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Where in the US is there an "upbeat" city?

Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:38 AM
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weenie57
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Where in the US is there an "upbeat" city?

I'm faced with a probable relocation from upstate New York (where the job outlook is BLEAK at best...) and wondering where in the country there is a more positive outlook for the future. I guess if I have to move (which I don't want to but have been commuting to a contract job 300 miles away for 8 months) I'd look for a medium size city with cultural events, not too much sprawl (I know, impossible), walkable neighborhoods, not too much traffic, parks, public transportation, and nice people! What's the mood out there? Thanks!
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:47 AM
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I have a son-in-law faced with the same kind of problem. As he has combed the country looking for a good job, he has found a few cities that really seem to be what you (and he) are looking for. They are (in no particular order):
-Huntsville, AL
-Birmingham, AL
-Jacksonville, FL
-Atlanta, GA
-Albuquerque, NM
-Charlotte, NC

Having been in all of these places several times myself, I can attest to the fact that they seem to be growing and vibrant.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:51 AM
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What kind of work do you do? That will make a big difference in the possibilities...
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:03 AM
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"I'd look for a medium size city with cultural events, not too much sprawl (I know, impossible), walkable neighborhoods, not too much traffic, parks, public transportation, and nice people!"

This sounds just like Kansas City! I love it here and feel like it's an upbeat place. However, the type of job you are looking for will make a difference. There aren't a TON of jobs here right now, but in certain sectors there is always a need (telecommunications, consulting, etc.)
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:42 AM
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We are about to move from San Diego to Tulsa, OK. It's a surprisingly beautiful and wealthy city (old oil money) that meets all of your qualifications. The economy there HAD been slipping for awhile, then last yeat the city passed a huge bill (I want to say $500 million, but I could be wrong) to revitalize downtown and bring in new businesses. It's a charming little city that's headed in the right direction.

My in-laws live in NM and from their perspective Albuquerque is going downhill fast.

I grew up in KS and I've always loved Kansas City for it's unique culture.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:03 AM
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weenie,

You didn't say if you were single, married, kids, etc. Tulsa has a meager singles scene; it's really a family-oriented place.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:03 AM
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Austin TX and Dallas TX are upbeat. I agree about Tulsa. It is often overlooked, but has alot to offer. I've heard good about Charlotte and also Nasvhille . Good luck!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:09 AM
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I have to pooh-pooh Albuquerque, NM. Having lived there, I can tell you it is not what you are looking for. At all. I suspect it will only get worse there, or sadly that's how it seems right now.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 07:17 AM
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Madison, Wisconsin is another place to check out. Since you're in upstate New York, south central Wisconsin winters shouldn't be too much of a problem for you.

Here's a link for more info:

http://www.ci.madison.wi.us/
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:17 PM
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I'd also take ABQ off that list.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:47 PM
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I don't know how the job market is in Philadelphia, but the city is definitely on the upswing. It fits all you requirements. Many people now live in downtown area where there're tons of excellent restaurants and shops. Many people I know don't even own a car. Traffic is a pain, but if you can walk to work that wouldn't be too bad. There's also a great public transport system with frequent buses and subways. Last but not least, Philadelphia has numerous theaters and the famous Philadelphia Orchestra.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 02:28 PM
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How about St Paul, MN? or Minneapolis? Great cities, parks, culture. Friendly people. I suspect the weather would be similar to New York.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:15 PM
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I agree also that Albuquerque should be removed from your list.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:25 PM
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3 of you mentioned that Albuquerque is going downhill. Could you all give us some more details about that -- like what areas (jobs, quality of life, schools, etc) is going downhill? I had always dreamed of moving to that area. Thanks! Oh, and Weenie57, Nashville is looking bright. We have had some big announcements of corporate relocations here in the past few months. Lots of healthcare companies here. Low cost of living, no state income tax....and spring really does come in late Feb/early March.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:30 PM
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I will second the nomination for Madison, Wisconsin. Although I live in Chicago, I visit Madison often to see friends. It's everything you described....don't know about the job situation, though....
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:45 PM
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This helps travelers how?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:57 PM
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Cleveland is a very nice place. First rate art museum, theatre, walkable neighborhoods (some even walkable to the shore), well-built roads, beautiful parks and scenery, reliable and comprehensive transit, and good folks. Coming from upstate NY, you could handle the lake effect weather, too.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:06 PM
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I don't know how any of the fodorites who've responded think that their cities have mass transit of any stature. Kansas City? Huntsville AL? Jacksonville? Atlanta? Charlotte?

Let's face it. After living in New York with such terrific mass transit, all these other cities will seem like you're crawling along wherever you want to go.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Maybe it's an Oklahoma thing. One consistent impression that visiting friends and relatives have about Oklahoma City is that the people are laid-back and live life. An arts district composes downtown's west side, and a canal-lined entertainment district anchors its east side. Lake Hefner's trails and upscale restaurants have made it a day and night destination. The Little Saigon and Paseo neighborhoods bring Asian life and the arts to the inner city.

Still, I second the thoughts about Tulsa; you can't go wrong with either.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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We just moved from Atlanta to Jacksonville, Fl. and love it here. My husband's originally from Buffalo, NY, btw. Jax is a very up and coming city, traffic is a breeze compared to Atlanta's, the people are nice and the weather is awesome. We've only hand a handful of days this winter with temps under 60. Today it was in the 70's. Of course, there's the ocean and some nice beaches. Atlanta was just totally getting out of hand with traffic. Just my 2 cents.

Nashville is very nice too.
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