Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Where next??

I love this site and the book as well because i’m starting to get a feel for the energy of the places that i might ‘wind up’. I’ve just moved from Toronto to Seattle for a year of study. I’m in my mid 20’s, a metalsmith and design grad and am now studying Band Instrument Repair. I’ll graduate in a few months and I’ve got to narrow down my search a little, or more precisely determine what i do and don’t want in a community/location. Now that i’ve moved away, i have i think a better appreciation for what i loved about living in Toronto, and Seattle being on the opposite side of the continent is giving me a good idea (at least meterologically) what kind of geography appeals.I don’t love the humidity of toronto’s summers, but at least its on the water, and i do enjoy a white christmas. The seattle rain doesn’t really get me down but its not ’seasonal’ enough here, its sort of just permanently cool-damp which i find kind of gross.

The great thing about my field (in addition to the fact that i love what i’m doing!) is that there is nearly limitless availability of jobs at present everwhere beyond the immediate proximity of the 4 schools (Northern Alberta, Northern Iowa, central Minnesota and of course here in Seattle). I think what i’d like is a ’secondary’ type city or a ’suburb city’ that is ripe to be revamped and reconsidered. Preferably somewhere that i wouldn’t NEED to own a car, (I’m hardy and enjoy a good long walk to work) and that there is a commuter train system into the nearby ‘bigger’ city for nights/weekends out. I would favour low cost of living and ethnic diversity to fine dining any day.

In terms of work, i might well stay in the US because the scale of highschool and college bands are greater and support more technicians like me than in canada where marching bands are relatively rare.I’m single and would hope to be in a decently sized, openminded dating pool wherever i land because i hope to begin a family (of some description) once i’m sort of settled. I don’t feel tied to my family in Central Ontario, but it would be nice to be able to take a direct flight home. I suppose this is all common enough, but maybe if there are any suggestions in general i’d be interested.

I’ve also sort of romantically daydreamed about the potential of places like: Savannah GA-San Antonio TX-Pittsburgh area -Newark area-Washington, D.C. Area-The Bay Area of California-St. Louis/ (although i hear its crazy humid in summer)-Bend Oregon-Detroit (emerging creative hub??? :) -Chicago area-Somewhere else southeast or southwest that is open minded and accepting of so called alternative lifestyles? Yeah, its broad but if you’ve got some dirt on any of these places hook me up! I’m not sure where jobs are available but the better equipped to make a comparative analysis the calmer my nerves! Also, (this sounds like a mail order request doesn’t it!?? How strange). I’d rather not end up in a city full of other people just like me, Seattle is homogenous as all get out and i think i’m getting bored. Luckily i live in the suburbs where things are a bit spicier!

Sent by Kiki from Barrie/Toronto/Seattle/???

4 Responses to “Where next??”

  1. Rana Says:

    Toronto and Seattle, two great cities. It always amazes me when Torontonians talk about the humidity of the summers. Having moved from Washington DC, where the humidity was unbearable, Toronto summers are a dream. It’s all perspective :)

  2. Janet Says:

    Have you considered Austin, TX? Rocking music scene, laid back ‘n Canuk friendly the last I was there.

    An Old Lady from the Sticks in North, North, Northern Canada

  3. Anson G. Says:

    Have you thought of Thunder Bay-ON? Definitely 4 seasons, not as humid as Toronto, and Mother Nature on your doorstop. To boot, it is right next to Minnesota, so you can maintain your proximity to the US. Yes it’s a smaller city, but then, that means that, with your skill, you will be a big fish in a small pond (lol). You may not stay there, but since it is a small and welcoming city, you can very quickly make your mark, and it is a good place to launch your career.

    I find that, in very large cities (like where I live), there is very entrenched ‘networking’ in the professional fields. If you are not part of it already, it could take years or even decades to crack it.

    Not so in Thunder Bay. In “T-Bay” you can very quickly be embraced in your specialty. Not too big, not to small, it’s just the right size to network quickly and effectively. There are 8 high schools there (example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PACI_2006_10_01_01.JPG), each with a band, so there’s definitely work available for you! There are 2 orchestras and 3 playhouses, if you can believe it. And as for multi-culturalism, Thunder Bay has been ethnically diverse since long before it became “trendy”; after the 2nd World War, it had a greater diversity of nationalities than Toronto.

    So please give “Baytown” a try. If you’d like a taste of it, visit this summer, July 3 – 5, for the T-Bay Bluesfest (one of the few remaining “true” blues festivals in Canada). You’ll have tons of fun and you’ll be surprised at how many Mid-Western Americans you’ll meet too.


  4. Nils Says:

    You might want to check out Providence, Rhode Island. About 170,000 people (although 1.6M in the greater metro area); 1 hour to Boston on the train; not too fancy or pretentious; on water and near the ocean; snow in the winter; very diverse population (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Providence,_Rhode_Island#Demographics); a neat scene with lots of ‘creatives’ (including students at RISD, a great art/design college)… and a fair amount of musicians/bands (from what I’ve seen).

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