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05 November 2007 @ 10:09 am
So... the girl and I have been talking very seriously about the possibility of moving out of California. While this is a really wonderful area and we know a lot of really excellent people here, we don't see most of you very often. Having children is going to make that problem much more pronounced for most of you -- and almost all of the gatherings we go to are gonna stop working for us.

And that suddenly makes California a lot less attractive to us. Non-kid-safe gatherings are fun but neither of us want to spend a lot of time foisting the kid(s) off on each other or hiring daycare or babysitters to avoid spending time with them. We want to kids to, y'know, not to put too fine a point on it, raise children. And our life out here isn't conducive to that. We'd have to give up quite a lot of our existing social group and almost all our group gatherings anyway.

And that suddenly makes it look very attractive to move somewhere that a half-million-dollar home isn't a little one-bathroom tract house. Not only would that give us real space for kids and a much more comfortable living situation, we wouldn't have to do the math about my salary and wonder if having two or three kids means we'd have to give up the house, basic hygeine or all forms of recreation. Krissy could continue to work, but that would mean that we'd spend our time during the days working and in the evenings being exhausted, which would again prevent that whole "raising kids" thing which is a major goal. We're hoping to get to spend as much quality time with our kids as is reasonable, and just not seeing much of them thwarts that goal.

We've talked about several places, but between weather (no Chicago, no Boston), reasonable housing prices (no Seattle), reasonable level of "urban feel" and traffic (no NYC or LA), cultural objections (no Austin, Houston, or Atlanta), safety (no Washington DC) and basic level of interestingness (no Cleveland, Dallas, Baltimore, Cincinatti, Boise, et al), we're pretty settled on the idea of Pittsburgh, PA. I went to college there and loved it, it's *very* family friendly, we know some folks out in that direction, and the houses make us happy. We'll be able to get a nice five-bedroom Victorian or something along those lines and simultaneously bring our mortgage down to almost nothing. There are lots of parks and museums. Public transit is good. And since the girl won't have to leave the house as often while staying home and homeschooling our kids, she's willing to accept some snow in the winter, as long as I'm the one shoveling the walks. I'm good with that :-)

We're not going to up and move tomorrow. For starters, we're likely to stay in CA until our kid is born for logistical reasons, which means until at least late May. But it seems like a really good idea to let people know in advance, because "oh, yeah, we've been planning to do this for months, got a plane to catch, bye!" seems a bit rudely abrupt.

So yeah. This is still very much in the early planning stages, but it looks an awful lot like we're doing it. We're pretty excited :-)
The Water Seeker: kidletplymouth on November 5th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
huh, I guess you go to different kinds of gatherings than I do because lately I've been feeling kinda weirdlike with the kids showing up everywhere I go and me still being all "ahh! not old enough!"...

but, hey, pittsburgh :)

And I found your assessment of the nations cities amusing. When I leave this area it will almost certainly be to go back to BOS (which I think also fails on the high housing costs). But to me the weather is a MAJOR feature. Though, really, PGH has pretty good weather too!
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
I like 'em both. But the girl is very much a CA native and serious can't-get-out-of-the-house snow is a non-starter for her, as is really blistering dry heat.

Pittsburgh's just barely inside the criteria -- warm, muggy, humid summers and some snow, but very rarely more than a foot or two, and even then it usually comes down at a pretty reasonable rate.

I *loved* snow in Pgh, but I can't say much about Boston-level snow. Never spent more than part of a day in Boston. Chicago winter was actually kind cool in a "nose wants to fall off" sorta way, but I'm glad I've never been there more than a week or so. Krissy thinks that crazy-talk, understandably enough ;-)
(no subject) - plymouth on November 5th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
safyasafya on November 5th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
yay, yay, yay! i mean, we might be leaving some time, but in the meantime it would be great to have more cool people, and particularly cool (homeschooling, if we're still here that long) parents around. plus i can never find anyone around here who wants to go to sushi too (hey, i'm sure the babies could handle it occasionally :)
safyasafya on November 5th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
ps. i don't know about your logistics situations, but we do have some pretty good prenatal/birth resources around here.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Our quick research made it look like homebirth was a weird legal gray area in PA. And CA, not surprisingly, has really good laws and resources and lots of midwives and birthing centers and... So yeah, it looks like staying is a really good bet.

Though I'll probably still ask about those, because we *are* planning to have more than one kid long term, which means a high likelihood that kids number 2+ would be born in Pittsburgh.
Brick (DBA Brian)caramida on November 5th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
We'll miss not having you around California, but can understand the need to move. Still, I didn't see you guys eliminate Portland as a choice...

In any case, best wishes for much success and happiness.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
We considered Portland, but basically neither of us like the feel of the city that much. It's also very high-crime, particularly compared to Pittsburgh.

And thank you!
Cortneycortneyofeden on November 5th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
As I told her, my brain is available for picking. Having lived there until age 22 (and you know pretty much precisely where), I'm quite happy to give recommendations/advice as requested.
IANAL: uber allesqueen_elvis on November 5th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
This is what I get for not appreciating you while I sorta had the chance. :{

On the plus side, this makes a possible future move to Pgh for Jon's work (CMU being a major center for his subfield of AI) more attractive. Good luck to all three of you.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
On the plus side, you'll read me just as often and I may have more time to write about cooking ;-)

And thanks!
(no subject) - satyrlovesong on November 5th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - angelbob on November 5th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on November 5th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
I'm visitting Pittsburgh now.
Places for kids - the Children's Museum, The Science Center, events at the Carnegie Museums, storytelling at the Carnegie Libraries, children at the playgrounds.
Everything is cheap. Many large old beautiful houses are cheap.
There is decent art around here, but you need to be in the right social circles to know where to find it.
A hospital town, with a bajillion doctors - so if you can figure out who the best doctors are, you win.
A university town - relevant in so many ways.
I dislike the weather - too dark and rainy. Pittsburgh is a shrinking city. Too many hills and rivers for biking to be a decent transportation option. Having lived in Germany, I can't say that Pittsburgh's public transit is at all pleasant, but I'm glad it exists.
taoflaherty on November 5th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
You mean people move Into Pittsburgh?
Are you sure you're homeschooling, or only homeschooling if you can't find a suitable school?

I believe in teaching your children at home; read to them and talk about numbers whenever possible and have them do art. and...
Take them to museums and the library and sign them up for music lessons, art lessons, foreign language lessons, gymnastics lessons, physics lessons, etc.
Buy "How To Teach Your Baby Math" now and be prepared to give them crayons before they realize that crayons aren't food.
I recommend reading what Feynman wrote about how his father taught him.

But right now, though I try to teach my baby while he's at home, my baby is in preschool, because he needs to/desperately wants to interact with other people, other babies, and there's nowhere near my home that I can go to get him a social life. Once he gets older, I'll want him to be well educated, but I'm not well trained in teaching everything/anything. Even if I was, I want him to have experience in dealing with a variety of teachers.

Not any school will do - different children need different schools. When I was in school, I wished I was home-schooling. But all I needed was the oppurtunity to jump ahead, to be whatever year of math class was appropriate for me. I thrive on standard school procedures - tests and homework and academic competitions. I was motivated by my need to stay at the top of the class, and encouraged by being in a school where academic performance was considered important.
But a friend of mine was in a top-tier expensive standard private school and hated it with a passion, doing miserably. Her parents moved her to a different private school, smaller with more focus on the interests of the students, and suddenly she was happy and doing well.
Then, of course, many schools aren't any good for anybody. But you should be able to figure out which schools have potential through research, visits, and talks with the teachers.
My husband's parents did a multi-country search to find the best high school for him. But early on, he went through some home-schooling due to lack of appropriate nearby schools.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: You mean people move Into Pittsburgh?
I could imagine considering a school if we found exactly the right one. We really don't want to roll the dice on public schools, though. And rightkindofme has a teaching certificate and is two classes away from her Master's degree in English, and I'm obviously pretty good at the whole math and science and programming thing, and we both like history... So we're not as worried as we could be about homeschooling, even though I won't have as much free time to teach our kids as she will.

We are worrying a bit about the socializing thing. In CA you can find homeschooling groups for socializing and field trips and talking to other parents and whatnot. I'm not sure about Pittsburgh. And when the kid's old enough to have a pretty definite personality we'll certainly leave the option of schools open as a voluntary thing. But we plan to start with homeschooling, and we plan to continue with it unless our child or children have strong preferences in other directions.
Re: You mean people move Into Pittsburgh? - taoflaherty on November 7th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: You mean people move Into Pittsburgh? - (Anonymous) on November 8th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: You mean people move Into Pittsburgh? - taoflaherty on November 8th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: You mean people move Into Pittsburgh? - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: You mean people move Into Pittsburgh? - cortneyofeden on November 5th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
KJBcapnkjb on November 5th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
What about Denver? The snowfall isn't too bad there, there are lots of beautiful city parks, there was at least one good sushi restaurant as of the turn of the century (which also was down the street from "Leather and Lace" which I presumed to be a bondage sex shop)(I was walking to the sushi place, it was across the street), it's bike-friendly, and yeah I'm kinda biased for it because my dad grew up there and he turned out mostly ok.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
We actually didn't talk much about Denver. Neither of us knows much about it. Perhaps it's worth a peek as well.
(no subject) - tg2k on November 6th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - angelbob on November 5th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capnkjb on November 5th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - satyrlovesong on November 5th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capnkjb on November 5th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
blk: kelitablk on November 5th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Yay, Pittsburgh. I daresay you know a few people who have about 9 years' experience having and raising children in Pittsburgh. I've got a number of other friends who are having babies now or in the near future, as well.

Will be nice to have you around.
Stone of stumbling and rock of offense: PAwordweaverlynn on November 5th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
Pittsburgh is lovely, reasonably priced, and filled with good colleges and lousy professional sports teams. There is great architecture there, too. Go a little way north, and you're in deep farming country, then in deep woods.

I almost envy you. I'm from the northeast corner of PA and went to college in the southeast corner, but I'm very attached to my home state. Have a wonderful time.
Stone of stumbling and rock of offense: caffeinewordweaverlynn on November 5th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
Also, a cousin of mine teaches Latin there.
(no subject) - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blk on November 6th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
geekgirlwarsop on November 5th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
The boy and I have a similar ongoing "where could we live" conversation, and have come to largely the same conclusions about cities in America. Pittsburgh hasn't come up as an option, since neither of us have been there.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
I recommend looking into it. I went to college there and loved it.
(no subject) - warsop on November 5th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - warsop on November 5th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tshuma on November 5th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - rightkindofme on November 5th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Michael Higginssui66iy on November 5th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
You know, I think there's a whole demographic moving back to Pittsburgh who basically went to New York, Boston, or California but now wants to own a home and raise a family. It's wacky, but welcome.
Noahangelbob on November 5th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
Then I guess we'll have company :-)
The Onion Girltshuma on November 5th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
As I mentioned higher up, B & I have been doing a lot of talking about other places to be, and Pittsburgh has become a lot more attractive to us since more tech has started happening there. I just need to finish school before we move anywhere out of state.