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View Full Version : Where to live in the US...



DippyHippy
2004-Jan-08, 02:37 AM
Okay, here's the deal...

I'm English and in the UK... my fiancee is Puerto Rican and therefore a US citizen, living in Oklahoma. She's been there for a few years now and wants to move on so she wants to do this before I emigrate, hopefully sometime in the summer.

She has a 9 year old little boy too.

Soooooooooo... does anyone have any recommendations? We're open to suggestions, but obviously we're looking for somewhere affordable with good schooling, low crime and good employment prospects.

But most importantly, I'd like somewhere with good clear skies within easy reach...

My fiancee was offered a place at a university in Arizona and we were originally going to move there, but the thought of 100F+ temperatures for about 6 months of the year has put us both off - a pity, given the exceptionally clear skies available there.

Any thoughts? (And if you know anything about US immigration law, feel free to post that too!!! :D)

Victoria
2004-Jan-08, 02:39 AM
Gotta get a job. Good luck. :rolleyes:

Tinaa
2004-Jan-08, 02:59 AM
Arizona is not 100+ 6 months out of the year, only about three :D . Depends on where you live in Arizona. Was out there one Christmas, Phoenix was a balmy 80 degrees and north of there in Flagstaff there was a raging blizzard. I kind of like Texas ;) . If I could I think I'd like to live in Colorado, near a ski area, but that is terribly expensive. In general, I think the South is less expensive. It is cheaper to cool than heat a home and we only run our heater a few days a year. Crime is at an all time low here. And if you've read anything about the Education thread I started, the schools are, well, schools. As she shown a preference for anywhere?

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-08, 03:13 AM
Not that I know of... I just know she wants to get away from the 100F+ temps because it gets a bit sticky during the summer in OK too... it was when we were watching the Weather Channel in mid Sep and they said Arizona was still getting 100F+ temps that she changed her mind about moving there... but from what I've heard, you're right :)

Tinaa
2004-Jan-08, 03:24 AM
No wonder your sweetie wants to leave Oklahoma. Has she not heard? The reason Texas doesn't fall into the Gulf of Mexico is because Oklahoma SUX! :o

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-08, 03:42 AM
:P Tinaa

In case you were wondering... click here (http://www.thedippyhippy.com/isapi.dll/c/content/f/viewproperty/siteid/kpOYAM/contentclass/PICT/contentid/ZZZZZZQI/propertyname/Original/~/Richard___Sofia_at_Altus.jpg) to see a pic of us taken in late September :D

thomastech
2004-Jan-08, 04:42 AM
Dips, I have worked in several states, but I have found that my Home state is just as good as any I've lived in!

There are plenty of clear skies here on the lake...

...and the sunsets over the water are amazing!

Click Here for the view... (http://www.livingston.net/onalaska/) :)

Tinaa
2004-Jan-08, 04:51 AM
I'm sure y'all will be happy no matter where you live! You know, with your moniker, DippyHippy, I was expecting someone with long hair, a beard and little round glasses. :D

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-08, 05:02 AM
Thomas, that does look good... I'd love to live by a lake... can't imagine anything more peaceful than living near a lake, river or ocean :)

Tinaa, everyone says that LOL I'm not going to reveal where I got my handle from (it's too embarrasing LOL) but it was a fair reflection of me at the time. I keep it now because a lot of friends online know me as Dips or Dippy so it's like my alter-ego :)

jimmy
2004-Jan-08, 05:26 AM
Hey Dips,
One of the clearest, most star studded skies I have seen was at South Llano River State Park. It's about an hour or two northwest of San Antonio, Texas. There were so many bright stars that it was difficult to make out the constellations.Light pollution=0.
Of course anywhere in the south you have to deal with heat; you need to consider humidity also. I've been more comfortable in 100+ New Mexican dry air than in 80 degree Louisiana liquid air.

anewton
2004-Jan-08, 07:08 AM
Try Austin, TX. About an hour's drive north of San Antonio, and we are the true Capital of Texas. We have 3 very large lakes where the Colorodo River is blocked by dams. There are plenty of rivers for rafting and such. We have over 10 colleges and universities. We are the" Live Music Capital of the World"; we have SXSW (music & film). We celebrate children here ( who else has a birthday party every year for Christopher Robin's donkey?). There is soooo much more, including huge Espanic heritage and cultural events. I could go on, but, you should check out the net for austintx.org or austin360.com.

kashi
2004-Jan-08, 10:39 AM
Why don't you move to Australia instead. Melbourne ranked #1 on the list of the world's most livable cities in two independent surveys!

The temperatures are comfortable and I can see the milky way as highly visible streak across the whole sky even in the outer suburbs!

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-08, 10:08 PM
LOL Kashi - because then, instead of only having to apply for one visa (mine) I'd have to apply for three (mine, my wife's and my stepson's) :P

Thanks everyone - seems like TX is a good bet... methinks I'll have a hard time persuading her about the temperatures though! But jimmy, you're quite right, there's a world of difference between a dry and humid heat. Here in England, when it does get warm, it's always horribly sticky too...

thomastech
2004-Jan-08, 10:24 PM
Dips,... I agree that Austin is "Very Nice Also"! :rolleyes:

Tinaa
2004-Jan-08, 10:39 PM
I don't know what you do for a living, but Austin is Texas' high tech city. It does get hot but EVERY place is air conditioned. I don't think you can even buy a car without A/C around here anymore. Texas is a huge state. It measures 800 miles X 800 miles. The farther north and west you go, the less humid it is. The Panhandle even gets quite a bit of snow in the winter and has very low humidity. Fort Worth is also a pretty nice city, if you like cities. So many people here live outside the cities and commute. There are many very nice communities just an hour or less from downtown in most any big city. You can have a nice place with a few acres and still live near good jobs and a short commute.

kashi
2004-Jan-09, 01:44 AM
100 F isn't that hot anyway. South of Brisbane the other day it reached 51 degrees C (123.8 F)!

Victoria
2004-Jan-09, 01:54 AM
South Dakota, black hills; beautiful history. If its attractive...I would pay the fee. Be a toll or a slot, definately capturing.

Littlemews
2004-Jan-09, 02:40 AM
Hawaii Island :lol: beautiful sky, and ocean...

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-09, 10:19 PM
Hawaii would be fantastic... especially somewhere like Mauna Kea... *drool*

Chook
2004-Jan-10, 01:53 AM
Don't listen to them Dips - come to Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.
With your wife's good looks she could drag you along as a Dependable and their sympathy would get you straight in through Immigration - no sweat!

And if you can believe Kashi - here's way better: fantastic beaches, an hour away from the mountains, even snow in the Winter there! :)

Just keep away from Alice Springs - not only is Damienpaul there, but a lot more "nasties" lol ;)

Good river though!!

Littlemews
2004-Jan-10, 02:31 AM
Hawaii (US) and Australia are the best place for study Astronomy :lol:
Point 1 : Clear Sky
Point 2 : Fresh Air
Point 3 : Best View

jimmy
2004-Jan-10, 03:16 AM
Don't let them sway you Dips, stay with continental U.S. Southwest; West Texas, New Mexico or Arizona.
Hawaii is great, but too far from anything else!

Victoria
2004-Jan-10, 09:34 AM
:P How 'bout S.F.? Mission Street is all about the love! Lived on Naples, beautiful city lights, not far from mtns or ocean, weather is always predictable and livable. No gray skies here! :)

kashi
2004-Jan-10, 01:34 PM
Coffs Harbour is a hole. In fact anywhere in rural Australia is a hole.

Fraser
2004-Jan-10, 01:46 PM
Hawaii's crazy expensive as well. Everything's imported.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-10, 02:28 PM
including the hawaiians???

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-10, 11:20 PM
Ha! I know a Hawaiian - she's very proud of her heritage. I don't know if there are any pure-blooded Hawaiians left now but I know she's eligible for land under that new legislation :)

jimmy
2004-Jan-11, 03:45 AM
I think you have to be pure blooded Hawaiian to even set foot on Ni'ihau!

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-11, 04:17 AM
Jimmy, yes, you do - excellent point. It's completely privately owned I believe... the only real economy is based around the occasional tourist flight to/from the island for the day and even then you're not really allowed inland.

Littlemews
2004-Jan-11, 05:40 AM
:lol: Mt. everest then LOL

jimmy
2004-Jan-11, 04:49 PM
You better have a big jacket and some hot coffee.LOL

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-15, 10:22 PM
At the moment, the money's on Florida because her family live there but she's also looking at employment opportunities elsewhere on the east coast, from Pennsylvania south...

Won't be needing that jacket and coffee in Florida, methinks :)

Victoria
2004-Jan-16, 12:11 AM
Northeast has the privaledge of enjoying all four seasons :P In fact, getting prepared for a cold front coming in this weekend... :huh:

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-16, 03:17 AM
My future bro-in-law might be moving to North Carolina but we're not keen on that idea so much because of the hurricanes... I don't know if they get hit more than Florida though... :unsure:

anewton
2004-Jan-16, 05:46 AM
The N.E.?? Cold front?? I heard on the news Boston was at 17F. with a wind chill of -27F. Nothing above the Mason-Dixon line for me. I tried it (twice) and barely survived!!! If you go to Florida, stay on the coast. Inland gets over 100F in July and August. Oh yeah, welcome back, D.P. ;)

jimmy
2004-Jan-16, 06:54 AM
Anywhere on the Gulf coast or the Atlantic coast can be threatened by hurricanes; unfortunately Florida is in the middle of both. I don't know statistically which state gets hit more often. It's either Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida or South Carolina/North Carolina.
I've been through some bad ones and they are really scary.

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-16, 10:19 PM
Hmmmm... I've only ever seen them on TV but I can't say I'd want to go through one. It's a bit different if you're only visiting the state, but when you've got your house, your possessions and - most importantly - your loved ones there, it's another story!!

damienpaul
2004-Jan-17, 04:13 PM
Come over to Alice Springs -no hurricanes and very clear skies

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-17, 10:18 PM
LOL I told ya before, Oz is no go because we'd have to apply for even more visas - and if my beloved wants to be near her family, how's moving to Oz going to help? LOL :P

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-19, 12:23 AM
Looks like it's going to be North Carolina... who knows anything about NC??

jimmy
2004-Jan-21, 03:56 AM
A friend of my wife and myself moved there a few months ago and she likes it, but it's still a bit new. I'll try to get some better idea next time I talk to her.

Pat Neuman
2004-Jan-22, 02:21 PM
Tinna said (Jan 8):
> I don't know what you do for a living, but Austin is Texas'
> high tech city. It does get hot but EVERY place is air
> conditioned. I don't think you can even buy a car without
> A/C around here anymore. Texas is a huge state. It
> measures 800 miles X 800 miles. The farther north and
> west you go, the less humid it is.

I haven't been to Austin, TX for a long time, but I've e-mail with people that are in Austin now. It sound like a nice place to live, now. I am skeptical about how long it will be a nice place to live, in the years ahead.

As global warming worsens, hotter and more humid conditions will last for longer periods of the year. Diminshing supplies of oil, gas and water for keeping machines and people cool and increasing demands for energy will force the price of energy up tremendously in the years to come. I started a post called "What is causing global warming yesterday. I ask that discussion on global warming be directed to that thread. Pat

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-23, 11:47 PM
Are there any observatories in NC? I tried looking online but couldn't find any... well... I found mention of a few University observatories but the links were dead to them...

imported_StarStuff
2004-Jan-24, 03:59 PM
My first inpulse is to say Montana, but Brrrrr!!!!

I was born and raised in rural Ohio, and always thought we had pretty clear skys (not much in the way of light polution), until I went down to Kentucky to meet a lady I met on the internet, now my wife of 4 years ;); the total lack of light polution in the hills of Kentucky, not to mention the wildlife, makes it a beautiful place to live. Needless to say, when I retire, many years from now, Kentucky stands a good chance of being called home.

Planetwatcher
2004-Jan-25, 05:18 AM
Hey Dippy;
I've only sparaticly followed this string, so I don't know if anyone ever mentioned Oregon.
I lived there in 1978 and 1979, and have never seen a more beautiful state since.
That includes Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, Georga, Colorada, and South Carolina.

The cascade mountain range was breath taking, the ocean was equally impressive. For beautiful evergreen trees it places 2nd to no one, and Portland is one of the best metropollises in the country if you feel the need to live in a very large city. The people are very friendly, the city easy to navigate, and the Tri-met bus system is quite likely the most on time, and comprehensive mass transet system of any U.S. city.

There are more good restruants then there are days in a year. One of my favorites was called the Safari, in Estacada, a suburb community. It has glass display cases all over with animals actually captured and stuffed by the restruant owner(s).

The summers are compairable to northern France or southern Germany, and in the winter it hardly ever gets cold enough for snow. However, winter is the rainy season so it rains a lot, but only during winter.

Were it not for the roots I already have where I am, I'd still be living there.
But I may retire there in 25 or so years, if I get in a posititon to retire.

I believe there is an observatory in Oregon too, but I won't swear by it.
I think Wendel lives in Oregon. He can tell you more about it more recently.

Tiny
2004-Jan-25, 06:49 AM
There are more good restruants then there are days in a year. One of my favorites was called the Safari, in Estacada, a suburb community. It has glass display cases all over with animals actually captured and stuffed by the restruant owner(s).

http://www.fadudu.com/images/smilies/02.gif Food :P look tasty......

Victoria
2004-Jan-25, 07:06 AM
B) No kidding? Looks like the N.W. is prime! Feeling like I should go there as we (I) think of all Oregon has to offer. Did Planetwatcher say anything about ports? :ph34r:

Tinaa
2004-Jan-25, 07:22 PM
What is good about NC? The Panthers are going to the Superbowl. You can see some awesome stock car racing (I love Nascar). It does have an observatory and planetaria at Chapel Hill, NC. Try this link. (http://www.moreheadplanetarium.org/index.cfm)

Planetwatcher
2004-Jan-25, 07:59 PM
Oregon is a costal state so I'm sure there are ports, but I can name any.
But there must be a reason why the states largest city is called
Portland.

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-26, 12:08 AM
Tina, funny you should mention that because it looks like Chapel Hill is going to be it.

As I said, my fiancee is relocating to NC to be near family, specifically her brother, who is also moving there. She's a part of the McNair scholarship program and got talking with one of the co-ordinators the other day about where she could study in NC. Durham and Chapel Hill were suggested, so I looked online and noticed that the university at Chapel Hill has an observatory and there's the Morehead Planetarium too.

Apparently it's a very good university too and from the pics I saw of the town on another site, it looks like a nice place to live, so my fiancee is going to look into the possibility of moving there :)

jimmy
2004-Jan-26, 04:07 AM
Hey Dippy,
Even funnier is... that's where our friend lives. She works at the University of NC in Chapel Hill. If you need some specific information, maybe I could call her up and get it for you! I'd be happy to help if I can. :)

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-26, 10:47 PM
Jimmy, you're a star - I rarely ask for favours but I might just this time!!! :lol:

Let me mention it to my fiancee and we'll see how the situation progresses. Feel free to drop me an email if you wish :)

Elizabeth
2004-Mar-23, 05:30 AM
There's BestPlaces.net that computes 40 variables and compares cities for you, economy, climate, crime, and you assign priorities to the variables.

Don't underestimate the potential for living near fiance's parents, for quality of life if you decide to reproduce/breed. I'm currently living in Gainesville, FL and went to honors school in Sarasota; Florida has plenty of fine spots - depends on what you need. Current abode is amidst tons of old tall trees 7 minutes from the University. The hurricane threat was far over-rated earlier; I was raised outside Chicago and hurricanes here wreck havoc as much as tornadoes there [as in, you worry about it seriously about one day every 5-6 years, don't know anyone who was 'struck' in either state].
The farthest you'll ever be from a great beach is an hour. Miami has the most cosmopolitan mix and fine restaurants, Tampa - St. Pete can be mighty fine too, state has lots o' islands. Cost of living and price of good homes are both VERY reasonable, opportunities abound. Investigate your job opportunities before moving to a college town - I live in one and Chapel Hill is one. It's frequent for spouses to be high and dry, expected to be in cold storage in a college town and the applicant pool you compete against for jobs goes really cheap and is fairly educated.
Elizabeth in Fl

DippyHippy
2004-Mar-26, 10:32 PM
Hi Elizabeth

You've given me something to think about - thanks *S* Where my fiancee lives, she seems to get a lot of tornados...

I think it will be good for her to be near family - and for me too, since I'll be leaving mine behind in England. I think it will do us both good to be around people we know (and with people who might know people who might have jobs available!!)

johnm
2004-Mar-27, 02:07 AM
I moved to North Carolina (after 27 years in New Orleans,LA) because:
1) Four seasons - the change is good, and none of them last forever.
2) Lots of trees and green spaces.
3) High tech jobs and technology, RTP.
4) Two major hospitals (Duke and UNC Chapel Hill) 20 minutes drive - if needed.
5) 3 hours drive to the beach, 5 to the Smokey Mnts.
6) Reasonable cost of living.

johnm
2004-Mar-27, 02:16 AM
I want to add one thing about Hurricanes:

Many places have their share of "Bad" weather. Tornados, floods, drought, earthquakes, blizards, hurricanes.

With a hurricane I have advance warning and can make a rational decision to get in the car and leave the area before it hits.

Tom2Mars
2004-Mar-27, 03:47 AM
Dippy,

I lived in North Texas for awhile, and the tornados were terrible. They usually came out at night. Except one in '63, it held the record for awhile of being the largest recorded tornado in North America. It sucked! It sucked up the houses and trucks and trains, we even watched it from about 1.5 mile plus away, and it sucked up a stream and turned white. But johnm is right, no warning time like a hurricane.

With a hurricane I have advance warning

North Carolina and Arizona both sound good.

But wherever you go, be it hot or cold, humid or dry, I'd recommend looking into some good energy-efficient, passive-solar, microprocessor controlled house with a food-producing attached greenhouse and a solar-thermal spa...so you can live it up on a budget!

Hmmm...now who could I recommend to design that for you...Oh, it'll come to me. ;)

DippyHippy
2004-Mar-27, 10:43 PM
LOL My fiancee likes the weather in OK - ie, that you get the four seasons - so I can see the appeal for NC too. On the other hand, she often gets ill during the winter so I did suggest she might want to reconsider Arizona LOL I'm sure we'd get used to the heat...

Oh I admit it... I just want those lovely, crystal clear dark skies... *drool*

madaboutyou
2004-Apr-01, 08:26 AM
I don't know the U.S to well as I have never been
I hope I have been a help!

galaxygirl
2004-Apr-04, 10:20 PM
I think that New Hampshire would be a good place to live- clear skies, no taxes on some things (food and clothes I think), and you can live near a lake, or even the ocean. There are four seasons, and mountians if your a fan of skiing or snowboarding. It's pretty calm up there, but very busy near Hampton Beach- especially in the summer, so I'd reccomend living in the northern part.

DippyHippy
2004-Apr-04, 10:47 PM
Cool galaxygirl - that's also where President Bartlett, my namesake, comes from...

Oh wait, he's not real, is he? Damn.

galaxygirl
2004-Apr-04, 10:52 PM
I forgot to mention: There's this thing in the summer when hundreds of astronomers bring their telescopes and camp out on some mountian (in NH) for a couple of days. It's like this huge observing get together. I cant remember what it's called though.