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New Urban Communities: trying to define them, and some of our top picks

Category: Uncategorized

By Shannon Keating

What do you think of when you think of an urban community? Sparkling nightlife, blends of cultures, tons of great restaurants, a large diverse population, plenty of job opportunities… or terrible traffic, nightmarish snares of public transit, and  overcrowding?

Cities and large towns offer unparalleled entertainment and worlds of opportunity, but the messy aspects of urban living can deter plenty of people from taking advantage of all that cities have to offer. If you are similarly hesitant, consider new urban communities.

New Urbanism is an urban design movement which primarily promotes walkable neighborhoods while maintaining diverse options for jobs and housing. Traditional neighborhood design, or TND, largely informs New Urbanism – the key word here being traditional. There is not necessarily anything new about New Urbanism; more so, the movement is making efforts to put a new spin on old concepts of efficient city planning which were practiced before the rise of the automobile. The movement additionally supports universal access to open public spaces, historic preservation, intra-neighborhood racial and economic diversity, sustainability, affordable housing, and a variety of aspects of green living. There are over six hundred new cities and neighborhoods currently being planned under the guidelines of New Urbanism. No new urban, master-planned or traditionally designed city has followed the exact same principles; all these categories are certainly broad and ever-changing. That said, we have compiled here a list of some of our favorite communities which  fall under the label of New Urban.

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Posted by admin on October 6th, 2013

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The College Graduate City Search, Part II: 10 Best Places for Recent Grads

Category: Singles

By Shannon Keating

In our first installment of this article, The College Graduate City Search, Part I, we offered suggestions for the factors to consider regarding your needs and priorities in the transition  from university life to post-college city. Now, we have assembled a list of our 10 favorite places for the recent college grad.

These cities are vibrant, youthful, and jam-packed with things to do for the young professional. They are doable, if not the most easily affordable, for the college-loan-burdened set, some with low costs for rentals and all with good average entry-level salaries. They are diverse, hubs of industry, cultural capitals, and the perfect places to start off fresh and launch your life.

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Posted by admin on February 11th, 2013

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The College Graduate City Search, Part I: Factors to Consider for Post-Grad Living

Category: Singles

By Shannon Keating

A few million college seniors are entering the new year with the same realization: 2013 will bring one final semester before the glory days wind to a close and the so-called Real World beckons. One of the most important things to consider for the rising college grad is where to relocate for the beginning of their twenties. Leaving college means entry level positions fetching coffee, pushing mail carts, and working long hours for little pay – but it also means living in bustling apartments overflowing with friends, splurging on a night out at that new bar downtown, and getting to experience a brand new lifestyle in a brand new city.

Choosing where to go after a stint in Mom and Dad’s basement can be one of the most simultaneously stressful and exciting decisions of post-college living. To lessen the stress and heighten the (more…)

Posted by admin on January 16th, 2013

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Some of Our Favorite Gay-Friendly Cities May Surprise You

Category: LGBT

By Shannon Keating

The benefits of gay-friendly cities extend far beyond the creation and maintenance of safe, exciting spaces for the LGBT community. These cities are generally liberal, or contain many liberal pockets and enclaves. They are oftentimes centers for progressive thought and activism, have plenty of resources for LGBT individuals and their friends, are brightened by art scenes in which the gay community is active, and are generally teeming with multiple forms of diversity.

We have assembled a list of some of our favorite gay-friendly communities, all with different (more…)

Posted by admin on February 29th, 2012

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Cultural Centers: 10 of America’s Best

Category: Cultural

By Shannon Keating

Cultural capitals are such marvelous places to live because by their very definition, they have something for everyone. These cities teem with fast-paced and wild nightlife for those who like glamorous adventure. Artsy types will find solace among some of the best stationary and traveling art collections in the world. Lovers of music get a chance to experience world-class opera, jazz, rock and pop on a weekly basis. Perhaps best of all, there is always something exciting around every corner, whether it’s a guided walking tour or a continuing education class at a local school.

While the United States offers a broad, eclectic array of fascinating cultural towns, below are our top ten very favorites, best (more…)

Posted by admin on December 3rd, 2011

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Hard Times for the Nation’s Gay Retirement Communities

Category: LGBT

October 29, 2011 — It has been clear for a while that gay and lesbian retirement communities were struggling to survive. Relatively new and trying to get off the ground, their struggle is even more difficult than that faced by straight retirement communities, who have had no walk in the park in the midst of this real estate meltdown either.  Now the New York Times reports in “Hard Times for Gay Retirement Havens” that 2 gay communities have filed for bankruptcy protection – RainbowVision in Santa Fe, NM, and (more…)

Posted by admin on October 29th, 2011

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10 of America’s Best Beach Towns

Category: beach

By Shannon Keating

Who wouldn’t love living a beach lifestyle? Swimming, surfing, sun bathing, and other exciting water diversions are aplenty along lake and ocean coasts. From boardwalk classics, to sparkling seaside nightlife, to family-friendly relaxation and recreation, there is a plethora of different options when it comes to your own personal perfect beach town.

You’ve always dreamed of waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, and walking out your front door to feel sand between your toes – the good news is that the distressed real estate market means that this is as good a time than any to find a beach-centric community that’s right for you.

The following are ten of our favorite American beach towns from across the country.

1. Traverse City, Michigan

Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, Traverse City is especially popular for boating and fishing. Off the lake, activities include skiing and golf. Traverse City also has a lively, vibrant arts scene, a historic downtown, cute restaurants, and the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. Visit the Interlochen Center for the Arts for concerts, exhibits and theater productions year-round, any of 13 museums, and (more…)

Posted by admin on October 16th, 2011

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Portland, Ore. Businesses Blazing New Trails for this Bike Friendly Town

Category: Biking

September 22, 2011 –  Already a bike-friendly town, Portland, OR is blazing new trails to help its residents embrace the biking lifestyle.  As  outlined in a recent New York Times article, “Developers Cater  to Two-Wheeled Traffic in Portland, Ore.” it is the city’s businesses that are now trying to cash in on biking’s popularity here.  About 7% of Portland’s commuters travel by bike, significantly higher than the rest of the U.S. (1%).

Take for example some of the new businesses that are totally  oriented towards bikers, most of which are located on incredibly busy commuter bike routes like North Williams Avenue:
– Eco Flats is a new rental apartment building with bike racks in the lobby, and bike friendly doors and entrances.  But it has no parking for cars

– The Hopwoods BikeBar is on the ground floor of Eco Flats. The new brewpub has bike locks and takeout food that fits bicycle water bottle holders. It’s located on a popular bike route.

– In the same North Williams district there is the Friendly  Bike Guest House, which features indoor parking for its guests’ bicycles. (more…)

Posted by admin on September 22nd, 2011

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Is a Bike Trip in Your Future?

Category: Biking

Our sister website, Topretirements.com,  just ran an interesting article about bike trips as a way to see new parts of the world. You should check it out because it references some of the major tour companies, how to prepare, what the trips are like, pros and cons.  How  About A Bike Trip


Posted by admin on August 18th, 2011

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Seven Small Towns that Make for a Best Place to Live

Category: Small Town

There is nothing quite like the charm, beauty, and comfort of an American small town. They exist as a contrast to the fast-life, bright-light big cities, and are often havens for young couples, old couples, singles, and families. There is more open space, more community, more tree-lined streets, and more fresh air. They are often named as best places to live in various publications. Maybe you’re drawn to the school districts, the parks, the low crime rates, or the small yet frequently active culture scenes. Whatever your reason, here’s a list (more…)

Posted by admin on July 27th, 2011

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