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Thread summary:

Moving from Southern California to New York State, where to live, politics lean moderate conservative, New York taxes, intimidated by snow, retirement in upstate New York

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Old 11-19-2007, 05:17 PM
 
Location: IE, ca
264 posts, read 616,623 times
Reputation: 486

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Hello all

I am considering a move to UNY from Southern California. I have been researching the areas and studying these boards for months and still have no idea where to look further. We are headed your way in January for some recon.

I intend on purchasing some property and then building a home to suit my families needs after I retire from the fire service here in California.

We have done the "rat race suburbia city life" and need a permanent change.

From what I have read those living in UNY love the place and hate to leave for the most part. If they do leave most seem to want to return. These are good qualities I like to see.

Has anyone from SoCal made this type of move? (Other parts of New England?)

If this is your state what would you recommend?

Where did you settle and how do you like it?
What would you do differently?
Good people and good community are a must.

We are not intimidated by the snow, in fact welcome something other than hot, dry and draught conditions.

We lean moderate conservative politically. The taxes in NY scare me!

We travel through New England every year in a different season and my wife is SOLD. She would like to move today...lol

Most people from California are migrating to Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Washington etc and the boards indicate these communities are becomoing just like California only with snow. I would like to avoid going where everyone else is heading...will New York make a good home??

Thanks to all.

 
Old 11-19-2007, 05:53 PM
 
5,265 posts, read 16,586,180 times
Reputation: 4325
If you are retring, and therefore don't have to worry about job market, you could live pretty much anywhere in Upstate NY and that gives you a lot of options. Taxes are going to be highest in the suburbs of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany.....but those suburban areas also have some of the best schools in the country (don't know if schools are a concern or not). If you go to one of the more rural towns, the taxes will be lower; but it all depends on what area of the state you want to be in. Do you want to be within a few hours of NYC? Do you want to be in or very close to the Mountains, Great Lakes, Finger Lakes? Upstate NY is diverse topographical region. As far as your politics goes; with the exception of Ithaca and some of the more upscale/bohemian urban areas in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany....you should have no problem fitting in as a moderate or conservative.
 
Old 11-19-2007, 06:59 PM
 
3,483 posts, read 6,259,662 times
Reputation: 2722
Great wine country (Finger lakes)
 
Old 11-19-2007, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,360 posts, read 12,265,553 times
Reputation: 3909
It's a very pretty state. You've got the river frontage along the St Lawrence at the extreme north where life merged with Canada is a day to day fact. To the south of that nearly to the NYS Thruway are the rustic Adirondack Mtns and to the SE corner of them our capital Albany. Including and going south from there are the old Dutch settlements along the Hudson River till you get to the suburbs of NYC. To the west of the Hudson are the Catskill Mtns, more often used as recreation by those from downstate.

In the St Lawrence where it comes to meet Lake Ontario you've got the 1000 Islands, a unique collection of communities based on water living lifestyles. Watertown is dominated by the expanded Army base with people from all over. Lake Ontario has a huge coastline with everything from sandy bluffs to lighthouses to campgrounds and ports large and small on which international ships of a couple of hundred feet travel. The Finger Lakes are long and narrow and set amongst high green treed hills with cute little towns (as is most of the state) and vineyards along them. There is a lot of history all over including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Women's Rights Movement. Most places are untouched by modern craziness and family values are high.

My favorite areas are from the 1000 Islands down the eastern shore of Lake Ontario to CNY placing you right smack dab in the middle of all the other beautiful spots in the state. Other favs are the Finger Lakes, all of them, and the Adirondacks. This will be a huge change for you. It may be closer to what you'd find at Big Bear or Placerville except for the cities.
 
Old 11-20-2007, 06:20 AM
 
525 posts, read 1,827,240 times
Reputation: 233
I agree with the others that it depends on your likes and interests, you can find almost anything in Upstate New York. And for what it's worth, moderate conservative would probably make you considered extreme right-wing in NY State government (see Pataki, George). However, upstate New York is a good fit for those ideals, but you'd never know it because of the population overload from downstate...again aside from places like Ithaca, which would give Berkeley a run for its money.
 
Old 11-21-2007, 02:50 PM
 
302 posts, read 1,443,489 times
Reputation: 118
Default I was originally from the northern Sierras near Lake Tahoe

Let me tell you one very important thing you should know about the weather difference. In No. Cal. we had plenty of snow and cold but the humidity was negligible compared to here. Took me 3 years to get used to breathing in icicles in the winter and steam in the summer. Out here we have the "wind chill factor" which drops the temp to sometimes 15 below zero or more
When you come in January just remember to bring VERY warm coats although Feb. is usually worse IMO
 
Old 11-21-2007, 08:20 PM
 
Location: IE, ca
264 posts, read 616,623 times
Reputation: 486
Thanks for all your responses so far. I know the cold is going to be a major change for us; however, my wife is more game than me. We both love the winter months and frequently travel to snowy places just to experince some winter. We have NO winter in S.Cal. We have HOT Summer and not so hot Summer...lol

This is one of the reasons we picked January to come back East so we could get a taste of the cold for a while. Our kids love to ski, snowboard and ice skate as well as ride a snowmobile once in a while. (All these activities require a long travel to find)

Not really sure where we will end up; however, I have been searching many New England boards and have learned much from very nice people like yourselves about the whole area.

Thanks Again

Captjob
 
Old 11-24-2007, 10:45 AM
 
57 posts, read 296,617 times
Reputation: 43
Smile I'm relocating to the Hudson Valley from Southern CA!

Hello. What city do you live in in Los Angeles? We live in Shadow Hills. We are looking at Warwick to relocate to in Orange County. We were there last fall and it is gorgeous. Commutable to the city, and supposedly has good schools. But as you probably already know... any school system would be better than LAUSD. Our house out here won't sell. Can't believe how bad the market is. You can personal email me at Nbrakern@i134.com. Hope to see you one day in NY!!!!!!!!!
 
Old 11-25-2007, 08:04 PM
 
130 posts, read 173,011 times
Reputation: 59
Default Of Small Towns: "You Ain't in So. Cal Anymore, little Missy"

Hi-
Having moved here 4 years ago from the San Diego area (actually 35 miles outside SD, tucked into the foothills of the Laguna Mts) I can tell you--this place, Upstate NY, is definitely different from what you're used to.

I'm (I guess?)a liberal, but in So. Cal, I often found my veiws didn't differ from most of the conservatives I met. I go to church, feel that others should worship as they see fit, and don't force my veiws on others. I see no reason for handguns (rifles are fine, as long as you're hunting and you eat what you shoot), I read the news, I see coruption in government for what it is: It should be ousted... I don't "vote the party line" I vote with an informed background.. So I guess maybe I'm a moderate conservative? I don't know...I never really found myself "different" until I moved HERE.

This is different from anything you have ever known...at least if you move to a more rural area. I live approx. 30 minutes south of Syracuse.

#1: The Mentality

At the University (which I attended--I now have 2 advanced degrees) is more advanced in thinking than the country side-- NOT that it doesn't have it's problems! There is a solid contigent of racism and anti-semitism that exists there--you just have to listen quietly to hear it. I was NOT prepared for this. My education in S. Cal was free from (I honestly beleive) prejudice, racism...it was truly Nirvana. Everyone got along and there was little tension...here, it's different. There is unpleasnatness, if you scratch the surface, even at the University. Although they publish marvelous statistics on diversity---I have yet to see it in action. Less than 2% of the profs are anything other than WASPs, and WASP males at that. Most students (even at the graduate level) are less well read than on the West Coast (Good Lord, no one has read Swift???), and far less globally minded. The intent is: "get out, leave, make bucks"... It's sad.

In the hinterlands (where I live), I was taken as a frightening conglomeration: A woman who had an education, was furthering it, and wasn't "frum 'roun' heeer". I refuse to sit in the kitchen with women while the men are playing cards and talk about the weather, canning vegetables or my children... OR GOSSIP!(I go out and play cards as well), and I will not tolerate the "N" word, references to "******s," and I *will* call people "bigot" to their face. Needless to say, this limits my friendships in the area.

But even in the nicer, more eduacted areas (Cazenovia, Manlius), there is a sever case of "blinders": Everyone assumes that one will "live up" to the socio-economic standards that "WE" all live by. One should wear pointy toed Italian shoes, make sure the children have piano lessons, and make darned sure you're wife keeps her nails in tip-top condition. Everyone is stiving to out-do each other....Although the "there-there, little Missy" attitude is more polite in these areas, it's only that: More polite. Men will simply smile at a woman and not speak to her about anything of importance. While this may or may not be an aspect you want to know about, if your wife is a professional, she may have a problem with her career: there's not a glass ceiling out here--IT'S CONCRETE!

The bigger probelm in this area is that most of Upstate NY is called "the rust belt" and for good reason--100 years ago, the place was thriving; 50 years ago, all the companies pulled out, leaving few jobs and a lot of competition. What had been thriving is now rusting... A woman in the job market has a harder time than a man, and even a man will have a heck of a time.

The web will tell you that the cost of living here is much cheaper than California. To some extent, yes. For instance, the housing, in comparison to S. Ca is VERY inexpensive...What they DON'T tell you is that the cost of food is INSANE here. In Ca., fresh vegetables are a given--not here. And you pay dearly for it. The food cost for a family of 6 (my family size) is 3x the amount that it was in So. ca. I'm not kidding. The only things that are "inexpensive" are dairy products--it's a very "dairy" sort of place... Our diets changed from mostly vegetables to starches and dairy...hence the next section...

#2.) Your physical well being:

I was "used" to a gym within a few minutes, working out, and basically other people who did the same thing... Not here. Gyms are 30 minutes away (do you really want to do an hour round trip?) and I have to say this... The people look, well, like they eat alot of dairy and starches and don't work out. When I moved here, I met up with a couple who live nearby and are from Solana Beach...The FIRST thing they said to me was "My GAWD, CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE PEOPLE LOOK LIKE???" Ok...I've got to tell you, THIS ISN'T SO. CA. There are NO "beautiful people" here. The newscasters look like something out of Dr. Frankenstein's collection. (Sorry locals, if your angry, please understand that although *I* am not a "beautiful person" I was just used to being among them...I used to expect my waitres at Denny's to look like a model...That's the way it is. Er, way it was..) And it's a little depressing, there are no "beautiful people" here, and any immigrant will shortly be getting a bit pudgier....BTW, I'm still 109, but I jog the snowmobile trails, much to the anger of hunters...

3.) The weather...You THINK you're ready for this. You're not. Around mid-February, "cabin fever" sets in (remember the Jimmy Buffet song? "I just shot six holes in my freezer, I think I've got cabin fever...") It's real. Around Feb, after 3 straight weeks of -29, you're ready to do something terrible to something...or someone. I get in major fights with my spouse and children...looking back, most of it is because I haven't been able to do anything but work...you really can't afford to be roaming about in snow storms. Hence, the social life suffers...and OH, what little social life there is...

4.) The media around here is awful. The local news is subpar: They cover a lot of inner city crime and not much else...perhaps there isn't much else to cover? There's very little in the way of Arts and Culture (The Red House, Warehouse, T3 and things run by the University...) The radio stations are limited. If your like 70's rock (if I hear Jackson Brown or Lynrd Skynrd one more time...I WILL SCREAM!), if you're into C&W or Debbie Boone, your OK. There is ONE classical station, ONE Jazz station, and they play (sorry folks) very standard fare. The NPR station DOES NOT broadcast World Cafe, BUT does have some great local things (interveiws with Profs, etc. at the U.) If you think the cultural input will be what you are used to...you are very, very mistaken.

Ok, after doing a quasi-bashing...now I should point out the good parts..

1.) The country side is breath-taking. Fall is beyond words as nature glimmers in front of you, yellow, gold and red. take a trip over Rt. 20 during the "laef peeping" season...Beyond words.

2.) The winter can be beautiful as well... There are samll ski mountains dotted everywhere, and for $20 and ski equipment you can have a heck of a day at the slopes--AND NO, it's not "on par" with Mammoth, Stowe or Aspen, it *is* fun. I live about 5 miles from a mountain, have a pass and really get into it. All of my children are snow boarders (I'm still on skis--Gsheeeze! What an ol' lady!) and a few of them are now instructors... They adjusted from surf boards to snow boards FAST! There is night skiing, and most of the folks that you meet on the mountain are interesting, fun...and from somewhere else.

3.) the Summers and Springs are made up of enjoying the deciduious forests and many, many lakes. Boats are cheap, fishing is (basically) free and it's a great summer past time. You can hike, swim, fish, waterski...there's lots to do, IF you look for it. And you really do have to LOOK for it.

All in all, do I regret moving here? Yes...and No. There are some aspects which are very wrong in my eyes...all the things that were wrong in this country back in the 1950's-- Women are expected to be June Cleaver, African Americans are expected to either "know their place" or be non-existant... men are men, and the poor folk should just be thankful *WE* tolerate them...This place is stuck in a time warp.

On the other hand, there are groups who work for change...Methodists (I'm one), we have a great Sudanese community (See Jon Dau's book "God Grew Trired of Us"), there are multiple orgainizeations in the city...

But if you're expecting to step into some sort of gentrified country life, sans problems...No. You are day dreaming about some unrealistic place.

Ask yourself...Can I handle -29 for weeks on end? Do I have a job waiting for me? Is there anyone in my family that would suffer (Ie, anyone other than WASLHPSM--("White, Anglo Saxon, Land Holding, Protestatant, Straight Male") If you have daugthers, know that their futures will be limited. If your wife has a career it may not flourish. If any family member has a disability...Oh, well, I could tell you A LOT about that. This isn't the most disability-friendly place....

But all this COULD change. I'm hoping it does. I'm hoping that my little hamlet catches up with the world, at least in outlook.
 
Old 11-25-2007, 08:23 PM
 
3,510 posts, read 9,422,875 times
Reputation: 1517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Hi-
Having moved here 4 years ago from the San Diego area (actually 35 miles outside SD, tucked into the foothills of the Laguna Mts) I can tell you--this place, Upstate NY, is definitely different from what you're used to.

I'm (I guess?)a liberal, but in So. Cal, I often found my veiws didn't differ from most of the conservatives I met. I go to church, feel that others should worship as they see fit, and don't force my veiws on others. I see no reason for handguns (rifles are fine, as long as you're hunting and you eat what you shoot), I read the news, I see coruption in government for what it is: It should be ousted... I don't "vote the party line" I vote with an informed background.. So I guess maybe I'm a moderate conservative? I don't know...I never really found myself "different" until I moved HERE.

This is different from anything you have ever known...at least if you move to a more rural area. I live approx. 30 minutes south of Syracuse.

#1: The Mentality

At the University (which I attended--I now have 2 advanced degrees) is more advanced in thinking than the country side-- NOT that it doesn't have it's problems! There is a solid contigent of racism and anti-semitism that exists there--you just have to listen quietly to hear it. I was NOT prepared for this. My education in S. Cal was free from (I honestly beleive) prejudice, racism...it was truly Nirvana. Everyone got along and there was little tension...here, it's different. There is unpleasnatness, if you scratch the surface, even at the University. Although they publish marvelous statistics on diversity---I have yet to see it in action. Less than 2% of the profs are anything other than WASPs, and WASP males at that. Most students (even at the graduate level) are less well read than on the West Coast (Good Lord, no one has read Swift???), and far less globally minded. The intent is: "get out, leave, make bucks"... It's sad.

In the hinterlands (where I live), I was taken as a frightening conglomeration: A woman who had an education, was furthering it, and wasn't "frum 'roun' heeer". I refuse to sit in the kitchen with women while the men are playing cards and talk about the weather, canning vegetables or my children... OR GOSSIP!(I go out and play cards as well), and I will not tolerate the "N" word, references to "******s," and I *will* call people "bigot" to their face. Needless to say, this limits my friendships in the area.

But even in the nicer, more eduacted areas (Cazenovia, Manlius), there is a sever case of "blinders": Everyone assumes that one will "live up" to the socio-economic standards that "WE" all live by. One should wear pointy toed Italian shoes, make sure the children have piano lessons, and make darned sure you're wife keeps her nails in tip-top condition. Everyone is stiving to out-do each other....Although the "there-there, little Missy" attitude is more polite in these areas, it's only that: More polite. Men will simply smile at a woman and not speak to her about anything of importance. While this may or may not be an aspect you want to know about, if your wife is a professional, she may have a problem with her career: there's not a glass ceiling out here--IT'S CONCRETE!

The bigger probelm in this area is that most of Upstate NY is called "the rust belt" and for good reason--100 years ago, the place was thriving; 50 years ago, all the companies pulled out, leaving few jobs and a lot of competition. What had been thriving is now rusting... A woman in the job market has a harder time than a man, and even a man will have a heck of a time.

The web will tell you that the cost of living here is much cheaper than California. To some extent, yes. For instance, the housing, in comparison to S. Ca is VERY inexpensive...What they DON'T tell you is that the cost of food is INSANE here. In Ca., fresh vegetables are a given--not here. And you pay dearly for it. The food cost for a family of 6 (my family size) is 3x the amount that it was in So. ca. I'm not kidding. The only things that are "inexpensive" are dairy products--it's a very "dairy" sort of place... Our diets changed from mostly vegetables to starches and dairy...hence the next section...

#2.) Your physical well being:

I was "used" to a gym within a few minutes, working out, and basically other people who did the same thing... Not here. Gyms are 30 minutes away (do you really want to do an hour round trip?) and I have to say this... The people look, well, like they eat alot of dairy and starches and don't work out. When I moved here, I met up with a couple who live nearby and are from Solana Beach...The FIRST thing they said to me was "My GAWD, CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE PEOPLE LOOK LIKE???" Ok...I've got to tell you, THIS ISN'T SO. CA. There are NO "beautiful people" here. The newscasters look like something out of Dr. Frankenstein's collection. (Sorry locals, if your angry, please understand that although *I* am not a "beautiful person" I was just used to being among them...I used to expect my waitres at Denny's to look like a model...That's the way it is. Er, way it was..) And it's a little depressing, there are no "beautiful people" here, and any immigrant will shortly be getting a bit pudgier....BTW, I'm still 109, but I jog the snowmobile trails, much to the anger of hunters...

All in all, do I regret moving here? Yes...and No. There are some aspects which are very wrong in my eyes...all the things that were wrong in this country back in the 1950's-- Women are expected to be June Cleaver, African Americans are expected to either "know their place" or be non-existant... men are men, and the poor folk should just be thankful *WE* tolerate them...This place is stuck in a time warp.

On the other hand, there are groups who work for change...Methodists (I'm one), we have a great Sudanese community (See Jon Dau's book "God Grew Trired of Us"), there are multiple orgainizeations in the city...

But if you're expecting to step into some sort of gentrified country life, sans problems...No. You are day dreaming about some unrealistic place.

But all this COULD change. I'm hoping it does. I'm hoping that my little hamlet catches up with the world, at least in outlook.
What did you expect? You moved 30 minutes south of Syracuse in the middle of nowhere.

1. So of course you have to drive 30 minutes to find a gym....where else.... in the Syracuse suburbs.

2. Your only experience of Syracuse is a) Syracuse University...which is mostly filled with East Coast rich students...not locals. b) Rural farmland filled with people that are missing teeth...if you know what I'm getting at... c) the upscale eastern suburbs.

Most of the Syracuse area population lives in the western or northern suburbs. Over 150,000 people live in the northern suburbs alone. Clay, Cicero, Salina, Liverpool, Baldwinsville and Lysander are all wonderful places to live without all the problems you mention. I strongly believe that you should have moved to this part of the Syracuse area. There a many gyms, YMCAs, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble in the northern suburbs.

3. You came from the suburbs of Southern Cal. and moved to a rural area and expect it to be the same? I bet if you moved out in the middle of rural California you'd run into the same problems there as you did here.

So my question is this....Why didn't to move to the suburbs of Syracuse?
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