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Old 07-05-2009, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Fondren SW Yo
2,783 posts, read 6,003,588 times
Reputation: 2216

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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeofseasons View Post
Denver is a nice city, though due to OPs preference in weather etc... I didn't mention Denver. I also didn't think OP would like Denvers nightlife.

You probably should look more into:
San Jose, California
Portland, Oregon
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Kansas City
Omaha, Nebraska
Des Moines, Iowa
Why do people keep suggesting Portland, OR? It is one of the most intolerantly progressive metro areas in the country. I have an aunt and also an uncle and his wife who live there and have visited a number of times. It is a very pretty city and they have great beer, but the people...ugggh. Xenophobic, self-righteous and unfriendly. They are tolerant of everyone except those who have the temerity to disagree with their politics.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:35 PM
 
Location: The Queen City
174 posts, read 354,931 times
Reputation: 207
I chose Charlotte, NC for many of the reasons you have listed and have never regretted it. It's a great city to raise a family.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: hopefully NYC one day :D
411 posts, read 1,053,132 times
Reputation: 187
First off, SEATTLE is too urban?!!? How's that? Man, Manhattan would overwhelming to you.

Anyway, Austin comes to mind. Is has a lot of nature and hills, it is very "organicy," there's an IKEA in an Austin suburb. From what I can tell, there are good schools and a good job economy. There's a lot of charming, unique places. Austin is generally liberal but then again, it's still Texas, which is generally conservative.

Houston could work too. There are tree-lined streets, it's more conservative, and there are excellent, master-planned suburbs- specifically Sugar Land. It, along with Austin and Houston, has hot summers and doesn't quite have the unique, charming thing going on, but it has tree-lined streets, it's conservative, kid-friendly, and safe, and, from what I can tell, also has good schools and a good job economy.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,668,952 times
Reputation: 3335
You might look into St. Louis. The winters are chilly, but not like Chicago. There are good schools in the suburbs. The inner city is more liberal, but, from my understanding, the suburbs are more conservative. Catholicism is the big church there.

Only one Trade Joe's in St. Louis, in Brentwood. No IKEA. The closest is Chicago. Apparently Downtown St. Louis is trying to lure an IKEA to the city.

St. Louis has the Art Museum, as well as the Contemporary Art Museum, the Fox Theater, and soon the Kiel Opera House. There's also the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonic.

St. Louis has Forest Park, which is larger than Central Park in New York. There are also Tower Grove Park, Carondelet Park, and smaller parks sprinkled around the city.
And if you want to drive outside of St. Louis, there's the Shaw Nature Reserve, where you can hike. It's in St. Louis County, I think.
The Shaw Nature Reserve

St. Louis is pretty affordable. You can get a decent 3BR in the suburbs for probably $250k, but it depends on the quality of the suburb.

St. Louis is family friendly. There are various museums, the zoo, CityGarden, all free admission. And there's City Museum, the Cardinals, Blues, and Rams. Of course, those cost money.

You won't find as much organic stuff in St. Louis, but there is Soulard Farmer's Market, Tower Grove Farmer's Market, and North City Farmer's Market. Soulard Farmer's Market has been around since 1779. You can buy locally-grown vegetables, beer, alligators, and a variety of goods.

St. Louis was recently rated as one of the most literate cities
America's Most Literate Cities

St. Louis City and a few of the inner ring suburbs have the charming, older neighborhoods. Try looking up places like Lafayette Square, Soulard, Tower Grove East, Tower Grove South on Google Street View. St. Louis Hills and Holly Hills and carondelet are also certainly charming, but there's not much Street View of them. Downtown has some beautiful old buildings as well.
Some nice suburbs also: Webster Groves or Shrewsbury.

From my understanding, as far as economy, St. Louis is kind of middle-of-the-pack. It's not the best economy in the country, but certainly not the worst.

The winter is generally described as about 3 months long. It's cold, but it's nothing like Chicago or Milwaukee. The amount of snowfall can vary greatly by year. St. Louis, MO Annual Snowfall Since 1884

Autumn in St. Louis is beautiful. Forest Park:
http://neow.smugmug.com/photos/219514135_SNeKz-L.jpg
Downtown: Urban Autumn on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/antoniaquest/2035305193/ - broken link)


St. Louis is just a suggestion. You guys seem to have vary exact requirements. I doubt you'll find any city that meets all of them.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,183,598 times
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For the two suggestions of Austin, the problem is OP wanted:

"lots of arts and culture. We love ballet and a great arts scene"

Austin doesn't have these. At least not compared to Houston or Dallas. Some cultural highlights of Austin include such events as Spam-O-Rama and Eeyore's Birthday. This was a disappointment for me when I was living there.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,183,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMover View Post
I've spent a lot of time in Houston and have always been impressed by what I've seen.
I think it would mostly fit except for the weather. The neighborhoods of The Heights, Montrose, West University, West Memorial, even the suburb of Sugar Land.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:02 PM
 
16,092 posts, read 36,597,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rb4browns View Post
While the summer heat might rule them out, I'm currently in Houston and lived in Dallas for a year and a half. My wife and I (she's a New Yorker, I'm from Southern California) love both cities. Both have vibrant art and culture scenes, relatively decent economies and have a surprisingly high level of political tranquility between liberals and conservatives. This is not the xenophobic liberalism of the PNW or SF Bay Area, but it's not the culture-deficient small town conservatism you find in much of the south. I have a crunchy-conservative streak in me (we exercise, like the outdoors, healthy eating, etc.) but we also are traditional family values types. The two big Texas cities are definitely to our liking. I also visited Denver on business last month, and while I don't really know the city well, I was very impressed by what I saw.
The author of 'Crunchy Cons' lives in my neighborhood in East Dallas. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...g0N2UzOTlkYWE=
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:04 PM
 
3,517 posts, read 5,182,542 times
Reputation: 6546
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb4browns View Post
Why do people keep suggesting Portland, OR? It is one of the most intolerantly progressive metro areas in the country. I have an aunt and also an uncle and his wife who live there and have visited a number of times. It is a very pretty city and they have great beer, but the people...ugggh. Xenophobic, self-righteous and unfriendly. They are tolerant of everyone except those who have the temerity to disagree with their politics.
Wow! Gotta love those sweeping generalizations. What a ridiculous thing to say about such a large city. We are just as careful not to get into political discussions that could turn ugly as our parents taught us. What did you do - go to a bar for the great beer and immediately throw out your political views? How could a few visits make you think that of an entire city. I've had friends for years whose views differed from my own, so we don't go there.

What the OP wants fits pretty darn well with Portland, even though they say they don;t like the Northwest. They would find PLENTY of conservative, Bush voting home schoolers here. They probably just won't end up hanging out with folks who don't share their views. Isn't that what we all do???
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
2,185 posts, read 4,105,986 times
Reputation: 1536
Heraldsburg, CA
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Fondren SW Yo
2,783 posts, read 6,003,588 times
Reputation: 2216
Quote:
Originally Posted by sayulita View Post
Wow! Gotta love those sweeping generalizations. What a ridiculous thing to say about such a large city. We are just as careful not to get into political discussions that could turn ugly as our parents taught us. What did you do - go to a bar for the great beer and immediately throw out your political views? How could a few visits make you think that of an entire city. I've had friends for years whose views differed from my own, so we don't go there.

What the OP wants fits pretty darn well with Portland, even though they say they don;t like the Northwest. They would find PLENTY of conservative, Bush voting home schoolers here. They probably just won't end up hanging out with folks who don't share their views. Isn't that what we all do???
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