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Old 02-25-2008, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Seattle
12 posts, read 26,126 times
Reputation: 10
Default Moving from Seattle: San Antonio vs. Austin

I'm about to graduate from college here in Seattle (in June '08) with a B.A. in English Literature. Previously, my plan was to move to Chicago so I could go into publishing. I've realized, though, that I don't want to live in THAT big of a city. Plus, I don't think I could take the winters.

At this point, I'm still in the consideration stages about moving to Texas, but I figured that if I did move, either San Antonio or Austin would be my best bet.

I have a few question/concerns listed below. So, if anyone would like to look through and address one or two (or all) of them, I'd be thankful. Also, feel free to toss in any other cities you think might be a good fit.

1. Should I worry about racism/intolerance? I'm a black, agnostic female, so I'm wondering how well I'd be able to integrate into San Antonio, Austin or wherever. People on these boards seem to go both ways with both cities. Coming from Seattle, there's definitely a "live and let live" mentality that I like. Growing up, ALL of my friends were white (along with a few Hispanics); in college, my friends are too many races to list. I'm hoping to find somewhere with, if not an even mix, at least some place I'd be able to interact with whites and non-whites without feeling awkward.


2. Do Austin/San Antonio "feel" like urban jungles? I grew up in a smallish town (70k residents) which was/is "too small" for my tastes. Ideally, I'd want to live somewhere with a maximum population of, say, 1.5 million. I just don't want to feel swallowed up, so to speak.

3. How's public transportation? Here in Seattle, all we have going for us is a bus system that's pretty irritating and inadequate. Since I won't have a car for at least a year or two, I'm fine with using public transit, but is it efficient in San Antonio and/or Austin? If I don't live near the city center, am I going to have to hike to bus stops? Or is it just advisable to get a car as soon as I arrive?

4. As a recent college graduate, which city has more to offer me? Especially regarding the fact that I have a B.A. in English Literature? I'd want to go into something editorial/publishing, maybe even the nonprofit sector.

5. Lower cost of living? Of course, coming from Seattle, most anything is going to be cheaper, but considering I'm going to be a recent graduate--did I mention I majored in English Literature? (what was I thinking?! lol) Can I afford these cities making a starting salary of something like $25-28k/year?


I know this is long, but I appreciate ANY comments/insight. Also, as I said, please feel free to suggest other cities that might be a good fit.

Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,619 posts, read 15,709,645 times
Reputation: 2311
I have a friend who has an English Major and lives in San Antonio. She works for the theatre department of a University there. Public transportation in Austin is limited to buses. There is a light rail up from Cedar Park/Leander area into downtown, but not sure if it's actually running yet.
Both cities are growing like gangbusters, so you'd probably be comfortable in either one. As for tolerance, Austin is pretty much live and let live, even in the suburbs, which are more conservative. As long as someone doesn't move here and bemoan how much better where they came from is, then there usually is no problem. Also remember that we are tolerant to All views more or less. For example, Conservative Christians and Athiest liberals are usually friends and don't get into huge screaming matches about their politics like in LA or somewhere when you are looked down upon for having a different view from the herd

Cost of living is lower and you should be fine, but note that right in Central Austin it's pretty expensive. I think South Austin might be an area to look into.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:31 AM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 7,457,015 times
Reputation: 1270
Austin is more expensive but I think it has some of the smae vibe as Seattle. It's the most liberal little outpost in Texas. It can seem like an urban jungle of sorts but in 10minutes you can be at the lake etc...

I think you'll be able to find a place to fit right in in Austin.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Seattle
12 posts, read 26,126 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by love roses View Post
Both cities are growing like gangbusters, so you'd probably be comfortable in either one. As for tolerance, Austin is pretty much live and let live, even in the suburbs, which are more conservative. As long as someone doesn't move here and bemoan how much better where they came from is, then there usually is no problem.

Yeah, that whole "we're the center of the world" vibe gets old really quickly--one of my roommates is from California and I had to keep letting her know early on in our friendship that her "Cali-centrism" wasn't going over well with me.

Plus, I just think it's a sign of respect not to badmouth other cities/locales; to each their own, really. I love the laidback feel here in Seattle, but it's time for a change, I think.

And I can only take so much more of these rainy days!
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:37 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,608 times
Reputation: 10
Default San Antonio vs. Austin

Hi, I too am from Seattle and absolutely love living in Austin. In fact, when family and friends have come to visit, they typically remark how similar the vibe is between the two cities. Austin, of course, is much smaller, but there is a lot for young people to do. It sounds like you'd fit in just fine. San Antonio is less expensive, but you can live a whole lot cheaper in Austin than Seattle. I haven't heard anyone rave about current public transportation here and it's HOT in the summer, so you might want to pick up an inexpensive car with air conditioning to get yourself around when you get here. The light rail is supposed to be operating by early 2009 (they say late fall 2008, but rumors say a delay is possible). It's a high tech town like the one you are coming from. Unemployment is low. People dress casually.

Scenerywise, Austin is completely different. Instead of towering fir trees everywhere, you will see beautiful, old oak trees everywhere. The water is warm too! Even in August, Lake Washington is freezing in my opinion. The last I read, Austin boasts 300 sunny days a year! It's February and I'm in shorts & T-shirt & flip flops. It's supposed to be near 90 today. That is an anomoly as typically it should be in the high 60's, but even 68 & sunny is a real nice change from February in Seattle.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle
12 posts, read 26,126 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovecollies View Post
Hi, I too am from Seattle and absolutely love living in Austin. In fact, when family and friends have come to visit, they typically remark how similar the vibe is between the two cities. Austin, of course, is much smaller, but there is a lot for young people to do. It sounds like you'd fit in just fine. San Antonio is less expensive, but you can live a whole lot cheaper in Austin than Seattle. I haven't heard anyone rave about current public transportation here and it's HOT in the summer, so you might want to pick up an inexpensive car with air conditioning to get yourself around when you get here. The light rail is supposed to be operating by early 2009 (they say late fall 2008, but rumors say a delay is possible). It's a high tech town like the one you are coming from. Unemployment is low. People dress casually.

Scenerywise, Austin is completely different. Instead of towering fir trees everywhere, you will see beautiful, old oak trees everywhere. The water is warm too! Even in August, Lake Washington is freezing in my opinion. The last I read, Austin boasts 300 sunny days a year! It's February and I'm in shorts & T-shirt & flip flops. It's supposed to be near 90 today. That is an anomoly as typically it should be in the high 60's, but even 68 & sunny is a real nice change from February in Seattle.

Hmm, the info. about public transportation in Austin is bad news for me. I hear the traffic in the area is pretty bad--and I haven't driven for something like four years (*gulp*). Guess I'll have to look into getting a car.

I grew up in Yakima, so I'm no stranger to HOT summers--so I think I can handle it. With a good air conditioner, of course.

And yeah, Lake Washington is freezing all year round. My friend has a house on Mercer Island and we decided (rather stupidly) to go swimming in late May. Bad, bad idea.

But really, though--how bad is the traffic? I'm a bit of a nervous driver as it is, lol, so I just want an idea of what I'm looking at here.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,528 posts, read 4,117,133 times
Reputation: 588
1. Should I worry about racism/intolerance? I'm a black, agnostic female, so I'm wondering how well I'd be able to integrate into San Antonio, Austin or wherever. People on these boards seem to go both ways with both cities. Coming from Seattle, there's definitely a "live and let live" mentality that I like. Growing up, ALL of my friends were white (along with a few Hispanics); in college, my friends are too many races to list. I'm hoping to find somewhere with, if not an even mix, at least some place I'd be able to interact with whites and non-whites without feeling awkward.
No...San Antonio is majority Hispanic....Austin is a good Mix...They are both a little more diverse then Seattle in My opinion...Texas is one of the 4 minority majority states.


2. Do Austin/San Antonio "feel" like urban jungles? I grew up in a smallish town (70k residents) which was/is "too small" for my tastes. Ideally, I'd want to live somewhere with a maximum population of, say, 1.5 million. I just don't want to feel swallowed up, so to speak.
No...They're cities but not concrete jungles... San Antonio has a metro population of 1.9 and Austin about 1.6...San Antonio has small city feel sort of...if you mean city proper though San Antonio has a population of 1.2million and Austin 700,000.

3. How's public transportation? Here in Seattle, all we have going for us is a bus system that's pretty irritating and inadequate. Since I won't have a car for at least a year or two, I'm fine with using public transit, but is it efficient in San Antonio and/or Austin? If I don't live near the city center, am I going to have to hike to bus stops? Or is it just advisable to get a car as soon as I arrive?
I don't know...

4. As a recent college graduate, which city has more to offer me? Especially regarding the fact that I have a B.A. in English Literature? I'd want to go into something editorial/publishing, maybe even the nonprofit sector.
I don't know

5. Lower cost of living? Of course, coming from Seattle, most anything is going to be cheaper, but considering I'm going to be a recent graduate--did I mention I majored in English Literature? (what was I thinking?! lol) Can I afford these cities making a starting salary of something like $25-28k/year?
Austin is sort of expensive...I would take San Antonio...
the Racial Demographics;
San Antonio:
about 7% black
a little more then 2% Asian
61% Hispanic
31% white

Austin:
a little more then 10% Black
a little more then 4% Asian
30% Hispanic
52% white

oh and Texas weather changes ... I mean Snow one day...heat the next...rain the next....I mean today high of 80...tomorrow high of 50...IT has snowed on valentines before but this past one it was sunny

Last edited by CMDallas; 02-25-2008 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:34 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
5,080 posts, read 2,883,635 times
Reputation: 1105
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrystalAway View Post
I'm about to graduate from college here in Seattle (in June '08) with a B.A. in English Literature. Previously, my plan was to move to Chicago so I could go into publishing. I've realized, though, that I don't want to live in THAT big of a city. Plus, I don't think I could take the winters.

First Off, congrats on your achievements.

At this point, I'm still in the consideration stages about moving to Texas, but I figured that if I did move, either San Antonio or Austin would be my best bet.

Why not Houston?

I have a few question/concerns listed below. So, if anyone would like to look through and address one or two (or all) of them, I'd be thankful. Also, feel free to toss in any other cities you think might be a good fit.

Ok, I would consider Houston TX. It seems to be the best fit to what your asking for in this post.

1. Should I worry about racism/intolerance? I'm a black, agnostic female, so I'm wondering how well I'd be able to integrate into San Antonio, Austin or wherever. People on these boards seem to go both ways with both cities. Coming from Seattle, there's definitely a "live and let live" mentality that I like. Growing up, ALL of my friends were white (along with a few Hispanics); in college, my friends are too many races to list. I'm hoping to find somewhere with, if not an even mix, at least some place I'd be able to interact with whites and non-whites without feeling awkward.

I am Caucasian. So I don't fully know what sorts of racism you experience.. While I lived in Gulfport MS.. I got to meet plenty of what you describe on both sides of the fence. But I have noticed in Texas not as much of that type of Racism.. but then again I have not lived in Houston so I maybe just wrong on that point.. but Dallas, Austin, San Antonio I have lived and never seen it there. But I have a feeling there are closed minded fools no matter where you live.. but over all I think you'll find what you want in Houston or Austin.

2. Do Austin/San Antonio "feel" like urban jungles? I grew up in a smallish town (70k residents) which was/is "too small" for my tastes. Ideally, I'd want to live somewhere with a maximum population of, say, 1.5 million. I just don't want to feel swallowed up, so to speak.

I don't think so. both San Antonio and Austin are very green.. Austin has more open spaces than San Antonio.

3. How's public transportation? Here in Seattle, all we have going for us is a bus system that's pretty irritating and inadequate. Since I won't have a car for at least a year or two, I'm fine with using public transit, but is it efficient in San Antonio and/or Austin? If I don't live near the city center, am I going to have to hike to bus stops? Or is it just advisable to get a car as soon as I arrive?

I am surprised you said that about the Seattle Bus system.. I found it to be superb. Don't expect to see anything like that in Texas.. unless you consider Houston, I have been told its rather good there.


4. As a recent college graduate, which city has more to offer me? Especially regarding the fact that I have a B.A. in English Literature? I'd want to go into something editorial/publishing, maybe even the nonprofit sector.

I would say either Austin or Houston.

5. Lower cost of living? Of course, coming from Seattle, most anything is going to be cheaper, but considering I'm going to be a recent graduate--did I mention I majored in English Literature? (what was I thinking?! lol) Can I afford these cities making a starting salary of something like $25-28k/year?

Uhm,, yeah.. Heck you may make more in the two cities of Austin, or Houston.

I know this is long, but I appreciate ANY comments/insight. Also, as I said, please feel free to suggest other cities that might be a good fit.

I think Austin or Houston would be a good fit for you. Good luck, and I hope your move is a smooth one. Welcome to TEXAS!

Thanks.

your Welcome.
I used my red pen and left comments for you in between your questions..
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:47 AM
 
218 posts, read 11,410 times
Reputation: 32
Hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrystalAway View Post
1. Should I worry about racism/intolerance?

No.

2. Do Austin/San Antonio "feel" like urban jungles?

Aside from the central cores, neither are.

3. How's public transportation?

San Antonio has fine bus transit service. VIA is also working on BRT.

4. As a recent college graduate, which city has more to offer me? Especially regarding the fact that I have a B.A. in English Literature? I'd want to go into something editorial/publishing, maybe even the nonprofit sector.

Depends. You may really like the King William or Southtown area of San Antonio.

5. Lower cost of living?

San Antonio has the lowest cost of living for the large cities/metro areas.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:50 AM
 
Location: 77059
7,690 posts, read 17,534,569 times
Reputation: 3711
Actually, the whole northern half of SA feels urban jungle-ish to me. A stretch of 410 is now up to 10 lanes + the feeders. That area is growing by leaps and bounds, and doesn't seem much different than Houston in many respects. If you're a nervous driver, you might want to avoid that whole region. That place is going through some growing pains and many drivers haven't a clue how to move forward.

Last edited by tstone; 02-26-2008 at 07:59 AM..
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