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Where did you live in MA that you never seen people with signs begging for money? I saw it every single day in Worcester. They are always at the intersections on Park Ave. holding some sort of sign asking for handouts. Many times when I would go out to get lunch downtown, someone would ask me for money.
I lived in North Attleboro and I worked in Boston. I didn't deal with this issue in Mass. I know there are people that panhandle or that are homeless in Mass. I'm well aware of that its all over the country. What I referred to with Oregon was an entirely different picture than with Mass. I was referring basically to the high numbers of beggers here. I was referring to how open the society here is to this type of existence. Its a cultural political mindset type of issue here that allows it. Mass and much of the USA would not tolerate it like this but much of the West Coast seems to. No wonder the hippies came out here in droves and many are still here. Its open to freeloading.
Here in Oregon it is in massive numbers and one would have to see it in action to understand. I was shocked to see such huge numbers of these people all over this Metro. I have asked people native to Oregon why this has been allowed. Most told me its always been like this for the most part. 60 minutes did several TV shows on Portland and its social woes. Mass would never allow people to stand on the expressway ramps begging for money like here. Nor would Mass society put up with being asked for money, while boarding a Commuter Rail Train or at the gas stations.
You can't board a train or bus or go to a fast food store here without someone wanting money or to buy them food. You can't go to the equivalent of Stop&Shop, which is Safeway here without people wanting money. There are literally mentally ill and homeless youths all over Portland. Some are as young as 14. Its legal here to be underage homeless and roam the streets asking for money. I've never seen anything like this in all my life and find it very disturbing. Oregon allows begging everywhere and offers protection to them. Even if someone complains to the city about being hassled. Its called Free Speech and a much higher than average population of street people in Portland.
Left to join the military. Lived in Europe, Virginia, Central America, Texas, Idaho, and now in the StL metro area. Also had a few stints in Southwest Asia. The only states I have never spent time in are Hawaii or Alaska. All places minus the middle east had their good points.
But in the end there will only be one place for me and we count the days until we can return to our home. Although due to stupid real estate prices and taxes, we will most likely end up in southern NH.
I know that there is no so called perfect place, but I can say this: I have lived in Orlando, FL., Atlanta, GA, Tampa, FL and have been gone from Boston, MA for over 20 years now and all I can think about it is when I can return home. I have started making a plan and hope to be home in 2012. My daughter and I are so excited! I have moved all over and NO WHERE felt like home. If you hate where you are...please for your sake GO!! Never stay somewhere you are not happy. I got tired of thinking it would work somewhere else!! Going home in 2012.....
I lived in southern Worcester County, Mass. for 34 years. Had an opportunity to leave - although it was for Florida - and took it. Indeed, locals of my age back in the 90s were priced out with few area job opportunities.
I lived in Orlando for 18 months. It was an eye-opener after the low crime of southern Worcester county but there were a few positive aspects, especially the Southern influence. Unfortunately, I had to relocate to the Fort Myers, Florida area and absolutely hated it. The area was full of transplants, most of them Midwestern, aggressive and angry.
I married and had a child. I had my daughter in the schools for five weeks of kindergarten and that did it for me. Everything you've heard about Florida schools being bad are almost always true. Even when it looks good on paper I would be hard-pressed to believe it. Florida is notorious for fudging their numbers. The state depends on visitors and transplants.
I've been in Knoxville, Tenn. for over six years and love, love, love it. The weather is perfect, four seasons "lite." It's not too cold - like New England - and not too hot - like Florida - it's just right. Goldilocks weather, I call it. Corny but oh, so true. The fall reminds of New England, with Knoxville in a valley surrounded by the Cumberland and Smoky Mountains. The spring is simply glorious, nothing like the spring in the Southeast.
The people are incredibly helpful and friendly. I'm an agnostic liberal that is welcomed as anyone else. The city tends to be very libertarian, and just voted in its for woman mayor, a far left liberal that got her start fighting for the rights of farm workers side-by-side with Cesar Chavez. She won in a landslide. The cost of living is fabulous and the unemployment rate is darn good for the economic times, a bit better than Worcester County, Mass.
Knoxville is a very small city, the size of Worcester, but with a bustling county that has better growth, shopping, opportunities than the surrounding Worcester towns. It's downtown has slowly been revitalized, mostly through private efforts and it looks fabulous. The arts scene is great and the city and its people very cosmopolitan.
Knoxville has benefited from a East Coast snobbery that considers a move to North Carolina acceptable but not west of the Smokies. Their loss is our gain.
FCMA's observations about the South are fairly accurate. Racism was dealt with and moved forward a long time ago, whereas the North seems to still struggle. In fact, I've found the Midwestern-dweller to be the most racist of all, generally. I would never consider living in a small town in the South, though. They are generally a bit more progressive than some of the small towns of Worcester County but that's not saying much.
The only quibble I have with FCMA's post is the quote of $300 a month rent for a one-bedroom. One would be hard-pressed to find that in any of the small cities he mentioned, even in a risky area. Cost of living here is fabulous - low electric rates, insurance, taxes, etc., and housing is a fraction of what it costs in New England. But it would be at least $500 for a one-bedroom in an iffy neighborhood. Look for $600 to be the starting rate, generally, in Knoxville. Probably much higher for some of the cities he named, especially Nashville Charleston and Asheville. Still a bargain for what you get.
Bear in mind that salaries are much lower here, of course, but no matter how you slice it, you will end up with more money in your pocket by moving here. In fact, I am now facing divorce, something that happened in Mass. and left me in a dire situation. It will still not be easy but is financially and psychologically better here than there.
Yes, I left, in 1998. I ended up in NH (as a zillion other MA transplants are now doing).
Reasons for leaving:
2). Ridiculous laws
4). Population density
5). Housing costs (but it is not much cheaper up here in NH)
6). No Live-Free-or-Die attitude
7). A wonderfully corrupt political climate
8). You can live in southern NH, and still work in MA, where there are many high-paying jobs
9). NH has the highest median household income of all 50 states (according to the National census)
10). You can live on a good chunk of land
11). Boston is not that far, if you want that type of night life
II could go on and on all day....
Your list is almost exactly what I would have written. Thanks for saving me a lot of time. And add MA's insane and unconstitutional gun laws to your list.
I'm much older than you but here's my experiences. We left Boston in 1997 for Chicago, which we loved, but we got tired of the Bulls and the Bears and the central time zone. We missed fresh seafood and the ocean, of course. We also lived in D.C. and found the air too sooty and the neighbors were all about power and influence. Then we moved to Vero Beach, FL and missed EVERYTHING! There were no major league anything, the summers were smarmy, and the people we encountered seemed self-indulgent. There's a here-today-gone-tomorrow attitude in Florida. People would start up businesses, they'd be half stocked, (can't tell you how many times we were told, "The truck didn't come in.") and the next week they'd be shuttered and gone. Now we're back in MA and loving it. I love the quick Boston wit, the liberal attitude, the restaurants, and yes, even the weather. I love the stability I feel here in MA. I love that Maine, NH, and RI are a short ride away, and I honestly don't think I'd be so in love with MA if we didn't have the opportunity to leave and then come back. I say, DO IT! It'll round out your edges and if you miss Boston it'll be here for you down the road.
Okay--you have to explain this one to me: "We left Boston in 1997 for Chicago, which we loved, but we got tired of the Bulls and the Bears and the central time zone."
We've also moved a lot. Seattle (decades) to the Bay Area to Anchorage to Washington DC (15 years) to Charlottle (3 yrs) to Chicago (10 years) and now southern Maine (but hopefully not for much longer). We have moved for corporate relos -- some important and some simply a matter of personal choice. But leave for the time zone or boredom with the Bulls and the Bears? I'm laughing yet I'm not sure why. Explain! (Still laughing).
I moved to Dallas, Texas fairly recently with most of my immediate family back in MA. Do I miss MA?...not really. I miss traveling to the coast of Maine in the summer, but I really enjoy Texas and the nice people. We get invited to lots of things, people aren't shy to invite you over or ask if you have plans or if your free to stop by. It isn't as "clicky" as it was in MA. Dallas really is a melting pot. Between the people I work with and just run into, they are from all over the United States and the world.
I really liked the Raleigh area, and North Carolina in general. If I was going to move to another city in Texas it would be Austin. There is plenty to do in the Dallas area, lots of world-class stuff. Compared to most of the country, getting a job here is better. As of right now, I don't have any intentions to come back to MA. I can travel up to see my family and friends, and they can travel down here. Also, being away keeps you away from some of the drama and people depending too much on you...so the distance is nice. I wish it was a little closer, but oh well. Moving is really about the people and your general living in my opinion.
I am born and brought up in Mass. (Pioneer Valley) and am now retired here. I've lived in the Midwest a number of years but mostly here and, as an undergrad, in Boston. All the stuff I loved about living in Mass. through the years--especially the "identity" of being a Bostonian at heart and the (yes, I admit it) liberal elitism of living here has been part of my life. Being closer to the actual coast is an "identity," too.
Now that I'm out of the work force, living in Mass. is losing its taste (as one of my kids said when little, his chewing gum was "out of taste"--good analogy).
Mass., imo, is really a place for folks who are fully in the work force and can afford the housing, the property taxes, and all the cultural amenities ($30+ concerts, etc). Many brand new enormous public libraries are being built (many unneeded, as several close towns could easily share a refurbished library) and new schools...driving up property taxes beyond the normal increments. The couples making good livings who have children are all clamoring for the new libraries and schools, of course.
As a parent, I've done my part with paying high taxes, and I no longer want to have to pay the constantly rising property taxes here--for as I said, the things I used to love and take advantage of here I no longer need or use.
I would like to get out of Mass., but one major thing is holding me back--one of my kids will have a child before too long, and I don't want to be that far away. Whatever I save on taxes by moving out of Mass. will be spent on traveling back here to visit. Dilemma....
I explored VA and NC and upper SC (Greenville/Spartanburg). While some of the places I visited seemed neat (Greensboro, Asheville, Charlottesville), I could not imagine enduring the level of summer heat and humidity of those areas. Plus, housing and prop taxes were not hugely less expensive to make it worthwhile to move. I've also explored Maine extensively and would love to live there in many respects but the car dependency outside of Portland is a factor at my age.
I considered parts of PA but somehow cannot relate to the state, I've never spent any time there. If I do move away, I want to avoid fracking, nuclear plants, bad drinking water (including artificial fluoridation), and chemical plants. I keep envisioning a nice laid back small town with a great senior center (which Charlottesville has ), senior transport, and affordable senior housing. Temperate weather, nice parks. A place that harkens back to the 1950s-70s but a town that is not dead with nothing to do.
So that's my story about wanting to leave Mass. Any retiree have anything similar? What did you decide and how has it worked out?
Last edited by newenglandgirl; 12-15-2011 at 05:00 PM..
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