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Old 05-24-2007, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Chicago
167 posts, read 489,014 times
Reputation: 62

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I am a 33 yr old female (single, no kids) looking to leave Manhattan after about 3.5 yrs being there. I have lived I Chicago (most of life), Miami (2.5 yrs), Mexico City (4 yrs) and MI and AZ for undergrad and grad school. So, like all, I am looking for that "dream place" which doesn't exist.

My number one choice of place to live would be San Francisco however, while I can finanically swing it, it would be nice to be able to save some money for the future. So really I am looking for a good "second choice candidate" if I decide not to pursue San Fran.

Some things that I am looking for in a city:

1. Medium to large city
2. Diversity of people
3. Like museums, ethnic restaurants (prefer local to trendy) and all culture that goes with it but do prefer to be outdoors as much as possible. I love greenery, moutanins, camping, hiking, biking, train for marathons and triathalons so places where I can jog/cycle would be great.
4. Like areas with places like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, green markets
5. Weatherwise, can't take the freezing cold weather anymore (don't mind a bit of snow). "Sweater Weather" places are fine with me. Don't want to live in a desert area or tropical area (don't mind humidity). I was thinking Seattle or Portland, but the overcast days might get to me.
6. Would prefer to not need a car for daily commuting, however, I know I am spoiled in NYC with its public transportation
7. Do not want to live in the Southeast

My initial thoughs were Portland (OR), Seattle, or Austin but maybe I am missing something smaller and/or more obvious.


Thanks so much!
Cheryl
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:23 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
1,287 posts, read 4,650,955 times
Reputation: 662
Have you thought about San Diego? It can be expensive here too, but there may be more housing options with a more diverse price range than in SF. Also, San Diego meets most of the requirements you list, especially the good weather and outdoors stuff, and for whatever it lacks in diversity and big city panache, LA is only 2-3 hours away by car or train.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,278,657 times
Reputation: 3935
My initial thought was Seattle or Portland. Austin is a great city but you would need a car there. There are only a handful of very walkable cities in the US and there really isn't another city like San Fran. The best substitute for you might be Portland; it's a liberal city, very trendy, walkable, and it has nice weather. Seattle is too downcast for me, I hate dreary weather.

Austin is the San Fran of Texas. Very diverse, very trendy, somewhat walkable although you'll still need a vehicle, and it's a "hot" market to buy in. I personally think the weather is better than either Seattle or Portland.

I don't think you could go wrong with any of your choices.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,367 posts, read 12,974,087 times
Reputation: 5348
Some things that I am looking for in a city:

1. Medium to large city
2. Diversity of people
3. Like museums, ethnic restaurants (prefer local to trendy) and all culture that goes with it but do prefer to be outdoors as much as possible. I love greenery, moutanins, camping, hiking, biking, train for marathons and triathalons so places where I can jog/cycle would be great.
4. Like areas with places like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, green markets
5. Weatherwise, can't take the freezing cold weather anymore (don't mind a bit of snow). "Sweater Weather" places are fine with me. Don't want to live in a desert area or tropical area (don't mind humidity). I was thinking Seattle or Portland, but the overcast days might get to me.
6. Would prefer to not need a car for daily commuting, however, I know I am spoiled in NYC with its public transportation
7. Do not want to live in the Southeast

Seattle, Portland or Vancouver B.C. sound like your kind of city. I live in Seattle and love it. I lived in Seattle without a car for over 2 years and got around just find, in fact quite easy. It's getting expensive but you live in Manhattan so Seattle will look like a bargain.








Pike Place Market




Downtown Shopping


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Old 05-24-2007, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 19,947,519 times
Reputation: 2129
why not southeast? Louisville is nice, has alot of the things you mentioned (not mountains though) and has a pretty cheap cost of living. Just a thought!
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
832 posts, read 3,556,165 times
Reputation: 210
Seattle is very similar to SF
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,445,891 times
Reputation: 396
I generally agree with all the responses thus far. You can live without a car in Austin if you buy into one of the downtown condos or a central neighborhood that you can bike from. The hike-and-bike trails are extensive here, and there's also a car-sharing program. Public transit kinda sucks but will improve as our rail system develops, and as far as future investments go, Austin is HOT HOT HOT (and so are the summers.)

I have a friend who has lived in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, New Zealand and Israel, and he travels all over the world. He thinks central Austin is paradise and his comment is "to live within walking distance of the main Whole Foods store, that should be the goal in life." He's a bit quirky, so take that comment with a wink. But you can have a seriously great lifestyle here if you can afford SF. But there's no ocean, no nearby ski areas, and you're stuck deep in the heart of Texas, so:

Portland is my choice for you!

But if you can handle less "trendy" places, then I think that Missymom's Louisville suggestion was innovative (thinking outside the box), and there are many other possibilities like that. Considering the natural environment you want, I'd also add these cities as contenders:

Boise, ID
Salt Lake City (don't believe the hysteria!) or Provo (see SLC comment)
Albuquerque
Denver - Boulder
Eugene, OR
Sacramento (a place I hate but others seem to like it...)

But if you're as picky as I am, you'll end up in the Bay Area, Austin, Portland or Seattle.

Still, I think you should consider a place like Boise if you can open your mind to such a remote location. It's booming and has so many nice amenities close by. I've never been there but a friend of mine with similar taste in things has lived there, Miami, Austin and is currently in Santa Barbara, and she wants to move back to Boise desperately because it's her favorite of all places in the USA for its climate and beauty. I disavow any association with that recommendation, she's the one with the experience and I'm just a guy listening to stories, reading statistics and looking at photos.
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:22 PM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,755,794 times
Reputation: 828
Thats hard, the West Coast is too expensive, The South does not appeal to you. The North is too cold. Ill give some shots though. Cincinnati. (dec. weather, old and dense.) New Orleans (bar crime and Katrina, the only real city in the south that hasn't been slapped together in the last 70 years) Kansas City (cheap, dec. climate, great amenities, esp. for a city of its size) Saint Louis (it should be bigger than Houston, Forest Park, Mississippi) Denver.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:57 PM
 
154 posts, read 641,968 times
Reputation: 71
i'm looking for something similar, but for you, i'd suggest these (some of which have already been mentioned)...

1. atlanta, GA
2. seattle, WA
3. denver, CO
4. syracuse, NY
5. austin, TX
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:12 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,742 posts, read 6,900,535 times
Reputation: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnehahapolitan View Post
Thats hard, the West Coast is too expensive, The South does not appeal to you. The North is too cold. Ill give some shots though. Cincinnati. (dec. weather, old and dense.) New Orleans (bar crime and Katrina, the only real city in the south that hasn't been slapped together in the last 70 years) Kansas City (cheap, dec. climate, great amenities, esp. for a city of its size) Saint Louis (it should be bigger than Houston, Forest Park, Mississippi) Denver.
I'm not sure how much I agree about cities like Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City,..climate in the lower Midwestern cities is a little bit of everything and our weather honestly is much more crazy and unpredictable than cities of other regions. We get a bit of everything and our winters can range from mild to harsh (not Upper-Midwestern harsh, but certainly far from a Southern-type winter), our summers from nice to absolutely scorching. the climates here are not very well moderated out and can be a bit annoying at times, at least for me given i've lived in St. Louis over 20 years now and seen everything from blizzards and single-digit temperatures, to unbearable heat waves and powerful thunderstorms, and much more than just one time for each of these. Upper Midwesterners/Northeasterners/Inland Northwesterners may find our weather mild, most of the country i bet would rather be a little further South for better winters, particularly mountainous regions of the South. I'd honestly recommend someplace further south or further west than these for mild winters. Portland and Seattle I'd say are perfect...their summers aren't too bad and neither are their winters and geographically they are very beautiful. The Pacific Northwest is very attractive for weather, although I'm personally not a fan of all the earthquakes and volcanoes there hehe. Also, look for North Carolina as well...their summers are generally not too hot at all considering they are in mountains and winters tend to be pretty tolerable too.

Last edited by ajf131; 05-25-2007 at 12:27 AM..
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