Where should I live?
October 24, 2013 6:55 AM   Subscribe

The stars are aligning and I feel like maybe its best for me to move to a new city..where do you recommend. Snowflakes inside!

So I'm 25, looking at going for my MBA full-time (so leaving my job) and now the dreariness of cold months are peaking here in Indianapolis making me SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) and depressed and realize that maybe I need to move to a happier, warmer, sunnier city. So for my new potential city I'm looking for:

Bright sunny days, not every day necessarily but less winter.
Vibrant art/ethnic/foodie/biking scenes
A school with a great/respected MBA program
Around 1~1.5 million people would be ideal (not too big, not too small)
Superior walkabilty/transportation would be a plus

I've been spoiled with low cost of living/properties..etc here in Indianapolis but I don't think my health is worth it anymore. Also feel free to include recommendations of cities around the world if it fits.
posted by xicana63 to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you considered Denver or Boulder? The greater metro area is a little bigger than what you're looking for but it (especially Boulder) fits with a lot of what you're looking for, especially the sunny days. We would have given it more consideration when we were looking to leave DC but high elevation gives me problems.

You could also check out Raleigh and the RTP area or Charlotte in North Carolina. Richmond, Virginia (especially Carytown and the Fan) is really nice too and affordable but doesn't really offer a good MBA program. Nashville is another place you might want to consider too. Affordable by most standards, warm year round, decent bike infrastructure, and really growing into a great mid-sized city. New Orleans is another place to consider, though it may not have what you're looking for in terms of an MBA program.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 7:06 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about Duke in Durham, NC?

The Research Triangle is a great place. You may like Durham, or Raleigh or Chapel Hill. Vibrant scene with UC Chapel Hill, Duke and NC State.

We rarely get snow in the South, but we do get seasons. Our winter days are cold and sunny, and our summers are hot and muggy.

You may even like the prices.

There's Megabus in Raleigh, so you can travel in style.

How about Emory in Atlanta. Ticks all your boxes and you'll LOVE Decautr.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:07 AM on October 24, 2013

Why not San Diego? The MBA programs at USD are good, the weather is sunny, and there's lots of great food. The city is a little larger than you are looking for, but that's because so many people want to live there.
posted by Area Man at 7:11 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Live abroad. You're 25 and your MBA means you're not tied down. The option to just pack your bags and go live where you want doesn't happen that often. Make the most of it. Really.

Go to Insead, and split your time between France and Singapore. Or go to Iese in Barcelona. Or IMD in Lausanne. All fit the bill in terms of climate and culture.

Get some proper non-US experience - it will serve you personally and professionally.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:13 AM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]

Austin, TX is exactly what you are looking for.

Bright sunny days, not every day necessarily but less winter. -Check
Vibrant art/ethnic/foodie/biking scenes -Check
A school with a great/respected MBA program -Check, several times over
Around 1~1.5 million people would be ideal (not too big, not too small) -Check - around 900,000 in the city proper, around 1,800,000 in the metro area.
Superior walkabilty/transportation would be a plus -Spotty, and growing, but check

The only real drawback to Austin (other than the heat, which is formidable) is that it is exactly what LOTS of people are looking for, and therefore is growing/has grown rapidly.So far, to my experience, it is doing so as gracefully as one could hope, but the city is in a bit of a state of flux. It no longer cheap, but is still much more affordable than other comparable places, especially for the quality of life.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:21 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get into school first. Apply to all of the top tier schools that aren't in awful winter environments.

UT, UVa, UNC, Duke, Stanford, UCLA. Go to the one you get into. All of them offer something on your list, some of them offer more, some of them offer less - but all of them are good schools that will offer you a decent ROI on the cost.

I love Muffin Man's suggestion - with the caveat that Insead is the only one of those schools whose rep will be helpful with US based positions. That may not be a bad thing if you go to the other schools.

(tho IESE's link to Opus Dei is sorta kinda weird)
posted by JPD at 7:27 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

Melbourne ticks all your boxes. I have several North American friends here who moved specifically to go to Melbourne Business school, which has an excellent MBA.
posted by third word on a random page at 8:28 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Putting in a vote for New Orleans:

1.) Bright sunny days, not every day necessarily but less winter - currently 72 degrees and sunny.

2.) Vibrant art/ethnic/foodie/biking scenes - I'm not necessarily sure what an 'ethnic' scene is but we sure have bikes and art down pat, and food is a major component of NOLA living.

3.) A school with a great/respected MBA program - Tulane has an MBA program

4.) Around 1~1.5 million people would be ideal (not too big, not too small) - 2012 census says metro area is 1,167,764 people.

5.) Superior walkabilty/transportation would be a plus - we're bounded by the river on one side and the lake on the other, so sprawl is naturally contained. I commute by bicycle as do many others I know (and / or see every day). Public transportation consists of buses and streetcars, both of which are slow but steady.

It feels disingenuous to say this but crime here isn't as bad as people say. Our murder rate is through the roof but in all other categories we're below the stats for other cities our size. In other words if you have beef with someone you're likely to get shot but your car would be more likely to get stolen in Nashville, TN.

It's a city suffused by some undeniable celebration culture - some tourists get the impression we put it on for them, but it's the other way around. People show up here because this place knows how to live. Cost of living isn't too dear, and you can find the funkiest old houses to live in with high ceilings and ornamental fireplaces without even trying. If you're looking for a modern and clean loft we have plenty of those going up too.
posted by komara at 9:26 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


or Palo Alto, if you can get in.

UCLA/Westwood is also great.
posted by amaire at 10:26 AM on October 24, 2013

Following up on the New Orleans recommendation: if everything being mentioned in this thread appeals to you then that's a good sign.
posted by komara at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

SoCal (including San Diego?), if you can manage the cost of living.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2013

Seconding New Orleans.
posted by Night_owl at 10:54 AM on October 24, 2013

Seconding the Raleigh / Durham area. And not just because I'm originally from NC either.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2013

Orange County, CA - lots of things to do, very culturally diverse these days, great weather, great geographical diversity (ocean, mountains, desert not far away), and not nearly as crowded as LA (but you can get to LA in 30-60 minutes if you so desire). UC Irvine is a good school, and there's also Cal State Long Beach (right over the border in LA County) and Cal State Fullerton. Pepperdine and Redlands also have satellite MBA programs in Orange County. There are lots of people who bike here year round. You will never have any reason to feel SAD (the affliction) or bored if you live in Southern California. The only thing you won't be able to do is much walking unless you go to a few specific places. Hey, no place is perfect, something always has to give. Check out the OC Weekly online to get a flavor for the cultural scene. I live in Orange County and I'm originally from the Midwest and I would NEVER go back no matter how much you paid me. I know what SAD feels like. I have NEVER experienced that feeling here. You do not need to spend the rest of your life experiencing that. Good for you for packing your bags and leaving.
posted by Dansaman at 12:16 PM on October 24, 2013

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