What do you like about where you live?

Hey all - any thought here would be appreciated …

My dh and I are considering the possibility of moving out of NJ to Vermont. We both love it there for many reasons, and would gladly welcome a move out of state. The area we live in now is rural, near a few small cities, and although you would think otherwise, it is not as quaint and laidback as it would seem. The cities are small, but with all the problems of bigger cities - our teen pregnancy rate is ridiculously high, crime rate is high, the schools terrible. I don’t feel unsafe where we are, but I question whether this is an area I want to raise our children. We can’t afford private school, and the catholic school we were planning to send the kids to looks like it is int he middle of the ghetto - THAT doesn’t feel safe to me.
On the other hand, our family is here, and my dh business (a nursery - so it’s not like we can pick up the farm!) are here.
I think my biggest reason for considering a move is that while there are plenty of things ANYWHERE I would want to protect my kids from, (and I don’t want them protected from [I]everything[/I]) there seems like there are [I]less[/I] in other areas, and more of a feeling of community than what we have here.

So my question is this - to help me better figure out what I am looking for - If you liked where you grew up, where you raise or raised children, what did you like about it, and why?

I grew up in Oakland, CA…

I loved it there and still do. I moved away when I was 24 but I’d go back in a heartbeat if I could afford it. What I really liked was the diversity of people/culture/thought and of course food.

It didn’t hurt that there were museums, zoos, amusement parks, regular parks, mountains, ocean, farms, etc all within 1 hour of there.

To me Oakland was heaven…to other’s…not so much.

I live and grew up (does 18 still count as growing up?) absolute suburbia outside of Philly. I would definitely choose the burbs for raising my kids. There are so many kids my age in my neighborhood, and it’s very safe.

The only big problem though is that as I get older, I realize the lack of fun things to do as a college age person. During middle school and high school even, the mall or the movies were a good option, but now I’m older, it sucks that they’re sort of the only option.

But, even though I can complain about boredom, I like it. Philly is close enough and NYC is an easy train ride away.

Oakland is on the most dangerous list now… :shock::shrug:

I was born and raised her in southern California. There are areas I would NOT feel safe in and others are fine. Where I am I now I feel comfortable and we felt the schools were good (we’ve been here 30yrs). I don’t think there IS a perfect place, but if you don’t feel comfortable then I think it’s time to go. Unless the area is under an urban renewal it could very well get worse…and you do have the kids to think about. Just my opinion.

This is a fun site to look at and compare.

I grew up in a small town in Alabama. After I got married, we moved a few times, winding up, at one point, in Miami. We currently live in a smaller city in Florida. As a result of the moves, I’ve been exposed (not in the South Beach sense :wink: ) to a wide variety of cultures and cities.

I think that for our family, living in a smaller city with more traditional values ranks as the thing I like most.

Sometimes I miss the amenities that go along with living in a larger city. I miss being able to, on the rare occasions that I want to, shop at a nice mall. I miss sidewalks that run the entire way to the grocery store (yes, some cities are actually planned out carefully), and where you don’t have to travel several hours to play a quality soccer team. And I would absolutely love to have a nice LYS some place closer than two hours away.

BUT, the fact that I can raise my kids in a place where they go to school with the kids they see at church…now that’s a plus. It’s a place where I don’t feel like there’s a race to see who can run me first. It’s a place where I don’t hear cuss words in five different languages (and five different hand motions).

These are the reasons why I love where I live.

I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis, and I live in the city now. I loved it (except those angsty years where EVERYONE just wants to get out and move to New York or California). The best things for me then were that I always felt safe at all times of the day and night. I was shocked to find out that there are some places where people keep their doors locked all the time. The only time ours was locked was when we went to bed. The schools were good schools, and the town felt homey.

Things I like about where I live now include the variety of things to do here (museums, shopping, theater, sporting events, and of course, RACING!) but it’s also a small enough city to have my “own” places to go. There are little bars and shops downtown where people know my name, and not because I’m there every single day. Basically, Indy is big enough to do what I want, and small enough to not feel overwhelming. If I wanted that, I’d just drive up to Chicago. :teehee:

I’m a military brat who now lives in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma is a very safe and family-friendly area. I can walk in my neighborhood at night with no worries. (Of course, I don’t do stupid stuff like walking in a bad area by myself, but you know what I mean.) People are just plain nice folks in my hometown.

Oklahoma City is very s p r e a d out. This is nice because there’s very little traffic (my 17.6 mile commute takes about 25-30 minutes), but it’s also difficult because on the freeway (65 mph), it takes about 35-40 minutes to drive across town.

The weather in Oklahoma is…interesting. Will Rogers said, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait five minutes.” Oklahomans are all amateur meteorologists. We can tell by looking at the sky or a radar map if we need to get in the storm shelter. I’ve lived here 11 years (over three separate times), and I’ve only seen one (possible) funnel cloud, though.

The cost of living in Oklahoma is also very low. A [I]very [/I]nice 2 bedroom house would cost about $90,000. There’s a fancy 5,000 square foot house down the street that’s going for about $300,000.

We’re getting more entertainment venues around here. We’ve got Shakespeare in the Park (!!!), the art museums, and some theaters downtown, and the state is working hard to improve our image. (I admit it: we are known for tornadoes, the Murrah bombing, and the Rogers & Hammerstein musical. I’ve known people from other states who didn’t realize that there were movie theaters in Oklahoma.)

Oh, and did I mention that we have red dirt? :slight_smile:

Well I don’t live (and have never) in Vermont, but I do loooove it. I love the mountains, the green, the fresh air and the “smallness.” Someday when I settle I hope to end up in an out of the way place with mountains and trees and great maple syrup :thumbsup:

I don’t know how I’d feel if I had grown up there though…would I have been bored out of my mind as a teen? Itching for culture/experience/exposure? What about opportunities education/job-wise? Honestly…I dunno. I think there’ll be big negatives for just about any place you want to move, and also big positives. I guess you have choose your battle. Maybe start out with a Pros/Cons list of things you definitely want/definitely don’t and then do some research to see how well VT does? :shrug:

Don’t forget that living in, say Burlington, will be very different than somewhere more remote. And that there are ups and downs of both. If you’re in Burlington you’ll have schools/things closeby and still be close to the wild…if you’re more remote maybe you’ll have more opportunities for kids to go to regional schools with better/more programs–but maybe it’ll take an hour to get to school every day. It’s a trade off.

And now I really wanna go hiking:teehee:

Out of curiosity: Why were you thinking VT? Are there particular job opportunities for another nursery for your husband and stuff?

I grew up in north Jersey–Northvale, in Bergen County. It’s really close to NYC, so we had all the arts and museums and zoos and theaters and so on, but it’s out in the suburbs. It’s a really expensive area, and it’s gotten more so over the years, but the schools are also top-notch. (My high school, when I was there, had won 14 out of the last 15 state championships in the Academic Decathlon, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they kept the streak going.) It’s sorta boring once you hit college age, unless you go into NY–nowhere to go but malls and diners.

I’m in Boston now, and I love Boston. It’s still got a lot of the same attractions as NY, just on a smaller scale. It’s a city you could walk across in a couple of hours, there are very few areas where I don’t feel safe, even at night, and it’s a very young city because of all the colleges. The public transportation is also great (except for the perennial Boston construction problems–my subway line is half-closed for the beginning of the summer, and the other half will be closed at the end of the summer.)
Just don’t try to drive here. :teehee: Oh, I do have one problem with Boston. Those Red Sox fans. :teehee:

I grew up in Branford, CT which is a few towns over from New Haven. I loved it there. Its on the water, and my house was on the beach which was great growing up. I loved being able to have birthday parties at the beach! My neighborhood is fairly small and people tend to pretty much know each other which I also really like. I think one of the things I liked most about my town is that it’s pretty small but there are still things to do. You had that smaller town feel but didn’t have to travel 20 miles to go to the grocery store. We are also only about 90 mins by train to NYC so it was super easy to take a day trip down there.

For the past year I’ve lived in Boston which I absolutly love!! After going to college I was ready to be out of a small town and to move to a city where the action is. Boston is the perfect city because there are so many young people here and there’s tons to do. Its small enough like Stiney said that its really walkable but its still a major city. And actually one of the things I love is the Red Sox fans!!:cheering: I live near Fenway so its always fun when there’s a game, there’s tons of action. Well its fun unless I’m trying to get home from work and the fans clog the T, then I just get kinda annoyed.:teehee:

:teehee: Kaydee and I will have to agree to disagree about baseball.

Actually, the thing I like about both Northvale and Boston is that I didn’t/don’t know my neighbors. I get slightly creeped out when strangers say hello to me. I know most of them are just being friendly or polite, but I’m so used to the “Don’t talk to strangers” mentality being dominant, that it’s usually the weirdos who are the ones saying hello.

I guess that puts me in contrast with everyone else, though. I like being antisocial and anonymous, and being able to run out to the grocery store or CVS or whatever and NOT run into people I know.

I was born in Orange Park Florida, and lived in Jacksonville until I was 13, moved to Orange Park lived there for a few years, moved back to Jax, then finally hubby and I bought a house in OP and that’s where we are now.

Orange Park is a large “small town” with about 9000 people. We have “good” and “bad” areas, luckily I live in a good area with low crime rate. My neighborhood is a middle class/working class neighborhood. The neighbors are nice, we get along with our two immediate neighbors, and there are several kids in the area. Schools are excellent in this county.

Orange Park shares a border with Jacksonville which is a huge city, the largest area-wise city in the country! So we have all the pros of living in a suburban almost rural area right next to a big urban city. We can drive to art museums, a zoo, the beach, farms, downtown city life, good old country stores and everything in between.

If we had 4 seasons here, it would be perfect. But being Florida, we have Summer, Almost Summer and Hurricane seasons.

:teehee: I think so!

I like knowing my neighbors to an extent. I hate when your neighbors seem to know everyone’s busniess and gossip about everyone. That’s so annoying!

[COLOR=blue]I grew up half in Mystic CT and half in Hampden ME. Both were great for kids. Mystic- we were right on the ocean, and it does not get any better than that lol. Hampden had a great school, kids could walk all over the place with little or no worries. Now that I am married I spend quite a bit of time in Northern Vermont-my dh’s family is there, the Newport/Orleans area. And it is true, Vermont is very diverse from one end of the state to the other. Northern VT is verrrry rural. I love the country (lived in the western mtns of ME for 12 years) but don’t think that would be my first choice. Southern Vermont on the other hand is wonderful… year round. We currently live in Sebago ME and love it! About an hour into Portland, where I work and we sometimes play. Lots of kayaking, hiking… good schools or so I hear, our children were all grown by the time we found each other. Good luck with your search![/COLOR]

Thanks guys! You all bring up some great points. You’re right Jan - safety is a huge issue with kids, and while I think our home is in a safe area, I worry about the schools. I’ve even been thinking of homeschooling our kids, (there are a few organizations around) but I’m not sure I have the temperment for it. I mean, I love the rural-ness of the nursery, and I love that we are within an hour of Philly and the shore (both places where I spent a ton of time as a kid), and I love that family is close by. But I think what is missing here is that sense of community, and of groups with similar values. I’m so afraid of idealizing someplace else, when I know all places have their pros and cons. I think my ideall is a smallish town - not as spread out as here - in a fairly rural area. Maybe I’m foolishly looking for a simplier way of life :shrug:

And we’re thinking of Vermont, Hamalee, because we’ve spent a decent amount of time there, and we feel comfortable. Several of our friends have moved there, which helps, and there’s workable farmland, should my dh decide to set up shop again. I’m a social worker - doesn’t really matter for my work so much! Plus, like you said - it’s so pretty! lots of hiking, and the weather is soo much better - to us anyway!

You all have given me still more to think about - thanks! You guys are great!

I grew up in a small suburb south of Philadelphia. It was OK, I tend to idealize it now. The schools weren’t great, and there wasn’t a lot for kids to do (like community programs, that sort of thing), but it was an easy place to raise kids. Everyone knew everyone, and I couldn’t get away with anything without my parents finding out, probably before I even got home :slight_smile:

Right now, we’re in Columbia, MD. I love it, and the longer I’m here the more I like it. Its expensive and crowded, but for good reason. The public schools are terrific, there are tons of things to do with kids of all ages. There’s a great community association that runs gyms and pools and sports camps, etc, that isn’t that expensive. The library has tons of free programs for kids and adults. Churches in the area are fairly active, with lots of playgroups, preschools, etc. Baltimore and DC are both close - Baltimore is about 15 minutes away and DC is about 30. Philly and NYC are day trips, and so is the beach. I was really unhappy when we first moved here, because I was used to the area I grew up in, and I felt isolated and lonely. But I’m finding my niche now, and I really like it here.

I love where we live. We’ve lived here almost 7 years. We live out in the country, on a dirt, dead end road on 10 acres. Most of our neighbors are over 55 years old. We actually have an 85 year old neighbor who drives down our road once a day, we call him the “Mayor”. It’s kinda nice because he’ll notice if something isn’t right. Our road gets together for a potluck every summer. I never want to move. Also, our kids go to the same school dh and I did.

Growing up a military brat, being in the military myself, and basically having a wandering bone I have lived all over the world at various times. Every place has it’s good and bad points. I’ve settled back in Florida where I spent a part of my childhood. I like it here. I’m an outdoor person and the weather here allows outdoor activities all year long without needing to be concerned with frostbite. I hate cold weather.

I’m in Australia, so towns aren’t really going to help, but I grew up in a country town about 60miles (100km) from the capital city (Melbourne) Population then was about 10,000.

I went to Sydney for 4 years for university and while I liked being close to everything, I hated the transport situation, the pollution and the cost of living.

After university, I got a job that is about 70-80miles from the capital city and only a hours drive from where I grew up! It wasn’t planned but it worked out that way. I now live less than 10min drive from the beach and I love it. I go scuba diving most weekends and it’s so relaxing taking the dog for a walk there after work. The town is smaller (about 6000 people) and I love the fact I can wake up at 8am and still be on time for work at 8.30! It has pretty much everything I need and is still close enough to make a day trip to the city if I want to go shopping or whatever. I’m definately a smaller town girl - I can do without cafes, bars, clubs and what not and I hate traffic so a country town is perfect.

I live in New Jersey but I am moving to Vermont next month! Are you still moving???