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Where Would You Rather Live?


vcczar
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Let's say you are magically 25-years-old, unmarried, single, and you had been jobless for awhile. You get hired for a job that promises to lead to a career that you believe you will enjoy. This job currently pays about the median personal income. The other thing is that the job is in Austin, TX and you will work downtown. 

Where do you think you'd choose to live if you accepted this job to relocate? Here are the 4 locations you can select from?

  • Downtown: You are walking distance to your job, walking distance to the best restaurants, coffee shops, clubs, bars, stores, etc. However, it is also the most expensive option. You will have limited spending money. Your apartment is a loft. The residence in your area are overwhelmingly liberal and progressive "professionals," mostly singles. 
  • Far East Austin: You can take the bus or dive about 15 minutes to work. Your neighborhood is undergoing gentrification but it is still majority black families that have lived in the area since at least the 1940s. There is also a large Hispanic population. Those moving in are mostly "professionals" settling down to raise families. You live in a house with two roommates. The neighbors are almost all liberals. This housing gives you more spending money than downtown. 
  • Walburg, TX: This requires a 42-minute commute by car. This small rural community has about 250 residence and only 8 businesses. However, you are able to afford a house with a relatively large property. The town is sort of a meeting point for the local rural community. The town is mostly conservative, however, Biden had unusually strong support in 2020, winning the votes of most voters in this area. 
  • San Marcos, TX: This requires a 33-minute commute by car. This college town has close to 100,000 residence when school is in session. About half the residence are students or recent graduates. The town is half as expensive as Austin, allowing you to have a nice two bedroom apartment or a house with one roommate. The town is known for its eccentricity (weirder than Austin) and abundance of coffee shops and local musicians. This town is more like the old Austin and has a "hippy" vibe to it. The town is about equally split between people that would vote Democrat, Republican, Green, and Libertarian, although considering the town has few "go-getters," a lot of people fail to vote even if they are politically vocal. Biden won this town in 2020.
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San Marcos seems like the obvious answer, to me.  30 minutes is approximately the limit I'm willing to drive each way every day (after doing 90 minutes each way -- three hours round trip -- when I worked in DC).  33 minutes is perfectly acceptable.  Sounds affordable.  I don't drink coffee or particularly care about live music, but I'm generally fine with a hippy vibe.  I'd be fine living there for a few years, until I got married and had a kid and started caring more about school districts, fenced in yards, and splash pads.

In real life, I'm 37 and coming up on my 10th wedding anniversary next month (11 years living together), with an 8 year old daughter.  The idea of ever having a roommate (I'm not married to) ever again is horrifying, I don't know how I ever did it in my early 20's.  But I did, and usually it was fine.  For the final 2 years before I got married, I rented bedrooms in other people's homes, including a family that had multiple young children.  That was a nice mix for me of having the comforts of home ownership without the hassles.  So now that I'm a homeowner myself, with far more bedrooms than we actually use, I've considered the possibility of renting the spare bedrooms out.  But with a wife and daughter at home, it's just too complicated/risky to get the right people lined up as renters.  I'm old and set in my ways now, I don't want to have to adapt to new people anymore.  Ha.

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As for the local politics -- I don't really care.  I've lived all across this Earth with all kinds of people.  Pittsburgh, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, California, South Korea, Portugal, Iraq...most of the time, I had no idea what their politics were and I didn't care.  

I've talked about this before, but it was really eye opening in 2016 to suddenly see all of our beloved neighbors popping up Trump 2016 and LOCK HER UP signs in their yards.  I had absolutely no idea.  We love our neighborhood so much, these are educated and kind people, we talk all the time about how lucky we are to be here...what HAPPENED?

We still have a few neighbors with Trump signs up, even in June of 2021.  

But generally speaking, someone's politics don't dictate whether they're a good neighbor or not.

Edited by MrPotatoTed
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8 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

San Marcos seems like the obvious answer, to me.  30 minutes is approximately the limit I'm willing to drive each way every day (after doing 90 minutes each way -- three hours round trip -- when I worked in DC).  33 minutes is perfectly acceptable.  Sounds affordable.  I don't drink coffee or particularly care about live music, but I'm generally fine with a hippy vibe.  I'd be fine living there for a few years, until I got married and had a kid and started caring more about school districts, fenced in yards, and splash pads.

In real life, I'm 37 and coming up on my 10th wedding anniversary next month (11 years living together), with an 8 year old daughter.  The idea of ever having a roommate (I'm not married to) ever again is horrifying, I don't know how I ever did it in my early 20's.  But I did, and usually it was fine.  For the final 2 years before I got married, I rented bedrooms in other people's homes, including a family that had multiple young children.  That was a nice mix for me of having the comforts of home ownership without the hassles.  So now that I'm a homeowner myself, with far more bedrooms than we actually use, I've considered the possibility of renting the spare bedrooms out.  But with a wife and daughter at home, it's just too complicated/risky to get the right people lined up as renters.  I'm old and set in my ways now, I don't want to have to adapt to new people anymore.  Ha.

San Marcos, TX is where I lived from 2001-2007 and again in 2013 (after my 5 years in NYC). I mentioned before that in 2001 all my bills amounted to about $330 and coffee was $1. It's definitely more expensive now. Probably twice as expensive but still far cheaper than Austin. It's less weird than it used to be in 2001. In 2001, the population was like 20,000. It's grown tremendously. 

I've mostly lucked out on roommates but also it takes a lot for a roommate to bother me because I'm usually so into my own things.

When I first moved to San Marcos, I lived by myself. I then lived a year or two with my best friend in San Marcos. He moved to Austin eventually. He's sadly now a Trump supporter in San Antonio.

Then I lived with my first bad roommate (looked like Gilligan from Gilligan's Isle) who routinely ate my food even though I could barely afford to eat--he did it to get a reaction out of me, but I pretended like it didn't bother me and then he stopped. 

After that I had a roommate in his early 30s who was about to join the navy as a pencil pusher. He eventually gave his spot up to a female student who was an actress. This arrangement worked well because we seemed to never be awake at the same time, so it was like having the place to ourselves. 

After that, it was me, a Japanese student, and for a brief period of time, we had a schizophrenic roommate that slept on the couch. 

After that, I lived with a professional pool player and a math professor. We eventually had two people sleeping on couches: a guy that could play 8 games of chess without looking at the boards and a Native American who never bathed and had 12 felonies. My old Japanese roommate also briefly lived here too. 

In NYC, I spend a long time sleeping on a couch with two other unemployed people during the Great Recession. We had one roommate with a job. I lived in one apartment without standard heating with a warehouse worker and a French immigrant. I later lived with two fellow Huffington Post workers, both of whom made like 100x more money than I did, so they paid most of the rent, luckily. I then moved with one of them to Park Slope but he proved to be the worst roommate I ever had. He was basically dating several women at once and had them all believe that he was in an exclusive relationship with each one of them. He left Huffington Post to work for Buzzfeed and I moved back to San Marcos. 

When I returned to San Marcos, I became roommates once again with my friend who is now a Trump supporter, same roommate I had 10 years before. It wasn't as fun this time because I had to work when he was awake and he was asleep when I was free. 

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1 minute ago, MrPotatoTed said:

As for the local politics -- I don't really care.  I've lived all across this Earth with all kinds of people.  Pittsburgh, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, California, South Korea, Portugal, Iraq...most of the time, I had no idea what their politics were and I didn't care.  

I've talked about this before, but it was really eye opening in 2016 to suddenly see all of our beloved neighbors popping up Trump 2016 and LOCK HER UP signs in their yards.  I had absolutely no idea.  We love our neighborhood so much, these are educated and kind people, we talk all the time about how lucky we are to be here...what HAPPENED?

We still have a few neighbors with Trump signs up, even in June of 2021.  

But generally speaking, someone's politics don't dictate whether they're a good neighbor or not.

I think it matters to me because I talk about politics a lot and I run into a lot of people that are like PoliticalPundit in the other forum. 

I have one neighbor that still has his Trump flag up. Fortunately, my neighborhood voted for Biden like 80-85%

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1 minute ago, vcczar said:

I think it matters to me because I talk about politics a lot and I run into a lot of people that are like PoliticalPundit in the other forum. 

I have one neighbor that still has his Trump flag up. Fortunately, my neighborhood voted for Biden like 80-85%

Sure, makes sense.  Because I'm FB friends with some of my neighbors, they're usually aware of my interest in politics.  But because they know where I stand and I know where they stand, we don't talk about it much.  I have other friends in the neigborhood who are still learning about politics and so we'll talk for hours where I teach them how the primaries work or what the confirmation process for a cabinet appointee looks like.  I love teaching that stuff to anyone who's interested in learning it.  |

We have friends on our road who are Muslim immigrants -- she came from Lebanon, her husband is from Egypt.  She got her citizenship years before we met them, but I helped him study for his citizenship test, which he passed (about two years ago).  That was a lot of fun -- it was mostly things I already knew, but I did learn one or two new things while helping him prep for the test.

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I should mention where I'd live in this scenario. As I don't like commuting and I like walking, I would choose to live downtown in this scenario. Ideally, I'd pick San Marcos, but having lived there, the best part of San Marcos is either during the day or late, late at night, both of which would be hard to do if I were commuting to work full time. If I worked from home I'd pick San Marcos. 

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Walburg, TX sounds sick. Hopefully I'd get to work from home some of the time but I'm also one of those weirdos who enjoys the commute to/from work (I usually listen to music or podcasts). San Marcos doesn't sound bad either. Anything but downtown. 

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23 minutes ago, DakotaHale said:

Walburg, TX sounds sick. Hopefully I'd get to work from home some of the time but I'm also one of those weirdos who enjoys the commute to/from work (I usually listen to music or podcasts). San Marcos doesn't sound bad either. Anything but downtown. 

My paternal grandfather was actually born in Walburg in 1904 when it had only like 100 people. I visited it one time in c. 2015. Their "downtown" was like 4 buildings: a German beer hall, a general store, a post office, and something else. The town was founded by Germans. 

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It's a tough choice for me between San Marcos, and Downtown Austin, but I think the smaller population, and seemingly more relaxed attitude of San Marcos makes up for the commute, and lack of businesses. If I had to rank them I'd go

San Marcos 1A

Downtown, Austin 1B

Walburg 2nd

Far East Austin 3rd

 

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1 hour ago, vcczar said:

My paternal grandfather was actually born in Walburg in 1904 when it had only like 100 people. I visited it one time in c. 2015. Their "downtown" was like 4 buildings: a German beer hall, a general store, a post office, and something else. The town was founded by Germans. 

Based. Most of my ancestry is German so I think I’d get along well. Big beer fan as well and an advocate for minimalism, seclusion, and sustainable living so it’d be a nice spot for me. 

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14 minutes ago, Patine said:

"Minimalism,: is the name of a visual artistic movement. I think you're referring to something else, but using a slightly incorrect term. Again, to be pedantic. 😛

 

13 minutes ago, DakotaHale said:

Life imitates art

: a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity

I think @DakotaHale is using it in the sense of "design" and I also agree with his statement that life imitates art. Regardless, it was clear what he was stating by saying "minimalism" and it is more concise than had he said, "minimalist lifestyle," for instance. Dictionaries capture definitions but people are the ones that change those definition. I support his use of "minimalist" here as I would someone that used the word "surrealist," "surreal," "surrealism," outside of art and literature.  

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