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Old 04-10-2018, 07:06 AM
 
35 posts, read 31,721 times
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Hi All,
My husband and I are considering moving to Bethlehem or Easton, PA from Southern, CT. He commutes over 200 miles daily to Brooklyn for work, and while I know the Lehigh Valley would only shave 30-40 miles a day off the commute, we believe it might be worth the move. We have visited the area many times, and we are very satisfied with the ammenities and the home prices. My one concern is this, I honestly cannot stand living in Connecticut, primarily due to the neurotic, cynical, fast-paced, elitist vibe that dominates most of the Ct shoreline. I lived in Pittsburgh for a few years, and I love, I mean LOVE everything about Western, PA culturally. The people were so warm and genuine, and I haven't seen such a strong sense of community anywhere on the entire East coast. Now that being said, I know that Eastern and Western PA are totally different animals, but my question for you all is this: Do you feel that the Lehigh valley is just a cultural extension of Jersey, Philly, and NYC because of its proximity? Or do you feel that it retains some of that warm sense of community that can be found in Western, PA? I know its a difficult question to answer, but I guess what I am trying to gage is if living there would feel basically the same as living in Southern, Ct- which I am desperately trying to escape! I know that the ammenities are exceedingly better, the home prices are moderately better, the property taxes are slightly better in some areas, and it would save my husband about 100 miles of driving each week- plus no more dealing with 95, which could save him over 10 hours a week of traffic congestion. But, we would hate to make the leap if the general vibe still feels like the same cold, rude, pretentious, "let's compare our status cars, McMansions, and then go humiliate and berate the Starbucks barista together", mentality. Southern CT probably takes the cake on that kind of behavior, but I guess we would hate to move from one corner of crazy, to another corner of crazy......thank you to all that can offer up opinions!
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:21 AM
 
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I know you/ your husband is fine with the commute, so I won't comment on that.

In terms of culture/ general vibe, the LV is more like Pittsburgh than Southern CT. People are nice here and don't really care about your car, house size.

I will say that the sense of community varies widely depending on which neighborhood you choose and is widely influenced by your kids (their friends, activities...).
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:40 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the quick reply! I'm so glad to hear that the area doesn't have that pretentious vibe. I didn't think it would, but I wasn't sure if it was still going to retain that ultra fast, NE corner rat race, kind of feel to it. We don't have kids, because honestly we are just overgrown kids. We enjoy alot of outdoor activities- snowboarding, biking, motorcycles you name it! We also love live music. Basically, even though we are 40, we are trying to pretend we are 25 forever! I believe Bethlehem and Easton have alot more to offer us in the way of entertainment than Southern CT ever has. We are also hoping it is easier to make friends there. Southern CT is very family oriented and honestly quite a bit older than we are, so it has always been challenging to develop a social life. I'm hoping that LV is more social in general. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I felt like people were always inviting each other out and there was a, "More the merrier!", kind of mentality. I don't know if everyone is that friendly and outgoing in LV, but I hope so?
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,577 posts, read 71,651,526 times
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I'm also watching this thread. I've been considering a possible move to the Lehigh Valley from Pittsburgh for a while to be nearer to my family's homestead in suburban Scranton to help my sister care for my parents as they age. I couldn't bring myself to ever move to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, though, because the area is just so socioeconomically depressed and still somewhat homophobic (I'm gay).

I've lived in Pittsburgh for eight years and do love it here. The people are generally very down-to-earth and friendly. The crime is only high in a certain few neighborhoods. The weather stinks (second-cloudiest big city in the country), and we're very isolated from other major cities compared to Eastern PA. I'll miss this city if and when I move, but from my research it looks like I'd also thrive in Bethlehem.

In any event good luck in advance on your impending move! I'd say it's a good idea!
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:52 AM
 
501 posts, read 398,850 times
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Hi and welcome!! My husband is currently commuting to Brooklyn for work as well! We moved out here from there 4 years ago. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley. We currently live in the College Hill neighborhood in Easton and I love it! My parents are also in Westchester and my mother directed a preschool in Darien so I am familiar with what uppity is like. They Lehigh Valley is not uppity or pretentious even in the more affluent areas IMO. I absolutely love our city and our neighborhood vibe is outstanding. As I've shared in other posts, our schools have a ton of cultural and socio economic diversity which we really value. We have all of benefits of a small college that we can walk to. My children walk to and from elementary school on their own, ride bikes and go to the neighborhood playgrounds on their own. There is a HUGE sense of community here where people know their neighbors and look out for each others kids. The Valley has so much to do. And it's proximity to the NYC and Philly makes it super accessible. In terms of the commute, my husband has made it work. It's not the best. It usually takes him about 2 hours to get there in the a.m. but he goes in for 9 am so if your husband has a different schedule it might not be as bad. DM me if you'd like to chat more.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:13 PM
 
307 posts, read 170,202 times
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Default We're women and moving from Asheville to was Bethlehem but now Allentown

We're a couple of women. While a gay community wasn't important to either of us, it
existed in Asheville but we found it oddly pretentious and after 8 years decided to come
back North to family and olddd friends. We finally feel at home here. What a difference.

We're buying a lovely home in Allentown. Our real estate agent blows our minds.
She's beyond fabulous and the best we've had in our decades together. We haven't
seen any remote discrimination in Bethlehem or Allentown and we've dealt with
many many people in a short period of time, including folks walking in
neighborhoods we considered but nixed the houses. We happen to be buying
an awesomely affordable (for us) house in a good neighborhood in Allentown
that happens to be owned by two gay guys. We don't need a security system.
There are parts of Bethlehem that were firmly planted and lovely middle-class
neighborhoods but we were cautioned not to walk alone at night. No warnings
where we're buying.

If anyone needs a recommendation for a real estate agent in Lehigh Valley (my 5th house)
and our 3rd and hopefully last, I'll be happy to PM you. I'm not advertising
and she's just the greatest.

Taxes, compared to NC, will more than double but the house we're buying is
drop-dead gorgeous and in a more than decent neighborhood. So, compared
to Asheville, the house is a lot cheaper here than what we had and we lived
in a lovely area in a slightly smaller house. Taxes compared to our house 36
miles from the center of NYC in a tiny house are way cheaper. We can't afford
NYS and that's why we had to leave. Wish I could remember CT taxes -
have a family member who lives there and lived in New Canaan and Newtown,
but my brain conked out and that information is just too old.

Good luck to both of you who are considering relocating. I know Pittsburgh
has a great reputation (all, of course, is area-dependent like anywhere). But
I had neighbors in Asheville who made yearly treks up there to family and
really liked it.
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:18 PM
 
35 posts, read 31,721 times
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These are some awesome replies and it makes me feel so positive about the area! I've been to all 3 cities, Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem and because of my husband's commute to NYC, Allentown is probably out of the running but both Easton and Bethlehem seem like they have a lot to offer. I'm really excited at all the positive vibes coming from you guys! I was a bit worried that the proximity to Philly and Jersey might give it an overrun/over crowded kind of feel, but so long as people are fairly friendly and laid back, it sounds like the edgy/tense vibe isn't a factor. Really looking forward to spending some more time there in the upcoming weeks so we can start making plans!
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:23 PM
 
35 posts, read 31,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringler24 View Post
Hi and welcome!! My husband is currently commuting to Brooklyn for work as well! We moved out here from there 4 years ago. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley. We currently live in the College Hill neighborhood in Easton and I love it! My parents are also in Westchester and my mother directed a preschool in Darien so I am familiar with what uppity is like. They Lehigh Valley is not uppity or pretentious even in the more affluent areas IMO. I absolutely love our city and our neighborhood vibe is outstanding. As I've shared in other posts, our schools have a ton of cultural and socio economic diversity which we really value. We have all of benefits of a small college that we can walk to. My children walk to and from elementary school on their own, ride bikes and go to the neighborhood playgrounds on their own. There is a HUGE sense of community here where people know their neighbors and look out for each others kids. The Valley has so much to do. And it's proximity to the NYC and Philly makes it super accessible. In terms of the commute, my husband has made it work. It's not the best. It usually takes him about 2 hours to get there in the a.m. but he goes in for 9 am so if your husband has a different schedule it might not be as bad. DM me if you'd like to chat more.
Ringler 24, thanks for all the great info! It sounds like you know exactly what we are looking/hoping for! My husband's schedule puts him in Brooklyn for 6am, and usually out by 2pm, which helps a great deal with rush hour. Dealing with 95 in CT, however......there are times when it takes him 5 hours to get home on a Friday night! And I can't even tell you how many tires the poor guy has gone through....Thanks again for all your great input. We live in a fairly sleepy, shoreline town East of New Haven, and have access to a whopping 2 restaurants within our town limits, so I can't even begin to express my need for even the slightest dose of urban culture!!
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:31 PM
 
35 posts, read 31,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I'm also watching this thread. I've been considering a possible move to the Lehigh Valley from Pittsburgh for a while to be nearer to my family's homestead in suburban Scranton to help my sister care for my parents as they age. I couldn't bring myself to ever move to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, though, because the area is just so socioeconomically depressed and still somewhat homophobic (I'm gay).

I've lived in Pittsburgh for eight years and do love it here. The people are generally very down-to-earth and friendly. The crime is only high in a certain few neighborhoods. The weather stinks (second-cloudiest big city in the country), and we're very isolated from other major cities compared to Eastern PA. I'll miss this city if and when I move, but from my research it looks like I'd also thrive in Bethlehem.

In any event good luck in advance on your impending move! I'd say it's a good idea!

SteelCityRising,
I absolutely adore Pittsburgh with all my heart and I wish you all the best on your ventures! If my husband could find solid work out in Pittsburgh, it's where we would be, but unfortunately he is locked into the NYC for life. From the research I have done, I also think Bethlehem would be a great fit. I'm so psyched about their gigantic music festival they have every year! Any town that promotes art and music is good by me. I wish you all the best whatever you decide to do. I, too, moved home from Pittsburgh to take care of my dad in his final years....Not an easy decision to make, so I completely empathize!
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:47 PM
 
501 posts, read 398,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihret1 View Post
Ringler 24, thanks for all the great info! It sounds like you know exactly what we are looking/hoping for! My husband's schedule puts him in Brooklyn for 6am, and usually out by 2pm, which helps a great deal with rush hour. Dealing with 95 in CT, however......there are times when it takes him 5 hours to get home on a Friday night! And I can't even tell you how many tires the poor guy has gone through....Thanks again for all your great input. We live in a fairly sleepy, shoreline town East of New Haven, and have access to a whopping 2 restaurants within our town limits, so I can't even begin to express my need for even the slightest dose of urban culture!!

I totally get it. Our downtown has tons of foody type restaurants and a very hipster vibe is making it's way there! You'll love. Those hours will be a breeze commute wise. 78 isn't as bad as north of us going across on route 80. My husband can usually get to Staten Island in close to an hour and then it's just NYC traffic that makes it bad from there. He commutes on Sundays as well and it's 1 hr. and 20 minutes. So that's probably what you'll mostly be looking at.
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