Another where should I live question
August 10, 2019 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering moving in the next year or two and choosing my first job out of training. I might want to buy a house or condo in the place that I move to. I'm generally looking at northeast US because that is where I have most ties.

The place I'll ultimately move to will partly depend on employment opportunities. For example, NY is more psychiatry-saturated so the lower salary is a drawback. But there are other things I want to consider...

I live in the Boston area and it is such a City Upon A Hill... possibly particularly so in the medical culture, and especially in psychiatry. Things I like about it are the academic focus of the town, the availability of museums, good libraries, music, and the overall walkability.

I want to live somewhere with:
- Decent access to nature, and that is green and quiet, where I can take walks after dinner
- Access to an airport, within 1 to 1.5 hour
- I prefer somewhere near the ocean or body of water
- Diversity is important to me and having an Asian community and grocery store nearby would be a significant consideration
- Museums and libraries

I don't care about nightlife, restaurants or availability of ubereats, shopping, sports, gyms, social justice warriors (which was a drawback to me when I visited Seattle). We're talking Northeast here, so I don't really have expectations about weather although I'd prefer to stay away from Upstate NY, Vermont or New Hampshire weather.

I think a good school district would be nice but I feel really conflicted about how stressful "good school districts" are for kids. I don't have kids, anyway, so it's not really an issue right now.

Places I have considered include Providence, Rhode Island, and Brooklyn, New York (or maybe anywhere else in NY? I know there's significant variation from town to town). I've visited Philadelphia and didn't mind it, but I think I and everybody in my life who lives in NY hate the idea of having to traverse NJ, lol.

What towns or cities between Washington DC and Boston might I consider? If you want to suggest a city outside of the Northeast that really checks all my boxes feel free, although it may not be realistic for me.
posted by gemutlichkeit to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What kind of practice are you interested in doing?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 3:50 PM on August 10, 2019

That’s a good question. Unfortunately I have no idea... the idea of inpatient vs consult liaison (so some sort of hospital-based practice) with a small psychotherapy private practice sounds appealing to me.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 3:58 PM on August 10, 2019

So you want to be south of Vermont or NH, you don’t want cold weather, not NYC, you don’t want to live across NJ from NYC, you want museums and an airport, and it doesn’t sound like you want to be south of Philly, which leaves Connecticut, or New York State from the Hudson Valley up through the Capital region.

You also sound concerned about cost of living, so I think that cuts out large swaths of Connecticut and all of Westchester.

I’m not sure what to tell you about the social justice warriors, since it sounds like there’s a story there but in any case self-righteous Tumblr kids are probably everywhere.

It seems like you’re boxing yourself out of a lot but I have two imperfect suggestions:

Queens, particularly Jackson Heights
NJ itself, although I don’t know how different the cost of living is from NYC proper in North Jersey. But I know there’s a dense Korean community in Ft Lee and environs.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 4:00 PM on August 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

(I realize you didn’t specify Korean but I figured I’d take a shot.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 4:03 PM on August 10, 2019

The Hartford, CT area is worth a look. There are rich suburbs but a lot of the city is filled with immigrants, including Vietnamese. Many of the cultural institutions remain. Personally, I'd check out Rocky Hill. No ocean, but there is the Connecticut river.

Providence could be a good choice. There is substantial urban sprawl to the SW of the city proper.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:52 PM on August 10, 2019

I recently visited Providence and really liked the east side neighborhoods around Brown and RISD. Very walkable. You might like Wayland, which is near a nice park and fairly close to Brown. The weather seems relatively okay compared to other parts of the Northeast (a little sunnier). Have you visited yet? It's very easy to get to on the train from Boston.
posted by pinochiette at 5:37 PM on August 10, 2019

One of the towns I grew up in was West Haven, CT. When I was there, people did not understand that there were people who weren't black or white. Kids eyeslanted me in the grocery store and I had to wonder, "where the hell did you learn that?" But that was 1996.

Yale is near, you can go to Hong Kong grocery in New Haven, you have Savin Rock park (super nice after those sweet federal Sandy reconstruction dollars) to stroll on after dinner, and I get the idea that the area is still kind of cheap and lowerish middle-class (i.e. not saturated with psychiatrists). The school district c. 2008 was like, "Fordham is a super top tier school you are super accomplished for that" but you can send your kids to Hopkins (which I think is like the 5th oldest school in the USA).

You have Metro North access and NE corridor access through Union Station.
posted by batter_my_heart at 5:45 PM on August 10, 2019

I was going to suggest New Haven, but batter_my_heart beat me to it with their suggestion of West Haven which is next door. Hamden or many of the surrounding towns would also be nice. These places check all your boxes except for school districts but yes if you can afford it Hopkins is a good school.
posted by phoenixy at 5:58 PM on August 10, 2019

Providence is a great city.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:40 AM on August 11, 2019

The things you want are the things that every new attending wants, which may hamper you when negotiating for a job. This is doubly true if you are a woman or a person of color, and especially if you are a woman of color, UNLESS the institution is specifically looking for a "diversity hire." (Yes, they still use that term, and yes, it's gross.)

Do you have a mentor at your current institution? If so, pick their brains until you have your own ideal job requirements solid in your brain, then start looking at geography.
posted by basalganglia at 6:14 AM on August 11, 2019

This might be on the far edge of your geographic radius, but it sounds like Pittsburgh might actually check a lot of your boxes. Loads of urban parks and trees, nearby airport (although the public transit situation to get there is pretty grim), three rivers + some nice lakes a little further out of town, and a disproportionately high number of museums and libraries for the size of the population thanks to our rich history of industrial robber barons.

The diversity index is likely pretty low compared to some of the other suggestions, but there are definitely Asian grocery stores and community events in the city. And there are definitely opportunities in psychiatry--my bf is also a psychiatrist and moved here a few years ago from NY for the same reason you mentioned (non-competitive wages due to an overabundance of psychiatrists). Feel free to MeMail me if you have any Pittsburgh questions!
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:42 AM on August 12, 2019

Pioneer Valley (MA), perhaps?
posted by oceano at 7:09 PM on August 12, 2019

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