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City livability: would you recommend your city to a fellow translator?
Thread poster: Mario Chavez

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 26

I live near Cleveland, Ohio (United States), one of the least expensive metro areas to live (unless you select the recently developed condos in downtown Cleveland, that is). Although my city qualifies as a bedroom community for many white-collar workers in Cleveland, I would still recommend this metro area to fellow translators: there are some good schools, low tax bases, Metro Parks (a large greenbelt), decent traffic, and low housing costs compared to other cities its size.

Where do you live and how livable is it for a fellow translator?


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The Misha
Local time: 18:22
Russian to English
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Garbage in, garbage out Jun 26

The question, as asked, is absolutely irrelevant since the choice of one's place of residence depends on a myriad of factors, of which occupation or employment is but one. Me, I wouldn't recommend the place where I live to anyone, translator or otherwise, unless the person is a (i) filthy rich (and maybe not even then); (ii) a dedicated masochist or (iii) finds his or her raison d'etre in being a part of the "in" crowd in Manhattan. Yet, here I am, well into my 25th year in this dump and not going anywhere.

That said, I wouldn't want to live in Cleveland either, even if they paid me, for more reasons than I have fingers on my hands.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
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Garbage out Jun 26

The Misha wrote:

The question, as asked, is absolutely irrelevant since the choice of one's place of residence depends on a myriad of factors, of which occupation or employment is but one. Me, I wouldn't recommend the place where I live to anyone, translator or otherwise, unless the person is a (i) filthy rich (and maybe not even then); (ii) a dedicated masochist or (iii) finds his or her raison d'etre in being a part of the "in" crowd in Manhattan. Yet, here I am, well into my 25th year in this dump and not going anywhere.

That said, I wouldn't want to live in Cleveland either, even if they paid me, for more reasons than I have fingers on my hands.


I don't know what anger issues you're dealing with, but please try to focus on the pluses, not the minuses. I've lived in Manhattan myself, so you're preaching to the choir in my case.

I don't consider Manhattan a dump. A man's garbage is another man's treasure.


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The Misha
Local time: 18:22
Russian to English
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My point exactly Jun 26

Mario Chavez wrote:

A man's garbage is another man's treasure.


It's not about anger or anything. It's just that the question makes no logical sense.


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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:22
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
Like Jun 26

I for one like the question.

The answer for my area (the Boston metropolitan area; answers and number estimates assume we're talking about a married individual with a family) really depends on how successful you are. If you're a translator who can sustain 70000-90000 USD a year without undue stress, or someone with a well-paid partner/spouse who can help get your combined income over say 110,000, Boston is a great place to live due to all of the factors that make it a great place to live for well-paid office workers: lots of cultural activities, restaurants, nightlife, safety, etc. But if you're not in that situation, the cost of living (single family house prices in suburbs like Newton start at around 500,000 and go up very quickly) would be almost prohibitive without sacrifices in other areas (i.e. living in less desirable areas, working extra hours, cutting back on nights out, etc.)

So great place to live, but also quite expensive.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
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Logical sense Jun 26

The Misha wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

A man's garbage is another man's treasure.


It's not about anger or anything. It's just that the question makes no logical sense.


Misha, your answers aren't making much sense either.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
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Thanks, Preston Jun 26

I would have assumed Boston can be an expensive city unless the person has a certain salary or income level. Compared to Boston, Cleveland would require $50,000-$70,000 for one person to live comfortably. The median home price is around $60,000 (if curious, see https://www.zillow.com/cleveland-oh/home-values/).

Of course, there are good parts and bad in any city to live, and that's why my question talks about livability. Of course (again!), there are many factors to consider.


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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:22
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
RE Jun 26

Mario Chavez wrote:

I would have assumed Boston can be an expensive city unless the person has a certain salary or income level. Compared to Boston, Cleveland would require $50,000-$70,000 for one person to live comfortably. The median home price is around $60,000 (if curious, see https://www.zillow.com/cleveland-oh/home-values/).

Of course, there are good parts and bad in any city to live, and that's why my question talks about livability. Of course (again!), there are many factors to consider.


And if anything I underestimated home values in Newton: https://www.zillow.com/homes/Newton-MA_rb/

The link puts median home price at 895,000 for Newton. Then again, Newton is one of the better suburbs; places like Norwood and Dedham are in the 400,000s according to Zillow (though I believe that includes condos, etc. too)


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
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East Coast getting more expensive Jun 26

Preston, I have a friend and colleague living in lower Manhattan who works as a translator (and manages a group of translators for her projects) who still lives in the same apartment since I knew her (early 1990s). How she does it is beyond me, yet I haven't asked her.

Perhaps my question could stand more scrutiny nonetheless. Let me rephrase it: If you were to recommend your city on livability to a fellow translator, what parts of the city are recommended?

I have my eye on Philadelphia.



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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:22
Russian to English
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Brooklyn, obviously-- Jun 27

the most beautiful and hip place in the world--I really mean it. It's beautiful except some places on the L line, to me at least.
Very versatile--it is very expensive, though, these days. About $2,800 (a month) for a one bedroom apartment on average. Food is not that expensive, to compensate for the rents, compared to Manhattan. It's fun and it is a community.

Boston would be my second suggestion. I would never change the first one for anything, though. Philadelphia is nice too--you can buy a house outside of Philadelphia for $120,000--a decent one. Here, they start from $700,000.

[Edited at 2017-06-27 06:07 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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It is interesting, but... probably an "American topic"? Jun 27

Unless you are 22 years old, have no spouse, and have no children, mobility gets more difficult as time goes by, especially in places where you are taxed heavily every time you sell or buy property, as happens in most of Europe.

To me, this topic feels a bit "American oriented," in the sense that we in Europe perhaps take many more factors into account than you over there in the US, some of them being distance from family (in a wide sense) and friends, spouse's occupation, children's schooling, taxes on real estate operations (for selling, buying, and even owning), complexity of tax systems, relatively small country size in the region... It takes quite a financial/social/academic improvement or the need to run from a bad environment to make us uproot ourselves from a region and go elsewhere for good.


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 00:22
Member (2016)
English to German
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Yes, Berlin Jun 27

After 14 years in L.A., I moved to Berlin 13 years ago, and I love it. During my time abroad, I learned that Germany is actually a pretty decent country after all. Berlin is not yet as gentrified as many other places, though I fear that might happen eventually.

From a translator's point of view, the city has become very international -- on Sunday, I was riding the wonderful public transportation system (one of several hallmarks of civilization that the US generally lags way behind in) for about 2 hours and hardly heard a word of German. Instead, I discerned various English accents, Polish, Russian, French, Swedish, Italian, Spanish and a few other languages that I could not place.

[Edited at 2017-06-27 15:16 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
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Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge Jun 27

LilianNekipelov wrote:

the most beautiful and hip place in the world--I really mean it. It's beautiful except some places on the L line, to me at least.
Very versatile--it is very expensive, though, these days. About $2,800 (a month) for a one bedroom apartment on average. Food is not that expensive, to compensate for the rents, compared to Manhattan. It's fun and it is a community.

Boston would be my second suggestion. I would never change the first one for anything, though. Philadelphia is nice too--you can buy a house outside of Philadelphia for $120,000--a decent one. Here, they start from $700,000.

[Edited at 2017-06-27 06:07 GMT]


Back in the early 90s, I lived in those Brooklyn neighborhoods and loved them. Inexpensive rents, good shopping, subway stations and bus stops pretty close to where I lived.

Now I'm curious, Lilian. I live 7 hours from Philly and I'm planning on researching the city for potential places to rent first and then buy later. I may contact you privately for advice.



PS: BTW, back in the 90s, I could rent a Brooklyn apartment (2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom for $600-$700/month. When I moved to Manhattan (Upper East Side), my one-bedroom apartment in a walk-up prewar building cost me $895/month. Good times, good times...


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Sarah Lewis-Morgan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:22
Member (2014)
German to English
Live where you want to live! Jun 27

In my opinion, one of the beauties of being a freelance translator is that is largely irrelevant where you live, provided you have an adequate internet connection. My work is largely conducted online via email, with the occasional phone call. I have a few local clients, but I don't need to live near them in reality. I choose to live in a small village in Germany and it suits me just fine. There is always somewhere nice to walk the dog, and my living costs are fairly modest so if I don't have a lot of work on I can go out and ride a horse any time like I feel like it. And if the weather is miserable I can do more work. It doesn't matter to my clients where I am. I'm near friends (even if my relatives are in different countries, but there are still the internet/telephone and planes available). What's not to like?

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
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Good perspective Jun 27

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Unless you are 22 years old, have no spouse, and have no children, mobility gets more difficult as time goes by, especially in places where you are taxed heavily every time you sell or buy property, as happens in most of Europe.

To me, this topic feels a bit "American oriented," in the sense that we in Europe perhaps take many more factors into account than you over there in the US, some of them being distance from family (in a wide sense) and friends, spouse's occupation, children's schooling, taxes on real estate operations (for selling, buying, and even owning), complexity of tax systems, relatively small country size in the region... It takes quite a financial/social/academic improvement or the need to run from a bad environment to make us uproot ourselves from a region and go elsewhere for good.


Those are good points to think about. Even though we Americans keep many of the same factors in mind when moving from one place to another, I guess we tend to be more mobile. However, these days rents have been climbing higher than house prices after the financial implosion of 2007-2008. I also suppose it is a bit easier for us Americans to move about from one state to another because of our political structure.

Speaking of taxes, I remember talking to a Portuguese friend who has a home in Porto (Portugal). The home cost her 92,000 euros yet she only has to pay about 400 euros annually on property taxes. That's a steal!


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