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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Birmingham, UK, is the second largest city in England, it is located in the Midlands (i.e the middle of England, not the middle of the island) on the edge of what is called the Black Country, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution. It is a lot better than its reputation and it has improved enormously over the last 10 -15 years. The latest addition was the enormous shopping centre on the site of the former Bull Ring. (Not my kind of thing, I'm not into temples of consumerdom - but at least it tidied the area up.) The area around the city canals (apparently, we've got more than Venice...) is very trendy now.

Good: you get everything in abundance, from shops, cinemas, theatres, concert/gig places to markets, ethnic bazaars & restaurants, pubs with live music, arts centres, you name it, we've got it; the Birmingham Royal Ballet is fantastic and the Symphony Hall is one of the best in the world (so we've been told) (sadly our lovely Simon (Rattle) left to become Karajan's successor in Berlin - can't blame him...); the city is totally multi-cultural and happy with it; it's very central - in 2-2 1/2 hours you're in Manchester, London, Cardiff, Nottingham; and from where I am, you're out in the countryside in less than 10 minutes.

Bad:
it rains a lot, it's too far from any coast, it's dirty, it's got a huge problem with rats (canals, you see), and the Birmingham accent is seen as the worst accent of the English language in the world (my husband just quoted this from the radio programme 'The Now Show' on Radio 4), which is bad news for my boys.
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trilobyte



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Athens, Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in the Athens, Georgia in the southeast US. Like Pockymonkey, I'm a graduate student so I am somewhat nomadic and I do not consider Athens my home but for the most part it's pleasant. Athens is a medium-sized city about 70 miles east of Atlanta. The city's claim to fame is The University of Georgia and the city revolves around the university and indeed owes its existence to UGA.

Things I don't like:
First and foremost ... the weather. The summers are absolutely miserable; they are hot and humid. To be honest, I much prefer the 110 (F) dry heat and dark brown smog of the Inland Empire (east of Los Angeles) in Southern California.... well, maybe not the smog. The winters are gray and have no snow and fall lacks the leaf changing beauty of New England. Spring is ok. The other big thing I dislike about Georgia is the overabundance of people who are convinced that their conservative, evangelical form of Christianity should be flaunted and forced on others whenever possible. A minor annoyance is football (American, of course). College football is a big deal and the campus shuts down on football weekends and the town is flooded middle-aged yuppies from Atlanta who have nothing better to do with their lives than come back to their alma mater and spend three days camping in a parking lot and getting drunk! I'm still amazed that the stadium holds more people than live in the city of Athens, and it fills up every time there is a game.

Things I like:
As a college town, Athens tends to be more liberal in its politics than the surrounding state. Also all the students and academics have given the city a little bit of a cosmopolitan feel. There are two Indian restaurants in town, several Thai places, good Italian restaurants and many great restaurants that serve really good American fare. Additionally, there are lots of vegetarian options and there are even two entirely vegetarian restaurants in town, which as a vegetarian I really appreciate. One of the great things about downtown Athens is the lack of large chain stores and restaurants. There is one Starbucks, but there are plenty of other locally owned coffee shops and there is no MacDonald’s or GAP. There are three microbreweries in town, all of which produce quite tasty beer. Finally, the music scene in Athens is great. There are multiple concerts in town every night of the week ranging from rock to bluegrass to gospel to classical. Actually I find the number of groups that play in Athens overwhelming. It’s hard to keep track of who plays what type of music and who is good and who is not. I suppose, though, that this is not a particularly menacing dilemma to have. This actually reminds me of Athens other claim to fame. The rock band REM and the 80’s pop group The B52’s are both from Athens. REM is still based in town and contribute a lot to the community.

Overall, Athens is a not a bad place to live. There are very few other cities in the southeast that I think I would prefer. However, I am definitely looking forward to finishing my degree and moving on.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in the amalgamated City of Ottawa but in a rural part of the city (if that makes any sense).

What I Like: As the national capital we are home to the most beautiful parliament buildings in the world and we have many very good museums. The restaurant scene is thriving and eclectic. It is becoming more and more ethnically diverse and the vast majority of Ottawans are of the "live and let live" philosophy. The Ottawa and Rideau Rivers and the Canal make the city a watery walkable beauty in the summer and the Canal becomes the world's largest skating rink in the winter. There isn't a part of the city I wouldn't venture into alone at night as our violent crime rates are very low. There are two universities here which gives the city a bit of an intellectual feel. We have four distinct seasons each beautiful in it's own way. It takes no time at all to get from the city to wilderness.

What I Don't Like: Well the length of the winters is a bit of a downer. And as the national capital we catch the ire of the rest of the country whenever an unpopular decision is made by the government. Shopping is better in other cities of equal size and there is no year round market place. But I've lived in three provinces and four different countries and this is where I choose to live out my days.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently I am exiled to the town of Westhampton Beach with one year down and three to go. It has been very hard this last year to find things I liked about this place as I spent most of my time wanting to move home to Seattle. Recently the light bulb came on and I realized there is a great deal I like here. Here is my list.

Pro's
The Peconic Herb Farm even if I am not shopping it is fun to see their gardens.
Canoe trips down the Peconic River
Being five minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean
Local Farm stands especially Bayview, they have the best cider
The crappy little movie theater that has horrible sound and a tiny screen, but you always have the place to yourself
NYC is a short train ride away
FRESH FREE SEAFOOD! Our neighbors are always fishing or clamming and are so wonderful as to share some of their bounty

Con's
You can't buy wine at any Market in NY
The litter problem astonishes me daily
In the summer NYC empties and fills up the Hamptons, clogging roads, adding to the trash, and turning everyone in retail into a first class jerk
I can't get decent chilies anywhere
The Asian selection in markets is almost non-existent
The deli guys think I have some sort of impairment because I can't understand their accent and talk excessivly fast.
My neighbor is Mrs. Elton and thinks I am her Jane Fairfax
Everything is triple the cost because it is "The Hamptons"

Well my list looks pretty close so I will just have to see after the next few years is up.
I have yet to meet Ina Garten
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Orleans, Louisiana wow, where to begin...

pros; more cosompolitan and Catholic, than the rest of the south....our French heritage has given us a healthy obsession with food Very Happy We have an Interesting history and architecture. Being a major port has made us more multi-ethnic than the rest of the region {ie, creole, Itallian, Irish, Jewish, German, Latin American and asian communities all existing with their own distinct itdentities} All of this giving us a very varied and distinct cuilinary heritage. And an inate ability to "pass a good time" without the "guilt and shame" more prevelant in most of the South....oh and a 12 month growing season giving us fresh grown produce throughout the year, not to mention local fish, shrimp, crabs and crawfish!!!!!!


Cons, The Climate, Lousy public education, economy in the doldrums, political corruption, being tied to a state, that in many ways is very divergent from our unique culture, (Much of the remainder of La is predominately rural, protestant, and conservative and consequently viewing us with distrust, and sometimes outright hostility, Oh and to d@#n tourists who mistake our fun-loving ways for an excuse to get stinkin, and publicly drunk
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Mishka



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now, for some Asian flavors...

In Malaysia, we have our fair share of sun and rain throughout the year, although it can get pretty hot and dry in the early months of the year. There's a good blend of modern hectic rush in the big cities and the idyllic pace of the old towns..

Great things:
Food, food, food... we are spoilt for choices being a multi-racial population of predominantly Malay, Chinese and Indians. There's also abundant restaurants serving international cuisines from all around the world. Also, you'll never run out of places to shop since we have so many mega shopping malls, bazaars, markets etc. Good cultural, art and musical awareness. And the fact that we have easily accessible islands, mountains, rain forests, diving spots, hill stations, great beaches...

Not so great things:
Traffic jam in the cities!!, pollution, over development in the cities
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Shanti



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Duluth, MN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duluth, Minnesota. At the tip of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world (in surface area at least, I believe Lake Baikal (sp?) is deeper).

Ahh, where to begin?

Pro's:
Lake Superior

The "Lakewalk" - a three mile paved trail that runs from the Canal along the shore (with some delightful shops and restaurants) up to the Rose Garden.

The weather - sometimes a bit humid in the summer, sometimes dreadfully cold in the winter (-30* F isn't uncommon) but overall really nice

The people. I've been here 8 years now, and for a town of 80,000 I can go out and about on any given day and run into at least 2 people I know.

The amazing number of outdoors activites: kayaking, fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, camping that I can do all within about 50 miles of my home!

The history of the area is wonderful - it goes back to the voyageurs and the fur trade, then moves into lumber and mining and commercial fishing. Facinating!

A couple of really good restaurants (Senic Cafe, the Brewhouse, India Palace)



Con's
Given our northern climes, the Farmer's Market leaves a lot to be desired; but I must be fair - I came from St. Paul/Minneapolis where they have a FANTASTIC farmers market due to the Hmong population plus the proximity to the Iowa boarder (better growing conditions). Still, I grow better stuff in my gardern than I get at the farmers market.

The Tourists. Duluth has become a tourist destination (which is good - we also have a depresed economy). It gets a bit crowded down in Canal Park (the main tourist hangout) and you have to plan any outing around the weekends.

The attitudes of the city council and the county board. NOT based in reality!

The Weather - especially when spring doesn't arrive until June.

The lack of more good restaurants.

The lack of good shopping.

It's hard to find specialty ingredients or cooking items up here. I have special order via internet or go down to the Twin Cities.


Overall, though, I would have to say I absolutely love where I live right now. I would guess that there are pros and cons to just about anywhere!
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Last edited by Shanti on Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mary g



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleveland, Ohio: it has a bad reputation, but I like living here. It's true that I was born here (although I've lived other places)--but it's so totally part of my heritage.

Pros: Lake Erie, a great art museum, a world-class orchestra, a pretty good web of urban and suburban farmers' markets, low real estate prices, great parks system, some wonderful restaurants. Cleveland is a really green city, too, something I didn't realize until I started to visit other places in my 20s. The park system was established early, and there's a lot of street greenery, and some well-established community gardens. You can also drive out of the city and into farmland in abt half an hour.

Cons: the weather of course: the snow howls in off Lake ERie in the winter, one of the few places in the world that gets lake-effect snow, lucky us. Bad transit system, even worse public schools (in the city itself). A somewhat decaying downtown--I can remember it when it was bustling and busy, a sad contrast now.
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Shanti



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Duluth, MN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, lake effect snow! I can so relate to "winds off the Lake" and Lake effect snow! It just keeps coming, and coming, and coming...! Crying or Very sad

Hard to believe in just a few short months the snow will be back...it's 88*F today with almost no wind. Rolling Eyes
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What if to reach the highest place you had to fall? Peter Mayer, singer/songwriter
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trilobyte



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Athens, Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh how I miss the snow! I grew up in Maine and have not experienced a good snow storm in nearly six years. I've actually always wanted to spend a year in Buffalo, New York, which suposedly has spectacular lake effect snows!
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distria23



Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Location: paris , france

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone , i'm new to the board ! i live in paris france in the 1er arrondissement at concorde . i'm a student at the american university of paris here . i hope you all have a nice day !
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome distria23. I'm envious of where you live.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading the interesting replies and especially all those from New Zealand and Australia, I've concluded that Alabama is at the bottom of the list in terms of desirable places to live.

But, housing costs $40/sq. ft and property taxes are about $500/year for $100,000. And heating bills are trivial. So, a $200,000 house in Cleveland costs $100,000 in Alabama. And $3000/year property taxes in Ohio are $500/year in Alabama.

Hence, Alabama is a good place if you want to retire early. To me that's important since early retirement is a goal and I'd prefer to retire at 50 in a place like Alabama than work to 65 in a more expensive location.

About the closest to my area is trilobyte in Athens, GA. Except we don't have a college of any substance. Mary_G, I also grew up and lived most of my life in Cleveland, Ohio -- much better than its reputation.
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VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madison WI here! I am origianally a Chicago Suburban girl and always thought I would live in downtown Chi when I grew up, but somehow I ended up here! Came for college, stayed for love.

Pros: Beautiful downtown, surrounded by lakes, voted #1 best place to live twice by Money Magazine. Culturally diverse, biggest farmers market in the country (listed by Deborah Madison as one of the 10 best), a wide range of restaurants with lots of vegetarian options, the neighborhood I live in is very walkable, with food co-op, restaurants, shops and parks nearby. Its a college town, so an emphasis on arts, culture and higher education. Also very progressive politically, its been described as "85 square miles surrounded by reality" by disgruntled republicans. Its at its best during the summer when the students leave and the pace and traffic slow down a bit.

Cons: Partially due to Money Magazine articles, people have been moving here at increased rates, urban sprawl is rampant on the outskirts, home prices are out of control and taxes high. Summers can be hot and winters frigidly cold, tho we don't get as much snow as Chi or central and northern WI. The lakes suffer from agricultural run-off so are mostly unswimmable, students get out of hand on Halloween and certain spring festivals.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading the posts about the lake effect, I realized that I live five minutes from the North Atlantic. Last winter I was so excited for the snow, (being from Seattle we are not used to it), and couldn't wait to go for a snow walk. Well one snowy afternoon I bundled myself up and went out to a cold, windy kind of hell where the snow pelted my face and cold numbed my body. I now am very fond of looking at snow from the comfort of my living room.
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