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Tired of the rat race, looking for relocation advice

Tired of the rat race, looking for relocation advice

Old Oct 12th, 2001, 04:47 AM
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Tired of the rat race, looking for relocation advice

For over ten years I have been fighting the rat race in Washington DC. This is one tough town. I am convinced that the politics that goes on in congress is standard operation in the business world in Washington also. Most people I talk to tell me they think that Washington and New York are the toughest towns in America.

I am looking for advice from people who know America best- travelers. I am looking to relocate to a place that has both white collar office type jobs (I work as an Accountant) but has nice people who know that 5:00 should be the start of family time, not the middle of the work day. (In Washington DC- the 12 hour work day is standard and expected in the business sector).

I am looking for a place that is more laid back. Where people have manners, are less cut throat, chat with people in their offices, and smile when you smile at them.

I know this is found in many small towns but I am looking to move to a place that has a metro area population of at least one million.

Does anyone have relocation advice for me?
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 05:50 AM
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Judging by the traffic reports, everyone who works in Boston leaves the office between 4 and 5 PM!

Washington definitely has the worst work-culture habits in the nation. In other cities, like Boston, a lot depends on the specific business. My late husband worked for four different companies in ten years. In one, you were regarded with suspicion if you left hthe office before 7 PM, but in another one the owner came around and literally turned out the lights and locked the place up at 5! I would guess that outside DC you would be able to find 5PM-type companies in almost any metro area.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 06:16 AM
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I've lived and worked in major cities --NYC, Chicago and Dallas -- and have enjoyed the experience, but I've found a wonderful home in Charlotte.

It's a very friendly city, very clean, safe and beautiful. The climate is fabulous as is the location, between the mountains and the beach.

This town is anything but tough.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 06:21 AM
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I have live all over the midwest (now in Chicago) and all major cities other than the one where I live now are more laid back. I would suggest Cicinnati, OH. Great atmosphere, good night life scen on the waterfront, some culture, lots of sports and restaurant enterntainment and still clean with fairly low crime rate. Also while smaller than places like Indianapolis, the airport is larger and has more flights so traveling is a breeze, I remember getting a non-stop flight from Cicinnati to Paris, can you beat that? Shopping is pretty good too, but most of all the WEATHER IS BEARABLE and moderate not liek the northeast.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 06:27 AM
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Have you thought of Nashville? If only I could get my husband to move there . . .

It is a beautiful city on a river. There is a great university (and several smaller colleges) with an outstanding medical center. It has the recording industry (which is not just country) and lots of good restaurants. There are lovely older neighborhoods (not suburban developments where every house is the same, but real neighborhoods) and lots of grass and trees. It is very upper middle class and white collar. The only downside: somewhat homogeneous.

Go for a visit, you might like it!
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 08:56 AM
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My vote goes to Raleigh NC. Beautiful trees everywhere and a laid back group of people. Only downside is the traffic.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 09:05 AM
Stephanie P.
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I'd agree w/the one who said Charlotte. I have traveled through it at rush hour and the traffic was extremely light compared to other Northern big cities. Also the place is big enough that you can find good field to get into to - without compromising.

Old Oct 12th, 2001, 09:19 AM
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Here's an out-of-left-field suggestion: Kansas City. There are only certain types who transfer to KC and thrive. They are typically people who have become fed up with the hard driving, cut throat, work dominated lifestyle you describe. They value family. They value a rather old fashioned ethical/moral environment. And, if from NYC or DC, they are comfortable getting a 'culture fix' on vacation rather than spur of the moment on Friday night. For while KC is not without culture, it certainly isn't NYC/Boston etc.
I'm a transplant who has lived on both coasts and while my search for the perfect city has left me unfulfilled, KC has been a great respite. Traffic hassles are nil for most. Cost of living is low. Acreage with homes is among the highest in the US. And the greatest asset the city has is its generally kind, honest, good hearted people. (And among the best schools in the US on the Kansas side of the metro area).
But KC is not for everyone, to be sure.
I don't even try to convince my relatives in LA and SF of its merits. But my quality of life here has been outstanding. Good luck with your search.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 10:12 AM
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Spokane Washington. Gorgeous scenery, family values, affordable housing.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 11:40 AM
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Midwesterner -

Cincinnati may be a great place to live (though the people I've known from their did find it very boring), but its climate is not dramatically better than that of the northeast. In fact, according to weather underground's climactic history section, its weather is basically the same as Boston's, but a little hotter in the summer. (which is not good)
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 11:47 AM
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hah, I've lived in DC about a decade, also, and your impressions are very similar to mine. A lot of people are just not very nice here, no other way to put it. Not only the long hours, but the backstabbing and taking credit for others' work and getting ahead based on who you know rather than the quality of your work; this even infects traffic as drivers here are the nastiest I've encountered anywhere (goes with their general attitude, I guess). I moved here from Los Angeles, and LA was very nice and laid back compared to here (as long as you don't work in the entertainment business), so I agree that just about anyplace will probably do it. I remember my first day at work in a hotshot downtown consulting firm, not a single person came by my office to say hello or ask me to have lunch with them--I couldn't believe it, I was shocked as this was so different than any other place I'd worked. I remember a friend of mine called me up that day at work and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner and then said "but I suppose the people at your new job have asked you out for drinks or dinner after work since it's your first day, huh?" ha ha ha, I told her not only hadn't they done that, they hadn't even hardly spoken to me all day. Anyway, enough of my rant, but this is a tough town. So, I think you can go almost anywhere and it will be different, but to some extent it does depend on the company culture, so beware of that; being in a building right now with a very wellknown internet/ecommerce company who is going down the tubes, I'd beware of them, they can be brutal and pretty sleazy. It really depends a lot on your interest, politics, etc -- I'm from the Midwest and I think Columbus is fairly "nice", as is Chicago, but I wouldn't live in Columbus myself as it doesn't interest me in a lot of ways (I also don't like Ohio winters); Cincinnati has lots of problems according to recent news reports (which aren't new) and is pretty conservative, I think, so I wouldn't live there, either--but, you may feel differently. If it weren't for the weather, I'd consider Chicago but it is a very large city. If you really like the DC area, as I do for various reasons, you might find a different environment in another company in the suburbs, rather than downtown.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 12:22 PM
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Travelers don't know jack. They go to a town for a day or two and that's that. All you will ever get is "have you ever considered my town" homers.

Old Oct 12th, 2001, 02:23 PM
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St. Louis

We have hot summers, but it's worth it to me to have four distinct seasons. We are in the middle of a beautiful fall right now.

We have interesting and varied neighborhoods, including the Hill, full of Italian restaurants and markets, a small chinatown, and a growing Bosnian population. There are two major universities, a symphony, arts district, baseball, football and hockey teams, a great urban park with a wonderful (and free) zoo, science center, and art museum, an outdoor municipal theater in the summer, and Shakespeare in the park.

The thing I like best about it, though, is that there are still so many smalltown type things going on. The different neighborhoods and suburban towns all have thier own festivals and thier own museums and sites.

In general, I think the work attitude is pretty laid back. Some companies are more conservative, but most allow flex time and don't expect killer hours.

Old Oct 12th, 2001, 02:39 PM
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I agree...this town is hard. It does help to hear from others who sound like nice people. If only we ran into each other on the street instead of the grim-faced, self-centered, hurry-up-get-out-of-my-way types. That said...Cathy, Have you ever considered Richmond? It's just 2 hours south of here so you'd still be close to all of the great culture/museums of DC, but enjoy the laid back, AFFORDABLE and lovely housing in Richmond. Got to be honest, I lived there for 8 years and left because it didn't meet my needs for career opportunities (I work in TV) or meeting single mature men (believe it or not, DC is actually an IMPROVEMENT!!)If you're a real cosmopolitan lady it's probably not for you, but people there are nice, there's a decent art scene and you can rent a huge, old hardwood-floored apartment for about $600. Since it's just 2 hours south of here, it may be worth your while to do a day trip. Good luck!
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 02:52 PM
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O.K., don't laugh now -- Indianapolis.

I've been there many times over the years and love it there. The people are great, kind of a cross between southern manners and sensibility and northern hipness. There are great restaurants in a variety of cuisines and some of the most beautiful small, affordable houses you'll see anywhere. They also have credible sports franchises and a very famous 500-mile race on Memorial Day weekend. Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, and St. Louis close by, and Cleveland, Nashville, Atlanta, Detroit and other cities not much further away. All in all, you can't beat it.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 06:33 PM
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Hartford, Connecticut. Easy to reach ocean, sailing, skiing, Boston, NY, great arts, good schools, easy commute, well educated population, sophisicated accounting practice and the beauty of New England.
Old Oct 12th, 2001, 07:09 PM
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I am from DC also and I have to agree with the poster, it is one tough town. That is not to say that there aren't nice people in the DC area it just that there is a higher percentage of jerks and the nice people are sometimes made hard by the pressures put on them by the DC life style.

It is amazing to me how nice people can be once you travel out of the Boston to DC strip. My vote for a great place to live with both a laid back lifestyle but still a land of opportunity for a white collar professional is --Minneapolis.
Old Oct 13th, 2001, 04:39 AM
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I think the nicest most laid back people are in the west. How about Denver. Lots of college educated people who are interested in their community and are making it a great place for professional careers. Though most people know when 5 or 6 come along that they should spend the evening with their family, not at their desk.
Old Oct 13th, 2001, 10:39 PM
John G
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Minneapolis?? What are you crazy?? Cathy will freeze her butt off. And stop knocking the DC to Boston "strip." I live in Philly and I love it. We have a world-class art museum; some of the best restaurants in N. America; Penn, Temple, Drexel; Eagles, Flyers, 76ers; Phillies; Historic landmarks; a beautiful waterfront; King of Prussia Mall; Fairmont Park; Mann Music Center; Philly Zoo; Italian market; and the best yet--everybody is nice, that is why we are the CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE!
Old Oct 13th, 2001, 11:50 PM
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Can you deal with rain and fog? If so, try Portland, Oregon.

City planning really works here -- the downtown is a jewel, livable, walkable, with good regional theatre, interesting arts scene, opera, top bookstores, shopping. Great natural beauty, relatively polite and laid-back people, mountains and ocean both accessible for day trips.

It has the advantages of a city without many of the downsides. Ten minutes from downtown, you can live in the forest.

Political climate is liberal.

The housing market is high-side, but much cheaper than California. The climate is moderate, summers and falls are gorgeous. Gardeners can grow anything, easily. But, for six months of the year, you DO have to like rain.

Best wishes on your search!

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