April 3rd, 2006

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Moving on

After a discusion tonight, here's the list of places I would consider moving:

Albany/Troy, NY
Bennington, VT
Philadelphia, PA
Chicago, IL
Washington, DC

And outside the States, either Cologne or Munich, Germany. Places in the U.K. have strong appeal as well but the cost of living is just obscene. Which is why places like Boston/Cambridge and surrounds, or NYC, don't appear on the list, even though they have strong appeal, while a couple of others do because they have their pricey sections but there is so much housing and so much nice urban area to choose from, I can find somehwere I can afford. Like Chicago has its ridiculously expensive areas but there are zillions of neighborhood which are unbelievably cheap even though they're nice and have great transit access. Like the South Loop or even areas that are all townhouses or bungaloes. I am spoiled and am not going somewhere where all I can afford is a crappy studio apartment, whereas here I have a big condo.

I just scouted out the classifieds on the Philadelphia Inquirer web site and I could get a 2-floor 3BR townhouse in that city for 1/4-1/3 the price of my condo here in Atlanta. I could have a yard even, plus be on transit, and it's a major enough city I could have a job in my field. (As opposed to Bennington, which is awesome but not really a place I could get a job unless I cooked up a new career I could pursue in a small town.) You can really get your moneysworth there, and meanwhile it's close to NYC and Washington, with train service as well as an airport that makes hopping to Boston and Chicago easy as well. And to top it all, my friend Kristina lives there and then, if say Caleb moved there with me, we (who used to form a trio, at UMass and in Atlanta) would all be together again.

My plan is to be out of here by 2009, with preparations starting in 2008, like selling this condo, making sure I have the money lined up, etc. Caleb originally planned to be out of here by this year -- a vow he made back in 2006, when he first arrived in Georgia -- and is now shooting for roughly the same time frame I am, although his condo would be a lot easier to sell, as it has parking and lower condo fees.
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NY Times

Maybe it will grow on me, but I hate the NY Times newly designed web site. It doesn't look like the NY Times! This thing is way too... sleek. The page also seems to wide and the fonts used are not as easy to read. As somebody who's been part of plenty of redesign efforts, I totally understand the need for change, but as a site I visit like 2 dozen times a day, it's one whose changes really hurt my brain.
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Home Dreams

Just sort of took care of ONE task, so let me make a completely leisure/daydream related post:

What I'm Looking For In My Next Home

Not talking about the city/town/area/country, talking about the actual loft/condo/apartment/townhouse/house. This list is based off of about 8 years living in high-rise condos and also seeing a lot of examples of what I like / don't like.

For a loft/condo/apartment:
  • Windows that open.
  • Separate office (or second bedroom to use as office.)
  • High-speed Internet.
  • Closets. (Though I have more closets and storage space here that I ever have.)
  • At least 1000 sq. ft. (Not going lower than what I have now.)
  • Allows pets. (N/A for condo, you own it.)
  • Nice to have: balcony, terrace, deck, etc.
  • Washer-dryer.
  • Either old building or built to look/feel old.
  • Wood floors.

For a townhouse/house:
  • All same as loft/condo/apartment...
  • Two bedrooms.
  • For townhouse, small yard in either front or back or both (10x10 is A-OK, so so I can sit, plant some things, have pets outside, paint furniture in open air, etc.)
  • For house-house, small yard is most desirable, most preferable only in back, not interested in keeping up front yard. Also, could have dog with back yard.
  • For townhouse, preferred style is 2-3 stories w/basement, main level, upper level. (Example: that one I like at Glenwood Park, the ones in Inman Park, and in my dreams, one like that I visited in Troy, NY.)
  • House would be small, on small lot. No desire for "space," just a bit of a patch of green.

Oh, and all of these options must be on transit, either subway/train/streetcar or bus that runs very, very often. And in a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood, not somewhere that's all housing or all dead warehouse space with nobody living nearby. I have no desire to switch to living in a "quiet" residental neighborhood where I need a car and/or have sporadic transit. I'm talking someplace either urban or with transit like in Europe.

There are other things I'm forgetting but that's it for now.