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Old 08-07-2009, 09:20 PM
 
Location: East coast, U.S.
1 posts, read 19,484 times
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Are there any? I'm looking to move in about a year or two, so I'm in the planning and saving phase. Trying to find a city that fits my general preferences:

- great public transportation system and walkable city (no car)
- liberal feel, "hippie" subculture a plus
- access to woods and parks, camping and outdoor activities
- reasonable cost of living (relative I know)

Portland seems to be what I've been looking for, but I'm curious if there is an east coast gem I'm missing.

p.s. I also like Portland because of the unique weather.. it's my favorite.

Last edited by skygliding; 08-07-2009 at 09:28 PM..
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:22 AM
 
44 posts, read 272,835 times
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I'd say Pittsburg.

Maybe cities in upper New York like Buffalo or so.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
10,762 posts, read 17,379,745 times
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Except that it is very small compared to Portland, I'd say Burlington, VT hands down. I don't think anything on the East Coast (and I use that term liberally as Burlington is about 300 miles inland) will match Portland's weather (though perhaps in cloudiness VT does), for better or worse, but it probably matches what you say better than anything else on the East Coast.

The cost of living is the only one I wonder about. I explored moving to Burlington (from the NYC area) earlier this year and while it was nowhere near the costs of NYC or Boston or DC area, it was pretty high for an area of its size. Don't know how it compares to Portland though (I had heard that Portland is pretty pricey because of limits on sprawl, which ironically is the explanation for Burlington's costs).
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:53 AM
 
46 posts, read 108,869 times
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Portland, Maine
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Location: pittsburgh/portland
57 posts, read 177,728 times
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It'll be hard to find an East Coast city with all of those attractions. Pittsburgh has a low cost of housing and lots of access to outdoor activities, but their public transportation is sad compared to Tri-met, and while they have excellent bike trails the streets themselves are narrow, hilly (you'll get in shape in a hurry!) and badly lit. There's a liberal feel in the east end and around the colleges, but it's a different sort than West Coast cities, and I wouldn't really call it hippie.

DC is an expensive place to live and (like NY, Philadelphia and Boston) to get to outdoors places that feel as wild as the PNW you'll have to drive a couple of hours out of town. However, walking and public transportation is good, and you'll be living in a place where protests and rallies are just part of the way things happen rather than some sort of shocking event. Metro is expensive, but the museums are free and DC has always had a vibrant and diverse music scene.

Smaller college towns like Ithaca NY, Asheville NC or Burlington VT might have a more similar feel, though I don't know about their public transportation options.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Pittsburgh. It's not quite East coast though. More like "Appalachian", in a good way, not a Deliverance way. And it's cheap, green, has the liberal, walkable/bikeable east end. It's not hippie though. I'd definitly say the smaller cities in Vermont or upstate NY are more hippie. Pittsburgh is more urban. More hipster than hippie. But it is surrounded by beautiful, woodsy, mountainous country side. Public transportation isn't terrible, but it's not great either. I have plenty of friends there who don't own cars and do just fine, but winter can be trying without a car. Pittsburgh has an excellent bus system and a small subway/light rail that serves Downtown and the South Hills.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
716 posts, read 2,690,527 times
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Baltimore
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I enjoyed east-central Massachusetts - the area around Worcester and Framingham. It's far enough from Boston to be less expensive, but close enough to go there whenever you want.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:12 PM
emh
 
298 posts, read 819,388 times
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Asheville, NC would be a good fit though the public transportation isn't that great. Otherwise, it's definitely a liberal/hippie city, has a walkable downtown, the Blue Ridge Mountains are minutes away and the weather is (relatively) mild.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:44 PM
 
544 posts, read 1,397,363 times
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Lowell MA.
For MA, I would say its the closest thing to Portland but way way way way smaller populationwise (100 grand). It has the art culture and birthplace to Jack Kerouac.
Burlington VT and Portland ME most likely compare more though but for MA, Lowell is my pick for being closest city to Portland. A cambodian/viet population as well.
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