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Old 02-05-2009, 12:18 PM
 
12 posts, read 31,021 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello City data forum readers,

Thank you in advance for your help. My husband and I would like to relocate to another city and are having hard time picking a destination. We are in our mid 30's and live in Portland, Maine. We love this city (and have been here for about 10 years) but are frustrated by the lack of job opportunities in our field (both creative professionals) and the extremely cold winter weather (super high heating costs=constantly empty wallet).

We understand that no one perfect place exists but are trying to find a destinations that would continue to improve the quality of our lives. The more forums I read, the more I am in doubt about where to start looking.

We are seeking places that are:
1. larger than Portland Maine for more career options and opportunities for creative types
2. more moderate climate
3. walkable/livable city
4. on one of the coasts (we love the ocean)
5. liberal
6. near colleges/universities
7. places that have a neighborhood feel but are close to an urban center
8. dog friendly
9. Beautiful
10.Not outrageously priced for renters
11.Not know for high rates of violent crimes

Again, thank you.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Connecticut... but trying to get out
193 posts, read 429,544 times
Reputation: 139
How about Raleigh, NC? It's a big "move to" place right now and experiencing a ton of in-migration, for good reason. There are many jobs available (compared to rest of the US at least), it's a very moderate client, it's a BEAUTIFUL area- clean, green, great zoning- it's very very safe, there are many dog parks, its in the Research Triangle which is home of University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Duke U, and it's just a few hours from the ocean. It might not be large enough for you, but I highly suggest you look into it. Between Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, there's a lot.

It sounds like you might like Portland or Seattle as well- but those areas I know are pretty rainy and cold, and also quite expensive. Same goes for Boston. Baltimore's economy isn't booming, Virginia Beach area is unappealing to me so I can't vouch for it (although perhaps some can), and Charleston SC would be too small. Miami? I know nothing about Miami. California obviously has some very nice cities, but as I'm sure you know, quite expensive and the economy is suffering there more than some of the other parts of the country. I believe that covers most of the East and West Coast.

I think you might have trouble finding a nice coastal town that is affordable and large enough for what you want, with a lot of jobs.

I had a similar list as you. In the end I made some sacrifices and chose Austin, TX (will be moving there in May) and I really love it! It's warm, green, young, vibrant, liberal, booming, walkable, and moderately priced.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:54 PM
 
12 posts, read 31,021 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks, I will look into those cities. I have also looked at Austin since I have heard wonderful things about it but I am not sure I can live that far away from the ocean.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:17 PM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,758,743 times
Reputation: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian_seeker View Post
Hello City data forum readers,

Thank you in advance for your help. My husband and I would like to relocate to another city and are having hard time picking a destination. We are in our mid 30's and live in Portland, Maine. We love this city (and have been here for about 10 years) but are frustrated by the lack of job opportunities in our field (both creative professionals) and the extremely cold winter weather (super high heating costs=constantly empty wallet).

We understand that no one perfect place exists but are trying to find a destinations that would continue to improve the quality of our lives. The more forums I read, the more I am in doubt about where to start looking.

We are seeking places that are:
1. larger than Portland Maine for more career options and opportunities for creative types
2. more moderate climate
3. walkable/livable city
4. on one of the coasts (we love the ocean)
5. liberal
6. near colleges/universities
7. places that have a neighborhood feel but are close to an urban center
8. dog friendly
9. Beautiful
10.Not outrageously priced for renters
11.Not know for high rates of violent crimes

Again, thank you.
How about the other Portland?
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 33,550,850 times
Reputation: 5566
Why that would be Oil City, Pennsylvania!!

Just kidding. I think "the other Portland" would fit your bill.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:20 PM
 
12 posts, read 31,021 times
Reputation: 11
I think you might be right!
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Connecticut... but trying to get out
193 posts, read 429,544 times
Reputation: 139
Does bad weather generally affect you at all? I wish I could be one of those people that could tolerate the northwest weather because it's a beautiful area, but I know I could never live without a lot of sunshine. CT is bad enough for me!
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,005 posts, read 16,068,304 times
Reputation: 9360
Heh, Aside from the cost of rent, I would recommend Boston (even though they're only 2 hours apart, Boston's winters are much more mild). Other than that, it would be a good fit. San Francisco would fit the bill too except for the rent problem.


However, seeing as rent in the Boston area is sky high, it won't do.



Times are tough right now, so finding a job is going to be difficult just about anywhere. It would be ideal if you could line a job up ahead of time.

I would suggest Savannah, Georgia and Charleston SC, both ocean front cities and incredibly walkable with tons of history and much milder climates. They won't be as liberal as Portland, but they're not super conservative either.

If you don't want to venture TOO far, Providence RI may be a good fit. It's a good bet if you don't want to stray too far from the connections you've made in Portland. It's going to be a little more pricey than Portland, but it's still relatively affordable by New England standards. If you could find a nice apartment on the East Side (particularly on College Hill) near Rhode Island School of Design and Brown U, you would probably be in heaven. It's hands down second only to Boston in terms of culture, education, creativity, dining, etc as far as New England cities go. The job market in Providence is tough (as are most places), but again, if you look hard you may find something. If you haven't been to Providence recently, take a drive down one day... it's 2.5-3 hours from Portland and is an amazing city.

If you would be willing to consider Providence, focus your search in the College Hill, Wayland, Federal Hill, Hope, and Blackstone Neighborhoods. These are TRUE urban neighborhoods (Blackstone is a bit suburban, think Deering in Portland). One thing I don't like about Portland ME is that the neighborhoods (aside from the Geographically separate East and West Ends) just sort of meld together. There are no, "neighborhood centers" (unless you count the area on Stevens Ave around Pat's to be a real neighborhood center) that really make a neighborhood a neighborhood. While Portland is great, I've always felt that it has the feel of a big town more than a small city in that regard. Each of the neighborhoods mentioned in Providence has a real neighborhood center complete with excellent architecture and a variety of shops and amenities. Providence is very liberal and Dog Friendly. While it's still New England (how mild do you want to get?), it receives MUCH less snow on average than Portland and temperatures are a lot more bearable. You also have the benefit of being 3 hours from New York City and 45 Minutes to Boston (with great rail service on Amtrak and Boston's local rail line- MBTA).

West Coast, Seattle and Portland OR are beautiful and much more mild than Portland. You could do well in either.

If you're willing to trade the ocean for the lake, Madison WI would be a great fit. It's constantly getting attention for what a great place it is.

Good Luck!

Last edited by lrfox; 02-05-2009 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:37 PM
 
56,640 posts, read 80,952,685 times
Reputation: 12518
I would say Madison, WI except for the climate and that it's surrounded by lakes instead of access to the coast.
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,341,678 times
Reputation: 606
I would say Portland or Seattle.
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