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Well- this seems to be a more common posting on this list
serve. My husband and I are actually entertaining the idea of
moving out of the Bay Area to Portland, ME. Does anyone
know anything about living in Maine?? Quality of life, ethnic
diversity, most common jobs, liberal attitudes, etc. Of
course, this goes without saying, we LOVE the Bay Area and
are very sad to even think of leaving.
The only reason(s) we are considering this move are a) the
costs of living and housing here are beginning to seem a bit
out of our reach (we want to buy a modest size home
without having to overbid $100k) and b) we want to live in an
area where the PUBLIC schools are decent.
Of course, we want to find an area that has the wonderful
qualities/diversity the Bay Area has to offer: the racial and
ethnic diversity (we are a bi-racial couple and it goes without
saying that acceptance of this - and our bi-racial child- is
probably the MOST important deciding factor in where we
would move to), the sense of community (I actually grew up
in small town MA until I was a teen and remember how hard
it was to be a newcomer to New England- it takes a long
while to be accepted), the wonderful, organic, high quality
grocery stores (like Berk Bowl, Andronicos and Whole
Foods) and restaurants (where I was from in MA - burritos
were consider exotic and hard to find!), (also: is it possible
to be a vegetarian back east?), the educated and liberal
attitudes and general feel that we, here in the Bay Area live
outside of the mainstream.
Any input on what it would be like moving to small town New
England after living 10+ years in the Bay Area would be
Anonymous and reluctantly undecided
I grew up and went to college back east.
Try looking in college towns.
For example, Northhampton MA has several colleges in or nearby
(Smith, UMass, Amherst)...it has a very liberal feel to it,
lots of bookstores and organic food and cooperative farms.
Maine is probably a bit harder, but check around Bowdoin College.
Gosh, no, there aren't any vegetarian on the East Coast, you
can't get burritos, and people aren't progressive.
And you can't get New York Style Pizza , Maine Lobster and there
aren't any seasons in California.
I went to school in Ithaca, NY, on the East Coast and it was in
fact MUCH more progressive and vegi-friendly than San Francisco.
There were lots of cultural opportunities, not as many as in SF,
but then again it's a much smaller city than SF.
You can buy a house for a lot less, but you can't get a job that
pays as well, and the taxes are higher and you pay for heating oil.
All life is a trade-off, so you make decisions based on your
East Bay Mom
to the ''anonymous and reluctant'' bi-racial family thinking of
moving to New England ... I don't know much about New England,
but have you considered Denver? It is a pretty diverse city,
with good job opportunities and decent public schools. They
have some sort of local initiative that when the budget has to
be trimmed, schools are EXEMPT from being cut; but whenever
there is a surplus, public schools get 1% of the surplus. So
their schools are in good shape. Also, they are building new,
and affordable, housing at the site of the old Stapleton airport
(see URL). http://www.stapletondenver.com/
I grew up in Denver, so if you want to ''talk'' more, you can
write to me directly.
-- Mary Carol
I have lived in the Boston area for the last five years. In that
time, I have heard a lot of positive buzz about living in
Portland, ME, from people who have lived in New England for a
long time. I've also visited it a couple of times and walked
around and enjoyed some of its dining establishments. As you
know, it will probably feel smaller and more quaint than what
you're used to on the west coast, but relative to other New England
towns, it has a lot going on. There are a number of interesting
as well as upscale restaurants. And, yes, vegetarians are
thriving there. One of its most famous restaurants has been
called ''the Chez Panisse of the east coast.'' There is also a neat
market hall (similar to the one on College Ave. near Oliveto)
that you can walk through and find a variety of food stuffs to
eat on the spot or take home. Portland is also pretty accessible
to Boston (1.5 hours), so you will have good access to bigger
city life if you want it. I have heard people draw parallels
between Boston and San Francisco--a city that's close to the
water, mountains, skiing,islands. The biggest adjustment for me
and my husband, coming from NYC and Chicago respectively, was
cultural. People were generally more reserved and take longer to
warm up to others. But over the years, the friendships we made
were deep ones--Ones we will miss a lot now that we've moved out
here to the Bay Area! I meant to post last month but had to take
care of my own relocation from Cambridge, MA, to Oakland, CA!
this page was last updated: Jan 20, 2006
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