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Old 11-25-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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Hi, everyone.

My family and I are looking to move to a major city after living in the suburbs for the past 25 years. The cities we are considering moving to are NYC (obviously), San Francisco, Los Angeles (sort of, not thrilled with it though), Seattle (sort of), Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Philly, DC...yeah, basically all the major cities in the USA. We are seeking the greater job opportunities (especially in publications/writing, film, and theatre), the hustle bustle, the cultural diversity, social opportunities, etc, that come with living in a major city.

All of these cities are very different from each other of course, but we're not sure of all the exact ways HOW they are because we've obviously never LIVED in any of them and can't attest to the reality of them first-hand.

People always talk about NYC like there is literally no other place on earth like it. Many say it's the greatest city in the USA bar none, that no other city can compare. How true do you guys think that is? Would settling down in any of the aforementioned cities be incomparable to NYC?

I know NYC is the most expensive of them all, which is obviously a drawback. But assuming for the sake of argument alone that the members of my family and I can all get decently-paying jobs and settle for a much smaller living space than we currently have, would NYC trump all the other cities BY FAR in your opinions? In what ways would NYC compare and in what ways would it not?

If anyone who has lived in both NYC and any of the other cities could briefly list something like:

NYC vs San Fran - Comparable in the theatre scene, NYC much better for film, San Fran better for writing, about equally expensive, much more to do in NYC, better weather in San Fran...

^Not saying it's all true, just giving an example.

Basically, before diving in to the job search in NYC with all we've got, I want to know if we should really be focusing on a different, perhaps "easier" city to make in it. If NYC really offers so many things that other cities just can't (things that we wouldn't be willing to sacrifice), well, I'll have my answer and I'll put all my energy into trying to make it work for us there. But if other cities could provide basically the same experience as NYC at lower costs/easier living, I might reconsider.

Sorry for the long post. Hope it made sense, and thanks for any opinions.

Last edited by ChocolatePudding; 11-25-2011 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
63 posts, read 224,883 times
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I would say if cultural diversity is important to you, you should take Boston off of your list. Boston is predominately White/Irish Catholics. I've heard from people who have lived there that other backgrounds don't fare as well there. In terms of all those other cities you mentioned, nYC beats them all as well. Queens is the most diverse county in the united states, I believe. Brooklyn isn't far behind.

I do think NYC is the greatest city in the world, but that's probably because of my inherent bias because I've only really lived here. It has it's faults. Harsh winters, high prices (especially in Manhattan) and whatnot.

You can settle in a nice single house in the outer boroughs that's near a subway station for a nice commute to the city. You also mentioned you are coming from the suburbs, so I'm assuming you have a car. I don't recommend commuting to Manhattan by car everyday, but you may want to on occasion. An advantage is that you'll have easy access to a car, that you can park in your driveway. Errands can easily be done by car in the outer boroughs.

You can also settle for a multiple bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Depending on the location/deal of either, this may or may not be more expensive than living in the outer boroughs. If you want to keep your car you'll either have to run around all the time looking for a space, or pay a good amount of money to garage it. Though if you live in Manhattan, you may decide that owning a car isn't necessary. Cabs are readily available pretty much 24/7/365, except in places like Harlem and Washington Heights, and the density of subway stations is much greater than the outer boroughs.

There are also a lot of in betweens with those choices, all have their advantages and drawbacks. Hope this helps
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:11 PM
 
Location: New York City/San Diego, CA
681 posts, read 1,063,443 times
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Absolutely no comparison for what you want: job opportunities, hustle and bustle, culture, and social. New York blows the other cities out of the water. San Francisco can have better weather (though not for me as I love the four seasons) and certainly has better outdoor recreation.

NYC is the center for both publishing and theatre. All of SF is tech and that is it, and much of it is concentrated 30 miles south in bleak office parks. Seattle is similar with worse weather and less diversity. LA is more creative but a huge sprawling mess with little of the energy you seek. Boston and DC are science and government focused respectively, both also with a healthy dose of tech. Philly is old school with a high crime rate. Nashville is a small town compartively. Chicago would be a distant second after NYC.

You may actually find NYC more affordable than SF, LA, DC or even Boston if you live in Queens or Brooklyn. Both of those places are much more accessible to the "good stuff" and have less crime than Oakland which is really the only semi-urban area, besides outrageously priced SF, in the Bay Area.

For what you want, New York is it. Think outside the box and consider other areas besides Manhattan and you may actually find it relatively affordable. The subway is frequent and runs 24 hours.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:21 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
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I'd prefer San Francisco for myself - it's gentler, prettier, has a good changeable climate without the extremes of NYC. It has every amenity I'd want. It also has easy access to a huge variety of natural wonders from mountains to redwood forests, surfing, beaches.

But NYC is the ultimate big city experience, it might be better for a young couple, and is powerful and attractive in many areas.

Seattle suits me even more than SF just because it's a little depressive, but most people can't handle the nine month long period of drizzly overcast gloomy weather. It's not the amount of rain, which is about the same per year as NY - it's the lack of sunshine until the perfect 3 month summer arrives.

Boston is a very cool place, bookish, great markets and museums, but housing costs are too high for what you get.

Philly is the bargain basement of cities in terms of housing and living costs, it's comparable to Boston in many ways but so much less expensive. Good bang for your buck.

Chicago is roughly comparable to NYC in terms of things to do, entertainment and the like, but less expensive. However the weather is brutal in both summer and winter.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:55 PM
 
20 posts, read 71,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrupt Politician View Post
I would say if cultural diversity is important to you, you should take Boston off of your list. Boston is predominately White/Irish Catholics. I've heard from people who have lived there that other backgrounds don't fare as well there. In terms of all those other cities you mentioned, nYC beats them all as well. Queens is the most diverse county in the united states, I believe. Brooklyn isn't far behind.
Thanks for the info! Yes, we haven't really looked into Boston much yet (we've basically been spending our time researching NYC the most), but we have family that lives in Boston and have heard great things so far, so it's still on the list. But that's good to know. We're white. Not Catholic. We do very much appreciate diversity and a tolerant atmosphere though, especially when it comes to LGBT culture and also in the way of intellectual stimulation, artistic community, etc. It's been hard to find people to relate to out here in the suburbs.

Quote:
You can settle in a nice single house in the outer boroughs that's near a subway station for a nice commute to the city. You also mentioned you are coming from the suburbs, so I'm assuming you have a car. I don't recommend commuting to Manhattan by car everyday, but you may want to on occasion. An advantage is that you'll have easy access to a car, that you can park in your driveway. Errands can easily be done by car in the outer boroughs.

You can also settle for a multiple bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Depending on the location/deal of either, this may or may not be more expensive than living in the outer boroughs. If you want to keep your car you'll either have to run around all the time looking for a space, or pay a good amount of money to garage it. Though if you live in Manhattan, you may decide that owning a car isn't necessary. Cabs are readily available pretty much 24/7/365, except in places like Harlem and Washington Heights, and the density of subway stations is much greater than the outer boroughs.
Yes, we were actually thinking we could move into an apartment in Manhattan. Maybe a 2-bedroom. We don't really need a big house, and we'd like to live in the city if we could. Of course it's very pricey, but we would obviously not make the move unless at least one of us secured a high enough paying job beforehand.

Settling in a house (or even in an apartment) in the boroughs is definitely another idea though...How long would the commute be on average?

Oh, and yes, we were planning on selling the cars to add to a nice chunk of cash saved for our move actually. Honestly, public transportation is a HUGE plus for NYC in our opinions. So many crazy drivers these days. Too many near-fatal accidents for us out here in California.

Quote:
There are also a lot of in betweens with those choices, all have their advantages and drawbacks. Hope this helps
It was very helpful, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfosyd
NYC is the center for both publishing and theatre.
That’s what I’ve heard. Great to hear it again. On the other hand, does that mean that it is so competitive in those industries that it would be easier to break in to them in a different city?

Quote:
All of SF is tech and that is it, and much of it is concentrated 30 miles south in bleak office parks. Seattle is similar with worse weather and less diversity. LA is more creative but a huge sprawling mess with little of the energy you seek. Boston and DC are science and government focused respectively, both also with a healthy dose of tech. Philly is old school with a high crime rate. Nashville is a small town compartively. Chicago would be a distant second after NYC.
Thanks for your opinions! Very helpful. Although I’m wondering, even though all of these cities have their “focus”, would any major city be a good one to start a freelance writing career? NYC seems the best. So many different newspapers, magazines, things to write about, etc. But as long as a city is big enough, there will be a decent number of publications and a need for writing?


Quote:
You may actually find NYC more affordable than SF, LA, DC or even Boston if you live in Queens or Brooklyn. Both of those places are much more accessible to the "good stuff" and have less crime than Oakland which is really the only semi-urban area, besides outrageously priced SF, in the Bay Area.
Wow. That’s very good to know. My biggest qualm about NYC is of course the PRICES. Everyone I talk to says it’s so expensive to live there, and I believe them, but I’ve been trying to justify it to myself anyway because I love so much else about it. When you say it may be more affordable than these other cities, do you mean purely in terms of rent, or in day-to-day living too?


Quote:
For what you want, New York is it. Think outside the box and consider other areas besides Manhattan and you may actually find it relatively affordable. The subway is frequent and runs 24 hours.
I definitely am going to consider that more now thanks to you guys’ opinions. Would love to hear more about the commute though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof
I'd prefer San Francisco for myself - it's gentler, prettier, has a good changeable climate without the extremes of NYC. It has every amenity I'd want. It also has easy access to a huge variety of natural wonders from mountains to redwood forests, surfing, beaches.
San Francisco is very appealing to me as well. It’s definitely near NYC at the top of the list so far. How do you think NYC fares in terms of those natural wonders? Compared to SF, SF has more, yes…but does NYC have a decent amount of nature to “get away to” besides Central Park (which already sounds beyond amazing, by the way)?

Quote:
Seattle suits me even more than SF just because it's a little depressive, but most people can't handle the nine month long period of drizzly overcast gloomy weather. It's not the amount of rain, which is about the same per year as NY - it's the lack of sunshine until the perfect 3 month summer arrives.
I love the rain, but I don’t think even I could take it for nine months straight. :P It rains just as much in NYC, you say, but there are way more days of sunshine in NYC?


Quote:
Boston is a very cool place, bookish, great markets and museums, but housing costs are too high for what you get.
Good to know. What do you think of the culture in Boston versus NYC? You describe Boston as “bookish”. Sounds up my alley. I really would love to find my niche in one of these cities. NYC, I would guess, would be equally if not more intellectually stimulating though. Agree? Disagree?


Quote:
Philly is the bargain basement of cities in terms of housing and living costs, it's comparable to Boston in many ways but so much less expensive. Good bang for your buck.
Another great thing to know! I’d love to hear more about what you think of it. Have you lived there yourself? Is the crime pretty bad?


Quote:
Chicago is roughly comparable to NYC in terms of things to do, entertainment and the like, but less expensive. However the weather is brutal in both summer and winter.
I’ve heard that a lot about the weather in Chicago. Are they MUCH harsher winters and summers than NYC then?

Thanks so much to everyone who replied already. Very helpful!

Would love to hear more opinions, especially if people on here have lived in more than one of these cities before and can compare first-hand. Thank you!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:32 AM
 
1,020 posts, read 3,214,214 times
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I lived in boston when I was a kid before. cold, wet and snowy winters, very high cost of living (food and rent costs more). cars rust very bad, so it will cost you. only 4 hours bus ride to nyc. I want to move back there. bad school district in boston unless kids go to the exam schools.

I live in seattle now, and I dont like the overcast, its 9 months straight, but cost of living is tons better, cars dont rust, isnt too hot or too cold all year round. gets boring here unless you like the outdoors such as running all year long rain or shine, canoeing, etc. food costs less. school system is ok, some bad schools, and some better of schools in the seattle district.

I lived in philadelphia too, for a yr and a half. not many "safe" areas, bad school district in the city. everyday when I watch the news, someone in the city got shot or stabbed, and it feels like im lucky to be alive everyday. crime is bad. cost of living is low, you can get a 3 bedroom 1200 sf townhome or 50 in a bad area, 120k in a better area. wages are lower compared to seattle or boston. 2 hour bus ride to nyc

Spokane, WA- smaller city, but i went to school next to it, cost of a house is low, about 120k for a 3 bedroom. cost of food is high, not much big employers there, simple, laid back city.


NYC- friend lives there, I visit often. cost of living is high, have to live in jersey or brooklyn to get cheaper rents. Is a great city if you have an endless supply of money. things to do everywhere, but money is the big issue. most people struggle just to survive, living with roommates. car is a liability all around the city.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:26 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 13,487,612 times
Reputation: 8083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof
I'd prefer San Francisco for myself - it's gentler, prettier, has a good changeable climate without the extremes of NYC. It has every amenity I'd want. It also has easy access to a huge variety of natural wonders from mountains to redwood forests, surfing, beaches.

San Francisco is very appealing to me as well. It’s definitely near NYC at the top of the list so far. How do you think NYC fares in terms of those natural wonders? Compared to SF, SF has more, yes…but does NYC have a decent amount of nature to “get away to” besides Central Park (which already sounds beyond amazing, by the way)?

NYC has nature nearby as in the Catskills, but it's just not as spectacular or varied, and the humidity is higher.

Quote:
Seattle suits me even more than SF just because it's a little depressive, but most people can't handle the nine month long period of drizzly overcast gloomy weather. It's not the amount of rain, which is about the same per year as NY - it's the lack of sunshine until the perfect 3 month summer arrives.

I love the rain, but I don’t think even I could take it for nine months straight. :P It rains just as much in NYC, you say, but there are way more days of sunshine in NYC?

Yes, there's more sunshine, and it's better distributed throughout the year in NYC. NY has briefer downpours or snowstorms, while Seattle is dark with "mizzle" (misty drizzle) for almost 9 months straight, then picture perfect sunny weather for the 3 months of summer.

Quote:
Boston is a very cool place, bookish, great markets and museums, but housing costs are too high for what you get.

Good to know. What do you think of the culture in Boston versus NYC? You describe Boston as “bookish”. Sounds up my alley. I really would love to find my niche in one of these cities. NYC, I would guess, would be equally if not more intellectually stimulating though. Agree? Disagree?

I guess NYC can be as intellectually stimulating ..... as a very general statement, it seems to me that Boston's intellectual scene is very academic and idealistic because of the vast numbers of universities and colleges, while NYC's smarts are more about becoming rich and getting ahead in life by clawing at the soft underbelly of society, as exemplified by great law firms and Goldman Sachs financial wizards.


Quote:
Philly is the bargain basement of cities in terms of housing and living costs, it's comparable to Boston in many ways but so much less expensive. Good bang for your buck.

Another great thing to know! I’d love to hear more about what you think of it. Have you lived there yourself? Is the crime pretty bad?

I've only lived there long ago, but looking into recently I found that crime has become much worse than NYC, which has become remarkably safer than back then.

Quote:
Chicago is roughly comparable to NYC in terms of things to do, entertainment and the like, but less expensive. However the weather is brutal in both summer and winter.

I’ve heard that a lot about the weather in Chicago. Are they MUCH harsher winters and summers than NYC then?

Yes, old people seem to die every winter from inadequate heating, and every summer if their airconditioning breaks down or they can't afford any.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:40 PM
 
16,027 posts, read 26,558,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolatePudding View Post
Hi, everyone.

My family and I are looking to move to a major city after living in the suburbs for the past 25 years. The cities we are considering moving to are NYC (obviously), San Francisco, Los Angeles (sort of, not thrilled with it though), Seattle (sort of), Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Philly, DC...yeah, basically all the major cities in the USA. We are seeking the greater job opportunities (especially in publications/writing, film, and theatre), the hustle bustle, the cultural diversity, social opportunities, etc, that come with living in a major city.

All of these cities are very different from each other of course, but we're not sure of all the exact ways HOW they are because we've obviously never LIVED in any of them and can't attest to the reality of them first-hand.

People always talk about NYC like there is literally no other place on earth like it. Many say it's the greatest city in the USA bar none, that no other city can compare. How true do you guys think that is? Would settling down in any of the aforementioned cities be incomparable to NYC?

I know NYC is the most expensive of them all, which is obviously a drawback. But assuming for the sake of argument alone that the members of my family and I can all get decently-paying jobs and settle for a much smaller living space than we currently have, would NYC trump all the other cities BY FAR in your opinions? In what ways would NYC compare and in what ways would it not?

If anyone who has lived in both NYC and any of the other cities could briefly list something like:

NYC vs San Fran - Comparable in the theatre scene, NYC much better for film, San Fran better for writing, about equally expensive, much more to do in NYC, better weather in San Fran...

^Not saying it's all true, just giving an example.

Basically, before diving in to the job search in NYC with all we've got, I want to know if we should really be focusing on a different, perhaps "easier" city to make in it. If NYC really offers so many things that other cities just can't (things that we wouldn't be willing to sacrifice), well, I'll have my answer and I'll put all my energy into trying to make it work for us there. But if other cities could provide basically the same experience as NYC at lower costs/easier living, I might reconsider.

Sorry for the long post. Hope it made sense, and thanks for any opinions.

Considering your criteria/desires (see bolded above), you should also look into moving to Atlanta.


I hope this helps some. Good Luck!
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:09 PM
 
87 posts, read 227,150 times
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i'll make this real simple. I've lived in 3 of those cities - L.A., San Fran, NYC.
L.A. is awful, San Fran has no energy, NYC is greatness.
NYC hands down. No question. Just stay away from the crappy hoods.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:33 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 9,844,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolatePudding View Post
We are seeking the greater job opportunities (especially in publications/writing, film, and theatre)
These are niche markets that narrow your options down considerably. You have to be more specific. Are you a playwright/screenwriter? On the one hand, those are spec/freelance careers that can be done from anywhere. Hardly anyone is "hired" to be a playwright. On the other hand, writing is all about networking and it helps to be in a major market. You might also consider Chicago. It's far, far cheaper than New York or San Francisco.
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