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Old 12-10-2012, 03:52 PM
 
107 posts, read 209,841 times
Reputation: 32

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All of these cities are on a lot of best places to relocate to lists and I've made several posts in various forums on here about this but I'm just trying to get as much input as possible. Obviously if a job pops up elsewhere I'll probably go for it.

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. Part of it is going to depend on where we can find jobs.. Anyway we are originally from small towns in central Illinois and I went to school in Southern Illinois in Carbondale. I have a BA in Cinema and Photography. After school I moved back in with my parents and did part time work while trying to find something better. On a whim my fiance and I moved to Bloomington, Indiana last August and things just didn't work out after 6 months and now we're back living with my parents in rural Illinois. This was all mostly our fault for not having full time work lined up but oh well we learned some things. I really do hate it here in rural central Illinois..really, way too conservative and nothing to do. She doesn't have a degree but has done phlebotomy in the past and may get her CNA or go back to school for Early Childhood. I do some freelance photo stuff but there isn't much market here. I know I'll probably never make enough of a living doing creative work so I'll probably settle for a normal 9-5 and do my stuff on weekends. Right now I am just working PT in retail trying to save money as well as various freelance work. I'm also very aware that the best thing to do is secure work before moving but I also know it's very hard to secure a lot of work when you're not there. So I've settled that we may need to try and move with enough money saved to live for several months. Would any renters in these areas allow paying several months in advance w/o a job? I'm also open to smaller areas or suburbs. So here's what we're looking for.

Decent cost of living with a chance of finding rental homes with a fenced yard. Our dog has issues (rescue dog with anxiety, etc.) and it's hard to take him on long walks.
Low crime
Low unemployment (with a decent amount of entry level full time jobs, if need be)
Affordable rent
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues
Some quirkiness
Sustainable future - economy, climate, etc
Good for kids if we have any
Not terrible to navigate, driving, traffic - I'm somewhat bad at directions but I use a GPS and I'm better at stressful driving situations than most of my family, but that doesn't mean much.

Kansas City - Seems great from what I've heard. I've been to Lawrence which is kind of close and I liked it.
Omaha - Heard good things. I visited for a few days, it was nice but it didn't scream "move here"...but you can't really tell much from a short trip.
Pittsburgh - Like what I've heard except for the navigation and traffic hell I've heard about. Closer to the east coast, but still pretty far.
Columbus - I know the least about this area...my vote will count?
Des Moines - Again, don't know a lot but heard good things.

Last edited by tdagarim; 12-10-2012 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Middletown, CT
993 posts, read 1,767,407 times
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Omaha is pretty conservative. I don't know how much that matters to you though.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:50 PM
 
583 posts, read 884,630 times
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K.C. and Columbus are both nice. K.C. gives you a bit of Western/Southern/Midwestern flavor and great BBQ.

Columbus is also a very nice town with a lot going for it. I'd add Louisville and St. Louis to the tour, take a second look at Indy and scrap the rest of your list.

If you can swing through Nashville, Memphis, Tulsa and Oklahoma City for the price of gas and cheap hotels, all the better. Nashville is really coming on strong.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:58 PM
 
107 posts, read 209,841 times
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Omaha is quite a bit more liberal than the rest of Nebraska though.

I've been to St. Louis many times. From what I've read the economy isn't as strong. I'm still considering it an option as well as a few places still in Illinois but I don't need as many outside opinions there. I'm pretty sure I would enjoy Nashville but isn't the col a bit higher? I could probably live in most of the other places as well IF I secured a good job beforehand but I think they seem like a larger risk if I were to try and plunge with a decent sum of money w/o a job first.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:09 PM
 
396 posts, read 653,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
Omaha is quite a bit more liberal than the rest of Nebraska though.

I've been to St. Louis many times. From what I've read the economy isn't as strong. I'm still considering it an option as well as a few places still in Illinois but I don't need as many outside opinions there. I'm pretty sure I would enjoy Nashville but isn't the col a bit higher? I could probably live in most of the other places as well IF I secured a good job beforehand but I think they seem like a larger risk if I were to try and plunge with a decent sum of money w/o a job first.
I was going to say try St. Louis, it meets most of your criteria, close to home. The economy here is better than the national, larger and more interesting then your other options. I think Pittsburgh would be a good number 2.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:14 PM
 
583 posts, read 884,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Trafford View Post
I think Pittsburgh would be a good number 2.
I completely agree, in the Beavis and Butthead sense.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Planet Kolob
429 posts, read 654,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregHenry View Post
I completely agree, in the Beavis and Butthead sense.
What is your intellectual opinion on ST. Louis urban areas?
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:55 AM
 
583 posts, read 884,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPSGuy View Post
What is your intellectual opinion on ST. Louis urban areas?
Interesting phrasing. St. Louis is a first-rate legitimate city with a powerful, thriving economy, affordable living, lovely parks and a range of housing, from old neighborhoods to modern housing.

As to your "urban" qualifier, if it's in the metro area, it's "urban."
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Planet Kolob
429 posts, read 654,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregHenry View Post
Interesting phrasing. St. Louis is a first-rate legitimate city with a powerful, thriving economy, affordable living, lovely parks and a range of housing, from old neighborhoods to modern housing.

As to your "urban" qualifier, if it's in the metro area, it's "urban."
I was asking because you seem so skilled and experienced in urban travel, urban studies, and architecture that I was intrigued to find your opinion. I bet you probably explored every inner city neighborhood there.

I don't understand your urban qualifier statement. There are many areas in a metro that are far from urban. Many places such as the Columbus metro only have urban neighborhoods in select inner city neighborhoods.

Last edited by SPSGuy; 12-11-2012 at 05:08 AM..
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,108 posts, read 23,886,188 times
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Of the cities you chose, I would go with KC and Pittsburgh (pretty comparable metros IMO). Columbus is ok, but doesn't have quite the same large city vibe that KC and Pitts do and while Omaha and Des Moines are fine small metros, they are way too small for my liking.

I too would add St Louis to the mix.
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