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View Poll Results: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Taos?
Albuquerque 10 38.46%
Santa Fe 12 46.15%
Taos 4 15.38%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

Old 06-13-2008, 08:20 AM
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
13,570 posts, read 6,424,732 times
Reputation: 5626
Definitely take a trip out and see for yourself. Of the three, I personally prefer Taos for history, attitude and the sheer beauty of the place. I also think it is the farthest 'left' of the three, closest perhaps to SF in spirit. That being said, the only one of the three that comes close to San Francisco for convenience, amenities, nightlife, employment opportunities, etc. is Albuquerque. Keep in mind also, that you would be trading WET for very, very, DRY - you didn't mention where you were prior to SF, but, if you are more used to that type of climate, you definitely want to make a few trips to NM before you decide.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:28 PM
9,822 posts, read 12,992,135 times
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I don't think any rents are possible *at all* anywhere on a "burger flip" job, especially part-time.
But Albq. is the cheapest of the three, and has a more developed, rounded economy. Santa Fe much smaller, and Taos very small. The Taos economy is basically tourism, summer people (outside money) and seasonal art. I can't imagine living there without an outside source of income.
Sounds like the OP needs to take a real sabbatical from working and just live in one of these places for a while, if possible. I don't see the "working part-time" scenario playing out. In places like Santa Fe and Taos, all such work is long-nailed-down. It's a shock to move from a major metro area to one that... isn't. In a major metro area, you figure of course there'll be some kind of job, somewhere. But that's not true in these smaller areas.
And then, if you move there and cannot make a living, you might use up your seed money, and then you can't afford to leave/relocate.
Sometimes I think a trust fund is the only answer, in fact, I know it is. Except for the lottery.
(I slog along 40+ hours a week on third shift at a metro hospital- disclaimer).
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:03 PM
Location: San Francisco
5 posts, read 10,652 times
Reputation: 10
You've all made some really good points. Brightdoglover, I appreciate the reality check about the part-time job scenario. And, TigerLily24, the weather will be a welcome change. To answer, your question before SF I was in Chicago and the idea of 4 discernible seasons per year is exciting to me at this point.

I decided years ago that ABQ was it for me, and at this point I've stopped second-guessing myself.

Unfortunately, I won't get a chance to come back out to ABQ before the actual move happens, so my next question is:

Which neighborhoods should I avoid? So far I've called around (don't ask...) and I've found out that "The Sticks" and "The Warzone" are less than ideal.

Any other cautions/encouragement?

And thank you to everybody that has responded so far! Everyone on this site is really great (yes, you!).
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:52 AM
4 posts, read 7,399 times
Reputation: 11
Default The Other SF

I'm moving from San Francisco to Santa Fe (because of a specific job), but in many respects I'm trying to escape San Francisco not replicate the experience. Santa Fe is a *small* town, which can be good or bad, depending upon your personality. What's great is the town is walkable/bikeable (I didn't own a car in Santa Fe when I lived there before).

Friends who have made the alternative move (SF NM to SF CA) told me that a lot of successful dot-commers from the West Coast have descended upon Santa Fe - creating their own chi chi restaurants and their own scene that has nothing to do with the culture of the city.

I like that there is a large Latino community in both places - of course the Native American community is much more visible in Santa Fe with stronger ties to home communities. Rents are still pricey in Santa Fe but if all you want is a small apartment, then you'll be fine. The disparities of wealth in both places in galling but at least in Santa Fe, the incredible human suffering of homelessness and addiction aren't present everywhere you turn.

The main difference: smell!!! I won't miss San Francisco's trademark reek of urine. Meanwhile, Santa Fe is honestly the best smelling town I've ever lived in!
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:13 PM
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Hi Uyvsdi:

Hello! Welcome to the City-Data New Mexico forum!! ... and welcome to New Mexico!

It's nice to see another person here who appreciates Santa Fe.

I never call it a small "town" though. I grew up in a small "town" - 600 people.

Santa Fe is a thriving small "CITY" - with most of the amenties and the stores you would find in a larger city. As well as great restaurants and museums that are first class.

Since we have moved here a month ago, we have been driving all over town to do errands, learn where things are, etc. and outside of the downtown area which I agree has a small town feel, you have a growing city .. not big by San Francisco standards, but not a small town. At least to me.

I love the culture here ... the real culture and history ... not the "new" culture that is being brought here by transplants from other places who want to make this like the home they left. Good grief that drives me crazy already!

I don't know about prices on rentals; I would assume the more trendy/downtownish/preferred locations, the more expensive. Purchasing a home is still expensive, but I think we are starting to see some of the inflated prices coming down in some parts of the city.

As far as other expenses, I don't find Santa Fe (so far) to be any more expensive than Kansas, where we just moved from. It depends on how frugal you want to be and where you are satisfied shopping.

And you're right: It smells good here!!!
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:25 PM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,263 posts, read 1,788,723 times
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Disclaimer: I haven't even been to Santa Fe or Taos yet. But just comparing the three places on paper, Albuquerque looks much closer to what you are looking for, if only for the comparatively lower cost of living. I just moved here from Philadelphia, where I was renting a 1-bedroom apartment downtown for over $1300 (utilities not included). Here, I am renting a downtown 1-bedroom apartment for $550 (utilities included). While my last apartment was billed as a luxury apartment, I actually prefer my current cheaper one, overall. (Granted, the "downtown" here is nothing like the small convenient village-within-a-city that is a true big city downtown like Philadelphia's, or, I presume, San Francisco's.)

I find some people's impressions of crime here exaggerated. The area I live in is not considered particularly good, but to my immediate south and west is block after block of quiet, uneventful, residential neighborhood. I have to admit the downtown itself can be a little scarey at night because some streets are so isolated, and the people who are out tend to be drunk/high.

For its size, I think there's plenty going on culturally in Albuquerque, but you aren't going to have the same smorgasbord to choose from as you do in SF. I think it's a very individual thing. For me, there's enough that I'm interested (not that I have the money right now to take advantage of it). For others, there might be too many things missing (but I'm not sure how much you'll find them in Santa Fe or Taos either).
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:30 PM
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,436 posts, read 1,801,958 times
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I love Santa Fe but I would want to live in a more rural area. I am looking north of Santa Fe and uses Santa Fe as a a montly visit. I once lived in Los Angeles well I lived there until I was 29 years old and would never want to live with that many people again. I have friends in Albuquerque but I prefer the Santa Fe area. Now Taos is beautiful and you probably have the money coming from San Francisco.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:58 PM
1,565 posts, read 2,028,713 times
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When I first moved back to NM in January I thought I wanted to live in ABQ even though my job was in Santa Fe because there is more to do in ABQ. When I was here five years ago I liked C&W dancing but it only took a couple of months and I realized I'm not interested in that scene anymore and really not a big city person so Santa Fe works better for me. There are plenty of things I'm interested in here (volunteering, art, history), it's not too large but large enough to have cultural things and many free things to do because of the tourism. I'm not sure how much there is for young people here. Eventually the RailRunner will be going and it will be easier to spend a day in ABQ. I think Taos would be too remote.

REI is opening a new (huge) store in the Railyard sometime soon. They should be hiring. It seems like there should be many part-time jobs in Santa Fe although more jobs in ABQ. There are many house share situations available and the last time I looked many places for rent although not cheap but maybe cheap compared to San Francisco.
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:19 PM
Location: San Francisco
5 posts, read 10,652 times
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Originally Posted by debbie at bouontiful View Post
I love Santa Fe but I would want to live in a more rural area. I am looking north of Santa Fe and uses Santa Fe as a a montly visit. I once lived in Los Angeles well I lived there until I was 29 years old and would never want to live with that many people again. I have friends in Albuquerque but I prefer the Santa Fe area. Now Taos is beautiful and you probably have the money coming from San Francisco.
That's a very common misconception of San Francisco- that our pockets are overflowing with money. Most of us can barely pay our bills and rent can often be 50% of your monthly income (if not more). The dot-com boom and then crash really threw off our economy and I can't afford to live here anymore.

I will always have a place in my heart for San Francisco, but it's time to move on. See you all in August!
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:24 PM
812 posts, read 1,489,675 times
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Originally Posted by domino View Post
I spent last weekend in Santa Fe and failed to see the terrible traffic that everyone refers to. Having lived in Houston for the past three years, I guess I have a different perspective.
I have to agree w/ you. We live in Phx. When we go to NM. It is so quiet and empty compared to where we live and that includes Albuquerque so I to me I don't see traffic there either.
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