Wonderful City With a Few Downfalls - 3/1/2008
I grew up in nearby Essex Junction and now am a senior at the University of Vermont here in Burlington, and have lived here for the past four years (and been to burlington many times throughout life.) Housing prices are very high for a city of this size -- mostly because the demand is so high, and for renters, landlords know they can charge wealthy out-of-state trust fund college kids high prices that their parents will always pay (I am not one of these kids, so this trend is extremely frustrating.) The houses are primarily older victorian homes from the early 1900's that are truly showing their wear, although many of them are very ornate and beautiful. The scenery is gorgeous from may through october, with the lake and aidorondack & green mountains to the east and west -- words can't express how stunningly brautiful the fall foliage is as well. Recreation, culture, and activities are plentiful, and winter opens up all kinds of winter recreation like skiing, snowshoeing, for those that want it. The city is very safe and most people are friendly. The atmosphere is overwhelmingly liberal and socialist, you'll see a lot of aging hippies and activists, as well as a high gay and lesbian population. I consider myself more liberal, but extremism seen from many flat out lunatics can be very annoying. The city is also very white, but whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. Winter is brutal, and from november throughearly april the days are cold and overcast, but this place transforms during the summer months. Not many job opportunities. Traffic is only bad at rush hour, otherwise is nonexistant and very satisfying to commute. However, pedestrians don't wait for red lights to cross the street, and there's always some moron skateboarder or biker in the way of drivers.
Pros: beautiful beyond belief from may-october, friendly, safe, diverse social groups, great restaurants, grocery stores (both conventional and organic) nightlife, great schools and colleges, perfect size, light traffic
Cons: Winter, overcast days during late fall and winter, job opportunities, rent/housing costs, annoying nutcase political extremism, chronic unsafe jaywalking.