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Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich

tl;dr: I want to pick a town/city in the American South to move to and stay for 4-8 weeks while figuring out overseas job options. I want someplace where there's a cool cultural scene and stuff to do, and where I won't be totally hosed having just a bicycle and no car.

I've been working for a startup, and spent part of last year working with them in Bogota, Colombia before coming back to the US for the holidays. I was fixing to move to their next gig in Africa, but it's firing up *really* slowly and they can't yet justify sending more people on it, so the rest of us are finding odd jobs to keep us busy until later in the year when work picks up. I've had similar gaps of time in the past, where I like to just pack light, move somewhere new, and hole up there a month or two until I figure out what I'm doing. In the past, and based on goon advice, I've moved to Newfoundland, and to Quebec City, but I really don't want to move to Canada while it's still this cold.

I want to be in the US so I can nip over to job interviews for US-owned contracts, and I want to be somewhere warm for March and April since DC has been frigid this winter, and Bogotá is constantly cool and rainy like an Andean Seattle. I won't have a car this time, so it'll be just me and some light luggage hopping off a plane/bus/train and buying a bicycle off Craigslist, find someone who needs a short-term roommate for a few months, etc. So I'll spend March and maybe part of April sending out emails from the library/coffeeshop, bicycling to parks to sit around and play music, catch some local shows, etc. That's the vision.

Suggestions on where to go? I've already lived in Austin and New Orleans, and I've been to Biloxi and Mobile and neither of those seemed that cool. Chapel Hill sounds hip but it's really not that far from DC so it'd barely feel like escaping. Asheville is really fun but up in the mountains and cold.

Right now my top ideas all look to be in Georgia: Athens, Savannah, Atlanta. Athens I'd imagine is college-towny, Savannah I've been to and it seems vaguely a cheaper/scruffier New Orleans, and Atlanta might be okay if I can live in a neighborhood/region that's got a smaller/tighter feel to it instead of in some suburban hellscape. If there are cool places elsewhere in the South (non-lovely Florida?) I'm open to ideas, or even just saying fuckit and pressing further down to Puerto Rico or something.

Open to any suggestions from the forum that sent me to the tip of North America to live in St John's Newfoundland for three months, which was pretty awesome.


Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich

Been pondering it more and leaning more towards Savannah, since it seems pretty walkable/bikeable, warmer spring than Athens, closer to the ocean, and presumably less college-kiddy but with still a good arts/music scene. Thoughts?

Ferdinand the Bull
Jul 30, 2006

Savannah's scene is really college kiddy. East Atlanta or Reynoldstown, even Edgewood I definitely recommend. You'll find a lot to do that isn't centered around college scenes

Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich

Duly noted, but I think I'm going to go with Savannah for a variety of reasons. Any particular recommendations on neighborhoods which are walking/biking friendly and decently centralized, close to cool stuff?

Liam Emsa
Aug 21, 2014

Oh, god. I think I'm falling.

How about Raleigh, NC?

#3 Among Best U.S. Cities for College Students

#2 Among 2014's Most Educated Cities

#2 Among America's 15 Best Cities for Young Professionals

Among other awards....

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005
Can't post for 17 days!

(Old) San Juan in Puerto Rico would be amazing for a month or two. Probably get old after that, it isn't too big.

Jun 21, 2005

I've lived in Athens for the last 12 years. if you have questions/haven't committed to Savannah yet I can answer them.

Jan 18, 2011


Dead Pressed
Nov 11, 2009

by Cowcaster

Greenville SC is a pretty nicely renovated southern city with a lot going on downtown. Reedy river flows through dt with a massive Park right there, and a minor league baseball team too.

Edit, welp, didn't realize I was a month late for this.

Dec 30, 2005

Live Forever
Die Every Day

IMO by crossing off Austin, New Orleans, and Asheville in your OP you're really removing yourself from any place that most people would describe as "hip" in a top-twenty list of adjectives. Judging you by your past and your lifestyle I'd say that what you're looking for doesn't exist. There's plenty little pockets of "hip" in most cities aside from those but none big enough to merit a move, like Richmond SAV and Raleigh have some cool spots and a handul of DIY venues each but I feel like after the first month that would kinda be it. Why not go West? Or like someone else said Old San Juan, you'll dig it if you liked Colombia and there's tons of mainland US quasi-"expats" and nuyoricans that bring down a weird mini hipster scene. It's small but the difference is when there's a gap in activities you just go to the beach or party or whatever. And it's all dollars and doesn't require any customs clearing which means no stress for such a short break between your work gigs.


Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich

I ended up moving to Savannah at the start of March, because I figured it'd have some of the kind of backwater aspect to it as well as being slightly artsy. It's a little more touristy here than I expected, though myself I live in a relatively bad neighborhood south of downtown because it's one of the only places I could find to rent by the week that was affordable.

Whole lot of bicycles here, so I bought a single-speed my very first day, and use that as my main transportation. This city is incredibly flat, very easy to bike without gears.

There's a pretty heavy crusty scene here, though I'm too old/straight for that these days. There's a decent scene of small local bands playing in a few of the bars and coffee shops away from downtown; 95% of the music downtown is lovely cover bands or spinning Top 40 hits for the tourists and suburban yuppies in for a night on the town. But getting a little bit away from prime tourist spots, there are a few good places to see local bands, film nights, etc. There's a coffeeshop called the Sentient Bean just south of the big park that does a psychotronic film night every week, has a lot of local acts perform, etc.

Great parks here, easy to sit and chill outside and play music, people watch, etc.

Overall I'm generally pleased with this choice, for a short-term place to hang for a month or two, but in about a week or two I'm moving to Berlin, so that will solve that. And from Berlin, if my luck holds moving to Liberia.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2015 around 19:59

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