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Old 03-30-2010, 07:49 PM
26 posts, read 54,369 times
Reputation: 21


After doing research, I'm checking out several cities for a future place to live... I made a post earlier today describing what I am looking for and want to live in a special place:
I'm graduating college in a few years and would like to start getting ideas on where to visit in preparation for finding my dream city.

A few things that are important to me:
Low crime
Cheap to live in (can get a decent place in the 'burbs or rural area within commuting distance for $150-200k) OR with a walkable, reasonably priced downtown area
Mid sized (100-500,000k people)
Good food!
4 seasons, I don't mind a very cold winter, in fact I kind of prefer it. I'm not a big fan of the heat!
A good economy

Not necessary but preferred:
A population of German/Russian speaking people (I am from Germany, my hopefully soon to be wife, Russian)
Good sports scene... I love watching basketball, hockey, and soccer
Near a small body of water at least, a city with a lot of lakes or maybe near the great lakes

Recommendations on cities/states?
So... I ask you... Why is your area the place for me, if it is at all?
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:46 AM
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,409 posts, read 27,051,542 times
Reputation: 16531
Kalamazoo is not nice, Grand Rapids is a nice place. It has everything you listed
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:01 PM
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,657 times
Reputation: 236
I happen to like Kalamazoo thank you very much.

I live in GR now, however and it certainly meets your criteria as long as you can tolerate minor league sports or a 2-hour drive to Detroit for the pros. Then again, I'm not aware of a mid-sized city in America with much of a sports scene really. Even GR is just "ok" if you compare it to a town with top teams.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:44 PM
Location: lifelong Detroiter transplanted to Milwaukee
117 posts, read 330,993 times
Reputation: 119
Kalamazoo is a pretty nice community in many ways, but it is smaller than Grand Rapids so I think Grand Rapids would be a better fit for someone who values having a lot of "culture"/things to do/etc.
While there are definitely some good restaurants in Kazoo (Erbelli's for pizza and Saffron for indian food just for starters), the city isn't big enough to have a very large selection of restaurants. The "sports scene" here revolves around things like the Kalamazoo Wings minor league hockey team (although we did recently host the national championships for curling if you're into that).
In terms of crime, I would say that Portage is a very nice suburb of Kalamazoo that is very safe - but others feel it is too "bland" and suburban.
You probably are aware that the economy in Michigan is not particularly good, but at least Kazoo and Grand Rapids are doing relatively well compared to the Detroit area.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:27 AM
484 posts, read 1,106,093 times
Reputation: 439
Grand Rapids has everything you want except the cultural/language thing. Not too many actual Germans/Russians that I've seen in these parts (and the Midwest in general). However, you'll be welcomed as anyone.

If you can afford 200K for a house, feel free to take your pick of just about anyplace in the GR metro area.
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