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Old 03-24-2019, 12:20 PM
 
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I can't decide.
Both cities are appealing to me, for different reasons. I am kind of leaning toward Santa Fe, even though I despise winter weather and I believe it has higher crime than Gainesville. Its beauty makes up for the cold (as does the sun) and the type of people there seem like people I would get along with. (artistic, spiritual, hippies, etc) Still, Gainesville is much warmer, culturally/ racially diverse (I think a little more so than Santa Fe), there are palm trees and other tropical plants, I've heard people pay no mind to weirdos walking down the street (I am quite unusual) and it's more affordable..
I will be renting an apartment (alone) in either city and will be taking the bus or walking to get around. Work won't be a factor.

I have never been to Florida or New Mexico (though I have lived in Tucson, AZ). I currently live in Everett, WA and want to move to somewhere sunnier. I plan on taking a trip to either Santa Fe or Gainesville soon.

If you had to choose between those two places, which would you choose and why?

Last edited by Hawaii900; 03-24-2019 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:44 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,561 posts, read 70,482,002 times
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Santa Fe generally doesn't have the kind of heavy winters it used to. This winter was the first year we got serious snow in the last 6 years or more. And it wasn't that bad; melted off after a couple of days, each time. Even when it snows (often at night), the days are sunny.

Rents may be higher in SF than in Gainesville, if that matters. Check Craigslist to get an idea. Still, the rents are way cheaper than in Everett. In SF, you can get a small 3-br. house for the price of a 1-br. in Everett, or a 2-br. closer to downtown.

SF is a mixed bag in terms of the type of people. Yes, there's an arty, creative contingent, some of which overlaps with the "spiritual" contingent, bot not entirely. There's a hippie contingent, but not as much as there used to be. Check out Taos, to the north, for a larger hippie, arty scene. SF also has a snooty, NYC retiree crowd, as well as a NY vacation-home crowd, and the like. There's also the scientist/engineer contingent for the national lab, and for the research institutes here. And there's also a big bunch of just regular folks, working for the state, running shops, teaching at the community college or other higher ed institutions in town, and so on.

It's so interesting to me, when people cross NM off their list, racial-diversity-wise. NM is 50% Hispanic, and nearly 10% Native American. But somehow, that's not the kind of racial diversity people are looking for...? Santa Fe does have a small Black population, which is not a "community" per se. It's a scattering of individuals, many of whom are professionals (writers, techies, university faculty, etc.), but after Katrina, there are working-class types, too.

I would choose SF, and obviously, I have, for many reasons. Hot and steamy isn't my type of weather, for one thing. I participate in Native American communities, in a supporting role, and Gainesville doesn't have that. I enjoy the focus on the arts in SF (and Taos). Santa Fe is liberal, which is helpful. It's not far from Colorado, whose spectacular scenery is fun to explore. The summer heat is a bit much for me, though last summer was cooler, which was very nice. I've actually been scouting out places in Western WA to move to, for cooler summers, and the presence of large bodies of water for recreation, and for fresh sea air. But I've enjoyed my time in SF.

If you visit SF, check out The Ark Bookstore. It's Spiritual Central. You might even catch an author event, or something else interesting. And heads-up: the more affordable restaurants are away from downtown, which is a bit of a tourist trap.
https://www.arkbooks.com
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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I lived in Gainesville and I can't imagine the crime stats in Sante Fe are actually worse than Gainesville.

Gainesville, is nice but it has some rough edges. Pretty typical mid size to slightly large university community. It really doesn't have the "hipness" factor that Sante Fe has.

Sante Fe is capitol city and artist colony type place that is smaller and more expensive. Rent in Gainesville is still high though cuz college kids.

Gainesville summers are miserable and you CAN get a bit of winter there in the form of 40ish degree days and raining.

Sante Fe summers are glorious and winters aren't really too bad when the sun is out.

Sante Fe is for sure going to have more a more liberal new age bent to it. Gainesville has that too but it's got a lot of working class regular type conservative folks there as well. As a result, the new ager hippie types aren't as obvious among the general population.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,561 posts, read 744,703 times
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Gainesville has unusually young demographics for Florida because it is a small metropolitan city dominated by the state's flagship university. It is a liberal island in very conservative north central Florida, and indeed has plenty of subtropical vegetation along with the humidity that enables their growth. It would certainly be tolerant of more non-conformist folks in general, but I don't think there are as many obviously eccentric types around as in Santa Fe and surroundings.

Every city is unique, but Santa Fe, with its adobe architecture and vibrant cultural scene, is unmistakable for anywhere else. Gainesville is more of a standard college town/small city, with a subtropical twist given its location in Florida. Either place would be a significant adjustment from the Pacific Northwest. Santa Fe may have a few common features with Tucson by virtue of being in the Southwest, but the climate and built environment are completely different.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:24 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,724,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post

It's so interesting to me, when people cross NM off their list, racial-diversity-wise. NM is 50% Hispanic, and nearly 10% Native American. But somehow, that's not the kind of racial diversity people are looking for...?
What makes New Mexico interesting is its "Tri-Culture", so named for the fact that, presently, not one of the three major cultures in the state is superdominant.

But when most people dismiss New Mexico's cultural diversity, they are making comparisons to, and showing a preference for, American cities having a broad distribution of people from 10-20+ different countries and cultures as opposed to "not just mainstream, white (and/or black) American culture".

In New Mexico, Hispanic and Anglo people make up almost 90% of the population, with a significant, but not exactly huge number of Native Americans, who themselves come in a couple of broad ethnic categories, Pueblo and Navajo.

Albuquerque is fairly diverse compared to Santa Fe, and very diverse compared to New Mexico as a whole. But New Mexico cities including Albuquerque and Santa Fe lag well behind cities in southern California, New York City/NJ, some Texas and Florida cities and many other locations around the country which have significant populations of people from all over the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and even ethnic American (hyphenated-American) communities.

That said, New Mexico does have its own fascinating cultural complex deeply rooted in history between the Native, Spanish, and Anglo cultures. Certainly worth a look for someone who wants a cultural scene apart from the mainstream American norn.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:01 PM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaii900 View Post
I can't decide.
Both cities are appealing to me, for different reasons. I am kind of leaning toward Santa Fe, even though I despise winter weather and I believe it has higher crime than Gainesville. Its beauty makes up for the cold (as does the sun) and the type of people there seem like people I would get along with. (artistic, spiritual, hippies, etc) Still, Gainesville is much warmer, culturally/ racially diverse (I think a little more so than Santa Fe), there are palm trees and other tropical plants, I've heard people pay no mind to weirdos walking down the street (I am quite unusual) and it's more affordable..
I will be renting an apartment (alone) in either city and will be taking the bus or walking to get around. Work won't be a factor.

I have never been to Florida or New Mexico (though I have lived in Tucson, AZ). I currently live in Everett, WA and want to move to somewhere sunnier. I plan on taking a trip to either Santa Fe or Gainesville soon.

If you had to choose between those two places, which would you choose and why?
As some one familiar with both I would suggest whichever fits your persona better. Santa Fe is a good bit more elitist and not a warm, friendly environment for newcomers in my opinion where Gainesville I find much more down to earth and welcoming as a university town accustomed to new/changing faces. It still has a visible artistic and spiritual community, though it's much less in your face than in Santa Fe. Gainesville also for what it's worth unless you're independently wealthy, is a much easier place to live well with a much lower cost of living. Lastly there's a bit of an isolation factor in Santa Fe. While an hour from Albuquerque it's several hundred miles away from any other sizable city whereas Gainesville is a fairly easy drive to cities like Orlando, Tampa/St Petersburg, Savannah, Charleston and Atlanta.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:37 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,550 posts, read 3,656,219 times
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Santa Fe is a unique place in the US and not really duplicated. It straddles the edge of mountains and high desert at about 7,000 feet. That makes the climate interesting. The art scene is pretty much unsurpassed and there's a world-class opera and other cultural draws. It has a great deal of outdoor recreational opportunities. Tourism is a huge economic factor. I live about 39 miles south of Santa Fe, close enough to go when I want and far enough away to avoid some of the tourist hype. It attracts a lot of out-of-state people as residents. Crime is not a big deal for most people...however, you say you are unusual so your life choices might put you at risk depending on how unusual they are. That's probably true in most places. I think it is a bit expensive if you decide to participate in the Santa Fe cultural life. Traffic can be a bit frustrating in the city center (c. 1610). There is a commuter train that connects Santa Fe to Albuquerque (1 hour) and free shuttles in a circuit around Santa Fe. I don't know what other transit options there are.

I have not spent much time in Gainesville. It seemed like a university town -- like many others. The climate is what one would expect in Florida. People who live there seem to like it.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:47 PM
 
17,662 posts, read 4,062,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaii900 View Post
I can't decide.
Both cities are appealing to me, for different reasons. I am kind of leaning toward Santa Fe, even though I despise winter weather and I believe it has higher crime than Gainesville. Its beauty makes up for the cold (as does the sun) and the type of people there seem like people I would get along with. (artistic, spiritual, hippies, etc) Still, Gainesville is much warmer, culturally/ racially diverse (I think a little more so than Santa Fe), there are palm trees and other tropical plants, I've heard people pay no mind to weirdos walking down the street (I am quite unusual) and it's more affordable..
I will be renting an apartment (alone) in either city and will be taking the bus or walking to get around. Work won't be a factor.

I have never been to Florida or New Mexico (though I have lived in Tucson, AZ). I currently live in Everett, WA and want to move to somewhere sunnier. I plan on taking a trip to either Santa Fe or Gainesville soon.

If you had to choose between those two places, which would you choose and why?
I would choose Gainesville because of no state tax in Florida and much warmer than Santa Fe,New Mexico.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:47 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,561 posts, read 70,482,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Santa Fe is a unique place in the US and not really duplicated. It straddles the edge of mountains and high desert at about 7,000 feet. That makes the climate interesting. The art scene is pretty much unsurpassed and there's a world-class opera and other cultural draws. It has a great deal of outdoor recreational opportunities. Tourism is a huge economic factor. I live about 39 miles south of Santa Fe, close enough to go when I want and far enough away to avoid some of the tourist hype. It attracts a lot of out-of-state people as residents. Crime is not a big deal for most people...however, you say you are unusual so your life choices might put you at risk depending on how unusual they are. That's probably true in most places. I think it is a bit expensive if you decide to participate in the Santa Fe cultural life. Traffic can be a bit frustrating in the city center (c. 1610). There is a commuter train that connects Santa Fe to Albuquerque (1 hour) and free shuttles in a circuit around Santa Fe. I don't know what other transit options there are.

I have not spent much time in Gainesville. It seemed like a university town -- like many others. The climate is what one would expect in Florida. People who live there seem to like it.
Santa Fe has its own bus system, and a few parts if twin are wakabke. OP, if you decide on SF, you can post on that forum when you're ready to get recommendations on what parts of town to look at, for walkability/convenience.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,554 posts, read 10,261,428 times
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Gainesville is definitely more diverse. That being said, if I could afford to live in either, I'd pick Santa Fe 100% of the time. Right at the base of the Sangre de Cristos. Outdoor recreation galore. Not as crowded as Colorado. The southeast (esp. Florida) does not appeal to me in the least.

FWIW - Given its high elevation, Santa Fe really doesn't get all that much snow. Only 23" per year on average. Denver (54") and Flagstaff (101") are both lower than Santa Fe, but get considerably more snowfall.
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