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No, I'm not talking about leaving the site. This is my blogo-blags home, and I'm here to stay.

It's a gray day here in the northeast corner of the Sooner State, and I'm sure there are many more of these to come. Our fall season lasts about 48 to 72 hours. It starts looking like winter even though the leaves are still on the trees.

I'm writing today because I've had a mental shift that happened after election day. Something's moved in my brain, and it may not move back. When I drive around or take a walk, I can't look at my state quite the same way again. Maybe those of you who have moved away from a place they've called "home" can relate to this.

For the first time since my family and I moved into our first real house, I'm feeling a certain kind of pull. I feel these kinds of "pulls" occasionally in my life, and I try to pay attention to them when they happen.

One pull led me away from the house I grew up in. The other pulled me from the church I grew up in. Another still pulled me away from conservatism. And another one pulled me away from the reporting profession.

This time I'm feeling pulled to another state. I'm not sure which one, and I'm not sure when it will ever happen. But I've shared this feeling with Mrs. Droogie, and she agrees with me.

I love a lot of things about my state, for all its obvious shortcomings. The people here are good people. The cost of living is low. I am close to my family. And although I just made fun of our lack of a true fall, I'd miss the excitement of Oklahoma's thunderstorm season.

Mrs. Droogie mentioned the Pacific Northwest. I've known people from there, and they had nice things to say. We've talked about Colorado or maybe Texas, both places we have visited before, for a fresh start.

What I'm looking for is a certain energy, not to sound too hippie-dippie. I want a place with young couples like ourselves -- couples who weren't shotgun-married, and who didn't wait until their late 30s to have kids.

I want a place with more culture. An art museum, some historical sites, maybe some music. Not just for Mrs. Droogie and I, but for Droogie Jr's development.

I've never been ashamed of being an Okie. I'll stand up for my state and the people who live in it even if they wouldn't do the same for me because of the way I think. But my family has never been the best fit for this place. Maybe it took an election to show me just how far I have drifted apart from my place of birth.

We're going to have to do some thinking and also some traveling before we'll know anything for sure. Like I say, these "pulls" that I get are always ambiguous at first. You have to put a lot of thought and energy into them before you can figure out what they mean.

But I intend to explore this feeling fully over the next few months, and probably years.

If anyone has any advice for someone like myself who is in a transitional period of sorts, please share them with me. I want to hear from people who have left their homes for someplace new, and what they learned in doing so.

Rec List? Really, guys? Is this a slow news day? There's got to be better things to talk about than where some dumb Okie is going to move to eventually. But if you've gotten something out of this diary, I'm glad. I just had a much lower-profile diary in mind today.

Originally posted to droogie6655321 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:43 AM PST.

Poll

Ever leave home?

11%262 votes
13%307 votes
16%376 votes
30%693 votes
2%59 votes
19%449 votes
6%158 votes

| 2304 votes | Vote | Results

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  •  Tips for your hometown. (433+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leslie in CA, ClaudeB, Ed in Montana, Davinci, MichaelPH, boydog, Sean Robertson, Chi, Ray Radlein, catdevotee, nolalily, skyesNYC, Kaj, gogol, TaraIst, limulus, Rolfyboy6, pHunbalanced, BigOkie, mattman, DebtorsPrison, greenbird, Yoshimi, Debby, Heather in SFBay, LynChi, mlharges, Vico, cookiesandmilk, mslat27, eeff, ThirstyGator, frsbdg, polecat, frisco, TampaProgressive, SallyCat, Plays in Traffic, jancw, Caneel, nanoboy, gilacliff, sardonyx, concernedamerican, Wee Mama, mmacdDE, Susan1138, bhlogger, als10, SlowNomad, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, fishhead, Glic, Scoopster, mkfarkus, ides, nargel, juslikagrzly, dchill, jpadgett, hopeful, OldYellerDog, wader, Melanchthon, stridergambit, bigmama, NMRed, SneakySnu, resa, tidalwave1, oldjohnbrown, draftchrisheinz, Drew J Jones, exiledfromTN, TX Scotia, rockhound, AbsurdEyes, annetteboardman, papercut, lcrp, riverlover, 313to212, Pohjola, fritzrth, walkshills, bwintx, peterj911, ybruti, side pocket, Kitsap River, kfred, bablhous, snowbird42, Boru, Irish Patti, boran2, wolverinethad, TexMex, sawgrass727, rapala, joanneleon, 1918, ExStr8, historys mysteries, Bluesee, radarlady, 3goldens, Tinfoil Hat, deBOraaah, Strat, christineNYC, kingubu, JanetT in MD, SherwoodB, sc kitty, PBen, sap, kamarvt, Omir the Storyteller, panicbean, Brooke In Seattle, EJP in Maine, Dobber, Simpletonian, devadatta, bleeding blue, dansk47, Morrigan, ladybug53, Acacia951, QuickSilver, blue jersey mom, Joy Busey, wbr, cerulean, coolbreeze, Team Slacker, Lindy, Ekaterin, empathy, kathny, noweasels, Over the Edge, begone, jiordan, Prof Dave, Shirl In Idaho, gwilson, dsteele2, BachFan, Icy, kumaneko, BalanceSeeker, mcronan, highfive, my pet rock, Clytemnestra, djbender, darthstar, martyc35, euterpe, Samwoman, cotasm, Loonesta, ccmask, Im with Rosey, mango, dennisl, hideinplainsight, SarekOfVulcan, AnnCetera, triv33, TalkieToaster, birdbrain64, MJ via Chicago, twigg, funluvn1, nilocjin, Joe F, SadieSue, imabluemerkin, JVolvo, plf515, bleeding heart, Something the Dog Said, Turbonerd, sadpanda, zhimbo, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, means are the ends, MadMs, Statusquomustgo, crystal eyes, kurious, Picot verde, Hedwig, Temmoku, ipsos, slksfca, illusionmajik, Pandoras Box, pat of butter in a sea of grits, Thinking Fella, Reagan Smash, jennyjem, anotherdemocrat, Wanda517, Cat Whisperer, Loudoun County Dem, blue armadillo, SouthernFried, godislove, MikeTheLiberal, leftyguitarist, larmos, gloriana, Outrider, la urracca, kath25, taylorinsc, Matt Z, hold tight, anagram, DWG, joyful, drchelo, Drowning Wave, jayden, GMFORD, st minutia, boxer babe, Killer of Sacred Cows, Newzie, Moderation, jhop7, sheiladeedee, Puffin, FXDCI, willb48, Assaf, Empower Ink, gizmo59, VA Breeze, sand805, jgilhousen, kafkananda, alkalinesky, martydd, AnnieJo, JeffW, brklyngrl, geez53, last starfighter, Rich in PA, Involuntary Exile, ReEnergizer, golconda2, Mannabass, beltane, Greasy Grant, LucyMO, royce, pamelabrown, Haplogroup V, TH Seed, Snarky McAngus, carver, Jeff Y, Punditcrat, Serpents Sorrow, alnep, asius, kyril, luckylizard, DixieDishrag, psilocynic, binkycat, dont think, Guadalupe59, magicsister, debheadley, Mishy, Simply Agrestic, GrannyOPhilly, Diogenes2008, shortgirl, Celtic Merlin, tabby, Menlo Park Mom, multilee, artmartin, Texanomaly, aufklaerer, classico, juca, Discipline28, GreenHills, DemocraticOz, nwgates, h bridges, velvet blasphemy, a girl in MI, history geek, Nailbanger, jck, SciVo, desertlover, Daily Activist, ThompsonLazyBoy, Mercuriousss, zbbrox, BDsTrinity, Maevpmcc, Angry Mouse, bfitzinAR, johngoes, MooseHB, Robin in PA, obscuresportsquarterly, sanglug, paintitblue, kevinpdx, jackbauer8393, Losty, notksanymore, rubthorn, PoliticalJunkessa, Katie71, JSC ltd, ArthurPoet, D Wreck, jfromga, Bene Gesserit1, choosinghope, Super Grover, collardgreens, sophistry makes me tired, Colorado Billy, capasb, Just Bob, ZAP210, kydoc, amerikkalainen, mamamorgaine, Latex Solar Beef, Red Reign, Ashiado, rb137, ldvisavis, USAdaughter, KroneckerD, trustno1, ATLanthony, budr, Vacationland, LaughingPlanet, venezia, Insha, CandyKat, politik, blueyescryinintherain, leftywright, kjoftherock, SmartAleq, stunzeed, El Ochito, CcVenussPromise, randomsubu, kierville, Ann T Bush, Crabby Abbey, KentuckyKat, Mrs Olbermann, banjosmom, Mara Jade, fortuna, legalchic, deboChicago, icelady, dissonantharmony, sullivanst, pixxer, Lady Libertine, ypsiCPA, Benintn, paradise50, apip0115, Diet Coupon, pateTX, voicesraised, Weaselina, Urtica dioica gracilis, Casual Wednesday, MsGrin, Otteray Scribe, Floande, bottles, kathleen518, Its a New Day, jl4851, Actbriniel, Xtatic, newusername, Taya Lawrence, firendezyre4change, Pakalolo, Relevant Rhino, the dogs sockpuppet, Colorado is the Shiznit, alliecat, Front Toward Enemy, NimbusNW, I love OCD, deerang, spooks51, klopper, sowsearsoup, arrows theorem, Amayi, BerlinBear, brad v, Chuck Cook, skip945, blueinmn, Ebby, greatlyconcerned, mellowwild, semctydem, Quincy Woo, Kat08

    Droogie's feeling a little introspective today, so pardon my mood. I blame the gray sky. ;-)

    •  I know the feeling (44+ / 0-)

      Grew up in Mass, but when I came to VT I very quickly felt as if I had returned here, rather than emigrated.
      My feelings have only been reinforced over time.
      Good luck, droogie

      On Election Day, we danced in the streets all over the world

      by kamarvt on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:48:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kamarvt beat me to it...VT is calling, droogie! (65+ / 0-)

        Hey, I left HAWAII for the Green Mountains...so what does that say??? Young couples, culture, art, historical sites, music--check, check, check, check and check. And you want some FALL, baby? We'll give you autumn that people travel from all over the world to see!

        And, um, the politics? Senator Inhofe or Senator Sanders? Would this count as a selling point too?

        I could go on and on...but what I like most: it's a family first kinda place. People are not crazy-career driven. Work and money never take precedence over what really matters: family and friends.

        Won't you be my neighbor?

        We are all droogie6655321 now.

        by earicicle on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:56:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  pssst - Don't forget the skiing (27+ / 0-)

          or snowboarding, if you're one of those people...
          heat and humidity never a problem, we went for Obama by 35 points, low cost of living...
          I've already said too much:)

          On Election Day, we danced in the streets all over the world

          by kamarvt on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:13:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why do i have the feeling Vermont is about to (16+ / 0-)

          experience double digit population growth?
          where did i put that "for sale by owner" sign?
          ;}

          His name was droogie6655321

          by geez53 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:32:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  VT is beautiful (4+ / 0-)

          but I prefer Boston.  So close to the mountains, but still a city.  Not a huge sprawling place like some cities (I grew up in Dallas).  Not obscenely crowded like NYC (where I lived for 7 years).  Nice and quiet but still a lot to do.  And when you get those pangs for nature, it's a short trip to VT, NH, or ME.

          Now the real work begins!

          by Dexter on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:30:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FlyingToaster, tdub

            But hey, thats because I live there.

            Just think of the history, Kennedy, Deval, a certain Tea party/revolution thing I keep hearing about, something about pilgrims and to top it off, we voted for blue in '72.

            I prefer north east mass myself, new hampshire - 10 minutes, maine 25 minutes, ocean 10 minutes, boston - 30 minutes, worcester -30 minutes.

            I mean... it would be quite a shift from blood red okie to true blue mass; think about it.

            •  hmmm (0+ / 0-)
              I have no idea what caused that strike thru...

              Apparently mass has too many good qualities and the site has decided to censor it.

            •  NE Mass (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mataliandy

              Andover awaits ;)

              I moved here from Boston because 1) my free-ride long-term house-sit (is that enough hyphens?) ended a few months ago and I work here, so it made sense to move close to work which is now a 5-minute walk. I have bought gasoline twice since Sept 1.

              But I do miss the city. Andover is dull, a little conservative, but from a single gay man's perspective it looks like a great place to raise a family. Tax-free shopping in Salem and Nashua isn't far, Boston is 30 minutes, beaches not too far if you like that sort of thing, a few hours to Montreal, etc. But all of NE Mass is pretty expensive unless you want to brave Lowell and Lawrence, probably NOT good places to raise a family.

              I am a California native, Orange County specifically, and I have no intention of ever moving back. I visit friends and family there 1-2x a year and can't wait to get home. I think I was born on the wrong coast. I'm 46 so I have time to decide where I want to settle, and so far I'm not inclined to do that. Vermont or Maine would be great, but there's few jobs in those states in my field (software testing/QA), so I guess I'll stay here for awhile and save me pennies.

              The local Dems are meeting on the 24th, so I'm gonna go see what I can do.

              me talk pretty one day.

              by mudskipper on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:06:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Andover's a great place to raise a family, but (0+ / 0-)

                you have to work at it.
                Pro:

                The town has easy access to Boston by bus and train, and is very bikable in general. Between the uptown and downtown, you can buy just about anything you need (including bikes at Andover Cyclery - that's a plug for a friend who's been running the store for nearly 30 years. If you're in the area, it's a small local business that does profit-sharing with its employees, and is eminently worth dropping a few bucks at).

                The town library is the best library I've ever encountered - and I've been to just about every college and city library in a 50 mile radius.

                There are a couple of decent restaurants in town, some awesome Mexican just over the border in Lawrence and North Andover, and a good Indian restaurant a short drive away in Salem, NH. There's also a Whole Foods and a local family-owned chain grocery.

                It's not a bad drive to some of the region's nicest beaches, ski areas, and lakes.

                There's a great homeschooling network, and the public schools are top-notch (sadly, due to MCAS and NCLB, "top notch" doesn't mean so much anymore - they start actively teaching kids standardized test strategies in 1st grade).

                Cons:

                Andover is VERY expensive, though housing prices are coming back down, and there are a couple of new condo/apartment developments that are likely to be sorely hurting for cash if people don't fill them in soon.

                The town uses snob zoning to keep the McMansions an arms-length apart, and to keep the riff-raff (aka people of color other than big-name sports figures and well-heeled surgeons) from living there. However, when I was in high school, the racism in town drove out such notable figures as Casey Jones (Celtics) and Jim Rice (Red Sox). The overt racism has died down considerably since then (not a single cross burning that I'm aware of since 1982), but I wouldn't be surprised to find it still simmering below the surface. Most of the town's growth paralleled the exodus from Boston after forced busing was enacted to make the schools more diverse, and then was augmented by snobs with new money from the 90's tech boom and 00's financial boom.

                For diversity, the best parts of town to live in are right around the uptown center (there's an uptown and a downtown), the Shawsheen village area (Lawrence border), and Ballardvale (where Jay Leno grew up), though much of Ballardvale is now a commuter cut-through for industrial park developments in the surrounding towns, so the traffic sucks. Also, you'd want to steer clear of the River Street area unless you are fond of moldy wet basements. Avoid West Andover and most cul-de-sacs like the plague, except for right around Sanborn school, where there's a very walkable neighborhood.

                Upshot:

                If you have enough money and are willing to take time to find a diverse group of people to spend time with (the weekly anti-war protest in front of the Old Town Hall should give you a good start), it's very nice place to live with easy access to the amenities that aren't available right in town.

                The town could use some bright, assertive progressives to run for Selectboard and Town Manager (hint, hint).

                In the mean time, it's where we lived before moving to VT....

                You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

                by mataliandy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:58:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Andover (0+ / 0-)

                  Heh, thanks for the hint ;)

                  I live in Shawsheen Village in a rented condo (the Balmoral bldg) and it's actually cheaper than the place I had in Lowell. I'm not interested in buying a place anytime soon as I am quite sure that prices have another 25-40% more to fall, but that's another topic.

                  I haven't live here long enough to notice any covert racism, though the fact that the town only has two polling places seems to me like an overt means of disenfranchising those without cars -- even when I lived in Los Angeles I never had to drive to the poll, in this case at the high school where the crappy local bus service doesn't go. I can't even get to the T station from here on the bus, and that sucks.

                  Seconded on the library (almost as good as the main BPL at Copley!) and I'll remember your friend's shop when I take my old Schwinn in for a tune-up this spring. Not sure what you mean by "uptown" unless that's the area between 133 and the library.

                  me talk pretty one day.

                  by mudskipper on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:51:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Uptown is uphill and downtown is downhill (0+ / 0-)

                    Technically Downtown is Market Basket plaza and the surrounding area (North Main St), down to Shawsheen and up to the lights by McDonalds; Uptown is the Library to Phillips Academy and the surrounding area (South Main).

                    Andover Cyclery is on Main, just downhill and across from the fire station.

                    Most people don't know (a) that Main street is broken into Main, North Main, and South Main and (b) which is which. This led to a house burning down years ago, just downhill from the fire station, when they went to a fire reported on South Main, but which was actually on Main. The out-of-place looking ranch on the same side as the fire station, on the way down to the lights by Whole Foods is the replacement.

                    The Balmoral is a beautiful spot! It used to be the Sacred Heart school. When they first converted it to condos, they had some issue trying to redo the heating system, so the heat ended up being the responsibility of the condo association. They didn't insulate the building well during the initial conversion, which resulted in sky-high condo fees due to the heating costs, and thus very low condo prices. They also initially did not allow units to be rented, further suppressing prices. You (via your rent) are the lucky recipient of the outfall of their initial short-sightedness. ;-)

                    I don't know if it's since been better insulated - I recall that they did eventually replace the windows. I hope you're on an upper floor, so you can catch the downstairs neighbors' heat as it passes through!

                    As for polling, it would be nice if they put polling stations at more locations. It's not like the town is lacking for schools...

                    You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

                    by mataliandy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:27:56 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Andoverania (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mataliandy

                      It's steam/hot water heat, and the windows appear to be rather vintage and single-paned, so a lot of heat I'm sure leaks out. I'm on the 2nd floor but there's plenty of heat; in fact I just cracked the bedroom window because it's a little too warm in there and I don't even have the (ginormous) radiator on, but the hot water supply pipe goes through that room so I doubt I'll even need that radiator unless it gets really cold. The radiator in the front room is barely on.

                      All the windows need to be replaced but I'm sure since the building flooded a few years ago they have bigger priorities. The basement still isn't finished. Love the building, even if the inside of my unit is a little shabby and worn. I am too, so it's a good fit :)

                      Thanks for clarifying the up/downtown thing. Backwards from what I thought. Now that you mention it I know where the bike shop is.

                      me talk pretty one day.

                      by mudskipper on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:06:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Looks like I'll be spending the winter in town (0+ / 0-)

                        Due to electrical issues and a serious lack of ability to afford to plow the driveway here in our little utopia, we'll be kicking back at Dad's for the winter. We'll have to get together for coffee or something!

                        You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

                        by mataliandy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:17:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  But what about the winters. When I visited (0+ / 0-)

              Boston a few times I felt like I was "going home."  Once was summer, once was winter (but early, I guess) without snow.  I understand that the winter there is bleak.  That would be very depressing for me.  And more importantly, perhaps for someone from OK.

          •  Boston is fun (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mataliandy, kamarvt

            but I prefer Vermont. So close to the cities, but still in the mountains. Not a vast empty area like some rural places (I've visited a few). No crowds at all to speak of, but not too far from anything either. Boston is a cacophony by comparison (you can actually see stars and hear crickets without leaving the city here). Plenty to do. And when you get those pangs for the urbane, it's a short trip to Boston or Montreal.

            :)

            A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them. - Randall Munroe xkcd

            by Mountain Don on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:49:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  But if you're looking for culture (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmo, kamarvt, mamamorgaine

          Go someplace near Bennington, Norwich, Montpelier, or Burlington. There's not a lot in the nether regions, and flatlanders tend to be seriously intimidated by driving very far in the dark snowy (when we still get snow) winter evenings.

          Also, do NOT buy an SUV to drive around here, it puts you up high and makes some of those curves look even more intimidating. If you're desperate for 4wd, go Subaru or other small, low vehicle; though front wheel drive and studded snow tires will work just fine. (I drive a Honda Civic and live in a steep dirt road.) You get more maneuverability and less intimidation factor on unfamiliar roads from a smaller car.  

          I say all this because a friend from OK who moved up here deeply regretted the Jeep she bought. She also moved out to the country instead of one of the population centers and did not handle the isolation well. She's back in OK, now.

          Compared to OK, our BIG city is like a tiny town, so our small towns are virtually empty. If you need socialization, go for the cities...

          You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

          by mataliandy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:13:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Berkshires - Western MA has the culture (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mataliandy, nabwilson, SadieSue

            Theatre, Art, Music. Plus the glorious scenery. There are less expensive rural parts putting you 20 or 30 minutes from NYC/Boston level events. Plus you're 2-3 hours from either of those towns for adventures.

            And no visible evidence of Republicans anywhere.

            If you can figure out a way to make a living, nothing beats Northern New Mexico. But it's a big "if".

            •  The Berkshires are really nice (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mataliandy, nabwilson, MazeDancer

              I've spent time there, and was just there for a wedding recently. I grew up in Boston, and being a few hours from Boston and New York is certainly a great place to be. However, you really wouldn't be going to New York or Boston all the time, from a practical standpoint.

              Nevertheless, the Berkshires rock!

            •  Yep, the hilltowns of WMass are wonderful (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nabwilson, MazeDancer

              It's not inexpensive to buy houses here (though prices are dropping) & heating is an issue (especially this year) but other than that it is a wonderful place to live. Northampton is a great little city with lots of music & arts. Springfield has a very nice art museum as well as science & history museums. There are cultural attractions galore all around WMass (& all of Mass for that matter) & we are an easy drive to all the rest of New England, especially the coasts. Trains run to Boston & NYC regularly as well as to Chicago & DC & points west & south. And finally, our politics are quite progressive & the people are neighborly & helpful (once they know you - we aren't cold here, we're mostly self-contained, at least at first).

              You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. - Ray Bradbury

              by SadieSue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:31:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  How many of us are there? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kamarvt

          I moved from Michigan to Vermont four years ago and every day gives me some reason to rejoice for it!

          Our family sat down and wrote a list of things that were important to how we wanted to live. (As opposed to how we were currently living.) We investigated many geographical areas to see what would fit. Our list was:

          1. Hills
          1. Water
          1. Low population density
          1. Liberal legislature
          1. Affordable land

          Vermont won.

          We also wanted some access to culture and with Montreal and Boston within driving distance, we're pretty happy. Of course, our own financial crisis has made it very difficult to travel, but that's another topic.

      •  I know the feeling, too (11+ / 0-)

        for me it was north Georgia, green, mountains in the distance.  There is a view from a hilltop in town that I swear has been in my head since I was a little kid.  For all the reasons my town is not a good fit, I don't want to be anywhere else.

        All I can say to droogie, is you'll know it when you see it.

      •  I know it too (6+ / 0-)

        left home (joined the military to do it), married an AF career NCO, moved around for almost 20 yrs, and wound up 60 miles from where I started.

        But it's OK. I've lived in 2 foreign countries and both coasts, before winding up here (totally by chance and the AF).

        Home is where you make it.

      •  Heh, funny... (4+ / 0-)

        Grew up in New Hampshire, but Mass is my real home. Never looked back...

        You'd like Lowell, Droogie. A place with lots of potential still being tapped, which values the arts, an old mill town being repurposed, but with some serious political need for good people with the right values to shake out the cobwebs of the old guard who rear their ugly heads from time to time.

        I like Lowell because it's a small city, has a city feel without being a place you get lost (someone once told me that Lowell is the "biggest small town you will ever find") but only 35-45 minutes from Boston, with a public transit system (the train goes into Boston), near the highways going north, east or south, and full of character. And characters!

        I am told New Englanders can be a bit reserved, a little haughty especially to outsiders, and life here is pretty fast, if you're used to the slow lane. However, it's also fun and exciting, and people are nice if you're nice to them. I am an atypical New Englander, totally NOT reserved and really outspoken and friendly, but I've never really felt too out of place here, or else we would have left the whole region a long time ago.

        And Boston, Boston's really awesome. The MFA is one of the finest big museums in the country, with some awesome collections. Plus there's dozens of littler galleries, the BSO (symphony orchestra), the Pops, and dozens of great amateur music groups like the one my husband and I play in, theatre, etc. Tons of history as well.

        Just my $.02!

        •  Lowell (0+ / 0-)

          Lived in a mill bldg (Boott Mills) for a year... liked the building, but Doogie is looking for a place to raise a kid, and I don't think Lowell is so great for that, but what do I know. Still quite a bit of crime, lots of drugs and gangs, and I got tired of hearing gunshots, of car windows being bashed in right outside my place, the gang fights, being hassled for change and smokes, etc. Maybe there's better nabes in Lowell e.g. Belvidere but I wouldn't move back there.

          me talk pretty one day.

          by mudskipper on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:16:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

            There's lots of areas of Lowell, not just mill condos. I live in a single family in another neighborhood. Some neighborhoods even border the local State Park and are quite "woodsy." Others are more traditional single-family city-densities, and yet other areas are more, or less, crowded (there's the Acre which has a lot of multifamilies, and Belvedere which, you guessed it, is where all the rich people live).

            Also, Lowell has one of the top urban school districts in the state, and if I recall the # correct, ranks around 25th overall for the state. The high school is actually quite good, it has a really cool way to educate kids (and it's HUGE, making so more classes available...I can tell you as a graduate of another city's large high school that it's well worth it!).

            Plus, one of our school committee members blogs!

            (There are three major blogs in the city, myself, Richard Howe, and Jackie. The City Manager also occasionally blogs.)

          •  Oh and how long ago (0+ / 0-)

            Did you live here? If it was more than 8-10 years, it's really changed. Really really changed. The Clinton put-cops-on-the-street community policing movement started here, for one thing.

            Plus, again, there's a bunch of different neighborhoods (the Boott Mills area I believe is much improved, as is downtown - it's transformed from a decade ago). The Hamilton Canal district (next to downtown) is in the process of being revamped completely...the burnt out Appleton Mill is being preserved and built into artist live-work space, other old buildings will be preserved as well, and the rest of the fallow land developed so there'll be the extended downtown from Merrimack all the way into the Jackson/Appleton/Middlesex street area.

            Not to say that Lowell still doesn't have its problems, but especially that gang thing, it's much under control compared to the 90s. My husband went to school here in 1990-1991, he remembers the Cambodian gang problem. The city is really different from that now.

        •  Lots of places (0+ / 0-)

          north of Boston where Droogie could go.

          I'm in Peabody :)

          What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

          by ChurchofBruce on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:20:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's how I feel about Jerusalem... (5+ / 0-)

        ...though we may find ourselves back there one day. Who knows.

        If you move to the Northwest or upper New England, be prepared to do something about a fall/winter/spring depression due to the lack of sunshine compared with what you're used to. It's a physiological thing that happens to most people.

        Good luck whatever you do. Thanks for sharing with us.

      •  I had EXACTLY the same experience (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, kamarvt

        I never felt "at home" in MA, even in the house my family has owned for many decades.

        Vermont, for all the challenges we're facing trying to make a "go" of it here, is the first place I've ever truly felt at home.

        You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

        by mataliandy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:04:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's the way I felt about Seattle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, diamondqueen

        Sort of like the old song, where John Denver sings about "Coming home to a place he'd never been before."

        I suspect there's a place like that for everybody.

        We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

        Now the real work begins.

        by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:07:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Austin, Texas, baby! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea, jayden, rudewarrior

          Born overseas, lived all over the world and the U.S., but knew the moment I got here that Austin was home.  Funny, that.

          Not as cheap as it was, but music and culture galore, small-town friendliness combined with urban sophistication, yummy foods from around the world, natural Hill Country beauty and outdoor activities, and some of the best collegiate sports anywhere.

          It's like paradise, plus Baby Boy jandey is about the same age as Baby droogie, iirc.

          "Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen."--Mort Sahl

          by jandey on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:57:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I liked living in Austin (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boadicea
            for all the reasons you describe. There were three reasons we left though:

            1. My wife couldn't find a job at the time. I was underemployed working for the DSHS as a temp-agency word processor, and while I loved the people I worked with, it would have been hard to raise a family (and impossible to keep a house) on what they paid.

            2. The far aints. 'Nuff said.

            3. The heat. My brain shuts down when the temperature gets over 80. Most days I was miserable anytime I stepped outside, and we faced $300/mo. air conditioning bills (this back in '91, no less). Believe it or not, one of the reasons we moved to Seattle was the cool, rainy climate Californians bitch about.

            We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

            Now the real work begins.

            by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 04:09:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Regarding #2: (0+ / 0-)

              bwhaahahha!  You are so right.  It took me about eighteen seconds to figure out what you were saying.  The drought this past summer was so bad I haven't seen any this year.  Though I did see a spider so large and hairy last night that it would have had hekebolos in raptures.

              "Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen."--Mort Sahl

              by jandey on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:29:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The first month we were there (0+ / 0-)

                my son (age 5 at the time) managed to wander into a fire ant nest. Luckily we had a bathtub nearby and a bunch of baking soda on hand.

                After that we were much more careful, but still sometimes got bit. For instance one day I noticed the newspaper on the sidewalk away from its usual spot. I reached down, picked it up and absent-mindedly tucked it under my ear like you might hold a telephone. Guess who was inside the newspaper.

                You remember those floods several years ago? I remember seeing pictures of "mysterious" craters in the ground after the waters receded. I just looked at them and smiled, 'cause I knew what caused the craters. Collapsing fire ant colonies. But with my luck the little bastards probably had lifeboats.

                We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

                Now the real work begins.

                by Omir the Storyteller on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:23:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Apparently ants form their own lifeboats. (0+ / 0-)

                  No kidding, they attach to each other and make huge floating rafts of their bodies.  They can also stay under water for extended spells.

                  Good thing you left, then, eh?

                  "Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen."--Mort Sahl

                  by jandey on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:31:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I've always had a nomadic pull (12+ / 0-)

      and if you see below, I've settled into the Piedmont after living in the midwest, the southwest, the northwest and now the southeast.

      Moving is exciting.  Setting down roots is even better.

      The Republican Party's agenda to subjugate average Americans is so rotten, it smells worse than the toilet seat on a shrimp boat." Aristotle

      by funluvn1 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:49:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like both sides of it (5+ / 0-)

        I like roots and I like displacement.  I've lived in every region of the country at one time or another.  I find I get stale when I'm in one place long enough for nearly everything to become anticipated.  That has its comforts, but it also tends (in my case) to dull my responsiveness.

        The places I've lived for a few years feel rooted to me whenever I go back to them.  The friends who stayed there are still friends, the places that haven't been bulldozed are still friends too.

        Children often need a stable place where they can figure out something about the world, wandering can be very confusing to them.  Adults can find stability in abstractions a lot of the time, see the permanances that underlie even the most chaotic situations.  Moving a lot helps me understand these, so I move a lot because that interests me.

    •  Home... (6+ / 0-)

      I moved back to Brooklyn, New York from New Jersey. I wasn't born there but it was where I lived for most of my life, first in Manhattan then in Brooklyn. Now I'm trying to figure out how to move from Brooklyn back to Manhattan. I've gone almost full circle.

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

      by resa on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:50:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's good to hear of an old (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        resa, Ronald Singleterry

        Manhattanite who wants to return. So many of my old friends have moved to Brooklyn and say they wouldn't come back......we need some of you guys back here!.
        I know you get a lot less for your $$$$ in prime Manhattan, but prime Brooklyn ain't that much better...Washington Heights is still the best value in all of Manhattan and Brooklyn. And Yorkville still has some bargins.

        This is off topic, so I'll just leave it there and say that I hope you find your way back over the bridge.

        •  You know, I've been looking on Craigs List (0+ / 0-)

          and even when you remove the obvious scams (1400 for a 2 bedroom apt in the W. Village), rents appear to have gone down...and hey, it's not off topic! I'm coming home.

          "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

          by resa on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:19:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This song's for you, droog. (16+ / 0-)

      (but Northern California rocks too...)

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by darthstar on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:52:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alaska (10+ / 0-)

      could use a few more progressives. Got snow clothes? ;-)
      .
      Yes We Can / Give Oil Wars A Chance

      http://www.giveoilwarsachance.com

      by newusername on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:52:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  They've got an awful Governor. Also. n/t (25+ / 0-)

          "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by MsWings on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:05:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I was going for humor. :-) (8+ / 0-)

          but further down, I highly rec'd the Pacific Northwest.  Increasingly progressive, a little rainy, good air and watersheds ... the place to get to imho. :-)
          .
          Yes We Can / Give Oil Wars A Chance

          http://www.giveoilwarsachance.com

          by newusername on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:07:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I live in King County... (9+ / 0-)

            SE Seattle near Seward Park.  Good community, Mixed and I do mean mixed - gay, lesbian, straight all raising families, white, Native American, Asian, Ethiopian, black, hispanic, Jewish (all types), Muslim(all types), Christian (all types).  Obama brought us together and we have stayed together as a community.

            You will need a really good paying job to afford to live here - or MS. Droogie will have to work also.  

            Schools, Seattle schools have it's problems, but the alternative schools in the public school system function better (email me for a recommend list).  

            Winters are not that cold (live around the Rochester NY area for a while - thats cold and snowy).  Summers are very bearable - about 2 wks of 90's, mostly in the 80's.  Summers can be short if you grow your own gardens.  

            The voice of silence does just as much damage as hateful words.

            by doingbusinessas on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:42:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Expensive, but cheaper than most of California (4+ / 0-)

              Seattle is not cheap, but most of California is much more expensive (especially if you want to buy a house). I would also recommend the south end of the city (very good value). The schools are good, in my opinion (even the ones that aren't alternative). The public schools don't do a very good job promoting themselves. Case in point: Washington Middle School, which has the best jazz program in the state (the kids seriously jam) as well as one of the best math and chess teams. But their web site doesn't mention any of that (nor does the main Seattle Public Schools web site). But I digress.

              Other than the cost of living, the toughest part of adjusting to living here is probably the weather. It doesn't get as "bad" as Oklahoma. It rarely rains really hard and it rarely snows. But we have a huge number of cloudy or rainy days for about 8 months of the year. It also gets dark really early during that time. But, if you can handle that, you will be rewarded by some great summer weather (never humid, rarely over 80 degrees, often sunny). Oh, and we have the best hiking in the country for a major city. Really, we do. There are other great places to hike in the country, but they are much further away from the city.

              •  And much cheaper in some of the suburbs. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brooke In Seattle

                It only gets dark extra-early for about three months, whereas it stays light extra-late for three months also. Fireworks on 4th of July start at about 10:15 PM because it's not dark enough until then.

                And the "rain" we get is usually mist/drizzle. Annoying (and, by Feb, depressing), but not a huge impediment to normal life. I DO miss those Oklahoma thunderstorms sometimes, though. If we get one per year, that's a lot.

                The Seattle schools vary in quality, but considering it's not a rich white-bread district where every student has two college-educated parents pushing them to excel, there is some surprisingly good education going on.

                It's morning again in America....Our country is prouder, and stronger, and better - 1984 RR campaign ad

                by NWTerriD on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:09:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, about summers being "bearable" (6+ / 0-)

              have you ever been to a place in the country that has summers like ours! This is magic time for the PNW! You can scream "Beauty" right off your porch and everybody would know exactly what you mean.

            •  We moved to the Pacific NW (5+ / 0-)

              in 1995, and I've often joked that the only way we'd every leave is if we were living in our car and the kids were hungry! This place is heaven on earth!

              We live on the east side of Lake Washington. We're 45 minutes from the beautiful Cascades, and 45 minutes from beautiful Puget Sound.

              Summers when my kids were young were nothing short of perfect. We'd get up every morning and I'd say, "What do we want to do today?" Then we'd pack up a picnic and go to the beach, or drive to the mountains where they'd play at the bottom of a beautiful waterfall, swimming in cold snowmelt, or drive to one of many local parks with woods and hiking trails and plenty of animals to marvel at. There are NO poisonous snakes here, so the kids can go running through a meadow of high grass without a parent having a heart attack. In fact, when they were little and we'd see a snake on the trail, my kids would just walk over and pick it up with no fear whatsoever, because they grew up without a fear of snakes.

              As they've gotten older, we've hiked in the Cascades summer after summer. My kids have seen bears in the wild, counted the eagles as they soared above us, and heard marmots whistle a warning of our presence to their buddies, then watched a lone coyote trot across the talus searching for a marmot lunch. We have hiked long stretches of coastline, where we walked for a whole day without seeing another human being. We have watched black-tailed deer frolic on a sandy beach as the waves crashed a few feet away.

              Yes, it's expensive. We could have a much nicer house somewhere else. But there's a lot more to raising a family than the building you live in. Moving here was, for us, rather serendipitous, but it's one of the best things that ever happened to us. I  highly recommend you check out the Pacific NW!

              You better be nice to us... 'cause if you aren't, we just might bring democracy to YOUR country.

              by DixieDishrag on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:42:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Delaware's not bad (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MyBrainWorks

          Great beaches, close to DC/Philly/Baltimore, even NYC if you want.

          We even have four seasons, and the winters aren't too horrible. We rarely get hurricanes, tornadoes, or major storms of any kind.

          Good schools, relatively low taxes, relatively low crime rates, reasonable housing.

          Jobs outlook isn't so great right now though...

        •  I hear that. (0+ / 0-)

          I was stuck in a blizzard in Boise City for a day. When the roads opened it took 12 hours to drive to Pueblo, CO (normally a 3 -4 hour drive)  I had a tension headache that would have dropped a mule.

          Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right...... Isaac Asimov ---- {-8.25 / -5.64}

          by carver on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:45:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Define what cold means to you (6+ / 0-)

          I grew up in North Dakota and Wyoming.  To me, cold means having your nostrils freeze shut momentarily when you breathe in too deeply.  Cold means you welcome the freeze so your shoes and boots don't get muddy.

          I live near Portland, Oregon now.  It doesn't get cold here.  It gets chilly.  Bone-chilling chilly.  Not the same as the deep freeze of North Dakota, though - more like upper 30s to upper 40s as typical wintertime highs, with occasional excursions below 32 at night.

          So - what to you is "too cold?"

          I suspect I may be the reverse of you - I start getting uncomfortable anytime the temperature rises above the low 70s.  I like the west-of-the-Cascade Mountains Northwest because even the summers stay relatively cool here.

          My opinion is that the weather of Portland and Seattle would be perfect for me, if only the temperatures -- winter and summer -- were on average 10 to 20 degrees colder.  That would be wonderful.

        •  No kidding. Grey skies from October until April (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AnnCetera, MyBrainWorks

          With grey trees and dead grass. Bleak is the OK winter. Cold and Windy.

          Left Enid when I graduated college and moved to Los Angeles in 1980. Never looked back. Visited family in OK and KS regularly and enjoy the spring and fall but the politics of the area suck so bad I can't live there again.

          (Here in LA I can ski in the morning in the mountains and go to the beach in the afternoon.)

          No matter how cynical I get, it's impossible to keep up.

          by Flippant on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:28:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Pittsburgh, great city (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MazeDancer

          Rustbelt cities are the best kept secret. Housing is cheap; many are progressive, access to good education, culture, cosmopolitan amenities and lots of fresh water. IMHO Pittsburgh is the best of them all.

          Another good little rustbelt city is Kalamazoo. They have lots of arts, good cheap housing, close to Lake Michigan, Chicago is just 2 hours away, close access to state forest, many progressive citizens, there is an airport and Amtrak and best of all the Kalamazoo Promise
          This is a fund that will pay the tuition  for 4 years at any Michigan state college for every child who graduates from a public school in Kalamazoo. My niece is currently in her second year at the University of Michigan and her tuition is being paid for by the Promise.
          The one problem with Kalamazoo is the winter....but the fall, spring and summer are all pretty nice and they get some great thunderstorms.

        •  The parallels abound. (0+ / 0-)

          So here is my story, for whatever it's worth:

          Grew up in Oklahoma (moved there when I was 5 yo and felt the pull to leave immediately). Finally escaped to law school in Berkeley, and found SF Bay Area better, but still not what I wanted.

          Fell in love with Seattle on visits, finally moved here at age 32. LOVED it. A few years later, due to some family issues, ex-hubby and I decided to move back closer to our families. We couldn't bear the thought of actually returning to Okla, so after considering Colorado Springs (another favorite place), ended up in Austin.

          Turned out not to be a good fit, although it does share some of the things I love about the Pac NW, and it was great to be able to see family more often. But although the rest of TX calls it the People's Republic of Austin, it still had too much of that whole Texas/Oklahoma feel to it for my taste. I missed Seattle something fierce for the whole 3 years I was in Austin.

          So when the divorce happened, I moved back here to Seattle area. I've never regretted it for a moment. It is great to find the place where your soul is at home. (And the winters here beat the hell out of the ones in Oklahoma. So do the summers. And although this isn't really considered a 4-season place, I do get to see lots of fall colors, living out here in the 'burbs.)

          What I love here, in addition to the breathtaking natural beauty and the utter quirkiness of the culture, is the sense of live-and-let-live that I felt was missing both in redneck conservative OK/TX and in oh-so-politically-correct Bay Area.

          Good luck in your decision.

          It's morning again in America....Our country is prouder, and stronger, and better - 1984 RR campaign ad

          by NWTerriD on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:01:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

          Then you'd better forget all that blathering about Vermont above :D

          What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

          by ChurchofBruce on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:22:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Portland, OR (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kjoftherock

          Unbeatable.

          Come for a visit, you'll want to stay forever. Small town feel, big city food, culture, entertainment, variety. The neighborhoods are alive with young couples and their kids. Bike to work. Light rail.

          Much more affordable than the Bay Area. Glorious clear summers, color-soaked falls, flower-burst springs, and (truth-telling) grey drippy winters but mountain snow less than an hour away.

          Scenery you never get tired of - mountains, ocean, the BIG river and its Gorge (wind-surfing?), a gardener's paradise.

          No sales tax.

          And now, TWO Democratic senators.

          365 Words that begin with P - from Palin to poppycock to prevaricate to pusillanimous

          by JoieDe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:24:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good schools? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SmartAleq

            How are the schools there?  I remember reading a couple of years ago that the taxpayers there had refused to fund an education initiative.

            •  Getting better overall, (0+ / 0-)

              And some of the magnet schools are incredibly good--my grandson's going to an arts/drama/music middle school and he's having the time of his life.  In general most school bond measures pass, just sometimes the badly written tax measures that have poison pills in them get a lot of airplay.

              Housing prices are getting way more affordable with the general crash, but overall the foreclosure picture in Portland isn't bad compared to the rest of the country.  

              I've been here twelve years and wouldn't consider moving--well, maybe to Vancouver BC but only if we got more Republicans in office.  

              "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

              by SmartAleq on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:44:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I always used to (0+ / 0-)

        idealize Alaska as a place for adventurers and people wanting a rugged existence or making the ultimate break and a fresh start. This image came crashing down around my head as Sarah Palin came onto the National scene and Ted Stevens was convicted.

        Is it as bad as they make it seem, or is there still some of what I imagined left ?

        Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

        by Babsnc on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:22:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not there, but I would wager (0+ / 0-)

          that most of what you dreamed of is there. Current political circumstances aside, I think it is still a frontier.  Too cold for me though ;-)

          http://www.giveoilwarsachance.com

          by newusername on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:29:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's still there (0+ / 0-)

          I know people there. One friend is a bush pilot. I've known people who went there to escape from everything and then later came back to the lower 48 and to areas where you can't just take off like that. You can still do it. You can build your own house, cabin or hut without worrying about building codes, hunt, forage, and to some extent grow your own food, bring in your own supplies by plane or by other means, make your own supplies like using bear tallow for candles, live 100% off the grid, go for as long as you want without seeing anybody else.

          Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at riverheart.livejournal.com.

          by Kitsap River on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:56:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm actually considering (4+ / 0-)

        a move out of state after all these shenanigans.  Unlike Droogie, it doesn't feel like a pull toward somewhere, but a push away from here.

        As an Alaska Resident, I am pleased to report no Russians in my driveway again this morning. Carry on...

        by frsbdg on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:41:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hahaha!!! My "home town..." (12+ / 0-)

      ...is Olongopo, somewhere in the Philippines. Older sister born in Miami, brother in Monterey, CA, little sister in Bathesda Naval Hospital, baby sister in upstate New York. Dad from Kentucky, Mom from Georgia. Until hubby and I moved here to WNC 16 years ago, neither of us ever lived anywhere more than 3 years.

      But his family is still in Oklahoma. Which is a great place to be FROM, but not so great a place to live now. It's gone steadily more depressing and gray since 1980, and I doubt it'll ever come out.

      If you like cities I can't recommend any - they're all alike. If you like more room, fresh air, incredible beauty and 4 fully-packed seasons a year, these mountains are wonderful, and NC is a fairly progressive place in many ways. Best of luck to you!

      Maybe people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw bibles.

      by Joy Busey on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:59:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try Iowa, Droogie! (5+ / 0-)

      Lots of those good people you like, and a great education for your little one. Several places around the state have all the art and culture you could shake a stick at, and in 2012 you can caucus for Obama!

    •  Hey droogie, (5+ / 0-)

      from one Native Oklahoman to another, we'll never go back.  Never!  Madison, WI is a wonderful place to live.  Maybe not as diverse as the coasts, but still nicely progressive.  Very very family oriented, green focus, vibrant night life and music scene, fantastic concerts, museums and beautiful terrain.

      No wonderful thunderstorms though.  We do miss those!

      •  No thunderstorms? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        juslikagrzly

        I lived near Madison in the early 80's after a stint in NY state and a childhood in KY. The WI thunderstorms were just as terrifying as the KY thunderstorms, but the tornado sirens were too far away to hear.

        I liked the Madison area, although it was bipolar then in many ways, but SO hated it there, being from NYC for childhood. The early-80's recession led to unemployment for each of us, and we relocated to central NY.

        We are also looking at relocation now, at least for the winter. Snow loses its beauty when it has to be shoveled/plowed/scraped nearly daily.

        Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

        by riverlover on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:19:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I always feel the pull to my native California (7+ / 0-)

      so much that my stomach lurches when a TV ad or a picture depicts the golden hillsides or the coast. A lot of car ads have been shot along Hwy 1 around Big Sur or on 280 and, after one view, have not been able to look.

      Funny thing, my other pull is to Manhattan and Long Island, which I call my "genetic home," the home of my family. I spent some time there as a child, visiting. When I see sailboats or pictures of Manhattan, I feel homesick.

      One would think that those feelings would subside over 40 years. Despite liking where I live in the midwest -- a wonderful liberal oasis -- and having no complaints about the weather (I tell people who complain about the weather: "If you want nice weather, move to California."), I would love to go back to CA. It's the only place I feel like I'm at home. But I can't, so I gotta love the one I'm with.

      Good luck on your search, droogie.

      You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by bleeding heart on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:22:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have to respond to you. (7+ / 0-)

        I love CA in the same way.  I grew up there.  I've been in the Pacific NW for much of my adult life and have never felt like it is home.  I spent a week in Napa this summer and it was like being with a long lost love.

        "I always wanted a son named Zamboni." Sarah Palin

        by llamaRCA on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:29:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know exactly how you feel. (9+ / 0-)

          I grew up in CA too, and even though I moved to the Northwest by choice, when I'm back, I realize how much I miss it.  

          I'm now trying to convince my husband that we should move back, but so far, he won't budge.  He spent his whole life trying to leave California, and the housing market is still so expensive...

          But I just don't feel like I'm home unless I'm cruising the 101, eating a double double and listening to KQED.

          Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:37:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me three (0+ / 0-)

            I grew up in Southern California, and have spent 20+ years trying to make Oregon feel like home.  Ain't going to happen.  I've recently moved to the south, and in just three months it feels more like home than the PNW.

            I find it fascinating how different regions suit different people.  

            I miss California so much, but it's just too expensive for me.

        •  Not me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmo, llamaRCA

          I grew up in California, too. I was born and raised in Berkeley. I've lived in Hayward, Redwood City, Marin County (mostly Corte Madera), Berkeley, Daly City, and San Jose. I am never moving back. I love it here. The Northwest is home.

          Specifically, my house and my land is home. This is where I center my desire for a home place. This is sacred land to me, especially the circle in the exact center of our land that we didn't put there - the land did. But even if something happened that meant that I couldn't stay in this house on this land, the Northwest is still home. I'd probably stay on the Kitsap Peninsula if I could, or move to Vashon Island.

          I do miss kayaking in the summer on the Russian River, though.

          Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at riverheart.livejournal.com.

          by Kitsap River on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:03:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I lived in Redwood City and several other (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kitsap River

            cities around the Bay Area.  I think Redwood City was my favorite.  The weather and mexican food was divine.

            "I always wanted a son named Zamboni." Sarah Palin

            by llamaRCA on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:24:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So many places, so little time! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kitsap River

            I have lived in suburban CT, Cambridge MA, Berkeley CA (30 years in the Berkeley bubble!) and spent time in VT (too hot, sticky and buggy in the summer) and on Cape Cod (too much retiree for me).  

            When I moved to the Portland area (Vancouver WA actually)I felt like I'd finally found my true HOME.

            That said, I still love going back to my former haunts, and feel blessed that we no longer have to travel by covered wagon.

            365 Words that begin with P - from Palin to poppycock to prevaricate to pusillanimous

            by JoieDe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:35:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I've spent a week and a half (0+ / 0-)

          of my life in CA; the Bay area, to be precise; and I felt quite a pull.

          However, I love MA as well, and as long as my kids and exwife are in MA, so am I.

          What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

          by ChurchofBruce on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:26:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Props to Victoria, B.C.! (10+ / 0-)

      But they roll up the sidewalks at 9 pm.  Sigh.  I just can't go back.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:26:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Harrisburg PA - (0+ / 0-)

      midtown. Great historic urban area with revitalization and period-sensitive renewal. Progressive community with exceptional diversity. Schools fair to middling, but many options, including charter/magnet high schools within the public district. Lots of couples (gay and straight) with kids. Low crime, affordable, and beautiful - four full seasons, the Susquehannah River. Convenient to mass transit (Hbg Intl Airport, Amtrak, bus) to relatively local urban areas (DC, Philly, NYC). Great farmer's markets, thrift stores, neighborhood economies. Whitaker Center for performing arts, state museum, other downtown attractions are all walkable.

      And I don't even live there!

    •  May I just say (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sap, NWTerriD, Ronald Singleterry

      it is SO great to see you back, Droog.

      And yeah, I know about the pull. But there are things keeping me rooted here, at least for now.

      Comfort the disturbed. Disturb the comfortable.

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:43:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Home prices (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnCetera

      You need to be aware that in many places around the country home prices are still too high in relation to income (at least that meet your definition).

      One of the things that you might want to try is CNN/Money's Best Places to Live.  There is a box where you can tailor it to your needs.

      Fortunately for me, my job allows me to explore new places.  (I am no longer actively practicing law.)

      I can certainly understand the desire to get away.  But life isn't as rosy everywhere else.  You know, the grass is always greener argument.

      But good luck on your search.

      •  oh don't believe those numbers at all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, AnnCetera

        I used them to figure my move to MI and they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

        First of all, median home prices don't tell you a damn thing.  An apartment here in Lansing area when I arrived could not be found at the standard and price of Sacramento California.  Second, food is extremely expensive in MI.  You can't even get fresh fruits and vegetables at the CA prices at any time of the year.  I have given up eating green beans, my favorite vegetable, because even in summer, we have lousy ones.

        Also, the cost of things like computers, appliances, automobiles is basically the same everywhere.

        Gas is cheaper in MI, but the roads are a nightmare so your car rusts underneath like crazy.  

        And airplane tickets are the same price all over the country relative to where you are going, of course.

        Those helpful guides are wildly unhelpful.

        And weather research won't do you much good unless you look at highs and lows, not averages.  And then study the number of days at those highs and lows.

        No one could have clued me in to Lansing being second only to Seattle in sunny days, not even my MI relatives who live in the sun belt.

        "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

        by fernan47 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:23:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Colorado... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, AnnCetera

      Is filled with ex-pats from other states trying to forge a new life.  I should know - I left California 17 years ago to find a better life for my family.  After this election and the change I am seeing my adopted state - I am more than I happy I made the move.  I now consider my self a Coloradan.  And all of my kids have been born here.

      In the 17 years I have been here - I have noticed a real effort to bring culture to the area.  It is a young, vibrant state - especially the Denver Metro area.  However, there is also a real healthy 'outdoor' vibe here.  We have the lowest incidence of obesity, although Denver is the biggest party city in the nation.  I really think you should give the place a look.  Hunting and fishing are big here and I know a few form Okies that are very happy about that.

      "I think I speak for most Americans when I say, anybody mind if he starts a little early? Would that be a problem?" - David Letterman

      by RichM on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:59:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I left NM, but had to return. (6+ / 0-)

      The tortillas everywhere else are rubbish.

      I was part of Project Houdini!

      by sap on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:15:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK -> CO is the way to go + journalism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scoopster, AnnCetera

      I did that 2.5 years ago after being a lifer in OK.  The fit is much better here.

      The hobbies are expensive, and some of the jobs are difficult to obtain, but it is very pleasant overall.

      If you want information about journalism here, I can hook you up with someone who should be able to help.  You might even know him, as he was a long-time Tulsa resident as well.

      Now pondering a new tagline for your amusement.

      by Prof Dave on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:28:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was pulled to the Northwest. (7+ / 0-)

      I grew up in California, but my best friend from high school went to college up here, and every time I came to visit him, I never wanted to leave.

      Why?

      Because the air feels different here.  It's so clean and crisp, and unlike any place I've ever been.  

      After a quick detour to Northern Virginia (which I hated), we found our way here.  In so many ways, the Northwest is perfect: we elect Democratic women; we like our First and Second Amendment Rights; we pay our fair share of taxes but get good services in return; we have seasons, but they're not too extreme; we're rugged and outdoorsy (umbrellas are for wimps) without hunting wolves from planes and eating mooseburgers.

      BUT...

      It's not home.  

      I grew up in Southern California and always knew I didn't belong there.  Then I moved to the Bay Area for college and stayed for five years and found my profession and made friends and had lifelong frieds move there too and built a life.

      And I miss it.  There's a lot I miss about Northern California -- double doubles animal style and real Mexican food and oh, those Bay Area politics (Prop 8 notwithstanding), and farmers market all year round -- but that's not why I want to go back.

      I miss my friends.  I miss being able to hop in a car and drive five hours to visit my family.  And although I love doing my job from home, I actually miss my office.  Going in once a week wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

      I never fully appreciated my life there, but since leaving, I've realized that the Bay Area is home for me.  And now I'm trying to figure out how to get back.

      So good luck on your adventure, Droogie, but remember that sometimes, home is where you already are if you're lucky enough to realize it.

      And if not, consider the "Left" Coast.  Seriously.  We do things a little differently out here, but it works pretty well for us (most of the time).

      --

      Sorry for rambling; just wanted to give my perspective.

      Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:34:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My brother (0+ / 0-)

        grew up in Boston, lived in Baltimore and southern California, but he said he found "home" when he moved to the Bay Area.

        I knew what he meant. I've only spent a week and a half there in my life, but I fell in love.

        What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

        by ChurchofBruce on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:30:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Droogie, there comes a point... (4+ / 0-)

      our lives when the need to change the scenery and/or start life anew overcomes the need to stay in the familiar, well-travelled paths of our lives.  It's a major change though if you do it, so if you do take the big step make sure you're well prepared.

      I reached this point about 7 years ago, when I was still living near my roots near New Haven, CT.  I was slumbering through college, digging out from the mess that my broken engagement had become, and struggling to deal with financial issues that were, for the first time in my life, wholly my own.  My family had started to spread out as well.  At the time I was also a big travel-by-car geek, so I'd take weekend trips around New England or to New York City.  Eventually I made my way through Providence and Newport, RI and something sparked in my mind.

      A year later, a job offer came my way that gave me the chance and I jumped at it.

      Now, I can't quite say things have turned out like I expected them to.  That job offer turned into five years of drifting in and out of temp work, which also led to my finances being a mess.  But in return I got a chance to clear my mind, make my own way, and enjoy the priceless things that brought me here in the first place.  I miss the familiarity of where I grew up, and I still visit friends and family there, but I know now that I probably won't go back for good.

    •  If there are book clubs in Kos-land (0+ / 0-)

      this would be one relevant to this topic.

      The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop

      (note:  link to amazon is not a plug, just the easiest way to get information)

      I heard Mr. Bishop speak several times on various media outlets about his book, and it's on my wish-list for Xmas.  

      I'll admit that I'm relieved to live in a very blue area (Chicago), and not have the feeling of isolation as I had known in the past.  

    •  Come to Cleveland! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      313to212, betterdonkeys

      You can hang out with Dania Audax and me, while enjoying a ton of museums (one of the best art museums in the world, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Natural History, Science, Auto-Aviation, Modern Art) one of the greatest orchestras in the world, dance, pop music, art, and a transit system voted best in the country in 2007...

      NFTT Progressively supporting the troops

      by Timroff on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:55:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Droog, I highly counsel (4+ / 0-)

      against the PNW, beautiful as it is.

      I grew up there, and I'd love to move back at some point -- as a summer vacation home, perhaps.

      But... the winters would drive you batshit insane.  After a couple of decades in Denver, going back for just a few days for my parents' funerals was enough to let me know that I just could not hack the constant cloudy damp cold.

      Come to Denver -- a nice blue state these days, with lots of sunshine, real seasons -- and thunderstorms!  (and the tornados stay out on the eastern plains, so you don't even have to deal with those).

      •  If you like (or don't mind) rain, PNW is heaven. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kat08

        If you find rain depressing, it's hell.

        Don't get me wrong, even those of us who love rain can find it depressing by February or March. But if your reaction to rain after a two-week string of sunny days is, "Damn, it's raining," then it is true that you probably shouldn't live in the Northwest. Except maybe Sequim, the capital of what is known as the "Banana Belt" in WA.

        It's morning again in America....Our country is prouder, and stronger, and better - 1984 RR campaign ad

        by NWTerriD on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:25:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those Who Leave Are Moved By Nostalgia (0+ / 0-)

      Those who stay are held by nostalgia.

      "The market is not self-correcting, it's self-serving."

      by Ronald Singleterry on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:19:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Congrats on getting out! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm in Oklahoma 'cause I have to be, but have found it a perfectly pleasant place to live (politics aside).  We need all the politically committed progressives we can take, so I hope that your wanderlust goes away, droogie, though I totally understand your desire to leave.

      (FWIW, I answered "I left home and miss it so bad I want to go back"....but life doesn't always give you the opportunity to do so, and my life almost certainly never will. And you can never really go home again.)

      This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

      by GreenSooner on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:26:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Come to Chicago. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roubs

      It is the home of America's 21st Century Renaissance.

      Sincerely,
      Hon. Richard M. Daley

    •  Try eastern Kansas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TaraIst

      or eastern Nebraska.  You get the thunderstorms, the art museums, and the low cost of living.  Good public education, public universities, art museums (Jocelyn in Omaha, Nelson in KC, Spencer in Lawrence), historical stuff (Civil War and Pony Express, all that westward expansion stuff).  And good people.  And states that are a bit less red, but still need the work of good people like you.  I am from KS, now living in MO.  

    •  Never really had a home until I met Mrs. Polecat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced

      and we made a very nice one up here in Western NC.

      One of the best school systems in the country.  Mountains.  Diverse set of people. NC IS BLUE!!!

      Come join us.

      But if you're having trouble with gray sky, do not, (I repeat) DO NOT move to the Pacific Northwest.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:22:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, tdub

        After moving 8 times during my husband's higher ed teaching career, we chose the place we always came back to on vacation - NW North Carolina.

        We helped turn NC blue along with Buncomb(sp?)county. Watauga (ASU) and Buncomb (Asheville) were the only counties on the western border that went blue.

        Be sure to choose one of the towns that has a college though.  You'll find good food, entertainment and people you can have a good conversation with.  Most of the locals (who are from around here) are also intelligent and interesting, but we have the low information fundies also.  I guess they're everywhere now.

        We also have magnificent thunderstorms and spin-offs from hurricanes if you really love weather drama.  No tornadoes though.

        Absolutely beautiful mountain scenery.  The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through our Boone, NC area.  It's pricey, but well worth it.  We were lucky to find and start buying our place in the late 70's while he finished his work in Cincinnati.

    •  Check out Iowa City. Seriously (4+ / 0-)

      Mostly blue, and cosmopolitan. Lots of ruralness outside of town, though. Good farmer's market and health food. High level of post-secondary education.

      Lots of small towners that work for the University. Excellent schools in most parts of town. An interesting racial mix and quite a cross-cultural mix.

      Lots of culture: art museum, orchestra, suzuki school for music, Big Ten sports, GLBT activities, a wide range of religious choices, from ultra-conservative religious to Buddhist and Muslim. Even Unitarians.

      Down side: we do have winter with lots of snow at times. And the occaisional flood. But usually the Iowa River (through the center of town) is picturesque.

      If you want to visit--let me know. I can likely put you up.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:27:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Iowa City (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckylizard, MooseHB

        That was a good place to live!  My husband earned his PhD there and we enjoyed it when we could.  He was teaching and doing his college work.  I was busy with 3 children from new-born to 3 and 4 year old.  Very little extra time or money, but it was a nice town.

      •  IC is top ten in places to live (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murasaki, luckylizard

        For raising kids, for culture, for stuff to do, for smart people who understand smart people when they talk.

        A long history of last-second field goals (sorry, Penn State fans), epic basketball collapses, and wrestling dominance.

        Plus there is at least one Moose, who will not be shot from a helicopter.

        Obama/Biden 2008
        -7.12/-5.95
        "He will make Cheney look like Gandhi"—Pat Buchanan on John McCain

        by MooseHB on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:31:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The benefit to Iowa (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murasaki

        is that you can get a small town feel with a university town culture.  The IC area has lots of advantages and is within a reasonable distance from Des Moines, St. Louis, Chicago, and Minneapolis.  Kalona and the Amanas offer some old-time craftsmanship and great food.  The Quad Cities are an hour away and have a wonderful symphony, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival and 7K race.  There are wonderful areas along the Mississippi for water activities and nature exploration, as well as an wonderful symphony that is huge.

        (My favorite thing is hunting for geodes downriver near Keokuk.)

        I've pondered moving away several times in my 58 years but no matter where I looked, there was something missing.  So, here I am and here I'll stay. :-)

        -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

        by luckylizard on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:23:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Only two states you can't move to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TaraIst

      Nebraska and Texas.  ;)

      If you want culture, you can go many places, but there's nothing like New York.  I live in Boston, and there's still nothing like New York.  Now, the major east coast cities have culture, but New York is unique; there is something for everyone (and I mean, everyone).

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:36:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's wrong with waiting until the late 30s? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't get this:

      I want a place with young couples like ourselves -- couples who weren't shotgun-married, and who didn't wait until their late 30s to have kids

      I'm one of those people who will probably wait until my late 30s, since there is so much other stuff I want to do between now and then.  Why don't you want to live near me?  This is kind of insulting.

      All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

      by fizziks on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:59:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In all humbleness (0+ / 0-)

      I've lived in Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, and Seattle.

      I wouldn't live in any of the above again.

      You might do best in Texas, having lived your life in OK, but I couldn't adapt.  3 years of being called "lil'lady" and treated as if I was congenitally unable to open a door without testosterone fueled assistance wore at me until I was driving the freeways to work, and running amped up Ford F150 penis trucks off the road while screeching "Sorry 'bout the penis size dude!" at the top of my lungs out my open window...

      Colorado (Springs at least) is bipolar in its political leanings, and its way of looking at newcomers.  It's VERY Army oriented, while trying to be hip, but failing, and claiming a progressive, blue(ish) mantle, while reverting to pathological cherry red when a liberal thought is put forth.  I DID enjoy having two feet of snow on the ground on Monday, while putting on shorts and a tank top of the 80 degree day on Wednesday...lol!  Plus, at that elevation, you tan like a mofo!  No way to really explain it, but my strawberry blond hair and freckled Irish skin looked like Giselle Bunchen on the cover of SI's swimsuit edition within a month.

      Seattle... Oh God... If you have the fortitude to live in a place that has 340 days of overcast skies a year (If you're REALLY lucky), you'd probably like it.  There's a strong liberal bent, and a wonderful kind of Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air kind of joi de vivre thing.  But under it all is the dark, snarly, thirty ought six "hey THOSE people look like they don't belong" postal office mayhem kind of attitude lurking.  It's an interesting balance.  Fascinating to watch.  But the overcast skies defeated me, utterly.  Twice.  7 years the first time, 6 years the second.  Closest I've ever been to actual suicide (NOT meant to be snarky or funny, deadly serious).  You have to be a certain personality type to live there.

      You could move to San Diego, where I was born and live now... The city who acts like it's a liberal bastion, has actual hippies and real street protests, but then overwhelmingly votes for Duncan Hunter JUNIOR, and Yes on 8 like it was no big deal.

      I'm moving to Kansas.  They're backwards and hidebound and often racist and fundamentally religiously challenged, but hey, at least they admit it!  AND, they elect liberal Democratic lady governors, go figure...lol!

      But hey, that's just me and my HO... :-D

      Cheers!

      SophK

      Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled. ~Samuel Johnson

      by sophistry makes me tired on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:03:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hometown (0+ / 0-)

      I'm originally from north Palm Beach County, FL -- the edge between Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter.  But I haven't really spent any great amount of time there in a few years.  I've lived in the DC area for about a year and a half, and I hate it.  Too many rude or insane people, way too expensive, etc.  Too many enormous egos, too much stress.

      Along with DC, I've lived in Tallahassee, spent a good bit of time in Atlanta, and lived a few months overseas in Nottingham, England.  Of the four domestic towns, I'd recommend Atlanta.  It basically has everything.  Urban, suburban, rural.  Museums, the CNN Center, a hell of an aquarium.  You'll run into the occasional "Old South" type, but the people are wonderful.  And it's frakking cheap.

      Tallahassee is a great college town, and I'd trade DC for Tally in a heartbeat (and live like a king on the same salary).  Good people, and college towns always have intellectually-stimulating stuff.

      Palm Beach has nothing but old people, high-end retail and overpriced houses.  There's nothing to do for anyone below the age of 90.

      "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

      by Drew J Jones on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:15:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Move to Austin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea

      It's blue, cultured, bustling, and not too far from home for you.  It'd be a good start.

      Personally, even though life forced me back home, I miss L.A. terribly, and if I had the chance, I'd go back in a heartbeat.  But that's me.

      "In 10 years, I've never seen the press lay a glove on him." Chris Matthews on John McSame

      by wolverinethad on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:23:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  State College, PA! (11+ / 0-)

    And if you're coming from Oklahoma, it will even seem liberal.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:46:21 AM PST

  •  North Carolina is now BLUE and has (38+ / 0-)
    a very lovely climate, mountains to the west and ocean to the east.  

    The Pacific Northwest is lovely.  I lived in Spokane, WA and I highly recommmend the town, but that side of the state is still Red.  Can be changed though!

    I would seriously consider the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of the Piedmont of North Carolina.  Very professional and extremely lovely.  Urban meets country all over the place.

    Good luck in your search.

    The Republican Party's agenda to subjugate average Americans is so rotten, it smells worse than the toilet seat on a shrimp boat." Aristotle

    by funluvn1 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:46:46 AM PST

    •  We have family from there (13+ / 0-)

      On both sides. Both are transplants, however. Native Okies.

      My wife's cousin, an artist, lives in Charlotte, and she said we'd love it.

      •  I was gonna suggest NC as well (7+ / 0-)

        we're headed that way in a month so Mrs. Rhino can finish her grad/post grad studies in Sustainable Development Anthropology at App. State. Should be a blast.

        "Mr. Naylor, the great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese."

        by Relevant Rhino on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:55:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, having lived in Greensboro and now (10+ / 0-)

        the Raleigh area, I must disagree when it comes to NC.

        I have been a consultant for a long time and have spent what feels like eons in Charlotte, and of the two other major areas mentioned above, I would prefer both Greensboro (first) and Raleigh (slightly behind Greensboro) second.  Charlotte has the feel of a contrived city, where Greensboro is family, friends and fun.  Raleigh is slightly more upscale that Greensboro but still exudes the family, friends and fun feeling, yet with a bit more urban touch and feel.  

        The reason I recommend Raleigh is the fact that both yourself and your wife are professionals and the Raleigh area gives you just a bit more of an opportunity than Greensboro.  Not much.  But just enought in my opinion.

        Charlotte, even though your family is happy there, does not hold the same feeling.  Many here say so, and if you notice, no one from Charlotte is ever voted into Statewide office here.

        It's a different State, there.  For all of us Carolinians from Charlotte, I'm not dissing your city, believe me.  I'm just telling it like I feel it and like others tell me they feel it.

        The Republican Party's agenda to subjugate average Americans is so rotten, it smells worse than the toilet seat on a shrimp boat." Aristotle

        by funluvn1 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:56:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You guys are all wrong about NC* (9+ / 0-)

          Where you need to be is Durham.

          Durham is the most progressive city in NC (and it showed on election day) and is growing like mad.  Full of young folks, young families, and a vibrant cultural life, downtown is blowing up right now.  We are in the middle of a second boom in the old tobacco town here, and its really exciting to be a part of it.  

          I went to Duke here (don't hold it against me), but then stayed after graduating and discovered a city that I really hadn't noticed I'd been living in for my four years at Duke.  It's a good time to be in the Bull City.

          I spent the last month canvassing this city, and I met a ton of cool people along the way.  If you want to read up on any of that journey, check out my own blog at 1000doors.wordpress.com, and pick up an election night poster to fund my month-of-no-paycheck in the process!

          •  Wrong? Well.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polecat, VA Breeze, faberocity

            from my response above:

            I would seriously consider the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of the Piedmont of North Carolina.  Very professional and extremely lovely.  Urban meets country all over the place.

            Maybe you missed it.  

            ;-)

            Go Bulls!

            The Republican Party's agenda to subjugate average Americans is so rotten, it smells worse than the toilet seat on a shrimp boat." Aristotle

            by funluvn1 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:11:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  saw that, (0+ / 0-)

              just wanted to stress that I'm not endorsing the Triangle, but specifically Durham.

              Raleigh is urban sprawl at its finest (although second still to Charlotte), and Chapel Hill is a sterile cookie-cutter college town (yawn).

              Durham is real.  Gritty.  Aw yea.

              •  I love Durham, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polecat

                but Raleigh isn't all suburban sprawl.  Inside the Beltline are some beautiful old neighborhoods.

              •  I live in Raleigh (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polecat

                I moved here with my family 14 years ago. I like it here, but your point about urban sprawl is well taken. Strip mall heaven. Downtown Raleigh is not much to speak of (I'm originally from a slightly older and bigger city), but it does have some good restaurants. Raleigh is mostly suburban living, which is great if you like the suburbs.

                Durham has a much older and much more mature feeling to the city, Much larger. Some old style landmarks, the Durham Bulls. The revitalization of the old tobacco district is quite unbelievable, gorgeous.

                NC has the best, most unbelievable scenic quality to it though. 4 seasons, a looong fall (which I love).

                Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

                by Babsnc on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:50:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Go State! nt (0+ / 0-)

              Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
              I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
              -Spike Milligan

              by polecat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:26:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm with you on Durham (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polecat, MazeDancer, VA Breeze, tdub

            Durham is awesome. Much more urban feel than its size would imply, not too much sprawl, nice racial mix, a cultural center in its own right and close to two others (Raleigh and Chapel Hill.) Durham residents are really proud of their city. Raleigh and especially Cary have too much sprawl and feel too manicured and fake; Chapel Hill is really expensive but nice. Carrboro (adjacent to Chapel Hill) is wonderful and has an excellent mix of families, students, country, city, young, and old, with strong black and hispanic populations. Also, it's the kind of place where you don't need a car.

            I can't really recommend Charlotte. Feels kinda uptight to me. Piedmont Triad (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point) is nice but more conservative, more sprawl, and less culture than the triangle. Closer to the mountains, though.

            Also, Asheville out in the mountains is really cool. It has a thriving downtown, extremely liberal, with plenty of outdoor stuff to do and lots of culture. The state party has its main annual event there every fall, which is always fun.

          •  My office was next to South Park Mall (0+ / 0-)

            about 18 years ago. Can you say "shootings?"

            Skip Durham and come to WNC.

            Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
            I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
            -Spike Milligan

            by polecat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:26:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Good description (0+ / 0-)

          Charlotte has the feel of a contrived city,

          We moved to Charlotte (from Texas) in 1996, intending to settle long-term and to enjoy a much closer and more convenient proximity to our family stomping grounds (in WV).   Even with the wonderful advantage of being able to see family more often, we only lasted 5 months before  heading back to Texas.    It was extremely difficult for me to give up that proximity to family and I’ll be forever grateful for that 5 months in Charlotte for that reason alone.  But my husband and children were absolutely miserable there and even I had to admit, Charlotte held no charm for me either.  My kids absolutely hated the schools (I had one in High School and one in 5th grade at the time), and it became clear to me also that the school system we had left behind in Texas was far superior.    As for WV – it’s a beautiful place and to quote another John Denver song, "Life is old there", and I miss it.  Unfortunately it’s not a place full of opportunities for young families at this time (but I expect WV to improve greatly during the coming Obama years).  WV always be my home and I expect to eventually return.

          "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

          by enough already on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:12:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have a problem with Asheville? (0+ / 0-)

          We have culture and diversity, nearly as good a music scene as you do, and my commute is about 3 minutes.

          Not to mention a better school system.

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          -Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:25:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I was going to suggest NC as well. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, MazeDancer, saralee, lorzie

        It would help to have some family around. It's very hard to start all over in a strange place...I've done it a few times and it can be a difficult adjustment.

        •  Just moved to NC from Boston (6+ / 0-)

          My future wife and I just came down here and moved to this beautiful rural community 10 minutes from Chapel Hill and 15 miles from Durham. It was the greatest decision we ever made. We have the quiet, spread out scenery of a small town seemingly miles from everything, but have the culture of a bustling metropolis right on our back doorstep. It's beautiful, it's integrated, and it's very easy to call home. I don't think we'll ever go back.

          The thunderstorms will knock your socks off too!

      •  NC sounds like a good fit for you... (6+ / 0-)

        If you want somewhere reasonably warm with culture and educated people, than NC is a good choice.  I grew up in Charlotte.  It's a good place to live if you're married and educated; the educational level there is high.  Also, the cost of living is low.

        The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is great as well; I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.  It has a LOT of people with master's and PhDs, and is a genuinely progressive area.

      •  We have family and friends in NC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat

        and we have decided to retire there when I pack up my shingle here in NYC, and we'll spend the hot weather months in the mountains of NE PA as long as we have that kind of mobility. My aunt and uncle just moved to Pineville (just south of Charlotte) and have a lovely new house in a development for seniors. A dear friend has set up shop in Brevard, not far from Asheville. In the greater Charlotte area there is affordable new housing, amazing high-rise apts, stand-alone homes and townhouses. We love it! We even went to Sun City in SC just across the border, and believe it or not, it was awesome (this coming from someone who visted her grandparents after they moved into one of the first Sun City communities in the 50's). Our trip to NC last year convinced Mr. Maven that he could survive leaving New York!

        And Droogie, I am so glad you came back here. I for one missed you.

        The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated - Mahatma Gandhi

        by Nature Maven on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:29:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Take a trip. (0+ / 0-)

        Pack up the kids and go exploring. Charlotte, Chicago, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Nashville, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Oakland, etc etc.

        You get the vibe of a town pretty quickly. And who knows, you might find hat OK is best!

        365 Words that begin with P - from Palin to poppycock to prevaricate to pusillanimous

        by JoieDe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:44:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a big fan of Chapel Hill (6+ / 0-)

      I've had a variety of friends and family move in and out of the greater RTP area over the past decade or so and have always enjoyed the whole region.  I heartily recommend it.

      I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

      by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:03:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I love NC (5+ / 0-)

      and if I were moving, that's where I'd go.  In fact, that might be in the cards at some point in the future.

      For the last couple of years I've been spending a number of weeks there (southern coastal area near Wilm.) in the off season (my joint custody vacation time).  I feel that same kind of pull to the area.  There are a ton of transplants from the Northeast.  

      I don't know how much longer I'll be able to do this, but for now, I am very grateful for it.  In fact, I'm leaving for NC on Thursday.  

      Droogie, there's plenty of culture in the triangle area and the coast is beyond beautiful.  NC takes care of their coastal areas better than some other states too, BTW.

      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

      by joanneleon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:09:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Love the NC comments (6+ / 0-)

      I am trying to move to be near my daughter who lives in Charlotte. I live in East TN, home of no culture, but close enough to Asheville NC which is an amazing town.
      Maybe some day Ill meet some of the Kossacks near Charlotte.

    •  Another vote for NC (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, historys mysteries, lorzie

      I was raised partially in Greensboro, did undergrad at UNC, grad at Duke.  I love just about all parts of NC.  Greensboro is great for families and is very affordable.  Asheville is just gorgeous and has a thriving arts community.  Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham have a cosmopolitan mind set combined with small-town community love, and they're close to RTP for jobs to boot.  Wilmington, Raleigh, Charlotte...

      Really, you can't go wrong.  Go to NC.

      "Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome." --Barack Obama

      by SneakySnu on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:36:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And another vote for NC, but Asheville! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, MazeDancer

        The city is awesome--cultural, artsy, in the gorgeous mountains, 4 mellow seasons, progressive people.  I lived there for almost 3 years and consider it heaven.
        Love it, love it, love it!!!!  May go back to retire.  It sings a siren song to me!

        I hope you and all your droogies are happy wherever you go!  

    •  If NC doesn't work-How about VA? (0+ / 0-)

      Now have 2 Dem Senators! Two (maybe 3) congressional districts flipped and we went blue for Obama!

      SE VA - nice weather most of the year-watch out for the occasional Hurricane along the coast; mountains central and west
      most school systems good, good state colleges (UVA, VA Tech, William and Mary, etc.)

      fairly stable job and housing market

      There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

      by VA Breeze on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:09:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For what it's worth (11+ / 0-)

    North Carolina would love to have you...and I think you might love to be here. The RTP in particular, although Asheville is a great place too.

    "...and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." --Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

    by jiordan on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:47:16 AM PST

  •  See ya out there... (20+ / 0-)

    the Pacific Northwest has been calling me like a siren.  And I've been listening.  

    "We're all working for the Pharaoh" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:48:00 AM PST

    •  Really? (8+ / 0-)

      So you know what I'm talking about when I mention feeling a "pull"?

      •  I do droogie, (11+ / 0-)

        and I would highly rec that you get to know the pacific northwest. There is a lot to be loved among the evergreens. And climate projections over the coming decades indicate less trouble than many places.
        .
        Yes We Can / Give Oil Wars A Chance

        http://www.giveoilwarsachance.com

        by newusername on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:56:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Southeast (0+ / 0-)

          How do things look for the southeast?  I know Florida is in big trouble, but how about the rest of it?  I did look at some maps, projections of the ocean levels rising, but I'd like some good sources for considering new places to live.  I think about it often, and feel like we should make a big change, become more self-sufficient, etc. but at the same time I almost don't want to know and avoid doing serious research.  It's a weird (and unwise) conflicting feeling that I've got to work on.

          From what little I've seen of the Pacific Northwest, it's an awesome place.  But it has its problems too -- fault lines and such, and rainy climate.  Perhaps the climate issues will change but how about the earthquake risks.  Is that a valid concern?

          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

          by joanneleon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:18:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Florida's not in trouble (0+ / 0-)

            any more than the rest of the southeast. You can pick up a house for cheap now, that's for sure. Taxes are still pretty low. I don't have kids, so the schools aren't an issue for me, but I'm not sure anyone would CHOOSE to send their kids to FPS.
            There are private schools, of course.

            I'm in Central FL, moved here from Southeast Michigan in 1996. I would never go back. Not sure if I'll stay here forever, but for now it's good--and BLUE! Culturally it is lacking somewhat, but there is a lot of history here past the Mouse--lots of neat little "old Florida" things to do and see.

            I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

            by malibu1964 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:43:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was talking about the rising sea levels n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              malibu1964

              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

              by joanneleon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:55:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, that's why I bought in the middle (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon

                of the state--no waterfront property for me, at least not by planning it that way!

                Hopefully our new prez will start to turn things around on the global warming front, too.

                I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

                by malibu1964 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:38:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  If you bought in 1996 taxes are low in Florida (0+ / 0-)

              thanks to the "Save Our Homes" Property tax cap at 3% per year. If you bought that same house today the Property taxes would triple.

              Property Taxes for new home owners in Florida are excessive and debilitating.

              The all to common story of 2007 was the person who bought a house in Florida then had to turn around and sell it because they could not pay the prohibitively expensive property taxes.

              "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

              by Mr SeeMore on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:59:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No they aren't, (0+ / 0-)

                not compared to many other areas of the country. We also voted in a 50K exemption instead of 25K, too, so SOH improved.
                Our families still live in Michigan in houses they've owned for over 30 years and pay quadruple what we pay in taxes and their houses are worth less.

                I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

                by malibu1964 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:39:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  No blue enough. the FL Dem Party didn't (0+ / 0-)

              help us get the legislative seats we SHOULD have this year.  So the State Legislature, and too many local offices are still bright red.  And think they have a mandate to continue their awful policies.

              Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. - Euripides

              by Wanda517 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:35:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I do study those questions and have fornearly two (4+ / 0-)

            decades. No one should pretend to know too much about the climate's future, but for something close to stability, I wager the pac n west is one of the best bets in the US.
            Unless you picked the very worst square inches for your home, the fault lines aren't something to be very concerned about.

            The rain is not quite as bad as people far away think, and that is all about attitude anyway. :-) The rain is shining down in a lot of the pac n west today :-)
            .
            Yes We Can / Give Oil Wars A Chance

            http://www.giveoilwarsachance.com

            by newusername on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:36:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What I've seen of it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SlowNomad

              is gorgeous.  Everything is so big, and so green.  I found myself fascinated by Mt. Rainier, once I found it!  The funny story is that I'd been looking for it from the Seattle area for a few days before I found it.  I had been thinking too small.  I was looking for it in the distance and never realized that the sky I thought I was looking at was actually the mountain.  Once I got my perspective right, I couldn't stop looking at it.  

              That week, I drove from Seattle to Vancouver and it was quite an experience -- like nothing I'd ever seen before.

              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

              by joanneleon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:33:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  come to the pacific northwest, but careful! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SlowNomad, la urracca, Angry Mouse

          Everyone who moves away from here always seems to come back.  I am Montana native and now live in Tacoma (we discovered that a lot of Kossacks live here when VP-e Biden held a rally here) and it's all the things that Seattle has to offer, with less of the frenzy.  Outside magazine recently named Tacoma one of it's top cities to live in.  And this whole area seems to be weathering the economy storm (so far) better than other areas.  

          Come visit, droogie, we'd love to see you and your family here.

          Rule of Law. Look it up.

          by alliecat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:18:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's pretty well known around here (8+ / 0-)

        I've known a lot of people who lived in the Pacific Northwest, moved elsewhere, and then found themselves returning a few years later.  Once you get to know the area, it's hard to leave forever.

        Unless you hate rain.  If you really hate rain, you're probably not going to like it here.

        You think we've won? We're just getting started here. Yes we can.

        by DarthParadox on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:14:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was pulled out here from the North East (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MazeDancer, Thinking Fella

        Arrived in Washington state in '89 and started heading south. Found Ashland and hardly ever leave now.

        We won! Now the work begins.
        (-8.00, -8.31)

        by weirdscenes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:17:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Drooogie... (0+ / 0-)

        Pull?  Do I ever!  I'm driving my wife nuts...she's being a good sport.  Maybe not this year but, all's well, soon come, man.

        "We're all working for the Pharaoh" - Richard Thompson

        by mayan on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:49:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pacific NW is not for sun lovers though (19+ / 0-)

      you have to be able to enjoy rain!

      I caught Lewis Black doing the weather on some station a few years back (yeah - really!  He was promoting his latest comedy tour I believe)...but anyway, he got to the Pacific NW and said something like "Portland, Seattle - oh! Rain.  It will be raining again. WHY DO YOU PEOPLE LIVE THERE??!!??"   LOL.  I love his surprised outrage!  LOL!

      Anyway - it is beautiful country - I loved Seattle way back 20 years ago when I was there.  Any place near a good University will have lots of young folks and interesting shops, restaurants, museums, activities.

      •  all true. n/t (3+ / 0-)

        http://www.giveoilwarsachance.com

        by newusername on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:57:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Myth: Seattle and the Rain (0+ / 0-)

        Winters are gray in Seattle, no one will argue with that. Most of the rain from the storms that blow in from the pacific gets dropped on the Olympics (the large range of mountains to the west of Seattle) to the tune of 156"+ per year. Which means that Seattle gets, on average, around 60" a year (exactly the same amount we get here in Boston).

        Seattle also gets the majority of its yearly precipitation in the winter and spring months which means that we have some of the most beautiful summers in the country (so says this Seattle native).

        I urge you to look beyond the weather. It has its downs (one year we had 2 clear winter days in 100) as well as its ups (August days are usually 90 degrees, slight breeze, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky).

    •  Rain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lorzie, la urracca

      I truly consider myself a westcoast girl - having spent 25 of my formative years living in Vancouver, BC.

      After being away for 10 year, I don't know if I could handle the gray skies and rain again.

      If one is at all prone to SAD, it's something to consider.

      "Hope is not eternal, I've found - just purposefully ignorant."

      by boxer babe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:37:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do a trial run in the PNW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo

      From November through March, it's gloomier than you can imagine.  I've recently moved away, because of the weather.  It's like living with a filter in front of your eyes half the year.  Maybe I'm just not cut out to live at such a northern latitude -- many people are.

      •  I think it all depends on your genetics (5+ / 0-)

        I'm German-Irish heritage, and my wife is Danish-German-Irish.  We intensely disliked living in a perpetually sunny climate when I was in graduate school, and have loved living in Seattle and Portland.

        It all depends on the individuals.

        •  That's what they say (0+ / 0-)

          but I'm an English/German/French/Scottish, etc. mutt.

        •  Yeah, years ago I was reading a book by (0+ / 0-)

          Seattle author J.A. Jance, and the main character/narrator said something about how people in Seattle start getting all nervous and irritable when the sun shines for more than about five days without a rain break. I could totally relate.

          It's morning again in America....Our country is prouder, and stronger, and better - 1984 RR campaign ad

          by NWTerriD on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:49:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  but the summers are unmatchable. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SlowNomad

        I came to seattle from chicago. To me the winters here are a breeze. In Illinois it would be wicked cold and snowy for the entire winter, and we had grey skies on top of it. Here I wear a hoodie, jeans and a raincoat all winter long (now horrible bulky winter coat needed). In seattle we may have grey skies, but we have green grass and everything looks so lush in the middle of winter. (Most of us let our lawns die in the summer to save the water--we get like no rain in the summer). The summers in chicago were awful too. Horribly hot and humid. Here it is not humid at all (in the summer) and is in the 80s (warm enough to make you want to be outside, but cool enough that you can be active). And the sun is out until almost 10pm. For me, seattle's climate is much better than Illinois'.

        •  This (0+ / 0-)

          Yup.  Summers out here are the most spectacular in the world.  Winters here aren't great, but it never gets all that cold, we get little snow, and it's more of a constant mist than a constant rain.  Besides, I think of the clouds as our giant thermal blanket, keeping us nice and warm through the Northern winters.  And when the sun does come out in the winter, it's briskly cold, but stunningly beautiful as you can suddenly see all the snowcapped mountains that surround you.  

          Remember Almost Live?  I love the bit they did about Seattle Summers.  A bit over the top, but a bit of truth, too (especially the "summer hours" at work.)
          Almost Live:  Seattle Summer

  •  You could do a lot worse than Colorado... (18+ / 0-)

    Wonderful diversity in cultural offerings, gorgeous countryside...though Mike Shanahan still coaches the Broncos and for some reason I loathe that man.

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:48:42 AM PST

    •  I would love to live in a true purple state (20+ / 0-)

      I'd finally feel like my vote decided something. ;-)

      We vacationed with family in Greeley, and went to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National. It's an experience we're eager to repeat!

      •  People drive too slow in Colorado. I'd (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bellevie, la urracca

        go crazy.  Beautiful state though.

        The snowdog just slayed by-tor on 11/4/2008.

        by Ex Real Republican on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:10:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hard to say what's going to be purple in the (0+ / 0-)

        future as the map is being redrawn. I'm in PA, I don't think we're going to be considered purple for a while. We've been spoiled by numerous campaign visits and attention but I think that won't be the case in four years.

        OH seems like it still will be, certainly MO and IN and VA and NC and of course FL will be battlegrounds.

        Schadenfreude ist die schönste Freude.

        by InsultComicDog on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:22:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I enjoyed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnCetera, Morgan Sandlin

        all of Colorado.

        Colorado Springs (but I'd have to have a view of Pikes Peak), Boulder and all those communities in the Rocky Mtn National Park loop are wonderful.

        Denver is amazing!

        "Hope is not eternal, I've found - just purposefully ignorant."

        by boxer babe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:44:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Purple? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnCetera, Thinking Fella

        We have 5 of 7 House members , both Senators, the Governor and both houses of the state legislature - there ain't enough red left to make purple.
        I've lived here all my life and can't imagine living elsewhere.

        Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right...... Isaac Asimov ---- {-8.25 / -5.64}

        by carver on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:52:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bah! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi

        You vote can decide something in a Blue state. Maybe not president, but in a Blue state, we're progressing past that. CA has Prop 8. WA just passed a death with dignity bill. Your vote can be on the cutting edge of pregressivism, rather than trying to bring the slow-pokes along...

      •  Washington could use your help... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        larmos

        We're a blue state, but we have a lot of rural areas that seem to favor the "GOP Party" Rossi types.  It takes every single one of us to beat them back.

        Oregon -- same deal.

        Come for the Dems, stay to make them stronger.

        Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:43:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if it's purple you want, try the Show Me! (0+ / 0-)

        You've got your true blue urban and suburban east and west, and your sho-nuff backwards middle all wrapped up in one big midwestern melting pot.  Being purple has its drawbacks though.  It may imply that you have a population that's largely middle, or in the case of MO, it may imply that you have two groups of people that are heavily entrenched in their views that simply compete for turnout.  The latter could make for pretty tensious community relations.

        Shoot me an email if you ever come through.  My husband and I would love to show you around suburban St. Louis and I lived in KC for a while and wouldn't mind connecting with you there, as well.  KC has the BEST Italian restaurant in the COUNTRY!!!!  GAROZZO'S!!!!!  MMMMMMM  mmmmmm mmmmm!

        Good luck on all of your travels and ventures.  Just keep us all posted, k?

        "To kill one person is murder. To kill thousands is foreign policy." Chinese writer Moh-Tze

        by ILean Left on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:55:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  droog, left my NYC home long ago (8+ / 0-)

    and now have 30 years in Floorduh and it's BLUE here! HAHAAA!
    Went to the Tiffany Museum in Altamonte Spgs this weekend, wonderful! Blue skies, ocean, shorts on Thxgiving and Xmas, can't beat paradise.

    •  I'll be in Florida soon (8+ / 0-)

      Business trip. Should be fun, but I'm nervous about it too.

      •  what part? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        droogie6655321, earicicle

        Miami FLA born, moi. 1956. Miss it like mad sometimes, but havent been back in a million years.

        Florida is a weird place to live. can be, I should say. Bu tI wish I could go back and visit more often.

        Whatever you do, or dream, begin it now.. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. ~Goethe

        by Lady Libertine on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:57:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm going to... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AnnCetera, malibu1964, Lady Libertine

          ... a little-known town called Orlando. It's famous for being the place where they shot "10,000 Maniacs!"

          •  Welcome to Orlando! (0+ / 0-)

            My transplanted home. Let me know if you have any questions! ;-)

            I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

            by malibu1964 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:45:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I used to live in Orlando. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OleHippieChick, Lady Libertine

              I grew up (some) in Jacksonville.  My grandparents were from Tallahassee.  They moved to Pinellas when they got older to be closer to their granddaughter.

              I lived in Orlando from 2002-2007.  You can have it.  If you didn't have a house before 2002 the cost tripled.  Of course, after 2007 the house's valued has dropped in half.  Anyone needs a cheap condo let me know.

              There is no there there.  I'm 35.  That is old in Orlando.  Orlando was a small town before Disney.  So there is little "Old Florida" housing stock.

              My attitude towards Florida is to make sure you live within 30 minutes of the beach.  Otherwise, what's the point?

          •  If Florida is a consideration for your new home (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AnnCetera

            it is imperative that you are aware that Property Taxes will go up exponentially with a different owner.

            The little old man that pays $2000 per year in Property taxes and then sells you his house may not think to tell you that once you buy the house the taxes will increase to $6000 or more per year.

            There is a thing called "Save Our Homes" which is a property tax cap of 3% per year. That tax is reset with new owners.

            Please research "Save Our Homes" property tax if you are thinking of making a commitment in Florida.

            "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

            by Mr SeeMore on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:17:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Son is in last year at college in Daytona (0+ / 0-)

            and though he likes the FL/NY dichotomy he has no interest in living in the SE after school.

            So he and you are in the same boat, looking at other areas while seeing where jobs are as well.

            Good luck, droogie and family.

            Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

            by riverlover on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:27:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, then do check out Pinellas County while (0+ / 0-)

            you are here.  especially along the beaches.  Try Pass-a-grille and St. Pete Beach.

            Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. - Euripides

            by Wanda517 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:37:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  as a 40+ year Sunshine Stater ... (6+ / 0-)

        I would advise you against moving here with children.  Unless you plan to send droogie jr to private school.

        Florida's legislature is as out of touch with education funding as a legislature could possibly be.

        I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

        by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:06:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm moving back to the Georgia (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Abra Crabcakeya, ATLanthony

        coast next year.  Long time ago I discovered that I need sunshine (Finger lakes region of NY is too gloomy) and I like being near the ocean for the open vistas.  I like green plants, so NM does not appeal--too much rock that looks like rubble.
        Need to be able to walk to acquire basic goods like food and mail and hardware.  Florida is car-culture land, as is southern CA.  Northern VA has become quite cosmopolitan.  One almost gets the sense that the D.C. polls didn't notice what was going on in their own back yard.

        It strikes me that the problems of the hearland are largely the result of lots of people having been left behind.  Young people moved away and town centers were WalMartized.  The demise of passenger rail service is really a scandal.  In a sense, fly-over country has experienced the same neglect that devastated urban ghettos when people were enticed to relocate to the suburbs.  And for what?  Because of a fear that lots of people living close together can get organized and resist subjugation?

        What's DARPA engaged in?  Preparing for urban guerilla warfare.  Lots of people don't like other people's children.  So, they convince themselves that the reason is they're dangerous.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:12:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Milwaukee! (12+ / 0-)

    Then we could go get beers.

    Didn't I tell you to call me Ernie...or Big Ern? It's for my morning coffee.

    by als10 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:49:21 AM PST

  •  I nominate the following places, in order (11+ / 0-)

    of where I think you would enjoy yourselves the most:

    1. Austin, Texas
    1. Boulder/Longmont, CO
    1. San Francisco, CA
    1. Seattle/Tacoma, WA
    1. Santa Fe, NM
    1. Taos, NM
    1. Portland, OR
    1. Eugene, OR
    1. San Luis Obispo, CA
    1. Berkeley, CA
    •  I don't want to offend anyone, (14+ / 0-)

      But I feel like I'd be equally out of place in one of America's many "liberal Meccas" -- Berkeley, Eugene, Austin, San Fransisco.

      Of course I could be wrong, but I feel like I wouldn't fit in there, either.

      •  Maybe that's true for SF and berkeley but (9+ / 0-)

        Austin is incredibly diverse.  Eugene is basically a college town.

        •  with a town-gown divide (0+ / 0-)
          We are very blue, overall, in Eugene, but I think you'd be surprised at what a traditional-values place it feels to be.  In a Eugenean way, anyway.  Our votes come out quite 50-50 at the local and state level.  

          It's small-town with all the benefits.  You can live blocks from anything you want to do or get your kids to.  Very family-oriented and incredibly accessible -- newcomers are welcomed into politics and civic life here unlike anywhere I've known.  And in my 18 years here I've always been proud of how this community provides opportunity to kids -- to learn, to try skills, to have fun, to be part of what the adults are doing.  All they have to do is hop on a bike and they can be on campus for something, or downtown for a summer concert, or at the river (careful!), or on the turf for a pickup game of soccer with a variety of ages.  I have a 15 year old, and a week never goes by without him sighing, "Oh, I love Eugene, Mom."  

      •  consider Austin (12+ / 0-)

        Im still reading.

        Austin... college town, mid sized city, state captial. BLUE in a Red state.

        and also still not too far from the grands. (if your folks live in OK)

        Whatever you do, or dream, begin it now.. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. ~Goethe

        by Lady Libertine on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:59:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Austin fun for night people but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea

          if, like me, you seek a gentile/rural life, then anything affordable around Austin is vehemently RED. I live in a suburb of Austin that's red as can be. (my house was egged, I suspect because I had my Obama/Biden sign prominently displayed.) (2nd sign - first was stolen.)

          So far, for my desires of a blue state location with a small house with a garden and a woodworking shop surrounded by fellow blue folks, NC sounds better.

          If you like live music and are a night person, Austin itself rocks!

          "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." Bill Clinton

          by johngoes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:16:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Williamson County is bluing (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            butchergirl, johngoes, politik

            and there are cranks everywhere.

            Also, as not a night person, I find Austin a great place to live.

            Even when the very entertaining Texas Legislature is not in session.

            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

            by boadicea on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:25:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Austin also (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boadicea, MazeDancer, johngoes, politik

            Has the hippy thing going on. Also stuck here in the middle of the red sea our liberals tend to be more liberal. Also a couple more reliable blue votes are more than welcome.

            Of course if you don't like hot weather it may not be for you. But we have air conditioning and economically we're pretty solid with alot of high tech work as well as education and government work.

            You couldn't pay me enough to live in North Carolina again and California is just flat out bat shit crazy.

        •  Came to Austin from the SF Bay Area (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea, johngoes

          6 yrs ago because it reminded us of the Bay Area in a lot of ways.  High tech. Culturally diverse.  Politically liberal.  University city. When we moved into our community in SW Austin, it was a notoriously Republican section of town.  We elected Barack Obama last week.  From an email I got today from the Travis County Democratic Party:

          What a difference a week makes.

          Last week Travis County had a County Commissioner out of touch with what is important to you. You told him that Ann Richards' seat belongs in Democratic hands. That's why you elected Karen Huber.

          The Statesman described Ken Law 's recent rulings as "bizarre" and said they "should be tossed out." We fought Ken Law, and we won! Woodie Jones is the new, Democratic, Chief Justice-Elect of the 3rd Court of Appeals.

          We elected Judge Jim Coronado to represent the 427th District Court. Adan Ballesteros is our new Constable-Elect in Precinct 2.

          You re-elected every single one of our fantastic State Representatives to serve the people's interest in the Texas House. You helped re-elect all of your great Democratic county officials as well.

          Not only did we help re-elect our State Representatives, we also made nearly 10,000 calls into El Paso to help elect Joe Moody as one of the newest elected Democratic House members. We were committed to Turn Texas Blue, and we had an immediate impact.

          2008 was an historic year. We encouraged Travis County Residents to vote early and nearly 50% did. We asked for people to vote straight democratic and 65% did. We asked for your help, and over 7500 people walked through the campaign doors and volunteered their time and energy. We asked for your financial support, and over 1000 people made a donation to the largest coordinated campaign in Travis County Democratic Party history.

          In 2008 we solidified our incredible gains and made sure Austin is bright blue.

          Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World, and boasts of Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, Ballet Austin.  There are lots of museums, including the LBJ Presidential Library, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the Harry Ransom Center,

          the Ransom Center has as its major emphasis the study of the literature and culture of the United States, Great Britain, and France. The Center's collections contain 36 million leaves of manuscripts, one million rare books, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art, in addition to major holdings in theater arts and film.

          AND there is the Ann Richards Bridge Bat colony.  Just to name a few of the cool things we discovered hidden in the middle of this big state.  We love it here.  Come on down!

          We are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come. - BHO

          by politik on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:02:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  San Francisco's not nearly as liberal as (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        droogie6655321, Angry Mouse, tlouise

        people believe...Sure, we have a 'few' liberals here, a handful of 'progressives' and a shitload of free spirits, but the city is actually a great (if expensive) place to live and raise a family.

        Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:03:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          darthstar, tlouise

          Okay, well, it's not as liberal as Bill O'Reilly would have you believe, but...

          Do you remember when Matt Gonzales almost beat Gavin for the mayor's race?

          Do you remember how the entire Bay Area was in total shock in 2004 because no one could understand how the rest of the country could be so different?

          Hell, I was in Santa Cruz in 2000 and the only question people asked was whether you were voting for Gore or Nader.  And believe me, if you were voting Gore, you got some seriously nasty looks.

          Of course, the blue island is part of what I miss so much.  And nothing beats San Francisco graffiti or San Francisco protests.  Nothing.

          Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:46:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh there are still PLENTY (4+ / 0-)

        of conservative types around Austin.

        Just because there are lots of liberals clustered there, does not mean all of the conservative types have left!!!

        It is very divers - but the college town atmosphere is really great.

        And, there is NO entertainment like Texas politics. (Although I have to say, Alaska has been pretty bizarre.  Are they trying to outdo us down here?) We are trying to finally turn this state blue, so the next couple of election cycles will be really exciting.  And, a conservative leaning Democrat would be most welcome to speak to more of your kind.  LOL!  Actually, I am one of those too.  I am often mistaken for a Republican.  

        And Austin would be withing driving distance from family in OK, wouldn't it?

      •  Philly has become a wonderful town (4+ / 0-)
        It has it's own action and it's close to all kinds of wonderful thing.  While PA is officially blue, it really has a purple aesthetic.  You can get to NYC, DC and the shore equally quickly.  AND there is great public transportation to anywhere you want to go up and down the coast.  

        The truth about John McCain's Keating Cheating

        by tikkun on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:07:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are you wherever . I think I'm getting the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angry Mouse

        drift that you are not happy with groupthink of any flavor? That can be found anywhere. I think the key is to settle down someplace where others' prejudices have not resulted in legislating the practice of our own out of existence.Or into hiding or criminal status.

      •  Virginia (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SlowNomad, VAtrendsblue

        We have it all:  Mountains, beaches, history, culture, rivers, lakes, great schools, ethnic diversity, intellectuals, rednecks, farmers, urbanites, skiing, surfing, hiking, camping, white-water rafting, horses, auto and motorcycle racing, great college basketball, hunting, rich and very rich people, poor and even poorer people and a whole bunch of us in between, theme parks, antiques, hand crafts, Civil war monuments galore, Williamsburg, Monticello, Mt Vernon, Montebello, and four distinct seasons with no extremes.  

        Whew, why do I stay home all the time?    

      •  Why do you think you'd be out of place (0+ / 0-)

        in Austin?

        Yes, I'm still pimping, but I don't see it as all that hostile to anyone-well, except Republicans running for office.

        Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

        by boadicea on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:20:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not as liberal as you think (0+ / 0-)

        not at all.  Just go a few miles inland.  You'll be in cowboy country.

        "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

        by fernan47 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:26:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Come to Colorado. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TaraIst

        I moved here from Texas 25 years ago and nothing, nothing could induce me to leave. Lots of "good old boys"--but enlightened. "Dressing up" in Colorado means a clean pair of jeans. Oh, sure, there are areas of materialism and class consciousness--but they're easily avoided. Sensible people--and usually very accepting. But a love of the outdoors is compulsory. Doesn't mean you have to ski or rock climb--but you'll find outside is always better than in!  Our secret: more days of sunshine than almost anywhere else in the country. Of course, there are the occasional blizzards...

      •  New Mexico, Land of Enchantment (0+ / 0-)
        Diverse population, not too far from 'home' for ya.  Balanced budget state with improving schools and infrastructure.  There isn't a more eclectic city in the US than Santa Fe, when you want that, or there is the real cowperson potential buddy for life to be found in a diner.  It's very easy to live rural and be 30 minutes from the "action".  Born in California, 9 years in East Tennessee, vacation on Cape Cod and I wouldn't live anywhere else than New Mexico.  Give it a thought.

        You can't support the GOP and the Constitution at the same time!

        by Arsenic on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:30:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Austin is all kinds of fun! (7+ / 0-)

      I like it better every time I get up there.  And there are lots of young liberals.

      If you don't do winter well, the southern states are awesome.

      I have to say, here in San Antonio, I do NOT miss winter and smile every single time I go outside in Dec, Jan, Feb  and I can pad barefoot up to the mailbox.  We do get some cold weather, but it is usually just a front passing through and we enjoy mild, mild winters.  San Antonio has possiblilities as an up and comer...but lots of older folks (like myself) are coming to retire down this way...mild weather, low(ish) cost of living, great food, no earthquakes or hurricanes (we're pretty well inland) and we are not in tornado alley either.

      But I'd like to get back east myself - NC is a place my hubby and I have considered.

      •  San Antonio in Ice (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea

        A couple of years ago, when I went to the American Meteorological Society conference (I think it was Jan '07), the city was encased in ice!  But...of course, that's not a normal thing (if you have palm trees encased in ice, that obviously means that the ice is rare).  For some reason, the AMS conferences always hit inclement weather despite usually being in mild places (when it was here in San Diego in Jan '05, it rained most of the week)!  Some meteorologist is apparently talented (in an evil way) at very long-range forecasting...

        Worst to First--01-20-09

        by westcornersville on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:24:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL! That was something (0+ / 0-)

          I have some great pictures of our place encased in ice. And yes, we have palms here that were coated! I've never seen ice like that before and I lived along the east coast from Virginia Beach to the Hudson Valley of NY, and Minnesota too!

          That ice storm was one for the record books!  

          The weather done here is so unpredictable, I don't even bother with long range forecasts - I check for the daily 24-hour weather guess, but as you must know, we are in a spot that gets weather coming at us from every direction - up from the Gulf, from the Pacific across Mexico, from the Rockies, down from the plains....it's a real meteorological challenge I imagine, to figure out which weather system will connect with the other and to pinpoint where in the region it will happen....makes for some real surprises!

          Maybe it is the karma of the AMS that brings interesting weather with it!  LOL! Aren't weird weather events just the thing you weather folks love to discuss???  LOL!

  •  Portland Oregon (20+ / 0-)

    It's got what you listed.  If I was a young man with a young family I'd check it out.  

    I'm happy here in Northern California, but it is now very expensive and it's expansion has slowed.

  •  You need another option on your poll (8+ / 0-)

    Never left home, but really want to.  :-)

    I live in Southwestern PA, which is, um, not really progressive.  DH is the breadwinner, and a teacher.  The PA teacher systems is such that you lose seniority if you move; it's too late to consider that an option.  

    For now, I take solace in the fact that we have summers to travel.

    FWIW, I love New Hampshire and Maine (especially Maine.)  Out West, Colorado is a ten, in my book.

    Good luck on your introspection...

    He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death." ~ Thomas Paine

    by trustno1 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:50:14 AM PST

  •  It's funny (7+ / 0-)

    I grew up in the Bay Area in a very blue collar town. When I was growing up, I felt it was kind of backwards and bigoted, many people born there stay there, including my parents.
    But now that I live in Connecticut and am growing  older, I find I have a real affection for it. I visit my folks at least twice a year, sometimes three, so there is still a real connection there.
    Particularly when I look at this Prop 8 crap it reminds me that I will always be a Californian, which is yet another reason why it hit me so hard - I held my state to a much higher standard.

    A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody - Tom Joad, Grapes of Wrath

    by gladkov on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:50:19 AM PST

  •  I'm from Oregon (7+ / 0-)

    And I love it there. Eugene is a great place - close to the mountains and the ocean, and there are lots of hiking trails and things to do. It's a great place if you love the outdoors. And also, for it's size (somewhere around 150,000 I think) it has a lot of cultural stuff, like music festivals, and performances (dance, theater...). It's also very liberal, and a university town.

    remember droogie6655321

    by Mishy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:51:03 AM PST

  •  Chicago... (16+ / 0-)

     Come to the windy city and you'll find everything there you'll like..  Winters are a little rough but that just makes the Spring, Summer, Fall that much better..  Good luck with wherever you go droogie...

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK (1917-1963)

    by ebbinflo on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:51:07 AM PST

    •  I want to visit (6+ / 0-)

      But I don't know if I'm a big city kind of guy. I have worked in urban centers before, so it's not that I'm afraid. I just think a medium-sized city is more my speed.

      •  Richmond is your city (8+ / 0-)

        I'm tellin' ya. If you live in area called the Fan, you can walk everywhere. Restaurants, clubs, stores are all within walking distance. And the museums are fabulous.

        Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld, a miracle made possible by John McCain.

        by DJShay on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:57:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I love that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          texasmom, ebbinflo

          That was my favorite thing about visiting Dallas. I was amazed at how easy it was to go carless downtown.

          •  A lot of people like Charlottesville, VA (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmo, ebbinflo, DJShay, tdub

            I've heard people rave about it.  I haven't been there but I've been nearby and it's beautiful country.

            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

            by joanneleon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:24:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Portland is carless. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebbinflo, larmos, PZinOR, kjoftherock

            My brother and his girlfriend moved here and sold one of their cars.  They still use the one they kept for getting out of town, but for the most part, they walk everywhere or take the local mass transit, which is some of the best in the country.

            Portland is amazingly user friendly.

            Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

            by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:51:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  jealous of portland's mass transit (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ebbinflo, Angry Mouse

              I live in seattle and my sister-in-law lives in portland (lived there for a couple of months while we were looking for our house after moving from Chicago). They did what seattle should have done and built light rail. That said, I love both cities and they have a lot in common (great food, nice people...) You wouldn't go wrong choosing either. And, one more thing, both places have lots of people who have moved out here. Most of our friends are transplants, people who have chosen to move out here.

      •  For sure visit and you'll love it... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, JeffW

        Tons of suburbs to choose from if being right in the City isn't your thing..  

        "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK (1917-1963)

        by ebbinflo on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:06:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, droogie, (5+ / 0-)

        the neighboorhoods are nothing like the ones you'll find in eastern cities. For example, my 'hood in Rogers Park is almost entirely single-family homes (google map Arthur and Washtenaw in Chicago). We had a steady stream of trick-or-treaters this Halloween, complete with parents dressed up along with their kids. Down the block is a fantastic public elementary school (a "magnet" as these top-performing schools are called), as well as two gigantic parks. I very rarely ever have to park more than a few houses down from my condo's front door. The gangbangers have largely moved away in the last four years, and even they seemed a bit dispirited at the lack of sales opportunites; eventually, they just gave up tagging anything and left.

        "...there is no evidence of a dramatic tightening of the sort he would need to make Tuesday night interesting." -Nate Silver, 11/3

        by iconoclastic cat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:14:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  sweet home Chicago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebbinflo, roubs

        I moved to Chicago right out of college with my husband, after growing up in one of those ideal East Coast suburbs (well, exurbs, really, but they're suburbs now).  Three months later, I knew I'd found my true home.  We don't live there any longer, but I still consider it "home," and I get so homesick...like I did last Tuesday night, wishing I were in Grant Park with all those people who could all easily have been my friends and neighbors.

        Hyde Park property rates are probably going to go through the roof now, but it's still my favorite neighborhood--has everything you could possibly want, even decent public schools and wonderful big parks.  But Rogers Park, where we've also lived, is another great neighborhood and a well-kept secret (the residents have been fighting off the yuppie invasion for years).  Big cities are way underrated and incredibly livable once you've developed a certain level of street smarts.  Learning to get along at close quarters with a huge cross-section of humanity is a great education, something a kid would never get in a "safe," "good" suburban school.

      •  Chicago: not a big city (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebbinflo

        Okay, it is. What I mean is check out a neighborhood like Lincoln Square. It doesn't feel like a big city there, lots of families and you're still very close to everything Chicago offers.

    •  Seconded! We rock. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, ebbinflo

      "...there is no evidence of a dramatic tightening of the sort he would need to make Tuesday night interesting." -Nate Silver, 11/3

      by iconoclastic cat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:08:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Today's weather: 36 degrees and rain. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebbinflo

      The sun's gone down already.  Let's not sugarcoat the weather.  Chicago weather may be the worst in the US, competing with Texas, where the heat is only tempered by rising flood waters.  

  •  Richmond, VA (12+ / 0-)

    It's got just about everything. River to play in in the summer. All the historic atmosphere you could want in a city. Very culturally progressive. Great public transportation. Great thunderstorms in the summer and snow in the winter. Parks. Lots and lots of parks. There is always something happening there every weekend. It's very cool.

    Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld, a miracle made possible by John McCain.

    by DJShay on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:51:29 AM PST

    •  You should work for the local tourism bureau! (4+ / 0-)

      You've damn near sold me with that description!

      Are you in sales? ;-)

      •  No :-), I just grew up there and my (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MazeDancer, earicicle, Robin in PA

        Father still lives there. We rafted the James river in the summer and played on the rocks. Went sledding at the parks in the winter. The music scene is fantastic. The restaurants are all local, you'll find no chain places there except in the suburbs around Richmond. Original cobble stone streets from the 1800s in Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip. I really can't say enough about it. It's a small city, but incredibly progressive. I miss it terribly. And BTW, so glad to have you back!

        Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld, a miracle made possible by John McCain.

        by DJShay on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:00:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I got here via VA (0+ / 0-)

        I would go back in a heartbeat, given the right employment. Try the mountain west - no, the other mountain west - the Blue Ridge.

    •  Within driving distance from the coast, as well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, DJShay

      VA Beach is one and a half to two hours away, and along the way you'll find Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown and heading inland you can get to Charlottesville (UVA)and you'd still only be an hour and a half from the DC area (cannot beat that!)

    •  I love VA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DJShay

      There is so much history in the area, and so easily accessible.

      Annapolis, Harper's Ferry, Kent Island, DC, everything is so close.  And Manasass, it's wonderful.

      Crap, I'll never make up my mind as to where I want to go.

      "Hope is not eternal, I've found - just purposefully ignorant."

      by boxer babe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:00:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WA state has New England-style scenery and (8+ / 0-)

    viewpoints but you don't have to be a millionaire to live here. I do miss Southern cooking, tho, from my homestate of TN. If I could live anywhere in U.S., I'd choose Eastbury, VT. Or one of those lovely nestled-in-the-valley villages there.

    "You are very wise, Van Helsing, for one who has yet to live a single lifetime." - Count Dracula

    by collardgreens on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:52:03 AM PST

  •  I left a red state for Chicago in 1995. (19+ / 0-)

    I was feeling the same way you are, droogie. And I have never regretted it. To me, Chicago has all the opportunities and progressivism of a big city but the people have small-town hearts. There are no strangers here. Good luck.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:52:17 AM PST

  •  Take a look at Idaho. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, slksfca, martydd

    Boise sounds like it could be your kind of town.

    •  yes I just spent a year there and even though (0+ / 0-)

      it has a lot of republican voters there are great people and there is a lot of space for everyone.

      I loved the climate - very bright and dry. 45 mins to skiing and wilderness. A lot of outdoorsy types. The car of choice being a Subaru Outback AWD. There is a certain conservatism, but I can kind of handle that. I am back in Dublin, Ireland and swear all I want to do is stay under the duvet for a couple of months until our cold damp dark winter is over.

      "live simply so that others may simply live"

      by Maevpmcc on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:48:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any state would be less heavily McCain. (6+ / 0-)

    Oklahoma was THE worst state for Obama.

    Worse than the Mormonful state of Utah.

    "you ought to be ashamed of yourself, person who loves to tell your 'hat story' with OPOL. Grow up."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:54:34 AM PST

  •  Well, I've lived (in no particular order) in (6+ / 0-)

    Brooklyn, Seattle, California, Boston, Western Mass, and my whole family is in various parts of North Carolina. I would say check out the Pacific Northwest (especially Portland if cost of living is an issue and you could get a job there - though it is very gray) and Western North Carolina to start. I love Brooklyn, but I think its would be a pretty big shock to the system for you. And, in many ways I'm still a Californian at heart, so certainly there.

    The old boys network? In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting.

    by brklyngrl on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:55:31 AM PST

  •  Austin TX (4+ / 0-)

    great mix of students, high tech, gov't and those that just love the great outdoors.  The one downside is that Texans aren't always so accepting of people born outside their state (I lived there for 20 years and was always know as a GD Yankee despite the fact I moved to Texas when I was 10) but Austin was always very open and accepting.  It's the only place I could live in Texas.

    Loved Chicago too if you're looking for a big city.  It offers everything that Manhatten has with a smaller price tag and Midwest hospitality.  Wonderful place.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

    by theKgirls on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:55:53 AM PST

  •  Atlanta (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, mellowwild

    It has most of what you describe, plus you could help make it blue!

    •  Atlanta (0+ / 0-)

      Atlanta is beautiful, and Fulton and DeKalb counties are blue...but the museum scene is quite lacking. I would want to live somewhere with more culture if I had a child. The music scene's not bad though, and the cost of living is good. Good food here too!

      When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two. ~nisargadatta maharaj

      by qotsa73 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:10:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've lived in Atlanta for 5 years now, and I am (0+ / 0-)

      feeling the pull away from Atlanta. Atlanta is like a little boy who grew up so fast, seemingly overnight, and one day looked back and had no idea who he was. It is the epitome of gentrification and urban sprawl. Atlanta is also not a place where you can have a lot of fun at low cost. Anything worth doing in Atlanta is going to cost you. For some reason, I being drawn to the DC suburbs. I want to be wrapped in the excitement of the area right now, maybe it has to do with President Obama being there soon.

      Bush must like poor people,'cause he's created so many of them -Paul Begala

      by ATLanthony on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:44:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Culture??? (8+ / 0-)

    What about Gilcrease?  Philbrook?

    Historical sites?  What about the Council Oak Tree.  And...and...the Blue Whale on Hwy 66?

    Droogie!  Don't leave me here alone.

    Besides, you will miss the tornado warnings.

    You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody. - My Dad.

    by briefer on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:58:33 AM PST

  •  Until I became a father, I moved all the time (4+ / 0-)

    I bounced around the country for years, to the point where I saw working for Renaissance Festivals all over the country and moving every two months as a kind of retirement from traveling too much. Now I get antsy if I'm in one place for more than a year or two...which is why I'm hoping the NC thing works out, I'm only 30, but I guess it's time to settle down.

    "Mr. Naylor, the great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese."

    by Relevant Rhino on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 07:59:12 AM PST

  •  I'm in a similar situaion here in Ft Worth TX (6+ / 0-)

    I hate the weather. I hate the government. I hate the racism and hate. I hate the fact that everyone thinks we are cowboys or all ride horses. I hate that I cant find a job. I conciously dont have a southern/Texan accent. I hate everything this state stands for, basically.

    But I must stay here to take care of my dad. After that is done, or after I can convince him to finally move, I'd love to move northeast... I could actually get a good job in my industry, I wouldnt have to deal with all the stuff I listed above. But I am stuck for now. And it sucks.

    So, I am right there with ya.

  •  You have my deepest sympathy (0+ / 0-)

    Being represented by a vile idiot like James Inhofe would drive me nuts. Why on earth do the good people of Oklahoma keep voting for him? I can think of many urban environments that have that buzz, but you may be happier in a less crowded place like Austin. Oklahoma needs your sanity and compassion probably much more than you need Oklahoma. Of course, that is just my opinion.

    An end to the Bush nightmare is only the first step in rebuilding America.

    by DWG on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:01:02 AM PST

  •  "If you can't live in Nebraska, it doesn't matter (5+ / 0-)

    where you live."  So said by my sister-in-law and a sentiment with which I agree.  Grew up in Nebraska, lived another twenty-some years in other states figuring out how to get back, and finally came 'home.'  

    We had a cat that we took on car trips from eastern Ne. where we live, to visit my parents in western Ne. where they lived (my home town.)  During the 300+ mile ride, the cat would occasionally sniff the air conditioner or heat vents, and sniffing something not familiar, would settle in for another nap.  About five miles from my home town, the cat took a final sniff, became all excited, wouldn't stay off the dash board and somehow knew we were 'there.'  And he did the same thing on the way back home.  I'm kind of like that cat.  The air just smells right here.

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:01:15 AM PST

    •  Home of Carhenge! I'll never forget (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JFinNe, la urracca, arainsb123, llamaRCA

      driving past it many years ago...then, unable to believe what we'd seen, driving back and just STARING!

      I see there's an "official" website now: http://www.carhenge.com/

      --It's a feverish world, Inman said, for lack of better comment. (Charles Frazier)

      by Taya Lawrence on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:33:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suggested WI but forgot about CarHenge (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Taya Lawrence
        however, the Hoard Museum and Dairy ShrineHoard Museum and Dairy Shrine, though subtly existing on the inside of a building might give CarHenge a run for its' money if there existed a kitsch death match.  Curiously, the website doesn't mention the entire basement is dedicated to the miracle of artificial insemination.  Mayhap, the curators did not want to attract the wrong sort...

        Obama, a camel, a dentist and Sarah Palin walk into a bar. The bartender says,"Is this some sort of joke?" Obama, camel & the dentist say, "Yes."

        by bnasley on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:30:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I went to Nebraska once (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JFinNe

      and thought it was great. Was visiting a friend in Lincoln, but we also went to Omaha and to visit relatives out in the country.

      But then, a few months later, I met someone from Nebraska in the UK and to get conversation going I said "Oh, I've been to Nebraska ..."

      She cut me off and said: "Why? Nebraska's not somewhere you go to, it's somewhere you come from."

      I had to laugh.

    •  Sorry to say I can't disagree more about NE (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dsteele2, CanyonWren

      I moved to NE from Chicago - city, not suburbs -  and can't wait to leave. I'd go back to Chicago in a heartbeat.  While Nebraskans are seemingly polite, the place is incredibly insular and provincial, remarkably resistant to change, covertly prejudiced, and oddly cliquish in the extreme.  There is little in the way of culture, little in the way of entertainment, next to nothing in the way of topography, nothing of architectural interest, and offers surprisingly awful food, even in what passes for fine dining establishments.

      I've been stuck living in NE for eleven years now and keep expecting it to get better, but it never does.  I would have left after the first year except hubby owns a business he can't pick up and move.  (He has partners who are Lincoln, NE born and bred and who would never consider relocating even to Omaha.)  My only choices are to live in a place I hate or divorce my husband - both unhappy prospects.

      I can't wait for the day that hubby decides he's had enough and sells his interest.  I'll be packed up and ready to move before you can say "I'm outta here!"

      "Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory." - Molly Ivins

      by Involuntary Exile on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:41:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  you should go. (3+ / 0-)

    One of my great regrets is that I never did.  Now, I'm not exactly ancient, but for a variety of logistical and family reasons, it would be really difficult to leave now.

    If you can see your way clear to go and do something interesting, you should.

    I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

    by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:01:39 AM PST

  •  I have moved my whole life (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, blue armadillo, boxer babe

    born in Bethesda, MD, left when I was 3 months old to Beaumont, TX, then Buffalo, NY, then Ann Arbor, MI, Brazil then back to Ann Arbor. That was before I was 18. I have since lived in central Massachusetts and Cleveland, Ohio. (various places).

    I loved Ann Arbor growing up. Now, not sure where I'd go. I have always hated moving, but it seems now inevitable to me. I am looking for jobs. Mostly in NJ, DE, DC, MD, VA and NC...will move to one of those places, probably relatively soon.

    My kids were born and raised in Cleveland. Deliberately, I never wanted them to have to leave home and friends constantly the way I did. I will not look forward to leaving them, but do look forward to being somewhere else...

    Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    by hopeful on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:02:33 AM PST

    •  My childhood (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hopeful, la urracca

      Was spent like yours.  We moved all the time.

      I moved up to this far northern area when my daughter was 8.  I stayed here because I wanted her to have childhood friends, something I never had.

      Now that she's off to university, I'm looking forward to moving somewhere warm, where winter doesn't last for 6 months.

      Texas.

      "Hope is not eternal, I've found - just purposefully ignorant."

      by boxer babe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:24:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would do the same (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        la urracca, boxer babe

        except my husband hates the heat. So, I am looking for more moderate climates, where winters are milder. Shoot, I'd move to Arizona if he'd go with me...

        Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        by hopeful on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:33:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another spot (0+ / 0-)

          That is on my list is Colorado Springs.  I've spent a fair amount of time there the past few years and I really like it there.  Well, expect for James Dobson.

          My problem is, I love the mountains, I love the ocean, but to get them both in the same package is unaffordable to me.

          Compared to anywhere in Canada, Austin is extremely affordable.  You can get a lot of house from under 150K.

          The heat is an issue, but even when it's 100F during the day, at least one can get outside early in the morning or late at night.  When it's 30C up here, there's no enjoying the outdoors for me anyway.

          "Hope is not eternal, I've found - just purposefully ignorant."

          by boxer babe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:41:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's the problem we have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boxer babe

            with leaving Cleveland. It is very affordable. Almost everywhere else is quite expensive.

            Don't like the climate here, but the lake is quite nice.

            Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

            by hopeful on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:07:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You can get both in Santa Cruz CA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boxer babe

            but the affordability thing would probably trip you up -- I'd love to move over the hill if I could afford it, and if the transit was better; my first choice would be San Lorenzo Valley (Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek areas) but the transit sucks and I'm a non-driver.

            "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

            by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:11:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  We moved so much when I was growing up (6+ / 0-)
    that the kids in my new schools frequently asked if I was a brat. It wasn't until I was in 6th grade (the third school in the third state for 6th grade) that I asked my Mom what she meant, only to discover all this moving around was considered "normal" for military (Army) brats, but not for us non-military types. So I learned to adjust, to make friends more easily, and to hold on to friendships after moving away. Now, many, many years later, I find that I get bored easily and I can't help but wonder if all that moving around as a kid had anything to do with it. I'll rearrange furniture if I can't move, just to "tide me over" and it usually buys me some time. Now I'm counting down until my Son-Two graduates from high school (June of 2011) then I'll be free to go anywhere I want; that's when I'll strap on my traveling shoes again.

    Moving is great - there's a great big world "out there" full of interesting people and places. You never know who you're going to meet!

    One more thing: North Carolina (we went BLUE this year, yes we did!!) is a nice place for a new start!

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

    by MsWings on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:03:54 AM PST

    •  I, too have been waiting (4+ / 0-)

      for my youngest to graduate from high school. He did last year. I feel a terrible aching when I think about moving away from them. Trying to stay within a day's drive...

      My sons are 20 and 18.

      Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      by hopeful on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:05:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if it's a lie, please tell me it gets better (4+ / 0-)

        soon. Mine are 18 at the end of the month and 15.5 and, quite honestly, I'm not sure I'll survive the younger one growing up.

        "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

        by MsWings on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:29:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you'll survive (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          texasmom, MsWings

          My youngest caused me tremendous grief. Now he is a freshman in college and seems to be doing quite well. My oldest is still searching, but (due to new anti-depressant) is doing much better, as well. I am not convinced that we are out of the woods, but starting to see the light.

          ps. it's not a lie...

          Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          by hopeful on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:35:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Been there! ;) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, hopeful, MsWings

          My husband and I decided that the sometimes dreadful parts of the teen years are God's way of helping parents get over separation anxiety when they leave.  Really.

          A year or so of college and they started calling us for advice and recipes.  Hang in there.  Two sons - 20 & 23 here.

          The truth always matters.

          by texasmom on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:47:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We were devastated when the big (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          texasmom, MsWings

          boys left for college in 2003. The house was so quiet. We still had our youngest at home and in middle school. Son 1 is now far away in the UK, but son 2 came back home to go to grad school. I'm not sure how I will deal with son 2 leaving for college in 2010.

  •  come to solid blue New England (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indexer, Ann T Bush, Taya Lawrence

    many wonderful states including mine (MA)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    We inaugurate President Barack Obama in 70 days!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:04:09 AM PST

  •  I moved to IA from MA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JFinNe, Involuntary Exile, CanyonWren

    without really knowing what I was getting into. The exit we ended up taking went through the strip mall section of Coralville. Not the greatest first impression. But 17 years later, here I am. Iowa City is a artsy, liberal jewel of a town. Great schools, too.

    No laws but Liberty. No king but Conscience.

    by oldjohnbrown on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:04:36 AM PST

  •  " I left my home, and miss it, but I know I can't" (6+ / 0-)
    This was not my survey answer, regardless it hits close to home.

    Sometimes people fight for the right to call a given place home.

    Sometimes they win.

    Sometimes they never miss what they destroyed in order to do so.

    Sometimes, they do miss it.

    Sometimes, very very badly.

    Perhaps there is a lesson here - pick and choose your battles, because winning them may turn out to be the worst thing you ever did.

    Pick and choose your battles. It might be impossible to un-win them.

    Though you might want nothing more in all the world.

    This might apply to families, to circles of friends, to disputes at work, or to the settlement of, say, a relatively large couple of continents in the Western Hemisphere.

    Pick and choose your battles well.

    And if it's over the right to call a place home, choose especially carefully.

    What makes it worth being a home might not survive the victory.

    We have been given this one precious chance to become one nation again, peacefully.

    by cskendrick on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:05:10 AM PST

  •  Welcome back droog. After school I left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, droogie6655321

    my home state of NY for the nations capital.  I had a shit job for about 1 1/2 years but moved on to something a lot better.

    It was damn scary moving from upstate NY to DC (actually Silver Spring MD).  But I don't regret it one bit.  Luckily my girlfriend (current wife) wasn't far behind.  I love it here and don't have any thoughts of moving.

    Good luck to you.

    The snowdog just slayed by-tor on 11/4/2008.

    by Ex Real Republican on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:05:49 AM PST

  •  Austin, TX is a great place to be (5+ / 0-)

    Come help us spread the blue!

  •  I used to have a romantic notion (5+ / 0-)

    that there would be some sort of grand symmetry in going home to die in the place where I was born.

    A young man's flight of fancy, I suppose. I now live in a city which, despite her having broken my heart repeatedly, I love with all my heart. And so here I'll stay.

    Good luck in your quest, droogie.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified and new prejudices to be opposed. -Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:06:32 AM PST

  •  As a resident of Chicago, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vico, ebbinflo, JeffW, deboChicago, Acktiv

    I highly recommend it, although the winters are quite cold! Oregon is the most beautiful place I have been to in the U.S. so far (Maine being a close second), and I would love to live there someday.

  •  We're thinking of the Pacific NW or Austin. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, texasmom, boxer babe, Ann T Bush

    My boyfriend and I are moving in a few years and I'm very excited! He has to move to another university to get his doctorate in music. Fortunately he's giving me a say in where we move. I love Seattle and want to see Portland (we're visiting both in the spring), but Austin sounds like a good bet too, as the cost of living is slightly lower than Atlanta. We're young and don't have any kids (i'm 34, he's 28 - go me!). After living in Georgia and Tennessee most of my life, I really want to live somewhere very liberal where I feel i truly fit in. It has to have a good music scene (like the cities I mentioned). And being a Soundgarden freak I think it's my destiny to live in Seattle someday.

    Good luck droogie! I'm sure you'll find something that suits you and the fam.

    When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two. ~nisargadatta maharaj

    by qotsa73 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:08:31 AM PST

  •   the little cities in the Northwest (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, fsbohnet, negev79, deerang, qotsa73

    We moved our young family up to the northwest in 1978 and have lived happily in the following places:

    Eugene Oregon (U of Oregon- go ducks- a stimulating college town)
    Bend/Redmond Oregon (climate is sunny and rural flavor- but becoming more diverse)
    Whidbey Island Washington- The magic compromise between urban and rural if you don't mind long ferry waits.
    The outskirts of Portland Vancouver- Portland was my favorite place to visit, but not to live.
    Olympia Washington (- a taste of everything Seattle without the traffic and Evergreen State)
    Quality of life for us means not spending hours daily being stuck on I-5 in traffic.

    Our government is conducting a war on drugs, is it? Let them go after petroleum. Talk about a destructive high!- Kurt Vonnegut

    by crystal eyes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:09:03 AM PST

    •  I was going to suggest Portland OR (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crystal eyes, kjoftherock, negev79

      You still get the weather (well, not the T-storms but there are four distinct seasons), good transit system, progressive politics, and friendly people for the most part. A good friend of mine relocated up there from Red State California, and she and her family are thriving there. (If you get there, check out New Seasons Market -- healthy stuff a la Whole Foods but without Whole Foods' prices and attitude.)

      I'm trying to talk the spouse into relocating there after he retires, but he insists it's "too wet" -- I'll keep working on him, we've got till 2011.

      "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:38:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Portland is perfect for locavores, too... (0+ / 0-)

        Hood River fruit, local veggies, grass raised meat, free range chicken, incredible seafood, heck--you can grow wasabi here!  Farmer's markets all over the place and more land under greenhouses than pretty much anywhere in the US.  More vegetarian options in restaurants than I've ever seen anywhere else, and we even have a vegan strip club--no foolin'!

        "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

        by SmartAleq on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:02:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I do like the Pacific Northwest. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    negev79, deerang, qotsa73

    I grew up in the Chicago area, but now live in Washington State. Love it. I definitely want to grow roots here.

    Good luck finding your place, droogie...

    Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. -Henry David Thoreau

    by rb137 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:09:46 AM PST

  •  Speaking, I admit, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    potter, droogie6655321

    as a member in good standing of the Portland Relocation Committee over on Street Prophets, you are describing Portland, Oregon.

    I understand what you're talking about regarding the "pull".  That isn't what it feels like to me when it happens to me, but it does happen.

  •  Droogie- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nabwilson, droogie6655321

    I left Boston for western Ma to go to college- dropped I kicked around, did the post-college thing. I left Northampton for Seattle, came back two years later- missed the place. After about six years, the same things were driving me nuts, so Mrs. Jello & I left for San Francisco- didn't work out ( long dismal story) so we headed east again- this time to the MA/VT border.

    As it turned out, a little blue-collar town of 14,000, chock-a-block full of hippies and rednecks was home.

    Look at western MA- some good schools, GREAT people, fairly progressive ( my gas station was #5 in the nation to offer pump biodiesal), and we have truely spectacular foliage.

    I had the blues so bad one time, it put my face in a permanent frown- but I'm feelin' so much better I can cakewalk into town..

    by Remembering Jello on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:10:16 AM PST

    •  I can vouch for Jello (0+ / 0-)

      I was born and bred in the Berkshires - Norman Rockwell country. Really beautiful place and a great place to raise a family. And you're right about the hippies. Arlo Guthrie lives in my home town, and the movie "Alice's Restaurant" was filmed in the area. Lot's of people like that around, but their cool old hippies nowadays! And the 4 seasons are great, especially fall.

      nab

  •  You'll Love the Pac NW if You Can Afford It (9+ / 0-)

    We spent a decade there, but as self employed craftsmen getting older, couldn't gin up the cash flow to hang on. So we're back in our long-ago origins because it's quite cheap here but otherwise safe and functional.

    Only thing is, you have to be comfortable with wintertime dark and a lot of grey. On the plus side, a whole decade could pass when you may never need an umbrella or raincoat. Outside of summer it seems to rain at least half the time, but you never get wet.

    And when the sun is out, which it is for like 2 solid months in the summer, the place is drop-jaw stunning.

    And a 365 day boating and camping year is pretty fun too. I think you'll find plenty of energy in the Seattle area which covers quite a lot of territory north-south.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:10:21 AM PST

    •  When we first moved to the NW the rain was (4+ / 0-)

      a psychological adjustment,
      but now it's liquid sunshine.

      Our government is conducting a war on drugs, is it? Let them go after petroleum. Talk about a destructive high!- Kurt Vonnegut

      by crystal eyes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:16:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love that. Liquid sunshine. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheWesternSun

        It's funny how some people can't handle it, and then some people thrive on it.

        I'm a thriver.  I love October, when the leaves change color and the air grows cooler and it's time to use my sweaters and hats (but NEVER umbrellas).

        Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:56:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  you must warn the New England folk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, TheWesternSun

      about Fall, though.  A number of NE transplants that I've known were rather bothered by the PNW's concept of autumn, which is rather sloppy here.

      The Northeast has those short intense autumns where the leaves go through their color changes and drop in a couple of weeks.

      In the PNW leaves start turning late August and finish dropping sometime in late February or early March, about the time some trees are showing new leaves. That's not to mention the evergreens, including the broadleaf Pacific madrona which supposedly drops some leaves in the fall but the ones near me always did that in May and June.  

      •  It's like spring. The flowers start (0+ / 0-)

        in January. Then there are a few more flowers. And a few more flowers. And suddenly there are a lot of flowers. And then it's July. In late March, Seattle smells like cherry blossoms.

        "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

        by TheWesternSun on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:23:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I got pulled HARD to the Pacific NW. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon

      I lived on the East Coast, mostly in New England. I moved here in 2004. Several years before that, I had visited a friend in Seattle. It was my first time here. I stepped out of the airport and took a breath, and felt as if I'd been hit in the chest. It just felt really different, somehow. The more I walked around in Seattle and drove around outside the city, the more at home I felt. It is physically beautiful here -- the colors, the water, the looming hulk of Mr. Rainier and the mountains to the east and west. Sometimes, at sunset, the sunlight turns the snow-capped Cascades pink, like cake icing. The air, even on a sunny day, is softened by microdroplets of water that allow a person to fill their lungs easily, yet it's rarely humid....

      Seattle is a vibrant city with many universities, museums, a working waterfront, and streams of ethnic cultures flowing through. There's a certain vibe here I've never felt anywhere else, and I've traveled a lot over my 62 years.

      I live on the Olympic Peninsula. I rent a small 2BR farmhouse with gardens and a glassed-in porch with a view of an inlet where the tide flows in and out over the oyster beds. My rent is under $1000/month. A 45 minute drive gets me to the ferry, across Puget Sound in about 25 minutes, and to the middle of downtown in another 20 minutes.

      I lived on the East Coast for 57 years. I have no desire to go back.

      Follow your heart Droogie. Live life to the fullest, and be happy.

      "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

      by TheWesternSun on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:20:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  leaving home (0+ / 0-)

    I couldn't wait to leave home and grew up in Milwaukee during a pretty progressive time.. then Madison, New York, CA, Philly, MI .. abroad to work in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East... and now living in Boston raising kids for the past many years. This election I was so aware of how I have always lived in blue USA. Boston has a lot to offer culturally, liberally .. but winter is slushy and long and cost of living is high. on the other hand, the people & opportunities are amazing once you connect with communities. Best of luck in your journey

  •  Well, I live where I was raised, (0+ / 0-)

    but I was raised in NYC and L.A.(SoCal),
    which are two huge cities, so maybe this
    doesn't count, exactly, but still, I would
    maybe enjoy living another place, one day,
    but these two places are, well, sort of,
    "another place" if you know what I mean.

    ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

    by ArthurPoet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:11:41 AM PST

  •  Come to Texas, Droogie. (5+ / 0-)

    Austin's a great place to raise a young droogster, and we've got lots of work for progressives to do for 2010, and 2012.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:11:46 AM PST

  •  Odd case here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321

    Lived in Michigan all my life, but have moved to six different cities within Michigan since graduating college in 2002.  It's not that I love the state, but pretty much only to follow jobs.

    If I could find a decent job in another state (or even in another country), I'd be there as soon as I could swing it.

    If you can find stability in Michigan, it's a nice state...

    Good luck Droogie in finding what you're looking for.

  •  I'm a Navy Brat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, Taya Lawrence

    I've moved pretty much every 2 years my young life. I lived in San Diego, Hawaii-and after my parents divorced I ended up in Indiana, then Texas.
    After college I moved to Denver. Two years ago, I moved to deep South Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico.

    I always want to move.  I don't know if it's because of my upbringing. It sure did change after I had a child though. Factoring in schools and researching opportunities for her became priority #1.

    I would love to move back to Denver, but we just can't afford it. Our next move may be to Austin, or even to the east coast; only time will tell!

  •  The poll choices didn't really exactly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, llamaRCA, deerang

    reflect how I feel.

    I moved from California, which I love and miss fiercely, and I may or may not go home soon.  I'm a nomad with fierce love for my place of origin.

    I love the Pac N'west, but the winters will drive me mad soon, so the Sockpuppet family is talking about another move... maybe to the Intermountain West.  They need some help turning Idaho/Montana/Utah blue anyway!

    Droogie-- The Pac N'west is great, but if you are at all prone to getting bummed out by the weather, consider Oregon rather than Washington.

    We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:13:25 AM PST

    •  We do need help in Idaho! (2+ / 0-)
      Boise area is really nice. Doubt I could live behind the "Zion curtain" (east Idaho), but Boise is really nice. About 400k people in this area so always something to do and great for minor league sports watching. You'd be welcome here!

      "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

      by Boisepoet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:43:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're looking into it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boisepoet

        It's really going to depend on where I can get appropriate employment.  My field is small and needs an academic medical center.

        The years in Seattle have taken their toll and we're definitely ready to move on to some bluer skies... and the skies don't get any better than the Intermountain West.

        We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

        by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:58:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My wife is from Seattle... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the dogs sockpuppet

          But she suffers from the opposite here; too much sunshine! I've seen it go 70 days without any significant cloud cover to speak of. And if you golf...wonderful, just wonderful.

          "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

          by Boisepoet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:13:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Pittsburgh, PA....seriously (6+ / 0-)

    I think you should give Pittsburgh a look. It has all of the culture, with a large university scene, a vibrant arts community, and historic neighborhoods.

    As Bob Costas likes to say, Pittsburgh is the only city in America that is truly a hometown. It retains small town sensibilities while offering those things all cities should.

    Give it a look.

    •  born and raised in da 'Burgh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drowning Wave

      I have tried to move away...really!  Lived in MA, OH, NC, CO!!!  I keep coming home...and I'm here to stay, as they say, until they carry me out feet first!  :)  I love this town!

      Youngest mayor of a major US city!  Luke is 27!  

      "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

      by Pandoras Box on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:24:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah Pittsburgh!!! (0+ / 0-)

      Fantastic town.  Safe.  Small-town feel with big-city culture.  And ridiculously cheap (I own a 3 bedroom house in a nice neighborhood with a mortgage of less than 700 bucks a month--where else are you going to find that?)

      Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama!

      by Drowning Wave on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:37:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wholeheartedly concur, Droog! (0+ / 0-)

      I grew up within the city limits of Pittsburgh.  It's a friendly town and is perennially at or near the top of several "Most Livable City" lists.  It boasts healthcare facilities which are internationally recognized, a cultural district second to none, highly-respected universities, and four distinct seasons.  If you don't mind making an hour trip for it, the annual "Jamboree in the Hills" is three days of Bluegrass and related music.

      The cost of living and price of housing are both low, mass transit covers the entire county, and you can enjoy professional baseball, football, and hockey.  Boating is big here (due to the three rivers) and Allegheny County is second only to Miami, FL in the number of boat registrations.  There's an annual regatta where the rivers meet.

      Seriously, check it out Droog.  Look at the various "most livable" lists going back 10 years or more.  All we need to do is identify potential employers for you, and you're set.  E-mail me!  My addy is in my DKos profile.

      I live in a small town outside of the city now because my wife grew up in one and wanted to raise the kids in one.  When retirement comes, I'm looking to move back to the city.  I miss it that much.

      Most Sincerely,
      Celtic Merlin
      Carlinist

      Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

      by Celtic Merlin on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:01:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One last important thing. (0+ / 0-)

        I've traveled to most of the US.  For about 18 months, I had a good job that involved travel all over the USA for about 6 weeks at a time.  I've spent more than a month in many of the 50 states - both coasts, Texas, north, south, and alot of places in between.  None of them ever attracted me enough to want to live there permanently.  

        One day, my wife told me that it was either her or the job, and she wasn't even my wife yet!  I reminded her of the rather generous paychecks I was bringing in, but she was having none of it.  I don't have the job any more, but I still have her.

        Western PA is seriously worth strong consideration.  Allegheny county went Obama and PA has been a blue state in every presidential election since 1992.

        E-mail me.

        Celtic Merlin
        Carlinist

        Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

        by Celtic Merlin on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:15:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Triangle area of NC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, SneakySnu, Leslie H, johngoes

    A great place to live! Beautiful countryside, plenty of culture, great restaurants, 3 very different cities; Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill, 3 major universities, Research Triangle Park, reasonable cost of living-VERY reasonable if you want to live out of town just a bit. I'm from Texas and spent a bit of time in the NW, but it was just too "nice" for me. In NC there is a nice mix of liberalism, populism and conservatism. For those of us that are politically minded you can really make a difference here-hey look what we did this election! All in all a great mix of Mayberry and Big City living. The economy is still pretty good here and we did not have as huge of a housing bubble as elsewhere. Fall here is ABSOLUTELY beautiful-as is the rest of the year. Beaches, mountains, what more could you need?  We would love to have you!

  •  I grew up in the Deep South... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom

    ...among people who had no business acting country.  For them, affecting an accent and driving a pickup was more often than not a product of socialization than upbringing--it conveyed an image they supported.  Newt was our Congressman, and while we were fifteen minutes from one of the largest cities in the country, the culture was hick-chique.  I moved from there to Florida as soon as I could, and loved every minute of it--mostly because the country folk there either came by it honestly or were vastly outnumbered by the sophisticates.

    But I gotta say, I really love living in Silver Spring, MD now.  We have culture like you wouldn't believe, the national arts scene, good public transit, and an open and tolerant society.  My wife and I will probably return to Florida some day, but I'm really glad to own a home here now.

    The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

    by JR on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:15:42 AM PST

  •  Ann Arbor's worth considering, too... (0+ / 0-)

    College town. Professional football team. Lots of music and drama and art. More bookstores per square mile than any town I've lived in. Moderately liberal politics (but not nearly as progressive as they think they are).

    Three seasons--winter, summer, construction--but the brief flashes of fall and spring are breathtaking. Lots of energy. Good schools for droogiejr. Of course, there are downsides (see "professional football team," supra). But the pros more then outweigh the cons, IMHO.

    It's been my home of choice since '79. When divorce ended my marriage, it's where I chose to stay, and I don't regret it. Just sayin'.

    "To change the world, start by changing the metaphor." Joseph Campbell

    by voicesraised on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:16:02 AM PST

  •  Asheville, NC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ALifeLessFrightening

    though it's getting expensive there ..

    Electronic media creates reality - Meatball Fulton
    The less you know, the more you believe - Bono

    by zeke7237 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:16:22 AM PST

    •  So true (0+ / 0-)

      we looked at relocating to Asheville--from MD.  It is not cheap here, by any stretch of the imaginiation...but we could not afford to buy a place anywhere within driving distance of Asheville.  Of course, we need land (horses, goats, and chickens would be tagging along, of course) and that made our search a bit more difficult.

      "Past is prologue"--Joe Biden

      by ALifeLessFrightening on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:55:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  heh .. you have to modify your definition .. (0+ / 0-)

        of "within driving distance" :)

        we lived near Linville, up the parkway an hour or two from Asheville and right on the side of grandfather mountain. 10 miles to the closest store, 22 to the closest shopping (limited to local shops until walmart came), 70 to Charlotte ..

        you just learn to plan your trips ..

        Electronic media creates reality - Meatball Fulton
        The less you know, the more you believe - Bono

        by zeke7237 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 04:22:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Come to L.A., baby. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Its not that Los Angeles is the One True Place™ for any particular lifestyle or subculture, its that we have them all set in a patchwork around a core of world-class cultural institutions and nearby to the mountains, the beach, the desert and every recreational landscape you can imagine.

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by kingubu on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:16:36 AM PST

    •  All due respect, but really? (0+ / 0-)

      Droogie's a small town guy from a red state; don't you think L.A. would be kind of...culture shock?  

      I grew up in Santa Barbara, but the rest of my family lived in L.A., so I spent half my childhood there.  And for all that it has to offer, I think it can be a tough adjustment for people who aren't used to the big city or the Southern California culture.  The size, the traffic, the cost, the constant beauty contest...

      Oh, but now I'm missing L.A. because I'd kill a man for a decent cornbeef on rye. :-(

      Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:59:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Try San Diego (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftyguitarist

    Sun, cool ocean breezes, beaches, mountains, road biking, mountain biking, hiking, the Gaslamp Quarter, Hillcrest, Mission Bay, La Jolla, the harbor, eucalyptus trees, Balboa Park, Mission Trails Regional Park, the symphony, art museums, the focus-on-the-younger-set Pacific Beach area, etc., etc. -- what's not to love?

    (Well, maybe a relatively high cost of living and a drive-fast-or-die freeway culture, but those are trivial points!)

    The America I knew and loved is finally dead at the hands of bipartisanship.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:16:40 AM PST

  •  I left my hometown forever. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321

    My small city of birth through 2, ages 5-8 and again ages 14-18 is the seat of one of the few counties in WI that supported McCain/Palin in 2008 as WI shifted from purple to deep, clear blue. I have lived in WI for all but 28 months of my 45+ years on earth, but I will never live in that small minded little city in which I was born. I am hoping my mother will come south to Milwaukee and join her sons now that she is retired. I plan to stay in Milwaukee with my wife and new son until retirement, God willing. I hope to retire to the hills of southwestern Wisconsin or maybe some place on the west coast if we get lucky money-wise. I love my home state, but not my home town.

    The other places I lived in my young adulthood were Phoenix AZ, Denver CO and San Juan PR. I dislike Phoenix even more now after a recent visit than when I lived there a quarter century ago. I loved Denver, but haven't been there in almost two decades. I liked San Juan but could not stomach that climate or the island isolation year round.

    Having travelled extensively in every region of the US except the new england states, OR, WA, AK & HI. I love my home state, but could easily see living elsewhere in the great lakes region or on the west coast or in Colorado. The pacific NW seems in theory like the most perfect place, but I've never actually been farther up the west coast than a line from Mendocino to Lake Tahoe.

    So anyway, my point is that there are good places to live. Sometimes you need to go far to find them, sometimes they are just around the corner. Good luck in your search.

    •  I should probably add ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madmsf, Yoshimi

      a plug for Madison, WI.

      Madison was my home from age 11-13. Ilived there during Watergate and it was probably the lace where my political mind was first shaped by forces beyond my parents. It is a wonderful small city and one of the greatest places imaginable to raise a child. If the UW were not such a hyper-competetive research focused (high-stress) school, my wife would probably be keeping an eye open for a job there. The school district is uniformly very good and in some schools outstanding. Violent crime is freakishly low for a US city. it is probably a bit more diverse than average for a medium-small midwestern city, though not very diverse at all compared to most larger cities. It is a culturally vibrant mecca for the arts, never wanting for things to do and if one ever wants to step up the museum scene a notch, Milwaukee is only 70 minutes away and to step up the arts and museum scene to the world class level, Chicago just over 2 hours away. The parks are great. It's wonderful for biking and sailing. Housing is affordable by US standards, though a little higher than elsewhere in WI. The quality of the housing stock is outsanding. There is a good job market, growing, if a bit slower than usual, even in this severe downturn.

      Other than the harsh winters, Madison WI is about the most perfect place for a young family that I can imagine.

  •  NC is the place for you ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, SneakySnu, science geek

    Asheville, Winston, G'boro, Raleigh/Durham outer area, Wilmington, New Bern, Charlotte outer area. Many of the smaller towns surrounding the hubs have great schools (Chatham and Johnston Counties that I KNOW of), good cultural options and lots of young couples and families.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there... since you asked. :)

    If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

    by Leslie H on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:17:15 AM PST

  •  I went through that (0+ / 0-)

    about 5 years ago, after a long time in Idaho. I've also lived in Portland, Chicago. and Conn. Spent about a year thinking of what was really important to me re quality of life dependent on surroundings, made a bunch of lists. Then I gave away all my stuff that wouldn't fit in a small pick-up, and spent 6 months driving around America, camping and "interviewing" cities. Best experience of my life, although not practical for most. Came to realize that I was looking for a feeling rather than a checklist- specifically, a sense that I could be part of a community, and that I could make a difference. Settled in Roanoke, Va. Good luck to you droogie.

  •  I know "the pull" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321

    Can't fight it, no use trying.

    And yeah, it was a dreary day. Gets like that? I plant trees, bulbs and stuff for spring.

    The hope of it gets me through winter. Every year so far , it takes a hope junky to garden in Oklahoma!

  •  I have lived almost all my life in NYC (0+ / 0-)

    but I did move away .... way away ... Tel Aviv for 3 years, in my late 20s.  

    NYC is a great place.

  •  I feel that way a lot... the pull to leave and (0+ / 0-)

    start over somewhere else... but alas
    my son got married and had babies and I
    can't seem to leave them.

    but I really want to go... every fiber of
    my being wants to be someplace else other than
    Kansas City, Missouri.

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

    by Statusquomustgo on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:18:32 AM PST

    •  I moved to mid-Missouri (Columbia) from NY... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Statusquomustgo

      I was born in Indiana, moved to the DC burbs when I was 8, went to college in DC, grad school in WI, and have lived in a couple of cities in Germany...and I actually like it here in central Missouri.  There are some good things and some bad things about it, but the cost of living is manageable, especially compared to any coast.  We have a good movie theater that shows international and Sundance and alternative films - we even have the True/False Film Festival (documentary films).  I think public schools here are good, from what my friends with kids say.  Some of whom have, and most of whom haven't, waited till their 30's for kids. There are also other options like the Columbia Independent School.  Nature/wildlife options are much better than a coast (awesome Conservation Depatment due to dedicated sales tax, and we do have fun lizards and rattlesnakes to look for), and we have a fine farmer's market - even two, come to think of it.  Lovely public library.  Good restaurants, many ice cream shops (Droogie jr. might like that - my favorite is Sparky's, which my neighbors run...Barack ate Sparky's ice cream when he was here at the end of October) and a few gay clubs. Nice parks.  Growing amount of diversity.  Missouri does have a troubling number of religious fundamentalists, but here in Boone County it's not as extreme as many places, due to the influences of MU and the other two colleges in town (the other big employers here are insurance companies, hospitals & clinics, and 3M)...and we even have a mosque and an Islamic school.  
      You might like it here, too!  If you want to stay with us and visit sometime, contact me at brekhusr at gmail dot com.  We have a guest room.

  •  Living in DC now and loving it (0+ / 0-)

    I might try for NYC someday, but for now I'm pretty happy where I'm at.

  •  I'll indulge you. Portland, ME, and not just (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Clues, llamaRCA, Weaselina

    cause Bill lives here.  I was in the same position as you 16 years ago.  In fact, 16 years ago today I signed my first rental apartment lease in Portland.  I moved from Indiana, looking for somewhere new and alive.  Richmond, IN was not a cultural mecca.  Portland was and is.  A major museum, about 10 theater companies in Greater Portland, etc.  2nd most restaraunts per capita behind San Fransisco, and food and people fom all over the world.  It's a cool scene, still.  

    Country First. Western Second. I don't know. . .Third base!

    by dditt on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:19:44 AM PST

  •  I'm from Ohio, but I checked the "left home and (0+ / 0-)

    never looked back" option. I live in Texas now, in an urban area, so it's better than Oklahoma as far as culture and schools (most of Texas is not).

  •  My dad was a nomad, so I'm a settler (0+ / 0-)

    I was born in Europe (army brat).  Even after he got out of the army, my dad had wanderlust.  We lived in Europe, Missouri, CA, then finally (several places) in MI.  As I grew up, I found I didn't like constantly saying good-bye to friends and starting over again.  So, when I settled, I settled.  Eventually, as retirement loomed, there were decisions to be made--stay or move somewhere WARM... Well, circumstances helped me decide.  I spent several months with family that is temporarily located in FL after selling my home.  Decided to go back close to the majority of family members and familiar places & people.  But, eventually I may decide to settle somewhere warm, if that's where my children and grandchildren finally settle--hopefully in a predominantly "blue" area.

  •  Would you consider Ohio? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    I live in Columbus, Ohio, which has (surprisingly) grown on me, to the point where I feel comfortable recommending it to others, especially those with young families. I originally hail from Chicago, and I am an urban creature down to my marrow, so I wouldn't recommend any place that didn't have something to offer in the way of culture, or that certain city vibe.

    Football fanaticism aside, Columbus is really an up-and-coming city. There is a lot of positive energy and support for the independent arts scene here, and the vibrant jazz and environmental/green scenes are two of Columbus' best kept secrets. Having easy access to the Ohio State University and the Wexner Center isn't anything to sneeze at, either. Best of all, the cost of living is still remarkably low, all things considered.

    If you do decide to check out Columbus, I recommend visiting the last weekend in June so you can see our much-vaunted Comfest. It's one of my most favorite things about the city.

    •  I spent a little time in Dayton ... (0+ / 0-)

      a year ago, on an executive recruiting trip.  Not a bad place - and the real estate is CHEAP.  

      Have a job in your pocket before you go there however.

      I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

      by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:30:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aaaarrrrggggghhh! (9+ / 0-)

    Progressive Okies, stop leaving the state! Do I have to build a damn wall or something?

    Thanks, Droog, now I'm really feeling like the weather.

    PS. Add "Oklahoma" to tags, please.

  •  Kansas city has all that to one degree or another (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Taya Lawrence

    with most of the things you like about your current home close by. We need six thousand votes on the missouri side.... I live on the kansas side of the city but it is nice unless you want mountains or ocean...... We have music and downtown is changing and musems... Low cost of living etc.....

  •  Tucson, Arizona fantastic climate though a (5+ / 0-)

    tich hot in the summer, winters are beautiful. We're a blue lake in a rapidly purpling state with a laid back atmosphere, great outdoors, symphony, arts the countries first Land Grant University, and a great mix of anglo and hispanic culture.

    Plus the best mexican food north of the border.

    Here is some of our beautiful scenery

    Not Phoenix, Tucson. It's like a totally different state..................

    •  Yes, thank you! (5+ / 0-)

      I was looking down the comment list to see if anyone mentioned Tucson.

      We have great Mexican food here as well as lots of other great restaurants and we have a fantastic thunderstorm/monsoon season here too. Yes the summers are hot - extremely hot some days but you do adapt and the winters are wonderful for those of us who do not enjoy freezing weather. Today it's in the low 70s here, with sunny blue skies. There's plenty to do here but it's not a big city atmosphere, pretty much everything is casual.

      •  LA transplant here and you couldn't pry me out (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, artmartin, CS in AZ

        of the desert.

        I have the good fortune to live west of town on 5 acres with my animals, a friggin ark, and I'll die on this land.

        Only problem here is I live smack dab in the middle of smugglers alley so lots of migrant  traffic though the economy has stopped a lot of that. NOw if the BP would just stop the low level flights with the damn blackhawks it would be perfect.

         title=

        My back yard in Monsoon......

        •  Beautiful pic of the desert after a rain (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea, buddabelly, artmartin

          You're lucky to have such a great back yard! Mine is nice but nothing like that. :) I grew up here, then moved with my husband to San Diego for six years in search of better jobs (which we found, and we loved the weather and beach there too, but eventually grew tired of the crowds and traffic so we moved back home to Tucson in 2004. I really do love it here.

          We also have several BuddyBelly bamboo plants in our yard -- props for your screen name. :)

    •  Love Tucson (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, dsteele2, artmartin

      But saying it's a "tich hot" is like say a broiler leaves char on your steak.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:03:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was born and raised in Tucson (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, buddabelly, CS in AZ

      and now live in the Phoenix area.  You are so right that they're like two different states.  There are some nice areas in and around Phoenix but the politics here about drives me mad.  

      Tucson's gorgeous and friendly.  Phoenix is where you go if you have to make a decent living.  

      "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

      by artmartin on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:39:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I moved away and found my home (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nolalily, jpadgett

    I grew up in the Chicago burbs (the run-down ones) and moved south as soon as I could.

    New Orleans is my home.  Simply, it loved me back.

    It's not always an easy place to live, but it's worth it.  You get to raise your kids on the best food and music in the country.  We have spontaneous parades.  And those pictures of the kids on election night, with the sign?  Black and white, together?  That happens here all the time.  Bring your kid to their friend's bar mitzvah and it'll be filled with kids of all different colors.  Instead of Spanish moss, our live oaks have mardi gras beads hanging over the avenues.

    A friend of mine passed away this year.  He grew up in New Orleans and moved away, but moved his family back the week of Katrina.  His kids are 6, 5, and 3.  His wife is from Prague and she thought about leaving after he passed, but "the kids are New Orleanians, and I am a New Orleanian"...

    It pulls you in like none other.  You'll find an active blogging community here, too, and incredible journalism from both our weekly and our daily.  There's plenty of work to be done.

    Droogie, come to New Orleans.  We need you.

  •  Grew up in Wyoming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llamaRCA

    Have lived in California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Kansas and Washington.

    Landed in Idaho.  Boise is a nice place.  Right size, young population, cultural life, lots of outdoor stuff close by.  Bad part is that Boise is an island in the midst of a Red sea.  It is, however, fairly cheap to live here.

    Moving is part of life.  But, my heart still belongs in Wyoming.  

    Follow your heart.  You'll be surprised where it takes you.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:25:40 AM PST

  •  Visit Minnesota. I have a strong bias (6+ / 0-)

    for the Minnesota River Valley, Minnesota "nice," the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Guthrie Theatre,  walks around Lake of the Isle, and occasional "crazy politics."    And don't even get me started on Duluth and the North Shore and the Boundary Waters in the spring, summer and fall (all 3 of which happen rather abruptly over a period of 3 or 4 months in toto).

    Be sure to visit in the winter so you can be certain that you have what it takes to survive there.    

    --It's a feverish world, Inman said, for lack of better comment. (Charles Frazier)

    by Taya Lawrence on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:26:43 AM PST

    •  Holy crap - this far before MN gets a shout-out? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxxdogg, Taya Lawrence, klopper

      Come check out the Twin Cities - lots of arts and culture, major corporations (many that areactually socially responsible), and great parks, lakes, recreation.

      "If the good Lord had intended for us to walk, He wouldn't have invented roller skates." - Willy Wonka

      by RethinkEverything on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Minneapolis is fantastic. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sarac, davidkc, maxxdogg, Taya Lawrence

      My best friend married a man from MN, so she moved there, and even though we had our doubts, she loves it.  And I've visited twice and have been blown away by what a perfect city it seems to be.  Theater, museums, great restaurants, parks, beautiful neighborhoods, incredibly nice people.

      I'd seriously think about moving there...except for the weather.  I could never handle the winters.

      Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:02:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Minneapolis/St. Paul is great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sarac, Taya Lawrence

      I lived there for 20 years.  The Twin Cities have the best arts & culture scene outside of NYC;  wonderful parks with plenty of lakes, bike trails and the like; a strong progressive tradition; a vibrant downtown (in Minneapolis); and affordable living.  The only downside, of course, is the winter, but we always joked that it keeps out the riff-raff.  I still have fond, fond memories of my time there.

      •  I grew up there (0+ / 0-)

        and it just keeps improving (especially now that it's getting bluer again).

        And if you love summer thunderstorms, they don't get any better than they do there.  I miss them, now I live in NY State (frankly, I've been trying to move back to Mpls for 18 years).

        Great cultural opportunities of every kind, best state fair I've ever been to, good schools, great place for kids, definitely family neighborhoods with parents of all ages, fabulous farmer's markets, lots of outdoorsy people, one of the highest levels of book-reading in the nation, wilderness a day's drive away in one direction and Chicago in the other, a major airport, and a grand old liberal Germanic cultural tradition, now altered a bit but still there, along with a much more ethnically diverse population than when I was a kid there.  And apparently the Somali pop music industry is based there now.  Prince never left of course.

        "Civility costs nothing and buys everything." - Mary Wortley Montagu

        by sarac on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:21:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The winters are part of the charm (0+ / 0-)

        Heck, we have vacationed twice on the north shore of Lake Superior in the dead of winter.  Nothing like -35F to wake you up good and proper.

  •  Go for it Droogie, and I'll live vicariously (0+ / 0-)

    through your experience. =)

    I dream about moving to L.A. or N.Y.C... but I could never leave my extended family, which has lived in the Midwest for my entire life.

    Besides, I went to L.A. at the age of 21 with the intention of moving there, but returned after 6 months. I visited again in 2007, and all the old memories came back. It was hard to leave. Maybe someday I'll gather the courage to move to a place that's beautiful all the time.

    President Obama, I am proud to call you my leader and my example.

    by Stella 4 Obama on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:27:04 AM PST

  •  move West young man, move west (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, kumaneko

    for what it is worth (not much because all our lives are different). I moved from the UK and Europe (France, Spain)to Mexico in the late 50's. lived 20 years in new york, then 5 years in los Angeles, 10 years in the Caribbean, and now am firmly ensconced in the Land of Enchantment.  I have worked in Australia, Africa, India, Asia and travelled extensively to most parts of the planet.

    I have found that one can re-invent oneself easily by remaining open-minded and tolerant, and unafraid of challenge.  I often think of myself and my family as plants, who need to be re-potted every once in a while as our roots grow and our height and depth increase.

    there are always lessons to be learned wherever one goes.

  •  Madison, WI (7+ / 0-)

    often listed as the best place to live in America, offers easy living, a strong progressive government, large LGBT population, a recession proof (comparatively to other places) city (with state government and Univ W providing stability in employment.  beautiful, central madison is on an Isthmus ( a strip of land surrounded by two bodies of water) plenty of parks, excellent education, and wonderful array of seasonal activities (you have to not mind the cold season, though).  I grew up here, moved out east for 10 years and had to return, even though i liked the east (Philadelphia, Virginia, and Vermont).  Beware though, people feel that Madison is in a delusional bubble and often is described as 64 square miles surrounded by reality.

  •  Consider New Orleans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nolalily, kjoftherock

    Come on down!  We are a blue island in a red state (but we're VERY blue--80+% for Obama).  I love this city of ours more than any city in the country, and we need folks like you to move here!  For culture and quality of life, New Orleans is hard to beat.  We have problems--big problems--but we're growing and getting better every day! Plus, practically speaking, there IS an energy here, and we're ironically kind of insulated from the economic crisis because of rebuilding efforts (at least for some years yet).

    So consider the Big Easy, my friend.  As a transplant myself (many years ago) from Alabama, I can tell you that I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world.

  •  Choose Portland, OR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angry Mouse

    But don't tell anyone I said that!

    •  You're not the first. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon, kjoftherock

      That seems to be the dominant suggestion here.  Can't say I blame anyone.  I'm in Portland right now visiting my brother, and I love it here.

      Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:03:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not all wine and roses (0+ / 0-)

        There's a really immature vibe in this town, too.  For example, here are two things I witnessed in downtown Portland this morning, within minutes of each other:

        1. White meth-y mom with stroller yelling at black woman with stroller, "Don't you DARE talk to my kid!"
        1. Annoying sloppy 20-something hipster yelling at a black guy, "I wasn't pointing at you! I don't want you thinking I was pointing at you because you're black, cuz I wasn't, dude!" He was saying this as the black guy was advancing.

        I wish I could say this was uncommon.  There are lots of nice people here, but it attracts more than its share of the disaffected, ignorant and snotty.

        FWIW, I've moved away, but am back for a visit.  The weather drove me away, but when I come back I do notice how different the people here are.

  •  go where ... (0+ / 0-)

    the public education is.  Seriously.  States that have a history of prioritizing education are likely to be a.) blue, b.) full of smart young people and c.) more economically level than many other states.

    I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

    by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:29:30 AM PST

  •  I left home (0+ / 0-)

    to go to grad. school.  This was not necessarily voluntary, but it's probably the best thing I ever did for myself.  I still visit home (Baltimore) every so often, as my family still lives there, but I don't anticipate relocating there.  It's not that I think it's such a terrible place;  it's just that there are parts of the country that I perfer to "home."

    -5.13,-5.64; EVERYTHING is an approximation! -Hans A. Bethe

    by gizmo59 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:29:47 AM PST

  •  I like being outnumbered. (0+ / 0-)

    I kinda like to stay in my red state and fight.  It gets tough being the nail that sticks up, but they haven't managed to hammer me down yet... and the fact that that pisses them off is kinda fun.

    I can understand getting fed up with a place, especially when one's overwhelmed by people of unlike mind there, but sometimes it's good to stay and be a germ in the system, not give the opposition the satisfaction of you leaving 'em.

    Anyway, something to think about, although I won't blame ya if you look for greener pastures, either... :)

    "Does anybody know what the difference between a bulldog and a hockey mom is? The bulldog gets vetted!" - Bob Barr

    by Front Toward Enemy on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:30:22 AM PST

  •  New Orleans! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nolalily, jpadgett, kjoftherock

    Diverse, lots of history, great food. 80% Obama vote.

    World's Largest Potholes, the occasional hurricane, but I love it.

    Sooz the Publisher

    by susanf on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:30:37 AM PST

  •  You can't go home again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saralee, llamaRCA, Taya Lawrence

    I have been back to Denver . . but it has changed so much since I left 16 years ago ... it's nice to visit  but I can't see living there again

    I live here in MA now ... it's nice, I'm comfortable, but you know I never feel the same "home" feeling that I felt when I lived where I grew up, in Denver.

    So I sometimes feel like a person without a place

    It gives me insight that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise BUT there are times I would like to feel like I'm home.

    Power concedes nothing- F.D. * Find out what any people will quietly submit to and you'll know the exact measure of injustice which will be imposed upon them.

    by Clytemnestra on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:32:21 AM PST

  •  Massachusetts! (0+ / 0-)

    We have Gov. Deval Patrick, a great school system, excellent universities, plus all sorts of weather crammed into the duration of an hour!

    I'm not Warren. This is his Indian-born wife (got to get my own kos account, but right now, am piggybacking on his).  Sure, I miss India, but this place has been good to me.

    The Boston area and suburbs are expensive, but I wouldn't want to move anywhere else (although I love Chicago, San Francisco, New York City and Wash. D.C.).

    Just my two cents worth ...

    VS

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:32:50 AM PST

  •  I feel the same about Tennessee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca

    I had hopes for my state, but somehow we found a way to vote even more strongly Republican than we had in 2004, when Bush beat Kerry, 57-43. This year McCain beat Obama 58-42. In the county I live in, McCain beat Obama 61-37.

    WTF? I don't know what my neighbors are thinking. How did I wind up living in the wingnut capital of the western world?

  •  I'm feeling a similar pull (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca, kjoftherock

    but if you don't go, you'll always have this questions of should you shouldn't you so just do it. If your mind and heart are wandering, it's time you catch up.

    We moved to Texas 11 years ago and we are are getting that pull - like there is something else out there.

    •  Part of me wishes I could move (0+ / 0-)

      but I'm stuck here with a spouse who's got only 2-1/2 years till retirement and parents-in-law who aren't getting any younger; it did come in handy to have all the siblings in one general area when my mom died in 2005. (Our family tends to put down roots -- the only ones to leave the area so far are two nieces, one North and one South.)

      "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:50:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love ya man, but stay the hell away from me. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, la urracca

    I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was born and raised here in the valley.  I love this place simply because I don't know any better and my family is all still here.  

    The reason Republicans are happy about Joe the Plumber is they're glad they got somebody hanging around a toilet other than Larry Craig. J.Carville

    by God loves goats on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:34:53 AM PST

  •  Home is where the heart is... (0+ / 0-)

    ..or something like that. I can see the downside of leaving all the friends and family you grew up with and place, for lack of a better term, is a state of mind rather than a physical location. Perhaps you've just come to a (or that one ;)) place in your life when things are in line to move on. Give it a shot and don't be discouraged if the first stop on the journey isn't 'the one' :) (I can't help myself, somebody get me off this GOS wheel of doom!). Life gives you as many stops along the way than you could possibly choose.

    Ok, enough simpatico Okie psuedo-philosophy.

    couples who weren't shotgun-married, and who didn't wait until their late 30s to have kids

    Can't they be both? :-)

    My dad's family is from OK. They moved to CA in the 40's. We moved about about 7 times (around the SF bay area) before I got out of High School. Then, I went into the Air Force. AZ and MD. Then, school in CA and OR and then moved to FL where we've lived for almost 10 years. So, of course, I would suggest moving...but also stopping at some point. Harder with a family but not impossible. And don't have regrets about it. Life's too short... Good luck, D.

  •  I been leaving home all my life. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, MahFellaMerkins

    Started in Texas, then Louisiana, then Southern California, then Florida, then New York, and now Kansas.  I'm never moving again.

    You ought to move up here.  It has all the things you love about Oklahoma -- and perhaps even more of the good things -- and is a wee bit bluer.

    Especially where I live (near Lawrence).

    Come on up!

    --

    We're not on the mountaintop yet, but we can see it, now.

    me

    by Marc in KS on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:35:54 AM PST

    •  KC True (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TaraIst, Marc in KS

      I've lived all over the US, but I spent many years in south central KS. It is awful, and what strikes me as particularly awful is that it will have periods of progress and pride only to slide deeper into despair. Nowadays, Wichita is just the midpoint between OKC and KC. Can we even call it the Air Capitol anymore?

      However, the greater KC area is quite nice. If you could get rid of JoCo repugs and the Westboro dimwits, it would be a place to call home. And Droogie, it would keep you within 6 hours of the TBCSA.

      Hate must not stand. Reverse Prop 8 by any means necessary.

      by MahFellaMerkins on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:52:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chicago has history, musums culture. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, ebbinflo, roubs, JeffW

    It has worked for former newspaperman David Axelrod.

    Big enough to see the political potential of onetime Mayor Harold Washington.

    Somethink it gave opportunity to President Elect Barak Obama.

    Has an alternative newspaper of some repute called the Reader.

    The Art Institute and the Chicago Symphony are world treasures.

    The Museum of Science and Industry is Chicago's answer to the Smithsonian.

    Best blues and Jazz in the U.S. and infinite number and array of restaurants and cafes.Ethnic restaurants galore.

    Taverns. Chicago has great taverns.

    Oh, did I mention architecture. Two world class zoos.

    And a little pond called Lake Michigan.

    Light rail, good bus system, and best airport availability and proximity (Screw TSA).

    5 Major league sports teams (if not very good, but you can see all the good teams when they come to visit.

    Chicago is a city of neighbor hoods, some ethnic, some middle class, some cultural, all thrown together in a big but separate parts glob.

    Saw the Pope here twice and I'm not Catholic!

    And we have all four seasons.

    Interesting here. I like interesting.

  •  I tell people I'm determined to move somewhere (0+ / 0-)

    with a high cost of living.

    I don't trust places (like where I am currently studying, NC) with relatively low cost of living--in particular, cost of land and housing.  I mean, I understand why people don't want to live here.

    I want to live somewhere where enough other people want to live that they bid up prices, and it's seen as a place with "high cost of living."  Sure, I don't agree with everyone else's tastes, but I agree enough that I see the wisdom of crowds in choosing to pay more to live in certain places.

  •  I don't know quite how to vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saralee, la urracca, dont think

    in the poll. I was born in Indiana and I still live here but I'm from a small town and I live in Indianapolis now. I'm still in my home state, but I've got a new hometown.

    I wondered what I'd do if Obama lost the election. My husband has talked about working overseas (he's got skillz!) but he's never made any concrete steps toward that. I thought that maybe we'd move and take refuge in a blue state. I lived in New York for a short time as a child and we have friends and family in blue states. Happily, I live in a blue state now! I understand your impulses. I do love Indiana. I'm from the southern part of the state which is geographically beautiful. My family history is here. I've also been fairly happy in Indy and its trending blue for the past several years has helped. I've got a great circle of blue friends and I don't feel deprived of culture. Semiregularly, my mom mentions us moving back to my hometown but I don't think I could even consider it. I would not fit in and though I miss for my daughter some of the freedom that I had in my childhood growing up in a small town, I think she has a lot more advantages here.

    So, yeah, I haven't moved but have thought about it. We took a couple trips to look at prospective areas in years past--Denver and Seattle were two of those. They were eye-opening. Maybe you should take a few trips to places you'd consider. The cost of living is one thing that put the kibosh on Denver for us. We have a nice older home with a big yard here. We could barely afford a trailer for the same cost in Denver! Seattle was awesome but it was very far away from family and, yeah, no thunderstorms or lightning bugs! That would have hurt! So, don't be afraid to do some research. Visit Kossacks, maybe, to see how the natives live. You're welcome to come visit Indianapolis--you might like it and we could use your energy to keep trending blue!

    Good luck!

    OH, HELL YEAH!!

    tragically un-hip

    -5.88, -6.82

    by Debby on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:38:12 AM PST

  •  Another vote for Chicago (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, ebbinflo, roubs, JeffW

    We have a thunderstorm season (some really GREAT thunderstorms), so you wouldn't have to miss Oklahoma's.  Once in a great while, a tornado even rolls through.

    We have museums, historical sites, zoos, parks, a terrific music scene, as well as theater. Also, a remarkably engaged civic culture.

    I have lived in NYC, upstate New York, western Massachusetts, Boston, Seattle, and Columbus, OH.  All of these places have pluses and minuses, of course.

    The fact that my husband and I have decided we're not moving anywhere else if we can help it (been in Chicago 4 years) doesn't mean Chicago has no minuses, but the pluses outweigh all of the other places we've lived and visited.

    We used to fantasize about living in our vacation destinations.  We continue to appreciate vacations and seeing different places, but we no longer wish we lived in Vancouver or anywhere else. We're ridiculously happy when we come home to Chicago.

    A manageable, beautiful, positive place to live.

  •  A few words about MY hometown, if I might (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca

    OK, droogie, so you think Oklahoma winters are too cold for you...and as a result, this might not be the right suggestion for the droogie family.

    But having come back home to upstate New York a decade or so ago, may I say that I haven't regretted the decision for a moment?

    Yeah, there are those winters, but they haven't been all that brutal in recent years, and the spring and summer here (autumn, too) are just glorious. No hurricanes, no tornadoes, no worries about where our fresh water will come from, and (knock wood) no earthquakes, either.

    Rochester in particular has a wonderful cultural community, great restaurants, and a terrific progressive crowd. (Not to mention two great Orange-to-Blue Congressmen-elect, Dan Maffei and MY next Congressman, Eric Massa - damn, does that feel good or what?)

    The cost of living is dirt-cheap compared to any of those better-publicized coastal communities - housing, in particular, never had the boom here, and so no bust to speak of, either.

    And unlike, say, North Carolina, our public schools (outside of the big-city systems in Buffalo and Rochester, anyway) are well-funded and very highly regarded.

    Plus, as baby droogie grows up, we have an excellent state university system that's both affordable and high in quality. I'm hoping baby ipsos (and his older sister) consider their options in the SUNY system when the time comes.

    I like to think of our corner of America as one of the best-kept progressive secrets out there...

  •  If you like thunderstorms (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca

    Florida has the most of any place in the world. Unfortunately, we get the hurricans as well. Tampa and the Miami area are young and hip, and we just went blue. Good luck with your destination. I was a wanderer as well. I am staying put now though, you reach a certain age where it is no longer an option.

    "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."- Lao-Tzu

    by Pakalolo on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:39:58 AM PST

  •  "San Francisco - open your golden gate...' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, naviline

    I wasn't born in California, I just should have been. So clicked "left home and happy" but perhaps it should say "came home, once I found it."

    Problems: high cost of living, and people do tend to wait awhile to have their babies. I live in the east bay, and it's a good place to live, for us.

    Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

    by pixxer on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:42:10 AM PST

  •  I've been pulled to AZ, IL, NY, CA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo

    Trust me, I'm alllllll about the Pull. Grew up in MD and as soon as I graduated high school I took off for destinations unknown. Never lived in the Pacific North West but I could definitely do Seattle. I think after LA I'll try Europe for a few years. Gotta get outta this bubble.

    "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality." - Dante

    by jazzence on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:46:08 AM PST

  •  Portland is one of the youngest cities (5+ / 0-)

    Per capita.  My neighborhood has tons of parents with strollers  in the parks, coffee shops and even the Irish pub is non smoking and family friendly.   The energy is mellow and courteous and friendly and we went 77% for Obama and threw out our Repub Senator by 70%.  The fall is beautiful here and leaves are covering the street right now although we are still in the 60's.

    Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

    by ganymeade on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:46:43 AM PST

  •  good questions - rambling response (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I have just moved from Urbana, Illinois to Tallahassee, Florida.  As academics our options for relocating are limited so we weren't deciding on where we wanted to live from a wide range of options.  It was stay in Urbana or move to Tallahassee.  One of the questions we asked ourselves was 'Is this really a good move or are we just restless?'  We have moved about once every seven years - Chicago (where we met) - Phoenix - Urbana.  Because of this pattern we probably over thought the issue.  We knew we wanted this to be our last move, at least until retirement (assuming that we have money to retire on when the time comes).

    On a more philosophical note I am decidedly ambivalent about the path my life has taken away from 'home'.  I was born and grew up in Ontario, Canada - living the first 23 years of my life within 15 miles of where I was born.  Then I moved (to Oklahoma!) for grad school and three years later to Chicago.  All of my family have moved away from my home town to other areas in Canada.  And as you have seen above I haven't lived for a prolonged period anywhere since then.  So in some sense I feel that I have both multiple homes and no home.

    This is both liberating and restrictive.  I feel like I have a broader perspective on life but less involvement in where I am living.  Keeping close ties to my family is an effort.  Our move coincided with a dramatic decline in my mother's health and her death a few months later.  Fortunately I was able to spend an extensive period with her but I also felt somewhat helpless in that the freedom I had taken for granted in moving around now restricted my ability to help her (e.g. it would have been impossibly difficult to have her stay with us).

    If I could live anywhere in the US I would probably opt for Tucson or maybe somewhere in New Mexico.  My dream would be to live on Vancouver Island like my mom - although I'm not sure about the darkness during the winter.

  •  I just moved (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I are late 50's and have lived most of our lives in Minnesota (except for East coast college and two years in US Army).  We are still in Minnesota, which we love, but we have moved from a country home in a very conservative region (does Michelle Bachmann mean anything to you?) to Northfield, a small, college city that is home to two excellent, private, liberal arts colleges (St Olaf and Carleton -- Paul Wellstone's bailiwick).

    While there were many reasons for the move, a major one was cultural.  Like the author of this diary, we felt pulled.  For us, it was a pull toward a progressive community, and Northfield was our choice.

    Come and check it out and enjoy our four seasons.

  •  Have you considered moving up north? (0+ / 0-)

    Contrary to my initial feelings about the weather, Minnesota, and particularly the areas in and around Minneapolis are wonderful for families, children, culture, jobs, etc.

    I was born and raised in SE Michigan, met my wife, went to undergrad there, and even worked there for five years.  But we started to get antsy, it always seemed gray and depressing.  My wife was graduating, and her job situation was uncertain at best.  She found a job in Los Angeles, so we picked up and moved there.  We loved the ocean, the weather, the ability (in some places anyway) to walk to the store and the coffee shop.

    When it came time for me to move on, I looked for opportunities in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Detroit, because those would allow my wife to just change offices instead of changing employers.  It came down to a choice between staying where I was in Los Angeles or moving up in Minneapolis.

    We moved here and it was well worth it.  At first, the move from Los Angeles was meant to be temporary, but we were convinced to stay despite the snow and bitter cold.  The summers are short, but incredibly gorgeous.  We have all kinds of natural and cultural amenities.  There are lakes and rivers and parks and museums and bike trails.  The schools are just incredible, no matter what your child's particular needs are.  Restaurants are good too, especially near downtown Minneapolis and in some of the ethnic neighborhoods.  The public transit is decent, at least if you're going to either downtown, and it is getting better.  

    People are a little quirky but good-hearted and giving.  Though it's just my own impression, I have not felt the same levels of "nudge, nudge" dog whistle racism that I have felt around Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.  At the same time, though, there are a few neighborhoods that are badly segregated and need help.  

    It's more expensive than Oklahoma, but not as expensive as most growing metro areas.  In any case, you should be able to find a decent place inside the loop and in a decent school district.  Prices are dropping in a lot of places.  Lucky for us, we rented for the last year and prices on two houses in our neighborhood have gone down about 10% just in the last few months.  When our lease is up next spring, we should be in a good position.

    If you think you can handle the cold, it's definitely worth a look.  Even if you think you can't, trust me, it still is worth it.

    (-7.25, -5.85) "Talk amongst yourselves. The Christian Right: neither Christian nor right. Discuss." --Linda Richman

    by Slartibartfast on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:49:57 AM PST

  •  Myyyyyyy kind of town - Chicago is! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, JeffW, Acktiv

    Were working on returning to the mothership once my wife's fellowship is over.

    Chicago is an amazing place to live.  It has everything and the people are great.  Of course, a number of them are moving to Washington, D.C. soon...

    And as far as journalistic traditions go - you couldn't ask for a better city in which to work.

    We elected the smart guy? How the hell did that happen?

    by nightsweat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:50:30 AM PST

  •  Making a new home (0+ / 0-)

    I've always been a big burb kind of person.  I like the convience, often living within a mile or so of work.  I like the variety of stores, the variety of activities available.  

    In a place like this, I have made several homes in my life time.  Always at first it feels alien, but after a while it is as comfortable as an old shoe.  

    Change from time to time is good, keeps you fresh and forward looking.  I recommended it.  But where depends on your needs.

  •  Fall makes me all wistful, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randomsubu

    I'm sorry it's been so difficult for you recently, but I can definitely relate. I love Colorado and, while I don't hate Wisconsin (state of birth), I'm much better off here.

    There are a great many good things about Colorado, but there's also some bad stuff, of course. Feel free to email when you guys are doing your research and planning in earnest.

  •  Well droog (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, Ronald Singleterry

    I'd say come to Texas because we need you. The more Democrats in Texas, the better. I'm sorta proud of Texas after this election. After all, McCain might have won by 56% to 44% but in 2004 it was 61% Bush to Kerry's 38% (according to the handy DKos Scoreboard up there).

    We've come a long way, baby. I heard Harris County (where Houston is) went to the Democrats. Those are huge steps for this red state.

    However, if I were to be honest, I'd have to tell you that I lived in the blue state of Maryland for three years (2003 to 2006) and only moved back to Texas for my grandma (who has Alzheimer's).

    I plan on getting back to Maryland as soon as I can. :)

    Living in Texas is definitely cheaper. Housing prices and/or rent will please you and the job market seems to be doing pretty well down here.

    Good luck with wherever you decide to move to.

    We shall fight them on the internets. We shall fight in the Starbucks, and in the streets, we shall fight them on the Hill. We shall never surrender!

    by bhlogger on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:52:52 AM PST

  •  I'm in Philadelphia here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    Not a bad town.  The seasons are not too extreme.  There is a lot of culture and history, as I'm sure you know, and all of the fun stuff associated with a big city.  Also, the public transportation is decent, and you can use it (or Amtrak) to get anywhere from DC to Boston.  The nightlife has improved dramatically over the past 8 years or so.

  •  Austin TX (3+ / 0-)

    is the place fer u!

    Beautiful weather, great music, decent in fine arts land, with plenty of red turf to turn blue...not quite at your doorstep.

    So, when are ya coming?

    We are all Droogie....f*ck the AP

    by crazyshirley2100 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:54:06 AM PST

  •  My family felt the same pull.. (0+ / 0-)

    it took us from the deep south to SE PA. It was one of our smartest moves to date.

  •  I live in Portland and in Seattle for years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kjoftherock

    18 in Portland and 8 in Seattle. Something tells me you and the missus might really like it there.

    Moderate weather, wonderful neighborhood cultures (this was my big take-away from both those towns), lots to do, interesting and close to nature.

    There's some traffic in both cities, with Portland getting the nod as having done much more about that problem over recent decades. Both can be a little costly, but you can find affordable pockets. The weather is tempered by the ocean, and there's only a handful of earthquakes and volcanos :-)

    Life under the GOP is kind of like Barney - nasty, brutish and short !

    by thenekkidtruth on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:57:18 AM PST

  •  Oklahoma went for Wes Clark in 04 (0+ / 0-)

    So it can be all that bad.

    Oklahoma is OK! :D

  •  I can relate. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    decembersue, kumaneko

    I'm feeling that pull right now.  I grew up in the SF Bay Area, and lived in SF for four years while I went to school.  I moved inland to be nearer to my husband's and my families, and have regretted it ever since!  I feel like such a freak here, a little, blue dot in a big, red bucket.  Time to go back and live among my people; oh, how I miss my DFH's!!

    Cheers to finding a place where you belong.  Life is too damn short to stay in a place that doesn't make you happy.

    Good luck.

  •  I left northern Cal for MN 3.5 years ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennyjem

    and though I miss living in a more progressive region - nothing compares to the SF Bay on that - my quality of life is so much higher here I know I can't go back.  Fresh starts can change your whole life for the better, even if the transition itself can be a bit rough.

  •  Come to MD/DC Droogie (0+ / 0-)

    Apply to the Obama Biden transition.  We could use a few more good souls here.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:58:50 AM PST

  •  There are so many beautiful places (0+ / 0-)

    in this Country.
    I understand the pull.
    I live in The SF Bay Area and I've visited all over the country, but I know I belong here.
    There really is no other place like it and I always feel like a stranger in a strange land when I am elsewhere.
    We're quirky, but in a good way.
    You'd fit right in.

    Yes we can, yes we did, yes we will.

    by crowjane on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:00:28 AM PST

  •  Portland. (3+ / 0-)
    Come join the Rose City Revolution.  :-)

    Visit Sinister, the home of a left-handed left-wing Okie Jew.

    by ethanthej on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:01:22 AM PST

  •  Pick a good college town, like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst

    Austin, Madison, Eugene, Missoula, Boulder, or Ann Arbor, and you can't go wrong. Me, I'm in Ann Arbor.

    Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass. -- Barry Goldwater, 1981

    by The Centerfielder on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:06:12 AM PST

  •  I'm from Hillybilly (Almost) Heaven, WV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Very small town and sparsely populated county in the north part of the state.  With the exception of me, my mother, and 1 cousin, all my family still lives there.

    I miss the mountains in autumn more than I can possibly express.  You can take the hillbilly out of the hills, but never the hills out of the hillbilly.

  •  I was raised in Houston to be a Texan thru and.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, boadicea, Ronald Singleterry

    thru... I thought I'd always be a Texan foremost. Then I had the opportunity to live elsewhere.  Several elsewheres as a matter of fact. And can't even imagine why I'd want to return to Texas (mmm maybe Austin...)

    I've lived in the Omaha area.  Lots to love about a friendly, smaller town with many big-city amenities. We have some great friends still there, but no "pull", as you describe it, to go back.

    I've lived in the Seattle area (6-month work assignment).  Absolutely heavenly.  Loved everything about it except it wasn't warm enough for me even in summer.  But I would consider going back.  

    I've lived in the Rockford, Md., area (another 6-month work assignment). Very dynamic and lots of everything.  Too much everything.  Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to move there.

    I currently live in Florida.  On an island with the Gulf on one side and the intracoastal in my back yard.  It is beautiful and the weather is perfect.  The politics - not so much.  The culture? Eh, why bother; we enjoy our back yard.  I think two terms of Jeb Bush & his backward policies hurt the state.  Charlie hasn't done much, either. the state legislature in Tallahassee are backward, too.  It is still a "good old boy" environment and the poor keep getting poorer.  I am not too optimistic about the future here.

    We lived in Chicago -- downtown -- for 11 years.  I have officially adopted Chicago as my hometown.  I love and miss it almost every day! Culture?  Wow -- everything you could want. Diversity?  you name it.  Enjoy politics?  Chicago is your city. I loved the easter shore of Lake Michigan (from Harbor Springs down to New Buffalo) & the Indiana dunes.   I loved everything about it == everything except the winters which were no fun at all and were a big reason we left.  I hope to someday become a snowbird spending summers in Chicago and winters somewhere warm.  

    Keep us informed of your research and your decision.  We'll cheer you on.  Wherever you end up, I'm sure there will be Kossacks to greet you.

    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. - Euripides

    by Wanda517 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:10:45 AM PST

  •  Skip Texas, Unless Austin...other options (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, boadicea, lorzie, Ronald Singleterry

    Hey, I am a nomad as well, having lived in many towns in Indiana and Illinois and now Texas.

    While the cost of living is low in most parts of Texas, this red state is not exactly progressive. The only city I would consider living in Texas long term is Austin. They are progressive enough you can have reasoned debate and culture.

    If you can stand rain and clouds, Portland, OR is a great place. I ALMOST moved there myself.

    The Raleigh area in NC has a nice feel to it, I'm considering there in the future.

    Just my .02

    •  San Antonio's not too bad either... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea

      tho' I left there many, many years ago, never looked back. I was smart enough at 17 to know that the conservative politics and racism would not be good. But there have been lots of changes since then, and tho' TX has never been very forward thinking when it comes to social services (i.e., health care for all), it does have a good University system and some excellent public schools.

      Gated communities - mentioned in a comment about Austin are there because people with money worry about those who don't have it - and you have to wonder if you want to live in a place like that.

      Was in San Antonio last Spring - and found it very appealing, tho', because of the bicultural environment. I love the traditional architecture in the old parts of town. A vibrant cultural community, symphony, small music groups, and lots of Mexican inspired music which I also love. There's a history of German influence there, too, and other parts of South Texas/Hill Country, that is appealing.

      It does get hot, but you get used to it after awhile. It's a good antidote to the cold bone that I get in the SF Bay Area - even to this day.

      Fun to think of moving on, following that pull.

  •  I don't have a home anymore. House, but no home. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo

    My parents moved right after I graduated from high school. Blacksburg isn't home, and never will be, despite the amount of time I spend there. Vienna isn't home anymore. Harrisonburg isn't home yet, and I don't think it will feel like home for a very long time, if ever, since I will be moving out at some point.

  •  Sweet Home, Alabama. Never going back. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon

    Grew up in Birmingham and area 1946-1969. The Civil Rights era was my era, and I lived through one of the hearts and centers of it.

    Left after college. Will never move back.

    I have visited regularly over the years, I don't think a year passed I did not visit at least once, sometimes more often, except for the period we lived in Germany for a year.

    I have to admit, at the moment, I am feeling pretty alienated towards relatives and friends there, to the point I really have no desire to visit with or even speak with them for a while.

    I am just pretty tired of having to deal with their kool-aid drinking adoration of Bush and the Republicans, the unjust war, and just the general bigotry, racism, and no-nothing anti-intellectualism that still permeates the state.

    The sad thing is they project all their fear, anger, and hatred, and accuse me of being angry because I have spoken out repeatedly on the descent into a lawless nation that the Republicans fostered.

    I suppose it is exacerbated by the fact that I was right and they have been proven wrong on every last issue, starting from the spurious claim of weapons of mass destruction on down, culminating in the collapse of the economy because of the pyramid scheme the Republicans were allowing corporations to run.

    Yet Krugman summed it up pretty well recently. They were monsters among us, and the majority for too long chose to look the other way and accept as normal acts that we used to try as war crimes by those we defeated in war.

    The worst part is that there is no option to have a rational discussion with them. The will not read anything that does not already fit their predetermined narrow world view. They live by thinking patterns summed up in the mass emails filled with lies and innuendo we saw again and again targeting Obama.

    I have no patience to deal with them anymore.

    Really sad, especially northern Alabama, the top third, is a very beautiful place, and I miss it very much. I just can't stand the people and the attitudes that still permeate the state and its institutions.

    "We must become the change we want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HeartlandLiberal on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:13:12 AM PST

  •  I have lived in (3+ / 0-)

    born NJ, college NY, M.A. in AZ, Ph.D. in CA, post-doc in HI and DC, exiled for a time in FL, really exiled in MI

    Northern California is the place for me.  I made a big mistake when I left NCalifornia for a job in MI where they insisted they wanted me so bad I just couldn't say no.

    So now, I am dreaming of my retirement in California, wondering what the economy and cost of living will be.

    I will always be a bi-coastal NY/CA girl.  No other way to imagine life, but for just living day to day, California has the beauty, varied climates, mixed and rich culture and the best food you can find anywhere IMHO.

    There are still pockets in CA where the cost of living is not astronomical because there are no real jobs to speak of, but stay away from the Central Valley where the heat and air will do you in.  

    I never regretted leaving NJ/NY but always knew going back for visits was inevitable and would be enough.  I miss the access NYCity gives you to everything, but a visit here and there keeps me satisfied.

    I want my ashes spread off a certain cliff in Northern California, something not strictly legal.  I sure hope someone actually does it for me.

    "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

    by fernan47 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:13:27 AM PST

  •  Been there, done that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ronald Singleterry

    Came back to Tulsa, then eventually came back to my original hometown of Tahlequah.  We still think of getting somewhere else, but we've never been able to figure out what place would actually be better.  Do we trade tornados for earthquakes, cheaper living for better cultural centers?  Do we move to a big city or further into the country?  Lots of factors to weigh.

    And when I was on the west coast...yes I really missed the thunderstorms of Oklahoma.  And the sunsets.  But moving back from the tall redwoods made Oklahoma feel like the Land Of Shrubbery!

  •  Ashland, OR (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, lorzie, PZinOR

    Hands down the winner for people like you (and me).

    On the plus side:
    Good schools
    Lots of kids
    Small city
    Arts and Theater culture
    Best weather in Oregon (lower annual rain fall than typical PNW)
    Great natural environment
    Progressive city government
    County is a bit red though (gotta have something to do!)

    On the negative:
    Not the best economy
    Housing is above national average

    Oregon has the most liberal liberals and the most conservative conservatives. Come and tip the scales!

  •  I hope you read a comment this far down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, AmericanRiverCanyon

    I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, Springdale to be precise. Probably not more than a couple hour drive from where you are. I know the kind of pull you are feeling. I have felt it, too. I first felt it as I broke from religion. I then felt it as I broke from conservatism.

    Then I felt it as I needed to choose a college. I left the area and went to Purdue (a couple hours south of Chicago). The area was an improvement, but still not home. I finished college and moved to Cincinnati. This was partly because it was a 3 hour drive to Purdue, and I had a girlfriend still there. When she graduated, we decided that Ohio wasn't the place for us either. At this point we literally had the option to go anywhere. We discussed other countries. You should understand that my family travels a lot, and I've experienced a ton of places.

    We eventually agreed to move to Seattle. Wow. It has been two years, and I couldn't love this area more. There are lots of young couples (though many do wait until a little later in life to have kids). Still, we hang out with other couples that have kids despite our not having any yet. The arts and museums are pretty good (quite good compared to the area we're from). Also, the natural beauty of this place is unlike any other. Mt. Rainier dominates the southern horizon. To the west, the Olympic Mountains rise up beyond the sound. To the west of the Olympics lies the Hoh Rainforest and Pacific Shoreline (I have pictures of baby seals laying on the beach taken from about 5 feet away). To the East, the Cascades provide all kinds of hiking and skiing opportunities. Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC are both about three hour drives. Both are worth visiting. The Columbia Valley cuts through eastern and southern Washington. The Columbia Wine country has grown up quite a bit in the last decade or so.

    The area is also very green. Unlike most of the country, we get a lot of our electricity from green sources. Seattle also has tons of parks and green areas. The climate is nice. In the summer, temperatures are generally in the upper 70s (though we may have a weekend or two in the 90s). This causes us to use a lot less electricity with AC. In the winter, temperatures generally don't dip below freezing. We do have a lot of rain in the winter, but not that much in the summer. What you hear about rain all the time isn't that accurate. The warmer temps in the winter cause us to use a lot less oil/gas or electric heat.

    Cost of living is high out here, but jobs pay enough to afford it. It's nice to work in a high cost of living place then retire to a lower cost of living place where your savings will last you a lot longer. Anyway, Seattle is definitely a place you should visit before you decide to go elsewhere.

  •  Home Town? What Home Town? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't really pick "I'm always moving" because I'm not anymore. I'm an 'I came to Austin for college and never left' person. And there's a crapload of us here.

    But I grew up all over the place (Dallas; Houston; New Orleans; Reno; Tripoli,Libya; Ashtabula, OH; Ahwaz, Iran; San Antonio), so I can't say I ever had a home town.

    I can certainly understand the urge to be elsewhere. When I hit college, I'd had more than enough of moving after my childhood. And Austin was the perfect place. My wife and I considered moving when the housing boom started really getting bad. We said "If we can afford to buy a house here, we'll stay." We found the perfect house, and that settled that.

    Still, the way Austin has changed has occasionally challenged our desire to stay here.

    Now, having a stable job (fingers crossed) makes it very unlikely that we'll go anywhere else. For the moment, we've adjusted to Austin's changes, and are loving it again.

    So, my answer would be "I never had a home, but have found it and ain't leaving."

  •  I checked "other"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, Ronald Singleterry

    ...born a trendy North-Sider at the tip of the Old Town Triangle (they tore the hospital down!), grew up on the Southwest Side, moved to Waukegan when I entered high school. Went back to Chicago (mostly) to go to IIT, then came back in 1980, going to work for the City in 1983. The city has a great balance between roads and walking, and if they'd ever get the financing right, public transportation would be wonderful. But we have a 40-acre farm in Stephenson County, IL, just south of Monroe, WI, and I can't wait to get the house up and move out! YMMV. I suppose if I ever miss Chicago I can always take a ride back...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight. Jettison Joe Lieberman!

    by JeffW on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:18:04 AM PST

  •  I've moved from coast to coast. (0+ / 0-)

    I was born in Washington, DC, grew up in the suburbs of the district, and when I was 16, my parents dragged me off to a small town in Texas.

    I never fit in there, and moved to various towns all over the state after graduating from college. I still never felt at home anywhere in the state. Texans -- native Texans -- are a strange breed. (Nothing against them: I married one and have two kids who are Texas born. I love them, but they never want to leave the state.) But when I one day visited Seattle, I felt like I was home again, and did everything in my power to move there.

    I moved and it was glorious! Urban setting with not too many people, wonderful culture including world-class museums, opera, theater, professional sports teams, amazing outdoor activities right outside the city, mountains and water both at the doorstep. Lots of kid things to do too -- it's a very kid- and pet-friendly town.

    And then I lost my job. And my apartment. And damn near everything I owned. And I knew no one well enough to ask for or receive help there, so I am back in a small town in Texas. And I hate it.

    Seattle is the most beautiful city in the world, but I don't tell everyone that. It's a conspiracy among people in the Pacific Northwest to tell the rest of the world that it rains ALL the time. Horrible weather. You'd hate it. Stay away! But for you, dear Droogie, the truth: I'd rather live in Seattle than any other city in the whole world. (Except maybe Amsterdam, which seems to have similar climate, but I've never been there.)

    The people can be a little aloof, but generally friendly. (I like aloof. In small-town Texas, everyone wants to know your business.) They LOVE tourists, because they spend money and go back home. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the city fills up with too many tourists, but they are all gone in September and the rest of the year it's pretty much your own.

    If I could have found another job, I would have stayed forever. You and Mrs. Droogie are young enough and might still have a chance. I'm hoping that after some of this "economic stimulus" has a chance to take effect, I might be able to find a job in Seattle again.

    Then, if you all were there, I'd buy you a beer. Or a cup of coffee. Both are quite prevalent up there. ;~)

    Oh, PS -- TWO Democratic Senators and, at least in Seattle proper, a Democratic representative (Jim McDermott), for the first time after many years in red Texas!

    "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

    by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:19:41 AM PST

  •  you'll probably love Colorado and now's the time (0+ / 0-)

    Colorado is a pretty even mix of people, many from the Midwest.  We've just become a blue state (yea!) and, depending where you go, there are lots of great outdoorsy people and kids have lots of fun here.  Home prices are as low as they're going to get, too.

    If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    by BlueColoradoSky on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:20:42 AM PST

  •  Lifelong easterner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo

    New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania. So I have a very narrow view of "America". Never had any thought about moving from my tiny sliver along the Amtrak northeast corridor. But I have thought that if there was anywhere "out there" I could be happy, it would be either San Francisco or Seattle.

    I have a daughter who did that migration. She identified Portland, OR as a nice congenial hippie-ish town and was heading that way, but San Francisco sucked her in after a "short visit" which hasn't ended yet.

  •  Hi, Droogie! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Washington State would welcome you!  Oregon is nice, too.  We don't have the "exciting" thunderstorms or really, hardly any thunderstorms at all, but there is the excitement you feel when the sun shows up.  :-)  Seriously, it's a beautiful place and my Sooner husband is very happy here and wouldn't move back, except to watch Sooner Basketball and eat Jo's Pizza.

    My username is SlowNomad because that's what I am... A Slow Nomad.  Born in the Boston area and stayed 0-17, spent a year in London, moved to DC (and around the area for 12 years), Seattle for 12 years, got married and moved to Dallas for 3 years, and then back here to Seattle where I'll probably never leave again.  We really do love it here and I guess my nomadic ways are over.  It's a personality thing, though, I think, to be tied to one place.  My next door neighbor back home in Swampscott, MA tried living in VA, tried living in PA, tried living out here, but can never leave the place where we grew up forever.  To her, no place in the world is better.  I've always approached the world trying to find the good in each place.  It was damned hard in Texas (I HATE those storms!!!, not to mention the extreme religiosity and political conservatism), but I found a wonderful group of Democratic friends and there is a beauty to those storms, though they are scary.  

    Anyway, you'll do fine wherever you go or if you stay.  I'm just saying the PNW is great and I understand the pull to go and I understand (though not viscerally) the pull to stay.  Oklahoma needs good people to stay.  Or it needs them all to leave and let Oklahoma figure out for themselves that maybe they aren't actually doing everything right.  Ultimately, it's your life and you need to do what feels right for you.  Good luck!

  •  So I can change my sig now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, Pandoras Box

    "I am droogie6655321" is soooo October 2008.

    I am droogie6655321

    by admiralh on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:28:02 AM PST

  •  I grew up near you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ronald Singleterry

    in southwest Missouri, beautiful country in the Ozarks, my father's home. My mother was from Salt Lake and CA, though, and I felt a pull westward. I went to grad school in SF, loved loved loved it, then kept going west to Japan, but last year spent a year in Eugene, OR. I could have gone anywhere in the US (or the world pretty much) but I'd heard lots of good things about there and they were mostly true. The best things were the weather (not hot, not humid in summer, not that rainy in winter) and the people, lots of good folks, though I expected it to be more ethnically mixed than it was. Lots of culture and nature, not too big, not too small, sort of like Springfield, MO, size-wise, if you've been there much, only without the Bible thumpers. College town, lots of progressives but lots of civic inaction due to squabbles among them. My 14-year-old daughter loved it (her first time to live in the States). I'd go back anytime to live there.

  •  Hi (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of people move to places they think will make their lives better. I know this well many of my friends have moved away from Detroit over the last decade or more. The one's that stay or move in do so as much to make the community better with their work and presence. Detroit has more to offer culturally than few places in the country. Probably the most diverse, albiet segregated, metro regions in the world of which the smallish (30,000 population) 'downtown' community is a true melting pot. Who is moving to Detroit amidst the exodus? Young progressive pioneers. It's true. The potential here is great and the cost of living low.  Rich history, grit, industry, very progressive, great water. Check it out.

    "Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice"

    "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

    DIA
    yes
    change
    blog
    bar

  •  You'd love Bloomington, Indiana (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saralee, lorzie

    We have culture coming out of our ears.  A world class music school (operas, jazz, dance - you name it, we have it.  Even church choirs knock our socks off!)  We have a massive musical festival every fall, along with many other fall festivals.  

    The restaurant scene is amazing.  Due to the influence of IU and the Tibetan community, we have food from all over the world -- including two Tibetan restaurants.  The schools are good, we have a vibrant community -- everything from young couples and aging professors, to recent grads who decide to stick around.

    The seasons are changeable and interesting, you will still have exciting storm seasons (with a few tornadoes thrown in!) and deep forests with lakes surrounding you.  Bloomington is also a Kyoto city and very environmentally conscious.  And the people are insanely friendly.  

    (We're also a blue state now!  Whee!)

    I have lived many places around the country, after having grown up here.  I never found any city that could really hold a candle to Bloomington.  It has a small town feel with big city art, theater and cuisine.

    Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by feduphoosier on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:33:37 AM PST

  •  Choices choices! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, Ronald Singleterry

    As a former Tulsan, now living in Austin, I can understand your nudge. If I were raising children, I might consider moving back to Tulsa: pros would be nearby family and the "small city" environment, cons would be the local culture that's trending more conservative/evangelical and the general lack of 21st-century focused businesses and institutions.

    In considering potential locations, please please take climate change into account; I lived in Houston for nearly 20 years and quite liked it, but you would have to pay me an uber-executive salary to have a home their now. They're just too close to the Gulf; both hurricanes and sea-level rise are going to have long-term impacts there.

    Besides the coastal/hurricane issues, global warming will be causing increased rainfall and flooding in the interior U.S.; just because a home/area has never flooded doesn't mean it's safe. Before you buy a home, get a topographic map and make sure there's some real elevation between you and drainage. I would be especially careful in the Sacramento valley; there's lots of lovely new sub-divisions that are going to be under 15 feet of water some winter within 20 years.

    Places I'd consider if I could move anywhere in the country:
    Austin, Texas ('cept I'm here already!)
    St. Paul
    Raleigh-Durham area
    Eugene, Oregon
    Portland, Oregon
    Rochester, New York
    Seattle
    Ames, Iowa
    Santa Fe or Taos, NM
    Mayville or Jamestown, New York

  •  Dallas. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea

    After the election - immediately after - I had to deal with some numbskulls at work.  I really was ready to pack up and go East.  Or West.  Or whatever was not South.  

    But I can't forget that Dallas is blue, and that on the night of Nov 4th, there were thousands of people crying, laughing, and literally dancing in the streets of Bishop Arts District.  I was there, and it was the greatest feeling in the world.  

    Holy sh*t, we did it.

    by Texanomaly on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:33:52 AM PST

  •  If You Want a Place With Good Weather... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftyguitarist

    You can always try San Diego, where I've lived for 13 years now.  Yeah...you'll miss those Oklahoma thunderstorms (though if you need your fix, drive east into the mountains in summer--there's usually about a month or two where thunderstorms happen quite a bit there).  It is indeed expensive here compared to most of the country--but due to the housing bubble burst, there's a window of opportunity (which could last awhile) where if you're looking to buy, you can buy at a "more" reasonable price (many--if not most--houses not in rich/upscale neighborhoods are now under $500,000).

    And, San Diego County (which includes some very conservative outlying areas) is now blue--both in terms of Dem vs. Rep registrations and Obama vs. McCain votes--Obama beat McCain by 9 points.  Of course, the city is more blue than most of the suburbs (with some neighborhoods having lots of progressive people--Hillcrest, North Park, Normal Heights, Ocean Beach, among others).

    Of course, the big selling point other than the weather is the proximity of the beach, Mexico (though I recommend going further south than Tijuana--or to Tecate), mountains (including skiing 2-3 hours away), desert (lots of good hiking there, including in palm canyons), activities up in LA, etc.

    Worst to First--01-20-09

    by westcornersville on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:35:56 AM PST

  •  I just found out I got a research fellowship (4+ / 0-)

    at the university of michigan. I am married and have a five month-old. I'm excited by for this career making opportunity but I'm nervous about how we'll do going from a city to a small college town. Anyone have any thoughts about ann arbor/ypsilante?

    •  My husband and I went Chicago to Ann Arbor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      la urracca, last starfighter

      and the shift felt very manageable.  He had lived in Chicago all his life to that point, and really liked the feel of moving somewhere that you could bike for 15 minutes and basically be out in the country...

      On the other hand, at over 100,000, Ann Arbor isn't exactly a small town, and the university ensures some good cultural opportunities.

      We'd have liked to stay, but I ended up landing a job elsewhere.  We're now in Madison, WI and there are definitely some similarities.

      Good luck!

  •  My hometown IS the Pacific Northwest... (4+ / 0-)

    And I cannot imagine living anywhere as anything more than a temporary move.  

    Too much up here that I love.

  •  I still live where I was raised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    (Los Angeles/Long Beach area), but would have moved to the Pacific Northwest if I didn't have a job I really, really like.

    My entire family bailed So. Cal. for the Pac. NW years ago (the most recent defection was 1990) and I too love it up there, but I have a job that pays me pretty well and I really enjoy (and I can't move it), so I consider myself lucky in that respect.

    Plus, my job lets me travel a lot so I'm not exactly stuck in LA year round.

    Good luck with your next adventure.

    "No way, no how, no McCain." Hillary Clinton, August 26, 2008

    by mcronan on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:39:14 AM PST

  •  I think... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Colorado would be whatever you choose to make of it.  There's politics that's a regular tug-of-war, water wars, and urban/rural tension.  There's tourism, education, culture... depending upon where you choose to be.

    My mom lived in Ft. Collins, worked at the university... while she was never rich, she lived independently.  And she had something that was priceless to her - a great view of the mountains, only a 5 minute drive away from her bedroom window.

    (If it hadn't been for my friends, I probably would have moved out there, too.  There's something about the mountains.)

    "You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." Dorothy Parker

    by AnnCetera on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:43:50 AM PST

  •  I grew up in Pa. and moved to DC (0+ / 0-)

    I couldn't have done it with my (now ex-) girlfriend. (We split due to distance and nothing else.)

    I thought the move was going to be harder, but I settled in pretty easily. I say just move and enjoy the adventure. Good luck.

    Mr. President,...(a)fter 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?

    by Casual Wednesday on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:46:46 AM PST

  •  Western slope of the Rockies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnCetera

    Durango, Colorado. One of the most beautiful places on earth. Lots of weather. A real fall. Thunderstorms - sure! And a diverse community: plenty of blue, plenty of red; nice people with that western Libertarian streak, a lot of them. A lively arts scene, history, outdoor activities galore (even in town, it's walking distance to mountain hiking trails). Go just a little ways south and you're in real red rock country - a little north/a little up in elevation from town and you're in Rocky Mountain Aspen and Blue Spruce territory.

    I don't live there but I feel the pull too and that's where I want to go. Check it out!

    ...the community includes the soil, waters, fauna, and flora, as well as people. -- Aldo Leopold

    by cholla45 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:50:27 AM PST

    •  yes, Durango (0+ / 0-)

      I already live in the mountains outside Denver, but if there was anyplace else in colorado I'd go it would be Durango or Pagosa Springs...there isn't a Durango Symphony, but then, there's a little celebration in Telluride in June...

      "red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme" - Richard Thompson

      by blindcynic on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:48:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Droogie, as an ex-Sooner who came to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst

    New England and is now in his 50's--for all that I love about the Boston area, it's not your best choice: it is very expensive (compared to OK) and the winters are interminable. PacNW is still awesome, N Carolina is cool, Colorado is happening...

  •  such an interesting thread. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, science geek, AnnCetera, lorzie

    So many people here really love where they live. It is encouraging when you think about where our country is heading.

    ...there's a rose in the fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove - Stephen Stills

    by NuttyProf on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:54:41 AM PST

  •  Boise is listed in this month's (0+ / 0-)

    Sunset magazine as one of the top 50 cities in the nation to raise kids.  I have family there.  It's pretty white and very yuppy, IMHO.

    Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. -- Rachel Carson

    by Silent Spring on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:57:41 AM PST

  •  Mount Shasta, CA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca

    ..lots of young athletes and new-agers. Not far from Ashland, OR, where you can see awesome theater.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 09:59:17 AM PST

  •  Suggestion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    though probably (maybe?) not of the sort you were looking for.

    What I'm looking for is a certain energy, not to sound too hippie-dippie. I want a place with young couples like ourselves -- couples who weren't shotgun-married, and who didn't wait until their late 30s to have kids.

    I want a place with more culture. An art museum, some historical sites, maybe some music. Not just for Mrs. Droogie and I, but for Droogie Jr's development.

    It sounds to me very much like what you are looking for is Berlin. Specifically, Prenzlauer Berg. That part of town is literally crawling (pun intended) with kids, and for historical sites, museums, music and theatre I don't know a place in the world to beat Berlin. Also very progressive (green/red) politically.

    Since you also asked us to share similar experiences, here's mine: Though my nick suggests otherwise, I am not a bear and I am not in Berlin. But I did used to live in Berlin, hence the above.

    Nope, I'm a kiwi, but it's now been just over 9 years since I left NZ. I first moved to the UK to study. Spent 5 years there, moving thrice, but staying in the same city. Then I moved with my then girlfriend, now wife, who is American, to Berlin, which is where her parents live. Lived in Berlin for two years, then Trier for a year and a half, now a fairly small university town about an hour from Frankfurt. All those moves within Germany have been to take up new jobs, but I (actually, we) now have some stability on that front.

    I know the feeling you describe, or at least a version of it, well. My version is different, because it's kind of reversed. I never had to think very hard about leaving NZ, because the university I was headed to was much better than anything little ole NZ has to offer, and I didn't in any case think it was permanent. Now my version of what you're currently mulling over is: when, if ever, do I go back? Right now, the emphasis is on the if ever part, because frankly I love living in Europe, for all the things you say you're looking for in a new state, and more. I am also very fond of NZ, but every time I go back I find I've become just a little bit more European and a little bit less Kiwi.

    I have no idea if that helps or how, but maybe you will find it encouraging to hear from people like me who've taken the plunge, made it (semi-)permanent, and are loving it.

  •  #1 question: What is important to you? (0+ / 0-)

    I grew up in FL and have lived across the country.  Along the way, it occurred to me that most people are fond of certain aspects of where they grew up.   That aspect first occurred to me when I lived in Northwest MO and that seemed pretty far north to me, especially with its many icy winters.  There, I met a person who grew up in ND and it surprised me when he said he'd never want to live farther south than MO.  I supposed if the situation was reversed, I'd probably feel the same way.  

    When I left FL as a 18yo, it seemed like a boring place with only scrubby vegetation, a mostly boring environment, and no beautiful change of seasons. That attitude changed gradually when I would return to FL and recognize its inherent beauty. And it changed dramatically when I awoke one morning in IN and had 3" of ice on my car, and needed to get to work.  I vowed that I needed to return to FL, and wanted to live close to the ocean again--I missed the salt water.

    After 20 years of living other places, the chance arose to return to FL.  As we considered alternatives, my wife and I prepared a thorough list of criteria to consider where to relocate to. A nephew with graduate degrees in statistics laughed when he saw our list--the heavily weighted factor in our otherwise quantitative analysis was, "Gut feeling."

    To supplement my personal tale, I would highly emphasize the importance of finding a supportive family environment. Whereas many people seem to be natural nomads, the addition of children adds a new factor, and even nomads seem to want to provide stability in their children's life. Although FL is not the best general environment to raise a family, we lucked into moving to a community that works very well.  Some factors I would suggest looking at, for both their direct value, and their indirect value as barometers of supportive family environment.

    In no particular order, and some are pertinent only to urban or suburban areas:

    * Education system, public, private, and home-school.  Of course this factor would be on everyone's list, but I encourage awareness of home-schooling options. Our area has strong and nuturing secular homeschool communities. Even if you choose not to go that route, those communities still would be excellent sources of information about the local resources available for children and families.

    * Breastfeeding awareness. Even if you have no children who are breast-feeding, are there legal supports and local supportive community? (e.g., Le Leche League groups)

    * Museums that have children's programs. Most probably do, now.  Also, the number of museums and and similar venues that especially appeal to kids. e.g., Children museums, zoos, aquariums, amusement parks.

    * Opportunity to explore nature, both through play and through community programs.  

    * Demographically and economically diverse population.  

    * Lots of playgrounds. That are well-maintained. Also, trails in parks.

    * Transportation options for kids as they get older, and a community that promotes alternative transportion (ie., non-automobile) options.  

    * A neighborhood with sidewalks.  Makes a HUGE difference. And where kids can ride bikes.

    * A neighborhood that has a history of block parties or similar opportunities for neighbors to gather.

    * How many parades does the area have?  This may seem odd, but there seems to be a correlation.

    One more: A critical factor for us when chosing educational opportunities has been the extent of the afterschool parent community and involvement.  Having an interactive parent community has closely approximated the traditional neighborhood model where kids come home from school and play together.  Today's economic reality of two-income families means that our own neighborhood has lost that dynamic, but it is available through our school community.

    Last note...Good luck!  

    We're in a culture that increasingly holds that science is just another belief. - Alan Alda

    by sawgrass727 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:00:29 AM PST

  •  Astonished that more have not said NM... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CanyonWren

    where are all the other New Mexicans?

    •  Former New Mexican here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon, la urracca

      I agree, except Droogie said he wanted culture and young families--NM has some culture in Santa Fe and in Alb., but SFe is more of a retirement town now and is very expensive and hard to find work, my impression of Alb. is that it is spread out with not much of a community scene (I could be wrong, as I've never lived in Alb.).  

      I'm not familiar with towns south of Albuquerque.

      "The object of life is not be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius

      by CanyonWren on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:15:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Virginia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Yes, it went blue, but not without a fight.  Your vote would mean something there.  There are plenty of progressive places...Charlottesville comes to mind, gorgeous little town.  You have the mountains, the coast, and DC all within driving distance.  Four real seasons.  History.  And there are still places where you can find a reasonably priced home.

    I understand the "pull."  My husband and I are pretty settled in MD, but we've toyed on and off over the years about getting the heck out of here--we live in a very red pocket of the state.  But we own a farm, and it's just not easy to pack up the horses, goats, chickens, dogs, etc., etc. and move to another state.  If it weren't for that fact, we'd have been out of here a long time ago. Top on our list of places to consider were some areas of VA and Asheville, NC (I posted up thread about how expensive Asheville had gotten--we couldn't get a comparable farm within driving distance of Asheville without mortgaging the rest of our lives away).  

    Good luck with your search.  :)

    "Past is prologue"--Joe Biden

    by ALifeLessFrightening on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:01:22 AM PST

  •  "The cost of living is low. " (0+ / 0-)

    because noone really WANTS to live there.

    why is this so damned hard to understand. Low cost of living isnt a benefit, its a net negative and always has been. You get what you pay for.

    the king of shit mountain still stinks!

    precisely why I dont live in dallas.

  •  my two cents (0+ / 0-)

    i moved away from so cal once and loved living in southern oregon, but I missed my family, and eventually returned.

    now i live in the bay area, and I still miss my family, terribly, but it's better here, and I probably won't move back.  

    Blue House Diaries...because there's more to life than politics.

    by lapolitichick on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:02:51 AM PST

  •  Chicago? (0+ / 0-)

    Lots of great things about the Chicago area.  Figuring out what is most important to you will help establish the areas in which you should be looking should you become interested in this locale.

    You also might want to try to find a publication called the Places Rated Almanac

    Or, Richard Florida's Who's Your City?

    Don't base your vote this time on fear...The game of politics is to make you afraid so that you don't think." - Michelle Obama - Council Bluffs Iowa - 8/17/07

    by Michael James on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:07:01 AM PST

    •  Depending on whqat you're looking for, (0+ / 0-)

      you may just love Chicago.

      Downside? Long, cold winters and machine politics. Urban sprawl, which means you have to go more than a hop, skip and a jump to get to a truly natural setting (parks and forest preserves have to do in a pinch, and of course there is the lake - that's not a "natural" setting, though - Nazi lifeguards make sure no one enjoys the beach if they can help it - but that's another story). Some schools are amazing, kick ass schools, others are absolute garbage. You have to do your research, which is easy enough with a computer. Public transit could be better. Could also be worse.

      That concludes a list of Chicago's drawbacks. Energy, young families, culture, culture, and more culture. Culture absolutely everywhere. Music, music, and more music. Tons of things for kids for the day, or long term. Community - and comunities of every stripe.

      Not really any shotgun marriages here. You'll find couples who waited to have kids - and plenty who didn't wait. Whatever you want, you'll find it here (unless what you want is mild winters, a balance of power in local government, or access to a vast unspoiled natural setting).

      You may want to give us a look-

  •  I didn't read every comment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PZinOR, kjoftherock, Shazzbot

    So I might be stepping on someone else's.

    I'm from Illinois, but I've visited quite a bit of the United States.  There is only one place that I visited and just knew I had to live there someday.

    Portland, Oregon.  I've never been so impressed with a city.  So much culture packed into one place, and lots of it of the home-grown local artist variety.  It's a smart city, home or close to some great tech expertise, but also lots of cultural diversity.  Street markets, juggling, Oldtown, Chinatown, Pearl District, music, dining.  Plus, they have a great light rail transportation system.  You can also get to lots of great places on foot.  I was only there a week, and I fell in love with everything.  

  •  Minnesota has everything you want, droogie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxxdogg

    Specifically, the Twin Cities. I'm not a native, myself, but this is a good place.  It really has the cultural and educational opportunities, plus a lot of political and weather excitement. We have a nice long fall, an interminable winter, about 45 minutes of spring and the most glorious summers you can imagine. The public education system has been the best, is still good, and could yet recover, if we can continue the political shifts that have begun. And right now the housing prices are a lot more reasonable than they have been in quite a while.

    But if I were in your shoes and could follow my heart I would go to the Pacific Northwest. My geographic history, and my family's, is too diverse for roots to have been put down anywhere, but for over twenty years the Puget Sound area has felt like "home" and that's where we'll go, my husband and I, if we can ever manage to retire.

    •  But the winters! (0+ / 0-)

      A friend once flew to MSP for a job interview.  With some extra time beforehand, she browsed some shops.  Decided even before starting the interview that she couldn't live there.  'But Shazzbot!' she cried.  'The clothes were marked "good to 30 below!" "good to 40 below!"  There's no way I could live in a place where the clothing trumpets how well it will save you from hypothermia!'

      She was from Los Angeles, like me.

  •  I Relate. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie, anotherdemocrat

    As someone raised in Green Country, Oklahoma--Bartlesville, Tonkawa, and Tulsa--I completely understand your sentiment.

    I left Tulsa in 1992 to attend USC in Los Angeles, CA.

    It seems to me that one of the primary reasons the conservative Republicans have such a stranglehold on states like Oklahoma and, now, Missouri, is the ever-growing evangelical Christian movement.  The Bible is LITERAL TRUTH and you cannot question any of it.

    My high school (Daniel Webster) class of 1988--west side Tulsa-- just had our 20 year reunion, but I did not attend, as 95% of my classmates are fanatically and evangelically Republican.  

    I've lived in Huntington Beach, CA., Boston, Tampa/St. Pete, Kutztown, PA., Eagle Butte, SD., London, Kuwait,  Nagoya, Japan, and now I live in Saint Louis.  

    I'm looking for a new place to live now, too.

    I look forward to learning your decision.

    Best of luck!

    "The market is not self-correcting, it's self-serving."

    by Ronald Singleterry on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:11:19 AM PST

  •  My Old Kentucky Home (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie, anotherdemocrat

    My family has been here in Texas, and in this region, since the early 1830s.  We have left, lived elsewhere, and come back.  During a recent vacation, we spent some time in Kentucky.  Although not set yet, and it is at least as Red as Texas, the folks were friendly, the land was cheap, and there were many places nearby (Louisville, Nashville, Lexington) for civilization when necessary.  When retirement looms in the next 10 years, we are moving out of this area, even if the kids stay.  I will always love Texas (and UT football), but there are just too many reasons to move on.

    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

    by SaltWaterCroc on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:16:53 AM PST

  •  I just moved from Dallas, TX to San Fran (2+ / 0-)

    For pretty much the same reasons you stated, droogie. And I've had a similar life adventure - leaving my home and my conservative church and the GOP for the search of something better, feeling the same "pulls".

    My husband and I finally did it - just moved to Walnut Creek, CA in June (that's on the East Bay of San Francisco). It's a quiet, sleepy town, very family-oriented, top-rated school district, and GORGEOUS. Our love of nature drew us here: it's about an hour from the beach, about 4 hours from Lake Tahoe and 3-4 hours from Yosemite National Park - and, literally right in our back yard, Mount Diablo State Park. Hiking and wildlife galore!

    We're only 30 minutes from San Francisco. Public transportation makes everything here easy. And, of course, there are plenty of like minds in this corner of the US.

    Of course, the downside is the price - but the East Bay isn't as expensive as San Francisco proper, and you can find some pretty affordable rentals. We had a bit of sticker shock at first but it evens out when you calculate in energy prices (WAAAY cheaper here), public transit, produce prices (we're vegetarians) and entertainment (lots of free things to do around here!) Don't let the price scare you away - it CAN be done.

    Our next step is to start volunteering. We don't know how, or what we'll do, but we're ready to keep working for change. And we feel like this is a great place to start.

    I know that moving away from your home state is a pretty big decision, but trust me - if you are feeling that "tug", don't ignore it. You'll never regret it.

    And let me know if you want any tips on the East Bay or the Bay Area in general :) We'd be happy to show a fellow Kossack around.

  •  cold but nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anotherdemocrat

    The Twin Cities might be up your alley.  Big enough metro to have amenities, but small enough and with bad enough weather to make good neighbors.  (Don't let anyone fool you - bad weather helps make good neighbors.)

    Or, if cold (and mosquitoes pretty much being the state bird) turns you off, there's always Iowa City.  College town, nice neighborhoods, a river runs through it, can't shake a stick without hitting Quality of Life.

  •  The PNW is awesome. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anotherdemocrat

    Because it's so diverse in climate and geography.  Tons of choices from high desert climate, to coastal, to farm land.  Big cities like Seattle to little towns like Walla Walla. Conservative pockets.  Liberal places.  I was born, raised and have lived most of my life all over Washington State .. western, central and eastern.  I've also lived abroad for 10 years.   I have the soul of a gypsy, really, and even though I am in love with having a comfortable home, deep down I always want to pack up and move.  Start over.  Find someplace where I feel like I 'belong'.  I've never felt that.

    Here is where I live now ..

    pictures

    political issue with pictures

    I think the key to happy living is being in a place that fits your needs and also honors some of  your wants.  Having kids has put my husband and my gypsy tendencies on hold.  Careers, schools, cost of living, clean environment, etc. all weigh into the whole scenario in our lives at this time as parents.  We chose a quiet, inexpensive town to raise our boys when we came back from our decade abroad.   When our two oldest graduate from high school in a few years, we will uproot and find a new place that will fit our needs at that time.

    Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. -- Rachel Carson

    by Silent Spring on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:21:14 AM PST

  •  Hey, Columbus, Ohio is one of the best places to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anotherdemocrat

    raise a family! Seriously :o)

    That's PRESIDENT (elect) BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA to you FAUX NEWS!

    by Muzikal203 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:25:46 AM PST

  •  Wow Droogie, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, anotherdemocrat

    Mr. Magic and I have been discussing the same things.

    I was raised in Green Country, but am now in the first OK. capital.

    For us it has not only been the presidential election, but the sick feeling at the sight of each Inhoff ad, and knowing that our state banned marriage equality years ago.

    I stopped watching local news (except for the weather during those exciting thunderstorms!) after hearing an anchor give his horrid opinion about keeping children struggling with their sexual identities out of our public schools.

    It seems I am obviously a hippie, which has inspired many a redneck to launch a mouthful of tobacco spit at my feet.

    I have some very dear friends here, and my children and grandchildren are scattered out around the state. But lately I have felt the mountains of New Mexico calling to me.

    I hope we all find that place where we fit. Who knows, maybe this shift will help us find our place here in the Sooner state.

     

     

    If it doesn't lead to your happiness, don't do it.

    by magicsister on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:31:06 AM PST

  •  Seattle, Austin or Bend, Oregon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, anotherdemocrat

    My husband and I are moving to Seattle as soon as our time has elapsed for avoiding capital gains taxes on our house (long story). Austin is a great place for young like minded folks and one of the music capitals of the US (Texas though). Bend, OR a friend of ours told us is a great little town that has a lot to offer. I do not blame you for wanting to move to a more enlightened place. My husband and I met in San Antonio where I grew up. We immediately moved to Southern California which I loved until 14million people started to get to us. We then moved to Denver to be closer to family which I loved and we were there 12 years and now live in NW New Mexico close to Durango. It is beautiful here but the culture is very redneck and conservative. We will leave here for a more progressive place and hopefully stay (my sister lives in Seattle). Home is where the heart is and it is so much better to be in a place that suits your heart.

  •  I don't have a hometown, per se... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie, anotherdemocrat

    I have moved quite a number of times while growing up. I am currently 23, and have moved from:

    California (born: George AFB),
    Iowa (Des Moines),
    California (parents in military),
    Alabama (Huntsville),
    Georgia (Americus),
    Alabama (Madison),
    Iowa (Ames),
    Florida (Pensacola),
    Florida (Niceville),

    and finally I moved away from my mother and sister ("Home") who are still living in Niceville FL. I now live, with a roommate my age, in St Paul, MN. I have been here since February and can easily imagine myself living here for quite some time. It's a great place. I love the exaggerated seasons and the ease of bicycle commuting and the goofy love for Target stores and the wonderfully friendly people. Out of all the places I have lived, possibly the only town I'd rather live in is Ames IA, but what I really loved about that place is now gone (my family has since scattered to four states).

    My advice, for what it's worth at my young age, is to answer that call and move. I have wanted to move to the Twin Cities since 2005, but lacked the money and motivation. After two more years in rural FL, I was ready and started saving money. It took some time to get my ass in motion, but once we started rolling north there was no turning back. It was hard at first, finding what is only my second job and making rent were the most challenging, but I feel much stronger now that I have accomplished these things. Of course there were other, more subtle challenges, which I overcame so handily that I never considered them as such. These are the kind of things that you can't look back on with ease, but without them you are not living to your potential. Digging deep, an example of this type of challenge would be having confidence in myself, when initially my employer lacked confidence that I was capable of meeting their high standards.

    Since moving, I have tried a lot of things I never tried in my previous environment; there are new opportunities and new challenges that I hadn't had an opportunity to explore before. I can't explain why, but this was what I needed to do. I have never felt better about myself since moving here. There have been difficult times, but I've pushed through them and never once thought of returning "Home." I have learned quite a bit about my boundaries in life, how far I can get before I need to push a little harder if I hope to go even further. I haven't really thought about it, but I have changed as a person since moving here last February, and I like who I have become. Quite honestly, this is now my "home", and I imagine I would be upset if I ever have to leave.

    If you feel that same urge I did, follow that urge and see where it leads you. Movement is an important part of life. If we become too familiar with our surroundings that we're afraid to leave them, what new challenges will we ever face? I think you understand this already, so I hope I've inspired you to go out and take those steps. There is no telling where they will lead you until you take them, but eventually you will reach some distant point on your new-found path and look back to see how far you have come, and you will say, "Holy shit, I can't believe I did that!" :)

    Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

    by Mardish on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:35:00 AM PST

  •  ATL area! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anotherdemocrat

    Grew up in Boston area, never felt right... then to Taos NM for 7 years (too funky), Olympia, WA for 2 years (the rain and the gray  seems to weave into people's souls), now in East Atlanta.  Perfect!  We've traveled thru all 50 states (I think eastern OK is as pretty as it gets, BTW), and this is as good as we can imagine.  And we'll go Blue next election.

  •  come to Texas! (5+ / 0-)

    Things are changing here - check out the election results. We can take back the state House in 2010, and then there'll be redistricting, which is always exciting. You can move to one of the blue spots & help make it bluer. Austin, Dallas & Houston are all good places (for an Austinite to acknowledge that about those other cities is something).

    Come to Texas!

    We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty - Firefly

    by anotherdemocrat on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:39:03 AM PST

  •  Well, if you decide where you want to go (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    my advice is to surround your new space with things you love about home.

    I'm here in northeastern Oklahoma originally from Miami, Florida but born in NYC. I'm also of Cuban descent.

    I like mod stuff, I grew up in a home with a terrazo floor for example. None of that looks good in rural Oklahoma. I know, I know. (visions of Green Acres?) Please. I hope not.

    I don't want to go back to Miami. I feel FREE here. Annoyed, yes with the recent election and all, but... but I get to ride my horse any time... that's worth it. I can wear whatever I want and not be mistaken for a bum.

    There's going to be homesickness if you decide to leave your home I suppose. There is for most of us at certain down times.  

    But for me a reality check only takes minutes. I don't like Miami. I don't like all the noise and constant activity that all my extended family thrives, like shopping is an activity.

    I don't like NYC either. I don't have deep roots there anyway.

    So keep in mind that if you were to move to Miami for example and you miss stuff from Oklahoma put it in your house anyway.

    I NEED mod Miami deco design in my space but with some roots in NYC I have to have a little formality too. With Cuban roots my kitchen tools, pantry items and style are different from the locals.

    So my Oklahoma English cottage farm house looks REALLY out of place on the inside. Big deal. Sit down and have a drink and it'll grow on you.

    It's hard to leave "home" but if your heart's in a wanderlust mood I say give it a shot. I'm very happy I did.

  •  Bloomington, Indiana. My 2. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Good luck to you. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm from NoVa, went to college in Central VA, and was so sick of small town life that I moved to NYC a month after graduation. I miss Virginia, but I can't see myself ever moving back there. Although I must say I am proud of the way they voted last week.

    As an aside, good to see you back on the site!

    Barack Obama is my president (-elect).

    by Reagan Smash on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:44:05 AM PST

  •  Droog- you should consider Austin (4+ / 0-)

    The cost of living has gone up there since so many Californian's who were priced out starting moving there in droves but it is still pretty low compared to other comparable places.

    And what you GET for your money is beyond compare!!!

    I have lived in TX most of my life and one thing they have here is a lot of land.  And trust me when they do something in TX they do it BIG.

    If you rent an apt, for example, you don't just get an apartment.  You live like a KING.  The apts. almost all have things that you can only dream of in other big cities like mini theatres onsite, video libraries, jaccuzzis, pools, on-call masseuse, tanning beds, gated with security, fully equipped conference rooms for business, etc.  You can get all of this for around 1,000 a month.

    Austin is also the live music capitol of the world.

    Very artsy, bohemian type vibe to it.

    Beautiful lake in the hills, lots of stuff to do around there.  Like tubing down New Braunfels river, San Antonio and great riverwalk is nearby.

    You might want to check it out.

    •  As an Austinite I very much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, jayden

      agree! Austin is fab-u-lous, very liberal, fun, and has an awesome quality of life. I have moved away several times and have found myself always wanting to come back. So now I am here to stay.

      -5.25, -6.31 "Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

      by butchergirl on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:37:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Keep Austin Weird (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, butchergirl

        There is a reason it's consistently on the "Best Places to Live" lists.

        A university town on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Culture, arts, music, food, entertainment. Great weather, lots of sunshine, and wonderful big storms!

        The people are laid-back, interesting, and friendly. Yet there are just enough of the stereotypical redneck hicks in the mix to remind you you're in the south! Diversity is a good thing.

        Job opportunities, great schools, and affordable housing ( for a city of this stature ) are still the norm.

        Austin is a liberal oasis in a state that is trending back to its blue roots.

        I came to visit a friend almost twenty-five years ago and never left.

        Through all your faults and all my complaints, I still love you.

        by jayden on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:35:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Beginning to feel that way again myself (0+ / 0-)

    I left my small, but diverse, mid-western hometown over a decade ago for the sun, sea, air, and city-like atmosphere of Pinellas County, Florida.  Initially, I wondered about the racial divide here with south county being a predominantly AA area, north county an affluent area, and mid-county a blue-collar, JTP one.  There are diverse enclaves in each, so I was able to find a place to fit in (with my white legal status but bi-racial/black cultural upbringing) and block out the other bs.  However, the coincidence of my involvement with this election and the evolution of my "cute little brown baby" into a "disrespectful and threatening" black male has opened my eyes to the bigotry that remains in the people and institutions that surround us.  

    To write the details of the last few month's happenings would require more than a diary or two, which 1) anecdotals are frowned upon here 2) it takes me forever to write a few simple sentences --an hour so far on this comment 3) am still exhausted from  from fighting all the right wing smears in neighborhoods overflowing with Mc signs and confederate flags. (6/7 of my precincts went for Bush 04 and Obama 08. Woot! BUT one was by only 20 votes, so there's a lot of work to do.) 4) But most importantly, I'm still shocked, angered, saddened that the law enforcement community would allow an unrelated, angry and threatening adult to put their hands on my 11 year old son without repercussion -- let alone blame it on the child.

    So, Drooogie, yes, I empathize with you completely.     We should be ecstatic our guy won and there's hope for the future, but little has changed in our piece of the world.  Closed-mindedness, bigotry, abuse of power etc... still exist.  The question is what do we do about it?  At what price?  And where? Good luck, D, I hope you find your answers.  And if you know where in the world bi-racial children are the frikkin' norm, or at least respected, please let me know.

    Before Kos(-5.88,-4.97) With Kos (-7.58,-5.23) And still evolving. Thank you ;)

    by firendezyre4change on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:55:43 AM PST

  •  I moved from Los Angeles to London (England) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie, kjoftherock

    It wasn't 'for real' at first, just a 4-year work visa.  But then I bought a house (my first house ever), got dogs, and you know ... you slowly realise that you've put down roots in a new place.  It's not a sudden, one-day-I-realised thing.

    There's an awful lot wrong with England, just like there is with anywhere you might go.  But I know I couldn't go back and live in the States now; I feel too different, having had the opportunity to look back at my 35 years in the US with a fresh pair of 'outsider' eyes.

    But obviously I haven't severed all ties; my favourite sites are HuffPo and DailyKOS.  Good luck with your choice and remember, sometimes 'throwing yourself out the window to see if you can fly' actually shows you that yes, you can fly.

  •  Definitely Colorado! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    From a (real, east!) Indian, who lived in Bombay, and in the US, started off in Pittsburgh, lived in Champaign-Urbana, and is now in Boulder... I'd love to settle here on a permanent basis.  And maybe I will.
    The only issue is that houses are expensive in Boulder... but you can find affordable houses just outside.  Of course, there's no ocean close by...
    But beautiful blue skies, lovely snow-capped mountains, lots of outdoor activities (snow sports, biking, river-stuff)... Definitely the place to be :-)

    On GOTV duty Nov 1-4 in CO. Maxed out at $538 to Obama, Clinton, O2B and ActBlue.

    by randomsubu on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:59:53 AM PST

  •  May I recommend Northern California (0+ / 0-)

    somewhere around the Bay Area? The rent is high, but the jobs pay well.

    There are still a lot of Californian descendants of the Depression-era Okies around those parts.

    The fall is nice, too. The leaves change color.

  •  The Pacific Northwest is unparalleled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie, AmericanRiverCanyon

    We get the best fish; it comes from Alaska. It's possible to get a fish that was swimming in Alaskan waters the day before.

    Our crab, the Dungeness crab, is the best on Earth. You can get them in the Bay Area, too, but they're actually not as good there as they are here. I have had many different kinds of crab from many different places all over the world, and the Dungeness crab is still the best. If you live in the boonies or in a small town near a coastal area, you're also likely to have a neighbor or two with a small boat and a couple of crab traps who may make some of his catch available to you; the fresher they are, the better they are. You can also get a small boat (fairly cheaply, at that), a couple of crab traps, and a license, and catch your own pretty easily.

    Like salmon? You can stand on the bank along Sinclair Inlet and catch your own. Right now one salmon season is going on, and I see 10-20 cars parked alongside the highway in one popular spot, and know that every one represents someone down on the bank fishing. I see a guy out in the water between Southworth and Vashon Island every year in a kayak fishing from there, so it's easily possible to go fishing for salmon without having a motorboat.

    How about whales? We have them. If you want to see whales while you're commuting, move to the Kitsap Peninsula (where I live) and take a ferry in to work. Sooner or later, you'll be on a boat that slows down in the vicinity of a pod of orcas. If you want to see some other whales, there are whale-watching trips you can take in the San Juans.

    Feel like a trip to Canada? The border is fairly close, about 2 hours drive from the Seattle area. You can get to Victoria by boat from Seattle via the Clipper, to Victoria by boat with a car via the Black Ball ferry from Port Angeles, to Victoria by boat with a car via the humongous BC ferries from Tsawwassen, BC on the other side of the border, or to Vancouver by road. And, of course, there are plenty of places to explore and enjoy the outdoors in both lower BC and Washington state.

    Do you like to ski? Cross-country or downhill? Ski areas are easily reachable from the Seattle area and you can spend the whole day skiing and still sleep in your own bed at night without staying out past the dinner hour. How about hiking? You can hike here year-round. Paragliding? Ever heard of that? There are a few paragliding schools here and plenty of places to launch from. It is absolutely amazing to do. Soaring? Small planes? Historic plane restoration? We have it all. Go to an EAA fly-in nearby and get more info.

    Hunting? Upland birds or game? I know people hunt game in Washington, but I don't know where; I do know where people hunt birds. Pheasant roosters (raised in a flight pen, so they can and will fly and are very wary of people) are released every year on DNR land and if you have a license for them, you can hunt them there, with or without a dog. This is nothing like a canned hunt. Those pheasants are every bit as hard to hunt as the ones raised in the wild. I have seen and tried this for myself. In Eastern Washington, you can hunt for chukker and other upland game birds, and the dogs love that. I think you can hunt elk there as well. I encourage you to eat all you hunt.

    Opera? Symphony? Art museum? Sculpture garden? Seattle has all that and more. Live rock music? There are a couple of good venues close by, including White River Amphitheatre (built and operated by a Native American nation).

    Do you recycle? We sure do. The City of Seattle even has a pickup program for food scraps, which they turn into compost.

    How about scuba diving? That's a big activity around here. There is a scuba shop in town here in Port Orchard and Harper Pier is a put-in point for divers year round. Other such opportunities to dive are found around the Sound.

    Baseball? Football? Soccer? Women's basketball? If you like to watch sports, Seattle's a great place to do it. Our baseball and football stadiums are built so that fans don't get rained on (though the players might).

    We don't actually get all that much rain here in the greater Seattle area; we're comparable to other areas. The thing is that we get a lot of steady rain or drizzle as opposed to downpours. The weather is pleasant to cool. The coldest I've ever seen it get at night is 17 degrees, and that was once in my ten years here. Moreover, it gets colder here on the Kitsap Peninsula than it does on the Seattle side of the Sound. Spring comes later here by about a month. We do get fog, much like the San Francisco Bay Area, but unlike the Bay Area, it doesn't hamper traffic at our airport; many of the fog systems used at airports around the world were developed here. Pilots from all over the world come here to train on handling mountains and icing on a plane's wings over the Cascades, which pilots call the Icebox. As a result, you get pilots here who can fly in all sorts of weather, especially the ones who work for Alaska Airlines. I was in Newark, NJ over Christmas a few years ago, and I took an Alaska flight there and back. The airport got iced in and snowed in on my return. We waited for hours, and it turned out the reason we were waiting is because the airport ran out of de-icer and had to get more. Once that was done, though, most of the planes still couldn't take off, because they didn't have de-icer themselves. Alaska was the one exception. Our plane got out of the line it was in and was able to taxi and take off because Alaska planes always have de-icer and Alaska's pilots all know how to fly in icing conditions.

    You won't miss things like corn mazes in the fall, because we have them here. We have an amazing open-air market in Seattle known as Pike Place Market that has to be checked out. Starbucks, Tullys, Caffe Veneta, and many MANY local one-of-a-kind coffee stands are everywhere. They're even in the grocery stores. We have a great business climate and a good jobs climate, even now. Homes here have lost less valuation on a percentage basis, especially in Seattle, than they have elsewhere in the country. (Housing in Seattle is expensive, too; try outlying areas for better prices and/or more land.) There are a lot of Democrats in the Puget Sound area and we often manage to prevail politically. In Seattle and Tacoma, that's pretty much a given; in outlying areas, it's less of a given, but the local Democrats always seem to outwork the local Republicans (I know we do over here) and have managed to turn even very swing districts with half Democrats and half Republicans blue or mostly blue. As a result, there is currently a veto-proof Democratic majority in the state House as well as a Democratic governor who was just re-elected and a strong, though not veto-proof, Democratic majority in the state Senate.

    Unfortunately, marriage equality has not yet come to Washington state, but we do have a very strong domestic partnership law, which was made even stronger last year. It covers not only same-sex couples but opposite-sex senior couples.

    We have one of the highest minimum wages in the country. We have health care coverage for almost every kid in the state. We have a Republican Secretary of State, just re-elected, who was endorsed by most of the progressive groups in the state; he earned it. We have mental health parity and mandatory coverage for things like birth control (if Viagra is covered) and mammograms. We have a woman's right to choose written into our state Constitution.

    We have trees! Lots and lots of trees! I remember when I was interviewing at Microsoft's facility in Issaquah shortly before relocating to the area from California, and looking repeatedly out the window at the hills that were completely covered, top to bottom, in evergreens. The interviewer asked me what I kept looking at, and I told him "the trees". He asked me if we didn't have trees in California, and I said "not like that".

    It snows here 2-4 times a year and when it does, it sticks on the ground for a couple of days most of the time.

    This is getting long; sorry. That's just some basic info about the area that I love. If you're considering a move here, I'd call it a good one. It was for me.

    Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at riverheart.livejournal.com.

    by Kitsap River on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:02:59 AM PST

  •  I would totally reccommend Oregon. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kjoftherock

    I lived there for 12 years on the coast.  I'm in CA now, but the coast will call me home someday, like Tolkien's elves, I suspect.  The only thing is that the job situation could be quite dicey, unless you lived in Portland.  Klamath Falls was growing at one point, not sure about now.  There, you have your seasons-hot summers and cold-ass winters, and they get snow.  The mountains are two hours away, the coast is about six.  And a more beautiful state you will not find on the west coast.  When I left DC over 20 years ago, I knew that I'd end up on the west coast.  I don't miss it.  I do better with family when they are far away.

    I'm Black and I voted No on Prop 8. Ease up out ma face, k?

    by Red Reign on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:04:25 AM PST

  •  Hey Droogie, (0+ / 0-)

    I know you don't have time to plow through 500+++ comments, but if you get around to reading this, Mr. Phoebe1st and I both lived in the midwest for a long time. He is from St. Louis. However, we are totally in love with Maine and can't imagine a better place to raise Miss Phoebe or to enjoy our progressive, cool, kinda rural but with a great urban environment close enough lifestyle. It's coooold in these here hills, but it's a wicked nice place. If you need info or advice about moving to Maine (the way life should be) please don't hesitate to contact me offline.

    Happy trails man.

    This space available...

    by phoebe1st on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM PST

  •  My two suggestions: Seattle and Austin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, boadicea, lorzie, fsbohnet

    I've lived in both and can tell you, they are very nice places indeed.

    Seattle:

    Pros: Great place to raise a family, the suburbs have some of the best schools in the country, lots of jobs in high-tech (you could probably transfer your journalism skills to writing documentation), good food, excellent cultural opportunities including plays on their way to Broadway, very nice zoo inside the city limits, walkable, kid-friendly, one of the most beautiful places in the world for outdoor scenery, surrounded by mountains and water on all sides. Politically very blue. You'll feel at home here.

    Cons: The cost of living will make your jaw drop if you're coming from Tulsa, although the jobs here pay well enough to make up for it. East of the mountains the cost of living goes down, but jobs are less plentiful and the political climate is a lot less friendly to Democrats. Rains a lot, but not Oklahoma rain. We probably get the same amount of rain you do in Tulsa, but it's stretched out over 270 days instead of 12. Mass transportation is still something of a mess, but I suspect still better than what you find in Oklahoma. Bring lots of Vitamin D. Sports here suck (you guys got our basketball team). Relatively high sales tax, but no income tax.

    Austin:

    Pros: A part of the world you're more familiar with. Very comsmopolitan with the government and university both there. Great music, great food. The Hill Country turns beautiful in April and May when the wildflowers bloom. Probably one of the bluest parts of Texas. Eeyore's Birthday Party (go look it up). Not sure about the cost of living, but probably less than Seattle. You could have the chance to help turn a red state blue.

    Cons: Summer heat is pretty bad. I don't know how it compares to Tulsa, though. Tornadoes. Not sure how the cost of living is, but it's probably cheaper the farther out from the city you go (say to Georgetown, Round Rock or San Marcos), although I suspect it gets redder out there too.

    I can't imagine anyplace I'd rather live than Seattle, but it's not for everyone. If you think you or yours might suffer from SAD or miss the hot summers, it might not be for you. We liked Austin a lot, but when my wife and I lost our jobs there in '91 there was nothing to keep us there, and a couple of very good reasons to leave (almost 100 of them most of the days of the year).

    Good luck wherever you go.

    We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

    Now the real work begins.

    by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:06:28 AM PST

  •  Something in Common (0+ / 0-)

    Been there.

    I have quite a few cousins who are probably your neighbors there in NE OK.

    My family roots are at about the same latitude, but westward a few hundred miles.  After spending the 2000 election in Dallas, it was clearly time to leave.  

    Visit Philadelphia for a week and spend some time people watching.  Ride the local trains and strike up political conversations with people.

    I haven't regretted the decision to move for a single moment.

  •  I left my home (England) in my 20s (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, TaraIst, goodasgold

    Now I'm in my 40s and I'm not sure I did the right thing. I enjoyed almost all my time here, but now the pull of home is getting strong for me while my spouse feels no such thing. I never did make friends like the ones I had at home and I miss them. Plus, as our families get older, it's hard to be so far away.

    I had a health scare a few months ago and it made me realize how very far away I am from most of the people who really love me.

    I didn't mean this to be a downer comment - sorry! You just caught me at a time when I was feeling a little sad.

    •  England is still lovely (0+ / 0-)

      if you like rain (which I do after 100 degree Texas). The pound is dropping so come back for a long visit. It might convince you that you'd made the right decision in the first place, who knows.
      I know what you mean about missing your friends though. Best of luck.

  •  We love Pittsburgh... (0+ / 0-)

    and if you don't mind more gray skies than blue, you might too!  Lots of culture, excellent schools, not too crazy on the cost of living - you might too!

    Of course, we had a bit of a drought this past year, so there were a LOT of blue skies.  

    But follow your heart...see where it leads you.

    It's GREAT to have you back, droogie!  :D

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:12:32 AM PST

  •  Hey Droogie - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania

    I'd second Austin, but only if you can live close to where you work.  The highways are built for 1/3 the traffic load.  I'm in Wimberley, about 45 minutes outside of Austin, in the gorgeous Hill Country.  

    I moved from Minneapolis, where I was born, to Austin in 1996.  Most of my family had moved south, starting in the late '70's.  After my youngest sister died of cancer I wanted to be closer to everyone.  There was a lot of great stuff about being in Austin (Minnesota Nice isn't really;  in Austin everyone I met was genuinely kind and went out of their way to help a newcomer).

    I moved "home" in 2003 because I missed the Guthrie Theatre and the museums, and the MN Orchestra, and 4 seasons, and familiarity.  I discovered that there are only 3 seasons in MN: mosquitos, wind-chill, and 20 stunningly gorgeous days a year.  I also discovered I couldn't afford tickets to the Guthrie or the Symphony, and I only went twice to the Walker and once to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  The cost of living was incredibly high, and seasonal affective disorder sucks.

    I'm back in Texas, as I said.  This town works for me.  When my dad died people brought food, and sat with us while we cried and laughed.  When I went to pick up a prescription a month after dad's death, the pharmacist asked me  if I knew anything about a "Harold Hofstad who had medication waiting", and I lost it and started crying.  I got a group hug from the staff, and a referral to an excellent grief group.  

    There are no big box stores, no chain restaurants, we support local businesses, and there is no development that doesn't meet stringent restrictions, imposed by a very active populace.  We have artists and artisans running successful small businesses, and all kinds of people you'd never expect to be Texans, because most people only know the stereotypes.  

    I love it here, and I got here the second time by exactly the process you're talking about.  The first move was deliberate, the second came from spirit.  In the last few years I've asked for guidance to do the next right thing.  When I listen carefully, and proceed slowly, I rarely make the mistakes I make when  I'm on full-speed-ahead-self-will.

    Good luck with your decisions.  Trust your intuition.  I'm sending light and love.      

  •  Come to New Jersey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Beautiful lakes, hills, the Delaware River, white sand beaches, cities, farms, temperate four-season climate.  Geographically, economically, ethnically and racially probably the most diverse state in the nation.  It's not an affluent liberal monoculture like Austin or Eugene or Ann Arbor ...  It's a real place full of real people.

    Oregon is also nice, however.

    You can call me "Lord Bink Forester de Rothschild."

    by bink on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:25:02 AM PST

  •  Watauga County, NC went blue this Nov. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khowell

    Home of a college in Boone, this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and we traveled this country for 12 years in a forty foot motor home.

    Driving distance of DC and the NC coast, it is set in the North Carolina hills which have an incredible history as well as multiple recreation opportunities.

    As a matter of fact, I have felt increasingly isolated from my ultra-conservative community lately.  Perhaps it is time to look around again.  

    Would highly recommend that you check out NC.

    Piffle crack eat monkey snow. Really. Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald

    by Susan Grigsby on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:32:24 AM PST

    •  What's that, Yousef? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      My husband's an AP State grad - used to tend bar at Tijuana Fats in Blowing Rock.  We love Boone/Blowing Rock!  Angelicas, Stick Boy, Footsloggers... Moses Cone and all the rest.  I'm getting Boone envy.

      ...sigh...

      "History drips in the dark..." Robert Penn Warren

      by khowell on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:44:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, we only visited it as part of a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        khowell

        genealogical trip a couple of years ago.  My husband's family helped found the church on the outskirts of town (before they were kicked out back in the 1770s).

        I was overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the area, the great restaurants and the activities of the town - for such a serenely isolated place, there was an awful lot going on!

        It is the one place we still consider re-locating to.  

        Piffle crack eat monkey snow. Really. Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald

        by Susan Grigsby on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:02:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Droogie, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    for the "love home, miss it, but can't go back."  I've taken a considerable amount of heat from this community for admitting that I love where I grew up and do miss part of it.  

    Mississippi, many of you ask.  How could someone with a respectable UID be a troll from Mississippi... wait... she's really one of us?  And a southerner who deigns to admit that she misses the deep south?

    So, yes.  I miss south Mississippi. I miss New Orleans and Mobile and music and gumbo and pine trees and even the humidity... but I'll never go back there.  Part of it is Katrina.  I've  had enough of the hurricane madness.  But a larger part is that I've had all I can stomach of the willful ignorance... the anti-intellectualism... the racism that we saw exhibited so disgustingly in the election.  As a historian and an educator, I don't think I have the stomach to return to my piney woods home.  And ... part of me finds that achingly sad.

    "History drips in the dark..." Robert Penn Warren

    by khowell on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:40:09 AM PST

  •  Leaves are fallin' all around, (0+ / 0-)

    Time I was on my way.
    Thanks to you, I'm muched obliged.  Such a pleasant stay.
    But now it's time for me to go - the autumn moon lights my way,
    and now I smell the rain and with it pain, and it's heading my way.
    Ah, sometimes I grow so tired, but I know there's one thing I gotta do - Ramble On.

    One of my favorite songs!  Here's hoping you ramble in the right direction.  I do not recommend Ohio or North Carolina. :D

    "The goal of an argument should not be victory, but progress." - my fortune cookie

    by Black Leather Rain on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:40:51 AM PST

  •  Ride a blazing saddle on your way out (0+ / 0-)

    This is just to say Forgive us victory tastes delicious so sweet and so cold

    by Dave the Wave on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:41:58 AM PST

  •  I grew up in one place (0+ / 0-)

    'till I was 18, then proceeded to move seven times in two years (mostly due to switching schools and summer jobs). It's hard. I'd love to be back home.

    But then again, I've always been in love with home. I never had any doubts about it.

  •  Left Oklahoma, But I'm going Back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    I left Oklahoma right after the 2004 election and headed for greener, or bluer pastures.  I moved out to Berkeley for a job, but found that I didn't really feel at home there.  Sure, in Oklahoma (Tulsa) I was a raging liberal, but I might as well have been Pat Buchanan to some of the folks I met in Berkeley.  Two years ago I left Berkeley for Boulder, which I love dearly. My wife was a school here and I thought we'd be here indefinitely.  but now we're planning on moving back to Tulsa, as soon as we can sell our Condo here.

    Oklahoma may be the rump end of the progressive movement, but in the end it is home for me.  I know the people and the places.  I can actually afford to raise a family there (my first child is two-months old now). Foe the price of our two-bedroom condo here in Boulder we can get a nice house in a nice neighborhood in Tulsa.

    In my experience, I needed to leave Tulsa and Oklahoma in order to know what I missed about being there.  I'm not sorry that I left for the past four years and I'm not sorry that I'm heading back.  The politics may appall me, but it's home.

    Carrot Juice! Carrot Juice! Carrot Juice!

    by Lovecraft on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:46:21 AM PST

  •  I'm gonna put in another word for Austin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea

    While I am torn a bit about trying to coax more down here to add to our traffic (the city hired Aggies for some reason to design our roads) It's still a damn fine city.

    The funny thing about Austin is pretty much no body is from here. I have one friend who was actually born in the city. Most people come here to visit and never leave.

    I'm originally from the panhandle of Texas my mom moved down here back in 77 and while I did go off to the Marine's and traveled around and I lived 3 years for a job in San Jose (nice place but other than the Japanese the food sucks to my palet couldn't find a place that made a decent Chicken Fried steak) my wife and I couldn't wait to get back.

    It's a very accepting place with a laid back culture. It's got good food and plenty of nightlife, There's also a lot of outdoor space. And hell we gotta do something to counter act the conservative Californian's who've come here.

    •  And I have to add a few strong caveats (0+ / 0-)

      i feel like i have to add a few strong caveats to all of the positive things being said about austin here. i've lived here twice. first time for 7 yrs, second time, which is now, since january. the traffic is extremely bad here because the infrastructure of this town is for a quarter less the population it has now. the public transportation is less than adequate. the sprawl is horrendous and the 'green'ness of the city is largely a public relations campaign without much substance - this is a CAR TOWN. it's come to feel, to me, like a lot of the ways that austin has changed has been to become more soulless, less substance. after living in western mass for four years, it's a stark contrast in healthcare, wages, and building construction. there is not really public healthcare to speak of here. it is extremely overburdened and has a poor quality of care. the wages are really low compared to elsewhere. bus drivers recently went on strike and most of the people i talked to blamed the drivers. they make $11 an hour to start (and have to have 4 yrs driving experience). people i talked to said they shouldn't complain because they get good benefits. most of the construction here is of the 'it's going to fall apart in ten years' variety... to me, it's a place that's sort of unreal feeling. yes, it's laid back and pretty safe. but if you can't afford to be close in to the downtown/university area it can feel like any other suburban  texas enclave. but, i don't know, even the 'cool'/progressive parts seem to be without gravity. and to me, despite the university there's not an intellectual feel to austin. it's more of a party/don't worry be happy sort of vibe.... so, yes, i sound really negative, but i just thought it was important to counter the overwhelmingly positive things being said, because then maybe there will be a more well rounded picture of the place.

  •  Don't go go a liberal enclave. (0+ / 0-)

    They don't need anymore liberals there.  You need to go to some backwards place full of right-wing hics who need to have their consciousness raised.

    Um, so stay where you are.  Things will slowly improve.

  •  your family is alway welcome in the windy city (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    We're going to need some people to move here once that family from Hyde Park (and their friends) moves into the white house...

  •  Oregon or . . . (0+ / 0-)

    Colorado. If I had my druthers (and could convince the mrs to move away from family) it'd either be the coast of Orgeon, or back to Colorado where I lived for awhile.

    Both places have lots going for them. Great scenery, lots of things to do, communities where those of a more progressive bent aren't looked upon as pariahs, etc.

    You'll find the cost of living to be substantially more in either of those two states than in Oklahoma though.

  •  I think you should stay (0+ / 0-)

    where you are or come up here to Kansas. We're bluer than Okla., but not by much. We have a yearly music festival that's similar to a mini-woodstock. Seriously, you don't need to go where you're preaching to the choir. You need to be where you can make a difference in changing attitudes. If there were a few more of us, we could color this state blue.
    I still visit family in Norman, Noble, Tulsa, Hennessey and Midwest City. You'd be even closer to yours.  

    Hey, Hannity! You're ugly and your mama dresses you funny!

    by forever blue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:06:52 PM PST

  •  Two observations, should you move, (3+ / 0-)

    Oklahoma will be significantly worse off, and regardless where you move, it will be significantly better off. Change is a good thing. Yes you can.  

  •  My brother says Eugene is very nice (0+ / 0-)

    Weather is great, not too far from the ocean, college town, lots of progressives and a green mindset.

    Of course, you could always visit my lovely state, Massachusetts, or some of the other wonderful New England areas - Maine and Vermont are very nice. Burlington Vermont is said to be one of the most vital, active and progressive cities you could live.

    Good luck in your search!

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by MA Liberal on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:08:25 PM PST

  •  I hear tell they got some internet in Californee (0+ / 0-)

    A Grapes of Wrath/South Park reference, sorry.

    OK is one of seven states I've never been to.  I'd go to AZ or NV if I were you.  

    Maybe after my kids grow up I'll go back home to Brooklyn NY.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:14:31 PM PST

  •  I left friends of 30+ years and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst
    although I miss them terribly, and have been back when I can afford to go, they however have not been to see me at all........so?
     Would I do it again? After looking at my first sentence? without a doubt, probably sooner.

    Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people Who will not be slaves again!

    by axman on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:15:33 PM PST

  •  try Wisconsin. they have awesome thunderstorms (0+ / 0-)
    and driving through SW WI in the fall (or anytime, really) is like driving through the world's largest Norman Rockwell painting.  A pleasant effect, assuming you like Norman Rockwell.

    Obama, a camel, a dentist and Sarah Palin walk into a bar. The bartender says,"Is this some sort of joke?" Obama, camel & the dentist say, "Yes."

    by bnasley on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:16:39 PM PST

  •  How about NYC? (0+ / 0-)

    You said,

    I want a place with more culture. An art museum, some historical sites, maybe some music. Not just for Mrs. Droogie and I, but for Droogie Jr's development.

    There's certainly a lot of all that stuff here.  Now, unless you're a multimillionaire, forget Manhattan.  There are plenty of places in the other boroughs and in some of the suburbs that are A LOT less expensive, good schools, reasonable decent commutes, etc.

    Just a thought!

    Best of luck where ever that "pull" takes you.

    "Senator Obama, are you ready to take the oath of office as President of the United States?" --Chief Justice John Roberts, January 20, 2009

    by oxfdblue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:17:11 PM PST

  •  Ok, I may be a little late to add to this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    But...I grew up in Newport Beach, CA.  I was born there and stayed until I went to college in San Diego.  After I graduated (I started late and graduated at 25), my new husband and I moved to Park City, UT.  I decided immediately that I didn't want to stay there and so I never gave it a chance.  We stayed 2 1/2 years.  

    We then moved to Seattle, because that was where my parents had moved to.  I decided right away that I didn't like it there, either.  And that it is when it hit me...moving away from all you know is really hard and I needed to have a more open mind and give the place a chance.  I ended up loving it there and we stayed 4 1/2 years, until my husband got transferred...back to San Diego.

    By that time, I had come to love the change of seasons, and as crazy as this sounds to most people, I began to feel like CA was relentlessly sunny.  I also knew that I really did not want to raise my kids there.  Sooo, we started looking for a new place to live.

    My husband, who grew up in CT as a Pittsburgh sports fan, thanks to his best friend's father, suggested Pittsburgh.  Ha, yeah, right I said.  It does not have a very good rep if you have never been here.  Anyway, soon thereafter, I read in a book, 50 Fabulous Places to Raise a Family, about a section of Pittsburgh called Mt. Lebanon.  It sounded really nice.  So, we did some research and then my husband flew out and interviewed.  He took lots of video for me.  And we decided to take the job.  I stayed behind to sell our house and followed him a couple of months later, having never been here.

    That was almost 10 years ago.  And we love it here.  It is affordable, it is beautiful, it has lots of culture, great sports teams, great schools, is close to lots of other cool places, etc....

    So that is my experience.

    "The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information".- Henry Wallace, Vice President under FDR

    by LisaZ on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:21:14 PM PST

  •  my recs in no particular order (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Madison, Wisconsin  - good public schools (and Wisconsin has an excellent state university system when your kids get older), lots of culture, lakes, great restaurants, sports, etc.

    Lacrosse, WI - small university city - the area up and down the Mississippi River is very beautiful with all the sandstone cliffs - you can also head up the Mississippi to places like Red Wing MN which are also very beautiful

    or just keep on going to Minneapolis where there will be a lot of snow but a lot of culture - also good state university system in Minnesota which is reciprocal with Wisconsin

    Denver or anywhere in Colorado - people in Colorado have their sh%$ together - very practical but progressive - try to make their schools work well - surprised it took so long to turn Blue

    Vermont - especially Burlington - where else do you see piles of used books sitting around where most other places have piles of gossip magazines - or see people in a circle doing yoga in the airport flight waiting area? And whatever you do, do NOT ask for a Starbucks!!!! You are in Green Mountain coffee territory and you better know it.

    PNW - Seattle rocks (literally sometimes i.e. earthquakes) - very beautiful area - lots to do - but don't plan on buying a house there unless you make lots of coin.

    Portland, OR is also a great medium sized city - Oregon in general is probably most beautiful part of US - the Columbia River gorge and the Oregon Pacific Coast are unbelievable. But Portland and other areas in Oregon seem to struggle a little bit with their schools - seem to never have any money.

    San Francisco - most fun city in US

    Middletown, Maryland - mid-1700's small town at foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Trail - excellent public schools - 1 hour away from 3 major airports, Baltimore and Washington DC. Ft. Detrick is right near by if your supply of anthrax is running low. Frederick County is a growing area, birth place of Frances Scott Key and home of Triple A baseball team the Keys – considered an extra-supper outer suburb of Washington DC.

    Some of the other small towns in western Maryland and eastern West Virginia like Shepherdstown also are fun (has small University, lots of kayaking on Potomac and cycling on trails).

    and P.S. for some reason I also like Oklahoma City... I don't know why...

  •  Southwestern NH (0+ / 0-)

    It's beautiful!  Just like Vermont.  No sales or income tax (yet, and probably not in MY lifetime). Historic.  Museums.  Culture.  Lots of music.  Educational institutions.  Very democratic.  Very green.  Lots of lakes and rivers, parks and green spaces.  Moved here from Boston area.  (Love New England and could never leave!)

    •  I love SW NH (0+ / 0-)

      Keene is a lovely town and Mount Monadnock is one of my favorite places on earth.  We come up with a group of friends every few months to cruise around the used bookstores and yarn shops.  Fitzwilliam, Troy, Jaffrey, Peterborough...  nice.

  •  Waited until I was 32 to do it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, ebbinflo

    but my future wife and I moved out of the Chicago area in which we had lived all our lives in order for me to take a post-doc up in Madison WI.  Having been educated in Illinois all my life, I thought it was time for a bit of a change.  We didn't want to move TOO far because we were going to be getting married a year later and we knew we'd have to come back home fairly regularly in order to take care of wedding details.  

    We never thought we'd stay in the Madison area though for the rest of our lives.  But now that we have a couple of kids, and I'm in my 14th year at the UW-Madison, neither of can really see ever move back to the Chicago area, let alone Illinois.  The quality of life is just so much better up in Wisconsin compared to Illinois in our opinion.  And when we do go back down to the Chicago area where both of our families still live, the sprawl and congestion just drives us insane.  The final kicker for us was having an autistic child.  The social services for autism are way better in the Badger State than in the Land of Lincoln sad to say.  I can't see us ever leaving the Madison area.

    •  Glad you like it (0+ / 0-)

      If I had my choice, Madison would be home. I like Milwaukee, and I satisfy myself in it's greater diversity and bigger lake, but Madison is mellower, quieter, safer, smarter, bookier, bike-ier, easier to move around in (but Milwaukee is awfully easy to biek and dirve in as well).

      Honestly, the only places I can think of that come close to Madison for overall quality of life are either very expensive to live in or else located in another country (i.e. Canada).

      I will probably never live in Madison, but when I retire, I hope to live in the hills to the west of Madison.

  •  Grew up in Michigan-I had no say in the decision (0+ / 0-)

    Moved to Chicago-loved it
    Moved to San Francisco-really loved it
    Moved to Los Angeles-hate it
    Moved to ....to be announced

    I know one thing is true-I will not die in LA.  In another year of two, I'm out of here!  

  •  Come join us in TX (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, lorzie

    We need more liberals. Sure Texas is red, but we have great pockets of progressives. Plus, we're not too far from OK, so if and when you get homesick, a quick flight will get you there. Austin is lovely with great hill country weather and a great'live and let live' vibe to it. The Houston/Harris County area is booming economically. Moreover, Houston has a top notch museum district and great restaurants to rival any big city. The downtown area of the city is experiencing tremendous growth due to gentrification, but it's still affordable. Houston also has great suburbs with good school districts. Both cities are lively and amenable whether you are a young urbanite or a married suburban family.

    And something is happening in TX politically. I can feel it in the air. We might even be the next big swing state.

  •  tell me again what home is? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    Years ago i stopped to count and realized that in my first thirty years, i had lived on 4 continents and moved 25 times. After the age of 30, I stopped keeping track.

    There's homesickness to not having a home. And there's homesickness in feeling like nowhere is home. Hard to explain. You have to make each place you are your home, even in instances when one of your occasional homes is online.

    :::to be filed under 'questions for expats':::

  •  Involved story on my part (0+ / 0-)

    I met my wife-to-be over the Internet (BITNET, actually) in 1989. Three years later, when the phone bills started looking looking like rent payment, I moved from Rhode Island, where I grew up and went to school, to central Maine, where Donna was still going to school. In 1997, with our first daughter on the way, I knew I needed more stability, so I started looking for work elsewhere. Given a chance to work for a company I was familiar with in Rhode Island, I grabbed it, and we stayed there for a couple of years.

    Unfortunately, with our second daughter on the way, my company wasn't willing to give me a raise, so I started looking elsewhere. Shortly after I submitted a resume to Microsoft Product Support, I got a phone call out of the blue from a contractor who had found my resume online and wanted to hire me to do much the same job I had just applied for. :-) So, in Spring 1999, we moved out to the Seattle area (Bothell, specifically) and stayed out there until Thanksgiving 2006. As I've mentioned elsewhere on the site, things hadn't been going well with us, and we decided that we needed a family support network around us. We moved back to Brewer, ME, which felt a lot more like home than I had been expecting. The girls were sad about leaving their friends, but have settled in to their new home pretty well.

    So, I moved away and then moved back home -- but not my home. :-)

    I strongly recommend living in the Seattle area. There's always something to do for free or cheap, and there's more expensive options too, of course. The bus system is top-notch: I was regularly able to take the bus home close to midnight, and I rarely needed to get anywhere that wasn't close to a bus stop.

  •  Kansas City would be close to home (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst

    2004 was a mandate for torture and murder. 2008 is a mandate for hope and change.

    by eroded47095 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:44:06 PM PST

  •  Come to Goshen Indiana! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie
    Historic downtown - renovated buildings

    Community supported agriculture at the downtown market and in the country side

    Art galleries

    Music - best concert hall in the midwest at Goshen College.

    Get to Chicago on the South Shore.

    Three hours from Indianapolis / chicago / detroit.  an hours from South Bend and Fort Wayne.

    Racially and ethnically diverse population.

    Great colleges in the area.

    Great youth soccer leagues.  Also over-30 soccer league.

    Republican county and democratic city in a trending blue state.

    how do we leave personal contact information here?  Give me a holler and I'll call you and we'll talk!  (_)

  •  My First Thought... (0+ / 0-)

    ... would be Austin. Great town, wonderful culture. I would move there myself now if it was feasible.

    After Austin, you may want to consider the DFW Metroplex.  I've had many chances to move away from it but have never done so.

    "The powerful play goes on and you will contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman, O Me! O Life!

    by ladyducatnip on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:51:00 PM PST

  •  lived in Oklahoma for a couple of years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    in the very early 70s, while my husband was in the Army stationed at Fort Sill when he returned from Vietnam.  I kinda liked it, and our son was born there.  I loved the crazy newspaper guy who opposed any wellhead taxes on the oil drilling companies because if we taxed them they would move.  I always thought, where?  back to Titusville? (very near where I grew up).  We moved back to his home state, Rhode Island, where we've lived ever since.  

    I like living here;  I have a good job and Providence is a lively place with lots of energy and college kids and only 20 minutes to where you can pick your own apples.  But I really can't recommend it as a place to move.  We are a very blue state, and the senators and representatives we send to Congress tend to be top drawer (Well, there was Fernand St.Germain, and that Eddie Beard thing in the late 70s), but state and local politics tend to be cesspools.  Nearly everything is based on a network of who you know, not much changed from when this was a big Mafia town.  It's a lousy business climate, and our unemployment currently tops the national list.  It's not cheap to live here, either.

    If I were going to move, it would be to somewhere in New Mexico near my kid and his family.  

  •  I Miss the Green Hiils of Maryland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorzie

    I grew up in the Piedmont country of the Old Line State--- rolling hills, rushing streams and the Appalachians only a short drive away. Over 30 years ago I moved to the Windy City and Chicagoland has taught me a lot.  One of its greatest gifts was that ride down the Green Line to Grant Park to see Barack Obama make history.

    But I always wandered the woods in my childhood and I miss that. I've backpacked all over the Western wilderness and its often cruel beauty kept me coming back.

    But last night while while watching an episode of West Wing Season 6 supposedly set at Camp David, Maryland-- those woods and rushing streams called to me. No matter that it probably wasn't even shot anywhere near Maryland, my imagination and memory filled in the rest.

    They say you can't go home again and I suppose they are right in a sense. Home is a state of mind more than anything else. But maybe its time for a new adventure in a familiar place.

    But enough about me

    If you are thinking of moving, consider Maryland. It has a surprisingly varied geography and has become fairly progressive after its  troubled racial history.

    "Don't believe everything you think."

    by BobboSphere on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:56:34 PM PST

  •  Left rural CO for Boulder. (0+ / 0-)

    I was born in NW Colorado, grew up in SW Colorado in a county that had one of the highest vote percentages in the state for McCain in the last election.  I have lived outside of CO--couple years in Iowa as a kid, couple years in Italy, 8 yrs in CA.  I missed the mountains (and my mom), and I'm back in CO.  However, I'm living in the most liberal city in the state (Boulder).  I feel lucky to be able to "have it both ways."

    A female candidate is no substitute for a candidate who cares about women.

    by kkmama on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:59:54 PM PST

  •  If I was you, I'd try Oregon. It's progressive, (0+ / 0-)

    family-friendly, large (jobs) but not too large (clean and green), has lots of culture, and is close to the mountains as well as the ocean. I'd go check that out in a heartbeat if my circumstances were different.

    "The object of life is not be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius

    by CanyonWren on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:17:38 PM PST

  •  My daughter is going thru this too (0+ / 0-)

    My daughter currently lives in NYC and is ready for a change to a small city where she could actually afford a house.

    2 places she researched and visited that she loves is Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas. She was concerned about Texas because it's soooo conservative but Austin is different. Where she ends up depends on the job market.

    I hope you find a place you love.

  •  The list: (0+ / 0-)

    Born in southern Louisiana.  Lived in: Louisiana (various locations), Texas(various), Florida(north), Missouri(Spfld. area), Washington St., Oregon, Colorado (Springs area), New Jersey (exit 4), Greece (Athens-ish), Mexico (Chiapas), Saudi Arabia (Khobar).

    Maybe fit your list (excluding international):
    Seattle
    Portland, OR
    Boulder, CO
    Manitou / Colorado Springs
    Austin (iffy, but great music. Even tho they closed Joe's)
    North Cali (Sebastopol area?)

    I would maybe avoid Austin with kids, depending on ages.  Can be a little rough.  

    If I had to choose one to move back to with my family, I'd probably say... Seattle or Colorado Springs.  Depends on if you like rain or snow. Each have liberal hippie freaks, each have conservative wackjobs to debate with, both have decent coffee (Though the Raven's Nest in CS is hands-down the best best best!)

    The schools are respectable in both, and both have a very active music scene.  Seattle wins for museums, but Colorado for scenery (though proximity to the Olympic peninsula and the Columbia Gorge do almost balance it out.)  

    If you like Native Am. cultural interaction, I've found that the Yakima are a bit more open than the Colo. tribes to whites, but that's just my observation.

    Good luck wherever you move.  

  •  I am NEVER moving (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, westsidegirlygirl

    I was born on Planet Earth, and here I will stay. It's where I keep my stuff.

  •  Born, raised, educated... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and still living in New Yawk.  (In Westchester county since '94.)  Why live anywhere else?

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin -SLB-

    by boran2 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:53:36 PM PST

  •  Droogie Family....if you are not aware Biz Week (0+ / 0-)

    just released their 2009 Best Places to Raise Your Kids.

    I'm pleased to concur with he Colorado choice of Fort Collins (even though I'm a  CU Buffalo through and through).

    Colorado has more days of sunshine than San Diego, close to the mountains for day trips, and Fort Collins is a great city along the "front-range" of the Rocky Mountains.  Boulder is too damn expensive to be able to afford decent to moderate housing, but Louisville, Superior, etc (located around Boulder are great and also close to the mountains).

    Hope this either helps or complicates your other thoughts or feelings?

    It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. US Jurist

    by Oliver W Holmes the 3rd on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:57:46 PM PST

  •  Bozeman, Montana (0+ / 0-)

    My son lives there.  We live in NJ.  Bozeman is a breath of fresh air.  Hope to retire there...

  •  St Paul, MN (0+ / 0-)

    I want to recommend my city, because it is a combination of small town, with access to arts and fairly good schools. The community is involved yet not loudly intrusive. Winter used to be a challenge. However with global warming, there isn't even snow on the ground yet.

  •  I was born in Delaware, and I'm still here (0+ / 0-)

    so I have no basis for comparison.  But I've always thought living in Philadelphia would be great.  It has everything you're looking for, plus champion sports teams!

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:08:16 PM PST

  •  Colorado always pulls me back (0+ / 0-)

    I first moved here in 1994, moved out of the state twice and then moved back each time. So I've lived here three times.

    My only regret here is that I don't have any family here except my wife and child. That's the hardest part of leaving home, and establishing a new home.

  •  i live 53 miles from where i was raised (0+ / 0-)

    does that count as leaving?

    in a crisis, we must have a sense of drama

    -- MLK

    by missreporter on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:18:28 PM PST

  •   (0+ / 0-)

    For many years after I left Tulsa I did miss the feeling I used to get in early March, when we started having highs in the low 80's.  I used to want to get in a car on those mild March days and fly down the Oklahoma Turnpike, because the sudden warm temperatures made everything feel magical--as if something really exciting were about to happen.  It was a great feeling after the freezing winter.

    Then the heat blanket would descend and I'd look out the office window at the National Bank of Tulsa sign and see that the temperature on a summer day was 113 degrees.  Ugh.

    Three days before my 21st birthday I boarded a plane to New York, to fly from there to London. On my 21st birthday I landed in London--still my favorite city in this world (Sydney being second).

    But I'm American, so after a while I went home, but home is now northern Virginia.  We have four seasons.  The springs and autumns here are delirious--you should see the pastels of one and the rich deep colors of the other!  For the last few years the summers haven't been as hot nor the winters as cold or snowy.  My boys used to sled down the hill in our back yard and ice skate on the creek--but it doesn't get that cold now.

    Where I live, across the river from Washington, DC, we don't have forest fires, earthquakes, or mudslides. We get the tail end of hurricanes--mostly rain--and we do get the occasional violent summer thunderstorm.  Poor little neighboring Maryland gets the occasional tornado (every 5 or 10 years) but we haven't since I moved here in July 1965.

    "Most women have no idea how much men hate them."--Germaine Greer

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:35:31 PM PST

  •  Southbound, perchance (0+ / 0-)

    Not that South. I lived in Tennessee 'til I was 12, when my family moved back to my dad's home state - Oregon. I've moved to both Seattle & Scotland briefly, but have been here otherwise.

    But...

    I feel that pull too, and with my mom's recent death, one of my major reasons for staying in Oregon is not the case anymore. I have more and more reasons to go to the Bay Area, most likely around San Jose. Some of those reasons have names - beloved friends and family who are there or who have recently relocated there themselves. Another reason is my employer, which would certainly support such a move.

    It's an odd feeling, I know. I'd be going from a blue state to another blue state, from a state where I can't be legally married to one where ... well, yeah.

    Good luck with your decision-making. It is an interesting place to be exploring no?

    "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

    by paxpdx on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:36:16 PM PST

  •  Alabama (0+ / 0-)

    is my home state. I miss the Southern hospitality and the green trees and the other colors in the fall. But the religion and the politics there would drive me crazy if I ever moved back.

    Also, every time I visit it's just not the same; too many cookie-cutter houses where there used to be trees.

    If I leave California it would be for a state like Oregon or Colorado, or maybe the less deserty parts of Arizona or New Mexico. And there's a chance that a few thousand extra Democrats moving to such states could make a difference.

    No more fear. Now it's time to clean up the mess the children made.

    by rmoore on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 03:43:59 PM PST

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