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What's It Like In Your Neck Of The Woods?

By nebben123 in Culture
Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:31:31 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

We live in a world full of different cultures and environments that just beg to be experienced. Sadly, many people never get the chance to leave their own country (or even their state/province) to see what the rest of the world has to offer.

Did you ever wonder how life halfway around the world, or even just next door, is different from yours? Here is your chance to answer the question, "What's it like in your neck of the woods?"


So what's it like where you are?

I've always wondered how life around the globe differs from life in the United States. Is it more similar than I would think, or more different than I could imagine?


Where I live

Right now, I'm living in Warner Robins, Georgia, located in the southeastern corner of the United States. This city is what we call an "Air Force Base town" because the only reason it exists is to support Robins AFB. This city has a short history, only having been in existence since the late 1940's when the base was built. (Yeah, I'm in the Air Force)

I actually have a really hard time believing that people move here for reasons other than the base, as there is absolutely no culture here at all. No museum, no arts center, no downtown area, no public transportation, no decent public park, NOTHING for a surrounding population of almost 100,000 people. Cultural and recreational opportunities are what make places unique. Warner Robins is nothing but residential areas, fast food restaurants, and chain-store commerce. There isn't even a downtown district or any common area to meet and mingle with other people. I often wonder why people stay here. Do they just not know what else is out there? Or do they just think that the standard of living is measured by how many fast food restaurants are close to home?

Do people in The South really care about their quality of life? Why is it that a lot of cities here aren't well planned, there is often little if any cultural enrichment, and environmental concerns such as recycling and conservation are slow to catch on? The only thing I've really noticed is that the Wal-Mart just keeps getting bigger.

There are a lot of places in this area that are just like Warner Robins. But there are a few places here that, although similar to Warner Robins in population and land area, are much different culturally. I lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (near Nashville) for 2 years and it was very culture-rich and diversified. Nice downtown area to meet people and hang out, maybe go get a few drinks, and catch a local band later on that night. People young and old wanted to have a good time and enjoy life for the most part. Murfreesboro reminds me a lot of Athens, Georgia and Chapel Hill, North Carolina which I have frequently visited. The similarity? Besides being in the southern United States, all three towns have a large university population. Does a large university population = instant culture? Are there any hip towns that don't have a large university near by?

My only experience living outside of "The South" is Burlington, Vermont in the northeastern United States (near Canada) where I really got the feeling that people care about the way they live. Burlington's downtown area is nicely planned and there are always many events and activities to participate in. The waterfront area by the lake is beautiful and kept clean, there are many trails and parks nearby where you can go mingle with others or find a nice spot to be alone. Environmentally-friendly are a citywide recycling program and an organic food co-op. All of this was in easy reach of my downtown apartment. Driving 10 minutes out of town I could be out in the middle of beautiful open countryside and mountains. Best of all, when I did have to drive around I never saw any billboard advertisements because they are outlawed. What a way to keep a place beautiful!

Do the people in your area care about quality of life? Do you live in a "Burlington" or a "Warner Robins"? Or is it entirely different? Let's hear it!


Where you live

Here are some starters:

Where do you live?

Why do you live there?

What cultural opportunities do you have?

What recreational opportunities do you have?

What do you like about it?

What do you hate about it?

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Would you recommend it, and why?

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

How is it different from other places you have been?

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Poll
I think Warner Robins...
o seems like a great place to live! 1%
o reminds me of where I live, unfortunately! 8%
o reminds me of where I live, awesome! 0%
o dude! get the hell out of there! 74%
o anagram: bras or winner? 16%

Votes: 62
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Warner Robins, Georgia
o Robins AFB
o Air Force
o NOTHING
o Also by nebben123


Display: Sort:
What's It Like In Your Neck Of The Woods? | 513 comments (504 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
This is my first story so please help! (none / 0) (#1)
by nebben123 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:46:22 PM EST

Thanks for any suggestions you may have. This is my first story but hopefully it's not too bad. I just want to find out what life is like in other places because I thought about it and I have no idea how someone's life in (say) Denmark is different from mine, or how it is the same. Hopefully we can get some good discussion going on this, and enlighten each other!

:-)

ben

Sir (none / 0) (#3)
by AnalogBoy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:04:16 PM EST

Good luck.  First stories here are a trial by fire.   There are people out there who will be mean to you and vote oyu down just because it is your first story.   Dont let them get to you.    I keep a bar stocked with liquors which may be needed to get over the possible rejection.  I'm in Nashville, TN.  Antioch, actually.  not much to do here except look at the nashville skyline.

--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]
ugh (none / 0) (#5)
by rhyax on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:41:23 PM EST

seriously, do we always have to include the same tired old anti-texas crap. it's a big state. maybe you lived in a shitty part of san antonio. maybe (!) san antonio isn't the best city in texas...

[ Parent ]
hey! (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by euphrosyne on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:54:08 PM EST

San Antonio does not suck. Sure there are areas of town where you can get shot - but most of it is nice and touristy.

[ Parent ]
Well, at least it's not Houston (none / 0) (#36)
by wiredog on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:33:27 AM EST

or Dallas/Ft Worth.

Or Beaumont. Now there's a town that sucks. Hard.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]

h-town (4.00 / 1) (#177)
by euphrosyne on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:42:16 PM EST

i actually live in houston - and its really not that bad. its gigantic but mostly everyone stays in their own little neighborhoods or suburbs. the roads and highways suck. For some reason they refuse to call the highways by their numbers - instead they make up stupid names like everyone is retarded. 45 is the gulf freeway (guess where it goes?), I-10 is the Katy freeway, 59 the southwest freeway - you get the picture.

[ Parent ]
road names (none / 0) (#339)
by loudici on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:34:56 AM EST

well at least they have different names, unlike in atlanta metro where every road is called peachtree-something or something-ferry.
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]
Freeway numbers (none / 0) (#352)
by cpatrick on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:11:39 AM EST

I've never really understood the American fascination of numbering roads rather than giving them names that sensible people can remember... I live in Perth (on the bottom-left-hand-side of Australia) and all of our freeways have sensible names, e.g. the Kwinana freeway (which goes south, to places like, erm, Kwinana), the Mitchell freeway (named after a Mr Mitchell), the Great Eastern Highway (which, strangely enough, heads east for hundreds of kilometres, unless you're travelling along it the wrong way). All of these have numbers too, but no-one ever uses them.

[ Parent ]
freeway numbers (4.50 / 2) (#372)
by theDude42 on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:56:21 AM EST

we have hundreds of them. Some of these have local names, but geez? What would you call all of 'em? It's a road! Interesting bits of trivia about the U.S. Interstate System. There is a method to the numbers: Even Numbers: Go primarily East/West Odd Numbers: go Primarily North/South Three digit: These are "loops" that rejoin the same highway again that share the last two numbers. For example, in Oklahoma City, if you are coming in either east or west on I-40, you can take I-240 to loop around the south side of town and rejoin 40 later. The theory is that you can take the loop to avoid downtown and the worst of the traffic. It isn't always faster, but it usually is a less-congested drive around rush hour(s).

[ Parent ]
Named Freeways (none / 0) (#507)
by irksome on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 11:55:42 PM EST

I don't know if it's as prevalent in other parts of the country, but in the Detroit area, most of the numbered highways are known by various names for certain streteches.

For example, the Walter P. Reuther Freeway (I-696), the John C. Lodge Freeway (M-10), the Jeffries (I-96), the Southfield Freeway (M-39), and a few others that I'm forgetting.

Then, there's the really confusing stuff ... parts of US-23 are Business Loop I-94, starting just after the junction of US-23 and I-94?  Confused yet?  there's also a place where US-23 is M-14, and another place where M-14 is I-94.  (So, you could actually take I-94 west, get off at the exit for I-94 Business North, and then get off I-94 Business to get on I-94 West (which is actually not as confusing as it sounds ... you're actually taking I-94 West to US-23 North, to M-14 West, which shares the same path as I-94 West for a bit))

(You can also take I-75 to Exit 69, Big Beaver Road, but that's neither here nor there)
I think I am, therefore I'm not.
[ Parent ]

Plausible Threat (1.25 / 12) (#6)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:53:52 PM EST

I'm going to troll this story up and send it back to mama.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Fine, I'll bite (5.00 / 3) (#12)
by leviramsey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:57:38 PM EST

I live in a small town (<5,000 people) about 50 miles west of Boston. It has some history,as most towns in New England do. There are a few farms in town, as well as a rubber factory (where the Vibram shoe sole is manufactured), and the town is becoming something of a bedroom suburb of Worcester, Westborough, Fitchburg, and Springfield.</p>

I'm here right now on summer break from UMass. My stepfather has lived here his entire life; my mother has lived here for nearly a decade.

There's nothing as far as culture goes in the area per se, but Worcester, Amherst, and Springfield have some level of culture, and Boston is about 90 minutes away.

There are various ponds around town, some hills to bike up/down, and a ski area a couple of towns over. Not that I necessarily take advantage of these; I'm just as inclined to hack for hours on end :o)

There's a strong sense of community in the town. A large portion of the population grew up here, though that's slowly changing. It provides a good balance of semi-rural living with urban life close by.

It's not a bad place to live. Familiarity breeds contempt, so I probably would not choose to spend the rest of my life here.

You've lived in Burlington, you basically know how to live in New England. Remember this always, though: YANKEES SUCK!



Sturbridge (none / 0) (#139)
by clarioke on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:07:20 PM EST

I grew up in Sturbridge, which is about 60 miles from Boston and not so far from N. Brookfield.

Now living in Boston, I can appreciate the Sturbridge when my family moved in. This is a town that fought for nearly ten years to put a Wal-Mart in. I realize only now that the fight was well worth it and that both sides had valid points.

There are not just houses where there were trees but full streets where there was marsh. (I can tell you, those poor folks will end up with flooded basements and yards.)

Sturbridge has its share of Good New England Culture, including Old Sturbridge Village, a working village of 1860 era. Wander through the houses, watch a woman baking bread, children playing games, children picking vegetables, men working in the fields and farm animals.

As a small town, though, adults drive huge cars and are catty about whose child got on what Little League team and whose child went to what Ivy League school.

Teenagers in the small town spend summer nights scaling roofs of buildings they probably shouldn't, swimming in ponds they shouldn't and generally engaging in activities not necessarily illegal but just not always recommended.

Sturbridge is less rural as time goes on; the big-ass WalMart and other chain stores drag chain restaurants which force my favorite tiny breakfast place right out. It's less a lazy town and more Keeping Up With The Jones's Suburbia.

I understand the Small Town New England mindset and find it a great place to raise a family. Now though? I'm a city girl.

peace,
.c.

[ Parent ]

Tantasqua sucks! (en tea) (none / 0) (#274)
by leviramsey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:29:33 PM EST



[ Parent ]
::grins:: (none / 0) (#397)
by clarioke on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:45:05 PM EST

You'll be singing a different tune when the new high school goes in.

No, probably not. Southbridge Sucks! ;)

peace,
.c.

[ Parent ]

Of course, NB gets a new school in 2003-2004 (nt) (none / 0) (#426)
by leviramsey on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:45:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I live... (5.00 / 3) (#14)
by kestrel13 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:31:01 PM EST

in Geneva, Illinois, a small city (about 25,000, I believe) an hour west of Chicago. Geneva is a mostly upper-middle class, white, commuting suburb of Chicago at this point, but it has had a pretty long (for the United States) history. It started as a mostly Swedish immigrant town on the Fox River, and has kept a lot of that heritage, from the old-fashioned downtown streets, to the annual Swedish Days festival that draws 300,000 people every summer.

The town itself does not have a whole lot of entertainment and recreational opportunities, at least for people my age (late teens, early twenties), but because it is in the middle of the Chicago suburbs there are many opportunities a little farther afield. For example, Geneva's neighboring town, Batavia, has a free Shakespeare series outdoors on an island every summer, which is quite good for being all volunteers and local actors. And of course there is always the metra train ride into Chicago for the day or weekend excursion.

The things I don't like about Geneva are its lack of diversity (there were four black students in the high school when I attended, and most of the community is white, protestant, upper middle class, and republican) and the current rampant suburban sprawl it is experiencing. When my family moved here 8 years ago, the road our neighborhood was off of had a McDonald's and a Venture, the rest was essentially cornfields. Now it is a mass of strip malls and restaurants and has a stop light every 100 feet or so, making actually driving anywhere on it nearly impossible.

Oh, I almost forgot.. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
by kestrel13 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:08:11 AM EST

For those of you who have seen/are going to see Road to Perdition (good movie), the scenes where he goes to see the accountant are filmed in Geneva. ;)

[ Parent ]
My spot... (4.20 / 5) (#15)
by fink on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:49:41 PM EST

... is Brisbane, Queensland, AU. I live here for a handful of reasons:
  • It's a nice "city" (1.5 million in the city itself).
  • It's where my work is.
  • It's where my university was and is.
  • I've no reason to leave, yet. I like the place, the climate, and so on.
Brisbane is a bit of a monoculture; apart from the obligatory "Chinatown", there's not much in the way of cultural diversity. There are varying restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Thai, Taiwanese, Mongolian, Italian, Mexican, and so on), and there are the occasional markets which can from time to time features wares from around the world, but by-and large I wouldn't go describing Brisbane as "cosmopolitan" just yet.

Plenty of recreational things to do - for those that like spending money, there's the obligatory theme parks down on the Gold Coast. There's national parks within a short (two-hour) drive, there's plenty of parks and walks within the city area, and of course there's the Gold and Sunshine Coasts themselves.

Things I like: the climate, the people, and my daily job.

Things I dislike: People calling Brisbane "brisvegas", among other things. And rapidly-becoming-inadequate public transport services (e.g. they stop at 11pm, and a lot of the time you're lucky to see one bus or train per hour!).

Would I recommend it? Sure. It's all-round a good town. I'm not a fan of "big" (i.e. normal-sized) cities myself, so I find Brisbane quite nice.

What would a mover need to know, in order to move here? It's been so long since I moved here (five years) that I have no idea on this one. :-)
I guess just that the transport sucks (plan in advance!), but the people are by and large friendly and helpful.

Brisbane's very different to my last place of residence (a 3,000 person town in Far North Queensland, called Tully). For a start it's slightly cooler and drier (Tully is the wettest place in Australia). The people are much the same however, as much as they'd refuse to admit it. :-)


----

"brisvegas" (5.00 / 1) (#326)
by cafeman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:56:38 PM EST

That used to give me shits no end - Brisbane is nothing like Vegas.  It's like comparing Townsville to New York.  If it was used sarcastically, I could understand.  Maybe it was just everybody I knew, but they all used it sincerely ...

Brisbane is nice, just a little to quiet for my taste.  I got a bit sick of it after 5 years, needed a change.

It's a nice town though - the people are really conservative in general though.  I think it's largely because of the monoculture.

A mover would probably need to know that the city is quite large given its population.  The rental market offers a lot of choice as well, so it pays to look around.  Also, be sure to take things easy - people from Brisbane tend to be quite laid back in comparsion to other cities around the world.  It almost has a country mentality with a city's infrastructure (which is not necessarily a bad thing).

--------------------
"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"


[ Parent ]
Where I live (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by whojgalt on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:46:33 AM EST

Where do you live?

Tucson, AZ, USA

Why do you live there?

The weather. I moved from Chicago just for that reason. The open space and clean air are big factors as well.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

When people say "cultural opportunities" they usually mean a bunch of crap either glorifying some pathetic aspect of primitive cultures or some form of art that no-one really likes, but pretends to so they can call themselves cultured.

That said, there is a lot of interesting stuff here, mostly historical. Tombstone is a couple of hours away, there's tons of ghost towns and old mining stuff, lots of Indian ruins as well as active pueblos, and Spanish missions, presidios, and other structures. The Indians just built a big concert theater which is attracting lots of big acts (and leaving the city-owned convention center high and dry, yay!). And of course, Mexico, which is chock full o' culture, is only an hour away.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Mostly what is here is open space. The terrain and climate are so varied that you can drive a few hours in any direction and see almost any kind of scenery you like, except for jungles and swamps. I also frequent the Sonoran Desert Museum, which is an outdoor combination of zoo and native plant displays. I'm not into beaches, but within a five hour drive is either San Diego or some beaches in Mexico. I don't have much time for recreation, but when I do, it is usually spent trying to find some obscure dirt road I haven't been on before, or driving to some small town to spend a day seeing the sights and shopping the bookstores. I'm not in shape for hiking, but if I culd get there, I would do a lot of that.

What do you like about it?

The weather, the open space, and the lack of polution. It's mostly hot and dry, but during the monsoon season (going on right now), we get some of the most dramatic thunderstorms I've ever seen.

What do you hate about it?

The weather. When it gets hot, it really gets hot. We just set a record for consecutive 105 degree days, something like 11. It can stay above a hundred (daily highs) for a month at a time. But overall, the weather is great.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

the first thing you notice is the lack of green. Tucson is actually greener than I thought it would be the first time I came out here, but its still pretty brown. The next thing you notice is either the cactus or the fact that all the houses are made of dirt. Not really, but even the ones that aren't try very hard to look like they are. Nobody has lawns, except for a few crackpots. Once you've been here a few days you start to notice how poor it is, at least compared to where I come from.

Would you recommend it, and why?

I would recommend it with two caveats. Assuming you can stand the heat, if you want to move here, either have a lot of money already or have a good job lined up. It's not like you'd starve if all you can do is drive a cab (I did that for a while) but you won't get ahead either. Housing is cheaper here, especially at the high end, but food is more expensive. And since national products like cars and computers are priced for the national average, the slightly lower wages here (proportional to an overall lower cost of living) make them much more expensive. But if you can make the kind of living where you can afford to buy things from back east or California, its a fantastic place to live.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Two things: Swamp coolers are not adequate cooling, forget what the swamp cooler salesman or your friendly rental agent tell you. They're enough to keep you from literally dying in summer, but you'll bake and sweat. They cool the house down from 105 outside to maybe 85 inside, but they jack the humidity up to like 90 percent. Second thing is, if you start to feel sluggish, or achy, or headachy, drink a quart of water right away. Mild dehydration is a real issue here, and it sneaks up on you even if you don't feel thirsty. I've had days when I just could not get going, then I slap my forhead, Duh! and drink a quart of water and I'm rearin' to go. Learn to park your car in the shade.

How is it different from other places you have been?

It's dry. It rarely snows. You drive twenty minutes any direction an there's no people anymore. Lines at fast food places and grocery stores are outrageous, things are very slow paced here. Everybody who can afford to leaves in July and August, some stores and restaurants actually close for the summer.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you can't see it from the car, it's not really scenery.
Any code more than six months old was written by an idiot.

Whatcha got against culture? (none / 0) (#62)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:08:25 AM EST

When people say "cultural opportunities" they usually mean a bunch of crap either glorifying some pathetic aspect of primitive cultures or some form of art that no-one really likes, but pretends to so they can call themselves cultured.
Was that really necessary to throw in? What kind of art are you talking about that everyone is only pretending they like? Sounds like quite a conspiracy.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Culture (none / 0) (#216)
by wnight on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:51:35 PM EST

I think the predominant attitude is that if most of the people enjoy something and do it on a daily basis, it can't be called culture, except for someone from somewhere else.

The 'Symphony in the Park' here is Culture, because the Symphony is always struggling to raise enough money to continue. Not a lot of people are that into it, evidently.

But the 'Jazz in the Park' festival held the night after that always gets called 'Popular Culture', because it's more, well, popular. The term is said with disdain.

(Neither are really my thing, though I often go to both just for the hell of it. Just trying to show that it's nothing personal for me.)

IMHO, culture is how the population gets by. Culture is made by being popular, if it wasn't it wouldn't get carried on, but people tend to miss the forest for the trees. They're living in a vibrant city full of different people interacting and they complain about its lack of culture just because there isn't a symphony, or a "fine arts" (what a misnomer) museum nearby.

I can easily see how someone whose music, foods, and leisure activities are deemed "too ordinary" could be annoyed and get the feeling that it's not "culture" unless it's pretentious.

[ Parent ]

Hypocritical (4.00 / 1) (#232)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:23:45 PM EST

Just because you think it's crap, or your friends think it's crap, doesn't mean everyone shares your opinion.  Why is "fine art" a misnomer?  "Fine" is being used in the sense of being carefully crafted, is there a problem there?  It seems like you have a bias against fine art.

Why can't it all be part of the culture?  In France there is the Louvre.  It is an important bit of French culture.  In Wisconsin, going to a monster truck rally and eating at the Cheese Chalet gives some insight into their culture.  In Amsterdam, you'll want to check out the Van Gogh museum, but you'll also want to see the Red Light District.  You should also get pommes frites in a cone with mayo on top.  It's all culture.

I wouldn't say many Americans go to a baseball game regularly, and most haven't even been to a game in their lives, yet going to a baseball game would be considered a taste of American culture, wouldn't it?  Oktoberfest only happens for a few weeks in September, and people from Munich don't go very often, but would you really feel that it isn't culture?

You seem insulted by these people who think that something has to be pretentious in order to be "culture", and while those people are being narrow-mindedly elite, you have no problem saying at the same time that fine art museums and other things that you aren't interested in are crap.  How is that any better?


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Oy (4.00 / 1) (#249)
by wnight on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:18:13 PM EST

I said as much; culture is what people do. I was complaining about the bias that says it has to be fancy and usually old (what most people would call pretentious) to be culture.

The fact that I think most fine-art is crap is irrelevant. I didn't say that influenced my views on what was culture. Ditto with "what is art". You say that's art, fine. I can dislike it and think it's crappy without thinking it isn't art.

Look, it's obvious you don't read what other people post, you just go off on a tanget and flame then. Take a hike.


[ Parent ]

Hey wait (none / 0) (#259)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:55:13 PM EST

You told me to take a hike, so maybe you're just ignoring me at this point, but one important thing I was trying to point out apparently didn't come across.

(Some of the flamey tone of what I said came out because I mistakenly thought that you were the person who posted the original comment I responded to, sorry.)

Anyway, as someone who does visit art museums, theaters, and other things, I find that the inverse of the behavior you are talking about exists as well.  When I came back from a semester in Europe, and I hung around my high school friends, they didn't care about the museums I went to, or the historic landmarks, etc.  They were like "what a waste of time!"  They were only interested in the nightlife and stuff like that.  Same with my co-workers at my temp job.  It was like "Amsterdam!  So how many times did you get baked?  What, you went to the Anne Frank house???"

I say it's all important.  If you only care about one or the other then you haven't got the whole picture.

You said culture is what people do on a daily/regular basis, which is certainly an aspect.  I think culture is what people do everyday, their art and history, their landmarks and architecture, their famous people, their food and nightlife-- everything together.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Culture Wars (none / 0) (#384)
by wnight on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:34:44 AM EST

Okay, Apology accepted and offered.

And yes, culture isn't only the everyday activities of a people, but also the history.

My main point though was that bowling and tractor pulls are as valid a part of "culture" as polo and dance recitals. You are right though that they're only a small piece of it. I do enjoy history and I try to see the meaningful parts of the world. That means that if I went to Holland I'd see the sites, if I wanted to get stoned I could do that here. :)

btw, did you hear the one about Anne Frank's Diary? "Mar 19, 1941 - Hid. Mar 21, '41 - Hid. Mar 22, '41 - Hid." etc.

Also, just as a side note, I think culture is often overrated. My culture is what I do, not what my ancestors did. I don't necessarily see a need to keep all the old traditions alive unless they serve a purpose today. It's moderately annoying to see people complaining that their culture is dying - if their "culture" was (to them) anything more than the silly festivals, they wouldn't have to force people to participate. We're all together, building a shared culture, we'll keep alive the things we all enjoy.


[ Parent ]

Nothing against culture per se (none / 0) (#234)
by whojgalt on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:29:32 PM EST

Its not that I have any problem with culture, its that I have a problem with what some people think is culture, and how a lot of people deal with it. I don't have time to elaborate right now, (busy day at work) but maybe it'll be good for a diary this weekend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you can't see it from the car, it's not really scenery.
Any code more than six months old was written by an idiot.
[ Parent ]

Culcha (none / 0) (#360)
by bloat on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 06:13:07 AM EST

He's confused.

He's thinking about the ballet, whereas the original poster just wanted to be able to go downtown have a drink and see a band.

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]

Canberra... (4.00 / 4) (#18)
by ffrinch on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:47:13 AM EST

I live in Canberra, Australia.

As far as I know (who really pays attention to these things?) it has a population of a few hundred thousand. I'd describe it as a small city; it irks me no end when my relatives from Sydney describe it as a country town (Especially with comments like "So do you like line dancing? I hear it's very popular in country towns like Canberra..." Aaargh.).

There's a fair bit to do in Canberra. There's the usual theatres, galleries, community centres, cinemas, food places, clubs at the universities, and so on. There are festivals, and tourist attractions galore. I'm told that the nightlife isn't very exciting here, though, for people who go in for clubbing and such, and my friends frequently complain that the whole city is boring...

We really are lucky though, and it can be fun to just go around the city as a tourist - since it's the capital city, Canberra is graced with a great many cultural facilities and events, given its small population. We have, for example, the National Museum, the National Gallery, and the Australian War Memorial. The various embassies have events, and of course there are federal buildings to visit, like Parliament House, Old Parliament House, and The Mint.

I like living here, for reasons completely apart from the above tourist information. ;)

It's big enough that there are enough shops to get virtually anything you want, but it's not ultra-crowded. It was a planned city, and its oft-touted description is "The Garden City" - since it contains many parks and open spaces. It's also small enough that I can easily commute by bicycle to almost anywhere. The two universities makes for a more "intellectual" population than many other places, and the concentration of government jobs for a more politically aware one.

"Culturally", in terms of diversity, it's quite boring though. While the population is diverse, there aren't really visible signs of it - no chinatown, no areas of ethnic concentration. It's nice to see people coming out of the woodwork for the multicultural festival, though...

-◊-
"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick

"Country Town" (5.00 / 2) (#20)
by Pseudonym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:59:12 AM EST

For those who are non-Australians, the "country town" comment needs some explanation.

Approximately 85% of Australia's population lives in one of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (suburbia included). Most of the rest live in the smaller capital cities (Hobart, Darwin and Canberra) or one of a dozen or so "provincial centres" (Newcastle, Geelong, Fremantle and so on), which have populations in the 100,000+ range.

This dynamic, where the overwhelming majority of people live in a very small number of cities, is completely alien to people from the UK, which seemingly has a new village every five miles or so, or the US, which has something in the order of 100 cities with population over 100,000.

So while it's quite unfair to call Canberra a "country town" (despite being situated almost exactly in the middle of nowhere[1]), from a purely population-based point of view, it is more the size of a regional centre than a continent's capital city.

[1] There's a story behind this. At the time of Federation, there was some consternation about where the capital should be. In an attempt to placate the two largest cities (Sydney and Melbourne) they decided in their wisdom to create a new city almost exactly half-way between.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Stat details (none / 0) (#80)
by sien on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:48:34 AM EST

The best stats I can find give you about 60% of the population in the big five. They are a bit out of date though. If you included Newcastle, Geeling, Wollongong and Freemantle you might get to 85% - I'm not sure. Do you have more up to date stats ?

[ Parent ]
You might be right (none / 0) (#275)
by Pseudonym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:34:29 PM EST

I was going off the top of my head. You may well be right.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Canberra's People (none / 0) (#26)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:45:22 AM EST

Canberra is a city of contrasts in many ways. There are the faceless hordes of suits on legs, going about their unfathomable business, always in a hurry. The bogans, asking for money "for a bus home, mate", insolently wearing beanies at you.


There are the folkies, who busk outside supermarkets pretending they are Celtic minstrels in the fourth century; in reality they are lawyers and public servants. The petrolheads rumble down Antill St, shouting out their windows and drag-racing to the deaths of others.


There are the booners, baggy pants and backwards hats a pathetic imitation of rap music's forgotten 80's generic gangstaz. The left-wing yoof activists sit in cafes, arguing on the ethics of throwing marbles under the hooves of police horses.


Finally, there's me. Swinging back on my chair, awake for 24 hours and counting, looking forward to a Billy Connolly special on TV, pretending that his publically-funded life is meaningful because he hangs around the lefties shaking his head in dismay.


Oh, and supposedly there are the leaders of our country. I think they're a myth; no country with leaders would be this badly fucked up.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Samba (none / 0) (#261)
by jseverin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:15:16 PM EST

Canberra actually looms large in the software world - it is the home of the samba project, a huge, active, excellent chunk of open-source software that is in use everywhere, probably even in space.

[ Parent ]
Metal Scene (none / 0) (#454)
by Zer0 on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 11:27:42 AM EST

I live in Sydney, although i have a few mates who live in Canberra. I always come down to see Metal For The Brain. Simply the best gathering of the top aussie metal bands. Some great ones i have discovered from the event :- Alchemist, Dungeon and Chalice.

[ Parent ]
Tokyo (3.66 / 3) (#19)
by Bios_Hakr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:10:34 AM EST

Where do you live?
I live in Fussa, a suburb or Tokyo, Japan

Why do you live there?
Air Force.  Specifically, I manage a secure WAN.  Awesome work for a guy who never finished highschool.  And before you make some silly comment, I'm DAMN GOOD at what I do.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Well, wild freaky sex with japanese women for starters.  Just kidding.  A few weeks ago, I went to a picnic hosted by some Japanese friends of ours.  We sampled Italian-style food that had been modified for Asian taste buds.  One word of caution, spaghetti with roe sause is AWFUL.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Climbing Mt Fuji in the evening.  Camping out up there.  And hiking down the next day.  From what I've heard, the stars look amazing from up there.  I also look forward to trying the indoor skiing in Tokyo.

What do you like about it?
I love the food.  Sushi is great.  There is a place called "rice bowl" by the Americans.  Basicly, you get a bowl of rice with some mystery meat on top.  It really is much tastier than it sounds.

What do you hate about it?
All the damn traffic.  It can take several hours to drive 10 kilometers.  Ant to make matters worse, the public transportation is overloaded.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The haze.  The sky is NEVER blue in Tokyo.  Well, maybe for a few weeks in the fall, but that's it.

Would you recommend it, and why?
I would reccomend it, but not for general touristy stuff.  If you have something specific in mind, Tokyo is great.  If you wanna do sight-seeing, go to Europe.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Well, Japanese would be a good place to start...lol.

How is it different from other places you have been?
Most people all over the world are good.  Or at least try to be.  The more things change, the more you can see that they really are the same.

HAHA! (none / 0) (#22)
by ragabr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:03:26 AM EST

I know where you work. Probably where you live. Yokota AFB

:-P

I lived there for three years, the people are fantastic. Something I can definitely suggest if you haven't found them yet are the 1400 yen restaraunts, the all you can eat for an hour places with the grills in the center of the table. Oh, and Family Steakhouse. Have they finished remodeling the BX yet? Last time I was there they were still working on getting the parking lot on the roof or some other scheme like that.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
There's Tokyo and then there's Tokyo (5.00 / 2) (#35)
by TON on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:29:14 AM EST

Where do you live?

Shinagawa ward, Tokyo. My nearest station is Gotanda on the JR Yamanote Line.

Why do you live there?

Well, I've lived in Japan for 6 years or so, off and on. I moved from California to Tokyo with my wife when her company asked her to come here. That actually suited me just fine. The only reason I moved to CA in the first place was to be with her. Gotanda is a reasonably priced area that is good for transportation. We wanted Ebisu, but it was too pricy. Tokyo is actually really damn big. It is made up of 23 wards, so not everywhere is really part of the metropolitan center of things.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

What don't I have? You can get anything you want in Tokyo. You may pay more for it, or not, as the case may be, but you really can find anything you want. You'll also find a few things you might not have realized you wanted. Serendipity plays a large role in my life here. I find the city an amazing place to wander around in. The different neighborhoods really each have a distinctly different feel.

Some high points to Tokyo? Akihabara is a sure grab for most geeks, and thus many K5 denizens. Sento, or public baths are truly the greatest. Plenty of museums, and other "kultcha" stuff. There are more restaurants and bars than you can shake a stick at. Bios_Hakr is right that Japanesque Italian food can leave a bit to be desired, especially roe pasta. OTOH, there are some truly great Italian restaurants around.

So, what don't I have? Decent Mexican food and great pizza.

For the debauched UKian contingent, there are loads of cheap all-you-can-eat/drink places. Cigarette machines are everywhere, and the smokes are cheap. What's more, you can smoke almost anywhere, and people often do so even where it is posted "No Smoking". I noticed one bar this afternoon which prominently advertises the fact that they stay open until 4:30 am. And, you can buy all varieties of alcoholic beverages from vending machines at any time from 5 am til 11 pm.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Just about anything you please. If it pleases you to get out of the city, that isn't so hard to do either. Plenty of day hiking spots within easy train access.

What do you like about it?

As you might have figured out by now, just about everything.

What do you hate about it?

The weather is awful. Tokyo is unbearably hot and humid at least four months out of the year. Then, there is almost never any snow in winter.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

It is just so damn big. Add to that the fact that there is no effective zoning, and you get a wild sprawl of good and bad all jumbled together. You never really know what is around the corner.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Highly.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Yeah, Japanese would help, but Japan is a relatively forgiving place for people who can't speak the language. People are certainly more patient with the linguistically challenged than anywhere in the States.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I lived in Kobayashi, Miyazaki-ken for one year. There I was a fish out of water. I'd like to go back. It was beautiful, but boring as all get out. It was really the sticks. I lived kitty-corner from a pig slaughterhouse.

Later, I lived in Nagoya, Aichi-ken for just shy of 5 years. There I was a bit of a big fish in a small pond. There was plenty of work with little stress. It was cheap. It was easy. I did find myself spending more and more time out of town though. All in all, a good experience, but it was a bit confining. Nagoya had all the drawbacks of the city, but fewer of the benefits. It had the character of the "biggest small town in Japan" crossed with an industrial wasteland: often closed-minded and concreted.

Now I am a small fish in a big pond. This is much preferable.

Ted
---
"I could say it stronger
But it's too much trouble"


[ Parent ]

*wank*wank*wank* (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by fluffy grue on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:45:40 AM EST

I live in Las Cruces, NM, a town of 80,000. It has a very weird mix of economic strata - there are a few very wealthy people (mostly retirees), and a lot of low-income people. As a result, real estate is very cheap (I own my own home, even though I only make grad student wages), but there's not a whole lot in the city itself.

It also has a very strange dynamic with the university, at which I'm a graduate student in CS (ostensibly working on my PhD). Basically, most of the residents here don't want anything to do with the university and like to pretend that the university is unimportant, and yet most of the local economy rests on either the university or White Sands Missile Range.

Until recently there hasn't been much in the way of commerce here (forcing people to go to El Paso or Albuquerque in order to buy stuff), but all of the sudden a lot of big things are moving in. Sam's Club and Best Buy are both opening up within a month, and there is suddenly a lot of push for broadband. Unfortunately, the broadband isn't coming from the normal channels - our telco (Qwest) and cable (Comcast) don't see Las Cruces as a feasible market, and so Qwest only offers DSL in very small parts of town (namely the ones right by the COs, as most of the city is on DCLs and other crufty multiplexing which prevents DSL from being available), and Comcast doesn't even think it's feasible to conduct a feasibility study for the next two years. However, there are several wireless providers coming in. Someday I'll have to see if I have line-of-sight to any of them from my house.

Also, the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce is trying to attract tech companies, using the cheap real estate as a major draw.

I'm not sure if the economy can really support the new stuff that's coming in, though. Most of the grocery stores have gone out of business, largely due to the Super Wal-Mart which went up a couple years ago. Fortunately, the novelty of it has worn off and people are back to shopping at Albertson's and Target.

One of the big construction projects right now is to make Triviz, a pleasant frontage road with a bike path, extend all the way across town. The street itself actually already does, but it's broken up at a very inconvenient spot by one of the major streets. I'll be very happy when they're done, since the break in Triviz is the only really dangerous part when I ride my bike to and from campus. (It's a very pleasant 6-mile ride, except for the break, as I have to go right by the parking lot of the Super Wal-Mart. I always almost get hit there, and it's the only place I almost get hit.)

There are also a lot of new housing developments on the East side of town. My friend Rick lives in one of them. Unfortunately, like most of the city, the streets there aren't planned out very well, and so apparently people are treating non-throughfare streets as throughfare streets, and driving very fast on them. Rick has told me that kids are often nearly getting killed because of careless drivers. But that's how the whole city is laid out; one of the most heavily-trafficed streets is Solano, which is supposed to be residential, but there's no really good non-residential street which runs through the part of town that it does. So the city eventually broke down and sort of converted Solano to a heavy traffic street, but it's still pretty obvious that it was intended to be residential. And sometimes they shut down Solano for various parades, and then the rest of the city becomes a tangled mess of traffic as people try to figure out an alternate route.

There's not much in terms of culture here. In general, medium-sized musical acts don't come here (though some very big acts do perform at NMSU), but there's several good local bands which never seem to perform, and hordes of crappy local bands which you can't get to shut up. For touristy-type culture you can go to neighboring Mesilla, one of the many cities where Billy the Kid was tried and hung, and there's a few unphenomenal museums which celebrate the farming community which NMSU was built to supplement.

And, of course, it's just a 45-minute drive to Mexico, and so NMSU freshmen are always going there to get drunk (because there's basically no drinking age there) and then they end up getting in a car accident in Mexico and then get arrested for not bribing the cops and spend a week in jail and flunk out of school. Also, something like 90% of the incoming freshmen are funded by the state lottery scholarship which doesn't allow them to defer for a year or two, so they feel like college is an extension of highschool and they really don't want to be there, so they take out their aggression on everyone else and generally make the place unpleasant for the first half of the fall semester before they all drop out.

All in all, though, I like this place. It's quiet, it's cozy, it's cheap to live here, people generally aren't in a huge rush to get anywhere, and people are generally friendly to each other, even though automobile culture keeps people from really getting to know each other. People are never afraid to talk to others, but they never really go out of their way to meet others either.


--
"Is a sentence fragment" is a sentence fragment.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

You forgot to mention.... (none / 0) (#90)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:07:27 AM EST

....that no one has ever made it out of 'Cruces alive!

Seriously, everyone I know, when I tell them I'm from Las Cruces, says "Oh, my car broke down there once." Seems to be the way a lot of people end up living there. Some conspiracy of auto mechanics.


-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Web Site (4.66 / 3) (#23)
by Nameless on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:20:36 AM EST

Anybody interested in making a web site for something like this? Using some kind of Wiki, this could be a nice resource.

not particularly, but... (2.00 / 1) (#32)
by Jel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:02:50 AM EST

I guess if you build it, I'll come and add something, and spend a lot of time reading it, if it's done well.  But I just wanted to say something about how to do it well...

If you are going to do this, then make it comprehensive.  There are too many biased guides out there already.  Cover what it's like at the top,  at the bottom, for natives, for newbies, for shy folks, for exhibitionists, etc.  There's no point in a guide that says this is a great city to live in, when it just so happens that the writer lived there all his life, and began adapting from day one.

As someone said, to truly understand another culture, you have to first truly know your own.  That cuts both ways, too.
...lend your voices only to sounds of freedom. No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from. Fill your lives with love and bravery, and we shall lead a life uncommon
- Jewel, Life Uncommon
[ Parent ]

ohh, and.. in my case, (2.00 / 1) (#33)
by Jel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:10:48 AM EST

I'd really like to hear about healthcare provisions in different places (especially exotic places).  I'm diabetic, which, of course, requires a small level of of constant care and medical supply.  Here in the UK, that's pretty well taken care of by the national healthcare system.  However, if it wasn't for the diabetes, I'd have long ago taken off backpacking around tibet, or teaching computers in Africa, or something like that.  I'd love to be able to browse a site and plan for some extended walkabout in far-flung destinations, but know I'd survive it, too :))
...lend your voices only to sounds of freedom. No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from. Fill your lives with love and bravery, and we shall lead a life uncommon
- Jewel, Life Uncommon
[ Parent ]
You could call it (1.00 / 1) (#59)
by FredBloggs on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:03:15 AM EST

the KnowWhere guide, for instance.

http://www.knowhere.co.uk/

[ Parent ]

Or... (none / 0) (#86)
by e4 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:58:31 AM EST

For a US-centric variant: (Shameless plug)
It's not quite what you're looking for, but it is designed to collect local info.

[ Parent ]
I'm pondering it (none / 0) (#160)
by anon868 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:13:18 PM EST

I recently got cheap web hosting with tons of space & I'm looking for a project. This sounds like fun & a good chance to excersise some of the PHP I've been learning. I'll post in my diary if I decide to do it.
Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.
[ Parent ]
peoria IL (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by godix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:20:55 AM EST

Where do you live?

Peoria IL. Central IL city of about 100,000. Like many cities it's lost around 20K population to it's suburbs in the last couple decades.

Why do you live there?

Hometown. I escaped for about a year, but moved back for family reasons.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Not many. Peoria is the world headquarters of Caterpillar Inc. and much of actual construction is done right across the river in East Peoria. Because of this the town is more orientated to blue collar workers than other towns of it's size. The major cultural attraction is that Chicago is only a two and a half hour drive away (assuming you speed).

What recreational opportunities do you have?

If you don't bowl, drink, or gamble you probably would be bored.

What do you like about it?

Leaving

What do you hate about it?

The city council. I don't pay that much attention to it, but I've noticed that any time there is a local controvesy my opinion is the exact opposite of the councils.
Small mindedness. The last two huge controvesies:  
  Naming a street after Richard Pryor (Peoria is his hometown). This caused lots of complaints because of Pryor is knowing for cursing. They eventually allowed a street to be named after him, it's in middle of the worst slums of Peoria.
  Allowing Hooters to open a restraunt on the riverfront. Believe it or not, this was a big deal. I found this funny because the Hooters location was planned to be about 6 blocks away from a strip club that has been in business for at least 20 years. Hooters eventually got permission after they threatened a lawsuit.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Because of the blue collar focus, Peoria has all the bad points of a larger city (crime, slums, etc.) and few of the good points (museums, variety of entertainment, etc.)

Would you recommend it, and why?

Only move here if you have a job at Caterpillar that requires it.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Bowling, drinking, and gambling. Knowing something about corn would be useful if you moved to the farmland surrounding Peoria.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I lived in Cary NC for a year (suburb of Raleigh). It had all the benifits of lower crime, fewer slums, etc. that suburbs have. However it's population was right around the 100K mark so it had the entertainment capabilities of a larger town. Of course Raleigh was nearby for more entertainment if I wished. I learned two things during that year:
1) Y'all is one syllable not two like TV often portrays.
2) The stereotype of southerners is often correct. They generally are nice, stubborn, slightly clueless, and still ticked about losing the Civil War. Not all are like this of course, but a lot more are than I originally thought there'd be.

Cary, NC (none / 0) (#136)
by nebben123 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:00:28 PM EST

Cary is an interesting place, I used to drive through there on my visits to Raleigh and Chapel Hill. The population seems to be upper middle class, I guess due to all the tech jobs in the Triangle area. Cary has all sorts of strict zoning laws such that signs have to be small and low to the ground, businesses have to conform to certain codes of construction, and utilities have to be run underground instead of on power lines in most places (at least this is what I remember about it, but it's been a few years).

I remember passing by a McDonalds there and it actually looked respectable instead of the commercial eyesores that they tend to be.

The town just looked really nice because everything was subdued and organized, unlike most towns where all you see are huge ugly brightly lit signs and power lines all over the place. I wish more towns would take the initiative to get rid of ugly billboards, signs, and businesses that think they should paint their building pink and put neon everywhere!

Ben

[ Parent ]

you forgot... (none / 0) (#231)
by jerk40 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:23:13 PM EST

about Big Al's. The second most famous thing in Peoria behind Caterpillar.

[ Parent ]
I referenced it without naming it (none / 0) (#349)
by godix on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:18:37 AM EST

Big Al's is the strip club that is around 6 blocks from the Hooters. I've heard it claimed that Big Al's is 'world famous' but never believed it. Mind if I ask how you know about it?

[ Parent ]
Near Paris (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by Caton on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:49:37 AM EST

Where do you live?
Fontenay sous Bois - a Paris, France suburb.

Why do you live there?
I moved to Paris when I married a French girl. And this was a nice suburb.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Everything you want is in Paris, 15 minutes away.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
See above.

What do you like about it?
It is the less polluted suburb around Paris.

What do you hate about it?
It's a communist city. Really.

What qualities really stand out?
Compared to other suburbs, it's very well managed. It's clean, parking is free, lots of facilities (especially for sports), low taxes and a balanced budget. There are monthly meetings of neighbourhood committees, and the inhabitants point of vue is really taken into account. If all communists had been like our mayor, the world would speak russian.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Not any more: criminality has increased a lot in the last 3/4 years. It's not dangerous yet, but when the mayor retires, it'll time to move.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Take some driving lessons. And buy a wreck.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It's not really different from the rest of Europe. But driving in (and around) Paris is like driving in Cairo or Bombay :)



---
As long as there's hope...

so.... (none / 0) (#338)
by loudici on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:31:09 AM EST

you do not like the idea of living in a communist city but you are thrilled by the way the communists rule the city?

maybe it is time to reverse engineer all you have learnt about communists....
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]

I thought the irony was obvious... (none / 0) (#366)
by Caton on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:50:06 AM EST

..but apparently, you didn't see it.

I know more than enough about communists. FYI, I was a student in the Epinay-Villetaneuse (Paris XIII) university. All the French Communist Party's Central Committee members lived in the area, and all of their kids went to that university. Invitations for dinner or to spend a week-end were common, so I had endless discussions with people like Georges Marchais, Georges Valbon or Jean-Claude Gayssot about Marxism-Leninism, and they convinced me: that particular system does not and cannot work, it is inherently flawed.

In France, most communists are honest, hard-working, open-minded, friendly people -- but a little naive. That's a fair description of Jean-François Voguet, our current mayor, too. For small towns like Fontenay (51 000 inhabitants), the personality of the mayor counts more than his/her political affiliation. But when Jean-François retires, he'll be replaced by his second, better described as a lying bastard without any ideal or conviction and only interested in his own, national, political carreer.

That's when I'll run away.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

Nice, France (southeast corner) (4.25 / 4) (#28)
by fraise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:58:29 AM EST

Where do you live?
Nice, France, or the area that's better known as the French Riviera.

Why do you live there?
I first came to France in 1997 for a year as an exchange student, at the Université Lyon II (that's in Lyons). My boyfriend - we'd met a year before - was/is French, and got a job with Nokia in Helsinki, Finland. I followed him up there, where we lived for two years. We enjoyed Finland a lot, but got tired of the cold weather and started missing French food, so we decided we'd move to France. Bf being an IT person, he got a job in France's Silicon Valley, which is Sophia Antipolis, near Antibes. We found a place in Nice to be near the government offices (préfecture) and the airport. We're starting our third year here.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
That depends... there are museums, but they're not very good, apart from the Cimiez museum with old Roman ruins, and the Asian museum near the airport. There's a concert hall for classical/jazz music, but it's out of our price range. There's also a big "arena" for pop/rock music concerts, but no one interesting ever comes here. Bookstores? There's only one good privately-owned one (Librairie Privat-Sorbonne), which is unheard of for large French cities - there are usually several. There are a couple of good comics stores though.

Movie theatres - plenty, but only one that shows subtitled foreign films (vs. dubbed), and its owners are rude and irresponsible, so we don't go there anymore. (They told us that Star Wars Episode II would never come out subtitled, when in fact it did, and then showed a Japanese anime - Metropolis - with a full 10 minutes of subtitles missing during the climax. They refused to give a refund, because they knew about it - but did they tell anyone before the film? No.)

What recreational opportunities do you have?
There are lots of nice places to go hiking, and some nice ski resorts. There's only one decent pub, and no nightclubs that are worth going to. This is a city whose population is made up mostly of elderly people - ride any city bus during the off season and this becomes obvious. You will not be able to find a seat if you don't have grey hair or aren't pregnant.

What do you like about it?
Beautiful weather, markets full of fresh produce, olive oil and flowers, and nice views in areas outside of the cities.

What do you hate about it?
Hate's a strong word. I don't like the people who run the city - they're all members or ex-members of the Front National (read: right-wing, racist extremists) and the general attitude towards anyone not French is that of utter disdain. I don't mean from the people, but from the city government. The worst part is that noone seems to care - voter turnout here is among the lowest in the country, which obviously helps the powers in place since the only people who vote are all members of their party.

Summer is overcrowded with tourists - granted, there are good tourists and bad, unfortunately the reknown of this place draws some of the stupidest ones. Not that many native Niçois are much better, mind you.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
Good - concerning France in general, I love the public transportation (TGV, trains, buses...) and health care system. The latter has quite literally saved my life, and didn't cost me a penny. Translation: when I earn money, I do pay a small percentage in taxes for it, but even when I wasn't earning anything, I still qualified for free health care. I also like how free I feel in this country. I can't give any concrete proof of this, and goodness knows I've heard all the US arguments against this (please, please spare me :), but after nearly four years, I still feel undeniably free. More so than I ever did in the US, unfortunately. Like I said, it's a personal feeling, and though I have some good reasons, it would take me ages to go into them.

Bad - the Front National. I get real sick of the stunts these people pull to set up those of Arabic descent as being "violent". Such as, purposefully not policing poor areas (they're poor because of the racists who hand out jobs to everyone but them) and then blaming the Arabic residents when things get of hand. Southern France is the worst place for this.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Nice, no; France, yes. Lovely people when you get to know them, great food, beautiful landscapes.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
French, please.
[rant] The number one reason so many tourists think the French are rude is because these tourists make no effort to speak French, which pisses of the French people they talk to. I see it all the time here. Also keep in mind that France gets one and a half times its population in tourists every year - about 80 million (scroll down to "France the Premier tourist destination in 2000"), more than any other country in the world in sheer numbers (not percentage!). Naturally, the more touristy places have natives that get unnerved in summertime. In the US, we expect tourists to speak English - so what's wrong with other countries expecting tourists to speak their own language? It's a basic show of respect. If you make no effort, you show no respect and thus shouldn't be surprised to get little in return.
[/rant]

How is it different from other places you have been?
There's a huge range of beliefs, ways of life, and landscapes. France has a large immigrant population and this shows in its people. The landscapes are amazing, I'm always surprised at how so much can fit in such a "small" country (as compared to my home country the US, that is).

Southern France (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by duxup on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:56:12 AM EST

I spent some time in France and I think it should be noted that generally in the south the French are much more easygoing, fun, and friendly than in the north (Paris).

As for the French language issues you mentioned.  In my experience just knowing a few words (even just thank you) tends to go a long way with locals.  There is no need to be fluent in French.  

I have mixed feelings about some of the French's distastes for tourists.  Some are rude just because you're a tourist, regardless of you knowing the language, so I find most of the time language is not the issue.  Some French are just jerks to all non-French, regardless of nationality, or language.

I should note that chances are if you visit France, you won't have a problem with someone being rude.


[ Parent ]

Re: rudeness (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by fraise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:47:33 AM EST

It's true that the French people who work in stores, which are the people that most tourists come in contact with, have a looong way to go in terms of politeness. Quite often they could care less whether or not you buy something - I don't know why, but this phenomenon is getting smaller and smaller.

Tourists who visit Paris, yes, will inevitably meet rude French people - because any Parisian who has to stay in Paris during tourist season is likely to be in a really bad mood (not necessarily because of the tourists, but because it means s/he isn't on vacation like everyone else). Parisians have a bad reputation amongst the French as well - we enjoy teasing our Parisian friends about it.

Some French are just jerks to all non-French, regardless of nationality, or language.
This is probably true, but honestly, in four years, I've never been mistreated because I'm not French. On the other hand, I have dozens of stories where I've been treated better than your average French person because I'm a foreigner - they're really, really pleased and forgiving when foreigners try to speak French, even if you don't know much. I've had store owners and bankers be rude with me, but that's because they're jerks, and any average French person will say the same thing about them. With bankers it's got to the point where I haul my boyfriend along with me so he can yell at them using words I'm not yet familiar with, heh heh. I think the problem is that most tourists (including myself) automatically expect to be treated to smiles and warm greetings, but when it doesn't happen, they overdramatize. Anyway, people who are rude to non-nationals can be found in every country.

[ Parent ]
Rudeness in the north? (none / 0) (#140)
by oldmildog on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:08:10 PM EST

I was in St.-Nazaire, France, for six weeks for work. St.-Nazaire was not a tourist area, so I feel like I got a representative picture of how French people in the area treat the non-French.

Before heading to France I was operating under the "all French are rude" stereotype, and was on the lookout for it once I arrived. It was not to be found. The people there in St.-Nazaire, and in Pornichet where I spent my evenings, were outgoing and friendly. By making the effort to learn a few key words and phrases ("Good day", "Good evening", "Thank you", "Thank you very much", "Excuse me", "One beer", "Do you speak English?", "Will you go to bed with me?", the numbers from one to ten, and menu items), I found the French people to be very accepting of me.

Paris, tourist central, operated under the same rules. Don't act like a typical American, make an effort to adapt to their culture, and everything's great.

[ Parent ]

"Vous-avez le droit" (3.50 / 2) (#251)
by MickLinux on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:18:20 PM EST

Let's see... I went to school at an American public school, and that meant I got "reading" French.  Not too useful for an actual visit.

Anyhow, 2 years later, I worked on a 80-foot model of the National Space Plane (really the Aurora), and when the contract was done, the University had enough money left over to pay for our lodging there if we would work the airshow.  So we all went, got some nice pins, for the cost of about $300 airfare+tourist money.  Not too shabby.

   Anyhow, we all went, not speaking much French, but I brought my little French-English dictionary, and made every effort to speak French.  I found the French were wonderful, and immediately said "Let's talk English" if they knew the language at all.  If they didn't, they'd spend 10 minutes communicating, if that was what it took.  
   Other of my classmates did not attempt to speak French, and came back with "extremely rude.  I'll never come back here if I have any say."  

Point being, I think the French were simply offended at a very rude American Imperialist attitude.  So if you want to have a good time, spend the $30 to get Living Languages tapes, and practice your French for about a month.  If you can say "oui, I parlez Francais, bet n'bien", I think your chances of having fun are a ton better.

The only rude people I met, offhand, were a couple of New Yorkers with a card-sharp game that I chose not to play.  They got very angry that I would spend 3 minutes, watching in amusement, and then not give them 100 francs.  Wierd, what can I say.  It was in the Montmartre district, and I was headed to see the cathedral.  Even the trip after that wasn't uneventful.  As I crossed from the main road up the little alley to the cathedral, a 6' prostitute going the other way accosted me and asked in a deep voice "do you want to make loove". I crossed the street for the other side as quickly as my little feet would take me.  Once I got to the church, though, there was a man feeding bread to sparrows (wonderful).  

Yeah, the french are rude, if you let them be rude.  All it takes is being rude to them, and insulting their culture and country, first.  How unreasonable.  

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
[ Parent ]

I'll chime in.... (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by tweek on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:26:17 AM EST

since I find this much more interesting than "Who are you".

Where do you live?
Roswell, Georgia USA. It's north of Atlanta.

Why do you live there?
It's a long story but this was my only choice about 5 years back. I grew up in the state and I love it here. I could move somewhere OTHER than Roswell but the location is central to everything I need. My apartment overlooks a BEAUTIFUL river. My neighbors aren't assholes. Mornings I'm greeted by Carolina Wrens, Cardinals, the Tufted Titmouse and quite a few squirrels who think that the food is for them. Let's not forget my favorite, the chickadee.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
It's Atlanta baby! We have more people from other countries than the countries themselves. If I want a Brazillian vibe, I can check out Fogo De Chou or Carro De Boi. You name it and we've got it.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
When it's not 102 fucking degrees outside, I've been known to go to the river and watch the ducks or throw the baseball around with my girlfriend. State parks are plentiful. I just got back on Monday from a weekend in Helen, Georgia in the mountains. We spent some time at Unicoi State Park. We shopped in the village. We bought Muscadine wine at Habersham Winery. All this was a mere hour and a half drive away.

What do you like about it?
Honeysuckle. Birds. Rivers. Food.

What do you hate about it?
The #$((($(@($%$$ traffic. As was discussed on another story a month or two back, Atlanta SUCKS for traffic. During rush hour it can take 45 minutes to go 15 miles.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The state really takes its parks and recreation seriously. My girlfriend works for the state DNR(Department of Natural Resources), so I know things will be taken care of if she has her way about it ;)

Would you recommend it, and why?
Because we have a thriving local music scene, international flavor and the southern charm to go with it.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
See if you can get transfered to Dobbins in Marietta. When you said Warner Robbins, I cringed because I know what it's like to live in extreme south Georgia. I lived in Warm Springs for a few years. Thinking back, I can see why I'm glad my mom got the hell out of there. You can only appreciate the Little White House (FDR's home away from home) so much!

How is it different from other places you have been?
Well I've only lived in one other state, Florida, but I've traveled to several. What I notice most about Georgia and the south in general, is how LITTLE sense the roads make. In Michigan, where my gf is from, the roads make perfect sense. It's all a grid. Here, the roads were created at the whim of a politician depending on where his land holdings were and whether or not it was zoned commercial or residential.
------------
Some people call me crazy but I prefer to think of myself as freelance lunatic.

15 miles in 45 minutes (none / 0) (#125)
by stipe42 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:35:12 PM EST

From someone who has lived in southern CA for 5 years, I gotta tell you that 15 miles in 45 minutes during rush hour is heavenly compared to some places. I live five miles from work and it takes half an hour to get home every night. And the traffic down here in San Diego is way lighter than it was up in LA. stipe42

[ Parent ]
Agreed (none / 0) (#143)
by lightcap on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:23:24 PM EST

I've lived in LA, San Diego, San Francisco and Chicago, and the traffic in ATL is breezy compared to the others. (Well, Chicago not so much). I live in Cumming, GA though, so traffic is definitely lighter for me than it would be in Roswell.

But, damn to Atlantans LOVE to complain about traffic...for reasons I still don't really understand :)
Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

Get a bike! (none / 0) (#258)
by IriseLenoir on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:49:48 PM EST

Why don't you go to work in bicycle? If you live only five miles to your workplace, you'd save time, not to mention exercise and pollute less...
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]
y'know... it's just struck me... (none / 0) (#30)
by Jel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:46:46 AM EST

... I've no idea where that phrase comes from.  Just how does one define a wood's neck, anyway?  If it really refers to a sort of clearing or narrowing in a wood, then what communities lived in pockets within the woods??  Are we really using the merry men's favourite phrase here, or what?
...lend your voices only to sounds of freedom. No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from. Fill your lives with love and bravery, and we shall lead a life uncommon
- Jewel, Life Uncommon
There are more of those phrases... (none / 0) (#41)
by TON on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:48:09 AM EST

than you can shake a stick at.

But here is a less than satisfying explanation. Seems a little too literal minded an etymology to me. The rest of the site can be interesting at times.

Ted
---
"I could say it stronger
But it's too much trouble"


[ Parent ]

London, England. (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:50:50 AM EST

First off, I think(From what Ive heard), America is different from a lot of countries in respect to travelling. I suppose mostly because America is such a large and diverse country, you could spend your whole life exploring it! In europe travel is certainely important, and while countries are diverse, you wouldnt have trouble seeing all your own country before you hit your adult life.

Ohh, fantastic idea for a story BTW, should generate a LOT of comments.

Where do you live?
London, England

Why do you live there?
Partly work, but mostly for the club culture

What cultural opportunities do you have?
What dont we have?? I dont think you get much more diverse than London. Allthough its smaller than most capital cities, it is certainely built for people to have fun. Coffee shops, parks, bars, clubs and an endless amount of activities and after-work clubs exist, and there open to pretty much anyone. You dont see much racism or cultural divide in London, and when you do, its usually an amicable divide, like white people not attending a mosque in streatham(Allthough no-one would look twice if you did)
What recreational opportunities do you have?
Again, there are endless amounts. There are nearly 2000 football clubs in central london alone, and more than half of those are amateur and open to new-comers. Public gyms and "Leisure Centres" are available almost everywhere, and they offer lots of different activities for a small fee(Most are subsidised as well). Clubs are plentiful, and if you like something a little more underground, London has by far the biggest and best squat scene. There music and venue for every taste, ranging from dirty nasty acid techno nights, to nice fluffy(Read:Safe) psy trance nights. Theres a lot more, but I would end up going on for ever..

What do you like about it?
So long as you have *some* social skills, you will find friends with similair interests and places to hang out and enjoy the things you like doing. Its easy to get anywhere(See I HATE too), and accomodation is available everywhere, and is usually moderately cheap if your renting. Work is plentiful, and anyone of any nationality can find work and "bum" around London for a year or so, without needing to settle down or make and commitments to stay. But best of all, I love the sense of Londonners against the world, its like everyone here wants to prove that London is the greatest city, and while it might not be true, even ex-pat foreigners will swear alligance to London, even if there here on a dodgy visa.

What do you hate about it?
The travel. Trains/tube/bus all suck severly, and are in need of massive overhaul. Muggings are a problem in some of the dodgier areas, and there is nowhere near enough police out in the city. House prices are truly rediculous with a crappy one bedroom flat, not even in central london, costing you upwards of £150,000.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
Again the travel, you can get to anywhere from anywhere and you never have to walk far. There is also a nice sense of being safe in central london, there arent any bad areas in the centre like there are in other cities(Except maybe kings cross). Ohh, and the people. While people in public are a little stand-of-ish, for the most part english people are laid-back and friendly.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Id recommend trying it. I know of all the friends I've made down here(Im from Manchester originally) about 50% of them arent british, but they wouldnt consider going home unless they absolutely had to.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
How to travel, where to live and where to avoid.

How is it different from other places you have been?
90% of the people here are conservative and introverted. You wont get people in your face all the time, and will be left alone if you want to be. We are receptive to foreign people. While a lot of countries(US not included) are generally rude towards foreigners, people in London love them, and being foreign is a sure-fire way to get people talking to you.

Ohh, and people are polite.. Most of the time..

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
I take it ... (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by Herring on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:15:17 AM EST

... you're not referring to the same London I was in this morning (I hate smileys).

I suppose it's not that bad, but I couldn't hack it. I live about a half hour train ride from the centre of town, but far enough out to have fields and beer at under £3 a pint. If it wasn't Surrey (wankers in BMWs etc.), it'd be fine.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
The great thing about London is.. (none / 0) (#70)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:22:28 AM EST

..if you know where the wankers are, you can avoid them ;)(I love smileys) I agree there are far to many wankers, but I'd say the same about all the other places I've lived. I live in Staines, which is countryside ish', but Im moving to teddington, and Ill be right next to a train line, and a massive park. I admit Ill be happier there than that flat in old street *Shudder*

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
[ Parent ]
Country boy at heart (none / 0) (#71)
by Herring on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:34:25 AM EST

(Said in a David Prowse accent). I've never been mad keen on cities.

The only times I ever drive through Staines, it doesn't look that nice (get rid of ugly Staines), but then you aren't going to see much from a main road (I go along the A30 to get to Princes Club for wakeboarding). I don't know Teddington at all as I've only ever been there in the dark (don't ask).

I live a bit further South, near a racecourse ...


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Well Im from.. (none / 0) (#84)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:57:18 AM EST

..Preston originally, and you cant walk ten metres there without hitting a cow(Assuming your swinging some kind of crowbar around).

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
[ Parent ]
I'm from near Preston. (none / 0) (#91)
by Herring on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:08:27 AM EST

This Preston? Funnily enough, there's a town about 4 miles away from there called Barnsley.

Actually, it isn't that funny at all.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Nooo (none / 0) (#99)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:20:54 AM EST

This Preston.. I'm sure its equally as dull though.. Preston is the only town I know that has the word "Mosques" over it, even in the ordenance survey versions! Mosque, Ok, but MosqueS?!?!

In related, but just as boring news, Preston was made a city about two months ago.. I bet you really wanted to know that..

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
[ Parent ]
Dichotomy (none / 0) (#242)
by thebrix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:49:40 PM EST

Live in Brixton, work in Cobham (Surrey). It would be very difficult to come across a more spectacular dichotomy but one, of course, transcends such differences ;)

(Variety is strength; I've lived in countries where there was very little difference between A and Z, and they were the worse for it).

[ Parent ]

London is Tops! (none / 0) (#135)
by MightyTribble on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:57:21 PM EST

I lived there for four years, from '92 to '96, and had a wonderful time. Poor, but wonderful.

I never got the complaints about London Transport, though. Sure, it's dirty. Sure, it's expensive-compared-to-France, but it's so convenient! (when they're not striking). London has the most extensive public transit system of any city I've ever been to (yes, better than Tokyo and New York). The Night Bus service is a godsend.

I loved having a zone 6 travel card, and being able to go from Lewisham to Kingston-Upon-Thames without paying anything extra. Two trains, one change at Waterloo. Fast, regular service. Trust me on this - I now live in Boston, MA, and commuter rail is a *joke* compared to British Rail. I never thought I'd say that.

Eat-out food is more expensive than the US, but there are some truly excellent restaurants that won't break the bank, if you know where to look. The quality of the food in most supermarkets (esp. Tesco) is superior to most US supermarkets, too. Case in point - Strawberries. Trust me on this.

Pubs are expensive, and tend towards chains, but are (surprisingly) no more expensive than they are in Boston, MA. I regularly find myself paying $4 or more a pint over here (for a crappy 16oz pint, too!). But there are some great ones to visit - the Citie of Yorke in Holborn, the Nelson and the Anchor down in Greenwich, for example.

Anyway, if I wasn't in the US with my darling wife, I'd be quite happy being in/around London. It has *everything*. Or it had, five years ago. ;-)


[ Parent ]

Have you been back? (none / 0) (#142)
by priestess on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:08:34 PM EST

Most Londoners will agree, we've got fantastic Public Transport compared to most places but in the last five years or so in particular, it's falling apart around our ears. My tube journey to work each day takes about twenty minutes in the median. But as often as once a week it'll be two or three times that at trains are canceled and tube lines closed down and whatnot. About once every two months there's so much closed and broken and shut down with no sign of it starting up again that I have to go get the bus.

It's great and we love it, but it's breaking pretty seriously. If you haven't been back since you left then it'll be difficult to imagine how much worse it is these days.

You can't rely on the tubes to get you anywhere on time anymore.

        Pre...........
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Not since 1999... (none / 0) (#145)
by MightyTribble on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:26:11 PM EST

...and then I was just passing thru from Gatwick. Didn't have to touch the tube. Yay Gatwick Express.

I've heard that things have gotten worse recently. I find it ironic that public transit has fallen to pieces so badly on Labour's go. Especially now that Ken is mayor. Must be getting harder to blame the Tories for it, too, as time goes by. ;-p

[ Parent ]

Tories (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by priestess on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:36:59 PM EST

As much as it pains me to admit it since I dislike Labour as much as I disliked the Tories, most of it is still the Tories fault. Chronic underinvestment for years takes some work to undo. Ken, in opposing (rightly) the PFP scheme for the tube has stalled any progress toward correcting the problems. The government, by insisting on PFP against the wishes of the vast majority of Londoners isn't impressing anybody either.

The problems with the tube are fixable, but they won't be fixed by arguing about how to do it and even if they managed to get started tommorow there'd be at least many more months of decline before it started to get better.

They're ALL to blame, and I can't believe how blatently they're ignoring the wishes of Londoners on how to fix the thing either.

Wankers.

        Pre..............
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Side-effects of prosperity (none / 0) (#436)
by thebrix on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 11:37:21 AM EST

There are various papers worth reading from the Strategic Rail Authority and the Office of the Rail Regulator. I'm much better up on the railways than on London Underground, but some commuter lines have had up to a 45 per cent increase in traffic in five years, and the average appears to be about 20 per cent. Presumably the Tube has similar increases in traffic.

I suggest that:

no system anywhere could withstand that level of increase of use in such a short time unless it was grossly underused in the first place (plainly not true);

the problems you mention with commuting and travelling are an unfortunate side-effect of prosperity. The alternative is not pretty; I grew up in an area with anything up to 28 per cent unemployment and London's problems are as nothing compared to there.

[ Parent ]

okay, i'll bite (4.00 / 2) (#34)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:17:37 AM EST

Where do you live?

Little town outside of Worms, Germany

Why do you live there?

Worked in Mannheim, but don't like living in the city, so moved somewhere near.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

None. Less than 1 hour away from Frankfurt, which has everything, and Heidelberg, a great historical and college town. Plus nearby cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshaven and Kaiserslautern together have pretty much anything you could want.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Locally, walking along the farm fields.

What do you like about it?

Fairly quiet, safe, 0 crime, very close schools, and good neighbors.

What do you hate about it?

A little far away from work now that I work in Heidelberg. Massive combines and tractors driving around at 11pm. Bumpy road leading into town is hell on the Elise's suspension. They need to rebuild a local bridge to free up travel options out of the town.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

This is a perfect place to raise kids.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Only for living, if you work somewhere else and don't mind the commute.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

German.

How is it different from other places you have been?

It's strange to have such a pastoral setting so close to industry, but you can't see the industry.

I know where you're at. (none / 0) (#387)
by farmgeek on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:20:19 AM EST

Nice little town, Worms.

My wife and I lived in Schwetzingen for two years ourselves.


[ Parent ]

I looked at Schwetzingen (none / 0) (#480)
by Quila on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 06:17:29 AM EST

It's a nice are, but it's also very expensive now.

[ Parent ]
Culture in Georgia (4.50 / 4) (#37)
by wiredog on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:36:13 AM EST

absolutely no culture here at all

I suspect there's quite a bit of culture. Hunting, fishing, barbecues, the local high school's football team. Lots of culture. Just not any 'high' culture.

Take advantage of where you are, and broaden your horizons.

Try pecan pie, peach cobbler, and hush puppies.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.

Hmm ... culture ... yes ... (1.00 / 1) (#44)
by waverleo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:10:59 AM EST

the great culture of America's suburbs and small towns, each complete with their very own Jack Aster's, Boston Pizza, 20 acre parking lot and massive SUVs. The culture of television and marketing seems to pervade these areas, where unless you have money, you're not a real member of the community.

"High" culture has the potential to also be cheap - festivals often cost relatively little, and listening to a local band sets you back the relatively small price of cover.

One must wonder how healthy or meaningful experiences can be when their intention is to maximise returns.

Leo

[ Parent ]

You have a narrow view of culture, don't you? (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by wiredog on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:18:12 AM EST

Since you apparently think that going on picnics with the neighbors isn't part of it. Or being in a local service group such the Boy Scouts. What about the local churches? Aren't they part of the local culture? What about the county fair? Does the local volunteer fire department do barbecues? What about going hunting or fishing with your friends and neighbors? Or just hanging out in the evening after dinner and talking?

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
Ok ... (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by waverleo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:00:25 AM EST

in that case, let's see if we can quantify "culture". Surely if one thing can have no culture, and something else can have very little, and still other places can have lots, then it follows that a particular location can and must (since it's impossible for them to be identical) have more or less culture than another.

Furthermore, it should be possible for us to identify what contributes or detracts from the culture of a particular area.

As a potential list of "detractors" I would put activities that discourage interaction as rather significant. Thus, television, reading, sitting in a cinema, playing (single-player) video games would all be "culture-hurting" activities. Moreover, activities that encourage social activity, such as Scouting, festivals, going to a bar with friends, out to dinner, would serve to contribute to the culture of a particular area.

While there are, of course, many other dimensions to defining the sense of culture, such as the "enrichment" of the activity (reading a good novel would have more culture than a bad one), the uniqueness of the experience (hence, going to a small independent cafe would have more culture than visiting the local Starbucks), and the potential for the activity to broaden horizons (a dinner party with people you've never met vs a bbq with the gang) I would say are fairly accepted as some of the determining factors of the degree of "culture" of a particular locale.

This, then, brings me to my last point. Do the areas you think of fare better or worse when considering these factors? If a locale has all that you speak of in your previous post, but also has also managed to avoid being subjected to big-box malls and dime-a-dozen Boston Pizza's, then it follows that this area has more culture than the one that has been less successful (in its efforts ot avoid corporate influence).

Hence, while what you said earlier certainly represents a vital aspect of culture, it is not those things that I deride, but instead I object to the added "bad" factors that often accompany these communities.

Leo

[ Parent ]

In my home town of Preston.. (2.00 / 1) (#64)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:16:02 AM EST

..we have a celebration every 37 years(Odd, I know), when the whole town gets decorated, and everyone gets some free money, and two weeks off school. In Manchester, there is the remains of an IRA bomb site, and some shopping centres. Which would you say had more culture?

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called utopia. And I see us invading that planet, because they'd never expect it
[ Parent ]
Missing the Original Point... (none / 0) (#230)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:20:22 PM EST

  I can appreciate you're contempt for mass-produced culture and it's venues, but original poster's intent wasn't to suggest that mass-produced culture had quality.

  Instead he was merely suggesting to overlook the superficial layer, and explore the people and activities behind their superficial environment.  

  He wasn't suggesting that people should accept Starbucks and Walmart, just be a little more open minded to why other people might like these things.

[ Parent ]

Humm (none / 0) (#110)
by Betcour on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:55:23 AM EST

I think you are confusing "culture" as "the gathering and exchange of information" with "culture" as "the social customs of a group of human".

We are talking about the first kind here (art, science, philisophy, etc). Going to a picnic or church falls into the second kind (social activities and customs).

[ Parent ]
Amsterdam, The Netherlands (none / 0) (#38)
by SanSeveroPrince on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:39:08 AM EST

Great idea for a post! I do hope sombody with the time and patience makes a website out of it; it'll make it straight to the top of my bookmarks right away.

Here's my goods to offer:

Where do you live?

Amsterdam, Holland. If you read the title, this should not come as a surprise to you :)

Why do you live there?

God. Long story. My parents moved here a while back. When faced with the choice to stay or move back to the home country, there was no doubt in my mind: PARTY ON!
Amsterdam offers a unique combination of business, amusement and cultural facilities that I have not found anywhere else. And I've been to a place or two.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

What culture are you interested in? Many people boast they live in a cultural melting pot, Amsterdam actually IS one.
There's a bit of everything, European, African, Asian and a few I don't know the names for.
You can visit parks and the proper musea, go on canal rides, and enjoy the unique Dutch architecture along the way. There's a million smaller, privately owned musea too. Some being true gems, their expositions range from sex, sex toys and torture instruments all the way to 16th century French ladies' boots.
Make no mistake however, Amsterdam is unique, even in the Netherlands. It shares little or nothing with other Dutch cities, so don't crucify me if you went to Rotterdam and you don't recognize anything I'm talking about...

What recreational opportunities do you have?

hm. I'll list the ones we don't have: NONE.

Discos, bars, pubs, stripbars, nightclubs, after hours bars.
Movie theatres, concert halls (they just finished the absolutely awesome Heineken Music Hall, which apparently boasts the best acoustics in Europe) (and the Concertgebouw apparently shares the same record but for classical music), open air cultural expositions, open vintage film projections in public parks.
Restaurants, one hundred for each different cooking, coffee shops (no, they don't really sell coffee, and if you don't know, I am not going to be the one to tell you), sex shops, shops that will sell you things you did not know existed...
Oh, and this thing they call the red light district.

Which is actually quite nice, and nowhere near as rowdy as you'd imagine. Bring your kids ;)

What do you like about it?

The cultures, the noise, the ideas flying all over the place, and the fact that 20 minutes from the city centre I live on the lakeside, with trees and ducks and stuff.. quiet and peace, to equal the beast at its core.
Amsterdam is a city open to all sorts lifestyles. You can be a drop out, or you can shoot for the stars of corporate heaven, and the city will help you. And grocery stores deliver. What else is there? :)

What do you hate about it?

People can be very cynical and cold here. You will have to fight every inch of the way for what is yours, because nobody else will look after your interests. That is why I don't plan on spending my old age here....
The constant interbreeding of cultures can give birth to some real ugly mongrels, and it can be too much on the old brains.
Crime is a problem in some areas of the city, but if you managed to get so far out of the centre, all the way into alleys with boarded doors and windows, against all common sense, and you're found dead in the morning, then the police labels it as suicide anyway.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

The noise, the colours. They can be intoxicating and beautiful. And obnoxious.
The different cultures.
The police are really nice.
Oh, and you can buy soft drugs legally, over here. I'd almost managed to go through the whole thing without mentioning that, hadn't I?

Would you recommend it, and why?

Definitely go there ONCE in your lifetime. Take a week off and come have a look. Who knows, you may be one of the multitudes that just decides to never leave....

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Be open. Don't be shocked. If you're religious and faint of heart, don't bother. And I mean it, it's not an idle boast.
Most Dutch people speak at least passing English, but really appreciate it if you try and speak Dutch. It'll open many doors. Persevere, because once you win a Dutch person's respect, it'll stay that way for a long time.

How is it different from other places you have been?

It's faster, louder, brasher than anywhere else I've been. The constant mix of cultures and ideas really gives birth to unique moments you'll treasure forever.
Not much in the way of ancient history, but I am not sure that really is such an important factor. Not nowadays anyway.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


I spent three months in Amsterdam... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:12:13 AM EST

...and let me tell you a little story about the night before I left...just as an example of the many excellent experiences that I had there...

My friends and I had a few rooms on Prinzengracht (sp?) that were University of Amsterdam dorms. The guy across the hall from us moved out and asked us to give his keys to the residence administrators. Of course, we threw a huge party in his room, which was a large double overlooking the canal.

We invited all of our friends (we made *so many* friends in such a short time) and had a huge party with a DJ. Due to the noise coming from our second floor windows, we had people coming in from the street all night long. So many pretty girls and crazy guys. I was especially fond of a girl called Coramandel. I also remember having a few slugs off a bottle of Genever that kicked my ass.

Anyway, we partied all night long, and the party kept changing as people left and new people joined from the street. It was so effortless and safe and goddamn cozy.

What a great, great, great, great city!
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Amsterdam is very cool. (none / 0) (#298)
by forii on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:21:45 PM EST

Many people boast they live in a cultural melting pot, Amsterdam actually IS one.

That was one thing I really liked about Amsterdam when I visited it last year. You could walk around and see as much variety in the people as I do back home in California. It was nice to be able to go to greek, chinese, and thai restaurants (although the thai place we went to only served their food as OH-MY-GOD-spicy).

I also liked the fact that you can get around easily, that people seemed to be easy-going (I went in march, so tourists weren't bothering everyone so much), and that there was a lot to do.

In fact, I liked it so much that I am heading over there again in October. And this time I'm even learning a little Dutch before I go. (yeah, I know everyone there speaks english, but it's always nice to know a little of the local language).


Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

Minneapolis / St. Paul MN (Twin Cities) (none / 0) (#39)
by duxup on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:41:55 AM EST

I live in the Twin Cities area of MN.  

I moved here for a job during the Internet boom when I was offered a job while still in collage elsewhere.  It was an area I'd planned to move to after finishing school anyway.

Cultural opportunities abound in Minneapolis / St. Paul.  It was one of the reasons I wanted to move here.  There are piles of theaters, museums and galleries.  Not just lots of them, lots of great ones.

As for recreational opportunities there are a good amount.  People in MN tend to like the outdoors (I don't, there are bears out there).  MN gets four distinct seasons of weather so there are a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities.

My favorite aspect of the area has to be the cultural opportunities.  I love the arts and there new things happening constantly.  The state, local municipalities, and private donors fund the arts like crazy here.  

I would say my least liked aspect of the area would be the taxes.  MN is still in the top 10 of most taxed states.  I blame this primarily on the fact that politics in MN tend to lean hard to the left.

 I don't like to recommend a place without knowing whom I'm recommending the place to, so I'm going to skip that.


Pusan, South Korea (none / 0) (#40)
by wildmage on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:42:33 AM EST

Funny that you ask. I've been in Korea for 45 days now and I've been keeping a daily log of my experiences here. You can check out my diary or my personal website that contains the pictures as well as the archives.

Enjoy.

-------------
Jacob Everist
Memoirs of a Mad Scientist
Near-Earth Asteroid Mining

Central PA (none / 0) (#42)
by gr00vey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:53:23 AM EST

Where you live Central Pennslyvania, smack in the middle. Why do you live there? I moved out of Philly, cause philly sucks! What cultural opportunities do you have? local festival type things, not tons... What recreational opportunities do you have? lots of woods! What do you like about it? lots of woods! What do you hate about it? to many redneck republicans What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) greta quality of life Would you recommend it, and why? no, beacause I don't want more people moving here... ;) If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? english? How is it different from other places you have been? scenic!

Philly sucks? And you moved to Central PA?! (none / 0) (#53)
by blaaf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:46:38 AM EST

WTF?

I was born in central PA. Lived there 7 years. You're happy that you have lots of woods, rednecks, and local festival things? Central PA is one of the boringest, inbredest places in continental USA. I moved to Taiwan fortunately, awesome country. And now I'm going to school in Philly.

Sure, you can rag on Philly. It's pretty ghetto. But I can't see how you'd prefer central PA. Maybe if the city drove you insane or something. There's plenty to do in Philly if you look around.

[ Parent ]

quality of life (none / 0) (#55)
by gr00vey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:54:38 AM EST

I met my wife in philly, got my degree at Temple U, but my commute on the shurkill was 20 miles, and took 2.5 hours each way everyday. I was in center city and roxborough. You are entilted to your opinion, but IMHO, philly bites the big one... Aggressive asshole drivers everywhere, no one is freindly in general... I still have in-laws in yardley, and quite a few friends in the city, so I go there once every couple of months, but I am very glad to be out of there....

[ Parent ]
Where'r you from? (none / 0) (#163)
by karb on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:18:50 PM EST

Don't live there anymore, but would like to. I was raised in south-central PA (huntingdon). Glad to find somebody else who likes central PA. If I had friends there and a decent job I'd move back in a second. (Neither are likely, unfortunately)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
actually, there are more and more jobs (none / 0) (#383)
by gr00vey on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:25:43 AM EST

and people, which is kind of unfortunate, but I guess unavoidable. I live and work near State College, Center County.

[ Parent ]
That's cool (none / 0) (#486)
by karb on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 01:29:14 PM EST

Every time I come back to huntingdon, I go to state college with my little brother to spend an evening at playland and eat at baby's (two cheese whimpy baskets and a black cow). Right on :)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
Philly isn't that bad... (none / 0) (#336)
by rantweasel on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:20:51 AM EST

Don't get me wrong, I love central PA.  Are you anywhere near Lycoming or Sullivan county?  It's absolutely beautiful up there.

I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Why do you live there?
Work.  I accidentally ended up working here, and I don't think I ever want to leave.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
What don't I have?  We've got art museums, science museums, the Mutter Museum, Mummers, theater, clubs, etc.  There is a tremendous amount of fabulous architecture, ranging from Portico Row to Robert Venturi to Frank Furness.  (take a look at both Furness buildings).  There are dozens of universities, including University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Drexel, as well as many more in the suburbs.  For the history buffs, there is more than you can see in a lifetime.  Valley Forge, the oldest hospital in the US, a dead poet's house, some old bell and building, the firstfire insurance company in the US, and lots lots more.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
There are a number of major athletic events, including the Penn Relays and the Stotesbury Cup Regatta.  There's also a football (american) game every year at Veteran's Stadium between two military schools with a historic grudge...  There are parks EVERYWHERE!  If you want to go to a park, you needn't go more than 5 blocks or so.  The city is incredibly bike and pedestrian friendly, so there are a fair number of bike and foot commuters - sidewalk rush hour is about as bad as ruch hour on the streets.  There's also Boathouse Row, which is a serious Philadelphia landmark - crew is big.

What do you like about it?
There is always something going on, there is always something you've not noticed before, and there's a suprise around every corner.  It's one of the greenest cities I've ever seen - the greenways along the river strech way out into the suburbs, there are small parks everywhere, and there are trees everywhere.  It doesn't matter where in the city you are, you can see the sky everywhere - you simply can't get lost in a valley skyscrapers.  Because of all of the schools, there are students all over the city, with all sorts of interests and backgrounds, from future MBAs to art school students, it's a constantly replenished pool of diversity.  It's also fairly cheap to live here, and it's convenient to the rest of the East Coast.  Also, Philly is the city that'll kick your ass - there's a local story about the Eagles (the local NFL team) bringing Santa out onto the feild at halftime one winter, and the fan response was to pelt Santa with iceballs.  We've also got a neighborhood for everything - the city is just filled with tiny little neighborhoods, each with unique personalities.  There's fairly generic stuff, like Chinatown and Italian Market, but also very Philly stuff like Fitler Square or Powellton Village or Old City.

What do you hate about it?
Philadelphia is completely screwed up.  You can walk from Yupped-out blocks that nobody can afford to live on to a section of urban blight where nobody would want to live within three blocks.  There are sections of the city that are just rotting away before your eyes.  Because of major population declines in ther 60s and 70s, there are whole neighborhoods that have been abandonded.  Philly drivers have picked up way too much from Jersey drivers, and it can be a bit scary to walk or drive through Center City on a busy day.  Also, we're next to New Jersey, which is a Bad Thing.  The nice bits of NJ are all far from Philadelphia.
Car insurance is sky high, partly because of being so close to NJ (in fact, my insurance agent actually asked how often I was planning on driving into NJ in the process of determining how much my rates would be).

Would you recommend it, and why?
I would definitely recommend Philadelphia - it's got everything (good or bad), and then some.  It's certainly worth a visit, and I would highly recommend it as a place to go to college/grad school.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Philadelphia is the home of Rocky, the cheesesteak, the "city that loves you back", one of the fattest cities in America (quite a feat), and home to some serious beer.  The corner store a block from me offers more than 500 beers, both local and import, and the oldest operating brewery in the country is in the burbs.  We're a short drive from Carlisle, PA (home of car shows!), Gettysburg, PA (civil war turning point/bloodbath), Hershey, PA (mmmm mmm chocolate!), Shankweiler's Drive In (oldest operating drive-in in the country), and more diners than you can shake a stick at.  Not to mention more trees in the city than some suburbs I've seen.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Near Toronto (none / 0) (#45)
by P funk on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:15:39 AM EST

Where do I live?

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. A small city of 150,000 about 45 minutes east of Toronto.

Why do I live there?

Family reasons. I'm currently home for the summer from school.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Oshawa is very much a blue-collar town. It's home to a huge GM plant as well as many supporting manufacturing companies, so the local entertainment tends to reflect this. Downtown Oshawa is a dive... but at least there is a downtown. There are plenty of bars, but the crowd tends to be older and blue-collar.

Luckily we are quite close to the Big City! Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world and if we want to do something fun (theatre, sports, clubs, whatever) then it's just an hour's drive away. Toronto is just AMAZING, I love the city, and I intend to move there when I finish school.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Not much in Oshawa, besides parks and some small trails, but if you have a car then you can drive north into what's known as "cottage country"... a blanket term describing all of Ontario from between 45 minutes and 3 hours north of Lake Ontario. It's all forest and lakes there... there are great provincial parks with camping and boating and such. Also there are small towns that become tourist hives during the summer. A LOT of people around Toronto own summer homes ("cottages") on one of the thousands upon thousands of lakes, and they escape there each and every weekend during the summer.

What do you like about it?

Oshawa, nothing in particular. I like it because my friends and family are here.

Toronto, I love the pulse of the city! I love the fact that during the World Cup, there was a part on the streets every single day no matter who had won, because just about every nation in the world has its own little community in Toronto. I love the fact that you can go see great shows like The Lion King. I love the fact that no matter how much money you have, there are places there waiting for your business and you can have a great time.

What do you hate about it?

I hate Oshawa for being bland. We don't have a UNiversity, so when the youth graduate high school they all move away (myself included). This means if you want to have a good time and meet people your age, you have to go somewhere else.

I hate Toronto's traffic and air pollution. Smog is really bad in the summer, due to large industrial centres aroudn here ( both Canadian and American).

Also, Toronto's city council is incompetent. Municipal workers have been on strike all summer and no-body seems to know what to do about it...

Would you recommend it, and why?

I would recommmend Toronto to anyone in a second. It's a very welcoming place and there is so much happening!

All I have time to answer now. Great post!

Munich, Germany (none / 0) (#46)
by sethmir on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:16:30 AM EST

Where do you live?
Munich, Germany.

Why do you live there?
I originally came here to work 3 years ago, but stayed on because I like it better than where I was before.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Cinemas, pubs, bars, beergardens, nightclubs. Cycling (there are cycle paths everywhere). There are lots of parks, including the huge "English Garden". Climbing, hiking, skiing & snowboarding in the Alps. Short holidays to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Croatia.

What do you like about it?
It's clean. The public transportation system is fantastic. There's virtually no crime. The weather is good.

What do you hate about it?
Income tax is high. Shop assistants are incredibly rude. Prices have gone up a lot since the Euro was introduced.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Be prepared for the bureaucracy of getting a residence/work permit. Finding an apartment is quite difficult at the moment if you want to live centrally. You would probably be able to get by without German, but it would help to know it.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (none / 0) (#48)
by bukvich on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:20:01 AM EST

 Why do you live there?

moved here to take a job.

 What cultural opportunities do you have?

anything I would like, just not first class; e.g. we have an opera, but it isn't a great one.

 What recreational opportunities do you have?

it's in the middle of a swamp. If you love to fish, this is heaven. I don't. It is a fabulous city to take photographs in--old interesting buildings, a variety of interesting people, abundant wildlife.

 What do you like about it?

1.) cheap 2.) interesting

 What do you hate about it?

public education system here is a disgrace. Weather in August sucks.

 What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

bars are open 24 hours.

 Would you recommend it, and why?

pay an extended visit first; it is definitely not for everybody and some people really despise it.

 If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

watch your back.

 How is it different from other places you have been?

totally.

Melbourne, FL USA (none / 0) (#49)
by blurp on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:20:25 AM EST

A little background: I'm an former army brat so I've lived in two countries and seven US states (maybe ten different cities). On top of that I've visited 45 states and have been to 14 countries (North America and Europe).

Where do you live?

Now, in Melbournem, FL. East of Orlando on the Atlantic Coast.

Why do you live there?

I got a job here out of school and wanted to try living near the beach.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

No museums to speak of. There is a zoo, but its tiny. Nothing here (architecture, art scene, etc) is all that unique.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

If you like hick bars this is definitely the place to be. Strip Clubs seem to be very popular and their are lots of them. There are a few clubs, but they are really sad. Forunately Orlando is only an hour away and Miami (some of the best clubs in the US) is a mere three hours of highway driving away.
There are lots of things to do though. On the water: scubba diving, snorkling, surfing, sailing, motor boating, jet skiing, etc. The beaches are great places to spend a lazy weekend. Also there are quite a few pickup games of soccer and ultimate frisbee that welcome everyone.
Also, a few good coffee shops are around. Some bars are pretty nice and you can usually catch a couple live bands on the weekends (local stuff).

What do you like about it?

The Beach and the Water.

What do you hate about it?

Old people, way too many of them. Not as bad as some other places in Florida, but a problem all the same.

Would you recommend it, and why?

If you like the beach and a small town/hicksville atmosphere: definitely.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

How to drink, and watch out for sharks...seriously though, wear sun screen and reapply ever 1.5 hours. When a sign says "stay out of the water" for whatever reason, obey.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Very different, as the list at the beggining suggests I have a lot to compare it to. It's actually a bit less "back woods" here than many places I've been to.

Where have been your favorite places to live?

Zweibrueken, Germany. I love the culture, I love the scenery. I love how central it is to most of the rest of Europe. I miss Volksmarches (organized hikes, followed by eating and drinking) and I especially miss all the festivals (beer and wine fests, local carnivals, etc).
New York City. I didn't live there very long, but I have lots of relatives there. More culture then you can shake a stick at, and New Yorkers are just cool people.

blurp

DC (none / 0) (#50)
by sien on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:26:21 AM EST

Where do you live?
Washington DC ( or within 10 minutes walk of the DC line anyway )

Why do you live there?
I wanted to live in the US, and lived in crappy cities and then was determined to live somewhere great.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Just about everything. A great range of restaurants, great museums, theatres, talks and whatever you want.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Again, just about everything. Currently I sail in Baltimore, ride my bike around DC and swim. It's all close by.

What do you like about it?
The people here are smart and interesting and the opportunities are great.

What do you hate about it?
The city, nothing really. The stuff that annoys me is stuff about the US in general.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The fact that people move here from all over the world to be here means that there are lots of interesting, smart people.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Yes, absolutely, Washington is one of the world's great cities.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
The traffic can be really bad. It's bigger than you think it is ! The DC Baltimore area is the region to consider - and it's actually the 4th largest metropolitan center in the US.

How is it different from other places you have been?
DC is the fourth capital city I have lived in or nearby. It's also the biggest city. I grew up in Canberra ( see other comments ) The big thing is how big it is and how much stuff is going on. It's great. The difference between the other capitals and this one is that it is the capital of such a huge country and more of a world centre than the others.



recreation (none / 0) (#129)
by NoNeckJoe on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:47:49 PM EST

Head down to Anacostia some time.  You'll get some running in there.  Some practice dodging bullets too.

[ Parent ]
Too right (none / 0) (#223)
by sien on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:08:20 PM EST

Hell yes, why play GTAIII when you can live it !

[ Parent ]
Ah, Caddyshack. (3.50 / 2) (#51)
by ennui on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:26:50 AM EST

I can never see the words "neck of the woods" without dubbing it over in my mind with "What are you doing in this nape of the woods...neck of the way...how come you're here?"

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
Holstebro, Denmark, Europe, not Kansas (none / 0) (#52)
by Hektor on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:30:45 AM EST

Like I said, I live in Holstebro, Denmark, which is a medium sized city by danish standards, with ~31,000 inhabitants. It's in the northern part of Jutland, and you you see where it is in Jutland here.

I moved here in 2001 after having lived in Ikast for three years getting my education, when I was hired by my current employer. I spent the first 20 years in a crappy city called Hvide Sande, but I'd rather not talk about that.

Holstebro has a movie theater, museums, a royal ballet school, a music theater run by the famous (by danish standards) director Peter Shaufuss and probably lots of other stuff. We have a boxing club, swimming club, soccer club, rugby club, handball club etc, so if you don't want to be bored, you can probably find something to do.

I like Holstebro, as it's not a metropolis, reducing the amount of pollution in the air, but it's still big enough to have plenty of stuff to do; I can't say there's something I hate about Holstebro, as I haven't lived here long enough to know what to hate ... :-)

Would I recommend living here? I don't know, it depends on a couple of things. If you're a geek, it's an okay city, as we can get decent ADSL in almost the entire city (2048/512), but if you're after a lively night life with lots of night clubs and jazz, this isn't your town.

If you do decide to move here, you need to learn a couple of things:

  1. Danish. This is Denmark, and we don't like other languages.
  2. The average tax-rate is around 45%.
  3. Almost all medical treatment is free; if you have to have perscription medication, a lot of it is free, and almost all of the rest comes with rather large subsidies.
  4. Education is free, but you may expect to pay for your own books, paper and copies.
  5. A somewhat higher cost of living, but also somewhat higher pays. The minimum wage is ~8 Euros/hour, plus a 12.5% vacation bonus.
I haven't really been to that many places, so I don't think it's that different from other places I've been, except that Holstebro has a bigger number of cultural opportunities.

Sooke, BC (none / 0) (#54)
by FigBug on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:46:47 AM EST

Where do you live?
Sooke BC, Canada. Near Victoria BC, the very west coast on Canada.

Why do you live there?
Born there... can't move, its the best place in the world. Vancouver BC was voted best place to live in the world, everybody in Sooke thinks Sooke is much better place to live than Vancouver, so its better than the best place to live. Beat that.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Not many, until I went to University, my mom was the only black person I knew. (except for family in other countries). I went to the whitest high school in the country... but its getting better now.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Hiking, swimming, mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, water skiing, camping. Old growth forest is a 5 minute drive in any direction. Trees with 10' diameter trunks in my yard. Its an amazing place.

What do you like about it?
Nature everywhere and a city too. No crime, I leave the keys in my truck, as does everybody else.

What do you hate about it?
American Tourists

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
People come from around the world to see the views on my commute to work.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Because trees are really nice, nicer than concreate. And bears and cougars are nice than gang bangers.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
A toque is a wool hat, a serviette is a napkin, you can't turn the headlights off on a canadian car, $1 and $2 are both coins and you can knock the center out of the $2 and put it back in upside down.

How is it different from other places you have been?
Only other place I lived was Vancounvr. Less crime, more trees. Less people!!! More friendly people... more pickup trucks.

American tourists (none / 0) (#200)
by arthurpsmith on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:22:48 PM EST

Hey, I've been there! Nice place :-)

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


[ Parent ]
Motor City (none / 0) (#56)
by superdiva on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:55:23 AM EST

Where do you live?

Detroit, Michigan.

Why do you live there?

For I now, I'm staying because I have a family member with a long-term illness.  But I have thought about moving to Chicago.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Hamtramck, which is a city within Detroit limits, has a very large eastern European population with wonderful bakeries and delicatessens.

There is also a sizable Middle East population on the east side and a Hispanic community downriver (Mexicantown).

Canada is on the other side of the river, and I usually take advantage of the favorable exchange rate to shop.  But, I also love the cultural events in Windsor.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

I live almost in the center of the city, and, believe or not, it's a very nice area with a nearby park and plenty of sidewalk to jog or rollerblade.  I'm not too far from the cultural district to see a concert or the stadiums for sporting events.  There's a lot of new urban development that's giving downtown some excitement.

What do you like about it?

I meet people from different walks of life every single day.  I love city life vs. the cookie cutter landscape of the suburbs.  Also, my rent is very cheap.  I pay $470 for a 700-800 sq ft. apartment with 2 bedrooms.  There are a lot of historic homes and buildings in my area that I hope big-money development won't squash out.


What do you hate about it?

Economic development is still anemic.  Most of the stores in the area close at 9:00 p.m.  It's tough for businesses to stay in the city.

My city is still racially segregated: blacks in the city, whites in the suburb.  But there are young white professionals and bohemians who are moving back.  The tenants in my building are roughly 50%/50% white/black with a couple other nationalities.  

I don't like having gambling in my city.

My city finally seems to be living down the murder-riot reputation that's loomed over it in past decades.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

My city is definitely blue-collar with a lot of history.  We're also really huge sports town now that we've had new stadiums built.   But most important, the music scene is like nothing else in the country.  You can find any type of music in any club or venue if you look for it.  Every year, in the summer near the river, my city sponsors festivals for jazz, electronica, and country-western music.  

Would you recommend it, and why?

Not sure.  We don't have any metropolitan transportation outside of buses.  The political scene sucks.  It depends on what you're looking for.  If someone was looking for new-wave urban living, I would say my city would be the place.
Detroit is the old-fashioned Converse All-Star sneaker in a world of flashy Nikes and Reeboks.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

You'll need to have a car and make sure you have reasonable safeguards like secure parking or a garage.  Public transportation sucks.  Finding a great place to live is no problem.

How is it different from other places you have been?

At first glance, my city doesn't seems to offer much but the people are very unique and really care about each other.  We have strong communities of people everywhere.
_____________________________________________

Answer and reverse (none / 0) (#57)
by CaptJay on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:59:28 AM EST

My answers are below, but since we're on the subject: I'm a software developer considering going to work in Germany for a time, but I've never been there. Wo sollte ich gehen? What can I expect of culture there?

Now for the answers:

Where do you live?

Quebec City, Canada

Why do you live there?

Uhm, I was kinda born here =)

What cultural opportunities do you have?

I think it's hard for someone who's always lived in a culture to point out what's insterresting about it, but I'll try. We have pretty good local music festivals and fireworks competitions. You also have what you'd expect in just about any north-american city, but Quebec being one of the oldest cities on this continent, there's a historical setting here that is very interresting. There are many restaurants that specialize in foreign cuisine, most of which have a very good reputation.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Quebec is a huge place for folks who love nature and outside sports. Skiing and other winter sports are good, and we still have a couple months of summer each year. Most people I know who visited Quebec from Europe or the US loved it in the winter though, because we get ALOT of snow.

What do you like about it?

Quebecers are an easy going kind of people, more open to difference in my opinion than the more conservative English-Canadian culture. I love the fact that you can easily get away from civilization about 50 km away from the city, the forests are amazing. The city itself is friendly and just not too big (about 500,000 people), but still big enough to have everything you need. I love the way the city looks, not much tall buildings and many trees.

What do you hate about it?

I hate the Quebec vs the rest of Canada fights, they're pointless. Public transport is also not very good in the city.

Would you recommand it, and why?

Yes, I think Quebec is an easy place to live in, quite cosmopolitan already (mostly foreign students). It has something for all tastes.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

You could survive knowing English, most Quebecers understand it to some degree, but I would highly suggest French as a prerequisite. For one, it is (by law) the only language used in offices, and it allows you to blend in better. Addressing someone in English and demanding to be answered in English can be seen as rude, too. However, if learned French anywhere else, brace yourself for Quebec's accent and don't worry if you seem to hear misplaced church words. ;)

Oh, and don't call anyone frogs.

Boston's North Shore isn't too bad (none / 0) (#60)
by the original jht on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:04:32 AM EST

I live in Salem, MA - about 15 miles north of Boston.  It's a mixed-collar city of about 40,000 people located on the water.  I grew up in a fairly ritzy town in Fairfield County, CT, and moved to Boston for college.  I stayed in Boston after leaving school, and wound up in Salem when my girlfriend (who had moved there a while earlier) and I were trying to decide where we wanted to live.  We were leaning towards my place in the Fenway, when her car got broken into one more time than we had the patience to stand.  So we picked Salem - and after living in apartments for a couple of years (and getting married) we decided we liked it here enough to buy a house.  That was 9 years ago.

As far as why we live here, it's a nice town where people are friendlier than you'll find in the larger cities, but folks still mind their own business.  It has a very nice park system (we have a big park just down the road from us where we take our infant for strolls regularly), woodland, a nice public golf course, plenty of restaurants, and a nice waterfront area.  Taxes are reasonably low, and between small local businesses and big box retailers you don't have to leave town to service your basic needs.  We also have a very good hospital and an excellent public library.

Culturally speaking, we have a small but thriving coffeehouse scene that's fueled by Salem State College here in town.  There's a lot of students.  We have a few bars and nightclubs, and a first-rate maritime museum (the Peabody Essex Museum) that's in the middle of a major expansion.  Tourism is huge here, especially in the fall with the Halloween rush.  We also have some small-town elements as well - there's a hoky Heritage Days week in early August that's capped with a big parade (it goes right by our house), we have a lot of greasy spoon-type breakfast places where people gossip, and we've got the Salem Willows, and old-fashioned amusement park/arcade area that has a wooden carousel, mini golf, some kiddie rides, and a plethora of fried food and skee-ball (as well as the universe's best popcorn and taffy from EW Hobbs).

What I like about Salem is that I have all the amenities of a larger city either in or near town.  I really love the older victorian houses (of which we own one) that are common here.

What sucks here is that the city is not very accessible.  We have very good commuter rail to Boston, but as far as roadways go there is no highway directly touching us.  The closest are Routes 128, 95, and 1 - and it's a haul in over congested local roads to get here.  Luckily I work here in town.  It also can be real difficult to get around during the frenzy the week or so leading up to Halloween.

I'd suggest it as a nice option to anyone who works in Boston or on the North Shore.  The aforementioned commuter rail is very good, and the traffic is manageable if not great.  Housing costs are lower than in some of the other communities in the area, and you don't really have to give up that much of what you'd get in a big city.

If you lived here, you'd need to know that nothing gets done very fast in government here.  Which can be a pain.  We have a large Latino population, which makes the scene a little more interesting (there's a nice Dominican restaurant and a couple of bodegas), but a lot of that population is crammed into a fairly hardscrabble neighborhood with the drug and crime issues that often crop up in inner cities.  Ours is confined to a few square blocks, but it's still an issue.  You should also go to Simard's for haircuts, and get your lunches at a Taste of Thyme (IMHO).  We don't have much in the way of beaches, but Marblehead has a very nice one close by.

Salem differs from most of the other places I've lived in that it's much more of a melting pot.  That's really neat.  Not too many places can give you city-esque amenities with the relatively low population density of a town, and it's good to find a place like that.
- -Josh Turiel
"Someday we'll all look back at this and laugh..."

Manchester (none / 0) (#66)
by gr00vey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:19:25 AM EST

It is beautiful up there, I used to goto manchester every summer, (now "Manchester by the sea") my grandmother had a house there, but damn its expensive there now... Family sold the house, but I still have relatives in beverly... Lots of tourists in the summer... Fairfeild is nice too, (I was born in Greenwich Conn...)

[ Parent ]
Summer in Gloucester (none / 0) (#277)
by leviramsey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:53:14 PM EST

At a large stone house (referred to as a castle) on a private ocean beach. I like it.



[ Parent ]
Canary Islands (none / 0) (#61)
by elsorro on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:06:51 AM EST

Where do you live?

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, NW of Africa

Why do you live there?
I was born here

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Plenty but nothing compared to any european
capital. We have plety of movie theaters, some
theaters, an International Classical Music
Festival, a Philarmonic Orquestra, an
opera teather with a annual opera season...
Also many rock and pop concerts are held all
year long, mostly spanishs acts... not too many
international acts

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Plenty too. Since its an island yo have plenty
of beaches to spend all day. ALso you have a
great but dry countryside. The island is
volcanic and it has the shape of a cone, full
of canyons.

What do you like about it?

We have over 300 days of sunshine here and
temperatures are around 70-80 all year long.
Mayor climate hazards, such as hurricanes,
tornadoes or earthquakes are non-existent. This
is rather pleasent

What do you hate about it?
We have virtually no seasons, so it may bore
some people but once you get used to it its
very nice.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

It seems that because of the climate and
the atmospheric pleassure people become
"aplatanadas", meaning that the rithm of life
is pretty slow and can get on foreigners
nerves. I have seen turists getting angry at
this fact, since most people here are never in
a hurry.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes, it you want an slow paced life with
some cultural and social life

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Taxes are lower that in Mainland Europe
since we are so far away. Inflation its quite
high even with those taxes discounts, ranking
high almost everytime in Spains inflation index
per location

Berlin, Germany (4.00 / 3) (#65)
by trailside on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:17:21 AM EST

Where do you live?

Berlin in Germany. I live in the district of Kreuzberg.

Why do you live there?

I moved here to be with my girlfriend, we've since split up, but I have no desire yet to move back to the UK.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Lots. There's something to suit everyone's taste. The cinemas are excellent, you can seen the latest Hollywood releases in original version, my excursion last night was to a Bollywood movie.

There's great museums, which are free on the first Sunday of every month. If you're interested in history, a walk around Berlin is fascinating.

In the summer there's street parties and parades, the Love Parade being the most famous, but Christopher Street Day is more fun, in my opinion.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Berlin is pretty much surrounded by lakes and forests. A short trip (30 minutes from where I live) by local train (S-Bahn) gets you out into easy (i.e. flat) mountain biking territory, or for a dip in a lake. Sailing is popular on the bigger lakes.

What do you like about it?

I like the sense of history in certain areas. Walking down Karl-Marx-Allee, a trip to the Reichstag, cycling along the East Side Gallery I like how you can sit in a quiet little cafe all evening chatting with friends, or spend the night in a cool club and getting home when the sun comes up. The "breakfast culture". People regularly get together with friends for a nice breakfast at someone's house or to a nearby cafe.

What do you hate about it?

Not much. I can't point to anything that really bothers me, apart from the usual big city stuff, but that's the price you pay for all the good stuff. Some pavements a covered in dogshit, especially, it seems, in the former East Berlin.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Shop assistants can be incredibly rude, but that seems to be getting better.

Would you recommend it, and why?

I would heartily recommend it. I had never lived outside of Ireland or the UK until I came here, and if you're looking for a multicultural, exciting and all-round fun city, you should try Berlin.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

A bit of German. You can manage without very much at all, but you'll have a much more enjoyable time if you can have at least a basic conversation.

Expect the usual German bureaucracy, but don't be worried about it.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I used to live in Plymouth, UK before coming here. Plymouth is a small city, the pace of life is slower, it's by the sea (which I miss), it's next to Dartmoor, which I loved mountain biking on, but it lacks the diversity of a big city like Berlin.



Rude shop assistants (none / 0) (#357)
by Razitshakra on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:24:59 AM EST

Shop assistants can be incredibly rude, but that seems to be getting better.

I've noticed that too. I used to think it was just the east german ones, because they controlled access to the sausage in the state owned store, and if you wanted sausage you had to suck up to the shop assistants. However, a friend who has lived i Munich tells me it's the same there, so that explanation doesn't hold.

--
Lets ride / You and I / In the midnight ambulance
- The Northern Territories
[ Parent ]
Cheltenham, UK (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by bowdie on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:20:08 AM EST

Where do you live?

I live in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - UK

Why do you live there?

I was born here, my work, family, friends are all here.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Pretty good, 1 Museum, 1 movie theatre, 3 theaters, lots of live music, and the best gardens and parks in England.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

See above, the council are even building a skate park, so it's all good.

What do you like about it?

I love Cheltenham, drive for 15 minutes in any direction and you're in deep country. It's clean, reasonably tidy, the people are (mostly) nice, and the food + drink is good.

What do you hate about it?

Boy racers (I think you call them "rice boys" in the US), horse racing track (I don't approve)

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

It's lovely, there are many parks, and they're great. The buildings are nice too.

Would you recommend it, and why?

I sure would. Come live in the UK's third nuclear target! We have GCHQ here! Bring your tin foil hat!

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Don't buy a house in Whaddon, St.Marks, or St. Pauls.

Ahhh good Ol'Gloucestershire (none / 0) (#337)
by Puggs on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:26:52 AM EST

The nicest place in Britain as far as im concerned Im moving back to Leonard Stanley (about halfway between Stonehouse and stroud & south a mile or so, in case u dont know...) on Monday after two years in manchester Its gonna be lovely to be home again - going from one of the worst places to live in the country, to a small peaceful village nestled under the cotswolds mmmm.. heaven :D btw, its nice to see someone else (relativly) local here on k5..

[ Parent ]
I know where that is! (none / 0) (#355)
by bowdie on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:21:49 AM EST

It's lovely round there, drove through it one day recently en route to a day out.

Gonna be one hell of a change from Manchester.

Part of me envies you, living in the proper lovely Gloucestershire countryside. I've often thought about moving out somewhere dark (I'm an astronomer), but I always think I'd miss my broadband, off licence round the corner, walk into town life.

Plus, living in the country means I might have to one day mix with hunters, and that would probably end badly.

[ Parent ]
Village life (none / 0) (#365)
by Puggs on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:40:36 AM EST

i am gonna miss my broadband - going to adsl from a uni T3 was hard enough, now all i can get is a lowly 56k dialup....

Its not too far into town - only 3 miles to stroud (JUST walkable after a nite in the pubs ;), and 15 to gloucester. The bus services arent too bad either - hourly to stroud & gloucester.

As far as hunting goes i dont think theres any near us - i hope not as well :) Theres plent of wildlife in the woods above my house - ive seen ~10 deer a few pheasants and plenty of foxes - so if there is hunting they're doing a pretty bad job of it (luckily :)

[ Parent ]

interesting thing (2.27 / 18) (#68)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:21:04 AM EST

I'm always fascinated by the small signs of USian arrogance. The author of this story set the tone right by clearly stating what country he was from, but despite this obvious hint, people from the US don't seem to be writing country, they just write city and maybe state.

Oh, and by the way, for you USians out there: no one except Americans (probably only USians at that) know the totally illogical two-letter acronyms for your states.

And yet... (3.00 / 2) (#89)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:03:11 AM EST

...you figured out that they were from the USA, desite their thoughtlessness. Amazing. Creds to *you*!
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[ Parent ]

Strangely... (none / 0) (#102)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:25:25 AM EST

...I'd figure it out even if they didn't write state most of the time, but I would've figure out that someone from say Nice was from France too. We Europeans have this little thing about knowing about cities in other places than our own country.

[ Parent ]
yeah (1.00 / 1) (#109)
by chiquitita on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:51:19 AM EST

i wish the europeans had never colonised the us too.

[ Parent ]
anyone who doesn't like genocide... (none / 0) (#115)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:12:54 PM EST

...would agree with that.

[ Parent ]
anyone who doesn't like arrogance... (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by chiquitita on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:26:00 PM EST

would not like americans. this is plain and simple and i know because i grew up in nyc. ciao.

[ Parent ]
Right... (none / 0) (#116)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:13:33 PM EST

...well, anyway, now that you're done congratulating yourself, I'll make my point, which is that in the good old USA, your state says more about where you're from than "USA" does. Saying "Washington State, USA" is basically redundant, since there aren't any other Washington States outside the USA. Of course, "Georgia, USA" might be appropriate, since there's a nation called Georgia, too. The fact that some people abbreviate their state's designation is probably due to the fact that it takes exactly one Google search to decypher, if need be. (And yes, the abbreviations do not follow a standard rule. Big deal.)

On the other hand, it might be that these people are leaving off the "USA" part for the same reason that most commerce websites, upon asking you to select your country, put the USA at the top of the list, out of alphabetical order. This is true for both US-based and non-US companies. I bet there's a reason for that. ;)
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Check your facts (none / 0) (#123)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:31:03 PM EST

<blockquote>On the other hand, it might be that these people are leaving off the "USA" part for the same reason that most commerce websites, upon asking you to select your country, put the USA at the top of the list, out of alphabetical order. This is true for both US-based and non-US companies</blockquote>

First of all, if the person who made the site had any brains they'd put the US where it belongs in the alphabetical order and just move the default selection to it. Of course, we all know most web-designers aren't competent. Secondly: only US-centric non-US companies do that. 100% of Swedish-centric Swedish companies have Sweden as the first in the list on such forms. I bet there's a reason for that ;)

[ Parent ]

Oh come on (none / 0) (#122)
by gr00vey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:27:29 PM EST

"Oh, and by the way, for you USians out there: no one except Americans (probably only USians at that) know the totally illogical two-letter acronyms for your states. " That is quite a sweeping generalization... And if you really are curious, there is this search engine called www.google.com where you can find out what each 2 letter abbreviation means..... I noticed some canadians only used 2 letters, and I knew what they meant.... If you had said current US foreign policy is arrogant, I would agree, but you're really grasping at straws here...

[ Parent ]
gah (none / 0) (#124)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:33:30 PM EST

Just because some data is one google search away doesn't mean that you should omit it. You remind me of all the newbies in #java that write "u", "2", "4", etc instead of the actual words "because it's faster to write". The same logic applies to "TX" instead of "Texas". If you write that slow, you should (as we say in #java) take up farming instead :P

[ Parent ]
what is wrong with farming? (none / 0) (#147)
by gr00vey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:35:36 PM EST

Your prejudicial closed mind is showing..... And guess what, if you don't like acronyms, your in the wrong business! ;)

[ Parent ]
huh? (none / 0) (#152)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:48:57 PM EST

I didn't say anything derogative about farming. YOUR prejudice shows clearly.

[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#170)
by gr00vey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:25:36 PM EST

"If you write that slow, you should (as we say in #java) take up farming instead " uhm, ok...

[ Parent ]
Add "EU" to where you are from (none / 0) (#181)
by jlinwood on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:59:23 PM EST

All of you EUians should add EU - as in Nice, France, EU.  Don't use those silly little abbreviations from the back of your cars.

I wish Kuro5hin had programmable filters - I'd block any post that used the non-word "USian".  Seems to be the mark of trolls.


[ Parent ]

ehm (none / 0) (#209)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:36:08 PM EST

I don't write EU because it's not a state, and you know what, Texas isn't a state either. If I wrote EU, which is just a loose connection of treaties between countries, I'd have to write my nation as "Sweden, EU, United Nations". The same thing for someone living in New York would be "USA, United Nations".

[ Parent ]
'pardon me? (none / 0) (#218)
by StackyMcRacky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:54:11 PM EST

Texas isn't a state? them's fightin' words!



[ Parent ]
If Texas isn't a state... (none / 0) (#235)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:31:59 PM EST

what exactly do you claim it is?


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
it was a state now it's just a province (none / 0) (#245)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:55:42 PM EST

It's state in name only.

[ Parent ]
State? (none / 0) (#253)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:24:07 PM EST

Dictionary.com: "One of the more or less internally autonomous territorial and political units composing a federation under a sovereign government: the 48 contiguous states of the Union."

You can argue that in the case of the USA the states could also start being called provinces (if we wanted to for some reason)... but according to the dictionary Texas qualifies as a state in name and definition.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Oh? (none / 0) (#290)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:35:13 PM EST

So Queensland isn't a state either? Sheesh.

Some people are so full of it. Look up what federation means. Russia was a state, even when it was a member of the USSR.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Habit couldn't possibily be a factor? (none / 0) (#173)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:29:27 PM EST

Why don't you start a meaningless rant on how you hate mimes while you're at it? It'll be real original!!!

[ Parent ]
of course habit is a factor! (none / 0) (#214)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:42:25 PM EST

Arrogance is a habit! Just like racism, or picking your nose.

[ Parent ]
Like nitpicking meaningless, insignificant habits? (none / 0) (#248)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:17:32 PM EST

That's a habit too!!! Let's add that to our list...

List of Habits
1. Omitting country, because it's redudant 99% of the time.
2. Arrogance
3. Racism
4. Picking your nose
5. Nitpicking meanless, insignifant habits leading to obtuse conclusions which equate arrogance with logistically induced habits!!!

You know what that means!!! You've won the "I'm an obtuse dick" award!!!

Congradulations!!!!

[ Parent ]
it's spelled "congratulations" :P [nt] (none / 0) (#252)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:18:39 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Atleast I'm not scared to conceed... (none / 0) (#255)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:39:30 PM EST

Zis is why you attack ze typo, n'est ce pas?

[ Parent ]
You must be french (none / 0) (#207)
by mingofmongo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:34:19 PM EST


"What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
--The Onion
[ Parent ]

yes i am (none / 0) (#333)
by loudici on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:11:31 AM EST

and i know your dumb states acronyms. i wish some frenchman would describe life in the 93 compared to life in the 06 and count how many americans know what he is talking about.
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]
also interesting is the fact that... (1.00 / 1) (#220)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:55:14 PM EST

...the amount of 1 ratings on that comment skyrocketed when the US got into the internet active part of the day. It's like a small flashback to the "looking beyond your nose" story :P

[ Parent ]
two letters acronyms (2.50 / 2) (#335)
by loudici on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:20:07 AM EST

well...don't be harsh on americans-some state names are really hard to spell- ever tried to spell pennsylvania or mississippi (2s 2s 2ps) when your brain has been subjected to american TV for several years?
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]
other interesting things (none / 0) (#429)
by bigsexyjoe on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:57:45 PM EST

We focus on what area of the United States because the US is a very large country and the different areas are pretty different. Of all the countries, the US is has the largest number of K5 readers, if not a majority. The US is also where the largest number of these posts come from. It makes sense to think of America as the default country. Another interesting thing, despite the author's hints that this is a story about where you are from, some annoying, effeminate Euporean posted about how jealous he is of America. Another sign of US arrogance is that everything here is posted in English. Why not Spanish or Chinese? You're right about the abbrevations. I had to learn them in 4th grade, but I promptly forgot them.

[ Parent ]
english (none / 0) (#437)
by boxed on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 12:41:43 PM EST

Another sign of US arrogance is that everything here is posted in English
That's BRITTISH arrogance. English became the defacto international language for two reasons: the brittish empire and because it's unusually simple to learn. In the modern age there really isn't a competitor to english for cross-border communications. English is the most known language by far. As an example of this one could take the only other real alternative for a global language: mandarin. Mandarin has something along the lines of a billion native speakers, outclassing english by an order of magnitude. This is meaningless however since half of those mandarin speaking people know english and ~0% of the english native speakers in the world knows mandarin.

[ Parent ]
Order of magnitude? (none / 0) (#438)
by i on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 12:57:18 PM EST

Do you count in ternary?

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
yea (none / 0) (#453)
by boxed on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 11:10:57 AM EST

well, some orders of magnitude anyhow :P (I count in binary like any sane man).

[ Parent ]
I'm not a USian (none / 0) (#469)
by runlevel0 on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 05:22:53 PM EST

and I understand those two-letter acronyms, pretty straightforward...

[ Parent ]
Pittsburgh, PA (4.00 / 2) (#69)
by JChen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:21:37 AM EST

Where do you live?

The city of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Why do you live there?

Because my parents moved here from China when I was six, and stayed here.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

The black community is pretty active. We also have large sections of Italians, Jews, and various others of European descent from the steel mill era (Pittsburgh was the big ass steel town). We also have two large universities (University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University), as well as a lot of small, regional colleges (Duquesne, Point Park), so there's a lot of minorities milling about from all over the world

Demographics are roughly the farther you live away from downtown, the higher you are on the class ladder.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

We have Schenley Park and Frick Park inside city limits. Both are large and heavily wooded, and Frick park has some of the best trails in the region. Both are named after benefactors of the steel industry, who located them outside of the steel mills region to provide natrual havens for the upper classes. The city also sponsors various activities throughout the year, from Christmas caroling in the winter to the Great Race marathon and Great Ride bike tour in the summer.

Tons of malls in the Greater Pittsburgh area, three (yes, 3) large amusement parks in the immediate area (Kennywood, Idlewild, Sandcastle).

What do you like about it?

Clean compared to many other cities. Lots of resturants, excellent park facilities. Almost no ethnic tension despite the myriad of ethnic groups in the city. Awesome cultural events. Low pollution due to intense city reforms from the steel mill era.

What do you hate about it?

University streets can get pretty rowdy at night. Crime rate higher in the ghettos.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Great culture, good transportation system. Also known as the city of bridges; bordered by three rivers. All three sports teams share the same colors of black and gold/yellow: Pirates (baseball), Steelers (American football), and Penguins (hockey).

Would you recommend it, and why?

Highly. Great culture, great transportation. No matter what your goal is, Pittsburgh has the qualities of a large metropolis with the convience of a medium-sized city.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Don't cheer for the Cleveland Browns (archrivals of the Steelers): you'll get lynched. "Pittsburghese", spoken by latter-generations of steel mill immigrants, can sometimes be confusing. For example, "yinz" means "you" (plural).

How is it different from other places you have been?

The traffic is pretty good compared to many other cities, and the pollution levels are low since the death of the steel mills. Excellent public transportation system, and relatively low crime rates. Lots of culture, lots of fun!

Let us do as we say.

More notes from a native Pittsburgher... (5.00 / 1) (#314)
by Nuke Skyjumper on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:37:19 PM EST

Thought I'd add my own comments as someone who's lived around the city of Pittsburgh for nearly all of his college-age life.

I grew up in an area that includes a number of large suburbs past the northern edge of city limits, collectively known as the "North hills". That area is every bit the stereotypical American Suburbia that you see in the movies, with the added twist of really small and steep hills which sometimes make winter driving impossible (or fun, if it's 3:00am and nobody else is around :).

JChen is correct about the cultural diversity. The majority of the population is of middle and eastern European background. We also have separate areas of Blacks, Jews, and Italians. The people of those areas seem to voluntarily segregate themselves that way. There may not be much ethnic tension, but some people let their self pride get out of hand.

I don't quite agree that the population gradually appears more wealthy as you leave the city. There are wealthy areas inside the city, and plenty of trashy areas outside of it. The city spans only a couple of miles, and everything outside is a variety of small towns, suburbs, and rural farmland.

I'm not sure if I'd describe this city as a land of malls, since other areas of the country have far more and larger malls than Pittsburgh. JChen is right about the amusements parks though - Kennywood is the primary attraction, and for good reason. That park has been around for about 100 years, and is a great combination of old fashioned style with cutting edge amusements. I'm fairly sure that the owners of Kennywood also own the other two big parks, which aren't really special enough to deserve much mention.

It's true that Pittsburgh is pretty clean when compared to other similarly sized American cities. The old image of the "dirty city" or "smokey city" is now completely gone. One thing I do like, is that it's a big city with an almost small town atmosphere. I think the abundance of hills and trees not far from downtown really adds to that.

Oh, and restaurants. There are restaurants literally everywhere. Local food favorites seem come from eastern European roots, like Kielbasa and Pierogies. Even so, the food served at restaurants varies so much, there probably aren't many types of food you can't find here. Strangely enough, I can't figure out why a place as big as this doesn't have a 24-hour Chinese takeout place. Isn't that the classic 24-hour food? Luckily, we do have one totally incredible asian food place.

As far as the transportation system, most people would agree that it's far from "good". We have city buses, but they can't be relied on to keep good time. The buses also seem to ignore things such as traffic laws, and frequently go through stop lights/stop signs.

The three connecting rivers are obviously the reason a city was built here, but they aren't used as much as you might expect. Fisherman seem to prefer fishing far away from the city, and I don't see very many private boats in the rivers.

Sports are a really big deal here. The fact that the three sport teams share the same colors contributes to an strong pride in Pittsburgh sports. Fans of the Steelers (American football) are almost religious, and as mentioned, the Cleveland Browns are the arch enemies. Cleveland is Pittsburgh's sworn enemy, commonly known here as the "mistake on the lake" by the locals. It's not deep hatred, but I get the feeling many Pittsburghers think there's something evil about people from Cleveland - especially people from Cleveland who like the Browns (American football).

Pittsburghese: the local dialect. I can't possibly imagine how the people of one city have been able to create a dialect and perserve it for so many years. Phrases like "all of you" become pronounced "all-uh-yinz". "Downtown" becomes "dahn-tahn". "down there" becomes "dahn air". And those carbonated drinks called "soda" everywhere else is "pop" here. Call it something different, and people will immediately ask you where you're from.

Definitely an interesting city. One thing that stands out to me though, is that the Pittsburgh sports pride seems to spill over into a pride for the city itself. The more serious sports fans would not move elsewhere unless killed and dragged there. These are the people who paint their bodies in black and gold, wave terrible towels, and have tailgate parties at the football stadium.


[ Parent ]

Kennywood is an awesome park [n/t] (none / 0) (#316)
by SeanReardon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:41:30 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Richardson, TX USA (none / 0) (#72)
by lanmaniac on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:36:40 AM EST

Well, just for kicks I thought I'd post a little bit on this crazy area of the world. Where do you live?

Richardson, TX , a suburb of Dallas on the northern side. South of Plano and in between Dallas and Garland ( I think? )

Why do you live there?

I'm currently attending the University of Texas at Dallas, a medium size university specializing in computer science/engineering. Originally planned on perhaps getting a job up here in the Telecom Corridor.

What cultural opportunities?

Well. I'm not sure what to say there. In Richardson there are a lot of Indians, Pakistanis, and Chinese ( international students ). Lots of good eats in the way of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian food. A few Japanese resturants and lots of Tex-Mex to be had ( it's Tejas!).

What recreational opportunities?

Lots of lakes in the DFW area for fishing and whatnot, museums in dallas, clubs down in Deep Ellum area and near Lower Greenville. We have a Symphony and I think there is probably an Opera House around here.

What do you like about it?

Well, they are working on public transport, we have a new light rail system that can get you downtown from the suburbs. It's Texas, and I have spent most of my life around here, so I'm used to the people, culture, way of life. How many other states do you know of where people are so outspoken about their state?

What do you hate about it?

The bible belt is a horrible place. I mean c'mon, the Southern Baptist Convention is held around here. Plano is suburban hell, everything you've seen in suburbs but probably a bit more extreme. Traffic is really bad most of the week.

What qualities really stand out?

DFW area, which essentially turns this into a huge metropolis but with many interlocking cities between and around the two large cities ( dallas / ft. worth ). As a result you can drive about an hour and be in a radically different city. Ft. Worth is a pretty different place.

Would you reccommend it, and why?

I plan on moving after college, because I want to get out of Texas for a few years at least. If you don't like suburban sprawl on a sickening level, stay away. The people are pretty nice here, but I'm kinda tired of the conservative nature of the politics here.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

You have to have a car if you want to be able to get around. You must realize traffic is horrible. The highway system was drawn out by a kindergartener on crank. Stay away from downtown during the week if you can.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I grew up in Houston, and this is a drier climate and less polluted. Less public transport than most cities of it's size, so get a car.

&nbsp I hope this helps

Houston *less* polluted? (none / 0) (#82)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:52:05 AM EST

Damn. You must live in an oil refinery.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
you read it wrong (none / 0) (#208)
by StackyMcRacky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:34:36 PM EST

he said "this is a drier climate and less polluted" where "this" = Richardson.



[ Parent ]
Ahhhh.... (none / 0) (#224)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:08:34 PM EST

....yeah. Damn my eyes!

I didn't think there could be, statistically, any city in the US more polluted than Houston.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

LA and Beaumont (none / 0) (#229)
by StackyMcRacky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:15:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
funny (none / 0) (#206)
by StackyMcRacky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:33:57 PM EST

i grew up in Richardson (on the east side of town) and am now living in Houston. i miss the nice roads in dallas



[ Parent ]
Good place to live, but you want o move... (5.00 / 1) (#217)
by traxman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:52:08 PM EST

It's interesting that you want to leave Texas because of the politics. That's on reason I"m contemplating a move there. Currently I'm in Sacramento, CA (United States, for the non-USian's)

Sacramento is the capital of California. California keeps raising taxes more and more, and giving less and less to the people. Right now they're about to pass a budget that turns our old surplus into a huge, multi-year deficit. The money that they're spending is outrgeous. In the next few years, there will be no more businesses left in California, because they can't afford to do business here.

Having said that, Texas looks nicer and nicer. I love hunting fishing and outdoor activities. The job markets are good in the urban areas. Do ya'll recommend the move. (I'm already adjusting. That's my first ya'll in print!)

Thanks in advance,


traxman


[ Parent ]
Shelby Township, Michigan (none / 0) (#73)
by c0nsumer on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:40:51 AM EST

Where do you live?
Shelby Township, MI

Why do you live there?
Bought my grandmother's condo from the estate after she passed away. It's also near family and current friends.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Not many right by my place, but there are plenty of urban areas not too far away. Detroit is about 45 minutes away, Royal Oak is 30 minutes away, Cleveland is two hours.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Metroparks, Township Parks, etc. Michigan has lots of lakes and parks and trails.

What do you like about it?
This area is right in the middle of pretty much everything. There are rural woodsy areas a few miles north, mixed cultural areas (mostly asian, middle eastern, and south/east european) a few miles south west of here.
Canada is also not more than an hour away.

What do you hate about it?
Everything that I do for entertainment is a bit of a drive. Right near my place there's only corporate shopping, fast food, etc. Nothing independant or even remotely 'underground' near by.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The Detroit area (and Michigan in general) is very diverse. While there aren't any amazig cultural centers, you can find almost anything you want within a hour (or so) drive. Interstate highways are very accessable, making it easy to get from this area to anywhere else in the country.

Would you recommend it, and why?
All in all, yes. It's a nice, comfortable place to live. Traffic isn't so bad, there is convienant grocery shopping (organic and standard), and it's generally quiet.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Nothing too much... It's a pretty standard area with easy to learn roads.

How is it different from other places you have been?
The Detroit area is the land of urban sprawl. I've never been to an area where the urban areas just keep going and going. Like one would expect, the outside ring is the most upscale with the center of the area (Detroit itself) being rather broken down. Fortunately the core of Detroit is coming back, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Namely, public transportation. There is essentially no public transportation here. At all.

Newport News Virginia, USA (none / 0) (#74)
by n8f8 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:42:40 AM EST

Where do you live?
Newport news, Virginia USA
Why do you live there?
Came here in 1990 while serving in the US Navy. Loved the local activities from the beaches to Bush Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. I love computer programming and there are a lot of high-tech jobs.
What cultural opportunities do you have?
Newport News has lots of great museums including the Virginia War Museum and the Mariner Museum. Some of the best maritime museums in the world. Across the river they play bluegrass at a gas station and during the summer you can go to pig pickins almost every week. Downtown Hampton has Jazz and pop festivals.
What recreational opportunities do you have?
Bush Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Virginia Beach, Outer Banks, public and private campgrounds, Richmond NASCAR raceway, Eastern Shore camping, blah blah blah...
What do you like about it?
High tech jobs.
What do you hate about it?
Traffic is really bad. Gets too cold in the Winter for me.
What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
Bad:traffic. Good: recreation activities.
Would you recommend it, and why?
Yes, good place to live and work. If someone was moving here I would suggest livng in an outlying area and commuting. York, Isle of Wight, Chesapeake are all good areas.
If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Traffic sucks, especiall on Thursdays. This is a military area. Don't be afraid to go to the local activities. Almost everyone here grew up someplace else.
How is it different from other places you have been?
Lots to do. Very high tech. People are friendly and not snobby.


Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Traffic ? (none / 0) (#132)
by sasquatchan on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:51:27 PM EST

While I've been in Williamsburg since 1994 (save for a years sabbatical to NH), the traffic here isn't too bad, esp compared to the DC area. While construction on 64 has been ever-on-going, it isn't too bad. Just Friday/Sat on weekends when the beachgoers are leaving -- guaranteed bad traffic on my ride home.

I'd have to add, if you're going to move here, live on the same side of the tunnels you plan to work on. IE if you live in Va Beach, work in Va Beach. If you live in Hampton/NN/W.burg, work there. Norfolk's a toss up because getting anywhere there sucks.

Isle of weight has the JRB, and that's usually a cluster fuck when it opens.. So listen to the radio for bridge openings..
-- The internet is not here for your personal therapy.
[ Parent ]

Sydney, Australia (none / 0) (#75)
by danny on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:42:57 AM EST

I was born in Sydney, and have never really lived anywhere else, but I've travelled a bit so I can compare it to other cities... though I make no bones about being biased!

With 4 million people, Sydney has pretty much the full range of cultural, etc. opportunities - a decent symphony orchestra, ballet, opera, major sporting fixtures (if you're into that), and so forth. More unusually, it has an excellent "green belt" some 40 to 60km out - a near continuous belt of national parks, protected water catchment, state forests, etc. - which provide great bushwalking (hiking) opportunities.

Perhaps the outstanding feature is the food: in quality, variety, and price I reckon it is unmatched anywhere in the world. (Sydney is by far the most popular destination for migrants to Australia, so we have large Greek, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, etc. etc. populations.) There's also a good range of bookshops (though not as good as London's).

One major problem is transport - Sydney sprawls and is geographically immense (70km from Bondi to Emu Plains, 50+ from Waterfall to Brooklyn), as big as some cities twice its size. The public transport isn't as good as most similar sized European cities (though I think better than many US ones). Another problem is the insane growth in house prices (not quite in London's league absolutely, but compared to average salaries possibly worse).

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

If you come from the UK, US, Canada, etc. then you probably wouldn't need to know much.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

Newcastle, Australia (none / 0) (#299)
by supine on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:30:20 PM EST

Not to far away so I thought I would tack mine on here.

Where do you live?

Newcastle, NSW, Australia. (pop. 160,000)

It is about 2 hours drive north of Sydney. When someone says 'Newcastle' they are often referring to the Hunter Valley (pop. 500,000), which encompasses Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Port Stephens.

Why do you live there?

I was born here. I grew up on Lake Macquarie. I now live 5 minutes south of the Newcastle CBD 2 minutes walk from the beaches. The only time I moved away was in 2001 when I lived and worked in Sydney.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Whatever you could want, and if we still don't have it, Sydney is bound to.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Beaches, beaches and more beaches.

All manner of water sports from surfing and life saving at the beach, to water skiing on the Williams River and Lake Macquarie, to sailing on Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Harbour.

Plenty of national parks in easy reach for bushwalking and camping. Plenty of parks and sporting grounds for days out and weekend sport.

What do you like about it?

The laid back lifestyle. Not much traffic. Everything is 5-10 minutes away.

The three restaurant strips: Darby St; Beaumont St ; the Junction.

Did I mention the beaches?

What do you hate about it?

The nightlife can be a little disappointing, especially after living in Sydney. We mainly have pubs here, very few of which put on decent music, and those that do keep those gigs for Friday/Saturday nights only.

The job market is fairly weak, especially in IT. I am studying something else at Newcastle University but it would be nice to be able to use my skills to earn some money rather then getting some retail job where I am just a checkout chick.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Good: the lifestyle.
Bad: the job market.

Would you recommend it, and why?

I certainly love it here and would encourage people to check it out, but some people can't slow down enough to stay put.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

If you don't support the Newcastle Knights you will be looked down on. If you choose to support another rugby league team you will be lynched.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Sydney is bigger, faster, more but not always better. I certainly enjoyed being able to go out and see a good band every night of the week, decent DJs played almost every night and you could eat breakfast, lunch or dinner any time of the day, just pick your craving.

But the pace of lifestyle down there was a bit too fast and certainly sitting in traffic jams a lot (rather then use the abysmal public transport) was lots of fun.

And living as close to the beach in Sydney as I do here would have cost me a fortune in rent.

--
"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

The west country of Engerland (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by duncanp on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:44:06 AM EST

Where do you live?

Bristol UK ( I have actually just moved to Chepstow in Wales which is just across the river and a little cheaper, but I still consider myself as living in Bristol)

Why do you live there?

It is a place where I feel comfortable. There are loads of parks, trees and hills and the people for the most part are very friendly. The pace of life is very relaxe.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Bristol is applying to be the cutural capital of europe for 2008. It stands a good chance too. There are many cinemas, (multiplex and arthouse) and loads of music venues. There are some very nice small galleries here too if you can hunt them down. The Bristol old-vic is one of the most respected theatres in the country where many British actors such as Kenneth Brannagh and Patrick Stewart started out their acting careers. Also, many famous bands have hailed from Bristol such as Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky, Roni Size, and of course, Adge Cutler and the Wurzels.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Sports facilities in Bristol are adequate, but not stunning. I am however, a keen mountain biker and on the doorstep are the hills of Leigh woods, the mendips, the quantocks, the cotswolds, the forest of dean and the black mountains. The docks provide a large (but dirty!) area for all kinds of watersports.

What do you like about it?

I like the atmosphere of the city and the people. I especially enjoy the greenery of this very country city. There are always many good nights out to be had.

What do you hate about it?

The traffic problems here are appalling. The city often grid-locks at rush hour and the council solutions are to turn traffic lanes into bus lanes without improving the bus service, making matters worse. Parts of the city are not kept very clean and many of the residents do not look after their environment well. Also, the house prices are rising very quickly making it difficult to afford to buy here. This is driving many of the locals out of the centre gradually and moving the yuppies in to converted dockside appartments and in turn causing a widespread increase in dull, faceless and expensive wine bars.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Bristol is an hour and a half drive from London one way and the same distance to the beaches of Devon and Cornwall in the other direction. As a country boy who enjoys the city, I think it is a great place to live!

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes. Some people miss the hussle and bustle of bigger cities like London or Brimingham, but Bristol is a much more pleasant place to live. I know many people who have moved here from other cities and never talk of leaving. In fact I lived in London for 2 years and craved to come back to this area.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Learn how to understand the Bristol accent. Phrases such as "Alright my Babber" ("Hello dear")and "I got an ideal" ("I have an idea"). A wurzels record can be a useful learning tool. Tractor driving skills are optional.




er, did that make sense?

duncan
Thanks! (none / 0) (#195)
by CYwolf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:16:37 PM EST

I was actually born in Bristol, but I haven't been there since I was about 12 months old. Your post was fairly enlightening. Do they still make Bristol glass there?

[ Parent ]
Bristol Blue Glass (none / 0) (#356)
by cowbutt on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:24:10 AM EST

Yup, still made there, though EviL Kapitalist Property Developers[TM] in co-operation with the council are forcing them out.

[ Parent ]
Live there, and if you're a student... (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:44:37 AM EST

By far the most rewarding way of travelling is to go and live there.  This allows you to get a better feeling for a place, and a deeper understanding of the culture, and even make some really good friends (hopefully for life).  For me this started at the age of five when in 1980 my dad got posted to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.  What great memories, although hear nice seaside places like Paphos have since been ruined by British package holidays.

For young people, student exchanges and working holidays are the way to go.

Student exchange: at 17 I decided that my university of choice *had* to offer a foreign exchange programme as part of the course.  As I'm exceeding poor at foreign languages, this meant finding somewhere that would send me to an English speaking part of the world.  I ended up spending a year in Ottawa: what a great city!  The real bonus to this is that it is far far cheaper than studying a whole degree overseas.  The people on the exchange programme continued paying their fees/etc at there home university, so we weren't slapped up with the ridiculous rates that foreign students get charged.  It's also good as if it doesn't work out, you're only there for a year, not 3 or 4.

Student working holiday: many countries have student working holiday programmes.  In the UK this is BUNAC, in Canada it is SWAP.  This is an exchange system so I can say with authority that the USA and Australia also have similar programmes (sorry, I can't remember which other countries BUNAC offered exchanges with).  For my future wife, this meant she came and lived in Britain for a year, travelling and working wherever she felt like.  For me (as a graduate, I had to travel very soon after completion of my course), I came to Canada.  They gave me an employment authorisation visa which allowed me to work almost anywhere, which is funny, as those visa are normally only valid for work with the sponsoring company.  Thus, you have far more freedom on these programmes than any other option later in life, other than immigration, which can be costly, time-consuming, a lot of effort, and perhaps not even an option.  BTW: after 7 months I ended up in Denver on an H1b, but that's another story.

Austin, TX (4.33 / 6) (#78)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:47:15 AM EST

Wonder how many austin posts there'll be?

Where do you live?
Austin, USA

Why do you live there?
Wife goes to UT getting her PhD in neuropharmacology. I followed her to Worcester, MA (WPI) first, and now Austin. I make money, she learns things.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
This is the live music capital of the world, supposedly. And yes, there's tons of live music, some of it in historic places. There's Willie, et. al. There's Stevie Ray and his brother. There's just about everyone you've heard of in classic rock and decent country. There's the best band in the world, Del Castillo. Add to that: great BBQ, great world cuisine, a lot of Texas history.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Lakes, rivers and streams. Sixth street (local clubs are mostly on 6th street). Lots of hike and bike trails, and it's a short drive to the major theme parks in Texas, if you're into that kind of crap.

What do you like about it?
The people from Austin (the ones born here) and the nicest, coolest people on the planet. Seriously wonderful people. Some of the transplants are as well. Plus, it's a small city with all the big city culture. And there's a lot of wacky crap here: Eeyores Birthday @ pease park, the Kite festical @ Zilker, the taco shack in south austin, etc.

What do you hate about it?
When you move to Austin, there's always someone telling you how cool it was ten or twenty years ago. There's a feeling that you Just Missed It, those heady, hip, wonderful laid back days. That "you're not in the club" thing is pretty annoying. That and all the goddamn californians. And the Yuppies. And the Texans not from Austin. And the summer (9 months of summer, 3 months of pants-wearin'-weather).

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The heat is awful in the summer. The food seems like it used to be good, but there's a lot of corporate eateries. Still some gems out there, though. The music scene is really amazing, both good and bad. The city itself is pleasent. Everyone in Texas thinnks that Austin is liberal. I've lived in California. This ain't liberal.

Would you recommend it, and why?
For a short (3 day) visit: yes. Please don't move here.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Tex-Mex isn't Mexican food. East Austin is "the bad part of town" (ooooooh! Black people and Mexicans! It must be baaaad). South Austin is hip and poor-ish, though getting trendier. Sandra Bullock is as beautiful in person as you'd think she'd be. MoPac = Loop 1. MoPac stands for "Missouri Pacific" since it follows the tracks. I-35 is bad, no matter what time of day. Research, Anderson, and 183 are all the same road in different places. Everyone is armed. Wear light clothing and carry no spare parts. Expect the 71 @ I-35 interchange construction to be a "forever" project. UT is 50,000 students strong, so don't carry a Kansas banner. Orange is the color, and Whitman is not a candy sampler.

How is it different from other places you have been?
I've lived in New Mexico, California, and central Massachusetts. Austin is hotter, hipper, more wealthy (in general), and has better music. It lacks jobs, places to go that are cheap and non-alcoholic at night, and decent Indian food.
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The root of the problem has been isolated.

How long have you lived here? (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by Bill Barth on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:16:44 PM EST

I agree with about half of what you have to say about my favorite city i the US, but I have to take issue with a few of your points.

Weather:
Unless you're seriously overweight, the weather is much better than you make it out to be. I think of it as: 4 months of shorts and T-shirts (but only if you have to spend time outside :), 4-6 months when you can wear anything you want, 4-2 months where a jacket might be warranted, and days with freak cold or hot. The saying is certainly true: "If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait a minute."

Food:
There are literally hundreds of unique places to eat in this town. If you need a list, there are usually four or five new places in the Chronicle every week.

Politics:
Have you lived anywhere else in Texas? This is liberal.

Guns and Ammo:
This is Texas. Not everyone is armed, but you should assume that everyone is (concealed handgun licensing and all). And that's the way we like it. :)

Moving here:
With respect to your comment about recommending Austin, I can't tell if you've become one of those old-Austin you-damned-Californians-ruined-my-city types or if you just don't like it here. Austin's not perfect, but I can't imagine living anywhere else in the US. That said, there are a few drawbacks to living here. Rent: it's not San Francisco, but considering salaries, it might as well be. Speaking of salaries, there aren't many spectacular jobs right now, but companies are still moving here. I also get the impression that there aren't really lots of great jobs anywhere else either. When the economy turns around, the job market in Austin will too.

BTW, have you tried Sarovar and The Clay Pit? As for doing non-alcoholic things at night, what are you missing that you had somewhere else ?


Yes...I am a rocket scientist.
[ Parent ]

Replies. (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:45:06 PM EST

1) I've only lived here 3 years. The weather has been hotter than hell for those three years. The summer is the worst, obviously, but even February has been really damn warm. Put it this way: I use my A/C in my car 300 days a year.

2) I've found some great places to eat, but (with a few exceptions) they're not new. I live in the Northwest side of town, so everything is a corporate eatery. I really dig the little Mexican food places on south 1st and south congress, though, and that Javanese noodle house is quite astounding. Best sushi I've ever had has been here, too. So the food thing: I'll capitulate, but I'd like to see more Hoovers and less Pappadeux / Papasitos / Land and Cattle Co / etc.

3) I've lived in El Paso. I've also (as I said) lived in California. Yes, this is liberal for Texas. No, it's not liberal.

4) Everyone is armed. That's the best way to think of it. We agree on that point.

5) Cost of living is high, and the people who move here seem to be interested in packaging the Austin lifestyle up and selling it back to themselves. Couple that with, well...have you seen the Arboretum? That's California in a strip mall. And that's what the people in the area want. Look at the houses going up between 183 and 360. It's becoming so...shiny and urban. I'd rather see trailor parks, chickens running around, and the occasional cadillac with longhorns on the front. The rents are getting better (the apartments are no longer 100 percent full, which is scaring the apartment complexes), but it's still pricey. Gas and food are cheap, though. I really like HEB.

And no, I don't really like it here as much as other people do, because I feel it could be so much better...but the economy is tanking, real estate is starting to taper off, and downtown has been ripped up for so long that no one wants to go there anymore, so maybe the more evil influences will lose interest. I'm still in awe of the local art / theater / movie / music scene, and I really like the small size, but I want the Austin of Slackers, damnit! Heh. Maybe not. In any event, I'm only here for 2 more years, then my wife moves on (and I'd better follow).
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Re: Replies (5.00 / 1) (#167)
by Bill Barth on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:22:11 PM EST

Put it this way: I use my A/C in my car 300 days a year.
Hmm...that's interesting. I use mine only about half of the year. Are you generally hot where ever you go?

I live in the Northwest side of town, so everything is a corporate eatery.
I live northwest, too. Some driving for food is in order. If I had too, I could probably five you non-super-franchise eateries for one meal for every day of the year. There really are a number of fabulous places to eat in this town, you just have to go looking for them.

I've lived in El Paso. I've also (as I said) lived in California. Yes, this is liberal for Texas. No, it's not liberal.
Agreed. My only point was that the only people I've ever head say Austin is liberal are Texans from other parts of the state. Especially the folks that warned me about this den of heathens I was moving to when I came here for school 7 years ago. :)

I'd rather see trailor parks, chickens running around, and the occasional cadillac with longhorns on the front.
Might I suggest a move to Bastrop? Elgin? Dripping Springs?
Best sushi I've ever had has been here, too.
Isn't Musashino a damned fine establishment?


Yes...I am a rocket scientist.
[ Parent ]

Sushi, et c. (5.00 / 1) (#174)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:33:29 PM EST

Have you tried Origami in Round Rock yet? Excellent food all around, and very good sushi. Best nabeyaki udon in the state.

I'd love to live in Elgin. I dig that place. Very much what I expected the great state of Central Texas to be like. My wife, though, is the person who decides where I live. If I had my 'drothers, I'd be out on a ranch southwest of Johnson City, way out there. Raise some goats, grow a garden, and drive into The City when I need to see City things (which would be quite often).

By the way, we're all neglecting to mention the Alamo Drafthouse. I wouldn't trade either location in for all the money in the world. "Don't talk during the movie or we'll take your ass out!" with the projectionist-as-sniper clip running in the background. Live Oak on tap, and excellent pizza @ the north location.
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Drafthouse and Sushi (none / 0) (#320)
by prator on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:04:48 PM EST

I've got to say that my favorite sushi restaurant is still relatively new, Umi's.

The Drafthouse is just great.  I don't even have a word to describe it.  I really need to check out one of the off-site events.  I can't believe I didn't go see Goonies in a cave with Corey Feldman.

-prator

[ Parent ]

mmmmmm (none / 0) (#215)
by StackyMcRacky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:42:29 PM EST

the clay pot! so tasty! i need to make a road trip!



[ Parent ]
Weather (none / 0) (#318)
by prator on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:01:47 PM EST

I disagree with the comments about the weather.  I used to live in Baton Rouge, LA.  That's unpredicatable weather.

I'll give you the forecast for the next two months.  Hot.

You can see a rain storm coming in Austin about a week in advance.  Even Houston gets a lot more varied weather than Austin.

I agree about the restaurants.  I keep finding a new sushi place every month or so.

-prator

[ Parent ]

Austin, TX Addendum (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by quam on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:12:39 PM EST

Why do you live there?
This is home, has been for about 15 years --- I am comfortable here.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
In addition, opera, symphony, and ballet performances, along with outdoor concerts and plays, are conducted pretty regularly. The movie industry is also active and at least one film is currently in production on a regular basis; not always a major production, but something is in filming. There are sizeable Hispanic, Indian, and Asian populations (I also run into many Aussies... I guess there is an Aussie population?) occassionally hosting events/parties. The University of Texas also provides museums, libraries with massive collections, and sporting events. Many locally-owned restaurants offer great and unique (i.e.: Hula Hut, Tex-Mex-Polynesian Food) food. Also, I found long ago those who label East Austin as a bad area probably have not ventured much into that area. East Austin is very safe, though the ability to speak some Spanish is helpful, and includes many good restaurants (with vegetarian options) and farmer markets. Dallas (3 1/2 hours), Houston (3 hours), and San Antonio (1 1/4 hour) are not far away and offer sporting events and museums. Oh, and tubing is only 1/2 hour away.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
+ hills, many parks, and canoeing.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Yes, about every major road has 2-3 names. Also, on 183/Research/Anderson, East=North and West=South. 2244/Westlake/Rollingwood is also the same as Bee Caves Road. Ceasar Chavez=1st Street. 6th Street=Pecan Street. 71/290/Ben White and I-35 sucks. Please be kind to bats.

How is it different from other places you have been?
I've lived in Kansas City and San Antonio. I once had a sales job involving extensive travel to many cities. In Austin, people tend to behave/dress as he/she chooses (i.e.: unusual hair colors, piercings, or clothing), and are laid back. Grocery stores in Austin are stocked with more produce and unique items (these stores (Whole Foods and Central Market) now have branches in other Texas cities). Also, people are generally more politically active. For non-alcoholic outings, try coffee places such as Mozart's, Flipnotics, and the Book People coffee area.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Yes, indeed. (none / 0) (#172)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:28:47 PM EST

I agree 100 percent. Not that it matters.

I forgot about the coffee shops because 1) I'm not a college student and 2) I'm not that interested in the coffee shop lifestyle. It's an aesthetic that offends me.

I thought Whole Foods was a California chain?
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Fellow Slacker (none / 0) (#178)
by quam on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:50:30 PM EST

I'm not a college student either and I guess you're right: there are not many non-alcoholic and non-coffee places for socializing.

Whole Foods began on Lamar, where Cheapo currently resides, and the corporate headquarters is currently located on the top floor of the store on 5th and Lamar (which is moving across the street (thank god something is happening to that land)). Wheatsville Co-op reminds me of the first Whole Foods.

Did you go to the Slashdot Meetup? Before I go to a meeting, I think I would like to hear how the first meeting worked out.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Nope. (none / 0) (#189)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:07:29 PM EST

I didn't go. There's been some talk of having a k5 meetup. Dunno if I would go, though. I'm thinking I like my semi-anonymity.

Wheatsville CoOp is great. Used to shop there when I lived on Manor / Dean Keaton (damn dual street names). I had no idea Whole Foods was local. They're all over the place now.
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Dude, You're Getting a... ElectricAngst? (none / 0) (#197)
by quam on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:21:56 PM EST

A k5 meetup would be interesting. I know Rusty mentioned something when he was in town for SXSW, but I could not show up as we were in the middle of buying a place and making renovations. I understand Rusty was stuck at the Omni. :( I would be curious how a roundtable discussion and beer with ElectricAngst would turn out.

You lived in a nice area --- lots of character.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Oh, and.... (none / 0) (#176)
by blixco on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:39:11 PM EST

I lived on Manor road over by the Cherrywood neighborhood. We never had any problems (other than loud frat boy neighbors). I move to Northwest Austin, and every morning a car has been broken into, a dog has been kidnapped, etc. I'd rather live in East Austin (Cherrywood is a great area) than northwest, but the traffic was becoming an issue for me (I commute to Round Rock....guess where I work?).
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
Our Embarrassing Phallic Skyline (4.66 / 3) (#81)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:50:11 AM EST

Where do you live?
I live in Toronto, Ontari-ari-ario, Canada. Also known as: the GTA, the megacity, Hogtown, or simply "where the ass-holes live."

Why do you live there?
Work. I'm a freelance animator, and in this city they fall over each other to throw work at you if you have even a halfway idea of what you're doing. I am saving up a downpayment on a house that is not in Toronto. I have a soft spot for the city because I grew up here, but it is fairly smelly, the people are somewhat rude and the cost is living is relatively high.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
I hate to quote Douglas Coupland, but I'm afraid I have to quote Douglas Coupland: "Toronto is the Yellow Pages comes to life." While lacking the more sophisticated air of more authentic cosmopolitan cultures like Montreal, Toronto makes up for it with glitzy, expensive facsimiles thereof. It's the well-off consumer's dream: eat anything from anywhere on the planet, buy anything from anywhere on the planet. Basically, Toronto is Canada's best crack at an American city. It's as American as you can get without actually having to suffer the indignity of being one.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Parklands abound. Off-Broadway theatre. Rush-hour driving. Vagrant dodging. Canadian National Exhibition. Taverns galore. Pretentious nite-clubs, if you're into that sort of thing.

What do you like about it?
In no particular order: trees, money, speed, broad array of gourmet take-out choices

What do you hate about it?
The smell of the smog-dome in summer. The way people on the road keep trying to off me. The way self-righteous Canadians from other cities see fit to sneer at me for where I live.

Would you recommend it, and why?
If you're someone who would like the benefits of living in an American megatropolis, except with more trees and less crime, this is the place for you. Of course, you could also go to Vancouver, British Columbia for that if you're of a left-coast sort of bend -- on the other hand if you hate hippies, Toronto is the logical alternative. Also, you might just think it's funny to live in a city whose principal skyline features is a massive concrete yang planted beside a giant retractable yin.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Defensive driving techniques. Try to be polite. What "poutine" is. Working knowledge of Chinese would come in handy, too.


This is an excellent example of a fairly dull but decently spelled signature.

Toronto languages (2.00 / 2) (#150)
by DrJohnEvans on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:41:43 PM EST

Working knowledge of Chinese would come in handy, too.
Given the number of hours I've logged listening to conversations in that language on the TTC, you'd think I'd be fluent by now. No such luck.

[ Parent ]
So tell me (1.00 / 1) (#169)
by vambo rool on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:23:52 PM EST

Does Ontario really suck?

[ Parent ]
Milford, Ohio, USA (4.00 / 2) (#83)
by e4 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:53:14 AM EST

Where do you live?
Milford, Ohio (USA), near Cincinnati

Why do you live there?
Several reasons:
- My wife and I used to live in Columbus, Ohio and decided it was time for a change. We wanted someplace new, yet not completely unfamiliar. We explored several possibilities and decided on Milford.
- Most of my family is at least two hours but not more than four hours away by car.
- I found both a nice tech job and a nice house, within a couple miles of each other.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Milford itself doesn't have much at this point. There's an older "Main Street" strip with quaint little antique shops, craft stores, an outdoor and camping supply store, a barber shop, etc. It's not a dressed up historic district, it's actually old (well, by US standards). This gives it a nice, authentic feel.

Nearby Cincinnati seems to want to be included with places like New York, Chicago and Boston, so they strive for capital-C Culture. Opera, symphony, theater and museums have fairly strong support, and nice restaurants are more common here than other places I've lived.

Cincinnati was kind of a border town in the Civil War era, and many escaped slaves found their way to freedom by crossing the Ohio River here. Kentucky considers itself (and conducts itself as) a Southern state, and some of that culture bleeds over into Ohio.

There are multicultural communities here, but much of the city is not very integrated. The racial unrest a couple years ago shows that Cincinnati has a lot of room for improvement in this regard.

If you can't find what you want here, Lexington, Louisville, Indianapolis and Columbus are all within a couple hours or so.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
There is an excellent 90-mile bike trail that runs along the Little Miami River, right through Milford. It's a beautiful trail. There are many small parks and a couple state parks nearby. The Little Miami has canoeing and kayaking opportunities also.

Cincinnati has a pretty good variety of things. King's Island (er, "Paramount" King's Island) is an above-average amusement park if you can get past the fact that nearly every ride has some movie tie-in. The Newport Aquarium across the river in Newport, Kentucky is very nice, and has spawned a rebirth in the surrounding area. You can also find professional sports (well, calling the Bengals "professional" is debatable), some pretty nice local parks, and quite a few state parks within close range. If you're into gambling, there are riverboats nearby that'll let you float down the Ohio River while experimenting with various laws of probability.

What do you like about it?
To me, Milford is a good balance point. It's on the very fringe of a large urban area. I can be in Cincinnati in 20 minutes. I can be picking berries at a local farm in five minutes. I can be bicycling, canoeing or horseback riding in 10. I can also be to work in five minutes. It's slightly hilly, fairly wooded, pretty quiet. It's got conveniences, but it's got open spaces. It's got new housing developments, 100-year-old homes and rural farmhouses. There are trailer parks not far from $400,000 homes. The schools are great, the neighborhoods are nice, and people get involved in things. I have black neighbors, Asian neighbors and white neighbors. They don't cut down all the trees when they build new homes. The Little Miami River is very protected. It's close to my family, but not too close.

There's a little wooded stream that runs through my back yard. I've deer, ducks, owls, hawks, songbirds, butterflies, salamanders, crawfish, minnows, groundhogs, racoons, rabbits and snakes out there. And that's just in the first year.

What do you hate about it?
I can't really think of anything I hate about Milford. Hopefully it won't fall into the sprawl trap.

There's a conservative streak that seems to run pretty deep in Cincinnati. And when I say conservative, I mean homophobic, xenophobic, racist, anti-birth-control, old-money, no-swearing, bible-thumping, old-time conservative. It seems to be only in certain pockets, and mostly in the older generation, but it's still out there. Just to give you an idea, the Fox Sports channel has a show called "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period." When the local baseball announcer reads the promo's for it, he leaves out the "Damn." I have a feeling it's because people complained. It's not something I see every day, but occasionally it rears its ugly head.

That, and for a city with a strong German heritage, there should really be a lot more brewpubs.

Would you recommend it, and why?
I guess it depends what you're looking for. I would certainly recommend Milford. I'm not so sure about other areas of Cincinnati.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
The outerbelt (I-275) is bigger than it looks. It goes all the way to Indiana! "Across town" is at least an hour away. The Dayton airport is just a little farther away than the Cincinnati airport, and the fares are almost always cheaper. Traffic can be bad in some places, especially if you have to commute into downtown. There are only so many bridges across the river. Smog can be a problem in the summer, and it gets pretty hot and humid. Winters are mostly mild, but at some point during the winter, you'll probably wake up to a few inches of snow.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It's probably not drastically different from other places, but it does have its own character. It can be both urban and rural, both northern and southern, wild and cultured, old and modern. 95% of what I want in life can be found here, even if what I want changes.

Nashville, TN (4.00 / 2) (#85)
by AnalogBoy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:58:08 AM EST

Where do you live?

Antioch (Basically Nashville), TN

Why do you live there?

Born here

What cultural opportunities do you have?

We have multicultural city - Mainly Hispanics, Asians, and Middle-easterners around where i live.  

What recreational opportunities do you have?

We have the grand ol opry, a few other major country music-related landmarks.   There are a few historical areas pertaining to the Civil War.  We used to have opryland, with a lot of amusement rides, but now, its a mall.   Shopryland.

What do you like about it?

It's home.  Oh, and no state or local income tax.

What do you hate about it?

All the rednecks, the tourists, the hicks, the baptist-church-every-1/2-mile.   Oh, and we have a football team, which we love to point out to people.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

No, you can't become a country star just by moving here. Sorry.  Depending on the how far you are out of town, you may also need to come armed and/or with at least two 1980's-model cars.    The state provides blocks.

You also may want to learn how to speak southern.  While not a big problem in the city of Nashville, the outlying areas are still pretty "out there".

How is it different from other places you have been?

There are literally churches on most every road.   Count on at least one church per square mile.

--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)

Prepare to be assimilated. (4.00 / 2) (#87)
by i on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:59:05 AM EST

Where do you live?
Haifa, a dull town in northern Israel.

Why do you live there?
My family wanted to be near our relatives when we immigrated 12 years ago. I'm staying here because of my job, mostly.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
There's a concert hall for the classical music (I pretty much don't listen to anything else). There are few museums, interesting but nothing exceptional. The Cinemateque caters for cinema afficionados.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Tel Aviv is an hour away, and the Ben Gurion international airport is not much further :) The beach is 200m from my office (separated from it by a railway and a motorway, unfortunately). swings chair to the window I'm working and they're swimming. Bastards. Forests and nature and wildlife are just outside the town limits.

What do you like about it?
It's a quiet place with good educational opportunities for my kids. It also seems to be the place with the least Jewish-Arab tensions in Israel.

What do you hate about it?
It is, um, well, dull. Haven't I already mention it? Some parts of the town suffer from pollution badly (petrochemical works nearby; fortunately they're about to move elsewhere). Oh, and you can be blown up at any moment, but that's the way of life here.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
Can't think of any. It's a very, very ordinary place.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Not really. There is a dozen or so more exciting places in the world, and most of them are safer too. Though Technion might be for you if you are dreaming about a degree in engineering.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Mostly places to stay away from.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It's the most ordinary and dull of all places I've been. I think I've already mentioned this. No surprise here; I usually try to visit more exciting places than my own :)

Hm, I didn't persuade you to come and live here, did I? That's probably because I'm in a crappy mood today. It's an OK place, really.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

Someplace, USA (none / 0) (#88)
by quartz on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:59:38 AM EST

Where do you live?

Some suburb in central New Jersey

Why do you live there?

It's as good a place to live as any.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

None worth mentioning. NYC is a 30 minute train ride away, though.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

A lot of books, a couple of computers and a broadband Internet link. Reading is my #1 recreational activity.

What do you like about it?

It's quiet and isolated. People mind their own business. Nobody walks anywhere. Everybody drives. I only see humans during the weekend when I do my grocery shopping, and the only meaningful dialog I have with them consists of "thank you" and "have a nice day". I love it. After 20 years of living in a big city, isolation is bliss.

What do you hate about it?

Nothing. There's nothing to hate.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

It doesn't stand out in any way. It's just like every other American suburb.

Would you recommend it, and why?

No. NJ is overpopulated as it is.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Chinese.

--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.

Leeds, Yorkshire England (4.50 / 2) (#93)
by andymurd on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:13:28 AM EST

Where do you live?

In Leeds, a city of ~1M people in northern England.

Why do you live there?

I moved here cos I think its the most entertaining city in the north of England. Too many northern towns and cities suffering from decline, poverty, and racial tension. I chose the north because I'm a northern lad and I need gravy with my chips </UKian in-joke>. Seriously, its only a couple of hours from my family and the housing is cheaper than in the south.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

There are a few museums, galleries and attractions but by far the best "cultural opportunities" are the bars and clubs.

There's some pretty nice achitecture too, lots of festivals, fairs and stuff.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

See the bars and clubs bit above. One thing that we're really missing is a high capacity venue for live bands. There are quite a lot of bars that showcase smaller, local bands though.

What do you like about it?

Leeds has a very large university population which is reflected in the attitudes of the local population. Most people here are fairly relaxed and the general consensus is that its OK to be a bit weird. Lots of nice girlies too.

Leeds has also benefited from massive investment over the past few years making it one of the fastest growing regional economies in the UK. There are still areas of massive poverty in the city though.

There's lots of good shops too, if you're into that sort of thing.

What do you hate about it?

Due to the relative prosperity of city centre, it has loads of beggars and herion addicts constantly pan-handling for that mythical commodity, "spare change".

Oh, there's about 2000000000 f**king Starbucks' too.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Its not for everyone, but I think its a cool place.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

That all the locals will call you "luv" regardless of age/sex etc. That comes as a bit of a shock the first time you hop into a taxi and the neanderthal driver asks where you're going.

Yay Yorkshire! (none / 0) (#126)
by MightyTribble on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:38:02 PM EST

I hale from Harrogate, just down the road from Leeds. Not there now, though. ;-)

To give you an idea of how long I've been gone, last time I was in Leeds there were NO STARBUCKS.

I still remember the Schofields department store (now the 'Schofields Center, that '80s shopping center opposite Lewis'). Ever seen "Are You Being Served?" - well, Schofields was a department store *just like that*. Also had a really funky bridge across the street, and bizarre single-person service elevators that *never stopped moving*.

Ah, memories!

[ Parent ]

Tribble at t'mill? (n/t) (none / 0) (#367)
by andymurd on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:22:33 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Aye up, Lupton. n/t (none / 0) (#389)
by MightyTribble on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:44:04 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Blackburn, Lancashire, England (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by tottori on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:14:33 AM EST

Where do you live?
Blackburn is a large town in the North-west of England. Population around 70k. It has a very large Asian (Indian sub-continent) community.

Why do you live there?
It's where my family is. It's a lot less screwed-up than many other places, has lots of trees, and good transport links.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
There's a cinema (mainstream only), museum, library. Nothing, basically. All the interesting cultural stuff is happening in the Asian community, and I'm out of it.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Recreation here generally means going to the pub. When the pubs close, people migrate to the clubs. If drinking heavily and getting off with random strangers is your idea of fun, it's ideal.

Apart from that, we have several nice parks, although sadly in recent years they have become unsafe to visit alone. A short bike ride in almost any direction will get you into some very nice countryside, go a bit further and there's some wild moors.

There's various swimming pools, sports clubs, etc. for people who are into that sort of thing.

What do you like about it?
There's lots of trees, and the town is small enough that you can walk anywhere. It's easy to get broadband here. The christians are massively outnumbered by the muslims. I'm proud of how much less racist Blackburn has become in my lifetime. We have good views over the rolling hills.

What do you hate about it?
While not nearly as bad as the larger cities, we still have significant problems with mentally-ill drunks harrassing people for money on the street. There's also a large contingent of miscellaneously weird people who hang about the market. The levels of drug abuse and prostitution are less obvious, but still prevalent. The threat of violent crime is oppressive, and almost everyone here has had their house burgled. People around here are dour and suspicious. The town is struggling to justify its existance, and some parts are very run down. Although it habitually votes Labour, it's a very conservative town, so if you don't fit into the pub social scene (or the Asian community), you don't socialise. The number of decent restaurants in town can be counted on one hand (the number of kebab/pizza places on the other hand seems virtually infinite).

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
It rains all the time. That's actually how the town originally made its fortune, as the dampness made it easier to spin cotton. But now it's just the wettest town in the region, and for no good reason.

Would you recommend it, and why?
I can't really recommend Blackburn, except in terms of it not being so bad as other places.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
If you're from another country, it would take some adjustment, but really no different than any other part of England. If someone calls you "love", it's not a come-on. On the other hand, if they stick their tongue in your mouth, it probably is.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It doesn't have the pervasive smell of urine of London, and it's not so relentless degrading. You can pretty much keep your humanity here without being continuously threatened by lunatics every time you step out the door.

It also doesn't smell as bad as France, but the weather is worse and it's not nearly as beautiful.

The weather is also worse than America, but the food is better. It's a lot dirtier than America, the roads have bends in them, there's a lot less car parks, only 2 McDonalds in the whole town, and the people serving have the same racial mix as the people eating. You can get anywhere here without a car. We have buildings that are more than 20 years old (almost all of them, in fact).

There's a lot less vending machines and paddy fields than Japan. Actually, it's different in every way I can think of, so I can't really list the differences.

The women are less attractive here than every other place I've been, including other parts of England.

4,000 holes? (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by IHCOYC on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:17:01 PM EST

Is that the place with four thousand holes? I have always wanted to see them.

---

#define QUESTION ((2 * b) || !(2 * b))
[ Parent ]

4,000 holes (none / 0) (#350)
by tottori on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 04:29:41 AM EST

Yes. But there aren't noticeably any more holes than anywhere else I've ever been. Except when they're digging up the roads. So don't go out of your way.

[ Parent ]
Falls Church, VA, USA (4.00 / 2) (#95)
by unshaven on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:15:45 AM EST

Where do you live?

Falls Church, Virginia, USA -- though, most of the time I say Washington, DC.

Why do you live there?

I needed a job, and found one with the gov't.  Plus, I used to go to school in DC itself and loved the city.  Have to live outside of the city because it's cheaper and an easier commute for my girlfriend.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Almost everything... the Smithsonians, etc. for museums, great theatres (live & movie), multicultural neighborhoods, and the embassies often have events going on with them.  And, of course, the monuments.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Lots of great restaurants, bars, clubs, coffeeshops.  Great Falls is a nice day out.

What do you like about it?

The Metro, the liveliness of neighborhoods like Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Georgetown and (most of) the weather.  The ability to look up and see the Washington Monument.

What do you hate about it?

Traffic.  Cost of living.  The horrible sprawl.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Expensive, especially for low-grade gov't workers.  The number of suit-wearing individuals. Weird little stores.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes, if you like living in a city.  There are other places I would like to live, as well, but walking around this city always makes me happy.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Get a Metro map.  Try out a few neighborhoods for size -- I'm more Adams Morgan/Dupont Circle than Georgetown.  Avoid the Mall during June/July -- damn tourists :).  And, there is no better reading location in the world than on a couch in an atrium in the National Gallery of Art.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I've pretty much hated every other place I've lived -- too small, too monoculture, total lack of artistry for me.  But, I'm a city mouse (would love to live in SF, NYC, Portland, Seattle), so my opinions are colored by that...

______________
"I think we found a way to put the fun back in sin." -- Sleater-Kinney

Manhattan, NYC USA (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by jseverin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:18:18 AM EST

Where do you live? East 51st Street, Manhattan, NYC USA Why do you live there? I wanted to live someplace interesting, where there was plenty of professional opportunity for me. What cultural opportunities do you have? All of them. What recreational opportunities do you have? Everything a big city could possibly offer, including the best restaurants in the world, bars, theatre, Broadway, shopping - you name it, Manhattan has it. What do you like about it? Everything is happening here, all of the time. You can do anything you want 24 hours a day. It is the ultimate adult amusement park. What do you hate about it? It's a 24-hour assault on your senses. You can get really ground down really fast. Plus, it's hugely expensive. Plus, terrorists try to kill us occasionally. Besides that it's great. What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) The people are very in-your-face and direct. The architecture is amazing. Would you recommend it, and why? Yes, as long as you don't have children. Everyone should live here for at least a year. You witness everything that humans are capable of. If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? How to find a nice, cheap apartment in a good location (if you find out, keep it to yourself). How is it different from other places you have been? Manhattan is the center of the human universe. It is different from everywhere, and different from itself day to day. It's denser, faster, and more exciting than anywhere else I've been. Cities I've been to that come close to NYC's vibrancy are London and Berlin. "When you leave New York, believe me, you go nowhere" - Lawrence Fishburne "When it's three o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London" - Bette Midler

Sorry about the CRs (none / 0) (#97)
by jseverin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:19:13 AM EST

They didn't come through for some reason... Konqueror.

[ Parent ]
trey DID come through... (none / 0) (#104)
by boxed on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:27:22 AM EST

...but you posted as "html formatted", which means they're interpreted by the browser (ie, they're ignored/converted to whitespace). Use <br> or <p> next time.

[ Parent ]
In answer to your question... (1.00 / 1) (#98)
by oooga on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:20:27 AM EST

Are there any hip towns that don't have a large university near by?

No.
Taking my toast burnt since 1985

boring little town (2.00 / 1) (#100)
by Grammar Queen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:21:10 AM EST

Where do you live? central Maryland Why do you live there? only because my parents do What cultural opportunities do you have? Baltimore city is not too far away... zoos, science center, art galleries, cool bookstores, smog, polluted bay... What recreational opportunities do you have? little league sports for kids, community parks, a pool in each neighborhood (but nothing for me to do...) What do you like about it? I know everyone in the town What do you hate about it? I know everyone in the town What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) hmm... it's a bedroom community for Baltimore. The drivers here are nasty with a capital N. Would you recommend it, and why? No, it is boring. If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? Nothing; it seems the citizens don't know much either. How is it different from other places you have been? there are groundhogs everywhere, and neighborhoods are overdeveloped.

sorry, forgot to format that! (none / 0) (#101)
by Grammar Queen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:22:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
sure, I'll give it a go (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by shrubbery on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:26:32 AM EST

Where do you live?
Morristown, NJ. A small, very colonial era town about 30 miles west and a hours drive from that uber-city, New York City.

Why do you live there?
I was actually born here! I'll be moving shortly but I was born in the town hospital here. My father was also born here in the very same hospital. If you define a first-generation American as first offspring of a new citizen, then I'm third generation American.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
This depends on how far you want to travel. We're considered the edge of the New York Megapolis i.e. we get all the new york local news, radio, newspapers here. I don't need to expound whats in the big city but locally there is a small museum and a very lovely Arts Center which I go to every so often. Morristown is a historical town and there are signs everywhere that illustrate that. Its laid out in a colonial fashion with a town square that I believe used to be used for lynchings. George Washington camped here during the Revolutionary War and you can visit that site.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
There's a large local dance club if thats your thing. The more East you go towards the city, the density of "stuff to do" increases. There alone is about ten huge shopping malls in driving range. There is *EIGHT* major sports teams here of all the big 4 team sports. Anything you can imagine you can do here. This is of course includes the New York Megapolis area. Many golf courses, go-karts, race track betting.. lots of just about anything. Its your typical suburbia here with the variety of urban life to the East and calmness of rural to the other directions.

What do you like about it?
Its a fairly good middle between urban and rural life. Though, for me that attitude is changing as I probably want to move away a bit for a change of scenery. The town itself has been moving upscale as there is a huge influx of yuppies and posh restaurants. Having a town square which the downtown is centered makes it an attractive little place for people who work in New York or around here but don't want or can't afford the city life. The sorrounding towns are fairly affluent. Race relations are generally alright although there is a ghettoish area people do avoid.

What do you hate about it?
It's a fairly generic American town but maybe thats because I've been here so long. I need to experience more out there. Maybe I'm right though and its just your typical American consumerism at work and I'm just jaded. Things are also impossible to get to without a car. I like the convienance of city life although I'm not keen on any noise (I use New York as a reference).

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
See above. There is a cozy quintness to the town even with all the new-yuppie influence. It does have a certain old-school 1700's charm to its layout. The people though are turning into all those black-rimmed glass wearing, BMW driving, Gucci shirt buying, Starbucks sipping generic creatures you see in the ads.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Depends on what you want. Its not city life thats for sure. It'll be a bit too calm and isolated for some. But it is in the middle of urban and rural life so if you like that sort of balance and own a car that you won't mind racking up high miles on, go for it.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Not too much to know. The people are a bit defensive and not the friendliest sometimes. It's a mix. There's access to every major highway in the North NJ area. If you didn't know already, NJ is infamous for its highway system. The standard joke is "So what exit are you from?"

How is it different from other places you have been?

I haven't been to enough other places outside the country to compare but really its not alot different than other places in the US I've been to. There are only slight differences. I've been to Austin, TX, and the people seem friendlier. They even let me into the lane when I'm trying to merge! On the other hand, the Silicon Valley area is about the same to me, except newer and cleaner. There are just as rude on the road. I'll elaborate on this when I do travel.

Toledo, Ohio (3.00 / 1) (#105)
by thenick on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:36:25 AM EST

Where do you live?

Actually, I live in a suburb of Toledo.

Why do you live there?

I go to school at the University of Toledo and work in Bowling Green, so I live in between the two cities.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

The Toledo Art Museum is a top notch museum that hosts many international exibits every year. The Toledo Zoo is one of the best zoos in the nation and was one of the first US zoos to exibit Pandas in the 1980's. Toledo also has a branch of COSI, a science and industry museum based in Columbus, OH. The Toledo Public Library just renovated their downtown location and it is enormous.

A number of national bands stop in Toledo and we are only 45 minutes from Detroit, so within an hour, there are many music choices.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

The big new thing in Toledo this year is Fifth-Third Field, the new home of the Toledo Mudhens. The Mudhens are the AAA minor league team of the Detroit Tigers and are in First place in the International League this year, the first time they have been this highly ranked since the 60's.

Toledo also hosts the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic, an LPGA tournament named after Klinger from the tv series MASH. He's originally from Toledo, and I always chuckle when I think that an LPGA event is named after a person who was a crossdresser. Toledo is also very close to Michigan International Speedway, so if you enjoy watching cars make left hand turns, you'll have fun here.

Also, Toledo is situated on Lake Erie and the Maumee River, so if you have a boat, and I do, you can have lots of fun crusing on the water.

What do you like about it?

It's really flat. I'm what you call a "salad dodger" and don't exactly enjoy walking up and down hills. Toledo also has a diverse population and a great university, at least compared to my first college.

What do you hate about it?

It's really, really flat. It's so flat that the city I live in had to build a sledding hill for the kids.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

It's named the "Glass City" since there was a large number of glass manufacturers in the earlier part of last century. Still present in the area are glass companies Libbey and LOF, which makes car class.

Toledo is largely known for producing Jeeps. The old Jeep plant is being torn down right now as it has been replaced by a new billion dollar plant that produces the Wrangler and the Liberty. The paint shop in the old plant is still being used, so that makes it the oldest auto plant still in production in North America.

Toledo's former mayor, Carty Finkbeiner, both helped the city and embarassed the hell out of it. He made the Top 100 Dumbest Things Ever Said with a quote about how all the deaf people should move out by the airport because they wouldn't complain about the noise. On the other hand, Toledo before Carty was a piece of herpes-infested monkey dung. During his 8 year reign, Toledo improved by leaps and bounds. Downtown is nice and actually inhabited after dark, the Old West End is improving, and International Park is now the place to go get wasted in the summer.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes, Toledo is a nice city and has vastly improved over the last ten years. Downtown is no longer a huge hellhole with improvements like Fifth Third Field and International Park. Toledo is also home to a number of Fortune 500 companies like Dana and Owens Corning.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Just that there are some parts of Toledo that aren't exactly friendly. You won't be immediatly shot a dragged from your car, but at the wrong time of night, it could get interesting. These areas are easily detectable by abundance of Check-Cashing stores and Church's Chicken restaurants.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I've lived in two other places, Big Rapids, MI and Canton, OH. Canton is a town without a middle class. It seemed that you either were connected in with everyone and had money, or you were poor. There was no apparent middle ground.

Big Rapids is a small town supported by one factory and a college. Its tiny, full of walking, talking stereotypes, and in the middle of nowhere.

 
"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex

Toledo (none / 0) (#141)
by e4 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:08:20 PM EST

What is it with Ohio politicians? Jerry Springer was mayor of Cincinnati, at least until some business with prostitute or something. Add your mayor into the mix, throw in Jim Traficant, and it kinda makes the whole John Glenn thing look like a fluke. Well, maybe it's like that everywhere and I just notice it more in Ohio.

As a side note, you're right about the Toledo Art Museum. It's fantastic. I'm not an art connisseur, but I've been to Toledo just for that....

[ Parent ]

John Glenn is no saint (none / 0) (#155)
by thenick on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:00:15 PM EST

After his last election, he owed businesses 3 million dollars for expenses incurred during the campaign. To my knowledge, he has never paid this money back. When they sent him up on the shuttle, many people in Ohio thought they should leave him up there.

About Jerry Springer: He was caught when the police in Covington, KY raided a whorehouse and found a personal check written by Springer.

Another Ohio Congressman was caught in a fountain in Washington DC with a stripper back in the 80's.
On the other hand, Ohio has more former presidents than any other states except Virginia, both of who have seven. All of ours were kind of lame, though.

 
"Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex
[ Parent ]

may as well add this here: Findlay, OH, USA (none / 0) (#283)
by Particleman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:10:13 PM EST

Where do you live?

Findlay, Ohio, USA. It's a small (population 40,000) town approximately 45 minutes south of Toledo on Interstate 75.

Why do you live there?

I was born here and grew up in a small town approximately 15 miles southeast of town. I went to college at University of Findlay. I currently work for a major local manufacturing company.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Ahahahaha. Culture... what's that? Actually, it's not quite THAT bad. The population at the University is quite diverse and there's usually some theatre activities going on there. There's also a local theatre, the Fort Findlay Playhouse, and some pretty decent local restaurants. (Props to Mr. Lee's Express out on Tiffin Avenue. :)

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Depends on your interests. Toledo's only an hour or so away. Bowling Green (mainly a college town, not a bad place really) is a little under half an hour. Columbus is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours down Ohio 15/US 23 -- but if you make that drive, beware of the speed trap that is all of Delaware County. :) There's a very nice, albeit short, bike trail through the city along the Blanchard River that will let you get from the college area over to the general area of the mall by bike, if you so desire. It has a couple of nice parks, particularly Riverside Park. If you like to go clubbing, there's a few that are supposed to be good, but I've never bothered to actually try any of them since I'm not a clubbing person. There's an excellent bike trail that runs between North Baltimore and Bowling Green (about 20 miles) on an old railroad right of way. And if you just want to walk around, South Main St. and downtown are very pleasant places to do so -- with lots of local restaurants in the downtown area. Try a sandwich at Wilson's (allegedly where Dave Thomas got the inspiration for Wendy's) or enjoy a nice Greek meal at the Greek Garden.

What do you like about it?

It's relatively clean and quiet. A good place to raise a family. The cost of living is excellent. DSL and cable modems are available. ;)

What do you hate about it?

Can be very dull. EXTREMELY conservative -- I registered as a Republican just to make sure I could vote for the candidates for most positions; many of them are decided by the primary. Very few tech jobs, so the pay is below the national average for them. No public transit, but the town's small enough that you can drive across it in 15 minutes (and therefore, bike across in a reasonable time if you want).

Would you recommend it, and why?

Depends on what you want. If you're looking for quiet small-town life, Findlay's one of the better places for that. If you want a faster pace and high abundance of tech jobs, look elsewhere -- Toledo or Columbus are probably better bets.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Nothing, really, but how to drive in the snow is helpful. It's very flat here and the snow drifts something fierce. An average winter sees a healthy amount of snow, but it's not as bad as Cleveland since we don't get lake effect snow.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Can't really say, as I haven't really lived anywhere else. Compared to a lot of the places I've visited, it's pretty nice. It's duller, but it's perfectly safe to walk down Main Street at 2:00 in the morning.




---
Remove the obvious to respond by e-mail.
[ Parent ]
Cambridge, England (4.00 / 3) (#106)
by pjc51 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:37:47 AM EST

Where do you live?

Cambridge, England.

Why do you live there?

I'm a gradute student at the University of Cambridge.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Cambridge is great for the things you'd probably expect to be great. It has fantastic architecture, has lots of bookshops, is great for theatre and is fairly good for classical music and visual art. It also has a fantastic arts cinema, and a reasonably good mainstream cinema. The one thing that it does badly is popular music - there is no really good venue for live bands and the clubs are pretty awful.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

The sports facilities for the university are great, and those for residents not associated with the university are pretty good too. There's a lot of open space in the city centre which is nice, and the pubs and restaurants aren't bad. The city is however somewhat lacking in good coffee shops.

What do you like about it?

The main attraction for me is the fact that a large fraction of the population is people associated with the university. It also happens to be the most beautiful citie in Britain.

What do you hate about it?

The main problem is that it pretty much completely shuts down late at night. It also can be a bit overcrowded in the summer, you don't stand a chance of being able to drive around the city, and the weather isn't great. The cost of living is fairly high too.

Would you recommend it, and why?

If you aren't too put off by the lack of nightlife then definitely.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Not a lot.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Compared to my parents' home town, Cambridge is culturally fantastic. Compared to London it isn't quite as good, but it's much prettier.



*envy* (none / 0) (#108)
by AnalogBoy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:49:20 AM EST

Cambridge. *GRR*, im envious.  If i could go back in time with a goal, it would be to get into that school.

Ever run into Stephen Hawking?
--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]

Hawking (none / 0) (#362)
by jackelder on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 06:36:08 AM EST

Yup. Not frequently or anything, but two or three times a year you'll see him around on the streets. He's at Gonville & Caius college, and I believe he lives in Newnham (though his rooms are around Rose Crescent somewhere), so you tend to see him going through the centre of town or across the fens.

[ Parent ]
Long lost twin (none / 0) (#113)
by Woundweavr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:07:33 PM EST

Interestingly, that sounds a lot like my city (actually I'm 10 minutes into the 'burbs), Boston. The subway closes at midnight, and there's practically no nightlife compared to other US cities. Boston is a huge University city with dozens of colleges within the city, or just outside the city(geographically Boston is tiny). It even has a second city, called Cambridge, with MIT and Harvard.

There's almost no place for big live music, most end up an hour away in Foxborough or Worcester, and the small show scene comes and goes. Lots of bookstores, nice parks, and old-for-America (350 years or so) buildings.

[ Parent ]

I'd agree (none / 0) (#130)
by pjc51 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:50:08 PM EST

The two certainly do sound like similar places. I sometimes wonder about the lack of nightlife - the University means that there are plenty of people into all sorts of interesting music - it's just that nothing ever seems to get enough momentum to happen.

[ Parent ]
Cambs! (none / 0) (#119)
by asreal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:22:11 PM EST

I just got back to Canada after spending 4 months going to school in Cambridge... I've got to say it's a lot different than Canada.

The thing I miss most has to be the Arts Picture House, which shows GREAT films that would never make it to a cinema here, and every week drags out old films like Modesty Blaise and If... Preselected seating... you can pick your seat when you buy your ticket, so you don't have to go in 45 minutes early to make sure you don't get stuck in the front row. It's got stadium seating, so you can be sure to see over the tall guy in front of you. They even play good music before the shows, not like the pop radio or pop mix they play in theatres here. My favorite memory of that theatre has to be going to see Teenage Kicks, that film about the Undertones, and then turning around to see John Peel (a famous Radio1 DJ who also starred in the movie) trying to make a quick, unnoticed exit.

The nightlife is incredibly slow, with the exception of a monthly drum n bass night put on by Warning, which brings in all the biggest names. The rest of the clubs are pretty generic top 40 stuff.

For anyone interested in where I am now, I'll post about where I live when I get home from work :p

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal
[ Parent ]

The arts picture house is fantastic (none / 0) (#133)
by pjc51 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:52:41 PM EST

It really is the best cinema I've ever been to - the selection of films is great and the prebooked seats are a great idea. Another great feature is the fact that there are no adverts before the film - it really does start when advertised.

[ Parent ]
Actually, I hate allocated seating (none / 0) (#361)
by jackelder on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 06:33:38 AM EST

I can't stand allocated seating, and it's one of the main things that annoys me about the Arts Picture House. Why? Because 90% of the people lurk in the bar until two minutes before the movie starts, then wander in. Fine. But there's always a few people who have to finish their pint, and come in five minutes after the movie starts. And they've always got the tickets for the middle of row E. So five minutes after the movie starts, you get your view blocked by a pack of inconsiderate bastards. In unallocated seating, they'd just have to take their chances and sit at the back or something. Feh. That said, the Arts Picture House is an otherwise excellent theatre (and one of the few places in Cambridge you can get a drink after 11pm). It beats the heck out of the Warner Village, which always has sticky floors.

[ Parent ]
My take on Cambridge (none / 0) (#376)
by jackelder on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:16:19 AM EST

Why do you live there?

My wife got a scholarship as a postgrad at the university a few years ago, so we moved over here. Been here about 3.5 years now, and have bought a house. Basically, we really like it over here. Reasonably sized town, it's got about all the amenities you need in a compact central area. Lots of high-tech industry (Silicon Fen is alive and, er, well), hence reasonably good employment prospects. Lovely buildings, fairly safe streets at night. And if you fancy going into the big smoke, the express runs from Cambridge to London every 30 minutes and puts you in King's Cross in 47 minutes. It's faster to get to The City from Cambridge than from some parts of London. ;)

Should probably mention that I'm a fairly well-travelled expatriate New Zealander.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

A reasonable amount. Cambridge isn't exactly throbbing with art installations, but it's there if you know where to look. The Arts Picture House has already been mentioned in another post. There's a few gallaries, some good theatres, and some truly excellent museums. The Fitzwilliam museum is great, and has the proud slogan "150 years of free admissions". There are some good gig pubs to see live bands (The Boat Race or the Portland Arms) if that's what you're into. In terms of larger venues, you've basically got two - the Corn Exchange, which takes medium-to-large gigs (saw Orbital there), and the Junction, which takes smaller bands/djs and other live acts (saw Rollins Band there).

What recreational opportunities do you have?

As above, some good live gigs. Some really nice pubs (and, of course, some totally dire ones). There's a lot of interesting walks/bike rides around the town and surrounding countryside. Some good gyms, lots of bookshops, and a decent cinema.

What do you like about it?

Lots of things. It's a good size, so you can walk/bike without a problem. We've lived here for 3.5 years, owned a car for six months of that, and then realised that we never used it. The only time we needed a car was for supermarket shopping, and now Tescos delivers we're absolutely sweet. I love the fact that I can bike to work safely in the mornings. Ten minute commutes rock. A car is actually a bit of a liabiilty if you live within the ring road (which we do, just).

It's a really beautiful city.

It's massively historical. I'm from NZ, where most of the stuff is fairly recent. So it's quite a massive head-trip to be cycling down an old Roman road, past the remnants of an iron-age fort (in the amusingly named Gog Magog hills).

Lots of good pubs. OK, so The Regal's a bit of a dive after 5pm, and the increasing chain pubs are annoying. But if you get a bit out of the city centre, it's great. There's some beautiful pubs in The Kite (saw Pete Postlethwaite in the Clarendon Arms the other month), the Zebra on Maid's Causeway does excellent pizza, the Fort St George is gorgeous during summer, ditto the Green Dragon... the list goes on.

Great bookshops. From the huge (Borders, Waterstones, Heffers) to the tiny second-hand and specialist shops (G David, The Haunted Bookshop, etc).

The river. C'mon, it's pretty cool.

The job market, though not possibly right at the mo.

What do you hate about it?

The prices. Cambridge is about as expensive as London in general terms, and don't even ask about the house prices. We're OK in house terms at the moment, but if we want to buy another place then we're really going to have to suck it up. In general Cambridge is really rather pricey.

The tourists. Cambridge is a beautiful historical city that tends to appear on many package tours. In summer, the central town is crammed with idiots who think that since they're on holiday, the laws of politeness and basic physics are on hiatus. Stepping out in front of you, wandering backwards onto the road to get a better photo of something, or just standing immovable in doorways while you're trying to get past. Hey, you're on holiday - people can just walk/drive right through you with out anyone being hurt! And don't get me started on the ignorance. My wife once heard an American tourist authoritatively proclaim that "this is where they filmed that race in Chariots of Fire" while staring into the Great Court at Corpus Christi college. Said race actually taking place in the Great Court at Trinity, which is about eight times the size (and having actually been filmed at University College Dublin). Tch!

A subcategory of tourists... the language students. Again, mainly in summer. There are a number of language schools around Cambridge, usually with names like "Cambridge School of English" or similar. They exist solely so that credulous parents of sullen teenagers the world over can ship their vile offspring away for three months and then boast to their friends that their children are "studying in Cambridge". Some of the colleges have got wise to this, and rent accomodation out to these language schools, thus enabling the parents to add "...and they're staying in a college that was founded in 1352!". I'm looking at you here, middle America. Anyway. Put yourself in the kids' shoes: you've been shipped off to a foreign country, where you may not speak the language (these schools are very popular with students from Japan, Taiwan, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, etc), and lumped down with a bunch of kids your age who are in the same boat. It's like summer camp, but with a lower drinking age! So for about three months of the year, the town is crammed with adolescents from various countries attempting to buy booze, bum cigarettes, and then sit outside on Parker's Pieces (large flat open bit) and drink themselves foolish. Trust me, it's irritating.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes, I would. I really like it here. It's fairly friendly, it's very pretty, it's close to the useful stuff, and there's work. The lifestyle is reasonably laid back, and the beer's good.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

The ability to cycle would be a big plus. Other than that - try not to act like a tourist, do get a basic knowledge of the town/gown distinction (i.e. don't go around asking to see the university - it's scattered across the entire town), and do remember to stand your round at the pub. Mine's a Kronenberg, ta.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Growing up, I've lived in London, Tokyo, and Wellington. It's more chilled out than both London and Tokyo, but still fairly frenetic. Not as relaxed and cultured as Wellington, certainly with worse weather, but still a very pleasant place to live. I'd recommend it.
__ sabre-toothed portillo
[ Parent ]

Seattle (3.00 / 3) (#107)
by mpalczew on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:47:19 AM EST

Where do you live?

Seattle, Washington

Why do you live there?

Fucked if I know.  I'll move if I can.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Plenty of local live music.  The kind where you pay a five dollar cover and see 4 bands, and if you want you can hang with them afterwards.   Tons of Microbreweries and brew pubs.  Cafes are everywhere.  You can't walk a couple blocks without the ability to buy an esspresso drink.
(on a side note, what is up with food at cafes, they give you a dehydrating drink and the only food they have is dry bread things, like biscotti, why not something wet to counteract the dehydration).

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Water sports.  Mountain hiking, backpacking, climbing, camping.  Generally lots of outdoor stuff.

What do you like about it?

beer selection is awesome.  I like local music.  

What do you hate about it?

The weather.  It seams like all the seasons around here just get glued together into one super season called fall.  It's always gray even the summer.  During the summer we get a very select few nice days, when everybody talks about how nice it is here, when in fact this is a normal summer day somewhere else.  For the most part the wether is one of three: partially cloudy, cloudy or showers. Always gray.  You can more or less where the same jeans and sweater year round.  It's August 01, the warmest month here and I'm wearing khaki pants and a sweatshirt.

The traffic.  it stinks.  

High property values in the city.  Not as bad as San Fransisco, but shitty non the less.

There is hippies and yuppies(or some kind of mixture) everywhere.  I swear this is the city where everyone lives in their own little world, with their own personal agenda(sort of like kuro5hin,[duck])

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

the traffic and weather.  

Would you recommend it, and why?

no, as you can guess I hate the weather and traffic.  Some people seam to like it.

Furthermore because of the constant grayness this is the depression and esspresso capital of the world.  Often times at the first sign of depression they will schedule you to go into a room where there is fake sunlight being generated on a daily basis.  This works for some people.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Tons of people are bitter, for one reason or another.  Half the population is on prozac or some such medication.

Get a place to live and work on the same side of the lake.  Otherwise you will be stuck one of the 2 floating bridges everyday.  Don't move to Kent or Federal Way, or any place south of Seattle, unless you like to sit on the highway in traffic on weekdays and hangout with yuppie wannabe's on weekends(even worse than regular yuppies, think of a yuppie with much less money)

Where else have I been?

I've lived in Florida, Portland, Oregon and here.  I've spent time in California and Nevada.
-- Death to all Fanatics!

Scaring away the Californians again? (none / 0) (#210)
by arthurpsmith on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:38:18 PM EST

Hey, I lived in Seattle for 2+ years - it wasn't THAT bad... of course I had previously lived in Ithaca NY, which has even fewer sunny days than Seattle. But we found Seattle summers just gorgeous. And the mountains are really beautiful, when you can see them. Transit system is really pretty good if you live in the city proper - we hardly used our car except to head for attractions outside town (the cost of parking was a pain anyway). You do have to live through a lot of slightly drippy, cloudy days - but it keeps the Californians way so it's not all bad :-)

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


[ Parent ]
I will move (none / 0) (#236)
by mpalczew on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:37:07 PM EST

We have had at most 10 sunny days this summer, and even those aren't that sunny.  Today would be called  a sunny day by local standards, but there are clouds.  I can see them in every direction.

Mornings are just plain cold, alays. Transit system sucks even in the city, unless you only like to travel North or South. East, West for the most part just forget it.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

Only 10 days? (none / 0) (#272)
by Osty on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:25:21 PM EST

We have had at most 10 sunny days this summer, and even those aren't that sunny. Today would be called a sunny day by local standards, but there are clouds. I can see them in every direction.

I think you missed some sunny days somewhere. Most of July (barring about a week or so) was nice and sunny. I know this, because I actually went two weeks straight without putting the top up on my car (except for when I parked it for more than a couple minutes, of course). June wasn't too bad, and August will probably be semi-decent. After that, well ... why the hell did I buy a convertible in Seattle? At least I won't have to worry about scraping ice off of the inside of the car, as I would in Central Illinois.


--

NoPopIE, Internet Explorer popup killer (win2k/xp only, for now).


[ Parent ]
you have it confused (none / 0) (#284)
by mpalczew on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:14:55 PM EST

There were not that many sunny days.  The fact that you had your top down indicates it wasn't raining.  Living in this mud pit you learn to equate not raining with sun, but this is just wrong.  When I say sunny, I don't mean partly cloudy or cloudy.  I'm being a little loose here, as there wasn't one hour this year that I can remember when there was no clouds in the sky.  Today is actually a sunny day, for around here yet it's not even 70 degrees.  Call me funny, but I like my summers warm.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Warm is not always best (none / 0) (#346)
by Osty on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:38:33 AM EST

You're right, today would technically be called "partly cloudy" by anyone who grew up in a desert. For the rest of us, it was sunny. As far as I'm concerned, a sky with no clouds is just ... wrong. And for it being not quite 70, well, growing up in Illinois where we would routinely get 100F+ degree whether with 90%+ humidity, I actual enjoy the "warm" weather here. To each his own, I guess. Where I came from, weather goes through all extremes (sub-zero winters, 100F+ summers, tornadoes in the spring, thunderstorms in the fall). Seattle is mild compared to that. Sure, it's not California, but then I generally prefer this weather (hey, if every day is beautiful, you get jaded; when you only get a couple truly nice months out of the year, you learn to appreciate and enjoy them).


--

NoPopIE, Internet Explorer popup killer (win2k/xp only, for now).


[ Parent ]
jaded (none / 0) (#380)
by mpalczew on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:58:39 AM EST

> if every day is beautiful, you get jaded

If every day sucks, you lie to yourself. The days that don't suck as much as other days SEEM like nice days.  I'm convinced that people around here have never left the state, or have lived here for long enough that they become brain washed.  

I've heard statements recently like "Today is what makes all the other days around here worthwhile", when the day is only a nice day only by local standards which have been beaten to the ground by the merciless rain 9 months out of the year.

To each his own I guess.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

Represent, represent! NYC, NY, USA. (4.00 / 2) (#111)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:04:31 PM EST

Where do you live?

I live in the East Village, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA.

Why do you live there?

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

The culture of Manhattan varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, and this is true for the greater NYC metro area as well. Most of my time has been spent shuttling between work in Midtown (the forties and fifties) and my home below 14th street. In the five years that I've live in New York City, I've had apartments in the West Village, Tribeca, SoHo, the East Village, and the Upper West Side. I've grown fondest of the East Village, which can be described as a funky, young neighborhood with a blue-collar/indigent history that has recently been gentrified and assimilated into the flourishing downtown scene. What makes the East Village great is the unpretentious hipness of its residents, the massive variety of its restaurants/bars/clubs, and the relaxed freakiness of its vibe. There's a lot of history in the East Vill, from CBGB's to Tompkins Square, you'll find the roots of punk here, just as an example. On my block, you'll find at least three world-class Italian dessert shops, a store that sells glasses, a store that sells fabric, a music store, a health food store, a deli, an Italian cafe, a sushi restaurant, a tapas bar, a photo processing shop, and the Italian restaurant that was the setting for the famous scene in the Godfather where Pacino assassinates the guy with the gun from the bathroom. And that's just between 10th and 11th streets. It goes on like this for miles in every direction, with literally thousands of interesting shops and bars and restaurants. Films that never show anywhere else show in New York, and films that show everywhere else show first in New York. Plays, too (if you like that sort of thing). Just about the only culture New York has not embraced is Wal Mart, which is kind of a good thing, if you ask me. (Although I could use a Wal Mart from time to time ;) )

What recreational opportunities do you have?

I like to stay home and sit in front of my computer in my cozy air conditioned bedroom in my $3600/month loft apartment, but I also like to be able to go out and have some fun whenever I want. That's why I used to live in New Orleans, and that's why I live in New York. There are so many opportunities for recreation in New York that it can be literally overwhelming. Sometimes my girlfriend and I will go on a months-long kick where we'll eat at a new restaurant (within walking distance of home) every night of the week. Of course, the same applies to bars and clubs. Clubs can be a bit of a pain, though, since you'll often need to be on the list, work for a magazine or entertainment company, be famous, or buy a table to get in. Bars are wide open, though, and are (in my experience) often equivalent to the "clubs" in other cities. (The clubs in New York range from the giant dancehalls to the ultra-elite double or triple VIP lounges; I've been to all types and learned to hate them all). For a look at a slice of life in the bar scene in the East Vill, have a look at the webcams at the remote lounge. There's even a shot of me, the one night I went there!

What do you like about it?

The best thing about New York City is walking through the streets and absorbing the energy of the people. It's a great place to be young and being a part of it makes you feel connected to the core of modern civilization.

What do you hate about it?

I dislike large sections of the outer boroughs and New Jersey (sorry ;) ). There are these huge fucking wastelands of ugliness and mediocrity. The people in these areas are shitheads that can't plan a goddamn road system or zoning or any goddamn thing right ever. If you disagree with me, you've spent too much time in Queens or Hoboken.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

New York is big. That's good and bad, but it's an immutable feature of New York. I used to live in Seattle and sometimes I would look at the mountains and just think "damn that's big and awe inspiring." I have the same feeling in New York City on a regular basis.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes. Everyone should be tested by New York City. If you fail, you will find your place elsewhere. If you make it, you are an official Badass Motherfucker(tm) and you will go to every other place on planet Earth and think to yourself: "these people are fucking kidding me, right? If they only knew."

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Nothing. Try it. Getting set up in New York City is really hard (esp. if you're not from here, like me), but the rewards are amazing.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Bigger, smarter, meaner, more meaningful, more sophisticated, more closely connected to the center of human civilization, more relevant, more *satisfying* than anywhere I've ever lived.

Have a nice day! See you in NYC!
------------------------------------------------

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Cultural Opportunities != Black People (none / 0) (#199)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:22:22 PM EST

I'm going to piggyback on my own post here to point out that many other posts seem to assume that the question about cultural opportunities is an invitation for you to list the various ethnic minorities in your area.

I find this equally hilarious and frightening.

Thanks for the laugh (and the spine-tingling chill).
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Milwaukee, WI (none / 0) (#112)
by Nafai on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:06:55 PM EST

Where do you live?
Milwaukee, WI

Why do you live there?
born here

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Excellent, newly redesigned Art museum right in downtown, museum, libraries, LOTS AND LOTS of public parks and biking/walking/sport trails. Excellent public transportation so you can get around.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
*** 2003 is the 100-year Anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Anyone who saw what it was like for the 95-year knows it's gonna be a HUGE HUGE HUGE party next year when all the bikers roll into town. Also, CRAZY amounts of music festivals during warmer months (See Summerfest). When it's not freezing out, there is a huge party somewhere in the city every weekend (and sometimes even IF it's freezing out).

What do you like about it?
Friendly people, relatively low cost of living. Suprising good public transportation system.

What do you hate about it?
Too cold in winter, Too hot in summer

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
Beer Beer Beer! There is a bar on every other corner (or every corner is some areas).

Would you recommend it, and why?
I would definately recommend visiting here first. (Particularily during summerfest). Also Milwaukee was ranked most lesbian friendly city.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Two links.
To Do
Not To Do

How is it different from other places you have been?
Chicago - Suprisingly different atmosphere than Chicago. We tend to be slower, more relaxed, more focused on having fun rather than achieving "success" like some FIBs on overdrive.
Down south - too much religious conservatism. Up here there is a lot of catholics (and lutherns) and lot of people like their alcohol.
California - our weather is much more extreme in both directions than much of the rest of the nation.



The sunny side (gah!) of Louisville (none / 0) (#114)
by IHCOYC on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:07:48 PM EST

Where do you live?

New Albany, Indiana. Essentially, if not legally, we are a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. We are on one side of the Ohio River; Louisville is on the other side. Were it one city, it would be almost as large as St. Louis.

Why do you live there?

It's where I grew up.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Diddly-squat, really, at least that appeals to me. The disunity caused by the urban area being divided among two states and many smaller municipalities makes this sort of thing hard to organise.

There is the Louisville Orchestra, which once had a national reputation for introducing and recording new orchestral works. That star has fallen dramatically over the past fifteen years.

Live music locally focuses mostly on singer-songwriters, country, blooze, and roots rock: genres that have their merits but that hold relatively little appeal to me. There is very little of a nightclub scene, especially after the MADD Terror.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

The Kentucky Derby and horse racing generally offer fine entertainment. Of all the spectator sports, it is the most picturesque and the least tiresome. Of all the varieties of gambling, this is the most geek-friendly, offering reams of stats to finagle and analyse if that's your bag.

What do you like about it?

It's one of the cheapest places to live in the nation.

What do you hate about it?

The dialect spoken by many white Kentuckian women sounds like a cat getting its tail pulled.

Foul air from the Gulf of Mexico makes the weather almost unbearable this time of year.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

It's perhaps one of the most blue collar of the medium-sized cities left today.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Probably not. Like I said beforehand, there are many cities smaller than this conurbation that boast of a much richer cultural life.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

You won't nead much for winter clothes.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Lived here most all of my life. Canada, where I spent my boyhood, seems much more civilised in retrospect, but then I left when I was 13.

---

#define QUESTION ((2 * b) || !(2 * b))

Vancouver, BC, Canada (4.00 / 3) (#117)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:13:54 PM EST

Where do you live?

The most beautiful city in the world... (And I've lived in many)

Why do you live there?

Personal Choice.

I moved here a couple of years ago from Hell's Neighbour (Toronto), however I was born here. There is simply no comparison.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Vancouver is very diverse. In addition to large asian and indian (the eastern kind) communities, Van City seems to be a dumping ground for all of canada's youth. Add two major universities, about ten beaches, parks everywhere and you get what is now famous as "west coast culture"  

There's always something going on, from fireworks festivals (last night) to "legalize pot" rallies (couple months ago) to pride parades (next week).

What recreational opportunities do you have?

HAHAHA... Oh, I guess you are serious. Well, considering most folks in their answers consider "going to the movies" recreation, we're slightly different. Whistler (think never-never land, with skiers) is only a 2 hr drive away, and offers some of the best Skiing/Snowboarding, Hiking, Mtn. Biking, and general hijinks in the world. As said before there are upwards of 10 beaches within the city limits (most down town). Stanley park deserves a mention... second only in size to Central Park in New York, and surrounded by ocean on three of four sides.

Everyone here is active and outdoorsy. If you are overweight, you will be in the minority (just a warning)

What do you like about it?

Almost everything... the mountains, the ocean, the view, the people, the attitude. In Vancouver you can play big city one day, bump into a bear on hike the next, and see orca's from a ferry on the third...

It's doesn't snow (unlike everywhere else in Canada)

What do you hate about it?

I don't really hate anything about it. Some areas for improvement are: It rains a lot in the winter (our penance for lack of snow), City council is full of retards looking to stop anyone from having fun, and both major newspapers are own by the same company (??)

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

The scenery, for sure, followed by the laid back, west coast lifestyle.

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes. More importantly, if you haven't noticed, I love where I live. The reason for this is because I picked up from where I was, and moved to where I wanted to be. It was difficult at times, but looking back, it was the best decision I have ever made. If you don't like where you live, MOVE! You will be happier, I promise.

Vancouver is great is you are active, easygoing and sick of the rat race. It would be for you if you're someone who needs the action and rush that comes from eastern cities like Toronto or New York.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

 - everyone smokes pot. Nobody cares if you do or not, really.
 - stay away from main and hastings. (unless you're a crack addict)
 - learn to love the rain.
 - buy a bike.
 - learn to ski/snowboard/hike/camp/downhill mtn. bike
 - Wreck Beach is the nude one.
 - Whislter in the summer = Ski/Ride in the morning, Widsurf in the afternoon, drink that night away...


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

Sounds like a nice place to live... (1.00 / 1) (#146)
by Supra on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:32:11 PM EST

Someday I will have to make my way up there.

[ Parent ]
you should visit at least! n/t (1.00 / 1) (#164)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:20:16 PM EST



It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
job market (1.00 / 1) (#184)
by lemurx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:02:20 PM EST

I visiting Vancouver a few years ago, and it was a beautiful city. However I remember that it was difficult to find work. What's the situation like today?
----- de gustibus non disputandum est
[ Parent ]
Some questions- very interested (1.00 / 1) (#227)
by anon868 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:09:14 PM EST

I may be looking to move and just had a few questions about Vancouver-
How is rent? I'm paying $650 for a 1 bedroom in Calgary, is it worse/better there?
How's the job market?
Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.
[ Parent ]
Rent in Vancouver is horrific. (none / 0) (#286)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:21:47 PM EST

I have several friends there. It's worse than Calgary, which is also not the cheapest city in Canada.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
not "horrific" (none / 0) (#391)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:50:31 AM EST

Rent - I just moved into a two br condo right dowmtown... insuite w/d, d/w etc... $1350/mo

I had moved from a 1 br. apt... 29th floor, on the beach, right downtown... $855

Away from downtown you'll pay about $600-800, depending on area mostly.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

You've been in Vancouver too long. (none / 0) (#393)
by haflinger on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:58:36 AM EST

You say this is not horrific.
Rent - I just moved into a two br condo right dowmtown... insuite w/d, d/w etc... $1350/mo
I'm paying $485 for a 1-bedroom apartment right downtown.

Okay, Vancouver's not as bad as NYC. But it's the highest rents in Canada.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

not quite... (none / 0) (#410)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:15:50 PM EST

I came from toronto... you'll easliy pay $1000+ for a one bedroom anywhere in the city...

It may not be calgary, but then again I live on a beach and it doesn't snow here! :-)

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Last time I was in TO... (none / 0) (#431)
by haflinger on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 01:25:46 AM EST

I was paying $600 for an admittedly wretched bachelor not far from St. Clair West. Not right downtown, but definitely in the city.

I left that place in the summer of 2001.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Where? (none / 0) (#412)
by manobes on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:54:46 PM EST

I'm paying $485 for a 1-bedroom apartment right downtown.

In what city though? Vancouver's a really nice place to live compared to most others. So you pay more. I used to pay $800 for an enormous 2 bedroom in Kitchener, ON. But I was in Kitchener, which is not nearly as nice as Vancouver (not even on the same scale really). As with most things, you get what you pay for.

Okay, Vancouver's not as bad as NYC. But it's the highest rents in Canada.

I heard Toronto was worse, my cousin was living there a few years back, and he had a hell of a time finding something reasonable.


No one can defend creationism against the overwhelming scientific evidence of creationism. -- Big Sexxy Joe


[ Parent ]
Toronto is close. (none / 0) (#432)
by haflinger on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 01:28:03 AM EST

But it's not as bad as Vancouver. This is from personal experience.

The problem in Toronto is finding a sane landlord. They're pretty wacky down there.

Anyway, where am I living? heh.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Vancouver as well (2.00 / 1) (#233)
by wnight on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:25:20 PM EST

Well, I guess this is a good place to tack my post on.

> Where do you live?

Vancouver, BC

> Why do you live there?

Parents moved here when I was 13, I haven't saved up enough to move to the country and buy my retirement property.

> What cultural opportunities do you have?

Almost anything, regardless of your views.

If culture if old-school pretention, we've symphonies in the park, Shakespear on the beach, and the like.

If culture is other people, we've got them. There's a large white-european group (though only homogenous from outside), Asian (many ex-Hong Kong citizens), East Indian, N.A. Indian, etc. While most of the people seem to blend in, there are cultural associations for everyone. Local ukranian churches have perogie dinners, the "China Town" businesses host a Chinese-New Year celebration, East Indian restraunts and theatre are everywhere. Really too much to list.

And if "modern" culture is your thing, we've got pot-smoking snow-boarders, brew pubs, local music galore, 2-4 concerts a night, every night, of various sizes. If you're into sports, we've got a hockey team, football, basketball, I think a baseball team, and likely many other. We've got clubs, raves, pubs, and restaurants galore.

More importantly than "having culture" though, there are many areas of the city that are a pleasant blend of everything. The Commercial-Drive area of town is the catch-all. There are others. You can pretty much find an area for you, but regardless of where you live, nobody will really get too upset about whatever it is you do.

> What recreational opportunities do you have?

I've never seen an area more geographically diverse. We've got one of the ten-best ski-hills (Whistler/Blackcomb) just out of town an hour, closer, cheaper hills too. Then there's the ocean for kayaking, wind-surfing, sailing, swiming, and nudity if you're into Wreck Beach. S.W. BC is in many areas classed as a rain forest so the hiking is phenomenal, with trees so big thirty people can't reach around them and in other areas, waterfalls hundreds of meters high crashing into isolated pools for skinny-dipping.

There are parks everywhere, many allow dogs or horses, most allow bikes on some or all paths.

We're even only three hours away (without speeding) from an actual desert in the interior if you want more choice.

> What do you like about it?

Really, everything. I love the fact that it's the closest I've been in, except for Toronto at being truly 24h. There's an opportunity to do just about anything from tech jobs to forest ranger. The transit system is pretty good, going comparatively late (2am usually) and covering almost all of the surrounding cities.

> What do you hate about it?

Nothing really. Traffic isn't great, but it's not bad (compared to many other cities) by any stretch. I don't mind the weather unlike some, but most people would say they hate the rain. (Really, it's overcast more than it actually rains.)

> What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Scenery, multi-cultural asmosphere, opportunity, acceptance.

> Would you recommend it, and why?

Yeah. It's the best city I've lived in. If you don't mind cities, you should find something to like here. It's not too big, so you can get around in it and find a non-crowded spot to hang out with friends, but it's got enough people that you can find a job or schooling in just about any field. It's expensive to buy a house, but rental prices are pretty good.

> If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Nothing really. Not even English, though we'd prefer if you did. Housing can be a little tight if you've got standards, so moving without a place to crash for a while might not be the best idea.

> How is it different from other places you have been?

Moderate climate. (Saskatoon, SK bounces between -40 and +40C, Florida never drops below 95F. Much nicer here) Vancouver sometimes snows, just a little, and only rarely is unpleasantly hot for more than a few days at a time.

Very accepting. Short of what I've heard about SF, CA, it's probably the best place to live if you're non-traditional. Tampa, FL felt much different to me, and my experience in the "South" haven't been great.

Unlike where I grew up, you can find a job as something other than a farm-hand. But if you wanted, within 45 minutes of downtown you can find farms that would be hiring, unlike many big cities that only have desk or service industry jobs.

Relaxed, but not as much so as the Bahamas where time seems to be a foreign concept.

But in many ways, cities are cities, full of people making money to get from day to day, doing private things that you don't see. Call it a rat race, or call it life, in some ways it's the same everywhere.


[ Parent ]

I politely disagree. (none / 0) (#287)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:24:57 PM EST

I spent a summer once living in Victoria. Perhaps Vancouver is different, really, but I didnt get that impression.
Relaxed, but not as much so as the Bahamas where time seems to be a foreign concept.
I've spent most of my life living in the east. I couldn't believe the astonishing time-wasting attitude that so many people had. Buses would leave late, not because the scheduler screwed up, or because something went wrong, but because the driver would be too busy admiring the flowers. For ten minutes. Or longer.

Goddamn. I just stopped using public transit for most everything. Or any services where you're dependent on the natives to be on time.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Norman, Oklahoma (USA) (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by theDude42 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:25:26 PM EST

  • Where do you live?
    Norman, Oklahoma. A college town (university of oklahoma) of 100,000 or so.
  • Why do you live there?
    I grew up in Noble, a small town to the south. Went to college here. Lived in Lawton (another OK town) after college but moved back here. Love the college town atmosphere.
  • What cultural opportunities do you have?
    I'm going to skip the high art. (there is plenty at the university, but I'm not into that). I do go to the theater occasaionally. We have some at the university and a company. We have a nice arts community in Norman. My wife takes pottery at a nearby art center, etc.
  • What recreational opportunities do you have?
    Lots of lakes, hunting. I like to fish at ponds near my parents house. College sports is a HUGE thing here (no pro). We go to the football games (luckily we bought season tickets in the mid 90s when the Oklahoma program was at a low point). Football saturdays are huge in Oklahoma. People schedule weddings around them. If you haven't been there, you wouldn't really understand.
  • What do you like about it?
    People really ARE freindly here. When I see a row of cars coming on the merge ramp, I move over if I can to let them on. And you know what? So do all the other cars around me. I hold doors for women at the 7-11. I say please and thank you. So do most folks. One other thing, we don't get high salaries, but we have DIRT cheap cost of living. I bought gas this morning for $1.21 a gallon. I live in an expensive housing market (University area of Norman), and my 3 bed/1300 sf. house costs $76,000.
  • What do you hate about it?
    Bible-belt politics. That's the nice thing about Norman, it's a somewhat liberal haven in the midst of one of the most convservative areas of the country. It does get damn hot, also. I don't mind the tornadoes. The weather guys around here keep on top of them, you know when they are coming and statistically, your're not likely to be affected. Large scale ones like May 3rd are exceedingly rare.
  • What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    as above, it's friendly.
  • Would you recommend it, and why?
    Yes, especially if you don't mind the conservatism.
  • If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
    The football schedule. Don't schedule something on a game day and expect a good turnout.
  • How is it different from other places you have been?
    More friendly, less "beatiful people". I went to california and coulndn't see hardly any fat people!


Espoo, Finland and Mustamae, Estonia. (3.20 / 5) (#121)
by Quietti on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:25:44 PM EST

  • Where do you live?

    I currently shuttle back and forth between two locations:

    • Espoo, Finland
    • Mustamae, Estonia
  • Why do you live there?

    Canada offered zero work opportunity for multilinguistic people and is a non-democratic, minority ruled, politicaly correct hellhole. I've always hated the place and had to leave, sooner or later.

    By contrast, Finland (and most other EU countries) favor people with multilingual skills at work and play, on every count. It also has a political system that truely offers balanced representativity and generaly is a highly tolerant country.

    Estonia has close cultural and economical ties with Finland, a similar language and also offers me the opportunity to maintain my Russian speaking skills affloat (Estonia has a 30% Slavic minority left from the Soviet days), without the constant stress one feels when visiting Russia. Salaries are lower than in Finland, but cost of living relatively is also low and people are more tolerant than anywhere I've been. Live and let live is a reality here, while in Finland it's slowly disappearing.

  • What cultural opportunities do you have?

    Plenty of foreign languages (Estonia), a particularly vast variety of local cultural products (Finland has local branches of all Entertainment giants, promoting local talent), lots of interesting and unusual festivals ... all of this has allowed me to develop a circle of friends a zillion times bigger than anything I've ever known back in Canada; people I can trust and with whom great things happen, contrary to most of my old Canadian acquiantances.

  • What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Beyond the above items on cultural opportunities, European countries are so closely located that traveling is a rather affordable and common activity. It's always as fun as it is instructive.

  • What do you like about it?

    The amazingly broad amount of personal freedom Europeans enjoy. Live and let live. People here are incredibly open-minded, even among the most conservative elements. Even the police is amazingly friendly and professional.

  • What do you hate about it?

    While individulas are generally open-minded, politicians are very good at excluding foreigners from some of the freedom that locals enjoy. Even in formerly communist countries, the general attitude that is shaping is: EU citizens are cool, others suck and are potentially dangerous, so we should ask them to pay ridiculous amounts to allow them to visit us or to work here.

  • What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Personal freedom and truely balanced democratic representation.

  • Would you recommend it, and why?

    I would recommend both EU and certain Baltic or Central European countries, to anyone who has had it with the erosion of freedom, corporation lobby controlling the government, and lack of accountability (individual and governmental) that currently plagues Canada and United States.

  • If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Be prepared to face a lot of red tape targetted at non-EU nationals and be ready to marry a locla sooner than later to make the authorities stop reminding you how you don't belong in their country.

    Also, on top of English, knowing German and Russian, plus your choice of two extra European languages has pretty much become a de-facto requirement for work and play.

  • How is it different from other places you have been?

    People in Europe tend to have a much stronger sense of individual and national identity than North Americans. They usualy know where all of their ancestors came from, still wear traditional dresses a few times a year, shamelessly mix obscure heathen customs with Christianity, and yet feel very globaly connected because of the diversity of the European continent and the nearly intimate ties neighboring countries have.

    By contrast, the corporate America sponsored police state that is developing in United States and the neverending political non-consensus that has always plagued Canada has clarified my priorities even more than when I first arrived here 4 years ago:

    like Alan Cox, I would rather be shot dead than have to set foot in United States, even for a connection flight. Meanwhile, I would gladly nuke Canada off the surface of Earth for being such a looser country.

    I can summarize my hatred of Canada and United States as follow:

    I hate the United-States of America for always having it their way, no matter what the consequences on people in other countries. I hate Canada for never daring to have it its way, no matter what the consequences on its own people inside the country.


--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
haha - sorry (none / 0) (#188)
by Goatmaster on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:06:30 PM EST

Now, as a Canadian, I find your comments very... american, oddly enough. You're correct though, unless you have skills you're not going to find very much rewarding work in Canada, regardless of how many languages you speak (and unfortunately, languages are only a very basic skill). We're not a democracy, and no one has ever claimed as such. There are a few democratic principles in place, but whatever eh.

Now, I do agree that the leadership of Canada should have more of a spine, and this is a fairly common attitude among many. Not sure where you lived, but if it was Toronto or southern Ontario, please understand that those places ARE NOT representative of the entire country and the people and their attitudes are not representative of everyone's. I'm from the far north, and I've lived all over the country. My experiences range from close to what you've described, but the majority are completely different.

And we are a rather loose country eh? Of all those I've been to, I've been treated the best here, though the Netherlands comes in a close second. In any case, I'm close to dismissing you as closed-minded eurotrash that doesn't have an inkling of what's going on in this country. Please don't spread garbage about an entire country because of your experience in what is probably only a very small region of it, because you're defaming and insulting thousands upon thousands of good people in the process.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
I lived in 3 different provinces (none / 0) (#315)
by Quietti on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:41:19 PM EST

So I definitely have a very good idea of what goes on in Canada, overall, contrary to some narrow-minded Anglo rednecks who never saw beyond their backwoods or some likewise braindead Quebec independentists who could not place the capitals of the other provinces on the map. I've lived on both sides of the fence and find them both to be an equally dumb hopeless basket case.

As for lacking skills (which seems to be the luducrious assumption of both people who replied to my post, so far), I got my ass covered and then some. In practice, though, it ain't worth a damn in Canada, where the sheer level of unemployment has long resulted in employers asking for an indecently high amount of qualifications, even for the lowest paid entry-level positions. It is not uncommon for Canadians to have two university degrees and yet end up working at McDonald's just to make ends meet, because they cannot get as much as an entry-level position in their field until all baby-boomers have gone into retirement.

Meanwhile, I got on climbing the corporate ladder as soon as I set foot in Europe, after having been unemployed for close to a decade while living in Canada. You do the math. There's no way you'll convince me to ever set foot in North America ever again.



--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
That's fine (none / 0) (#342)
by Goatmaster on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:53:42 AM EST

There's tonnes of jobs here. The problem is many are not willing to move to where the work is. Maybe no one clued you in to where they are.

As for the unemployment numbers, well, they're about 7%, which is right on par, if not better than most places in the world (other than the US). It's almost impossible for me to believe you were unemployed for almost a decade if you had any marketable skills and were willing to move around.

It's unfortunate your experience was not good, but I know hundreds of immigrants personally who've found a good life here, in relevant and good jobs. It is highly uncommon for double-degreed people to be working in miniumum wage jobs, you can dig around Stats Can to find the numbers, but for the university I got my degree from, the employement rate in a relevant field to the degree earned is >99% for the 1990-2001 graduates.

I know the numbers are similar across the country, other than the maritimes where times are hard all-around, but those maritimers are good folks who have the sense to move when they need to find work. It is difficult for some to move from their home, and I can definately understand that, and those are the ones you'll find working minimum wage.

Knowing this, please don't spread disinformation. It is fortunate you are finding success in Europe, in any case.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
wake up (none / 0) (#358)
by Quietti on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:40:33 AM EST

People can only collect unemployment premiums for a short while. Once that time has elapsed, they are bumped down to social security and no longer accounted for in the unemployment statistics. I indeed not only was willing but in fact continuously moved around. Again, I know enough qualified people in all parts of the country to know that something is very wrong with the job market there. Please stop dreaming and smell the coffee. Canada is not the golden dream Chretien and his goons are flashing. It's a golden cage where the population is maintianed in hypnosis, at best. Nice to know you still call that place home, just don't shove that damn citizenship down my throat and prented it to be a democratic act.



--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately (none / 0) (#446)
by Goatmaster on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:47:20 AM EST

That's not how unemployment stats are collected. It's a fairly simple process, how they do it in fact. You know that little number you give to your employer and use on your tax forms? Yes, the S.I.N., That's how they track long term unemployment (i.e. over one tax year), for the short term they use UI/EI numbers to estimate.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
You're missing the point. (none / 0) (#374)
by haflinger on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:03:53 AM EST

And it ought to be obvious, given that you're talking to somebody who moved to Finland to find work. Obviously he's willing to move to where the work is.
There's tonnes of jobs here.
Agreed.
The problem is many are not willing to move to where the work is.
No, the problem is the lack of entry-level positions in professional occupations that do not go to the children of current employees. In other words, systemic corruption. Everybody wants 2 years of experience before they'll hire you. How do you get those two years? Simple. Ask Mommy and Daddy (or, possibly, your frat brothers) for a job.

That's what Canada has become.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

I see (none / 0) (#447)
by Goatmaster on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:54:05 AM EST

Yes, depending on the field, of course, it can be difficult to get a foot in the door. However, my reference to 'moving to where the work is' was aimed more at entry-level for most fields. Almost anywhere you are, if you have experience you can usually find reasonable employement, but for the entry level you tend to have to move around. Northern Alberta is one of those places for instance. They're hiring tradesmen, engineers, tech workers, clerical, financial etc. etc., entry level and above.

Another point though, networking through your peers and contacts isn't 'corruption', it's the nature of the beast. I never had anyone to give me a hand up, as with many others, I moved to where the entry-level work was, got my foot in the door, and worked up. You can't be a snob about it, it's the same almost everywhere (depending on demographics etc), you start low, work up. This is not an alien concept outside of North America, since my father did the same thing when he was young in Britain, and my mother in Germany.

In any case, Canada hasn't become anything, it's a simple case of demographics. There is a large glut of people in the 45-60ish range, the so-called 'baby-boom' generation. When they start retiring left and right, there will be ample entry-level positions for all, nearly everywhere you care to look.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
Sure, for the next generation. (none / 0) (#451)
by haflinger on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 10:02:22 AM EST

The ol' boom/bust/echo.
There is a large glut of people in the 45-60ish range, the so-called 'baby-boom' generation. When they start retiring left and right, there will be ample entry-level positions for all, nearly everywhere you care to look.
The problem with this is, suppose you're like me. I'm 32. And you've spent the last 10 years getting frustrated trying to find entry-level professional work.

Who's going to hire you? As compared to the 20-year-old?

No, I don't think so. The Gen Xers, as usual, are out in the cold.

And lastly - I'm talking about professional positions. You're talking about tradesmen (not professional), engineers (professional), "tech workers" (mostly not professional), clerical (not professional), and financial (mostly not professional) work. Let's try and focus the discussion on the same thing. Or do you simply not know what "professional" means?

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Well, then you made the right choice (none / 0) (#464)
by Goatmaster on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 02:44:48 PM EST

You moved somewhere where your skills are more in demand. Fortunately, I'm 24 and found a myriad of entry-level positions within 6 months of finishing my dual degree 2 years ago. Without any help from mum or dad, mostly because they don't even live in the country anymore, and secondly because they're in a totally different field.

As for 'professional' positions. There is no such thing. Perhaps at one time there was a clear line, but no longer. The professionals were once the positions that afforded a 'middle-class' lifestyle, but obviously that's a thing of the past. The list of occupations I rattled off were ones I know that are quite in demand in N. Alta., not those I was specifically talking about. It applies generally across the board, there's nothing special about 'professional' occupations.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
Except that... (none / 0) (#465)
by haflinger on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 02:58:16 PM EST

Canadian employers often complain about the lack of highly-trained potential employees in the work force. They complain that people graduate from their programs and then leave the country.

Well, it's obvious why this happens. People leave the country because nobody will give them jobs, because when you're fresh out of school you don't have any experience.

You also appear to have a clear lack of understanding of what the word professional means. It has to do with respect, not money. Lawyers are professionals, even the ones who make $5,000 or less a year, and I know a few.

(One of the graduates from my year in law school is currently working as a coach for the women's hockey team of Elmira College, in New York State. He's apparently doing a really good job of it; they won the NCAA final in their first year. But: the point is, he wanted to be a lawyer, not a hockey coach.)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

You durn furriners (none / 0) (#190)
by czth on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:07:35 PM EST

Canada offered zero work opportunity for multilinguistic people and is a non-democratic, minority ruled, politicaly correct hellhole. I've always hated the place and had to leave, sooner or later.

Translation: "I can't find a job, so I'm going to say the country is fascist/too politically correct/not politically correct enough/Nazi/whatever, to make me feel better." You'd think that speaking Russian and German would make you enough of a minority anywhere in North America (no, not in the EU, where everyone is born speaking 17 languages, I know, I know). Or perhaps some more qualified person but (gasp! the horror!) of a different skin colour than you got "your" job?

Beyond the above items on cultural opportunities, European countries are so closely located that traveling is a rather affordable and common activity. It's always as fun as it is instructive.

On the other hand, American gas prices are so low that travelling is also a rather affordable and common activity - in a weekend I've done a loop from Memphis, through Arkansas, Texas (Dallas, Austin, Houston), Lousiana (including driving through the Sabine wildlife reservation and going almost to the Gulf of Mexico, and seeing alligators up close) to Baton Rouge, and back through Mississippi for work Monday.

Values: ... Personal freedom and truely balanced democratic representation.

As opposed to? Well, I guess at least the EU doesn't have a "senator from Disney" yet, which is nice. But their turn will come. (And you misspelled "truly".)

Be prepared to face a lot of red tape targetted at non-EU nationals and be ready to marry a local sooner than later...

Hehe :) when's the wedding? Funny you should mention that; I'm a British citizen, family moved to Canada when I was 9, so I also have Canadian citizenship, and now I'm on a NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) visa in Memphis, Tennessee, in the USA. A friend in Missouri recently introduced me to a girl in West Virginia (I know, I know, she doesn't see much future there either), and things have been progressing nicely. (We went to Niagara Falls last weekend when I was visiting back home for a wedding.)

... shamelessly mix obscure heathen customs with Christianity ...

Well, being a Christian, that's a good reason for me to stay away :P.

I can summarize my hatred of Canada and United States as follow: I hate the United-States of America for always having it their way, no matter what the consequences on people in other countries. I hate Canada for never daring to have it its way, no matter what the consequences on its own people inside the country.

Hm. You seem pretty hard to please. You hate the US for being assertive, and Canada for the opposite?! I dunno about you but I'd be pretty happy that my country would knock a few heads together and roll in some tanks to protect the rights of its citizens, wherever they are. (As long as they're behaving reasonably, of course. If said citizens were violating local laws, they can take the consequences.)

As to your problems with your friends, perhaps you just need to choose better friends. Glad you like it in Estonia/Finland, just don't whine and moan about North America because you couldn't hack it here.

czth

[ Parent ]

Canadian employers suck. (none / 0) (#289)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:32:09 PM EST

I quote my diary:
It's really weird. Here in Canada, we have this great educational system, then our employers refuse to hire our graduates. Bleah.
I'm hideously qualified. There are maybe two dozen people in Canada who are as well-qualified as I am for my chosen occupation. Yet I'm probably leaving the country, because there aren't enough job opportunities for me here. Why?

Because I don't have any professional experience. Americans look at me as a valuable resource: I'm at the start of my career, and if I can be persuaded to be loyal, then I might well give some lucky organization 30 years of productive labour.

Yet, here in Canada, everybody wants at least 2 years of experience. So I'm leaving the country, probably, for at least 2 or 3 years; and should I develop ties outside the country, I'm never coming back.

This is the reason behind the brain drain. You've got to give people who are literally one in a million job opportunities without forcing them to resort to graft. Otherwise, the honest ones will leave.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

ummm (3.00 / 1) (#317)
by sety on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:42:37 PM EST

So you are one of the 12 best qualified Reference Librarians in Canada? I can see how you can have trouble finding work. If you want to get over the two year work hurdle, offer to volunteer at a university library. It seems you had money to spend on degrees, just think of this as more education. A year of volunteering and a good reference and you are on your way.

The brain drain is an issue when US companies offer Canadians salaries the Canadian companies can't compete with. This will not last much longer as the US dollar is starting to become less over-valued. If Canada has no use for people it is graduating from University, it should charge more for tuition in those paticular programs to discourage it (or raise the entry grade requirements).

[ Parent ]

I'm a law librarian. (none / 0) (#370)
by haflinger on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:37:27 AM EST

I have dual degrees (both law and library science); U of T estimates that there are perhaps 25 or 30 of us in Canada, and I know 2 of the others (and I met somebody who's probably going to be a third in a year).

Also, I need to eat. The federal government has subsidized my education. I'm not wealthy, and in a few months, my bank will expect me to pay back my loans. I don't think they'll go for "volunteering at a law library" on the interest relief forms. If they had, then I'd probably have become a lawyer a few years ago, but I wasn't willing or able to accept a $500/year starting position; so I went back to school to keep the bank off my back.

It's true, if I get the job at Queen's, I'll be making significantly less money than if I was working in the U.S. (where $35K US/year is the absolute bottom line, and high salaries go up into the high 40's). But really, $42,852 per year is enough to keep me in the country. It's just that that job and one at UBC were the only law school jobs I could even apply for so far this year in Canada, and UBC didn't even bother to interview me. Whereas, I've already been interviewed by one American law school, and I expect a few more interviews in the next few weeks (August is the peak time for law librarian interviews). It's entirely possible that by the time Queen's calls me, I'll already have a job.

And it shouldn't be like this. I'm effectively being pressured by my government-sponsored loan into leaving the country.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

u (4.00 / 1) (#425)
by sety on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:15:36 PM EST

The US economy is about 10x bigger than the Canadian, it's too bad that's they way it is. Good luck.

[ Parent ]
heh heh (2.00 / 1) (#448)
by Goatmaster on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:59:54 AM EST

It's simple -- you're in extremely low demand in Canada, and you somehow thing the country is to blame? Hope you get the job at Queens in any case. But in any event remember that money isn't everything.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#452)
by haflinger on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 10:04:13 AM EST

I said, "Canadian employers suck." I think employers are to blame. :)

I like a lot of things about the country. It's just the unbelievable level of conservatism and lack of risk-taking in the business world that are slowly ripping this country apart.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

blocked off by baby boomers, so I left (4.00 / 1) (#319)
by Quietti on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:02:03 PM EST

halfinger wrote:
Yet I'm probably leaving the country, because there aren't enough job opportunities for me here. Why? Because I don't have any professional experience. [...] This is the reason behind the brain drain. You've got to give people who are literally one in a million job opportunities without forcing them to resort to graft. Otherwise, the honest ones will leave.

That's essentially why I left too, when it comes to the career-related reasons.

There were also irreconciliable differences of opinion with the way politics go there (and since my mom was a political advisor, I got to see how that shit goes on from the inside too) and with the overall slave mentality but, ultimately, not being able to achieve anything in life, because I was constantly blocked off the job market, was among the main reasons why I left.

The whole thing got down to a vicious circle too. At first, not having experience was making employers hesitant in hiring me. Once I started a business and got some experience on my own, I was suddenly over-qualified for entry positions on the job market, but still lacking experience at entry-level positions to be allowed into mid-management jobs.

Here, in Europe, diplomas are mostly usefull for setting the level of one's entry point on the job market. After that, people are mostly interested in what previous positions one has held, how well they fared there (recommendation letters here tend to combine a performance review with the job title and a list of main tasks, often adding the supervisor's own appreciation of the individual) and, most of all, if you positively know what you're talking about in regards to shop talk.



--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Riverside, California (4.00 / 1) (#127)
by techwolf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:43:08 PM EST

Where you live?
Riverside, Ca

Why do you live there?
because I haven't found a better job elsewhere yet

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Hmmm not much. A few local breweries, the Mission inn(historical site, kinda)a little bit of local theatre and some local bands. The good stuff is all in cities 30 min to 1 1/2 hours away.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
again not a whole lot. movies, local theatre, you know stuff normally found in mid sized cities.

What do you like about it?
it's not all bad, but in alot of areas the crime is higher than i'd like. other than that and driving the 91 freeway (parking lot all the wa to LA) its not too bad

What do you hate about it?
not too many good place to meet others the same age, unless you like to drink or go clubing.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)?
Traffic, smog, and, fast food

Would you recommend it, and why?
Not a chance in hell. you are too far from the beach to just pick up and go with it being kind of a big deal (full day type of thing) we get LA's smog, have our own crime, and, it is difficult to do anything outdoor cause the BLM/forrestry service has closed off vast chunks of wilderness to prevent it from being "Damaged". so it's pretty boring round here.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
the way out and how to find a place to live, cause you sure failed the first time.

How is it different from other places you have been?
In other places I can go shooting, offroading, hiking, camping(and have a campfire, cali's too dry so they pretty much outlawed here) and do other fun outdoors type of activities, but not round here. that and the smog is much worse here(again we all of LA's shit). Hell there are day that I look out the windows and can't see the foothills that are 2 miles away,only a grey wall of crap.

and the missing question:
what do you plan on doing in the near future?
i joined the navy to get out of here, and find some fresh air! (that and the navy is paying for my college)


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

NYC, NY (4.00 / 1) (#128)
by Hechz on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:47:36 PM EST

Where do you live?

I live in Manhattan, the main borough of New York, NY

Why do you live there?
I moved here three years ago for more opportunity and excitement; from Tampa, FL.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
NYC is the United States premier cultural center.
As such we have great museums, theaters and locally produced events.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
We have many of the best urban recreation activities. Recently the city has been rolling out the "Green Streets" initiative, creating a continuous ring of park around Manhattan. Now that the Hudson river is getting cleaned up we are able to enjoy the waterfront more and more. September eleventh messed up the area of the west side highway by my house for months, but the Esplanade (as the west side park is called) has finally been reopened.

What do you like about it?
There is always the option of things to do. The food selection is my favorite part.

What do you hate about it?
The cost, the heat in the summer, and the griminess.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The transit system here is the best in the country, and it is getting better.

Would you recommend it, and why?
If you are socially active, work hard, and like excitement I would definitely recommend Manhattan. If you want that option but still like the suburban feeling the outer boroughs are the best bet.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
The subway isn't as confusing as it seems at first. And New Yorkers really will help you out. We won't volunteer much, but we will help.

How is it different from other places you have been?

It is more frenetic than a lot of other cities. London and Sydney are the closest in my experience.

Woodburn, IN, USA - "The Smallest City In Ind (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by encore on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:50:31 PM EST

Where do you live?
  According to the sign on the edge of town - which I can see from my office window here in "downtown" - Woodburn is the "smallest city" in Indiana with a population of 1200.  Last I heard the population was down to around 1000.  Woodburn is only 30 miles from Ft. Wayne (a city of around 100,000), 2 hours from Indianapolis, IN or Detroit, MI; 3 hours from Chicago, IL or Columbus, OH; or most importantly 10 feet from corn and soybean fields as far as the eyes can see.

Why do you live there?
  Just the luck of the job.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
  3 words - Combine Demolition Derby.
  Woodburn is typical of smalltown America.  It has a gas station, liquor store, grocery store, a couple of seed mills, a pizza joint, and the ubiquitous soft serve ice cream stand.  Culture is definitely roll your own.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
  For daily activities, there isn't much.  There is basically nothing in Woodburn.  Ft. Wayne (the nearest city) has all of the basic food and shopping chains as well as movies and other standard recreation opportunities.  But the big advantage of being in the midwest is the number of things that are available within a short distance.  If you like cities, Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit are just a few hours drive away.  You can be in the Appalachain mountains in 6 hours, the Ozark mountains in 12, the lakes in northern Minnesota in 10, the great lakes in just a few.  Even some of the provincial parks in Canada are close enough for a weekend trip.

What do you like about it?
  No crowds.

What do you hate about it?
  No privacy - everyone knows everyone (and they all like to gossip).
  Horse dung in the streets - The amish (old time anti-technology religion) are all around.  Grocery store even has a hitching post.
  No DSL.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
  The grain silo in town - you can see it for miles.

Would you recommend it, and why?
  Depends on your expectations.  If you like cities, I would say no; but, for rural life, Woodburn is as good as any of the other small midwest towns (and cleaner than most).

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
  You would need to know how to weave around the buggies and be willing to drive a lot to get to whereever you like to go to have fun.


Darn you! (none / 0) (#138)
by VanM on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:05:33 PM EST

You just beat me to the punch on posting about small towns in Indiana. I'll concede that Woodburn is smaller than my hometown (LaGrange, pop. 3,000), and really can't add anything you didn't mention as far as small town life is concerned. I'll bet we have more Amish than you, though. And, we have the Shipshewana Flea Market. Everyone loves that flea market.

[ Parent ]
The Whippy Dip! (none / 0) (#416)
by BackSlash on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:35:32 PM EST

The Whippy Dip is the cultural center of Allen County! Waaay better than the A&W Root Beer stand in Antwerp OH.

bs

[ Parent ]

Alta Loma, California (none / 0) (#134)
by Dphitz on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:57:01 PM EST

Or basically, another little town in the giant suburb that is the Inland Empire.

Why do you live there?
Grew up here

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Not much, but it is close to L.A. so you can check out lots of museums, art, clubs, music, etc.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
We have the mountains so there's lots of snowboarding to be done if the weather is good.  There isn't much fun to be had here.  You have to go to L.A. for that.

What do you like about it?
Not much really.  The only reason I'm still here is the familiarity of it and all my friends are here.  Once I get my degree I think I'll leave.

What do you hate about it?
SMOG SMOG SMOG.  Plus the fact that most everyone out here has an attitude and most teenagers seem to think they're gangsters.  

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
It's hot, dirty, smoggy, and over-developed.  It seems to be cheaper than most other parts of the state though and for good reason.  There are lots of meth labs if you're into that.  

Would you recommend it, and why?
No.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
You'd need to know that you were insane for moving here.  Not much in the way of good jobs here.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It sucks more.  I've lived in N. California and Colorado where people are much friendlier, the air is cleaner and now that I think about it what the hell am I still doing here?  Gotta go pack.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA (none / 0) (#137)
by voxel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:01:13 PM EST

Where do you live?
In the mountains of northern New Mexico...Los Alamos.

Why do you live there?
My parents came here to work at the lab (lanl). I came back here after college to start a software company. I am still here because I have a company here.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Almost none. There is a lot of history surrounding the creation of the first atom bomb and a lot of interesting research going on but I am not sure that qualifies as a cultural opportunity.
The city of Santa Fe is close though and it is all about art and culture. Its a mix of pueblo indian tribes, spanish colonialism, and old southwest cowboy art/culture.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
The only recreation here is outdoor activities. We are in the mountians so we have hiking, skiing, mountian bike riding, etc.

What do you like about it?
Los Alamos has almost no crime. The people here are all very educated and come from all over the world and across the US.

What do you hate about it?
The town is dead. People are really into their work and do very little else. After 5:00 PM, everything shuts down.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The lab (LANL) really dominates the place. The town is here to house the people who work there. The people here are well educated and prosperous but the town is very boring.

Would you recommend it, and why?
If you like nature, the old southwest, and science, then yes. If you like the excitement and social events, then no.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
A little Spanish would help and don't step on the snakes that make the rattling noise.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It is a very different place. It's kind of like a university without any students.


Did I meet you at the thursday BBQ? (none / 0) (#204)
by Apuleius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:27:27 PM EST

The movie was "Orange County."


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
A more detailed intro to Los Alamos (none / 0) (#205)
by Apuleius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:31:57 PM EST

Can be found in H2G2.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
hehe, very true (none / 0) (#211)
by WixerTheGriffin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:39:10 PM EST

i too live in los alamos, and have done so my whole life. i'm in college so i'm only here during the summers, but i consider this my native habitat. the reason i live here is my dad's employment at the lab. few people come here otherwise, most will live in the valley since this place has high price inflation. in the future, i sure wouldn't mind coming back, for various reasons. culturally it is definitely lacking. there are opportunities to play in local orchestras, participate in town planning, listen to scientific talks, bicycling clubs, etc, so it has a unique feel, but it's not a recongnized culture. but, like voxel said, there is much culture in the surrounding area. recreational opportunities are definitely a huge aspect of enjoying los alamos. Northern New Mexico is a very beautiful area, with endless opportunities to enjoy the natural environment. such is why New Mexico is called "the land of enchantment"; it's a uniquely beautiful landscape. i like the small, friendly, educated feel of the community, as well as the awesome mtbiking trails to be found. the school system is among the best public educations in the US, since nearly everybody's mom or dad has a strong scientific background. however, it is boring as shit sometimes. and the people are pretty anal about kids loitering, or partying, or anything like that. a minus, and a plus in some aspects, is that news travels fast in small towns like this. and the local newspaper publishes things like people's salaries, and who committed what crime, which can be a real irritation to some. it is a very unique place in general, being a national lab town. it has something like the 3rd highest per capita income, and maybe the 2nd highest per capita Ph.Ds. it is right in the mountains, next to a very old blown out volcano, which is quite a sight to see. it's built on mesa-tops.

[ Parent ]
Los Alamos K-5 meatspace meetup. (none / 0) (#226)
by Apuleius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:08:49 PM EST

I'm proposing one right now. How about Saturday at the Allegro at noon?


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Fredericton, NB, Canada (4.00 / 2) (#144)
by asreal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:23:35 PM EST

Where do you live?

Fredericton, NB, Canada.

Why do you live there?

I'm currently studying at UNB.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Like most university towns, there are lots of opportunities. There are loads of drama productions, both on campus and at the Playhouse downtown. There is the Capital Film Society, which features a weekly screening of some artsy movie that didn't make it to the mall uberplex. There is even an anime society. There is a campus/community radio station that allows interested people to get their own show or help out in other ways. Musically, there is everything from the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival to punk shows featuring local and big name acts to a growing local rave scene. There is one major art gallery, and several smaller independent galleries.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

I probably don't take part in enough, but aside from the cultural activities, Fredericton is located right on a river and in the middle of the wilderness of central New Brunswick... so there is lots of room for kayaking, canoeing, hiking, skiing, hunting, fishing, and so on.

What do you like about it?

Fredericton is an easy town to love in the summer... Loads of trees, beautiful warm weather, and lively enough to keep from getting bored.

What do you hate about it?

First of all, the drainage is horrible. In the winter you can expect to be completely soaked by the time you get where you're going.

Aside from that, the closed-mindedness of a small rural "city" is a problem outside the university. Crime is unusually high for a place of its size, probably because of how poor the area is. If you don't work for the university or the provincial government, chances are you're making minimum wage, which in New Brunswick is $6 per hour.

Finally... clothing is impossible to find here. There was one small boutique downtown that sold stylish clothing, but it stopped selling guys clothes, although my girlfriend still finds a lot there. Other than that, there is American Eagle and Bootlegger in the mall. I wind up ordering a lot of clothing.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Fredericton is a beautiful city, but it can get boring really quickly.

Would you recommend it, and why?

I would recommend it highly to someone looking to get away from an urban center, but I enjoy city living more than Fredericton living.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Stay away from Prospect Street at rush hour, and pedestrians will expect you to stop for them, even when there isn't a crosswalk.

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal

I went to law school in Fredericton. (4.00 / 1) (#161)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:14:19 PM EST

There are some other problems with it not mentioned in the post above, although in general I agree with it.

Beauty? Yes, much of Fredericton is quite pretty. However, the river is horrific. It's okay at night when you can't see how nonblue it is, but...

Also, stay away from Northside. It's quite dangerous, in a rural crackhouse kind of way.

And finally: Most of the streets don't really get their snow removed during the winter. Expect the streets to be narrow and driving/walking significantly slowed in January and February.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

The North Side (4.00 / 1) (#192)
by asreal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:14:10 PM EST

I don't consider it part of Fredericton. I've only been there once, to the dodgy used furniture store that looked like it should have been in Baltimore or somewhere equally ghetto. I hear there is a sleezy strip club there too... *shudder*

And yea, keep out of the river... great for boating, bad for swimming and fishing.

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal
[ Parent ]

Technically, Northside isn't Fredericton. (none / 0) (#279)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:55:14 PM EST

It's Nashwaaksis. But people should still be warned about it. Scary place.

It does have a pretty good Timmie's, though. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Other good things about Fredericton. (none / 0) (#280)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:00:54 PM EST

It has a fantastic selection of comic stores for a town of its size. Particularly if you're a hardcore comic geek (which I sortof am), Strange Adventures is a true find. (There's one in Halifax too. The Fredericton one is older, but smaller. Long story.)

It has an incredible collection of used CD stores at extremely low prices. Backstreets is quite possibly the best record store for rare stuff in the Maritimes. Backstreets is a dual CD store, selling both new and used (used prices are $6-$8 CDN).

The trick about Fredericton downtown is that a lot of these stores (Strange and Backstreets for two) are somewhat hidden. Not everything has a storefront. Sometimes it can be good to watch out for signs on the sidewalk, and go into buildings and wander around inside until you find the store.

Owl's Nest is also a fantastic used bookstore. Kaya (in Halifax) is the only real competition for it anywhere in the Maritimes, and Kaya is more expensive.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Used music (4.00 / 1) (#363)
by asreal on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 06:57:52 AM EST

Unfortunately Backstreet Records seems to be the only one left... Purple Haze closed last year, and Urban Sound Exchange closed in Fredericton and left only its Moncton store open.

I've never been to Strange Adventures, but maybe I should head down there sometime. I have walked by it 100s of times, and peered in every time I go to Backstreet.

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal
[ Parent ]

Digital World's still open though, right? (none / 0) (#371)
by haflinger on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:38:54 AM EST

What about Magic Mushroom?

Backstreets is still the best one though. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Aarau, Switzerland (none / 0) (#148)
by UberClaude on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:38:23 PM EST

Where do you live?
Aarau, a small 16k town. 30 minutes away from zurich.

Why do you live there?
I was born here.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Not that many. Okay, there's the mainstream and the arthouse cinema, then there's nice cafés and a river to enjoy in summertime. It's not bad, but if you really want to go out, you probably take the train and go to zurich, where you have lots of restaurants, clubs, a nice lake, easy access to all the drugs you like (if you do)...

What do you like about it?
That it's very easy to reach any larger cities by train.

What do you hate about it?
Hmmm. Nothing, really.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
The fresh air, the cheese, the chocolate. Ah, and the gold and the watches. And Heidi, of course.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Yes, I would, because if anyone comes here, I could go out with them.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
You just need to know that Switzerland is NOT part of the EU.


Nice Town (none / 0) (#302)
by Edgy Loner on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:49:28 PM EST

Dude, I've been there! Two weeks in the Aruarhof (sp?) hotel in '94.Working night shift out at the plant (Goesgen). I really enjoyed the riverside parks through downtown. Good location too, close to Zurich, close to the Alps. Very nice.After that it was out to Zurzach for another two weeks. Nice too but very different.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Allston/Boston, Massachusetts, USA (4.00 / 1) (#149)
by clarioke on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:40:37 PM EST

Where do you live?

Allston, Massachusetts, a neighborhood in Boston.

Why do you live there?

I attended four years of college here and can't afford to move. I understand this is a unique problem, understandable by Bostonians and New Yorkers, as we are the suckers of broker's fees which can be as ridiculous as 10% of your yearly rent.

I love Boston and have a fulltime job at another University which allows me to take courses for free, ultimately culminating in a Master's degree for free.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

What cultural opportunities do you want? As a major city, we've got theatre, art, movies, arcades, whatever your heart desires.

I enjoy Allston's proximity to Cambridge and Harvard Square, myself. There, street performers abound in summer evenings and you can sit and watch without feeling obtrusive to those around you. The kids are generally nice, the adults are mostly tourists trying to cross streets without being hit, with small tots in tow.

Allston itself is overrun with college kids, so the summer is a pretty quiet time. There are a lot of bars (catering to the college kids) and you're never more than a few blocks from a liquor store.

The independent film venues are well worth your time. As well as being able to see some good foreign films, the people you may meet are also worth the ticket price.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Street Crossing.
Guess Which College He Goes To.
Bar/Club Hopping (blech. stay away from Landsdowne Street and the Tank Top Slut Army. It's overpriced and annoying at best.)
GoodTimes Emporium. It's a huge arcade, with a bar, overrun by some...er... interesting sorts of people. Laser tag is its real appeal.
I'm lucky enough to have a postage-stamp sized front lawn, so summer barbeques are common.
Museum of Science and Aquarium.
Anything free with student ID.

What do you like about it?

I may bitch about it, but ultimately I like the public transportation.

I love the Public Gardens, the Common and the Frog Pond which is a wading pool in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter.

Christmastime.

Harvard Sq. on warm summer nights.

Middle East (a restaurant/club) at which you can pay eight bucks for many bands. At least ONE of them has to be good and if not... it's still fun.

House of Blues, where it's only 21+ so kids can't sneak in.

North End, an Italian neighborhood with amazing bakeries and restaurants. (My first experience with gelato... yum...) Watching old Italian guys play serious rounds of bocce while emphatically discussing in Italian.

Allston offers a unique spectrum of stores, venues and personalities. As a college town, it has a zillion bars and restaurants. As a neighborhood high in Vietnamese and Brazilian populations, this type of food is also readily available cheaply. A supermarket entirely of asian foods just opened down the street. I love the mix.

What do you hate about it?

Ill-mannered people. I hate snotty college kids who step on my art portfolio on the bus. I hate the guy who parked in front of my driveway, blocking exit and entry. I hate the snow in Boston, which is slushy and not enough to cancel school. I hate the weather extremes. As the city is on the harbor, the summers are extremely humid and the winters are ghastly windy.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

A lot of Bostonians are really really rich and that's apparent in a lot of downtown. It's a great little city with some really miserable streets. Everything is one way, no you can't go back the way you came, no you can't get theah from heah and the Yankees Suck so don't even ask.

Would you recommend it, and why?

I recommend Boston to anyone who is not raising a family.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

1. Yankees Suck
2. You're lost. Give up and ask directions.
3. If you're a pedestrian, just cross the street. Don't look just go. They won't hit you; this isn't New York.
4. If you're a driver, stop. Park that sucker now and take the goddamned T (subway). If you're not lost yet, you soon will be and will not understand the directions you're given. "It's all one way, so, go straight through that set of lights, one block left, one block straight, one block right, one block straight and two blocks left. [turns to boyfriend] I think that's right, isn't it honey? Or is he referring to the Cambridge Street in Cambridge?"
5. If you live near Fenway (which we all do, it's a small city) refer to the game schedule early and often to plan your activities.

How is it different from other places you have been?

I've only lived here. My next stop is NYC as far as I can tell. NYC is daunting compared to Boston but it's urban in a very very different way. Boston is very regulated in its business and living space. NYC squishes everything together. Because Allston (my neighborhood) is so very much a college area, half the population changes every few months. This is both good and bad, depending on how much you like your neighbors.

peace,
.c.

Ah, Allston ... really takes me back (5.00 / 1) (#268)
by TON on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:46:53 PM EST

I lived in a total pit of a shared house for a while in Allston when I first moved up to Boston. I quickly made a move to ridiculously cheap digs in Harvard Sq. through friend of a friend, but I kept coming back as my sister lived in Allston for many years. Allston will always be near and dear to my heart.

I spent an awful lot of time at a tiny greaasy spoon greek diner called Steve's, IIRC. It kind of scares me that I can't remember the name and street name clearly now. I can picture it exactly, but years have clouded the names. Anyway, it was right near Allston Music. The menu was painted on the board with this weird chef holding an even weirder cooked bird in his skewed perspective hand. Good omelets.

I spent far too many nights at the Middle East, TT's, and The Rat (this was lo many years ago). I always thought it kind of strange that Allston itself never had much of a live music scene in it. I mean all the band members seemed to live there, but the gigs were all over in Cambridge. A few Irish bars had the odd band, but there was never anything to rival Central Square. Is that still true?

Ted
---
"I could say it stronger
But it's too much trouble"


[ Parent ]

Live Music Scene (none / 0) (#398)
by clarioke on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:54:21 PM EST

Allston is so quirky. The live music scene isn't quite as alive as in other parts of the city (notably Central Sq. and Harvard Sq.). Harper's Ferry and Kell's for two have bands often. (Those are both on Brighton Ave, which runs parallel to Comm Ave to jog the memory. :) ) But they're both primarily bars, which isn't exactly the prime place to catch a good band. It does bring the average age up but sometimes the intelligence goes down, as do a few beers on the floor and the ever-growing fear of some moron's beer being spilled on me.

Allston Music doesn't ring a bell, but I stay pretty close to my end of Allston (below Comm Ave, towards Cambridge). Besides that, the turnover rate is incredible. I've seen more storefronts and restaurants turn over in my two years than anywhere else.

The neighborhood offers a ridiculous variety of foods, though not to the same extent as East Village where my boyfriend once lived. "Where do you want to eat?" "Wherever." "Ok, pick a country." "Ukrainian." "Great, a block away."

I think the bands like to play in Cambridge venues because there exist far more non-bar venues and they get more of an interactive crowd, which I can see as preferable to the mostly-bar crowd...which is just mostly drunk. (Especially in early September.)

Egads, more uncaffeinated ramble. Gotta hit dunkin' donuts. :)

peace,
.c.

[ Parent ]

Stockholm, Sweden, Europe (3.00 / 1) (#153)
by Mungo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:59:33 PM EST

Where do you live?
Stockholm, Sweden

Why do you live there?
I was born and raised here by Swedish parents. Reasons I still live here? It's a good place to be: safe, clean and liberal.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Lots and lots I guess. Stockholm being the capital of Sweden, we've got plenty of movie theaters, music venues, clubs and other entertainment spots. We have some world-class museums which bring in exhibits from around the world, but we do lack some good video game arcades.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Even more... I'm not the outdoorsy type, but Sweden is a beautiful country and Stockholm has a large archipelago which is wonderful this time of year. Stockholm is a city with lots of water, and if you want, you can fish right here in the city center - the water is so clean.
Lots of people take advantage of our nature and go camping, fishing or just hang out whenever the weather is nice.

What do you like about it?
Like I said in the introduction, it's fairly safe, very clean and beautiful. We've arguably got the best health-care system in the world, and it's free for everyone. We've got great schools and educations, also all free, all the way up to college and university levels.

What do you hate about it?
It's very expensive to live here and even more expensive to have fun. VAT (or sales tax) is 25% which makes most kinds of purchases expensive, and eating out is just too expensive to do too much.
Taxes are high in general, but for the most part we get really good benefits from paying them.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
Swedish people are shy and hard to get to know - you won't make friends easily here unless you drink a lot (see next issue).
Swedes drink a lot (especially on weekends) and this can be very awkward sometimes whene foreign visitors have to see and endure a Friday night on the town.
On the good side, Swedes are very honest and "real" people. If you do get to know a Swede, chances are you'll have a friend for life.

Would you recommend it, and why?
If you're at all interested in Europe and enjoy clean air and nature, this is a great place to visit. Stockholm's club scene is generally regardest as one of the very best in Europe.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Swedish. Almost everybody knows and speaks English, but you'll have a hard time getting a job without knowing the language.

sweden (none / 0) (#158)
by trener on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:11:09 PM EST

Stockholm's club scene is generally regardest as one of the very best in Europe.

amen to that.
swedish techno is the shit.

i've been considering, lately, moving to sweden (or, really just anywhere outside of north america). what's sweden like for tech opportunities? how's the business climate? or (alternatively) what are the universities like?

[ Parent ]
Moving to Sweden (none / 0) (#186)
by Mungo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:03:58 PM EST

Tech opportunities have been excellent in the late 90's but have been hit hard by the financial slump. Swedish telco-giant Ericsson is in deep trouble, letting off thousands of people and seeing their stock trade at below the dollar, where it used to be 20 times higher pretty recently.

That said, I think there are still plenty of opportunities for people with the right skills. Or, like you mentioned, try to get her as an exchange student.

The official site http://www.sweden.com will give you the usual info, but there are some useful links there too.

I hope you can make it over here some day!

[ Parent ]

About moving to Sweden. (none / 0) (#461)
by mahoney on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:53:21 PM EST

Swedish techno isn't shit in my opinion although it's gets kind of repetitive after a while.

The techno scene in Stockholm has been dead for quite some time now. There are one or two clubs that play techno music a few times a month but don't get your hopes up. Since Stockholm is quite a small city in atmosphere there isn't the kind of dynamic club life you find in bigger more cosmopolitan cities of Europe. Right now house music is the biggest genre of dance music moving the crowds although drum'n'bass used to be pretty big a few years ago but has diminished in importance. The biggest income for these clubs is the sale of alcoholic beverages so they tend to be very fickle.

As to getting a job here, you don't speak Swedish do you? Then unless you got some specific skill that is needed by a company in Sweden you might have a tough time finding work here. And since I suspect you have no experience with Swedish "business culture" I'd say you are in for a shock.

Get used to paying huge lumps of your money in taxes, be prepaired to take a paycut (in Sweden people with education aren't well paid) and be prepaired to see a decrease in your purchasing power.

And for really get into the Swedish atmosphere you should really read Aksel Sandemoses - En Flygtning krydser sit Spor (don't know the English title or if it has been translated). Quite a few Swedish people have the belief that although Sweden is small and Sweden is insignificant we are still the center of the world.

If you could pick any spot in Europe to move to I'd recommend either The Netherlands or Spain (Barcelona to be specific). These are currently my to favorite European destinations. Barcelona has a fantastic club scene, great weather and great people.

But my suggestion to you is to get a job first and then move to that destination. And not the other way around since it's always easier to be let in if you can show that you will provide for yourself once you are let in.

Quite a long rant.

[ Parent ]

didn't see this until 9 days after you posted it, (none / 0) (#510)
by trener on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 08:05:39 PM EST

but thanks... much appreciated..

and no, i didn't mean swedish techno is shit, i meant it's 'the shit' ... i dunno. it's slang. kind of dumb slang when you think about it. anyway, it means it's good. :)

[ Parent ]
Här var vi inte alls insnöade.... (none / 0) (#247)
by murklamannen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:10:35 PM EST

Du får stockholm att låta som paradiset. Så jäkla bra är det inte. Till exempel finns det bara två-tre biografer som visar annat än mainstreamskit som spiderman.

[ Parent ]
I prefer to use English here... (none / 0) (#433)
by Mungo on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 06:08:50 AM EST

So I'll translate your reply to my original post so that others can enjoy (?) it too:

"You make Stockholm sound like paradise. It's not that damn good. For example there are only two-three movie theaters showing other things than mainstream crap like Spider-man".

And what can I say to that? Yes, there may be "only" two or three movie theaters showing movies out of the main stream, is that bad? I think two-three theaters on a population of about one million is pretty darn good, and probably more than a lot of other cities in Europe (not to mention the U.S.!) can boast with.

But why are there "only" two-three of these theaters? Shurely, if they are packed to their limit each night they show a movie, there would be market opportunities for others to open up more underground movie theaters? How come you don't open one yourself?

I never said Stockholm is paradise. In fact, I said most things are too expensive to enjoy, due to taxes but a lot of other factors as well, I imagine. But on the whole I do think Stockholm is a great place to live. Even if we only have two or three movie theaters showing non-Hollywood movies...

[ Parent ]

-1 too agorocentric (3.00 / 1) (#154)
by MickLinux on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:59:58 PM EST

Man, I couldn't resist that.

But really, I've tried to post a couple of different stories that had to do with what it was like in my neck of the woods, and time after time they got shot down under the claim "too UScentric", or "not interested in Lithuania".  

In reality, I have good reason to suspect that the lousy ratings were -1 due to "too positive about the US" or "too moral."  But people don't really want to admit what side of the tracks they're on, because the admission is an inherent admission of wrongness, and so they say "too _ centric."  

Anyhow, I'm going to post this.  

I'm going to get flamed and slammed.

But every so often I have to say what I see.

Let me say this:  in my neck of the woods, it is rural and poor, but there is no great level of fear.  There are powerful immoral people, but the weaker people still strive to be good.  In my neck of the woods, it is possible to live.  In my neck of the woods, there is no obvious mass immorality.  In my neck of the woods, freedom is not disappering.

All those things are related, I think.

In my neck of the woods, I pray, I hope, I think.

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.

Walnut Creek, CA (3.00 / 1) (#156)
by ucblockhead on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:02:41 PM EST

Wow, I'm amazed that no one's piped up from NoCal.

Anyway:

Where do you live?

Walnut Creek, California, a suburb of either Oakland or San Francisco, depending.

Why do you live there?

I'd wanted to move to the SF Bay area for years and had a job opportunity.  I met with my boss in Laffayette, decided I liked the area, and so put down roots in the adjacent city, Walnut Creek.  We liked it enough not to leave.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

In Walnut Creek proper, not a whole lot.  The cultural world here is driven by parents and the local retirement community.  But we're close to both Berkeley and San Francisco, so there's world class theater, opera, symphany, museums within range.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Lots.  Bike trails within a 1/4 mile of my house.  Hiking trails all over.  Lots of parks.  Lots of pretty stuff to look at on day trips.  The Napa and Sonoma Valleys are less than an hour's drive.  Tahoe skiing is a four hour drive.  You name it, really...

What do you like about it?

See above.  Very low crime.  Good weather.  Lots of trees.  Public transit to the city is convenient.  

What do you hate about it?

The traffic.  The town itself is not very diverse.  (Though you can go to Berkeley or SF for that.)  It can get hot in the summer.  (California 100F dry heat.)  Living expenses are high.  People are a bit complacent.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Unlike a lot of suburbs, Walnut Creek has a good downtown area.  Unlike a lot of cities, the local mall is right down town, and is integrated with downtown area.  It has expanded a bit, so the whole downtown is full of shops and restaurants, and is made for walking around in.  

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes, if you can afford it.  See above.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Be prepared to have a smaller house/apartment than you are used to.  Be prepared for restaurants full of children.

How is it different from other places you have been?

Hard to say.  I'm from San Diego.  Most of the differences aren't in Walnut Creek itself, but in the larger area.  I miss not being ten minutes from the ocean...  That's about all I miss.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

"Unlike other suburbs" (none / 0) (#420)
by adamba on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:22:02 PM EST

This phrase implies that having a good downtown in the suburbs is unusual. So who was using your account when you wrote (in another thread) "But I grew up in the 'burbs and I've lived for years in the 'burbs and your description of them frankly doesn't match any reality I know of."?!?!?!?!?

- adam

[ Parent ]

Jeez (none / 0) (#435)
by ucblockhead on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 10:32:26 AM EST

You still have that chip on your shoulder?

Only the downtown part is unlike other suburbs, though it is a growing trend in suburbs.

I've also live in a number of other ones...I did not grow up here.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

I see your point (none / 0) (#460)
by adamba on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:41:02 PM EST

Normally when I am arguing with someone I try to come up with points that support my argument, not my opponent's, but to each his own.

- adam

[ Parent ]

points (none / 0) (#485)
by ucblockhead on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 11:59:10 AM EST

Perhaps that's because I've no interest in arguing.

All I was doing in that particular story was describing how my experience did not match yours.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

what you wrote (none / 0) (#491)
by adamba on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 03:55:35 PM EST

So...writing "You are talking about your own prejudices, not the way people behave in suburbs. I live in a suburb. People don't act the way you say they act" was just you describing how your experience was different from mine? There was no intention to imply that I didn't know what I was talking about?

Well my bad then! Carry on.

- adam

[ Parent ]

intentions (none / 0) (#492)
by ucblockhead on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 04:44:21 PM EST

My intention was merely to report that my experience did not equal yours. Given that this was the case, it seemed appropos to the subject at hand.

If you took that personally, that's your problem.

Believe it or not, I don't read articles and think to myself "gee, how can I imply that the author doesn't know what he's talking about".
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

my problem (none / 0) (#498)
by adamba on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 11:42:12 AM EST

I don't see why it's my problem if I took it personally.

Look, the fact of the matter is that your K5 persona is that of an asshole. I'm not saying you are one in real life, in fact I doubt it. But that is how you appear on K5. Is this intentional or unintentional? Who knows. If it's intentional, that's fine; I'll make a mental note to ignore you, and it's nobody's problem (leaving aside the underlying insecurities this implies). If it's unintentional, and you actually want to come across as warm and fuzzy, then it's still not my problem.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Anoka, MN / Madison, WI (none / 0) (#157)
by Supra on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:05:24 PM EST

Where do you live?

Anoka in the summer - Madison for the school year

Why do you live there?

I grew up in Anoka (born in Milwaukee, WI) and now I have a job here for the summer (sorta like an internship, but much better). I would like to be spending more of my summer in Madison though.

I go to school at the University of Wisconsin - Madison for Computer Science.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Well, umm... in Anoka? Not a whole ton, unless you like felling like a "towney" (not that there is anything wrong with being a towney), and like going to the local bars. BTW - Anoka has a fairly small town feel to it, but it has grown to around 15,000 people now with the explosion of the sububs surrounding the Twin Cities area.

Anoka is about 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis/St. Paul though, and there is plenty of cultural activity there... There is a wonderful Art Institute, the University of course, numerous play-houses, Orchestra Hall (one of the best acoustical environments in the country), and fun summer festivities (as well as winter ones).

Madison is wonderful - a diverse population (fueled largely by the college community). The campus and city are both beautiful, and rather unique for a large city/capital in the US. Madison is nestled between two lakes and makes for fun summers, but windy winters :-). The same cultural activities that are expected of a college town are present here to no surprise.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

In Anoka, the recreational activities are fairly limited, though the Twin Cities Area has many fine parks, golf courses, biking/x-country skiing trails etc. Up north in Minnesota is one of the most beautiful pieces of land in the country (IMHO...), the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderenss. I have been going there since I was little and have always enjoyed the serenity.

Madison had similar opportunities- Biking, hiking in the surrounding areas, boating/fishing on the lakes, and the night life :-)

What do you like about it?

Anoka - small town feel, with access to a large city setting for a good mix. All in all, a nice "calm" place to live - though that seems to be changing with all of the development and shopping malls going in... AND of course - the Minnesota Twins! I have been watching them since I was little, and its nice to see a home-grown team with a small budget making it in a major way! (ps... sorry though, I am not a Vikings fan - I had to keep my roots on this one and have gone with the Packers since day 1 - I am a wierd sports fan, aren't I? :)

Mad-Town (Madison) - Like I previously stated - its a beautiful place to live, with plenty to do and a wonderful night-life (well, and day-life too)

What do you hate about it?

Anoka (and Minnesota really) - I am way too far from the mountains! My favorite sport is downhill skiing, I love it to death, and go out West every opportunity I get to ski in the winter. I'd love to live there, but I just couldn't afford taking a year off to move out there and be a bum for a while :-)

Madison - aside from the whole being *further* from the mountains, not a whole lot... Though it is pretty expensive to live here, because all of the landlords renting apartments/houses to college students know they can get away with murder.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Anoka - not really anything...

Madison - There is ALWAYS something going on. Just about anything is acceptable there (and the crime is fairly low)

Would you recommend it, and why?

Yes and Yes. Anoka is good if you want a nice suburban feel, though you could find this in many of the suburbs in the country. Madison is a great and fun place to live. Anything goes.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Anoka - nuthin.
Madison - Be accepting, and learn the wacky roads as quick as possible.

How is it different from other places you have been?

For me, being in Madison is a relatively new experience because the diverse amount of social activities and diverse population, which is a bit different than good ol' Anoka. There aren't mountains - if you like the outdoors like I do, and want access to these kind of extremes, then it can be a bit boring here, since the scenery (though nice for a city) pales in comparison to states like Montana, Colorado, Northern California, Northern Minnesota, Maine, etc...

I have been to Europe before as well, and I really enjoyed the culture 'over there' too. So the usual cultural differences are there (I loved London, and especially Scotland) - sometime I'd like to get over to Germany, France, Italy and Norway too...

I have also been to Mexico (not just the 'vacation' spots, but Reynosa, Ciudad Mier) and the culture is vastly different (as well as the climate!). Thankfully, more Spanish speaking peoples are moving into the upper midwest and the Twin Cities area - its nice to see the population becoming more diverse.

Thats enough for now.

I'm from Madison as well (none / 0) (#202)
by drcreations on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:25:20 PM EST

Left a comment above. I love Madison!

[ Parent ]
Agreed. (none / 0) (#488)
by Supra on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 01:54:19 PM EST

Madison is a very fun place to live!

[ Parent ]
Bellingham, WA, USA (4.00 / 1) (#165)
by frankwork on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:21:04 PM EST

Where do you live?

Bellingham, Washington, USA. It's a city of about 65,000 roughly centered between Seattle, WA and Vancouver, Canada.

Why do you live there?

I did a post-bacc program in Vehicle Design at the local university, and pretty much fell in love with the place.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Vancouver and Seattle, plus the University, a dozen or so live music venues, an artsy cinema, a few small museums. Lots of restaurants and three or four brew pubs.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

A totally incomprehensible (given the city's size) number of parks, Lake Whatcom (popular with jet skis, but also our drinking water source :( ), The San Juan Islands, Mount Baker (snowboard mecca) and the North Cascades in general.

What do you like about it?

It's a fairly compact city by Western US standards, so a ten minute drive in any direction will get you into forest, farmland, or the bay.

A forty minute drive north will get you into downtown Vancouver. On a good day, you can get to Seattle in ninety minutes.

Basically Bellingham is like a small Seattle without the suburbs and without the traffic. And the housing's quite a bit cheaper.

What do you hate about it?

Not a huge selection of high-tech jobs.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

The natural beauty is pretty much the best feature.

Also, there aren't tourist attractions per se. All of the attractions are enjoyed by the residents as much as by any tourists.

Would you recommend it, and why?

You'll either love it or hate it. Pay us a visit and find out.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

  • Buy a Subaru or a Volkswagen, or a mountain bike.
  • Keep the Gore Tex handy
  • Get a passport (for visiting Canada)
  • Avoid the Guide Meridian at 5PM on a weekday
  • Bring a quarter to park downtown. That'll buy you an hour
  • Don't even think of parking at WWU, where a quarter will buy you 12 minutes
  • Every few times you drive to Seattle, take Chuckanut Drive instead of the interstate
  • Tony's or Stuart's, not Starbucks
How is it different from other places you have been?

It's pretty much the antithesis of the only other place I've lived alone, in Monrovia, California, USA. This is the hottest suburb of Los Angeles, smoggy, and far away from just about everything remotely cultural/recreational in Southern California.

I've been to Germany maybe a dozen times, as my parents and extended family are from there. You can pretty much make the standard US/European comparisons and they'll all be valid. Same goes for Toulouse, France (which I highly recommend).



I Love LA! (We love it!!!) (4.00 / 2) (#166)
by Yanks Rule on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:21:33 PM EST

Where do you live?
Sierra Madre, CA (approx. 15 miles east of Downtown LA. Pasadena is across the street)

Why do you live there?
Born in Pasadena.  Why ask why?

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Anything & everything.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Ditto.

What do you like about it?
See above.  Also the weather is fan-fucking-tastic!  What's a "cloud" again?  And the women.  Gorgeous.  Beautiful. And most of the time they're even down to earh!

What do you hate about it?
Traffic.  Idiot drivers on the cell phones.  Local news.  Plenty of pretentious assholes/bitches.  Traffic.  It sometimes gets below 60 degrees. (hey, I like shorts)

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
LA is like the Mercedes commercials (atleast here in US/CA): its not what you expect.  If you know where to look you can find great places to eat/drink/hang/play.  Like a fantasic, 100% authentic (no california rolls here!) sushi restaurant in a strip mall, next to a 99 cent chinese food joint, on Hollywood BLVD.  The mini "little tokyo" on sawtelle on the westside.  The "taco truck" in Pasadena.  Away from all the trendy Sunset strip, 3rd Street Santa Monica, or Oldtown Pasadena hot spots are dozens of low key places that are just as good.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Yes.  See 3 questions above

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
How to use alt routes to avoid traffic.

How is it different from other places you have been?
Everything is spread out.  In NYC or tokyo things are smashed together (not that this is a bad thiing).  In LA you gotta drive, but you get used to it (a 45 minute drive seems like nothing as long as its not stop & go).  But at the same time you can find just about anything you want close by.  Example: plenty of bars in Pasadena, but if you want the hot spots go to hollywood.

In closing, I think a lot of people who don't like LA don't really know it.  Sure, there's plenty of bad things about it.  But that's the same no matter where you go (even a place like hawaii).  But once you realize that it's *different*, not better or worse, you'll love it.

Richard

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller

living in LA this summer, I have a few comments (5.00 / 1) (#278)
by klash on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:54:50 PM EST

I've spent this summer living in San Gabriel and working in Arcadia, and I admit I don't like southern california very much. But you're probably right that a lot of the reason I don't like it is because I don't know it well.

Re: Also the weather is fan-fucking-tastic! What's a "cloud" again? The weather is the thing I hate most about this place. "What's the 'sky' again?" Also, the fact that it hasn't rained once in the 3 months I've been here makes me me wonder if I'll start coughing up sand. And I hate the way that it feels like an oven any time you step outside an air-conditioned building, or -- god help you -- into your car that has been sitting in the sun. I miss my pacific northwest breeze and rain!

The traffic is the thing I hate second most. Luckily for me, my commute is less than 10 miles of uncongested surface streets, but whenever I go anywhere else I have to participate in the frightening california freeway system with the worst signs ever (sometimes they're so bad that the *must* be intentionally misleading).

It's been a pleasant summer but I would never want to live here long-term.

[ Parent ]

Hometown bias (none / 0) (#331)
by Yanks Rule on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:07:01 AM EST

Well I've lived here all my life the whole smog/haze thing doesn't bother me. Besides... its a lot of fun to play "count the stars" at night! (kidding) And I'm a person who will wear shorts at every possible moment, so I like the hot dry weather. But all of my Pacific North West teammates in college couldn't handle the hot weather nearly as well, so I can see why you dislike it. But watch out...it hasn't even gotten hot yet! Can't argue about the traffic...I hate it too. I am dying to start telecommuting, since i drive into Beverly hills everyday. Richard

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

Charleston, SC USA (none / 0) (#168)
by tofu on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:22:38 PM EST

Where do you live?
Charleston, South Carolina. This is a small city in the US located in the southeast on the coast. The American civil war began in this city. here is a map.
Why do you live there?
I went to school here and I have a GREAT job here at MUSC.
What cultural opportunities do you have?
Surprisingly, Charleston has lots of cultral opportunities. It is rich in history and has many things to do. The main event happens every summer and it is called the Spoletto Festival.
What recreational opportunities do you have?
Minor league Baseball, Soccer, Arena Football, Aquarium, Waterparks, Parks and Beaches.
What do you like about it?
Small, but not too small. History. Weather and Beaches.
What do you hate about it?
Small and southern. It is hard to explain the "southern" thing unless you are american. Or have been to the "south" in the US. :) nebben123 would understand.
What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
History. Charleston is old (for an US city) and when you visit the downtown area you are surrounded by lots of history.
Would you recommend it, and why?
Charleston is a great place to visit! It is a very interesting "southern" city. And to me it is always cool be in a city rich in History!
If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
What grits are. And how to eat boiled peanuts.
How is it different from other places you have been?
I can not answer this. I have been to alot of places and most Citys are different from each other. Especially if you are not in the United States.This question is too vague to answer. :)

Athens, Ga. USA (4.00 / 2) (#179)
by Kintanon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:53:50 PM EST


Where do you live?
Athens, Ga. USA, Gaines School Road, Parthenon Apartments.

Why do you live there?
I Simply LOVE the town, I love having the university nearby because it attracts so many interesting people from all over the world, I enjoy the attitude that prevails in downtown and I like the relaxed atmosphere.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Not even bringing the university into the picture there are 3 decent Martial Arts schools in the area, the Georgia Theatre and the Morton Theatre where various types of plays, films, comedy acts, bands, etc... show up. The 40 Watt club where a LOT of bands play. The botanical Gardens, a breathtaking collection of flowers and plants of all kinds. All of the small shops downtown, even the streets downtown have their own culture and community attached to them.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Once again, leaving the university out of it... There are parks, nature centers, movie theatres, gaming shops, martial arts schools, the streets downtown, clubs, bars, almost anything you could want.

What do you like about it?
The constant influx of new people.

What do you hate about it?
The frequent problems that the University has with ripping up the streets, moving parking around, doing crazy things that cause lots of nasty traffic during certain times of the day/year. Luckily I take the excellent bus system most places, so I don't have to worry, though I wish the buses ran 24/7.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
An incredibly thriving musical scene. There are tons of great local bands.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Yes. Housing is cheap, cost of living is cheap, there are lots of resteraunts you can work at, the university is a good employer, there are a lot of small tech companies moving in to the area, it's really just a great place to be.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
The bus is the best way to travel, if you go into town after 6am, don't bother driving you'll never find a place to park.

How is it different from other places you have been?
It's a lot friendlier than White Marsh, MD. The other town I lived in. My neighbors up there were all raging assholes, a lot of the people I met were very abrasive. It's also nice and warm, averaging around 95F in the summer, and usually not getting too cold in the winter.
Athens also feels less artificial than Baltimore, when I was up there everyone was chasing the suburban dream, down here the focus is usually on enjoying your life and your hobbies, not so much materialistic bent.

Kintanon

Another Athenian (none / 0) (#468)
by naomi385 on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 04:57:14 PM EST

I also live in Athens, (the west side) on Clover Street. I feel that I have to differentiate between my side of town and yours, because I've always found the west side of town more friendly and inviting. The east side just seems so commercialized, and I absolutely hate apartment complexes. Please don't take this as an offense, but I have pets and I value my privacy, so living in an apartment is just against my grain.

Unfortunately, the Athens - Clarke County Government* has been very business-friendly in the past few years, so the super commericial enterprises are raping much of our town. But, with elections coming up, maybe we can get some better representation.

Athens is really one of the best places in the South for the Arts and Culture. I think the presence of the University helps as much as it hurts. For one thing, many new people come here every year, and the ones who truly appreciate Athens tend to stay for a while. On the other hand, the type of stock that the University attracts is pretty white and priveliged. The administration of UGA, being mostly white and privileged themselves, don't do much in the student's interests. Our Sunday sermons are preached ``between the hedges.''

I consider myself very fortunate to have made friends with some of the local artistic and musical crowd. The Scene here is really top notch.

Public transit is sufficient for most people, but most stops only see a bus once per hour, and then it takes an hour to get downtown. Honestly, I can walk downtown from my house faster than I can get there on the bus. Biking is really big among the environmentally conscious around here, although the government could'nt care less. Traffic is completely fucked up in some areas, and ... Dammit, I'll just forget about talking about the stupid govenment. Read the Flagpole if you care.

The standard of living here is really great. You can find a nice place to live in the range of $200 - $500 per bedroom per month within 3 miles of the center of downtown. Right now, tech jobs, and just about all other jobs, are pretty hard to come by, but I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a small startup where I can program from home and make my own hours.

As for the downtown area, there are small hotspots throughout that each attract different types of people. No matter what your tastes, you can probably find some kindred souls here. Most people are very friendly, except for when there is a football game, when the town is overrun by drunk alumni assholes. Parking can be a problem, but if you know your way around, you can pretty much always find a spot.

* Clarke County is the smallest county in Georgia, and the city of Athens completely fills it, so our county and municipal governments are unified.


Propaganda. Questionable Intelligence. The Visitations.


[ Parent ]
Apartment Buildings (none / 0) (#500)
by Kintanon on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 05:38:28 PM EST

Since I grew up in Oglethorpe county I'm not too fond of Apartments myself, I like them for now, because I don't want to saddle myself with the responsibility of homeownership (again) just yet. It's kind of nice to be able to call up the manager and tell them something is broken and have them fix it. This side of town is a little commercialized, lot of apartments, grocery stores, k-mart, wal-mart stuff like that. Which has its advantages and disadvantages.
As for the Bus, it only takes me 20 minutes to get downtown from Parthanon, so it's not THAT long... And I can grab a bus going either way so they come by this area every 30 minutes.

If you don't mind me asking, what Startup do you work for? I work for a place called Voquette/Taalee Inc.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Where we live (none / 0) (#180)
by crowbraid on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:59:13 PM EST

We live wherever we want. We're full-time RVers, which basically means we live all year in an RV. In our case, it's a small 5th wheel that we pull with a big Dodge diesel. Now, for the rest of the story.

We're mostly in the western US. Arizona in the winter, the Northwest (Oregon & Washington) in the summer. Spring and fall we spend in the mountains or on the coast.

Cultural opportunities are unlimited. We can visit museums and exhibits all over the west, attend concerts, etc. Most of the time, being folks that like the simple life, we don't. Too damned many people.

Recreational opportunities are great! We can sit in national parks for a couple of weeks, state parks, BLM & FS parks, private parks, with each one giving us a different flavor and different things to see and do. And sometimes we just 'boondock' (that's sitting off by ourselves without benefit of hookups).

I'd recommend the lifestyle if you're the type that likes to move around without any real roots.

Good things? See above.

Bad things? Internet access is occasional, there's a lot of assholes out there that are also campers, no regular doctor.

I check the hotmail address above now and then, if anyone wants to learn more.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA (none / 0) (#182)
by VanM on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:59:39 PM EST

Where do you live?
Grand Rapids, Michigan, nine months a year, three years running.
Why do you live there?
College
What cultural opportunities do you have?
Despite my initial impressions of G.R. being one gigantic suburb with three streets of "downtown," exploration of the city has revealed a few opportunities, anyway. Most summer weekends have some sort of festival. I've been to three: the Mexican Festival, Celebration on the Grand (for the Grand River) and the German Festival. They're pretty much all the same, content-wise, just change who is in attendence and the decorations. Celebration on the Grand has some fun fireworks over the river; it's a must-see for everyone in town.

There are a few museums, but they're small. My personal favorite is the children's museum; we had a dorm dinner and dance there a year ago and the wall devoted to magnetic poetry was a big hit. There's also a pretty decent amount of theatre and opera in town, plus concerts at VanAndel Arena. At Christmas, my school's Oratorio Society puts on Handel's Messiah at DeVos Hall. It's supposed to be a great show and always sells out. There's also the UICA (Urban Institute for Cultural Arts...I think) downtown, which has had some really neat art exhibits and a theater for independent and foreign films. Those are both pretty inexpensive, too. G.R. even has its own River City Improv team; they put on shows maybe once a month or so and are pretty funny.

If you want to talk about diversity, G.R. is slowly accumulating more cultures besides the dominant Dutch immigrant influence.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
Theaters, some parks, Reeds Lake, a cute lake in East Grand Rapids with a four-mile bike/jogging/walking path. It's also good for rollerblading, but a bit hilly, a lesson I learned the hard way (the up parts didn't bother me... the falling down and slamming my unprotected knee into the cement part going downhill did). G.R. now has minor league baseball, football, hockey (and probably basketball) teams, and a women's volleyball team. I'm sure there's more, but I don't keep up with sports too much.

I'm a college student, so I spend most of my time at the coffee shops. Some favorites include Kava House, Four Friends and Common Grounds, and the coffee shop on the Aquinas College campus. Other fun stuff like that would be The B.O.B. (stands for The Big Old Building), a three- or four-story building downtown with a dance club, a comedy club, a few restaurants and whatever goes along with those. There are plenty of bars, some nice, some seedy, most of which I have little to no experience with. If you want mass-produced, neon-American culture, go to 28th Street; all the chains, all the stores, strip malls, etc., can be found here. If you want something cuter, try downtown or Easttown.

Oh, there is also the Frederick Meijer Gardens (G.R. is the home of Meijer, a Super Wal-Mart like store that is taking over the world, I think).
What do you like about it?
At first, very little. The bus system doesn't cover as much as the college students would like and everytime someone said downtown I wanted to laugh. My hometown is tiny, but even I know what a downtown is supposed to look like. It became even more laughable after I spent a month in Germany, visiting places like Berlin. However, once I brought my car up and started driving around, I discovered that it's not so bad. Most of the entertainment is relatively inexpensive, and with at least five colleges or universities just in the city limits, not to mention several within less than an hour's drive, there are always local bands with concerts, cheap plays and college student discounts. We also had a $2 movie theater that I loved, but it went out of business.

It also feels pretty safe, usually. I love the old houses. I guess I also like it because I go to school there, so when I'm out, I'm with friends and we're having a good time no matter what we're doing. People tend to be friendly.

What do you hate about it?
Like I said earlier, the bus system leaves much to be desired, and downtown still confuses me when I'm driving there, but what probably bothers me most is that G.R. has this attitude that it is some important, big city, and it's not. I don't know the population, and it is the second largest city in Michigan, but still, it's much smaller than it pretends. Also, it sprawls. The suburbs extend really far, in proportion to the size of downtown.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
If it's 2 a.m. and I suddenly remember that I needed to buy or make a birthday cake for someone, there are three Meijer stores within a 10 minute drive of anywhere in the city. I love coffee shops, and G.R. never runs out of coffee. You want books? There are the big stores (Barnes and Nobles, Schulers) and the second-hand stores.

Oh, and it snows there, a lot. My freshman year, I think it snowed everyday during January, and that's not to mention the snow in November, December, February, March and April. Again, freshman year, the first week of April it snowed about six inches on a Friday night. We got up on Saturday and the sun was shining and the snow was sparkling and melting. It was so beautiful. If you love snow, come to Michigan.

It's also only about a 40 minute drive to Holland State Park on Lake Michigan and maybe an hour to Grand Haven, also on Lake Michigan. That's short enough to give you plenty of time at the beach.

One other thing that sticks out is the number of churches and Christian schools in the area. The Dutch immigrants formed the Christian Reformed Church in the 1800s (or maybe they were part of it in the motherland and brought it over; I can't remember, I'm not Dutch). One thing they're big on is Christian schooling, so it's everywhere. Churches are everywhere, too. Three of the colleges are connected to churches: Calvin College is Christian Reformed; Aquinas is Catholic and Cornerstone University is Baptist.

Would you recommend it, and why?
If you're looking for a very churchy city, G.R. ranks high. As an outsider of sorts, I don't know much about the jobs available there, so I wouldn't even know where to start on that. I probably wouldn't really recommend it to anyone trying to escape suburbia or white middle to upper class America, because that's everywhere. At the same time, it's not that bad of a place, either.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Be ready for the snow, but don't expect cancellations for many jobs or schools. The midwest had a bunch of snow in Dec. 98-Jan. 99. I wasn't there at the time, but I later learned that my college didn't cancel one day of classes because of the snow. They know how to plow, salt and sand there like nobody's business.

How is it different from other places you have been?
Well, it's bigger than my hometown (pop. 3,000) or my entire county for that matter (pop. 30,000) but it's pretty much a run of the mill, midwestern river city.

I grew up in GR (none / 0) (#273)
by n8f8 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:25:59 PM EST

Well, Jenison anyway. As far as your rating of the downtown area you have to take two things into consideration. !) GR was built on the furniture manufacturing industry. That industry went to hell. (Steelcase is still in GR though) 2) Unlike other major cities such as NY and Chicago, GR has to natural impediment to urban sprawl. Their is no logical reason to build up when building out is cheaper. If anything ,expect KZoo to and GR to become one huge sprawl.

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[ Parent ]
True enough (none / 0) (#307)
by VanM on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:07:16 PM EST

I'll grant you that. Like I said, it's growing on me, and the more time I spend there, the more interesting things I find. I really like the ice skating rink downtown in Rosa Parks Circle (or whatever the name is). But, just because it's easier to sprawl out than build up doesn't mean they should sprawl out.

Where are you now, just out of curiousity?

[ Parent ]

Newport News, Virginia (none / 0) (#375)
by n8f8 on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:08:49 AM EST

I joined the Navy out of HS. Lived in Florida, Conneticut, California, Virginia, Bahrain and finally settled down in Virginia.

I moved back to Michigan two years ago when my dad had a heart attack but decided to head back to Virginia when he recovered. I hate cold. Really, really hate cold. This area does have tons of high tech jobs and plenty to do in the summer.

I've been seriously considering moving further south because Virginia is starting to feel too cold in the winter.

The other problem I had with Michigan was the lack of a decent high-tech jobs. Michigan is mostly service and old fashoined manufacturing. I even contemplated going back into nuclear power, but shiftwork isn't too attractive when you have kids.  

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

Also in GR (none / 0) (#345)
by Doasfu on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:33:55 AM EST

I'm in Grand Rapids myself.  You seem to have nailed down the town pretty well.  I've been here my entire life, having been born about a mile from where I'm sitting right now and having recently graduated from Grand Valley State University, a half-hour to the West.  This will not be the case for long, however, as I'm about to pack up off to central Washington State as an Americorps volunteer.

VanM mentions the short drive to Grand Haven and its beautiful shoreline, but leaves out all mention of the greatest treasure to be found in this sleepy state.  That treasure, of course, is Fricano's Pizza.  If you've never experienced it, I recommend you stay away.  That stuff haunts your dreams.

[ Parent ]

Pizza? (none / 0) (#395)
by VanM on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:26:14 PM EST

Where is this pizza place of which you speak? College students eat way too much pizza, and I'm no different, but I'm always looking for somewhere new to try.

My favorite restaurant in GR right now is the Thai House on 28th, past Cascade Meijer, in the plaza with D&W. It's a family-run place and the wife is the hostess and waitress. One time a group of eight went and she wouldn't let anyone order something that someone else had ordered. A few had never had Thai food, so she just ordered for them. It was great.

[ Parent ]

Food (none / 0) (#411)
by Doasfu on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:33:15 PM EST

I'll have to try this place.  I got up the courage to try Thai out in Seattle, and it was quite an adventure.

Fricano's Pizza Tavern is an interesting experience.  The resteraunt is in an old industrial part of Grand Haven, housed in what looks like a run-down house.  They have only one menu item: thin crust, 12 inch pizzas, and only 5 toppgings to choose from.  Some hate the pizza, some love it, and some (such as I) make the 45ish minute trek out there at least once a week.  They have a website if you want more info.

Regards,
Dan

[ Parent ]

San Lorenzo Valley (Santa Cruz mountains, ca.us) (none / 0) (#183)
by jet_silver on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:00:38 PM EST

Where do you live? San Lorenzo Valley. It's pretty small so I don't care to be more specific.

Why do you live there? Because that's where I could get a lot of land. My holding is >20 acres (>8 ha) and yet I commute daily to Silicon Valley.

What cultural opportunities do you have? As far as SLV goes, there's an "arts and wine" festival every year in Boulder Creek, but this should actually be called the "Tie-dye and bud" festival. It's 1969 in Boulder Creek and environs, even now. San Francisco is not far away, and they have a pretty good town band.

What recreational opportunities do you have? Like hiking in redwoods?

What do you like about it? Lots of land with no people infesting it. Proximity to all kinds of good stuff. People leave you alone. I've seen red foxes, rabbits, coyotes, wild turkeys and more acorn woodpeckers than I can count, from my living room.

What do you hate about it? Santa Cruz bureaucrats and stupid voters.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) The road periodically gets covered by landslides, and for a couple of days at a time you're stuck where you are. The power company (PG&E oka Pacific Flicker, Flash and Fizzle) sucks large moose units, and the power's out for days at a time when it rains. OTOH, when you're stuck, no one comes "handing tickets out for God".

Would you recommend it, and why? If you don't mind splitting your own wood, sure. It's just lovely.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? Slower traffic use turnouts. Please. If you are not accustomed to cornering at speed you are definitely slower traffic.

How is it different from other places you have been? The trees are very tall, the people are very self-reliant and there isn't much whining.


"What they really fear is machine-gunning politicians becoming a popular sport, like skate-boarding." -Nicolas Freeling

Hanover, PA, USA (none / 0) (#185)
by firstnoel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:02:59 PM EST

Where do you live?

Hanover, PA.  It's in the South-central part of Pennsylvania, near the PA-Maryland line.

Home to Utz Potato Chips, Snyder's of Hanover Pretzels, Wege Pretzels...

Why do you live there?

Born here, raised here, and gol'darnit I'm gunna die here.  

What cultural opportunities do you have?
We have 2 theatres, both are community run.  Gettysburg is 12 miles away, so Civil War stuff is all over the place.

Harrisburg (state capital) to the north, Philadelphia to the east, Baltimore/Washington Area to the south.   Take your pick, all well within driving range.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Hersheypark (amusement park) is also within driving range.

There's a half empty lake (due to a drought) to hike around.

We do have a good bar KClinger's.  Hundreds of different beers, and good food.

What do you like about it?
I'm pretty much left alone, it's big enough that you don't know everyone. But small enough that it's not overpowering.

What do you hate about it?
People here aren't the friendliest.  I get the impression from many of the people that they wouldn't even bother to piss on you if you were on fire.  This probably isn't true, but the people tend to keep to there own.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

The potato chips are good.

Would you recommend it, and why?
It's a fairly good place to raise kids, safe, clean, jobs.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
When someone says 'It's all!'. That means that there is no more available.

Notre Dame and Penn State are the 2 big colleges that people support.  

How is it different from other places you have been?
It's a small town, plain and simple.


Calgary, Alberta, Canada (none / 0) (#187)
by anon868 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:05:14 PM EST

Where do you live? See the subject...

Why do you live there?
Got a job here, after I graduated from school in a small town near Lethbridge.

What cultural opportunities do you have?
Hmm, of course, there's Stampede, every summer, wich is basically a big rodeo and fair, and everyone gets to wear jeans to work during Stampede week. We have a university, some theater if you're into that kind of stuff. Many Calgarians are actually from elsewhere, it can be normal for everyone you work with to have came from elsewhere.

What recreational opportunities do you have?
There's some great parks within the city, including Nose Hill park & Fish Creek park, both of which are huge, Nose Hill park is actually fairly close to downtown. There's a few small lakes. Of course there's Banff and Kaninaskis within a short drive of Calgary, so there's lots of hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. There's even a (tiny) ski hill inside the city limits (Canada Olympic Park, '88 olympics were held there) & you can go skiing for an hour after work if you want. And some big ski hills, within 2 hours of calgary. Basically, the kind of out-doorsy stuff you get with mountans, wilderness & no ocean.

What do you like about it?
Hmm, you're so close to nature- Banff and the rocky mountians are only a hour drive from here. I've seen the Swiss alps, and they're nothing compared to the rockies. I can look out my window at work and see the mountians. An hour drive south takes you into the plains and farming country as far as the eye can see. The streets are semi-logically laid out & once you get the hang of the 'big' roads it's easy to get around.
Calgary 'feels' like a Canadian city should feel. And it's a pretty high tech place. I don't know about the job market right now, but it has been good in the past. When oil's doing good, the many oil companies in Calgary are spending money like crazy & they're pretty high tech, so they're a pretty good place for computer geeks like myself. Of course, when the price of oil drops, you better have some good savings...
Oh, and when traffic's not bad you can literally drive from one end of the city to the other in less than 1/2 hour.
Low crime, 10-20 murders per year (for a city of almost a million).
Basically, small town kind of life in a semi-big city.

What do you hate about it?
The weather. Not as bad as Edmonton, but there are many many months (oct to may or june) of COLD SNOWY weather. -30 (celcius, close to -30 farenheit) in January is normal. For a week or two, +30 in the summer is normal too which sucks if you don't have an air conditioner.
Traffic. It's bad around 7:30-8AM & 4:30-5:30 PM (bad of course being subjective. We only have 4-5 really big roads, it's just that everyone uses them to go to work and home)
Pollution. Most people will tell you the air's pretty clean here, but the last few years, downtown on a summer day the sky has this habbit of turning brown. And of course if there's forest fires up north, we get the smoke here.

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
How spread out it is. Basically a concentrated downtown surrounded by housing divisions all the way to the edge of the city. The mountians, because you can see them from the city.

Would you recommend it, and why?
Yes, but ONLY if 9 months of (sometimes extreme)cold and snow doesn't bother you. Primarilly because you're so close to nature.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
Don't by a house on lynwood ridge, unless you really like lead in your dirt. If you work downtown, leave for work really early on the day of stampede parade. Our 'hood' is in the NE, but it's probably better than many cities good areas.

How is it different from other places you have been?
Can't say. Other than the tiny town I grew up in I've only lived here.
Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.

Which small town? (none / 0) (#193)
by jmzero on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:14:37 PM EST

I'm from Raymond...
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Taber (none / 0) (#196)
by anon868 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:18:24 PM EST

Corn capital of Alberta!
Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.
[ Parent ]
Nice... (none / 0) (#201)
by jmzero on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:23:18 PM EST

My brother teaches school there now...

A while back I told some people in England that I lived in Edmonton.  They asked if it was anywhere near Taber, and if I'd ever been to the Taber Corn Bust.

Have a good day...
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Madison, Wisconsin - USA (none / 0) (#191)
by drcreations on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:09:20 PM EST

Where do you live?/

Madison - Wisconsin - USA

Why do you live there?

Great Job - I am the CTO of an advertising agency here. Madison has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire United States. (Money Magazine)
Plus the cultural environment is outstanding.

What cultural opportunities do you have?

Madison offers a very diverse cultural experience in almost any venue. We have EVERY type of food places imagineable. The Civic Center on State Street has many cultural presentations on a weekly basis. Also, we have a sort of World Food Taste week, where all different kinds of ethnic groups get together and make their cuisines for the public.

What recreational opportunities do you have?

Summer=Any type of outdoor activity you can think of.
Winter=Same

What do you like about it?

Madison is a very laid-back type of city. I have lived all around the US and I have to say that Madison gets my vote. Thats why I have choosen to stay here. Some people will say that there isn't much to do at night, well ... these people haven't really taken State Street for what its really worth. There is always something going on.

What do you hate about it?

Absolutely Nothing

What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

Good (job)= If your in the business world, Madison tends to be a very incestous arena. Once you work for a Key player in any field of business, your guaranteed a job if you choose to move to take a different position.
Good (city life)= There isn't one thing you can't get exposure to here. The big city of Chicago is just 2 hours away, and the country with its rivers and rolling meadows is really only 15 minutes outside of town, in any direction.
Good (single life)= Madison again, is a very liberal city. People love to talk, laugh, drink, drink, and drink. Also, because of UW-Madison, for you guys out there - LOTS OF GIRLIES!
Good (married life)= Seriously, Madison is a very romantic town. If my wife and I wanted to go out on a date every week, as it should be, we would have something different to do for maybe ...oh... 6-10 years. Always something different.
Bad (everything)= We don't have too many hookers. Oooops, i guess this would be good thing.

Would you recommend it, and why?

This is relative to as the lifestyle you like to live. Before I got married, which is my second marriage, I was pretty wild. Lot's of afterbar parties, lots of GIRLIES, lot's of drugs, blah..blah...blah. Now that I have settled down, I look at this town and say - wow, I can grow old here, watch my kids grow up in great schools, and still have a lot of fun.

If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

Seriously - NOTHING

How is it different from other places you have been? I can tell you of places that it resembles - to me this is:

  • San Fran = why - same laid back atmosphere
  • San Diego= why - Awesome Food
  • Seatle = why - State Street at night

    It's really the best of both worlds in the terms of Big City life and Country life. All in the same minute (seriously) you can smell the exhaust of hundreds of motor vehicles and then get a whiff of fresh cow manure (poop).

  • Victoria, BC, Canada (none / 0) (#194)
    by nnod on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:15:16 PM EST

    Where do you live?
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Why do you live there?
    Went to school at the university here and I liked the city so I settled down.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    I haven't really explored much of that. There are some good restaraunts.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    Being on the west coast there is something to do year-round. Snowboarding in the winter at either Mt. Washington (3 hours away) or Whistler/Blackcomb etc if you take the ferry to Vancouver. It's even mild enough to mt. bike in the winter, and when there's snow it makes it that much more fun. In the summer the camping, mt. biking and water sports are unbeatable.

    What do you like about it?
    Victoria is a beautiful city situated at the bottom of Vancouver Island, right on the water. I don't own a car so I rely on my bike to get around. This is relatively painless because most of the streets are wide and the city is quite small. People are nice and I rarely feel unsafe at night.

    What do you hate about it?
    Well, if you're like me and you bike everywhere, you won't like wind very much - unless it's at your back. Victoria is windy all the time.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    Transit system is good although it doesn't run very late. Loads of recreation. Beautiful landscape.

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    Yes, but not neccessarily Victoria. Instead, come check out the west coast in general. You'll love it.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
    Car insurance is pretty high in BC, nobody likes the provincial government right now (give them time!) Everyone is laid back.

    How is it different from other places you have been?
    I've travelled down the west coast into Mexico by car, Hawaii, and most recently a stint in S.E. Asia for 5 months. The major difference is the moderate climate we enjoy. In Asia it's hot all the time, whether its raining or not. Here you have warm summers and cool winters. It rains a lot in the fall, winter and spring. But you'll get used to it.


    yowza! (none / 0) (#237)
    by FigBug on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:38:15 PM EST

    Hey I know you! How are your beans doing?

    [ Parent ]
    my beans are (none / 0) (#291)
    by nnod on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:36:05 PM EST

    growing quite nicely. they're in tony's office. he even waters them for me.

    [ Parent ]
    BC politics. (none / 0) (#297)
    by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:48:22 PM EST

    Well.
    nobody likes the provincial government right now
    Of course not.

    BC politics is dominated by wackos. For some reason I have not been able to fathom, British Columbians periodically elect new insane governments every so often. They even re-elected Bill Vander Balm (as he was known to the rest of the country).

    Sometimes these wackos are leftwing, sometimes rightwing. The current bunch are rightwing. But they're always wackos.

    Then, at some point during the term, ordinary British Columbians realize their government is doing bad things, and want a new one.

    I really don't get it.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    Western Canada (none / 0) (#303)
    by iso on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:50:56 PM EST

    I would love to move out to Western Canada. I have many friends who went to school there, and a handful who are working there. The trick is, how the hell does somebody go about getting a job there? From what I've seen, the economy there is even worse than here in Toronto!

    Perhaps this just isn't the time to be moving, but I really must get out there some time.

    - j



    [ Parent ]
    The UP of Michigan (none / 0) (#198)
    by chorizo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:21:57 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    I live in Houghton, Michigan. Michigan is in two chunks, the northern one (the one that dosen't look like a mitten) is referred to as the "UP" for "Upper Penninsula".

    If you hold up your right hand in front of you, palm up, with your left hand perpendicular so your ring fingers are touching, it kind of looks like Michigan. I live in the joint of your left thumb, in what's called the Keeweenaw Penninsula, surrounded by Lake Superior.

    Lots of times the entire UP is cut off of maps of the U.S.

    Bastards.

    Why do you live there?

    I grew up here, went to school here, and then moved away. Now my wife is back her getting her PhD, so I've got a few more years to live here, which is both good and bad.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    It's a town of about 10,000 or so counting students, so with another town across a bridge with 5,000 or so people. So it's pretty small.

    But the school has a pretty large international population, so there are a lot more things going on in Houghton than other comparably sized towns in the UP - local bands, small theaters, a couple of restaurants. Could be worse.

    However, the closest real "city" would be Green Bay, Wisconsin or Duluth, Minnesota, both of which are about 200 miles away. Chicago is about 8 hours, the Twin Cities are 6, and Detroit, in the same state, is a ten hour drive.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    There are dozens of small lakes around, not counting the massive Lake Superior which surrounds us. Lots of fishing, hunting, camping, biking, beaches, etc. Plus, we get 300+ inches of snow for 6 months of the year which means lots of snow activities.

    And Finnish saunas. You haven't lived until you've sat in a 220 degree steam room and run into a freezing lake or rolled around in the snow.

    What do you like about it?

    See most of the above. It's quiet, cheap to live here, beautiful, low crime, college town (albeit not a great one), enough things to do. The distance filters out lots of the annoying tourists.

    What do you hate about it?

    The stereotypical "yooper" is kind of ignorant and not interested in the outside world. Isolation, lack of a lot of big-city amenities like restaurants. Can't order pizza at 4 in the morning. Lots of snow, cold in the winter. We're much more like Wisconsin than a part of Michigan.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    People are nice, even if some are closed-minded - they'll help you out even if they think you're a weirdo. Lots of people come here for school and love it and never leave. The local culture is really fascinating, unlike any other place I've been. Kind of like the movie Fargo, but different.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    I'd recommending visiting here, I don't know if I could recommend living here. There are still lots of places where you can't get cell phone coverage.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    1. The Red Wings and Packers are holy.
    2. Bring warm clothes. And boots.
    3. Your car is going to totally rust away with all the road salt.
    4. Lake Superior is HUGE. And COLD.
    5. Nobody dresses up. At all. For anything.
    6. People leave their doors unlocked at night. Some even leave their car keys in the ignition.
    7. Locals eat pasties with ketchup, not gravy.
    How is it different from other places you have been?

    It's much smaller, isolated, and more bizarre. I've lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan (my favorite city), Flagstaff, Arizona, and spent a lot of time in lots of other places. I love the UP and I hate the UP. I want to move away but I'll always come back here.

    Kaysville, Utah, USA (none / 0) (#212)
    by snodgrass on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:39:30 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    About 30 miles from Salt Lake City (where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held). I guess technically I live in a suburb of Salt Lake.

    Why do you live there?

    Born and raised here and haven't been motivated enough to move yet.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    Well, there are plenty of historical (founding of the Old West type) places for me to go (museums, monuments, etc). And since Utah was founded by Mormon pioneers, there are a lot of religious type monuments and things. We're starting to get more culture here: jazz clubs, a couple of museums, various theaters.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Oh there's a lot of stuff. I live within 30 miles of 4 ski resorts. I live about 5 hours from Moab (one of the most popular places for off-roading in the world). I'm 5 minutes from the base of the Wasatch mountains (an arm of the Rocky Mountains) where there is hiking, camping, mountain biking, etc. I'm about 45 minutes from the Bonneville Salt Flats where various land speed records have been set.

    What do you like about it?

    The mountains! Not just up north, either, I live about 4 hours from some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere!

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    It's a beautiful place. There is some suburban sprawl in northern Utah, but there are some natural barriers (mountains) that keep it from spreading too far.

    Utah is a desert, so it's hot (~100F) and dry (we've had 1 rainstorm in the last 30 days) in the summer and cold in the winter...but we get good snow. :)

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    If you are going to come and whine and complain about how you can't get good beer, or porn, or <insert addiction>, then you'd probably be happier somewhere else. The state was founded by a church with strict moral standards, so there are a lot of things that you just can't get here. Otherwise, it's a great place to live!

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Skiing is more expensive for residents (at least, last time I checked). There is a very strong religious presence here. It is the headquarters for a large international church, and as such things are a little less "free" than other places (personally it doesn't bother me at all, but it really bugs some people, so I thought I'd mention it).

    And oh yeah, we're in a drought right now. I wouldn't move here this year and probably not next year, either. If we don't get our snowpack this winter we'll be rationing water next summer, so life is going to be a little stressful.

    Montreal, Quebec (4.25 / 4) (#213)
    by trener on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:39:53 PM EST

    Where do you live?
    Montreal, Quebec.

    Why do you live there?
    Great music scene, and I scored a pretty cool job after graduation.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    There's no end.
    The music scene here is definitely one of the most innovative in Canada. As far as electronic music goes, Montreal can't be beat. Montreal is very well known for it's experimental/minimal techno scene, and hosts the biggest experimental music festival (Mutek) of it's kind in North America.
    Apart from that, Montreal has some of the best cuisine in Canada, is renowned as a fashion centre, has great museums and art houses (big and small), and has an incredible theatre programme. Symphonies, Operas, etc... it's all here.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    Summers are basically non-stop festivals from May until August. Mutek, Jazz Fest, Blues Fest, Just for Laughs, Fireworks Competition, Film Fest, African Nights, Francofolies. Plus these crazy bastards shut down St.Laurent at the drop of a hat (fashion show, street sales, electronic music festivals), so yeah, there's -always- something to do during the summer.
    The clubs are pretty cool and get a lot of big names, and the bars are great. Lots of live music, and a lot of different bars for whatever mood you might be in. In the winter (I'm told), there's some decent skiing an hour or two away.

    What do you like about it?
    I just like the vibe Montreal has about it. I don't get the feeling of a 'big city' when I'm living in Montreal, although it's still got all of the 'big city' things going for it. I think a big part of it is that Montreal's downtown isn't huge, and isn't entirely offices/skyscrapers. There's a lot of convenient, reasonably cheap (but still nice) housing in and around the downtown area that kind of give it a bit more of a cozy vibe.

    What do you hate about it?
    Not much, truthfully.
    Every now and then I'll either get stopped in the street by some old french guy muttering about separatism, or by some old english guy bitching about the french guys muttering about separatism, but.. that's more funny than annoying. Maybe I'm missing something, but separatism seems kind of dead to me.
    Oh yeah, and if you've got a car, sell it. Parking is a bitch.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    Beautiful women. That's the first thing people comment on after an afternoon in Montreal.
    Montreal is also a very 'dressed up' city, I find. Very much a fashionable city.

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    Absolutely.
    I love it here.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
    Live near downtown. There's no reason not to.
    You don't need to know French.
    But get used to people saying stuff to you in a weird language until you go 'huh' enough for them to figure it out that you're english. (Usually, they don't mind - besides, you'll pick the language up quickly enough if you try).

    How is it different from other places you have been?
    It feels alive.
    Everywhere else I've lived has felt.. I don't know how to describe it better than saying "tired." Worn down. Like it's all just not really worth the effort. Montreal feels like it's still got something going on.

    more on Montreal (none / 0) (#241)
    by deniz on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:47:34 PM EST

    I've lived in Montreal for 6 years now due to my education, so here are some more thoughts on this vibrant city:

    Lots of students
    Montreal is a University town. It has two big English language institutions: McGill University, and the younger Concordia University. Then, there are the French language ones: l'Universite de Montreal (UdM), l'Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM), l'Ecole Polytechnique, and more, I'm sure. There are easily over 50,000 students in this city of over 1 million.

    Public transit
    Probably due to the student population, Montreal has a decent public transit system. There are 3 main metro lines (as well as a fourth which runs between the island and the south shore). There are many busses -- the city is virtually catacombed with them. There is a seperate night bus network, where the drivers will stop anywhere you ask them to along their routes (so you don't have to walk alone). About the only complaint I have with public transit is that the metro shuts down too early (between 1am - 2am depending on weekday/end) and the night busses (which start around 2/3am) are too few and far in between.

    Geography
    Montreal is a slightly divided city. It is situated on an island in the St. Laurent River. (The St. Laurent which shuts down is the boulevard which divides the city into East and West -- sort of a Main St.) The greater area of Montreal extends onto the northern and southern banks of the river (called the North Shore and South Shore, respectively). Including all this area, there are about 2.8 million people.

    Montreal is named after the mountain on the island (big hill to people from the Rockies): Mont Royal. The mountain is mostly a public park easily accessible from downtown. Whenever the weather is nice, there's a huge drum circle right at one of the entrances. Large parts of the mountain are covered with cemetaries (including the Molson mausoleum -- yes, that Molson). From what I've heard, we have some of the largest cemetaries in North America.

    More culture
    Montreal's architecture and club/disco/rave scene give it a very strong European vibe. Many people say it is unique in North America, and the only other city I know of which approaches it is New Orleans.

    Montreal has a strong gay scene. There is an entire neighbourhood adjoining downtown called "The Village" which is the gay centre. Almost all clubs cater to gay clients, and all shops/storefronts sport rainbow stickers. Some of Montreal's celebrities are drag queens.

    Montreal is the drug trafficking centre of North America. You are allowed to carry a small amount (I don't remember the definition of small) of marijuana in public before it becomes a misdemeanour. So, you can be smoking a joint in public and the cops won't stop you unless you ask them to light it up for you or to guide you to where you can buy some.

    Montreal has a large homeless population as well as a proliferation of "squeegie kids". In Toronto, laws were passed to banish squeegie kids, but not so here. In Montreal, it's street vendors who have been banished. The busking scene is strictly policed. One must get a license, and to perform in the Metro, one must reserve a spot on a daily first-come-first-serve basis. That said, the busking scene is amazing. Walking down the street, you'll find jazz trumpet followed by a guy playing spoons followed by string quartets, and so on. In the summer, many music students busk, which adds a strong classical element to the scene.

    Montreal is a cheap filming centre. Many movies are shot here, especially in the summer, when streets downtown will be blocked for weeks (or parking restricted) at a time. Several TV shows are shot here, as well.

    Founding fathers.
    Montreal's flag is composed of a cross dividing the flag into four fields. Each field contains a flower or plant which represents one of the founding cultures: a shamrock for Ireland (many Irish pubs, several Irish dancing schools, and the longest continuously running St. Patrick's Day parade in North America); a thistle for Scotland (Robbie Burns day!); a rose for England (err... what do they celebrate?); and a Fleur-de-Lis for France (St. Jean-Baptiste Day and much, much more).

    Gimme that old time religion.
    Montreal is full of churches (which makes sense since it was practically started by the Catholic church). I've often said you couldn't throw a baseball without breaking the stained glass window of a church, they're that proliferous. From the Basillica in Old Montreal, which the pope has visited IIRC to the Oratorio high on the mountain (home to Montreal's own canonized saint), to St. James United (the church downtown with the neon sign), there are many churches in this city.

    Recycling
    Everybody in Montreal may obtain recycling tools (bins, compost bins, etc.) from the city. There are weekly recycling pickups (paper, glass, and plastic are all handled by the same trucks) city-wide. There is a pilot composting program (where the city picks up the compost weekly) in two neighbourhoods, and I unfortunately live on the wrong side of the street to be included. There are weekly or bi-weekly trash pickups depending on where you live.

    Politics
    Montreal used to be composed of the City of Montreal (the downtown core and a few surrounding bits) and many smaller municipalities which neighboured it (Westmount, Cote-St-Luc, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Verdun and Nun's island, and the Town of Mont Royal to name just a few). Last year the campaign to combine the greater area of Montreal into one city under one administration ("Une ile, une ville" -- "One island, one city") finally succeeded despite extremely vocal protests. Many people feel that the city is trying to get more money from the province and to get the rich townships to pay for the upkeep of downtown and so on. This is a much bigger hot-button issue currently than seperatism, which is pretty much a dying cause.

    Overall, I must say that Montreal has a soul. It is a rich, vibrant soul, but also one which is getting sick. It feels to me like the people in Montreal are starting to get a bit blase and jaded -- and this is reflected in the city. Many parts of the city which used to be cultural mixing pots and the source of the city's vibrance are turning into ghettos. Violence is rising (52 homicides by this time last year). Montreal is sadly infamous for its problems with police brutality. I'm not sure what needs to be done to fix the soul, but I'd like to see it happen: this is such a beautiful city that I don't want to watch it fall apart.

    [ Parent ]

    The English celebrate... (2.00 / 2) (#264)
    by DodgyGeezer on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:25:26 PM EST

    ... St. George's Day on 23rd April.  This day is marked by a small number of people turning to each other and asking what they're supposed to do.  Very few will wear a rose.

    This year, a couple of my English friends in England celebrated by going to the pub for some real ale (cask-conditioned ale if you're a USian), followed by a curry at a nearby Indian.

    The English have a curious opinion of patriotic people who wave flags: they're a bunch of racist neo-Nazi thugs!

    [ Parent ]

    Unless... (2.50 / 2) (#509)
    by krek on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 11:19:37 AM EST

    it is at a football pitch, of course!

    [ Parent ]
    The problem with Montreal. (3.00 / 1) (#285)
    by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:15:04 PM EST

    I cannot live there, and it's a really simple reason.

    One of my friends lives there, and I can't visit him for more than a day or two. Happily, he's planning on leaving, although I'm still not sure if he's gonna wind up in Jamaica or North Carolina or some other place. :)

    Anyway. There are a lot of smokers in Montréal. So many that if you're allergic or sensitive to tobacco smoke, the air is poisonous.

    So, the warning: if you physically can't tolerate tobacco, or if you just don't like it very much, Montréal may not be the best choice possible.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    Dont forget the BEER (none / 0) (#501)
    by mujo on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 03:53:40 PM EST

    One thing not mentionned is that we have great micro-breweries and brew pubs here.

    Amongst others McAuslan, Cheval Blanc, Boreal,... make really good beer and Im not talking about molson or labatt which may seem good to people used to budweiser or coors, those are really high-quality beers that dont taste like piss.

    Also like I said before you have at least 5 pubs where they brew their own beer. They're not all expensive and mostly interesting to visit. I personnaly love the Sergent Recruteur's stout. Its situated on StLaurent Blvd(the main) at the corner of Villeneuve.

    Cheers!

    [ Parent ]
    Palo Alto, California, USA (none / 0) (#219)
    by molo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:54:49 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Palo Alto, California, USA.  The origins of the Silicon Valley, home of Stanford University.

    Why do you live there?

    I was looking for work after graduating from a school in upstate New York, and found a company here.  Odd, but just as everyone was leaving due to the .com bubble bursting, I find a job and move in.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Within the town, there's a couple non-mainstream movie theaters, a good number of ethnic restauraunts, plenty of small shops, used book stores, etc.  On the Stanford campus, there are multiple large libraries, art and archeology exhibits, concerts, and so on.

    In the surrounding area, there's the Shoreline Ampitheater for concerts, sports events and conferences in San Jose, hiking to the west (hiking along the San Andreas fault was neat), and the Pacific Ocean further to the west.

    We're only about 40 minutes from San Francisco here (without traffic), and there's plenty to do there as well.  That would be an article in itself.

    What do you like about it?

    I'm employed.  I can walk 15 minutes to work.  The weather is great - no rain for 9 months of the year, no snow, low humidity, plenty of sun.  Good geeky contingent: places like Fry's Electronics, plenty of "high-tech" employers.  There isn't an emphasis on appearance like the east coast.  That is, you can show up to work unshaven, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals, and no one gives it a second thought.  Don't try that in New York.

    What do you hate about it?

    I miss New York's food.  Bagels and pizza here are an abomination, and there arn't any good Hunan Chinese restauraunts.

    People here CANNOT DRIVE.  Granted, its not entirely thier fault - the California system is broken.  This could be a rant all its own, so I won't go into it here.

    Things here are too slow-paced.  Its annoying.  Being layed-back is good most of the time, but I still want good service, damnit.

    My fiance hates it.  She hasn't been able to find a Human Factors job here, so she's been doing temp work.  The people she has been working with/for are just morons - seems to be a product of California's horrible school system.

    Its REALLY EXPENSIVE to live here.  $1200 a month for a 500 sq.ft. 1-bedroom apartment is just too much.  $2.05 for gasoline (I know, Europe is worse).  Pretty much everything except fruits and vegetables are about 10-20% more expensive than the east coast.   Add 8.25% sales tax too.  I don't think we'll ever be able to buy a home near here.

    The climate is semi-arid.  Its green in the winter (rainy season), and everything dries up and dies for the rest of the year.  I don't like that part much.  Before moving here, I didn't know why they always have so many brushfires in California.

    Oh, and we havn't met any real friends out here.  The people at my job are older, at a different place in life.  The people at her jobs are stupid.  We need to get out more.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Good: Weather.
    Bad: Cost of living.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    For a short time, yes.  For the long term, no.  I can't imagine trying to buy a home here and raising kids here.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Um, don't drive a rental truck on I-80 from New York to Califonia if you can avoid it.  Its not fun.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    More expensive, more geeky, more non-whites (diversity = good).  Previous residencies:

    Northern New Jersey (near New York City)
    Rochester, New York (upstate, near Buffalo)

    Rochester sucks.  Don't ever go there.  Another rant, another time.  Jersey I have mixed feelings about.


    --
    Whenever you walk by a computer and see someone using pico, be kind. Pause for a second and remind yourself that: "There, but for the grace of God, go I." -- Harley Hahn

    I would reverse Rochester, New Jersey (none / 0) (#368)
    by georgeha on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:29:23 AM EST

    but I only lived in South Jersey, maybe North is better.

    [ Parent ]
    Bergen County, NJ, USA (none / 0) (#221)
    by ajschu on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:56:58 PM EST

    I go to school in Virginia, and I have lots to say about that, but I'm going to put it in another comment.

    Where do you live?
    I live in a small-ish (around 6000 people) suburb of NYC in northern Bergen county. I'm a three minute drive from the border with NY State and about a 25 minute drive from the George Washington Bridge.

    Why do you live there?
    My parents both grew up and lived in the area; my brother, sister and I actually all went to the same high school where my dad and his brother and sister went. We were once very close to moving to Florida (about 12 years ago), but my Dad chickened out, preferring to stay here with friends and family.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    The city that never sleeps. Need I say more?

    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    There are great parks in the area, softball leagues, and malls. I'm going to go the stereotypical Jersey route here and say I love the malls. I love the smell of commerce in the morning! Naturally, there's also the Jersey shore, where I spend a minimum of two weeks every summer.

    What do you like about it?
    Everything I could ever want to do is within driving distance. (Almost) all of my friends live here.

    What do you hate about it?
    The people. There's such a rampant streak of one-upsmanship in my town that it completely turned me off to the area. I left for Virginia (see my other comment) to go to school. I've since realized the error of my ways, and I'll be moving back here when I graduate. I've gotten good at ignoring the one-upsmanship.

    What qualities really stand out?
    To me, it was always the feeling of "I'm better than you" that I got from the wealthier people in town, but as I've gotten older, it's not nearly as overwhelming.

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    I wouldn't live anywhere else.

    AJS



    Harrisonburg, VA, USA (none / 0) (#222)
    by ajschu on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:07:53 PM EST

    I already wrote about my real home in another comment. I only live in Harrisonburg during the school year (and only for two more years).

    Why do you live there?
    I'm only there for the education. I decided to go to JMU when I got fed up with my hometown and wanted something completely different.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    Whatever the University decides to offer. Unfortunately, the nearest "cultural" center is about an hour's drive (in Charlottesville), and it takes about two hours to get to DC. Cultural opportunities do not exist in Harrisonburg.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    Again, pretty much whatever the University offers. The bars and clubs in the area belong more or less to the fraternity/sorority crowd, which rules me out, and those that don't are overrun by toothless redneck hicks (not flamebait, just personal experience).

    What do you like about it?
    The scenery made me fall in love in the first place, and the quality of the school made me stay. Even if you don't live there, you really must see the Shenendoah Valley some day.

    What do you hate about it?
    The complete lack of cultural opportunities outside of the University. The fact that I need to drive two hours to reach a major metropolitan center. The smell.

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    If you're looking for a good school in a beautiful setting, strongly consider JMU. If you're looking for a place to live, avoid it like the plague.

    How is it different from other places you have been?
    Polar opposite of my hometown.

    AJS



    Nonsense! there's lots to do there! (none / 0) (#260)
    by MickLinux on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:00:51 PM EST

    (1) Tip cows.  Mu.
    (2) Go to a turkey farm, light it up, and have the world's largest chicken BBQ.
    (3) Join CHANGE.  Go and heckle a town council meeting.  Or go talk to your congressional representative, Goodlatte.  He's actually pretty good.
    (4) Put a penny on the railroad tracks, and watch a train squish it.
    (5) Watch the grass at the administrative building.  (No kidding.  There was a 12 foot marijuana tree there.  One day it disappeared.)  
    (6) Go over to Burruss hall, and learn from two geniuses how to do the Parker-Sochacki solution to the Picard iteration.  Those guys are geniuses.
    (7) Eat lunch at the hospital cafeteria.  Play the biology game.  (Actually, its pretty good and pretty cheap.)
    (8) Go over to the park and watch the grass grow.
    (9) Get a summer job at SEI/PMI, and help produce power monitoring equipment.  
    (10) Watch the cows eat grass.
    (11) Go skiing at Massanutten (watch out for the growing grass!)
    (12) Go up to the top of park view.  Llama tipping, there.  Just watch out--llamas have traditionally been used as guard animals, cows haven't.
    (13) Get a summer job delivering or manufacturing ice over at Reddy Ice.  (near Daily News Record).
    (14) Drive over to the Dali Sods for a weekend of hiking.  Or drive to the New River Gorge for rockcliming (there are closer locations).  
    (15) Visit DC
    (16) Watch the grass grow from your dorm window.
    (17) Hit the web.
    (18) Do whatever the university president has planned for you.
    (19) Come up with conspiracy theories involving Nielson Contracting, the town leadership, and the University's August Ruling Family.  
    (20) Go to a local bar and listen to stories about the stores that used to be where the justice building is now... and watch the grass grow.
    (21) Go over to the Physics department, and offer your services working for CEBAF (actually TJNAF now.  That's the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility).
    (22) Go over to the archeology department, and find out about the following locations:  (1) Catherine Furnace, where there are also trilobyte fossils (2) Tide Springs, the world's only spring that naturally turns itself on and off:  it runs 20 minutes, goes completely dry 20 minutes, runs 20 minutes, and so on.  (3) where, in Rockbridge county, you can find natural minerals that look like a cross.
    (23) Go blueberry picking in August, up in the mountains.  Prime locations include the National park where 33 goes into W.Va, or where you cross over from New Market to Luray.  
    (24) Drive over to W Va and visit Sugar Grove, and learn something about SETI.
    (25) See the Planetarium show in the Physics dept.  There may be another over at EMC.
    (26) Go listen to one of Harrisonburg's 4 symphonic orchestras.  There are some instruments there that are better than Stradivarias instruments, though not as expensive ($3k - $12k).  
    (27) Visit any one of the several caverns.  If you really want to see a cavern, go make friends with the people who purchased the old Massanutten Cavern.  Go out Keezeltown Rd, turn left at the end, swing to the right of the elementary school, take the first right that goes across a rickety wooden bridge and up over a hill.  That's where it is.
    (28) Spend some major money at the Joshua Wilton House, near the city's municipal building.  It's a bed-n-breakfast, and a top level restaurant.
    (29) Watch the grass grow.
    (30) Go bike riding around the county.  Learn about the historic buildings -- cross keys, for example, where there was a tavern with a sign of crossed keys.  

    There!  Twentyone things to do, not including watching the grass grow!

    Really, there are things to do, for those in the know.  I've hidden some of them, above.

    I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
    [ Parent ]

    Sweet home.. (none / 0) (#225)
    by tarpy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:08:39 PM EST

    I have to say that of all the stories I've read on K5 so far, I really like this topic...got a lot of good information on places I've not been to yet, but would like to go...and that's always helpful!

    Where do you live?
    America's "Second" (and in my opinion best) City, Chicago. Although technically, I live in Chicago-land (Skokie), but I live about 2 blocks from the actual incorporation limits.

    Why do you live there?
    Couple of reasons:

    • S.O.
    • Didn't want to live in NoCal anymore
    • I had lived here before and loved it
    • I'm from the Midwest and find it very comfortable to live in this big city
    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    The question would be better phrased "what cultural opportunities do you NOT have?" We have a plethora (and I know what a plethora is :)A small list would include:
    • The Art Institute (Quite possibly the greatest art museum outside of The Louvre)
    • The Field Museum (A great natural history museum)
    • M.O.S.I. (Although, having grown up in Columbus, Ohio, I still consider C.O.S.I. to be a better science museum.)
    • Shedd Aquarium (I love the fishies...)
    • Lincoln Park Zoo
    • C.S.O. (One of the top five symphonies in the world)
    • Lyric Opera (As a man on Grafton Street in Dublin said to a friend and I after overhearing our argument whether or not Chicago is a hole, "Young men, any city that has the Lyric Opera just cannot be considered a "hole")
    What recreational opportunities do you have? What do you like about it?
    People are nicer here than in Silicon Valley (where I last lived), it's cheaper to live here, O'Hare International Airport (it's nice to be able to fly pretty much anywhere in the world in under 20 hours). And of course, Roe and Gary on the 50,000-watt mo-fo

    What do you hate about it?
    Crime (anyone want a beatdown?), traffic is pretty bad, there's no good way to get from the north side of the city (from say Evanston/Skokie to Arlington Heights) to other northwest suburbs except via surface roads, the extremely corrupt George Ryan (Illinois' Governor), Richard Daley (yes, he's one of those Daleys), Jesse Jackson, and the sprawl.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    Magnificent public transportation, the extremely corrupt political system (as they say, when you vote in Chicago, "vote early, and vote often"), all the ethnic neighborhoods and the good food that goes along with it.

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    Yes. It's one the friendliest places to live, and you can do anything you would ever want to do.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? How to correctly top a hot-dog, how to eat real pizza, how to give "the wave" while driving, and a fine sense of humility (Chicago is one of the least-snobby places I've ever lived)

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    It's the mid-westerner's mid-west. It's got the most diversity I've ever seen in a city (and that goes for even NYC), it's unassuming (none of the self-aggrandizing crap that you get from LA or NYC), it's on the Lake, and I can actually drive to my parents instead of flying :)


    Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face

    Houston, Texas (none / 0) (#228)
    by StackyMcRacky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:13:57 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Houston, Texas

    Why do you live there?

    i moved here after i graduated because of all the biotech and medical research going on (i was a microbiologist at the time). i'm still here because i think people in dallas are too snobby, austin is too slacky, and i really can't think of any place else i'd like to live. now that i've fallen madly in love, i'll never leave - the bf's mechanic (he races, and needs a good mechanic) and kung fu master live here.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    not as many as you think. houston has museums, ballet, opera, etc, but it's all kind of "eh". i think NYC ruined me. anyway, houston likes to think it's the cosmopolitian city, but it isn't. it's an oil town.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    plenty, when it's not insanely hot. there are nice places to walk, bike, picnic, there's ok beaches not too far...but most of the time it's too hot & humid to go outside.

    What do you like about it?

    the people (you are accepted here whereever you go). the variety of resturants. the trees. the lack of state income tax.

    What do you hate about it?

    the humidity. the roads. the crap shopping (i was spoiled by Dallas and NYC). the way people refuse to believe that this is not a cosmopolitian city. the lack of free activites (festivals, etc).

    What qualities really stand out?

    bad: the refineries, the constant construction, the humidity!

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    i'm not too sure about recommending it. it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy living here.

    If I were to move there, what would i really need to know?

    a/c is your friend. there is no public transport. don't expect a nice clear-water beach. wear sunblock all-year



    Jupiter, Florida (none / 0) (#238)
    by jerk40 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:39:59 PM EST

    Where do you live?
    North of West Palm Beach. That's right Palm Beach County. The most screwed up county in the nation.
    Why do you live there?
    It's where I grew up. Saving money to go to grad school outside Paris, France.
    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    We've got some culture due to the Palm Beachers and their efforts but Miami is only an hour and a half and Orlando is only two hours. Not too far to go if need be.
    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    Tons, anything you can think of is in Miami and Orlando plus we've got great fishing and hunting. And the most golf courses of any county in the world.
    What do you like about it?
    The weather, beach, ocean, the vast amount of attractive women.
    What do you hate about it?
    It's really hot in the summers and there are too many old people. Traffic is a nightmare in the winter. It's dangerous b/c old people do not pay attention when on the road. Also cost of living is kinda high. And you have to deal with a lot of crazy people that live in this state and especially this county.
    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    The amount of beautiful women. It is an amazing sight. Can't imagine how many hot females live here. The weather allows for year round golf.
    Would you recommend it, and why?
    Oh yeah. Great combination of weather and activities.
    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
    Be prepared for anything, including the occasional visit from Jesse Jackson. It rains every afternoon in the summers for about 20 minutes then is gone.
    How is it different from other places you have been?
    Lived downtown Chicago for a few years and everything here is more spread out. You have to drive everywhere. left Chicago b/c I had had enough of the winters and couldn't stand commuting through the snow.


    And the first one from Mexico (none / 0) (#239)
    by nemomty on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:40:25 PM EST

    Where do you live? I live in Monterrey in the state of Nuevo Leon in Mexico, a city with about 8 million people. (yes, we do have states too). Additional comment: It always amazes me how little geographic sense the "americans" have. I´ve lived in a couple of US cities and when we start talking about stuff like this (Where u from, etc), they show a COMPLETE lack of knowledge about the neighbor country besides Tijuana, Cancun, Mexico City and Tequila
    Why do you live there? I studied here at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, something like the "Monterrey Institute of Technology and Advanced Studies", which is touted as the best private school in Latin America (as far as engineering and science goes). I graduated two years ago and I am now working at a medium cement products manufacturing plant called Cemix, redesigning the IT & Communications Infrastructure. I´m originally from Santa Ana, Sonora(yup, another state) a small town of 20k inhabitants located 60 miles south of Nogales, AZ.
    What cultural opportunities do you have? Monterrey is actually a metropolitan area comprised of six cities: Apodaca (mainly industrial parks), Escobedo (industrial parks and workers mostly), Santa Catarina (industrial parks too), San Nicolas (where the Univeristy of the state resides, some nice residential complexes, but a lot of industry too),San Pedro (the municipality with the highest income per capita of Mexico, where the shopping malls and all the imported cars agencies are) and finally Monterrey (the capital of the state and where most of the attractions, museums and historical places reside). As you probably imagine, this city is oriented towards industry, so the cultural aspect is not always what people take with them when they visit. However, Monterrey is home to the best Museum of Modern Art in Mexico, the best University in Mexico (my school) with all the thing that implies (Classical music concerts, theater, etc). In the aspect of local culture and folklore, Monterrey is always viewed, at least in Mexico as a bunch of loudmouthed "norteños" (people of the north), with a well established fame of being so cheap. But I do know some fabulous and renowned local artists that give this city some culture and artistry.
    What recreational opportunities do you have? Well, theres things for every taste in Monterrey. From racing (C.A.R.T. opens its season here), acuatic and theme parks (Sesame Street Park), a LOT of movie theaters, two professional Soccer team stadiums, theaters, concert venues, very good restaurants, etc. And also whorth mentioning: a two hour drive to Laredo or McAllen, TX.
    What do you like about it? Well, I really dont like this city a lot. However, one of the things I like the most is the globalization tendency of its latest governors. They are really trying to make this city a beacon of progress in Mexico. But they have to overcome decades of bad governments, culture and idiosincracies that, sadly, most mexicans have. But see this happening in the not to distant future.
    What do you hate about it? Police and public transport. It sucks. I have had two or three encounters with the law (nothing big, just a couple of traffic infractions on a street where the speed limit is 30 kph (about 16 mph), and that is way slower than the street is made for, I mean, is the third longest street here, and I was doing about 50 kph) and the cops made such a big deal over it. Well, sorry about my rant, but I just hate most mexican police. About public transport, its dirty, smelly and with some reckless drivers aboard. Last year, there were about 2 accidents per day, resulting in about 25 people dead (20 in a bus in which the driver thought he could beat the train). But anyway, I think im painting a very grim picture of Monterrrey. Let me tell you life here is not that bad, but those things just pop into my mind when i talk about what i dont like.
    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad). The impressive work being done to make this city, the most modern and clean city in Mexico.
    Would you recommend it, and why? Well. It depends. If you want to study as an exchange student, the ITESM is truly a good choice to learn more about the education level in Mexico (I find that the foreign students that come here, go back very surprised of the level and quality of the education, which, in many cases is better than their schools). If you want to work, there is also a lot of international companies with presence in Monterrey. If you want to visit, there is enough things to do for a couple of weeks. In the night you can go to a lot of clubs located in San Pedro in the "Centrito" area. There are a lot of bars too.
    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? You should not be vegetarian. People here are passionate about eating meat and the local beer (The biggest beer factory in Mexico is here). :) But dont worry, we know some vegetables too. You should be able to handle extreme changes in the wheater, sometimes we have a 105° F and the next day its raining and with a temperature of 60° F. There is a saying that I heard the first months I lived here: "You dont like Monterrey´s weather ?. Dont worry, it wont be the same tomorrow"
    How is it different from other places you have been? Every city is different, like I said before I dont like this city a lot, but it gives me a place to work and live. The good friends I have made here (mostly from other states, that came here to study) make living here bearable for me. Dont get me wrong, I know a lot of people that love this city, I´m just giving my personal opinion.

    Memphis, Tennessee (none / 0) (#240)
    by Mzilikazi on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:44:44 PM EST

    (Sorry, this ended up being much longer than I expected.)

    Where do you live?

    Memphis, Tennessee. Technically in Cordova, a suburb of Memphis. However, the city annexed Cordova recently, so more technically I'm back in Memphis.

    Why do you live there?

    I was born and raised in Memphis. Lived all over the city at one time or another. Moved out to the suburbs with roommate and two dogs, long story.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    The city's chock full of culture, though I don't particularly take advantage of most of it. I work on the edge of Downtown, so I don't really enjoy spending time there when I'm off work (traffic, parking problems, crime, etc.). There's a pretty vibrant music scene, though it tends to focus on blues, rock, and rap. Nothing against those genres, but it's not really my cup of tea. Growing up, I was exposed to a pretty wide range of cultural opportunities--from camping and fishing to singing in Latin and German in the Memphis Symphony Boys Choir.

    Though the city itself is majority black, there's a growing Hispanic population, and not just from Mexico. The house I'm currently renting belongs to a nice Colombian couple who needed to move into something bigger. The city and suburbs make up around a million people, so you're bound to find a lot of different ethnicities. There's also three good sized universities within the city limits, as well as a few smaller colleges and community colleges that add to the mix.

    Recently I've been delighted to find not only an authentic Italian deli but also a decent pizza place, both run by recent Italian immigrants (completely unrelated) and both nearly within walking distance of where I live. I speak enough Italian to make light conversation, and have a great time going to both places. I've gotten to know them well enough that I get invited to the occasional after-hours gathering, or the grandmother waddles out of the kitchen with a bowl of something special for me to try. :)

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    I haven't had a lot of free time recently, but most of it has been spent hiking with the dogs. It's been a hot summer, so I try to keep it to under 3 miles for each of them, but they love getting out.

    What do you like about it?

    It's home, I guess. The cost of living is quite low, there's no state income tax (we just dodged a bullet on that one), and it's not a bad place to live and save for a few years until I decide where I want to go next.

    What do you hate about it?

    I'll have to hold myself back here a bit ;)

    • Local politics. There's actually two overlapping governments, the city and county governments. Currently there's a big push for consolidation, but I don't think it will happen. The city wants consolidation, but the county doesn't. The city government is a mess, the county government works pretty efficiently, but any consolidation would be run by the city. There's not a big racial problem, especially since within the city limits it's close to 75% black. But there's still the feeling that there's a big race problem. Great example: For a while I attended a school that was considered "all black". I was one of three white students in my grade, and it was a pretty big school. Most of the faculty and administration were black. However, there was still a "Black Students Association" to deal with the problems of being a minority in school. Go figure.
    • The heat. Combined with the nearby Mississippi River, a lot of tributaries (like the ones near me, Nonconnah Creek and the Wolf River), and a great whopping assload of trees and local foliage, the humidity can be stifling in the summer. I've gone out West with people who were surprised to have their sinuses open up for the first time in their entire lives.
    • Elvis. I've never even been to Graceland. Couldn't name more than one or two of his songs or movies, and couldn't care less. I don't hate the guy, I just don't give a damn about him. Twice a year, during "Birth Week" and "Death Week", Elvis freaks from around the world concregate here to celebrate or cry, depending on which week it is. The only time Elvis ever did something for me was when I was stuck in Milan on New Year's Eve in 1996 and needed to cash in a train ticket. After an hour of bureaucratic wrangling and arguing (after which my love of the Italian language was wearing thin), the manager was called over to deal with the situation and get rid of me. He checked my passport, and upon seeing that I was from Memphis, started waving his arms and babbling about Elvis. I feigned delight, and he gave me the refund, but only after getting our picture taken together. Weird.
    • I could go on, but most of it's internal crap that wouldn't interest anyone inside or outside of the area...

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Good food, which is kind of a mixed blessing. Barbecue is a local specialty, and there are restaurants everywhere that specialize in it, ranging from Mom & Pop joints to nicer restaurants. "Soul Food", southern country food, and variations on those themes are prevalent. It's great food, but really bad for you in any sort of frequent consumption. The recent wave of Mexican immigration has introduced the city to a lot of great and inexpensive Mexican restaurants and bakeries. For the best places, it helps to speak Spanish, or know enough to order. The only Cuban restaurant in town closed down a few years ago, much to my dismay.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    I don't know that it's a good city to visit or live in. There are a lot of good jobs here, and a lot of corporate headquarters that create a lot of employment, so the city's not tied to a single industry or company. Aside from Elvis, and some of the Beale Street music stuff, there's really not a lot to see or do in town, so entertaining out of town guests can be a little daunting (unless they're from someplace more boring than Memphis). But then again, the cost of living is quite low, so it can make a great place for relocation. I'm probably not the best person to answer this question. :)

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    No public transit to speak of, you'll need a car. It gets hot in the summer, and there's virtually no winter (we see a dusting of snow every few years). Be prepared to drink your tea iced and sweetened. If you've got kids, take a good look at the many fine private schools (religious and secular), as the public school system is horrible. And if you live in the suburbs, prepare to be annexed into the city at some point (which means higher taxes, crappier government, and declining property values).

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    I've traveled a good bit, but I've never seen a place quite like Memphis (which is mostly a compliment for all the other places). Memphis is a loose group of small towns that have been crammed together and amalgamated without ever creating a "big city" look or feel. A lot of cities are built on rivers, but here all of the development is on one side--the other side, in Arkansas, is quite rural. There's also only one daily newspaper, which is subject matter for a much longer rant some other time.

    Denver, CO, USA (none / 0) (#243)
    by Erbo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:53:13 PM EST

    Where do you live?
    Denver, Colorado, the Mile High City, at the base of the Rocky Mountains. (Actually, we live just outside the actual City & County of Denver, in a sliver of unincorporated Arapahoe County.)

    Why do you live there?
    I was relocated here in 1999 by the company I worked for at the time. I'm originally from California.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    If you're a sports person, Denver's a great place. Best two teams we have are the NFL Broncos (a local icon) and the NHL Avalanche (2001 Stanley Cup champions, lost to Detroit in the 2002 playoffs...they'll be back). The MLB Rockies are nothing special (though their downtown ballpark, Coors Field, is nice), and the NBA Nuggets are, shall we say, abysmal. Former Broncos quarterback John Elway is starting a new Arena Football team next year, the Colorado Crush; we'll have to see how that works out.

    Yet Denver has lots of other cultural opportunities. Our concert season has been especially good, and we do have one of the finest natural ampitheaters in the country (Red Rocks, out in Morrison).

    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    Do you ski, or snowboard? Say no more! Denver is the gateway to some of the Rocky Mountains' best skiing, at world-class resorts like Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Those same mountains offer a variety of summer recreational activities like hiking, fishing, and camping. (No the whole state is not on fire...) In the city, Denver has a large number of bikepaths and jogging trails for you fitness nuts. There are a variety of good bars, clubs, and night spots, especially in the Lower Downtown ("LoDo") area. And, if you want a taste of Vegas without having to get on a plane, drive up to Black Hawk and try your luck in one of the many casinos there.

    What do you like about it? The people here are a lot friendlier than they are in California. It's not "cheap" to live here, but it's less expensive than California, especially in terms of taxes. It's also easy to navigate around, once you learn the lay of the land (the downtown area may throw you a few times, though). And the weather is generally good, with more sunny days per year than almost anywhere else in the country.

    What do you hate about it?
    Traffic is a big problem, especially where they're widening I-25 through the "Narrows" and the Tech Center area (the "T-REX" project). Also, there are days when our air quality isn't really up to par.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    When I first visited Denver, a year or so before I moved here, I was struck by how green it was in the summertime. There are parkways in the older residential areas that look like glades. In winter, of course, you have the snow, which was a novelty to me (though I quickly learned the basics of dealing with it).

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    Yes. To me, Denver feels like "one of the last good places left." We're definitely better off here than we were in California, even if my wife misses the ocean.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
    For the first few weeks, you're going to be adapting to the altitude. Keep that in mind. Also, be prepared for snow in the wintertime. You don't need a 4WD vehicle unless you're somewhere way off in the middle of the mountains, but traction control and ABS aren't a bad idea. The snow here is relatively light, not that heavy, icy New England stuff. I can generally clear off my car with a hand broom and ice scraper.

    Also keep in mind that, like many other states--but unlike California--you can only buy booze (anything stronger than 3.2 beer) in a liquor store, and they're not open on Sundays. There are generally liquor stores near every grocery store, though, as well as a few big liquor outlets where you can score some decent bargains.

    How is it different from other places you have been?
    The people are friendlier than California, and everything feels a bit more spread out, as if there's more room (which there is). I find myself agreeing with Joe Walsh: "The Rocky Mountain way is better than the way we had."
    --
    Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org

    Los Angeles, CA (none / 0) (#244)
    by BioChemDork on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:53:26 PM EST

    Where do you live?
    Los Angeles, CA

    Why do you live there?
    -because I attend University of California, Los Angeles
    -because my home town is 10 miles outside of Los Angeles
    -because our idea of "freezing weather" is 50 degrees F

    What cultural opportunities do you have?
    -Suprisingly little. Well, actually, there are cultural opportunities, but they're not conveniently located. Being a poor starving student with no car, it's mostly university sponsored activities for me. Oh wait:
    -Getty museum, the Microsoft of museums: Pissing off other museum curators all over the world daily.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?
    -Fraternity parties (see: drunk people, cheap alcohol)
    -Two words: female coeds
    -Beach
    -did I mention 18-28 female college students?
    There may be other stuff, but again, no car.

    What do you like about it?
    -Massive hills on UCLA campus seems to have eliminated the fat population (Don't know if it's because they became skinny due to the extra exercise, or because fat people just move elsewhere because they don't want to deal with the hills.) As a whole, Southern California seems to have less obese people than East Coast
    -Virtually nonexistant smoking compared to East Coast. How do you guys put up with so many smokers?
    -Warm weather.  Seasons? What's that? We have 2 seasons here: Summer, and January.
    -No snow!!! (If you want to ski, you can drive for about 2 hours, and go to a ski resort)

    What do you hate about it?
    -No convenient public transit (a la Manhattan), because everything is so far away from each other
    -Not much history ("Well, before LA was a city, it was a...  smaller city? And before that, there were Indians of some sort - but they're gone now.")
    -Damn hot sometimes
    -Downtown is dead after 6pm (We're a pretty "industrial" city. As far as I know, all that is there after dark are clubs, because with nobody else there afterhours, they can crank the music as loud as they want)
    -Everything is so far away - need car 'cause there's no effective public transportation
    -Traffic: caused by everyone having a car. Catch-22. Damn.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)
    -female coeds
    -warm, dry weather (good for them sinuses)
    -miles and miles of traffic

    Would you recommend it, and why?
    -in general, lower cost of living
    -warm
    -female coeds (pertinent only to areas near UCLA campus)

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?
    -you need a CAR! Even if it's just to buy groceries... (If you're adventurous or cheap, you can get a bike.)

    How is it different from other places you have been?
    -Warm, dry
    -Less "culture", more homoginized

    Cost of living... (none / 0) (#296)
    by willj on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:45:57 PM EST

    Los Angeles has a cheap cost of living compared to what?! It's the most expensive place to live on the West Coast except maybe for SanFran but the cost of gas might make up for it. (Yes, I know you have bad traffic up there but I personally have never been stuck in anything as bad as what I see almost daily on the 405).

    Will


    [ Parent ]

    Seattle Washington USA (none / 0) (#246)
    by mingofmongo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:01:25 PM EST

    Seattle is a nice place to live. It's kinda like a small town with skyscrapers. I've been a few places, and I think Seattle is the best of them to live in.

    If you are the type that gets depressed in gloomy weather, DONT COME HERE. I like the weather, but that's just me. Most of the year, it rains a little each day. Its mostly cloudy. A few days in winter it snows, and a few weeks in summer it is sunny, but mostly grey.

    Despite all efforts of the SoccerMom-controled polititions, there is a lot of music here, and a few good clubs, and interesting hang-out type bars. Great beer snob town.

    There's lots of neeto little book stores, some with themes. There's many small theaters, and a couple big Broadway type ones. There are an enourmous number of movie theaters, including a real Cinerama theater with the cinerama screen and projectors. There's an honest-to-goodness chain of art theaters that show everything from boring lesbian dramas to 'Surf Nazis Must Die'.

    And there is coffee. There are a couple of points where there is actually a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. I don't think this is a good thing.

    (Note about SoccerMoms) In the US, football is called soccer and is mainly played by very wimpy 12 year old kids with very obnoxious parents. These SoccerMoms are the horrible people you see driving SUVs and talking on thier cell phone while they are running you over. They are exceedingly narrow-minded, afraid of anything not wearing a suit, and they vote. A lot. Much of the political and legal screwyness in Seattle can be traced down to these SoccerMoms, and the polititians who kiss their asses. While the majority of Seattle residents are the most open-minded and tollerant of all major city people I have met, the SoccerMoms seem to have some kind of political magic wand that they use to monkeewrench things. Someday, they will grow old and die.

    "What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
    --The Onion

    Twin Cities, Minnesota (USA) (none / 0) (#250)
    by Xeriar on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:18:14 PM EST

    Where do you live? Brooklyn PArk, a suburb of Minneapolis, MN.

    Why do you live there? I grew up there :-)

    What cultural opportunities do you have? Just about every culture imaginable... There are even some Amish and Mennonites wandering around. I have acquanted myself with an extremely wide variety of restauraunts of late, some are very specialized (Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Mongolian, Japanese, Siamese, above and beyond 'Chinese' and your standard mix of European eateries)...

    What recreational opportunities do you have? If it does not require mountains or oceans, it can probably be done here. A lot of lakes, rivers, forests and hilly areas, and plenty of clubs and recreation centers, the most famous being Valleyfair.

    What do you like about it? If I want to do something at 3 AM, I usually can. There are some high-crime areas but these are generally gang-related. I routinely see people leave their car running in the parking lot for a half-hour or more - I wonder if I could do that in any European community with a million or more people :-)

    Also, the job market is great, and I get paid -well-.

    What do you hate about it? Taxes are a bit much, but since I probably wouldn't get paid more in an area with a lower cost of living, I suppose it balanced out.

    Also, it gets -cold-, and -hot-. The extreme variation of the weather is pretty brutal on the roads as well as people.

    The highways used to have a lot of death traps, but these are being removed.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) Unless you are smack in the middle of downtown, you don't feel like you are in a sprawl of over three million people. The IDS and neighboring towers are visible from a good distance, but there are only a half-dozen or so such skyscrapers and it looks kinda pretty.

    Parts of the city can seem a little run-down, but even the lowest-class areas beat out the 'middle-class' in Rapid City, SD (where I went to school).

    The fact that a 50-year old woman could feel safe in taking an hour walk at dusk is also pretty nice.

    Would you recommend it, and why? If you can handle the weather, sure.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? Basic grasp of English? Also, be ready for a wide weather spectrum. We may not get hurricanes, but we do get constant 40+ mph winds every once in awhile and just about everything else comes knocking at one point or another.

    Knowing a bit about how to get around can keep you're life relatively traffic-jam free here. :-)

    How is it different from other places you have been? The city planning may not have been brilliant, but it meshes better than most others I've been in. Trees are used to good effect here too, hiding houses and highways, etc.

    ----
    When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.

    Ottawa, Ontario (none / 0) (#254)
    by randinah on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:31:46 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Ottawa, Ontario Canada

    Why do you live there?

    Two reasons: My husband and I were previously in Philadelphia for a year and hated it. Also, Ottawa offers many employment opportunities in the technological field.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    A little bit of everything. Lots and lots and lots of (really good and garlicky) middle eastern cuisine. Every restaurant has its own flavour and charm. (Very little TGI Fridays, Perkins, or Chili's to be found).

    Within a fifteen minute walk of where I live (yet five miles from the downtown area), I have the choice to eat at a Vietnamese, German, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Greek, Lebanese, or Carribean restaurant.

    The Byward Market is wonderfully eccentric. During the day it is fun to walk around and buy produce from area farmers and pay a couple bucks to play chess with some guy on the street. He'll tell you riddles too, if you like. At night the Byward market becomes a hopping nightlife scene. Row after row of pubs, cafes, and danceclubs, including the famous Zaphod Beeblebrox where you can get a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster if you wish.

    Besides that there's plenty of french culture just across the river in Quebec, and Montreal is just an hour away.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Trails, trails, trails! Ottawa has around 1800 kilometers of bike trails all through the city. The Parkway, a four lane artery that runs along the river is closed every Sunday morning to allow bikers, walkers, and rollerbladers to use.

    Gatineau Park is a fifteen minute drive away. It has hundreds of acres of woodlands, lakes, trails, mountains, lookouts, camping, etc.

    There are plenty of great museums here. The Art Museum, Museum of Photography, Museum of Canadian Civilisation, The Royal Mint, The Currency Museum, just to name a few. And of course we cannot forget the Parliament buildings which are gorgeous. On Canada Day (July 1st), downtown Ottawa gets closed off to allow the swarms of people who mill around all day and enjoy scattered activites on the street. When night falls Canadian musicians take the stage followed by fireworks. It's quite fun.

    There is a nice theatre district on Rideau Street. Also the Byward Theatre plays many eclectic and interesting films.

    What do you like about it?

    It's clean! Coming from Philadelphia I really appreciate the fresh air and space. Also, traffic is wonderful. The bus system is also really good, and people use it.

    There are lots of pubs and bars to go to. A wonderful place to go on a Saturday night is Elgin Street. People walk up and down the street from bar to bar all night long.

    What do you hate about it?

    There's nothing really to hate, necessarily.

    I'm a sucker for a skyline, and Ottawa's is unfortunately lacking in grandeur. But what does that really matter anyway?

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Protesters! It's very fun to go downtown and watch people walk all around downtown with big signs. A few months ago was the G8 conference and of course, that brought many people downtown chanting, congregating, and putting anti G8 stickers all over the place.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    Ottawa is a very nice city. I would definitely recommend it. It's very understated, but has a lot to offer.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Poutine = A wonderful dish of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy all melted together. It's actually Quebecois, but can be found on menus all over Ontario.

    If you choose to drive in Ottawa it is good to know that pedestrians only show a mild regard for traffic. People love to jaywalk here. Oh yes, and some people around here have developed the habit of speeding through red lights. Always check the intersection before crossing.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    Well, I grew up in a small town in Minnesota so it's definitely much more diverse up here.

    Philly could not hold a candle to Ottawa. I'm always suprised by the fact that Philly, a city of approx. 5 million people has less culture than Ottawa which is about 1 million people.

    Also, after living for a year in a city where if you wanted to get anywhere you had to sit in stop and go traffic for a good half hour at least , I'm very happy to be living in a place where I haven't needed to use my car in about five days.

    That's all folks!


    "Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
    Sometimes I feel like I live in Ottawa. (none / 0) (#295)
    by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:44:34 PM EST

    I've never had a mailing address there. But I've spent a lot of time there.

    Anyway, Bank Street, the downtown part, is punk heaven. I love it. I could retire to Bank Street and be in total bliss.

    Of course, by that time, Sony will probably own it or something. :)

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Ottawa (none / 0) (#300)
    by iso on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:37:49 PM EST

    What do you hate about it?
    There's nothing really to hate, necessarily.

    Excuse me? Are you kidding me? It's COLD. Not just a little bit cold, it's really really really fucking cold! I lived there for a while in 1996 and that winter put me off the place forever. It was -37 the first day I was there, and that was *without* the wind-chill! Nevermind the ice storm a few years later! Granted Ottawa (especially the downtown area) can be really nice in the Summer (Canada day is always fun), but the winters are just far too painfully cold.

    But, of course, to each their own. For what it's worth, I much prefer Toronto.

    - j



    [ Parent ]
    Winters (none / 0) (#312)
    by randinah on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:26:18 PM EST

    Haha, I completely forgot about the winter considering it's August now and we just moved here two months ago!

    In that case a tiny edit:

    What do you hate about Ottawa

    The winter!!! Ottawa is the coldest capital city in the world. Brr!


    "Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
    [ Parent ]
    winter (none / 0) (#440)
    by mazoren on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 03:51:01 PM EST

    I like the way the summers are really warm and the winters really cold. it gives you a good balance. it also makes you wish for winter to finally be here during the summer and vice versa.

    [ Parent ]
    Incorrect. (none / 0) (#457)
    by haflinger on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 12:18:03 PM EST

    Sure it's cold.
    Ottawa is the coldest capital city in the world.
    I lived in Reykjavík for a year when I was a kid. Ottawa's got nothing on them.

    That said, everybody should go to Reykjavík at least once in their lives. I want to go back there just so I can go to Vatnajökull, and hopefully visit Grímsvötn.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    you might wanna check your almanac... (none / 0) (#467)
    by randinah on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 03:54:23 PM EST

    Ottawa is in fact the coldest capital in the world, statistically. Moscow doesn't even hold a candle to it.


    "Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
    [ Parent ]
    No, sorry. (none / 0) (#471)
    by haflinger on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 06:50:05 PM EST

    This is a bit of popular mythology around Ottawa. One can argue that statistically Ottawa has the coldest winters, if you go strictly by the thermometer and ignore such factors as Iceland and Finland's impressive annual snowfall numbers. I've actually been in winters in both Ottawa and Reykjavík, and I know which one is wimpier. For one thing, Ottawa's winter doesn't last 50 weeks out of the year.

    But that aside. Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, beats Ottawa for coldest average temperature in January, which is what this claim is based on.

    Here's the Mongol climate information and here's Ottawa. Mongolia averages -21.8 °C and Canada clocks in at -10.5 °C. Not even close.

    Incidentally, in case you were planning to argue that Ulaanbaatar is in a desert (it is) and probably has warmer summers, it doesn't. The average in July over there is a respectable 16.9 °C while Ottawa clocks in at 21.0 °C. That's a lot closer, but Ottawa is still warmer.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    Folly (none / 0) (#474)
    by randinah on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 09:26:02 PM EST

    You're right. Ottawa is not the coldest capital city in the world. It is indeed behind Ulaan Bator. My bad.

    But it's still colder than Reykjavik, so what's yer point?


    "Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
    [ Parent ]
    You can argue that. (none / 0) (#483)
    by haflinger on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 08:57:47 AM EST

    However, I've been through the Reykjavík winter, which starts in early August, and ends in mid-July. :)

    I believe that the year-round average temperature for both Helsinki and Reykjavík is lower than Ottawa.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    This is getting ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#490)
    by randinah on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 03:31:22 PM EST

    I am beginning to feel like two old men in a tavern arguing who's wife has a better casserole. I'm sure both casseroles are absolutely wonderful in their own respective ways.


    "Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
    [ Parent ]
    Phoenix, AZ aka Venus aka Hell (none / 0) (#256)
    by ChrissyH on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:45:56 PM EST

    Where do you live? I live on the 'South Side', an older, more ethnically diverse neighborhood than the rest of Phoenix, which is pretty waspy otherwise.

    Why do you live there? Cause I work here and I can tolerate extreme heat.

    What cultural opportunities do you have? I may not know culture but do the words 2001 World Series Champions mean anything to y'all? We also have operas, plays, museums and the like. In June I saw the Chihuly exhibition, Installations, which was created especially for the Phoenix Art Museum.

    What recreational opportunities do you have? Except in the summer there are many outdoor activities to enjoy. I believe that Phoenix has the highest per capita boat ownership of any major city. It is a lot of fun to wash the boat in the driveway, showing the neighbors just how much disposable income you really have. Or you could go to the lakes.

    What do you like about it? I have a good job here and own a small house on a large piece of property. These things are plentyful and affordable in Phoenix (especially south Phoenix!) while they cost much more in other, cooler parts of the world. Not that Phoenix isn't cool. No, wait. Phoenix Isn't cool.

    What do you hate about it? Ok, I lied. Culture in Phoenix sucks. Sure, we get the occasional art show, sports a plenty and if ya like horses... Well, that's it. The symphony is always clammoring for a decent venue, most plays are by Andrew Lloyd Webber and there is always a horse or cowboy show. Did I mention the horses?

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) Phoenix is big. I think there are 50 or 60 million cars here, and some how they can all drive at once. We've got a couple of freeways, but you can't use them between the hours of 6-10am and 2-7pm because all of those cars park there during drive time. I believe this is some sort of plan by the traffic department to keep people from getting to work, which, in Arizona, is mostly in the pollutant manufacturing sector. Since I work in higher education, I teach students how to manufacture pollutants.

    Would you recommend it, and why? Not really. There are no major attractions here except for air conditioning, and there are already too many people here.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? You would need to know an escape route.

    How is it different from other places you have been? With the exception of Lake Havasu, AZ, Phoenix is the hottest place I've ever lived. The four seasons are Heating (Feb 1 - May 16), Cooling (Oct 20 - Dec 31), Summer (May 16 - Oct 19) and January. January is open window nice as are most of Cooling and Heating. Since Phoenix is in close proximity to the California coast many of us spend a lot of time there. They even have a cute little pet name for us.

    Tucson, AZ (none / 0) (#489)
    by loteck on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 03:11:27 PM EST

    Exactly the same, with a few minor differences.

    Tucson is generally a couple of degrees cooler than Phoenix. This doesn't really matter when you are talking about the difference between 118 and 120.

    Tucson isn't as big, but it's big enough to need highways and parkways and such, and it doesn't have those, so traffic is terrible and lots of people die on the road.

    We've got the University of Arizona, which is a big plus for culture. And we seem to get mentioned in rap songs and movies occassionally. So maybe we are cool.

    However, that doesn't change the fact that if you come here, you'll need to know an escape route.


    --
    "You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
    "WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

    [ Parent ]
    Southern Pines (none / 0) (#257)
    by Symbiotic Order on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:49:05 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Southern Pines, NC

    Why do you live there?

    My parents moved here when I was a baby.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    Lotsa Mexicans. There are a few Asian people since Fort Bragg is 30 minutes away. Lotsa Yankees too. God.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Dozens of golf courses around the area. The US Open comes here every few years. North Carolina Motor Speedway is 15 minutes away. Duke, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill are about an hour and a half away, so there's lotsa sports around. The Hurricanes made the Stanley Cup this year as well :)

    What do you like about it?

    Small, all the towns (Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Aberdeen, Taylortown, and to an extent Seven Lakes and West End, all the towns run together) have probably twenty thousand people combined. There's lotsa nice landscaping done around here.

    What do you hate about it?

    The beach is too far away (like two hours). There are a lot of old northerners who move here and they can be assholes. Really. There isn't much of a life for people my age.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Small, quiet, that's about it.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    If you're looking for a quiet place to live, sure. But if you have kids or wanna do something exciting, try some other place.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Union Pines Rules. Pinecrest sucks.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    Dunno. Never been anywhere else.

    Portland, Oregon (none / 0) (#262)
    by rayab on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:20:24 PM EST

    I live in the Northwestren part of the United States. I have moved here for an indefinet amount of time, one day I hope to return to my homelan, Israel. I love the Northwest and would never choose to live in any other state.

    Portland has been growing rapidly in the last years and the cultural centers have been improving. We have an opera house, a concert hall, a philormonic orchestra, and a ballet company. During the concert season there are several shows to choose from. We also get all the big Broadway shows here. Every year the Mt. Hood Community College hosts a jazz festival. In the spring And last year even the Dalai Lama visited. So see portland is not the hick town the rest of the country thinks it is.

    According to many the Willamete Valley is about to become the second sillicon valley. There are several big tech companies here such as Intel, HP, IBM, Techtronics, and many more. Latley things have been slumping down just like everywhere else but there is a large migration of people from other states. Probably because there is NO SALES TAX!!

    Oregonians care about their state very much. And although there is a lot of clear cut there are several national forests and wildernesses where you could spend your entire life and still not explore everything. The forests are my favorite part about the state. There is nothing I love more than getting away for a few days and doing some hiking in the forest. There are thousands of lakes hidden among the trees which provide great fishing opportunities.

    Another thing I love about Oregon is the fact that medical marijuana is legal, in fact I plan on applying for a license before the feds screw us.
    What I hate about this state is its location, but I realize that if it was located on the East Coast it wouldnt be Oregon any more. The reason I dont like its location is because I wish I was closer to Europe and Israel. It just takes so much more effort to get to Europe that I dont even try.

    Other than the fact that we're so far away from the real cultural centers I dont see much bad, well the traffic is getting worse. I love the quality of life here, its pretty high. And its just so god damned gorgeous here!!

    If you're a stress loving person then Portland is not for you. Everyone is just so laid back :)

    Portland is incredibly different from Israel. I think I will write up another comment about my life in Israel. I have not been able to feel the pulse in Portland, but that's due to the fact I'm not 21 yet.

    To summarize, I think this is a great city and a great state!

    Y popa bila sobaka on yeyo lyubil, ona syela kusok myasa on yeyo ubil, v zemlyu zakopal, i na mogile napisal...
    Fort Lauderdale, FL (none / 0) (#263)
    by mmealman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:24:12 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    Why do you live there?

    I moved there for a tech job that was located in Boca Raton Florida(about 10 miles north). I also wanted a change, I had been living in Indiana all my life beforehand.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    The culture on the SE coast of Florida is fairly latin, however many of the people here are from the NJ and NY area. So you get a little bit of that culture down here(the food).

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Tons. Fort Lauderdale is a popular vacation spot in and of itself, and it's located about an hour from Miami and 3 hours from Orlando. Fort Lauderdale is the sailing capital of the world and boasts beautiful beaches, sailing, boating, great clubs, good food, and some museums and art shows. The clubs are very nice and they're mostly located either on the beach or at a spot called the Riverfront. During holidays the streets at the Riverfront can fill up with thousands of people that are there just to party. Florida is a great place to explore a lot of sports and activities. The weather is good all year round and most of the people here are affluent enough that there are solid centers of "play" to keep almost anyone entertained. If it doesn't involve snow you can probably do it down here.

    What do you like about it?

    The weather is nice and the people are pretty laid back. I like "odd" sports, like skydiving, hang gliding, and so on and have always been suprised to see that Florida has great support for these activities. There are a lot of people down here and they like to go out and play.

    What do you hate about it?

    The traffic sucks, rent is high, and the scenes are a little shallow. Also you tend to meet a lot of people that don't live here, but are just passing through.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    The good weather.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    I think it's a great place to live for a few years, but I don't know if I'd want to stay here forever. It just doesn't feel like a family sort of place.

    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (none / 0) (#265)
    by dadragon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:41:31 PM EST

    Where do you live? Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  About 630km east of Calgary, AB, and around 800km northwest of Winnepeg, MB.

    Why do you live there? I grew up here, and I don't like Calgary.  I went to University in Calgary.

    What cultural opportunities do you have? Lots: Folkfest, an annual festival where all the different cultures put on a pavillion where you go and get drunk listening to their music :), also the Fringe Festival, and annual outdoor theatre festival which has some excellent shows.  Lest we forget the Saskatoon Exhibition, primarily an agricultural show, but there is a midway, rides, cultural pavillions, etc.. and the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, which IIRC, is the third largest jazz festival in North America.

    Saskatoon is also home to a great number of Mennonites, Hutterites and the like, our province has more German speakers than French speakers, and a 45 minute drive east of here gets you to a city which has quite a German feel.

    The University of Saskatchewan is often considered to have one of the most beautiful campuses in Canada, and it is home to the Diefenbaker museum.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?  If you like to cross country ski, this is the place to do it :), you can also play hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, and curling.  There are also a number of pubs.

    What do you like about it? The weather is never boring, if you don't like it, wait 5 minutes and it'll change.  You can almost always see the horizon, and sunsets are great, they last for hours.  The people are nice, and the city has been described as a really big small town.

    What do you hate about it?  In some parts, there is a very high crime rate (Saskatoon has the third highest crime rate after the capital of Saskatchewan, Regina, and Thunder Bay, ON IIRC).  But for the most part the city is safe.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad) Germans.  Lots and lots of Germans.  Let's not forget Ukranians and Russians.  Saskatchewan is the only province whose population isn't made up mostly of people of French or British origin.  I know a few people who were born and raised in Saskatchewan who can't speak English or French very well.

    Would you recommend it, and why? Yea,  it's great if you can handle not having all the big name retailers and some other big city conviences (try finding a Macintosh dealer in Saskatoon).  It's small, 210K, but it's got all you need.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know? You should be able to drink anybody from Ontario under the table.  If you can't, you've just given yourself away as an outsider :)

    You should also refresh yourself on farm machinery and the workings of an agricultural economy.  Saskatoon is called POW city, Bridge City, Hub city, all of which for a reason.  POW stands for Potash Oil Wheat, the main industries of Saskatoon, Bridge city, we have a lot of bridges crossing the South Saskatchewan River, and Hub City because its other industry is shipping/distribution.  Semis and other large vehicles are a very common sight on the streets of Saskatoon.

    How is it different from other places you have been? People from Saskatoon drive differently from anywhere else I've been.  In Calgary, people tailgate and drive fast, but actually signal lane changes.  People from Saskatoon usually leave enough room for anyone to change lanes without warning.  People do change lanes without warning... unless it could possibly affect somebody else's driving.
    There is also more nature in the city, than in at least Calgary.  In Saskatoon, the freeways are lined with trees and grass, in Calgary, they're straight concrete :(

    This is my home, and it will stay that way.

    Almost. (none / 0) (#293)
    by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:42:24 PM EST

    Those crazy Westies.
    Saskatchewan is the only province whose population isn't made up mostly of people of French or British origin.
    British Columbia also has a significant non-offical-language population. There are a lot of Chinese and plenty of other Asians there now, too, and many of them do not speak either official language fluently.

    Also, if you're in Ottawa, there's an enormous immigrant population there now. Toronto I believe is also minority white now. However, both cities still speak mainly English (with a lot of French in Ottawa as well).

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]

    Those stats... (none / 0) (#390)
    by dadragon on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:46:51 AM EST

    are probably a few (10-20) years old.  I know that SK is still a very white society, but it isn't English or French.  We had more people move here due to our good farmland, mostly.  The east's agriculture was already very well established when we started populating the west, so most new immigrants looking for farmland came here, or to Alberta.

    All provinces have a huge immigrant population.. well at least the ones I've visited.  Saskatchewan is mostly white and Indian, as most of our immigrants still come from Europe.  Of all my immigrant friends, there are 2 Americans, 5 Europeans, 3 East Indians, 3 Chinese, and one Kiwi.  The score here is 8 Europeans, 6 Other.  

    [ Parent ]

    Except for the Atlantic Provinces. (none / 0) (#392)
    by haflinger on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:52:57 AM EST

    All provinces have a huge immigrant population.. well at least the ones I've visited.
    My mother was one of the rare freaky people to come to Nova Scotia as an immigrant. However, outside Halifax, immigrants are negligible, and immigrants in Halifax are a distinct minority.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]
    Atlanta. (none / 0) (#266)
    by kitten on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:46:03 PM EST

    Technically, I live slightly north of Atlanta in the Marietta/Roswell area. Anything inside the I-285 perimeter is considered Atlanta proper, and outside that we've got the "metro area", which is where I live - technically not Atlanta's jurisdiction. The city of Atlanta and the surrounding area is a disorganized chaos of seperate municipalities.

    I live here because this is where I've lived most of my life. I've been too lazy to move yet, but things are gearing that way lately. Very soon now.

    As for culture and recreation.. Atlanta is a funny place in that it's a decent place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit there.
    You can always find diversions if you live here, but none of them are anything you couldn't get anywhere else. Bars and clubs down in the Buckhead area (the elite corridor of the city), cinemas and theatres and whatever else.
    But if you're just visiting, you'll be bored out of your mind. There are really no "must see" sights in Atlanta. Those of you who live here will know what I mean: Let's face it, the Olympic Park is only entertaining for so long.

    Then there's Stone Mountain's laser show, which I guess is worth seeing once but no more. It's the largest granite outcropping in the world, I believe, and carved into it's face on a scale larger than Mount Rushmore are some important people from the Civil War riding their horses. In the summer when it gets dark, ten thousand rednecks haul their coolers full of Bud Lite down to the park in front of the mountain and watch the laser show, which is a series of graphics and cartoons set to music and imaged on the face of the mountain with green (and sometimes red and blue) lasers.

    Uh, there's also the Coke headquarters. You can haul through a twenty-minute ad campaign for Coca Cola, and at the end, you get to sample every drink that Coke makes. Some of them are absolutely disgusting. I believe there's one called "Beverly" marketed in Italy which, around here, is universally gagged upon.

    CNN and Turner Broadcasting and IBM also call Atlanta home. The city boasts the largest airport in the country (possibly the world, I'd have to check on that) in terms of both area and traffic. There's an Air Force base to the north and a military training ground to the south. Georgia Tech is one of the top technical and engineering schools in the nation.

    All these things make Atlanta one of the highest priority targets in a nuclear strike, as an aside - you take out Atlanta and you take out most of the Eastern Seaboard's transportation and communication, not to mention the AFB, military camp, and two major media outlets.

    This city is okay, I guess, in the fall and winter. In spring and summer, being set on fire would be a pleasent cool to the blazing inferno outside. Highs are usually in the mid or upper 90s, with humidity hovering around 90% or more, all day, every day. Night offers little relief, either. It is absolutely disgusting.

    Atlanta is also home to the third worst traffic in the nation, second only to New York and Los Angeles, and three of the ten worst intersections in the country are right here. This city has the absolute worst civil engineering it has ever been my misfortune to witness, and my father is a pilot for Delta, which means I get to fly for free, which means I've been just about all over the place, which means I know what I'm talking about. "Put up more traffic lights" is the city's solution to every problem, ignoring the fact that the damn lights are the problem in the first place. There's too many of them, none of them are timed correctly, none of the roads are wide enough, curb cuts are approved to any idiot that asks, and the city's infrastructure hasn't really been upgraded since the early 30s. I'm sure the roads were fine back then when the only person was Farmer Johnson rolling through twice a day with his tractor, but now it's 2002 and there's four and a half million people trying to squeeze through a road designed for a hundredth of that.

    Most of those people are in Lexus, Mercedes, BMWs, or other expensive vehicles. Atlanta is a yuppie haven due to lots of business opportunities, and also by virtue of the fact that it's the only vestige of civilization in the South. Atlanta is really a displaced part of the North, you ask me.

    Mass transit is provided by MARTA - the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit System - and is a complete and utter joke. If you visit here, don't bother.

    If you enjoy sitting in blazing heat for two hours in your car just so you can go a mile down the road and pick up some groceries, I recommend Atlanta to you. If, however, you are sane, run. Run far away and don't look back.

    On the other hand, the skyline is gorgeous and in fall, the trees are beautiful, especially around one of the many lakes and rivers surrounding the city.. and that's kind of nice..
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    Not the world. (none / 0) (#292)
    by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:38:47 PM EST

    You wonder:
    The city boasts the largest airport in the country (possibly the world, I'd have to check on that) in terms of both area and traffic.
    Biggest airport in the world is Heathrow. It's an absolute madhouse.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
    [ Parent ]
    roswell is NOT atlanta (none / 0) (#330)
    by loudici on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:01:58 AM EST

    Atlanta is the capital of the new south. It is a majority black city with its problems and its joys. It has a pretty rich cultural life, with a number of very creative theater companies, a world class symphony and all the music acts which are on tour make a stop here.

    Next to the Coke stuff is Martin Luther King's grave and the church where he preached.

    Stone Mountain is a very scary confederate monument. I am glad that some people think it is 'some important people from the civil war'- i guess ignorance is better than confederate pride.

    I have lived here two years after 30 years in my home country, France.

    The major inconvenients are crime, and the neighboring suburbs filled by racist southern
    white republicans who would rather get the ozone level one notch higher every year than get on the mass transit with black people.

    It is pretty amusing to diss Marta when the suburbans have fought all they could to not
    get transit to their communities.
    gnothi seauton
    [ Parent ]

    Calm down. (none / 0) (#334)
    by kitten on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:15:01 AM EST

    Atlanta is the capital of the new south. It is a majority black city with its problems and its joys. It has a pretty rich cultural life, with a number of very creative theater companies, a world class symphony and all the music acts which are on tour make a stop here.

    I won't deny that. What I said was, there isn't much here that you wont' find in most major other cities. If you live here, you can appreciate these things, but if you're just visiting, you'll say "So what? I've got this stuff back home."

    Stone Mountain is a very scary confederate monument. I am glad that some people think it is 'some important people from the civil war'- i guess ignorance is better than confederate pride.

    I know who the people on the damn monument are, okay? I just didn't feel like boring everyone with the details. As for Confederate Pride - perhaps that's what it was meant to be initially, but I like how the end of the laser show outlines the monument and shows them breaking their swords to cease fighting.
    I happen to despise the Confederacy and all the idiotic flags and stickers people have on their cars. Don't hurl accusations at me - you have no idea who I am.

    It is pretty amusing to diss Marta when the suburbans have fought all they could to not get transit to their communities.

    That's the reason MARTA sucks so much. Fuck, I wish there was a rail line throughout all the suburbs, but the yuppie morons who live in the metro suburbs say it will bring in "the bad element" from the city (their personal code for black people). So we don't have suburban rails because of their ignorance, and the urban rails don't really go to many places, and therefore I say MARTA sucks.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    sorry if i sounded angry (none / 0) (#341)
    by loudici on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:53:00 AM EST

    i was just coming for a really nice evening in decatur and wondering what i will choose to do this week end and i felt like i would stand up for my new town. i am sure you are a very nice person and i apologize is you feel i was targeting you.

    i invite you to blame that on the french being arrogant pompous assholes.

    you do indeed have a point- it is pretty hard to entertain tourist guests in atlanta for more than 3 days

    there is something puzzling me about people who complain that public transportation does not go where they live and then do not try to live in a place that would be close to public transportation, building houses as far from the transit network as they could- as far as i know, when Marta was planned, Alpharetta hardly existed, so you can not blame Marta for not going there.

    and about that flag thing i urge everybody to listen to the last 'drive by truckers' album, called 'southern rock opera'..they have a couple downloadable at their website

    gnothi seauton
    [ Parent ]
    Billingham, England (none / 0) (#267)
    by Freaky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:46:10 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Billingham, in the North-East of England.  A small town of about 30,000 people.

    Why do you live there?

    Because I'm tied down by looking after dogs and the lack of a job.  And being a lazy bum.  *Cough* :)

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    There are a few festivals through the year in the various towns surrounding Billingham, and one or two in it.

    There's a small theatre in the Forum in the town centre, which also has a pool.

    There are also a number of clubs and bars nearby where you can be drugged up, knifed, glassed or get drunk with the local inbreeds and students.

    The countryside is nice and close; it's fairly easy to find a nice pub in a nearby village, for instance.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Swimming, library, town centre with a decent number of shops.  A couple of parks are close by, and the nearby countryside provides some oppertunities for walking.  There's also an observatory nearby.

    Said bars and clubs, a few cinemas.  We're surrounded by Middlesbrough and Stockton close by, which makes for a bit more support and investment than a standalone town would get :)

    What do you like about it?

    The huge amount of industry here means we have nice and reliable (nuclear) power, and the big brown cloud it generates probably protects us from the sun ;)

    We also have unmetered water, decent broadband coverage, and, er.. stuff.

    What do you hate about it?

    It's pretty run-down in places, originally being based heavily on the nearby industrial estate.  Plenty of dodgy old council accomodation that attracts a lot of low income families and the various neaderthals that inhabit the north.

    Oh, and don't even think of going to a University nearby.  It bites.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Shrug, not a lot.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    Not really.  Jobs don't seem to be up to much, education's pretty poor, and there's a lot of grottyness.

    If you can deal with that, we do have really low house prices (or at least, not anywhere near as insanely high as most places in the UK atm), and there's a decent amount of stuff quite nearby.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Where the local Asda is.  It probably employs about 40% of the local population ;)

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    I must admit, I can't say I've seen such a big brown cloud hang over anywhere quite so obviously, with the possible exception of a few megapeople cities.

    Lebanon, Pennsylvania (none / 0) (#269)
    by nanobug on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:49:12 PM EST

    I live in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a small town in the south central part of the state, in the Susquehanna valley.  I've lived here all of my conscious life (I was born in Kentucky and lived in Alaska for a while, but as long as I can remember I've lived in this place), and I'll probbably end up living here until I die because this is one of those places that everyone wants to leave but no one really succeeds.

    As far as culture goes, there is enough to go around in the surrounding areas, but in the city there isn't much.  There's a few nice bars and restaurants but nothing spectacular.  There is a large Puerto Rican population here, but I haven't really seen much culture, unless selling cocaine and shooting people is a cultural phenomenon in Puerto Rico.  

    There is a nice downtown area but really not much to offer.  Most of the teenagers hang out there, and there is a 'loop' where people do street racing.  It would be a great place to meet up and hang out if there wasn't such a police presence -- they tend to chase you off if theres too many people standing around in one place doing nothing.  There's a community college, and about 10 minutes down the main road in a little town called Annville, theres Lebanon Valley College, which is a nice sized campus that has some nice sized parties and nice featured women :)

    For recreation, we're about 20 minutes away from Hersheypark, and about an hour and a half away from Philly, Baltimore, and Allentown (all pretty good places to hang out for a weekend if you don't mind the drive).  If you know where to get it, there are some good nugs that go around, so even though you might be bored to death, you can get so stoned that it really doesn't matter :)

    I like the fact that there is a small town feel to this place.  I've lived here for the better part of 17 years, and although I want to leave, I'm pretty sure that things don't get much better anywhere else, its just different scenery.  People are generally good natured around here.

    I don't like the fact that there aren't many opportunities around here. Bethlehem Steel used to have one of its largest factories here, but they shut down in the mid 80's and left a lot of people jobless and wondering what to do with their lives. Even if you have a college degree, there just isn't much for a young professional to do.  I think the hospital and the prison employ about 35% of the people who live here (thats a guesstimate), with the rest of them either commuting to Harrisburg or Lancaster, farming, or working in factories doing dead-end labor work.

    Crime is also on the rise here, and now that I have a child it worries me more and more.  I believe that Puerto Ricans as a people are good natured and hard working individuals, but their youth seem to all be getting caught up in a drug selling gang lifestyle, and its taking its toll on the city.  The police force has doubled here in the past 5 years. If there were more recreational and job opportunities for young people, I don't think it would be so much of an issue, but it's hard enough to get a job around here if you're white, so many of the young minorities are turning to selling drugs.

    There isn't much that stands out around here.  Look to Hershey or Harrisburg for that. I wouldn't reccomend moving here unless your car gets good gas mileage and you don't mind commuting to work.  The cost of living here is pretty low - I live in a 3 bedroom house and only pay $400 a month rent.

    If you are going to move here, you need to know where to get good pot, because its the only thing that will keep you sane.

    Antibes, Southern France (none / 0) (#270)
    by levsen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:52:20 PM EST

    I live in the small town of Antibes, in the South of France, on the Mediterranean Sea. Originally from Germany, my last job was in San Francisco, California, and there can't be a bigger difference.

    I really have to point out that it's a huge difference because at the first look it seems to have many things in common. There is the sea, lots of sunshine, there are lots of high tech companies in a small hilly area called Sophia-Antipolis (advertised as Europe's Silicon Valley - pah!! more on that later), a more relaxed attitude (compare to the US West Coast whereas Paris would be the East Coast), a percentage of foreigners that's high at least for France.

    BUT! People are so freaking boring, backward-looking and close minded it's unbelievable. I can safely rant about French people here because I know that no one around here will ever be open minded enough to read k5.

    Ok, the night life sucks, even Nice (30 min away) is a pretty boring place, if you've ever lived in a real city. (Even my German home town of Hannover is loads more happening.) I'm not really an introverted type of person, but I found it difficult to meet people here. I do speak French fluently and try to immerse in the local culture, to no avail. The few things that the town and the area have to offer, romantic old towns and villages and good food basically and some limited nightlife, are mainly enjoyed by tourists, the locals rather stay home and watch TV.

    The "European Silicon Valley" Sophia-Antipolis is a joke, too, French people consider work as an inconvenient disturbance of their lunch break and energy they are willing to commit to projects and exciting new ideas is zero. My secret suspicion is, that all French people have been postal clerks in another life.

    The 30% or so foreigners in Sophia-Antipolis don't really give it a cosmopolitan feel, probably because I most of them are EU and I don't really consider them foreigners. They also become too assimilated too fast and don't add to the culture.

    I want to point out that there is another comment about the area (much further down, by someone named fraise). Read it for a different point of view. In spite of what she says, you absolutely do not have to speak French if you come to this area. It is heavily saturated with Brits and I now many people, Brits and others, that don't speak a word of French and lead perfectly happy lives.

    Ok I think I will move to London soon or somewhere like that, if you can grant me asylum in S.F. / NYC / Sydney I won't mind either.
    This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

    Edinburgh, Scotland (4.00 / 1) (#271)
    by MUD on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:16:46 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland (the northenmost constituent country of the UK)

    Why do you live there?

    Born and bred here and I haven't come across anything better yet.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    The stuff's coming out of our ears - museums (national, childhood, whisky etc), theatres, cinemas (indie and mainstream), decent club scene, vast quantities of pubs and bars, galleries and a ruddy great castle as well.

    Did I mention the Edinburgh Festival (and Fringe)? That's more culture than you can shake a stick at right there.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Hmm, well there are a few sports stadia (rugby, football, track and field), an Olympic size swimming pool, masses of open greenery about the place, the zoo's pretty well kept, an extinct volcano to climb and all that other stuff I mentioned under cultural oportunities.

    What do you like about it?

    Most everything but particularly the friendly people and happening buzz that's not overly hectic.

    What do you hate about it?

    Um, the weather could be more... favourable.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    Definitely. It's a great city - as evidenced by the rocketing property prices of late. I guess that's what happens when you stick a new national parliament in a university town - sit back and watch business boom and urban redevelopment run amok. But anyway, it's a wonderful blend of the historic and modern that almost never fails to welcome people with open arms.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Standard sauce on chips from a chipshop is not venegar but 'sauce' or 'sass' (we come up with all the best names). It's basically a blend of brown sauce and vinegar that varies from chippie to chippie. Slather it over your deep-fried pizza, wash it down with Irn-Bru and finish off with a deep-fried Mars bar.



    Envy (none / 0) (#477)
    by MSBob on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 11:28:25 PM EST

    Oh, man. I'm full of envy. Edinburgh is the best city in which to live bar none. I spent three years there at the uni and the city has been the best experience of the whole stay. It's too bad it's so expensive and that the Home Office is so foreigner unfriendly.
    I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

    [ Parent ]
    Nuneaton (none / 0) (#276)
    by holdfast on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:51:44 PM EST

    Where is it?
    It is in England, but where exactly depends on where you come from. It is under 70 miles in a straight line from the south coast and perhaps 250 from the Scottish Border or 550 from the north coast. To me this means that it is in the south - just away from the coastal region. The English define it as the "West Midlands". Not very logical.....
    The population is only about 20,000 I think but it is only 30 minutes drive from Birmingham and London is not very far away. Close enough to go to but far enough to keep the less pleasant things out of our way.

    Why do I live here?
    My Wife and I work in the hospital here. She is a Physiotherapist, I work in the IT department. I met her back where I come from - Orkney about 600 miles north of here.

    What cultural opportunities?
    There are all the clubs that are the same the world over. There are theatres in Birmingham. The real advantage of this place is that it is rural enough to be comfortable and low pollution in a lot of it but it is quick and easy to get to larger towns to use their facilities if I wanted to.

    What do I like about it?
    I now have friends here. All I have to do now is convince them where we actually are (see comments in 1st section). It feels safer here than it did when we lived in Birmingham.

    What do I dislike about it?
    Parochialism - my pet hate. Some people from around here think that they are living on the northern fringes of civilisation in the UK. They are more likely to go to Spain or Ireland for a holiday than travelling a few hundred miles north!

    What Qualities stand out?
    Good - Many friendly peoplejust like the rest of this planet. Better employment opportunities than back home.
    Bad - the local speech. They think they haven't got accents...

    Would I reccomend it?
    Probably. It sure beats living in a big soulless city. Pollution levels must be OK in comparison with them. I can walk for a few minutes and see fields. The police can go about on their own not in threes and fours.

    What would you need to know?
    Which parts of town are better if you are middle class and which ones are cheaper for getting a house.

    How is it different?
    I have lived in big cities in the UK - this is less impersonal. There is less traffic apart from the town centre. There is less crime than that here.
    I come from Orkney - it also has a population of about 20k. It is a lot less crowded there. I can't see the stars at night here - to much street lighting. I am an outsider here - back home we have a much longer grasp of history. There is no real wildlife (animals etc) here.
    I have also lived in Africa and the Middle East. It is a lot safer here than the ME. The police still don't carry guns openly much here. Long may that continue!



    "Holy war is an oxymoron."
    Lazarus Long
    Nuneatonians don't have accents. (none / 0) (#377)
    by davidmb on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:42:40 AM EST

    You must be imagining it. Although I have noticed when visiting my parents (I live in Slough now) that a large number of Coventry people seem to be moving in. Maybe they're polluting the accent-sphere.
    ־‮־
    [ Parent ]
    Yakima, Washington (metro pop. over 200,000) (none / 0) (#281)
    by BLU ICE on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:05:02 PM EST

    I live here because I live with my parents. I will be moving away in less than a year.

    There are no cultural opportunities in Yakima, save the elegant Capitol Theatre. Oh yeah, if you like wine, the lower valley has some of the best wine in the world. (Hogue Vineyards has THE best wine in the world, according to some competition in France)

    Recreational opportunities are more varied. Yakima is right next to the lovely Cascade mountains, which have great hiking and camping.

    The only thing I like about Yakima is the Cascades. Thats it.

    I don't like Yakima too much. The main reason for this is that the economy is in the shitter. The main thing in our area is apples. We are the undisputed apple capitol of the world. However, in the early 90's, orchardists put in hundreds of thousands of acres of Red Delicious apples near the Columbia River.  This produced a glut of Red Delicious apples and depressed apple prices quite a bit. Now, Reds are out of demand. Add to that the fact that  New Zealand and New York are putting in more orchards, and you have one fucked up apple market. (Also, oriental countries aren't too big on buying our apples)

    Also, one of our two big malls just closed, due to bungled management. (The idiot manager charged outrageous fees for parking, and had high rent) This just sent everybody to strip malls. So, now we have almost no good stores in town. We have 7 dollar stores but no Nordstrom's.

    "Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
    "As good as gold."

    -- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
    It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

    I've been to Yakima all I remember is... (none / 0) (#301)
    by un_eternal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:39:34 PM EST

    the most ugly mud brown hills I've ever seen. I drove over from Olympia, through really pretty mountains, into...well a giant pile of dirt and mud with a city in the center.



    -Ahh...A nice legally binding electronic signature
    [ Parent ]
    Yup (none / 0) (#309)
    by BLU ICE on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:14:57 PM EST


    "Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
    "As good as gold."

    -- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
    It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

    [ Parent ]

    Yakima Apples (none / 0) (#321)
    by Riktov on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:14:24 PM EST

    When I visited Thailand and China about five years ago, it seemed the markets were full of Washington state apples.

    I passed through Yakima once on the way back from river rafting in the area.

    [ Parent ]

    Houston, TX, USA (4.00 / 3) (#282)
    by demi on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:06:27 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    In Texas, in the fourth largest city in the US (it eats up suburbs like the blob).

    Why do you live there?

    I'm a researcher at a local university.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    I love movies primarily, and there are a ton of great mainstream, arthouse, microcinema, and public exhibition-related film outlets. I would stress that other cities have the same, but they are much more expensive, less accessible, and (relatively) socially exclusive.

    Angelika Film Center
    The Aurora Picture Show
    Fire Station 3 (site seems to be down at the moment)
    Rice University Cinema
    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - Films

    Also, there are good shows from time to time at Mary Jane's and other places around here.

    There are theatres, Opera houses, museums, and the like, too. I like the Natural Science museum because of its mineral collection (Inorganic/Materials Chemist!) It has what you would expect for a city of its size.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Thrift shopping, shooting, BBQ, heading to Matagorda Island to camp, and so on.

    What do you like about it?

    It's very inexpensive, I mean I would have been paying at least 3-4 times as much to live lean in the Bay Area. I'm able to live in a huge house in the middle of the city on a very meager income. I like hispanic and black culture and I can experience it here without fear of confrontation.

    What do you hate about it?

    There is supposed to be a major air pollution problem, but so far I have not been affected. For current air ozone levels see this site. The city seems to like to destroy perfectly good roads and leave them in a state of disaster for months or years. Texans are, as you may have heard, often very Texas-centric (but so are Los Angelenos, New Yorkers, etc.). Traffic is horrible if you have to drive into the city every day (I ride my bike).

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Almost all of the development of this city took place from 1950 to 1980, and it levelled off after that point. At least this is my impression. I happen to love 1960's flat architecture, typified by the malls and office buildings of that era, and many such buildings are well-preserved in the Houston area. Also, the second Enron tower is really, really cool looking (it's for sale now).

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    It's not a place for people that like the Northeast, or Northern California - there would be an obvious and immediate culture clash. The weather doesn't bother me (terribly hot and humid most of the summer) but other people can't seem to take it. If you appreciate disposable income over government services, low taxes, and other accoutrements of the free market philosophy, that spirit runs strong here. Also, if you live here, people you meet from elsewhere will frequently make assumptions about you that are amusing.

    If you like drop names in front of your globe-trotting yuppie pals, Houston will not impress them.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Knowing a little Spanish would help if you are in business. Otherwise, there's not much of a learning curve.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    It's not so different from many other places in America. It's just another suburb that became a city.

    I live in North London (1.00 / 1) (#288)
    by d s oliver h on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:27:31 PM EST

    The best thing about London is the mixture of Victorian and Georgian achitecture, the haphazard road layouts, the rain, the road signs, and the big red Routemaster buses!

    Christchurch, NukeFreeland (3.50 / 4) (#294)
    by mozmozmoz on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:42:44 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Christchurch, NukeFreeland. About 300k people, in a swamp next to a retired volcano. So there's flat bits as well as a hill. The city was planned in Eng land a long time ago, and so is laid out in a pretty pattern when seen from the air. There's a 600 acre park in the middle, and generally lots of trees and parks and cycle ways. The mayor is a cyclist, and it shows.

    Why do you live there?

    Work, play, sex. Or perhaps Play, sex, work, it's hard to tell.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    • There's a kind of orchestra, but euro-classical stuff is more a visiting thing than a regular feature.
    • There's a collection of educational things, giving a decent live theatre scene and reasonable live bands.
    • There's an SCA outlet, The New Church of the Great Old Ones is a registered religion and other welcome silliness happens on a regular basis. There's a municipal wizard employed by the council.
    • There's a reasonable group of cinemas, including some art movie ones.
    • There's two community radio stations, with decent music.
    • There's a marae or two, and the HQ of Ngai Tahu Inc (local Maori tribe).
    • There's a museum and a few art galleries
    • It's within cycling distance of Nelson, which has beaches (450km)
    • It uses the metric system, which makes science easier.
    • There's a variety of religious structures: a mosque, a synagogue or three, a variety of Christian churches and some others that slip my mind right now.
    • There's some distinct ethnic groups who do their own peculiar things for my edification, especially there's pacific islanders. All friendly and going along and hanging out seems to be welcomed, by and large.
    • The cops know the difference between goths and satanists, and between them and dickheads in black jeans who want a fight.
    • There's a few queers, and they're not too factionalised. There's a queer bar and a queer club or two, and stuff. There was a dance club that wasn't queer or straight, which was even better, but I think it's shut down now.
    • There's only two organic food shops in Christchurch, competition from the supermarket organic food sections is too intense.
    • There's enough cafes to satisfy most people. There's the "Arts Center", the old university now a cafe/ pub/ theatre/ cinema/ craft fair site, which rocks.
    • The green/ environmental movement is very strong here compared to almost anywhere.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    There's a thriving outdoor sport and recreation crowd, with decent mountain biking less than 20 minutes from the city center, windsurfing etc ditto, and more tramping/ hiking/ bushwalking (whatever you want to call it) than you can poke a pointy stick at. MacPac and Fairydown are based here, as are verious second tier manufacturers. A lot of Antarctic-bound stuff goes through here. See also culture above. There's a philatalically minded botanist here (For fans of Rutherford). There's ski-fields a couple of hours drive away. It has an international airport. They play rugby here. There's a recumbent building/ riding group. There's reasonable rock climbing 30 minutes ride from the city center. There's a line dancing club, and a comedy bar (not in the same place).

    What do you like about it?

    It's cycle friendly, and full of fit people. Well, ok, it has enough fit people to make me happy. It's flat in the center. There are enough geeks to make it worth living here, and a 24 hour supermarket. There are enough greenies that there are several groups of them. There's KAOS, who are fun and silly (geeks with lives). It's big enough that there's always something to do, and small enough that there are not half a million people trying to do it. It's cheap to live in, and small enough that I can ride anywhere easily.

    What do you hate about it?

    It has smog, and it gets cold, and it lacks the dense variety of a bigger city. Kiwi employers are stingy bastards, and it's relatively not as cheap as a bigger city (pay - rent - food <elsewhere). The public transport is so-so - buses are every half hour not every five minutes. Kiwis disrespect success, often too much for comfort. It's still a small town, and when you want something really specific that can suck.<BR>

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    Kiwis seem to have the English tolerance of eccentricity combined with the Canadian easygoingfullness, Christchurch is cycle friendly, the smog sits on the city for three months in winter. You can see stars even in the winter (this is not London-grade smog).

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    Definitely. If you want somewhere that your kids can walk to school safely, Christchurch is it. Ditto if you're into the outdoors, or cycling. It's affordable compared to most places (sell your house in London, retire to Christchurch, buy a house and live off the interest). There's enough people to have most things, but few enough that there's not huge pollution and you can have a go at most stuff, rather than being a tiny voice in a big crowd. Kiwis respect people who are willing to try doing what they want to, even if you suck at it.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    Maoris are people here. Complaining and volunteering to help fix it are often taken as synonymous here. Act friendly and people will believe you.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    I've lived in Sydney, Australia for a few years. It's smaller, cheaper and colder than there. Women wear sports bras instead of wonderbras. Specific sub-communities are smaller and harder to find, but broader and less factionalised as a result. Buy a bike, and hire a van when you need it, forget owning a car. Nah, buy several bikes.

    There's lots of comedy on TV too. Does that make children funnier?

    Ashburn, VA (Virginia) United States of America (4.00 / 1) (#304)
    by moonboy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:00:07 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    Ashburn, VA

    (Since I'd hate to be seen as too much of a "USian" as another poster put it - VA represents the state of Virginia in the country of the United States of America on the continent of North America on the planet Earth just in case you're not from around here. Ashburn, VA is just outside of Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia) Washington is the capitol city of the United States.)

    Why do you live there?

    I moved here almost two and a half years ago for a job which I love.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    You name it. The Kennedy Center for opera, ballet, and symphony. The amazing FREE museums of the Smithsonian. The beautiful national monuments. The beautiful countryside which includes civil war battlefields. There is so much history in this area. Numerous parks in D.C.

    There is an incredible amount of diversity here as far as the citizenry is concerned. Considering that there are embassies and consulates from virtually every nation on the planet, this comes as no surprise.

    There is just about every kind of cuisine here as well. You name it, you can find it.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Mountains to the West (mountain biking, hiking, etc.), rivers (tubing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, etc.), beach to the East.

    A great selection of theatres, night clubs, bars, etc.

    What do you like about it?

    All of the above! There is just so much to see, learn about and do.

    What do you hate about it?

    Not much really. I cannot think of anything right now.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    See above.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    Definitely! Especially if you are an American and want to learn more about this great country.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    The cost of living is somewhat expensive. Not at all like Silicon Valley, but still high.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    Considerably! I'm from Texas (and proud of it!) This area has so much more to offer than where I am from (a small city named Beaumont, TX (Texas)). We called it "Boremont" ;-)

    I've lived all over the U.S. and I can say this is one of my three favorite places. (The other two being Portland, OR (Oregon) and the Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver, CO (Colorado). Other places I've lived: Rochester, NY (New York), Tacoma, WA (Washington), Austin, TX. Outside of the U.S., I've lived in Africa (Accra, Ghana) and Istanbul, Turkey. So, you could say I've been around. There is ABSOLUTELY no place I'd rather live than the United States of America! Granted, there are many other amazing places in the world, but we just have it so good here. I love to travel and intend on doing so much more often in my life, but it's wonderful to come back home.

    Some other posters on this page have said some things that don't reflect to well on their intelligence. Certainly America has its flaws, but generalizations about a country and its people do nothing for international relations. They only send us further apart.

    ----------------

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

    South Pole, Antarctica (4.66 / 3) (#305)
    by henrym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:01:30 PM EST

    Currently living at Amundensen-Scott South Pole Station.

    I came here on a year long contract last October. I'll be here for another two and half months.

    There are only 51 people living here, so there's not much in the way of cultural opportunities. Lots of movies, communal meals, and amazing people make up for it. We tend to make our own entertainment...for example tonight is Casino Night.

    What do I like about it? I'm living on the bottom of the world! Right now we're getting close to the end of our 5 months of darkness, but it's amazing to be able to go outside, lie at the geographical pole, and watch the auroras dance in the sky.

    What do I hate? It's the bottom of the world. We haven't had contact with the outside world since Feb 15th, and we won't see another plane till late October. The lack of fresh food is bothersome, and we ran out of beer in April. Five months without the sun is a LONG time.

    What qualities stand out? The people. Everyone living here is amazing.

    Would I recommend it? It's not for everyone. There's a lot of monotony, and once you're here, there's no leaving. Spending a winter here is a mental challenge, but if you just do a summer season, it's not too bad.

    If you were to move here, good luck! There's only a couple of tech jobs per year, but you'll be doing some cool things. Bring lots of movies and chocolate. Hoard the beer early in the season.

    internet connection? (4.00 / 2) (#396)
    by anon868 on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:30:59 PM EST

    What kind of internet connection do you get there? Please, all the gory details for us geeks. What's the speed, is it something funky like satellite or data over an iridium(not called that anymore, I know) phone, or something boring, like a phone line? Is it free, or do you have to pay for it, and is it unlimited or are can you only use it at certian times?
    Inquiring geeks want to know.
    Open a window. No, not that one! One made from actual glass, set in an acual wall, you dork.
    [ Parent ]
    South Pole internet (none / 0) (#418)
    by henrym on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:14:18 PM EST

    Well, we're connected back to the states via four different satellites. Our speeds range from 33.6k up/down to 2048/1024k up/down depending on the bird. All of the satellites we use have gone way past their normal lifetime, and have been allowed to drift out of their normal orbits over the equator, so we can see them for a few hours a day as they just peek over our horizon. All together we have about 12 hours a day of connections. For phone conversations, we mainly use VOIP on the faster birds. For emergencies we use Irridium phones, and HF phone patches thru other bases.

    [ Parent ]
    Sex? (1.00 / 1) (#475)
    by benzapp on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 09:49:03 PM EST

    Not to be a serious deviant.... but are there women down there? I know, 51 people. I don't think I could handle that much time without SOME sex. Are sexual mores more liberal due to the circumstances?

    [ Parent ]
    State College, PA (none / 0) (#306)
    by Saruman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:04:55 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    State College Pennsylvania. It is in the very center of the state and is surrounded completely by farms.

    Why do you live there?

    I am currently a Penn State University student. Two or three more years and I should have a CS degree.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    There is a bit, depending on what you are interested in. State college is a gigantic town in the middle of central Pennsylvania. There is the Palmer museum of art on campus which regularly rotates displays. Drama/Theater students often put on shows in the campus playhouse. We have a gigantic arena called the Bryce Jordan center which holds all kinds of events, mainly bands passing though. Almost every band on tour comes here between Pittsburgh and Philly. We get well known speakers that come here every once and a while. This past year we have had Janet Reno, Ben Stein, and Bob Woodward come though to speak. Every summer there is a large arts festival which brings in quite a large number of people.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Well, most people around here usually hang out at the numerous bars and frat parties. There are all kinds of sporting events to attend, as PSU is a big 10 school.

    What do you like about it?

    It is rather easy to get around up here without a car. As a matter of fact, having a car in the central area of this town can be more hassle than it is worth. Some of the town (the campus area) is quite pretty. The town actually has some very good restaurants, which is surprising for central PA. The weather stays mild most of the time, though we do get the occasional oddity. As stated above, there is really plenty to do. The education from the university is quite good in certain departments like engineering or agricultural sciences.

    What do you hate about it?

    With so much drinking going on here it can get a bit rowdy during sporting events and during the arts festival, though I don't know how one gets rowdy at an arts festival. This has led to a couple of riots in the past. You get tired of seeing the drunken frat people staggering around.

    What qualities really stand out? (good or bad)

    This is really a college town. Everything here has adapted to serve the university. Just look at the name of the town 'State College'.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    It is really is a pretty nice place to live. If I was not taking classes I would live a bit farther away from campus to keep away from the whole frat scene. That way you could still partake in all of the activities offered by the University.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    I would say you should keep tabs on what is going on with the University. Read the college newspaper to keep up with events.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    It is larger than most places I have lived. I believe the University has 40,000 students, and 40,000 people live in town. I am used to smaller communities.

    London, Ontario. (none / 0) (#308)
    by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:11:05 PM EST

    Where do you live?

    London, Ontario, Canada. The hub of southern Ontario.

    Why do you live there?

    I went to Western for graduate work.

    What cultural opportunities do you have?

    Er, culture? There is a playhouse downtown. They only seem to play bad plays. There is an annual fringe festival, and the occasional decent band plays in a bar. I can't go to bars because of smoke, so there ya go. Richmond Row is really cool, in general, though. Several good diners and coffee shops.

    Additionally, lots of excellent pizza, and some decent Indian and Lebanese food.

    What recreational opportunities do you have?

    Er, well. I spend a lot of my time online. Bars are offlimits due to my smoking problem, and frankly there isn't much else to do. There are the usual boring things, movie theaters, etc. The rep theater at Western shows mainstream dull films after they've gone out of general release for cheap.

    What do you like about it?

    Great pizza. I cannot stress this enough. If you're visiting London, eat the pizza (as long as it's local). Sammy's Souvlaki is also an experience. The city isn't far from Toronto so you can do things over in TO without much hassle. (I daytripped the finals of the Canadian Open tennis tournament last year. It was fun, even in the rain.)

    What do you hate about it?

    Plenty. Right now, the weather. You know, I always used to think people who said "It's not the heat, it's the humidity" were full of it. Now I have lived 3 summers in London. I know what they mean. The thermometer says 31 or 32, but the humidex (temperature adjusted for humidity, i.e. the temperature that you feel) is in the mid-40s.

    That's Celsius, folks. For reference, 45 Celsius is 113 Fahrenheit. You go outside, and suddenly blood temperature feels cool.

    Also, the people here are rather parochial, closed-minded, and overwhelmingly white. This is not multiculturalism.

    Would you recommend it, and why?

    No. The pizza is great, but it's not worth it.

    Only go here if you want to go to Western. And I would only recommend Western if there's a graduate program you want to take. The undergraduates suffer from the excesses of mass learning; there are thousand-student classes in first year. This is becoming distressingly common in Ontario; actually, I tend to recommend Canadian parents send their teens to non-Ontario colleges; it'll be cheaper (Ontario universities are the most expensive in Canada) and likely better, as they'll actually get to talk to their profs instead of watching them on tv screens.

    If I were to move there, what would I really need to know?

    East of Adelaide. Adelaide Street runs north-south; east of it lies an area called East London. This area is more dangerous than the rest of London; however, it's not the place that many Londoners think of it. I lived on Adelaide for a few months when I first came to London, and it's tough, yes, but nothing like Main and Hastings in Vancouver. There are a lot of bikers (and yes, some of them are Hell's Angels) out east.

    How is it different from other places you have been?

    I have lived in a lot of different places, as my various comments on this story probably make clear. London is a mid-sized city, 2 hours from Toronto, which is rather parochial and backward.

    Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey

    Kihei, Hawaii (none / 0) (#310)
    by cmholm on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:16:10 PM EST

    Where do you live? I'm in Kihei, a town of about 10K on the southwest coast of Maui, Hawaii, USA. Kihei has a split personality, with boatloads of vacation condos and multi-million dollar homes within a block of the beach, single family homes for residents inland. "Inland" is a relative term. The town faces seven miles of coast, but is only a half-mile wide, max.

    Why do you live there? Like a lot of visitors, we wanted to experience "life in paradise", and finally managed to find a job at an Air Force computing center to pay the bills. Having gotten though the "I can't believe I'm living in Hawaii" stage, three years later we still love it.

    What cultural opportunities do you have? Not too much in Kihei itself. Annual events include the Maui Film Festival with nighttime movie premieres on the Wailea golf course, the Whale Day Festival at Kalama Park, from which you can often see the humpbacks jumping around offshore, and elementary schools host Ho'olalea Hawaiian cultural shows for parents and families. The nightclubs occasionally have a big name pop act roll through, particularly at Hapa's.

    Elsewhere on the island, there's the yearly County Fair, Makawao Rodeo, Hana Taro Festival, Chinese New Year parade, the Japanese Bodo Festival, and the like. Halloween Night on Front Street in Lahaina!! In Kahului, the