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Thread summary:

Relocating: real estate, market, diversity, university, affordable, cost of living.

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Old 05-30-2007, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,712 posts, read 3,879,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
That probably depends on where you were. Were you in the cities of Dallas and Atlanta? Because both cities are fairly liberal.
North Dallas for the most part. Also went downtown, and to Ft Worth.

Atlanta? I mostly hung out with relatives at the northern half of the metro area. You know that I-85 corridor? They live 15 or so miles past the I-285 beltway, but we hung around some places north of downtown Atlanta. Also, everyone I know and ever associated with said they don't like Atlanta.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,633 posts, read 27,060,365 times
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Really? That's interesting about Atlanta. I do know that Dallas is a moderate city like Houston. But I can see how you would say that Houston is more liberal than Dallas. Houston as a metro is slightly more liberal but neither are Boston or San Francisco.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,712 posts, read 3,879,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Really? That's interesting about Atlanta. I do know that Dallas is a moderate city like Houston. But I can see how you would say that Houston is more liberal than Dallas. Houston as a metro is slightly more liberal but neither are Boston or San Francisco.
If a city has a majority that are generally tolerant and open-minded, then that's good enough for me. I don't think it's too much to ask for...
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,446,616 times
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DC, I'm interested in your opinion of Louisville because I've heard from a couple progressive intelligent people that it's a very under-rated city. That's what you're ideally looking for, a place that's got a bad reputation relative to its actual quality of life. Those are the places where you get the most for your money. One thing I know I'd like about Louisville is that it has 4 balanced seasons. But it's a bit too "Ohio Valley" for my taste. I'm picky about weather and I like wind and clear air at ground level. I would guess that Louisville has lots of stagnant humid hazy days, and it's also not very close to real wilderness areas. There's a ton of incredible natural beauty within a half-day's drive, but it's all fairly settled and doesn't have the pristine qualities you can find in places like Vermont, the UP of Michigan, and much of the West.

You say social environment is most important and that's the thing I know the LEAST about a place like Louisville. I think the social environment of Austin is paradise, and I also love the vibe of Seattle, Portland, Miami (I know I just jumped to a different world but I love Miami, especially Coconut Grove), and even parts of Los Angeles.

There's so much to choose from. I dreamed of starting a location consulting business at least 25 years ago, it was my number one fantasy job. Yet here I am struggling to come up with answers for people on a website designed to help people do the very thing I wanted to help people do.

I think a location consulting service would be useful like a face-to-face matchmaking service is for dating. Reason being INTUITION. It's impossible to really know anyone with mere words on a website. Meeting them, or at least talking on the phone, allows you to explore their personalities and goals more intuitively and then you can come up with better matches. I used to do this when I was a real estate agent. I was horrible about the details (getting people through escrow, for example), but I was very good at intuitively understanding what people wanted and I could quickly get them to the house that they'd buy. I still think about going back into real estate if there were a way I could focus ONLY on helping buyers find their dream house and location.

Sorry to go off on a tangent. I wish I could be more helpful but it sounds like you and Speedy are solving the problem fairly well and my input is probably cluttering the process.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:52 PM
 
6,559 posts, read 13,757,161 times
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Louisville, surprisingly, is VERY much like Austin. In fact, they are nearly identical in size, culture and vibe with two key differences:

1) Louisville is not viewed nationally as trendy or cool (even though many urbanites here view it that way), thus the job/population growth hasn't hit here like Austin (although it is growing steadily thank you)

2) Our flagship college is not nearly as good academically and is much smaller, so less young people get exposed to a very cool city.

Did you know Louisville and Austin have the same slogan? I am not sure who copied who, but here you go:

keep Louisville weird

keep austin weird

I think those slogans sum up how alike the two cities are. Few people know this, however.

Austin is growing much faster, but as of 2000 the metro areas were very similar in size.

Let me make another analogy. Louisville is sort of like buying a retro T shirt from a local indie thrift shop. Austin is sort of like buying the same looking T-shirt from Urban Outfitters for 50% more. This is not to say that Austin is not an independent type city, because it clearly struck me that way, but it seemed to also be attracting this class of urban yuppie that one normally finds in much larger cities--DC and Chicago are two.

Austin has 6th street.

6th street austin, texas

Louisville has 4th street, a corporate version of it.

Fourth Street Live!


What makes Louisville so unique is its strong urban fabric for a city its size, similar in ways to Austin. Here, upscale dining, arts, and alternative lifestyles are very prominent in the urban areas, but they are surrounded by a ring of conservative suburbs, much like in Austin.

The Highlands (Louisville - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Old Louisville - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The above are just two of the urban areas where you will find many hipster, progressive types.

Two art gallery hops, one downtown, and one in Clifton/Crescent Hill, another progressive urban area:

First Friday Gallery/Trolley Hop

F.A.T. Friday Hop


To give you a small idea of the over 1 BILLION in construction currently about to start downtown, here of some of the larger projects. In addition, thousands more condo units are being added. Downtown has a ways to go, but it will be unrecognizable in 10 years:

A 62 story avant garde skyscraper drawing international attention for its architecture:

Museum Plaza - Creating A Place In Louisville's Architectural Character.

A new downtown basketball arena:

Louisville Arena Authority

A major urban retail project:

Iron Quarter | Louisville, KY

And one of the largest inland water based/marina highrise communites in the US:

RiverPark Louisville Kentucky, Lofts and Luxury Condos

All of this is in addition to major initiatives the city has already completed, and many smaller projects under construction and ongoing, including things like us landing a new Fortune 1000 pharmaceutical company, Pharmerica, which will be the 6th such locally based operation on the list. Of course, this is only a cursury listing, but hope it helps.

Louisville is still in KY. So it is friendly, cheap, and carefree. There are rednecks all over, especially outside the immediate downtown and surrounding hoods. After living with the hassle of Chicago for years, I am just fine with that. Rednecks are friendly
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,446,616 times
Reputation: 396
Louisville... the less I hear about it, the more promising it seems because hype will make a place go Austin (too much growth, too much love, too much money-grubbing by developers and other corporations.)

Sounds like a wonderful city. One thing Louisville apparently has that Austin lacks is pedestrian-oriented central-city areas. Austin's downtown consists largely of wide streets and narrow sidewalks. Even the uber-hip South Congress strip is pure STREET with relatively little sidewalk. We need to start converting some of our lanes to pedestrian space. Seriously, it's a very annoying aspect of Austin that you cannot walk the cool parts of town on streets and hear anything other than the roar of traffic.

Our trail systems are fantastic, but they're separate from the street-level scene. There's no integration between walking/sitting spaces and buildings. Most of our sidewalks are directly connected to the roads, with no buffer zone for trees or safety. Until recently the only way to walk across the lake on Lamar Blvd. was on a sidewalk that's approximately 3 feet wide and is basically a glorified curb. No buffer from traffic at all, so if a person stumbled they could easily fall into the path of a car. Now there's a separate pedestrian bridge, but the general problem of sidewalks being extended curbs along extremely busy and dangerous roads is still pervasive here.

What I'd most likely hate about Louisville would be the hazy days that are so common in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. I really don't like stagnant air, I like the lift and breezes we get here. But there are always tradeoffs. I bet the cost of living is lower in L-ville because it's not so over-hyped and it's not being inundated with wealthy newcomers. I must check it out sometime!
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,712 posts, read 3,879,792 times
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TheHarvester - no your post didn't clutter anything. I'm willing to hear all perspectives on everything. After all, it's my life and every second that passes is one second less time to waste, and I still haven't chosen a city to live in (job location will go a long way in my decision, but will make sure to go after jobs in cities that I actually like).
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:01 PM
 
6,559 posts, read 13,757,161 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
Louisville... the less I hear about it, the more promising it seems because hype will make a place go Austin (too much growth, too much love, too much money-grubbing by developers and other corporations.)

Sounds like a wonderful city. One thing Louisville apparently has that Austin lacks is pedestrian-oriented central-city areas. Austin's downtown consists largely of wide streets and narrow sidewalks. Even the uber-hip South Congress strip is pure STREET with relatively little sidewalk. We need to start converting some of our lanes to pedestrian space. Seriously, it's a very annoying aspect of Austin that you cannot walk the cool parts of town on streets and hear anything other than the roar of traffic.

Our trail systems are fantastic, but they're separate from the street-level scene. There's no integration between walking/sitting spaces and buildings. Most of our sidewalks are directly connected to the roads, with no buffer zone for trees or safety. Until recently the only way to walk across the lake on Lamar Blvd. was on a sidewalk that's approximately 3 feet wide and is basically a glorified curb. No buffer from traffic at all, so if a person stumbled they could easily fall into the path of a car. Now there's a separate pedestrian bridge, but the general problem of sidewalks being extended curbs along extremely busy and dangerous roads is still pervasive here.

What I'd most likely hate about Louisville would be the hazy days that are so common in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. I really don't like stagnant air, I like the lift and breezes we get here. But there are always tradeoffs. I bet the cost of living is lower in L-ville because it's not so over-hyped and it's not being inundated with wealthy newcomers. I must check it out sometime!

Louisville was historically so much bigger and denser than Austin that they only became comprable in population in the last decade. That is why Louisville has narrower streets and more pedestrian oriented avenues like Bardstown, which developed along street car routes in the 1920's. Downtown Louisville also has wide avenues like Austin, and the historical significance was that oxen had to have room to turn around in this historic river city after they unloaded goods off barges and took them to warehouses downtown. Louisville also has a park system that was designed by Olmstead, who did Central Park in New York City. I though Austin was cool, but I got exactly a sense of what you are saying. Its like some of the hipster locals were disgusted with all the new money and yuppie types moving in. Here in Louisville, the only people who know its hip are the people who live here. Ask anyone else in the nation, and they likely will have no opinion of the city. They would probably associate the city with Derby, fried chicken, and mint juleps more than anything. We have never had MTV Real World here. We get alot of coverage on E news and ET and what not for Derby, but that is about it.

Judging by the amount of artists who have been moving to Louisville lately, I think we have been discovered at least, but I do not see an Austin type boom anytime in the near future. I like living in this "thrift shop" here. You guys can have the "Urban Outfitters" and the crowds they bring
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,712 posts, read 3,879,792 times
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Wow, lots of talk about Louisville. Before I visited there, I had never even heard of it.

However, since I don't plan on buying a house for another 3-5+ years (unless I move to a cheap city like Houston), I wouldn't mind living in a moderately expensive city like Chicago and renting an apartment, while saving up for a house later down the road.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:16 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,121,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
As my handle implies, I live in Washington, DC and have all my life. I'm tired of DC and I would like to move to another city within the next year or two. But I'm not sure where to go, so I was hoping that you folks can help me with suggestions of cities that meet the following criteria:

Size:
Medium-XLarge City

Social environment:
- Some cultural feel to it; shopping/restaurant/bar strips where young people like go out and about
- Some diversity, but not to the point where its overrun by minorities, but not all completely white either
- Friendly, open-minded, helpful, mellow, and laid-back people
- Good single female single male ratio for ages between 20 and 35
- Good place for a single male to find women to date and have relationships with, or to just have sex with
- At least one major university where educated and affluent young people are there in large numbers
- People who care about their health, exercise, and exercise good hygiene
- Lots of places to go, things to do for young/single people (parks, dance scenes, sports bars, gym/sport activity areas such as golf, tennis, swimming, etc)
- Most neighborhoods must be safe

Religious environment:

- Minimal evangelist population or religious influence; mostly secular
- Individual spirituality is a plus
- Diversity of religions is also a plus

Political environment:
- Mellow, laid-back, and not high-strung like in Washington, DC
- Progressive, but without the smug and elitist attitudes (like you find in DC)
- Politics centering on the moderate, neither going too liberal or too conservative

Financial environment:
- Affordable cost of living for the young and single
- Affordable real estate for single income earners
- Growth opportunities for environmentally-conscious businesses
- Employment opportunities containing sufficient upside

Bonuses (not completely necessary at this point in my life):
- Nearby beach
- Nearby mountains for skiing/snowboarding
- A decent bus system or public transit system that helps ease traffic
- A solid K-12 education system (will become important when I have kids)
- Family oriented residential environment (will also become important when I have kids)
- Minimal sprawl
- Low state income or sales tax
- Manageable property taxes

Know of any cities that meet most, if not all, requirements above?

I'm serious about moving out of DC and I want to visit a few suggested cities to get a taste, prior to my full move. Being young and single and looking for a mate, the social requirements are most important to me at this point in my life. Obviously the job outlook and cost of living is also important to me, but things like K-12 education and family-oriented environments aren't as important to me now... but might become more important when I marry and have kids.

All suggestions and input from everyone will be very much appreciated!
There are many locations that would fit your criteria regarding city size.

Social Environment - Austin. Fits all of of your expectations perfectly. Other cities: Tucson, San Diego, Minneapolis, Portland.

Religion - Austin, Tucson, San Diego, Minneapolis, Portland, most cities that are on the West Coast, New England, the Northeast, central and South Florida, and the mid-Atlantic (not including Virginia), and in the middle of the country from about St. Louis northward.

Political Environment: Boise, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston (the city), Anchorage, Honolulu, Philadelphia.

Financial - Phoenix, Tucson, Minneapolis, Portland, St. Louis

Bonuses - Portland (both), Boston, Seattle, San Diego. Sorry, your requirement of limited sprawl really limits the size of this list.

Overall - Many of the places that fit your requirements including affordability, moderate political affiliation, as well as social scenes would point either to New England or the Pacific Northwest. Portland (both), Burlington, Seattle, Spokane?
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