Get me out of New York! Much later! When it's safe!
April 17, 2020 10:52 AM   Subscribe

The Current Situation in NYC has clarified that we are ready to not live in NYC anymore. Please sell me on your (U.S. or comparatively easy to emigrate to) city! I know MeFi gets these questions a lot—thank you for indulging me.

We currently live on the western border of Bed-Stuy. Assume that we are very familiar with the other places we could move within Brooklyn/Queens that fit these criteria, but that we want to consider options.

Before Brooklyn we both lived in DC, for over a decade (him) and over three decades (me). We are NOT going back to DC. However, we do tend to like places that feel like Dupont/Georgetown in the '90s, or like parts of Baltimore and Berlin now—think non-chain coffeeshops, good street art, generally neighborhoody and not too slick. Independent stores/bars/restaurants, though I realize that landscape is going to look very different by the time we move. Honestly 100% of my problems, in this as in life, could probably be solved by time-traveling to the '90s but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. That kind of feel is good, though.

I'm a writer/editor and can in theory work freelance although the market's flooded now; I could also do university or nonprofit comms. He's in tech management and needs at least a small tech scene. We're in our 40s, don't have kids, and would rather not live somewhere that skews very young.

I medically need to a) NOT live in the suburbs (a smaller city like Northampton or Hudson is totally fine, though) but also b) see at least three big trees a day (can be in a park). It turns out to affect my mood if the street I live on is ugly. We don't currently own a car but are respectively resigned/excited to have one in a place where it's less challenging than it is in Brooklyn. But it's really important to me that we not have to use it every day, either because of robust public transit or an extremely walkable neighborhood or ideally both. I need to be able to walk to a grocery store or market. (I hate hate hate doing a week of shopping in advance and I have NOT been getting used to it.) I would rather live in a place that is culturally/racially diverse.

I don't love snow and he kinda shuts down in humidity but we'd be willing to scarf up/turn the AC on for an otherwise perfect place. A humid place would have to have a plausible car commute, though (not too bad traffic), regardless of how good the transit system is.

Not-too-difficult access to family (all on the East Coast) and the beach in Delaware specifically are bonuses! But given that what I REALLY want is to move to Berlin, that's obviously negotiable. Proximity to a major airport is a bonus, though.

Finally, NUMBER ONE priority: cheaper cost of living!!!!! Ideally less than $1500 for a 1br. I realize that the upcoming economic circumstances may throw all this into disarray, but you know, ballpark.

We've considered a lot of places, including by reading previous asks, but there are way more that aren't on our radar, or that we either know we'd like but don't know enough about, or don't realize we'd like because we haven't looked at the right neighborhoods. (If you're recommending a larger city please tell me what neighborhood(s) I should look at!) Thank you! I promise not to leave New York even temporarily any time soon!
posted by babelfish to Travel & Transportation (36 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry, just realized that "ugly" is an incredibly unhelpful way to describe how a street might look! We're currently on a post-industrial block where buildings are either converted factories or new condos—everything very inward-facing—with a couple scraggly trees. I was a lot happier walking out the door in the morning when I lived half a mile away on a more residential block with older, larger trees and more architectural variety (not brownstones but still multi-family homes with some thought put into the facade).
posted by babelfish at 10:55 AM on April 17, 2020

Some neighborhoods in Troy NY meet those criteria.
posted by metasarah at 11:21 AM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Can you clarify why you want to leave- is the cost of living/a nicer neighborhood the main motivation?
posted by pinochiette at 11:22 AM on April 17, 2020

Response by poster: I can't clarify it with absolute fidelity—we were feeling like we'd probably leave eventually and now we've abruptly moved to just feeling Done—but given that it's come to a head in the last couple weeks I think it's the weight of thinking every day about how we spend upwards of $2400 a month to live in two rooms, one of which is almost exactly the size of our bed and has no closets or windows.
posted by babelfish at 11:33 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I might consider Beacon, Hudson, Providence RI (Elmhurst), or Portland, ME, although if you're thinking further afield, Portland, OR still reminds me of the 90s now...
posted by pinochiette at 11:49 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Put Pittsburgh on your list. It's a burgeoning tech hub. My remodeled 3BR, 2BA row house costs $1400 a month and is next to a huge swath of green space with countless large sycamores and oaks (full disclosure: green space is a cemetery, but a gorgeous one). There are at least five locally owned coffee shops within walking distance, dozens of restaurants; the grit is going away, but it's still here. Rehoboth Beach is ~5 hours away.

The snow and humidity are definitely a thing. More the humidity than the snow, and more than either of those is the gray, which can be quite oppressive. But in May, June, September, and October, look out—there is no better place to be in the country, in my opinion, and I've been to most major US cities.
posted by gold bridges at 11:53 AM on April 17, 2020 [16 favorites]

If I had the economic freedom to move, I would be back in Buffalo tomorrow. The arts and food scenes are great, the multiple colleges/universities make the atmosphere a bit more liberal/multicultural than a lot of smaller towns in WNY, you're close enough to the Canadian border for frequent pleasure trips (in non-pandemic times), there are lovely parks and museums, and there's recreation on the lake. Snow and winter weather are, of course, a reality. And public transit is not as good as NYC, but I found it adequate. But the city's working class/industrial roots are still very much showing, and COL is far more reasonable than in many NYS cities (depending on your neighborhood/suburb).
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:55 AM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I feel like I say this on every AskMe for this type, but I think Philly would potentially be a really great fit for you. It's a lot like Brooklyn in many ways. Regarding your wishlist:
- Tons of trees and parks, very beautiful.
- Tons of coffeeshops, both independent and chains; some street art; very neighborhoody; not too slick (Philly has substantially more grit than much of NYC or any of Boston).
- Center City is one of the densest neighborhoods in the US. You are usually within 10-20 minutes' walk of a grocery store, and if you pick your location right, you can have multiple grocery stores within a 10-minute walk. Public transport is fine, but the walkability is really key. It would be hard not to be able to buy whatever you need within a 20-minute walk.
- Full of "eds and meds", as they call it, so you should be well-positions for university or non-profit jobs. I'm not sure about the tech scene in Philly (it might be kind of anemic), but maybe your husband could find something at Comcast? I think there are some suburb tech things (I know a programmer who worked for Vanguard, for instance).
- Easy access to your family on the East Coast, the Delaware beaches, and back to NYC for visits.
- Very culturally and racially diverse.
- Weather is fine, if not ideal. Winters aren't too bad (a bit better than NYC); summer humidity is better than DC.
- In the nicer parts of Center City, you can definitely get a 1-bed for $1500. You can likely get one for $1200-1300, depending on your standards (those prices would be apartments in older brownstone-like buildings, not shiny new highrises with amenities, which are pricier). If you're willing to move slightly out (maybe South Philly, West Philly - all about a mile outside of the center), you can probably get a 2-bed for that. Food and entertainment are also much cheaper than NYC too. Philly is an amazing combination of super cosmopolitan and urban, while still being extremely cheap (for an East Coast city).

I'm very familiar with the city and am happy to advise on specific neighborhoods if you MeMail me. I'm such a champion of Philly because I think it's incredibly nice and has been massively unappreciated by outsiders until recently. However it's now being rediscovered (by a lot of New Yorkers, incidentally) and prices are going up, but it's still quite affordable.
posted by ClaireBear at 11:57 AM on April 17, 2020 [12 favorites]

Ithaca, NY. It's about a 6 or 7 hour drive from Delaware beaches. Lots of trees, hills, waterfalls, and a big lake.
posted by mareli at 11:57 AM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Pilsen neighborhood and parts of Humboldt Park in Chicago kind of feel like Dupont/Georgetown in the 90's minus the college vibe. I grew up in DC so I hear you on that. Parts of Burlington VT might also fit this. And, dog help me, I was actually really impressed with Detroit the last time I was there. I wish people didn't shit on Detroit, they had a lot going for them!

Austin TX definitely has that "dream of the 90's is alive" vibe but it's MORE expensive, not less. Same thing with most of Portland at this point... areas that are nice to live in are quite expensive now.

But all of these are daydreams now. Another few months of pandemic and all the stats as we know them about housing, livability, independent-vs-chain, etc. will change.
posted by juniperesque at 11:58 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

You mention liking Baltimore; any reason that's not on your list?

I had a similar GET ME OUT OF NEW YORK moment, wound up in Philadelphia expecting to hate it because "bigger city" and "grit," and ended up falling quite unexpectedly in love with the city and miss quite a lot about it, I think in large part because of the neighborhood where I lived (Fairmount). I was about three blocks from the Ben Franklin Parkway which is tree-lined and leads up to the Art Museum, which in turn is the boundary between Fairmount Park heading north or the Schuylkill River Trail heading south. Plenty of groceries and restaurants in the area -- I was walking distance to Whole Foods and a Target, biking distance to Trader Joe's and Reading Terminal Market -- not to mention architectural interest, lots of Beaux-Arts buildings and Trinities everywhere. West Philly is also a good neighborhood to look at, particularly the area around Clark Park.

On your bonuses: PHL is a very solid airport and has train connection into Center City. Couple hours' drive to Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.

On preview, like ClaireBear said.
posted by basalganglia at 12:01 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

This current Brooklynite has enjoyed just about every trip to Philly i've taken and it is definitely a lot cheaper while affording many similar urban amenities.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:11 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Twin Cities in Minnesota, or Providence, RI.

The weather is better in PVD: the ocean moderates it a lot. We have tech, .edu, nature, and access to the Boston metro area.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:12 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sacramento is my vote - west coast but I'm going with your willingness to move out of country :). It's called the city of trees for a reason. Its affordable. You can drive to snow (Tahoe) but not deal with it everyday. The weather is absolutely a step up from NY - yes it gets hot but everywhere has AC. You can also drive easily to other fun places (Napa, San Francisco). The airport is a dream, and has great regular flights to NY. Coffee shops everywhere. Lots of restaurants, farmers market - hopefully still when this is over. They did an art mural fest every year so lots of cool art stuff around. Very neighborhood feel, but also fun city type things. In full disclaimer, it's been almost two years since I lived there. But from this NY-born girl who spent a few years living there and then came back east, I miss it every day!
posted by kmr at 12:15 PM on April 17, 2020

Just to give you some visuals for my above answer:

- Rittenhouse Square
- Washington Square
- 18th Century garden
- Dilworth Park/City Hall (fewer trees, but still pretty)
- Clark Park, where there's a farmer's market
- The newish elevated rail park is pretty cool
- Huge Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the country

Good things are happening with the riverfronts. The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is still ongoing, and the completed sections are really nice to walk on (here). And on the Delaware, Spruce Street Harbor Park is a kind of riverside micropark, and is super cute too but can be busy (here), and the artsy new Cherry Street Pier. And I'm super excited for when they cap that section of I95 and make the park sloping down to the river.

A one-bed apartment in this neighborhood (Washington Square West) should run below $1500 ($1200+, although you can pay for than $1500). You can also find apartments (or even whole tiny houses) on super cute streets like this, right downtown (that is also Wash West). If you go a bit further out, you can pay less and/or get more space in West Philly (full of quirky Victorians like this) or South Philly (Italian Market area here, or further south - lots of different and cute neighborhoods there).

This is only a taste: there are tons of other parks, cute streets, etc. in Philly. It's gorgeous and getting better.
posted by ClaireBear at 12:28 PM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

I moved to Cincinnati a few years ago and I gotta tell you, the weather here is pretty great (I grew up around Chicago so I know winter and this ain't it), it's a diverse place, super cheap (we bought a condo near downtown for just over $100k, but the neighborhood is going up in price now). Politics are conservative here which bugs me, but in many ways Cincinnati feels like it's behind the times so we're probably not too far off the 90s vibe you're looking for.

I've lived in Pittsburgh and found that the natives are not kind to transplants, but when I've visited recently it's seemed friendlier/less hostile (I did find natives to be hostile to outsiders when I lived there about a decade ago).
posted by jabes at 12:30 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Have you considered Richmond, VA? It meets all of your criteria. Although there is now a Starbucks, the fan was all independent restaurants and bars until around 2010. There are decent tech opportunities, proximity to the east coast, and moderate weather. There is a good arts/music/food scene due to VCU. Walkability for work may be an issue.
posted by seesom at 12:30 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Honestly 100% of my problems, in this as in life, could probably be solved by time-traveling to the '90s but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Move to Portland Oregon, honestly I don't even really like it there but I think you would love it.
posted by fshgrl at 12:50 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Alright, this is a harder one to actually wrangle, but even so, consider actually doing Europe -- and just throwing this out there, perhaps Lisbon? It's definitely funky, most of the airbnb hosts will have been bankrupted so apartments may be even cheaper, and you'd be able to escape the US.

...language is a problem, and obviously there are a bunch of legal entanglements to consider, but you'd also have a bit of timezone advantage -- back when I did some freelance stuff while living in the UK I found it an odd sort of advantage that my Chicago client would basically walk in each morning and find my stuff all done and waiting for their review.

I guess I'm saying hey, maybe don't discount Europe? It doesn't have to be just a fantasy.
posted by aramaic at 12:56 PM on April 17, 2020

New Orleans is totally perfect except craaaaazy humid (and COVID). The neighborhoods that would work best for your walkability criteria are not my area of expertise, other than some parts of the garden district.
posted by Night_owl at 1:01 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Third vote for the Twin Cities. We moved here from NYC eight years ago (well, my husband is a native but I had only been here twice before moving) and it is perfect. I am originally from the south and have acclimated to the cold/snow just fine. We have one car for our family of four because public transit is robust - we didn't use the car every day even before we were all sheltering in place. Depending on your neighborhood, grocery stores would be walkable (we don't have a grocery but do have several restaurants, coffee shops, movie theater in walking distance). Parks are everywhere. Great cost of living (our 4br house is about what you're looking to pay for a 1br apartment). Lots of parks. Lots of educational, tech, and publishing jobs and world-class healthcare. Major airport 20 minutes from just about any urban neighborhood.

I go back to NYC a few times a year for work (or I did) and while I'm glad to visit, I am SO GLAD that we moved here, specifically.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:02 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Last comment. You asked for neighborhood suggestions. This might be controversial, but given what you've said, I'd steer clear of most of North Philly. I think you're going to find Fishtown, South Kensington, and the River Wards generally to be too aggressively trendy, and to have too much of a bland overpriced faux-hipster faux-industrial vibe. Same with Callowhill (which apparently they've rebranded the "Loft District", although that area legitimately has old factories that are having real loft conversions). I suspect you're going to find general North Philly (say, where Temple is) not to have enough trees, although you could check it out for yourself. Rittenhouse proper I think is going to be too expensive for your budget, and the same with "Midtown Village" area too (the new designation of the area east of Broad, say Chestnut up to Market, which is becoming full of new luxury high rises).

Neighborhoods that I think might be a good fit include Washington Square West, which is super walkable to everything, cute, lots of trees, very well situated with grocery stores. Also West Philly, which is slightly more removed but decent transit, leafy, pretty, farmer's market. Also South Philly, which may not have quite enough trees but has lots of cute neighborhoods, Italian Market, and isn't too far from everything. I don't know how expensive Bella Vista is, but it's very charming and well served by grocery stores. Bits of Graduate Hospital are somewhat pretty, you'd probably get more square feet for your money and/or a more updated space there, and if you end up having a car and need your own garage, Grad Hospital would likely be one of your best options. You might also find something that meets your specs on the border of Rittenhouse and Graduate Hospital - say, in the few blocks north or south of South Street, west of Broad. Fairmount I know less about, but it has some beautiful old buildings and might be a good option - especially the bits closest to the Trader Joe's and the enormous Whole Foods. Although I think Society Hill is mostly single family houses, you might be able to find an apartment in your price range and it's possible you'd like the neighborhood: it's very pretty and leafy, although it doesn't have as much mixed-use areas, coffee shops, diversity, etc., as some of the other neighborhoods. There's some possibility you might like something like Mt Airy, which is part of the city but a bit removed (you can take the train), and is peaceful, green, old, and racially diverse. Happy to give more advice if you want to MeMail me - a lot depends on specific personal preferences. If I were in your shoes, I'd be inclined to let my job locations sway me somewhat: if you were working at Penn, for instance, I'd lean more towards West Philly, Grad Hospital, maybe Wash West or Fairmount, than South Philly (but it would also depend on mode of transport).
posted by ClaireBear at 1:07 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Buffalo and Ithaca are soooo snowy in the winter. Sacramento is HOT. Like, it's not literally as hot as Arizona but it is more humid so that doesn't sound like your optimal place. Check it out in July before you move.

I'd also recommend checking out Ann Arbor if you're open to college towns at all. Some of the bars I liked in the 90s are still there! Though many have closed, of course. You'll have non-chain versions of everything, a walkable downtown with good food, and access to trees and other nature. It's very cosmopolitan and diverse for a city of that size. The weather is not as bad as West Michigan, especially as to snow - it's certainly cold in the winter and hot (and humid...) in the summer, though. And DTW is a major airport that is very accessible. Finally, U of M seems to be a top choice for east coast folks who can't quite get into an Ivy, so there are lots of connections to the east coast and NY in particular.

Down sides: you'll still have to drive for probably 75% of everything. 10 miles outside of town is real, rural Michigan with all the insularity and racism that implies (and I grew up in rural Michigan, I'm not bagging on it as some coastal elite). So you could well feel isolated and you might get bored after a few years if you can't make friends right away.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:26 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How's your French?

If you're willing to leave the country and can get a Canadian visa, you should consider Montreal.

- Tons of independent cafés, restaurants, and shops (Montreal is the only North American city I know of where Starbucks kind of struggles to get a foothold)
- Beautiful murals and street art
- Lots of cute neighborhoods with their own character
- Strong and growing tech scene, especially in machine learning / AI
- Several large universities, including some English-language ones
- Top-notch public transit
- Very dense and walkable without feeling suffocating (if you live in a central neighborhood, almost everything you need is within a 10-minute walk)
- Pleasant summers (maybe a couple weeks of oppressive heat/humidity each summer, but mostly nice)
- Tons of parks with beautiful trees, and lots of tree-lined streets as well
- Incredible arts scene
- Close to the East Coast
- Very cheap rent and cost of living in general (for $1200 you could easily get a very nice 1-bedroom in any neighborhood in the city) -- though admittedly this is changing and rents have been rising rapidly over the last 5-10 years
- Feels a bit like what I imagine San Francisco might've been like 50 years ago

- To live a full life here you really do need at least some level of French. In tech, there are quite a few English-speaking workplaces, but English-language writing/editing jobs are harder to come by (though they do exist). Some government services are only available in French. You will occasionally get dirty looks from people if you can't speak French to them.
- Long, cold, snowy winters
- Lower salaries than many major cities in the US and Canada (in accordance with the lower cost of living)
- Roads are mostly in poor condition
posted by mekily at 1:50 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Quite a few parts of Cleveland fit the bill. I'm mostly familiar with Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, both of which have neighborhoods that match what you want (and neighborhoods that don't, do your research) but there are also parts of Cleveland proper that would qualify. The cost of living may shock you - The amount of space your can get for $1,500 is substantial, lots of 2br for $1k/mo. And there are houses and condos available in walkable neighborhoods if buying appeals to you, here's an example of a 2 br 2 ba condo where you'd pay less than $1K / mo for mortgage + tax, and it's a 4-minute walk from a decent grocery store and shopping area. Here's another one in a neighborhood (Coventry) that maybe matches your requirements even more closely.

And the east coast is relatively accessible from Cleveland (compared to further west) - 7 hours to DC, or a short and possibly direct flight. We had lots of luck with direct flights out of CLE.

St Louis is another relatively affordable city where if you choose the right neighborhood you can get what you're looking for. I won't make specific recommendations because I'm less familiar, and it's not quite as affordable as Cleveland, but it might be worth a look.
posted by Tehhund at 1:54 PM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Cleveland has a lot to offer and has some of the oldest "suburbs" in America. These include Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and Lakewood, not to mention Cleveland proper neighborhoods that have cafes and parks like Tremont. There are a few universities like Case Western Reserve, John Carroll, and Baldwin Wallace. The aforementioned suburbs have excellent housing choices if you like homes built pre-1940's, many have been rehabilitated or are waiting for TLC (I'm on my 3rd!). There is the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Museum of Art with surrounding restaurants and parks that are world class. We do have snow, and humidity.

*Edit: Just saw Tehhund's comment above.
posted by waving at 3:02 PM on April 17, 2020 [6 favorites]

Ever considered Melbourne, Australia? I've lived here 10 years, you might like it:

Strong Pros:
- world class local coffee culture
- lots of independent stores/bars/restaurants

- relatively cheap cost of living, provided you rent (i share a 2 bed 50m^2 apartment in a walkable neighbourhood with cafes, restaurants & small supermarkets next to a park, 20 min bike ride from the CBD, we pay AUD 1750 / month = USD 1100 / month)
- many neighbourhoods closer to the city are very walkable with good public transport access (train, tram) provided you're willing to pay a bit more in rent.
- good demand for tech work from large non-tech companies (banks, utilities, telcos), some smaller businesses/startups, also some R&D offices for tech companies (e.g. square, zendesk, microsoft, xero).
- temperate climate, warm-hot summers (not humid), mild winters
- a public healthcare system that works pretty well
- the city's trees have email addresses:

- difficult and expensive to visit family in US. For full-time permanent work, employees get 11 public holidays per year and minimum of 20 days paid annual leave. Not as generous or flexible as many European countries, but enough to take a 1 month international trip per year. Return flights to US might write off 4 days of the trip (transit & jet lag).

- demand for writing / editing work. The city has a bunch of universities & not for profits
- ease & expense of immigration
posted by are-coral-made at 3:22 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

though I realize that landscape is going to look very different by the time we move

This statement applies to almost everything except the weather (and even that will change on a slightly longer timescale)..... I would be wary of any prognostication re: quality of public transport, safety, housing prices, employability in neighborhood, cost of living, youth of residents, "tech scene....."as all of those things are in tremendous flux right now.
posted by lalochezia at 3:58 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'd steer clear of most of North Philly

True, except that sometimes certain neighborhoods are lumped in as "north Philly" when they're really not North Philly by non-native people describing them (e.g. Fishtown, East Falls, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill).

We just moved to East Falls (many trees, not much of a scene) from Fairmount, and we've loved them both. I'd co-sign everything Claire Bear said. And we go to Rehoboth every year - about two hour drive.
posted by Pax at 5:27 PM on April 17, 2020

Durham, North Carolina.
posted by slateyness at 5:57 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I'm wondering if you know the TV show Portlandia started out with a song called "Dream of the '90s." I just watched it for the first time since that show came out and ... it fits. I do think Portland would meet a lot of your criteria (though I generally don't encourage more people to move here because all of New York apparently wants to move here and then is disappointed that it's not just like NY and they complain about the lack of diversity, which is partly true but also very much related to which part of Portland you choose to live in).

So, maybe Portland. But closer to home: the humidity sucks, but Durham might suit you. It does sound like you like east coast cities, though, so why not just a smaller one like Philly or Baltimore? If you want to go a lot smaller and cheaper, how about Rochester? There are definitely in-town neighborhoods where you can walk to stores, though there is snow...
posted by bluedaisy at 9:06 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

based on the east coastyness of your post, I'll vote for western mass or raleigh/durham/chapel hill (much better weather and .. much as it pains me to say it, a little friendlier).. also good hospital choices both duke and UNC health systems there. um, also ..LEMURS.

idk, lots of places would be good tho!

And if you figure out a way to move back to the 90s please please tell me how because yes.
posted by elgee at 11:32 PM on April 17, 2020

I'll 3rd Cleveland. In addition to great food and cultural stuff and museums, we have world class hospitals. Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital are beyond great. I'm not familiar with CCF, but UH has many campuses all around the greater Cleveland area.
posted by kathrynm at 8:17 AM on April 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

Another vote for Philly, it fits a lot of your criteria. I've talked about North Philly on this site before, but it's a huge segment of the city's total area and shouldn't be lumped together as one all encompassing BAD PLACE. North Philadelphia has lots of wonderful culture, such as a huge Russian community, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Georgian, Kazakh, etc immigrant populations and I think we have like, 3 Net Cost markets in Philly now, which is dope. Plus there are a bunch of North Philly neighborhoods that are beautiful and slept in with lovely co-ops (Weaver's Way Co-Op), such as the Germantown neighborhood. Plus, it's just a 2 hour jaunt to NYC to visit all your NYC friends.
posted by erattacorrige at 8:31 AM on April 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Portland, Maine. It might get a bit cold for you but god it's beautiful. You could get a one bedroom for 1500$ but you can get a very nice one bedroom for $2000.
posted by pintapicasso at 10:29 AM on April 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

Check out Providence, RI. It's a weird, weird place, but it fits many of your criteria. Friends of ours ditched Somerville, Mass., for PVD last year because they wanted to own a home, and they do -- it's a funky triple decker, they live in the 2nd floor apartment. They've had to rehab it a lot, but it's a beautiful home and the vibe is pretty much what you describe. We stayed with them for six weeks last fall and ate a lot of pizza from the joint around the corner that's been there for 60+ years. The transit is sub-par, and it's nice to have a car, but it's also pretty walkable. It's easy to get to basically anywhere else in New England. And it's really pretty.
posted by linettasky at 10:43 AM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

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