Monday, January 17, 2005

Living in Limbo

To move or not to move? We've been thinking about it for a while now, as noted by Bodie in the post below... But I'm not sure I enjoy 'thinking about moving' too much. Lately I've been feeling like I'm stuck in the middle - that I don't want to get too settled here, but we can't figure out where else we'd want to live. Not that we'd be able to get settled here very easily; we have few friends, no family, and it's extremely hard to meet people if you're not single and you don't belong to a religious institution...

Here's my brainstorm of pros/cons of potential places to live:

  • Stay put. Seattle is an absolutely amazingly beautiful city (in the summer) and the outdoor adventures are endless. Bookstores, live music, and good restaurants aplenty. However, we don't live in the city anymore because we can't afford it, and we rarely get over there anymore. We don't get outside as much as we'd like, and the winters are cold and dark. The summers rock, but don't get quite warm enough for our liking.
  • Portland. It's still a 'big' city, but there are still affordable options for living in quaint neighborhoods and still be walking distance to a grocery store and a Thai restaurant. Still lots of outdoor activities, and not as much traffic as Seattle. No sales tax. Slightly more extreme weather than Seattle - colder in the winter and hotter in the summer; this may make it more interesting, although it seems like more of the same to me. They do get more days of sunshine however.
  • Sacramento. Milder winters with significantly less rain. Hot summers with assured sunshine. Cute downtown area with lots of parks and trees. Sierras are close, so is San Francisco. Families are closer (this could be good and bad). Too expensive to buy a house in Midtown though, so we'd be living in the sprawl fighting traffic.
  • Scottsdale/Phoenix. Much milder winters(!), super super hot summers. Affordable housing, outdoor activities - climbing, biking... 9 months out of the year. No family or friends currently there. Not very dog-friendly.
  • Flagstaff. I know very little about Flagstaff except I had some friends that used to live there and they loved it. Actual seasons, cute little town...?
  • Santa Cruz. HA!

So there it is. Any thoughts?


countjrg said...

Wanderlust! It’s an interesting observation that it’s difficult for you to meet people if you're not single and you don't belong to a religious institution. That makes sense in a way, but irionically, I find that it is also difficult to meet people when you are married and you DO belong to a religious institution. I read an article somewhere that it might have something to do with the influence of Seattle’s large Nordic culture. Who knows though, it’s probably urban/metro areas in gerneral. Bottom line is that the days of my youth, growing up around block parties and neighborhood barbeques in rural California are gone.

If you’re feeling a little down on Seattle, you might get a kick out of this piece from Jonathan Raban in the Seattle Times:

And I think I told you before, of all the places you mentioned I vote Arizona!

mandy said...

I'd be hesitant to call this "wanderlust," it's more a question of "where do we want to settle and spend a while with a family?"

I really like that article you mentioned - he's got a good point. Maybe it's hard to meet people in Seattle because everyone is so far into their "thing," whatever it may be (mountaineering, skiing, climbing, biking, kayaking, etc), that they don't really have the need to be social?

mandy said...

Oh yeah, and the biggest downside to Arizona is that it's hot. Did I mention that? The average temperature throughout the whole summer is over 100 degrees. That's hot.

countjrg said...

TRUE! It is hot in AZ, but at least there's no helmet law!