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Old 04-02-2008, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
47 posts, read 221,797 times
Reputation: 31

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Hello! Ever wanted to help a stranger determine where to live? Here is your chance!

Here's the deal: my husband and I are both graduating in August with degrees in Library Science. We will be looking to relocate to an area where we can both get entry-level jobs (we have solid work histories in our respective areas).

I've travelled a fair bit, but am curious to get some insider info, if anyone would care to share.

Necessary qualities for our future city:
1. Culture. Museums, several universities (we will likely be working in academic libraries/archives), galleries, concert venues, parks.
2. Location. I can't live somewhere that is consistently hot. I love snow, cold weather, the changing leaves of autumn.
3. Size. Kind of on the large size, for variety's sake.
4. Transit system. Neither of us have cars. But we do have bikes.

Immaterial:
1. Quality of schools. We are not ever having children.

Cities we're especially eyeing: Chicago, Denver, D.C....? We like Pittsburgh, but wish that it were a teensy bit larger.

Wanna throw in your two cents? We'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Ogle County, Illinois
140 posts, read 526,447 times
Reputation: 66
I am going to recommend two of my favorite mid-sized Midwestern Cities, they may be a little small for your taste, but they fit your criteria. :]

Number One, I would recommend Madison, Wisconsin. Parks, clean water and air, museums, University of Wisconsin/Madison, Lakes, Location. It is perfect. Madison has a population of 230,000, and is in Southern Wisconsin, a very temperate climate.

Number Two, I would recommend Iowa City, Iowa. The University of Iowa, the surprisingly busy, quaint, but sophisticated downtown, the museums, the art, Iowa City is another great option. It is only about 30 miles from Cedar Rapids, twice as large. IC is along I-80, and is at the juncture of I-380, I-80 and Highway 6 in East-Central Iowa. Iowa City's population is near 65,000 and growing.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:22 PM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,748,562 times
Reputation: 1967
Minneapolis is a bit bigger than Pittsburgh. I believe it would meet all your criteria. Boston also comes to mind.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:31 PM
 
1,992 posts, read 6,034,472 times
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It sounds like any of the big northeastern cities will fulfill most if not all of your criteria. Boston, Philadelphia, NYC, etc....
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,653,153 times
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If schools are irrelevant, St. Louis is pretty nice. If you live close enough to the city you can take the MetroLink or buses. But the suburbs are more spread out.

STL gets snow in the winter, but it can be pretty hot in summer, too.

And the city is pretty affordable.

Some museums, the zoo, 3 Universities (and a couple smaller schools), and I believe it does have some culture. Crime can be a problem in certain areas, but most areas seem okay. But it may not be big enough for you.

The other suggestions sound just fine as well. Chicago's a great town, though maybe less affordable. And I think the other suggestions sound fine, too.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Ogle County, Illinois
140 posts, read 526,447 times
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Oh, and I should add, Madison and Iowa City are great places to raise children.

Climate in Madison: Cold, Snowy winters with anywhere from 50-100" of snow (100 there this year.) Pleasant Mid-Spring. Early Spring will be plagued with snowstorms and foggy days, but once the transition out of March occurs, usually*, Spring has officially arrived. Summer is quite hot and humid. Temperatures during the day can be anywhere from 75-95 degrees. Lows at night could be from 50-72 degrees. Fall is a very pleasant time, the leaves are beautiful in SW Wisconsin, NW Illinois*, and E Iowa.

Climate in Iowa City: Iowa City will be a bit warmer than MDS. Iowa City, on average, gets more ice storms than Madison. Snowfall averages around 35" per year, a good bit less than Madison, although this year IC got... 64-65" I believe. Iowa City begins to see moderating temperatures at the end of March, usually*, and usually hits 80 degrees by late April or mid May. Severe weather season really kicks up in Mid-April and wont end until mid-July or early-August. Once those temperatures get warm in the Spring, I would be on the lookout, especially if they get "unusually warm." Summer is a bit hotter, but not much than Madison. Around 85 degrees in July, possibly hitting 90 5-10 times per year. Fall is pleasant, and the same as Madison.

Severe Weather is nothing, really to worry about, or obsess over.

Oh, Locations. Madison-I90/94 in South Central Wisconsin 2.5 hours to CHI 1 hour to MWK, 5 hours to DSM, 1.5 hours to RFD.

IC: 20 minutes, CR, 45 minutes QC's, 1 hour, Dubuque, 2 hours, Rockford, 3.5 hours, Chicago.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:52 PM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,838,984 times
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Iowa, geesh. Anyways. Try DC. I lived there without a car and got everywhere I needed to go. Tons of museums, the zoo, other free stuff to do. Multiple universities (G-town, American, G. Washington, G. Mason, J. Hopkins has masters programs there, etc.). The metro system is very clean and easy to use.

Downsides: rent and/or buying a house can be hella expensive. Also, hot, humid summers. Traffic is also sucky, but if you don't have a car, then its not a problem.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:54 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,970,506 times
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Boston does come to mind. Huge concentration of universities, tremendous cultural opportunities for its size (it is the "Athens of America," after all), great public transport. Not to mention the famous New England fall foliage and snowy winters (although much milder than inland areas).

Probably more expensive in general than Chicago or Denver, but definitely worth a look, I'd say. It has the feel of a large international city while still being much smaller than New York or Chicago. It's also "America's Walking City," so cars are not a necessity. Heck, you wouldn't want to drive in Boston.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:28 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,048,434 times
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Madison and Iowa City are not large cities and, more importantly, they don't feel like large cities. Probably not good fits. For a similar vibe, Austin TX could work (same eclectic college town feel, but significantly larger).

NYC would work really well though. Perhaps Denver, if you like mountains.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:27 PM
 
1,836 posts, read 4,458,177 times
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Your post describes Minneapolis perfectly. If you don't mind winter, Minneapolis has EVERYTHING you're looking for. And it's a very bike-friendly city. People ride them all year long.

Minneapolis is a big city without being too big. Seriously, you'd love Minneapolis.
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