Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for June, 2008

Seeking Expat Input

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Hi there, I thought it was coincidental that I heard a review of this book on NPR just hours before I interviewed for a position in Auckland. Louisville, KY is my hometown, but I’ve lived in Nantucket, Taos, and Hawaii. I’m considering a move to New Zealand and would love to hear about the experiences of other Americans or Canadians that have relocated there.

Sent by Ginny from Louisville, KY

Where to go? Colorado?

Friday, June 20th, 2008

My wife met in Cincinnati, OH and have lived here for too long. We have some family here and a lot of friends but we are still very unhappy in this city. The climate is bad and I have horrible allergies to almost every tree in the Mid-West.

I am a social worker and my wife is finishing up graduate school soon. We are hoping to move somewhere in Colorado in the next year or two, but we are not quite sure where. We have been there three times and enjoy the open space, green technology, historic downtowns, and clean/dry air.

My wife will soon have her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and I would like to open my own vintage shop at some point. Are there any suggestions (especially from those of you in Colorado) where we should look further into? Even if it is not Colorado, we just need some advice… and we NEED to leave the Mid-West!

Sent by Jim from Cincinnati

Am I giving Colorado too much credit?

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I am a young female, married for two years and in love with the west more specifically Colorado.

My husband and I are outdoor adventurers and have taken yearly trips out to Colorado (Boulder area, Durango, Fort Collins) and we are in love with it. I currently reside in Syracuse,NY where my husband and I moved to further his career. My question to all who reside in Colorado, is am I giving Colorado too much credit? Is it really as wonderful as I imagine it to be?

Sent by Katie from Syracuse, NY

Huge Culturally

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Muskegon Lake entranceI have to give my plug for Muskegon, MI.

While it always seems like Muskegon is struggling economically and has a pretty poor reputation for being a blue collar town, Muskegon has really great things going on. There are great natural resources with nearly unlimited access to water. Four distinct seasons mean you won’t get burned out.

You would be hard pressed to find a city Muskegon’s size that has the cultural assets that Muskegon does wit h a symphony and an art museum with the third largest art collection in the Midwest behind only Chicago and Detroit. There are a ton of festivals and community gatherings. Not to mention a rich history. In fact at one time during the lumber era, Muskegon was home to more millionaires than any other place in the country.

So anyway, come and visit, you might want to stay a while.

Sent by Jonathan Witmer from Muskegon, MI

Great spot for Minorities

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I have lived in Miami, Boston and the Washington DC area. I would not leave the Cleveland area for any of the above. The downtown area is a short destination for most folks and has grown. The Arts are as good as or better than the other cities I lived in (DC withstanding). Medically we are one of the best in the country and/or world (heart specialist). Most important to me, the race relations are great. I love the decision we made to move here and I look forward to raising my young children here.

Sent by Bill Holden from Cleveland, Ohio

Taking the family overseas

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I have always thought I would end up somewhere different and not just stay where I grew up. I would like to consider moving out of the Midwest and taking our two children to see other parts of the world. I would really like to move to Europe. I speak some French (though it’s been a while since I studied it).

But I struggle with the adjustment for the kids and how we would cope as a family. My husband doesn’t really speak any other languages. I also wonder about employment – his degree is in business, which is pretty general. How do you go about uprooting your family, finding a job and moving to another country?

Sent by Natalie from Louisville

Luxurious Despair

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

There is an earlier post from someone who just doesn’t know where to go, on a global scale.

I was born in rural china, moved to Oklahoma city for grade school, moved to Hong Kong, moved to suburban Seattle for high school and college, did the post-college new york thing for a half year, hung out in Boston, moved back to Seattle, went to Tianjin when i wanted to go to Beijing, and now I’m in Boston. again.

Where else is there to go? The next place to check off the list? As I’ve never been to Europe, it now serves as an idealized repository for all the failed expectations I’ve experienced up to this point.

Paris, city of inevitable disappointment, i call out thy name. When you really cut the mustard with a sharp knife, there are only so many places.

Portland/Seattle/San Francisco: goldilocks was looking for a city to move to after graduation. First she tried Portland, and though it had a neat bookstore and novel public transport, she thought that it was just too small. Next, she road tripped down to San Francisco, and though she loved its diversity and the castro district, not to mention all the high end shopping options, it was just too expensive. Finally, goldilocks flew to Seattle and was thrilled to find a city with an alternative weekly, cafes open late and hyper internet literacy. Not too big, not too expensive, with views of snow capped mountains and evergreens everywhere, goldilocks moved into a two bedroom with a gay couple on capitol hill, and declared that it was ‘just right’. When october comes around and the clouds descend, goldilocks promptly questions the wisdom of her choice and decides to self-medicate.

Los angeles/Miami: if you’re into that sort of thing.

Philadelphia/New Jersey/Washington D.C.: so close, yet so far away.
Especially Philadelphia.

Boston: meh.

Chicago: an unknown quantity.

N.Y.: Everest.

If you’re wondering what the next stop is, it’s Beijing. obviously.

Sent by D. Huang from Boston, MA (currently)

A Young, Recent University Graduate in Vancouver, Canada.

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Vancouver is a strange place because it’s BIG in British Columbia and even Canada, but SMALL on the world stage. An acquaintance from LA likened moving from his former city to Vancouver as “moving to a small village”.

As a young university graduate, I have found that Vancouver employers CLAIM to be looking for innovative, creative people, and the pundits always claim that smart boomers are retiring en masse. However, when I get to interviews, what the HR generalists who interview me end up telling me is that they are more interested in conscientious individuals who can get the job done.That’s the BS that can easily be associated with Vancouver’s job market: EVERYBODY claims to want to hire innovative, open-to-experience people, when in reality the people they actually hire the conscientious ones. Go figure.

I would LOVE Vancouver if it ACTUALLY offered opportunities for me. Only time will tell.

Other places I have lived include: Taipei, Hsinchu, and Taichung, Taiwan ROC, and Toronto briefly. I love Taiwan, but honestly it does not offer the music and political scenes that I both can and want to participate in. Toronto is awesome in many ways, but I don’t have as much appreciation for its physical beauty compared to Vancouver’s. So, what’s left? Despite my current state of unemployment in Vancouver, the only other place I could imagine living in the long term is Victoria, Canada . It’s slightly smaller and has a slower pace of life, which I can appreciate, but still big enough to have real job opportunities. It’s a slightly better place to raise kids than Vancouver (in my estimate), and probably has a slightly more cohesive sense of community (compared to Vancouver, where all the talk is about how to become more “world-class” what with the impending 2010 Olympics looming large on the horizon).

Ah well, if there are great career opportunities in Vancouver for a lowly Arts graduate like myself, I’d like to hear about it. In the meantime (and that’s ALWAYS my question: “what do I do in the meantime?”), I’ll either be hunting around for more work or plotting my next escape!

Sent by  Kai Boutilier from Vancouver, Canada

Toronto Vs. Calgary

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

I grew up in Calgary and moved to Toronto at 16 and spent well over a decade and a half in the metropolis. I fell in love with it at first site because I felt welcome.

Being the most multicultural city in the world is a real treat. I love the diversity of people, sectors, and the hustle bustle vibrancy of it all. Most of the last several years I lived in Yorkville in the heart of the city and enjoyed the film festivals, easy public transit, Harbourfront and Toronto Island, and just the variety of life one can live in Toronto.

Toronto is very intellectual in that Eastern way and my career has really benefited from the polished style of business there. What I enjoy most about Toronto is that its like New York but livable and still safe compared to other US cities. Its a hub so travel in and out of Canada is easy and hey, Toronto is on the map internationally.

On a personal note, Toronto taught me that being colour blind was a good thing. I grew up in Calgary and being a minority was a different and far less kind experience back then. Ironically, family and roots have lured me back to Southern Alberta for now but I have left my heart in Toronto . I’ve decided that I do want to check out Vancouver for its West Coast lifestyle before deciding if the GTA will be home again. For now, Calgary has a bit of Toronto ’s cosmo flavor but for everything I was told was weird about me as an ethnic kid in Calgary … it was embraced by Toronto the minut e I got there. I believe I had to leave Toronto to love it even more as my adulthood continues :)

Sent by Aralar from Calgary