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Old 05-06-2013, 11:32 AM
 
26 posts, read 101,629 times
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I am in my young 30's and single, and my job is talking about transferring me to either Bakersfield or Lancaster. Does anyone have any advice about which would be a better option for me? I am hoping to live somewhere with other young professionals where I can make new friends and have a fairly active social life. It would be great if there was a decent dating scene too (ie: not a town filled with families and married couples, but somwhere with some singles too). Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Loleta, CA
1,320 posts, read 1,177,089 times
Reputation: 1869
I grew up in the Antelope Valley (Palmdale/Lancaster) and even though I HATED it, I would choose the AV over Bakersfield any day. The AV is an hour to downtown Los Angeles, three hours to Vegas, an hour to the mountains (great hiking up there + skiing in the winter), the air quality is generally better, cost of living is decent, crime is average, and it doesn't feel cramped despite its large population because it's spread out over a very wide area.

The weather in both areas is hot in the summer, but the AV tends to cool off well enough at night (70s usually) thanks to its higher elevation. Winters in the AV are generally dry and cold, but the lowest I've ever seen it get is around the mid teens very early in the morning (4 AM or so) and days are usually in the 50s during winter. It usually snows once a winter and at least once every other winter, and sometimes the snowfall is substantial enough to completely shut the entire valley down. There can be some pretty significant rain storms during the winter and spring as well as the occasional spectacular summer thunderstorm, but since it's a desert it doesn't rain a lot all year.

Spring is EXTREMELY windy in the AV (there are some trees in the area growing at 30° angles - no joke) but the blooming of the wildflowers and especially the poppy fields are an absolute joy to behold and it's something I looked forward to every year. Fall is kind of like spring except not quite as windy, but both spring and fall are extremely short interludes between the hot and cold weather.

As for social life, downtown Lancaster was recently upgraded and I think it looks great. There's a nice little bar with its own brewery, nice restaurants and shops, and an awesome movie theatre with reclining leather chairs and beer on tap to purchase.

If you get tired of AV scene Los Angeles and all its glories are just over the hill, and it can be nice to escape the summer heat by hitting the beach every now and then.

R. Rex Parris (the mayor of Lancaster) is very big on energy effeciency and quality of life for the citizens of Lancaster which is nice to see, and there are large solar projects popping up all over the AV. Additionally, a resolution recently passed that requires all new homes built within Lancaster city limits to be equipped with at least a 1kW solar system on the roof, which I commend the mayor and city for. It's also a very smart move because the area gets some 300 days of sun a year.

As for Bakersfield, all I have is a big fat "meh." It's at the southern end of the Central Valley so it's ringed by mountains on three sides, which has a tendency to trap the heat and smog and can make for some pretty miserable conditions during the summer. It is close to Lake Isabella and the Kern River which can provide relief during the summer, but the ocean is a good three hours away and LA is about 2 - 2 1/2 hours away. I'm not sure on social life and the dating scene in Bakersfield, but I imagine it's the same as any other mid sized city. Overall though I feel that Bakersfield is pretty isolated compared to the Antelope Valley and if I had to choose between the two I'd pick the AV in a heartbeat simply because it has more of what you're looking for me.

Personally though, I hate the desert. I hate the heat, I hate the wind, and I hate the landscape, but plenty of other folks love it including some very good friends of mine whom I've known most of my life so it all comes down to personal preference. The wide open spaces of the AV can be great for exploring, and I don't think the Bakersfield area is quite as wide open due to all the farming activities going on up there.

Best of luck to you and congrats on the job.

Last edited by DCMann2; 05-06-2013 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Paradise
116 posts, read 339,028 times
Reputation: 103
Default I could never recommend Bakersfield

Quote:
Originally Posted by deladane View Post
I am in my young 30's and single, and my job is talking about transferring me to either Bakersfield or Lancaster. Does anyone have any advice about which would be a better option for me? I am hoping to live somewhere with other young professionals where I can make new friends and have a fairly active social life. It would be great if there was a decent dating scene too (ie: not a town filled with families and married couples, but somwhere with some singles too). Thanks in advance for your help!
I can no longer even keep track of how many times that Bakersfield has made the list of the most miserable places to live in CA and the country. It is pathetic.
Forbes' Most Miserable Cities: California Takes The Cake
#17 Bakersfield, Calif. - America's Most Miserable Cities - Forbes
Forbes Ranks Sacramento Fifth Most Miserable City In America « CBS Sacramento
America s Most Content and Miserable Cities - Road Runner


Hands down, Lancaster is far superior to Bakersfield in many many ways. I agree with most of what the previous poster wrote, and most people will probably tell you the same thing. First of all, Lancaster is in LA county, which is a huge plus. Kern County is absolutely backwards. It is within commuting distance of LA and the beaches. Driving to LA is an option or even taking the Metrolink Train down is another option. Bakersfield is much further away and there is no train.

Bakersfield air is disgusting. It is the worst quality air in the country. If you value your lungs, Bakersfield is not for you. Lancaster has some of the cleanest air in Southern CA, which doesn't say a whole lot, but it is still far better than Bakersfield.There is a reason that homes are also much cheaper in Bakersfield, because it is a far less desirable area to move. Bakersfield tends to be a cesspool of undesirables who just spend all day pushing their shopping carts around. The blight in the city is unreal, and it is a depressing place to be.

As far as population goes, both areas tend to have a large percentage of families, not near as many singles. At this point, Lancaster is still better because it is so much closer to the scenes down in LA. Either place the easiest way to connect with people is if you are religious and start attending church. Both places, especially Lancaster have a large amount of church-goers; kind of like the Bible-belt.

Bakersfield is not only hotter, but it doesn't cool off at night like Lancaster. Climate Comparison for Lancaster, CA (93536) and Bakersfield, CA

I could not in good conscience ever recommend someone to live in Bakersfield or more commonly called Bako. Lancaster ain't perfect, but between the two places it is far superior to Bakersfield.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:25 PM
 
2,830 posts, read 2,206,804 times
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Comparing Lancaster to Bakersfield is like comparing San Diego to Detroit. Granted, the vast majority of the actual city of Lancaster is run down and ugly, but the sections west of Highway 14 are actually pretty nice to live in.

The beautiful high-desert scenery, cooler weather, local history, and close proximity to LA and areas north make it a far more desirable place to live than Bakersfield.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:35 AM
 
1,555 posts, read 2,402,339 times
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While in agreement with the prior posts, I would like to add a word of caution. The Western Jackalope inhabits the Bakersfield area. This creature has been known to be extremely dangerous when it hears classic rock or alternative music. Just play some country music once in a while and you should be fine.

OTOH, the Variegated Jackalope resides in the Antelope Valley, and this fellow has a more benign attitude towards the music it hears. However, it welcomes newcomers (easily identified because they wash their cars every week) by defecating on their windshields. Just let the dust accumulate and you should be fine there, too.

Good luck!

jackalope - Google Search
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Where the Wild Things Are
604 posts, read 1,197,455 times
Reputation: 264
I myself have sighted a certain Tazmanian devil in the middle of certain otherwise benign appearing dust devils. It's kinda freaky out there in the desert if you are low on water.

It's easy to go to LA from Bakersfield as well. Lancaster is smaller and doesn't have Buck Owens, and I'd rather be in the valley personally.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:50 AM
 
Location: PNW native currently residing in the SoCal high desert
259 posts, read 605,365 times
Reputation: 212
Lived in and/or around both cities. I totally agree with and second DCMann2's post. For environment/air quality/climate, the Antelope Valley/Mojave Desert is far better IMO, despite the atrocious winds.

But if you prefer conservative politics, then you may not like Lancaster (I don't, I moved to the the Kern Co. side of the Mojave Desert). If you prefer progressive politics, then Lancaster would be the place for you.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Paradise
116 posts, read 339,028 times
Reputation: 103
Default Lancaster is about as conservative as you can get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowHorse View Post
Lived in and/or around both cities. I totally agree with and second DCMann2's post. For environment/air quality/climate, the Antelope Valley/Mojave Desert is far better IMO, despite the atrocious winds.

But if you prefer conservative politics, then you may not like Lancaster (I don't, I moved to the the Kern Co. side of the Mojave Desert). If you prefer progressive politics, then Lancaster would be the place for you.
Lancaster is about as conservative as you can get. The area is strongly Republican. Lancaster is the most churched city in the state. Lancaster is still in a battle so that they can continue to pray in the name of Jesus at their city council meetings. Lancaster was the place that completely outlawed pornography. The mayor himself said that he was trying to grow a Christian community. It seems like there are churches on every corner. Lancaster Blvd has fourteen churches from one end to the other. That is only one street. Bakersfield is conservative as well; but not near as conservative as Lancaster.

The way into politics is through your church attendance.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: PNW native currently residing in the SoCal high desert
259 posts, read 605,365 times
Reputation: 212
Sorry, I was unclear. I was comparing the counties (LA Co. vs Kern Co.).
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Paradise
116 posts, read 339,028 times
Reputation: 103
Default Then you are right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowHorse View Post
Sorry, I was unclear. I was comparing the counties (LA Co. vs Kern Co.).
Then you are right! LA county is far more progressive than Kern county. Lancaster just tends to be more of an anomaly in LA county, and actually should probably not be part of LA county; because it is so much more conservative.
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