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Best city to live in in early-mid 20s?

likehelpfulsmart
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Pittsburgh. It’s affordable, has lots of things to do, and it’s easy to save money and make friends, and it’s also international student and expat friendly. I do not advise living in expensive cities during early years of career. Early years of career are marked by less pay and more work, so smart and frugal professionals would prefer cheap places to live. On the other hand, you want a close proximity to different cities, or different geographies. Pittsburgh is at the intersection of Northeast, Midwest, and South. 2 hours to Cleveland, 4 hours to DC, 4 hours to Detroit, 5 hours to Philly, 6 hours to New York, and 7 hours to Chicago by drive. Very innovative city. Has some big firms, not as huge as New York but also has startups, it isn’t nearly as big as Silicon Valley but it’s ok. You would not want to live in ultra expensive New York or notoriously ultra expensive San Francisco Bay Area. You can easily fly everywhere from Pittsburgh including the international destinations. I feel that Pittsburgh is an underrated city. And I do miss it sometimes. Friendships were nice, and people were respectful. It has both a medium sized city vibe and a diversity of options, like the small-scale summary of a big metropolis.

likefunnysmart

D12 - Mattress Factory is a 3-dimensional modern art museum that was established back in 1970s. It’s a well-known museum, showcasing the work of Yayoi Kusama and similar modern art masters. If you aren’t into modern arts, you may underrate Pittsburgh. 34 was Wikipedia, you can check it out. I’ve personally visited 22 of them, because they were free for university students on some of the days of the month. Some, I am still yet to visit when I go back. I respectfully disagree with the ‘music scene’ being stronger in Cleveland than Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Opera, Symphony, as well as Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Pittsburgh Musical Theater and other diverse performing arts offerings make PGH strong. It is not like Cleveland outperforms over PGH in these. Your experience is probably limited to your art taste, as we saw in Mattress Factory comment. I think you also undercount Carnegie as giant institution of museums consortium, as they’ve acquired other museums and turned the PGH ‘art ecosystem’ into a more sustainable, more integrated trajectory. Randyland is an open-air museum, Philly has a similar open-air museum. Outdoor art, even San Francisco has these. For the list, here it is: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_Pittsburgh

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They are all a bit different but here is my two cents on some major options. Ultimately you gotta pick what feels right to you based off what’s important. NYC is the best experience. Weather is terrible for 8-9 months out of the year. Diversity and general excitement is unparalleled. If you love the arts and food, it’s amazing. Chicago has a great scene and good cost of living for a major city. It’s growing and dying at the same time. The cold winters are a real thing and you have to be prepared for it. SF - as long as tech continues to rule the world, it’s probably the best career move if you want to move to industry. Rent is gonna suck, the weather is never amazing, but never bad either. Nightlife and arts are not nyc and never will be… but it’s waaay easier to leave the city and get away than nyc. If you are gonna compare it to NYC the whole time… you will have a bad time. The “bay” is very different than SF. Seattle is the best city in America for a solid 8-10 weeks a year with long summer nights, low to no rain, and actually has affordable housing, however, the other 9-10 months can be a bit of a gloomy drag. If you find a cozy cup of coffee on a cold day appealing, you can def make it work. Pac NW is best for nature access that isn’t overrun by a close by city / tourists. LA is great for all of the reasons you think it is. Yes, the weather is that great. It’s miserable for all of the same reasons that come to mind. Yes the traffic is that bad. It’s much more of an urban sprawl than you can imagine. Honestly, if the industries line up with what you want to do…San Diego is an amazing compromise of weather, traffic, cost of living, outdoors, but.. it’s also a bit slower than an urban city center.

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NYC hands down. Food scene, dating scene, work scene etc. All amazing

likesmarthelpfulfunny

I found some great international food in London. Also had traditional British food which was incredibly planned. And to the OP, It really depends what you're into. Do you like water sports? Live somewhere coastal. Do you like hiking? Live near some mountains. Personally I was born in Virginia, so the thought of living anywhere that's not near the coast kind of freaks me out. I love the Pacific Northwest also. If Seattle and Portland aren't so expensive, I'd probably move there. Norfolk, VA is cool, but it's a smaller city compared to others mentioned here. I really like Philadelphia, New Orleans, Austin, San Francisco, Chicago. I'm not crazy about huge cities like NY. Too many people and stimulation with lights, noise, etc.

Chicago, and quite frankly it’s not even close when you take all factors (cost of living, friendliness, things to do, city culture, etc) into account. The winters are how we pay our dues for living in the greatest city in America from June-September.

likefunnyhelpful

Yeah if your idea of good times are hot dogs, bars with giant tvs, and average looking people

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You ever see a Cuyahoga sunset?

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likefunnyuplifting

Nice try. The only thing good about Cleveland is it’s only 5 hours away from Chicago.

likefunny

The city you went to highschool/college in. Youre a consultant, youll get to travel due to your job. Enjoy your early twenties with the homies you grew up with now yall got money. Trust me best experience.

likesmart

Yup, grew up in NY, stayed in NY

London. Sydney. New York.

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I thought we were just talking US if global Sydney is #1 and it’s not even close for me

ITT: lots of people who think you have to live in a huge overpriced city in order to get the amenities that make being young fun. Boy are y’all wrong

likesmarthelpful

I did, see “Cuyahoga sunset” post

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Chicago 😉

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Not san francisco

likefunnyhelpful

The people are great... the infrastructure, safety, and homeless situation are not

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I can’t help but notice nobody said DC lol

likefunnyhelpful

I love it here but I stay in Arlington. Been here 15 years. DC never gets old. I just wish the food even I was as good as Philly.

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Charlotte if you enjoy great weather and favorable cost of living. NYC was good for 12-18 months but the remaining 3+ years were a drag.

likehelpful

Interviewing at a place that would relocate me to Charlotte or Phoenix. I’ve heard nothing but good things about CLT so far!

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Atlanta

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How’s Philly? Moving there this fall

likeupliftingfunny

Ah, gotcha

Mobile, Alabama

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Runway Billiards in my go to.

Charlotte UNDERRATED

likeuplifting

In terms of getting big city pros without the big city cons, it really is hard to beat.

likehelpful

Everyone should live in New York for at least a year at one point in thier 20’s with an open-mind. You don’t get the combo of grit, action, people, diversity, and cultural melting pot anywhere else in the world. Everyone leaves the city changed. Some are underwhelmed and that helps them figure out what they want, and others love it. Either way, you have to live it for at least a year with a decent mindset

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NYC

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Seattle if you like the outdoors. Nyc if you love nightlife.

likefunny

I hear ya, just have to know where to go! The night life is in Capitol Hill

DC. Don’t quite understand the hate

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I like D.C., but have only done short visits. Will have to check it out more.

San Francisco... lived in Chicago, NYC, Austin and London. Nothing compares.

likefunny

I wish SF could get its act together. Such a beautiful city with rich heritage…to bad it has become inaccessible for most

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