Want out?
December 10, 2021 1:43 PM   Subscribe

 
My company offered to relo me to Texas. I quoted Lucille Bluth to them, "Rather be dead in California than alive in Texas."

Before you call me a coastal snob, yeah, I lived in Texas before. Flordia too. Ain't going back.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:48 PM on December 10, 2021 [43 favorites]


I was amused to play around a little with the filters and realize that I just kept getting California towns 50+ results deep. I thought "low climate risks" might at least affect it, but I guess that once you ask for moderate weather and a left-leaning population, the West coast just swamps every other result. And...I guess nowhere in the world really has low climate risk. (Some of their suggestions have been threatened by wildfire in the last year!)
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:01 PM on December 10, 2021 [8 favorites]


I was looking for 'living near culture/art/museums/libraries' under the 'what I care about' and found nothing that matches it, so this isn't for me.
posted by vacapinta at 2:07 PM on December 10, 2021 [11 favorites]


only one filter selected: "transgender rights". all cities in texas are at 0%

not even a snob thing, more a "i would not like to worry about my rights/life/existence" thing

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by i used to be someone else at 2:08 PM on December 10, 2021 [78 favorites]


You can filter for Texas with trans rights OR abortion rights. Otherwise Dallas was my #2 city after San Francisco, which is funny to think about.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:09 PM on December 10, 2021


I am at this exact moment planning to move out of Texas in the next year, before they achieve their goal of making it illegal (as in, felony child abuse) for my trans daughter to receive hormones. They've tried twice, they'll definitely try again.

I honestly could live anywhere that meets that criteria and isn't a desert (NV is apparently good w trans rights? And NM somewhat). Feel free to memail me suggestions. Right now Colorado and Minnesota are contenders.
posted by emjaybee at 2:24 PM on December 10, 2021 [23 favorites]


How can "Next to an Ocean" not be a filter?! It's mind-boggling to me that it's not.
posted by dobbs at 2:31 PM on December 10, 2021 [31 favorites]


I guess that "more space for you money" is their stand-in for "affordable for non-rich people"? I'm not really that fussed about have a lot of space, but if I don't click that, my top choice is San Francisco, and there is no amount of space that I could afford in San Francisco. They need some way of indicating that a place is livable on a moderate income.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:51 PM on December 10, 2021 [18 favorites]


This is broadly accurate for me (Seattle and SF are generally at the top both on the list and in reality) but really shows America's stunted understanding of urbanism. There's small suburban cities in California that are getting 9/10 or 10/10 for density and that's basically the only metric. I get why though - it's much harder to get data on e.g. transit/bike/ped infrastructure quality and what's the point including some that's gonna be 0/10 for almost everywhere in the country.

It'd be very interesting to see this on a worldwide scale, because there's so so much more variety in how people live in cities. But getting the data would be next to impossible.
posted by davidest at 2:57 PM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


How can "Next to an Ocean" not be a filter?! It's mind-boggling to me that it's not.


You know, Chandler AZ would be pretty much perfect if it at least had a large lake next door.

And 15 degree cooler summers.

And maybe 20% more progressives.

And the amenities and social infrastructure that usually comes with having a large body of water, moderate summers, and more progressives...
posted by darkstar at 2:59 PM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


Six years ago we were thinking about moving to Dallas because the job market would be much better for my wife, but I'm very thankful it never came to pass. We ended up finally moving earlier this year to Charlotte, NC. I don't know if it's the perfect place for me, but it's close to the mountains and on average ten degrees cooler than Florida, so it's certainly an improvement.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:11 PM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


dobbs, because in the not too distant future your options will be next to ocean, or in ocean.
posted by evilDoug at 3:35 PM on December 10, 2021 [10 favorites]


My top results were all in a metropolitan area that I left because of bad schools and high costs, and an extremely white and uptight suburb of the city I actually live in now.

It’s like the categories you click have no meaning.
posted by padraigin at 3:37 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


My top 8 results were in the following 8 states:

- California





Guess I already live in the right place.
posted by tclark at 3:44 PM on December 10, 2021 [9 favorites]


The good news is I already live in the top city they recommend. The bad news is I can't really afford it. :(
posted by Space Kitty at 3:45 PM on December 10, 2021 [13 favorites]


I want categories for “pedestrian-friendly,” “can buy wine in a regular grocery store and/or online,” “not full of outspoken cat-haters and science deniers,” “can be a woman alone in public without men assuming you are public property,” and “not so arid that you can literally hear your eyes blinking.”
posted by armeowda at 3:49 PM on December 10, 2021 [55 favorites]


Lives in Toronto ... answers quiz ... gets assigned Buffalo. Checks out.
posted by thecjm at 4:28 PM on December 10, 2021 [13 favorites]


I want categories for “pedestrian-friendly,” “can buy wine in a regular grocery store and/or online,” “not full of outspoken cat-haters and science deniers,” “can be a woman alone in public without men assuming you are public property,” and “not so arid that you can literally hear your eyes blinking.”

I think you described my neighbourhood.

You'd have to move to Canada, though.
posted by clawsoon at 4:31 PM on December 10, 2021 [7 favorites]


I knew before I took it that the results would return Chicago but still it's nice every time some silly thing like this confirms that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

So many of my coworkers have inexplicably moved to Texas in the last two years and every time another one goes all I can think is bye, I hope you and your white, wanted penis have a real nice time there.
posted by phunniemee at 4:33 PM on December 10, 2021 [13 favorites]


I guess I’m lucky to live where I do because I don’t have to take a silly internet quiz to see where I should live. I’m there. Thanks to rent control. Though for the past 20 years, a lot of the reasons I wanted to live here faded away into a much more homogeneous melange of mediocrity and blandness. But still I can’t envision a better place to be. Except maybe, if I won the lottery, I could afford an art nouveau apartment in central Paris. But then again it’s turned into Disnéland full of tourists and lines. Maybe the task is to make where you live your home. Until such time as you can afford to make a home elsewhere.
posted by njohnson23 at 4:42 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


Wanted penis?
posted by RustyBrooks at 4:44 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Wanted penis
posted by slater at 4:54 PM on December 10, 2021 [11 favorites]


You know, Chandler AZ would be pretty much perfect if it at least had a large lake next door.

George Strait, Ocean Front Property
posted by Orlop at 5:02 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Wanted penis

🎶 …Dead or alive! 🎵

I think you described my neighbourhood

Made me look! If your profile location is to be believed, I was around there not quite 20 years ago. Even amid a summertime garbage-collector strike, it was indeed pretty darn nice overall.
posted by armeowda at 5:05 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


Buffalo, NY for me--which was a top response when I posed this question on Ask.
posted by sugarbomb at 5:15 PM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


So.... what do i have to change with my standards to to draw me to Oklahoma or Alabama?
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:48 PM on December 10, 2021


Huh, I want somewhere left leaning, not hot, with limited climate risk, access to healthcare, and reasonably walkable and it recommended a whole heap of little Maine towns.
posted by congen at 6:02 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


I mean, you’d have to pay me at least $30 million to move back to the US given how horrific it is relative to every other country I’ve lived in (including China) but I’d never really thought about Maine before and am curious to visit now.
posted by congen at 6:04 PM on December 10, 2021 [9 favorites]


My top results were pretty evenly split between small towns in California near the mountains and small-to-medium cities in the Northeast, including the city I actually live in.

Interestingly, the quiz really nailed my ambivalence about where to live surprisingly accurately by identifying two very different categories of places I'd be interested in living.

I guess that "more space for you money" is their stand-in for "affordable for non-rich people"? I'm not really that fussed about have a lot of space, but if I don't click that, my top choice is San Francisco, and there is no amount of space that I could afford in San Francisco. They need some way of indicating that a place is livable on a moderate income.

There is a non-obvious cost of living filter at the top (the dollar signs). Choosing two dollar signs pretty radically changed my results (in a more accurate way, overall).
posted by geegollygosh at 6:16 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


At first I chose only a few filters, just to see what I would get. A page of California, apparently. I went up to climate, looked, and yeah, the sunny box was unchecked. Unfortunately there was no cloudy box for those of us who hate the sun. But I already know to stay west of the Cascades and that's probably close enough if I ever feel like moving. I'm not sure it's the most useful tool to help people figure out if they'd like to live in the Pacific Northwest though. (Now I'm curious if there are other things missing that are big for where other people live. Any other filters they should've included?)
posted by blueberry monster at 6:36 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


I added a bunch of filters, ignoring cost and climate, switched back to the list and saw my hometown (pop: less than 50K) at #1 and a town very near the one i live in now at #2.

"climate" would filter them both out but that's sort of eerie.
posted by ethand at 6:43 PM on December 10, 2021


paywalled, but I assume it needs a Traders Joe's filter too

I'm set to retire at the end of 2029 now, so am open to relocation then. Might go back to Japan if I can somehow swing it, or I could just remain where I am and travel more.

Doubt we'll get another national real estate crash like 2008-2010 this decade but if we do I'll evaluate moving to the PNW more. What I kinda want is to have my own private "pitstop" properties (for a #vanlife vehicle) in WA, CO, and CA and rotate with the seasons, Endless Summer style.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 6:56 PM on December 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


Canadian but always wanted to try out living the LA California life-style. Maybe better that I didn't get around to it?
posted by ovvl at 7:13 PM on December 10, 2021


"But I’ll tell ya this. Wherever you gonna live it’ll be right here in these great states of Amurica!"

Seriously, is this exercise even worth doing with that restriction?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:37 PM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Huh I cranked Asian representation and apparently Maryland is Asian central; my top 5+ results all from there. I had no idea.
posted by juv3nal at 7:54 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


Thanks for sharing this (again)! I plan to spend my weekend playing with the different options and just generally geeking out with research.
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 8:06 PM on December 10, 2021


Yeah I played around with this for a few minutes but the lack of a walkability/public transit filter made it more or less useless.

Anyway, if you have the ability to work from wherever, I highly recommend moving within walking distance of several good friends, wherever that may be. We got lucky enough to find a walkable neighborhood where two households we were already close with lived, and it rules. Sunday dinners! Hang out on a whim! If you’re close to amenities like a downtown or restaurants, even better!
posted by thecaddy at 8:13 PM on December 10, 2021 [10 favorites]


Well we moved to a walkable neighborhood and made lots of friends here so it works the same.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 PM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


I want access to 24/7 public transit that's good enough to not
ever need a car, and I want to be able to get a hot turkey sub on a Thursday at midnight within a 5 block radius. That's it, that's my only criteria.
posted by windbox at 8:26 PM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


Anyway, if you have the ability to work from wherever, I highly recommend moving within walking distance of several good friends, wherever that may be. We got lucky enough to find a walkable neighborhood where two households we were already close with lived, and it rules.

I know one's early-mid-twenties are sort of fodder for platonic ideal of existence, but at one point I lived within walking distance of like 7 different friendly households, and we'd regularly have large gatherings, food sharings/pot lucks, game parties, general hanging out, and it was like being in college again only you had lives and jobs and apartments/houses and not classes/dorm rooms. Truly one of the best periods of my life, and if I could recreate it, I would. A lot of my group from my homsetown are now moving back being in their 50s and having money and leverage and increased WFH. It's something I'm thinking about if I could rig my life to support it, to be honest. The only reason I moved away was I couldn't find good work and my partner was moving away for a good job.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on December 10, 2021 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't live anywhere other than California* and that's the results I got, because good weather and liberalism win for me.

* except Hawaii, but, y'know, that's not realistic
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:11 PM on December 10, 2021


My top pick was Bolinas, with this description:
Bolinas is relatively expensive. The median household makes $61,667 a year. The median listed housing price was $2,200,000.

Whaaaa?
posted by Toddles at 9:22 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


*offer good everywhere but Alaska and Hawai'i.
posted by hippybear at 9:23 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


I don't do NYT.

But I have relocated neighbourhoods, cities, provinces, countries, continents in my time (starting at age two apparently). And yet the neighbourhood where I currently find myself was not chosen. It just showed up at the right time. Which also happened at least three other times with this exact same basic neighbourhood.

It seems to want me.

At least we have a monument/logo/publicARTwork.
posted by philip-random at 9:39 PM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


The New York Times seems to firmly believe everyone should move to California
🤔
posted by your postings may, in fact, be signed at 10:03 PM on December 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


Of all the places I've lived, which has included several states and several places in some of those states, California has NEVER been appealing to me.

I haven't done this quiz, but I'm so happy in my little town outside of a big city in Eastern Washington I don't know why I would bother.
posted by hippybear at 10:20 PM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


I am very happy to live in San Diego. When I was working, I had to travel on business, so I've seen other parts of America. (It sounds like the start of a joke, but I spent six months in Toledo one year.) The thing that impressed me through my travels is how much time people spent fighting the weather. So cold, so hot, so muggy, so much to shovel off the car, etc. If the worst thing I have to do is rake leaves every now and then, I'm OK.
posted by SPrintF at 1:29 AM on December 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


For some reason I keep getting cities in the US.
posted by signal at 3:28 AM on December 11, 2021 [9 favorites]


paywalled nyt polls. best of the web.
posted by lkc at 3:52 AM on December 11, 2021 [7 favorites]


Paywalled for me.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 AM on December 11, 2021


Drax:
I'll do you one better - WHY should you live?
posted by bartleby at 5:15 AM on December 11, 2021 [5 favorites]


Ganymede, the 7th moon of Jupiter, isn’t even listed. I call bullshit.

Sure, the commute times are hell.
posted by panglos at 5:21 AM on December 11, 2021 [7 favorites]


I moved out of Texas this summer, and it's been so fucking good for my mental health. I mean, I deeply miss the people I left behind and my community there. I miss some of the food and some of the familiarity.

But fuck I feel so much safer now. We just had a major winter storm in Minnesota, where I moved to, and there's snow everywhere, and... it's fine. The power all works. My colleagues warned me not to be on the roads during the winter storm if possible, we all adapted to the weather to do something sensible, and I'm snug and warm in my bed. No one needs me to deliver water or figure out how to make sure they find heat.

There's no Lege lurking over my shoulder to destroy any effort my community decides to make to do the sensible thing. My institutions aren't constantly responding to me with one eye on a predictably malevolent state government. No one is forcing guns or knives into my workplace.

It's such a fucking relief. It's such a relief to be away from the madness for a while--like not having an unpredictable, angry, abusive neighbor that lives in the apartment above me and is the son of the owner to worry about. I miss the people I left behind, but it is so, so good to leave behind the fucking Lege.
posted by sciatrix at 5:37 AM on December 11, 2021 [32 favorites]


Paywalled for me also. They really don't have a walkability/public transit filter?
posted by Gadarene at 6:12 AM on December 11, 2021


Ganymede, the 7th moon of Jupiter, isn’t even listed. I call bullshit.

Sure, the commute times are hell.


LOL. Humans. Still putt-putting around at sublight.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:26 AM on December 11, 2021 [4 favorites]


Count me in the "if I had a choice, it wouldn't be this country" bucket. There are things I love about the United States and would missed if I moved away, but it's just not worth having to smile through a coworker showing off the Glock he just bought like it is some political badge of honor.

(With a side of "do you know what a Glock is", because what we really need in that situation is mansplaining.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:01 AM on December 11, 2021 [9 favorites]


At first I got only dense(ish) California places, but by repeatedly adjusting the options I was eventually able to get it to show me the actual place I am moving to, though on the second page after a bunch more Californian locations.

This seems like something that is a good concept, but still way too flawed to be useful or interesting.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:11 AM on December 11, 2021


Pretty fun as a lark but as a two-academic family where we live is not really up to us. Somehow NYT seems to think I desperately want to live in upstate New York? Where is the "no ticks plz" filter?
posted by sinfony at 7:43 AM on December 11, 2021 [2 favorites]


I've lived in Minnesota my whole life and I like it here, at least in the twin cities and surrounding suburbs. I just hate the winters.

So I've basically been trying to find "Minneapolis but no snow". I'd like to keep looking but I have to do clear the driveway of the foot of snow we got yesterday.
posted by VTX at 7:53 AM on December 11, 2021 [4 favorites]


My top pick was Bolinas, with this description:
Bolinas is relatively expensive. The median household makes $61,667 a year. The median listed housing price was $2,200,000.


Heh heh…Bolinas. Place was pioneered by hippie & artist types in the 1950s and 1960a. (Phillip Dick lived there for a while, as did the poet Robert Creeley.) The streets were still narrow dirt lanes when I visited there in 1980. I expect many residents are either quite old now and/or the children/grandchildren of the original cohort. When houses do sell its easy to imagine prices in the millions. And the new owners probably pay cash.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 8:24 AM on December 11, 2021 [3 favorites]


Bolinas, rich hippies. This town was known for having residents constantly removing the sign on the main two lane road that went by the town that had <- Bolinas on it. They didn’t want out of towners there.
posted by njohnson23 at 9:09 AM on December 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


I got the west coast, (CA, OR, WA) so the cities in New York (NYC, Buffalo, Syracuse, Yonkers, etc.) and Massachusetts (Boston, Amherst, etc.). I got Anchorage, which is supposed to have a low climate risk, which I think is wrong, even if it's more racially diverse than say, Portland.

Unfortunately, my spouse is a freshly minted PhD, so we'll be moving to South Carolina or Iowa or the part of the Canadian border with the US that isn't close to civilization. Or maybe Scotland, which would be fine if it was an independent country. At least Alabama turned them down.
posted by Hactar at 9:25 AM on December 11, 2021


We moved from Charlotte NC to rural MN a few years back and every day I'm glad of that decision. Winter isn't ideal but you suck it up and learn to deal with it, hell once you get below 10 f it's all the same. There were things I liked about Charlotte, but it was also the most aggressively beige place I've ever lived.

It feels like so much of US demographic trends are people moving to terribly unsustainable places simply to avoid winter.
posted by Ferreous at 10:33 AM on December 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


Also, I will say for older towns in the upper Midwest, they tend to be fairly walkable, at least in the core area of town. When it's -20 out how far do you want to go to get to the bar/store/church combined with a building style that often focused on grid based construction with most all streets being through streets and not meandering dead end cul-de-sacs that funnel all traffic onto arterials.
posted by Ferreous at 10:53 AM on December 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


It feels like so much of US demographic trends are people moving to terribly unsustainable places simply to avoid winter.

From many years of watching job listings, it feels like a highly disproportionate number of new library jobs are being created in the southeast and the southwest, especially Florida. I'm hoping to move to a medium-sized upper-Midwest city in the next year, but the jobs are few and far between. I really don't want to move to the south for both political reasons (especially the southeast) and climate change reasons (especially the southwest.)

I would happily live in any number of places - the west coast, the northeast - but once I cross-reference the posted salary against the price of a one-bedroom apartment, it rules out a lot of places.
posted by Jeanne at 10:59 AM on December 11, 2021


You can kind of get at walkability with the density filter. Not ideal, but kind of useful!
posted by congen at 11:10 AM on December 11, 2021


The problem with the density filter is that it is really skewed by what counts as the bounds of the city vs the suburbs. There are plenty of perfectly walkable neighborhoods in my city (I don’t own a car), but it’s only scored 5/10 here because there are also some sprawly bits counted within the city limits.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:34 AM on December 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


I clicked "low climate risks" and Las Vegas was the second listing.
Which seems odd, given desertification.
posted by doctornemo at 12:07 PM on December 11, 2021 [3 favorites]


Places outside the united states both exist and are possible to move to! It boggles my mind how progressives can spend so much time wishing for a better country, when Europe exists and has fairly friendly immigration policies. Vote with your feet.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 3:12 PM on December 11, 2021 [2 favorites]


It boggles my mind how progressives can spend so much time wishing for a better country, when Europe exists and has fairly friendly immigration policies.

Not that friendly.

Also, uprooting your life to go live amongst a strange people is...not the easiest thing in the world.
posted by praemunire at 4:27 PM on December 11, 2021 [9 favorites]


It usually takes a fair amount of privilege to have access to Europe's "friendly" immigration policies. You need to have the right kind of job, or else you're going to have a hard time earning a living in a new country where you may not speak the language. You need to have enough money saved to uproot yourself and move. You need to be in good health, because those "friendly" immigration policies get a lot less friendly if you have a disability or a chronic illness. And I'm not going to begrudge anyone who has that privilege and takes advantage of it. But personally, I prefer to stay in the US if at all possible, because leaving would feel a bit like a "fuck you, I've got mine" move. Most people here can't leave. It would feel a little shitty and cowardly to take the easy way out just because I could, assuming that I could.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:50 PM on December 11, 2021 [20 favorites]


I don’t understand what it means by “health care”. I’m disabled and need an array of specialists nearby, so I starred it, and my first result was a census-designated place of fewer than 2k people.
posted by epj at 5:16 PM on December 11, 2021


Also, uprooting your life to go live amongst a strange people is...not the easiest thing in the world.

This is also my country and I want to fight for it to be the country I think it should be.
posted by VTX at 7:38 PM on December 11, 2021 [6 favorites]


Europe exists and has fairly friendly immigration policies.

If you are younger, healthy, financially unencumbered, credentialed (or with specific kinds of trade skills), etc., then yes, Europe can be welcoming. However, look at those immigration policies and imagine yourself being someone who has one or more things like being over 50, having a long term health issue, having a child with special needs or a parent who needs care, lacking higher education credentials, etc., and consider how friendly those immigration policies really are. (Europe isn't uniquely restrictive on this by any means, but it is wrong to assume that people who don't emigrate are doing so fully out of choice.)
posted by Dip Flash at 7:09 AM on December 12, 2021 [6 favorites]


"do you know what a Glock is"

Yeah, a $600 paper hole puncher.

What a loser.
posted by AlSweigart at 9:26 AM on December 12, 2021


(Apparently, "That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me. You know what that is?" is a line from Die Hard 2. So he's bought an expensive gun he thinks is cool because of movies and video games. Definitely a loser.)
posted by AlSweigart at 9:39 AM on December 12, 2021


Where should I live…well, apparently the only places that exist are in America.
posted by Jubey at 4:38 PM on December 12, 2021


I live in one suburb of Seattle and the article thinks I should live in a different suburb of Seattle.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:31 PM on December 13, 2021


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