well (I stayed with my grandparents/aunt there every summer growing up), and while I really like it, I could never live there now. It is incredibly congested and expensive. But it is beautiful.

I do business and have family in Portland, but I personally find it to have few redeeming qualities in comparison to what you can get in Seattle (even when it comes to beauty), and it is arguably even more congested.

You should still visit both, and at least a few of the other places we've talked about here. If I were in your position again (and I don't know your age), I would get out sooner rather than later. You don't want to wake up 5-10 years from now still in Phoenix having never left.
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