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fransgeraedts (99.92)

Where in the US? a question for help

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August 25, 2010 – Comments (21)

It is possible that i would relocate to the US in two or three years time. I would have to travel all over the states. Therefore good airline connections would be vital. I can imagine living in a city or near it.(if the airfield is not farther then an hour.) Also important is that there is a good university in the city. Any suggestions?

frans geraedts

21 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 25, 2010 at 9:22 AM, Melaschasm (53.29) wrote:

New Hampshire, Texas, and Florida do not have income taxes, which is a nice advantage.  They also have some locations with reasonable property prices close to big cities.  There will be a property value vs location trade off no matter where you choose.

Alaska would likely be the best economic decision if your employer pays for the plane tickets, but the weather is not fun for most people.

Las Vegas has low cost plane tickets, if you are paying for them, and currently reasonable property prices. 

Your weather and hobby preferences should be a driving factor for your choice of living location.  Then within the variety of States that fit those needs, you can choose the lowest cost of living and tax option.

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#2) On August 25, 2010 at 9:51 AM, sarcaz (22.94) wrote:

Delaware has no sales taxes, and most of New Castle County (nothern DE) is within 45 minutes of the Philadelphia airport.

Definitely consider what kind of weather you like, and if you want to have four seasons, deal with snow, humidity, etc.  Many places do not experience Fall or don't have the trees.  Here it's high humidity in the summer that hits you.  Out west (Arizona, Nevada, etc) 100 degrees with no humidity is more comfortable than 90 degrees here with 60-70% humidity.

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#3) On August 25, 2010 at 9:53 AM, russiangambit (29.26) wrote:

Houston/ Dallas  in Texas in terms of airport connections and cost of living.

However if you are looking for public transportation/ culture/ universties  then you have to look at Northeast (Boston, New York) and California. but they have very high taxes, low quality of living and bad airports.

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#4) On August 25, 2010 at 11:09 AM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

We need to know more about what you want. (The US is a big place.) Do you want skiing? Surfing? Low cost of living? Arts and culture? Public transport? Leftist politics? Right wing politics? Low taxes? Cheap land? Hot/cold/humid/dry? Hunting/fishing?

The odds are good that there are places that will seem like heaven and places that will seem like hell, but we need to know more to guess which is which for you. 

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#5) On August 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Okay...you are right.  To many possibilities.

Airport and university are important.

When thinking about a university i would prefer it to be an up and coming university with a studentpopulation that is divers, a cross section of the population, ambitious. It should be (getting to be)strong in the humanities, philosophy, economics, politics. If possible it should not be partisan, but open, optimistic. So...not ivy league, not a religious university. 

We both like city-life. Culture is important. But again not necesarily the prestigious museum, the famous symphonic orchestra. More like an active and open art scene. Places to meet people, parks, neighbourhoods to visit and walk in. We are not looking for a place without problems, so it could be a city that has difficulties. Important is that there is a sense of community in existence, or again coming into existence? Does that make sense?

We both like to hike. We both can easily imagine living outside the city. Our taste in nature is broad. We have travelled both the north and the south of Europe. From the hebrides and scotland to greece and spain.

We do not need a big house. An appartment in the city with a balcony for plants is a possibility or a house with garden outside.

 

Does this help?

 

fransgeraedts

 

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#6) On August 25, 2010 at 12:02 PM, buckazoid (94.85) wrote:

To me it sounds like you don't want to be in a very small town, but not in one of the mega-cities either, rather in a place with a mroe "European" feel within the U.S. Consider Austin, Texas. Or maybe Seattle or Portland.On the East Coast, Philadelphia might fit your bill, or perhaps Savannah, Georgia, if you want a slightly smaller town. Of course the climates, leisure options and prices are radically different between all these prices and at the end of the day, as others have said, it will all depend on your individual mix of personal preferences. Or of course Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York, if you like big cities and have the budget.

I would strongly suggest you visit different places before you settle on one. Why not plan a two-week trip to the U.S. to five different cities. Words can never replace the first-hand experience.

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#7) On August 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM, russiangambit (29.26) wrote:

#6 - I also thought Austin, Texas. But it has no big  airport. Plus, I didn't care for Audtin myself. I felt it sounds better when people describe it than it really is.

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#8) On August 25, 2010 at 1:04 PM, lorteungen (99.71) wrote:

I haven't lived in nor traveled the US to any great extent, but from a European perspective I think San Francisco (and the general area) would be a good match for what you're describing. I have only stayed there for a couple of weeks in total, but I loved the place. It has a bit of a European feel to it while at the same time being very different and distinctly American. The climate is great (not as warm as I had expected, which is a good thing in my opinion) and you're not too far from some fantastic nature. There's also no shortage of universities in the area, although I'm don't know if they fit your criteria. Maybe it's too big for "a sense of community", but to me it felt like the city had a "soul" in lack of a better word - something uniquely San Francisco - which I personally find very important and is not found in all cities. Also the people there were great, very friendly and helpful, I never had an unpleasant experience.

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#9) On August 25, 2010 at 1:07 PM, verismotex (< 20) wrote:

I would recommend Boise, Idaho or Austin, Texas.  Also give Alberqueque, New Mexico a look.

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#10) On August 25, 2010 at 4:11 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

Dallas/Fort Worth.  Stay away from California, Arizona and Florida.  I live in Incline Village, NV but the Reno airport is very poor for getting around the country.  Everything else is wonderful.

I also have a home in greater San Diego.  I wish I could sell it.  California is a budget disaster and is a prime gateway for undocumented immigrants.

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#11) On August 25, 2010 at 4:39 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

Frans,

New York.

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#12) On August 26, 2010 at 12:23 AM, Tastylunch (29.25) wrote:

Frans

I don't know you well enough to really feel confident on what would suit you, but given what I do know of you I'd be concerned that you would not like Texas due to cultural differences.

One place I haven't seen suggested is Boston. Boston is expensive and hard to navigate but that shouldn't bother  a european like you. Plus they have more universities per capita than any other city in the US.Their university scene is unparralled

Boston also is moderately close to good hiking, but would likely require some travel by car.Boston also has a very strong unique local culture, that can be a plus or minus.

My next suggestion would be Denver, Coloardo. Fantastic hiking, gorgeous sceanrio, moderate cost of living and lively downtown. Not as many universities though and a much younger city than Boston. A lot less history and younger more boring architecture.It also has less of an "identity" than Boston.

Both cities have large ariports, although I prefer Denver's.I think DIA is a lot easier to get to and from than Logan.

Seatlle would probably also fit a lot of your needs. I don't know much about the university scene there, but it's a great city in most of the same respects.

Like Donnernv I'd stay away from Florida, Arizona and especially California. All those states are going through unusually tough times.

San Francisco, California is a wonderful city I think yoiu'd really like, but frnakly from what my friends there tell me , things are not so good at the moment.

hope that helps

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#13) On August 26, 2010 at 8:25 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear All,

 

thanks very much. I will repeat this question several times in the coming years if i may. Evermore refined hopefully.

I am intrigued by many of the suggestions. They will be an interesting starting point for my research. I am sure my wife and daughter will hold strong opinions themselves. Lively discussions ahead.

Just one last question now, if you all would allow me.

Because of the character of the endeavour it would help enormously if the city-state-region-university would be both perceived and in reality have a non-partisan character. It should be a place that could function and would be trusted as a bridge between the cultural divide that seems to exist between the coasts on the one hand and the heartland on the other. A divide that is reflected in the sharp split in the political landscape but has deeper roots i think.

If you look at it like that is there a city, a university among the one's mentioned, or maybe even a new one that would fit that bill? A city, a university that would not be grouped in one of the two camps immediately? (However unjust such a grouping may be!)

thanks!

fransgeraedts

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#14) On August 26, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Tastylunch (29.25) wrote:

Because of the character of the endeavour it would help enormously if the city-state-region-university would be both perceived and in reality have a non-partisan character

Ho boy, that is a very tall order Frans, of the ones I suggested Denver is probably the closest you'll find. Most people consider Boston and Seattle to be pretty liberal. Denver itself is fairly liberal but Colorado in general is pretty divided between different politics. I'm not sure Colorado relaly gets labelled much. It regularly votes both ways.

Denver also acts as a bit of gateway since it's major stopover between coasts, and is major gateway to ski vacation spots.

but honestly what you are looking for likely doesn't exist.

It should be a place that could function and would be trusted as a bridge between the cultural divide that seems to exist between the coasts on the one hand and the heartland on the other

That difference is largely manufactured by the Media if you ask me Frans as a result of the presidential 2000 election. They had to have a narrative to explain the result and since the media is on the coasts they decided to "blame" the heartland.

 If you ask me what you'll really see is that real divide is between city and suburb. Most cities tend to be heavily democratic and ethnicaly diverse whereas most suburbs & rural areas tend to heavily republican and more ethnically homogenous.  You'll see this pattern repeat itself  throughout large cities on the coasts and in the heartland.

Even the very republican Cincinnati area has had basically unchallenged democratic mayors for decades upon decades.

But a lot of the New York media doesn't seem to be aware of this. I can't tell you how many East Coasters I meet who think Ohio is just one big farm when really we are a manufacturing state (have been for over hundred years), a big time union state and have three of the largest cities in the US. And they spread this perception everywhere.

So the red state vs blue state thing I think doesn't make much sense. It's more like Blue city vs Red countryside. The only difference in the heartland is that we have more countryside than the coasts do so the heartland looks "redder" than it necessarily is and the coasts look "bluer" than they really are.

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#15) On August 26, 2010 at 11:46 AM, russiangambit (29.26) wrote:

> Because of the character of the endeavour it would help enormously if the city-state-region-university would be both perceived and in reality have a non-partisan character.

Such place doesn't really exist in the US. US is extremly partisan. You will learn to keep your political and religious views to yourself. Americans are very different from europeans in that respect, they are not open minded in most cases (due to bad education and a lot of propaganda)  and even the words liberal/ socialist etc. have a completely different meaning for an american than european.

I think you better stick with liberal places such as Boston, New York ( which I can't  stand myself , but the meuseums and theaters are great) and San Francisco. They have very high cost of living, though. But that shouldn't be much of a shock after Europe.

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#16) On August 26, 2010 at 11:47 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear Tasty,

very interesting. I would immediately agree with you that the city v suburb-rural difference explains a lot. (And i am very aware of ohio being an industrial state..grin). There is also still something of a north-south difference and then i suppose coast inland is not totally without substance. What is more my point here is that that (overdetermined) political/cultural difference has become a sharp divide  ..with almost no middleground ... with no common ground  ..or so it seems.. to argue from. And therefore i am looking for a kind of neutral place. Denver sounds very interesting.

Could New Orleans Rising also become a middle ground? i am wondering?

 

fransgeraedts 

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#17) On August 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear gambit,

i agree that the unwarranted pessimism the lack of trust and the extreme partisanship make for a witches brew.

Wouldnt it be better though if that changed? Into a cautious optimism, a reasonable trust and a partisanship on the basis of common values and principles?

And there must be places to start from? To move in such a direction?

fransgeraedts

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#18) On August 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM, Tastylunch (29.25) wrote:

And i am very aware of ohio being an industrial state..grin).

I'm not surprised. Ohio does a lot business with European companies. In my experience our foreign contacts sometimes know more about us than US east coast brethern. Which makes sense since East coasters don't travel here as much as they do to the west coast and the national news reflects mainly events in their region.

There is also still something of a north-south difference and then i suppose coast inland is not totally without substance

Not as much as you may think. A huge number of midwesterners have moved into the south to look for jobs over the past three decades. As a result the regions have become more similiar culturally. The rural areas in both places are more distinct but the dense urban areas are pretty similar no matter where you go.

What is more my point here is that that (overdetermined) political/cultural difference has become a sharp divide  ..with almost no middleground ... with no common ground  ..or so it seems.. to argue from.

I don't think it's quite that bad. The silent majority in my experience is just tired of the whole thing and doesn't want to talk or think about it. It's considered bad form for sports figures and other entertianment celebrities to take political stances. Some do anyway of course, but man do people get mad that they do.

that's how it is here in Columbus, Ohio anyway. We are pretty middle of the road city. Half and Half politically. Diverse ethicities and religions. We are used as a test market for new products a lot due to our reprsentativeness supposedly of the US as a whole.

Most people are generally accepting of opposing views as long as one isn't in your face about it. In Columbus Politics, religion  etc is stuff that's considered to be your own private business and stuff not meant for public discussion.

I will agree with russiangambit that people don't like to talk about politics or religion, tend to be oversensitive and defensive about theri views and their views whatever they may be are usually pretty set in stone. A discussion about these topics usually provokes one of three responses.

1- overenthusiastic agreement if the listener shares your view

2- outred hatred if the listener doesn't

3-annoyance if the listener doesn't like the topic. (this is the most common response in my experience)

I think gambit is right Frans, I think you'll like it better in one of the larger old school urban cities like Boston or New York.

Could New Orleans Rising also become a middle ground?

I sincerely doubt it. There is a lot , a lot of residual anger in the city about the Katrina hurrican mess. Much of it around perceived racial inequality. New orleans would be the last place I think you'd find a middle ground.

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#19) On August 26, 2010 at 4:44 PM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

If i may persevere a bit. I very much like this idea of a third group. (i am not so sure that it is the majority though..but how about one third?) A group that doesnt like the ....?  could it not be that this third group actively dislikes to talk about politics and religion because the other two talk about them as if there is no common ground? "hate each other"? Debate without a common ground is fruitless. It often deteriorates into conflict etc. Of course they do not want that. Could it not be that this third group would like a more optimistic view, would want to be able to trust more, would actually embrace a common ground?

(Tasty, some of that is in your insistence that the divide is overdone, right?)

I do see what you guys mean when you say that i would probably be better of staying in boston for example or san francisco. And i am gratefull that you have my best interest in mind! i really appreciate that! And maybe in the end i will have to settle for that.

But its not what i am about. Not as a person, not by profession, it would not be why i would endeavour to come to the states.

I am passionate about what we call western civilization, what we call modernity, what we call the democracies. That is our common ground.  I am acutely aware of the suffering and the sacrifice that were needed to develop that civilization  -especially to overcome the totalitarian threats of the last century. I fervently believe that the globalization of that modernity is a very good thing  -even if  it wil not happen without new suffering, new sacrifices.

And I see the US as the leading nation of the democracies. Maybe she is no longer the only superpower (listen to the cartoonsound of that). She should be glad. But she is still "the captain of the team" (captain america..grin) 

If the US loses confidence, no longer has faith in herself and the democratic project, loses trust in her institutions, loses sight of our common ground, if she can no longer reach political compromise and act in the public interest, the common good, then the "West", the democracies are leaderless and the road to democracy and modernity for the rest of the world  becomes much more difficult and dangerous.

So, if you will, keep thinking with me about a place, a city, a place of learning, a university .. to start from. grin.

Imagine a situation where everybody would enjoy talking about politics, economics, art, religion because it would be an inquiry  grin ..because it would be an inquiry in the service of truth and the good and justice ..grin.. because people would find in that service a common ground  ..grin .. because the differences would be understood as steps in that inquiry, aspects of the problem.. imagine .. grin

If i can find common ground with david from qatar  grin ..and we did! ..then many should be able to..

fransgeraedts

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#20) On August 27, 2010 at 2:27 AM, Tastylunch (29.25) wrote:

Frans

based on your further comments, I'm going to change my recommendation and suggest you do check out Portland, Oregon as another poster suggested.

Pros-

Absolutely gorgeous setting. Great mountains, river and the ocean is fairly close. 

Vibrant Urban core with one of the best rail public transit systems in the US.

Most critically, Portland is one place where optimism, tolerance and openess to new ideas still reigns in America. Their civic plans tend to be ambitious.There is a very "can do" spririt there and sense of togetherness. the spirit of the place is so contagious many young americans move there without having a job lined up leading it to actually have a higher than typical unemployment rate for city of its' relative affluence.

Cons-

medium -ish sized airport

Universities while many in number are second tier class at best.

 

anyway give it a look Frans, I think you may like it more than you may suspect. I've enjoyed it immensely when I've visited friends there.

... I very much like this idea of a third group. (i am not so sure that it is the majority though..but how about one third?)

 I'm confident that the vast majority of Americans fall in the proverbial third group that's fed up with both parties/idenitities that the media tries to piegonhole us into. I rarely meet anyone who fits any of these media labels well.

The media is actually pretty dumb and is getting dumber all the time, every year more of the older investigative journalists are getting laid off en massse as most media outlets are cutting back on expenses and getting replaced with green fresh of J-school grads who don't have a lot street sense to know when they are being snowed. Many of these kids seem like they just print press releases. The quality of journalism in this country has gotten atrocious.

A group that doesnt like the ....?  could it not be that this third group actively dislikes to talk about politics and religion because the other two talk about them as if there is no common ground? "hate each other"?

I think most Americans post-watergate have little faith in Federal civic insitutions. There is a general sense of resignation/apathy when it comes to politics for most people I meet (and I meet hundreds of people from every walk of life every day through my job).Most either don't seem to care or think trying to fix anything is futile.

I think the vast majority of Americans would rather just chill on facebook and hang with friends and family than talk politics. They'd rather ignore issues than deal with them.There are exceptions of course.

 Could it not be that this third group would like a more optimistic view, would want to be able to trust more, would actually embrace a common ground?

Maybe. Certainly some Obama voters were attracted to his hopeful unifying rhetoric. I think most have been dissappointed so far.

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#21) On September 03, 2010 at 7:31 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

frans,

One city I imagine as potentially "neutral" is St Louis but I am not familiar with it.

New York elected Rudy Guliani, it is not purely "liberal". I listened to a lot of extreme right rhetoric before I asked the question "where does this Libertarian freemarket theory actually work"? I was shocked when the answer I got was Qatar - a Country that Nationalised Shell's oil business.

I know I seem pretty one sided but I have grown incredibly weary of the relentless anti-Government marketing campaign we are living through.

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