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Old 04-08-2009, 06:37 AM
 
7 posts, read 11,112 times
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I grew up in a small city in Wisconsin, and my husband grew up in a medium city in South Carolina. We have lived together in Brooklyn, NY (with stints overseas) since 2000 (actually my husband moved to NYC earlier, in 1996).

We have a 4 year old.

We have been talking for a long time about leaving the city for a more small town/rural lifestyle but have been unable to agree on a place.

Our sticking points are climate and politics. He really, really hates cold weather. I don't mind at all as long as there are some sunny days, like I remember winters in Wisconsin.

In terms of politics, I am a flaming liberal. I recognize too, that in some ways I am uncomfortable not being in an area where there are others who share my political values. I recognize that this is a character flaw of mine, but I'm trying to be honest here. I need to feel like there is somewhere I will fit in, and not always hide my values. My husband is also liberal, but doesn't care so much if his community is like-minded. In fact, he prefers a mix of different opinions (he's a better person than I am!). I don't need everyone to agree with me, I just don't want to be ostracized or considered an outsider. That's really stressful for me.

The things that are important to both of us are sustainable living, progressive education, natural beauty and outdoor activities, cultural diversity, and good manners (which believe it or not, I find lots of in Brooklyn).

He has his own business and can work anywhere. I am fairly flexible as well. If the cost of living were low enough, I would spend most of my time doing volunteer work for the charity on whose board I sit.

We're looking for a small town with a nice town center, or a rural area with easy access to a city. We'd like a few acres to try our hand at gardening or small scale vegetable farming.

So we've thought about moving to the Hudson River Valley region of NY, Charlottesville, VA, and areas outside of Nashville, TN. Posts on these forums have made me very anxious that I will be unwelcome as an outsider in parts of the South. My husband is willing to move to the Hudson River Valley, but I know he'll secretly hate the winters. I dream of moving to Madison, WI but he hates the weather and the distance from his family.

We're sort of stuck along the eastern part of the US because my husband wants to stay relatively near his family in SC and MD. My family is in Chicago and WI.

Can anyone help? I feel like if we don't come up with something, we'll end up staying in Brooklyn. We love it here, but can't afford it anymore, and would like some relief from the city pressures. Oh, and my husband would like a classic Skylark and a place to keep it.

Thank you for any suggestions!
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:48 AM
 
4,259 posts, read 9,883,479 times
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Maybe the area around Carlisle, PA (kar-LIE-ul) would be a place to look. One day drive to either WI or SC, definitely warmer than WI, a little warmer and certainly more affordable than the Hudson Valley -a few acres is not out of reach. A good place for car fanciers too: Experience Carlisle Events. The Cars. The People. The Excitement.

I used to live in Boiling Springs, PA, a beautiful little town on the Appalachian Trail 5 miles outside Carlisle, and still regret moving away. Box stores around Harrisburg within 20 minutes. I would not call the area liberal but there are enough individual liberals to notice.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:54 AM
 
7 posts, read 11,112 times
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Thanks so much for the suggestion. I will check out Carlisle and Boiling Springs. I love the idea of being near the Appalachian trail. I do think somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region is going to be the best compromise for us. We just don't know much about Pennsylvania. But we can learn!
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,543 posts, read 55,469,830 times
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I've lived in a number of places - Brooklyn, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, Athens Ga, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Burlington VT, etc.. I think you have set yourself a nearly impossible task.

Breaking it down, the south is not a place where flaming liberals fit in easily. There are enclaves, but those are for folks with money and are almost always in the major cities. Think Buckhead in Atlanta, Southside in Birmingham, South Beach in Miami, Oakland Park near Ft Lauderdale. Anywhere that is rural is much more likely to be conservative. There is a reason for that. I would suggest that you head west, but you ruled that out. I would suggest north to Burlington, but the cold rules that out. Boston is more expensive then Brooklyn, so that gets ruled out.

Sometimes people set themselves up in no-win situations. I think you have managed to do that. The solution is usually to grow and re-assess values and the relative importance of things. If you don't do it on your own, life has a way of doing it for you. I wish you luck. I suspect that unless you broaden your search criteria and horizons, you may not find that perfect place.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:14 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,112 times
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Yes, you're right, I'm pretty sure perfect is out of the question! Perhaps a divorce might be easier....just kidding.

It certainly would be easier if my values could be re-assessed, but I've given it a lot of thought, and my political values are very central to who I am (and the work I do), and I just think I'd be miserable if I felt all alone or judged. I don't need a liberal enclave, necessarily, but I do need a welcoming community. For example, we aren't religious, and it might be difficult for us to fit in if most of the social activity revolves around people's congregations. We'd be left out.

I would certainly be open to a broader geographic search, but my husband wants to stay close to his family, a priority that's hard to argue with.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:30 PM
 
4,259 posts, read 9,883,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesegirl View Post
We just don't know much about Pennsylvania. But we can learn!
Pennsylvania is a finely divided mosaic, more so even I think than most natives realize. Here you can and often do, have all of the ugliest sprawl, rural landscapes unchanged since 1930, well laid out new communities, urban rowhomes from the ritzy to the modest to the downright scary, postwar ranchers and McMansions, monster warehouses and deep woods, all within the same zip code. You can also have folks whose viewpoints range from the most worldly to the spectacularly insular. The PA sub-forum on here can be pretty good, or can be worth what you're paying for it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 16,962,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesegirl View Post
Yes, you're right, I'm pretty sure perfect is out of the question! Perhaps a divorce might be easier....just kidding.

It certainly would be easier if my values could be re-assessed, but I've given it a lot of thought, and my political values are very central to who I am (and the work I do), and I just think I'd be miserable if I felt all alone or judged. I don't need a liberal enclave, necessarily, but I do need a welcoming community. For example, we aren't religious, and it might be difficult for us to fit in if most of the social activity revolves around people's congregations. We'd be left out.

I would certainly be open to a broader geographic search, but my husband wants to stay close to his family, a priority that's hard to argue with.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
From what you've said in this post, I'd suggest you cross out The Bible Belt...


Last edited by mkfarnam; 04-09-2009 at 01:25 AM..
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:29 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 22,194,184 times
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I don't see anything on that map outside of the Bible Belt that is not cold. I keep hearing on these threads how liberal Durham, North Carolina is. That and Charlottesville, Virginia, are the only two places I can think of. Greenville, South Carolina is considered very liberal, as well as Asheville, NC. I personally don't consider Asheville, NC, as liberal. It has that Billy Graham influence nearby at Montreat, NC.

Before the mention of the East Coast, I was thinking maybe Colorado.

I don't really understand the need for everyone thinking alike. I grew up in a family that had a republican mother and democratic father. They got along all right. Maybe you need to hear some different views. You are a little young to be set in your ways.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:32 AM
 
7 posts, read 11,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post

I don't really understand the need for everyone thinking alike. I grew up in a family that had a republican mother and democratic father. They got along all right. Maybe you need to hear some different views. You are a little young to be set in your ways.
I don't believe I mentioned my age.

It's not so much that I'm set in my ways, as my values are very strong, and I want to live in a place where people will accept me for who I am, the way I accept them.

Just to be clear, I won't have any difficulty living with people whose values or politics differ from mine; I am concerned that they won't welcome me and my family because of my values and politics.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:21 PM
 
477 posts, read 590,836 times
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Consider Fayetteville AR..maybe Eureka Springs.
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