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Old 11-08-2017, 10:22 AM
 
8 posts, read 4,039 times
Reputation: 10

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I was born and raised in MA. Now in my late twenties. Have been living in the Boston area for 5+ years. I really do love this area. My family and friends are here, and the quick access to multiple states + Canada is really nice, too.

However, I'm bored and would really like to try out life in a new place. I've just concluded my tour de U.S. of potential spots to live and I've narrowed it down, but no one place stands out. They are: Austin, Denver, Seattle and Portland, OR.

With this thread I'm hoping you can offer your experiences with these cities so that it may help me make some sort of decision,

My criteria for a new place to live:

- Walk-able & bike-able communities. I want the ability to live in a place where I can walk (or a short bike ride) to the grocery store, a bar/restaurant.
- Nightlife. Chill bars with a friendly 25-35yo crowd.
- Job availability. I work in IT (not a programmer)
- Diversity (culture/people).

- Lifestyle. I want a slower pace, but not so slow that people are bums. Denver's snowboarder archetype was not a problem for me, nor were the occasional young homeless in Portland.
- Je ne sais quoi - Also a big one for me.

- Friendly people. If I don't move to Austin, I'll need to make all new friends (see below)
- Climate. I tend to like the cooler weather. This is my biggest gripe with Austin.
- Natural scenery. When I first arrived, Portland looked like a magical city hidden in a forest.
- Shopping Districts. Not a huge factor, but it's nice to window shop sometimes.
- Benefits from location. Like mentioned above, in Boston I can go to so many places within a few hours.
- Public Transportation. I have a love/hate relationship with train, but do prefer a place that has the option to not use my car sometimes.
- Vibrancy of downtown.
- Events. Pop-up beer gardens. Festivals. Etc.
- Theater, Music, & Arts scene.
- Parks.
- Food.
- Affordability. I'm currently paying $850+/mo in rent with two other people. There is a high chance that I will be moving in with my girlfriend at the next move (who is also paying similar rent).
- Housing availability

The only thing that is really swaying me in any direction is that some of my best friends from home currently live in Austin and have built a solid size social group. I have also had an offer by one of them to crash on their couch until I find a place or job, if needed.

I think If I had a gun to my head, I'd chose Portland, OR. But the job market there worries me. So I know the safe choice would be Austin.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:51 AM
 
1,283 posts, read 752,369 times
Reputation: 1616
Isn't the job market in Portland decent though? Especially for IT? Or is that Seattle?

Austin is a fantastic place to live, but if you don't like the heat, it's probably not a long-term place for you. It's a much different heat than what you're use to in MA during the summer though. The job market there is amazing. While I was working there, I was constantly getting hit up by recruiters in the city. Cycling is hot in Austin too and a lot of the neighborhoods close to downtown are fairly bikeable. Walkable areas would obviously come with a higher cost of living, so who knows if it's right for you.

Just my thoughts. I personally hate cold weather, so I haven't visited enough cities that meet your criteria on that end alone.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,238 posts, read 24,442,308 times
Reputation: 13010
IMO you need to expand your horizons to include places that aren't the hottest hipster locales.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:09 PM
 
8 posts, read 4,039 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
Isn't the job market in Portland decent though? Especially for IT? Or is that Seattle?

Austin is a fantastic place to live, but if you don't like the heat, it's probably not a long-term place for you. It's a much different heat than what you're use to in MA during the summer though. The job market there is amazing. While I was working there, I was constantly getting hit up by recruiters in the city. Cycling is hot in Austin too and a lot of the neighborhoods close to downtown are fairly bikeable. Walkable areas would obviously come with a higher cost of living, so who knows if it's right for you.

Just my thoughts. I personally hate cold weather, so I haven't visited enough cities that meet your criteria on that end alone.
I think Portland does have a small tech scene, but it didn't appear to be nearly as close as other popular cities. Seattle definitely does, though.

And yeah, Austin really does have it all, but high heat is such a killer for me. But I guess it's similar to the miserable winter here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
IMO you need to expand your horizons to include places that aren't the hottest hipster locales.
The hottest hipster locales tend to have the lifestyle I'm looking for. I've heard of other, smaller cities with potentially similar scenes as the one's I've mentioned, but I haven't been to them. Such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming or Asheville, NC.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Willcox, AZ
15 posts, read 8,043 times
Reputation: 25
Have you ever thought of Arizona? Phoenix is growing pretty decently.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:28 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,269 posts, read 6,353,279 times
Reputation: 9071
Don’t know why Oakland CA isn’t on your list, as it ticks off all the boxes. You can still find a one-bedroom in Oaktown around Lake Merritt or in Temescal (two of the city’s nicer neighborhoods)for $1700 — $2000. I know because I just checked Craigslist. Plus, Oakland has far more (ethnic) diversity than Portland. (Can’t say about Denver or Austin, as IDK those cities well, though Seattle does seem relatively more diverse ).

If also give a look at Minneapolis, which if you can deal with the winters, also seems as if it could be a fit.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:52 AM
 
21,201 posts, read 30,404,475 times
Reputation: 19635
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
IMO you need to expand your horizons to include places that aren't the hottest hipster locales.
I agree completely, talk about a bubble. There are many other options to consider that are more affordable and in line with the OP's criteria.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:46 AM
 
8 posts, read 4,039 times
Reputation: 10
I'm sure there are many other places I should be checking out. I'm just unaware of them, or haven't had a chance to check them out yet.

Where I live now is definitely not one of the hottest hipster locales, but it's everything I want from a community. It's about 4 square miles with 70,000 people.

I visited San Francisco this past January and it was great. It was very similar to home for me. Not sure if I would want to actually live in SF, though. I unfortunately didn't get a chance to see Oakland, but have heard great things.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,974,918 times
Reputation: 6623
Minneapolis-St. Paul...
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Big Bayou
721 posts, read 300,544 times
Reputation: 988
Quote:
Originally Posted by apersonwhosaysthings View Post
I was born and raised in MA. Now in my late twenties. Have been living in the Boston area for 5+ years. I really do love this area. My family and friends are here, and the quick access to multiple states + Canada is really nice, too.

However, I'm bored and would really like to try out life in a new place. I've just concluded my tour de U.S. of potential spots to live and I've narrowed it down, but no one place stands out. They are: Austin, Denver, Seattle and Portland, OR.

With this thread I'm hoping you can offer your experiences with these cities so that it may help me make some sort of decision,

My criteria for a new place to live:

- Walk-able & bike-able communities. I want the ability to live in a place where I can walk (or a short bike ride) to the grocery store, a bar/restaurant.
- Nightlife. Chill bars with a friendly 25-35yo crowd.
- Job availability. I work in IT (not a programmer)
- Diversity (culture/people).

- Lifestyle. I want a slower pace, but not so slow that people are bums. Denver's snowboarder archetype was not a problem for me, nor were the occasional young homeless in Portland.
- Je ne sais quoi - Also a big one for me.

- Friendly people. If I don't move to Austin, I'll need to make all new friends (see below)
- Climate. I tend to like the cooler weather. This is my biggest gripe with Austin.
- Natural scenery. When I first arrived, Portland looked like a magical city hidden in a forest.
- Shopping Districts. Not a huge factor, but it's nice to window shop sometimes.
- Benefits from location. Like mentioned above, in Boston I can go to so many places within a few hours.
- Public Transportation. I have a love/hate relationship with train, but do prefer a place that has the option to not use my car sometimes.
- Vibrancy of downtown.
- Events. Pop-up beer gardens. Festivals. Etc.
- Theater, Music, & Arts scene.
- Parks.
- Food.
- Affordability. I'm currently paying $850+/mo in rent with two other people. There is a high chance that I will be moving in with my girlfriend at the next move (who is also paying similar rent).
- Housing availability

The only thing that is really swaying me in any direction is that some of my best friends from home currently live in Austin and have built a solid size social group. I have also had an offer by one of them to crash on their couch until I find a place or job, if needed.

I think If I had a gun to my head, I'd chose Portland, OR. But the job market there worries me. So I know the safe choice would be Austin.
Get a job before moving. Wherever you get hired doing something halfway enjoyable at a decent wage, go there. You can't really go wrong with any of those locations. They are all cool.
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