OT: what do you think of where you live?

Lazmo

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I know you mentioned you are looking to stay in the US... and fair enough, but, you asked what do you think of where you live? ... so, I live in Australia and I love where I live.

I've been to over thirty countries in my travels and/or for work, and there is nowhere, anywhere, where I rather live. OK, some parts of Portugal, Spain and Southern France, I'd consider, but.

Australia, is huge, has massive climate and environment diversity and it's an island, so we share no borders. It has sun, surf, sea, bush, outback, open spaces, mountain ranges (OK, not like real big mountains) tropics, coral reefs, deserts, etc. It also is not very crowded, given the area, so we can getaway and enjoy the bush.

Politically, it is not particularly partisan. Sure we have left, centrist and right, but no-one ostracizes anyone for their political leanings, and you're not instantly a commie if you lean left or a reactionary conservative if you lean right, who cares. The Westminster style government works, though I'd happily become a Republic, as long as we followed the Euro models. Same with religion or the lack of it either, who cares, virtually no zealots here. No guns, too, which is a major plus. We have national health care, and OK, you have to queue if you want elective surgery, but your ailment will get treated and if it is life threatening, it is sorted out and free of charge. There is great government public schools for both primary and secondary. We put our girls mostly through private schools, but our youngest, actually asked to finish in our local government public school, and it went very well. Work-wise, there is enough to go around and if you actively pursue your career, it's been great, till now at least.

Love Australia.
 

cribbon

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I know you mentioned you are looking to stay in the US... and fair enough, but, you asked what do you think of where you live? ... so, I live in Australia and I love where I live.

I've been to over thirty countries in my travels and/or for work, and there is nowhere, anywhere, where I rather live. OK, some parts of Portugal, Spain and Southern France, I'd consider, but.

Australia, is huge, has massive climate and environment diversity and it's an island, so we share no borders. It has sun, surf, sea, bush, outback, open spaces, mountain ranges (OK, not like real big mountains) tropics, coral reefs, deserts, etc. It also is not very crowded, given the area, so we can getaway and enjoy the bush.

Politically, it is not particularly partisan. Sure we have left, centrist and right, but no-one ostracizes anyone for their political leanings, and you're not instantly a commie if you lean left or a reactionary conservative if you lean right, who cares. The Westminster style government works, though I'd happily become a Republic, as long as we followed the Euro models. Same with religion or the lack of it either, who cares, virtually no zealots here. No guns, too, which is a major plus. We have national health care, and OK, you have to queue if you want elective surgery, but your ailment will get treated and if it is life threatening, it is sorted out and free of charge. There is great government public schools for both primary and secondary. We put our girls mostly through private schools, but our youngest, actually asked to finish in our local government public school, and it went very well. Work-wise, there is enough to go around and if you actively pursue your career, it's been great, till now at least.

Love Australia.
"till now, at least." - ? Are you referring to the fires or something else? I've been to Australia twice and I absolutely love it and the people.
 

RogersLudwig

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I live in the mountains of southern New Mexico and I like it. Mountains surrounded by high desert, typical basin and range geography of this part of the Southwest. Downside: no good doctors, no good restaurants, not many services. Strangely, there are a lot of musicians and a local branch of New Mexico State University which is headed by a PhD in trumpet performance who also leads the Jazz Ensemble, so I've been able to play in a jazz band with some very competent musicians for the past three years. Trying to get to Albuquerque or Santa Fe for my final years of work and considering moving to Europe (Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, or Spain). My girlfriend lives in Tuscany (Piedrasanta) and I'd like to be closer to her.
 

KevinD

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Another North Jersey guy here. I live in Hudson County, on the bluffs right across the river from NYC.
Sounds like I’m close enough to be neighbors with some of you!

Moved here about 10 years ago after living in Manhattan for 12 years, prior to that lived in LA for 5
Really enjoyed everything NYC had to offer but at some point you need a little space.

We bought a big old house with a driveway, and plenty of room for drums (and plenty to do to fix it up)

We we were both working in Manhattan at the time so it was good commute (about 45 mins from my front door to my office in Midtown).
This is a solid working class neighborhood. Lots of cultural diversity, tons of great foods. Especially great Pizza, and great Cuban food, even had an Ethiopian restaurant for a while.

Within walking distance there are a number of bar/restaurants, some (esp down by the river) are newer and higher end, but there are also a bunch of good old neighborhood places.

We like the higher end places, but there is also a lot to be said for being a regular in a pub full of all walks of life.
There is a very nice sized county park about a block and a half from here that we get a lot of use out of.

Musically, things are, or were, on the upswing, a number of musicians have moved over from NYC since things have become so expensive. I’ve attended some pretty good open mics, lots of eclectic music, some great Cuban players.

I had a couple of gigs playing “restaurant Jazz” here & there, hopefully they’ll be more if those places can hold out.

Paquito D’Rivera is one of my neighbors, very nice guy, invited to a BBQ at this house once (couldn’t make it) he sometimes plays around here, but he is on the road a lot.

Taxes are reasonable for this part of the country, there has a been a lot of development on the river in the past 10 years, $1 Mil apartments, and multi-use buildings, there is also a decently sized industrial base, those help keep the taxes low.

Crime is fairly minor in this part of town (although there are some rougher areas down by the Licnoln Tunnel) but
most of the neighbors look out for each other, and the police keep a tight lid on stuff.

I travel a good bit for work, we’re about 25-30 min from Newark airport so that is convenient.

Plus, NYC is close, although, prior to C-19 I had not played a gig there in over a year, we try to get in now & again, still a lot of great things to see & do there.

Another bonus for us, is this just about 90 minutes from my dad’s house where I grew up in NY. I go up there often. Played some nice gigs up there too.
As mentioned I previously in my “neighbor’s” posts), lots of cool outdoor things to do between here & there. Makes for an easy getaway.

Unfortunately this area was hit very hard by C-19, 2500 cases in my town, lost a few neighbors…happened so fast too, terrible shame.

For now this place works for us… In 5-7 years will be time to think of migrating somewhere else, it is a frequent topic of conversation.

I travel nationally in my day gig, so I get to some time in a lot of different markets, it is nice to get to know certain areas, and people from those places.

I really like MSP, and Wisconsin, the only thing about them are the winters… I think I’m at the age where I’m done with winters.
Really like Northern AZ, and Utah. (Yeah, I know, they have winter too)

My HQ is in the Charlotte area, great area but growing way too quickly, a little too generic, and a few too many NY/NJ folks (also like Greenville SC, but my friends there have similar complaints about the rapid growth—really nice town though).

Kentucky, near the Bourbon trail is awesome, as is Nashville.
And I would not rule out Fl either.

Wherever we end up, we both agree that music (playing over watching) has to be part of it.

We've even considered Ireland, France or Italy for a year or two we’ll see what happens.
 

DanRH

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East Bay Area - Specifically Dublin CA, about 40 minutes from SF proper. We are in a very unique situation. Our house payment after our renter's monthly (our house 's second story is a separate apartment) comes in is about $800. And he is probably about $700 south of where he should be paying but he's a long term renter and doesn't bother us so...

My wife bought this house in 89 for 225K and it's worth 1.3 now. So we're in good shape. We also have a condo in Ft Myers Beach but are looking to sell since COVID hit. It's just not sustainable. When we visit there, we love it (I'm born and raised in Miami, so I have a lot of history there). I've been here for 36 years.

We love it here but it is expensive. Northern California is beautiful. I'm still in awe when I see the hills and mountain. As many of you know, I'm very active with cycling, hiking and walking and this area is suburbia nirvana. Very safe, great schools. But very crowded. Music scene (pre-COVID) is good but many bands make it a tough sell to get into paying venues. My Petty band is real lucky as we have a huge and faithful following. My other band, DrD is a harder sell...too bad because that band has some great musicians.

For me personally, I love it here but again, we're in a very good situation. If we were thirty years younger, it is wayyy too expensive unless you have the means. Florida to us is it's a nice place to visit (except in the summer). It is getting too crowded but again, like I said, we're in a great situation.

I often complain about the temperature here being too cool (I am from Florida like I said), but never any snow. I personally could not live where it snows. If we want that, it's a three hour drive to the east. I do miss warm ocean water like Florida, but we love the rough Pacific coast. If we were going to move, it would probably be to the Central Coast Area (San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Pismo Beach) as we absolutely love it there.
 

Lazmo

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"till now, at least." - ? Are you referring to the fires or something else? I've been to Australia twice and I absolutely love it and the people.
Howdy cribbon, no I wasn't referring to the fires, although they were terrible, even more so than usual, and we are often having bad fires. But this time the enormous area of the devastation and the sheer amount of smoke was horrific. Not as many people were actually lost in the fires as were in the 2009 Black Sunday fires, but way more land burned and I think ultimately a higher death toll due to smoke inhalation. We were on a mountain biking trip up on the New South Wales coast at the time, and the smoke was really extreme, turning cloudless sunny days into eerie darkness.

Anyway, I digressed, but with my "till now, at least." - I was sort of referring to the current world situation with covid and its impact on economies around the world, and Australia is far from immune. We are a massive landmass, but with only 25 million people, so we have many international dependencies, and we are quite vulnerable to any world-wide economic downturns. We are particularly dependent on China for exports and trade, so what I meant was, we have been going ok till now, but… time will tell.
 

cribbon

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Lazmo, thanks for the reply. I first went to Australia in Dec 83/Jan 84 for a few weeks, took the India-Pacific east from Perth to Sydney and then went up to Cairns and back. Second time was Sydney-Melbourne (drove from Sydney to Melbourne on the Princess Highway) for a quick vacation. Really loved everything I saw/everywhere I went, but I especially liked Perth and Melbourne. Good luck to you all down there!
 

Skyrm

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Savannah, GA. Great weather, low cost of living. No snow or traffic. Hot summers and it is the south...
I used to live in Beaufort SC, just north of you. I remember 2 things: we had an ice storm back in like 1989, and NO ONE Knew how to drive. The mayor of Savannah said the big bridge would open when it melts! Being from Cleveland, at least I owned an ice scraper for my car!

Second thing was the smell of the paper plant. Ewwww.

Otherwise, great town!
 

mkelley

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I live in the buckle of the bible belt and me and my wife of 20 years have been looking at a change of pace. No kids, we can live anywhere and in our travels we fell in love with Austin, TX and that Hill Country part of the state. Just great food, people and surroundings. We've been looking at what it would take to move and settle there.
 

tomo221

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Thanks for all the replies guys.

And no, we haven't moved yet. :lol:

Lots to chew on. I guess I could also throw out a little more about our sitch:

Both in our late 30s, with one 2yo, and plans for another soon (hopefully). So we're not retiring soon or anything like that. There are 2 big things driving our itch for a change: the weather and our lack of social life.

We both grew up in New England and we both have grown weary of the cold. Autumn is obviously really nice, but once we've picked our apples and November hits, it's like everything just goes into hibernation for 6-7 months. Snow storms are heavy and relentless. Everything is gray, dirty, and dead looking, and it stays that way for what feels like forever. It doesn't even start to feel like spring until halfway through May, but when it finally does warm up, we become different people. Happier, less stressed, more driven to get out and do things. You know .... alive!

And the other part of this is that, as adults, we've really come to realize that many people around this area tend to be less sociable than we would hope. Now, we're both introverts, and we're aware that socializing takes more energy for us, but it still seems harder than it should. New Englanders, it seems, have a tendency to keep to themselves, whether because of their the rough-around-the-edges yankee history, or because the cold just makes them not want to leave their homes (not that anyone has a choice at the moment), or some combination of the two, but we just find it so hard to connect with people. We can't help but wonder if people in different areas are more disposed to being more hospitable and social ... or if it's all just us.

There are lots of things we like about where we are: good schools, a generally well-educated population, outdoor activities, average-ish cost of living, good beer, and the big one: both our families are drive-able distances from us; hers 20 minutes away, mine about 3-4 hours. (The proximity to family is something I know we have to weigh on our own.)

I can say that places that have already piqued our interest (before this post) include:

Austin
Asheville
Annapolis
Portland/Eugene
Denver/Boulder
Maybe even Florida?

We're looking for a place that's good for a young family (yes, I hold that late 30s is young, please let me have that) that isn't so cold and isolating as New England seems to be.

We've both read through your responses thus far and appreciate all you've laid out for us! Lots to consider...
 

Rich K.

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I used to live in Beaufort SC, just north of you. I remember 2 things: we had an ice storm back in like 1989, and NO ONE Knew how to drive. The mayor of Savannah said the big bridge would open when it melts! Being from Cleveland, at least I owned an ice scraper for my car!

Second thing was the smell of the paper plant. Ewwww.

Otherwise, great town!
We got 1/4" snow and they shut the town down.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I lived in California's central valley (Murder, Meth & Auto Theft) for 43 years before moving to Oklahoma to purchase a home 20 years ago.

Oklahoma is OK!


I'm in the Southeast corner of the state above Paris, Tx. in a county of 5000 residents and 2 stoplights (in the entire county!)
I live a stress-free life in a safe & peaceful little family town. It's like living in Mayberry. The first time I came out here in '97 to visit my Dad, who was born here, we stopped in a little general store for a snack only to find a group of men in overalls playing checkers around a wood burning stove and a spitoon on the floor. It's still pretty much the same as then.

Deer, lakes, fishing and wildlife abound, nearly every species of bird and tree imaginable. There's also enough bars, clubs, dancehalls, resorts & casinos in the surrounding areas to keep my gig calendar full enough for the past 20 years and still going.

The cons are: possible tornadic activity from April to June and the brutal summer humidity + armadillos, skunks, possums and deer running into the roads late at night. I've slammed into 'em all at one time or another coming home from gigs.


Pros: Living Free & Easy. Honest, trustworthy & helpful neighbors, clean air, plus a whole lot more.....
 

MntnMan62

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Thanks for all the replies guys.

And no, we haven't moved yet. :lol:

Lots to chew on. I guess I could also throw out a little more about our sitch:

Both in our late 30s, with one 2yo, and plans for another soon (hopefully). So we're not retiring soon or anything like that. There are 2 big things driving our itch for a change: the weather and our lack of social life.

We both grew up in New England and we both have grown weary of the cold. Autumn is obviously really nice, but once we've picked our apples and November hits, it's like everything just goes into hibernation for 6-7 months. Snow storms are heavy and relentless. Everything is gray, dirty, and dead looking, and it stays that way for what feels like forever. It doesn't even start to feel like spring until halfway through May, but when it finally does warm up, we become different people. Happier, less stressed, more driven to get out and do things. You know .... alive!

And the other part of this is that, as adults, we've really come to realize that many people around this area tend to be less sociable than we would hope. Now, we're both introverts, and we're aware that socializing takes more energy for us, but it still seems harder than it should. New Englanders, it seems, have a tendency to keep to themselves, whether because of their the rough-around-the-edges yankee history, or because the cold just makes them not want to leave their homes (not that anyone has a choice at the moment), or some combination of the two, but we just find it so hard to connect with people. We can't help but wonder if people in different areas are more disposed to being more hospitable and social ... or if it's all just us.

There are lots of things we like about where we are: good schools, a generally well-educated population, outdoor activities, average-ish cost of living, good beer, and the big one: both our families are drive-able distances from us; hers 20 minutes away, mine about 3-4 hours. (The proximity to family is something I know we have to weigh on our own.)

I can say that places that have already piqued our interest (before this post) include:

Austin
Asheville
Annapolis
Portland/Eugene
Denver/Boulder
Maybe even Florida?

We're looking for a place that's good for a young family (yes, I hold that late 30s is young, please let me have that) that isn't so cold and isolating as New England seems to be.

We've both read through your responses thus far and appreciate all you've laid out for us! Lots to consider...
Good to hear from you again and thanks for the added color about your situation. You mentioned something that I think should weigh heavily on your decision. You have a 2 year old and are hoping to have another and both of your parents live pretty close to you now. One thing that contributed to my and my wife's sanity when our son was growing up was that my parents were anywhere from an hour and a half to two hour drive from us. They would often come out to watch our son so that we could go out and have some time to ourselves. Dinner. See some music. Or whatever. And it happened a lot more often than I thought it would. But the benefit was not just for us. Their close proximity allowed them to get to know their grandchild a lot better than if we were far away. And even more important than that, it allowed our son to know who his grandparents are as opposed to him just wondering who those old people are that sometimes get on a plane to go see. And I can see the difference it makes by the different relationship our son has with my mom (dad passed about 4 years ago) and my wife's mom (she's divorced 3 times). Now, I also realize that the difference in their relationships could also be because my mother in law is a nut case and he sees that now that he's a teenager, but I think the difference was there long before he grew old enough to understand people. My wife even chastised her mother for moving to Florida when she was so young because she knew she would miss out on her grandchildren. My wife's sister lives about 30 minutes from us. Ultimately the mother in law showed us how little she values "family". But the close proximity to the grandparents is a pretty big thing so don't underestimate that one. I also realize that it may be possible for one or both to move somewhere reasonably close to wherever you end up, and if that is the case just consider yourselves blessed.

The towns you mention all sound pretty cool and hip. Austin is a great town. I only went there one or two times on business but had a blast checking out the downtown music scene. And the area around is populated with younger progressive people. And the hill country is pretty. Ashville I have not been to but know a bit about it as many of my clients either lived there or had 2nd, 3rd or 4th homes there. My clients were known as the "ultra high net worth" crowd. The amount of money there could have an impact on the overall cost of living but it could also have a positive impact on quality of services, stores, etc. I don't know Annapolis at all. I have not been to Portland but I hear it's a pretty cool place as well. Good micro brew places and everything that goes with that. And I imagine the area's geography is pretty darn awesome from what I've seen of Seattle and Tacoma. Denver is another nice town I have been to for a conference so I spent about 4 days there. Beautiful country. If you like hiking mountains, it's a great place. Good food, etc as well. Florida? I know Florida better than anywhere else. I'm very familiar with both coasts since my grandparents and my parents both live(d) on the east coast near Palm Beach and my mother in law lives on the west coast in Ft. Myers. My brother lives in Miami and I traveled to both Palm Beach and Naples a great deal for business, usually 5 to 6 times a year to each. And I am also familiar with the Ocala area, horse country as I worked with a client to buy a home there, requiring numerous trips there to evaluate different houses she was considering. I'll say that Florida is ungodly hot in the spring and summer. Oppressive almost, because of the humidity. It's also gotten pretty darn crowded. Many parts of it look alot like where I grew up on Long Island NY. That's not a good thing. Healthcare is not very good. My brother is a doctor. He happens to be a good one, about as well educated as any doctor but he's also a specialist in a very niche area of medicine. But when he had some issues, he flew up to NY and Baltimore to go see doctors at Columbia and Johns Hopkins where he did some internships. He's always complaining about how little the doctors down there know about the subjects they are supposed to be experts in.

I've rambled on far more than anyone can probably bear. I'm sure you'll make the right decisions for you and your family. Good luck.
 

halldorl

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I love the place I live in. A small town with 3500 inhabitants 40 min drive from the capital, Reykjavik, Iceland. Wonderful house, big back porch with a Jacuzzi. Clean air, by the sea, stable political environment where the president has NO power over the government. Peaceful country with no guns, not even the police carries. Murder rate is 1-2 a year, sometimes less. Good and free public healthcare and school system.

5E976D86-7DAC-4F27-808B-4F1B4C1815F0.jpeg
 
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Old PIT Guy

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Sounds nice. Reminds me of the used-to-be small town not too far from where I live; a perfect example of manic debt-growth resulting in a ^ shaped quality of life curve. Population grew from 2000 people in 1990 to 9,000 in 2018, all of it single family homes on what used to be farm and orchid land.

What’s amazing is how builders still refer to the “quaint, rural setting” when pre-selling their 4000 sq. ft. stick frame mausoleums situated 20 feet apart that has left roads clogged with rush hour traffic unimaginable to locals. It’s a cancer. No other description comes close. I often sing "US Drag" when I go through there.
 
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