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Best place to live?

jessearl

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5
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As a planner, which city comes closest to your definition of the best place to live? And why?
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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Very interesting question!

I think you'll be getting a different answer from every planner here. Planners are human too (really!), with different needs/wants, and ideas about the "perfect" place to live. I think most planners would agree that no place is really perfect - there is always room for improvement.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,550
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I have a few places that I would consider "Best Places To Live"

Madison, WI - A great mix of big City amentities (night life, dining, arts, etc) mixed with small town atmosphere

NYC - So much going on, you could never get bored
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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18,287
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Sonoma, California. Great weather, near the heart of the wine country, close to San Francisco....the list is nearly endless.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
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I always wanted to be in a smaller city (100-200K) with a major university, within a couple of hours of a major metro area. I lost a bid for Columbia MO recently. I also need a place with real challenges. Merely keeping the status quo and protecting the suburbs from hedge disputes is not my cup of tea.
 

H

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Not Tallahassee, jessearl. I was there last week and tried to stay without a car. Stayed downtown, for a conference at FSU and the State Capital. Could walk, not that big of deal, but…I forgot my toothbrush, etc… and there was nowhere to walk to buy that kind of stuff downtown. I walked down Tennessee Ave and was about run over by busses and cars every 2 seconds.

Also, I was disappointed by the number of few people that would go to the restaurants downtown at night, many closed very early. All the college housing seemed to be in the ‘burbs and split up the critical mass.

But, it was beautiful (city and FSU campus), and the people were VERY friendly. And Leon Pub gets a big thumbs up!

Overall, good experience, but the city layout (i.e. planning issues) needs some work, as most cities do. (I hope this does not offend you and the other Tallahasse folk).


As far as good, let me think… I like European style cities with heavy mixed use and public transit like Munich Germany, but have only visited; I am not sure what it is like to live there.
 

Greenescapist

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RichmondJake said:
Sonoma, California. Great weather, near the heart of the wine country, close to San Francisco....the list is nearly endless.
Besides the high cost of living and traffic issues, I'll second Jake on Sonoma/Napa. It's just so perfect up there! And SF is, in my opinion, the best city on the West Coast.

I'm always happy to hear good things about Madison, WI since I'm moving there this summer. It seemed really nice when I visited in April.

I think Portland, ME is a nice small city. It has a beautiful downtown and prosperous working waterfront. I also really like Arlington, VA; Minneapolis; Seattle and Boston - all for different reasons.
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
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204
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Huston said:
Not Tallahassee, jessearl. I was there last week and tried to stay without a car. Stayed downtown, for a conference at FSU and the State Capital. Could walk, not that big of deal, but…I forgot my toothbrush, etc… and there was nowhere to walk to buy that kind of stuff downtown. I walked down Tennessee Ave and was about run over by busses and cars every 2 seconds.

But, it was beautiful (city and FSU campus), and the people were VERY friendly. And Leon Pub gets a big thumbs up!
I went to planning school in Tallahassee and never could get past the irony of the state planning agency being located way out on the ring road. Was always disappointed by the lack of basic amenities, specifically a grocery store, downtown, as that is where I lived. I was very nearly mowed down several times on Tennessee Street due to the piss-poor separation of pedestrians & the roadway. On the plus side, as you mentioned, it is a beautiful city and the local government was always sponsoring downtown events that drew pretty significant crowds. And I do miss the Leon Pub!
 

H

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plannerkat said:
I went to planning school in Tallahassee and never could get past the irony of the state planning agency being located way out on the ring road.
Yes, it puts a lot of things in Florida in perspective, does it not.

PS. I visited the Planning department at FSU, great faculty and staff! I was impressed, seems like a great school. (I received my MSP from Tennessee).
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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Maybe this is too general, but I can't pick a single town, so I'll just put a plug in for my residence of 11 years-the greater Bay Area, California. I could live in San Francisco itself (post-lottery), Berkeley, Marin County (snobby, but beautiful). I really like Sonoma, too, but I almost prefer the City of Napa, which is more down-to-earth (blue collar/just folks), less overwhelmingly tourist-oriented, and has better access to great roads for bicycling. I could also live easily in Sacramento (despite the heat), Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo ( a great central coast city of 50,000 three hours from the Bay Area) or Chico (a college town with a huge city park and great bicycling) north of Sacramento. Where I live now, Vacaville, is a good compromise. Good bicycling, cheap housing (six years ago, at least), and the City is trying to be something beyond a commuter/military suburb. They have started construction on a new library and town square three blocks from my townhouse, and the City's downtown concert series attracts a lot of people.

Outside of California: I really like New England-Portland, Maine, Portsmouth, NH, or Providence sound appealing. Boston is my second favorite big city.

I love Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison, Wisconsin, but don't particularly like the Midwest overall (I need terrain!)
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
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Repo Man said:
I have a few places that I would consider "Best Places To Live"

NYC - So much going on, you could never get bored
... Unless you're broke, because 75% of your paycheck goes towards housing...

I lived in NYC one summer during my college years. I thought I'd have a great time, going to museums, bars, clubs, etc., but I never had any money. And I lived in a roach-infested sublet!
 
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plannerkat said:
I went to planning school in Tallahassee and never could get past the irony of the state planning agency being located way out on the ring road. Was always disappointed by the lack of basic amenities, specifically a grocery store, downtown, as that is where I lived. I was very nearly mowed down several times on Tennessee Street due to the piss-poor separation of pedestrians & the roadway. On the plus side, as you mentioned, it is a beautiful city and the local government was always sponsoring downtown events that drew pretty significant crowds. And I do miss the Leon Pub!
I spent 2 years at FAMU in Tallahassee. Loved the school but hated the town. Ditto on the lack of basic amenities within a reasonable distance for students.
 

donk

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Here is what I need to consider someplace a best place to live:

1) Size: Medium to small (ie 25 000 -150 000)
2) Location: 2-3 hour drive to a large place, must have 4 distinct seasons, will settle for three (Fall, Summer, Winter)
3) Should have a university or community college, or have easy access to one.
4) wages and house prices should be such that you could afford to live in the town where you work
5) Must have at least one non religious bookstore.
6) Good fish and chip place a plus
7) Opportunity for participation in organized religion a plus.
8) Easy access to the outdoors essential (state park etc.)

Any hints on a place like this, that is seeking a planner would be appreciated.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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donk said:
Here is what I need to consider someplace a best place to live:

1) Size: Medium to small (ie 25 000 -150 000)
2) Location: 2-3 hour drive to a large place, must have 4 distinct seasons, will settle for three (Fall, Summer, Winter)
3) Should have a university or community college, or have easy access to one.
4) wages and house prices should be such that you could afford to live in the town where you work
5) Must have at least one non religious bookstore.
6) Good fish and chip place a plus
7) Opportunity for participation in organized religion a plus.
8) Easy access to the outdoors essential (state park etc.)

Any hints on a place like this, that is seeking a planner would be appreciated.
Madison, Wisconsin. It also offers great beer.

I have lived in, or visited many other places. The Chesapeake Bay area (Newport News, Williamsburg) where I lived for a while was very nice. I can't say the same for Kentucky or Kansas (sorry).

I grew up in the nice Chicago suburbs, but the congestion and sprawl has gotten so bad that they are no longer all that desirable. Any time a four mile commute takes a half hour, there is a problem.

I've spent a lot of time in the San Francisco - Sacramento area lately, during the job search. Nice, but not a pleasant summer (inland) and far too many people. Mostly, though, too expensive.
 

donk

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I applied for the recent job in Madison, got a PFO letter.

Should add I would prefer to stay on the east coast, but might consider Ontario, NY State or Michigan for the right job.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
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1,169
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24
donk said:
Here is what I need to consider someplace a best place to live:

1) Size: Medium to small (ie 25 000 -150 000)
2) Location: 2-3 hour drive to a large place, must have 4 distinct seasons, will settle for three (Fall, Summer, Winter)
3) Should have a university or community college, or have easy access to one.
4) wages and house prices should be such that you could afford to live in the town where you work
5) Must have at least one non religious bookstore.
6) Good fish and chip place a plus
7) Opportunity for participation in organized religion a plus.
8) Easy access to the outdoors essential (state park etc.)

Any hints on a place like this, that is seeking a planner would be appreciated.
donk - Portland, Maine fits all that criteria. The weakest part would have to be the university - it has an OK public school (USM) and it seems to be getting better over time. It's too bad that none of Maine's great small colleges - Bates, Colby or Bowdoin are right in downtown Portland.
 

de-bug

Member
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15
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1
If not for the winters, I would've stayed in Minneapolis. Wonderful trails/parks system, lots of small/locally owned shops and restaurants, decent public transportation - lots of people taking the bus to work.

I also really like DC. Never lived there, but travelled there multiple times for business. Easy to get around on the metro, lots of free activities and unique restaurants. I also like the feel of the streets, with no sky scrapers, buildings of a fairly uniform mass, and lots of retail activity at street level.
 

SW MI Planner

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I personally love Michigan and wouldn't want to leave. I really love Coldwater, but would consider moving to Saginaw (don't laugh Alan) or Marquette. I was born/raised in Saginaw and that is where all my family is. Marquette is just awesome.

I love the big city, but only to visit. I like small towns/cities (10,000 to 40,000), open space (woods, lakes, farms, etc.). Like Donk, I love and need the seasons

Donk - have you ever been to Marquette? It fits your requirements, except winter covers half the year. They're not hiring right now, but I thought I'd throw that at ya.
 

donk

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When at school in Windsor I only ventured outside of Metro Detroit for bike races and a few football games. Unless Marquette is on the way to Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Pickney State Recreation area, Ann Arbour or Pontiac I don't think I've been there, but I'll keep my eyes open.

I have been past Portland, ME a million times and could handle living there, if I could get a job.

The university criteria would be the deal sealer, not really necessary, but considered an advantage.
 

SkeLeton

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I'd love to live in a town with no more than 10,000 inhabitants... and close to a big city, like the small towns that are near NYC in the US...like the one I lived when I went to the US ;)
Good schools, good libraries are a must, and parks too.
 

JNL

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2,449
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25
donk said:
Any hints on a place like this, that is seeking a planner would be appreciated.
My city, Wellington, fits all your criteria, except it's not 2-3 hours drive to a big place - it is the big place! 2-3 hours drive, depending on your direction, would get you to beautiful beaches, or mountains, or a lake, or national parks... yep, I like my city!

Entertainment is excellent, we have one of the top universities, and you can get a nice house for US$175k. Plus we have several great fish and chip shops!
 
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I spent 2 years at FAMU in Tallahassee. Loved the school but hated the town. Ditto on the lack of basic amenities within a reasonable distance for students.
I agree with this statement, I spent 5 years studying Architecture at FAMU. I loved and still miss the atmosphere of the school, but I've always hated the town and what it had to offer. I think mid sized cities like Savannah or Charleston would be great places to live because they have a lot of character, diversified economies, and big city amenities.
 

apagano

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13
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1
I haven't yet found my truly ideal place, but I'll comment on places I have lived:

NYC: This is where I grew up and where I would like to live again someday. As Repo Man said, you can never get bored. You can take the subway everywhere you want to go at any time of day or night. Good pizza, bagels and Chinese food on every block. I'd love to experience what it's like to live in NYC as an adult. My biggest concern would be the cost of living. I've become accustomed to midwest prices and it would be tough to give up my house and my satellite dish for a tiny apartment in the big city.

Albany, NY: Bo-ring! Unless it has changed since I last lived there (1994), Albany shuts down at 5pm. The only hot spots are the college bars and I'm officially too old for that scene. Best thing about the Capital District is that it's just 3 hours from both NYC and Boston.

Harrisburg, PA: Another state capital that shuts down at 5pm. Unlike Albany, Harrisburg lacks a major university, which means that even the college scene is lacking. On the bright side, HBG is a much better sports town than Albany.

Lancaster County, PA: Some really charming small towns in a pastoral setting. The towns are walkable, there are decent amenities thanks to the presence of several universities, housing is affordable and there are some really good restaurants thanks to PA Dutch cuisine. My big problem with Lancaster County is that it is growing so fast that in 20 years it will probably be indistinguishable from the Philly suburbs. The new growth lacks the charm and walkability of the old towns.

Cleveland, OH: I've lived here five years with some very mixed feelings. Tremendous cultural amenities for a city its size, yet the economy is terrible and poverty is rampant. The middle class fled for the suburbs years ago and attempts to lure them back have had mixed results. I bought a house in the city in my effort to be a new urban pioneer, but the fact that I'm swimming against the tide is clearly evident. The suburban mentality is very well entrenched around these parts and it appears that turning the city around is a monumental task on the shoulders of the few bright and talented people that did not move to more exciting cities.

I guess my idealized city would combine the cultural amenities of Cleveland with the walkability and affordability of small-town Pennsylvania, plus plenty of sports and good public transit like NYC. I would want it to be close enough to a major city to get there easily by train, but not so close that suburban growth overwhelms the small city atmosphere. But since that doesn't exist, I'll probably just choose NYC and deal with the high rents.
 

jresta

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1,474
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23
My ideal towns - Barcelona, Valencia, and Montpellier.

apagano said:

I guess my idealized city would combine the cultural amenities of Cleveland with the walkability and affordability of small-town Pennsylvania, plus plenty of sports and good public transit like NYC. I would want it to be close enough to a major city to get there easily by train, but not so close that suburban growth overwhelms the small city atmosphere. But since that doesn't exist, I'll probably just choose NYC and deal with the high rents.
It does exist - you just described every town in NJ.

http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/Rail_Map_04_2003.pdf

pick a rail line and nearly every stop has a walkable and affordable downtown. My favorites are any of the towns on the North Jersey Coast Line (belmar, bradley beach, manasquan) - the Raritan Valley Line probably has the best deals pricewise. Some of the nicest and largest downtowns are Plainfield and Morristown but you'll pay accordingly.

Rahway is an up and coming town in a great location. Express trains to the city - trains to the beach and to trenton/philly.

Hammonton on the atlantic city line has a quiet downtown but it's surrounded by pine forests and farms and is less than a 1/2 hour train ride from the beach and 45 mins from center city.

Princeton, New Brunswick, and most of the towns along PATCO and the new Trenton/Camden light rail line
 

nerudite

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It all depends on where I am in life. Right now I like larger cities because there is more for me to do, and better servcies. I think as I get closer to retirement, I would want to find a smaller town that is further away from a big city.

My choices for urban living: San Diego, Portland (OR), Seattle area, Sacramento, Denver.

Choices for small town living: Friday Harbor (WA), Port Townsend (WA), Oakhurst (CA), Salt Spring (BC).
 

plankton

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751
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Hood River, Oregon is top-notch if you like progressive smaller cities (10,000 or so) in a dynamic natural setting with good proximity to metro area.

1 hour to Portland and in the Columbia Gorge where waterfalls and friendly folks abound. Only if we could do something about all those darn dams (at least the minimal hydro-electric producers way up stream on the Snake).

Nobody get any ideas about applying for any planning vacancies there 'kay.
 

Trail Nazi

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Huston said:
Not Tallahassee, jessearl. I was there last week and tried to stay without a car. Stayed downtown, for a conference at FSU and the State Capital. Could walk, not that big of deal, but…I forgot my toothbrush, etc… and there was nowhere to walk to buy that kind of stuff downtown. I walked down Tennessee Ave and was about run over by busses and cars every 2 seconds.
Tallahassee is great. I would live there again in a heartbeat. I admit that there is a lack of amenities downtown, but it is still a cool town. A small town that has some big city features. BTW, you don't walk down Tennessee street, you waltz it. ;) It's a drinking street.
 
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Trail Nazi

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lakelander said:
I think mid sized cities like Savannah or Charleston would be great places to live because they have a lot of character, diversified economies, and big city amenities.
Yeah, Savannah has character, plus it has one of the highest crime rates going. Unless you have old money and are not a student, the romantic feeling of the town wears thin. I went to grad school there and it was horrible. Charleston is at least safe to walk at night. While I was in Savannah, the square in which Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil took place in, a woman was shot (killed) walking into work at 8 am!!! One of the heaviest patrolled squares in all of Savannah. This shooting literally took place across the street from my husband's apartment. Sorry, I have no love for that town. Someone stole a 1/2 gallon of wet paint off my front porch while I was waiting for the can to dry. The only good thing about that town is that it is a great drinking town and a "nice" place to visit but not live. I could not wait to get out of Savannah b/c of the crime. Talk about gentrification. You could live on a nice street and around the corner is crack town. Quite a difference on the price of housing when you turn the corner.
 

Zoning Goddess

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Trail Nazi said:
Tallahassee is great. I would live there again in a heartbeat. I admit that there is a lack of amenities downtown, but it is still a cool town. .
You're a sicko Seminole. I'm a Gator; therefore Tallahassee sucks. A great city? Hmmmmm.... unfortunately, there are NONE in Florida. Fun cities, yes. But not great. Small towns, we have the best!
 

Trail Nazi

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Zoning Goddess said:
You're a sicko Seminole. I'm a Gator; therefore Tallahassee sucks. A great city? Hmmmmm.... unfortunately, there are NONE in Florida. Fun cities, yes. But not great. Small towns, we have the best!
Gainesville sucks! You evil reptile. Florida does have some great small towns. And they have Publix.
 

Zoning Goddess

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Trail Nazi said:
Gainesville sucks! You evil reptile. Florida does have some great small towns. And they have Publix.
For everyone's edification: Trail Nazi is addicted to Publix icing (by the pound), and that was BEFORE she got pregnant....!
 

Trail Nazi

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Zoning Goddess said:
For everyone's edification: Trail Nazi is addicted to Publix icing (by the pound), and that was BEFORE she got pregnant....!
Now I look like I have eaten way too much icing, even though I have not.

I still think the Orlando area is a great place to live, especially Lake County (there is a new Publix there).
 

Cardinal

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plankton said:
Hood River, Oregon is top-notch if you like progressive smaller cities (10,000 or so) in a dynamic natural setting with good proximity to metro area.

1 hour to Portland and in the Columbia Gorge where waterfalls and friendly folks abound. Only if we could do something about all those darn dams (at least the minimal hydro-electric producers way up stream on the Snake).

Nobody get any ideas about applying for any planning vacancies there 'kay.
I'll agree with this one. The Hood River Valley is beautiful, especially to a person who would love to own a fruit orchard.
 
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Originally posted by Trail Nazi
Yeah, Savannah has character, plus it has one of the highest crime rates going.

Did you know Tallahassee has one of the highest crime rates for a city its size. Savannah is safeville USA compared to my former college town. While I was there, a student got killed in a FAMU dorm and two of my neighbors at University Commons were raped and shot by some escaped convict.
 
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Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
For everyone's edification: Trail Nazi is addicted to Publix icing (by the pound), and that was BEFORE she got pregnant....!

Well you should like Lakeland. Publix practically runs this town, since their headquarters and most of their manufacturing and distribution facilities are located here. BTW, that icing is pretty good!
 

Runner

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donk said:
must have 4 distinct seasons, will settle for three (Fall, Summer, Winter)
What ! No spring? I've gotta have a spring.

Our choice would, and will be, Portland, Oregon .

Our preference is for a walkable/livable downtown that offers transportation choice and a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities in the immediate area. Lots of green and a reduced melanoma risk a plus.
 

donk

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Not the big fan of spring, at least here, too muddy and buggy to really enjoy. The weather can also be so variable that you can't plan things.

I love a nice low humidity fall day, when the trees are turning and the air is crisp.
 

tsc

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I come from Ithaca NY,,, which often makes the "list"... but I work in White Plains, a much bigger city, in Westchester County, NY... and I think it is a great city (no I dont work for the City of White Plains).

15 minute train to Manhattan
blocks of outdoor street cafes
great deli's/pizza/sushi...
great shopping
Major University (Pace)
Beautiful residential neighborhoods...
10 Miles to Long Island Sound
5 Miles to Glorious Hudson River
Lotsa Flowers/street plantings
Semi-pedestrian friendly.

The sidewalks are crowded during the day.. and even at night,, and the weekends.

problems is.. who can afford to live here??!! with fixer-uppers (if you can find one) probably well over $500,000 by now. Prices escalate continually.. who can keep track??

I live in Westchester... but at the other end of the County. Although traffic is an issue around here... it really isn't that bad. A 33 mile commute takes me about 40-45 minutes.
 

plannerkat

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9
jessearl said:
You have to love the Tennessee Waltz.
Ah yes, the Tennesee Waltz...Poor Pauls with the wheel o'free beer, Bullwinkles with the scary locals & frat boys, and my beloved Fatty's & Skinny's. I know there were more bars, but it always gets a little foggy after Fatty's For mid-sized cities Tally can be quite nice.

I've grown very fond of Pensacola in recent years. Great historic districts, several funky areas with lots of artists studios & shops, excellent restaurants, and very cute downtown. The view from Scenic Highway can't be beat either. It would be a perfect place to live if not for all of the right wing nut jobs (more abortion providers have been murdered here than anywhere else). They also have a small university and there is a pretty decent creative class to balance out the wackos.
 

Trail Nazi

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lakelander said:
Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
For everyone's edification: Trail Nazi is addicted to Publix icing (by the pound), and that was BEFORE she got pregnant....!

Well you should like Lakeland. Publix practically runs this town, since their headquarters and most of their manufacturing and distribution facilities are located here. BTW, that icing is pretty good!

My husband was born in Lakeland, but I refer to it as the home of Publix. Jax has a Publix hub, but it is only for transferring food products, not the actual making of food. I admit, I am obsessed with Publix especially since I can't have it at the moment.

BTW, although I love Tallahassee, it was one of Ted Bundy's killing grounds, but G'ville had that crazy psycho a few years ago who killed a number of students. They have a pretty good crime rate there, but at least their football players don't get caught. :) Savannah tops all of them. As the town has been described, it is a cleaned up New Orleans with a little less crime.
 

Mud Princess

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ts corbitt said:
I work in White Plains, a much bigger city, in Westchester County, NY... and I think it is a great city (no I dont work for the City of White Plains).

15 minute train to Manhattan
blocks of outdoor street cafes
great deli's/pizza/sushi...
great shopping
Major University (Pace)
Beautiful residential neighborhoods...
10 Miles to Long Island Sound
5 Miles to Glorious Hudson River
Lotsa Flowers/street plantings
Semi-pedestrian friendly.

How 'bout that Galleria?

Hopefully White Plains is nicer than when I was there in the early 1980s!
 

biscuit

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lakelander said:
I think mid sized cities like Savannah or Charleston would be great places to live because they have a lot of character, diversified economies, and big city amenities.
You have no idea how much I miss Charleston sometimes - excluding the heat and humidity. You will never see better restaurants nad bars in a city of the same size, anywhere. I could never live there again, howerver. I think I've mentioned this before, but the job market for professionals sucks down there and the cost of housing in and near the historic area has shot through the roof. $1300+ is not uncommon for a two bedroom apt. near the College of Charleston.

As for ideal cities...I would take Astoria, OR; Roanoke, VA; or Burlington, VT but right now I love living in Pittsburgh. It has beautiful natural scenery, cultural amenities, jobs and affordable housing. The only thing it could use is an ocean, but I think I can look beyond that and settle here for a while.
 

mendelman

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Chicago Neighborhoods I have experienced so far:

Lincoln Square - nice med. density urban neighborhood with El train and North Branch of Chicago River

Lakeview - Close to Lake Michigan, High density easily supports good pedestrian shopping streets. MLB team

Wicker Park - Up and coming with El train and good intact buildings

Hyde Park - Lake Michigan and University of Chicago

Lincoln Park - very close to Lake Michigan, El trains, Free Zoo, easy walk to Loop. Easily supports pedestrian shopping streets

Bridgeport - next neighborhood to be "market valuable". Good intact buildings, MLB team. great transpo. access (I-55, I-90/94 and two El Trains)
 

jordanb

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Wow, have you been any place that's not completly yuppied out? Take a stroll through back of the yards some time if you really want to experience the city. :)

I thing Gentrification is a mixed bag. The vitality and wealth it brings a neighborhood is great. There two main problems I see are driving the original residents out and people who are still in a car-dependent mindset end up destroying the neighborhood in their advocacy for more parking.

The first problem is tricky, and maybe not as much a problem as it seems. Wicker Park is probably the most yuppified neighborhood in the city, but before it gentrified it was a derlict manufacturing center that didn't really house anyone (except squatters). Lincoln park is pretty bad too, but not nearly as bad as Wicker Park. There's evidence that neighborhood fixtures usually end up actually benifiting from gentrification because they get windfall from all of the new money entering their neighborhoods. Still, a dedicated affordable housing system to ensure that a neighborhood can maintain a healthy mix of income levels is a must, I believe.

I don't know how to solve the parking problem. If this country weren't obsessed with 'subsidies' to public transit we could just poor money into it to make the marginal non-parking benifit of driving low enough that people quit wasting their time with it and just take the bus. Unfortunatly, that's not reality, especially in Chicago where the CTA is reqired by law to get half of its operating expenses out of the farebox.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
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22
I recently moved from Pacific Grove CA, Monterey Peninsula, which would rank high on most people's lists except for ruinous housing prices.

Cloverdale is much closer to family (midway between two married daughters and close to in laws and other relatives). We see them a lot more often since the move. Also, I am two minutes by bike from my office.

My definition of nice places has a lot more to do with family than the services provided by the city.

That being said, Cloverdale is in a beautiful setting at the end of the Alexander Valley, and a bike ride across the Russian River and through the vineyards is just a few blocks away. Healdsburg is fifteen minutes to the south if one wants a yuppie fix. And we have a reasonable drive to San Francisco for big city things.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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18,287
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44
Wulf9 said:
ICloverdale is in a beautiful setting at the end of the Alexander Valley,
I agree with you...the Alexander Valley is beautiful. I'm originally from Ft. Bragg, up Hwy 128 from you. Our high schools' sports teams had an intense rivalry when I was in school there. Hope it doesn't get too hot for you there this summer.

I also worked on the other side of the Monterey Bay from PG in Santa Cruz County.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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to jordanb

I should have said "functioning, full service walkable Chicago neighborhoods I have experienced so far"

Here are ones I have been to but did not cite:

Gage Park (Western Corridor) - derelict, boarded up, low end used car dealerhsip backwater

Near Southside (Cermak, Lake Michigan, 47th, Dan Ryan) - lots of beautiful townhouses/rowhouses, lots of vacant lots, wrecked commerical corridors, leftovers of bad urban renewal and post WWII urban design

Clark (north of Foster) - enpty storefronts, ROW much too wide

Pullman - nice historic district, few if any services within walking distance

Michigan avenue (btw 103rd and 87th) - empty store fronts and empty lots


.....but this is a very large city with many places yet to see
 
Messages
94
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4
Chicago is an interesting city, but it is not very affordable and its winters are nothing to brag about. I have a friend from college who took a job there. All he ever talks about is buying a house, selling it in a couple of years and moving back Florida. When I visited, I thought the prices there were outright rediculous. I guess it would be a good place to live if you have an unlimited supply of money.
 
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