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Tom Paine

Fayetteville, AR | 6 Review(s)

Retired writer/editor, B.A. degree


Life Stage: Retired
Occupation: Printing/Editing/Writing
Enjoys: Health club


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Reviews & Comments

Springfield, MO

Seemed okay when I was there - 3/14/2018
The cost of living in Springfield is really low.

Boston, MA

Not for me - 3/13/2018
I don't know how many stars are displayed on this web page but I rated Boston just one star. Frankly I don’t know why anybody would want to live in the Boston area unless they’re rich and grew up here. In the United States alone there are a number of elite universities outside New England. The weather is miserable and cost of living is among the highest in the world. I wouldn't go near Boston unless you make or will make at least 100K to 200K a year. Rent here is two or three times what it is in most cities, similar to New York or San Francisco. On the other hand maybe you’re reading this because you’ve got wealthy parents and you plan on going to Harvard (actually in Cambridge), so cost doesn’t make that much difference to you. There is probably a greater tolerance for LGBT persons and certain minorities compared to elsewhere in the US, although I’m not really a minority myself. Boston and vicinity seemed very crowded to me, but then again I grew up in American suburbs, not a city. Near a city, but not in one. Some people like noisy, crowded, congested urban areas. It seems normal to them. I hated the traffic. The first couple of months after I moved there somebody totaled my parked car in Copley Square. It was a hit-and-run but fortunately I wasn’t in the car. Most likely a large vehicle such as a truck smashed into my car and drove off. Might have been deliberate but I have no idea why. I had a job at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. During the few short months I worked there somebody totaled my parked car, broke into my employee locker, and I discovered a dead body on a sidewalk nearby. I called 911. It’s not too friendly. A couple years later somebody stole my Chevrolet I had parked next to a curb in the neighborhood known as Brighton, not considered a particularly bad area. Not long after that in a completely different part of town a woman crashed into the rear quarter panel of my Toyota for no apparent reason. Boston winters are cold and long with snow. Again, unless you grew up in the northern half of the US, have many friends here, and a lot money, I don’t know why you’d want to be living here. Shoveling snow is a lousy way to get your exercise and a good way to get a heart attack. I prefer the tropics. Because of the climate, much of the city—road signs, bridges, and overpasses—appear rusty, worn, and beat-up. The roads are often pockmarked with potholes, especially in the winter. Guess that’s why they call it the Rust Belt. Hollywood could use nighttime Boston for a dystopian movie set. If you have a tendency to get depressed the reduced sunlight and Boston climate will make it worse. The cold-climate beaches suck by the way compared to say California or Florida. Cape Cod can be pleasant if it’s not too crowded. Much of the Cape is marshland. Parking in the city is always a hassle. Better watch your car because there's a good chance somebody will steal it. Motor vehicle theft was nearly out of control when I was there in the ‘90s. That according to more than a few people I talked to and the media. Everybody has Lojack or some other aftermarket anti-theft device. Because of the sheer number of vehicles in the area you might as well assume that somebody’s going to crash into you at some point. Get ready for high insurance premiums. Socially Boston natives can be pretty frosty. It’s unlike anywhere else in the country in that respect. I’m 60 so I’ve been around. I also did a stint in the military with people from all walks of life. Bank tellers won’t give you the time of day unless you’ve got an account with them. The extreme arrogance and regionalism in Boston is really obnoxious, unlike any I've ever seen. I wasn’t expecting folksy. Fortunately not everybody is stuck-up and there are people from all over the world in Boston. There’s also plenty of entertainment in terms of bars, restaurants (I like the seafood); sports, if you subsidize wealthy athletes (Red Sox, Celtics, pro football 20 miles away); and music (the BSO, Boston Pops, rock/jazz/classical concerts large and small). I married a girl from Ohio and moved away.

Jackson, MS

Stay away from Mississippi - 3/13/2018
I was born in Jackson, Mississippi and I’m a retired college graduate. Mississippi is a violent, backward state, always has been, and in 2018 it's still quite dangerous in my opinion. There is corruption in the legal system. I’m the adult son of two deceased lawyers there. They were both corrupt lawyers, violent child abusers, and they abandoned me when I was 17. In general, Mississippi is poor and the schools are inferior. Blue-collar people in the upper Midwest have more money than many professionals in Mississippi. In some ways it’s like a Third World country. Best avoided if you value your safety. Gun ownership is common. Even minors under 18 often own or have access to firearms such as rifles, shotguns, and handguns. If you’re LGBT don’t even think about entering Mississippi. Some foreign countries like the UK have issued official warnings to avoid the state. I think they’re right. Another thing to keep in mind is violence and corruption in healthcare. You might not be able to get a lawyer either. There’s a myth in the US, perpetrated primarily by lawyers themselves, that anybody can get a competent lawyer if they just make an effort, try hard enough, or make a few phone calls. That’s simply not true and never has been. It’s one of main reasons blacks had such a hard time during the civil rights era. None of those cracker attorneys down there would represent them. Public defenders don’t count if they’re incompetent or don’t do any work for you.

Kansas City, MO

Mixed bag - 3/13/2018
I lived in KCMO north of the river for about ten years. There are issues with both increasing crime and police misconduct. Somebody broke into my car as soon as my wife and I moved here. This was at a nice apartment complex. In addition, two police officers showed up at my apartment in 2007 screaming and yelling in the middle of the afternoon. I was working in my home office. When I opened the door they just marched on in without a warrant, assaulted me and pushed me around. Based on what they said, an estranged relative of mine paid them to go to my apartment to harass and/or harm me. Of course they could have lied. Fortunately I wasn't seriously injured, although the incident did occur just weeks after I had major surgery. It could have turned out much worse. I did report it to (other) authorities. As far as I know, the officers were never held accountable in any way. Every lawyer I contacted refused to help me; some even suggested the incident was my fault. Don't count on being able to get a lawyer in the US for anything. Many will simply refuse to work for you. They won't care if you've got money or not. Some are just lazy. My father was a lawyer/judge, and a really bad person. He was violent, abusive, and abandoned me when I was a kid. A judge.

Sarasota, FL

Everything but the weather stinks - 11/1/2017
I rated Sarasota just one star. I don't know about the rest of Florida but Sarasota is definitely the most antisocial place I ever lived in (not anymore). The militarism is especially obnoxious. I'm a college graduate and I’ve traveled quite a bit. Strangers insult you on the street. Privacy invasion by random strangers is common. Don't be surprised if you get cracks about your personal life 20 years ago from people you don't know. I've never seen such an abnormal interest in the personal lives of strangers. I'm not a celebrity and I don’t use Facebook. At one point three sheriff's deputies came to my apartment banging on the door at 3 o'clock in the morning. I was sound asleep and it scared the heck out of me. Before I opened the door I called 911. When I finally did open the door the deputies appeared to be putting away their guns. I have no criminal history. They said they were looking for somebody I don't know, but I very much doubt they were telling the truth. I had been at that address for several months already. They could have easily found out who was living there ahead of time, even at night. This was in a middle-class neighborhood just a few years ago.

You can't live in a place like Sarasota. Too many people don't mind their own business. Too many people try to annoy you, apparently just for their own amusement. People won't leave you alone when you go out. Some shop and restaurant owners are exceedingly rude to their own customers. The vast majority of residents here are transplants from the northeastern US, north of Virginia, or military retirees. Many people, civilians of all ages, are obsessed with the Navy and won't shut up about it in public. Older veterans are a big part of the problem. Many of them have a some kind of mental disorder where they walk around in public and repeat out loud the word “enlisted." People in the Navy do not address other sailors as “enlisted." Nobody in the Navy is going to say to you for example, “Hey, Enlisted, come over here a minute.” Doesn’t happen. I was a Navy medic in the ‘70s and I have no idea what they’re talking about. Maybe they were tortured in Gitmo and called “enlisted” at the same time. Who knows. Civilians don't want to hear about the military all the time anyway. Sarasota is a rude, combative, confrontational, and hostile environment. That’s not an exaggeration. Like I said, I never lived in a place that bad.

Fayetteville, AR

Low cost of living but strangely conservative - 11/1/2017
I’ve lived in Fayetteville about four years now and I’m 60. Fayetteville is chiefly a right-wing community with a very conservative state university. You’ll see why I say that. While there are many nice, normal individuals here, I’ve been annoyed and even harassed by literally *hundreds* of people about my brief, unremarkable stint in the military some forty (40) years ago. I was a common sailor with a low-level job, and I got out in 1978. The first couple of years I lived in Fayetteville one or more people either asked me about the military every day, or made a remark about it near me in public. I’ll tell you who’s responsible for this lunacy: doctors and healthcare workers who give out personal information, and Veterans Administration employees. Much of this activity is clearly illegal, and I’ve filed any number of written complaints with the authorities for years now. Many people here seem obsessed with the military, even college students from the University of Arkansas. In contrast, since 2014 only five or ten people in Fayetteville have asked me about the southern college I graduated from in 1982, or what I’ve done since. I moved to Fayetteville from Sarasota, Florida, and the same thing was going on down there, except it was worse. I’m considering moving to an entirely different part of the country.

As you might imagine, healthcare in Fayetteville is subpar and specialists are limited. Good luck getting in to see a urologist here for example. The one and only hospital here, Washington Regional, can be really bad depending on who you see. On one occasion the emergency room doctor was verbally giving me a hard time while I was flat on my back with groin pain. He made a nasty speech about me from the ER nurses station for no apparent reason at all. I filed a written complaint with the medical board. I’d rate healthcare in Fayetteville way below average for the US.

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