20 votes

What do you like/dislike about where you live?

29 comments

  1. [11]
    patience_limited
    Link
    The Atlantic just published some gorgeous and revealing photos of my home state, so I thought I'd open the discussion up to everyone. In high school, I had to write an essay about the Spanish word...

    The Atlantic just published some gorgeous and revealing photos of my home state, so I thought I'd open the discussion up to everyone.

    In high school, I had to write an essay about the Spanish word "querencia", the place where you're most authentically at home. I'm feeling it here.

    1. What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence?

    2. What natural features do you appreciate most?

    3. Is it getting better/worse?

    4. What do you dislike?

    5. Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      I live in Hawaii, and they did my state too :) Lots of things really. Hawaii's climate is usually really gentle, and lets you do things like go to the beach or sit outside under a palm tree in the...

      I live in Hawaii, and they did my state too :)

      1. Lots of things really. Hawaii's climate is usually really gentle, and lets you do things like go to the beach or sit outside under a palm tree in the middle of January. People are more relaxed than on the mainland, they're very socially accepting, and work-life balance at local companies isn't just a buzzword, the vacation and healthcare benefits we get are really good compared to most mainland states.

      2. How colorful the environment is. The mountains are always a beautiful shade of green, the ocean is either a majestic dark blue or a light turquoise, the lava from the volcanoes (if you go to the Big Island) have an intense fiery orange glow, the native flowers bloom in nearly every color imaginable. Every where you look, especially on the Windward side of the islands, you're bound to see something pretty. Rainforests have also really grown on me since moving here. My university is pretty close to one and they're awesome, cool and shaded and with some beautiful waterfalls and rivers.

      3. It really depends. The housing market in Honolulu is as crushing as ever, and the gap between our salaries and cost of living is always growing. In most careers, you have to make some serious economic sacrifices to stay here, and Hawaii is getting a really high emigration rate as a result. Recently we did a study and a whopping 25% of our population said they had plans to leave within 5 years, though I'd be very surprised if that happens. It's really hard to live here though and in that sense, it's getting worse.

      But compared to what's going on on the mainland and in the rest of the world, I think Hawaii is pretty solid. We're not affected as badly as most places in climate change, especially at this latitude. Our work benefits are easy to appreciate with companies becoming more and more stingy every year. Our natural geography pretty much guarantees we never need to worry about war or conflict, and destructive natural disasters are actually quite rare on Oahu.

      1. The very stable climate has a lot of perks, but also brings with it some downsides. I do miss snow and how vivid seasonal changes are in New England, it often feels like nothing much really changes here. The summers in particular are quite harsh for me, as I have super fair skin and sunburn really easily. Communities tend to be very close knit, which means once you're in you have an excellent support network, but as a guy with Asperger's Syndrome, getting to know people is quite a challenge and I fail at it, a lot. Our timezone has its perks, but it also screws us over a lot, leaving us behind the rest of the world for major events. As already mentioned, things tend to be very expensive here, and combined with fairly low salaries (at least in IT), I'm going to need to be quite thrifty and will probably always be behind my mainland peers as far as finances are concerned. Although global warming isn't as much a problem for us as elsewere, we're not unaffected, with the climate getting drier overall. And we have huge problems with trash that people dump in the ocean washing up on our beaches.

      2. If I had to leave Hawaii, the PNW or New Hampshire would probably be my first bets. PNW has a climate I think I'd really like and a great market for IT, what with Microsoft, Nintendo, and the like. NH is where I lived as a kid and it's got a fairly strong economy as well. I have considered Japan as well as I'm currently learning Japanese and lived there before (and I loved it), or perhaps Canada. But both mean having to get a visa, Japan in particular would have some social hurdles as a gay white dude with 0 family there, and IT is very underpayed in both compared to the US, so I'm not really fixing the biggest gripe I have with Hawaii.

      Truth be told, I'm quite happy here and am trying to angle myself for a job after I graduate, so I don't have to leave. It has it's downsides, but there's nowhere else I'd rather live.

      12 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        Hawaii is lovely in pictures, I've always wanted to visit! I'm sorry it's so difficult to make ends meet there; that's a general problem in places where wealthy people want to live. The politics...

        Hawaii is lovely in pictures, I've always wanted to visit! I'm sorry it's so difficult to make ends meet there; that's a general problem in places where wealthy people want to live. The politics and culture are great, by all accounts, but you have to work very hard to stay.

        I hear you about the unchanging weather. That was one of the crazy-making facets of life in Florida. [Also, perpetual sunblock use sucks.] The absence of real seasons made it feel like life was just sprinting by, without the annual respite of deep winter and the contrasting mania of warm weather.

        There's no question that it's hard to find community when you're ASD, but I followed my deepest, weirdest interests and fell in with some equally weird, obsessive crowds pretty quickly. Beekeepers, IT security geeks, culinary people, localists, environmentalists, vintners, jewellers, writers, leftists, etc. I know that's difficult when you're a grad student, but I hope you're getting chances to step outside the doors of academe once in a while.

        I think Hawaii and Alaska (that nearly happened) were the only states I didn't get shipped to for work; I'll stick with Michigan over any of the places I did visit.

        8 votes
      2. [3]
        wundumguy
        Link Parent
        I'm curious about numbers. How much do you have to make to feel comfortable living there? Why aren't you getting paid enough as an IT guy?

        I'm curious about numbers. How much do you have to make to feel comfortable living there? Why aren't you getting paid enough as an IT guy?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Silbern
          Link Parent
          A LOT. Honolulu in particular, which is where nearly all of the IT jobs in Hawaii are located, is an extremely expensive city. I find one website with a calculator that says it's 88% above the...

          A LOT. Honolulu in particular, which is where nearly all of the IT jobs in Hawaii are located, is an extremely expensive city. I find one website with a calculator that says it's 88% above the average in the US. I'm not sure it's quite that high - a lot of the figures they quote, like an average phone bill of $300 a month or a bunch of bannanas costing over $5, aren't right, you can get them for far cheaper than that. They look like they're basing on districts like Waikiki and Manoa, and not including Honolulu's cheaper districts. But I would estimate, at least 40% above the average, maybe around 50% or 60%. For a single person or a couple with no kids, $80,000 in Hawaii is enough to pay the bills, set aside a decent amount of savings, and have enough spare money to have some fun, but it's definitely not luxurious. It's decent-ish.

          The median programmer salary here in Honolulu is around $75,000-$80,000, while the national median is $78,971 according to a Google search. So we earn just about the average salary you would across the entire mainland in this profession. But with that ~50% increase in CoL, it's effectively like we're earning an average salary of $40,000 to $50,000 elsewhere. It's doable, but it's a lot less for this profession. That salary definitely puts home ownership out of reach, and even owning a condo is dicey. According to Zillow, the median cost for a 2 bedroom apartment in all of Honolulu right now is a little under $600,000, and that's including the super cheap leasehold apartments whose land leases are running out and should be best avoided.

          As to why we're not paid to offset the CoL, I think it's because we don't really have a large IT industry here. Programming isn't location dependent, so there's no incentives for software development companies to set up shop here when they can do so for way cheaper on the mainland. Much of the work in software development is also government based in Hawaii, which constrains the average salary further since there's little competition. When there are listings, they're usually for senior level developers, which makes a job for a college grad even harder - and then you get into the chicken and egg situation where you need experience to get a job, but can't get a job without experience.

          9 votes
          1. wundumguy
            Link Parent
            Jeezes, the median house price is a million dollars??

            Jeezes, the median house price is a million dollars??

            5 votes
    2. [4]
      ThyMrMan
      Link Parent
      Live in Florida, Central Florida to be better. Because I feel like Florida is a bit tough to generalize, since your experience will change so much as you travel up or down the coast. It is warm to...

      Live in Florida, Central Florida to be better. Because I feel like Florida is a bit tough to generalize, since your experience will change so much as you travel up or down the coast.

        1. It is warm to hot a good 10 months of the year. Which means for me personally, it is always great weather for being outside and staying active. For some it might be too hot, and they would rather just stay in the A/C. But as long as I have a cold water bottle; I can be riding a bike, running, fishing, kayaking, or staying active without having to worry about snow and the cold. Along those same lines, the diversity of what you can do is massive, most likely if you like doing something outside you can find it.
        1. Main two are the forests, and the coastline with the rivers coming close behind. Have so many miles of coastline you can always find a nice beach to relax on, or some nice area to fish in, or just relax in your boat or kayak and enjoy the weather. If your not an ocean person, or close to one. Most likely you have a nearby river or lake you can enjoy fishing and kayaking in. While the many acres of forest is great for those land-lovers, who would rather explore the many trails or go hunting.
        1. I feel the area you live will change your opinion on this massively. In my area it feels like we have grown much larger really quickly over the past couple years. Having traffic issues in areas that never did, and even small towns seem to have 30+ cars at stop lights in the middle of the day. And it just doesn't seem like the road projects and housing developments are keeping up at all with the influx of people. Leading to that traffic of course, but also much higher housing prices.
        1. I hate how much of the state was sold to various corporations over the years, resulting in hundreds of acres of forests, swamps, coastline, being completely torn up and modified just to make some money. And resulting in various issues I feel we are just now starting to notice and trying to do something about and restore some of that has been lost.
        1. A complete lack of interest in trying to build out any sort of public transportation and improve what little we have. Can't think of a single city in Florida I could actually get around solely by bus or train, and wouldn't end up biking/driving. Seems like so much of the major development was based on the car they don't even want to consider something else. Feel like a high speed train down the coasts, and across the state would be a great way to travel between cities. Specially between Orlando and the coasts, how many families on vacation to say Disney would spend an hour on a train to spend the day at the beach but don't want to spend $100+ on a rental car to drive there.
        1. If I had to move, I think moving way north, to say Maine would be a nice change. I don't really like the cold and the snow. But I think wandering through snow covered forests would be an amazing experience. Parents used to live there and loved it. Have considered moving to an Asian country, Japan or South Korea, but can't help but feel like the change in culture would be too much and an extended vacation sorta trip would be better, 6 months or so.

      BTW, really wish I could use paragraphs in my list. Or have numbered lists with extra letters attached, like 4a 4b 4c for different parts. Best I could figure out is to just make a bulleted list with the numbers next to it, but don't add letters or it breaks the formatting.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        You can use multiple paragraphs in the same point by indenting them: 1. Here's the first paragraph of the first numbered point. Here's the second paragraph, indented by 4 spaces. 2. Here's the...

        You can use multiple paragraphs in the same point by indenting them:

        1. Here's the first paragraph of the first numbered point.
        
            Here's the second paragraph, indented by 4 spaces.
        2. Here's the second numbered point.
        

        Will look like:

        1. Here's the first paragraph of the first bullet point.

          Here's the second paragraph, indented by 4 spaces.

        2. Here's the second bullet point.

        8 votes
        1. ThyMrMan
          Link Parent
          Interesting, did not know that. Might want to add it to the text formatting page. Thought it only worked for bulleted lists that way.

          Interesting, did not know that. Might want to add it to the text formatting page. Thought it only worked for bulleted lists that way.

          5 votes
      2. jwong
        Link Parent
        I’ve just come back to central Florida And started running again —it’s been great during the winter. Now that it’s heating up I’m finding it difficult, even had some stomach cramping recently. I...

        I’ve just come back to central Florida And started running again —it’s been great during the winter. Now that it’s heating up I’m finding it difficult, even had some stomach cramping recently.

        I definitely need to get better acquainted with the nature here though. It’s been nice to be here an extended time and slower pace than my last trips.

        As @reese mentioned lack of income tax at state level is very appreciated. I’m currently trying to decide where to live, and while FL is nice, there’s a lot lacking in infrastructure compared to north wher I’ve just come from.

        5 votes
    3. reese
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      What are the best quality-of-life features of North Florida? No state income tax; sprawling infrastructure such that nothing feels claustrophobic; melting pot mentality since most people are...
      • What are the best quality-of-life features of North Florida? No state income tax; sprawling infrastructure such that nothing feels claustrophobic; melting pot mentality since most people are transplants.
      • What natural features do you appreciate most? Predominately beautiful, blue skies; being next to the beach; experiencing milder temperatures and fewer surprise storms than farther south.
      • Is it getting better/worse? Idk, haven't lived here long enough, and I'm about to move away.
      • What do you dislike? Backward thinking intruding from other southern states; lack of good tech opportunities; rent and house prices inflated by being near the beach.
      • Where, if anywhere, would you rather be? I live in a beautiful area with many nice people. The 15-20 minute drive to the ocean is great. But I'd rather live in a more mountainous, hilly area where it's cooler. As it happens, I'm moving to such an area at the start of next month.

      Edit: If you're wondering how the state of Florida fiscally operates without a state income tax, I should mention that it generates billions of dollars from tourism.

      6 votes
  2. grahamiam
    Link
    Lived in Round Rock, just outside of Austin, for 11 years. The main con there is the traffic and lack of public transportation. A few lesser cons are living in Texas and having a pretty crappy...

    Lived in Round Rock, just outside of Austin, for 11 years. The main con there is the traffic and lack of public transportation. A few lesser cons are living in Texas and having a pretty crappy airport in terms of routes and cost. The main pro was that it had pretty much every kind of food and event you could possibly want, despite not being a gigantic city, and being very close to seclusion without having to go far.

    Now in Taipei, since June of last year. The main con is the summer and humidity. I knew humidity sucked, but I never knew how much it sucked. Everything is wet, all the time. You have to use some sort of astrolobe to figure out when it's best to seal the apartment and run a dehumidifer versus opening windows and getting air flow etc. We've had a backpack grow mold that we don't think had anything spill in it. We've had leather sandals grow mold. We woke up with crazy condensation after forgetting to worry about the dehumidifier or windows for a big two days. Clothes dryers are also not really a thing here, and drying clothes on a line is a pain in the ass when the humidity is so high and it rains on a regular basis. Also, April-October is just miserable outside for the most part. Another con as a huge dog lover is that I'd be more guilty about having a dog here, due to the tiny apartment, lack of yards, and heat.

    The biggest pro is living in a city that values the same things I do a lot more than in the US. Public transportation, education, and environmentalism are very focused on and constantly being improved. Single-use plastics are still a huge issue here, but people on all levels are trying to address it. It's fairly common to see people bust out their own glassware containers to take leftovers home, etc. Commuting on a quiet bus instead of driving to work every day has improved my energy so much. Then, of course, there's the lack of guns and socialized healthcare, which is huge as well. Finally, being able to walk to just about anything involved in my daily life is such an amazing thing as someone who has never lived in a place with that potential.

    One element that is both a pro and a con is that food works a little differently here than in the US. There are a ton of little stalls that sell very cheap, healthy food - a good meal can be as little as $2-3USD. This is good because you spend less time on food and have a wide range of options etc. etc., but it also means cooking at home is a lot less feasible and beneficial. I miss cooking a lot, though our kitchen here is tiny and not very equipped.

    7 votes
  3. [3]
    aphoenix
    Link
    I live in a small city in Southern Ontario, Canada, so not very far from Michigan at all. What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence? There are a...

    I live in a small city in Southern Ontario, Canada, so not very far from Michigan at all.

    What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence?

    There are a lot of quality-of-life features I get just by virtue of being Canadian, with single-payer healthcare being one of the most important. I cannot imagine existing within a different system; I would be massively in debt, or (more likely) dead.

    Ontario has a number of great quality-of-life features, but one of the notable things is my proximity to many great work opportunities. I am in "Silicone Valley North" which is really important as a programmer; there are many employment opportunities, and many opportunities for tech businesses to actually do work. My wife is a professor, and we're also very close to a dozen universities that she could work at. It's a great place to be professionally for both of us, which is great.

    My specific city has a number of great features, but my personal favourite is a relatively new 9 hole disc golf course that is really well maintained and free to use. Or, more generally, a very well maintained set of parks throughout the entire city, including many that are great for kids to use - we have three kids, and they love to get outside and do stuff. In the winter, many of the parks have outdoor skating rinks, and our city hall has a really wonderful skating rink that is a wading pool in the summer.

    What natural features do you appreciate most?

    The natural beauty of Ontario is really similar the beauty of Michigan. We have so much freshwater coastline, which has beaches, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking opportunities all around. It's wonderful. I'm also about 90 minutes from Niagara Falls, which is a stunning place to visit, and am close to the Elora Gorge, which is also a stunning place to visit. We're only a few hours from the Muskoka region, which is the platonic ideal of "Cottage Country". Algonquin park is relatively close as well, for the best possible camping. We even have ski hills; they aren't as good as real mountains, but they're more than good enough for a crap skier like me.

    Is it getting better/worse?

    We are maintaining the course, generally. Provincially, we currently have a Conservative government, with a talentless, moronic, former drug dealer as the party leader, and he is doing his best to dismantle all the things that are great about our province, like universal basic income, environmental support, and great education. He ran on "buck a beer" (I'm not kidding) and has successfully modelled himself after Trump - a demagogue of no particular ability, appealing to idiots who somehow think that he can fix problems he has no ability to even understand let alone attempt to deal with.

    Our federal government is a bit better, but is not doing that great from an environmental standpoint either.

    What do you dislike?

    I guess I just answered that. I would really like for Canada to be more environmentally responsible across the board.

    Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?

    There's nowhere I'd rather be. I believe that Canada is one of the best places to live in the world, and this specific area is great for my family. There are other places I could exist and have the same sort of life, but since my extended family (and my wife's) is here, this is the place for us. I would consider any of the Nordic countries, or New Zealand as good alternatives, though, should the need to leave ever arise.

    7 votes
    1. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      Extra hearts to South Ontario, I used to go over the bridge/tunnel all the time. We love Canada so much that we honeymooned in Toronto. It was a fantastic place to visit for the young and broke...

      Extra hearts to South Ontario, I used to go over the bridge/tunnel all the time. We love Canada so much that we honeymooned in Toronto. It was a fantastic place to visit for the young and broke 20+ years ago, probably the most multicultural spot within easy reach for the midwestern U.S., and I'm including Chicago. Windsor still has the best dim sum restaurants within reasonable driving distance of the Detroit area.

      I've given serious thought to emigrating. My mother was Quebecois, and that plus native English language are worth a few points, but I'm basically too old now to qualify easily. On coming back to Michigan, I got the extra driver's license endorsement that permits border crossing without a passport, but haven't tried it yet.

      Sorry you're stuck with Rob Ford, and for exporting the U.S's radical right-wing politics. Unfortunately, we share a language and oil fields/pipelines, and those seem to be vectors for infection.

      8 votes
    2. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Our treatment of the First Nations and Inuit peoples, both past (e.g. Indian Act, Residential Schools, etc) and present (e.g. RCMP's mishandling of the missing Native women cases and Wet'suwet'en...

      I guess I just answered that. I would really like for Canada to be more environmentally responsible across the board.

      Our treatment of the First Nations and Inuit peoples, both past (e.g. Indian Act, Residential Schools, etc) and present (e.g. RCMP's mishandling of the missing Native women cases and Wet'suwet'en protestors, Arctic food desert, etc) could be a hell of a lot better too. :(

      But yeah, even with all our faults, there is still no other Country where I would rather live... although Doug Ford is definitely making me consider moving back to BC. :/

      7 votes
  4. bleem
    Link
    My apartment, I love living alone, but random loud noises happen throughout the day. I don't know if it is my neighbors or like the electrical shorting out or something. Ive lived here for almost...

    My apartment, I love living alone, but random loud noises happen throughout the day. I don't know if it is my neighbors or like the electrical shorting out or something.

    Ive lived here for almost 3 years, those loud noises and one of my neighbors smoking in his apartment (seriously looking at his blinds from outside shows years of him smoking indoors) everything is great. Management won't do anything unless they actually catch him in the act, but you can smell it a mile away in the hall.

    6 votes
  5. [5]
    wexx
    (edited )
    Link
    Wow, lots of Floridians here 👀 What are the best quality-of-life features of Jacksonville, FL? No state income tax. Pretty much everywhere has Central AC. What natural features do you appreciate...

    Wow, lots of Floridians here 👀

    • What are the best quality-of-life features of Jacksonville, FL?
      No state income tax. Pretty much everywhere has Central AC.
    • What natural features do you appreciate most?
      Oceans and Rivers, lots of parks/nature, the weather is pretty phenomenal for how much I complain about it (it's very humid, believe it or not)
    • Is it getting better/worse?
      I'd say it's getting better. Hopefully our current Mayor gets voted out in the next election and people don't vote for croneyism, but otherwise there have been some good development choices. There have been way too many buildings that should have been kept around for historical value that haven't been, and some other strange choices (a self-storage complex on the same strip as a bunch of bars/shops. It would make sense in the neighborhood closer to the interstate (about 2 miles down the road), but they had to choose that spot. There have been some other drama in the same neighborhood that's like "... seriously? why won't you just take their trash?" and our downtown transit system is supposed to be getting an overhaul in the near future, which a new regional bus station.
    • What do you dislike?
      I dislike how unsafe it is for general commuter cycling. Jacksonville is in the top three (along with two other florida cities!) for cycling deaths in the country. I don't understand how, but I constantly see people riding their bike on the sidewalk, against traffic, and numerous times I've almost hit someone. Otherwise, it's the poorly lit, unmarked roads pretty much everywhere in the city that contribute to this problem.
      (EDIT: also the confederate apologists and a good portion of the bad parts of being in the south)
    • Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?
      I'm really not sure. I just visited Chicago and that was nice. Somewhere like that with decent transit/walkability, decent enough weather, and ok enough jobs?
    6 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I always find it a bit of odd when Americans see that as a benefit. I mean, I get it... you get more money from your paychecks thanks to that. But having lived in several places in Florida myself...

      No state income tax

      I always find it a bit of odd when Americans see that as a benefit. I mean, I get it... you get more money from your paychecks thanks to that. But having lived in several places in Florida myself for a number of years, the quality of the public services there, except for in Boca Raton, was generally pretty abysmal compared to pretty much everywhere else I have lived (Boston, London UK, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto), and the private care there was also exceedingly expensive. So personally, I don't really see having no state income tax as a benefit... at least not a net benefit anyway, since if anything goes wrong in your life that forces you to require social assistance or medical care of any kind, you will likely be significantly worse off and/or out significantly more money than if you had just been paying a reasonable amount in State taxes in the first place. /"Socialist" Canadian rant ;)

      10 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        You hit the thing with the other thing. Roads, schools, infrastructure, parks, planning, transit, Medicaid, everything in Florida that depends on state funding suffers by comparison with states...

        You hit the thing with the other thing. Roads, schools, infrastructure, parks, planning, transit, Medicaid, everything in Florida that depends on state funding suffers by comparison with states that have income taxes.

        We were delighted to return to a state with a significant income tax. Our cost of living is close to the same, if not lower, but our quality of life is greatly improved.

        With coronavirus, it's reassuring to know that our local health department has adequate funding and is providing effective coordination, the homeless shelters have beds and can provide care, the hospital, police, and fire departments are ready, etc. Nothing I've seen out of Florida suggests that it's in decent shape for an epidemic (or many of the other recurring disasters, for that matter).

        7 votes
    2. [2]
      patience_limited
      Link Parent
      As an ex-Floridian, I have to say that one of the things which still consistently freaks me out is that no one who lives there mentions climate change. Like, ever. The streets of Miami are...

      As an ex-Floridian, I have to say that one of the things which still consistently freaks me out is that no one who lives there mentions climate change. Like, ever.

      The streets of Miami are flooding regularly, we realized that living 250 cm above sea level was totally unsustainable, hurricanes are increasing, the drinkable water supply is being infiltrated with sea water... I get that Florida has gorgeous beaches and you don't have to worry about winter, but it's a fantasy to think that it's going to remain as it is indefinitely.

      6 votes
      1. wexx
        Link Parent
        Oh for sure. I think about that most of the time I go to visit my parents on the backroads that are almost flooded if the tide is a little high. There are a lot of problems that the local...

        Oh for sure. I think about that most of the time I go to visit my parents on the backroads that are almost flooded if the tide is a little high. There are a lot of problems that the local governments seem to not care about, and I know it's not long for the world. Matthew and Irma were very bad for a lot of the waterfront properties along the river, and those were very close to being as bad as they could be, and they were only category 2 and 4 when they hit us. These storms are only getting bigger and more unpredictable as time goes on.

        I don't own property here, and I'm not sure I ever will. My parents were fortunate enough to get a new roof after Irma through insurance, but I can only imagine what a larger scale, more devastating storm would be like. There was yard and tree waste blocking roads for weeks after as well.

        I am constantly thinking about it, but yes, most of the more conservative population, you're kind of out of place if you don't fall in line with that. I vote, I try to remain vocal, but there's only so much one person can do, and when you're treated as crazy and idealistic and radical, it's very hard to make a real impact.

        That said, we don't have as consistently bad flooding as Miami, and Jacksonville is the furthest point west on the Eastern coast. We're slightly less vulnerable than other cities in the state, but not by much. It's going to take a lot to preserve a lot of what we have left, and fix the problems that people are facing.

        3 votes
  6. Kuromantis
    Link
    São Paulo City, . "What are the best QoL features in your city?" Just general public amenities put in place by the workers' party before the scandals buried them like public transport where buses...

    São Paulo City, .

    "What are the best QoL features in your city?"

    Just general public amenities put in place by the workers' party before the scandals buried them like public transport where buses often have air conditioner and phone charging docks and our metro and train system, welfare like disabled people having free public service which me and my mom use greatly and the existence of a public health system. (How did you people get here with your health?)

    "What natural features do you appreciate the most?"

    Serra da Cantareira I guess? Not much in the way of geography (that doesn't turn into slums) in São Paulo city, there are a few parks but it's nearly all urban, no forests, usually only parks, all the rivers are 'channellized' (as small as possible and filled with sewage), and it's not even all that hot or cold (around 30-5°c in any given year), although the climate can often just rain hard on the summer for no reason and in the autumn we do have good sunsets thanks to the clouds.

    "Is it getting better or worse?"

    We're under a conservative government so I assume worse, although to be fair my country and practically the entire world, outside the US and Western Europe and maybe Japan and Korea was much worse and our solution is just developmentalist capitalism because it makes numbers go up so they can come back in public amenities which hopefully old people here need as well.

    4: What do you dislike?

    Worse inequality than the US, slums, homelessness, the fact that most people need to go pretty far to get to their jobs and often work more than one, said public amenities (still) being terribly underfunded and often understaffed, crime rates being much higher than the US (and my state's rates are lowest because we literally made a deal with the leading drug gang here)

    "Where, if anywhere would you rather be?"

    Practically any developed nation that isn't the US. Ideally it would be new Zealand since it's chill, empty and not under a conservative government right now.

    6 votes
  7. mycketforvirrad
    Link
    Stockholm, Sweden What are the best quality-of-life features of your city? Public transport – It's clean, reliable, practical and very rarely do I have to miss an underground train due to...

    Stockholm, Sweden

    • What are the best quality-of-life features of your city?

    Public transport – It's clean, reliable, practical and very rarely do I have to miss an underground train due to overcrowding. And as a transport geek there's a variety of different modes to get inordinately excited about.

    • What natural features do you appreciate most?

    Archipelago – You don't have to walk very far or jump in a car to be able to find your way to a secluded forest or a deserted shoreline looking out into the archipelago.

    • Is it getting better/worse?

    Stable – It's certainly not getting worse, but I'd be hard pushed to put my finger on something that has noticeably improved over the last five years I've been here. Not that that is really a big gripe for me, I like stability.

    • What do you dislike?

    Peripheral vision – Swedes seem to have been born without it in my opinion; or maybe mine is ultra-heightened after living so long in London. But traversing the pavements can become a little teeth grinding at times.

    • Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?

    Uppsala, Sweden – It's the first city I ever lived in when I came to Sweden. So nostalgia is definitely playing a part in my choice. But there's no way in hell I can convince the fiance on that move...

    6 votes
  8. krg
    Link
    Grew up in the San Gabriel Valley (specifically East San Gabriel Valley), a region in Southern California. I appreciate where I grew up and the culture I was exposed to that has worked itself into...

    Grew up in the San Gabriel Valley (specifically East San Gabriel Valley), a region in Southern California. I appreciate where I grew up and the culture I was exposed to that has worked itself into my being. I may be biased, but I don't think I'd want any other cultural upbringing. Nice enough area, but not so nice that I'm without a bit of grit. Being Southern California, exposure to the glory of nature is usually only a half-hour to hour drive in any direction, which is pretty cool. I'm in Downtown Los Angeles, now, and the same rings true. It's much more dense in terms of activities that I enjoy participating in, though, and I'm frequently walking the streets and taking it all in. I definitely don't live in a glamorous part so I get to see the "homeless epidemic" and its expansion. They don't bother me in the sense that they intrude, but the fact that there's a growing number of mentally unstable people surviving on the streets does bother me, a bit. At this point, I feel like I've kinda run my course in this area and wouldn't mind moving to some place more sparse, especially since my time at my current job is quickly coming to a close. Been thinking of shacking up with some family located in a town outside of El Paso. Desert town life has sounded appealing to me for some time, more so now.

    5 votes
  9. weystrom
    (edited )
    Link
    Ah Berlin, I have a love-hate relationship with this city. Sometimes it breaks your will to live, just to suddenly give everything back in a moment. I feel like this contrast is what attracts...

    Ah Berlin, I have a love-hate relationship with this city. Sometimes it breaks your will to live, just to suddenly give everything back in a moment. I feel like this contrast is what attracts people to it.

    1. What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence?
    Decent public transport, when it works. Not as over-populated as my home city (yet). I actually appreciate German people and their mentality.
    2. What natural features do you appreciate most?
    It's really green in the summers, it's such a huge contrast to winters, sun really breathes a new life into the city. In the summer you actually get appreciate the weird mix of architecture that this city ended up with. And it's full of history, history that feels recent and you can still imagine yourself being a part of it. I live 15 minutes from the remains of the Wall, and you can still feel how it divides the city.
    3. Is it getting better/worse?
    It's hard to say, I've been here only for 3 years, but it's certainly changing. It's getting better for industrious IT startups and worse for hungry artists, from what I can see around me. Rents are certainly climbing up and they even had to freeze them for 5 years, starting this month. It's an experiment and nobody knows how is it going to work.
    4. What do you dislike?
    Miserable snowless winters, soviet brutalist architecture really adds to the gloomy feeling you get when everything is grey and it's raining.
    Berlin is also kind of unkempt all the time, we jokingly compare it to an alcoholic who's just waking up from a night of binge drinking and having his first cigarette in the morning. Dirty, smelly, coughing and he's lost control over his life.
    My personal gripe is awful levels of digitalization in Germany. Poor internet speeds, poor cell service, bad online banking and all the bureaucracy is on paper. Get it together, it's 2020.
    5. Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?
    Somewhere in the nature, Southern Europe, probably. I've been to Portugal and it's a beautiful country, I'd like to live there some day in a smaller town.
    As I get older the city "rat race" is appealing to me less and less. It certainly has it's benefits with all the events and entertainment and variety of people you can meet, but damn it's hard on your psyche to leave in a concrete box with a view of another one out of the window.

    5 votes
  10. Litmus2336
    Link
    What are the best quality-of-life features of San Diego? Beautiful, I know some people here, can go to the zoo/wild animal park every weekend, can go sailing, warm year round. What natural...
    • What are the best quality-of-life features of San Diego? Beautiful, I know some people here, can go to the zoo/wild animal park every weekend, can go sailing, warm year round.
    • What natural features do you appreciate most? The ability to be outside any time of the year
    • Is it getting better/worse? It gets more expensive every year... but I also feel it gets better
    • What do you dislike? High rents, lots of jerks in La Jolla
    • Where, if anywhere, would you rather be? A part of me still wants to go home to Chicago. A lot of my good friends are in the Bay.
    4 votes
  11. just_a_salmon
    Link
    What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence? I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. The absolute best thing about living here is that I have so much hiking...

    What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence?

    I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. The absolute best thing about living here is that I have so much hiking and snowshoeing within half an hour from my apartment. Ski resorts are also within an hour’s drive.

    If you want to reduce driving, there are semi-decent (for the US, anyway) commuter trains that go between Provo (~45 miles/72km south) and Ogden (~40 miles/65km north), and light rail that connects Sandy, West Valley City, the University of Utah, downtown SLC, and the airport. Transit busses exist, but I don’t really use them enough to comment.

    As for the state in general, the national parks in the southern half are amazing and absolutely worth visiting.

    What natural features do you appreciate most?

    The Wasatch Mountains (which the city is built right up against), and the Uintah mountains just beyond them. There’s a hike along a ridge just north of I-80 that I love.

    We get enough snow in the valley for it to feel like winter, but it’s not so often or so much that it gets annoying. The summers are hot, usually between 90-100F (32-37C) with a couple weeks peaking below 105F (40C), but it’s in a desert so humidity isn’t a problem.

    Don’t bother with either the Great Salt Lake or Utah Lake. Or reservoirs. I think Bear Lake is the only natural body of water that isn’t disgusting agricultural runoff.

    Is it getting better/worse?

    Overall, better; but I don’t know how I would begin qualifying that.

    What do you dislike?

    Without going into too much detail because I will rant if I let myself:

    • Bad smog, especially during inversions in the winter, and when we don’t get weather in the summer. Turns out that air gets trapped easily in our valley.

    • The usual issues with living in a conservative US state while not being rabidly conservative. SLC is an oasis, though.

    • Living in a theocracy run by the almost-cult you used to attend is annoying. “Theocracy” is hyperbole, but “almost-cult” isn’t.

    Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?

    I’m trying to figure that out, as I don’t want to stay much longer. I’d like to go back to Washington (Oregon is also acceptable) because I never thought I’d miss rain and even mild humidity so much. I’d also consider Denver. I think Minneapolis is about as far east as I’d go in the US. I’d give working in northern Europe a few years If I knew how to go about making it happen. Really, I could find a software job most places; I’m just a bit too anxious about it to get the ball rolling, and I don’t want to leave my coworkers in the lurch.

    3 votes
  12. FishFingus
    Link
    I live in Fife, Scotland. 1. What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence? Probably that we don't have the kind of student loans they do in England....

    I live in Fife, Scotland.

    1. What are the best quality-of-life features of your city/state/province/country of residence?
    Probably that we don't have the kind of student loans they do in England.

    2. What natural features do you appreciate most?
    It's consistently sunnier here than in west Scotland, which isn't a great deal, but it's definitely decent.

    3. Is it getting better/worse?
    Probably incrementally better, at least until the next economipocalypse. Every once in a while some old, brutalist building gets torn down and replaced, which is always a good thing.

    4. What do you dislike?
    Well, it's a new town in Scotland, so it looks pretty grey and Stalinist, and it gets pretty windy sometimes too. On the plus side, the people here are mostly nice and we have a charming little local cinema with a few screens and some sweet sofas.

    5. Where, if anywhere, would you rather be?
    Either in Penang, Malaysia; or possibly Israel, since a friend who's currently living there says it's great and you can get anything.

    3 votes
  13. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I live in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Violence, poverty, and homelessness are issues that go hand in hand, and negatively impact every aspect of our lives. It's also the largest city in the region...

    I live in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

    Violence, poverty, and homelessness are issues that go hand in hand, and negatively impact every aspect of our lives. It's also the largest city in the region and a tourist destination, so it's a very expensive city for people that live here.

    For the most part, I like the tropical climate. Yearly temperatures range from 18°C to 35°C. We're definitely not used to the cold. The heat is sometimes overwhelming, but at least it's lively. And I work from home and live near the ocean so there's always a breeze, which is super nice.

    I rarely go to the beach, but the ar, smell, sound, and vision of the ocean have a calming effect on me.

    Most of all, I love our culture, a mix of Portuguese and African heritage. It's a combination that reflects my own origins and personality. We're, at the same time, reserved and welcoming, cagey and outgoing. We're not the most refined bunch, and our manners can be considered rough (but not rude) compared to São Paulo or Belo Horizonte. I love that. In São Paulo, I have to be on my toes because people there expect more courteous behavior - their interactions tend to be longer and more labored. In Salvador, you just need a few syllables to signal to your fellow cavepeople that you’re not a threat hahaha

    2 votes