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Old 12-03-2007, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Boston
230 posts, read 1,044,391 times
Reputation: 116

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Ok. . . here goes. . .

We are a young married couple who are looking to start a family next year. We currently live in Long Beach, CA and while i like our place, I hate the weather, the people, pretty much everything else about it. I grew up in Virgina Beach but have lived all along the Atlantic seaboard and even in the deep south. I was a navy brat, so not much scares me by way of moving. But I'm trying to find a good fit for a family, and that makes it a little more tough.

I have a bachelors in sociology with a minor in public health. I work with eating disordered patients in a clinical setting (therapy, group work, etc). I have also worked in cancer research as well though and thoroughly enjoy that. (I have 2 years exp. with cancer research and 4 years exp. in therapy/admin work). I would need something temporary as we plan on trying to conceive shortly after moving. Then, I will stay home for a few years until kids are school aged. I might continue to teach violin and cello.

My husband has a bachelors in business with a concentration in investment management (finance). He has 5 years experience as a teller/loan processor/financial rep at a credit union, one year investment management internship, bloomberg certification, and great recommendations.

I see that Syracuse has HSB, Citi, JPChase, AXA, Morgan Stanley type of companies which is up my husband's alley. And for me to find an admin job for a little doesn't seem like it will be too bad. yes? I am willing to take a pay cut of course because the cost of living for rentals will be over 2/3 cheaper than what we pay now.

So. . . I don't mind snow (tons of it) and I love the seasons. My husband is California born and bred, but is wanting a drastic change. We want to rent a two-three bedroom and because the rental market is so cheap compared with where we are, we know that we ok on that front.

My question is. . . . sell Syracuse to me. What makes it so great for a young family? We've been looking at Hartford, CT as well and are drawn there because it is halfway between New York and Boston (our two favorite places). The rent is high though and we are trying to save as much as possible to buy. Also, it doesn't seem that there are as many good jobs in my husband's field there. Is Hartford even a place that sounds logical at all?

So. . please. . . lemme have it! How is Syracuse? Are people generally friendly? Is there ok shopping (target in a good distance? general mall stores? doesn't need to be fantastic. can i buy toilet paper without making a day out of it basically?) How about craft stores (I love to crochet)? Music stores (to buy cello/violing related items)? Neighborhood shops/grocery markets? Is there a farmer's market or a place to buy a lot of veggies (we're vegetarians)? I enjoy things that are convenient, yet safe and have a community feel. Can I push a pram (stroller) around Syracuse and feel like a part of the community or an oddity (are there lots of young families)?

Also. . .if another city screams "us" to you. . let me know!!!!

I know it's a lot to ask. . .but I really want to get a feel for it. Thanks everyone!!

 
Old 12-03-2007, 04:14 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,176,682 times
Reputation: 1102
First I'll try answer your shopping question. Unless you must have a Nordstromís, or a Bloomingdale's close by, then shopping shouldn't be an issue for you or your family.

The Syracuse suburbs + Carousel Mall have lots of stores. A quick run down to get idea of what is here....

4 Wal-Marts
4 Targets
4 Home Depots
4 Lowe's (counting two under construction)
3 Best Buy's (counting one under construction)
2 Kohl's (plus one proposed)
2 Barnes and Noble
1 Borders

Other stores with at least a couple in the area include: Macy's, Sear's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, Pier 1 Imports, H&M, PetsMart, Big Lots, Staples, BJ's, Sam's Club, AC Moore, Michaels, K-mart, Bon Ton, Gap, Dick's, Sports Authority, JC Penny's.

There is one each of Burlington Coat Factory, Gander Mountain, Tuesday Morning, Christmas Tree Shops, Golf Galaxy, Banana Republic, JCrew, and Aldo.

6 Starbucks and lots of chain restaurants including 4 Panera Bread's, Smokey Bones BBQ, Ruby Tuesday's, Chili's, Olive Garden's, Red Lobster's etc. etc.

Plus lots more....

Hope that gives you an idea of the shopping options.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 04:24 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,176,682 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaGoHome View Post
How about craft stores (I love to crochet)? Music stores (to buy cello/violing related items)? Neighborhood shops/grocery markets? Is there a farmer's market or a place to buy a lot of veggies (we're vegetarians)?
There are music and craft stores, just not sure if they have what you are looking for in them. Maybe someone else can answer that.

As far as grocery stores in the Syracuse area, there are

9 Wegmans
4 Price Chopper
7 or 8 P & C Food's
5 Aldi's
2 Save A Lot

Plus a few smaller neighborhood stores.

Syracuse has one large very nice farmer's market called the Central New York Regional Market plus other smaller farmer's markets open from May to November.

Farmers' Markets - Onondaga County (http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/regioncentralonondaga.htm - broken link)
 
Old 12-03-2007, 04:44 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,176,682 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaGoHome View Post
I enjoy things that are convenient, yet safe and have a community feel. Can I push a pram (stroller) around Syracuse and feel like a part of the community or an oddity (are there lots of young families)?
Keep in mind that the suburbs are much nicer than the city. Syracuse, the City, is 140,000 people. Most of it has higher crime rates (drugs, gangs) poor schools, lots run-down buildings and not much in the way of new development. A little depressing if you ask me.

The suburbs are much larger and nicer...about 250,000 people live in the suburbs or sprawl surrounding the city. The schools are very good for the most part, it is very safe for the most part, and lots of new development...especially in the northern suburbs. Much more upbeat feeling and pleasing to eyes.

Syracuse doesn't have southern suburbs since an Indian Reservations lies directly south of the city and stopped any development from starting there. South of Syracuse is very hilly. The eastern suburbs are mostly hilly and for the most part rather upscale...Fayetteville, Manlius, DeWitt. The Western suburbs are hilly ....Camillus, Onondaga Hill. The northern suburbs are flat, but is also much cheaper to live there than most of the eastern or western suburbs. Most of the growth is happening in the northern suburbs, most of the new retail and homes etc. The northern suburbs have the Syracuse Airport and get roughly 20 inches more snow than some of the other suburbs since it is closer to Lake Ontario. These communities are named Cicero, Salina, Liverpool, Clay, and Baldwinsville etc.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Boston
230 posts, read 1,044,391 times
Reputation: 116
thanks so far everyone. :-) we're looking to live in syracuse and not a suburb because we are planning on being a one-car family and my husband will likely work downtown. can you recommend a good neighborhood for renting a house (not an apartment)?? and the shopping sounds better than what i have here, so that's a plus. I pretty much knew that but needed to get it in writing so my husband would quit freaking out. Now I can say, "Look love. . a Banana Republic. Happy now?" haha :-) I suppose we could do a burb, but since we are renting, I though closer to the center would make more sense. let me know. Thanks!!!
 
Old 12-03-2007, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Boston
230 posts, read 1,044,391 times
Reputation: 116
p.s.- is rochester an option?
 
Old 12-03-2007, 05:14 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,176,682 times
Reputation: 1102
Bodies of Water

The Syracuse area has lots of lakes if you are into lakes.

7 large lakes are within a 45 minute radius of downtown Syracuse...which are Oneida Lake(largest inland lake in NYS), Onondaga Lake(is polluted but is being cleaned up), Skaneateles Lake, Jamesville Res., Cross Lake, Cazenovia Lake and Otisco Lake.

Plus a Great Lake, Lake Ontario, is only about an hour away. And the rest of the 8+ Finger Lakes are within about a two drive.

Last edited by bellafinzi; 12-03-2007 at 05:44 PM..
 
Old 12-03-2007, 05:56 PM
 
130 posts, read 129,002 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaGoHome View Post
Ok. . . here goes. . .

We are a young married couple who are looking to start a family next year. We currently live in Long Beach, CA and while i like our place, I hate the weather, the people, pretty much everything else about it. I grew up in Virgina Beach but have lived all along the Atlantic seaboard and even in the deep south. I was a navy brat, so not much scares me by way of moving. But I'm trying to find a good fit for a family, and that makes it a little more tough.

I have a bachelors in sociology with a minor in public health. I work with eating disordered patients in a clinical setting (therapy, group work, etc). I have also worked in cancer research as well though and thoroughly enjoy that. (I have 2 years exp. with cancer research and 4 years exp. in therapy/admin work). I would need something temporary as we plan on trying to conceive shortly after moving. Then, I will stay home for a few years until kids are school aged. I might continue to teach violin and cello.

My husband has a bachelors in business with a concentration in investment management (finance). He has 5 years experience as a teller/loan processor/financial rep at a credit union, one year investment management internship, bloomberg certification, and great recommendations.

I see that Syracuse has HSB, Citi, JPChase, AXA, Morgan Stanley type of companies which is up my husband's alley. And for me to find an admin job for a little doesn't seem like it will be too bad. yes? I am willing to take a pay cut of course because the cost of living for rentals will be over 2/3 cheaper than what we pay now.

So. . . I don't mind snow (tons of it) and I love the seasons. My husband is California born and bred, but is wanting a drastic change. We want to rent a two-three bedroom and because the rental market is so cheap compared with where we are, we know that we ok on that front.

My question is. . . . sell Syracuse to me. What makes it so great for a young family? We've been looking at Hartford, CT as well and are drawn there because it is halfway between New York and Boston (our two favorite places). The rent is high though and we are trying to save as much as possible to buy. Also, it doesn't seem that there are as many good jobs in my husband's field there. Is Hartford even a place that sounds logical at all?

So. . please. . . lemme have it! How is Syracuse? Are people generally friendly? Is there ok shopping (target in a good distance? general mall stores? doesn't need to be fantastic. can i buy toilet paper without making a day out of it basically?) How about craft stores (I love to crochet)? Music stores (to buy cello/violing related items)? Neighborhood shops/grocery markets? Is there a farmer's market or a place to buy a lot of veggies (we're vegetarians)? I enjoy things that are convenient, yet safe and have a community feel. Can I push a pram (stroller) around Syracuse and feel like a part of the community or an oddity (are there lots of young families)?

Also. . .if another city screams "us" to you. . let me know!!!!

I know it's a lot to ask. . .but I really want to get a feel for it. Thanks everyone!!

Hi-
I'm from San Diego, and I've managed to anger a few natives in my posts the last few weeks, but here's another bit off input-

Oh, I should also mention that I can somewhat understand what yuou mean about Long Beach...the "Reader" in SD used to have an entire section devoted to LA, entitled "HELL-A"... Smog, crime, traffic.. I understand. I wouldn't live there either.

1.) Bella is right on the money about the *city* of Syracuse. I wouldn't go walking around with a stroller there. Bad idea all around. It's fairly depressing (and depressed), and there's quite a bit of the criminal element present.

2.) The growing climate for food (as noted by SGoldie) is NOT what you're used to. Fresh vegetables are not on every street corner (and for the most part I question the version of "fresh" I see here--about the freshest is a place on Erie Blvd called "Pan Asian", yes, of course Wegmans, and Green Hills--But you'll pay...oh you will *pay* for the *luxury* of vegetables. Fall is somewhat a different matter as there are numerous Farmer's Markets--but again, the prices will be a bit of a shock. So will the selection. [Start a potted herb garden and bring it indoors during winter.] You will also note the body styles which are different in a cold climate with an often sedentary lifestyle for the majority of the population. Go to any of the "festivals" which take place and you will note that the majority of the population is...larger.

3.) There is ONE classical station here. It plays very, very standard fare--almost the stuff you would hear in "Music Appreciation 101" freshman class requirement. There are little music stores scattered through out the suburbs (one of my son's is a musician) which seem to have a very odd mix, but classical seems mainly reserved for the Symphony (which is overpriced and does too much "Pops" type stuff), or the University. There's also a little theatre out in what Bella called an "eastern" suburb (it's actually more like South) called Cazenovia--the Cummings Theatre, and (truly to the East) the Earlville Opera House. the smaller venues support themselves by having a truly eclectic mix of different musical styles, shows and presentations, often very local stuff too, I might add, and very good. But you will travel for these little gems. Colgate College (farther to the East), I have been told, also has a good aray of musical presentations, but this is second-hand infrormation. OCC (Onondaga Community College--which is close to the city)has a *fantastic* Jazz festival every year (and a very worthwhile music department) but their presntations of concerts through out the year is what makes the place amazing-- everything from African Drummers to Flute Concerts to the Symphony. Yes, it's a community college, and that may be why most of the city doesn't seem to pay much attention to it. They really should. It's underrated.

3.) Crafts Stores: You have the typical ones: Michaels and JoAnnes. there are 2 Michael's--one in Dewitt and one in Northern Lights mall. JoAnne's has Fayetteville, Liverpool, Oneida, Cortland and Auburn (those last two are pretty far away). JoAnns has seemingly "pared back" on alot of their items-- Scrapbooking, Crochet, and Fine Arts (from the selection standpoint), but sometimes you can find little shops that specialize in the burbs. there's a slight problem with this-- the "Mom and Pop" craft supply places seem to go out-of-business quickly. People make a stab at it, but the Walmarts and Michaels seem to put them out of business. One exception is a little place in Cazenovia--a fabric shop which seems to have been part of the town for some time. (Cazenovia: Picture quaint little New England style town, with 1 main street) For the most part, I order supplies on line...Only once in a while do I end up with a color I can't make "work" and that's the problem if you don't know an exact Coats 'n Clarke number.

4.) Other things- Police use radar guns here, unlike CA. Drive as though you don't want a ticket. The police also do "BUNY" stops (Buckle Up NY) so wear your seat belt. They "salt" the roads so wash your car at LEAST once a week or watch the rust slowly but surely eat away the metal of your car. They seem to tolerate drunk driving, with minimal reprecusssiions, at least for thefirst incident. Oddly, the wine here stinks, unless your into Reisling. (Climate is a lot like Germany, NOT France, so the first time you try a NY Cab... well, remember: It's not France and it's not California. ) the Finger lakes have some interesting wineries, but talk to a distributor and you can find out which vineyards *actually import wines from other vineyards to serve as their own* during peek vistor time during wine tasting season. Most of the distributors are in the know.

I'd check out Cazenovia, NY. Cultured well educated people live there and rentals in the area called Rippleton (just South about 3 miles) seem to be about 1K for a nice 4 bedroom farm house with acreage. THAT is a town where strollers are out and about on a regular basis, and the place looks like a Norman Rockwell painting.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 06:31 PM
 
11 posts, read 23,717 times
Reputation: 12
Default Don't move to Syracuse

Believe me you don't want to live in Syracuse. The property taxes are amoung the highest in the US, crime is bad, there is nothing to do and people are leaving here in droves!
 
Old 12-03-2007, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,886,272 times
Reputation: 3838
My suggestion would be the Village of Liverpool the part within a half mile of Onondaga Lake where they have sidewalks and cute homes. You'll be one mile by parkway from the largest shopping mall in the county at Carousel Mall, and 2-3 miles to the financial district downtown, and away from the crime. There's a bus from Liverpool or there use to be. The schools are good and the main transportation center and the regional farmer's market are across from the mall. There's also a Michael's across from Great Northern Mall in Clay which is adjacent to the more suburban parts of Liverpool. In the late summer Liverpool hosts a huge Scottish Festival.

There are all the usual financial firms and broker/dealers including some for back office banking. Key Bank has a large presence in the Syracuse area and Cadaret Grant is a well known regional investment/insurance company.

Many of the schools here give free music lessons to the kids and Liverpool has a great music program for them. There's a music supply store in Armory Square and on Erie Blvd, I believe. At the noon hour downtown they have concerts at the Pei designed art museum under the direction of a group called, 'The Society For New Music' in a classical venue. You can listen to the NPR station at WCNY TV FM - Connected to YOU - Public Television who has listeners from around the world. They will play requests and do a fabulous job announcing every musical event in the surrounding areas. BTW, I got my season symphony tickets at $15 each. They have a classical music series and a seperate pops one. You could try out for them if you wanted. The conductor is very popular. He's Native American. There's also a Syracuse Opera season.

There seem to be lots of social service type jobs that would fit in with your training within community organizations, at one of the several hospitals, or at the medical school at Upstate.

Last edited by Sgoldie; 12-03-2007 at 07:12 PM..
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