Author Topic: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live  (Read 438174 times)

Offline Dan

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The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:26:20 PM »
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?

Pros:
-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.

Cons:
-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?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 11:03:04 AM by Dan »
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Offline Ergel

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 10:44:34 PM »
Can you list (and explain) the schooling options for elementary and high school. Also shul options?
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Offline meshugener

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 01:59:42 AM »
Why is this in GD?
Mods, please move to JS...
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Offline YudiG

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 02:01:46 AM »
Why is this in GD?
Mods, please move to JS...

trying to pick a fight? :P

@Dan - you've done a good job convincing me...can you share a little on tax rates such as property and insurance rates?

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 02:08:27 AM »
I honestly wouldn't call 11 hours driving distance. Especially when flying is cheaper than gas.
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline Dan

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 02:23:47 AM »
Can you list (and explain) the schooling options for elementary and high school. Also shul options?
This isn't just about CLE.  I'd love to see this for other cities and communities as well!

But for CLE there's 3 main Orthodox schools, Mosdos is the most right-wing, HAC is in the center and has a more balanced hebrew/english curriculum, and mizrachi is left and more zionist and is mixed gender for much longer.  HAC and Mizrachi have high schools plus of course there's Telshe as well.

As far as shuls, there are 4 main shuls in Beachwood (the newer neighborhood) and dozens of smaller ones all around.  The main ones are Green Road (Modern/Nusach Sfard), Young Israel, Zichron Chaim (More yeshivish) and Chabad.  The Alexander Rebbe also has his own shul nearby.

trying to pick a fight? :P

@Dan - you've done a good job convincing me...can you share a little on tax rates such as property and insurance rates?
Property tax in Beachwood is 1.9%, so $3,800/year on a $200K house.  City income tax is 2%. State income tax is 1%-6%.  My home insurance is $550/year and car insurance is $390/year.  As I said, more than MIA but less than NYC/LA/Chicago, etc.

Services are top-notch, ambulances/fire/police are at your house in less than 60 seconds, no snowflake on the street goes unpunished, the sidewalks are plowed for you so you don't have to shovel, you can throw out anything no matter what size and they'll even do free on-demand trash pickups if needed. If your neighbor's dog is barking the cops will be there in a minute to tell em to bring the dog inside or be fined.
Free busing is provided to all of the private schools.

I honestly wouldn't call 11 hours driving distance. Especially when flying is cheaper than gas.
Which of those cities are 11 hours?
PIT=2
CMH=2
DTW=2.5
YYZ=4.5
ORD=5.5
BWI=6
NYC=7

Obviously as a single person it's hard to beat flying, but for large families that's usually not true.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 02:27:17 AM by Dan »
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Offline YudiG

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 02:29:33 AM »
CLE seems amazing...

Offline Dan

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 02:30:30 AM »
CLE seems amazing...
Heh.
I've already killed LIH and now I'm going to kill CLE :P
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Offline YudiG

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 02:32:30 AM »
what's the tuition rate average?

Offline Dan

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 02:37:40 AM »
what's the tuition rate average?
Full is $8K-$11K at HAC, discounts are given for multiple children and based on income of course.
I know of people making low 6 figures with 4 kids who get a nice break but of course you'll have to share your 1040 and negotiate I'm sure.
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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 03:13:15 AM »
-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.
Not to exclude anything else in your post, but this is outrageously true.
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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 03:27:56 AM »

Which of those cities are 11 hours?
PIT=2
CMH=2
DTW=2.5
YYZ=4.5
ORD=5.5
BWI=6
NYC=7

I was probably confusing it with the 11 hour drive to the shabbton in Hocking Hills
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline Moishebatchy

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 05:13:59 AM »
I was probably confusing it with the 11 hour drive to the shabbton in Hocking Hills

?

Offline Ergel

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 07:15:16 AM »
I doubt you'll get many responses in this thread. Most people have not thought about this. There are four basic reasons people live where they do.
1.this is where they always lived and never gave any thought to where I want to live (how most decisions in life are made)
2. I would never leave Brooklyn-it's smelly, overcrowded, loud and there are no gas and trees.
3. My wife would never live outside of walking distance from her mother-it might force her to grow up.
4. This is where my job is


Is there animosity between factions in Cleveland? A lot of politics?
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Offline aussiebochur

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 07:39:32 AM »
Dan, reckon you would have moved to Cleveland if you weren't from there?

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2012, 09:07:17 AM »
As a Cincinnati resident of 5 years here is my list: (Copying some from dans :-)

Pros:
-Amberley village (the main frum neighborhood) is quite, crime is virtually unheard of, The police are there to serve you, and will even stop by and change the light bulbs by the elderly residents houses.
-As long as you have your Amberley Village resident sticker tickets for speeding are unheard of :-)
-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.
-Snow is plowed as it comes down, and streets are pre-treated
-The streets are clean and everyone has their own driveways / garages.
-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.
-Many major cities (Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Cleveland) are within driving distance .
-Every 4 years your vote really means something.
-Weather is fairly nice, only a few snowfalls a year.
-Full tuition is about $9,000 but if you live in an area where the public school is failing you get vouchers ($4200 value, is considered full tuition for low earners).

Cons:

-The kosher restaurant scene is LOUSY (jcc cafe, pizza cafe, bagel shop & Indian restaurant)
Dan, relatively you got it great food wise in Cleveland :-)
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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2012, 10:53:41 AM »
Amherst (suburb of Buffalo) NY - Resident for about 4 years

I will take categories from Dan too.  We have friends who have moved from Buffalo to Cleveland and they love it!

Pros:
- To me, without question, the reason to be here is the rabbi.  Rabbi Moshe Taub has been the rabbi of the Young Israel of Buffalo for 9 years.  He has a weekly column in Ami Magazine.  He just recently published an article in the Journal of Contemporary Halacha. 
http://www.eichlers.com/journal-of-halacha-and-contemporary-society-64.html

Here is an example of one of his shiurim on halachik wills
http://koshertube.com/videos/index.php?option=com_seyret&Itemid=50&task=videodirectlink&id=6326

- There are consistently jobs available in the medical, nursing and nursing home administration fields.  Other fields are not as plentiful
- Amherst (the main frum neighborhood) is quiet, crime is virtually unheard of.  Consistently ranked among the safest cities in America
  11th on this list http://www.businessinsider.com/safest-cities-in-america-2011-6?op=1
- Parking is plentiful and traffic is nothing compared to most cities.  Highways were built for a population that was once double its size now (opposite of NY and Toronto)
- Snow is plowed as soon as it comes down.
- The streets are clean and everyone has their own driveways / garages.
- Houses are $125-250K, even right near the shuls.
- Taxes are moderate.  $150,000 home pays about $3,500
- People are generally quite friendly and willing to help you out/midwest attitude and slower paced.  After a birth your family will get a minimum of 2 weeks        of meals.  People are upset if they don't get a chance to make a meal for you.  When there is a shiva home, the entire shul davens at the shiva home.
- Many major cities (Toronto, NYC, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland) are within driving distance .
- Tuition is low
- Beautiful Mikvah (men's and women's) - More beautiful than any mikvah I have seen in NY (outside of upper west side)
- People don't expect luxury, they expect simplicity.
- Flights to New York are often $55-$75 each way (off hours - more for prime hours) and there are usually multiple flights each hour.
- Strong minyan during the week.
- Many young frum couples have moved in within the last 5 years (over ten), some for short term, but most are permanent.
- School (Ohr Temimim School) is expanding the building because, baruch Hashem, there is no room left. 
- NY State Post Graduate Schools - Dental, Medical, Law, Nursing etc.. (and tuitions)
- Eruv - built this past year
- Wegman's - One of the nicest and best grocery stores I've ever been too.  Free toddler sitting while you shop!  Rochester residents would concur
- Early stages of planning for a community kollel

Cons:

-Not much in terms of kosher restaurants, but that has been getting better in the last couple of years.  We have a kosher bakery and deli in the supermarket which have been there for years and recently the University of Buffalo opened a meat cafe, JCC opened a dairy cafe and kosher frozen yogurt opened (Yo Betty).  Nothing fancy at all.
- Too many shuls - There are 5 orthodox shuls within 15 min drive of each other.  Each one has about 35-40 families.
- No high school (yet).   Many send their children out for high school - Cleveland, Hamilton, Baltimore, Chicago, New York etc. Given the demographics, there will likely be a high school within 5-10 years.

Offline Centurion

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2012, 11:00:33 AM »
yerushalyim only pros no cons-
you can only make a first impression ONCE

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Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2012, 11:03:23 AM »
Cle - chase pulls from TU :)


Offline sky121

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Re: Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 11:18:31 AM »
yerushalyim only pros no cons-

Let's be realistic ;)
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