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Old 12-27-2011, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Mulberry, AR
16 posts, read 28,101 times
Reputation: 20

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Hi. I'm planning a big move in the next year or so. I have it narrowed down to probably California or Oregon. I've always lived in small towns and figured that I always probably would. A trip to Chicago recently made me fall in love with the city life though. Now I'm trying to find an area that is kind of natural and peaceful but close enough to a big city to be able to visit it frequently. I also want to be pretty close to the ocean.
I'm no rocket scientist but I do enjoy intellectual conversation and would prefer the area to lean a little towards the liberal side I guess you could say- gay friendly, concern for animals and the environment, that sort of thing. Also, I love live music, especially rock, but also classical and the theatre.
The things that concern me is I hear California is extremely expensive. I am an optician apprentice which doesn't make a whole lot of money. I've still got about a year and a half until I get my license and making more. I also am a little iffy about the lack of freedom I've heard about in California. People have told me that the state doesn't allow you to do even minor things like build a dog pen without a permit, even outside of the city limits. I've lived my whole life in as mellow of towns as you can imagine. While I enjoy thhat I'm tired of the type of people and their mindsets around here as well as the boredom and lack of inspiration. I'm hoping people who actually live in California can give me some accurate insight as to what it's really like there as well as some places that I might consider relocating to.
Thank you!!!

Last edited by veggiefox; 12-27-2011 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Pleasanton, CA
2,406 posts, read 6,003,790 times
Reputation: 4246
It sounds like you may be happy in the Bay Area. Do you have any info as far as your budget, where you'll be working, etc. goes? That would help to give better advice. A lot of what you're describing though sounds like the Bay Area would probably be a good fit for you...except that it's very expensive.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:26 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,373 posts, read 15,928,356 times
Reputation: 11865
Too many places to list in CA, so I'll give you my favorite towns in OR: Portland, Eugene, Lake Oswego, Florence, Newport, Bandon, Gold Beach, Grants Pass.
Mind you, these places have almost nothing to do with each other regarding size, location, etc.... They're just places you can research and see if any suits your needs.
If you're okay with rain, you could live in any of these.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Cottonwood CA
362 posts, read 1,113,708 times
Reputation: 377
Smile Regions, Cost of Living and Politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiefox View Post
Hi. I'm planning a big move in the next year or so. I have it narrowed down to probably California or Oregon. I've always lived in small towns and figured that I always probably would. A trip to Chicago recently made me fall in love with the city life though. Now I'm trying to find an area that is kind of natural and peaceful but close enough to a big city to be able to visit it frequently. I also want to be pretty close to the ocean.
I'm no rocket scientist but I do enjoy intellectual conversation and would prefer the area to lean a little towards the liberal side I guess you could say- gay friendly, concern for animals and the environment, that sort of thing. Also, I love live music, especially rock, but also classical and the theatre.
The things that concern me is I hear California is extremely expensive. I am an optician apprentice which doesn't make a whole lot of money. I've still got about a year and a half until I get my license and making more. I also am a little iffy about the lack of freedom I've heard about in California. People have told me that the state doesn't allow you to do even minor things like build a dog pen without a permit, even outside of the city limits. I've lived my whole life in as mellow of towns as you can imagine. While I enjoy thhat I'm tired of the type of people and their mindsets around here as well as the boredom and lack of inspiration. I'm hoping people who actually live in California can give me some accurate insight as to what it's really like there as well as some places that I might consider relocating to.
Thank you!!!
First this disclaimer-the following is a simplistic generalization based solely upon the opinion of a slightly overweight middle aged white guy (me) raised in the conservative rural interior of northern California. Having said that; any relationship between that (my) opinion and reality is probably purely coincidental. I'm not at all interested in hearing how my opinion conflicts with political correctness. Nor am I interested in arguing about how my opinion differs from that of "more representative" Californians. It is what it is...

OK, yes, California can be very expensive. In general, the cost of living, i.e. real estate, housing, utilis, services is highest nearer the coast. The most expensive areas are those coastal areas with the best climate. The stretch of coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego comes immediately to mind, but also the greater SF Bay Area.

The cost of living reduces as you leave the coast, especially in the more interior areas like the central valley (Bakersfield to Redding). These areas are not the quintisential "beach" communities of SoCal with their bohemian lifestyle. Instead, many of these interior towns/cities resemble more traditional midwestern towns with their agriculturally-based economies.

In terms of climate, the interior communities are hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter than their beach counterparts. The north's winters are wetter and cooler winters than the south. Fog can be an depressing issue along the northern coast-but it's also why the coast redwoods can survive there. (Incidentally, and off-topic; a walk among the coastal redwoods is an unforgettable experience.) The mountain communities may get significant snow-depending largely upon elevation instead of latitude as in the mid-west.

Now, again generally, I think you'll find that the coastal communites are more progressive, or liberal than those of the interior. The more urban areas will naturally present more opportunities for experiencing the arts; museums, theater, galleries, concerts, etc. Also, I think you'll find that more urban communities have more onerous permitting requirements. But i think that's just an urbanization characteristic, whether in California or Arkansas.

So, coastal, southern and urban generally equates to "expensive". Whereas interior, northen and rural often means less expensive in "California terms".

I hope this helps a little. The best advice I could offer at this time is to make sure you have a job before moving here-wherever you might decide to relocate. And best of luck to you!
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Mulberry, AR
16 posts, read 28,101 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
I want to make a living with my art, illustrating, animation, photography, things along that line. In the meantime I am an optician apprentice. I haven't looked to see if California requires their opticians to be licensed or not because that can drastically affect the pay rate. A licensed optician here makes very good money. A place where the opticians aren't licensed the pay isn't as good. Either way I work for a huge optical company and when I decide kind of where I want to move I'm going to put in for a transfer so I have a job to start out.
I'll definitely look into the places everyone suggested and also find out what the pay rate is for an optician there.

Snort, do you have an opinion on Brookings, OR? I was seriously considering that town but I fear that with it being such a popular retirement community it wouldn't be quite what I'm looking for.

Jaybee, I have seen the redwoods! It is amazing!
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Mulberry, AR
16 posts, read 28,101 times
Reputation: 20
By the way, Jaybee I love your status. The Big Lebowski's my favorite movie!!
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,373 posts, read 15,928,356 times
Reputation: 11865
I used to live in Brookings. It's a nice enough little town, but you're limited in access to bigger towns. The same limitations apply to Bandon and Gold Beach, but they're a bit prettier. The coast is amazing in that part of Oregon though, so it's all good. It rains a ton though and that's something you'd have to get used to.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:29 PM
 
25,619 posts, read 36,483,825 times
Reputation: 23291
Anywhere with in 30 miles of Sacramento. Trust me with all the myopic idiots running California government you will have no problem finding a job.


Plus its half way between the Sierra and Pacific.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Mulberry, AR
16 posts, read 28,101 times
Reputation: 20
Ok, thanks Snort. I don't mind the rain at all so long as there are sunny days thrown in from time to time also.

Thanks, bulldogdad. Sadly, being an idiot seems to be a requirement if you're going to enter American politics nowdays it seems lol.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,190 posts, read 6,825,821 times
Reputation: 2076
Id say, since you want to be close to the city, the S.F. bay area or the Monterey bay area (possibly somewhere in S.C. county although you'll not be that close to S.F. [about 2 hours] but you may be satisfied with a lesser / smaller city vibe in Santa Cruz but it's nothing like S.F.)
Both areas are extremely expensive.
And Sacramento would not be a place i'd recommend to anyone who is California dreaming.
Yes, it's half way between the Sierra and the ocean ... sounds good but you'll be stuck in the flat and ugly (sorry Sac.) central valley with horrible air quality and it's very hot in the summer.
If you're going to move to California, unless you want real mountain living, stay close to the coast ... if you can afford it.
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