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Where should I move?

  1. May 27, 2015 #1
    Hello, everyone. I'm looking for a place to live. I have resided in West Virginia for about 5 years and I thoroughly hate it here. I want pointers on where I should move. Where do YOU live? Do you like it there? WHY?

    I have no a priori restrictions on where I'd like to move other than it has to be at least semi-affordable (i.e. I don't have the economic buoyancy to live in the Hamptons or the Wharf district of San Francisco or the likes). I'm simply packing up my books and guitar and bass, hopping on a bus and taking off somewhere.

    Well, actually I lied. I do have the following guidelines on the sort of place I'd like to reside:

    1. It has to have a Metropolitan Statistical Population of at least 1,000,000.
    2. It has to be liberal, but no so liberal that it starts to become more fascist than anything (i.e. San Francisco, Seattle, etc.). I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of snobby hipsters but neither do I want to be surrounded by rednecks (I already have the latter problem).
    3. It has to be ethnically diverse (especially in the South Asian and Middle Eastern Department)
    4. I'll revise this list later.

    Any clues?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2015 #2
    Try Chicago or if you want a little bit smaller city, Milwaukee :)
  4. May 27, 2015 #3


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    Austin, TX is probably a good match, but may be Portland, OR as well.

    Don't move to Houston!
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  5. May 28, 2015 #4
    Los Angeles, San Diego, Bay Area (San Jose and Oakland are great along with San Francisco), Portland OR, Seattle
  6. May 29, 2015 #5
    Oh, nice choices, people! What's wrong with Houston, Astronuc?

    Greg Bernhardt, that's you in that pic?!! For some reason I imagined you as some 70 year-old man with a trimmed beard. Sort of like Richard Attenborough's character in the move Jurassic Park.

    I grew up in Philly and I just re-visited it a few months ago (first time in 25 years or so). Boy, has it changed! When I grew up there, it was still very much the Philly of the Rocky movies: dreary, working class, economically depressed....I loved it! But when I came back there recently, it has become extremely hipster-fied and trendy. No, sir, didn't like it.
  7. May 29, 2015 #6


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    At the moment, flooding is a problem in various neighborhoods. Hot summers, relatively high humidity, as is the case of most of the Gulf Coast, and air pollution. Houston, the 4th largest US city, has a problem of chronic congestion, probably like the LA and San Jose/San Francisco areas.
  8. May 29, 2015 #7
    OK, I see. But Houston was listed as the second most ethnically diverse city in the nation according to some on-line report that was published a year or two ago, which I thought was pretty cool. They don't have much of a transit system, though, which sucks.
  9. May 29, 2015 #8
    haha, nope, that is me :)
  10. May 29, 2015 #9


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    To the OP:

    I have a few questions for you:

    (1) What do you do for a living? I'm asking because different cities/locations in the US will have different demands for various occupations, and this would no doubt influence your decision about where to live?

    (2) What do you mean by semi-affordable? Are you looking to rent? To buy a home?

    In terms of specific locations, I live in Canada so am not able to give much pointers on where in the US is good to live. If you are thinking of possibly leaving the US and coming to Canada (assuming you have a work visa to come here or otherwise have the ability to immigrate), some suggested places would be the following:

    (1) Toronto -- it fits all 3 of the criteria you identified, except for semi-affordability (if you are looking to buy a single-detached home, although there are towns & cities within 30min-1 hour's driving distance from the city where you can find good value).

    (2) Vancouver -- same as Toronto, but with less affordability.

    (3) Montreal -- if you are willing to learn to speak French, another good option.

    Please note: there is the whole process of immigration that you will have to go through. Here are some references I've found using Google (can't vouch for the accuracy -- I'm a dual Canadian/American citizen).


  11. May 29, 2015 #10
    There is a growing middle eastern enclave in the Detroit/Dearborn Michigan area helping to revitalize that area.
  12. May 29, 2015 #11


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    If you're willing to rent a room or share an apartment, you may like Manhattan, or the NYC area. Supposedly liberal but with a fascist edge to it and not quite the city that never sleeps. But you do have 24/7 subway and bus system, I haven't owned a car in 10 years. If you know how, plenty of opportunities to meet people, network.

    EDIT: Rent is high ( and so am I :) ) , but transportation will cost you a total of at most $780/year (with a metro card) , while a car can cost you $10,000/year ( gas, insurance, repairs, etc.) , for a net of arund $9220 difference that can help you pay the rent. If you cook at home often-enough, eating is not that expensive.
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  13. May 29, 2015 #12


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    I've lived in northern VA for over 20 years (wow, time flies :wideeyed:). I love it here for many reasons. I've never met so many different cultures than the people that I've met here. Downsides are that it's expensive to live here and traffic can be tough to deal with. But, if you can telecommute or have a flexible work schedule, it isn't too bad. The subway system is adequate for getting in and out of DC and there are MARC trains from several of the outlying (30+ miles) suburbs. Several of the counties are consistantly in the top 10 in the country for wealth and best places to live.
  14. May 30, 2015 #13
    Well, yeah. About the whole "fascist" thing. That might need some clarification. I enjoy being around open-minded, free-thinking people. In my opinion cities like San Francisco and Seattle were great in this regard....till about 20 or 25 years ago or so. About the time that the word "progressive" took the place of the word "liberal". I cringe every time I hear the word "progressive". Anti-smoking laws, soda-tax laws, laws on what dimensions your garden must have and a whole slew of other Disneyfied "California Uber Alles"-type laws. The whole thing is so silly and infantile now. That's what I'm trying to avoid.

    Affordability: I have a certain income that stays with me no matter where I go in the U.S. But if it were NYC, Manhattan would be above my budget. And even Brooklyn. Queens and the Bronx, on the other hand, could be affordable for me.

    I have no problem with Detroit except for this one thing: they lack a train system. I have a very peculiar anti-automobile attitude to life (yes, I'm weird....it's one of my aspberger's traits) and a very good rail mass transit system is kind of a must-have.
  15. May 30, 2015 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    I think you may have constrained yourself out of options.
  16. May 30, 2015 #15


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    Anywhere along the west Chicago Metra would probably suit you fine.
  17. May 30, 2015 #16

    Vanadium 50

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    The problem with suburban Chicago is that suburb-to-suburb mass transit is poor - and what there is, is buses.Take a look at the RTA trip planner to go from Batavia (home of Fermilab) to Schaumberg. It's 3 hours and 46 miles to go 10 miles. And half the trip is buses. Four of them. Plus a 3 mile walk.

    Actually, now that I think of it, Minneapolis may fit the requirements.
  18. May 30, 2015 #17
    Minneapolis is a great city. If it didn't have an extra month of winter I'd move there in a heart beat.
  19. May 30, 2015 #18


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    I literally live down the street from Femilab.
  20. May 30, 2015 #19

    Vanadium 50

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    Look at the bright side. Summer is on a weekend this year.
  21. May 30, 2015 #20
    Seems Iowa wouldn't exactly fit your stipulations. Nice people, though. I can attest to Minneapolis being a great city, I thoroughly enjoyed what little time I did spend there.

    I don't mind redneck or Southern culture--enough of my friends spew neocon ideology through a dip-swaddled mouth often enough for me to be immune to it (plus it's fun being the dissident)--but I despise country music so heavily that that alone would deter me from living out my life in the south. I've been to Nashville, and aside from the disgusting reek of the false individualism of hipsters wiling any merit away from their culture, every bar there hosts some mediocre country band that just isn't quite good enough to make it, but is good enough for short jean shorts and long cowboy boots to wiggle to: the only element of those bars I won't disagree with.
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