If you could live in any city long-term, which city would it be?

If you could land your dream job in any city you wanted, where would you like it to be? A city where you could live in for the next 20 years and be as happy as a clam in. Where would this be and why would you choose it?

I'm gonna specify that it has to be a city, not a surrounding suburb. However, there are quite a few cities I can think of that have a very suburban feel to them in certain neighborhoods, so you can certainly go for that if your fits your style. A quick caution to younger monkeys, as you age, you will want to live in a less busy environment (so probably not NYC, no matter how glorious it may seem right now). Where and why?

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Comments (95)

Aug 12, 2018

Mogadishu

Aug 12, 2018

Why Somalia haha

Aug 12, 2018
therealgekko:

Why Somalia haha

It's an up and coming country, what's not to like?

PS. On a serious note, NYC. I've lived here for about 30 years and still love it.

Aug 12, 2018

New York (already here) or Shanghai (lived in previously). Having grown up in a city, I know how to explore them and what to do and I feel comfortable anywhere I go. I suspect I'd be very happy in places like London, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, etc. but haven't been to those for very long, so can't say for sure.

I've lived in suburbs for college and briefly in a small town as well. Very nice places and a different kind of existence. I just couldn't trade the high-speed life of cities for it.

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Aug 12, 2018

No intention of ever leaving DC again. Spent some time in NY straight after college and had a blast but like you said in the original post, the novelty of the hustle and bustle wears off quick and then it gets quite claustrophobic. Here in DC my girlfriend and I have three floors to ourselves, our own garage, a large backyard, porch and the neighborhood deli always has enough open seating that you don't have to sit with strangers.

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Aug 12, 2018

Either Austin/Houston probably. I went to school near Austin and grew to like the city, and grew up in Houston and have family and friends here. Also the lower COL is great. However the humidity and heat are becoming unbearable. I'm starting to actually reason moving to a higher COL city in colorado/california for better weather. I couldn't imagine moving here after living in another city with less humidity.

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Most Helpful
Aug 12, 2018

Chicago. Great city, fairly affordable, good people. Plenty of career options as well.

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Aug 13, 2018

Chicago without a doubt. It's got everything New York has, just cheaper, with nicer people and less trash on the streets. Having lived all over, I think it's America's best city.

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Aug 14, 2018
lapike:

Chicago without a doubt. It's got everything New York has, just cheaper, with nicer people and less trash on the streets. Having lived all over, I think it's America's best city.

It's a lot colder and has a lot less going on. There is a reason that everyone compares their city to NYC just with less of (some bad thing) and more of (some good thing); because nothing measures up to the Big Apple, at least in the US. If cities aren't your speed I get not liking it, but it's pretty hard to imagine that anyone who enjoys a large, diverse urban area preferring anything over NYC except for weather reasons.

Aug 13, 2018

Is the crime over blown in the media? Or a reality, just confined to a really small part of the city?

Aug 13, 2018

From what I hear it's confined to the southwest of the city.

Aug 13, 2018

Definitely overblown. I walk downtown at night time all the time.

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Aug 16, 2018

I'd say confined is the wrong word. There are huge swaths of the South-, Southwest- and West-side that are absolute nightmare situations. But the majority of the North/Northwest-sides feel as safe as just about any major US city. The two are so clearly divided in my mind that they're effectively separate cities. It never even dawns on me that Chicago is a violent place until I'm reminded by the news or the internet and I remember the South/West sides exist.

So the violence is as bad as they say, but (for better or worse) decently-paid professionals are so isolated from it that it's barely an afterthought.

Aug 14, 2018

cold AF

Aug 12, 2018

As someone who has lived in Chicago for a few years, all of that is true. One big downside though is lack of connectivity to other major cities. Living in say New York for instance, makes it a very easy trip to visit hubs like Boston, Philadelphia, DC, etc. Especially for a junior person where an inexpensive bus ticket will take you to Boston or DC in a few hours versus trying to go from Chicago to DC/NY, which will have to be a far more expensive plane ticket.

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Aug 16, 2018
DanielHardman:

Chicago. Great city, fairly affordable, good people. Plenty of career options as well.

I LOVE Chicago and started a thread about the city's greatness. It offers like 80-90% of NYC at half the cost, far more livable, and nicer people.

However, I disagree on the career options. At least in finance and tech, Chicago's opportunity set is quite limited compared to its peers.

Aug 12, 2018

I think any major US city would be a good time. NYC, LA, SF, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, etc. Hard to pick without knowing what actually living in each is like though. I'd be fine being in Atlanta the rest of my life. I'd be fine moving in a year too though.

Aug 12, 2018

I travelled (way) too extensively to only name 1. So here's my top 5 (in no particular order).
Gathered from nearly 6 years of "living like a local" in over 28 countries in 5 different continents.

  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat (near Monaco), France
  • Cape Town, South Africa

*as you can see, I love nature/outdoorsy locales. people irritate me.

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Aug 12, 2018

Damn how did you swing living in all of these countries for 6 years while having a job?

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Aug 12, 2018

It wasn't an office job. I pretty much met a bunch of (insanely) wealthy international students while doing my Master's. They decided to invest a bunch of their money. I just "managed" it and made sure they had proper quarterly reports, etc.

^ That's winding down. I had some personal savings from prior as well.

Money is (essentially) unlimited. Time is not (and never will be).

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Aug 12, 2018

Were you in SLC when the pollution gets really bad for a bit of the year? I am there frequently and that's the one thing that always gets to me. Also the tinder/bumble is full of 22 year olds with 4 kids and divorced 15 times.

Aug 14, 2018
MonacoMonkey:

I travelled (way) too extensively to only name 1. So here's my top 5 (in no particular order).
Gathered from nearly 6 years of "living like a local" in over 28 countries in 5 different continents.

  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat (near Monaco), France
  • Cape Town, South Africa

*as you can see, I love nature/outdoorsy locales. people irritate me.

How is it possible to "live like a local" when you are "living" in over 4 countries a year? I don't think you get to claim you've lived like a local if you only spend 3-6 months in any given place. That's hardly enough time to explore a neighborhood, let alone a city.

Aug 12, 2018

Believe it or not, you start integrating into the local "way of life" within 4-6 weeks, depending on the type of environment. Grocery shopping, finding a cleaning lady, etc etc. You find yourself not mad dashing to the tourist sites (museums, etc), but rather, just reading a book at the corner cafe, or playing with your (Airbnb) dog in the local park.

Of course, to truly immerse oneself in the culture would take years. I never said I was fully immersed, merely that I "lived like a local".

Funniest
Aug 15, 2018
MonacoMonkey:

Believe it or not, you start integrating into the local "way of life" within 4-6 weeks, depending on the type of environment. Grocery shopping, finding a cleaning lady, etc etc.

Finding a cleaning lady?

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"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Aug 14, 2018
MonacoMonkey:

Believe it or not, you start integrating into the local "way of life" within 4-6 weeks, depending on the type of environment. Grocery shopping, finding a cleaning lady, etc etc. You find yourself not mad dashing to the tourist sites (museums, etc), but rather, just reading a book at the corner cafe, or playing with your (Airbnb) dog in the local park.

Of course, to truly immerse oneself in the culture would take years. I never said I was fully immersed, merely that I "lived like a local".

I'm not sure those things qualify as "living like a local". I've spent 2 days in a city and gone grocery shopping, had a beer or coffee and a quiet local place, or gone to the park to hang out. There are spaces between being a tourist, living like a local, and totally immersing yourself in a local culture. You are far closer to a tourist than the other two. If you can't speak the local language fluently, you can't live like a local, first and foremost. But beyond that, you cannot understand a city in 4 weeks or even 4 months. If you've been there long enough that your looking for opportunities to leave and do things in the surrounding area, that is living like a local. It takes years, not weeks, to become familiar enough with a place to know its ins and outs. Just because you read a book in a cafe doesn't mean you know a place. I spent 3 days in Vienna once, and read a book and ate sachertorte in Margareten - that doesn't make me a local.

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Aug 15, 2018
MonacoMonkey:

I travelled (way) too extensively to only name 1. So here's my top 5 (in no particular order).
Gathered from nearly 6 years of "living like a local" in over 28 countries in 5 different continents.

  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat (near Monaco), France
  • Cape Town, South Africa

*as you can see, I love nature/outdoorsy locales. people irritate me.

I agree I would like to live somewhere thats beautiful and commute to a city to work for a couple of days a week. Whether this is realistic or not is neither here nor there.

Aug 15, 2018

I'd switch out Cape Town with Amsterdam, but pretty great list.

Aug 12, 2018

Probably a small town in northern bc. I only live in bigger cities ATM so I can network and the easy access to airports/other big cities. Not big on yuppy scum.

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Aug 12, 2018

Chicago

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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Aug 13, 2018

Currently in London and I love it but I suspect when it comes to raising a family there might be some issues. Spent some time in Copenhagen, Denmark and it is the nuts. Great city, great people and you live incredibly well. Also, the least expensive Scandinavian major city with CoL on par with London but salaries are adjusted very well. Would want a job that enables me to travel around the world as the Danish market per se is small for all industries (except maybe energy) but I could see myself spend 20+ years there without issues. Cold? Fuck yes but so are NYC, London and other major cities. Dark? Yes - and this may have a psychological effect on people but one can adjust to these things.

Aug 13, 2018

The mid to long term the goal is to live in NYC. I realize your above post warns of that as you age, you get more claustrophobia. But coming from living in a small midwestern city with very little to do, its hard not to glorify the lifestyle of New York and the quickness of the people. Whenever I go visit my friends in NYC, I feel like I belong and that its truly home which only makes it more difficult to leave. Right now I'm just working in my current role to gain experience which hopefully I can use to transfer to a more high profile position in the city. But until then I still need to figure out what my career path might look like.

Aug 13, 2018

London, New York, Madrid. Great real estate cities.

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Aug 13, 2018

Newport Beach, Laguna, etc.

Aug 13, 2018

OC or Manhattan/Hermosa would be ideal.

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Aug 14, 2018

Probably Manhattan, Hermosa is going to remain Bromosa for awhile. Much more peaceful in Manhattan.

Aug 14, 2018

Currently based in NY, but I've been highly considering a move to DC for about a year now. That's probably the only other place I could say right now that I'd want to be for the foreseeable future.

Aug 15, 2018
Peg Leg:

Currently based in NY, but I've been highly considering a move to DC for about a year now. That's probably the only other place I could say right now that I'd want to be for the foreseeable future.

I went from DC to NYC. I don't hear much about the other way around. Unless you like politics. But, it will probably seem like the minor leagues in terms of culture, food, and things to do if you're accustomed to the NYC way of life.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Aug 14, 2018

Not so interested in politics, but moving down there would give a nice change of scenery, slightly better weather, easier access to boating (Chesapeake) and overall considerably lower COL. Trying to pick a house up in the Hamptons or Montauk with water access for the summer is ridiculous; rent or buy doesn't matter both are through the roof.

DC offers a great museum complex, cultural events and has plenty of young waspy/preppy/SEC chicks to chase.

You're right though, there is less of what NY has to offer. Been weighing the trade off to see if it's really worth it.

Aug 14, 2018

San Diego is pretty great. Babes, beaches, weather, laid back vibes.

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Aug 14, 2018

amen

Aug 15, 2018

Yeah definitely.

2 of my favorites:

NYC (East Village)
San Diego (Encinitas/Leucadia)

Encinitas is cool. I used to live there. But, the specific town of Leucadia is such a cool little surf village. The surf breaks are good there and people are very chill. Trestles isn't too far north and Blacks isn't too far south. I went to a Tiki party in Leucadia last year. This guy had surfboards as a fence. No shit. Probably 20 boards all around the side of his yard. Was sick. It looked good.

I moved to Encinitas senior year of HS (went to LCC senior year (Shaun White was in HS at the same time, but at a different school, but all of us hit up Big Bear and I had a season pass to Snow Summit).

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Aug 14, 2018

Seattle, hands down. Love the weather, love the coffee, love the mountains and water being right there.

Aug 14, 2018

couldn't disagree more

Aug 14, 2018

Zurich, Oslo, Vienna, Shanghai, Plano, or Dhahran

Avoid:

LA, SF (and every other SV city)

Stockholm, Berlin, Malmo, Frankfurt, London, Paris, etc (complete devoid-of-culture, immigrant-overrun, crime/rape filled hellholes)

Atlanta, Jackson, Savannah, Little Rock (and every other city in the Deep South)

Every city in Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, etc.

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Aug 12, 2018
michigan10483:

Avoid:
Atlanta, Jackson, Savannah, Little Rock (and every other city in the Deep South)

Bit of a difference there...

Plus, hilarious coming from someone in Michigan

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Aug 15, 2018

What's wrong with Michigan bra... the metro Detroit suburbs are really nice. Southeast Michigan is also pretty densely populated - 4.6 million people.

I laugh when everyone considers Michigan to be trash because of Detroit. If you stay out of the hood you're fine. Also, northern Michigan is probably one of the more scenic places in the country.

Traverse City is also arguably one of the best summer destinations in the country. Very rich area too

Aug 15, 2018

This is a really weird list.

Plano Texas?

But avoid Savannah?

Avoid every city in Maine or Vermont?

What?

Aug 15, 2018

London/Paris/Berlin don't have enough culture...

elaine sarcastic

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Aug 16, 2018

Dharhan wtf?? You want to live on an Aramco compound or something?

Aug 14, 2018

Cities I've lived in from worst to first:
Lubbock, TX
Seattle, WA
Houston, TX
San Francisco, CA
Austin, TX
San Diego, CA

Aug 12, 2018

Why do you like Austin more than Houston?

Aug 16, 2018

The only people I have ever met that like Houston are from Houston. I chalk it up to a Stockholm Syndrome type of thing. I was there for 3 years all together and it was 3 years too long. Hot, humid, terrible traffic, nothing to do outdoors as far as hiking/camping/skiing/surfing/boating goes, and downtown is barren, to name a few things. After you have cycled your way through the museums the only thing really left to do is eat and drink. Which is fun for a bit but if you like to mix it up it is going to prove difficult. I had a professor in undergrad refer to it as the "anti-city" and I couldn't agree more.

Austin on the other hand has better weather, more laid back people for the most part, tons of places with live music just about every night, beautiful parks, better outdoor activities close by with the hill country so close, and downtown is an actual downtown so you can live there and get all of the positives of a downtown location.

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Aug 14, 2018

Hong Kong for sure. Great food, convenient transportation, good education.

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Aug 13, 2018

By that reasoning would you not say Singapore too? It's cleaner than Hong Kong and people seem nicer.

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Aug 14, 2018

Only heard good things about Singapore, although I have never visited Singapore so can't say with certainty I would stay there long term.

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Aug 17, 2018

Singapore is a much smaller country, not as many things to do. It is also much more regulated by the government, which has its pros/cons. Living in Hong Kong is a great balance - you have the financial district of APAC, and you have diversity, night life etc.

Aug 15, 2018

3 years in and I don't think I'm ever leaving Dallas. It's a "big city" without any of the headaches. Probably the most convenient place I've lived

I do have a major soft spot for Sao Paulo though, if they could get their traffic situation sorted, that is. The women, nightlife, cultural amenities, restaurants, diversity, etc. are all top 3 for me.

Aug 12, 2018

You have to live amongst Cowboy fans though...

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Aug 16, 2018

No mention of Sydney?

Aug 16, 2018

Nor Vienna or Melbourne, supposedly the most liveable cities in the world.

I'm in my mid-twenties so for now I definitely want to stay in a large, bustling city such as London, NYC, HK..

But if I was to choose somewhere to be for the next 20 years and I can't commute into the city, it probably would be a 'middle' city like Vienna, Zurich, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Sydney... large enough to keep busy and have a good career, good locations to go on trips out to the country or other countries, and not overwhelmingly large if I have a family.
The lack of American cities is because I haven't been to any in years (besides Indianapolis which was not my cup of tea at all), but I would imagine Seattle, Charlottesville, DC, and the like to be quite good.

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Aug 16, 2018

Yep I read that Economist post as well haha. Melbourne is actually a fantastic city - worked on numerous projects there spanning months. People are very down to earth and chill. But the crime rate is rising unfortunately.

Aug 16, 2018

If I had no material worries, Paris, city house and country house.

Aug 16, 2018

I really love Vienna, I think it is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer and I loved living there. And I also really like Amsterdam and Paris in Europe. And in Amerika of couse New York if I would not have to worry about money etc... But there are a lot of places like Melbourne, San Francisco and others, where I think I would like to live but I have actually never been there... So I can not really tell.

science is organized knowledge - wisdom is organized life. Kant

Aug 16, 2018

Would kill to live in San Diego, just not much of a finance scene there.

Aug 16, 2018

Sarasota, FL in the winter and Aspen, CO in the summer.

Aug 16, 2018

Would kill to be able to live in Milan. Fairly modernized, hot Italian/Swiss babes running around everywhere, easy to get almost everywhere in Europe.

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Aug 16, 2018

Lived in SF, Bos, and LA and can say for sure LA is superior in my opinion. Would never want to live in NYC, that's for sure. Both LA and NYC are huge cities, but LA's really a city that doesn't feel like a city. Plus nature and outdoors, you know.

life's easier when you're stupid

Aug 16, 2018
gyesok:

LA's really a city that doesn't feel like a city. Plus nature and outdoors, you know.

Don't forget the traffic

Aug 16, 2018

Good point. You just gotta live in the right place though, like if you work in DTLA and live in Pasadena that's not too bad a drive

life's easier when you're stupid

Aug 16, 2018

Charleston - I think it has some of the best restaurants in the world, nice weather, great beaches, access to numerous outdoor activities, largely walkable, a nice historical feel, a decent airport that makes the rest of the east coast highly accessible, nice people.

Aug 16, 2018

Cardiff by the Sea, CALIFORNIA

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Aug 16, 2018

Yeah this is a great spot, it's in between SD and LA/OC so didn't think of this, but good one!

Aug 16, 2018

Copenhagen. Centrally located, beautiful city with great infrastructure and not too overbearing.

Aug 17, 2018

Chicago 100%.

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Aug 21, 2018

Pretty happy with my own destination (got called a few times above) but otherwise - either one of the Scandinavian capitals, Tokyo, Austin....

Few months in Istanbul, Moscow, NYC would be lovely too, i just don't expect i would want to stay there for years.

Aug 22, 2018

Munich, Germany.