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Old 06-12-2008, 06:17 PM
3 posts, read 8,389 times
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In terms of my political orientation, I am as liberal as it gets. However, I can't stand to be around a lot of liberals. They are so intolerably self-righteous, pretentious, artificial, judgemental and superficial. Of course, I have no desire to be around hard-core conservatives either. I am a midwesterner whose been stuck on the east coast for too long. I like pople who are simply friendly and fun.

The problem is I like all the things that you only find in liberal meccas--a good arts, music, and theater scene, great restaurants/cafes, a pedestrian-friendly center, beautiful parks, interesting architecture, independently-owned shops, organic grocery stores, amazing geological features (mountains, etc). I'd be willing to forego some city amenities for great outdoor activities if the area is beautiful enough. Are there any small cities in America that have this AND friendly people for aspiring retirees? Also, it has to have mild weather, especially in summer. West coast, Rockies, or should I just go back to the midwest with its horrible weather and great people? Thanks so much!
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:44 AM
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Haldrex, I had to do a doubletake because it sounds like I could have written your post. I feel the same way. Sorry, but I can't recommend anything in a mild climate, since DH and I like the cold. We think we are going to try Ithaca, NY. It has everything you mentioned except mild weather. However, from what I hear even from my progressive friends in that area, the liberals there are pretty hardcore. I think I can handle that, tho, since 1) I'm pretty hardcore, too, and 2) we got a lot of practice living in a similar community in the Chicago 'burbs which is affectionately referred to as The People's Republic of Oak Park.

Don't get me wrong: I love it here, but I too need a farmer's market, a local, sustainable food movement, natural food stores, alternative medicine, a couple of universities, walkable downtown and neighborhoods, great bookstores (and I don't mean B&N or Border's), and all the rest. Plus, in the Finger Lakes region, you get wine and beautiful geography. And we find the people to be very nice.

If we can't swing that, we will just stay in the Midwest, moving farther away from Chicago to a small town that must be, in DH's words, "on the Amtrak line so we can come into town for supplies."
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:46 AM
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Try the Loveland/Ft. Collins area of Colorado. Lots of arts, a couple of outdoor sculpture gardens, community theatre. Best of all a good mix of conservative and liberal.

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Old 06-13-2008, 01:15 PM
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,887,502 times
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I've found that in Knoxville, TN. It's conservative but tolerant of other points of view. I'm as liberal as they come. I worked on McGovern's National Campaign at the Washington, D.C. Headquarters. I'm real happy in Knoxville.
We have several independent book store open lately, great restaurants, and a low cost of living. Downtown is perking up.
What I like about Knoxville and much of Tennessee is that people are respectful of others and of opposing beliefs.
California-Berkley was here for a football game two years ago and many of the liberals who made the trip were appalled that everyone stood and prayed before the game. They were all in a lather about that, writing congressmen, etc. The football forums were awash with diatribe.
Folks from Knoxville couldn't understand what the fuss was about and that the visitors would be so rude to make an issue of it when they were in "our" house. Leading the prayer is considered an honor and rotates among different faiths, including non-Christian, for the prayer. If the visitors didn't like it, just don't pray.
There was a recent double murder of two white teenagers that the Klu Klux Klan from out of state tried to turn into a hate killing. They came in and staged a demonstration downtown. Knoxvillians held a counter demonstration across the street. Dressed in clown costumes.
Living around people who practice common courtesy and have a sense of humor is a very nice way to live.
Weather is nice here, too. Real seasons but nothing extreme. And the scenery is downright spectacular.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:29 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,516,359 times
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What a nice story. It sounds really lovely and I have read your posts before about Knoxville.

People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:59 PM
Location: WA
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Interesting that many have to deal with this issue.

We are independents that lean pretty far right but have moved to an area we like that unfortunately is a liberal bastion. The press (air and print) and many of the organizations are very busy shoving their point of view at all. It is very distasteful and something I would never think of doing.

We take in less local press than we would normally, are a bit more careful about what we participate in, and have gotten pretty good at ducking.

The world will never see things exactly as I do so I try to enjoy my world and understand others only up to the point I can tolerate.
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:35 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I would recommend small farm based town near Lib Arts colleges. While I think Loveland is the best... I would consider Longmont, Lyons, or Niwot / Louisville, CO. Possibly Colo Springs, tho it is pretty 'right' and might be short on a liberal mecca. (the organic markets)

Possibly Chico CA (farming area, but liberal college)

Vancouver WA is just across the river from Portland, OR (adequate liberal ... ) Vancouver is actually very 'right' compared to the populace of western WA. But realize your 'right' vote (if you had a 'No-New Taxes change of heart) will never fly on the left coast, as liberal media + populace counties mean the left only has to campaign in a few counties as 90% of the other counties votes will mean nothing. This makes it potentially expensive to live and pay taxes in your 'left' state.

I would not recommend OR, tho there are some right leaning places (Roseburg, K Falls), The general state attitude (with the voice) is quite 'In-Your-Face' left, "like it, or LIKE IT". You can find seething MAD liberals there...(just post something in disagreement on the OR forum.... and wear your asbestos underwear). Tolerance... don't count on it if you're 'right'.

I general, Left coast people are congenial and friendly, but not 'real' friends like the midwest. Deep is not what you will likely find in relationships, folks will say hi, but you are unlikely to ever set foot in their house or share a picnic. (The WA forum best describes this as "Seattle Freeze", or "trouble finding new friends...")

Colorado is much different, (that's were I am today... a 'reprieve for left coast') I don't do metro areas, but in 4 days have been asked into 3 homes (unsolicited) for overnight stays, and have been offered 5 meals. Just for being helpful and friendly, That has only happened a few times in WA, OR, and only when helping farmers or folks in farming communities, and only after a week or so of free help, not a couple hours as here in Colorado. Wyoming, Nebraska and SO Dak. are even better !, but you won't find granola bistro's there (maybe in Jackson, Omaha, but doubtful ANY in S Dak. , maybe Spearfish.

East Coast can be very difficult to transition and find friends. It's a different culture all together. (not bad, just different, some families have been running the show in small towns for centuries! or at least several generations.) when the west was not even a dream, but was settled by dreamers, so come join in. You will not be 'ostracized', we are all Granola
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:34 AM
3 posts, read 8,389 times
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Wow thanks, I was afraid I was going to be berated just for posing the question. Instead, I got some great advice. I think I'll look into Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, and Loveland.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:36 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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Originally Posted by haldrex View Post
... I like all ...- good arts,
... amazing geological features (mountains, etc).
schedule an August trip to Northern Colo.
Loveland High Plains Arts Council - Sculpture in the Park
(big trees are in parks south of the lake), Go to the community center for more art and park + library
Chilson Recreation Center-Loveland Parks & Rec (http://www.ci.loveland.co.us/parksrec/Chilsonmain.htm - broken link)

Prairie Home companion "Rhubarb tour" @ Red Rocks would be nice too) KUNC Home - has ticket / donation offer (BTW, This is a REAL public radio station... not the typical 'quasi'- corporate venture, very interesting story on its ownership...)

For Loveland housing I suggest something within walking distance to Lake Loveland, as seniors often like to walk around it daily. (I prefer the south and east side / older). I also like the housing near Westside park (west 4th street, opposite side of town than Chilson ~ 10 blocks)

and be sure to go see this (Hiking / Devil's Backbone)
Devil's Backbone Open Space
Parks and Open Lands - Devil's Backbone

I grew up on a ranch that overlooked this, and sunrise and sunset were spectacular. (from the kitchen table )
There is a similar formation between Golden and Boulder

(unfortunately the terrain is a bit brown and dry in Aug, but it is nice most of the rest of the year)

you will find plenty of cool spots along the rivers / canyons.. and GREAT, cool 'night sleeping' weather.

Day trip
consider doing a loop up Hwy 34 and through RMNP, then back through Grand Lake and down the Poudre Canyon (hwy 14) back into Ft Collins. I used to do that after work for a relaxing motorcycle ride, but it is a full day if you want to enjoy stops and pics. I suggest the clockwise version (as described) for best views if you are departing in morning. In general it has great vistas that way, but not bad the other direction. There is a dirt cutoff road to avoid Walden and save gas / time, but if you have time, Stay on the pavement.

Another nice geology site nearby is Veedauwoo, WY (Between Cheyenne and Laramie) Stargazing from herein Aug can't be beat . Wyoming Family Trip, 8-02 - Veedauwoo - Worldisround photo

Sleep at the Sherman Pass rest area (or Veedauwoo) and head to the snowy range for more spectacular sites
Snowy Range Scenic Byway Overview
Then take a dip in the free hot springs at Saratoga, WY

All very close to No Co, but not busy.
There are lots of Volunteer opportunities in RMNP, Ft. Collins has more of the Theater arts, Greeley & Boulder too.

Ft Collins / Greeley has similar nice housing areas. from 1900,- current vintage homes

Windsor's trees are a bit shorter after the tornado last week... but it WAS a nice park... the trees are very interesting art forms now !

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 06-15-2008 at 03:46 PM..
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:21 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,516,359 times
Reputation: 17765
Is Portland considered an unfriendly place?

People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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