what’s it like to live in... anywhere?
April 20, 2021 5:49 PM   Subscribe

My absolute favorite Asks are the “what’s it like to live in [place]?”, where someone is thinking about moving to a city or region and commenters give their impressions of the city. Especially this year when travel is limited, it’s a fun way to “experience” other places. But there’s a finite supply, and I think I’ve read through them all twice now. Is there anywhere else that does this sort of thing (well)?

I’m just really interested in places, and I like hearing what other people think is important for someone to understand about a particular place.

I read the City-Data forums occasionally, but the level of discourse there is not particularly high (unless you’re reeeeally interested in property taxes). I also don’t like that there are sub-fora for each location; one of things that’s nice here is random places like Cedar Rapids, Iowa that I’d probably never think to go into detail about on my own.

I don’t really need any sort of community. Forums, boards, and subreddits are fine and I’ll happily read them, but I’ll probably just lurk forever. So things like essay blogs are fine too.

I’m interested in an aggregation of multiple places, not sites about a single place. Slight preference for US and Canada.
posted by kevinbelt to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
It's very short-form (and UK-based), but I really love reading the Guardian column Let's move to... It's a snapshot of different little towns and villages (and cities), and the comments are generally quite good, and add to the sense of what a place is like to live in. (And more than once call the writer out on clearly not being familiar with the location...)
posted by kalimac at 6:01 PM on April 20, 2021 [15 favorites]

This is kind of orthogonal to your question, but one thing I've found I really like is looking at newspapers from given places. I don't have any specific recommendations, I think I liked the local sections of the New York Times, but any paper will probably do. I realize it isn't the same as hearing first-hand from people who live there, but it's still a fun exercise.
posted by Alensin at 6:04 PM on April 20, 2021

While it’s not equivalent to living in a place, the Lonely Planet forums are a place worth poking around in!
posted by floweredfish at 6:09 PM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

I wonder if something like this could be a good fit for a MeFi project?

Lots of us live/have lived in lots of places in North America and the world, and may like to write up a short bit about it for fun and posterity.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:15 PM on April 20, 2021 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh man, “Let’s move to...” is exactly what I’m looking for. Is there an American equivalent?
posted by kevinbelt at 6:31 PM on April 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is more travel-focused, but the first thing I thought of was this NYT column.
posted by music for skeletons at 6:37 PM on April 20, 2021

You might peruse the threads in various city-specific subreddits!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:46 PM on April 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

The NYT also has Living In in the real estate section each week. NYC region only though.
posted by yarrow at 7:04 PM on April 20, 2021

Reddit/Montana/So You Want To Move To Montana is the top post on Reddit/Montana

The subforums/discussons on Reddit/Montana for different cities are pretty spot-on. We're a polite people so there is more truth than snark.

Unless you consider calling Great Falls a place best left behind by history or Butte being cold and drunk to be snark.
posted by ITravelMontana at 7:25 PM on April 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

You might like the /r/samegrassbutgreener subreddit, where people looking to move ask for city recommendations that fit their specific criteria.
posted by bonifate at 7:32 PM on April 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

i use window swap to scratch this particular itch.
posted by missjenny at 8:52 PM on April 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

I am feeling very homesick at the moment for my home city and reading experiences on this forum, particularly the sub forum about returning home (even though my home is not the UK) was cathartic.
This may hit the mark for all the quite detailed “should i move here” posts
posted by hotcoroner at 9:06 PM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Window Swap, Random Street View, and others from this post.
posted by gregoreo at 2:00 AM on April 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

One thing you might enjoy is the Xenophobes Guide series of books.

Very light, informative and funny reads into the cultures of other countries.
posted by jacobean at 12:56 PM on April 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is also not exactly what you're looking for, but I really enjoy radio.garden, which lets you listen to radio stations from many places around the world.
posted by taltalim at 7:03 PM on April 25, 2021

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