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-   -   Where in USA is most like UK?! (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/where-usa-most-like-uk-856715/)

SuperScienceGrl Apr 19th 2015 3:39 pm

Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
Hi everyone!

I'm taking some time off work soon for "personal reasons", which aren't my fault. I have to take probably a few months off. I don't know yet whether I can stay in the USA in the meantime, so this might be jumping the gun. But I currently work in Illinois, and I hate this particular tiny, very "Midwestern" city, so much. Since I'm supposedly on a "journey of self-discovery" or whatever, I have this thought that I might just move elsewhere in the USA for a while, and find a place I don't hate to prove to myself that America can be okay.

It needs to be:
1. Affordable (I won't be getting paid, so I'm living on savings, maybe get a job that doesn't take too much time)
2. Easy to get to and around without a car
3. Safe-ish... I'm a mid-20's woman and I'll be on my own
4. I'd really like somewhere similar to the UK. I haven't enjoyed this part of Illinois one bit. I'm not asking for Little England, just somewhere I can understand people a little more and feel like they're friendly and not overbearing, if it exists.
5. I like cities, but maybe this is the time for me to go to the countryside for a while. In that case, I'd definitely like something geographically resembling UK countryside, if such a thing exists here. And not full of, y'know, country American stereotypes, to be blunt.

(Sorry if this is a duplicate thread. I did some searching, but it was hard to know what to search for!)

Sorry too for the long post. I made a lot of stipulations, and I'm happy to work around all of them (except Points 1 and 2) if you have any ideas. I really just want to generate discussion and possibilities :)

Thanks just for reading :)
~SSG

nun Apr 19th 2015 4:00 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
Boston is quite a "European" city and with it's strong Irish as well as British history there are elements of the culture that will be familiar to someone from the UK.

Pulaski Apr 19th 2015 4:11 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
Your points 1 and 2 are contradictory - there are very few places in the US that you can get around without a car, and they are all expensive places. And in fact your point 2 eliminates almost everywhere in the US, unless you're willing to be confined to a few blocks in the centre of a couple of dozen cities you won't find anywhere that meets your wishlist.

If you're interested in "friendly and not overbearing" then I think towns in the South meet that criteria, but you may find them mixed with "country America stereotypes", though I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that. ..... How about Charleston, SC - historic, walkable in the center, though expensive compared to the South in general?

sir_eccles Apr 19th 2015 4:15 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
Probably Portland Oregon, but in reality no where nice is likely to be cheap.

Sally Redux Apr 19th 2015 4:23 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
No car is a tall order. My son is at college in San Luis Obispo and it's a delightful little town, it has a walkable downtown, buses, and there is even a rudimentary train line that runs to LA and San Diego.

Visit SLO | San Luis Obispo CA - the Happiest Place in America

robin1234 Apr 19th 2015 4:25 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
Portland, Oregon, yes, and other PNW places. I would have suggested Chicago, but OP lives in Illinois and wants to get away from there! Obviously Chicago has a dense network of public transport in the city, but also a relatively good network stretching out far (albeit catering to commuters so not comprehensive like in the UK.)

SuperScienceGrl Apr 19th 2015 4:29 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
I've always liked the sound of Boston! Probably pricey, but perhaps I can manage somewhere nearby. There's also a major conference in my field coming up in Boston, and I've been thinking how great it would be to tie this leave to going there. Perhaps I could also tie in living there! These are all very preliminary thoughts.

I actually can't drive though, have had one or two lessons, nowhere near close enough to getting a driver's licence, and don't want to dilute/stress my leave experience with fast-track learning. Perhaps a university town would suit me? After all that's what I know!

I didn't know anything about Portland, but now I've looked it up, it really sounds like a great possibility! I'll make a note :D

I loved California when I visited. Loved it so much. SLO sounds like an amazing possibility too, thanks!

And hey, this is all in the preliminary dream stage at the moment, although it will have to become real very very fast. So I can afford to be imaginative! Thanks, everyone so far!

Sally Redux Apr 19th 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 

Originally Posted by SuperScienceGrl (Post 11622771)
I've always liked the sound of Boston! Probably pricey, but perhaps I can manage somewhere nearby. There's also a major conference in my field coming up in Boston, and I've been thinking how great it would be to tie this leave to going there. Perhaps I could also tie in living there! These are all very preliminary thoughts.

I actually can't drive though, have had one or two lessons, nowhere near close enough to getting a driver's licence, and don't want to dilute/stress my leave experience with fast-track learning. Perhaps a university town would suit me? After all that's what I know!

I didn't know anything about Portland, but now I've looked it up, it really sounds like a great possibility! I'll make a note :D

And hey, this is all in the preliminary dream stage at the moment, although it will have to become real very very fast. So I can afford to be imaginative! Thanks, everyone so far!

What's your field?

lansbury Apr 19th 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 

Originally Posted by sir_eccles (Post 11622757)
Probably Portland Oregon, but in reality no where nice is likely to be cheap.


Originally Posted by robin1234 (Post 11622767)
Portland, Oregon, yes, and other PNW places. I would have suggested Chicago, but OP lives in Illinois and wants to get away from there! Obviously Chicago has a dense network of public transport in the city, but also a relatively good network stretching out far (albeit catering to commuters so not comprehensive like in the UK.)

I would have suggested Portland too. Quite easy to get around without a car, a lot of people now do just that. If you need a car on the odd occasion there is Zip Car. Walkable, bike friendly, and reasonable buses and light rail. Places like Milwaukie, which butt onto Portland, are cheaper with bus or light rail into Portland.

The Willamette Valley and coast are like parts of the UK, but you need a car to see them. No real public transport outside of Portland and its suburbs

SuperScienceGrl Apr 19th 2015 5:30 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
@Sally Chemistry. And I love your userpic!

I just realized that I don't know if there's some way I can get access to libraries of other universities like you can in the UK...? I just looked at my own institution's website and it doesn't seem like that is a thing! I was imagining myself holed up in a library 24/7, wearing glasses and Renaissance maxi-dresses. [Spoiler: I don't wear either of those things.] The library workers whispering "who is that woman? She's always here. Such an enigma!". ...Heh heh.

Sally Redux Apr 19th 2015 6:23 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 

Originally Posted by SuperScienceGrl (Post 11622822)
@Sally Chemistry. And I love your userpic!

I just realized that I don't know if there's some way I can get access to libraries of other universities like you can in the UK...? I just looked at my own institution's website and it doesn't seem like that is a thing! I was imagining myself holed up in a library 24/7, wearing glasses and Renaissance maxi-dresses. [Spoiler: I don't wear either of those things.] The library workers whispering "who is that woman? She's always here. Such an enigma!". ...Heh heh.

Thanks!

I don't know about the library situation but worth asking. Nice image with the maxi dress/glasses :D

If you did end up in SLO and were more biochemistry I was going to plug the nonprofit vitamin D group there. Oh, I will anyway:

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-us/

nun Apr 19th 2015 6:30 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
If you have an ID from a university you can get a visitor library card at Harvard. Time was when they never checked IDs at Widner except to get into the stacks

robin1234 Apr 19th 2015 6:57 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
I used to work in the Harvard libraries and know a lot of the academic libraries in Boston and environs. Most are pretty liberal, in other words you can walk in off the street and use the resources, or you can get visitor privileges if you talk to a user services person and make nice, or show an ID from another institution. Harvard has over a hundred separate libraries, each with its own access policies, but, as nun mentions, Widener and Houghton you can only get into if you arrange access in advance. Many of the outlying Harvard libraries are easier to get into though ....

Tufts, BU, and Northwestern are superb libraries which I used to use with no problems, but maybe they've tightened their policies in recent years.

Redwing Apr 19th 2015 7:15 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11622749)

If you're interested in "friendly and not overbearing" then I think towns in the South meet that criteria, but you may find them mixed with "country America stereotypes", though I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that. ..... How about Charleston, SC - historic, walkable in the center, though expensive compared to the South in general?

Amen to that!

SuperScienceGrl Apr 19th 2015 7:50 pm

Re: Where in USA is most like UK?!
 
Yes, what I'm trying to say with the stereotype thing was trying to be polite without saying the whole "guns and racism, hell yeeeeeah!" idea. I have no desire to generalize an entire place on a stereotype, though; my idea is not at all to cut out the southern states - they're probably preferable in fact, as: great weather!
I haven't seen a lot of the US, but there are enough people like that in central Illinois that I know I don't want to see any more though. I have a friend who I think it's fair to say fits quite well with the other southern state stereotype, the friendly, outgoing guy who goes out of his way to be welcoming to new people, always up for a laugh and making friends. That's definitely not what I'm talking about here! I also have friends from Oklahoma who left and have told me all kinds of horror stories, saying they'll never go back, so they have probably biased me slightly.

I'll look up Charleston and add it to the list!


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