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Old 01-17-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Virgin Islands
611 posts, read 1,296,230 times
Reputation: 591

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All this and Im not even 26 yet, lol

Eustis, Fl (Suburb of Orlando) (6-18)– My hometown. Very Backwards, rural and the one time citrus capitol of the world, now a haven for retirees. I ran away as fast as I could.

Jacksonville, Fl – (1 year) my first big City experience, I arrived at 18 and worked odd jobs for an entire year there. Kind of like a HUGE small town, with its country ways, but definitely coming into its own in the last few years. A lot of good housing stock here, different types than you will see in the rest of Florida. The Landing is a nice place to shop, eat and hang out. Definitely could use some diversification and some programs to help its dis-enfranchised. My overall opinion: Jacksonville is the Baltimore of the South. Blue-collar, Crime Ridden, Industrial Port City.

St. John US Virgin Islands (6 months) - Absolutely gorgeous Island, Phenomenal. I spent six months here bumming around waiting tables and drinking. People can be VERY CLIQUISH on this island and your either IN or OUT. Housing is expensive (I lived in a shack) so is gas and food. I hitch-hiked my way around the island, which is fairly common.

Orlando/Kissimmee - (on and off for the last 5 years) Plenty to do, Plenty of places to dine. Very Diverse. Lacks a cohesive sense of character. I still have no idea what message the city of Orlando is trying to send, aside from it being the #1 tourist destination and all, Overall not a deep and historic enough city for me.

Clearwater, Fl (Suburb of Tampa/St. Pete) (1.5 years) this part of Florida is my favorite! The beaches are beautiful, there’s a little bit of history in places like Tarpon Springs/St. Pete Area. It’s got other industries besides tourism to try and maintain a decent economy. Plenty of water activities.

Baltimore, MD (1.5 years) Baltimore was my first out-of-the-tropics experience and it was a shock. The dirt, the crime, the historic buildings, it’s a real city! I love it because of its realness. It definitely has its own identity. Kind of Hard to meet people because of the whole East-Coast Attitude, and worrying that as a Southerner I would be ripe pickings for some sort of crime. I did enjoy eating crabs and living in my row-home, tail-gating the Ravens games and seeing snow for the first time. I loved riding the Light-rail that was a new experience, and the convience of D.C. I loved the Baltimore Farmers Market and Baltimore has a lot of awesome thrift stores, not to mention the Baltimore Free Store!

Cincinnati, OH (5 month assignment) Cincinnati is a foodie paradise! I found so many awesome restaurants. The nightclub/bar –scene is sub-par for a city its size. Findlay Market is a GEM, I loved it! Cincy has a lot of unique houses, row homes, and German-looking homes. Real cool city.

Fargo, ND (5 month assignment –currently here) The best thing about Fargo is that when you’re bored to tears you can drive three hours and be in Minneapolis ….lol….just kidding. MN/ND people are the friendliest people in America. Hands Down. Fargo has a really small population, and very few minorities are here, but oh my! There is soo much diversity among the minorities here! It’s a nice break from the bad attitudes back home and out east. I hope as the oil boom grows this city can keep its charm. Not really much to do or see here folks, but it’s an AWESOME place to raise a family with excellent schools and is extremely safe.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,520,628 times
Reputation: 4556
1. Charlotte (2.5 years)
2. Kansas City (3 years)
3. Little Rock (2 years)
4. Oklahoma City (4 years)
5. Fort Smith, Arkansas (7 years)

I lived in Los Angeles when I was very young but was so young at the time I couldn't properly rate it.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:03 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
10,379 posts, read 21,918,028 times
Reputation: 10084
1. Florence KY (ages 0 to 5)
- Thriving suburb of Cincinanti. Close to Cincy's main attractions but without the rude people or rampant crime of the Ohio side
2. Louisville KY (ages 19 to 25)
- nice arts scene, great park system, nice logical road system.
3. Lexington KY
- Not a bad place, great surrounding scenery. A little snooty for my taste and the road system is HORRIBLE!!
4. Windsor / Russell Springs / Jamestown KY
- Very rural place with few decent jobs. I loved living there as a child though, lived on a family country road where I could walk to grandma's, an aunts, a cousins, and an uncles within 2 minutes
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,568,967 times
Reputation: 3379
1. San Francisco Peninsula, California (5 months and counting). Healthy mix of higher-income, Silicon Valley types, long-time multi-generational locals and Mexican immigrants. Close to Stanford University and, well it's in the Bay, so a highly educated population. Downtown is lovely (but for some reason it's draws the nouveau riche snobs from surrounding suburbs). Caltrain makes it easy to get many places on the peninsula. My suburb is also in the same company with Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, San Carlos, and Belmont which are small than RWC but still beautiful, small suburban communities. Plus I practically have a 60,000 acre nature preserve in my backyard. The only downside is the snobbery of some of the Silicon Valley and gold diggin' wife types.

I also find the peninsula to be, on the whole, a little friendlier and more down to Earth than that enclave of "tolerance" called the City of San Francisco.

2. Frankfort, Kentucky (17.5 years). Is it that remarkable? No, not really. I mean, it's the 8th-largest city in Kentucky but would be considered a cow town in many states. That said, Downtown Frankfort is quaint and beautiful, the state capitol building is gorgeous, and the history is deep, going back to the 1780s. It's extremely close to Louisville and Lexington, the state's two largest cities, if you need larger city fix. The countryside surrounding Frankfort is also quite nice.

3. Cincinnati (2 years). Meh. Cool neighborhoods, architecture and some of the best pizza I've ever tasted. Absolutely beautiful in the spring and summer, albeit hot and miserable (but then again, so is the whole Ohio Valley). That said, I lived in a decent neighborhood but had trashy, low class neighbors, my job was terrible, and the locals were rather Cincinnati-centric and weren't that friendly. I maintain some friendships there but have no reason to go back otherwise.

4. Louisville, Kentucky (9 months). Like Cincinnati above, except an extremely difficult place to make friends. I graduated from a university there, but it was mostly populated by locals and I've honestly never met a more cliquish, closed-off, flaky group of people in the entire U.S. than Louisville natives. Not to mention, I can't even recite all the examples of outright hostile, arrogant, cold people I met, and some of the worst were in church!!!

Lastly, I lived in a small farm town way out in the boondocks of Kentucky for the first five years of my life but I don't have a great memory of it.

After the Bay Area, I'd like to live in a more rural part of California (but not total boondocks), Sacramento, San Diego, or some parts of Orange County. I'd also be open to Seattle, Portland, Austin, Houston, Ft. Worth, Charlotte, or Raleigh-Durham.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Hayward, CA
12 posts, read 21,578 times
Reputation: 15
Great site here, guys. This is my first post, and hope to do many more.
*******
1.East Bay area: Hayward, Fremont, Alameda--CA --24 years and counting. Right in the heart of the bay area, close to many of the cooler cities like SF, Oak, Berk, SJ and the Peninsula, but it works for me. Liberal politically just like me too. Great weather, fairly nice people overall, kind of bland though, and the restaurants and shopping could be better. Live in a nice condo in Hayward that was a steal compared to other bay area real estate. Close to my favorite teams: A's, Raiders, Warriors. All who may leave Oakland for greener pastures within the next 4-5 years!! NO!!!!

2. Salt Lake City--5 years, mid 80's. Great, clean city, very nice people, dramatic setting. You get all 4 seasons, but don't miss the heavy snow fall. A tad conservative for me but not too bad compared to other Utah towns. Plenty to do for the outdoorsman. Not bad night life, but I'm not into that anyways.

3. Sacramento--10 years, born and raised. Ho hum, suburbia, kind of hot, kind of boring. Okay as a kid, but wouldn't live there as an adult.

4. Visalia, central California--7 years. One of the better valley towns in Calif. Very nice people, cute downtown. Bad air and dairy smell year round, along with the tule fog make it not livable for long term.

Last edited by eastbay62; 01-18-2012 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Northern California
954 posts, read 1,796,505 times
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Sacramento (20 years) - born and raised. It was an OK city to live in growing up. Very hot in the summer and cold in the winter. One of the best characteristics about Sac was the trees. Midtown was growing culturally, many restaurants were opening up It was the heart and soul of the city. But Sac was too small for me - both mentally and physically.

Mexico City, Mexico (2 years) - study abroad at UNAM, one of Latin America's top university. majored in history. My family resides in Mexico City which was great. I didn't have to pay for living arrangements. Mexico City is very historic city - the oldest in the Americas and capital of the Aztec Empire. A very rich culture and art scene. Tons of museums, incredible architecture, great dining.

Only issues I had was of course the smog and traffic in the city but that's expected when there are 25 million people in the metro area. The subway is super cheap but very crowded. It was a pleasant experience. Love visiting family but I wouldn't want to live there

San Francisco (5 years - present). SF is everything I want in a city. Compact, high density, liberal, great transportation, awesome dining, cultural and art scene. Not super crowded. Tons of community and outdoor activities in the city and Bay Area. Fresh air, fog, pleasant weather. I love it!
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
13,814 posts, read 14,469,014 times
Reputation: 6178
1. Mexico City. The culture, food and people are amazing, and just the sheer amount of constant activity is very exciting... but it can also be very draining if you're not used to it. It made NYC seem tame in comparison. Didn't need a car because public transportation is widespread and *very* cheap, which is a big plus.

2. Columbus, Ohio. My hometown, so maybe biased a bit. IMO, very underrated. Great people and an expanding cultural and food scene. I was always able to find things to do and I loved the weather (4 distinct seasons). All of my greatest friendships were formed here. Even if I move away again, I plan to end up coming back at some point.

3. Toledo, OH. Meh. It's okay, but could never really get all that excited about it. Just seemed a bit rundown and depressed. Nice people, though.

4. Schuykill Cnty, PA. Nightmare. Nothing to do, people, for the most part, were rather standoffish and reserved. Biggest industry was coal mining and the hills were literally black in places. Very depressing.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,542 posts, read 8,318,724 times
Reputation: 1636
1. Sydney, Australia (3 years): Beaches, hills, great people, nice weather...it's awesome!
2. Fort Collins, CO (1.5 years): Great size college town w/ a nice climate, friendly people, good food & easy access to Denver for a big city fix. Oh, and the Rocky Mountains are out the back door!
3. Durham, NC (4 years & current home): Very happy living here. Foodie central, diverse population, lots of grassroots involvement in community, decent hiking, tons of trees, good jobs/economy, educated population and OK climate (a little too hot in the summer).
4. Flagstaff, AZ (1.5 years): A diamond in the rough...like a little piece of the Colorado mountains set in the middle of the high desert. Climate is a little too cool/snowy, but there is a ton of sun, the town is a bit isolated. World class hiking and scenery is all around. Great restaurants!
5. Boone, NC (1.5 years): A little too small and lacking some amenities I like, but a nice area nonetheless. One of the mildest summer climates in the southeast and fantastic hiking abound.
6. Raleigh, NC: (15.5 years): This is effectively my hometown, and it's a fine place, but the sprawl has gotten pretty bad. I felt a bit disconnected living here and found the dominance of chain stores/restaurants and strip malls to be tiresome. Downtown Raleigh is coming along nicely, however.
7. Greensboro, NC (9 years): I work on the border of Greensboro & High Point now after having moved away from the area almost 25 years ago. It is still a very segregated city (white east/black west) and seems to be lacking for a lot of good food. Downtown has come back nicely but there needs to be more.
8. High Point, NC (1 year - birthplace): Blah. Bedroom community to already boring Greensboro. Nothing exciting at all here. I drive 125 miles each day not to live in the Greensboro/High Point area, so that should tell you something.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:56 AM
 
2,816 posts, read 5,624,026 times
Reputation: 3758
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
3. Barcelona & the SE coast. The Spanish lifestyle is to die for. Wake up at 9, throw some clothes on, drink a shot of espresso and a light breakfast, to go work till 12 or 1. Come home, eat a big lunch, siesta time! Wake up at 2, go back to work till 7 or 8. Eat a light dinner, then party time till midnight. Nightlife doesn't get much better either.
Spanish lifestyle? I live in Spain and a don't know anyonw who wakes up at 9. I don't know what kind of job you had, but it's hardly representative.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:22 AM
 
469 posts, read 856,365 times
Reputation: 316
1. Memphis - More personality and originality than any of the others. Manageable travel / commuting for a larger city.
2. No. Virginia/ D.C. area - Great restaurants, shopping and unique environment., though heavy traffic congestion.
3. Myrtle Beach - accessablilty to beach and golf course living, but heavy tourist activity with negatives attached to that.
4. Richmond, Va. - Nice people, slow to accept newcomers (many years ago) Very nice suburbs.
5. Lynchburg, Va. - Good smaller city, but steadily lost its small town appeal with overcrowded development encroaching on its beautiful wooded hill setting, particularly the butchered hillside visable to incoming traffic near the university.
6. Columbia, S.C. - Hotter than anywhere I've been due to typical southern humidity combined with light colored sandy soil reflecting heat back into the atmosphere. A little light on things to do.
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