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Old 12-05-2012, 10:09 AM
 
107 posts, read 187,342 times
Reputation: 31

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So I've made similar posts in various places of this forum but I've added Pittsburgh to my list of places to look into.

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. Part of it is going to depend on where we can find jobs.. Anyway we are originally from small towns in central Illinois and I went to school in Southern Illinois. I have a BA in Cinema and Photography. After school I moved back in with my parents and did part time work while trying to find something better. On a whim my fiance and I moved to Bloomington, Indiana last August and things just didn't work out after 6 months and now we're back living with my parents. This was all mostly our fault for not having full time work lined up but oh well we learned some things. She doesn't have a degree but has done phlebotomy in the past and may get her CNA or go back to school for Early Childhood. If she gets her CNA license here in Illinois is it particularly hard to transfer to PA? I know states are different. I do some freelance photo stuff but there isn't much market here. I know I'll probably never make enough of a living doing creative work so I'll probably settle for a normal 9-5 and do my stuff on weekends. Right now I am just working PT in retail trying to save money ad well as various freelance work. We've always had big city dreams of New York or Chicago but I just don't know if we're cut out for it and I don't know if I can set myself up for failure again. I have some friends in those cities but it's still hard to break in there and the cost of living is so high. Im also open to smaller areas or subburds and not necessarily right in the heart of the city. i would actually prefer not being in the heart but maybe a neat little neighborhood or town. So here's what we're looking for.

Decent cost of living with a chance of finding rental homes with a fenced yard.
Low crime
Low unemployment
Affordable rent
Not horrible weather 24/7
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues
Some quirkiness
Sustainable future - economy, climate, etc
Good for kids if we have any
Not terrible to navigate, driving
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:03 PM
 
733 posts, read 882,719 times
Reputation: 682
Hi, tdagarim.

Let's see. Here's my quick opinions on your list of items:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
Decent cost of living with a chance of finding rental homes with a fenced yard.
Decent cost of living? Yes...for a city. If you are from a more rural area, it's probably going to be more expensive than you are used to, but if you are going to compare to Chicago (or most other major cities), PGH is much cheaper.

I'm not sure about fenced yards. I'm sure you can find those if you look just a little bit outside of town in a more suburban area, but I'm really only familiar with the city, so I'll leave that up to others with more knowledge.

Low crime
Yes...again, for a city. We have very, very few "bad" neighborhoods, and outside of those it's a safe city. Even our bad neighborhoods are nothing compared to sketchy places in Phili, Baltimore or (again) most other major cities.

Low unemployment
I don't know. I don't pay attention, I guess.

Affordable rent
Definitely more expensive than rural areas, but extremely affordable for a city. The cost of living is a huge part of what kept me here after graduating college. When I first graduated I was able to pay rent and bills (including a car payment and reasonably high school loan payments), hang out with friends on weekends and save a little month to month on an $11 an hour job.

Not horrible weather 24/7
Depends on who you ask, I guess. We have all four seasons. Most winters are fairly mild, but we get a bad one (meaning lots of snow) every few years. We also have lots of cloudy days, which some people find off-putting.

I love our weather, but I grew up in four seasons and prefer winter to summer.

Decent art scene
Yep, we have a good art scene; lots of galleries, lots of cool installations/shows/etc. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust does a good job, and we have lots of indies doing other cool things as well.

Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Yes and no. I think our suburbs tend to be pretty conservative, but I literally never go out there, so I'm not sure, haha. In the city, there's a strong base of progressive, younger folks. If you go looking for conservatives, you'll find them. If you go looking for progressives, you'll find them. My social circles here have been super far to the liberal end of the spectrum.

Somewhere that is growing
Yep. Lurk on this forum for a minute, and you'll inevitably see articles about this from various publications (not located in PGH, haha).

Open-minded people
Yep.

LGBTQ friendly
Yep. We have a growing and active scene, for sure.

Live music venues
Yep, we have a bunch.

Some quirkiness
I think every city has its share of quirkiness.

Sustainable future - economy, climate, etc
Who knows, haha? The forecast is good for PGH, though, so barring a massive collapse or disaster, we'll probably be alright.

Good for kids if we have any
Sure, if you plan accordingly by living in a good school district or paying for private school. We have some great schools here. We also have some really bad ones. If you plan well, your kids will be fine.

Not terrible to navigate, driving
It's a small city, so once you get the lay of the land, it's not a problem. Getting the lay of the land will be a pain. We have some confounding neighborhood/road layouts.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Umbrosa Regio
1,334 posts, read 1,612,595 times
Reputation: 969
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
Not terrible to navigate, driving
I see this as being the only possible slip-up as Pittsburgh's topography essentially requires that it have a more organic, irregular street pattern, though much less chaotic than Boston, in my opinion. It would take more getting used to than most cities, but for me it just makes cross-town trips more interesting. It's something I enjoy.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
1,125 posts, read 2,093,112 times
Reputation: 578
A good idea for navigating the east end of the city is to understand the main roads that run east-west (i.e., Forbes and Fifth), and use them as points of reference. That can make navigation much easier. Also, there are many signs posted throughout the city pointing people in the right direction of neighborhoods and landmarks
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:00 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 98,235,742 times
Reputation: 30525
People from flat regions with grid road systems are usually challenged when driving around here.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:02 PM
 
107 posts, read 187,342 times
Reputation: 31
Do GPS's usually get you in the right direction though? I visited Omaha recently and there were particular areas that even the GPS fudged up. It was mostly one spot and I could see how it too could have gotten confused.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:09 PM
 
733 posts, read 882,719 times
Reputation: 682
Yeah, GPS will do the trick as long as you update the maps, unlike me. We seem to have a bunch of "one way" roads that change from year to year...either that, or I'm crazy. Haha, could be either one.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:17 PM
 
419 posts, read 474,420 times
Reputation: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
So I've made similar posts in various places of this forum but I've added Pittsburgh to my list of places to look into.

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. Part of it is going to depend on where we can find jobs.. Anyway we are originally from small towns in central Illinois and I went to school in Southern Illinois. I have a BA in Cinema and Photography. After school I moved back in with my parents and did part time work while trying to find something better. On a whim my fiance and I moved to Bloomington, Indiana last August and things just didn't work out after 6 months and now we're back living with my parents. This was all mostly our fault for not having full time work lined up but oh well we learned some things. She doesn't have a degree but has done phlebotomy in the past and may get her CNA or go back to school for Early Childhood. If she gets her CNA license here in Illinois is it particularly hard to transfer to PA? I know states are different. I do some freelance photo stuff but there isn't much market here. I know I'll probably never make enough of a living doing creative work so I'll probably settle for a normal 9-5 and do my stuff on weekends. Right now I am just working PT in retail trying to save money ad well as various freelance work. We've always had big city dreams of New York or Chicago but I just don't know if we're cut out for it and I don't know if I can set myself up for failure again. I have some friends in those cities but it's still hard to break in there and the cost of living is so high. Im also open to smaller areas or subburds and not necessarily right in the heart of the city. i would actually prefer not being in the heart but maybe a neat little neighborhood or town. So here's what we're looking for.

Decent cost of living with a chance of finding rental homes with a fenced yard.
Low crime
Low unemployment
Affordable rent
Not horrible weather 24/7
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues
Some quirkiness
Sustainable future - economy, climate, etc
Good for kids if we have any
Not terrible to navigate, driving
Decent cost of living with a chance of finding rental homes with a fenced yard.
Low crime - Above Nat'l Average
Low unemployment - Yes
Affordable rent - Most places, yes
Not horrible weather 24/7 - HAHA! Between Oct and April we have HORRIBLE weather. Constantly gloomy, dreary depressing skies and noticeable lack of sunlight. I hope your favorite color is grey. Gorgeous, sunnier weather from mid spring-early fall though.
Decent art scene - Yes
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal - Politically more moderate and conservative. Although not as socially conservative as the Deep South or even Central PA.
Somewhere that is growing - Politically, we are backwards. Economically, we can grow if it weren't for the corrupt politicians.
Open-minded people - Ehh.. So-so. Usually friendly. But may not be open-minded to new ideas.
LGBTQ friendly - Ehh... Could be worse. Like I said, more socially moderate here than really liberal.
Live music venues - Somewhat decent
Some quirkiness - Tons of quirkiness!!
Sustainable future - economy, climate, etc
Good for kids if we have any - Great place to raise a family. Has been noted many times nationally.
Not terrible to navigate, driving - One of the most difficult and challenging places to drive due to the topography (hills, rivers, mountains). Also, PennDOT is the absolute worst in the country.

To sum it up, you'll probably love the scenery, affordable cost of living, and family friendly environment. It is not a socially liberal or progressive city, however. We do have a somewhat decent arts scene, but I'm not that much into it (have friends that like it). The worst will be the roads, dreary weather, and local gov't.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:20 PM
 
1,642 posts, read 1,362,244 times
Reputation: 2804
Yes, our weather is simply dreadful. I ended up getting a little overheated when going for a walk yesterday because it was in the mid-sixties in December, which aggravated me no end.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
6,081 posts, read 7,813,309 times
Reputation: 8865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
People from flat regions with grid road systems are usually challenged when driving around here.
It takes a whole new mindset. Or at least it did for me. I could tell I flipped when I no longer knew nor cared which way was North.
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