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Favorite US city


What US city do you most prefer to raise a family in?  

  1. 1. What US city do you most prefer to raise a family in?

    • Chicago
      0
    • Boston
      1
    • Philadelphia
      0
    • Seattle
      5
    • New York
      2
    • Honolulu
      2
    • Las Vegas
      1
    • San Francisco
      1
    • Rochester
      1
    • Providence
      0
    • Houston
      0
    • San Diego
      1
    • Los Angeles
      1
    • Buffalo
      0
    • Stamford
      0
    • Madison, WI
      0
    • Minneapolis
      0
    • San Antonio
      0
    • Portland
      1
    • New Jersey suburbs
      0


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If you had to raise a family or settle down in a US city, which city or metropolitan area would you prefer based on its cost of living, natural environment, city culture, education, as well as your crime tolerance level, income considerations, and preferred personal lifestyle?

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I have never been to the US, and have no wish to do so, mainly because I don't want to take the trouble to apply for the visa, and then be treated like a criminal when I enter the country. :(

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I lived in Honolulu for one year and believe it has ideal conditions for raising a family: good schools, beautiful natural environment, great weather all year round, nice Chinatown, and the aloha spirit.

You might hear naive Americans say that the cost of living is too high but that is only a myth. The price of gas is indeed much higher than other US cities but when I lived there I did not need to own a car. Public transportation is very good and the bus pass will get you anywhere you want to go. There are inexpensive neighborhoods just as in any other US city. Also the crime rate is much lower than US mainland urban areas, probably because poor criminals can't afford the airline ticket.

Seattle or Portland, Oregon might be good as a second choice but Honolulu is the best by far!

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wushijiao

Where's Denver, my hometown?

Denver has great weather (300+ days of sunshine a year), the world's best skiing nearby (let no Utahian tell you otherwise), great hiking, phisically active people, all four major sports (is that now three?), good nightlife, and an increasingly vibrant restuarant scene. Denver area also has a fairly good economy and low crime levels. The cost of living is not as high as New York, San Fran, or other cities like that, but it is still increasing fairly fast.

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Sorry, I thought of adding Denver. Thought no one would likely go for it since most of us residing in the US are located on the Pacific Coast, New England, Mid-Atlantic, or upper Midwest; and would therefore seek a preference in these areas if we ever considered staying. Didn't think a Mountain State would make it. My apologies.

Roddy, can you please add Denver? Thanks!

Anyone been to Evanston, IL? I have been to Chicago before, but never to Evanston even though it is just north of the city. Great suburban area I heard, home of Northwestern University and right next to Lake Michigan.

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Another thing to consider if one plans to live indefinitely in the US is the weather. Confucius's paradise or the Pacific Coast is an ideal choice if you like sunny weather throughout most of the year or weather less subject to the extremes.

If you like to experience the seasons, and like it when the weather is really hot or humid during the summers and really cold or snowing during the winter (like what is happening right now in New York and New England), then the East Coast is a good bet.

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Confucius:

Things have changed much in Honolulu since '91 after you left:

(1) Traffic:

Gas is $2.39/galloon while in 1991 it is $1.19/galloon. Bus pass is $40 while in '91 it is $15. Traffic is like hell and congestion starts at 5:30 on the Freeway.

(2) Housing:

After the mid-late '90s doldrum, housing market is sizzling hot. Nice house selling below half a million dollars is still available in the suburb provided you don't mind getting up at 5:30a.m. if your work commences at 8a.m. in downtown.

(3) School:

Public school students just scored rock bottom Math scores among all the kids in 50 states. Of course, excellent private schools are available if your kids are smart enough (1 out of 5 applicants accepted) or you can afford it (US$12,500 - $13,500 annual tuition).

(4) Chinatown:

Most shops close at 4p.m. I miss Toronto's Chinatown which is still bustling at 9p.m.!

(5) Weather:

When you have more or less the same kind of weather 365 days a year, sooner or later you are bored!

(6) Job:

When most of the jobs are still related to tourism which doesn't pay much, many people need to work two jobs to make a living.

(7) Crime:

I agree that is what makes the difference. Even homeless people are much less than other cities because they can't even afford a one-way ticket to fly to Hawaii!

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  • 1 month later...

Ian, but doesn't Hawaii have a high tax rate for state and local taxes? I assume the net take-home pay there is substantially reduced after deducting the state income tax. Hawaii is 4th on this list for highest tax burden, while New York is 1st. Alaska has the lowest tax burden, but no one would want to live there.

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/taxesbystate2004/#more

Unless you are filthy rich or financially secure (or financially adept for that matter), New York or Hawaii might not be a good choice depending on your situation. 8)

On the other hand, Texas and Washington have no state income taxes.

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No miami or key west :(, of the places i've lived in the US they are by far my favorites, guess i'll have to vote boston cause it is where i am now :)

/side note: NH has no state income tax as well and no sales tax :)

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almondblight

How about Washington, D.C.? There are a number of problems: it gets more and more expensive for housing, pretty severe winters up until pretty severe summers, the Chinatown is a block long, etc. But it has some great features: a planned city that is virtually impossible to get lost in, free museums that will take up as much time as you want, restaurants from all over the world, lots of colleges (which means lots of oppurtunities for speakers and events), beautiful architecture down on the Mall, a park running through the center of the city (not to mention trees everywhere), a very political city (you won't be able to go a day without talking politics – could be good or bad), and large immigrant communities (many in the surrounding areas).

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If there is no problem in making a living there, the mid-size (200,000 -- 400,000) cities are much more inhabitable than the large metropolis.

Austin is much more enjoyable than either San Antonio, Houston or Dallas.

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