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Old 06-25-2007, 09:36 PM   #1
threesmom
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What do you like about where you live?
Hey all - any thought here would be appreciated ...

My dh and I are considering the possibility of moving out of NJ to Vermont. We both love it there for many reasons, and would gladly welcome a move out of state. The area we live in now is rural, near a few small cities, and although you would think otherwise, it is not as quaint and laidback as it would seem. The cities are small, but with all the problems of bigger cities - our teen pregnancy rate is ridiculously high, crime rate is high, the schools terrible. I don't feel unsafe where we are, but I question whether this is an area I want to raise our children. We can't afford private school, and the catholic school we were planning to send the kids to looks like it is int he middle of the ghetto - THAT doesn't feel safe to me.
On the other hand, our family is here, and my dh business (a nursery - so it's not like we can pick up the farm!) are here.
I think my biggest reason for considering a move is that while there are plenty of things ANYWHERE I would want to protect my kids from, (and I don't want them protected from everything) there seems like there are less in other areas, and more of a feeling of community than what we have here.

So my question is this - to help me better figure out what I am looking for - If you liked where you grew up, where you raise or raised children, what did you like about it, and why?
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:02 PM   #2
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I grew up in Oakland, CA.....

I loved it there and still do. I moved away when I was 24 but I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could afford it. What I really liked was the diversity of people/culture/thought and of course food.

It didn't hurt that there were museums, zoos, amusement parks, regular parks, mountains, ocean, farms, etc all within 1 hour of there.

To me Oakland was heaven...to other's...not so much.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:12 PM   #3
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I live and grew up (does 18 still count as growing up?) absolute suburbia outside of Philly. I would definitely choose the burbs for raising my kids. There are so many kids my age in my neighborhood, and it's very safe.

The only big problem though is that as I get older, I realize the lack of fun things to do as a college age person. During middle school and high school even, the mall or the movies were a good option, but now I'm older, it sucks that they're sort of the only option.

But, even though I can complain about boredom, I like it. Philly is close enough and NYC is an easy train ride away.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:18 PM   #4
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Oakland is on the most dangerous list now..

I was born and raised her in southern California. There are areas I would NOT feel safe in and others are fine. Where I am I now I feel comfortable and we felt the schools were good (we've been here 30yrs). I don't think there IS a perfect place, but if you don't feel comfortable then I think it's time to go. Unless the area is under an urban renewal it could very well get worse....and you do have the kids to think about. Just my opinion.

This is a fun site to look at and compare.
http://www.bestplaces.net/
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:32 PM   #5
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I grew up in a small town in Alabama. After I got married, we moved a few times, winding up, at one point, in Miami. We currently live in a smaller city in Florida. As a result of the moves, I've been exposed (not in the South Beach sense ) to a wide variety of cultures and cities.

I think that for our family, living in a smaller city with more traditional values ranks as the thing I like most.

Sometimes I miss the amenities that go along with living in a larger city. I miss being able to, on the rare occasions that I want to, shop at a nice mall. I miss sidewalks that run the entire way to the grocery store (yes, some cities are actually planned out carefully), and where you don't have to travel several hours to play a quality soccer team. And I would absolutely love to have a nice LYS some place closer than two hours away.

BUT, the fact that I can raise my kids in a place where they go to school with the kids they see at church...now that's a plus. It's a place where I don't feel like there's a race to see who can run me first. It's a place where I don't hear cuss words in five different languages (and five different hand motions).

These are the reasons why I love where I live.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:34 PM   #6
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I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis, and I live in the city now. I loved it (except those angsty years where EVERYONE just wants to get out and move to New York or California). The best things for me then were that I always felt safe at all times of the day and night. I was shocked to find out that there are some places where people keep their doors locked all the time. The only time ours was locked was when we went to bed. The schools were good schools, and the town felt homey.

Things I like about where I live now include the variety of things to do here (museums, shopping, theater, sporting events, and of course, RACING!) but it's also a small enough city to have my "own" places to go. There are little bars and shops downtown where people know my name, and not because I'm there every single day. Basically, Indy is big enough to do what I want, and small enough to not feel overwhelming. If I wanted that, I'd just drive up to Chicago.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:12 AM   #7
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I'm a military brat who now lives in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma is a very safe and family-friendly area. I can walk in my neighborhood at night with no worries. (Of course, I don't do stupid stuff like walking in a bad area by myself, but you know what I mean.) People are just plain nice folks in my hometown.

Oklahoma City is very s p r e a d out. This is nice because there's very little traffic (my 17.6 mile commute takes about 25-30 minutes), but it's also difficult because on the freeway (65 mph), it takes about 35-40 minutes to drive across town.

The weather in Oklahoma is...interesting. Will Rogers said, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait five minutes." Oklahomans are all amateur meteorologists. We can tell by looking at the sky or a radar map if we need to get in the storm shelter. I've lived here 11 years (over three separate times), and I've only seen one (possible) funnel cloud, though.

The cost of living in Oklahoma is also very low. A very nice 2 bedroom house would cost about $90,000. There's a fancy 5,000 square foot house down the street that's going for about $300,000.

We're getting more entertainment venues around here. We've got Shakespeare in the Park (!!!), the art museums, and some theaters downtown, and the state is working hard to improve our image. (I admit it: we are known for tornadoes, the Murrah bombing, and the Rogers & Hammerstein musical. I've known people from other states who didn't realize that there were movie theaters in Oklahoma.)

Oh, and did I mention that we have red dirt?
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:32 AM   #8
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Well I don't live (and have never) in Vermont, but I do loooove it. I love the mountains, the green, the fresh air and the "smallness." Someday when I settle I hope to end up in an out of the way place with mountains and trees and great maple syrup

I don't know how I'd feel if I had grown up there though...would I have been bored out of my mind as a teen? Itching for culture/experience/exposure? What about opportunities education/job-wise? Honestly...I dunno. I think there'll be big negatives for just about any place you want to move, and also big positives. I guess you have choose your battle. Maybe start out with a Pros/Cons list of things you definitely want/definitely don't and then do some research to see how well VT does?

Don't forget that living in, say Burlington, will be very different than somewhere more remote. And that there are ups and downs of both. If you're in Burlington you'll have schools/things closeby and still be close to the wild....if you're more remote maybe you'll have more opportunities for kids to go to regional schools with better/more programs--but maybe it'll take an hour to get to school every day. It's a trade off.

And now I really wanna go hiking


Out of curiosity: Why were you thinking VT? Are there particular job opportunities for another nursery for your husband and stuff?
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:45 AM   #9
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I grew up in north Jersey--Northvale, in Bergen County. It's really close to NYC, so we had all the arts and museums and zoos and theaters and so on, but it's out in the suburbs. It's a really expensive area, and it's gotten more so over the years, but the schools are also top-notch. (My high school, when I was there, had won 14 out of the last 15 state championships in the Academic Decathlon, and it wouldn't surprise me if they kept the streak going.) It's sorta boring once you hit college age, unless you go into NY--nowhere to go but malls and diners.

I'm in Boston now, and I love Boston. It's still got a lot of the same attractions as NY, just on a smaller scale. It's a city you could walk across in a couple of hours, there are very few areas where I don't feel safe, even at night, and it's a very young city because of all the colleges. The public transportation is also great (except for the perennial Boston construction problems--my subway line is half-closed for the beginning of the summer, and the other half will be closed at the end of the summer.)
Just don't try to drive here. Oh, I do have one problem with Boston. Those Red Sox fans.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:27 AM   #10
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I grew up in Branford, CT which is a few towns over from New Haven. I loved it there. Its on the water, and my house was on the beach which was great growing up. I loved being able to have birthday parties at the beach! My neighborhood is fairly small and people tend to pretty much know each other which I also really like. I think one of the things I liked most about my town is that it's pretty small but there are still things to do. You had that smaller town feel but didn't have to travel 20 miles to go to the grocery store. We are also only about 90 mins by train to NYC so it was super easy to take a day trip down there.

For the past year I've lived in Boston which I absolutly love!! After going to college I was ready to be out of a small town and to move to a city where the action is. Boston is the perfect city because there are so many young people here and there's tons to do. Its small enough like Stiney said that its really walkable but its still a major city. And actually one of the things I love is the Red Sox fans!! I live near Fenway so its always fun when there's a game, there's tons of action. Well its fun unless I'm trying to get home from work and the fans clog the T, then I just get kinda annoyed.
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