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Old 11-20-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
652 posts, read 234,175 times
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I am 20 and a junior in college and I am just curious of places where to live out West after college, I love the dramatic and beautiful scenery of AZ, but AZ is not a place to live due to having to live too close to Phoenix for a job, too many retirees in the great parts, etc. I considered small metro areas in the West including NM's metro areas as a choice too.

Is NM scenery gorgeous like the way people think about AZ and UT's scenery?

Does NM have a lot of outdoor activities?

Also, NM has a small population of 2 million. I am so used to NJ having 9 million people, however, 9 million people in a densely populated state sucks. Is 2 million in NM too sparse for me to have a good social life and are there a lot of young people in NM? I have checked Google Earth and if you zoom in close to the outer ABQ metro area, there are tons of undeveloped streets with no houses that are being built up and I assume the population of NM will grow (Google Earth still needs to update its imagery).
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:02 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
5,264 posts, read 3,002,998 times
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I responded (plenty) on your other thread but didn't touch on the population issue. New Mexico's population is largely concentrated along the Rio Grande valley from around Taos to Las Cruces. Historically, the Camino Real came that way north from Mexico City and connected the pioneer settlements. It is a little bit like ancient Egypt -- the cities grew up near the major river. There is a commuter train (RailRunner) that connects Santa Fe in the north to Belen (Spanish for Bethlehem) in the south so many people can live outside of Albuquerque or Santa Fe and commute by train rather than taking the interstate.

Probably what you are seeing on Google is the "outback" of Rio Rancho -- there are miles of undeveloped graded streets with no real prospect of development in the near future. Rio Rancho is the third largest city in NM but it isn't going to fill that space in my lifetime although there might be a few more pioneers out there enjoying their solitude. I live in Rio Rancho on 1+ acre with one adjacent neighbor and I love it. As a 20-something you will want to be more connected socially and career-wise so living in the city is more important. The University of New Mexico is in Albuquerque and is surrounded by student lifestyle stuff. From almost anywhere in Albuquerque or Santa Fe you can be enjoying the outdoors in a half hour drive or less. With a small state population, you will have your outdoor experiences pretty much on your own...not many crowds. Never go anywhere without a camera.

There are other places besides Albuquerque or Santa Fe. Las Cruces is a pretty cool place (maybe warmer temps than ABQ) and the home of New Mexico State University. There's plenty to do and see there. I like Las Vegas at the tail end of the Sangre de Cristos mountains. It is closer to the ski areas if you like that. Taos is a unique place with an interesting history of writers and artists. Othe posters can name other spots.

The population is largely a mix of three cultures: Hispanic, Indian, and Anglo. It generally seems to work quite well. It will be quite different from New Jersey. The Hispanic population tends to date from the Spanish colonial era going back to the 1600s. The Acoma and Taos pueblos are among the oldest occupied "towns" in America, about 1000 years old. Albuquerque has a segment of international residents beyond the main three cultures and they have an impact on restaurants and some festival events.

At the top of this sub-forum, there is a "sticky' thread for NM photography that will show images from around the state.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:30 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
652 posts, read 234,175 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I responded (plenty) on your other thread but didn't touch on the population issue. New Mexico's population is largely concentrated along the Rio Grande valley from around Taos to Las Cruces. Historically, the Camino Real came that way north from Mexico City and connected the pioneer settlements. It is a little bit like ancient Egypt -- the cities grew up near the major river. There is a commuter train (RailRunner) that connects Santa Fe in the north to Belen (Spanish for Bethlehem) in the south so many people can live outside of Albuquerque or Santa Fe and commute by train rather than taking the interstate.

Probably what you are seeing on Google is the "outback" of Rio Rancho -- there are miles of undeveloped graded streets with no real prospect of development in the near future. Rio Rancho is the third largest city in NM but it isn't going to fill that space in my lifetime although there might be a few more pioneers out there enjoying their solitude. I live in Rio Rancho on 1+ acre with one adjacent neighbor and I love it. As a 20-something you will want to be more connected socially and career-wise so living in the city is more important. The University of New Mexico is in Albuquerque and is surrounded by student lifestyle stuff. From almost anywhere in Albuquerque or Santa Fe you can be enjoying the outdoors in a half hour drive or less. With a small state population, you will have your outdoor experiences pretty much on your own...not many crowds. Never go anywhere without a camera.

There are other places besides Albuquerque or Santa Fe. Las Cruces is a pretty cool place (maybe warmer temps than ABQ) and the home of New Mexico State University. There's plenty to do and see there. I like Las Vegas at the tail end of the Sangre de Cristos mountains. It is closer to the ski areas if you like that. Taos is a unique place with an interesting history of writers and artists. Othe posters can name other spots.

The population is largely a mix of three cultures: Hispanic, Indian, and Anglo. It generally seems to work quite well. It will be quite different from New Jersey. The Hispanic population tends to date from the Spanish colonial era going back to the 1600s. The Acoma and Taos pueblos are among the oldest occupied "towns" in America, about 1000 years old. Albuquerque has a segment of international residents beyond the main three cultures and they have an impact on restaurants and some festival events.

At the top of this sub-forum, there is a "sticky' thread for NM photography that will show images from around the state.
Wow what a waste of material for those undeveloped streets. I wonder if they will grow development or not in my lifetime!

I know that young people tend to value living in the city, because they are young, but the city is not for me, however, cities out West tend to be more suburban in nature, and ABQ sort of looks suburban enough for me to live in it. I always wanted to live in a semi-rural area. I sort of worry about outgrowing the student lifestyle once I am out of my 20s.

I did see the Sticky thread with the photos of NM. NM scenery is impressing to me like the rest of the West, but AZ scenery wins. AZ scenery is more dramatic, but NM wins in terms of livability.

Las Cruces is too close to the border. Sorry.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:41 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,275 posts, read 39,226,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potanta View Post
I am 20 and a junior in college and I am just curious of places where to live out West after college, I love the dramatic and beautiful scenery of AZ, but AZ is not a place to live due to having to live too close to Phoenix for a job, too many retirees in the great parts, etc. I considered small metro areas in the West including NM's metro areas as a choice too.

Is NM scenery gorgeous like the way people think about AZ and UT's scenery?

Does NM have a lot of outdoor activities?

Also, NM has a small population of 2 million. I am so used to NJ having 9 million people, however, 9 million people in a densely populated state sucks. Is 2 million in NM too sparse for me to have a good social life and are there a lot of young people in NM? I have checked Google Earth and if you zoom in close to the outer ABQ metro area, there are tons of undeveloped streets with no houses that are being built up and I assume the population of NM will grow (Google Earth still needs to update its imagery).
I lived in AZ briefly several times over the years, and there was a lot I liked...

I also had some business trips in Utah over the years, and enjoyed the Grand Canyon Utah more than the southern rims of the Grand Canyon.

I am a retiree... I have more experience than you. But you have a lot of research to do, and perhaps some visits.

My wife and I have lived in New Mexico for the past 19 years...

Quote:
I have checked Google Earth and if you zoom in close to the outer ABQ metro area, there are tons of undeveloped streets with no houses that are being built up and I assume the population of NM will grow
Some of those are desert areas which will probably not develop in your lifetime.

New Mexico has a plethora of outdoor activities.

New Mexico scenery is wonderful. In reality I think AZ and UT's has more to offer in that area. But, there are other factors to consider, which is up to you...
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:44 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,275 posts, read 39,226,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potanta View Post
Wow what a waste of material for those undeveloped streets. I wonder if they will grow development or not in my lifetime!
Simple anser is that it is desert...
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:20 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
652 posts, read 234,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
Simple anser is that it is desert...
I assume they never turned the "desert" streets into roads! And why should so much sprawl happen in a desert anyway... Lack of water...
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:30 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,275 posts, read 39,226,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potanta View Post
I assume they never turned the "desert" streets into roads!
What for? Not out of my tax dollars! There are some people living out there. My daughter knew a woman who lived in a mobile home out there for several years. No water, no electricity, and some of those roads become impassable after some wind...

We have been out there in ATV's
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:55 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
73,426 posts, read 65,045,280 times
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OP, NM has varied terrain. I'd say, that the scenery in the mountains (Ruidoso, and areas around and between Taos and Santa Fe) are the most scenic areas. It's also a bit cooler up at that elevation, just a bit. Hiking is popular outside of Santa Fe, though I don't know how people do it in the heat of the summer. But there are lakes hidden up there, along the trails across the spine of the mountains, that are used for as prayer sites by the local tribal people. Taos is particularly beautiful, because of the mountain backdrop, and because it has creeks going through town, so the town is greener than almost anywhere else in the state.

Social life for people your age: improving in Santa Fe. There used to be a population drain of young people, who'd leave because "there's nobody to date". SF is a retiree town, but not as much as those locations in AZ. There are more music venues in town now, there's more to do, and the younger cohort is growing. What line of work are you in? You'd have to secure a job, which isn't always easy in a small-is town (70,ooo, approx.), but people do manage.

I've always lived in big urban areas (Seattle, San Fran Bay Area), but I adjusted very easily to this size of small town, the relative lack of traffic congestion, the ease of getting out of town into scenery, etc. I now prefer the low density and quietude of NM. There's a really good film scene in town, btw. There are several indie theaters that specialize in indie films. There's somewhat of a film industry in NM, and that includes the SF area, too.

So, tell us about yourself; what are you studying in university? What type of career are you envisioning for yourself?
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Old 11-20-2018, 03:22 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,275 posts, read 39,226,856 times
Reputation: 28328
Quote:
Originally Posted by potanta View Post
Wow what a waste of material for those undeveloped streets. I wonder if they will grow development or not in my lifetime!
Read the following article...

Rio Rancho Estates: Paradise lost
By Elise Kaplan / Journal Staff Writer
Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 at 12:02am

ARTICLE: https://www.abqjournal.com/1162019/r...dise-lost.html
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:46 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
652 posts, read 234,175 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OP, NM has varied terrain. I'd say, that the scenery in the mountains (Ruidoso, and areas around and between Taos and Santa Fe) are the most scenic areas. It's also a bit cooler up at that elevation, just a bit. Hiking is popular outside of Santa Fe, though I don't know how people do it in the heat of the summer. But there are lakes hidden up there, along the trails across the spine of the mountains, that are used for as prayer sites by the local tribal people. Taos is particularly beautiful, because of the mountain backdrop, and because it has creeks going through town, so the town is greener than almost anywhere else in the state.

Social life for people your age: improving in Santa Fe. There used to be a population drain of young people, who'd leave because "there's nobody to date". SF is a retiree town, but not as much as those locations in AZ. There are more music venues in town now, there's more to do, and the younger cohort is growing. What line of work are you in? You'd have to secure a job, which isn't always easy in a small-is town (70,ooo, approx.), but people do manage.

I've always lived in big urban areas (Seattle, San Fran Bay Area), but I adjusted very easily to this size of small town, the relative lack of traffic congestion, the ease of getting out of town into scenery, etc. I now prefer the low density and quietude of NM. There's a really good film scene in town, btw. There are several indie theaters that specialize in indie films. There's somewhat of a film industry in NM, and that includes the SF area, too.

So, tell us about yourself; what are you studying in university? What type of career are you envisioning for yourself?
I thought NM's summers would not be that bad for hiking. I don't mind desert heat as long as it doesn't go to AZ temperatures all the time to the point where it's dangerous. NM is supposed to be cooler than AZ and has cold winters.

I am an IT major in college. I don't I am going to make a lot of money in IT. I think I would at least make 50K.

I am like you, like the low density of smaller metro areas. You have access to nice scenery and less traffic congestion. I don't mind working in a city, but I would not want to live in a city. But from what people said, ABQ is a small metro area and it seems suburban.
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