My partner and I moved to NYC from Chicago in October of '98. He grew up in Indiana, and myself in Michigan. We lived in a rent stabalized apt in Brooklyn for 8 years, then bought a co-op in Jackson Heights 5 years ago. Even though we have an amazing courtyard garden, and tons more space, its still not a single  family house with the yard be both loved growing up. The other day on the subway I had yet another moment of "what are we doing here?" So we are thinking about getting out. While we always will and have loved NY, there is something drawing us back, or at least somewhere else. Tim is a freelance illustrator, and I manage a design to the trade only showroom. Tim can work from anywhere, and my job is a bit more of an obstacle, although I am willing and able to work in some other form of sales, retail, merchandising...Tim also wants to go back to school, so we need to be near a University or a University town. Looking at all the options, and housing markets from Michigan, into Indiana, and Ohio around Dayton/Cincinnatti (Although nothing ever comes up in regards to those places on the "best places to live lists"). Where to start? Ideas are appreciated. We know going in there are things we will be giving up, but we also feel we have a lot to gain. Not to mention hopefully a space to clear our heads and see some green.

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Have you tried googling best places to live? I believe there is something like that on CNN or msnbc websites. 
Check it out.  Based upon the need to see some green and also be
Part of a university town - why not check out north Carolina 
Or perhaps Colorado if youd like to go west. Honestly I think it is terrific to
Experience life in so many different places. It makes you more cultivated and able to
Define where and how you'd like to live when you are older. 
Best of luck to you both! I hope it works out for you..!

Here's a post with some other "best places" lists. When we were leaving NYC, I found those lists a great place to start. After a while, you'll notice some trends in the lists.

What about Ann Arbor? Great college town. And is there any particular reason you're focusing on the mid-west? Do you still have family there? Or is it just what you're used to?

Hey-

thanks for the reply. We are actually focusing on the midwest as we do have family there, but as we are doing this for ourselves, not them, we are open, but not even considering the west coast or far south. Whats odd is that as soon as we started looking at options and being open, the stress of simply getting out of NYC was lifted. Just knowing there are options, and we are not stuck forever, we feel much much better. Not saying we are here for the long haul (we've done that), but things are not all that bad. At least spring is here...kind of.

Hey Rich--

How's the research going? Have you found the "best place" yet?

Take care,

Mari

Funny how time goes by. I re read my original post from March 4, and I think I realized our search for "place" was a cover for our search for happiness. We thought moving away would also solve personal problems, but those would just simply move along with us. Once we both gave in, stopped being angry and let some things go, life has been pretty good, and we are trying to do and be happy with what we can "today and now", and not fantasize about something perfect, which is not what we really want anyway. Needless to say, we are still in NYC, embracing everything we can while we are here. Most likely we will move away at some point, but as for right this second, we've pretty much stopped looking for the next place. Not to go all Oprah on it, but I really think the best thing is to just be present. Thanks for asking, Mari that was a nice highlight to my day, and a nice way to start the weekend.

best-

Rich

What's your budget like for a house? I've only been in the midwest for about a year, but Chicago is a great compromise for me and my wife. We loved NY, but we can't afford it. This is a big city, but feels like a bunch of towns cobbled together really. If you could afford it, a place like Evanston just north of Chicago is really nice. You get the city amenities, like public transportation, and there's colleges nearby (Loyola, Depaul), and there are some nice houses (some probably TOO nice, for regular folk, but there are good, normal nabes).

Hi there--

We actually moved From Chicago to NYC 14 years ago, and had lived in Chicago for 6 years, and we do know it pretty well. We own our apartment in Queens, and right now we just don't see a move happening any time soon. Once we looked at what we really need and want, we decided to stay put...for now.

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