Flipside: Great Cities to live in

Partly for selfish reasons. My wife wants to get into a Physician’s Assistant program and there aren’t any here. So we will have to leave the Great State of Mississippi. My background is in Corporate Sales and Marketing, but I recently got my A+ Certification, and I’m working now on my Network+.

Recommendations please.

The greatest of them all is New York. And I know because I’ve been lots of other places.

Here’s what NYC has going for it:

  • The lowest violent crime rate of any large city in the US.
  • The best and most libraries, museums, concert halls, restaurants, opera halls, movie theaters, strip clubs and every other kind of entertainment from haute couture to faux derrière.
  • The most diversity of anywhere in the world. More languages are spoken on the streets of Queens than across the river at the United Nations. There is every kind of ethnic and specialty food available within walking distance of anywhere.
  • The subway. It’s totally rad!
  • You don’t need a car.
  • Nature is an easy train ride away. You can go hiking in watershed preserves in northern Westchester or New Jersey.
  • I live there, so it must be awesome.


  • Expensive as hell.

Madison, WI is wonderful, but probably a wee bit colder than you’re used to in MS.
Big City culture, small town feel, very hip but not overly so. Very liberal, though, so if you’re a die hard Red Stater you might feel a bit out of place.

However, the UW has a wonderful medical program.

Dallas, Texas. I lived there for 6 years and I loved it. I will go back if I ever have the chance.

It’s a Big City, but you can get anywhere you want to be in <20 minutes. Decent public transportatin. Lots of schools and colleges. Great food and shopping. The people are nice. The traffic sucks at times, but you can get around it. Not expensive at all. An apartment in the city or right outside can be had for relatively little money.

Weather is a bit warm in the summer, but the humidity is so low that you don’t notice it most of the time. Winter is pretty plesant. Occasional hail is the biggest problem.

While it may not be the most exciting place to live, the area around Dayton, OH has a lot to offer from an employment and economic perspective:

  • Low cost of living.
  • Plenty of jobs, including high-tech and manufacturing.
  • Excellent housing situation. (Lots of brick ranches at very reasonable prices.)
  • Low crime (no gangs).
  • No border problems.
  • No hurricanes (though we have the occasional tornado).
  • Not much traffic.
  • Nice people.

I live in Philly by choice. It;s a truly beautiful city, and there’s plenty going on culturally. It’s very livable in terms of size and bustle. (Sorry, New Yorkers – New York freaks me out, it’s just too big.) We’re an hour from “the shore,” two hours from New York, three hours from Washington.

Downside: it’s rather expensive – there’s a wage tax for people who live or work in the city, and car insurance is pretty bad as well. If you live in Center City, public transportation can get you around pretty well – if you’re elsewhere in the city, or in the 'burbs, that can be a little trickier.

Palm Springs is a great place to live, but occupational and educational opportunities are limited. If you can stand some foggy weather in the winter and some hot summer days (minus the humidity of the south), you might like Sacramento. There are many outdoor activities right there or within driving distance, and just walking down by the river is always a treat. The commuter towns nearby are cool - Folsom, Auburn and Placerville to name a few. 2 hours to the west is the SF Bay area, 2 hours to the east is Tahoe/Reno. The down side, as is the case throughout CA., is the price of housing. My condo in Citrus Heights (suburb east of Sac.) has gone from $90,000 to about $300,000 in the past 5 years.

I enjoyed my years in Sacramento, but the winter fog is a real problem for me. Right this minute, in Palm Springs it’s pool weather - bright sun, warm breeze, temp in the 70’s. I’ll broil in the summer just to enjoy my winters here!

I wouldn’t want to live anyplace except Baltimore. New York, DC and Philly are all an easy drive away, plus there’s tons to do here and the cost of living is much lower than an any of those other 3 cities. The bay is beautiful, and the town if friendly. The downside is the lack of a good public transit system and the humidity in the summer.

How could you not mention that the waitresses call you “Hon”? That’s worth a fortune right there.

And you can see all of the places that were used to film Homicide: Life on the Street and most Barry Levinson films.

So which cities have good PA programs? I’d guess there’s a good one at JHU. Don’t know if our local, USF, has one or not.

I second (and love) New York, but the seasons can be very extreme (like today).

I just want to say that I never expected Dayton to come up in a thread like this. Is the job situation really that good here? I never hear anything but bad economic news. But then, I’m just a clueless college student who has yet to enter the real world.

And what are borders problems?

We don’t share a border with Mexico, which means we’re not as vulnerable to illegal aliens coming into the state.

I moved to Colorado because I wanted to. For me it has the perfect climate and activities. (I can visit the big eastern and western cities all I want, for the difference in the cost of living. I grew up north of Philly, you can keep it and NYC. Bleh.) I like the outdoors. Our outdoors has very little humidity, very few bugs, and lots of pretty mountains. It rarely gets blazingly, Phoenix like hot, the winters are basically mild with lots of sun and a few big dumps of light (not wet) snow. There is no rainy season. Mountain biking, skiing, trail running, or their urban/paved counterparts are all as close as your door. The population is younger and more fit than elsewhere in the US, although that says little.

If you want the left, live near Boulder. If you want the right, live near Colorado Springs. If you want a large city, try Denver.

To be honest, though, I’d base my decision on the climate. If you are the type that tends to be happy, you’ll be happy whichever city you pick. There are friendly and smart people everywhere, and the same goes for the opposite.

Oh, and if it helps, we have no hurricanes, tornados (at least away from the eastern plains), earthquakes, etc. Our weather weakness would be the occasional (around once a decade) blizzard. If you are home, no big deal.

I interpret that to mean “No good Mexican food” :smiley:

Well, we’ve got great Mexican food in Houston. As well as a raft of other things that make the city great, including, apparently, a rather low cost of living for a huge city.

And, being a big city, there’s tons of both opportunities and great stuff to do. Parks abound (ya want golf? Alligators? Canoeing? Picnics? Free concerts?), the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera are great, as is the Houston Zoo and the Museum District and many other local museums and historical sites offer plenty. While Austin may carry the banner for the Texas music scene, almost all of those Austin bands come here to supplement their paychecks.

And, once you learn your way around, Houston is really not a very hard city to travel about.

Being as the OP is already acclimated to Mississippi, I doubt the climate will be much of a hurdle - it does get a trifle warm here in the summer.

Anyway, Houston - I’d recommend it to almost anyone.

OK, I’ll shut up now.

And don’t forget Art Cars. I think we’re the Art Car Capital of the World.

Sorry to keep echoing, but to address the OP’s career concerns, IT careers are as plentiful here as anywhere else, I’d imagine, and one pursuing a career in health must consider that Houston hosts the Texas Medical Center, which may well be the most awesome medical facility in the world.

OK, OK, I really will shut up now.

In NYC as far as I know, there’s a surgical PA program at Cornell at NY Presbyterian, and a regular PA program at Harlem Hospital.

New York City’s the land of opportunity. Even if you just live here for the couple of years it takes for your wife to get through PA school you’ll probably do ok for yourself and have a great time to boot.

I doubt the company in Manhattan I work for is alone in having all it’s servers and whatnot out in New Jersey, plus there are a lot of corporate HQs in New Jersey, not to mention a gazillion other businesses, so if your wife gets into a program in the city, don’t rule out looking for a job in NJ.