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  #41  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
The idea that everyone just has to stay in the place where they grew up to preserve physical proximity to family is a big part of why more traditional cultures are less economically productive.

It's also why their small centres are better than ours. Going back to a conversation from a few weeks ago - would all those nice little European cities be as interesting as they are if all the young people moved to the nearest metropolis to maximize their economic productivity?
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  #42  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 10:37 PM
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My family more or less lives in 'Nowheresville' and they don't think it sucks. They would rather live right where they are than the next closest major city, NYC because to them...the thought of living in such an area would be hell.
Well, if we’re honest, that’s because most folks in Apple Pie America don’t know why better. If all you’ve ever known is family night at Red Lobster and Dairy Queen for dessert, you won’t know that you’re missing out on Koreans Tacos and Blue Bottle Coffee.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 10:44 PM
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How do you know what small and mid sized cities have to offer?

If I could, I would leave New York and move to a place like Ames Iowa.

High end urban America isn’t worth the cost anymore

Lots of mid sized cities have great cultural and urban offerings, this was not the case 30 years ago.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 10:48 PM
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Well, if we’re honest, that’s because they don’t know why better. If all you’ve ever known is family night at Red Lobster and Dairy Queen for dessert, you won’t know that you’re missing out on Koreans Tacos and Blue Bottle Coffee.
You assume they're bumpkins who never been outside the area. Perhaps, they weighed the options and simply prefer the slower pace of living in smaller town and access to nature with Korean tacos being way down on the list of demands.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 11:09 PM
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Less competition for jobs, thats how I see. Suppose a job position comes up for a 5 year contract as a plant manager in Indiana making 250k with benefits. If qualified folks aren't willing to take advantage, more the merrier to lessen the competition.

Or in some areas that are in need of specific talent, where it might not be so present among the local population, better odds to land a lucrative job.

Some employers, if the talent is right, will offer relocation assistance and numerous perks to get the right folks.

The country is huge, why limit yourself to a small region, especially if one cares for their families well being and let's say the opportunities one is seeking aren't present.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by destroycreate View Post
Well, if we’re honest, that’s because most folks in Apple Pie America don’t know why better. If all you’ve ever known is family night at Red Lobster and Dairy Queen for dessert, you won’t know that you’re missing out on Koreans Tacos and Blue Bottle Coffee.
I miss Dairy Queen.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:47 AM
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I would move back to my hometown for lots of reasons but unfortunately career-wise it would be a major step back. I'm sure there are many people in the same boat in the various expensive urban centers where most of the good jobs are located around the country.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 4:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post

If I could, I would leave New York and move to a place like Ames Iowa.

High end urban America isn’t worth the cost anymore
There's also A LOT of gray out there between Manhattan/San Francisco and Ames, IA.

Someone coming from an elite coastal city frame of reference would likely find it easier to adjust to a middle tier city like Milwaukee or Cincinnati than a smaller rural college town like ames. And those middle tier cities will still be radically less expensive than high end urban america.

That's not to say that Ames is a bad place or anything, but its cultural amenities, career options, and urban living opportunities would be FAR outstripped by a Milwaukee or Cincinnati, without them being orders of magnitude more expensive.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 1:24 PM
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There was a point in time where I moved around quite a lot in my early 20s. I moved to Pittsburgh like 15 years ago, and didn't really expect this to be a "forever" place or job. But I got married to someone with local roots, had kids - my mother even relocated out here to be closer to her grandchildren.

It's possible in the next few years my job might relocate - probably to Chicago - and I don't know what I will do. I mean, I like Chicago - there was a time when this looked like a possible relocation when i was younger and I was all for it at that point. But now I'd need to figure out how to navigate Chicago Public Schools with my two kids, find a neighborhood I could afford, and would have to totally upend my daughter's social relationships. Even harder though is my in-laws are in their mid 70s, will absolutely not relocate out of their house (largely due to her father being a curmudgeon), and since my wife's brother is estranged from the family, the responsibility to take care of them in their twilight years will fall upon her.

I have sort of put my foot down with the wife though that I don't want to follow in their footsteps and age in place in a home far too big for an empty nester. I like the big old post-Victorian we live in, but it's a good size for a family, not two people in late middle age. Hopefully she feels the same way in 15 years or so, rather than being resistant to change like her father.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 1:43 PM
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I would say that I'm about as rooted as it gets... My family has been in Western North Carolina since before the United States, the state of North Carolina, Buncombe or Henderson counties, or the cities of Asheville and Hendersonville all formally existed. The oldest date I've been able to find on the tombstones in the graveyard where my family is buried is from 1772. There may be older ones, but the dates have worn off of those.

That being said, I've long been a huge booster of my city, as I imagine some of the old-school forumers here can recall. That being said, I'm really just kind of sick of what my city is becoming and what all the signs indicate it will become. The thought of ever having to leave my city used to make me heartsick, but now my fiance and I are actively considering it and thinking out our options. I can't speak for him, but I'm tired of all the hotels downtown, because every new hotel is another reason for the locals not to bother going downtown. I'm tired of the breweries because I cannot so much as force myself to give a shit about alcohol in any form, and so every new brewery is a reason for me personally not to go downtown. I'm tired of the self-storage facilities and drab McPartment complexes that are alighting everywhere else in town like swarms of bees. I'm tired of homeowners in all the historic neighborhoods demanding the right to basically turn entire swaths of those neighborhoods into open-air Airbnb resorts -- to the tune of fully 3% of the housing stock in the city had been turned into short-term rentals before the city banned whole-home rentals. That's the highest percentage of such in the country. And speaking of, I'm tired of venues like the Altamont Theatre being thrown out so its building's owners could convert it into Airbnb rentals, I'm tired of formerly scruffy and interesting enclaves like the graffiti art show that was Carolina Lane downtown being scrubbed and sanitized and turned into a row of Airbnb rentals, and I'm tired of entire new condo buildings and complexes going up downtown that are planned exclusively as short-term rental complexes. They're just more hotels by another name. For a long time now, the message from the business community here has been clear that Asheville is not for the locals. The city has become a backdrop and a set piece, and all the things that we used to do authentically, like the drum circle, have been commodified for the tourists. Every move we make, every idea we have now, is carefully scrutinized by someone in the Tourism Development Authority office to see if it can be sold to tourists. If not, it has no value and the way the city operates makes that abundantly clear. Never mind if your idea might save the world -- if it won't attract tourists it's worthless. We're no longer Asheville, the city. We are Asheville: The Experience™, and anymore the city barely feels real some days. Of course, we tell ourselves still that we're nothing like some tourist trap like Myrtle Beach or Pigeon Forge, heavens no, but at least those places are open about it. Asheville, in the end, is a whore like they are, but just a better class of whore.

And the real tragedy? About twenty years ago, not only was Asheville a more authentic place, but it went beyond authentic. It was genuinely joyful, genuinely weird, and genuinely spooky... You often got the feeling that if ghosts and magic were real anywhere in the world, they'd be real here. We really lost a lot when we traded the real city for the movie set on which all the tourists' little dramas play out.

With that in mind, we're giving some serious thought to bailing out. We'd like a place that exists for itself and has nothing to prove to anyone. It does what it does, does it well, and if the tourists happen to like it enough to visit that's great but that isn't the end goal of everything. He'll be graduating in May, 2020 as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and I have my BSW and might start working on an MSW after he gets done. We're trying to see what might give us the same experience that Asheville used to give people about twenty years ago. So far the frontrunner is Greenville, SC. It's a manageable size, has good restaurants and amenities, and it has a better airport and performing arts center, and a zoo. It does what it does and offers what it offers because it's for the people who live and work there, and the fact that things like the waterfall park and the greenway system also attract tourists is a side benefit. Best of all, it's only an hour away so I'm still close to family, and our friends -- like everyone else in Asheville -- go to Greenville to see shows and attend festivals anyway.

Still though... I wouldn't be the first in my family to move out of state -- I had a cousin who worked construction in Seattle for a while and another cousin and her family already live in South Carolina, but it's a bitter commentary that a place that has nurtured my family since the 1770's can become so alien that you'd want to get out.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
It's also why their small centres are better than ours. Going back to a conversation from a few weeks ago - would all those nice little European cities be as interesting as they are if all the young people moved to the nearest metropolis to maximize their economic productivity?
That’s a benefit of dense population and better connectivity by rail. And also the fact that these cities are much older - most American cities, especially outside of the Northeast, never became properly established before technology and the shift to a services-based economy made proximity to natural resources / transportation routes irrelevant.

And yet, in countries like the UK and France, economic productivity is still very concentrated in London and Paris, while provincial cities lose relevance. That’s basically the whole driver behind Brexit and the gilets jaunes, respectively.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:15 PM
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Germany, which has always been decentralized, seems to do a pretty good job of keeping small cities vibrant. The famed Mittlestand businesses are mostly in these small centers.

But outside of Germany, or maybe the Germanic countries, the smaller European centers seem to be slowly withering away, not that different from North America. Obviously university towns and tourist centers are exceptions, but the typical Italian or French city of 50k doesn't seem that prosperous, even if they have great built form.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:25 PM
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Originally Posted by destroycreate View Post
Well, if we’re honest, that’s because most folks in Apple Pie America don’t know why better. If all you’ve ever known is family night at Red Lobster and Dairy Queen for dessert, you won’t know that you’re missing out on Koreans Tacos and Blue Bottle Coffee.
Some people prefer city life, no car, small apartments, street noise, access to a Korean Taco truck etc..

Some people prefer larger living arrangements, yards, open space, peace and quiet, meat and potatoes etc..
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  #54  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:35 PM
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I have sort of put my foot down with the wife though that I don't want to follow in their footsteps and age in place in a home far too big for an empty nester. I like the big old post-Victorian we live in, but it's a good size for a family, not two people in late middle age. Hopefully she feels the same way in 15 years or so, rather than being resistant to change like her father.
i'm proud of my parents for recognizing their changing needs as they age and doing something about it. they're now in their early 70s and last year they downsized from their 4-bed 2,600 SF condo in a 3 flat (with stairs) to a 2-bed highrise condo overlooking the lake. so, no more snow shoveling or yard maintenance for my dad. no more stairs at all. and their building comes with an indoor pool, health club, on-site grocery store, dry cleaners, and two restaurants, so even if we have a nasty polar vortex, they can easily live within their building for several days without needing to go out and risk an ice fall. it all just seems so smart that they set this all up for themselves by themselves, instead of having it imposed on them at some later stage.

my wife's father sounds a lot more like your father in law. he and his wife still live in their giant 5 bedroom 4,800 SF mcmansion in exurban milwaukee, and he has said that the only way he'll ever leave his house will be on a stretcher. it's quite apparent he's in denial about his position in life, clinging so desperately to something he won't ultimately be able to keep, instead of just letting it go on his own terms. i can already tell that his end of life period will bring considerably more difficulties for his children than my parents will place upon me and my sister.

acceptance vs. denial.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Some people prefer city life, no car, small apartments, street noise, access to a Korean Taco truck etc..

Some people prefer larger living arrangements, yards, open space, peace and quiet, meat and potatoes etc..
Exactly. For standard Apple Pie Americans, it's likely they legitimately enjoy family night at Red Lobster and couldn't care less about Korean tacos or fancy coffee.

Pretending that those people "don't know any better" is snobbish and ignorant.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 2:50 PM
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Unambitious Loser With Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives In Hometown

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CAMDEN, ME—Longtime acquaintances confirmed to reporters this week that local man Michael Husmer, an unambitious 29-year-old loser who leads an enjoyable and fulfilling life, still lives in his hometown and has no desire to leave.

Claiming that the aimless slouch has never resided more than two hours from his parents and still hangs out with friends from high school, sources close to Husmer reported that the man, who has meaningful, lasting personal relationships and a healthy work-life balance, is an unmotivated washout who’s perfectly comfortable being a nobody for the rest of his life.

“I’ve known Mike my whole life and he’s a good guy, but it’s pretty pathetic that he’s still living on the same street he grew up on and experiencing a deep sense of personal satisfaction,” childhood friend David Gorman said of the unaspiring, completely gratified do-nothing. “As soon as Mike graduated from college, he moved back home and started working at a local insurance firm. Now, he’s nearly 30 years old, living in the exact same town he was born in, working at the same small-time job, and is extremely contented in all aspects of his home and professional lives. It’s really sad.”

“I don’t know how anyone could let themselves end up like that,” Gorman continued. “But he seems perfectly fine being nothing more than a genuinely happy deadbeat for the rest of his life.”

Former high school classmates confirmed that Husmer has seemingly few aspirations in life, citing occasional depressing run-ins with the personally content townie during visits back home, as well as embarrassing Facebook photos in which the smiling dud appears alongside family members whom he sees regularly and appreciates and enjoys close, long-lasting relationships with. Additionally, pointing to the intimate, enduring connections he’s developed with his wife, parents, siblings, and neighbors, sources reported that Husmer’s life is “pretty humiliating” on multiple levels.

In particular, those familiar with the pitiful man, who is able to afford a comfortable lifestyle without going into debt, confirmed that he resides just two blocks from the home he grew up in, miles away from anything worthwhile, like high-priced bars and clubs. In fact, sources stated that the pathetic loafer has never had any interest in moving to even a nearby major city, despite the fact that he has nothing better to do than “sit around all day” being an involved member of his community and using his ample free time to follow pursuits that give him genuine pleasure.

Former classmates also confirmed that the underachiever is apparently resigned to going to his little small-time, stable, extremely fulfilling job in town each day and has zero ambitions to leave his position and pursue a more prestigious and soul-crushing career path in a real city.

“I honestly don’t get Mike—does he even want to get out of that backwater town and try to make something of himself, or does he want to just waste his time feeling pleased with the pace and content of his life and enjoying his existence?” high school friend Caitlin Sese said of the man who gets eight hours of sleep per night and has time after work to see his loved ones and take care of his health. “Everyone else left Camden as soon as possible and is consumed by a deep sense of apprehension about getting ahead, but he’s still hanging around the same places from high school, focusing on the things that matter most to him, and existing as a relaxed, easygoing person who’s fun to be around. I can’t imagine anything sadder than that.”

“It’s almost like he’s saying, ‘I don’t give a shit—I just want to be an emotionally stable husband and father who’s not obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder and impressing complete strangers with my job title,’” Sese added. “Pathetic.”

According to relatives who moved thousands of miles away and are currently alienated from much of the family, Husmer has never once taken a major professional or financial risk, choosing instead to “coast through life” by putting considerable time and effort into his rewarding marriage, playing an active role in his two children’s lives, and being sincerely thankful for what he has in this world.

Moreover, several cousins who rely on medication to treat anxiety related to their perceived social status and relative wealth compared to childhood friends confirmed to reporters that Husmer is unlikely to change at this point, and may in fact remain a good-natured and highly fulfilled layabout for the rest of his life.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 3:03 PM
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my wife's father sounds a lot more like your father in law. he and his wife still live in their giant 5 bedroom 4,800 SF mcmansion in exurban milwaukee, and he has said that the only way he'll ever leave his house will be on a stretcher. it's quite apparent he's in denial about his position in life, clinging so desperately to something he won't ultimately be able to keep, instead of just letting it go on his own terms. i can already tell that his end of life period will bring considerably more difficulties for his children than my parents will place upon me and my sister.
My father-in law custom designed their house back in 1980, and is thus inordinately fond of it to the point he's told us to just burn it down when he dies so no one else ever messes with it. It's terribly set up for him in his old age though. He has bad knees (and refuses to get surgery to fix them) yet due to a combination of house design and topography you either need to go up a flight of stairs inside from the garage, or a flight of rickety deck stairs outside in order to get into the house (thankfully they have a ground floor master bedroom, and thus have semi-abandoned the upstairs). It's also set far back on a long, skinny parcel, with a driveway at something like a 20 degree angle. I really worry one winter he's going to break his hip or something when he shovels snow and slips - because he's also one of those people too cheap to hire someone to do something for him that he believes he's still capable of doing himself.

If it were up to my mother-in-law, they would have moved long ago. They were "talking about it" when I first met my wife, but she's basically given up any hope of changing things while he's still alive.

My father passed away some time ago, but my mom has always been very rational about these things. As she gets older she's been steadily paring her stuff down, and is now on what she thinks will be her "last condo" before moving into a senior apartment or assisted living. She honestly seems a bit too resigned to the inevitable to me - she often talks about expecting to only live another X number of years, for example, even though her health isn't particularly bad for someone who is 68.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 6:46 PM
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In some ways, I wish I was more 'rooted', but there isn't a lot for me to root to, per se. My extended family is scattered throughout the country- Detroit, Pittsburgh, Bay Area mostly. My immediate family is very small (no aunts, uncles or first cousins). Both sisters left Cincinnati and probably won't come back. My parents aren't planning to retire in Cincy. I've only retained a hand full of friends from growing up/high school, and most of them have moved away. Some plan on coming back to Cincy when it's time to start a family or whatever, but as of now, they're in Boston, DC, New York, SF...

I am very attached to places, and I do find myself missing Cincinnati from time to time. The hills and greenery, streets I know like the back of my hand, food, seasonal changes, annual events. If I moved back, it would be to seek the comfort of the place, seeing how most of the people from 'home' are no longer there. I guess this makes it easier to move around, especially compared to someone who has generations of family all within the same city/metro.

Last edited by edale; Jun 3, 2019 at 9:09 PM.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 8:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Some people prefer city life, no car, small apartments, street noise, access to a Korean Taco truck etc..

Some people prefer larger living arrangements, yards, open space, peace and quiet, meat and potatoes etc..
And some people want a city life with meat and potatoes. I always joke with my gf that its funny we love cities so much when we rarely take advantage of them and end up eating at chains all the time. I think its the parks or the fact that she walks to work and I bike to school which keeps us here.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2019, 3:03 PM
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I guess this makes it easier to move around, especially compared to someone who has generations of family all within the same city/metro.
yeah, these types of things can definitely cut both ways.

i'm fortunate that i'm generally pre-disposed to being very people-oriented, and to have such a large and deeply rooted family here in chicago, but were i wired another way, i could also see the tug of family to stay put in one place for your whole life as a serious and unwanted anchor.

my life works great for me, but it might not work so well for someone else.

it's all about floating your own boat.
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