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Thread summary:

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

 
 
Old 06-01-2007, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Minneapolis is one of the cities that has come up a lot with my requirements.

Miamiman, what are your thoughts on Chicago, another city that I've been considering?
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:36 PM
 
Location: 602/520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
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.
Atlanta is a HORRIBLE city. The city is progressive, relative to the rural south, and that's not saying much. I did an internship in Atlanta a couple years ago, and one of my co-workers referred to Atlanta as "a large Macon [GA]." The city's development patterns are absolutely horrendous. Not only in the city pedestrian-unfriendly, but unlike many western cities that are also pedestrian-friendly, the city does not fall on a grid system. This makes it extremely complicated to get around. Public transit in Atlanta is HORRIBLE as well. MARTA has about two lines: one traveling north-south, the other east-west. That leaves huge parts of the city untocuhed by rail transit, and bus transit is very slow and unreliable as well. Oddly enough, aside from these points, Atlanta reminded me very much of DC. Both cities are extremely lush, have large black population, are large government centers, have traffic issues on their beltways, and are plagued with extremely conservative, sprawling suburbs.

Louisville, while progressive for a southern city, is still more right than moderate. The city is across the Ohio from Indiana, one of the most conservative states in the country, and we all know the dominant political affiliation of Kentucky. Louisville is not near ANY large body of water that you would want to visit for beaching purposes.The closest "beaches" to Louisville are in beautiful Gary, IN and Toledo, OH.

Austin, while seemingly perfect, is extremely expensive, and is not near any ski resorts, and is hours away from the beaches of Deep South Texas.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
Atlanta reminded me very much of DC.
oh boy! I really do need to get out of DC.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:48 PM
 
Location: 602/520
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I love Chicago. As far as I'm conerned it's the "saving grace" as of the Midwest. The size of the city offers many of cultural and social activities of Los Angeles and New York.

Most residents of Chicago are on the left politically. Some of the western (Naperville), and many of the northern (Lake Bluff, Riverwoods, Highland Park) suburbs are EXTREMELY affluent, often leading to elitism and political conservatism.

Lastly, the city has a very active cultural scene, has the benefit of being along Lake Michigan, which often keeps the city somewhat "warmer" in the winter, and cooler in the summer. The city also offers very high paying salaries relative to surrounding cities, primarily in response to the cost of living.


Chicago is heavily Catholic city, but still manages to have some of the alternative neighborhoods that you would expec to find in a large city.

Financially - Chicago is very expensive, lesser so than New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, but are still much higher than surrounding Midwestern cities such as Indy, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Detroit.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:57 PM
 
Location: 602/520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
oh boy! I really do need to get out of DC.
As far as I'm concerned, Atlanta has all of the problems that DC has, and very few of the benefits. It's an extremely unsophisticated city. I think many people are jaded by the fact that the city looks extremely modern and pleasant, in pictures. Once you're on street level, it's a mix of very poorly planned sprawl, extreme racial division, all the while lacking sophistication that you would find in any northern or western city the size of Atlanta.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,712 posts, read 3,883,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
As far as I'm concerned, Atlanta has all of the problems that DC has, and very few of the benefits. It's an extremely unsophisticated city. I think many people are jaded by the fact that the city looks extremely modern and pleasant, in pictures. Once you're on street level, it's a mix of very poorly planned sprawl, extreme racial division, all the while lacking sophistication that you would find in any northern or western city the size of Atlanta.
I'm pretty much used to the sprawl of DC, the traffic, and the jumbled street map. But I have a bigger problem with this city. It's the attitude of the young people my age. Many (not all) young people think they own the world and as a result are high-strung and snooty/snobby//stuck-up/[insert your own adjective here].

as you may already know, I'm looking for a more laid back and friendlier populace, and it seems that I can find it in texas and parts of the midwest and perhaps seattle. San Deigo would be really nice because I like surfing, but real estate is just prohibitively expensive. Maybe I could live there for one year and rent an apartment in the meantime, and then leave for better real estate pastures. Just throwing around some ideas
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Renton, WA
579 posts, read 1,149,190 times
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Cool Phoenix meets most of your requirements

I would recommend the Phoenix metropolitan area. It meets most of the characteristics you have outlined:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
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 it’s 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
Phoenix has a good cultural feel and laid-back people. While the majority of people are white, there is a high percentage of Hispanic people (due to Arizona's border with Mexico) and significant percentages of African-American and Asian people. It is a great place to meet young, single women since there are many attractive women in this area. One of the nation's largest universities, Arizona State University, has its main campus in Tempe and three other major campuses in other parts of the metropolitan area. There are many places to get exercise such as gyms, running trails, bike paths, and hiking trails. The largest municipal park in the USA, South Mountain Park, is in Phoenix.

Each of the four major professional sports are represented in the Phoenix area, and sports such as tennis, golf, and swimming are significantly more popular in the Phoenix area than in the rest of the USA. The FBR Open (http://www.fbropen.com/ - broken link) in Scottsdale has the highest attendance of any event on the PGA tour, and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale is the leading BCS college bowl game. Super Bowl XLII will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 3, 2008. There are many bars and clubs in places such as Old Town Scottsdale and Mill Avenue in Tempe, and the indoor sections of all bars, restaurants and clubs are smoke-free. There is crime in the Phoenix area (just as there is in all major cities), but I feel relatively safe here and it appears to me that most of the crime is heavily concentrated in certain less-desireable sections of the metropolitan area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post

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
There is a diversity of religions in Phoenix, and I consider the area to be mostly secular. The lifestyle is mellow, laid-back, and not high-strung. Politics is centered on the moderate, with a Democratic governor who tends to veto many bills passed by a Republican-majority state legislature. Of the six U.S. House representatives whose districts are wholly or partially within the Phoenix metropolitan area, three are Democrats and three are Republicans. Arizona is considered to be one of the leading swing states in the 2008 Presidential election.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
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
While the cost of living in Phoenix has been rising in recent years, due to the area's popularity, the cost of living here in significantly less than large West Coast cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, and large northeastern cities such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. There is a wide variety of employment opportunities including growth opportunities for environmentally-conscious businesses. Phoenix is close to mountains and you can go skiing in Arizona at Arizona Snowbowl and Sunrise Park Resort. The nearest beach is in Rocky Point, Mexico, about a 3-4 hour drive away. The residential environment in most parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area is family-oriented, and Arizona is the top state for education freedom.

Last edited by Highpointer; 06-01-2007 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,131,732 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
I'm pretty much used to the sprawl of DC, the traffic, and the jumbled street map. But I have a bigger problem with this city. It's the attitude of the young people my age. Many (not all) young people think they own the world and as a result are high-strung and snooty/snobby//stuck-up/[insert your own adjective here].

as you may already know, I'm looking for a more laid back and friendlier populace, and it seems that I can find it in texas and parts of the midwest and perhaps seattle. San Deigo would be really nice because I like surfing, but real estate is just prohibitively expensive. Maybe I could live there for one year and rent an apartment in the meantime, and then leave for better real estate pastures. Just throwing around some ideas
I think the issue of snobby young people, and adults, is everywhere. Anywhere you have affluence, you'll have snooty adults and teenagers. I know that Northern Virginia is one of the most affluent, if not the most affluent, region of the country. However, snootiness is commonplace in my Phoenix suburban community of Scottsdale, and it was common among the youth in Cobb County, outside of Atlanta. San Diego seems like it would be a wonderful place to live, but as you highlighted, cost of living is extremely high. Maybe roommates?
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:27 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,131,732 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highpointer View Post
I would recommend the Phoenix metropolitan area. It meets most of the characteristics you have outlined:



Phoenix has a good cultural feel and laid-back people. While the majority of people are white, there is a high percentage of Hispanic people (due to Arizona's border with Mexico) and significant percentages of African-American and Asian people. It is a great place to meet young, single women since there are many attractive women in this area. One of the nation's largest universities, Arizona State University, has its main campus in Tempe and three other major campuses in other parts of the metropolitan area. There are many places to get exercise such as gyms, running trails, bike paths, and hiking trails. The largest municipal park in the USA, South Mountain Park, is in Phoenix.

Each of the four major professional sports are represented in the Phoenix area, and sports such as tennis, golf, and swimming are significantly more popular in the Phoenix area than in the rest of the USA. The FBR Open (http://www.fbropen.com/ - broken link) in Scottsdale has the highest attendance of any event on the PGA tour, and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale is the leading BCS college bowl game. Super Bowl XLII will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 3, 2008. There are many bars and clubs in places such as Old Town Scottsdale and Mill Avenue in Tempe, and the indoor sections of all bars, restaurants and clubs are smoke-free. There is crime in the Phoenix area (just as there is in all major cities), but I feel relatively safe here and it appears to me that most of the crime is heavily concentrated in certain less-desireable sections of the metropolitan area.



There is a diversity of religions in Phoenix, and I consider the area to be mostly secular. The lifestyle is mellow, laid-back, and not high-strung. Politics is centered on the moderate, with a Democratic governor who tends to veto many bills passed by a Republican-majority state legislature. Of the six U.S. House representatives whose districts are wholly or partially within the Phoenix metropolitan area, three are Democrats and three are Republicans. Arizona is considered to be one of the leading swing states in the 2008 Presidential election.



While the cost of living in Phoenix has been rising in recent years, due to the area's popularity, the cost of living here in significantly less than large West Coast cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, and large northeastern cities such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. There is a wide variety of employment opportunities including growth opportunities for environmentally-conscious businesses. Phoenix is close to mountains and you can go skiing in Arizona at Arizona Snowbowl and Sunrise Park Resort. The nearest beach is in Rocky Point, Mexico, about a 3-4 hour drive away. The residential environment in most parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area is family-oriented, and Arizona is the top state for education freedom.
Phoenix is also a very unsophisticated city. The metro area is what would happen if Salt Lake City and inland Orange County were fused together. There is an extremely high Mormon population in the eastern suburban Phoenix communities of Gilbert and Mesa, who often occupy town councils and other political offices, an mix religion with politics. There are some portions of Phoenix in which people have horses, chickens, and livestock, in their backyards, strutting and flying left and right.

Let's not get into the women in the Phoenix area. If you find an Orange County type of woman attractive, you will LOVE the Phoenix area. Plastic surgery rules and regulates.

I will agree on the point that their is a lot of religious diversity in the city of Phoenix. This is mainly due to the draw of many different racial groups from all around the country. Phoenix does have a large Mexican population, so Catholicism is quite large here. Beware that Phoenix is a very transient city; very few want to stay in Phoenix for a long time due to it's cultural barreness, heat, horridly poor air quality, and extreme growth. Many people here are uneducated, and work in food service or telemarketing.

Phoenix's cost of living has risen substantially in the past ten years, as many Californians have infiltrated the region, and driven up cost of living due to housing speculation.

It's funny that whenever you ask someone about Phoenix, they'll mention amenities that are NOT in the city limits of Phoenix such as the U of Phoenix Stadium, malls in Scottsdale, ASU in Tempe, and golf course in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, and Anthem.


I actually like Phoenix a lot, possibly because I knew what to expect before moving here from the Northeast.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:54 PM
 
Location: ABQ (Paradise Hills), NM
742 posts, read 2,662,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative View Post
I made a list of cities that might meet some of the above listed criteria, they are not ranked in any particular order. Minneapolis and Denver are on my list of top cities!

Top cities (in no particular order):
Houston, TX
Kansas City, KS
Chicago, IL
Denver, CO
Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN
Louisville, KY
Seattle, WA

Other cities of interest:
Boston, MA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Nashville, TN
Hampton Roads–Norfolk, VA
Syracuse, NY
Albuquerque, NM
Austin, TX
Las Vegas, NV
Salt Lake City, UT
Omaha, NE
Ann Arbor, MI
Dover, DE
Wilmington, DE

Let me know whether I should "promote" a city in the 2nd list to the list of top cities? Or should I demote a couple of cities? Thanks!
Despite other's opinions, and based on your criteria, Albuquerque definitely belongs in your top tier worthy of closer investigation. ABQ fits just about all your major criteria, as well as many of your bonus points (particularly your tax issues). On your lists, only San Diego could give ABQ a run in the weather department. And you can only get real NEW MEXICAN food in New Mexico (try it once, and you're hooked).

Chap
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