I Need Advice on Sunny US Cities With Decent Tech Jobs and Urban Centers

DSGamer wrote:

Stage 1 is we're going to move into downtown Portland from the burbs and just start walking more, start exercising more. See if that helps with the depression. This will start the process of winding down the home, renting it out, selling it, whatever. We'll keep investigating future landing points from there.

Also look for a unit that faces south and has a lot of windows... it makes a world of difference.

When I came back up here from Florida I decided that coffeeshops and things that would give me a reason to hang out somewhere besides home needed a bigger budget in the winter. If you're moving downtown or into the Pearl it will be easier.

Are you guys out in the burbs now? Like southeast?

clover wrote:

If you're moving from the weather, it depends which part of the weather you're trying to get away from. If it's the cold and wet, that gives you one set of choices... if you're mostly trying to get away from the dark, you have more options.

We actually love the temperature here fine. In fact, if Portland were sunnier it would be perfect weather wise. It's just the sun. 18 years of this darkness has worn me down.

clover wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Stage 1 is we're going to move into downtown Portland from the burbs and just start walking more, start exercising more. See if that helps with the depression. This will start the process of winding down the home, renting it out, selling it, whatever. We'll keep investigating future landing points from there.

Also look for a unit that faces south and has a lot of windows... it makes a world of difference.

When I came back up here from Florida I decided that coffeeshops and things that would give me a reason to hang out somewhere besides home needed a bigger budget in the winter. If you're moving downtown or into the Pearl it will be easier.

Are you guys out in the burbs now? Like southeast?

We're in Beaverton. Applied for a high rise apartment downtown today.

DSGamer wrote:
MisterStatic wrote:

The same thing could be said about summers in the Pacific NW, they are phenomenal. Also, I have yet to find a place like Portland for restaurants. I am sure they are out there, but not in such a beautiful package like Portland.

Yeah. This is what we came to today. We're going to double down on here, hoping that our love for the area plus being in an actual urban area helps.

Stage 1 is we're going to move into downtown Portland from the burbs and just start walking more, start exercising more. See if that helps with the depression. This will start the process of winding down the home, renting it out, selling it, whatever. We'll keep investigating future landing points from there.

Good call in my opinion. Downtown is great. We lived there for a few years in the mid 90s (and I know that dream is still alive ) A couple things that can help with the PNW blues:

- take a cheap trip to Cali a couple of times just to get some sunny weekend time

- drive out to Bend or somewhere east of the grey. Wenatchee or Leavenworth, WA is where we like to go in the winter. Even Medford/Ashland/Grants Pass has significantly more sunny days.

- keep telling yourself there is a beautiful blue above them there clouds. If your wife flies a lot, I am sure she can relate to the "Oh, wow, there is sun up here?" feeling.

Boulder, definitely. Its like Denver, but better. It regularly ranks in the top 5 cities in the US for health, happiness, good food, good beer, etc. About as close to DIA as south Denver, and right on the edge of a ton of outdoor recreation. Plus, we're the silicon valley of the rockies.

DS, we've been a lot happier since we've made a pact to see the sun in January or February, a week in Mexico or Hawaii has made a huge difference in getting through the winters. That and getting back into snow sports.

jonnypolite wrote:

DS, we've been a lot happier since we've made a pact to see the sun in January or February, a week in Mexico or Hawaii has made a huge difference in getting through the winters. That and getting back into snow sports.

Yeah. We get out of the state at least 3 times a winter. Last year it was Vegas, Phoenix and Guatemala / Belize. This year it was Croatia and we have Vegas on the books next. It helps and that was part of our thought process honestly. We have predictable income and my wife is getting to sunny locales frequently. So staying, for now, means we have te money to take those trips. Hopefully being in a walking city helps make up the difference. I'm still carrying 100 extra lbs after my accident in 2008. Something had to change. I suppose I could retire this "I'm depressed, in a funk, and need a major change of pace."

DSGamer wrote:

So I guess we're visiting Austin from the 29th of December through the 2nd to just check the city out.

If there's anything I can do, drop me a PM.

Later (edit):

DSGamer wrote:

We're going to double down on here...

Oh, never mind then.

Grumpicus wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

So I guess we're visiting Austin from the 29th of December through the 2nd to just check the city out.

If there's anything I can do, drop me a PM.

Later (edit):

DSGamer wrote:

We're going to double down on here...

Oh, never mind then.

We'll keep you in mind. We're starting the process of being more flexible, so we still might give Austin a look down the road. At the very least we'll visit this summer to get a sense of how the heat is.

DSGamer wrote:
clover wrote:

If you're moving from the weather, it depends which part of the weather you're trying to get away from. If it's the cold and wet, that gives you one set of choices... if you're mostly trying to get away from the dark, you have more options.

We actually love the temperature here fine. In fact, if Portland were sunnier it would be perfect weather wise. It's just the sun. 18 years of this darkness has worn me down.

clover wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Stage 1 is we're going to move into downtown Portland from the burbs and just start walking more, start exercising more. See if that helps with the depression. This will start the process of winding down the home, renting it out, selling it, whatever. We'll keep investigating future landing points from there.

Also look for a unit that faces south and has a lot of windows... it makes a world of difference.

When I came back up here from Florida I decided that coffeeshops and things that would give me a reason to hang out somewhere besides home needed a bigger budget in the winter. If you're moving downtown or into the Pearl it will be easier.

Are you guys out in the burbs now? Like southeast?

We're in Beaverton. Applied for a high rise apartment downtown today.

Yeah dude. There's no reason to live in Beaverton if you don't have kiddies.

Regarding my comments on Nashville: yeah, I've been there on and off while I was growing up. Not really enough to ferret out the out of the way places, but enough to say that it's not a very good analogue of Portland. Like I said before, I'm not saying it's a terrible city, I just don't think it stacks up favorably with some of the other places mentioned here.

kazooka wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
clover wrote:

If you're moving from the weather, it depends which part of the weather you're trying to get away from. If it's the cold and wet, that gives you one set of choices... if you're mostly trying to get away from the dark, you have more options.

We actually love the temperature here fine. In fact, if Portland were sunnier it would be perfect weather wise. It's just the sun. 18 years of this darkness has worn me down.

clover wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Stage 1 is we're going to move into downtown Portland from the burbs and just start walking more, start exercising more. See if that helps with the depression. This will start the process of winding down the home, renting it out, selling it, whatever. We'll keep investigating future landing points from there.

Also look for a unit that faces south and has a lot of windows... it makes a world of difference.

When I came back up here from Florida I decided that coffeeshops and things that would give me a reason to hang out somewhere besides home needed a bigger budget in the winter. If you're moving downtown or into the Pearl it will be easier.

Are you guys out in the burbs now? Like southeast?

We're in Beaverton. Applied for a high rise apartment downtown today.

Yeah dude. There's no reason to live in Beaverton if you don't have kiddies.

Regarding my comments on Nashville: yeah, I've been there on and off while I was growing up. Not really enough to ferret out the out of the way places, but enough to say that it's not a very good analogue of Portland. Like I said before, I'm not saying it's a terrible city, I just don't think it stacks up favorably with some of the other places mentioned here.

kazooka wrote:

I grew up in Huntsville, FWIW. Nashville seems to be missing a lot of the quirky little areas that give a city personality. A lot of that's been subverted by the music industry. It's also one of these big, sprawling New South cities which dilutes its character even further. That's not to say it's a bad place to live or that it has no redeeming qualities, but if you like Portland, Nashville's probably not your cup of microbrew.

So you got all that from somewhere you visited "off and on growing up"?

To clarify my Nashville post, I was mostly joking. I was only there for one day and my dad dragged me to every country thing he could find.

FWIW: Have your winter vitamin D levels checked, keeping them up can make a huge difference with SAD.
If you like where you are, talk to your doctor about things.

If you are up for a change, since moving to the Raleigh-Durham area, I haven't had any problem with SAD. Winter skies stay Carolina blue, rather than dirty grey from Oct - March.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
ChrisGwinn wrote:

Minneapolis is great.

I don't think good summers when I think of the Twin Cities. I'll google it, though.

This is what I meant about the general perception of Minnesota. For some reason there's like this big secret about how great summer is here.

How long is summer there, really?

June 21-Sept 21

It depends on what you are looking for but, for me, I would say it's usually pretty nice from around mid-April well into October. Hell, I was wearing shorts until the week before Thanksgiving this year.

This year I started commuting to work on my bike in April and carried through to November. Summer is nice, but it gets as hot as anywhere else in the US. We hit 107 for a few days last summer.

I don't know about Austin, but Dallas summers are, seriously, hellish.
I've said it in other threads, but we don't have the normal seasons.
We have Hot(Summer, this year we had something like 50 or 60 days, in a row, over 100F), Fall(Oct-Jan, temps range from the low teens to the 80s, no boxing up the summer clothes here), February(yeah, it's its own season. Ice, Sleet, bitter cold, wet, wretched, and 98% of Dallasites don't understand driving on ice), and lastly, we have Spring(time to mow again).

We're in a drought, have been for years. This year, we had a burn ban for all but 3 counties in the whole state, due to the drought and heat.
Any idea how fun a camping trip is where a)you're not allowed a fire and b)it's still 90F at 8:30pm?

On the upside, the job market in Dallas/Fort Worth is pretty healthy for techies and code monkeys. Cost of Living is very affordable unless you have to live where the rich people live, and even then, comparatively speaking, D/FW is pretty cheap.

I'm a Texan. I laugh my ass off when we hit our first 100F day in May or June and the yankees complain about the heat. August is coming, pumpkin. Just wait.
I love the snowpocalypses we've been having lately. I don't drive when it gets like that. I just take the day or 3 off.

So, good job market(for geeks). Ridiculous weather.

duckilama wrote:

I don't know about Austin, but ...

... I love the snowpocalypses we've been having lately.

Yeah, it's mostly like that here, except for a lot less snow and ice. Those 200 miles make all the difference. Also, it's only 1.7 million people instead of 6.4M. I like my MSAs a bit less gargantuan.

Sure, summers are hot but I moved here from New Orleans. What humidity?

It's just the sun. 18 years of this darkness has worn me down.

I just had a thought, DSGamer. Why not get full spectrum lights for all your light fixtures? That might solve the winter blahs within a few weeks, and it's enormously cheaper than uprooting your entire life.

RedJen wrote:

FWIW: Have your winter vitamin D levels checked, keeping them up can make a huge difference with SAD.
If you like where you are, talk to your doctor about things.

A couple thousand micrograms of Vitamin D a day keeps the gloom away.

OG_slinger wrote:
RedJen wrote:

FWIW: Have your winter vitamin D levels checked, keeping them up can make a huge difference with SAD.
If you like where you are, talk to your doctor about things.

A couple thousand micrograms of Vitamin D a day keeps the gloom away.

True dat.

Malor wrote:
It's just the sun. 18 years of this darkness has worn me down.

I just had a thought, DSGamer. Why not get full spectrum lights for all your light fixtures? That might solve the winter blahs within a few weeks, and it's enormously cheaper than uprooting your entire life.

Ya. I started buying only those purple Reveal bulbs almost ten years ago; every little thing adds up to life sucking less

I don't think Reveals are full spectrum, although I could be wrong. Aren't those just lights with a lot of blue in them?

Malor wrote:

I don't think Reveals are full spectrum, although I could be wrong. Aren't those just lights with a lot of blue in them?

That's what I thought. The reveal bulbs are definitely warmer. We use them. What light bulbs are you thinking of, Malor?

They make real full-spectrum bulbs that actually emulate sunlight... Home Despot and places like that sell them. They're more expensive but I hear they help too. My parents had these, but we just got a therapy light.

(edited for brand)

We need more Austinite goodjers so we can have another slap and tickle. I missed the first one

You have to buy them as 'full spectrum' -- if they don't have those magic words, they're not the same as sunlight. If the Reveals do say 'full spectrum' on the box anywhere, then I'm wrong about them.

Full spectrum bulbs aren't even that much more expensive than regular ones, and as someone with fairly severe SAD, they made a HUGE difference.

Of course, considering the traffic in NoVA, that great food can also be a few hours drive at most, even if it's just a mile down the road.

The MD suburbs have noticeably better traffic, roads and police forces.

OG_slinger wrote:
RedJen wrote:

FWIW: Have your winter vitamin D levels checked, keeping them up can make a huge difference with SAD.
If you like where you are, talk to your doctor about things.

A couple thousand micrograms of Vitamin D a day keeps the gloom away.

As a native Oregonian, I take my vitamin deficiencies like a MAN.

Bah just move to California! we never run out of sun here.

No, they only run out of money!

Low blow?

I recently was debating a move to the Pacific Northwest from Raleigh-Durham. Partly because there are more tech companies (especially startups) in Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, etc.

In my view, Raleigh-Durham is a bit more biotech/pharma oriented. There are some tech companies, but not to the same extent as the West Coast.

Charlotte's economy largely is based on banking, though I assume you will find some tech companies. Probably far fewer than even Raleigh-Durham.

However, both Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham are great places to live (I've tried both). Both are close to the beaches and the mountains (smaller older ones than the Rockies). Charlotte has more of a city feel. Raleigh-Durham feels more like a bunch of college towns slapped together.

This is the weather in RDU versus Oregon right now. It feels great right now. The Spring and Fall are the best seasons in the Southeast. To get through the summers (can be *very* hot/humid in July and August), I recently picked up a boat so we could spend more time on the lakes. Note that the Southeast gets almost as much rain as the Northwest - it just comes down in torrential monsoons, occasionally with bonus thunder and lightning. Supposedly Charlotte is #1 in the nation for lightning activity.

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DevilStick wrote:

I recently was debating a move to the Pacific Northwest from Raleigh-Durham. Partly because there are more tech companies (especially startups) in Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, etc.

You were gonna leave us?