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Thread summary:

Die hard Scranton fan, metropolitan area, good intellectual vibe, reasonable cost of living, four season climate, liberal atmosphere, urban pioneer, row home fixer upper, pedestrian friendly

View Poll Results: Where Should the Overstressed, Depressed, Fashion-Obsessed, Dorky Guy Move?
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 7 12.73%
Chicago, IL 8 14.55%
Madison, WI 3 5.45%
Rochester, MN 0 0%
Ann Arbor, MI 5 9.09%
Traverse City, MI 2 3.64%
Columbus, OH 4 7.27%
Pittsburgh, PA 6 10.91%
Philadelphia, PA 3 5.45%
New York City, NY 11 20.00%
Boston, MA 5 9.09%
Annapolis, MD 1 1.82%
Baltimore, MD 2 3.64%
Charlottesville, VA 1 1.82%
Burlington, VT 3 5.45%
Northampton, MA 2 3.64%
Pittsfield, MA 1 1.82%
Boston, MA 8 14.55%
Hartford, CT 2 3.64%
Providence, RI 6 10.91%
Portland, ME 3 5.45%
Nashua, NH 1 1.82%
Concord, NH 0 0%
Manchester, NH 2 3.64%
Newburyport, MA 0 0%
Harrisburg, PA 0 0%
State College, PA 0 0%
Syracuse, NY 1 1.82%
Stay in Scranton, PA 5 9.09%
Other (Please Specify Below) 4 7.27%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-21-2007, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,237 posts, read 67,385,459 times
Reputation: 15871

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Good morning everyone! Many of you probably consider me to be a die-hard Scranton fan, but I'm recently hitting a brick wall in life. My depression is starting to creep its way back into my life, and most of my peers who have relocated out of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for college tell me that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence after all, much to my dismay. I'll admit that I do feel out-of-place and almost unwanted in this area, but for years I've been telling myself that my city is the next "hot-spot" for real estate growth and that it would be the most logical place for me to establish my real estate firm and capitalize on an anticipated influx of New Yorkers in the upcoming years. Sadly, even though I'm a Pennsylvania born and raised, I find myself feeling very closely-aligned to many of the "city folk" moving here as opposed to the locals, and after reading a reply last night that slammed me for not appreciating the locals and many of their more rural ways, I think it might be time for me to expand my horizons a bit. Most of my peers high-tailed it out of the Wyoming Valley faster than bats out of hell and all are now happy in thier new cities. Meanwhile, I've been more of a laggard; I suppose I've been brainwashed by the local chamber of commerce into thinking that Scranton is destined to become an intellectual, hip, trendy, GLBT-friendly place like Greenwich Village when its residents currently exalt high school football, hunting, and binge drinking at the corner bar over theatrical productions, art galleries, coffee houses, poetry readings, and other cultural events that attract me. A fine example of this is the fact that most of our local towns shut down on Friday nights as thousands upon thousands fill the bleachers of their local high school football stadiums to overglorify the players while the drama club of the same school puts on a production of RENT on the same night that is seen by only the parents of those involved in the play, leaving these students to feel "left out." (I should know because I was one of those kids).

Essentially, since Scranton isn't "expanding its horizons" anytime soon, I feel it may be time for me to shove off in pursuit of an area that is more willing to embrace the arts. I'm looking for an area with a good "intellectual vibe", and Scranton, apparently, still has a LONG way to go to reach that milestone. I'm actually ashamed to admit that the first day of hunting season is a HOLIDAY here and that alcoholism amongst teenagers is embraced as a "rite of passage" rather than being discouraged, as it should be. I find issues such as these to be abhorrent. As much as I may love the area's proximity to the cultural meccas of NYC and Philly and the region's potential for future growth, I just don't know if I can stand many of the locals anymore. Another sad point about our area is that it is one of the least diverse areas in the nation. We're something like 94% white, non-Hispanic (and mostly straight as well), which leads anyone who doesn't fit into those paramaters to feel like an outsider or a miscreant. Many locals, especially the middle-aged and older crowds, are intolerant towards gays, Hispanics, blacks, Muslims, and many other minority groups. I've been the victim of hurtful comments and threats myself in the past; it's just so hard to believe that a city just two hours from Greenwich Village could be WORLDS apart in regards to tolerance and embracing diversity.

I suppose I'm looking for the following:

-Mid-to-large-sized city or metropolitan area (Pop. 100,000+)
-Good intellectual vibe (Residents who support museums, art galleries, book stores, film festivals, jazz cafes, coffee houses, libraries, the theatre, etc.)
-Tolerant population (I'd like to bump into people of varying backgrounds on a daily basis. I'd also like to NOT be ridiculed any more for being openly-gay).
-Reasonable cost-of-living (I know finding a real estate bargain like Scranton in a desirable area will be tricky, but I'm holding out hope!)
-Vibrant, walkable downtown area or traditional "Main Street" setting (I'm a product of suburbia and abhor sprawl. I'd love to live in a rowhome or single-family home within walking distance to an inviting downtown setting).
-Four-season climate (I enjoy snowy winters, humid summers, brisk autumns, and wam springs).
-Pedestrian-friendly (Presence of sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, etc. appreciated but not required as long as the drivers are mindful and "share the road").
-"Sketchy" neighborhoods (I consider myself to be an urban pioneer. I'd graciously consider buying a cheap fixer-upper rowhome in a neighborhood that may be less than desirable in hopes that my investment would help to spark efforts in the neighborhood for others to follow suit and help to bring the area back).
-Liberal atmosphere (I'm friends with many conservatives as well, but I just mesh better with the "radicals" more than the "right-wing nut jobs" if you catch my drift).

Any and all guidance is greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:46 AM
 
1,025 posts, read 3,766,382 times
Reputation: 634
It didn't make it onto your list, but Midtown Atlanta sounds like a pretty good fit, SWB --possibly even certain areas near Downtown that are undergoing gentrification but still have a way to go yet. You would probably love the city of Decatur (a city within the larger metro area) but it's expensive, so pull up a search on "intown neighborhoods" on the Atlanta forum to get a feel for that area, if you are interested.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,920,738 times
Reputation: 3840
I would suggest three on your list: Northampton, MA; Providence, RI, and Pittsburgh, PA.

If I recall you are in school studying accounting. All of these cities has a good school, in or nearby, all are welcoming. Providence, RI and Northampton, MA certainly are accepting of life-style differences. Pittsburgh, the largest, has many school opportunities, is within reasonable commute distance to your home and family, and although probably less forgiving, it has a large undergraduate and graduate school population that should offset the differences in acceptance. Pittsburgh also is the most affordable among the 3 cities.

I didn't immediate identify one city that would meet all of your needs, but you have presented a good pool of choices.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,665,781 times
Reputation: 5053
Change is slow...Scranton won't become the hippest place on the east coast overnight. I voted for Baltimore, Boston, Hartford, and Providence, as both are reputed to be progressive with plenty to do. Figment makes a good suggestion too...I visited a friend in Atlanta and there was lots to do, a lot of young professionals out and about at night. The cost of living is great compared to up here. I don't think you'll see much snow though; you'll have to fly home for that!
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,237 posts, read 67,385,459 times
Reputation: 15871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Figment 07 View Post
It didn't make it onto your list, but Midtown Atlanta sounds like a pretty good fit, SWB --possibly even certain areas near Downtown that are undergoing gentrification but still have a way to go yet. You would probably love the city of Decatur (a city within the larger metro area) but it's expensive, so pull up a search on "intown neighborhoods" on the Atlanta forum to get a feel for that area, if you are interested.
Thanks for the insight. My aunt and uncle relocated to Atlanta (Acworth to be exact), about ten years ago when his job with Georgia-Pacific transferred him there. From what I've seen on Google Earth, Acworth looks to be a disgusting mess of tract housing and big-box stores, but the city of Atlanta itself looked to be very, very nice. I might be heading down to Georgia to visit them for about ten days in mid-June, and I'll use that time wisely to take in all the area as to offer and decide if it's the place for me or not. They're very civic-minded people. They enjoy volunteering down there, and they say that the residents are very friendly (even though they say Acworth is a "Northern transplant town"). They say they're excited about the prospect of my visit, and they want to show me the aquarium, Underground Atlanta, Centennial Park, CNN, and Coca-Cola, among other attractions. They're also patrons of the arts, and they say they're thrilled with the cultural amenities down there.

I'm already thinking it might not fit my climate requirements though. I need at least one snow storm per winter to keep me satisfied (which Atlanta possibly gets only like an inch per season, right?), and the summers seem to be too long. Here in PA we get a few weeks of intolerable heat and humidity, but I don't know if I could withstand that for several months, which is why I don't have any Southern cities on my list. I know people rant and rave about central air conditioning, but I'd rather be spending my summers outdoors running and working out in the park as opposed to being forced indoors due to the excessive humidity or the "red alert" ozone days that I hear Atlanta has too many of.

Is this a somewhat accurate assessment of Atlanta?

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 04-21-2007 at 08:59 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:07 AM
 
1,025 posts, read 3,766,382 times
Reputation: 634
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post

... Is this a somewhat accurate assessment of Atlanta?
Yes, it is.

I love Atlanta, but I know it isn't for everyone (though you might think it is judging by the crowds of transplants we get annually). And now that you mention it, when the topic of air quality comes up, my city drops right off the "good places" radar.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,237 posts, read 67,385,459 times
Reputation: 15871
Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
Change is slow...Scranton won't become the hippest place on the east coast overnight. I voted for Baltimore, Boston, Hartford, and Providence, as both are reputed to be progressive with plenty to do. Figment makes a good suggestion too...I visited a friend in Atlanta and there was lots to do, a lot of young professionals out and about at night. The cost of living is great compared to up here. I don't think you'll see much snow though; you'll have to fly home for that!

Agreed. I know Rome wasn't built overnight! I'm actually afraid after re-reading my original message that I may have come off as a "snob," but I can assure everyone I'm truly NOT! I'm actually very down-to-earth in person; my writing style just seems forboding and turns off a lot of people. Scranton seems to have laid the groundwork for positive changes to happen---a progressive mayor who is in touch with the college students' interests, a new film office that will soon be churning out its first feature film, upcoming efforts to make the city more of a tourist attraction for NBC's "The Office", a growing percentage of the population that is opposing urban sprawl (shown by the massive outcries over the recent opening of the Shoppes @ Montage lifestyle center, which duplicated many stores offered in Downtown Scranton, as well as the massive outrage over proposals to move the upcoming Scranton Medical School site to the suburbs), etc. However, I'm about to turn 21, and I've lived the past several years of my life watching this area take "baby steps" with new projects when other areas like Providence, RI, for example, seemed to undertake massive projects effortlessly and quickly. Here in the Scranton area, the commuter rail connector to NYC has been talked about now for TWENTY YEARS, yet nothing has been done. Upscale condos on the Pittston waterfront have been talked about now for several years, but they still have yet to break ground for them. The widening of congested I-81 through the metro to six lanes has been talked about for many years, but traffic continues to snarl during the evening rush. This area just seems to have much more political "red tape" than any other East Coast city I've ever been to, which puts a damper on its growth potential.

Needless to say, it's becoming frustrating to be young, full of innovative solutions to our problems, and being ignored at every turn by our elected officials. It's also frustrating to think that for an area with a population well in excess of a half-million, we have so few minorities in the region. I think a lot of the homophobia around here stems quite simply from many locals never being exposed to a gay person, a lot of the hostility and apprehensions towards Muslims from many locals stems from them never meeting one in person, etc. If you're never introduced to such differences in others, then how can you learn that they mean you no harm?

I may still, in the very end, decide to "gamble" and move into Downtown Scranton after all. You never know. Besides, I'm still young and free to make mistakes. I may think a place like Minneapolis or Northampton, MA could be Nirvana, only to find out that Scranton was truly the better city. It's quite interesting to be on the "receiving" end of relocation advice for a change of pace, and I'm quite thankful for the insight!
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,237 posts, read 67,385,459 times
Reputation: 15871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Figment 07 View Post
Yes, it is.

I love Atlanta, but I know it isn't for everyone (though you might think it is judging by the crowds of transplants we get annually). And now that you mention it, when the topic of air quality comes up, my city drops right off the "good places" radar.
I still think it would be an awesome city for me to visit with my aunt and uncle in June, but as a person who craves his daily runs, the fear of developing asthma from inhaling too much in the way of CO2 emissions from the freeway traffic nearby on summer days truly worries me. My aunt and uncle even admitted that despite all of the wonderful amenities of the city, its air quality and traffic congestion on the freeways is something that makes Scranton look like paradise in comparison. I've heard great things about the city, but logging some miles on the treadmill everyday in order to avoid respiratory complications in the summer isn't my cup of tea. Sorry. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,237 posts, read 67,385,459 times
Reputation: 15871
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
I would suggest three on your list: Northampton, MA; Providence, RI, and Pittsburgh, PA.

If I recall you are in school studying accounting. All of these cities has a good school, in or nearby, all are welcoming. Providence, RI and Northampton, MA certainly are accepting of life-style differences. Pittsburgh, the largest, has many school opportunities, is within reasonable commute distance to your home and family, and although probably less forgiving, it has a large undergraduate and graduate school population that should offset the differences in acceptance. Pittsburgh also is the most affordable among the 3 cities.

I didn't immediate identify one city that would meet all of your needs, but you have presented a good pool of choices.

Thanks for the insight! Out of those three, I've only been to Pittsburgh and Providence (twice to each city), and I added Northampton to the list for hearing so many great things about it from so many people. Pittsburgh beckons to me in so many ways. After checking out "Pop City" this morning by accident, I'm much, much more interested in seeing what the Steel City may have to offer to me, especially the Lawrenceville, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside neighborhoods. Providence was wonderful to visit as well, but I hear nothing but bad things about its traffic congestion (which we were trapped in incessantly), and cost-of-living (which we could see was through the roof). Pittsburgh has quickly-risen to being among my top contenders right now.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Pflugerville, TX
7 posts, read 7,390 times
Reputation: 11
Default Move SOUTH

Move SOUTH!!! Expand your horizons, as well as your appreciation for warm weather and the most beautiful women on earth. If you move to Raleigh, Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Tampa, or Charlotte, you might find that these are also cities constantly expanding their horizons--bringing in so many different people from different walks of life and also offering great diversity in arts, culture, and entertainment.

Truthfully, I wouldn't live in the north if you paid me!

My top recommendations of the cities I've listed: Atlanta and Tampa. Of course, if you absolutely want to stay up north, then Philly, NYC, Boston, Chicago, DC, and Baltimore would be your best bets; but, the cost of living in northern cities is much more than southern cities.

Last edited by texmexandproud; 04-21-2007 at 09:51 AM.. Reason: Add some info
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