Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fantasy Home

Dan and I are back to our old wandering ways, having multiple conversations about whether we should leave New York, and if so, to where. We have been hanging on to Brooklyn, not only because we really do think this city is great, and Park Slope especially, but also because of my business plan aspirations, which would definitely require a minimum two year commitment. With all of my new doubts about whether the business idea is solid, or rather if we can ever honestly find the right location at the right price to open shop, I'm questioning our reasons for staying somewhere so pricey, a place that we are unable to afford buying even the most basic of apartment units.

We just passed a wonderful week with my visiting in-laws. Stella LOVED the constant adoring attention, and we were equally spoiled with the freedom to work and several nights out on our own. Stella became immediately attached to Grammy and Poppy, waking in the morning, and calling out to "Gammy" first thing, no longer interested in a snuggle from Mama or Daddy. I felt a little out of place, but in the best possible way, and was more impressed by the sudden and strong new bond. I've thought it a thousand times - WHY are we so far from family????... And, I've thought it a thousand more times - WHY do our parents have to live in Florida and Los Angeles???

So, we find ourselves back to the game of tossing around place names that just might suit our style... Seattle, Portland (Oregon and Maine), Asheville, Albuquerque, Buenos Aires, CANADA, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Southern Cal, Austin, etc...
Does anyone out there in cyber space have any thoughts on this issue?

Here is our criteria:
1)Somewhat liberal - no place dominated by ultra conservatism (both political and religious).
2)A place where buying a modest home for around $300,000 seems possible.
3)A city with good public transportation, and no heavy reliance on a car.
4)An edgy cultural scene - art, music venues, museums, and ethnic variety.
5)A great farmer's market.
6)Good schools.
7)Proximity to a decent airport with international connections.
8)A REAL summer (none of that San Francisco crap!).
9)Nature in our backyard - lush parks, and places to hike or swim that are near enough.

I'm sure I'll think of more deal breakers, but that's a good start. All opinions are appreciated.


Blogger Reino said...

If you want family, you need to land in so. cal or Florida. LOL

Otherwise, Georgia has a lot of what you are asking for at this time.

Texas is okay, but the bad weather can get you. North you get tornadoes and lots of snow this last year and south you get hurricanes. Texas is diehard Republicans which I don't think you want. I happen to be one, LOL. hmmm....

New Mexico is gorgeous! My uncle is building homes (contractor) there right now. You could talk to him if you like. The most beautiful sunsets on our continent are in Nex Mexico. The lightening field there is amazing!

Canada???? There's even less summer time there.

You are much better about looking into these things than I am. I can look into a very affordable brand new home in New Mexico.

good luck!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Swankyloma said...

I am too biased to offer you good advice as I would love it if the three of you moved back to Southern California.
1.) Liberal, yes.
2.) Housing is not cheap, but the foreclosure market is huge.
3.) In my neighborhood everything is within walking distance and it is one of the few places in Los Angeles county where you see people walking.
4.) There are many funky art galleries, boutiques, ethnic cuisine restaurants, relaxed bars, ecclectic bookstores and old theaters.
5.) Saturdays I go to the casual Silverlake Farmer's Market or on Sundays I go to the huge Hollywood Farmer's Market.
6.) Good schools you'd probably have to pay for.
7.) LAX
8.) You definitely get a REAL summer here with beaches even!
9.) We have the mountains and the ocean within driving distance...
I know, I know you don't want to come back to LA and all the traffic and cost of living, but you have to admit that it fills many of your requirements. You also cash in on several willing babysitters.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Linda Mar said...

I know I am biased, but I think you will find that Portland, Maine, fits ALL of your requirements. Unlike Asheville, it is only a 10 minute drive to Portland International Airport, with flights to NYC costing as little as $49 and taking less than an hour.

Also, almost all the restaurants here rely on locally-grown and/or organic produce, dairy, and meats. It's hard to have a bad meal here. I'm always surprised by how many local vendors I can find in the Whole Foods. And, you can easily afford a place in downtown Portland within walking distance of everything, but there is also a pretty good bus system. Summers are real, but they are short. The biggest drawback is that the winters are long. But since Portland is near the water, winters are not as cold as you would expect. Come up for a visit this summer and see for yourself!!

11:16 AM  

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