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Old 11-27-2006, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Ct Shoreline
369 posts, read 1,821,001 times
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We are considering relocating from CA to New England. I wondered if there are any former CA natives who have made this move? Are you glad you moved? Would you do it again? What was the biggest transition? What don't you like? Any insight would be most appreciated!
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:05 PM
 
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 4,164,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougnaie View Post
We are considering relocating from CA to New England. I wondered if there are any former CA natives who have made this move? Are you glad you moved? Would you do it again? What was the biggest transition? What don't you like? Any insight would be most appreciated!
We lived in Lexington,Ma. for a year (2004-05). I loved the difference from Ca. Did not miss that La La Land feeling at all,loved the snow,the people who I found to be very friendly compared to So. Ca. and the history. We moved back here to Ca. for family but decided to go back to Masschusetts in 2007 after my son graduates middle school. Don't know if you have children but the best schools in So. Cal don't come close to the kind of education my son had in Lexington. Make sure you have all wheel drive or four wheel drive for the snow and buy your winter clothes in N.E. No sales tax on clothing!
The only thing I didn't like was the long grey winter. It's like living in a black and white movie..but it was fun bundling up for a change as opposed to shorts in the winter in Ca.
We are looking at Middlesex County or Norfolk for the schools and close proximity to the city. It is cheaper to live in Ma. than Ca. so don't let the "bring your money with you" comments throw you. They have no idea how expensive it is in L.A.,etc.! Let me know if I can help?
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Ct Shoreline
369 posts, read 1,821,001 times
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Thanks for the response! We have spent a portion of the past 7 summers in CT, so I have a general idea of the difference in pace. Thanks for touching on the winter weather, as that is my biggest concern. I especially appreciate the tip re buying clothes there due to the sales tax - what a great thing! We have a daughter in 4th grade, and one in boarding school in RI. We have always had them in private school here, but even that seems way less rigorous than what their cousins are getting in CT. As far as cost of living, I don't think that we will make or lose money on housing. I am fairly certain that what we get here will get us similar there. I guess it is just hard over all to think of living somewhere else, but we are pretty done with CA. The quality of life seems to be slipping far below what I remember. I would just like to slow down and enjoy things more than I do here. We are settled on CT as we have family there, but I am sure that what you've experienced re MA would translate to CT as well. Thanks for taking the time!
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 9,788,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougnaie View Post
Thanks for the response! We have spent a portion of the past 7 summers in CT, so I have a general idea of the difference in pace. Thanks for touching on the winter weather, as that is my biggest concern. I especially appreciate the tip re buying clothes there due to the sales tax - what a great thing! We have a daughter in 4th grade, and one in boarding school in RI. We have always had them in private school here, but even that seems way less rigorous than what their cousins are getting in CT. As far as cost of living, I don't think that we will make or lose money on housing. I am fairly certain that what we get here will get us similar there. I guess it is just hard over all to think of living somewhere else, but we are pretty done with CA. The quality of life seems to be slipping far below what I remember. I would just like to slow down and enjoy things more than I do here. We are settled on CT as we have family there, but I am sure that what you've experienced re MA would translate to CT as well. Thanks for taking the time!
A friend of mine here used to study only when the weather is bad (cloudy, rain or snow.) His method did not work at Berkeley, CA. He did not study for the first 2 months there. He has to change his studying habit. Could weather affect grades?
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
944 posts, read 3,662,059 times
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I spent 2 years (1980-82) at UMass, Amherst, lived in a small town north of there (Leverett) and loved it. But I missed California way too much. As you can see by my location, I'm now in Austin, TX, which is much more like CA than New England is. The northeast feels like a different planet. It's not BAD, it's just SO different, culturally and geographically and climatically and in every possible way. Well, they DO speak English and use the same system of currency...

What I enjoyed most:

1. Though it might take longer to become friends with someone there, once you make a friend they're TRUE friends. Opposite of Los Angeles, where everyone says "call me" or "let's do lunch" but rarely means it. In New England they're more likely to be honest, earthy, and die-hard friends but they're not as gregarious at first.

2. Very progressive politically and economically --- I like that, some people don't. Obviously MA and VT have the reputation of being the bluest of blue states and I personally would feel proud of that if I still lived there.

3. Drop-dead gorgeous!!! The seasons, the summer green, the autumn, the ice and snow in winter, the mountains and streams, it's magnificent!

What I didn't like:

1. Socially conservative. I don't mean they're anti-abortion, I mean the subdued personalities, the "old world" style of interacting, the good taste in all things. Garish Christmas light displays, for example, abound in CA and Austin, but are rare in New England. It's rather proper and feels a bit stuffy. Also, less crazy self-expression. I like the kooks of the west coast and Austin, they're colorful and it makes me feel like I have permission to be a kook along with them. I enjoy certain fads, northeasterners are less prone to play along with them. And they're not nearly as decadent as we are.

2. winter... 'nuff said.

3. spring... doesn't exist. One day there's snow, the next day you're sweating like a pig and swatting mosquitoes off your face. When the ground melts they call it "mud season." In the northern areas they have Black Fly season. But mid to late summer and autumn make up for it, so maybe I should give spring a break...

North-Central Vermont:

I have a brother who runs a bakery (Bohemian Bread) in northern Vermont and he absolutely loves it. Moved there 3 years ago from the Bay Area. He's still getting used to how different it is, but the people around his area are fantastic, so educated and so cultured and interesting, very dedicated friends who all stick together and help each other out in their rural mountain region. They call it "Commie Ridge" because of all the socialist types who seem to live on their hill. I've spent a few weeks with them and could live there just for the people, but it's too isolated, too cold, too too too.....
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Ct Shoreline
369 posts, read 1,821,001 times
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Thanks, Deeptrance, for the detail response! I know exactly what you mean about it being on another planet. I just can't decide if it is a planet I am comfortable on or not! I have always found the people reserved, but authentic in a way that I really am missing here. My concern, as you noted, is that the "stuffy" overtones will make me stuffy, when I consider myself anything but. Certainly in CA you can do your own thing, and no one will look at you twice. That is an appealing freedom, and one that I would not offer up lightly. I guess my concerns as a native Californian are that living here is sucking the life out of us in tiny dribs and drabs, and that if we do not make a change soon, we will have no spark left. I am willing to at least try it as an experiment because life is way to short to spend 4 hours of it a day on the 405 fwy!

Thanks again for all of your very astute observations -
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:57 PM
 
439 posts, read 547,480 times
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Hey dougnaie

what deeptrance said was pretty on target- New England geographically juts out into the Atlantic- and seems really isolated from the rest of the USA- it in fact has more in common with western Europe (which is only 6 hours away)then Indiana-by far. The only thing we in Connecticut have in common with the heartland is language (and there are severe differences even there) and a dollar bill. That is it.

Yeah there are some stuffy people here, that are real pains in the as*-
But there are some real nice honest decent folk as well-

The culture here has a strong European slant- because of the closeness geographically to Europe, and the immigrants who came here. Nonetheless there are some real odd balls and nuts here that are into self expression as well. The region is very 'aged' compared to the rest of the USA- and those 'old world shadows' hang very heavy in the air.

Not everyone wears tweed jackets, smokes a pipe and is 'traditional'.
Boston- as old as it is -is a hotbed of innovation and liberal ideas despite the rather conservative 'social orientation'.

Rose Kennedy used to run naked at pool and ocean parties on the Cape and Palm beach- but still kept that stoic New England demeanor.

New England is 'ancient' - but pulsing with change and new ideas- thats the cool part- but tradition remains very strong here. We do welcome outsiders- especially Californians.

Whatever decision you make - one thing is here you will see a large drop in your stress level compared to California. You will have to adjust to the climatic conditions even if you decide on mild south eastern Connecticut.

In the end I think you will be surprised by the vitality here- with solitude and peace. There is great sushi, Fantastic Pizza and even not bad Mexican.

Last edited by Dragondog; 11-30-2006 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
944 posts, read 3,662,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougnaie View Post
...I have always found the people reserved, but authentic in a way that I really am missing here. My concern, as you noted, is that the "stuffy" overtones will make me stuffy, when I consider myself anything but.
No, don't get me wrong, I didn't (and don't) find NewEng. people to be unaccepting of non-stuffy people (hope you followed that triple-negative), what I mean is that if you NEED to be AROUND that crazy "anything goes" vibe of the southwest and west coast then you'll miss it in NE. (arrgghhh, why does NE have to be the official abbreviation for Nebraska? Here it means "New England", OK? But I'm madly in love with the sand hills of western Neb., different topic, different forum...)

So, the question is whether you will feel at home being whatever you are in a place where others might not express themselves as you do but will accept you anyway. Does that make sense?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
New England geographically juts out into the Atlantic- and seems really isolated from the rest of the USA- it in fact has more in common with western Europe
I wholeheartedly agree. Socially, culturally and politically it has a lot of European (old world ) vibe to it. That has its good and bad sides depending on what you're looking for. But I think it's actually more stuffy than most of urban Europe. It feels culturally conservative in the way that NPR is culturally conservative --- anyone who is allowed to speak on NPR has to have that northeastern Ivy League intellectual elitist affectation in their voices. I listen to NPR all the time, I'm not knocking it, just laughing at that one aspect of it. I think they could loosen their ties and unbutton the top button of their shirts and still do a respectable job of reporting the news. You hear someone like Linda Wertheimer and you feel like you should be sitting up straighter in your leather chair...
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
Boston- as old as it is -is a hotbed of innovation and liberal ideas despite the rather conservative 'social orientation'.
Absolutely! I attended a meeting of a controversial (shall remain unnamed) radical leftist group in Jamaica Plain and was blown away by how far they went beyond what I was accustomed to hearing in Berkeley. I had an affair with an unrepentent communist revolutionary from that meeting who literally said (in response to a question) that she would kill my parents for the revolution. Suffice to say the only thing that was "killed" by her comment was my interest in having anything to do with her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
Rose Kennedy used to run naked at pool and ocean parties on the Cape and Palm beach- but still kept that stoic New England demeanor.
I have direct information that a wealthy individual from MA drove off a bridge and let someone drown because he had taken a hallucinogenic substance at the party from which they were returning...

That's an example of the decadence that does occur in NE. But it's more like Victorian decadence, where the masses are expected to behave themselves while the ultra-rich can do whatever they want. This negates, to me, any pretense of rich liberals actually being progressive. They're not. They just like to toss crumbs to the beggars at their table in order to seem compassionate and liberal, but they want to preserve the system that got them to their high stations in life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
In the end I think you will be surprised by the vitality here- with solitude and peace. There is great sushi, Fantastic Pizza and even not bad Mexican.
May I modify your restaurant review? I would say "Fantastic pizza, great sushi, but nothing remotely like an authentic good Mexican restaurant." Perhaps you've had some good Mexican food there, I haven't tried in 24 years so I'm not one to know what's current in the region. Pay no attention to the old Texas guy who lives 4 hours from the Mexican border and hasn't tried NE Mex in 2 dozen years...

Last edited by deeptrance; 11-30-2006 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:16 PM
 
439 posts, read 547,480 times
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Gee Deeptrance

as a gay man- I have had more then MY FAIR SHARE of fun in very Gay Providence Rhode Island- and I am neither rich, have gone to an Ivy league school or have ancestors related to the Kennedy's or landed on the Mayflower. I do not speak with an 'affected' accent- sort of a nondescript 'Connecticutese' that friends from the far west say ' sounds like New England'-perhaps so to them.

As for the Kennedy's- what I said was in pure fun- in most areas of the country today I would have NO rights as a gay man. Austin Texas may seem 'wild and liberated' but in whole the state of Texas has the most regressive laws on gay rights, womens rights, child welfare and health and the environment.

Be that as it may-since you have not been here in 24 years- things have changed. Gay marriage in Mass. Civil unions in CT.

Yeah I was called 'stuffy and conservative' by a biker from California now living here- maybe so- but never judge a book by its cover hehehe. As Rose slips naked from one party to the next........

Last edited by Dragondog; 11-30-2006 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
944 posts, read 3,662,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
....what I said was in pure fun
Likewise
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
...in most areas of the country today I would have NO rights as a gay man. Austin Texas may seem 'wild and liberated' but in whole the state of Texas has the most regressive laws on gay rights, womens rights, child welfare and health and the environment.
Yes and no. I've lived in both places and know many gay people in Texas who are perfectly happy here and don't feel "oppressed." The laws you hear about are to please the Bible Belt voters who care about what's written on the books. Yes, that's annoying but the actual culture and the enforcement of those laws is WAY more relaxed than what you might imagine. Gay marriage? I don't see the point of it, personally, but then I don't see the point of Straight marriage so what do I know...
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLion View Post
Yeah I was called 'stuffy and conservative' by a biker from California now living here- maybe so- but never judge a book by its cover hehehe.
Exactly and ditto and yes! You just encapsulated everything I was trying to say. The book covers are more conservative in NE, but the contents of the book might be racier than they are in places with crazy covers! You put it perfectly, and your example of the California Biker summarizes what I was saying in a single "case study."

Now, step up to the microphone and say the words "You're listening to Morning Edition on National Public Radio" and let me be the judge of your affectations!
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