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Old 06-26-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
15 posts, read 46,463 times
Reputation: 16

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I figured I'd ask here, just in case some well-traveled people had a good idea of where I'd be happy! Somehow, every time I try to figure out where I should be in the U.S., I keep coming back to either Boston, cities I'm not sure I could afford like San Francisco or New York or European cities where I'm sure it would be incredibly difficult to get citizenship. So I'm turning to you guys for ideas! Or if you think I could afford San Francisco or New York, or emigrate without years of processing, feel free to chime in.

My background:

I absolutely hate driving, especially in the city. Good public transportation is a must. I grew up taking the Boston T and I consider it "Good", if that helps. I refuse to buy a car. That's a deal breaker. I was hit by a car as a kid, so bike riding also kind of scares me.

I'm a certified teacher, graduated last year (took a year off for Americorps), so after teaching a few years I would only make about 30 - 50K depending on the city (generally proportionate with cost of living). I'd rather not live with more than one roommate to make rent. I'd like to be able to afford my new city without eating Ramen every night. I'm thrifty and have spent the past year living off of $10,000 in Massachusetts without going into debt or without starving, so I'm hoping that's doable.

I'll need a place that has at least one decent grad program for studio art. I'd prefer a low-cost state program.

I grew up in Boston and am looking for a warmer or at least more mild climate.

I love art museums, used bookstores, and thrift stores. Good beer, sushi, and movie theaters keep me happy. I don't care about history.

I'd like to live as close to the action as possible. It's not worth it to me to move to a new city if I have to live 50 minutes away from the shopping, restaurants or bars. I love the feeling of walking home from a great night out, but a short train ride will do.

According to many people, I come from one of the snobbiest parts of the country, so I don't care what the people are like - I've always been good at meeting new people, so I guess if I can do it in Boston, I can do it anywhere?


Favorite cities/towns I've visited: Montreal, San Francisco, New York, Paris, Florence, Portland NH, Northampton, MA.
Least Favorite: Providence, Philadelphia, Hartford, Detroit

Any ideas? Like I said before, I'd move to NYC or San Francisco in a heartbeat if I honestly thought I could afford it.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:28 PM
 
Location: San Francisco/East Bay and Los Angeles, formerly DC and Boston
2,146 posts, read 3,433,155 times
Reputation: 1834
Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetist View Post

I'll need a place that has at least one decent grad program for studio art. I'd prefer a low-cost state program.

I grew up in Boston and am looking for a warmer or at least more mild climate.

I love art museums, used bookstores, and thrift stores. Good beer, sushi, and movie theaters keep me happy. I don't care about history.

I'd like to live as close to the action as possible.
Have you been to DC?

I moved here from Boston, and it's very similar in terms of the educated population and culture, but we get a lot less snow.

You can live in Arlington, VA, and access the excellent Virginia higher ed system, and still be just one metro stop from downtown Washington. Not unlike living in Brookline or Cambridge. Also have tons of 20 and 30-somethings, and it's cheaper than NYC or SF. One thing I like about the bar scene here is that it's diverse - both ethnic places and beer joints, but it's also understated - we don't have many of the velvet rope-type places you get in NY or LA.

Many people don't own cars in Arlington, and just ride the Metro, or they sign up for zipcar.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
15 posts, read 46,463 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseGoTo11 View Post
You can live in Arlington, VA, and access the excellent Virginia higher ed system, and still be just one metro stop from downtown Washington. Not unlike living in Brookline or Cambridge. Also have tons of 20 and 30-somethings, and it's cheaper than NYC or SF.
Now, THAT'S why I posted here. Brookline/Cambridge are my favorite parts of Boston. I've lived in Cambridge for a bit and am moving to Brookline in August. So if it's true that Arlington has a similar feel, that definitely sounds right up my ally.

I think the reason I've kind of stayed away from D.C. as an option is because I always thought it would be extremely expensive/overwhelmed by politics. Now, I like politics as much as the next Americorps member, but I don't make a lifestyle out of civic engagement.

I'll definitely look more into D.C./the metro/Arlington. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,341,678 times
Reputation: 606
How about Portland, Oregon? I think San Francisco and Washington would be good choices as well, but it sounds like you can't afford them.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:24 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,050,763 times
Reputation: 885
Portland should be good.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,223,450 times
Reputation: 29451
If you're looking for a dense city with decently comprehensive public transportation, a reasonable cost of living, milder climate than Boston, an excellent beer scene including a number of beer bars that are legendary among beer snobs across the country, and places with pretty good (if not great) sushi, decent culture and nightlife scenes, I think a closer look at Philadelphia might be in order.

Temple University is a public school with a studio art bachelors program (http://www.temple.edu/tyler/arted.html - broken link). There is also a small private art college there called Moore College Of Art And Design; it's an all-female school so that might not work so well if you're a guy.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,341,678 times
Reputation: 606
After re-reading your post I really recomend Portland, Oregon. It fits all of your needs, and it is inexpensive compared to most of the cities you mentioned.

I absolutely hate driving, especially in the city. Good public transportation is a must. I grew up taking the Boston T and I consider it "Good", if that helps. I refuse to buy a car. That's a deal breaker. I was hit by a car as a kid, so bike riding also kind of scares me.

-It has great public transportation, especially for a city its size
Quote:
I'm a certified teacher, graduated last year (took a year off for Americorps), so after teaching a few years I would only make about 30 - 50K depending on the city (generally proportionate with cost of living). I'd rather not live with more than one roommate to make rent. I'd like to be able to afford my new city without eating Ramen every night. I'm thrifty and have spent the past year living off of $10,000 in Massachusetts without going into debt or without starving, so I'm hoping that's doable.
-unfortunately the job market is not great, but I'm not sure about teachers
Quote:
I'll need a place that has at least one decent grad program for studio art. I'd prefer a low-cost state program.
-not sure about the grad program

Quote:
I grew up in Boston and am looking for a warmer or at least more mild climate.
-if you are okay with rain and clouds, Portland would be great. It never gets too cold, but you can go awhile without seeing the sun

Quote:
I love art museums, used bookstores, and thrift stores. Good beer, sushi, and movie theaters keep me happy. I don't care about history.
-this sounds like Portland in 3 sentences.

Quote:
I'd like to live as close to the action as possible. It's not worth it to me to move to a new city if I have to live 50 minutes away from the shopping, restaurants or bars. I love the feeling of walking home from a great night out, but a short train ride will do.
-there are many great neighborhoods in Portland, but the Pearl District is the most famous. It sounds like that is what you're looking for



-
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Miami, Florida
210 posts, read 1,063,813 times
Reputation: 161
Move to San Francisco!!! You wouldn't have to drive, it would be warmer than Boston, and you are sure to find great Asian food live sushi there.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:35 PM
 
41 posts, read 108,331 times
Reputation: 16
other people cant find your dream city for you, you have to find it yourself.

vision-quest
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
15 posts, read 46,463 times
Reputation: 16
Wow, I never realized I'd gotten more posts after the last one I answered. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I'm living in Brookline, MA now and am still toying with the idea of D.C. or possibly Portland. I'm lucky enough to have a job that pays 42K and I'm too cautious to move now in this economy so it might be a few years before I actually leave. Who knows? I'm still pretty over the whole concept of winter, but that's not a good enough reason to move right now.

By that time maybe I'll have enough saved to actually move to San Francisco like I've always wanted.
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