Post # 1
Don’t worry, I’m not one of those people who is putting their entire life up to a poll or something, more looking for your thoughts. 😉
A year ago, my now-husband and I thought that we’d be in Chicago, our current city, for the foreseeable future. But recently, he was laid off due to his work closing and we spent a little time traveling. We realized we both want a fresh start somewhere new. I’m a freelance worker, and can work from home, and he’s in a field where he’s employable pretty much anywhere, so we have a lot of options.
The thing is, we feel like we have so many options, we’re pretty torn. Would anyone who lives in places we might like be willing to chime in and tell me what you like/dislike about where you live?
Our only real requirements are that we move to a major city (New York, San Francisco, and LA are our top choices right now).
Beyond that, we would like to at least live in a walkable neighborhood. We’re okay with having cars, but don’t necessarily want to use them everytime we go to dinner or to get coffee. Nicer weather would be a plus after so many years of living in Chicago, too.
Would love any thoughts you all have! Because seriously, we have been to all of these cities and love them all for very different reasons.
Post # 3
I can tell you that Dallas has an abundance of jobs and it’s relatively inexpensive to live here. Alot of my former classmates from PA, NY and NJ are starting to trickle down here and have loved it.
Post # 4
I love love love LOVE NYC and living in Brooklyn. You don’t need a car , it’s close to other cities, there’s a decent job market (we can’t even find people to hire at my job) and its cheap to travel from. Plus its just awesome. And the winters have actually been quite mild for the last few years. The downside is that moving here is expensive- real estate isn’t cheap, and you usually need first month, last month and one month security deposit plus potentially a broker fee. We dropped like $9k when we moved into our current apt but you can find cheaper places.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard
I love Seattle. It’s smaller than the cities you listed, but there is still plenty going on, and it’s SO beautiful and clean. I have several friends who have moved here from NY, and they love it because the weather is so much nicer, and they could rent a much nicer apartment for way less money. Yes, it rains, but the climate is actually pretty temperate. Our winters are not very cold, and our summers are amazing. The rain is not a heavy rain, it’s very light and happens a few hours a day in the fall/winter. Very easy to deal with, IMO. The city is really green and there are tons of trees and beautiful flowers everywhere, which start blooming in february.
This city has tons of neighborhoods you can choose from that are very walkable. I live in Capitol Hill, which (if you were to compare it to NY) is the kind of the “Williamsburg” part of town with lots of interesting restaurants, bars and clubs. It’s a 10-20 minute walk to downtown.
Bonus: if you like road trips, Vancouver BC and Portland OR are a 2-3 hour drive away, super fun for the weekend!
As far as transport: the bus system is ok. We’re working on a lightrail, but right now it only takes you from downtown to the airport — but it is handy. What we DO have is an awesome car renting system called Car2Go – basically, the cars are sprinkled everywhere all over town. there’s an app that helps you find one, and then all you do is swipe your card over the reader and drive away. you can literally leave it anywhere in the city when you’re done — you don’t have to return it to a specific area.
Post # 6
@tee22: Los Angeles is not exactly walkable unless you can afford to live in one of the beach communities. Mass transit leaves a bit to be desired, though they’re always working on it. Traffic is horrible. I mean horrible, ESP if you have to drive over the hill. You must have patience o drive in LA.
Bonuses: great food, lots of opportunities and open minds, beautiful beaches and hiking trails, gorgeous weather year round, no need for screens on your windows, lots of outdoor living, and access to all of the things you associate with a city, art galleries, cultural events, etc.
Post # 7
I love Atlanta! It is still a really big city with all of the amenities that come with it while being a lot more affordable than places like NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. Public transit here isn’t great but there are definitely areas within the city that are walkable for things like shopping, groceries, dinner out at a restaurant, etc. And the weather is great (especially compared to Chicago – I grew up in northern IN so I can definitely make the comparison)!
Post # 8
Seattle & Austin are my two favorite places in America. Great food, booze & tunes with the added bonus of being affordable (and pretty!)
I’m personally not a fan of LA & NYC is great for a holiday but is too transient so I wouldn’t live there. Chicago is pretty cool but too cold & windy.
Quite like San Fran, they have good food etc too but the cost of living seems really high compared to most places in America. I would move somewhere where the cost of living is acceptable.
Post # 9
Don’t come here….you have to have a car, Stephen King wasn’t just kidding about the weather and while Denver is big, I’ve noticed that people who come from larger, more bustling cities get kind of freaked out by our laid back kind of ways…..like we should be hurrying more…you know?
Post # 10
This is incredibly helpful so far, thank you all!
@bkrocks13: that’s awesome to hear. Brooklyn is near the top of our list, and one of the cons was weather too similar to Chicago, but it sounds like the winters aren’t as bad! Which would be a relief.
@nerdybird: I’ve actually never been to Seattle, so I’m glad you brought this up. Sounds like a trip is in order because it sounds right up my alley.
@Tinatiny1: Yeah, the lack of walkabilitly is definitely one of my biggest worries about LA. I stayed with a friend in Silverlake last year, and I did like that we could walk to coffee/dinner there, but maybe it would be too much of a pain for everyday things like grocery shopping? I do love the weather, the outdoor spaces, the beaches, and how close it is to other fun places though.
@badabing88: Dallas is a lovely city, for sure, but we visited family there and didn’t really get a ‘city’ enough vibe from it if that makes sense – loved it as a place to visit, though!
Post # 11
Ohh, Austin – I’ve never been but always wanted to go!
Sounds like we’re adding Austin and Seattle to our list of places to check out.
Maybe I just made this more complicated, LOL.
Post # 12
If it was me I’d pick Colorado (guess if you want a major city it would have to be Denver). Out of your top 3 I’d pick San Francisco
Post # 13
@tee22: Well, I will tout my adopted city.. although it may not be what you’re looking for in terms of size. Nashville is awesome. The food, the music, the people, the weather, the shopping, the fun farmers market, pro sports teams and all kinds of stuff. The plus side ( for me) is that it also isn’t a huge city like NY, LA or SF. There is such a small town feel that it doesn’t seem overwhelming or crowded ( unless you’re stuck in traffic).. and you have plenty of outdoorsy stuff to do that is fun if you feel like you need to get away. The mountains are a couple of hours away, the beach is a 1/2 a days drive, you’ve got a major SW Airlines portal at the airport– so you can be anywhere pretty quickly with a direct flight. It has all the Southern charm and friendliness with a lot of cultural experiences to be had.
AND.. it is insanely inexpensive to live here. Seriously.
We live outside of the city about 30 miles, and it is perfect for us. However; I have so many friends that live downtown or in the trendy districts and they LOVE it.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard
@tee22: I think our city ranked as one of the top most wakable cities in the US.
also, we have a HUGE music scene, a great arts scene, and SIFF (Seattle Intl Film Festival), which is the biggest film fest in the US!
haha, not to brag but I love it here so much. I moved here from new mexico, and I’ve been here for over a decade! I might have to move away in a few years (long story) but when I do, it will break my heart.
Post # 15
@tee22: silverLake is great. The problem is when you need to get around for work. I think if it’s just groceries etc you could plan around crazy traffic times, so long as you are willing to fight for parking, etc. pay 20 to park to see your doctor. but, the benefits might far outweigh those annoyances! Also, there are other communities there where things are close together and walkable. If you work from home, you are in a good situation to avoid the pitfalls of LA.
I’ve lived in NYC and I would pick San Fran from your list, but thats because of the European flavor to SF. That’s just a personal thing that I’m looking for.
re PP Suggestion, I’ve been to Seattle and loved it, if you can handle the rain. it didn’t bother me a bit, but I didn’t live there either.
Post # 16
@tee22: You say you want warmer weather and walkabilty? A major City? Awesome reason to get people to come down? Well, then march on down to New Orleans!
Seriously, if you like humdity, hot weather, and the ability to drink at just about any hour of the day, move here. There’s also gambling, oddity, and interesting things everywhere.
This is a great city (adopted though it might be for me) and I love it here. If you live uptown you can catch a streetcar to anywhere, or mostly walk. It does get hot, and it does flood, and there’s the hurricane thing, and the crime thing, but it’s honestly a great place to live/visit.
Mardi Gras and Halloween are a bit of a madhouse, but for the most part, this is a great place to live. 🙂 Lots of festivals, concerts, museums, nightclubs, bars, resturants, and just plain neat things to do and see.