Thursday, November 02, 2006

you move me

last year i had this big idea that i'd gather suggestions of places to live, bloggers would vote, and i would move there. I called it
You Move Me. people voted and the choice was Savannah, but a delay pushed my current project back several months and i found myself unable to move in the summer of 2006.
it HAS to happen summer 2007, and i'm leaning toward Savannah.

here's the deal. the cost of living is fairly high in the twin cities, and i'm tired of working to make a mortgage payment. every word i write is with my mortgage in mind. i need to turn that around so that i can have more creative freedom and personal freedom. writing is like farming. bad weather is a given, and in case of crop failure a writer should be able to support herself for a year. i sometimes take out loans to get from advance to advance. not good farming.

i've gone through the location suggestions, removing ones that were too expensive or didn't appeal to me, but the list is back up. If you have any suggestions for a specific town, please leave a comment here or there.

i added my hometown of burlington, iowa, to the list because it's a cheap place to live and has a lot of what i'm looking for other than warm weather.

WHY I WANT TO LEAVE CURRENT LOCATION IN ORDER OF BIGGEST PAIN IN THE ASS:

HIGH COST OF LIVING
TRAFFIC
COLD WEATHER
NOISE AND POLLUTION
I HATE TO DRIVE

PRIORITIES OF NEW PLACE IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE:

LOW COST OF LIVING
LIGHT TO MILD TRAFFIC
TOWN WITH CHARACTER
WARMER WEATHER
TEN MILES OR LESS TO REGIONAL AIRPORT

don't forget: I HATE TO DRIVE

You Move Me

31 comments:

Kelly Parra said...

I'm sorry I don't have any great suggestions. I live in my birth town. haha. But I think you're very brave to up and relocate. I hope you find the perfect place!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I spent one night in Savannah. Now there's a title. One Night In Savannah. I'll have to use that some time.

Anyway, I had been in Hilton Head that weekend and headed back to the city the day before my flight out. Nice town. Wandered around the Cotton Exchange for a little while, went down to the waterfront. The place is just dripping with history. I would say it definitely fits your Town With Character requirement. Certainly has the warmer weather and it's close to the airport.

anne frasier said...

kelly, you have a spare room, right? ;)

stephen, savannah IS dripping with history. i LOVE the place, but it also has one of the highest violent crime rates for a city of its size. several people i know won't go anywhere without a loaded gun. :O you have to constantly watch your back, which is something i'm used to but tired of. racial tension is extremely high. if not for those things, i'd probably be living in savannah right now. but i am seriously thinking of renting for a year.

Bill Cameron said...

I lived in Savannah as a kid, though my memories are not real clear of the place. When I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I was sure I would be transported back in time, and instead I thought, "This is nothing like what I remember."

What I remember, as it happens, is red dirt. So not too helpful.

I'd recommend Portland, but the traffic is bad and getting worse, and I think our cost of living leaves something to be desired. The seasons are mild and it's not nearly as rainy as it's rep. Especially now with global warming! It is easy to get to and from the airport!

anne frasier said...

bill, i've heard a lot of locals say midnight is not their savannah. even people who knew many of the characters.

but nobody has ever mentioned red dirt... interesting....

doesn't portland have an amazing lightrail system? i would love that. but yeah, i have heard the cost of living is getting pretty high there.

Heather Harper said...

You need to move near me!

I live in McKinney, Texas. We have traffic, but it is nothing like the traffic in other major cities.

But there are several nice suburbs to choose from in the Dallas area. (I could send you a list.)

We are close to major airports. (DFW and Love Field)

There is NO STATE TAX in Texas. (Property taxes were extrememly high because of the schools, but that was ruled unconstitutional and those will be dropping.)

Plus, RWA Nationals finds it's way to Dallas every few years, and since I am afraid to fly, that has been a big plus.

And we have the lotto.

Dallas is far enough North that you would not have to worry about Hurricane damage like you would in Savannah.

I'm from Oklahoma and I love living in Texas where warm is an understatement.

John McAuley said...

Anne: I live in Michigan, but if I could live anywhere else it would be in the Asheville, N.C. area. It's artist friendly, has affordable housing in and around the city, and the scenery makes even a cranky old s.o.b. like me misty eyed. [Or maybe it's that I hear bagpipes in the mountains; but that's a whole nuther issue,lol]

The climate--Summer is long and pleasant, as opposed to the relentlessly hot and humid weather of the lower elevations, fall lasts forever and a short winter is buffered by days in the 50's and 60's during January and February. I wish to hell I'd been born there, coz' that's where I'd die,lol.

[A belated thanks for your participation in the Clarity Of Night. I appreciated your kind words on my Ike Clanton/Doc Holliday/ Valdosta Ga. piece.]
John McAuley

Hulles said...

I think you should consider moving to St. Paul.

Just kidding. I'm thinking about leaving myself.

anne frasier said...

heather, my brother lives in terrell, texas -- used to live in dallas, so i'm a little familiar with the area. they have to drive so far when they want to go anywhere, but they think nothing of it at the same time! and i do know he'll call when it's about zero here and say he's sitting on the porch in a t-shirt. grrrrr. :D houses in Terrell are CHEAP!

the area north of austin is supposed to be beautiful.

and did you say no state tax and lotto? :D

anne frasier said...

john, that looks beautiful! i went to the town's web site. hmmm. nice regional airport too. interesting.... i think i have to put that on the list.

anne frasier said...

hulles --

haha! st. paul! yes!

there are so many things i love about this area, and so many things i hate. it's a very strange feeling. i might move away for a year and come back because i miss all of it, even the things i hate.

JT Ellison said...

i'd be remiss if I didn't suggest Nashville.
LOW cost of living, no state income tax, hardly any traffic if you're on the west side of town, which is nicer anyway, the airport is downright cozy and flights are cheap, and you actually aren't inundated with country music, which surprises most people.
Great bands, cool writers -- it's a happening little town. Plkus we have one of the biggest indie bookstores in the Southeast -- Davis Kidd.
And good food.
And, and, and... I love it here.

JT Ellison said...

And Powerball. I knew I was forgetting something.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Another Michigander saying Ann Arbor fits everything but the weather. Love to have you here. We could not drive together. But Asheville makes a lot of sense. Or Knoxville, TN.
Everyone tells me that Minn. is the place to go.

anne frasier said...

jt, my brother travels a lot, and he's always asking me if i've been to nashville, saying he thinks i might like it. no, i've never been. another for my list. he also likes memphis.

powerball!

patti, i've heard good things about ann arbor. minneapolis is wonderful. that's part of my problem. when i fly into the airport after being away my heart swells. same thing when i see the minneapolis skyline. but winters... oh my god. horrible. long. depressing. claustophobic. long. long. long. i might consider being a snowbird, but that seems like such a damn hassle.

Shesawriter said...

Hell, Anne, I haven't a clue. Sorry. Maybe you should move to the Bahamas. It's warm. It's quiet. I don't know about the cost of living though.

Tanya

Bill Cameron said...

Portland does have excellent light rail, which for trips involving carry-on only, is the best and cheapest way to get to the airport from many areas!

Public transportation in general is very good in Portland, and support for biking is strong too. I think Portland has been often rated the most bike-friendly city in the country.

We have no sales tax, but do have a state income tax. Property taxes are controlled by one of those ballot initiatives promoted by robber baron billionaires as a prank on ordinary citizens. Looking the type of tax or the size of a particular tax is always deceptive, of course. Oregon has a modest overall tax burden when compared to other states, though arguably it could be better. People get hinky because they hear "income tax" and think it means the revenooers are picking their pockets. Not that they aren't, and tax equity in Oregon could improve, but all in all, there are worse places to live taxwise. Might be nice if a giant corporation paid a penny or two here and there, but this is America, after all, the land where people are throw rugs and corporations are giant tromping boots that need some to wipe the dog poop off on.

But you don't want to get me started!

Heather Harper said...

My brother-in-law lives in Austin. And the rest of our family lives in Oklahoma, excluding my hubs grandparents who live in Arizona.

I've lived in OK, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas. (Florida does not have state tax.)

On the drive from MA to TX, we saw some beautiful country. Kentucky was gorgeous. And I really wanted to stay in Nashville or Memphis, but we were on a time limit and could not stop.

angie said...

Y'know, if I didn't love Prescott so much, I'd move to Ashville. We actually considered it a few years ago, but we've got some roots put down here...

I have a friend who recently moved to Asheville and she loves it. She did say the cost of living can be a little on the high side, but if you get to know the city, you can find some good deals. Also, it's just a great city for the arts, has 4 mild seasons, mountains AND water (okay, probably a bigger deal for an AZ girl than a MN girl) and is just a pretty town.

So, uh, just my two cents.

Jude said...

Do you want to stay in the US? I've just been to Bulgaria and it's cheap and beautiful... probably too far afield though. Good luck with the hunt!

James Goodman said...

I live near Tulsa Oklahoma. There is minimal traffic compared to most of the other states I've lived in. No matter where you are, everything seems like it's about ten minutes away. It does get cold here in the winter but our warm months have been known to run from as early as March to as late as November.

Most of all, cost of living is cheap, probably the cheapest COL I've ever experienced.

And the area has plenty of character (and a wealth of unique people to draw from for characters). There are several writer's groups in the area. WE have a great music scene (though not as great as say Austin's). It's just an all around great area to live in.

anne frasier said...

tanya, ooh yeah. the bahamas. never been, even though my dad's wife is from there. i was supposed to go to a family reunion in the bahamas three years ago, but got a poorly-timed revision letter and had to cancel.

angie, that makes it sound like ashville is probably out of my range, but i'd really like to go there just to see the place.

jude, bulgaria! i'd love to go there! the problem with being out of the country is that every time there's a family crisis i would have to fly back to the states. and those emergencies seem to come a little too frequently around here.

anne frasier said...

james, i've wondered about tulsa. my dad recently moved to florida from miami, OK. i usually flew into joplin to visit him, but used the tulsa airport once and thought i'd have to go back to check out the town. but then my dad moved, so i never made it back. i know joplin is supposed to be the #1 retirement area in the country because of low cost. i remember going out to breakfast in miami and the bill was around 20 bucks for 6 people. :D of course when you ask for hot tea they bring boiling water and a big jar of powdered nestea. :D
and i'm familiar with the winter weather in the area. surprisingly my dad moved because he wanted a warmer location. :O

Bailey Stewart said...

I'd vote for the hometown of Burlington - except for the cold weather, it has everything you're looking for.

There's also some small towns around the Dallas area that would work - it does get cold, we have the occasional ice storm, but all in all not a bad place to be in the winter. And I think DFW Airport would suit your needs. There may be times you'll have to come in to the city, but Dallas has a transit system - so you'd only have to drive to one of the stations.

Surprisingly, I want to leave because it gets too hot.

jason evans said...

I'm not well versed on the very warm areas, but from what I've seen of the southeast, it generally has loads of character. And the cemeteries are AWESOME! No wacky weather to wear down the stones.

--Jason Evans, CCA (certified cemetery auditor)

Jeff said...

I think Savannah and Burlington are both good choices.
Wherever you choose, your idea of renting for a year to see if you're really going to like it before you buy is a very good idea. :)

Heather Harper said...

Tulsa is very nice. The cost of living is higher there than it is in OKC, but it is reasonable. But OK has state tax. And it ain't cheap.

Per capita, Oklahoma is the state with the largest number of writers. NY is #1.

I'm a member of OKRWA. I'm not partial. ;)

Heather Harper said...

And OK just got the lotto, too.
:)

Mary Louisa said...

Anne, how the hell have you been? Still lookin to move, sounds like. ;) sorry I've been out of the blog loop so long, but it's good to get back.

I have no other recommendations, but will keep my eye out for ideas. Can't wait to find out where you end up.

anne frasier said...

bailey, i have the idea i will eventually end up back in burlington -- maybe after trying one or two other places.

jason, you are so right about the cemeteries! and i love cemeteries. :)


heather, i would never have guessed that about writers and OK! i thought they were all in minnesota. :D good to know about the tax.

anne frasier said...

jeff, well you've been to burlington and know it's a beautiful town. dying, but beautiful. :D

hi mary louisa! so nice to see you!

yeah, i'm still looking. it's pathetic. i think it makes it hard because i don't HAVE to live in any one place. almost too many locations to choose from.