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Old 06-25-2008, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am from a small town in South Carolina that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it b/c it is my hometown and where I grew up and there are a lot of good things about small towns (the "community" aspect, etc.), but the part I hate kind of overrides the love. I can't stand how judgmental and hypocritical the majority of people are. I can't stand the *dare I say it* ignorance that is rampant. There are no CSA's or organic foods stores. I have to drive 30 minutes to get to ANY grocery store, much less one with healthy choices. Homophobia and racism are around every corner. Bible belt fundamentalist extremists are 90% of the population. I could go on forever, but I will spare you. My question is, in your opinion, what is/are the best cities or states to live naturally, raise your kids naturally, open-minded, accepting, etc.? Where would you want to live? Or why do you like where you DO live? I plan to move when I get to a stopping point in my education, anywhere from 1 year to 3 years or maybe 5. Thanks in advance for the help.

Jessie
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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Portland, OR

Hands down.

Kimberly
(Mama to West (11/07) Mabel Kelly 10/02/09)
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Portland, OR

Hands down.
Absolutely. 100%
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Really? Oh my gosh. I didn't know there would be a definite answer! Thanks!

Jessie
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:37 AM
 
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Portland, OR

Hands down.
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Absolutely. 100%
Without a doubt.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just looked up Portland on Wikipedia. It sounds great, but so different. I think I would be scared out of my mind. A poor little country kid all by herself in the big city, lol.

Jessie
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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I just looked up Portland on Wikipedia. It sounds great, but so different. I think I would be scared out of my mind. A poor little country kid all by herself in the big city, lol.
Just try it. Get someone to show you around. It's really not scary at all! I grew up in a town of 2500 people and while it was scary at first it was only a few months before I realized it wasn't all that big.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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I agree Portland is on top. Boulder, CO. Berkeley, CA. Burlington, VT.

I live right outside Boulder. I love it. I've visited or lived in those other places. This is the best place for me to live. Tons of sun and I'm a mountain girl.

*Liz* : mountain mama to DS 12/04
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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San Francisco, Bay Area. Portland is too gray for me.

I like that people don't blink an eye if you BF in public. We have health food stores in almost every city, and the reg grocery store carries a huge selection of organic produce and food at a decent price. We have several CSAs.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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San Francisco, Bay Area. Portland is too gray for me.

I like that people don't blink an eye if you BF in public. We have health food stores in almost every city, and the reg grocery store carries a huge selection of organic produce and food at a decent price. We have several CSAs.
yeah that. (except i've heard portland is cheaper.)
how about asheville north carolina?
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:08 AM
 
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Portland is great. It's not a huge city either. It feels a lot smaller than you think it would. I'm from a small town in TX and lived in Portland just fine.

It's much cheaper than San Fran...much! And it is gray...but nice in summer. Overall a great city with awesome people. We just moved to the East Coast and we miss the NW.

I also really love Seattle, but it has changed in the past decade. The Sound has a lot of really awesome areas and people are crunchy, just not as hippy as Oregon. The NW is great. We plan to move back to WA and hopefully live on an island in the Sound (puget sound) in the next few years. (sorry if you've read that on here recently more than once..no secret I want back! )

good luck on your search, mama
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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Another vote for Portland.

And it really is a "little big city". The neighborhoods make it feel cozy.
Its super crunchy here, and very reasonable. We love it.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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Having lived in Portland, I moved because ultimately I wanted somewhere that was just as crunchy (or more so, hopefully), but smaller, without the insane traffic messes and all else that comes with a big city.

My vote is Grass Valley/Nevada City, California. It has everything that I liked about Portland (except the cheap plentiful asian food and I do miss the grey weather), and none of the things that I didn't like.

Extremely low crime, very crunchy and liberal (I think the vax rate in this county is the lowest in the state), no 'bad areas' of town, one of the healthiest economies in the state. Small towns, friendly people. I've never felt any judgment when I'm walking around in the grocery store and my 19 month old baby is trying to strip me with his hand down my collar, inside of my bra. Great schools, although I homeschool anyway. No gang activity whatsoever.

Forested, mountainous, lots of rivers and lakes. Great ski resorts less than an hour away, although the actual snowfall here is very minimal. It snows a few times each winter but rarely even sticks (much to my chagrin) for more than a couple of hours.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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The Sound has a lot of really awesome areas and people are crunchy, just not as hippy as Oregon. The NW is great. We plan to move back to WA and hopefully live on an island in the Sound (puget sound) in the next few years. (sorry if you've read that on here recently more than once..no secret I want back!
That's where I am

As for Portland... it's good, but the number one thing that comes to mind is 'strip clubs'. They're on every corner, I swear.

San Fran would be good, but it is very pricey.

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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Having lived in Portland, I moved because ultimately I wanted somewhere that was just as crunchy (or more so, hopefully), but smaller, without the insane traffic messes and all else that comes with a big city.

My vote is Grass Valley/Nevada City, California. It has everything that I liked about Portland (except the cheap plentiful asian food and I do miss the grey weather), and none of the things that I didn't like.

Extremely low crime, very crunchy and liberal (I think the vax rate in this county is the lowest in the state), no 'bad areas' of town, one of the healthiest economies in the state. Small towns, friendly people. I've never felt any judgment when I'm walking around in the grocery store and my 19 month old baby is trying to strip me with his hand down my collar, inside of my bra. Great schools, although I homeschool anyway. No gang activity whatsoever.

Forested, mountainous, lots of rivers and lakes. Great ski resorts less than an hour away, although the actual snowfall here is very minimal. It snows a few times each winter but rarely even sticks (much to my chagrin) for more than a couple of hours.
You live in NevadaCity? I can't think of Nevada City without thinking of Utah Phillips. But I didn't realize that it was that cool of an area. I grew up in Sac. I wouldn't live there if someone paid me.

Ok. Return to normal topics....
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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You live in NevadaCity? I can't think of Nevada City without thinking of Utah Phillips. But I didn't realize that it was that cool of an area. I grew up in Sac. I wouldn't live there if someone paid me.

Ok. Return to normal topics....
I wouldn't live in Sac if someone paid me either. Or Roseville, Rocklin etc. I made the mistake of living in Auburn for a year and I would give anything to erase that from my memory. Auburn has a much larger population, yet only one (crummy, overpriced) hfs. GV/NC has at least 5 that I can think of off the top of my head. Even the grocery store has a better organic and hfs selection here than does the actual hfs there Just as a small example. It is also SO closed minded and judgmental there. I was miserable. I moved back up here over a year ago and haven't been back since. Not even for In N Out

GV/NC is a different universe.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I'll check back with yall in a year or two and see if one of you Portlanders will show me around town! Just kidding. Well, I'm only halfway just kidding, lol!

Jessie
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Ketchum, Idaho, The Wood River Valley: pop. ~10,000 , Or Portland if you'd like a big city.

\m/

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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Portland/Seattle/San francisco are great! But if you prefer smaller towns or to stay closer to SC:

Charlottesville, VA
Bloomington, IN
Boulder, CO
Asheville, NC
Ithaca, NY
I'm sure there are smaller towns in OR/WA that would be good, but I'm not as familar with those areas. The towns above are ones I considered but decided were too small (I like a major city). But I think many, many places would be a better fit than where you are. I currently live in Ohio, which is certainly not crunchy overall, but I can easily find what I need/want.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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Asheville is pretty crunchie and smallish. Boulder is too but so expensive.

I've never been to Portland but from reading about it it does sound like a crunchie haven.

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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I've been to Portland several times, and unfortunately I never had a good experience there. It is definitely not like SF, and I didn't find it to be that "crunchy." Sorry. Maybe I'm spoiled, being a SF native.

We've also considered moving to Boulder, but I don't think we'd like the winter.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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I agree Portland is nice...but very large and urban.

Here would be my picks:

Arcata, CA

Nevada City, CA

I recently visited Nevada City, and DH and I would absolutely love to drop it all and live th ere. Gorgeous!

We drive through Arcata whenever we camp and love it's farmer's markets and people, in general.

Portland, OR is great, too. But, it is loaded with the current cool, hip, and trendy, too. Not too fun to slink through.
When I lived there, about 15 years ago, I worked on NW 23rd (then, pretty much center of the hippy world there) and the last time I visited, that street had become yuppy/mainstream central--complete with a Starbucks on almost each block!. My old store (Music Millenium) had relocated to get off the main drag, and the folks working inside were nothing like my old friends...a bummer. I still know many people who live there, but most have moved to SE Portland.

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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Portland, OR

Hands down.


Quote:
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Absolutely. 100%
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ATenthMuse~ View Post
Without a doubt.
Sweet! DP and I are thinking about driving up to Portland to check out the landscape next month - to possibly buy a home. Its either Seattle, Portland or Boulder.

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I just looked up Portland on Wikipedia. It sounds great, but so different. I think I would be scared out of my mind. A poor little country kid all by herself in the big city, lol.
Portland seems small to me.


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San Francisco, Bay Area. Portland is too gray for me.

I like that people don't blink an eye if you BF in public. We have health food stores in almost every city, and the reg grocery store carries a huge selection of organic produce and food at a decent price. We have several CSAs.
I will miss the Bay Area when/if we move. Its just to rich for our blood here. :
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I'd think portland or somewhere in the northwest.

I live in SE AZ, and there is a town near here called Bisbee, which is pretty "crunchy" it seems. I've only been once, but I immediately noticed that every baby I saw was in a sling.

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Old 06-25-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Portland seems to be growing exponentially, and it didn't appear to be substantially lower in cost of living. Of course, buying a house is cheaper, but I don't think it will be for much longer.

SF is expensive, but wages are higher, and if you're frugal, you'll do very well here.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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I agree Portland is nice...but very large and urban.

Here would be my picks:

Arcata, CA

Nevada City, CA

I recently visited Nevada City, and DH and I would absolutely love to drop it all and live th ere. Gorgeous!
I live about an hour from Nevada City and it is great! The co-op there is awesome.

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Old 06-25-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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Asheville, NC. It's getting more expensive by the year though.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I just looked up Portland on Wikipedia. It sounds great, but so different. I think I would be scared out of my mind. A poor little country kid all by herself in the big city, lol.
There are actually quite a few smaller towns outside of Portland that are pretty crunchy/liberal/natural.

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As for Portland... it's good, but the number one thing that comes to mind is 'strip clubs'. They're on every corner, I swear.

San Fran would be good, but it is very pricey.
Having lived in both areas, I gotta say SF has more strip clubs than Portland, by far! But they seem a bit more obvious in Portland. In SF they are mostly plain old buildings, no big signs advertising what's inside, yk? In Portland (in the whole metro area actually) it seems like they all have HUGE neon signs.

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Sweet! DP and I are thinking about driving up to Portland to check out the landscape next month - to possibly buy a home. Its either Seattle, Portland or Boulder.



Portland seems small to me.




I will miss the Bay Area when/if we move. Its just to rich for our blood here. :


We moved to the Portland area from the Bay Area last year! So much more to love up here! I would not move back to CA for anything.

MJ~ Proud mom to DS (4)
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Portland, OR is great, too. But, it is loaded with the current cool, hip, and trendy, too. Not too fun to slink through.
I agree that is happening. Yuppies All over the place. BUT...they are full force taking over Seattle and SF has been gone for a long time. I backpacked through SF back in the day (like 2001) and it was soooo snobby! I couldn't stand it. I had been backpacking and hosteling in Seattle and it so much. We moved back to Seattle in 2004 b/c of our love for it..and it had changed so much. So sad. There are still a few awesome people..but so many snobs and yuppies It's really too bad. It is a wonderful place and so amazing. Portland by far is much less snobby and trendy than SF and SEA. There are still areas that aren't like that tho.


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Portland seems to be growing exponentially, and it didn't appear to be substantially lower in cost of living. Of course, buying a house is cheaper, but I don't think it will be for much longer.

SF is expensive, but wages are higher, and if you're frugal, you'll do very well here.
No way. : I lived there and Seattle (which are both cheaper than SF). It is much cheaper in PDX. It really is. There is no tax, tons of small hippy natty food stores..that man...were so cheap, it was ridiculous! (ie: Proper Eats!) Everyone buys second hand used stuff...so it's all about thrifting out there and man..I looooved going to thrift stores there. (heck, even most natty food stores put out produce for the dumpster divers). We never, ever had to buy anything new! There were free tables for clothes at each comm. center, plus everyone (once you meet mamas) always swaps clothes, tons of SWAPS set up all over the city, all year for free clothes, toys, home goods, homeschooling stuff, etc. My dh got paid pretty well, not the most in the world and we did well. Our rent was crazy cheap and we lived near a huge park w/ a good yard and great friends (all w/ in walking distance, schools, homeschoolers w/ in walking distance, parks, comm center, library, cute downtown area of neighborhood, etc). Plus in summer just about every city park holds FREE lunches for kids (even vegetarian lunches ) and free arts/crafts that the city runs. It was wonderful and brings the community together in a way I've never seen! Also there are neighborhood potlucks and block parties all summer/fall! You can bike all over the place, all year, nice and flat city (compared to Seattle and San Fran). I had a friend w/ 3 young kids who doesn't own a car and bikes everywhere. Mind you, she doesn't even really take the bus!

All in all for a "big" city (or urban area, compared) it is the best choice on the West Coast. (not to mention the great outdoors surrounding it). The neighborhoods are quaint and friendly, people are so open minded and cool, and we all want to "Keep Portland Weird!!".
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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Portland seems to be growing exponentially, and it didn't appear to be substantially lower in cost of living. Of course, buying a house is cheaper, but I don't think it will be for much longer.

SF is expensive, but wages are higher, and if you're frugal, you'll do very well here.


Not from what I've seen regarding cost of living and houses in Portland. In my neighborhood (not even San Francisco proper) homes are still going for $800K-$1m+ and still being sold within weeks of listing/open houses despite what is happening in the rest of the country.

In terms of wages, I guess it would depend on your occupation. I definitely have earned much more in my positions than what I have seen offered on jobs sites in other cities.
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