has written 1 SperlingViews. Currently, Em is living in Chicago, IL and has a little something to say:
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Pros & Cons Posted On: 10/6/2011 11:16:15 AM
I was born and raised in Albuquerque but have lived in Chicago for over 15 years. I still visit often and have strong family ties there, but I'm pretty objective about it's pros and cons as a non-resident for so long.
- One of the best climates you could ever ask for with four seasons. The sun shines in that enormous blue sky every day, the air is clean, the winter is very mild, and the heat rarely gets oppressively hot in the summer.
- Extraordinary outdoor activities. If you love hiking, mountain biking, rafting, skiing, etc, the options are fantastic and easy to get to.
- The city is very livable. Lots of real estate options at all price points, and the cost of living is low. The lifestyle is completely laid back.
- Deep history and culture. Native American and Latin culture abound. Artists flock there and up north into Santa Fe and Taos.
- Despite the rapid growth over the past several years, there's still about three degrees of separation among residents.
- Diversity. There are three cultures, Latino, Native American, and European, in that order.
- Great food, restaurants, and a solid nightlife.
- Good options for schools. Some public schools are much better than others, but that's the norm most places in the US. Several good options for private schools.
- It's a Rocky Mountain desert climate. If you want foliage, you'll hate it here.
-Be ready to drive, drive, drive. You can't live here without at least one car. Public transportation is bad, taxis are non-existant.
- You're isolated from the rest of the country, and this plays out in a lot of ways. The mentality is a little out of touch. Great if you want to retreat into your own peaceful or eccentric existence, not great if you want a life of excitement.
- Weird crime. It's still the wild west. Is it a shock that DWI is a problem in a city with no public transportation and speed limits of 75+ mph? Did I mention you only need to be 14 to get a drivers permit?
- Race relations can get contentious around social issues.
- This is highly subjective, but there's a military vibe I found a little spooky after a while. A huge portion of the state's income is based on military contracts.
- Not many college/university options at all. Huge UNM and NM State, community colleges, a few up in Santa Fe. This isn't a highly educated part of the US. On the bright side, if you already are, you can probably be someone's boss here.