As a so-called "out of towner" I'm always asked by LA/Miami/NYC guys why I would choose to live in CLE. Especially with a job like mine that can be done from anywhere.
It's a valid question, and there are many pros and cons.
Frankly I wonder why so many Jews stay in NYC. I understand family is often a big part of where you live and many Jews got off the boat in NYC and simply haven't desired to venture any farther out, but is it really worth it?
-Beachwood, OH is the safest Jewish community I've ever seen. You can sleep at night without every being awoken by sirens.
-Housing is very cheap.
-Parking is plentiful and traffic is nothing compared to most cities. There's also cheap train service connecting the jewish community with downtown and the airport.
-In University Heights and Cleveland Heights you can get $4,250 (K-8)-$5,700 (9-12) per year vouchers to use for private schools regardless of your income level.
-Free busing for kids to the Jewish Schools.
-The streets are clean and everyone has their own garage. There's no alternate side business and no parking meters.
-Taxes are moderate, much less than NYC and LA, though more than MIA.
-Stores have generous policies compared to the NYC area.
-People are generally quite friendly and willing to help you out/midwest attitude and slower paced.
-Kids seem to come out of schools like the Academy with their heads on straight, generally not nearly as corrupt as some that I've seen come out of LA/Miami/NYC.
-Tons of young couples have moved to CLE in recent years due to very low cost of living, high-paying medical field jobs, and for Case Western's dental, law, business, and medical school.
-There is a rejuvenated downtown core with multiple sports teams, a plethora of museums, water activities, beaches, comedy clubs, broadway shows, a smoke-free casino, etc. Other nearby activities include the NFL, Rock and Roll, and inventors hall of fames, an emerald necklace of hiking trails and national parks, and the world's greatest roller coaster park.
-Many major cities (Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Toronto, etc) are within driving distance.
-Every 4 years your vote really means something.
-Lots of snow in the winter, especially in the jewish community. Nobody moves to CLE for the weather, though in in spring and summer it's typically very nice and less humid than the east coast.
-The kosher restaurant scene is fairly dismal (2 pizza shops, 3 meat restaurants, and a bagel shop), though it's better than many other "out-of-town" places. It has been hard-hit over the past 5 years (2 pizza shops and 3 meat restaurants have closed)
-Houses are artificially higher in the blocks closest to shul than the rest of the city, a problem that was exacerbated by the building of 4 giant shuls all next-door to each other. Still prices are much lower than in almost every other jewish community but it can be frustrating to see such cheap housing just outside of walking distance.
So, pros and cons of where you live?
What makes you stay where you are instead of trying something new?