Finishing up my degree and looking for a gay-friendly, outdoorsy city with good tech employment prospects.
I'm a currently an undergrad in the city of Pittsburgh and will be finished with my degree after this summer. I'm currently job hunting, and either looking to find a relocation offer or build up some savings here and then leave. In general, I'm looking for a city that has:
- Enough outdoor activities that I won't get bored on the weekends. Proximity to mountains is good, as I like skiing and snowboarding. Hiking trails through varied terrain is good too. I'd be interested in taking up kayaking, although I haven't started on that yet
- Good prospects in either systems programming or web development. Most of my degree has centered around doing things like networking, concurrent programming, OSes, and computer architecture, and most of my real world experience has been developing web applications in Python and Ruby. A concentration of companies that use OSS is a definite plus.
- Culture would be nice. Preferably in the rough order of: Food, literature, film, theater, and live music.
- Gay friendly and liberal about different lifestyles in general. A large part of the problem I'm having with my current city is there's a lack of gay groups that cater to my interests. Bar concentration is only moderately important, and I definitely prefer gay pub atmospheres to gay club atmospheres.
What I'm don't care so much for:
- Proximity to the beach.
- Being a good place to raise kids. Not impossible, but not likely given my orientation and feelings about children.
- Being a blue island in the middle of an ocean of red. Not so enthused about Austin, despite it's other characteristics.
- Exceptionally materialistic culture. I avoid shopping whenever possible and I'm not into fashion, although proximity to good grocery stores and farmer's markets is nice.
I'm fine with a higher cost of living but it should be reasonably proportionate to what I'd be earning in that city. The cities I've considered so far include Seattle, New York and Portland. Seattle seems to fit pretty well, but it's a big move, I'm worried about the Seattle Freeze, and I'm wondering who other than Microsoft would fit my skill sets. New York seems good except for the higher cost of living and lack of outdoor activities. I worry about the job market in Portland, but it otherwise seems nice.
So, I'm either looking for commentaries on those cities based on what I've mentioned, or I'm looking for suggestions for cities that are smaller and have thus flown under my radar. Also, if you have a similar lifestyle to what I do and have moved or stayed in Pittsburgh, I'm kind of curious how your mid to late twenties are going here.