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Old 05-30-2012, 03:45 PM   #21
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What about Santa Fe itself? Might that meet OP's criteria?
Somewhat small and isolated for someone coming from NYC.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
What about Santa Fe itself? Might that meet OP's criteria?
Santa Fe is nice but the downsides are:
Real Estate is much more expensive in Santa Fe (which many attribute to Californians and celebrity-types buying property there.)
You would have to drive to Albuquerque for the airport - could be inconvenient if you travel alot.
Santa Fe gets more snow than Albuquerque does.
Also, I'm not sure what schools are available there.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:41 PM   #23
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Santa Fe is nice but the downsides are:
Real Estate is much more expensive in Santa Fe (which many attribute to Californians and celebrity-types buying property there.)
You would have to drive to Albuquerque for the airport - could be inconvenient if you travel alot.
Santa Fe gets more snow than Albuquerque does.
Also, I'm not sure what schools are available there.
Exactly. I love NM more than anyone not from there. I grew up camping and fishing there every summer of my childhood. Unfortunately, it's not what we're looking for at this point in our lives to live full time. Vacation and spend money there? You bet.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:44 PM   #24
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z-d-g,
I suggest checking out the Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. I loved Santa Cruz when I lived there in the 1970's. The summer mornings typically had light fog, and usually cleared out for an 80's day. During the winter it never snowed, but the Pacific storms were very exciting. The University of California is there, and the town is large enough to hold a rich arts and cultural milieu - lots of quirky artists, musicians, healers, scientists, and psychics. I also love the mountain towns - Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek because of that culture, and they are surrounded by beautiful redwood forests...plenty of alternative schools too!
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:07 PM   #25
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From your description of what you want in your new location, I'm glad you will be investigating the SF and Marin County areas. I haven't lived there for a long time but still I have a hunch that they could be great for you.
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" attributed to Samuel Clemens. Just had to sneak that in because I always liked that line. My 2 cents are since you think NY is hot in the summer and Colorado doesn't excite you, climate wise you are really pretty narrow in options. San Diego area is screaming for you! Sacramento area I think it pretty, the weather is warmer in summer no doubt, but the humidity levels are reasonably low especially to the Midwest where I live. As Ha mentioned I believe, you pretty close to Tahoe from there and that is a lovely place to visit in summer and ski in winter.
Most people tend to live in a several mile "island". So the devil is always in the details of which neighborhood you live in. Once you have determined the broad area then zero in on that island area of housing, schooling, and needed comforts. Most towns will have that area, you just have to be diligent in finding it. Those California taxes sure are pesky little things I hear!
I noticed you mentioned you are atheist, so I assume you are saying it only in that you want to be in a place that you feel comfortable in. I have lived in the "Bible Belt" a few times and religion never seemed to come into play at all while I was there and I never went to church. I would think the humidity would drive you away more than religion, but that is only my personal experience. Maybe they just thought I was a lost cause and didn't try to persuade me
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:10 PM   #26
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I find it slightly amusing that you would consider a Montessori or Waldorf school, but not a "religious" one. Both have large amounts of dubious and unscientific ideology behind them.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #27
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z-d-g,
I suggest checking out the Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. I loved Santa Cruz when I lived there in the 1970's. The summer mornings typically had light fog, and usually cleared out for an 80's day. During the winter it never snowed, but the Pacific storms were very exciting. The University of California is there, and the town is large enough to hold a rich arts and cultural milieu - lots of quirky artists, musicians, healers, scientists, and psychics. I also love the mountain towns - Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek because of that culture, and they are surrounded by beautiful redwood forests...plenty of alternative schools too!
Interesting you should say that, I had Santa Cruz on my short list until talking to someone who went to UCSC and then stuck around for a few years afterward. She was saying Santa Cruz is a pretty cool place to go to school, get high, surf, and hang out but that when it got time for her to "get serious" she found SC to be too laid back (whatever that means). She also said there tended to be a real us-vs-them attitude there between the natives and the transplants. Like more than other places. Would you disagree? Should we put it back on our list?
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #28
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Those California taxes sure are pesky little things I hear!
I noticed you mentioned you are atheist, so I assume you are saying it only in that you want to be in a place that you feel comfortable in. I have lived in the "Bible Belt" a few times and religion never seemed to come into play at all while I was there and I never went to church. I would think the humidity would drive you away more than religion, but that is only my personal experience. Maybe they just thought I was a lost cause and didn't try to persuade me
I never felt much religious pressure in the south either during the 15 years I lived there. And those California taxes are not little by any stretch of the imagination . They might go even higher in November.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #29
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This is an interesting thread and can be useful to members if we don't start discussing ideology and steer away from cultural stereotypes.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #30
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"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" attributed to Samuel Clemens. Just had to sneak that in because I always liked that line.
Me too. I was SO cold when I lived there. It wasn't extremely cold, I guess, but the summers were never warm enough for me to feel like I had warmed up.

The reason I thought SF might be better than San Diego is that personally I really don't like San Diego. But 99% of people seem to love it, so you're right, it might be screaming for z-d-g.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #31
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I'm one of the 99% that love San Diego and I would agree with previous poster that it sounds like a great choice for you.

Another place to consider is San Luis Obispo, halfway between LA and SF in the Central Coast. Voted Happiest City in America or something like that. Scenic, mild climate and easygoing. Not near major airport but you can connect from SLO to LAX and Las Vegas.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:52 PM   #32
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Interesting you should say that, I had Santa Cruz on my short list until talking to someone who went to UCSC and then stuck around for a few years afterward. She was saying Santa Cruz is a pretty cool place to go to school, get high, surf, and hang out but that when it got time for her to "get serious" she found SC to be too laid back (whatever that means).
Except you (and we) are not at a point in our lives that we need to get serious. Quite the opposite, those laid back attitudes could be refreshing. Unless, of course, the only laid back people are college drop outs who never pursued their dreams and end up embittered in their 50s, while the hard working townies fume about... Oh, well, back to the search for a perfect place. In the meantime, I like my little island.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:53 PM   #33
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The Raieigh-Durham area deserves some consideration. The climate is milder than NY and it has a large population of upper income, well educated professionals that assure availability of upscale services, cultural attractions, healthcare and and education. Connecticut has some very nice areas, although the climate may be an issue. Other parts of New England are also attractive to a New Yorker. Likewise upper Westchester and Putnam counties.

Southern California is unique, no other area has its attributes (IMHO). Even though I'm not familiar with the PNW both Seattle and Portland appear to be quite cosmopolitan.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:03 PM   #34
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I lived for many years in Marin county and Sonoma County. Yes California is not great now, but it's not to be beat. Marin is gorgeous, though housing is expensive. You can find a house in your price range, but depending on how much Sq footage you want, you may have to be San Rafael or Novato.

Other options are Petaluma - which has really come up in the world. Have you considered Santa Rosa? I like all of the Sonoma and Napa wine country towns, but they are small.

I do not care for So Cal due to the traffic. San Luis Obispo is nice, and San Diego is nice as well.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:04 PM   #35
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BTW, I had a 900 square foot 2 bedroom/1bath condo in Marin county. I moved to the suburbs of Boston and got a 2500 square foot colonial in a town with great schools for the same price.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:13 PM   #36
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Also how about some of the more upscale areas of the east bay of No Cal - like Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette. Not sure how much their prices have come down.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:31 PM   #37
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I lived for many years in Marin county and Sonoma County. Yes California is not great now, but it's not to be beat. Marin is gorgeous, though housing is expensive. You can find a house in your price range, but depending on how much Sq footage you want, you may have to be San Rafael or Novato.
In fact, we're going to see both Novato and San Rafael; but now you have me concerned. Why are the words "have to" in front of those? I just don't know the area. What's wrong with those places (feel free to DM me)?

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Other options are Petaluma - which has really come up in the world. Have you considered Santa Rosa? I like all of the Sonoma and Napa wine country towns, but they are small.
Yep, Petaluma and Santa Rosa are both on our list now as of this afternoon.

For the NC posters, Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill would have been near the top of our list except for the weather. It appears from research that NC is basically just as humid as Texas; is that not your experience?
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:38 PM   #38
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In fact, we're going to see both Novato and San Rafael; but now you have me concerned. Why are the words "have to" in front of those? I just don't know the area. What's wrong with those places (feel free to DM me)?



Yep, Petaluma and Santa Rosa are both on our list now as of this afternoon.

For the NC posters, Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill would have been near the top of our list except for the weather. It appears from research that NC is basically just as humid as Texas; is that not your experience?
Well, it's quite a bit more humid than El Paso.

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Old 05-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #39
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I recommend the Connecticut shoreline. It is very attractive. Not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter. Ample places to eat and shop, as well as cultural attractions. And you can take the train into NYC if you want something more. Education is valued and there are many good schools, public and private. If you don't need to commute, you can look at areas east of New Haven.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #40
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Well, it's quite a bit more humid than El Paso.
Right. What I should have said was "Austin" instead of "Texas."

There is nothing that could make me move back to El Paso for any reason, so I don't consider it an option for the sake of this discussion.
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