Any thoughts on moving to one of these five cities...........?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott_lb, May 9, 2005.

  1. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    I am currently in the running for a new job, and if selected, I would have to relocate to one of five cities listed below. I would have the option, however, of moving to another city that I'm more interested a few years later - if there's an opening and if I perform well (I'd likely choose Chicago). I know very little about these five cities and would appreciate any info that could be provided.

    1. Detroit - As I understand it, Detroit is somewhat like other "industrial-based" cities like Indianapolis and Milwaukee but is much larger with lots more to do. I know that Detroit gets a bad rap (especially in Zucker brothers movies!), but I would imagine that there are some pretty nice areas around the city to live in as well. For what it's worth, the Detroit office is located in what they described as a nice suburb and is not in the downtown area, although I don't remember the exact name.

    2. Atlanta - To my knowledge, it's a very nice southern city. Very hot in the summers, but low costs of living and a nice way of life. I've heard it's getting pretty crowded, however.

    3. Pittsburgh - Been there once, and liked what I saw very much.

    4. Pleasanton (near San Francisco) - As I understand it, Pleasanton is less expensive than San Francisco, however, the cost of living is still substantially higher than most other cities (due to being located in northern California).

    5. Toronto - To be honest, I never really thought about living in Canada before. Being from Wisconsin, I am used to harsh winters but don't know much else about Canada besides similarities in the weather (sorry for sounding ignorant to you Canadians!)

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Let me know which suburb of Detroit the office is in, and I can help you out. The metro Detroit area has lots to offer. Since you are from Milwaukee, you'll be used to the cold and snow. There are many nice suburban communities -- I live in the far western suburbs (actually closer to Ann Arbor than Detroit). For weekend getaways, northern Michigan is just a 2-5 hour drive, depending on where you are going. If you play golf, Michigan has the third most courses of any state. Boating, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling are also quite popular activities with lots of places to do each. Live concerts, theaters and museums are also available.

    It's funny that you mention Atlanta, though. My wife and I spend a lot of time in the southeast (we have a place in Myrtle Beach, and have friends in Raleigh and Beaufort), and will be relocating to the Carolinas or Georgia when we retire in about 12 years.
     
  3. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Forget Detroit. Pittsburgh is the place.

    Seriously, what are you looking for? Pittsburgh has a lot of pluses, including low housing costs, lots of amenities, good schools (dependent upon picking the right area of course), etc. If you are married, in your 30s and have small kids, it is a great area. If you are single, it might not be as much fun.
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    I spent many years in Atlanta (went to Georgia Tech for 6 years, and worked there for several more). Atlanta is a great city - one of the best places I've lived (and I've moved around a lot!). Atlanta is very diverse, culturally, which is one of the things I like most about it. The downtown area is clean and modern - with plenty of fun things to do. Atlanta has many nice suburbs - all within a 15-20 minute drive of downtown. On the down side, Atlanta traffic is among the worst in the country, and I recall Friday rush hour started at about 3 and didn't end 'till almost 7 in some areas. Also, depending on your loyalties, you do have to take into account the "Braves" factor... ewww, even the THOUGHT of that team sends shivers down my spine... [​IMG]

    When I was very young, my family lived in Pleasanton, as well. I don't recall much at all, but I know that it is still a very expensive place to live (where in California is this NOT true?).

    My vote would definitely be for Atlanta.

    Good luck!

    -Jason
     
  5. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    Like Scott said, Detroit has some really great suburbs, and quite frankly downtown is coming around quite nicely with Comerica Park, Hockytown and that whole strip becoming quite the gathering spot. That being said anything else inside the city limits is pretty much garbage, belive me, I inspect buildings and homes and it isn't pleasant.

    The suburbs offer a wide variety of nice places to live, with many small lakes even with in a few minutes of the city. My closest friend lives in a place called Commerce Twp. and while the traffic drives me nuts its quality housing at a decent price, safe and is withing minutes to the casinos, Canada, Malls, and the all the places you could possibly want to eat. Another plus to moving to that area is that you could become a Detroit Sports fan!!! In the last fifteen years there are 3 NBA titles, 3 Stanley Cup championships, the All Star game in baseball is here this year. So there are a lot of positives to living here.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Detroit also gets the Super Bowl this season, and the NCAA Final Four in a couple of years. The U.S. Open and Ryder Cup have also been played at Oakland Hills (which should also be getting future U.S. Opens). Warwick Hills, in the far northern 'burbs (almost to Flint) hosts an annual PGA event, and the TPC of Michigan (Dearborn) annually host one of the Senior PGA majors.
     
  7. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Pleasanton and the surrounding communities like Dublin, San Ramon, and Livermore are expensive but you can find moderately priced homes if you want a fixer upper.

    Just as a point of reference, in Dublin a 40 year old 1800 or so Sq feet home generally ranges anywhere from 575k to 675k. The price is probably a little higher in Pleasanton and San Ramon and a little lower in Livermore.
     
  8. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Um, Patrick... In Pittsburgh, you can easily buy a larger, better house, in an excellent area for under 200K.

    Your concept of moderately priced is not the same concept as many areas of the country.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Out of the areas you listed, Pittsburgh would have the lowest real estate costs. The Detroit area's prices are higher, but no where what you would pay in California. Houses in nice communities generally range anywhere from $200k - $600k, depending on the area and size of home you are looking for. I would expect Atlanta's costs to be about the same as metro Detroit, if it's anything like the Raleigh, NC market (which I'm more familiar with). Toronto would bring an entirely different tax situation into the equation that you would need to investigate.
     
  10. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Mark it's not my concept it the current range for the towns I listed.

    Scott wanted to know about specific areas and I gave him some information concerning one of them.

    Certainly if you look around you could find cheaper homes in all three towns I listed. The only problem is they are generally in need of a lot of repair or are in less then desirable parts of the towns.

    And yes you could find cheaper housing in Pittsburgh CA but then again it's in Pittsburgh CA which isn't exactly the area Scott asked about.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    My assumption was that Scott and Mark were referring to Pittsburgh, PA -- not Pittsburgh, CA.
     
  12. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    I'm fairly certain Scott was referring to Pitt PA but there is a Pitt CA that is in the Bay Area so I wasn't certain if Mark was referring to that Pitt.
     
  13. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I would be all over Toronto, especially if you're single. When are you going to get an opportunity to work outside the U.S. ever again? If it means anything to you, Toronto is considered the "most American" of all the big Canadian cities.

    I wouldn't even consider Detroit. I work in and have driven around Kabul, Afghanistan - and most of downtown Detroit looks about the same. The newly built area with the Baseball and Football stadiums, Fox Theater, and Hockeytown cafe is nice, but it is a small oasis in a city that looks downright scary. Only the North side of Philadelphia comes close to being that bad.
     
  14. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    ya. man, come up to toronto. I don't live there, but near there. It's pretty nice aslong as you either don't drive on the highways or don't mind waiting for hours in traffic. I don't realy know what rushhour is like in other big cities but you don't want to be driving in toronto in rush hour. [​IMG] [​IMG] P.S. Canada rules.
     
  15. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    Rush Hour in Toronto is not as bad as other populated cities. It's more like a smaller version of New York.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The City of Detroit is a relatively small part of the Metro Detroit area. The metro area stretches to Ann Arbor (west), Flint (north), and Monroe (south). The region's population is over 5 million people, with only about 900k living within the actual City of Detroit. The city itself and the suburbs are two completely different worlds.

    Just about any major city in the US has some very scary sections.
     
  17. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    As a fellow southern Ontarian and former Torontonian, I can attest to this. I haven't been to Pittsburgh, but I have either travelled to or lived in the other aforementioned cities.

    Atlanta is nice, but roadway traffic, particularly on the highways/freeways, is horrendous (IMO, the worst of the five listed cities; Toronto would be second). The summer heat can also be unbearable.

    If you have an active social life, I would place Atlanta and Toronto at the very top. Not much to do in Pleasanton (made up primarily of business parks), but it is within driving distance to San Francisco (love the city, but the cost of living puts it out of reach for me).

    The one drawback to Toronto is the high cost of living. As an American working full time on Canadian soil, you'll be paying most, if not all of your income tax to Revenue Canada rather than the IRS (courtesy of NAFTA), but you will be taxed at a higher percentage rate. On the plus side, there is lots to do, see and eat (there are over 5000 places to dine at in metro Toronto). It is the most multiculturally diverse of all five cities (moreso than Atlanta), and there are many events that celebrate this fact throughout the year.

    I'm sure there are nice places in metro Detroit; I just haven't seen or been there. Driving through the city is not something I relish (and this is during the day; forget about nighttime [​IMG] ).
     
  18. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    After reading all these comments, I think I'd go with #6 [​IMG]

    Mort
     
  19. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "Rush hour in Toronto is not as bad as other populated cities."

    The 401 running East and West across the North end of Toronto is THE busiest highway in North America!

    Just a fact, I love Toronto, but I prefer to stay about 20-30 miles from the core.

    Brent
    You Should SEE the rush hour on main street Uxbridge OUCH[​IMG]

    B
     
  20. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the input thus far. Definitely not an easy choice. So far, Pittsburgh (PA) and Atlanta seem to be the two best choices (due to low costs of living and general quality way of life). Detroit seems ok (again, I'd be living and working in the suburbs), however, when you constantly hear scary things about the city it can be a bit unnerving (sp?). Everyone keeps telling me that when the manufacturing sector took a hit, Detroit was hit very, very hard and is having a very hard time recovering. I don't know how true that is, but I keep getting mixed feedback from different people (not only from this post) about the city. Pittsburgh (PA) suprised me quite a bit. I was expecting to visit a dying steel town and saw quite the opposite. The people were even friendlier than they were in Wisconsin, the foothills of the mountains were beautiful, and the city just seemed welcoming in general.

    As much as I'd like to check out Toronto, the significant increase in income tax does concern me, as cost of living is one of my top decision making criteria. Same goes for Pleasanton, but for cost of living expenses. I'm a single, non-home owner so making ends meet should be much easier in any of the remaining three locations since I'll be renting rather than owning.

    Traffic isn't really a concern for me. I lived in L.A. for about four years and the traffic never really got to me - I just learned to plan around it. I certainly noticed a huge difference in traffic between L.A. and Milwaukee, but I simply learned to live with it (and listening to 97.1 FM Talk Radio during my commute helped too!). I am a little concerned about the weather in Atlanta because I do like the early phases of winter in Wisconsin (November & December). I love the color of the leaves in fall and the snow during the holidays. I don't think that weather is enough to sway my decision either way, though.

    Thanks again for the input thus far. If anyone else has any thought to add, I'd certainly appreicate them!
     

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