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Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Austin, TX; Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC
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kenculen


Mar 31, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Austin, TX; Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC
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I'm looking for a great city to live in that is also close to climbing.

1) I value having some climbing within 45 min and world class climbing in 3 hrs drive. My favorite style of climbing is Trad, followed by sport, and I don't fancy bouldering.

2) I also like a city that is liberal minded, and not overly influenced by religious dogma.

3) I'm a mechanical engineer, and I also want an area where I can get a decent paying job. The city must have some high tech job opportunities.

4) Also, I'd like to live in an urban environment, with plenty of things to do, but also not polluted and overrun with traffic.

My candidate list of cities are, in no particular order:

Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Austin, TX
Albany, NY
Westchester County, NY
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Washington, DC
Sacramento, CA

Please comment if you have lived, or spent a great deal of time in any of these cities on anyone of the 4 points above. Your feedback is much appreciated. Maybe I'll see you on the rocks in the future at your home crag!


(This post was edited by kenculen on Apr 3, 2007, 9:36 AM)


space_man


Mar 31, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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I'm originally from Portland and if I ever manage to get out of school there's a really good chance I'll be heading back there. It's got some good local flavor, and is one of the most livable places I have ever been.

1) There's some local climbing: Carver, Broughton Bluff, Rocky Butte (thumbs down). None of it's great, but it's adequate for as close as it is. The real gold is Smith Rock, obviously. It's about a three hour drive and worth every minute.

2) Portland is a nice bastion of liberal thinking (mostly, every now and then some conservative whack tries to make a mess, e.g. Bill Sizemore). It is the city the Bush version 1.0 called "Little Beirut."

3) I know there's a lot of software development in Portland and the 'burbs. I can't say anything specific toward your field.

4) Portland has what I think is the best public transit on the west coast.

Good luck with your move.


atg200


Mar 31, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Re: [space_man] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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Portland, OR - not wonderful for climbing, but not really bad either. its excellent if you dig ski mountaineering, wind surfing, or that sort of thing. sounds like the city that meets your criteria best aside from the average climbing.

Seattle, WA - traffic is some of the most difficult to deal with of any city i have spent time in - the public transportation sucks, and the complex geography leads to tons of choke points. otherwise, it is my favorite city on the list and is a gorgeous place. there is ok cragging nearby, and some really wonderful climbing in the area. its a very expensive place to live.

Albany, NY - dunno. gunks aren't far.

Westchester County, NY - very expensive in general, and not very urban. public transport is good, and the gunks are nearby. not a bad option if you want to live on the east coast. if you like cities, NYC is a fun place to live.

Dallas, TX - forget it. run! dallas itself has some ok areas, but texas politics suck, the weather is hot and muggy, and there isn't any decent climbing within 3 hours. the dallas/ft worth area is among my least favorite places on earth.

Denver, CO - the traffic blows, but aside from that it absolutely qualifies for your list. traffic is better if you are in boulder.

Washington, DC - ha!

Sacramento, CA - pretty bland town, but your climbing opportunities within a couple of hours are off the hook.


builttospill


Mar 31, 2007, 2:03 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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just scratch DC off your list right now. I lived there for 12 years and it sucks for the most part. Crowded, everyone is very driven, and there's very little climbing nearby. Your local crag in Denver or Seattle is going to be better than anything you can find in 3 hours of driving in DC.


worldonastrng


Mar 31, 2007, 2:18 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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You forgot to add Santa Cruz, CA.

Liberal indeed. Four hours from Yosemite. Pinnacles and Castle Rock are damn close. So is the freakin beach.
Tech jobs available? Its the Bay Area. Come on. Its not too big of a place either. Lots of good music. Good access to organic food. What else do you really need?


(This post was edited by worldonastrng on Mar 31, 2007, 2:19 PM)


petsfed


Mar 31, 2007, 2:20 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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kenculen wrote:
2) I also like a city that is liberal minded, and not overly influenced by religious dogma.

Portland is nice enough, but Oregon will drive you up the wall. Oregon is very conservative, but Portland is such a large part of the populace that the state can come off as liberal. The way the state operates is maddening (statewide speed limit of 65, and everything is decided by committee so as to be the most politically correct possible, heck they even post signs indicating speed traps). And the good climbing is pretty far.

To be honest with you though, you're gonna get pollution and traffic in all of those places, in a bad way. It comes from having a large population in a small area. Denver will have the best climbing out of all of them though. About 45 minutes to world class trad.

Seattle will have a lot of tech jobs, but so will Denver. Be careful with Seattle though, you may end up working for Boeing, which is not so good.


atg200


Mar 31, 2007, 3:39 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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Why is working for Boeing a bad thing? I contract for them occasionally and have no complaints.


dr_feelgood


Mar 31, 2007, 3:43 PM
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Re: [atg200] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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Not dallas.... for the love of all that is holy, not dallas...


Tree_wrangler


Mar 31, 2007, 4:09 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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None of the cities on your list are worth a hoot! If you're an engineer, you should consider looking into opportunities with federal land management agencies or with rural power companies in the Western US. Or with, say, planning or utility agencies run by individual counties or cities?

You don't have to live as "out there" as you might initially think.....i.e. you could angle yourself to work out of a moderately sized town, with progressive (screw the term "liberal") politics, light traffic, ample culture and rec. opportunities, and killer outdoor opportunities. Why go live in a smoggy, crowded, personality-less, traffic filled, Mcdonalds-culture, megalopolis if you don't have too!?

Now, if you're already employed, and the cities you listed are your only choices.......listen to everyone else so far. They're right, given your limited options.


petsfed


Mar 31, 2007, 4:13 PM
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Re: [atg200] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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atg200 wrote:
Why is working for Boeing a bad thing? I contract for them occasionally and have no complaints.

Primarily because they work their engineers so hard that the engineers have a union. As a child growing up in Kent (one of many suburbs of Seattle), I had very few friends whose father didn't work for Boeing, and the perennial engineer's strike got old after a while.


fearofheights


Mar 31, 2007, 5:07 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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Why Sacramento but not San Francisco? After all, you have to LIVE there, right?? The Bay Area is beautiful and progressive; we have (within a reasonable distance) climbing, skiing, all kinds of water and mountain sports, gorgeous coastline, culture, jobs... Biggest downside is the expense. But Oakland and Berkeley are ok too, less pretentious, cheaper and closer to the mountains.

Portland's nice too and a lot less expensive.


(This post was edited by fearofheights on Mar 31, 2007, 5:09 PM)


diophantus


Mar 31, 2007, 6:32 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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kenculen wrote:
I'm looking for a great city to live in that is also close to climbing.

1) I value having some climbing within 45 min and world class climbing in 3 hrs drive. My favorite style of climbing is Trad, followed by sport, and I don't fancy bouldering.

2) I also like a city that is liberal minded, and not overly influenced by religious dogma.

3) I'm a mechanical engineer, and I also want an area where I can get a decent paying job. The city must have some high tech job opportunities.

4) Also, I'd like to live in an urban environment that isn't polluted and overrun with traffic.

My candidate list of cities are, in no particular order:

Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Albany, NY
Westchester County, NY
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Washington, DC
Sacramento, CA

Please comment if you have lived, or spent a great deal of time in any of these cities on anyone of the 4 points above. Your feedback is much appreciated. Maybe I'll see you on the rocks in the future at your home crag!

I've lived near Seattle my whole life. Some things to keep in mind:

1. The traffic sucks bad, so do the drivers.
2. Housing is pretty expensive, at least around Seattle or the Eastside (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond...)
3. Climbing close to Seattle isn't all that great. I know, some people love 32, it's ok but I wouldn't get too excited about it. 38 is not all that great either, and it's way over-bolted in my opinion, again some people love it.
4. Index is awesome except for the junkies. I've been shot at up there before and I know people who have had their cars stolen.
5. L-worth is ok, except for the town.
6. Squamish and Smith are more than 3 hours away, and are the closest thing to "world class" around here.
7. The coffee and rain stereotypes are really F'ing annoying. Not everyone loves coffee and you don't need to deck yourself out in Northface gear. I could rant about this for hours.
8. Fairly liberal, not too many bible thumpers.

Hope this helps.


zeth01


Mar 31, 2007, 7:17 PM
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Re: [diophantus] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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SAN FRANCISCO IS THE PLACE TO BE IMO
but Seattle has the mountains. I'll be moving there soon if not back to SF. Oh and I msut comment that Seattle housing is cheap. Now I don't know what the job market is like or how the pay is over there but compared to SF and other big cities Seattle is cheap.


diophantus


Mar 31, 2007, 7:25 PM
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Re: [zeth01] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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zeth01 wrote:
SAN FRANCISCO IS THE PLACE TO BE IMO
but Seattle has the mountains. I'll be moving there soon if not back to SF. Oh and I msut comment that Seattle housing is cheap. Now I don't know what the job market is like or how the pay is over there but compared to SF and other big cities Seattle is cheap.

Housing cost only makes sense in context to income, you can't just look at the average cost of a house and conclude it's cheap. Don't expect to make as much money is Seattle as you would in SF.


(This post was edited by diophantus on Mar 31, 2007, 7:29 PM)


zeth01


Mar 31, 2007, 7:27 PM
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Re: [diophantus] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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sorry I'm a renter so I don't know how much houses cost. too much if you ask me.


toohigh


Mar 31, 2007, 8:52 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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Portland fits all your criteria. It is a really awesome city with laid back people, green streets, lots of outdoor activities, and a really nice tech industry. I highly recommend it. On the other hand I would advise against moving to sactramento. Seattle would be my runner up.

climbing: some climbing around the city with a few really nice gyms. Also Smith Rock is about 3 hours south. Birthplace of american sport climbing. It also has some good trad.

-john


billcoe_


Mar 31, 2007, 8:59 PM
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Re: [toohigh] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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You've gotten some great advice. I don't know whats wrong with Sacramento thought, like an earlier poster said, the rockclimbing not far away is off the hook.

Seattle would be high on the list too, big time traffic issues brings it down a notch. Maybe Portland a distant #3.

For Oregon, both Bend and Hood River would be better than Portland.


phillipmikerevis


Apr 1, 2007, 3:18 PM
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Re: [billcoe_] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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portland and seattle are best cities on the list but they suck for good climbing denver has good climbing but sucks as a city what about boise idaho
or reno/tahoe whatever you consider mark salt lake off your list all the nearby climbing sucks and it isn't close to anything the skiing sucks esspecially this season the high tech job market sucks and all the locals are total wankers


atg200


Apr 1, 2007, 7:30 PM
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Re: [phillipmikerevis] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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does your computer have a . key?


curt


Apr 1, 2007, 7:43 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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IMO, the Albany area fits your criteria best. Near the Gunks for trad climbing. Lots of high-tech jobs. Not a huge overrun urban environment, etc.

Edited to say: I can think of a few other places as well, but I was trying to stick to your original list of options.

Curt


(This post was edited by curt on Apr 1, 2007, 7:44 PM)


willthethrill


Apr 1, 2007, 7:47 PM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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Seattle, it's closer to Canada!


charlet_poser


Apr 1, 2007, 10:12 PM
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Re: [diophantus] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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diophantus wrote:
kenculen wrote:
I'm looking for a great city to live in that is also close to climbing.

1) I value having some climbing within 45 min and world class climbing in 3 hrs drive. My favorite style of climbing is Trad, followed by sport, and I don't fancy bouldering.

2) I also like a city that is liberal minded, and not overly influenced by religious dogma.

3) I'm a mechanical engineer, and I also want an area where I can get a decent paying job. The city must have some high tech job opportunities.

4) Also, I'd like to live in an urban environment that isn't polluted and overrun with traffic.

My candidate list of cities are, in no particular order:

Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Albany, NY
Westchester County, NY
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Washington, DC
Sacramento, CA

Please comment if you have lived, or spent a great deal of time in any of these cities on anyone of the 4 points above. Your feedback is much appreciated. Maybe I'll see you on the rocks in the future at your home crag!

I've lived near Seattle my whole life. Some things to keep in mind:

1. The traffic sucks bad, so do the drivers.
2. Housing is pretty expensive, at least around Seattle or the Eastside (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond...)
3. Climbing close to Seattle isn't all that great. I know, some people love 32, it's ok but I wouldn't get too excited about it. 38 is not all that great either, and it's way over-bolted in my opinion, again some people love it.
4. Index is awesome except for the junkies. I've been shot at up there before and I know people who have had their cars stolen.
5. L-worth is ok, except for the town.
6. Squamish and Smith are more than 3 hours away, and are the closest thing to "world class" around here.
7. The coffee and rain stereotypes are really F'ing annoying. Not everyone loves coffee and you don't need to deck yourself out in Northface gear. I could rant about this for hours.
8. Fairly liberal, not too many bible thumpers.

Hope this helps.

Lived in Seattle my whole life:
1) traffic does suck. so live near where you work and ride your bike, it's more fun.
2)hosing is expensive everywhere. based on my friends who are engineers, cost of living is fine when paired with engineer salaries (generalisation)
3,4,5) exit 32 is great. a lot like limestone, slightly overhung with good holds at avery grade. hard to beat. index is the best granite crag between yosemite and squam. l-worth is lots of fun in the spring and fall when its cold and wet on the west side.
6) squamish is only 4 hours away, totally fine for a weekend, smith at 6 is fine for a weekend as well
7) stereotypes are lame, but they exist everywhere. coffee is good and since the stereotype exists, you get your choice of coffee shop every 3 storefronts
sorry to pick your post apart diophantus, i've just never diasagreed with someone on so many points about seattle. good luck kenculen!


scrapedape


Apr 2, 2007, 6:06 AM
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Re: [kenculen] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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kenculen wrote:
I'm looking for a great city to live in that is also close to climbing.

1) I value having some climbing within 45 min and world class climbing in 3 hrs drive. My favorite style of climbing is Trad, followed by sport, and I don't fancy bouldering.

2) I also like a city that is liberal minded, and not overly influenced by religious dogma.

3) I'm a mechanical engineer, and I also want an area where I can get a decent paying job. The city must have some high tech job opportunities.

4) Also, I'd like to live in an urban environment that isn't polluted and overrun with traffic.

My candidate list of cities are, in no particular order:

Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Albany, NY
Westchester County, NY
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Washington, DC
Sacramento, CA

Please comment if you have lived, or spent a great deal of time in any of these cities on anyone of the 4 points above. Your feedback is much appreciated. Maybe I'll see you on the rocks in the future at your home crag!

I've been in DC for the past three years. I moved here from Vancouver for a job, but was prepared for the worst in terms of lifestyle. However I've been pleasantly surprised, and could see myself staying a while longer.

On your specific points above:

1. There are three places I know of to climb within 60 minutes of downtown - the closest is about 20-30 minutes. The local stuff isn't great, but it's a cost-effective, fresh-air alternative to the gym. There are several more mediocre crags within 2 hours combined driving + approach time. Seneca Rocks is under 3 hours and worth it for a weekend of even a day trip. The Gunks is 5-6 hours, worthwhile for a weekend or especially a long weekend. A little further gets you to some great climbing in North Carolina.

2. DC is quite liberal and secular. What more can I say? And remember, I'm from Vancouver.

3. There are lots of jobs here, and the region is relatively insensitive to economic swings. Especially if you're in the business of finding new and more efficient ways to kill people and break things.

4. Traffic can be bad, but it depends on where you live and work. I can take metro or ride my bike to work from Arlington to downtown, and it takes about 15 minutes. Traffic is never an issue. Lots of green space throughout the city.


photonicgirl


Apr 2, 2007, 7:30 AM
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Well, I've lived and worked near San Francisco, spent plenty of time in Dallas, and now live east of Albany NY and I can say that this is by far the best area I've ever lived and worked in. Here's why.

Albany NY has cheap rent, is a liberal and friendly city, with plenty of crime if you look far, but also a vibrant community of artists, vegetarians, musicians, and yes, engineers. I went to RPI for my M.S., which is nearby in Troy, NY. There's a gazillion well-paid engineering jobs in this area as it's the Capitol of NY.

There's climbing in all cardinal directions, from the Dacks to the Gunks to Western MA to Northern VT. There's skiing and snowboarding and kayaking and biking. Plus, there's multiple clubs who provide an infrastructure so you can find like minded folk to hang out with.

And here's the kicker: You don't have to actually live in Albany to take advantage of the opportunities around Albany. We live east on the MA/NY/VT border, in a ranch house on 18 acres which I bought for $99k 13 years ago. Now you can spend about $150k and get close to the same thing. I have access to the Berkshires, Kripalu, incredible Western MA whitewater and climbing in Great Barrington which is 30 minutes from my house. I have privacy and am within 100 miles of 100 universities and schools. Traffic is non-existent, and I take back roads into Albany.

Check it out sometime. There are plenty of job recruiters looking for guys like you who have a decent resume and want to get a job here.

Jules


diophantus


Apr 2, 2007, 7:56 AM
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Re: [charlet_poser] Best City: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA: Albany, NY; Westchester, NY;Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Washington, DC [In reply to]
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charlet_poser wrote:
diophantus wrote:
kenculen wrote:
I'm looking for a great city to live in that is also close to climbing.

1) I value having some climbing within 45 min and world class climbing in 3 hrs drive. My favorite style of climbing is Trad, followed by sport, and I don't fancy bouldering.

2) I also like a city that is liberal minded, and not overly influenced by religious dogma.

3) I'm a mechanical engineer, and I also want an area where I can get a decent paying job. The city must have some high tech job opportunities.

4) Also, I'd like to live in an urban environment that isn't polluted and overrun with traffic.

My candidate list of cities are, in no particular order:

Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Albany, NY
Westchester County, NY
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Washington, DC
Sacramento, CA

Please comment if you have lived, or spent a great deal of time in any of these cities on anyone of the 4 points above. Your feedback is much appreciated. Maybe I'll see you on the rocks in the future at your home crag!

I've lived near Seattle my whole life. Some things to keep in mind:

1. The traffic sucks bad, so do the drivers.
2. Housing is pretty expensive, at least around Seattle or the Eastside (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond...)
3. Climbing close to Seattle isn't all that great. I know, some people love 32, it's ok but I wouldn't get too excited about it. 38 is not all that great either, and it's way over-bolted in my opinion, again some people love it.
4. Index is awesome except for the junkies. I've been shot at up there before and I know people who have had their cars stolen.
5. L-worth is ok, except for the town.
6. Squamish and Smith are more than 3 hours away, and are the closest thing to "world class" around here.
7. The coffee and rain stereotypes are really F'ing annoying. Not everyone loves coffee and you don't need to deck yourself out in Northface gear. I could rant about this for hours.
8. Fairly liberal, not too many bible thumpers.

Hope this helps.

Lived in Seattle my whole life:
1) traffic does suck. so live near where you work and ride your bike, it's more fun.
2)hosing is expensive everywhere. based on my friends who are engineers, cost of living is fine when paired with engineer salaries (generalisation)
3,4,5) exit 32 is great. a lot like limestone, slightly overhung with good holds at avery grade. hard to beat. index is the best granite crag between yosemite and squam. l-worth is lots of fun in the spring and fall when its cold and wet on the west side.
6) squamish is only 4 hours away, totally fine for a weekend, smith at 6 is fine for a weekend as well
7) stereotypes are lame, but they exist everywhere. coffee is good and since the stereotype exists, you get your choice of coffee shop every 3 storefronts
sorry to pick your post apart diophantus, i've just never diasagreed with someone on so many points about seattle. good luck kenculen!

You agreed that traffic is bad, that housing is expensive, that index and L-worth are good and that Squamish and Smith are more than 3 hours away. I am an engineer and I still feel that housing is expensive around Seattle, go north or south of King county and compare the housing prices. For the same price as a 700 sqft condo you can get a 3 bedroom house with a yard and 2 car garage.


The only thing you disagreed with me on is the quality of climbing at 32. I didn't say it was bad, and I said some people love it but I don't care much for it. 32 is too much like gym climbing for my taste, which might be why you like it. Course now I'm gonna get flamed by everyone in love with Seattle, Starbucks, and REI.

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