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Old 01-25-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,468,004 times
Reputation: 10118

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Hi, I am new on City-Data

Now that Obama is your new president, I have entered the current Green Card lottery. The winners will be contacted no sooner than July, but I have already begun analyzing your country, just in case

I know there are certain regions where immigrants traditionally like moving to, for instance California or New York. But I don't think those would be good places for me, the former requires driving a car (which I don't), the latter is too big a place for me (I am from a small town in Bavaria, Germany). Also, I don't think there is a point moving to a place that is already overcrowded and struggling with water and power shortages etc.

Here's what's important to me is:
- friendly people (I know people are individuals, but still, even in Germany there are friendlier regions and others that I simply would not recommend to an immigrant)
- good mix of minorities (so the Dakotas and places like those probably wouldn't appeal to me. If I wanted to live in a white place, I might as well stay in Europe )
- pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks, and possibly with train connections to other parts of the country
- green, if possible with mountains nearby (the Appalachian mountains look great to me. I don't care about beaches, nor about glitzy skylines.)
- need I mention I am not too fond of crime, hurricanes etc.

Since I am a freelancer working for clients around the globe, I could move almost anywhere as long as I have Internet access.

This site is really great, must have been a lot of work compiling all this information
Chicago sounds PERFECT for you. While there arent huge mountains nearby, but there are big hills about 2 hours away in NW IL and WI. All your other requirements fit Chicago to a T. Plus, youre a big Obama fan, so you can walk around the streets of Chicago with the rest of them mumbling "Obaaaaaaama, Obaaaaaaaama, Obaaaaaaaama" and not much else.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:34 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,744,103 times
Reputation: 4583
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdave01 View Post
If you are looking for small towns, I would look at college towns. Look at:

Eugene, Oregon
Davis, California
Santa Cruz, California
Austin, Texas
Boulder, Colorado
Ithaca, New York
etc
Steve-O . . . Chicago? Chicago is huge. The OP said he does not want a city that's too large. In fact, when he says he's from a small town, and is asking about places like Lynchburg and Roanoke in Virginia, I'm questioning all the suggestions of Boston, D.C., and San Francisco. Those aren't NYC, but they are big cities, metropolises, not the kind of small town I'm getting the idea the OP seeks. And Chicago is quite a bit larger than those three cities.

Which leads to a QUESTION FOR THE OP: Just what size city are you looking for? If you're not looking for a really big city, I like the earlier suggestion of Providence, as well as some of the college towns BigDave suggested in the post I've quoted here, though Austin is quite a bit larger than the others listed.

Okay, ANOTHER QUESTION: If you don't drive, how would you plan to get to the mountains? I'm asking that in order to find out whether you would need to live right in the mountains in order to enjoy them, or would plan to find a way to get to the mountains if they were within a few hours' drive.
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:45 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,534 posts, read 19,359,287 times
Reputation: 8552
Thanks for your posts. I have read them all.
I have done further research meanwhile, and apart from Boston (which I read is extremely expensive) I guess the state of Ohio might be a good place for me, particularly Cincinnati. Nice setting, interesting mix of people, reasonable cost index, acceptable walkability... Sure, there is a crime problem, but then again, risk is a part of life, and we are not talking about Iraq
Someone mentioned California. It is expensive, and already overpopulated when looking at the resources like water supply. And I guess I am just not the California type of person. I have never been interested in hip things to do. The central valley has a huge air quality problem, and I guess I don't want to live by the sea again. Then there is the big earthquake looming on the horizon...
I know many people are kind of fleeing the Midwest, but I guess they are doing so for reasons like unemployment. Cities like Cincinnati or Columbus (strange, I had never heard of that one, although it is a rather huge and solid city) are way better places than Detroit with its 4-digit crime index, poverty, large-scale unemployment and gloomy outlook.
So, for the time being, Cincy is my number one
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:55 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,534 posts, read 19,359,287 times
Reputation: 8552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Chicago sounds PERFECT for you. While there arent huge mountains nearby, but there are big hills about 2 hours away in NW IL and WI. All your other requirements fit Chicago to a T. Plus, youre a big Obama fan, so you can walk around the streets of Chicago with the rest of them mumbling "Obaaaaaaama, Obaaaaaaaama, Obaaaaaaaama" and not much else.
Chicago is huuuge, I would feel lost there.
And I am not an Obama fan, at least not for the time being, he needs to accomplish some great things first But I certainly like him better than Bush in terms of politics and mindset. As a person Bush might be OK, I don't know, nor do I care.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:06 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,534 posts, read 19,359,287 times
Reputation: 8552
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Steve-O . . . Chicago? Chicago is huge. The OP said he does not want a city that's too large. In fact, when he says he's from a small town, and is asking about places like Lynchburg and Roanoke in Virginia, I'm questioning all the suggestions of Boston, D.C., and San Francisco. Those aren't NYC, but they are big cities, metropolises, not the kind of small town I'm getting the idea the OP seeks. And Chicago is quite a bit larger than those three cities.

Which leads to a QUESTION FOR THE OP: Just what size city are you looking for? If you're not looking for a really big city, I like the earlier suggestion of Providence, as well as some of the college towns BigDave suggested in the post I've quoted here, though Austin is quite a bit larger than the others listed.

Okay, ANOTHER QUESTION: If you don't drive, how would you plan to get to the mountains? I'm asking that in order to find out whether you would need to live right in the mountains in order to enjoy them, or would plan to find a way to get to the mountains if they were within a few hours' drive.
Well, I am from a small town (50k), but I lived near Munich (1.2m) for many years. So basically, I am quite flexible in terms of size as long as I can get around.
I don't really hike in the mountains, it is more like a psychological factor: I feel safer when the place I live is surrounded by hills or mountains. I had to live in a town in northern Germany once where there was only flat land for hundreds of km in every direction, I found it rather depressing. Just seeing hills in the near distance makes me feel safe, it also gives me orientation, just like a river flowing through a city. Hard to explain And if some of those hills are close enough for me to walk to them, even better, but that is not really necessary.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:25 AM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,762,846 times
Reputation: 828
If you are interested in Cincinnati, you should also probably look into Pittsburgh. Close to the East Coast and most Midwestern cities. The city is vibrant, improving and historic (which manifests in walkability). The city is more blue-collar and friendly than most and the hills are stunning. Plus, it is cheap by large city standards.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:40 AM
 
2,783 posts, read 6,412,227 times
Reputation: 857
I'd go with Louisville over Cincy.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:43 AM
 
1,694 posts, read 5,081,351 times
Reputation: 696
Boston,Providence
or San Francisco..americas most european-esque city!
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago - mudhole in the prairie...
1,624 posts, read 2,910,426 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
I know there are certain regions where immigrants traditionally like moving to, for instance California or New York. But I don't think those would be good places for me, the former requires driving a car (which I don't), the latter is too big a place for me (I am from a small town in Bavaria, Germany). Also, I don't think there is a point moving to a place that is already overcrowded and struggling with water and power shortages etc.

Here's what's important to me is:
- friendly people (I know people are individuals, but still, even in Germany there are friendlier regions and others that I simply would not recommend to an immigrant)
- good mix of minorities (so the Dakotas and places like those probably wouldn't appeal to me. If I wanted to live in a white place, I might as well stay in Europe )
- pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks, and possibly with train connections to other parts of the country
- green, if possible with mountains nearby (the Appalachian mountains look great to me. I don't care about beaches, nor about glitzy skylines.)
- need I mention I am not too fond of crime, hurricanes etc.
Sorry buddy. Bad news for you but if you are looking for an European experience in the US i.e. sidewalks, public transportation etc. you have to stick to New York. Outside of New York public transportaion is scarce and people rather drive than walk. On the second thought you may want to try San Fran and do not even think about moving anywhere w/o visiting first.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,534 posts, read 19,359,287 times
Reputation: 8552
Quote:
Originally Posted by dementor View Post
Sorry buddy. Bad news for you but if you are looking for an European experience in the US i.e. sidewalks, public transportation etc. you have to stick to New York. Outside of New York public transportaion is scarce and people rather drive than walk. On the second thought you may want to try San Fran and do not even think about moving anywhere w/o visiting first.
Yes, I know, that is why I opened this thread, to find out where I could find something remotely similar.
Unfortunately I am not rich, so if I won a green card, I would not have the money to fly back and forth a couple of times, hoping to find the perfect place. Thus I am looking for a place which would be good enough at least for the first couple of weeks or months, should it turn out not to be the Real McCoy.
A small college town as some people have suggested also seems like a good idea.
There are several walkability ratings of US cities and towns on the net. Portland, Oregon, and several other places in the northwest rank high on most of them, will check them out when I have more time again
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