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I have lived in 3 different countries and visited many more. I have traveled widely in the U.S. I used to be a mid-westerner--first Urbana-Champaign, then Chicago, then Milwaukee and neighboring Shorewood. I now reside in Texas.
New Braunfels rules!!! Beautiful rivers, slow and well-planned growth, deer roam freely, very green, hilly and rocky, a great trail, Schlitterbahn, nice roads, good paths to walk and bike, above average schools, good bar scene within walking distance, charming downtown with boutiques and wine bars, great public library, a huge park with a golf course, and tons of families and kids. Nearby Gruene is home to fantastic music and Willie Nelson sightings.
While my children first had culture shock, they are now embedded in the community. I am about as progressive as they come but I realize the older I get that sometimes political positions do not determine interpersonal relations. Residents are generally friendly. Admitted, we do not talk about politics or religion but who wants to when you are having a good time motorboating in Canyon Lake or taking a dip in a friend's swimming pool. So best not to overgeneralize about any state in the U.S.--my two-bit.
Amazed that anyone would consider any place in Califoreignya a decent place to live. Looking at city #5 to file for bankruptcy in that place now.
I've lived in the Dallas, Texas area three times (not by choice) and you can have it. Crowded, ignorant people (not the natives), a lot of rude New Yorkers moving there, too much traffic, a lot of Arabs who think you should adapt to their culture, bad drivers, no real culture, and expensive.
Dallas, Texas is a hell hole and dumping ground for whatever comes across the border. There is no city life. Most of the company headquarters are in the 'burbs (Frito Lay and Pepsi) so why bother with downtown. The downtown area, if you want to call it downtown, is like a ghost town. There is no downtown.
Save your money and go someplace where Americans live and speak Engli**** not in Dallas.
I moved to Plano, north Dallas area in 1970 with a population of only 18,000, today almost 280,000. If you want to live in a nice city with great schools, shopping, parks, and outstanding medical facilities it is all here. Low crime rate and a very safe community with clean air yes it’s here in Texas. However, you will not find this with a house costing $139K. Our starting price is around $300K and up, city and county tax start around $6000 and up, sales tax at 8.25%. Gas prices currently approximately $3 per gallon, however, every new road build is now a toll road and the real cost is over $6 per gallon.
Everyone knows it is hot in summertime Texas and people plan accordingly and have learned to live with it. Our immediate problem is not oil and gas; it is water or the lack of it. Starting this November our community will be further reduced to watering only ones every two weeks. The fine for watering on the wrong day is $190 and it is vigorously enforced.
As far as politics is concerned, my city was rated the second most conservative city in the country, Provo, Utah being the first. However, besides the voting booth, one would never know it. We are educated many of us are from foreign countries and many are retired. We will never allow a dirty industry to locate here and prefer national headquarters such as Frito Lay, ETS and JC Penney. We want our children to attend universities and insure our schools are the best. Our police department requires all officers have a four-year college degree and the city of over 280,000 populations is one of the safest in the nation. Heck, we are the only county in the country that builds a 60 million dollar high school football stadium during the height of the recession. If you like bike riding, we have the most extensive trails available and even our streets are designated for bicycle commuting. Therefore, if you are of the liberal persuasion, you will like it here; however, your vote will probably not count.
Like anything else in life, you get what you pay for.