Sunday, June 3, 2018

What Do You Love and Hate About Where You Live?

A friend of mine who lives in the south is getting ready to retire. And she has a dilemma. She'd like to move but it is starting over. And moving is a big commitment. She has some ideas (Virginia is one) but says she might romanticize it. Is it accurate? Or is there a better place for her?

Well, you, my blog friends, live in states across the U.S. and the world, too! So I thought I'd throw it out and ask you about your communities -- what you love or hate, is it friendly, expensive or reasonable, all that.

I'll tell you a little about mine. Lansing, Michigan is a capital city so we have state government and a large (and recently scandalous) university and a community college. There is some manufacturing but it's not what it used to be when Oldsmobile was here. Losing that took a lot of the energy from the city but it's coming back.

I grew up here so I love it and the wonderful people but I also remember when it was better than it is now -- although I do believe things are on the upswing. I remember a vibrant downtown. Now downtown more or less closes up when the state workers leave, although there are new restaurants and bars popping up. Instead we have malls. I'd rather have a downtown but it is what it is. And we have some good preservation and development in fun places like Old Town that have become a destination.

Arts wise, we are a pretty vibrant community. The U helps with that, with a wonderful professional performing arts center that brings in road shows and acts of international quality. We have several extremely well regarded community, university and professional theatre companies, a symphony and good art.

We have a A-level baseball team and of course sports at the U.

There are some lovely gardens, too and several festivals each year. In terms of cost of living, I don't think it's bad at all. But to be honest, I don't have loads to compare it to, apart from saying it is not a big city and big cities tend to be more expensive, I think.

You can get from one side of town to another in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day. And there are loads of class options for people like me.

Being in the center of the state we are about two to three hours from several Great Lakes and loads of inland lakes, and the larger, more vibrant and more expensive cities of Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. We're about three hours from the Canadian border and beautiful Mackinac Island.

The best part of my community is the people. It's not just me saying that -- other I know who have moved into the area say the same thing. It's a welcoming place.

We're not without our faults, though. We're on a river and most of the time that's just fine. But if you live in the low areas and you get loads of rain -- watch out.

The roads are abysmal and we often refer to it as outer Kandahar. Our winters are erratic -- this past winter was bitter cold and snowy and spring was late; the year before we were planting in April and it was very mild. Rick has new hubcaps. I haven't bothered to replace the one I lost -- when your front bumper is attached with duct tape, you don't worry about the hubcap. I'd rather buy books and art supplies.

So, that's my city. What are the three best things about where you live and the one or two things that you don't like about it! Please share in the comments and thanks!

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David Gascoigne said...

I live in Waterloo, Ontario. I have been here for fifteen years but my wife has lived all her life in this area, except for a brief stint out west in her twenties. The Region of Waterloo is the epicentre of Mennonite culture in Ontario, and my wife, Miriam, is from a Mennonite background. Some of her family still practices a brand of conservative Mennonitism. It is a great community with two major universities and a community college, and the Perimiter Institute for Theoretical Physics. We have an excellent symphony orchestra, a superb Chamber Music Society and several great choirs. Live theatre is alive and well and there are farmers ‘ markets dotted throughout the region. We have a large and diverse popultation, harmonious, tolerant of each other’s values, and we have welcomed and integrated a subsntial population of Syrian refugees. Every culture adds vibrancy to our community - and the range of ethnic restaurants is astounding! A good percentage of our citizens speak at least two language (I speak three). And since this is Canada citizens are not permitted to carry handguns, and there are stringent requirements to own a weapon of any kind, so we don’t have to fear the kind of gun violence that we see south of the border, and our children can attend school without fear. It is a great place to live, raise a family and enjoy the myriad activities of four distinct seasons.

Stacey said...

OK, I'm sharing a little about the Dallas-Ft Worth metro area where thousands of people are moving yearly. This is Texas where state pride is abundant! We love our state even though it's far from perfect. Life is more affordable here in general than many other states - thus too many people are coming here right now. The traffic is horrid, it can take two hours to cross Dallas. Our area is not walkable like some places but we have wonderful public transportation that my husband with limited vision uses all the time. We have everything you could ever want to do here but some of it is pricey. For example, the crafty classes you share are $60 or $70...that seems high to me. The schools in the outlying cities are top notch (not Dallas ISD), we have many universities both public and private. There are jobs here for everyone. People here are very friendly and welcoming. You do have to be choosy about which area you choose to live in because there is crime in some areas.

What else can I say? When we visit other places around the country for vacations, I'm always reminded that there are places far prettier than our area of Texas. However, there's no place I'd rather be! Home is home whether it is perfect or not.

DUTA said...

My advice: Climate is of utmost importance and it should be placed at the top of the agenda as it is becoming worse and worse. So look for a place with moderate climate. Not near a river or sea because of terrible future floodings and zunamis. Not near a volcano for fear of eruption. Not near chemical, nuclear plants or war zones.
Look for a country with wide, big spaces so that you can move easily to another place to avoid human conflicts typical of a multicultural nation.
(I live in the Middle East, so nothing good to write home about.).

Mac n' Janet said...

I live out in the country near Savannah, Georgia. We've been here about 15 years, it's where we retired and I love it. The people are warm and welcoming, lots of bars and restaurants, old historic buildings, Savannah is one of the oldest cities in the USA. It sits on the Savannah River. We can't imagine living anywhere else.
What I don't like is the hot, humid summer, it's going to be 94ΒΊ today, but we put up with it because the rest of the year is beautiful.

La Table De Nana said...

I live in a charming town of 5000 that sits by the water.I love it..everything about it.Gets quiet in winter because we are touristy..bustling in summer.Lots of arts..sailing..gardens..close enough to 2 towns that have bloomed beyond recognition.So I can get to a 10 minutes..but it's not HERE.
The only thing I hate..and it just started with me March and part April..that end of winter.If we had 3 months only of winter...if only.
And that's not my town's fault.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I am an MSU grad so East Lansing is one of my favorite places in the world. We moved to Venice, Florida from Farmington Hills, Michigan exactly one year ago and we love this area. Venice is right on the gulf and is less of a spring break hot spot than others in the area. There is a historic and walkable downtown too. The added bonus is that Sarasota is minutes away, so we can easily be at Siesta Key beach (so beautiful), but don't have to deal with the traffic every day.

Jean R. said...

I live an hour west of where you're at and except for the part about having the state government workers in town most of the year, everything you said about Lansing you could say about this side of the state. Michigan is a nice place to live if you don't mind snow. Your friend needs to start reading their local newspaper and media in the area she's thinking of moving to. We're all different and have different ideas about what we want from our communities. Only she can decide what she wants to get out of moving from where she's at to a new community.

eileeninmd said...

I live in a very rural area bordering the Prettyboy watershed and a reservoir for Baltimore City. We have 2 zip codes on our street for the towns of Hampstead and Manchester Md. Baltimore is about a 40 minute drive from us. We live 15 minutes or more from the nearest grocery store in Hampstead Md for our shopping. Our neighborhood which is only 6 houses that are really close to us even though they are still a good distance away. Our house is mostly wooded on one side and the front across the street is all watershed forest, no one can build there. The lake is a short walk away, we have a lot of hiking trails on the fire roads that cut through the watershed. We do see people come from all around park on the watershed property for hiking, fishing and hunting. I like the rural area compared the city where I was born and raised. I could never live in a big city.

Iris Flavia said...

Same in my hometown, places close, it´s so sad seeing every time I visit my Brother!
But nothing new is coming.
My "new" home (since 17 years) has a soccer-team, 3rd level and "loved".
Plus a football team, 1st level, German and European master many times, no big news about them, Germany is a crazy place.

You can do anything by walking, more or less, if you live here it´s normal.
To visitors... it´s "crazy", we walk a lot :-)

Sadly the oceans are far away.
We have one of the most dangerous freeways of Europe passing right by. The A2 :-(

The three best things?
#1: We´re the City of Henry The Lion, the friendliest Lion in the world :-)
#2 We´re the City of Science
#3 We "make" the time for Germany.

We´re friendly. We have the ring track. The Okercabana....

What I do not like. The consequences of Chancellor Merkel´s decisions.
We do care about refugees that come from war.
But there are too many male financial refugees who....
Do not want to learn to speak Germnan, get money, wear expensive stuff and poop on benches to let us know it´s not "enough".
Politics, right. The ones high up have no idea what´s going on.
Yes, now I live on the state´s welfare, too. But I gave a lot before. I am no Na#i or on the right wing even.

An interesting post, I might copy you one time, if that´s ok!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I live in KS, the biggest city in the state and we don't even have vegetarian restaurants or vegetarian and gluten free items on nearly every menu. We are known for our beef and our wheat, so that explains a lot.

We have one state and three private universities. The state uni I attended has a wheat shock for a mascot! We are Shockers! Sad, but true. But we have a great basketball team. Many of the football players from some time in the 1970s were killed when their plane collided with a mountain in Colorado. The football team never recovered, so we have none. Our uni baseball team is a joke, although we have a minor league team, the Wingnuts, that is part of the K.C. Royals franchise.

Temps are hot in the summer, with high humidity at times. Just yesterday our high was 96 F with a heat index of 108 F. The wind is often relentless. That leads to wildfires. Two years ago, about half the state burned.

We have an art museum, a science museum, two history mu8seus, a baseball museum, and two zoos, one of which is free. We have one of the most famous campuses for our sculptures. When I attended (I graduated in 1995), we had more sculptures than any university in the States with well over 100.

We have an air force base and our pilots are refueling specialists. We are still known as the aircraft capital of the world, although many layoffs have cut the manufacturing workforce in half. The writing was on the wall prior to 9/11, but many blamed 9/11 for the demise of the airplane and aircraft industry. That of course, trickled down to other suppliers of small parts used in aircraft.

Since we are the largest city in the state, the price of living is higher than if you lived in a smaller town nearby.

We have six Presidential electoral votes, and they always go republican. No candidates from any party bothers visiting because we aren't worth it.

My city has initiated a law that people aren't allowed to live on the streets, although they still do. If caught, the "vagrant" is jailed and FINED. You know, those people who don't have money for a room to sleep in won't have the money to get out of jail, either.

Our city and state taxes are high. 8% where I live, but that includes city. You pay taxes on everything, including food.

If you want to retire, want springlike weather year round, pay low taxes, and believe in equality for all, Wichita, KS is NOT the place you want to retire.

Valerie-Jael said...

Nice to learn more about where you live. I live in a small, ancient town by the Rhine, with lots of green roundabout, and that's just how I like it. Hugs,Valerie

Lynne said...

I enjoyed learning about your love of Lansing . . .
My husband’s “home town.”
He has taken me on many a tour!

We live in a little burg, town, village near the city of Muskegon, Michigan.
I have very little connection with Twin Lake, our little burg other than
the library and the township hall/people where I have worked many an election.

We live in a wonderful neighborhood with wonderful neighbors.
Our “little place/slice of living” has given me a chance to live out
every gardening, flower, landscape, design possibility I so desire.
And that is the plus . . . although it now it means hours of tending and primping
to keep it the way we like it . . . and our aging selves are rethinking if this will be our forever.

Muskegon is really a lovely city located near/on Lake Michigan.
Largely considered an industrial city, well know for Charles Hackley and his lumber industry influences.
Muskegon has often received a “ bad rap” . . . as, nothing there, don’t go there!
Not sure why that has occurred . . . it seems Muskegon has often been referred to as “less than.”

A visit here changes many a viewpoint though . . .
Located on Lake Michigan itself, it presents gorgeous wide, wide sandy beaches
with much less congestion than the touristy, cities, beaches south of Muskegon.
Gorgeous Muskegon Lake, beautiful historical homes, architecture encompassing both Muskegon & North Muskegon
with a wide channel, accessed by each community leads one to the “Big Lake” Michigan.
Boating, sailing, fishing certainly prevail in the warmer months . . .
Winter Ice Fishing, summer beach volleyball, kayak, sand dunes, hiking trails, State Parks . . . the list goes on.

The Frauenthal Center, the Symphony, the Block, the Art Museum, the Arts Community,
L.C. Walker Arena are intregal in the reemerging Muskegon downtown area . . .
There is an exceptional Farmer’s Market in the downtown area.
A Winter Sports Complex is located near North Muskegon.
One is able to access the downtown easily by car, trolley or bike . . . new downtown walking, bike trails
Muskegon Bike Time is a well known downtown event bringing more than 100,000 people in 2017.

Well I guess since I sound Like I am from the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, (which I am not) . . . I best end this here.
Finally a must . . , a visit to our Irish Music Festival . . .
Outstanding . . . September 13-16, 2018, Heritage Landing, downton area.

NanaDiana said...

Well, now I live in Green Bay, WI-my husband's hometown. It has been a great place to raise kids. It is a conservative, blue-collar town and the paper mills are huge employers here.
We claim the Green Bay Packers as the only team owned by the public -not an individual and Titletown is in crazy mode come football season.
We have the bay of Green Bay on one side of us and Lake Michigan just across the peninsula.
We have great parks and an county run amusement park where tickets still run 25 cents per ticket for the rides.Oh-Wait- The Zippin Pippin roller coaster costs a whole dollar to ride. It was Elvis Presley's roller coaster and was bought by our city about 5 or 6 years ago.

I don't like that we have such a short growing season (June 1st-Sept 1st).
I don't like that it gets cold usually towards the end of September and stays cold until May sometime.
I don't like that we have so much cold and snow all winter long.

I have thought about moving, too, but my children are all here- one is 6 hours away. I would like to move back to FL but I would really miss the kids.

Fun post!!! xo Diana

Red Rose Alley said...

Well, I have to say that California housing can be expensive, so I don't like that. But the town I live in is next to the town that I grew up in, and that is cool in many ways. My father was born and raised here, and my grandfather lived here as well, so we go back a few generations haha. I live in northern California, so we get all the seasons, with Autumn being just beautiful. My town has lots of trees, which show the prettiest pink blossoms in Spring. All in all, I'm grateful where I live, and there is diversity in California, so we get the rain, the snow, the sunshine, the mountains, the valleys, and the oceans. Thank you for asking, dear Jeanie.

love to you,

Jenny Woolf said...

That was an interesting portrait of Lansing, and an interesting idea for comments. I live in London and the things I like about it are that it is a very interesting city, with so much to see that I never run out of things. And it changes so much that I never get bored. If I return to somewhere after 2 years or more I can find it quite different. It is quite prosperous so there are always new and interesting businesses starting up and things to buy, and exhibitions to see. It's also an easy city to get around, having a very good transport system. The downsides are, first that as in all cities the accommodation is less spacious than outside, and here in London, it's also particularly expensive. And there seems to be little or no effort to fix this, with precious building land being given over to luxury flats for rich folks who probably don't even want to live there but just see the property as investment. I think it's really important for any place that there is a good mix of people. A diverse community leads to a more strong and interesting social environment, and a balance of views and approaches. Another bad point: London like all big cities can be overwhelming and there are some nasty people around as well as good ones. To sum up, since it is my home, I find it full of people and areas I know and like and I wouldn't care to live anywhere else!

Regina said...

We live in a small rural town in AZ near Prescott.
What I love about our town is:
1. It's quiet. No noisy traffic and wild neighbors

2. You can see the stars and our sunrises and sunsets are beautiful

3. The people are friendly

4. It's not too terribly expensive

The only thing I don't like is most of the big stores such as Walmart are in Prescott or Prescott Valley.

My name is Erika. said...

So here's what I have to say about New Hampshire and my town which is New Durham. There are some amazing small cities in this state, and I live anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour from them. That can be good and bad, but you get used to driving. Luckily most places we don't have terrible traffic (especially at non rush hour) because we don't have that big of a population. In these cities we have theater, visiting authors, concerts and good restaurants. New Durham is very rural, with one big gorgeous lake, and we have lots of rolling hills and forests, and we are only about 15 minutes away from the base of the white mountains as well as many other gorgeous lakes.There's beaches 30 minutes away, and hiking 30 minutes away, and beautiful mountains an hour. I love the fact that you can pick and choose what scenery you would like. Winter plain old sucks here though-it is long and snowy. Good if you ski. Spring rarely comes early.Summer when it's not too humid is fantastic as is fall, and spring can be beautiful if it doesn't rain a lot. Boston is 1 1/2 hours away, New York is 5 as is Montreal. (And Cape Cod, Vermont, western MAss. are all within a day trip. It's kind of expensive around here though-certainly not like Massachusetts or Connecticut, but there are more inexpensive places in the US to live.Other than winter, I do love living here, we re all tough folks and can deal with what comes weather wise, and maybe not the most out going group of people in general, but overall, I do love living here. Thanks for asking this question. It was great to think about what I like and don't like about where I live.

Tracy said...

Oh, this was fun and nice, Jeanie! Michigan, and Lansing in particular has a LOT to offer. As I'm living abroad these days, I can't offer much maybe... Although I can HIGHLY recommend my home state of Pennsylvania to your friend. South Central Pennsylvania, Lancaster County especially, has a lot of great variety of life and culture. :))) Oh, and thanks for visiting at my place--getting the comments sorted out! ;) Still not getting comment notifications from Blogger, and miss that.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I've always thought that your posts would make a good Chamber of Commerce ad for your city! It always seems that there is something interesting to do and that there is a widely varied array of events and businesses to explore. Of course, alot of that has to do with your being willing to get out there and do the exploration!
By the way - is that bottom photograph from a production of Noel Coward's Fallen Angels? It just looks like it must be LOL.
Thanks for the guided tour - I enjoyed it immensely!

Pam Richardson said...

Hi Jeanie, I enjoyed reading about Lansing! I love my smaller city where I grew up and still live. We are close to Birmingham, Chattanooga, and only 2 1/2 hours from Atlanta! We have access to the big city stuff without putting up with traffic on a daily basis. We have mountains and rivers and lakes, lots of beauty surrounding us. We have a well revitalized downtown! We enjoy four seasons. We have a great community college. I would never want to move, it is Home and my people live here.

Victoria Zigler said...

I live right by Hastings, on the South-East coast of England. I moved here by choice about six and a half years ago.

The things I like about it are:
1. Easy access to the beach, while still not being too rural an area.
2. Lots of history in the area, and surrounding towns.
3. A good location to access larger places - like London from - without being close enough to them to be as crowded or expensive as those places would be to live in.

The things I don't like are:
1. Tourists. We get a lot of them in the Summer months, and most of them have no consideration for the fact people who live near the beach might want to sleep sometimes. Beach parties that go on until like 3:00am are only fun for those at the party... Just saying!
2. Seagulls get in to everything you leave outside, so there's often trash around.

The French Hutch said...

What a great subject for a post! As you know Jeanie, I live in the south AL. I love visiting everywhere, our country is beautiful but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We are a University town and when the students are here our population rises to around 100,000. We also have a great community college that is like a university. The local arts scene is very active, great classes for seniors at Uof A and the college. We are a short drive to Birmingham, and few hours to Atlanta. Our state has a gulf coast, beautiful white sandy beaches only half days drive. Are we friendly, we are southern so of course! The one negative, summer heat and humidity, it’s terrible! But, we have mild winters, beautiful spring and falls. You friend has a tough decision. It would be fun if you do a follow up and let us know what she decides.
Have a great week Jeanie........

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I should do a post like this on my blog as I would love to hear the comments of my readers about where they live!

I live in Minneapolis. I don’t think anyone would want to retire here but it’s a great place to live when you are working! My favorite things:

1. we have so many walking/biking paths and many dedicated biking lanes. It’s a great place to live for active people.
2. We have a great arts community. I read that we are 2nd to NYC in theater seats per capita. We have several theaters so there are lots of opportunities to see different theater productions. And we also get a lot of great musical artists that you can see in smaller theaters with great acoustics.
3. We have great restaurants, many of which are located in charming neighborhoods. Our downtown is fairly vibrant but there are so many cool pockets of the city with great restaurants and cafes.

What I dislike:
1. Our weather. This is why no one would retire here. It’s cold and snowy in the winter and winter can last for 6 months! Our summers are pretty nice but they can be really hot and humid.

2. It’s pretty expensive. It’s not as bad as places like NYC or SF, of course, but it’s not an inexpensive place to live. And we have really high taxes!

Marie Rayner said...

Loved reading about you town Jeannie. I have probably been right by there when travelling from out West to my Sister's place in Windsor, Ont, when she lived there. Living in Chester, UK, I love our City. Being a City over here is not the same as being a city in North America. Here in order for a City to be called a City it has to have a Cathedral. And we have a beautiful one which is one of the plus's of Chester. The inner city is also surrounded by an Old Roman Wall, which is steeped in history and which you can walk, for exercise. It is a 2 mile walk and the views from most of it are spectacular. You can stand where King Charles the first stood and watched his troops fighting the roundheads in the English revolution. we have cobbled streets and Tudor style architecture with white stucco, black beams and beautiful carvings. A beautiful river which runs through the centre of it, a race course and one of the nicest zoos in the world. We are also known as the gateway to Wales which is a beautiful country to visit. I really love living here and missed it alot the whole time we were living down South in Kent!

Marie Rayner said...

That should say English Civil War not revolution! haha some historian I am!!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Hi Jeanie,
You'll find this interesting because Stacey and I live in next door to each other and have completely different viewpoints. Maybe it is because Stacey was born and raised in this area and I was not. I am a mountain girl and long to go home! So here we go.

I would move in a second! DFW is a sprawling metropolitan area that is nearly 150 miles wide. Too many people, too much traffic and too many big chains. Outdoor activities are few and far between and unless you like to shop for entertainment you are out of luck. The weather is horrible. Cold damp Winters and unbearable hot Summers.
We stay because of children, but we are truly struggling to do so because we find we are too sedentary because of lack of outdoor activities, poor weather, inaccessibility to outdoor trails, hot lakes etc. Limited community activities, and no junior college nearby to take classes.

Raising a family here in the "right," area is positive because there are many good school districts and each community has it's own sub-cultural. However I feel there is a disconnect between communities because of the amount of traffic and people. We have 7.5 million in the metroplex.
I guess I didn't realize how adamant I was about moving until I began writing!

Karen Ann said...

I live near the shoreline in Connecticut on a small farm in a small town. We're just a few miles from great shopping and restaurants along the shore, and I truly believe New England is one of the most beautiful areas in the US - although there are MANY beautiful places to live in the US - as seen in the comments above. New York and Boston and all they have to offer are just a two hour drive from here, so the arts, culture, employment and education are pretty abundant. We have good hospitals and medical options. I love our four seasons and the diversity in nature they provide - however, the winters can be long and cold. Come February, we're ready for a warm reprieve - like Florida or the islands. It's also fairly expensive to live here. Many people have actually left the state to find more affordable cost of living options. Jobs have been leaving the state because it's costly for companies to operate here. That's a big negative too. They are trying to rectify that.

Sami said...

I live in Perth, Australia where we moved to 11 years ago.
I love the city, big enough to have everything you need, but small enough to be comfortable, but with just 1,5 million people and being very spread out it's easy to drive around (we do get traffic jams too, but nothing major),has nice residential areas, friendly people, good shopping malls, lots of lovely parks, lots of birds and a great city for kids.
As I said before it's very spread out so from the most northern suburb to the most southern it's 120km long (74,5miles) and the city centre is actually on the northern side of the Swan River. This means that when you meet new people they ask you if you live north or south of the river, as if it's two different cities altogether.
Perth has a beautiful Botanic garden (Kings Park) which sits on a hill with views to the city and the Swan river - just magic!
The weather is perfect for me as I hate cold winters, so our winters are just 3 months long and not too cold, with low late evening/early morning temperatures which rise to mild temperature during the day (5-19C) (41 to 66F). Summers can be hot though with temperatures ranging from (30-35C) 85 to 95F, but because it's dry it's quite bearable.
We have 4 or 5 universities with lots of foreign students who pay a lot of money for the privilege of studying here.
The only downside is that like most Australian cities life is expensive, although our property prices are still reasonable compared to other major cities like Sydney or Melbourne on the East coast.

A great idea for a post Jeanie. Have a great week.

William Kendall said...

I love living where I am. I can't find anything of note to complain about it.

Pom Pom said...

Colorado has blue, blue, blue skies and the dry air makes the climate feel good almost all of the time. We don't have much water. I'd like a lake or two nearby and I miss the ocean, but I think I'll take the nice weather instead of all the rain in Washington where I grew up.
Your town sounds wonderful and it's sweet that you love it so much.
I would MUCH rather buy books and art supplies, too.
Have a good week, Jeanie.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

GOod morning Jeanie!

Great topic! Well, I grew up in Los Angeles, went to school in Massachusetts (11 years) and have been living in the Twin Cities for 21 years. I LOVE the place. I don't care how cold it gets, for me, there is way more accessibility to the kinds of things I love in a hometown: art, education opportunities, parks, fantastic neighborhoods with architecture that never gets old, water features (we are after all, the land of 10,000 lakes and more), and being here feels like a good "base" from which we can travel anywhere we want. We aren't so far that we can't get to either coast in no time. What do I not love about this place? Well, I guess for any place you move to and have to start over again, it's making friends. It took me years to make friends with the locals out in Massachusetts, and the same here. But people do warm up, and when they do, they become the reason you stay.

Enjoy your summer!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

This is such a coincidence - I just wrote a post that will go live Thursday called Florida My Home. I say what I love about it. I used to live in Michigan for a short while and I loved spring and summer and hated the darkness that came in October and stayed for months. Way too many gray days for me. And too cold. I love the blue skies and white clouds of Florid and that I can grow things almost 12 months out of the year. I love the relaxed and casual lifestyle too.

Jeanne Washburn said...

Hi Jeanie...your post hit very close to to speak. This is my third attempt to leave a comment...not because of computer glitches, but rather because every comment I drafted was so negative and I hate negative. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico...a transplant from NYC. I came for work but fell in love with the blue skies and warm temperatures and stayed. The weather is a plus. That's one. My family now has roots here. That's two. But I can't think of a three...I dislike the food - all chain restaurants, the uninspiring shopping, the poverty, the poor quality schools, the feeling of always being an outsider because I'm not a native, the high cost of living as compared to salaries,the cracking dry climate with very little rain, no sea coast, a downtown that rolls up the sidewalks by 6PM, and having to drive everywhere. But where to go? Ahh, that's the question. I'm not sorry I'm here. It's been a wonderful learning experience. Everything here is different from what I knew. Change is good. Growing and learning is what we all need. I love reading all the comments. I'll find the place. Thanks for listening. :)

Bonnie said...

Jeanie, wow, you opened everyone UP! So many long comments. I hope to read them but just wanted to say hi and thanks for dropping by my blog. I am WAY BEHIND and can't seem to catch up. I am feeling some better but not back to normal yet.
Happy Tuesday!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jeanie. Grass Valley, California, my town, is small by most standards. It is about 12,000 people. When we moved here, almost thirty years ago, the population was 8,000. So it is growing, but will never be big, which is a very good thing as most of the streets and roads were made before there were cars, I think! The people are friendly but there is a lot of theft here because of the outlaying communities that grow weed! Now that it has been legalized, maybe it will get better. At least, maybe more taxes will be collected so they can improve the roads! I'm making it sound worse than it is, really. The shopping is not great. We have some small shops downtown that cater to tourism and they are not bad, but we drive 40 miles and we can shop to our hearts content.
It is beautiful country with close proximity to skiing and lakes and we get some snow but not a lot. It is hot in the summer and beautiful in the fall. Have I made anyone want to come here? Hope not, as it is just how we love it now!! This was a great post. Fun to read where others live..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

Ricki Treleaven said...

It was fun reading about Lansing, and I love seeing your photos! What a quaint town!

I live in a beautiful area of Birmingham Alabama, North Shelby County. I was born in Birmingham, and grew up in a small town (bedroom community) near Birmingham. Last weekend during the LPGA tournament at Shoal Creek Country Club, the commentators kept talking about the beauty of the area. Our back gate is across the street from Shoal Creek. I love the climate here, and since we live on Oak Mountain, the summers are cooler up here than in the valleys around Birmingham. We spend a LOT of time outside on our back patio.

The schools here aren't great, so our oldest daughter attended a state Fine Arts school downtown, and I homeschooled our youngest in HS. Many people I know send their children to private schools in the area.

Alabama the Beautiful is know for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and the Alabama Shakespeare festival. Alabama has a river running through every county, sugar white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, and the only river in the world to run mostly on top of a mountain ridge in Mentone, AL (the Little River and Little River Canyon).

The Cahaba River is the longest substantially free-flowing river in Alabama and is among the most scenic and biologically diverse rivers in the United States, featuring a species of lily, the Cahaba Lily, that only grows in the Cahaba River. It runs through our county.

Alabama has several beautiful lakes, and I love Lake Martin, southeast of Birmingham. We have a lake cabin there, and I want to retire there one day. It's been featured on HGTV a lot.

Birmingham is becoming a destination for foodies, which is new. We have so many fantastic restaurants and award winning chefs. We also have two ballets and a symphony orchestra. The Birmingham Museum of Art is lovely, too. Our theater district has been revived with both the Alabama Theater and the Lyric Theater's renovations.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm going to sit here and read your comments! I may find some places I would like to visit...I know I will. We LOVE living in Florida. We live in the central part of the state which is very affordable, less than 2 hours from the Atlantic coast and less than 1 hour to the Gulf coast. Ocala is a nice size town that has everything we need for shopping, restaurants, etc. But the VERY best part about living here is the outdoor many parks close by. With a big retirement population we have plenty of things in place to make our lives easier too. Of course we have a second home in Asheville, NC....and that is an AMAZING place to live! Just Gorgeous with views of the Blue Ridge Mts from our balcony. Off to read your comments! Love this post! Hugs, Diane

Crystal Collier said...

I live in Vacation World. I mean, Florida. =) Cruise ports, theme parks, beaches, natural beauties, visiting shows, space port, conferences, an amazing library system, and sunshine every day. I love it here, but I do miss my mountains from out west. The diversity is amazing (thank you Disney), and there's always something new to see or do, but it does make vacationing difficult--since you feel like you're supposed to leave home to go on vacation. We just get season passes to somewhere new.

Blondie's Journal said...

This is a wonderful post, I'm reading all of the comments. My husband and I have travelled quite a bit all over the US. We just make a map and go for two weeks, stopping where we want to see particular sights or to explore. I will say Virginia is a gorgeous state. I could easily pack my bags and move to the Shenandoah Valley!

We made some smart and fun choices in investing in real estate---my husband never has his mind off retirement. The nice thing is we can enjoy the investment, like our lakehouse in Michigan. It's two hours away, and it has become a wonderful retreat for me. A slower pace and much like my childhood home in Illinois. Chicago is Chicago, everything you've heard and more. People are so surprised at the beauty of the city, both architecturally and culturally. You will never run out of anything to do here. The lakefront is gorgeous. People truly are friendly and helpful. We also have a condo in Asheville, another investment. I never knew how much I'd enjoy that area of the South and the mountains. I really turned a corner when we went the first time. Its a fast growing area and traffic is starting to get crazy in the main parts of town. I don't think the grid was set up for the tourists. I wouldn't be surprised if it became very commercial over time.

It seems whenever my husband and I visit a new place, I think--lets move here! But having my kids in Chicago is my tie. I'm okay at the lake, 2 hours aways, although I've been known to pop back home after 2 or 3 weeks as I get to missing them.

I think home is in your heart, but there are places I don't think I'd really like to live, especially the very flat desert parts of the US, or any place really remote.

Thanks for a nice thinking and reading post. Hope you get to your cottage soon. :)


Mary Rose's said...

Jeanie - this is so much fun!

I have lived in the center of South Carolina for the last 23 years. Before that it was DC; before that, Syracuse. I am a northerner, a Yankee.

What do I love about SC? The cost of living. Compared to almost anywhere it's so reasonable. So much has happened to Columbia since the mid-90s: downtown is revitalized; the library system is nationally recognized for its excellence; national chains like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods have come to town. There are still a good number of locally-owned stores and restaurants which lend originality and authenticity to the commercial scene.The art museum is really worth a visit, and the local arts "scene" is blessed with very talented "makers." There is mistletoe in the trees everywhere, roses grow abundantly, and there are herons, and egrets, even eagles in the neighborhood. 2 hours to the ocean or to the highlands is not bad either.

Why would I leave? #1 The weather. Summer seems to start in March and lasts through November. Humidity is off the charts. I miss cool air and hillsides covered with brilliant orange and red maple trees in the fall. Lilacs and peonies do not thrive here, though some can be coaxed for a year or two. #2 politics --it's a very Red state with only pockets of Blue. "Home cooking" or "the old boys' network" is alive and well. So's the often not-so-subtle crossover between politics & Christianity. ("He's a Christian and a Conservative - vote for X!") Maybe that's true in other parts of the US.

Anyway ...thanks, Jeanie, for letting us brag and moan.

Joyful said...

I live in Vancouver, Canada. There are so many things I love about where I live. I love the weather for about half of the year and hate it for the other half. When the weather here is sunny and breezy it is absolutely unbeatable. When it rains for weeks on end (it happens more often these days) it can get to be a downer. I do love however that the rain keeps everything green. There is always a silver lining in every cloud. The scenery here is spectacular. There are many cultural neighbourhoods where you can enjoy foods, shopping and a little taste of that particular culture during special festivals. There are plenty of things one can do here and it is especially great for the active folks who love to ski, sail and so on. If you are not so active there are many coffee shops, restaurants, shopping areas, various special events as well as all the major arts and cultural activities. To be honest there are so many things to do here if you are able to get out that it is very difficult to do it all. Mostly I enjoy the scenery and the sense of well being from the beauty all around. The major downside of where I live is the absolutely outrageous costs of housing and the lack of adequate housing even for those who have means. It makes it difficult for young people, old people on limited income and any newcomers without money. If one can overcome this challenge, it is a lovely place to live. Hopefully some solutions can be found to some of our challenges. Many are working on solutions. I know this comment doesn't quite do justice to my city but it is the best I can do at this hour of the morning, LOL. I hope your friend finds just the right home for the next phase of her life.

Pam Jackson said...

Like your area Nashville TN has a bit of everything. We have mall shopping with indoor and out door malls. We have MUSIC of course but not only do we have country we have all sorts. Country just being the outstanding one that everyone knows us for. Right now we have CMA week in downtown with lots of concerts, booths and people. We have museums that are cool to see. A zoo...which I have not been to in yrs but have been thinking about going on a nice cool day. I started in photography in 2008 and all that time I keep thinking I need to grab the camera, charge the batteries and GO! Our Broadway in town is amazing with any type of music bar or club you wish to visit. Great parks. Amazing views of the country also. GREEN...unlike San Diego that I love but so different. We are not covered in concrete and instead of brown grass or non at all we are GREEN. A short drive from here is the mountains, we have beautiful lakes and then another short drive we have Chattanooga with so much other stuff to see and do. TN is the rocking place....What I don't care for it is that we are now dubbed the IT city. Growing leaps and bounds and way to fast all of a sudden! With so many folks moving here daily, it was stated about 8 months ago that it was 80 to 100 folks a day, there is so much building going on. Other than that of all places I visit I love my TN....What a cool post to put out there.

Marilyn Miller said...

And Rick said he could take me to the auto parts stores in Lansing! Smiling!
Oh Portland, Oregon: Yes, it is expensive, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Maybe it is that my family is here, but the beautiful of the mountains and rivers that surround Portland are magnificent. And then there are amazing restaurants, yummm! And neighborhoods with personalities all their own, including my rather hipster neighborhood. It is a city you can walk in and smell the roses as you pass by. We are only about 1-1 1/2 hours from the Pacific Ocean and one hour to enjoy the snow on Mt. Hood, plus if you must leave town it is 3 hours from Seattle, Washington. Portland is a city for sure, but not so huge you get lost in it. I love the green, parks, and gardens. Oh, did I say roses, yes we are the city of roses and right now celebrating that with our Rose Festival.

Sandi said...

I grew up in Michigan and definitely romanticize it! We moved south when I was 14. It's an oven in the summer, not too cold in the winter, and we get two weeks of yellow every Spring. I think moving is over-rated. There is not a magical place out there somewhere, it is inside and you take it with you.

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Carolyn Marnon said...

Marilyn Miller-how long have you lived in Portland? I grew up in Portland and left when I was 28 and married my Rose Festival sailor. Happy Rose Festival! I miss the Rose Festival, but it isn't like the days when I grew up with the Navy ships and the free waterfront festival. I loved Portland, also because of how near the mountains and the beaches were. I also loved picnicking at Multnomah Falls and hiking up to the top. There was so much to do and i never ran out of things to share with visitors. However, I see that housing prices are ridiculous now! What was considered low-income housing back then is going for exorbitant rates now. I can't believe it! So I am not sure I would recommend Portland now. I am also not a fan of the Keep Portland Weird movement. That's for Austin TX, not for Portland OR.

I have also lived in San Diego and San Francisco. Loved San Francisco, except for the high cost of living. San Diego was okay, but I wasn't a fan of black widow spiders, scorpions and rattlesnakes in or near our home.

I am now in a suburb outside Detroit MI. Would not recommend. Although there could be lots to do, I don't think transportation and parking are conducive to it. Because the Big 3 auto companies are here, I think it has a great deal of influence on transportation, thus we are the only (or one of a few) big city without mass transit. The bus system is not great; it is disjointed. So to go to events in Detroit, you have to drive and park your car. Where are we going to park our car? Hey, how about one of these parking garages/lots that charge $50 when there is an event going on? So-Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, major concert-yep, $50 for close-in parking or you are going to be getting your aerobic workout for the day. This is by far my biggest complaint with Detroit. Yes, they are building up downtown Detroit with all these "great" things, but we aren't going to help get you here. Portland's MAX system was excellent for getting me places without worrying about parking.

That's my little rant and roll. Enjoyed this very much.

Carolyn Marnon said...

I will say I live near a great small town (17,000) has wonderful people in it.

Olka said...

I live in Warsaw (it's in Polnd, Europe). To be honest I really love my country! Few years ago I was thinking about moving to London, but I've finally resigned. I'm a silly patriot :P
If you compare Poland to USA it's super cheap here. A lot of tourists love to come here for holidays. Most of the young people speak English very well, elderly ones usually have a problem with it, but they'll probably understand you in German or Russian (it's related to our history).
Our political situation isn't in very good condition right now, but it's not very bad too. We have not very good social and medical care, but if you're paying taxes in Poland you'll be always taken to the hospital in need and you won't have to pay for it.
We have few big cities where it's easy to find a job especially when you're specialst of sth. Smaller cities are charming and slower.
We also have wonderful National Parks and Nature Reserves which are avaiable to visit. People are usually tolerant, kind and helpful but they like to grumble ;)

Jann Olson said...

Your city sounds lovely Jeanie! I love our small town of Alpine. We have the gorgeous mountains that we see every day from our backyard, and they tower above our home when we pull in to our cul de sac. We live 5 minutes from a canyon and there are a lot of places to eat within 5-15 minutes. The thing I don't care for is that the neighbor town and main roads are so busy anymore. Seems that everyone is moving to Utah! :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Sketchbook Wandering said...

How fun reading about your city, to which you have paid a lovely tribute. And you grew up there! Moving in retirement is one of the best things I've done! I went from a larger city to a smaller town, right in the same state. Yes, it is A LOT of work, but such an opportunity to choose a place that makes one even happier than before!!

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