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best cool/affordable/low crime cities?

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what cities best fit the following?

coolness factor... culture/stuff to do/fun

affordable living

low crime

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A lot of big college towns provide the affordability and easy going atmosphere of a small town while providing the cultural amenities of big cities becausae of the College or Universities. Gainesville, Chapell Hill, Madison, Austin... I'm sure there's many others.

For bigger cities I'd look at Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Providence. Though I'm not sure about the crime rates.

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Pittsburgh has I think the lowest crime rate of any major US city. It also has a lot of cultural amenties. Perfect mix of big and small.

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I'd agree that Austin is the best for all three.

-Very cool town with lots of outdoors stuff, interesting people, great bar/club scene.

-Low cost of living still due to the apartment over-build from the tech boom.

-Crime is relatively low for a city its size, providing you stay away from the east side of town.

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Agree that Ausin has a lot to offer, but the summer heat is intense. Other college town such as Athens or Chapel Hill are great.

Closer to home, I must say Kansas City has a lot going for it. There are sections of town growing rapidly, and there are a lot more cultural opportunities than most would imagine. Moving here from Georgia, I was surprised/impressed with the options KC offered me. As in many cities, there is far more to do than time and money allow!

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What about Houston. Probably the most affordable major city. Has all the big city amenities, culture, the arts, professional sports, great shopping, restaurants, nightlife, affordable housing. Hot and humid summers but great falls and winters. Year around golf. Plus close proximity to the beach.

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With the exception of crime, Atlanta fits those categories, and even then, it's still safe to walk the streets during the day and, in some parts, the night. It's the area south of I-20 that is really poor and dangerous.

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BUFFALO is very affordable and has a lot of great neighborhoods, great cultural institutions, great bar scene,great architecture, easy access to beaches, skiing, wilderness areas,Canada and areas like Niagara Falls. By raw data it may look like it has high crime , but that is generally confined to a few areas. Many many of the city hoods are very safe.

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Pittsburgh has I think the lowest crime rate of any major US city. It also has a lot of cultural amenties. Perfect mix of big and small.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Pittsburgh does indeed have the lowest crime rate among the 50 largest U.S. Cities (Metro). It is also THE ONLY city to have a lower rate of violent and non-violent crime then the WHOLE NATIONAL AVERAGE. Meaning it is comparable to rural small towns more then it is New York or Los Angeles--this all with a world renown and big city type arts, cultural, academic and entertainment resources.

Pittsburgh is also a very low cost of living city, many whitecollar professionals when transferring to Pittsburgh for its top of the line hospitals, technology centers or three of the top 50 law firms in the world are SHOCKED to find out how far their dollars will go on buying some of the stately old coal and steel barons mansionettes. ;)

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Pittsburgh has I think the lowest crime rate of any major US city. It also has a lot of cultural amenties. Perfect mix of big and small.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What about the weather? I like the setting of Pittsburg but when I was there last I was surprised at how run-down it looked in general. That was in 2003 so I guess things could've changed since then?

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Dallas is affordable but has a relatively high crime rate. Charlotte, Nashville, and Austin also come to mind as cities I find appealing.

Nobody mentioned KC but it is a very nice town with lots of culture and a high emphasis on the arts and a first class art museum with statuary and fountains throughout the city. I like warmer climates but KC is quite nice considering.

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What about Houston.  Probably the most affordable major city.  Has all the big city amenities, culture, the arts, professional sports, great shopping, restaurants, nightlife, affordable housing.  Hot and humid summers but great falls and winters.  Year around golf.  Plus close proximity to the beach.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I lived in Houston for a total of about 7 years and consider it one of the worst places in the country.

The only really good thing about it are the restaurants and nightlife, but that only means that you can eat and get drunk all the time (which may explain why it's the fattest city).

The beaches are awful and the water is brown and clouded because of the ship channel. There are almost no other outdoor activities except fishing or golfing, of which there is quite a bit.

There is a flood at least once a year (usually in the summer), sometimes bad (like 2001), and a cat. 5 hurricane would wipe the city off the map. It also rains constantly and, for about two months in the winter, it gets very cold and windy and there is a big, gray cloud hovering over the city.

The shopping is almost all mall-oriented, which may be because of the fact that it's also a very sprawl-oriented city, which is, in turn, definitely the reason for the major traffic problems and high pollution.

Then there's the almost complete lack of public transportation. The new light rail is useful for those living in Midtown and near the stadium, but that's it. There are park & ride buses, only service a few areas, and only run at certain times.

Oh, and let's not forget the chemical plants and refineries on the east side, which are actually rather striking to see at night (one of the few beautiful things at night since there are no hills to see lights and no stars because of light pollution), but are, at the same time, severely poisoning you.

I do have good memories of Houston, sitting around outside with friends on one of those few cool, relatively-dry Fall evenings. But there's just a lot of bad stuff and bad vibes in that place that make me always reluctant to go back. Even though I left a lot of friends and family there, I would never even consider going back.

Just my opinion though.

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Virginia Beach or the Norfolk,Va. area

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

YES! :) For a city of almost 500,000 (speaking of Virginia Beach) to have less than 20 murders a year is astouding. It also has beautiful beaches/attractions (Busch Gardens/Water Country, Downtown Norfolk/Oceanfront clubs, etc). As far as affordability... average. Finding a home for less than $200,000 in Virginia Beach is virtually impossible, but when compared to Washington/Baltimore, Boston, NYC, Chicago, California, etc, it's not so bad.

Plus it has a number of highrises on the way.

Norfolk: 230,000 people (smaller-sized but still urban); greaaaaat revitalizing downtown (if revitalizing is a word, lol). Crime is so-so. Still well under 50 yearly murders and my friends that live across the city haven't been robbed or anything. It has a booming skyline, a GORGEOUS waterfront, and many amenities.

GO US! Outside the HR area, I've heard from a best friend that Austin, Texas is very nice, and I've looked through crime data, population, housing, etc. etc. and it seems nice. The pictures of the city tell 100000s of words---beautiful and growing.

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What about the weather?  I like the setting of Pittsburg but when I was there last I was surprised at how run-down it looked in general.  That was in 2003 so I guess things could've changed since then?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Pittsburgh has seasonal weather - just like Philly, Cleveland, Boston, NYC, Chicago, Washington DC etc. I have never really understood why Pittsburgh gets such a bad rep for weather. After being in Chicago for awhile the weather in Pittsburgh seems actually a little more mild to me by comparision. Some people say it is more overcast - maybe that is what they are talking about, I have never really noticed that though.

Run Down? You can accuse Pittsburgh of alot of things but the one thing it does have going for it is aesthetics. The skyline has been ranked the 2nd best view in America (behind only the red rocks of Sedona I believe). It has retained all the ethnic neighborhoods all with their own unique architecture. Add in the mountains, rivers and massive amounts of trees and Pittsburgh is unmatched in physicality.

Pittsburgh is an older city so maybe it looks run down compared to some of the newer cities out west and in the south. But I would take a one-of-a-kind old gothic church and a victorian city neighborhood over a strip mall and cookie-cutter ranch house development anyday.

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I lived in Houston for a total of about 7 years and consider it one of the worst places in the country.

The only really good thing about it are the restaurants and nightlife, but that only means that you can eat and get drunk all the time (which may explain why it's the fattest city).

The beaches are awful and the water is brown and clouded because of the ship channel. There are almost no other outdoor activities except fishing or golfing, of which there is quite a bit.

There is a flood at least once a year (usually in the summer), sometimes bad (like 2001), and a cat. 5 hurricane would wipe the city off the map. It also rains constantly and, for about two months in the winter, it gets very cold and windy and there is a big, gray cloud hovering over the city.

The shopping is almost all mall-oriented, which may be because of the fact that it's also a very sprawl-oriented city, which is, in turn, definitely the reason for the major traffic problems and high pollution.

Then there's the almost complete lack of public transportation. The new light rail is useful for those living in Midtown and near the stadium, but that's it. There are park & ride buses, only service a few areas, and only run at certain times.

Oh, and let's not forget the chemical plants and refineries on the east side, which are actually rather striking to see at night (one of the few beautiful things at night since there are no hills to see lights and no stars because of light pollution), but are, at the same time, severely poisoning you.

I do have good memories of Houston, sitting around outside with friends on one of those few cool, relatively-dry Fall evenings. But there's just a lot of bad stuff and bad vibes in that place that make me always reluctant to go back. Even though I left a lot of friends and family there, I would never even consider going back.

Just my opinion though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I respectively disagree. I moved to Houston in 2001 from NY and have been very pleased. The city is open and full of energy, unlike most places I know in the US. It does have its malls and its fat people, but that's not all of it. I live in a neighborhood close to downtown that's very walkable and pleasant. There are tons of mature Oak trees and plenty of great restaurants and bars. Maybe it's just trendy, but I see tons of people walking around the hood. I live close to busses and light rail and don't have to deal with the freeways, which is probably why I like it here so much, but the lifestyle is very laid back.

I would hardly consider this one of the worst places in the country. After living for almost 25 years in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, Houston is a welcome change. I love the diversity and open-ness of the city. There are beautiful parks and fountains everywhere. The museums are top-notch and the housing choices couldn't be better. I've had to spend time in Dallas, New Orleans, and Austin over the past three years and am always happy to return to Houston.

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Kasper,

well said, Pittsburgh is kind of run-down in some areas but think about it for a second, the architecture, the flavor, the old signs and churches and atmosphere, much much different then the cookie cutter strip malls or skyscraper blocks one gets used to in the sunbelt or West. When I visted MGM/Disney studios with some friends the Great Movie Ride in that Chinese Pagoda theater thing in the middle of the park, the scene with the 1930's gangster setting, that could have been McKeesport or Duquesne or Uptown or McKeesRocks or the Hill, it was that neat, you don't have that mosaic of uniqueness in a pre-fabed cookie cutter strip mall in Lauderdale or Aspen or the Valley. There are so many unique twists and turns, gargoyles and statues, old ethnic signs and posts from long ago on those little streets that you could just feel the history and passion and humanity oozing out and grabing you. That's what I love about Pittsburgh, so much has escaped the PreFabbed, Wal-Mart, sea-of-sameness, strip mallization of America, cookie cutter design. You can actually feel the town as if it was walking inside a work of art.

:)

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Pittsburgh seems to me would be the ideal place. But when I was there it seems to lack people or vibrancy. It also seems to be economically depressed. I think it has so much potential. It has beautiful architecture, low crime rate, nice hills, scenic landscape, its affordable. Why are people not flocking back into the city. I'm just an outsider who visited Pittsburgh twice on business. Definately a diamond in the rough.

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Kasper,

well said, Pittsburgh is kind of run-down in some areas but think about it for a second, the architecture, the flavor, the old signs and churches and atmosphere, much much different then the cookie cutter strip malls or skyscraper blocks one gets used to in the sunbelt or West.  When I visted MGM/Disney studios with some friends the Great Movie Ride in that Chinese Pagoda theater thing in the middle of the park, the scene with the 1930's gangster setting, that could have been McKeesport or Duquesne or Uptown or McKeesRocks or the Hill, it was that neat, you don't have that mosaic of uniqueness in a pre-fabed cookie cutter strip mall in Lauderdale or Aspen or the Valley.  There are so many unique twists and turns, gargoyles and statues, old ethnic signs and posts from long ago on those little streets that you could just feel the history and passion and humanity oozing out and grabing you.  That's what I love about Pittsburgh, so much has escaped the PreFabbed, Wal-Mart, sea-of-sameness, strip mallization of America, cookie cutter design.  You can actually feel the town as if it was walking inside a work of art.

:)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So few people understand this concept. They think new is good for newness' sake. Hopefully we do not loose treasures like Pitt and Buffalo before people wake up!

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...2144&hl=buffalo

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