Reviews & Comments
Ann Arbor, MI
re: Hope to like it more with time...
I do live here actually. And it most definitely more white than most but not all places I’ve lived. And compared to many places I’ve lived less outdoorsy and not quite as many parks. I have compared statistics.
Ann Arbor, MIHope to like it more with time...
Uh, compared to my other favorite college towns this one lacks flavor. Safer and kinda pretty, but not the greenest place, it's fine. Good restaurants, music, art, culture but lacks some diversity and alternative lifestyles. Awesome public schools, though. Fantastic quality there. Just lacking some oomph I hope to find. People kinda stand offish and keep to themselves, but not really rude. Traffic not that bad, crime low, services adequate but not best--lack of public parks in my opinion, but probably good compared to most cities. Kinda like wonder bread here. Good but not flavorful.
Charlottesville, VAloved it here and sick missing it.
Want to start by saying we have lived in Boise, San Francisco, Seattle, Corvallis-Oregon, Yakima-Washington, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Manhattan-Kansas, Enterprise-Alabama, Charlottesville, Eugene-Oregon, and now Ann Arbor, Michigan. The college towns of Corvallis, Manhattan, Eugene, and Ann Arbor all had much in common with Charlottesville. But Charlottesville has a southern charm/uniqueness not found anywhere.
The weather is occasionally brutally hot or cold or wet but mostly wonderful.
There are so many restaurants, parks, hiking trails, cultural and sporting events, festivals, art galleries and museums, concerts and just a huge variety of things to do in this town. You have to pick and choose because you cannot do it all--too much going on at all times. Other places we have lived didn't seem to have half as much happening... Even if much bigger.
It is ethnically diverse, has a huge amount of country folk commuting into it everyday giving it somewhat of variety of cultures, and it is just way more quaint and charming than any place I have ever lived--except maybe San Francisco which I found a bit too much for my comfort.
However, the public schools are some of the worst we have seen--other than Baltimore--with many people choosing private or homeschool. And there is a bit of a racism problem--the town still hasn't shed some of its slavery past/white supremacy values quite yet. Sometimes the "white genteel" thing is too much with English riding get-ups and posh clothing boutiques. But, there is some old-fashioned charm there, too. Definitely a town that is experiencing some issues with shedding some parts of it's past.
The crime rate isn't that bad but it could be better. Just comparing it to where we live now, Ann Arbor is also a college town but a bit bigger and the cost of housing is a lot more (but average salaries are also higher). Ann Arbor is also much safer but less Democrat and mostly Lutheran (vs. more flavorful southern Baptist). Ann Arbor schools are top notch but spend a bit less per student--but teachers here are a lot more educated and paid better--although Charlottesville's adult crowd is still fairly educated.
Despite it's small warts, I miss, miss, miss Charlottesville so much. People were way friendlier, more colorful, relaxed, the weather was awesome and housing was more affordable, albeit still expensive. I never felt so much at home as when I lived there. I think we are settled into Ann Arbor for good but it will never quite measure up to Charlottesville.
Personally Charlottesville is number one, followed by Eugene, Corvallis,, Ann Arbor, and Manhattan-Kansas (yes, I did like it there....)
Boise, IDLive able but not greatest place
I agree with all of the good and also with all of the bad, as well. People are not trying to pump up Boise nor keep people away. Be warned, a lot of people love or hate Boise. It is nice and safe and very, very white generic lifestyle. That appeals to some and repulsive to others. Your call. Not really my taste but liveable. Had worse and had better living experiences. The air and water quality are bad. The wages low! Housing is either over priced historic or very generic cheap. But people have manners and are very low key. There are good parks and trails to use that are almost laughably deserted (more people about shopping here) but there is a really bad lack of green that I am used to, that is really tough on me personally. And I hate the conservative biased bigoted politics. Cannot read the paper, nor do most people though. Everyone just kinda lives unto themselves or own neighborhood-church and stays out of politics. Frustratingly blasé that way. But appeals to a lot of people from worse places. In general, schools are safe but not that great. Boise in general for me is generically "decent" place. But not doing it for me overall.