What's it like where you live?

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Moonbear

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Gokul43201 said:
Wow. Maybe you should swap that red Ferarri for something less exotic.

My insurance and gas are less than a third of those numbers.
Ohio has the cheapest insurance of anywhere I ever lived. I was in for serious shock when I moved to WV, which I perceived would be much cheaper than the rest of the civilized world, and found that my car insurance nearly doubled! I can't really figure out why even, since the traffic is less than OH, and driver skills seem to be a tad better, unless the rates are just higher for living close to the university, since we do have a lot more inexperienced kids on the road here who seem to do some really stupid things when driving.

Around here, the university is a major employer and with the student population, there's a lot of other businesses that thrive off their presence, so there are definitely jobs to be had. We also have quite a lot of growth occurring in the area, which is raising the cost of living a bit (though not much yet), but is also keeping anyone and everyone involved in construction quite busy (everywhere you turn, there's new construction of all types...residential, shopping malls, university buildings). The next town over, that also caters to the university community, though, has run into some problems that has put a stall on new construction, because their sewer systems have reached maximum capacity and need to be improved before they can tap anymore new buildings into them. But, that means employment for engineers and more construction crews, and likely road crews too as I'm sure it'll involve ripping up roads to install new lines.

It shocks me that you can actually pay students less than minimum wage up there in Ontario! My view of minimum wage is that it IS a student wage...in other words, meant to keep employers from taking advantage of young folks just learning a job. I'm going to be hiring a student worker this coming academic year, and am required to pay at least minimum wage, and will actually pay a little bit more...if a student is willing to put in a full 20 hour work week, I will pay enough that they can pay their tuition on their earnings (tuition is pretty low here still), which is usually what they need in addition to lab experience to put on their resume/or applications to graduate or professional schools, and they are usually willing to trade off a little bit in hourly wages for the flexibility or working in a lab where their boss understands that they need to be a student first and can accomodate them when they need a week off to focus on studying for exams, or getting a big assignment done.
 

BobG

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Evo said:
CNN just announced the best places to live in the US and I live in the 6th best city.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/

It's got to be the well educated, high income cows. :bugeye:
Correction. Yours is the 6th best small town to live in. It's on a different list than D.C. Still, Moonbear should be kicking herself for passing up Ft Collins - they made number one on the small city list.

On the big city list, Colorado Springs is considered the best place to live in the US. City statistics.

Right now, jobs are very good.

The civilian IT industry here has its booms and busts. Things were pretty bad around here for the IT folks 4 years ago, but jobs seem to be growing again. Defense contractors sucking up any IT folks with security clearances increases job opportunities for those without clearances, as well.

We also have four military bases, plus the Air Force Academy. Spending by military personnel and civilian jobs on the base make up nearly half the city's economy and is usually pretty stable. With base closures in other parts of the country, Ft Carson has actually increased in size quite a bit. That has a big impact on all kinds of retail jobs.

Defense contractors make up another large segment of the city's economy. Most are space related, and have a lot of growth, but that's not guaranteed. Spending on Iraq while cutting taxes is creating a situtation where the military is starting to cut spending on things that affect its future to meet spending requirements for current operations. Spending for space programs has survived more or less intact, so far, but people are expecting some serious cuts this October, since a lot of defense contractor jobs are in developing future capabilities vs. current operations.

Very mild weather. People with older homes usually get by without air conditioning. For new houses that have no established trees yet, that's a little more uncomfortable. The city is surrounded by mountains to the West and ridges to the North, East, and South, meaning we're usually protected from the worst of the winter weather. Plus, the mountains offer some great recreational opportunities.

We're even the seventh safest city when it comes to natural hazards. Being so close to the mountains, tornados don't have time to form until the storms get out onto the prairie. No volcanoes, earthquakes or hurricanes. Biggest hazards are blizzards (Alburqurque lows bump up against the mountains and it snows hard and long), hail and lightning (I know the lightning hazard quite well, right now), and flash floods (there's a lot of sandy creek beds that are usually empty except immediately during and after a storm when they turn into raging rapids - some people aren't smart enough to stay out of them). The other big hazard is wild fires. They don't directly affect the city, but have a big effect on some of the areas just over the front range and a big effect East of town out on the prairies.

I love it out here. This is the best place I've ever lived. It's even better than Alaska (not nearly as many mosquitos, plus much milder winters). I think the entire PF sisterhood should move here.
 

jtbell

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ShawnD said:
Add up all these costs and you're left with not a hell of a lot
$5000 car insurance
$3000 gasoline
Your age probably makes a big impact on your insurance bill, as does living in a city. My most recent insurance payment on my 7-year-old Chevy Prizm was about US$300 (liability plus comprehensive) for six months. I'm within shouting distance from 50, and I live in a small rural town where I can (and usually do) walk to work.
 

Gokul43201

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Moonbear said:
... unless the rates are just higher for living close to the university, since we do have a lot more inexperienced kids on the road here who seem to do some really stupid things when driving.
Ahem...I live three blocks from the university with the highest total enrollment in the country.

Also, since WVU started the "party transit" (or whatever official name it has) system, I'd imagine incidents of DUI have fallen off a bit.
 

BobG

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Gokul43201 said:
Ahem...I live three blocks from the university with the highest total enrollment in the country.
But none of them can drive. If they move their car from their parking spot, they'll spend a month circling the parking lot waiting for another fool to move their car.
 

Evo

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BobG said:
Correction. Yours is the 6th best small town to live in.
The category is Best Places to live, it just turns out that the top ranked are small towns. The 10 best Large cities don't make the top overall Best Places to live category.

You can click a link to compare Colorado Springs with the Top Ten Best Places. Overland Park is the 6th overall Best Place to live. I would rather have mountains and forests, sure the architecture here is incredible and the fountains are awesome, but the area is artificially pretty.

FINALIST
Colorado Springs, CO
Best big cities rank: 1
Population: 369,800
Compare Colorado Springs to Top 10 Best Places

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/snapshots/PL0816000.html"
 
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Gokul43201

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Wow, Colorado has a flat tax?!

Columbus came in 8th in Best Big Cities! Woo!
 

Moonbear

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Gokul43201 said:
Ahem...I live three blocks from the university with the highest total enrollment in the country.
I meant here, not university towns in general. I don't know if the insurance rates in this town are the same as one where there's nothing but cows to hit.

Also, since WVU started the "party transit" (or whatever official name it has) system, I'd imagine incidents of DUI have fallen off a bit.
Party transit? I think that IS DUI! I don't know of any transportation around here that is available on weekends or nights other than getting taxis or driving yourself. By someone's idiotic reasoning, the PRT stops running BEFORE the parties start. I wish they'd keep it running, because then it might actually be possible to go out to dinner downtown on a Friday night and still find a parking space somewhere (or I could just leave my car at the lab and take the PRT downtown and still be able to get back).
 

Moonbear

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Evo said:
CNN just announced the best places to live in the US and I live in the 6th best city.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/

It's got to be the well educated, high income cows. :bugeye:
Who's opinion do they use for those rankings? I looked at that list, and wouldn't want to live any of those top-ranked places. Ann Arbor was in the top 25, and I absolutely HATED that place. Whenever anyone asked me how I liked it there, I always had to clarify..."the lab I work in, or the town?" I worked with great people there and really learned a lot, but except for two months of summer when they held all the festivals and stuff, it was the most dreary, boring, homogenous town I've ever lived in. Some random weirdo struck up a conversation while I was walking around in town one day, and commented, "I love this town...it's got so much culture!" He sounded serious, and I just answered, "Really? Where do you come from? This place has NO culture, it's too full of racists and bigots for that." At least that ended his attempts at conversation. :rolleyes:
 

JasonRox

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Moonbear said:
Who's opinion do they use for those rankings? I looked at that list, and wouldn't want to live any of those top-ranked places. Ann Arbor was in the top 25, and I absolutely HATED that place. Whenever anyone asked me how I liked it there, I always had to clarify..."the lab I work in, or the town?" I worked with great people there and really learned a lot, but except for two months of summer when they held all the festivals and stuff, it was the most dreary, boring, homogenous town I've ever lived in. Some random weirdo struck up a conversation while I was walking around in town one day, and commented, "I love this town...it's got so much culture!" He sounded serious, and I just answered, "Really? Where do you come from? This place has NO culture, it's too full of racists and bigots for that." At least that ended his attempts at conversation. :rolleyes:
Maybe he's racists and fits in well. His culture. :mad:
 

chroot

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Yeah, really, Moonie... They listed Raleigh, NC as the 4th best large city to live in, even though it has more crime than the national average, fewer cultural assets than the national average, and worse weather than the national average. Raleigh is, IMO, a disgusting hell hole of a city. I could name dozens of cities I'd rather live in.

I guess it's a pretty subjective list, or it's based on some pretty useless statistics.

- Warren
 

BobG

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Evo said:
The category is Best Places to live, it just turns out that the top ranked are small towns. The 10 best Large cities don't make the top overall Best Places to live category.

You can click a link to compare Colorado Springs with the Top Ten Best Places. Overland Park is the 6th overall Best Place to live. I would rather have mountains and forests, sure the architecture here is incredible and the fountains are awesome, but the area is artificially pretty.

FINALIST
Colorado Springs, CO
Best big cities rank: 1
Population: 369,800
Compare Colorado Springs to Top 10 Best Places

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/snapshots/PL0816000.html"
Well, dog gone it.

I claim bias! :grumpy: I've lived in four of the top ten big cities (Wichita, Columbus, Omaha, and Colorado Springs), plus Akron, OH, which compares pretty poorly. It smells so much better there than when the tire companies were there and they still only rate 51% in air quality? Mmm, I still remember rainy Monday mornings whenever I smell burning rubber.
 
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Gokul43201

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Moonbear said:
Party transit? I think that IS DUI! I don't know of any transportation around here that is available on weekends or nights other than getting taxis or driving yourself. By someone's idiotic reasoning, the PRT stops running BEFORE the parties start.
Is the PRT the monorail thingy? Maybe that's not the thing I'm remembering.

Sometime back - about 4 years ago - I'd heard from friends that went to WVU about some new "Party Hall" kind of place that was (being) set up with some kind of a shuttle service. There were all kinds of stories about highly subsidized booze and free food - provided by the University to keep drunks kids out of cars! Maybe it was a promise that never came to be?
 

Gokul43201

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Moonbear said:
Ann Arbor was in the top 25, and I absolutely HATED that place.
Ahem. At least you've got the honor to admit that! It's a miracle that place didn't just turn you into a brainless, slogan shouting banshee. And that's just my unbiased opinion. :rolleyes:
 

Moonbear

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Gokul43201 said:
Is the PRT the monorail thingy? Maybe that's not the thing I'm remembering.
Yeah, the PRT is the monorail thing. I thought maybe that's what you were thinking of, but it's certainly not new, and from talking with older alumni, it sounds like they've actually cut back the hours on the PRT rather than increased them.

Sometime back - about 4 years ago - I'd heard from friends that went to WVU about some new "Party Hall" kind of place that was (being) set up with some kind of a shuttle service. There were all kinds of stories about highly subsidized booze and free food - provided by the University to keep drunks kids out of cars! Maybe it was a promise that never came to be?
Nope, nothing like that. Sounds like more of an urban legend or wishful thinking. Like most other campuses, there's no alcohol permitted here, and especially not with university funds. They really just need to run the PRT at night so the kids can get from the downtown bars (there's a downtown PRT stop) back to their dorms. I think they're worried about vandalism though, so close all the stations at night. They also might have less drunk students if they just had other activities for them to do at night. I've heard things got really bad a few years back, so they've really cracked down more than they used to. The worst of it is that the kids around here don't just have cheap beer and wine coolers like the rest of us had in college that take a long time to get you drunk, but they'll have moonshine at the parties! I just shake my head in dismay that anyone would touch that stuff. Might do a great job washing the windows, but why anyone would consume it is beyond me.

Ahem. At least you've got the honor to admit that! It's a miracle that place didn't just turn you into a brainless, slogan shouting banshee. And that's just my unbiased opinion.
:rofl: Yep, totally unbiased. :rofl: But now I know there's a reason they try to interview everyone in July and August there if they can. I really don't know how anyone can consider a place cultured when the chalk messages on the sidewalks aren't for band performances or parties, but for KKK rallies! :surprised
 

chroot

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You guys make Virginia Tech, in "backwoods" southwestern Virginia, seem almost civilized.

- Warren
 

Evo

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BobG said:
Well, dog gone it.

I claim bias! :grumpy: I've lived in four of the top ten big cities (Wichita, Columbus, Omaha, and Colorado Springs), plus Akron, OH, which compares pretty poorly. It smells so much better there than when the tire companies were there and they still only rate 51% in air quality? Mmm, I still remember rainy Monday mornings whenever I smell burning rubber.
Yeah, I don't agree with the rankings either. And Austin ranked as a big city??? Although, it's a great place to live, my little sister graduated from UT in Austin and stayed there.
 

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