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Your prefered habitat

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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I have been reading many of posts in the last several months indirectly refering to members' prefered environment to live in.

I want to know the place(s) each of us would prefer to live, whether it be rural, suburban, urban, region of the nation, state, size of metro region, size of central city.

You can be city/metro region specific or general in describing the environment one prefers, and please, if you like, give the emotional/philosophical reasoning for the choice(s).

Mine:
I would want to live in either a dense urban, multi-modal transpo. place such as Chicago or even to an Evanston scale, or in a rural location in Michigan or Wisconsin, preferably with wooded acreage near a Great Lake. And I know for sure that I would never leave the Great lakes region. It is where I grew up, went to school, got married, and intend to die. Even if the doctors tell me to leave for Arizona, I would tell them no.

I have experienced much of the East Coast between Philly and Boston, I have spent a summer outside Florence, Italy, spent time in London, England, and driven from Michigan to Yellowstone, and although those places are wonderful, I will always prefer swimming in the Great Lakes, or walking through a forest in the Upper Great Lakes.
 

Cardinal

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10,080
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34
Mendelman, we could be neighbors. Give me plentiful acreage in a hilly, forest/savanna landscape. Put a spring, a sandy pond, and a babbling brook on the property and it is perfect. I don't want to see any roads from the house. I want to plant an orchard and raise organic fruit and vegetables. I'll restore the prairie and maybe get a bison or two. I want to wake to the sounds of birds in the morning, not the hum of cars passing by. I want cold and snow in winter, cool temperatures in spring and fall, and cool temperatures in summer. And I want to be no more than a half hour from a city of about 250,000 or so.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,549
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25
I guess I don't have an ideal place to live. Somtimes I think it would be great to have a condo in Chicago or in New York, but then I remember I am a planner and I could only afford a studio. Other times I think it would be great to live near the ocean in North Carolina, Florida, or even California. I also really like Madison, WI. You get a small town kind of vibe, but it has all kinds of big city amenities, plus it is very bicycle friendly!

Then there is a small part of me that thinks it would be cool to live in the Las Vegas area, but just for a few years.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
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1,447
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27
A place where the deer and elk play. Where seldom is heard from my neighbors - must be at least 5 miles away - and the sky just a little cloudy. More seriously, I would love to have a log home on several acres at the base of the mountains and where I don't see my neighbors or hear their dogs with necessary services within 20 miles.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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20,175
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51
Re: Your prefered habitat.

mendelman said:
And I know for sure that I would never leave the Great lakes region. It is where I grew up, went to school, got married, and intend to die. Even if the doctors tell me to leave for Arizona, I would tell them no.
AHHHHHH

Your making me home sick.

But I agree with you on EVERY thing that you said. From the dense urban feel (with public transportation) of Chicago, to the Rural Water. All I know, is I would love to come home, but to stay this time.

*I have been looking at Ann Arbor area. It seems to have the best of both worlds. I just hope I get one, of the two jobs that I applied for.
 

Seabishop

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An urban fancy-pants historic neighborhood. Mostly residential, lots of brick and trees, short walk to neighborhood retail, transit and parks. Something like Boston's Beacon Hill or Providence's College Hill - but without the pretensiousness and more family oriented. I will be able to not drive but will be able to keep a car if I wanted. Must be within 2 hours of the coast or else I'd feel claustophobic. This assumes I am wealthy enough to afford the neighborhood and private school.

OT: I am very fortunate to be in my current neighborhood - We went to a crime watch meeting the other night and listened to our neighbors complaints about our street - occasional speeding and graffitti, 1 house with annoying neighbors. My wife and I sat there like "thats it?" Our last neighborhood had much worse things every day.
 

mendelman

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Ann Arbor is nice. I went to undergrad and grad school there at UM. It is a great town. Especially around Central Campus.

Good Luck with the jobs application there.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
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13,852
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Condo on the beach, east coast of Florida. How relaxing that would be! (Well, except for the occasional hurricane)
 

BKM

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I am kinda divided. While I have no great need to be isolated (I'm enough of a loner personality-wise that I would probably go insane living in the wilderness. BKM-the next Unabomber?), I am divided. Something like Boston's Beacon Hill or Back Bay, or San Francisco's Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill or Ashbury Heights would be great. For less money, I like Bernal Heights, too.

On the other hand, I like having "working countryside" around me, so I would say someplace like Charlottesville, VA, Burlington, VT (too cold!), Napa, California, Healdsburg, Chico, California, San Luis Obispo, CA-a medium to small town in a scenic setting with access to good roads for road cycling but plenty of yuppie amenities (restaurants, bookstores). Benicia, California is nice in the older parts-a bayside location, better weather, good coffee downtown, and a strange mixture of housing stock (shacks next to mansions next to Victorian cottages-sometimes wierd or ugly but always interesting!)

Another key criterion: walkability-I don't want to use a car for every single task, and there has to be interesting architecture to see on my walks. My current neighborhood in Vacaville, California is actually pretty nice and will hopefully get better.
Benicia has a full service supermarket downtown and, like Vacaville, a health club, plenty of restaurants, and that beautiful waterfront.
 

Richmond Jake

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I'd like to have a log cabin in the middle of about 50 acres in Northern California within a mixed evergreen forest, inland far enough that I'm outta the fog belt but close to the beach. It would have a year-round stream full of trout and an open meadow for nude sunbathing.
 

SkeLeton

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Small town (2,500 inhabitants max), in a nice forest, near a body of water (river, lake, or sea). The climate should be more or less like Valdivia (a little less rain would be ok).
 
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el Guapo said:
Manhattan, Kansas
Yea, verily, I will second this -- with one proviso: IF you can breathe there. I was extremely happy in Manhattan, Kansas but allergic to something and sick all the time. I ended up visiting family in Georgia for several weeks every year while we lived there in order to cope as best I could.

Then we left Kansas and moved West. I discovered that once I got to Colorado, I could breathe better than I ever had East of the Rockies. I don't think I will ever live East of the Rockies again. Nor am I fond of cold weather so I don't really want to live in the Rockies either (although Colorado is enchanting and tempted me to want to live there). So, one of my criteria in recent years has been 'West of The Rockies'.

I lived in Washington state first and then Southern California (just south of Death Valley -- a lovely but stark landscape). I was fond of both of those places. Then I came to the San Francisco Bay Area. I felt like I had finally come home. I spent most of my childhood desperately wanting out of Georgia and 15 years as a military wife with extreme wanderlust. I finally wanted to put down roots and stay here for the foreseeable future.

I was deathly ill when I arrived and it forced me to drop out of school for a semester. I know that such crises can be a turning point in a person's life and I was prepared to discover that I no longer wanted to go into planning. Then, while still deathly ill and essentially bedridden, my husband took us to San Francisco. We ate lunch in the Burger King on The Presidio, with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. He drove us around town just a little, including on 'the crookedest street in America'. Our youngest son, who gets car sick, puked on himself. We got him a change of clothes and came home.

I think we spent only an hour or two in San Francisco. I have spent that much time in many cities -- possibly most major cities of the continental U.S. -- and never had any desire to live in one. If I could afford it, San Francisco would be the one big city I might actually like to live in. I fell in love with it that day.

I fell pretty hard:

On the way home, we stopped in a bookstore. Inspired by the picturesque urban environment I had just been in, I spent about $300 that day on a stack of urban studies books. I read most of them while still bedridden but no longer sleeping 18 to 20 hours a day. The minute I had a diagnosis, I resumed pursuing my degree -- in spite of the fact that I was still extremely ill. I completed that first class while going through 13 or 14 rounds of antibiotics and other drugs.

I think I need to find the time and energy and opportunity to go back. I haven't been to San Francisco in a while, what with all the icky drug withdrawal I went through for so many months. I think I need a booster.

(So, Michael Stumpf, are you beginning to get the idea that when I said "If you are prepared to listen at great length..." that I was really poking fun at myself? Can you say 'windbag'? :) )

Anyway, I may be in the Bay Area "For Life". I am certainly here "For the foreseeable future".
 

tsc

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give me Fire Island or Cape Cod... the oceanside... yet close enough to feel the heartbeat of the city of New York or Boston.

...nothing like the smell of salt air.....
 

Queen B

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el Guapo said:
Manhattan, Kansas
Really? What is there?

As for me, I am torn between liking to be outside of town and having that drive to get there. But a 15 min drive max. I want 4 seasons and real trees. I don't mind being snowed in occasionally. I wouldn't mind about 5 acres, just enough to let the dog run and raise a few chickens and have a real garden.
 

Cardinal

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34
el Guapo said:
Manhattan, Kansas
Yecchh!

Queen B, do you really want to know what is there? Intense heat in summer, chiggers, poison ivy, and some of the dumbest soldiers in the Army. How dumb are they? They could be Marines.

(Sorry, Marines). ;)
 

Queen B

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Michael Stumpf said:
Yecchh!

Queen B, do you really want to know what is there? Intense heat in summer, chiggers, poison ivy, and some of the dumbest soldiers in the Army. How dumb are they? They could be Marines.

(Sorry, Marines). ;)
No, I know what is there just wanted to know why el Guapo wanted to be there!!!!?????
 

Wulf9

Member
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It's interesting that everyone talks about the physical attributes of their ideal area and no one mentioned closeness to family or friends. I moved from Pacific Grove (a very beautiful place) to be halfway between my two children. It's been worth it.

Baby boomers NIMBYs have driven up housing prices in California, which has caused their children to move to lower cost housing areas. I expect to see a lot of those boomers now moving to be closer to their families.
 

Seabishop

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3,838
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Wulf9 said:
It's interesting that everyone talks about the physical attributes of their ideal area and no one mentioned closeness to family or friends.
You haven't met my family have you? ;)
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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Family

My two siblings actually followed me out here to California My brother because he was lying around the mother's house back in Indiana, and I would not support him-so it was a good way of tough loving him into being self-supporting :) My sister because she loves California!)

Mom's still back in Indiana and is approaching "that age." She is fearful of driving out here (rightfully so).

Not all that close to the cousins and aunts and uncles back east.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
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Anywhere in Northern New England. 4 seasons, mountains, ocean within a day's drive, close to 90% of my (and my wife's) family.
 

Queen B

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25
Seabishop said:
You haven't met my family have you? ;)
I want to be able to drive and get to them but don't want in the same area at all!!! Including the grandkids. Love to see them, Love to send them home!
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
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386
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12
urban, walk to a park, within a short drive (less 3 hours) to a large body of water, walk to active nightlife, walk to grocery shopping or farmers market, walk/bike to work
 

otterpop

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Your prefered habitat.

My preferred habitat, provided I still had to work to support myself, would be where I am now -- Helena Montana. It is a small city, the state capital, the bastion of Democratic Party in the state, and a great community. The town has fine, old neighborhoods where low and middle class families live among Helena's elite. Nice middle of the road, Ward and June Cleaver values. But with enough cowboys and blue collar types to make it interesting. Of course we don't have the man to hot chick ratio of Missoula, but we are doing fine.

Now, if I was independently wealthy and could live anywhere. I would live in Thompson Falls or Hot Springs, Montana. That part of western Montana gets more rain and the rivers run wilder.

Or perhaps I would just lie on the beaches of the Marquesas Islands, with a cold drink and a hot Polynesian beauty.
 

biscuit

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Family and friends played a major roll in me deciding to stay on the East Coast. I looked at heading to the Pacific Northwest (where I have a few relatives) or even Europe to work after finishing my undergrad but I have a large, very close extended family and I honostly didn't like the thought of spending the foreseeable future being more than one days drive away.

I need two geographic features to be really happy with where I live and those are mountains (big hills will do) and water. As for weather, I like the experience of four seasons and I actually like snow. So even though I sometimes miss living in the country, near a large lake in the southern Appalachians, PA is working out alright.
 

H

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2,850
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24
Currently I am the furthest I have ever lived from “home”. I don’t like being so far away. I really miss Sunday evening diners and BBQs. :(

But I love being in a major international city!

I don’t really have an ideal habitat, yet. I have lived in small, medium and large towns and cities and liked them all. I guess I am a fan of walkable environments with lots of “action” like restaurants, shops, bars, etc…

I also need areas to run and ride my bike, public fitness facilities and parks are a must.
 

Greenescapist

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1,169
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This is tough. I think that I need to live near mountains to be happy, yet I'm moving to Madison, Wisconsin next week and am very much looking forward to it. I grew up in Portland, Maine and love it here, but think that it's too small being a single guy. I love cities and all the cultural attributes they have, but in some places, like Boston, the cost of living has gotten out of control. I've thought about joining my sister in Seattle once I'm done grad school - moutains, ocean, cool people and culture - but omnipresent gray weather and crippling traffic. I think Northern California is appealing, too, but money would be an issue. Sometimes I think it would be fun to try to live near London - but it's hard to get a job there as an American. I hope to come up with an answer someday on what the right place is for me, so far I've been happy everyplace I've lived!
 

kms

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I'd choose a small town where I could walk to the places I need to go. I would stay in the East, no farther North than southwestern PA. If I could put that small town anywhere, I'd put it in the Shenandoah Valley or North Carolina.
 

Suburb Repairman

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I've been dying to live in the King William/Monte Vista area in San Antonio. They have these beautiful historic houses that have been restored. If I'm ever independantly wealthy (wrong line of work, I know) I would buy one of the houses that needs to be restored and get to work messing with it. There are several parks in the area plus access to the Riverwalk, which goes from one end of downtown to the other. EVERYTHING is within walking distance, including movies, live-theater, music, restaurants, dining, work, etc. It's like living in a small, close-knit town only blocks from downtown. Another plus, my and my fiance's parents are only 45 minutes away... far enough not to bother you constantly but close enough if you need them! ;)
 

donk

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I am pretty sure I've outlined this before

This is the type of place I would like to live in

1) Must have 4 distinct seasons ( I love fall, like winter, enjoy summer and put up with spring)
2) Should be small enough that you can train the local grocer how to pack your bags so it is easier to unpack at home.
3) Should be large enough that you can be anonymous and able to separate work from personal life (ie not have to fear going to the hardware store because you know you'll get yelled at)
4) Should have ready access to the outdoors (nice big park for mountain biking)
5) Good roads and drivers for road riding
6) Be affordable to live in on the salary they are willing to pay
7) Be far enough away from a "big place" that you don't feel like you live in the big place, yet close enough that should you want to go to a concert, see a pro sports game or other city amenity, you can drive there and back the same day (2-3 hour drive each way).
8) Prefer if it has a water feature near by (prefer big lakes or ocean)

If anyone knows of a place like this hiring, let me know.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
The North End in Boston - THE best single neighborhood in the states.
Downtown Albany, NY: great architecture, close to the mountains, Montreal, NYC, and Boston
Brooklyn, NYC - feels like home, unlike anywhere else...
I'd consider Providence, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Portland, Maine - basically anywhere in the NE with good public transit, progreesive attitude, walkability, and diversity.
 

Jen

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1,704
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26
I like my current habitat, it is on a small inland lake with neighbors nearby but not on top of each other and surrounded by acres of woods and farms(read prime development property) Our sand and gravel road was paved five years ago and a farm on the north end of the lake is now being subdivided - This township is growing and there are many "outsiders" ie:Detroit area Realestate agents and developers, alway nosing around here. It makes me want to moveaway.

But, If I had my druthers i would keep the place on the lake for a summer cottage and move to a condominium in a tax free rennaissance zone in the urban core of Grand Rapids. My kids would walk or take a city bus to school as would their Dad and I to get to work. We would be within walking distance of everything -
 

Mud Princess

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If not for the fact that we would have had to leave family and friends, we might have moved to southern Maine a few years back. Darn. :(

I like Donk's criteria. I definitely prefer the northeastern U.S. A small city or town in New England would be nice.
 

Bangorian

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It's gotten a few mentions, but deserves at least one more: Portland Maine. I actually don't live there, I live a half hour up the coast in tiny Bath and we visit whenever there is even the slightest occaision to. Both are quite lovely by the way.

Portland (ME) is never really mentioned much in planning discussions (not as much as Portland OR), but it is simply a wonderful city - you can easily walk or bike from one end to the other, its perfectly preserved, there are great public spaces all around (squares, pedestrian ways, parks) and a good culture of independent small businesses. Beautiful architecture and a wonderful streetscape. Good transit options around town (for its size) as well as a train to Boston. Great views of the Casco Bay and all its islands, and just a very good balance of the cosmopoiltan, history, and friendliness. Excellent access to the rocky Maine coast to the north and the sandy beaches to the south. And the local breweries turn out some great beer.

Burlington, VT is wicked nice and New Paltz, NY gets an honorable mention, though its tiny.

Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to the "best places to live" thread. I'm a chump!
 
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NHPlanner

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Ditto from me. I've always loved going to Portland (and Burlington for that matter)....great places (the Old Port in Portland, Church Street in Burlington), and great smaller sized cities.

There are so many great places in New England.....and I love that I live in the approximate geographic center, so that nothing is too far away!

MaineMan said:
Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to the "best places to live" thread. I'm a chump!
Moderator note:

I think I've merged the two threads you were talking about....let me know if I didn't. :)
 
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Plannerbabs

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Can anyone tell me about Bangor? My parents are thinking about moving there in a few years, and being the dutiful daughter I'd like to research it a bit. Perhaps I should try to persuade them to move to Portland instead? Or just move there myself....it does sound like a great place. Near the ocean, good beer, culture....
 

NHPlanner

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Plannerbabs said:
Can anyone tell me about Bangor? My parents are thinking about moving there in a few years, and being the dutiful daughter I'd like to research it a bit. Perhaps I should try to persuade them to move to Portland instead? Or just move there myself....it does sound like a great place. Near the ocean, good beer, culture....
I've only been to Bangor a couple of times.....but it's WAY out there (speaking from a New England, not a midwestern perspective). Not too much around it.

A link for your reference:

http://www.bgrme.org/
 

Tom R

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Plannerbabs said:
Can anyone tell me about Bangor? My parents are thinking about moving there in a few years, and being the dutiful daughter I'd like to research it a bit. Perhaps I should try to persuade them to move to Portland instead? Or just move there myself....it does sound like a great place. Near the ocean, good beer, culture....
Ayuh, I'e been ta Bangah. Nice town if you like that sort of thing. Prefer Easeport m'self though. Ayuh

Probably the nicest places I've ever been was Ashland, Oregon. I wound up there while hitchhiking many moons ago. The college and Shakespear festival were great. Wish I could have made it back.

NHPlanner said:
I've only been to Bangor a couple of times.....but it's WAY out there (speaking from a New England, not a midwestern perspective). Not too much around it.

A link for your reference:


We had to drive 190 miles SOUTH to get to Bangor from Caribou. At the time it was the Big City for us.
 
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NHPlanner

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Re: Bangor

Tom R said:
We had to drive 190 miles SOUTH to get to Bangor from Caribou. At the time it was the Big City for us.
That's because Caribu is truly in the middle of nowhere. ;)
 

Plannerbabs

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Sooo, I take it Bangor is pretty remote? That should suit them just fine. Me, I'd take Boston any day. Or maybe someplace just outside, on the train line, with realistic property values. Is there such a place anymore?
 

donk

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30
Tom R. posted
No, but you can see it from there.
That is because you are looking at New Brunswick.

In our region, people still go to bangor to go shopping for the weekend. If the right opportunity came up, I would consider living there.

Planerbabs asked
Is there such a place anymore?
Bangoricon12.gif
 

mendelwoman

Member
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0
Your Preferred Habitat

My preferred habitat would be a dense but small scale urban environment. Examples would include areas such as Oak Park, IL, Evanston, IL or Ann Arbor, MI.

I however also have inclinations toward living out in the middle of no where (if this land even exists anymore) and living the homesteader lifestyle.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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mendelwoman said:
My preferred habitat would be a dense but small scale urban environment. Examples would include areas such as Oak Park, IL, Evanston, IL or Ann Arbor, MI.

I however also have inclinations toward living out in the middle of no where (if this land even exists anymore) and living the homesteader lifestyle.

Well, interesting, me too! ;-) :-}
 

BKM

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6,463
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29
I've found my perfect neighborhood!!!!

Its a neighborhood in the City of San Francisco called GLEN PARK.

Appealing points:

I-280 and a BART rail station right next to the business district.

True urban village downtown with a pet store, a good restaurant, taquerias, hardware store, small grocery, library branch-and all of the City's downtown is a 20 minute train ride away.

Narrow, interesting streets that wind around and up and down. There is even a couple of unpaved, flower-filled back alleys/lanes that wind their way uphill.

Quirky residential architecture: mostly small scale single family, duplex, and small apartment buildings in a variety of Victorian, craftsman, and modern housing. Everything is nicely mixed up together in a charming fashion. Not too showy, but nicer than many traditionally "working class" SF neighborhoods.

GLEN CANYON PARK-a fantastic, eucalpyptus and rock-strewn canyon right in the heart of the City. It makes the neighborhood feel amazingly green-and its great for dog owners. (Plus, Bernal Heights, an "official" off-leash area that offers drop-dead views of the downtown skyline) is a half hour walk away.

Negatives: Price (everything in San Francisco is too expensive), its a little close on one side to less salubrious City neighborhoods (The Mission can be a little nervewracking for this un-street smart dude), long term future of San Francisco if it doesn't get its act together.
 

boiker

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3,889
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26
mendelman said:
Well, interesting, me too! ;-) :-}
knock it off you two!

[obscure reference on]

/me slaps Mendelman with a large trout

[/obscure reference off]

perfect environment for me would be any major/minor metro area that is dense, gritty, industrial, with possibilities/potential for outdoor activities/amentities such as biking, hiking, nature paths, wilderness areas, kid friendly, progressive/or becoming progressive, not car dependent, etc. Also, the town must have a distinct civic core/park/plaza that helps unite the community for festivals events and other celebrations. Active neighborhoods and neighborhood festivals are also a plus.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Cardinal said:
Mendelman, we could be neighbors. Give me plentiful acreage in a hilly, forest/savanna landscape. Put a spring, a sandy pond, and a babbling brook on the property and it is perfect. I don't want to see any roads from the house. I want to plant an orchard and raise organic fruit and vegetables. I'll restore the prairie and maybe get a bison or two. I want to wake to the sounds of birds in the morning, not the hum of cars passing by. I want cold and snow in winter, cool temperatures in spring and fall, and cool temperatures in summer. And I want to be no more than a half hour from a city of about 250,000 or so.
Yep. Wisco sounds good to me too! :-D I like the picture you paint.
Specifically, the Driftless area. Kinda like where you are right now(almost). Either that or a nice spot on the western side of the rockies in Colo, or up in MT. I don't need isolation, in fact, I'd like to be nearer a metro area of some sort for various cultural amenities. Most importantly, I NEED to be someplace thats good for biking(Mountain and road).
 
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