Where we should move?
January 13, 2007 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions to help us decide where to move. My wife, daughter (2yrs old) and I presently live in Atlanta, GA. We are interesting in moving and were interested in getting some opinions.

I'm 41 yrs old and she's 38. She's an editor/writer and I have worked in the business end of the entertainment industry for the past eight years. Here are our requirements and narrowed list of places that seem close to what we want (excluding leaving N. America, which could be an option): Somewhere with natural beauty (Having visited New Zealand, that would be the benchmark of natural baeuty!) Liberal Ideally, walkable Close to cultural activity 4 seasons (Atlanta only has Spring and Summer due to global warming!) Job opportunities Somewhat affordable Some of the places I've visited (14 years ago) and on the list are Portland OR, Seattle, Vancouver/Victoria BC I heard good things about but have not visited: Denver, Boulder CO Northern CA (I was born in San Francisco, but way out of $ range) Some NE cities a possibility So basically besides Colorado, the pacific NW or NE coast are in play..now need to narrow down. Although I have work experience in talent agencies L.A. is not an option...Too superficial. Thanks
posted by bydar to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Asheville, NC
posted by thenextword at 1:04 PM on January 13, 2007

Well I think in a lot of ways Vancouver fits your bill. The one MAJOR drag back is it is very expensive to buy or rent here. Victoria is cheaper (but not cheap) but I am not sure of the job market for you there.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 1:08 PM on January 13, 2007

Do you have the degree and experience to be a faculty member in a theater or communications department of a college? I think any college town would suit your liberal, cultural, walkable criteria, and that would help narrow things down.
posted by saffry at 1:19 PM on January 13, 2007

If you are serious about New Zealand, you should know that the capital, Wellington, is trying to turn itself into a "entertainment city", following up the success of Peter Jacksons movies. If you can find a job in the industry here, you should have a really easy time getting a visa.
posted by scodger at 1:29 PM on January 13, 2007

Burlington, VT
posted by k8t at 1:53 PM on January 13, 2007

I'll second Asheville, NC.

Your natural beauty fix will be filled by the Blue Ridge Mountains and near by Smokies.

You will get four seasons. The winters are mild, but still have the feel of winter.

Asheville is certainly a liberal town, and the place is oozing culture.
posted by Scottk at 2:52 PM on January 13, 2007

Not that I need to tell you, but please visit for an extended (not just couple days) time anyplace you are considering moving. I grew up in Seattle, and we had a constant influx of people who visited and moved in the warmer months and than all they would do is alment the rainy cols weather we got for the Winter (and late Fall and early Spring, and sometimes early Fall) months.

Sounds like with your attitudes and jobs and wants that a college City would be best. Not too many editor jobs in smaller towns. But slight career changes might help. Your wife is a writer....maybe she would consider being a technical writer? then she could work at Boeing in Saettle, for instance.
posted by wylde21 at 3:47 PM on January 13, 2007

I LOVE Portland, but as a writer in this city I have to warn you that it could be very difficult for your wife to find work out here. I wouldn't recommend moving unless she had something lined out. There seem to be a lot more opportunities in Seattle.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:48 PM on January 13, 2007

I should mention we really want to get out of the South..so Asheville is more than likely out.
posted by bydar at 4:08 PM on January 13, 2007

In terms of jobs in writing, my wife is both wriier and an editor. She currently is a contactor for a large Government Agency, specifically doing editing. Not sure if this makes a difference.
posted by bydar at 4:17 PM on January 13, 2007

Find Your Spot could be very helpful. Given that it returned one of my favorite places as my top spot when I wasn't at all trying to answer with that place in mind, it seems to work well.

I recommend Fayetteville, AR. It's very nice, housing is relatively cheap, and there's a ton of jobs.
posted by wierdo at 4:46 PM on January 13, 2007

I am not in the 'creative' business, but my understanding from my 'creative' friends who still live in the Seattle/Portland areas is that finding work is tough (and if you get it it tends to be short term and/or not well paying). Primarilly because of the large available work pool fueled by creative type people moving to the areas.
posted by wylde21 at 5:43 PM on January 13, 2007

Asheville is easy to visit from Atlanta. Nice town. I grew up there, and recently left it for Vermont. Biggest problem is that it's a victim of its own success. (What happens to last years #1?)

Chattanooga is close to Atl, too. Not yet ruined.

Boulder = crowded, dirty air. Ditto Asheville, BTW.

Many people are looking for what you are seeking. When they find it, a land rush usually happens. Sad, but the best thing to do if you want long term stability is to choose something adjacent to someplace nice, but not in it. I chose a place where the cold chases everyone away! Few retirees here!
posted by FauxScot at 6:16 PM on January 13, 2007

Seattle and Portland don't have four seasons in the sense that Minneapolis and Chicago do. Although we have been having a really weird winter here, normally snow is rare.

"Somewhat affordable" is in the mind of the beholder. If you already have a home in Atlanta, you would probably be able to buy one out here. If you don't, and don't have money saved, it would be tough to start from scratch here as a homeowner, I think. I guess Portland is more walkable, but I chose Seattle and never looked back.
posted by GaelFC at 8:02 PM on January 13, 2007

Toronto might be an option. Large, clean city, lots of culture, and plenty of access to the industries you and your wife are currently in.
posted by Geoffh at 8:31 PM on January 13, 2007

As someone who moved from Asheville to Los Angeles, I have to disagree with the "crowded" assessment. If you find the area within the city limits to be too crowded, you can easily drive 15 minutes in any direction and find all the space you need. I doubt that would be the case, though; I found a parking space immediately in front of a bar downtown on a Saturday night just last month.

Then again, I am comparing it to Los Angeles, which feels 100 times more crowded and 10,000 times as dirty.
posted by lovetragedy at 11:40 PM on January 13, 2007

Charlottesville, VA - it's a beautiful city - close the Shenandoah mountaims that gets a lot of good entertainment.

It's also 2 hrs from Washington D.C which is a cultural mecca. It consistently appears on those best cities in America lists. It's home to The University of Virginia but doesn't really feel like a college town and has a lot of charm.
posted by heartquake at 9:00 AM on January 14, 2007

Can't believe no one has represented for Chicago yet, and I don't think you've explicity ruled out my fair city, so here I go.

Four seasons: Check. We get 'em in spades sometimes, but the past few winters have been incredibly mild, and so far with no super-heated backlash in the summers.

Culture: Check. Museums. Theaters, live and projected, big and small. Concerts, dance, opera, basically you name it. A lot of it is free. And lots of parks, including Millennium right downtown.

Entertainment: Check. If you want to work in TV, Oprah and Jerry Springer pretty much make up the top and bottom of talk shows. (Though I hear working the Springer show is pretty hellish.) Several video production companies create content for cable channels like DIY and HGTV. Local TV production as well. There are also several film productions shooting here on any given day, and an active statewide film commission to bring them in. Music, too.

Employment: In addition to the business side of all the above-mentioned cultural stuff, it seems like there are lots of jobs lately, especially in advertising (which your wife might enjoy) as well as the several trade publications published here.

Affordability: Things get more expensive the closer you get to downtown and the lake, but that leaves about 90% of the city for bargain hunting. Two friends bought three-bedrooms a block from the city's far northside lakefront last year, at around 300K.

Natural beauty: How do you define "natural" and "beauty"? If big water does it for you, there's the lakefront. Wide open spaces to the north, south and west, and great hills and cliffs an hour or two into Wisconsin. No, it ain't New Zealand, but what else is?

We're liberal, livable, walkable and friendly as well. Have I left anything out? When should we be expecting you?
posted by CMichaelCook at 11:17 AM on January 14, 2007

I moved from Atlanta to Asheville then back to Atlanta. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.
posted by iurodivii at 10:28 AM on January 15, 2007

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