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Old 02-18-2018, 11:24 PM
 
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#1: Los Angeles: Lived here multiple times, the city keeps changing with better mass transit, better people, it's huge, better for my interests (aviation, automotive, motion picture etc.)

#2: Denver: Steep #2 compared to L.A. Lot's of passive aggressive folks from the Midwest, but made a lot of good guy friends when I was there that will be friends for probably the rest of my live. It's very cliquey as well.

#3: NYC Metro Area: Family is there, mostly toxic. Bad job experience, hate the weather and the vibe overall. I grew up there so maybe that's the issue. But it's very neurotic overall compared to say DEN, and I would much rather live in Denver over the East Coast.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
1) Chicago, IL ('07-'09) - Biggest city on my list...so much to do, people to meet, places to eat! I fell in love with the city first and then chose my grad school accordingly. Grades: A/A+
2) Washington, DC (2012) - Mostly the same perks as Chicago. A little bit lacking in the diversity of young people (career mindset, not race/ethnicity) and I love skyscrapers, so Chicago wins. Grades: A/A+
3) Penang, Malaysia (2002) - One of the best five cities for food on earth, imo. That's the only reason it's objectively ranked this high. Besides that, it's my parents' hometown and I guess I'll always feel a special attachment. Grades: B-/A-
4) Gainesville, FL ('02-'07) - A really wonderful college town. I've seen some better, I've seen a lot worse, but this one has all you really need for what it is. Great place to get an education and a great place to enjoy being a student. Grades: B/C
5) Tarrytown, NY ('06) - Really cute, more affluent commuter/college town upstate from NYC. Lovely little town area with nice shops and restaurants, plus only a short train ride to the city. (HUGE PLUS) Grades: B/D
6) Salzburg, Austria ('05) - Very charming mid-sized city in the Austrian hills. Wow, thinking back now I was really lucky to experience life here and probably didn't enjoy it as much as I should have at the time. I love most of the big cities I've visited in Europe, but this place is a refreshing smaller city (albeit super-touristy) Grades: B/A-
7) Jacksonville, FL (most of my life including presently) - For all its shortcomings, my hometown will be the city that grasps my heart the rest of my life. I was born here, raised here, have loved it, have hated it, and know that it will continue to improve and someday make me proud. Honestly, it's really not that bad, but I admit that if I didn't travel most of the time then I wouldn't have lasted so long here. Grades: C/D-
8) Sewanee, TN ('97) - Gorgeous tiny little town. I was a young teenager but my memories are still quite vivid. It's pretty much a one-stoplight kinda place but every bit of it was awesome. And since most of my time was spent on the campus of the University of the South, it helped that it was one beautiful campus! Grades: F/D
9) Muncie, IN ('06, '07) - The kind of college town that I mentioned before as much worse than Gainesville. Grades: D/F
Wow can't believe this was from nearly 5 years ago! I only have one city to add now, Miami, which would probably slide into the #3 spot. Certainly not as urban and vibrant overall as DC and Chicago, but plenty of good amenities and our location works well for my young family. Now if I can eventually get us to move to NYC, SF, LA or Hong Kong I'm pretty sure I'll have a new #1.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
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Hey all,

So (1) Wanted to thank you guys for the suggestions. I totally agree that those would all be fantastic places to live.

(2) Perhaps I made my standard sound a bit higher than I am actually aiming even. Of course, for mountains, the closer is the better, so those western cities would be pretty awesome. With that said though, frankly, much less than that even satisfies me. Even in Cleveland, I felt, while I wasn't per se living in the most beautiful city in the world, that my needs for nature were more than satiated. I mean, for reference, I think there's 2X the amount of topographical range within 10 miles of Cleveland than there is in the entire state of FL. Plus, it's only a 3 hour trip to the PA/WV Appalachians, or to the Waterfall/Gorge filled Upstate NY and Lower ON. In general far more of what I like. And while I'm not sure Cleveland would qualify as "dynamically" urban/historic, it does seem to qualify more than my current locale lol (though, I have to admit Ybor has grown on me and could develop into something cool with time).

So, in short, I say that to mention that while those places out west would certainly be outstanding/dynamic from various perspectives, and I would absolutely LOVE them, I certainly wouldn't rule out/would be more than happy with a good number of MW/NE metros (so, as you guys mentioned, Minneapolis, or Philadelphia) would more than qualify, especially given the increased character a metro like that would seem to have from a built perspective along with the Earnings-COL ratio.

(3) I sometimes find myself thinking about how random a metro I might be happier with (not anything against current place, just tastes). Atlanta is sort of on my radar since I'm in higher education, and I think there could be a number of jobs there once I finish my doctoral degree (which, perhaps I should be getting back to my dissertation right now, LOL). It does get hot, but not for nearly as long or intense as FL, plus cooling mountains are a less than 2 hour drive, and in exchange for not quite as dynamic as western cities scenery, it has a very livable value/earnings ratio, plus is a larger city with a number of attractions and a pretty decent history/number of areas to go.

But frankly not even that. I find myself thinking I would be happier in say El Paso, Birmingham, Green Bay, etc haha, family aside of course.

However, that is the underlying problem. S/O feels very strongly about staying near family, and I get that perspective too, however, in some ways, I think you have to at least be in a place that SOMEWHAT matches your tastes as well. I even think about how.. at least Miami is a larger city? at least Jacksonville is modestly further north so therefore gets a longer cool season, slightly less flat terrain for hiking? I'm hoping at the time I enter the field searching for a professorial/research/whatever position I seek that it will allow me to pursue options that more closely match my tastes.

(3) I find my
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post

[clarification snipped]

However, that is the underlying problem. S/O feels very strongly about staying near family, and I get that perspective too, however, in some ways, I think you have to at least be in a place that SOMEWHAT matches your tastes as well. I even think about how.. at least Miami is a larger city? at least Jacksonville is modestly further north so therefore gets a longer cool season, slightly less flat terrain for hiking? I'm hoping at the time I enter the field searching for a professorial/research/whatever position I seek that it will allow me to pursue options that more closely match my tastes.
Family's in Florida, or at least the far Southeast?

If so, have you considered the cities of North Carolina, especially the Research Triangle?

I met a woman who hailed from the western part of that state, around Asheville, IIRC, and loved it until she fell in love with a man from this area who lured her up here using Chestnut Hill - the neighborhood that includes the highest elevation in the city (some 250+ feet above the elevation of Center City) and many of its wealthiest residents - as bait.

(Said woman is quoted at some length in this love letter to Chestnut Hill I wrote summer before last.)

She liked the urban-village feel of Chestnut Hill. And while my direct experience with North Carolina consists of attending a family reunion in Durham, it's my impression that the state is shot through with urban villages like it.

None of North Carolina's cities save Charlotte (and environs) are Jacksonville's size, but the three that form the nodes of the Research Triangle - the state capital of Raleigh, Duke University's home of Durham, and Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, another academic powerhouse - together form a pretty decent metropolitan area. Mass transit isn't quite where it should be yet if that matters to you, but they're working on it.

You won't lack for academic research opportunities in this region either, for in addition to the two universities I mentioned, Wake Forest University is not that far away in Winston-Salem. And I think there are some smaller colleges around as well.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
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I have extended family in Ohio too, but also scattered in a few bits of the country, and my wife has a decent amount of extended family in Austin, TX and Puerto Rico, but for the most part, yes, immediate range family is almost exclusively within the I-4 corridor (or parts south, like Bradenton.

I haven't been to Raleigh, but I would certainly consider RDU area given it's academic ties. However, I think I'd like Philadelphia even better, if I had the option!!! Philadelphia I think matches many of my tastes. Urban/Historic, 4 Season Climate, relatively close to mountains and coast and forested spaces, etc. Not that RDU would be bad for my tastes, either!

I do love NC, as since I married my wife we've spent a few days in a cabin in the mountains each summer and loved it.

P.S. Chestnut Hill sounds super cool. Any pictures of the views of the hills/topography/skyline from there?
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
P.S. Chestnut Hill sounds super cool. Any pictures of the views of the hills/topography/skyline from there?
The funny thing is, there are no places in Chestnut Hill where you can stand and take in a view of the (far-off) Center City skyline. For starters, the neighborhood's simply too bosky - there are trees just about everywhere - and for another, the open space is just as thickly wooded and mostly in valleys.

A photo of the main shopping strip accompanies that article I linked. I think there may be a few in my Facebook photo albums as well.

Your trek to Chestnut Hill from elsewhere in Philadelphia involves not scaling a single steep hill (unless you're riding a bike or walking up from the Wissahickon) but traveling through a procession of rises and dips until you reach the neighborhood. At least that's what the trip up Germantown Avenue (the "Great Road" that was the first path through this part of Philadelphia, carved out by the Lenape Indians) involves. Most of the parallel thoroughfares (Wayne Avenue, Greene Street, Chew Avenue, Stenton Avenue) have similar rises but fewer dips. Lincoln Drive runs through a valley (I don't know if it's a buried streambed like many thoroughfares that look like it in this city follow, but it probably is) and rises gradually as you continue north. All of the parallel thoroughfares save Stenton Avenue end in Mt. Airy, the next neighborhood south, and you have to make your way over to Germantown Avenue from them to reach Chestnut Hill. You will also need to turn off Stenton and head west to get to the Chestnut Hill shopping district from that street.

You can find images of Chestnut Hill through the years at the Chestnut Hill Conservancy & Historical Society. The Business Improvement District maintains a gallery of videos and event photos for the media that you can browse as well. There should be some material on the neighborhood at Visit Philadelphia too.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:17 AM
 
Location: STL area
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1...Chicago. It was perfect for the stage of life I was in. Loved living there and would do so again in a second, but it wouldn't rate as high with my current lifestyle. It would be a lot more of a PITA with 3 kids and hockey bags and private school, etc. (A+ when I was living there, might be a B+/A now)

2. St. Louis. It is perfect for my current stage of life and I love it here. But it wouldn't have been as much fun in my early 20s as Chicago was. (A+ now/B+ pre-kids)

3. Omaha. I was very young and found it boring then (19-22, college) but it was still a good place and I can see it as a nice place to raise a family, but lacks a few things that I value. (B/B+).

4. Champaign, IL. Main plus was proximity to Chicago and the university presence made it more interesting. (B).

5. Springfield, MO. Would never willingly do this again (didn't really willingly do it the first time, but it was a stellar temporary career move for my husband). Small city life is not for me and Bible Belt living is definitely not for me. At no stage of my life can I see this being desirable. Still, I can understand why it would appeal to others. (C/D)
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Nashville TN, Cincinnati, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by march2 View Post
Charlotte, NC - Our permanent home. Love it here. Clean, lots to do, great people, wonderful climate, really good economy, and great cost of living. Plan on being in the Charlotte area for good once we go back.

Orlando, FL - MANY people hating on Orlando. We loved the place. We loved the theme parks, but if that’s all it had, I wouldn’t like it either. Once you get north of the FL Turnpike, it’s really a nice city. Lakes, parks, and great neighborhoods. LOTS to do. Close to beaches on both Gulf and Atlantic. The only other place I could see us living if we left Charlotte.

Columbus, OH - Really nice city. Great people. Great growth and economy. Liked it there, just like other places more.

Cape Cod, MA - We’re living here temporarily to help care for my wife’s mom. It’s very nice and beautiful. Great people. Boston’s isn’t far for more city-like things to do. But just too darn expensive. Could never live anywhere that’s COL is nearly this high.
I don't know how you live in the Cape Cod. When my dad became a doctor he rented a house on Martha's Vineyard, he was a doctor and one of the poorest people in that town I kid you not. Cape Cod is awesome in the Summer thou. I don't know how y'all do it year round.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:32 PM
 
Location: United States of Jerry Falwell
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Ranking where I've lived as an adult.

Loved: Charlotte, NC (2009-2012) - These were the best years of my life. I would say Charlotte is a very well-balanced, well-rounded city with an excellent quality of life. I loved it there. My biggest regret was letting my family talk me into leaving and moving back home.

Mixed: Little Rock, AR (2008-2009) - I didn't hate Little Rock but didn't love it either and was glad to leave for Charlotte when I did. It's actually a decent city for its size, its just there is only so much a city that small can offer. I do miss the natural beauty there.

Hate: Fort Smith, AR (2002-2008), Oklahoma City (2012-Present) - Fort Smith AR is pretty much a small conservative Bible Belt town that was once a manufacturing hub but has seen its economic base dry up. It's quite a depressing place. Oklahoma City feels very much like a larger version of Fort Smith. It's oppressively conservative, ugly, depressing, has a small town mentality, etc and that's not mentioning the awful climate and tornadoes. The only positive I can think of is that its better than the rural South. For a city it's size I can hardly imagine anywhere punching farther below its weight. I've been stuck here for six years and counting and that has been six years too long. I'm hoping to finally be able to move somewhere else in the next few years.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:04 PM
 
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1. Edina, Mn. Great living near ymca, malls, shopping centers. library. everything is within a 5 min walk or drive

2. Philly suburbs. Lived in Clifton heights and Lansdowne. Probably would be ranked 1 if i liked in the city or a better suburb.

3. Wilmington de. Was young and had fun

4. chesapeake, va. BORING. in the middle of no where. just depressing all around if you dont have a car
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