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#1 of 12 Old 08-21-2009, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I are ready to leave Philadelphia where we have lived for the past 10 years. I am applying for midwifery jobs in Eastern and Western Massachusetts (Northampton and Cambridge), New Hampshire (Dover), Maine (Scarborough) and Rhode Island Providence). In my ideal world we would live near a beach or some other body of water, have opportunities for year round outdoor recreation and generally be in a groovy, open-minded environment where we could live on mostly my salary.
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#2 of 12 Old 08-21-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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IDk how much the jobs pay - Scarborough sounds ideal for your criteria, with Providence 2nd best, but Maine is generally more expensive than Rhode Island. The beach is a good 40 min drive from Providence down the coastal route, but the water might be a touch warmer. I gre up in Warwick, and I loved it.

Obviously Western Mass is not near the beach, and I don't know much about Dover, other than NH has one of the lowest taxes in the US overall between income, property, and sales (no sales tax). Cambridge is in Eastern MA just north of Boston and is awesome for city life, but VERY expensive - I really don't think you could really make it on 1 income.

On the crunchy scale, I'd say they are all pretty good choices - Northampton and Scarborough are probably the crunchiest, Warwick/Providence has a nice whole foods, and I've seen local tribes here or on TBW advertising for meet-ups.

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#3 of 12 Old 08-21-2009, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Carita. Yeah, even though Northampton is far from the beach, seems like the opportunities for outdoorsy stuff might outweigh the lack of beachiness. Plus the lifestyle in a town college town like Northampton seems appealing to me.

I didn't know Scarborough was at all crunchy. The beaches look beautiful and the cost of living seems low.

The job in Dover sounds kind of crappy, so I think I'm taking that one off my list.

Thanks,
Jessi
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#4 of 12 Old 08-21-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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I live in the town just north of Scarborough and I don't know that I would say that its a crunchy place. However its near to Portland where the crunch factor is high. Scarborough does however have a nice CSA, and an awesome local heath food store right on Route 1. The Fiddleheads Center is also in Scarborough and they many arts enrichment style programs as well as a preschool that is based in the Reggio method. I have had a couple of friends whose kids went there and they were pleased.

As for the COL depending on where you are comimg it from it may seem low (I moved here 7 years ago from Chicago and at that time Maine seemed pretty cheap...actually its a mixed bag) but I know amongst locals and natives it's not considered to have a lower COL.

Maine is an interesting place and IMO its actually a tad pricey to live here considering that taxes are not that low also salaries by and large are lower here.

Not to sound all doom and gloom but a few years ago the freestanding birthing center (Ballard House) in Portland closed...I used one of the MW's who practiced there and a big reason they closed was as wonderful as it was, they could break even. My MW who was a CMN actually left the business and got into real estate because she simply had a hard time earning a living and this was a woman who has been an MW for years (she was in her 50's).

I know a fair amount of women who work in the birth field here but most are partnered and don't need to earn all the cash flow. My impression is that its rather hard to make a living here as a MW. I say this not to scare you away from Maine but to present a realistic picture that while it is a lovely place and definitely great if you love the outdoors, over time it may be hard to live at the level you are accustomed to if you thinking it has a lower COL compared to other states. Definitelty a lower COL but there is a reason for that.

Anyway good luck wherever you decide to land.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-23-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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have you considered Burlington, VT? we have the lake for water. it's pretty groovy here people are outside all year round. & if you are willing to live in a town outside the city I'm sure you could find affordable housing.

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#6 of 12 Old 08-23-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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Don't take the Seacoast (Dover) off your list! We live in a neighboring community and we are "close" to both the beach and mountains. I just delivered my littlest babe with a wonderful midwife/OB practice in Dover. Portsmouth is just a few minutes away and is a great little city, and we're only a little over an hour from Boston! And UNH is in Durham (next door to Dover).

(Of course, western MA is fantastic, as is Cambridge. I'm originally from MA, I should disclose ).

Good luck! :
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#7 of 12 Old 08-23-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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I was going to say the same thing. Wentworth Douglass Hospital is an AWESOME hospital with an amazing birth center. I would not take Dover off your list just yet. There are some very nice towns surrounding the Dover area and the seacoast is great (both maine and NH) Wentworth Douglass has an amazing health club facility with incredible indoor/outdoor pool etc. It is called The Works Family Health and Fitness Center-they have a website. There are trails nearby in Madbury and Durham where we cross country skied every day and hiked in the summer. Also some great sledding spots too. (I lived in Dover for 8 years and taught there as well)
Not sure what practice you are applying to but I used Dover Women's Health for my care and loved them-they have a brand new facility.
The Dover area is close to Boston, Portland Maine (accessible by Amtrak), the lakes region, the White Mountains and the Coast.
I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
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#8 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I live in the town just north of Scarborough and I don't know that I would say that its a crunchy place. However its near to Portland where the crunch factor is high. Scarborough does however have a nice CSA, and an awesome local heath food store right on Route 1. The Fiddleheads Center is also in Scarborough and they many arts enrichment style programs as well as a preschool that is based in the Reggio method. I have had a couple of friends whose kids went there and they were pleased.
.
yup, shesaid it well - its not scarborough itself, but portland which is nearbyand crunchy

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#9 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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If those were my choices, I'd pick Cambridge hands down as far as the "best" of those places. But...it really depends on you and what exactly you want. Cambridge is awesome, cool people, "crunchy" community, urban, exciting, good public transportation, etc. It is very, very pricey tho

Next, I'd pick the Portland area. If you can handle the colder temps than the other locations. The area is great and fun, a bit urban, and a crunchy open-minded commuinity all around. Close to lots of outdoor activities, etc. And cheaper than Boston.

I don't know enough about Northampton to help on that one. I have been to Western Mass plenty of times but not enough to give advice on it.

I have lived in NH (near ME side) and currently live near Providence. I came here to post this b/c I just can't post anymore negative things about RI for the sake of that tribe The crunchy community is spread across the state w/ a few here and there. It's hard to connect compared to most places I have lived. The East Side is suppose to be crunchy but borderlines very close w/ pure snobbery. It is very expensive compared to the rest of Prov and keeps the community segregated b/c of a "if you can't afford it, you don't belong here" mentality, imo. The public transportation in RI is a joke. Straight up. The school system is doing even worse and some say that it is among the worst in the country! Homeschool laws are even worse (RI hits top 5 places NOT to HS in) and very rigid as it is not the norm. Crunchy is just not this state. It is corrupt and you see it all around you. It is hard to get around (but that can be said for all of New England, really) and it's just not very nice out here. There are places in RI that have pockets of "nice" but the crunchy part does not come along w/ it.
We have ONE midwife who will attend HB's from RI (a few others will cross over from CT and MA) b/c of the laws regarding CNM/CPM's. That said, we do need more HB MW's here for sure!

The positives for Prov are: cheaper rent depending on where you live (but, you get what you pay for, kwim?), at least they have the east side for those that can even afford it, and it's 3 hours from NYC if you have no traffic and arrive in the middle of the night I just can't tell someone, anyone, to move to Prov. Ever. Especially when our goal (the minute we got here) was to leave!

I have also lived in Portland (OR) and Seattle, probably THE most open minded/"crunchiest" communities around, so I base crunchy off of them, and Prov ain't it! However, Portland (ME) and Cambridge are great choices (and fwiw, I have heard this to be true of Northampton).

good luck, I can't wait to see where you end up!
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#10 of 12 Old 08-30-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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no actual advice...just a nod b/c my family and I are moving from philly to brattleboro vt in the next 3 weeks!
fyi, brattleboro seems to have a very crunchy vibe...we're super psyched to get there!
pm me if you end up close by...we can reminisce about philly living

artist, toymaker and unschooling mama to dd (5/06), ds (1/09), dd (2/14)
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#11 of 12 Old 09-01-2009, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the comments. I'm still hoping to get the Northampton job because career-wise that seems like the most promising. None of the other jobs that I applied for a turning out to be what I want. I like reading everybody's thoughts though. Thanks. J
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#12 of 12 Old 09-07-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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I grew up near Northampton. It is a super cool town and very family friendly.
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