6/15/2012 2:31am, #1
The Burden of Freedom (or, where should I live)
So I have this really awesome problem:
I run my own clothing business, which I can, more or less, run from anywhere in the country. Rural Wyoming would be tough, but pretty much anywhere that I care to live. Places like San Fransisco and NYC start putting me The Rent is Too Damn High type situations, but I could probably manage them in the next year or so as my empire expands.
The problem with not being tied to a job in a certain place is I then have to decide where I want to live.
Oh the burdens of being a successful independent artist. Boo hoo hoo.
I moved out To Seattle nine months ago, because I realized I had spent my entire life in Michigan and I wanted to get the hell out, as fleeing Michiganders is our state's principal export. And now I'm considering moving back.
I'm finding myself at a rather frustrating crossroads, as there are things which I sorta really like about Seattle and things I sorta really don't. I love Seattle's robust counterculture and intense geekiness - it had always been portrayed as a paradise of freaks and nerds where the streets are paved with twenty-sided die, and it's pretty much lived up to that. I really enjoy how the city isn't mega-hella-poor the way most of my homeland is. Being in the clothing business, this has been huge economic boon. I enjoy the options presented by living in a big city, and the way large populations support large subcultures and countercultures (I like hanging out with weird people, as you might've guessed).
But then there are things I really don't like, such as how Seattle is super-fucking-faraway from everywhere else in America. Given that the principle means of selling my clothing has been traveling around to regional anime and scifi cons to sell in artist alleys and such, this is mega-inconvenient. I've been able to compensate for the reduced vending opportunities by selling things at local art markets and in consignment shops, and also by the fact that Seattle is full of wealthy nerds who will spend 300 bucks on an armored duster like it ain't no thang. So fewer cons to sell at, but I generally make way more bank than at a similarly sized one back home.
So my convention-based business model still works out here, with a smaller number of higher grossing events. If you've never been to an anime convention, they're basically giant halloween parties full of nerds; and I make money by going to them. My job is to go party with people I like while wearing ridiculous clothing. This is like having a cheat-code for real life.
And they happen all the goddamn time in the Great Lakes region. I'm pretty sure that between Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, I could do two of these a month no problem, as opposed to the few a year out here in Sea-land. Nonstop partying while making money. I'm not sure if I can even imagine a sweeter lifestyle. Life hacks, man. Life hacks to the max.
And then comes this other, non business/nerd party related issue; which is I left a whole ass-load of really awesome friends and family back in the Midwest, and I sort of miss them. Because as I mentioned, Seattle is super fucking far away from everywhere.
So yeah. Move back to Mi? Stick it out in Seattle? Give Chicago a shot?
I could talk it out with friends and family and such, and have been doing so, but I wanted to get the opinion of a bunch of grumpy strangers who argue about karate on the internet as well.The fool thinks himself immortal,
If he hold back from battle;
But old age will grant him no truce,
Even if spears spare him.
6/15/2012 3:15am, #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
- Hilo Island of Hawaii
- Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo
Hawaii has the most ma schools, good climate, beaches, mountains, good food, shitty public schools, good safety net. If mas are determinate, then it's the best place to train in the world."Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
6/15/2012 6:27am, #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
- Shelton, CT
- Hung Gar
Richmond, VA has a thriving indepent art and fashion scene, lots of hipsters goths and things, a big University, and it's near mountains, beach, and DC.
As an actual city its pretty small and shitty though. And no FMA gyms that I've been able to find.
6/15/2012 7:22am, #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
- Bonners Ferry, Idaho
- Kodokan Judo
If your business takes off, you could plan a travel schedule to Michigan to take advantage of opportunities there, when it's slow in Seattle, and vice versa. Also, how about Portland?
That's not so far away, and really, neither is San Francisco/San Jose, either. Driving distance for sure. How about getting a small RV and/or trailer for your wares and travelling a bit?
Maybe it's not such an either/or situation as it seems?Falling for Judo since 1980
"You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS
"The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake
6/15/2012 8:03am, #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Do you sell your stuff on the internet? If I could choose one place to live it would be Hawaii without a doubt. I've thought about moving there myself. I could find a job there without a problem. The only thing that's keeping me here is the desire for stability for the kids. They're in school, have friends, are close to their grandparents, etc, etc.
But obviously Hawaii would put the brakes on your road trips.
**** Seattle. Seattle wouldn't be in my top 50 choices. Burn the road up, man. If you're missing your peeps too much, head on back home. Unless you're from Detroilet. If that's the case, cut your losses and keep far, far away. If you can get over the homesickness, move somewhere sunny. It'll make you feel better.
6/15/2012 8:07am, #6
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Aikido/JJJ/Judo/GoJu Ryu
Not sure what exactly the type of clothes you are describing but,
I love Colorado. If I could live anywhere it would be Denver/Boulder/Colo Springs area. Of course, if you live there, you'll have to buy a Subaru and pretty much your primary clothing competition will be REI and similar outdoor activity dealers. Lots of hippies in Boulder.
NW Ohio area you have decent access (2-3 hours) to Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit...all college towns with a diverse market. A little further out is Indianapolis, Pitt, and Chicago/South Bend. Its cheap to live in NW Ohio...my house is around $600/month for mortgage for a three bedroom, one bathroom two story with a basement, backyard and small garage.
I've spent a lot of time int he beltway area. When there I've spent a lot of time with beltway bandit types...so highly educated and attractive 20-30 year olds that eat at Whole Foods and run/bike everywhere. Surprisingly some of the most attractive women, per capita, in the DC area. You have DC, Phili, Richmond, Baltimore, and I think you can get to coastal Carolina in three hours or so. Metro is pretty easy to use.
Chicago is a great town, but driving is stupid. Its also really expensive. Buts its close to South Bend, and Wisconsin towns that may be attracted to your clothing line (Maddison, etc).
Best of luck with your potential move and business!
6/15/2012 8:26am, #7
6/15/2012 11:40am, #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
- San Diego
- street paddleboarding
So you like Seattle because of the hipstery scene but wish it was closer to the rest of the US? Sounds like you should look into Portland.
6/15/2012 1:41pm, #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
- Lynnwood, WA
- running scared
6/15/2012 3:09pm, #10