Every time the rumors of IBM layoffs come around I hit zillow will a new fervor, imagining a time in the not too distant future when IBM lets go of the hardware fab in Essex, and thus lets go of Steve.

He is usually reassuring, but these rumors are coming more frequently and the cuts are going deeper, so this time around he isn’t putting a stop to my research.

That said I have a few possible post Shelburbia sites. I need feedback, I don’t know many of these communities well.

I am a bit of the princess and the pea about this potential move. We love it here. Except the weather, and the impending unemployment. Generally I am seeking the impossible, a place that is affordable, liberal, charming, with great school, wonderful weather, easy access to stunning natural beauty and a robust job market. Quite a few of these criteria offset. I want Shelburne in the bay area. I’m pretty sure it is not there. Here are the contenders:

  • Bay area- Berkeley to Mill Valley. Upside: huge tech job market, a handful of friends already there, liberal, gorgeous natural areas, ability to grow fruit. Downside: public schools have a mixed reputation (for NOW Ty), and so so so so expensive. Even with a 45 minute/hour commute you can buy more space, but not for much less than 1 million dollars.
  • Chattanooga- Upside: Rising community, new food and beer scene, urban camping, even more affordable than Vermont, great weather with seasons still in evidence, Chris, Kim and the cutest boy baby on earth. Downside: Its TN, job market is not a big improvement over VT.
  • Asheville- Upside: Weather, access to nature, liberal artsy, foodie town. Good public school very close to downtown, charming small town feel within easy commute of the “city.” Cost of living only slightly higher than Vermont. Downside: No friends or family, job market is not a big improvement over Vermont.
  • Austin- Upside: Great tech job market that continues to grow, have another family we could probably convince to relocate with us, no need to search for housing for SXSW, neighborhoods all have pools and easy walks to good schools. Downside: Weather is equally challenging as Vermont just in opposite world. Texas isn’t the most liberal state. Those neighborhoods look like little worms and are bordered by 4 lane strip mall filled misery corridors.
  • San Diego- Carlsbad- Upside: Moderately good tech market, Steve has friends there, we could grow citrus. Downside: Its the desert. I don’t like stucco, the houses we can afford will only have the land they stand on. New England to Southern California might cause some sort of version of relocation Bends.
  • Mass tech corridor south of Boston- Upside: Good job market, good public schools, easy access to my mother, aunt and uncle and foxboro. That’s the Patriots for those of you who don’t know. We could afford a reasonable house there. Downside: I already moved away from Mass. The weather is not much of an improvement, but you do get a bit of spring in the place of mudseason.
  • Seattle- Upside: Good job market, at least one close friend, possibilty of convincing other people to relocate with us, great views and outdoor access. Downside. Rain is possibly worse than cold. Every house I look at has moss growing everywhere. That means it is WET.
  • Portland OR- Upside: Liberal, Burlington’s big brother, friends and family- including Val and the cutest girl baby on earth. Downside. See Seattle weather. Job market is not a big enough improvment to relocate on spec.
  • Raleigh/Durham- Upside: Strong tech job market, really nice weather still with seasons. Downside: we know no one, the liberal areas near the colleges are unaffordable.
  • Denver- Upside: Sunshine. Architecturally interesting neighborhoods within a walkable city, with reasonable prices. We have good friends there, including Oliver’s best friend so one kid would not be heartbroken over moving. Downside: More jobs than BTV but not known for tech. Still snow. And cold. Although less cold. Schools are a mixed bag.

Now I need help. Do you know anything about these places? Even better do you know another place that should be on the list? Best still do you want to hire Steve? He is an electrical engineer with an MBA and project manager certification. He lives with me so can get along with anyone. He is smart, organized and manages billion dollar deals including working with the combined misery of big blue and the government.

Which means he is the only person I know that doesn’t loathe red tape.

Maybe we can get some of that for the boxes.

 

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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