Decision to move, Milwaukee or Cincinnati?
November 5, 2014 6:42 AM   Subscribe

HI, I am planning a move in a little over a month and still have trouble deciding where to go and thought some here might be able to offer some suggestions or perspectives on my two choices. Those being Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

HI, I am planning a move in a little over a month and still have trouble deciding where to go and thought some here might be able to offer some suggestions or perspectives on my two choices. Those being Cincinnati and Milwaukee. Milwaukee is one choice because a couple of friends have spoken highly of it and Cincinnati because it is comparable in cost of living, seems to have more around (better job opportinities?) and a little milder winter. That said A bit of me and what comes into my choosing.

I'm 46, working as a graphic designer but not feeling too good in that career at the moment. I don't drink or do the bar scenes. I prefer places more hippy(ish) and liberal. Anyone familiar with Evanston IL will get what I mean in my tastes.

I generally search these areas for a few things. Used book stores, thrift stores, Ymca (or community fitness centers) for their affordable gym rates, A lower population (the commuting even in the north shore is getting rough), so shorter commutes would be nice. Rent in the below $700 range but something over 750 sq feet. There is probably more I am not recalling at the moment but that is a start.

I have looked in both these cities and found what I want, but basically I am thinking myself into a corner. I live an hour south of Milwaukee so I have access to friends still living here, but I try not to let that sway me too much as I may find more opportunity in CIncinnati. I have never been to Cincinnati, but plan to take a drive out there in a couple weeks to look at apartments.

I had hoped a job offer would be making this choice for me, but after applying for several jobs and getting nothing, I don't see that being any help. I will be moving without a job. I know many say that is bad, but such is life.

Any help is appreciated.

posted by clarityneeded to Society & Culture (10 answers total)
If you're in your mid-40s, don't underestimate the value of being near friends. They're hard to find. Regarding being hippyish and liberal, have you considered Madison?

You might want to go to the MKE meetup tomorrow (Thursday 11/6/14) night.
posted by carmicha at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

Take that drive out there to Cincinnati. The increased job opportunities makes a huge difference.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2014

Having a supply of Cincinnati Chili and knowing the city had Jerry Springer as its mayor for a year may be points in its favor.
posted by Sophont at 6:59 AM on November 5, 2014

I've never been to Cincinnati so I have no basis for comparison, but I've lived in Milwaukee almost all my life.

Rent in the below $700 range but something over 750 sq feet.

Hm, this is a stretch, depending on where you're willing to live. Take a look on Craigslist for what's available, and I can help you out with which areas to avoid. It depends on your tolerance for crime. There is a lot of crime in certain parts of Milwaukee, and then almost nothing in other parts. My neighborhood is plenty safe and convenient, and I pay $575 for a spacious one bedroom. It's not 750 sq ft though.

I prefer places more hippy(ish) and liberal

There are pockets of that, but I certainly wouldn't characterize Milwaukee as either. Like carmicha said, Madison might be more your groove. Depends on the neighborhood though. I don't know Evanston well enough to compare, but there's an Oak Park-ish analogue in Milwaukee, if that helps.

I live an hour south of Milwaukee

So... come up here and check it out. Come to the meetup tomorrow. Or schedule something else and I'll be happy to show you around. I'm only slightly younger than you, and not into the bar scene either. I wouldn't call myself hippyish, but I'm definitely liberal.

I have access to friends still living here, but I try not to let that sway me too much

Uh, you should. It is hard to make new friends in a new city unless you're going to school. But... like I said, I have no ability to compare to Cincinnati. (Also - why Cincinnati in particular?)
posted by desjardins at 7:26 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice.
I did think of Madison, but it is more expensive than the other two choices (by my research).
posted by clarityneeded at 7:32 AM on November 5, 2014

Response by poster: I definitely agree about the friends comments, I am just trying to be as open as possible to wherever I go. The meetup sounds great, but I cannot get up there for it during a weekday.

Desjardins: I use padmapper and hotpads for my search and have found a lot of places in MKE for what I want. I may take you up on that offer If I get up there to look at places. I basically have to decide by the first week of Dec. so I can move by mid Dec.

Hah, someone else made the comment about Springer being the mayor of Cincinnati. The chili.....sadly, I am not much of a chili person (especially as I am a vegetarian)
posted by clarityneeded at 7:54 AM on November 5, 2014

If you plan to take public transportation, be sure to factor that in when you choose a neighborhood. Milwaukee is definitely a driving city except for a few specific areas. Feel free to memail me.
posted by desjardins at 8:05 AM on November 5, 2014

I've lived in Cincinnati for a little over 17 years and I really, really love it. Our food scene is AMAZING (and so, so many options for vegetarians), we have a thriving local music scene, great art museums, a wonderful symphony, ballet; all of it! Decent used book stores, good selection of thrift stores spread out across the city.

You can pretty easily find an apartment of the size you want for the money you want, too. The cost of living here is pretty low. The city itself is liberal, especially certain areas of it. I also don't think it's difficult to meet people here and make friends, unless you're living on the West side proper (people there are born there and die there and generally don't move out of a square mile from point a to point b, along with all of their family).

Cincinnati is a city of neighborhoods, so if you need some help sussing out where things are, don't hesitate to memail me. I'm happy to help!

Don't let the current weather here deter you; it's pretty wet for the season right now but it's generally not as cold here in the winter.
posted by cooker girl at 9:09 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cincinnati resident here for almost as long as cooker girl. While it has been almost 10 years since I've been in the rental market I'll agree that you can definitely find what you are looking for here. I'll too extend a memail offer to answer questions about neighborhoods and areas.
posted by mmascolino at 10:09 AM on November 5, 2014

Never been to Cincinnati, but I've lived in Milwaukee all my life. Like anywhere, the feel for a place is going to be determined by what you surround yourself with. I definitely feel surrounded by hippy and liberal types. My neighborhood is very community focused, with lots of local food, artsy, political, environmental movement. I don't agree with desjardins about rental prices. I've never paid above $750 and never lived in less than 1000 sq ft. Milwaukee has a lot going on, especially in summer. City of festivals! Tons of music. The bar scene is definitely huge here, but there are also tons of cultural events constantly. Also lots of ethnic food. And of course the lakefront. I love having beaches and boating so close. I couldn't live in a landlocked city. Agreed, this city isn't the best for public transportation, but I get around just fine relying on the transit system. You don't get too specific, so I'm not sure what you'd be more specifically interested in. Having friends in the area is a definite plus. Let me knowing you have more specific questions.
posted by catatethebird at 3:31 PM on November 5, 2014

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