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View Poll Results: Birmingham, MI versus Birmingham, AL
Birmingham, MI 4 40.00%
Birmingham, AL 6 60.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-25-2010, 03:52 PM
 
11 posts, read 34,250 times
Reputation: 11

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Dear City-Data friends -

My wife and I grew up and lived in Illinois and Wisconsin for 27 years, subsequently moved to warm Southern California (Orange County) for 15 years, now are facing a career move decision between the two "Birminghams". I have two 5 and 9 year old daughters that are smart, cute and jock-like, and very outgoing. We're Catholic, but more moderates and not fanatical. I'm a fan of many sports, mainly football, basketball and tennis, with a bias to BigTen college teams (though California has softened us on sports team allegiances), but could easily become an SEC sports fan if living in the area. We also have above average intellectual and cultural inclinations (yet not quite at geek level, yet we're super outgoing as wel). We view the housing prices and different weather as EVEN trade offs - blasting hot summers versus cold winters (we like to ski).

Both job opportunities are in very nice suburbs of each MSA (Farmington Hills / Birmingham, MI & Eastern Birmingham, AL) and I could live 10 minutes from work in a beautiful home. They are similar professional opportunities, with the Alabama company in more of a niche, growing business. Thus, allow me to summarize the key differentiating points from my perspective as follow

Key Michigan Characteristics: 2.5 - 4 hour drive from many relatives, lots of lakes & forests for outdoorsy activities, decent company opportunity in a low growth industry, I know an executive manager at company very well, job/housing is 14 miles north of the unfortunate situation in downtown Detroit, perhaps more "economic gloom" in the greater Detroit area right now (but will that improve over 5 years?)

Key Alabama Characteristics - no family nearby, strong company in strong "industry of the future" healthcare space, nice southern people probably easy to meet people, lesser economic gloom than Detroit, more Southern economic vibrancy?.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK OR OPINIONS - THANKS!
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
6,048 posts, read 18,427,001 times
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Never been to the Michigan version, but it sounds like they are not dissimilar. Outdoor activities, all the others....water skiing could replace snow skiing...Atlanta as the nearby big city...SEC trumps Big 10...but can't do anything about the relatives.
Oh....throw in 4 hours from the Gulf of Mexico in the Alabama version's favor.
Choose wisely...good luck to you!
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:44 AM
 
28,895 posts, read 54,165,927 times
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Michigan is a beautiful state. However, I would be leery about staking anything on Detroit's economic future. Alabama, when you get past the lazy stereotypes, is a pretty great place to live.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Manhattan Island
1,981 posts, read 3,848,105 times
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^ Agreed, it is a great place to live. I grew up in Mountain Brook (leave your stereotypes about "Brookies" at the door please), and I can safely say that there are few places I would rather grow up. Birmingham (AL, that is) is a wonderful city, diverse, full of life, fun things to do, arts, music, the works. Also, I am not a redneck by any stretch of the imagination, and most of my friends are not either. You will have your bad apples anywhere you go, but Birmingham, AL is a fantastic place to start a career and raise a family. The economy is very strong, and housing is a fantastic value. I would recommend it to most anyone.

However, I will say some things in the defense of Michigan. I'm not familiar with Birmingham, MI, but I am quite familiar with Michigan overall, and it is also a wonderful place. Beautiful scenery, lakes, meadows, etc. Also, the main advantage in MI (in my opinion) is the weather. Now you may think I'm crazy, but I love snowy winters and mild summers, and that is exactly what you will get in MI. Birmingham, AL is ridiculously hot for four months out of the year, which is the single biggest reason that I don't plan to move back. I'm going to NH, where the climate suits my taste.

Really, I think both areas are great, but honestly, the economic prospects are much stronger in Alabama, and for that reason you may want to head that way. Ultimately, it depends on what you are looking for, but I will throw my hat in the ring as another strong advocate of Birmingham, AL.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:32 PM
 
Location: South Austin near Wm Cannon and South First
164 posts, read 310,546 times
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Birmingham Mi, is one of the more affluent suburbs of Detroit, and maybe even one of the richest suburbs in the entire country..

Birmingham AL and Detroit would be a fairer comparison.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:35 AM
 
28,895 posts, read 54,165,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i35vagabond View Post
Birmingham Mi, is one of the more affluent suburbs of Detroit, and maybe even one of the richest suburbs in the entire country..

Birmingham AL and Detroit would be a fairer comparison.
Then Birmingham, AL, comes out ahead. I've spent time in Detroit.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:31 PM
 
1,892 posts, read 3,087,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i35vagabond View Post
Birmingham Mi, is one of the more affluent suburbs of Detroit, and maybe even one of the richest suburbs in the entire country..

Birmingham AL and Detroit would be a fairer comparison.

Actually Bham Mi. is not a luxury setting like Mountain Brook. Even Grosse Pointe is rough around the edges compared to the meticulous care that M.B. gets.

I spent time in Auburn Hills during December. I was all over the northwest suburbs. Birmingham is now at the southern most border of what I consider an acceptable location in metro Detroit. Look at that line formed by Eight Mile road and know that you want to look at nothing that isn't at least two more miles north. The reason is that the decay and what it brings is still creeping north. Pontiac which is well north of Birmingham has become a toss.

The problem with the Detroit metro at this moment in time is that it is like swiss cheese. Those pockets of crime are hard to maneuver around. This means not easily taking advantage of all that the metro has to offer. You don't want every outing with your family to have risks. At least in Birmingham, AL. everything is pretty well defined.

If your relatives are well, you may provide new things for them to do by visiting and going on to the Gulf of Mexico like thousands of other Michiganders do every year. (and vice versa)

There is much for me to love about Detroit and I do try to break the stereotype when I hear people speak of it. But it is one thing to visit and another to live with it and let your guard down. It is a place I do like to visit on my way farther north and I dearly hope that a miracle happens someday to make the people see that they are surrounded by opportunity and take the initiative. I fear they are waiting for someone else to make it right. Responsibility is not a word found in American English very often.

Best luck,
raj
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:37 PM
 
87 posts, read 195,030 times
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Apples to Oranges. Birmingham, MI is a suburb of Detroit. A better comparison would be Mountain Brook vs. Birmingham, MI. Both affluent suburbs. Last time, I was out there in the Birmingham, MI retail district all I saw was Rolls Royce, Lambos, and extremely high end cars.

Not sure what I would pick between the two though.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:31 AM
 
1,892 posts, read 3,087,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcontroller View Post
Apples to Oranges. Birmingham, MI is a suburb of Detroit. A better comparison would be Mountain Brook vs. Birmingham, MI. Both affluent suburbs. Last time, I was out there in the Birmingham, MI retail district all I saw was Rolls Royce, Lambos, and extremely high end cars.

Not sure what I would pick between the two though.

You are correct. And I would pick Mountain Brook. But I sure would like to have SOMMERSET COLLECTION down the road. Oh well I can go visit. And I sure love the drive up Lake Saint Clair from Grosse Point to Lake Huron in the Spring.

It's all good........unless you make a wrong turn somewhere , in Detroit that is.

raj
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:51 AM
 
1,892 posts, read 3,087,326 times
Reputation: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulcontroller View Post
Apples to Oranges. Birmingham, MI is a suburb of Detroit. A better comparison would be Mountain Brook vs. Birmingham, MI. Both affluent suburbs. Last time, I was out there in the Birmingham, MI retail district all I saw was Rolls Royce, Lambos, and extremely high end cars.

Not sure what I would pick between the two though.

Thanks,

raj
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