March 16, 2017

"Let's go live someplace bloggable — blog some new place."

I hear myself say.

It's not a thought I haven't had before, but here's the precise thing I was reading that provoked my exclamation:
It’s a diet fit for a Prince.

Purple reins* on the distressed wood tables at chic restaurants in Portland....
It doesn't have to be Portland, but don't you want your Althouse from Portland? If not Portland, then where? Do you need me to keep monitoring Madison?

Althouse should blog from...
 
pollcode.com free polls

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* The writer screwed up her own joke. It should be "Purple reigns." She knew she had to spell it differently from "rain," but she didn't know which way to spell it differently. It really matters when you're doing a pun. If you can't pull it off, rein it in.

167 comments:

stutefish said...

Portland is on the verge of becoming the next Seattle. Chronicling that transformation, for better and worse, would be a good thread to weave into a blog like this one. And a newcomer's outsider's eye will likely have insights a longtime resident would not. On the other hand, Portland is on the verge of becoming passé.

Chuck said...

Mar-a-Lago would probably be a popular new home, judging by your commenters. But keep the Labradors away from the alligators.

Sebastian said...

Althouse needs a new house. The obvious place to go is Boulder. A nonobvious move would be to go to a Vancey town that needs you.

Big Mike said...

I didn't vote for this, but I have known a number of retired folks who sell their home and buy a very large TV so they can tour the USA all day long all year around. I'm not sure how they get their mail, but the use cell phones and have direct deposit for pension and Social Security checks. They seem pretty happy doing it, but I generally lose touch after a couple months. It's something to think about.

Ann Althouse said...

I've used the joke "Althouse is not a home" before. It was here, discussing the Bachrach song "A House Is Not a Home" in the context of the 2012 GOP convention (because the lyrics begin "A chair is still a chair, even when there's no one sitting there" and Clint Eastwood did that empty chair routine).

Ann Althouse said...

"I didn't vote for this, but I have known a number of retired folks who sell their home and buy a very large TV so they can tour the USA all day long all year around. I'm not sure how they get their mail, but the use cell phones and have direct deposit for pension and Social Security checks. They seem pretty happy doing it, but I generally lose touch after a couple months. It's something to think about."

I love the idea of replacing the house with "a very large TV." TV will take you anywhere you want to go.

Big Mike said...

RV, not TV! I HATE autocorrect!

rhhardin said...

Wherever leftism rules is bloggable.

California Snow said...

Portland, Seattle, or Austin.

David Begley said...

You can only write your best selling novel in Madison.

Madison is your home. Even with the high taxes and all of the liberal nuttiness.

Ann Althouse said...

Anyway, the idea of an RV has been discussed, but I don't want a very large RV. How annoying! First, you are living in a mobile home. It's bulky for actually driving, and it's blechy as an abode. I could see maybe trying a very small RV for some camping style traveling, but even then, why is it better than a normal car and staying in hotels (or using a tent with your car)?

And you're forgetting the main thing! Where's the wifi?

tcrosse said...

Our hostess is getting itchy feet. It must be those clogs.

traditionalguy said...

Go to Asheville, NC to see what a House and grounds is supposed to look like, at Biltmore. Then see The Great Smokies National Park, still smoking around Gatlinburg-Pidgeon Forge where you can see Dolly, and finally see Hans Christian Hegs'last battlefield (day 2 of Chickamauga). After that go north straight to Nashville to pay homage to the Hermitage. Do not see Glen Reynolds in Knoxville. That's from the old Blog days.

bagoh20 said...

Aleppo would be interesting. I don't know what that is. I just heard the word somewhere.

Bob Boyd said...

I thought maybe Purple Reins was like a Red Lobster for people who like organ meat.

mezzrow said...

For me, the spelling is good. I picture Mead's horse tied to a post in from of some hipster bar in Portland. The reins are being artistically enhanced by someone named Maude. Her mom really liked the TV character.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, I did my own research. I now know that you can get a satellite connection for an RV and get internet everywhere you go.

Earnest Prole said...

Didn't we all weigh in on this just the other day?

California Snow said...


"Wherever leftism rules is bloggable."

If you want to watch the conservative side of things (at least socially)the most conservative place I can think of is Provo, UT but I think you'd get bored pretty fast.

Ann Althouse said...

" A nonobvious move would be to go to a Vancey town that needs you."

In what sense could any town "need" me? I don't even understand the concept. Vance is going to do some specific work helping people who have opioid addiction. I would, at most, show pictures of a place and give some gauzy sense of what it was like to live there.

LarsPorsena said...

Madison is such a target rich environment. You and Meade can be snowbirds part of the year.
Portland is Madison on the left coast. Hip, leftest,metrosexual..you already have this where you live.

Meade said...

Indianapolis would be a new place. And bloggable.

tim in vermont said...

Dance with who brung ya. Wisconsin. But if you want to move to Portland, you know I will still be reading every morning. Maybe the Wisconsin miracle, its velvet revolution, is played as a subject, even as the Democrats are taking the same tactics that turned a cultural liberal like yourself away from their orbit.

Limited blogger said...

I like the RV idea. Head to 'hot spots' and blog the heck out of it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Go to Asheville, NC to see what a House and grounds is supposed to look like, at Biltmore. Then see The Great Smokies National Park, still smoking around Gatlinburg-Pidgeon Forge where you can see Dolly, and finally see Hans Christian Hegs'last battlefield (day 2 of Chickamauga). After that go north straight to Nashville to pay homage to the Hermitage."

I've been to Asheville and blogged it. Summer of 2009, just before Meade and I got married. It was there that I introduced Meade to my sons and to my ex-husband and his brothers.

As for Nashville, I've been there a few times, but it was before this blog began. I've been to the Hermitage.

Rob said...

But what about Zeus?

Titus said...

Burlington Vermont or Portland Maine.

Meade said...

"But what about Zeus"

Thanks for reminding me — time for his morning walk.

tim in vermont said...

You can move to Burlington and get gigabit fibre to your house. Satellite is a little dodgy and subject to dropouts. I can tell when a downpour is a couple minutes away when my satellite TV is lost, and download speeds aren't bad, but the upload speeds are much less.

Ann Althouse said...

States with no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

States on that list I could imagine living in: Washington and Wyoming

How is it Washington doesn't have income tax?!

rehajm said...

I'm building a house but often wished I'd went with one of these!

WiFi!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Birmingham!

PB said...

Go where you want, but I think you've got the "living in an liberal enclave" thing down and Portland won't do that much for you except expose you to some left-coast oddities. Perhaps go live for a while in Kentucky, Tennessee, or Alabama. That'll be different.

dreams said...

If I moved, I'd go where it's warm. Also, less traffic equals less stress.

donald said...

Gulf Shores, AL. or Waycross, GA.

tim in vermont said...

I was in Paris once and there was a large pro-Palistinian demonstration, after it was over I was walking near the Invalides, not going to look it up, and there was a guy in a camper typing away furiously, at the little kitchen table. It can be done.

rehajm said...

How is it Washington doesn't have income tax?!

Sales tax, property tax, gas tax, B&O tax, liquor tax, weed tax, ...all very regressive for such a leftie place.

Paul said...

Blechy? Hardly. Modern RVs are condos on wheels. Fine to drive once you get the hang of it. I'm sure Meade would do fine. May people tow a car for easy mobility when the RV is parked. Much more flexible than a car plus hotels and much more appealing to actually be in your own "home" every night. Stopping whenever and wherever you like. Eating or resting. Waking up in your house at a different place is simply wonderful. You should rent one for a couple of weeks and see how you like it. I think you have misplaced prejudiced conceptions.

Chuck said...

rehajm said...
I'm building a house but often wished I'd went with one of these!


Damn. That is so cool. A 21st century Airstream. (Although since Airstream is making 21st century Airstreams right now, they might not like that reference.)

David Begley said...

You better visit Wyoming - in the winter - before you move there.

Freeman Hunt said...

Portland, the Madison of the West.

Not different enough.

Could take occasional trips of a month or more. Rent a house and live in a place for a month, exploring the surrounding area.

Michael said...

Not Portland. We hear enough about Portland.

How about Missoula? It's a nice university town, close to the mountains. Montana's a red state, but Mike Mansfield was from there and John Tester is a Democrat. A little far from anywhere else, maybe, and you might want to get away for the winter. Actually, I voted for Madison - it's kinda on the front lines these days.

PB said...

How about you pick someplace different each year to go live for a month or so and then return to Madison and do your road trips? BTW try a road trip to Canada sometime.

tim in vermont said...

New Hampshire only taxes interest and dividends, and Portsmouth is pretty cool. Libertarians are trying to take over the state the way rich liberals took over conservative Vermont.

Fernandinande said...

I know someone who just left Portland because of the rainy weather, and moved to Bend.

On Drudge: "Lawyer whose pants caught on fire during arson trial may be off the case"

PB said...

I've noticed that you travel, photograph and observe things. People you meet along the way, not so much.

tim in vermont said...

Warm is overrated. Like Meryl Streep.

tim in vermont said...

I think Ron Howard said all there is to say about Indiana in that little song he sang as a kid.

tim in vermont said...

Holy crap that trailer is cool!

Paul said...

Another plus for the RV...just go where the weather is to your liking.

Karen of Texas said...

Well they are working their fingers to the nub keeping it weird in Austin. Or the Riverwalk in San Antonio can keep you entertained for quite some time. Both areas are itching, along with Houston and Dallas, to turn Texas blue. Being on the leading edge of red Texas going blue might be pluggable.

My liberal, progressive nephew in Chicago - whom I tried to convince to come play by commenting here - was giving me grief pre the election that this would be the year Texas went blue. He was pretty sure it was going to happen. (If you're reading this, nephew, hellooo.)

I think you wouldn't like the Texas heat and humidity though.

traditionalguy said...

Washington has no State Income tax because they have a 9% sales tax. Across the border in Oregon they have an income tax and no sales tax.

Avoid living in Washington and working in Oregon.

In Georgia the first $65,000 in income is tax exempt for age 65 and over folks, including IRA draws.

MadisonMan said...

I think Portland Maine would be more interesting than Portland Oregon, which to me is a cliché of itself already, as noted in Comment #1.

Step 1 should be downsizing to a smaller house in Madison -- do you really need all that square footage? I know a yard is a sort-of requirement for Mr. Meade. Free yourself from a 5-figure property tax bill.

All of the West Coast: Severe Seismic Risk. While I agree that reading a blog about life after the big one would be interesting, I wouldn't want to live through it. The UP of Michigan: Now that's a great place to retire to.

madAsHell said...

Highway 395 running down the west coast, or follow the path of Lewis and Clark.
....and maybe stay a couple of days whenever you stop.

Karen of Texas said...

Ughhh. BLOGGABLE. Jeez.

traditionalguy said...

Georgia has a Governor Deal who made a deal to keep the retirees from declaring Florida their State of Residence because they own a Beach condo down there.

Michael K said...

Vancouver WA is the ideal spot. Between WA and OR so you can work in one and shop in the other.

We thought about it as my wife's oldest son lives about 40 miles south of Portland but the weather is wet and cold ten months of the year.

I had friends who went the RV route but had an accident and were homeless.

I doubt you would like Arizona as it is not cold enough in winter. And too hot in summer. Maybe Colorado.

Paul said...

Having had both a travel trailer and an RV I would strongly recommend the RV. With the trailer, which is much more a PITA to drive and maneuver than an RV, you are stuck in the cramped space of the car while traveling. You can get up and move around, fix a snack, or take a nap, etc., anything you can do at home while hubby pilots down the road. You'll need a big powerful diesel engine to pull a decent sized trailer any where it's not flat.

madAsHell said...

How is it Washington doesn't have income tax?!

We have actually beat income tax a couple of times at the ballot box. You don't get very far outside Seattle before the road turns to the right.

The mayor of Seattle now wants to combat homelessness with an increased property tax. Yes, the bastard has no shame.

Unknown said...

Hawaii. But, you'd have to worry about the millions of refugees headed there according to some of your readers.

traditionalguy said...

NapTown ain't what it used to be. But Bloomington might feel more welcoming to a Professor by trade. But the old Basketball team there loses in round 1 of the NIT these days.

Oso Negro said...

I think it would be vastly more interesting for you to live in a predominately conservative community. It might greatly open your eyes, and of course it would be freeing for Meade.

Birkel said...

Tennessee has no income tax, unless things have changed dramatically since last I knew.

Sebastian said...

"In what sense could any town "need" me? I don't even understand the concept." In the sense of redistributing talent back to small towns. I understand that the concept of being needed by a community may be hard to understand. Of course, you should just do what you want.

tastid212 said...

Agree that Portland is an even weirder version of Madison - minus the big school. You probably need a place with some tradition, a university and easy to travel from. Are income taxes that big a worry? Maybe Louisville?

Ann Althouse said...

"Madison is your home."

Only for the last 33 years.

And Madison doesn't love me.

Remember when Meade and I were "citizen banned" from Madison?

Also, you need to see our property tax bill: $16,000.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sales tax, property tax, gas tax, B&O tax, liquor tax, weed tax, ...all very regressive for such a leftie place."

But the property tax bill in Seattle for a house assessed at the value of our Madison house would be something like $7,000.

Ficta said...

A nice meal of Kidneys and Beets, hm...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Portland and Seattle are full of shrill, tiresome, humorless harridans. You won't enjoy living among them.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Bowlus Road Chief. Nice looking travel trailer. Tongue weight is 170 lb. I trailer is unhooked would 300 lb of people in the back bedroom be a problem? Aerodynamic shape. Does it generate more "lift" in a crosswind than a conventional box shape?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

We've been planning to move outside of New York but my husband has been taking me to San Diego lately and it's growing on me. I had no idea it was so beautiful, and the weather is to die for. Go explore Coronado before you make up your mind. You could maybe afford it.

David Begley said...

But doesn't most of that $16,000 property tax bill go towards the Madison public schools? If the Madison public schools are anything like Omaha's, half of the money is wasted and the schools are mediocre at best.

Liberalism exacts a high price in many ways.

MadisonMan said...

and the [San Diego] weather is to die for

True enough, if you want to die....from boredom!!!

traditionalguy said...

Rein it in is very punney.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Pants, did you find a better class of pizza yet? I'm worried about you.

David said...

Sounds like an itch you need to scratch.

Rent first.

MadisonMan said...

I'm still chuckling over the large TV typo. I know it was autocorrected. It's funny.

traditionalguy said...

Coastal Washington and Oregon which are western liberal are very different from East of the Mountains Washington and Oregon which are western conservative. The farmers who have to be productive and like to work all the time see things differently from the California transplants. But one thing the areas seem to have in common is downtown YMCAs where you can rent a room and a Chinatown section.

zipity said...

Fargo, ND.

Youbetcha.

Meade said...

"I think it would be vastly more interesting for you to live in a predominately conservative community."

I agree. I'm very fond of Escalante, Utah.

jv said...

If you leave Paul Soglin wins. You can't do that to us.

DKWalser said...

Althouse -- I think you need to identify the key features you and Meade want from a new location to help narrow down the possibilities. When my parents were contemplating retirement, they came up with three things they wanted: 1) land on which to raise animals (cows, horses, etc.), 2) close to a university so they could take classes, and 3), be close to an LDS temple. Those three wants narrowed down their options considerably. (Particularly the last one. At the time, there were only about 14 temples in the world.)

There are lots of places you could live from which you could blog. With your eye for interesting subjects, you could probably blog from anywhere. You found bloggable material in Orderville! So, what else do you want? Better winter weather? Cultural/sports amenities? Many of your peers have summer homes in the upper midwest and winter homes in Arizona or Florida.

dreams said...

"Maybe Louisville?"

Record murders and there hasn't been a Republican mayor since the sixties, becoming little Chicago and a big opioid problem too.

rehajm said...

I trailer is unhooked would 300 lb of people in the back bedroom be a problem? Aerodynamic shape. Does it generate more "lift" in a crosswind than a conventional box shape?

I didn't tow one but in person it's striking how aero and narrow it is. Rumor is that it's a dream to tow.

As per unhitching and walking around inside it has two sets of stabilizers fore and aft of the wheels. It felt very solid jumping about inside.

Sam's Hideout said...

Probably not for you, but if you search for "vanlife" on youtube you'll find people who convert cargo vans (from small city vans like the Ford Transit Connect to full size cargo vans) into mini-RVs/campers.

Patrick said...

My own opinion is that you guys should go, if anywhere,to Missoula, MT. Gorgeous area, quirky and interesting in a different way than Madison.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I'm hoping to become a snowbird after I retire. I hate Wisconsin winters and like Wisconsin summers. Arizona - maybe.

Paul said...

I'd live in south western Utah if I didn't need an urban area for work. Fantastic landscapes and the kind of clean, orderly civic structure you find when you have a low population of "vibrants" and shitlibs.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"Also, you need to see our property tax bill: $16,000."

Looks like a rate of about $2.40 per $100.00. We run close to $3.00 per $100.00 in Texas - but no income tax. Also looks like you have no homestead exemption, no over 65 cap.

You could try Kerrville or Fredericksburg. Find 50 acres or so somewhere, buy some firearms and put in a pistol backstop. Please avoid Austin.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"We've been planning to move outside of New York but my husband has been taking me to San Diego lately and it's growing on me. I had no idea it was so beautiful, and the weather is to die for"

A friend of mine is in the process of moving from La Jolla to Texas. She's lived in California for 25 years and can neither afford it nor stand the state government anymore.

steve uhr said...

Monrovia, Liberia. They have close ties to USA and speak English. And in Africa!

Michael K said...

But, you'd have to worry about the millions of refugees headed there according to some of your readers.

No, not "millions" just thousands. Besides, they are just lovely "brown people" who need friendly leftist neighbors and "there is zero risk of terrorism" from them.

Why would you worry ? Please don't tell me you doubt your own BS.

buwaya said...

Your blogging advantage, besides huge talent, is invulnerability. This is key. You have that combination that few others do. You can say what you like and no-one can touch you.

Its a pity that the places that could use a true gimlet eye, a real cruel neutrality, are too expensive for most free people to live. This makes people vulnerable, they have to earn a very great deal simply to stay, and therefore cannot risk making enemies. So the talented lose freedom.

Dude1394 said...

Whatever makes you happy ann. My wife and I did move to the coast in our senior years and just love it. But...I must admit to longingly looking at some of those desert scenes and thinking...maybe one more move.

Michael said...

Spend $90K on a Mercedes Sprinter converted to a camper. Big enough for two and small enough not to have significant parking hassles. Go where you want to go for a year and then sell it an decamp to the place you liked the most in your travels.

Stay away from the liberal enclaves of the Pacific northwest. They are cliches in a rain shower.

Hazy Dave said...

I guess you can visit Austin when you want to, no need to relocate there. Still, it was good enough for Iowahawk. Maybe you want to experience Ann Arbor again, for a little while. It's a funny thought, where you want to go, what you want to do when you "retire", as if you're acknowledging you've spent 40 years not being where you belong.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"But the property tax bill in Seattle for a house assessed at the value of our Madison house would be something like $7,000."

Ya, I saw that he included that in the list, and thought he was off.

In fact the reality of our property taxes not being too high only further supports his point that we have very regressive taxes.

Anywho,

Would South Bend be an Indiana Alt home to Indianapolis? Maybe too small.

gadfly said...

In my long lifetime - just turned 78, I have lived many places, two cities in West Virginia; Indianapolis; Arlington, VA; Charlotte, NC; Giles County, VA, Beaumont, TX; Lorain, OH; Hamilton Township, NJ (worked in NYC); Fort Wayne, IN; Madison and Waupaca, WI.

My warmest memories by far are the four years spent in the Madison area. Great folks, great restaurants, great entertainment offerings and the 5th Quarter. Althouse remains my only lifeline to the Mad City.

MountainMan said...

"Tennessee has no income tax, unless things have changed dramatically since last I knew."

Tennesse has no income tax on earned income or pensions but does have what is known as the Hall Income Tax on certain dividends and interest. It was 6%, but dropped to 5% this year, and will go to 0 in 2022, I think. The state decided it was unfairly targeting seniors and retirees and decided to get rid of it. After that Tennessee residents will pay only sales tax (7% statewide, with a local option of up to 2 %, I think) and county and city property tax. Property taxes are very reasonable, at least where I live (about 1% of current market value for city and country combined).

I would stay away from an RV, they are a money pit. Everyone I know that owns one constantly has problems with it and is taking it in somewhere to get it repaired. I tried to talk my wife into spending a few years after retirement traveling around the country, renting a furnished apartment for several months to a year, then moving on. We'd sell our house and sell or store everything in it and travel from one location to another with just the items that would fit in our SUV. But she wouldn't hear of it. We're keeping out home in east TN and added a second, much smaller condo home outside Atlanta to be near family and friends. Still plan to do lots of traveling, though.

I would think Portland would be nothing but Madison West. If you want to experience something really different, as I suggested several weeks ago, try Charleston and Savannah for a while. Both are beautiful cities, very historic, with great restaurants and friendly people. Also close to really nice beaches. Charleston shows up all the time on lists for being the friendliest city and having residents with the best manners. It's true. Just don't go to either in the summer, you will be miserable. Both are extraordinarily beautiful in the spring.

Milwaukie guy said...

Portlandia is not cold and rainy 10 months of the year. We are cool and rainy for only 7 months. Summery weather, almost all sun and no rain, lasts 5 months. It rarely gets cold in Portland if you've lived in the Midwest.

CStanley said...

I'm with the group saying that another liberal hipster town would be redundant. I'm sure there are beautiful conservative towns out west, like Utah, but other than the scenery that seems bland and boring.

What you want, IMO is a new flavor of Americana, for instance the South. Blue Ridge, Ga is a lovely small mountain town with a vibrant art community and an interesting mix of people. Some good restaurants, great hiking, paddling, mountain biking (the latter probably just for Meade- lots of topo.) people are dog crazy (everyone brings them in shops and to the outdoor restaurants.) Winters are mild and the elevation and trees keep it relatively mild in summer too.

Trad guy has already covered the tax situation- no sense in excluding all states with income tax because they just extract it from you in other ways. In GA, retirees get the best of both worlds, low income tax plus low cost of living in general.

Although I haven't been, I hear Knoxville TN is great too (and I think they're doing lots of bike trails thru town.)

gadfly said...

@Ann Althouse said...
States with no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

States on that list I could imagine living in: Washington and Wyoming

How is it Washington doesn't have income tax?!


Income Taxes are contrary to the Washington State constitution according to its Supreme Court.

CStanley said...

Other southern places I'd consider: the SC coast, Dauphin Island AL, and Western Arkansas.

Freeman Hunt I think lives somewhere in the latter and can perhaps weigh in....I have family there and the parks are great though the towns are a bit shabby IMO.

The first two I mentioned depends on whether you like beach- but both are relatively natural coastline areas, not overbuilt condo type of beaches. Outer Banks NC is nice too but a bit more developed.

rhhardin said...

Unless there's something actively irritating about where you are, I'd say stay there.

Anyplace else you're just a blogger, not a law professor able to write against stuff.

tastid212 said...

Roots need rain. Blue Hens eschew reins. Home reigns. NewArk, Delaware.

William said...

I prefer the comfort of the familiar to the shock of the new. Also travel interferes with my number one hobby: afternoon naps.......The curse of my life is that I have gotten everything I've ever wanted but five years after I stopped wanting it. When I was young, I liked travel but didn't have the time or the money. Now I've got the time and the money but not the interest......The comic book syndrome. When you're ten years old, you think it would be heaven to have enough money to buy every comic book on the racks. Then, when you have the money, comic books seem infantile.......College towns are all alike, but the weather is better in some of them.

Jack Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Wayne said...

6 of the 20 biggest cities in America are in Texas. I live in Houston and my property tax last year was $1450. Yeah, it's hot. That's why we have a/c. And November through mid-May is some of the nicest weather possible. The grapefruit is ripe and there's a lot of trees in Houston! Go North of Dallas if you want some snow. And we have the best State Song....Bob Wills

Or you can always stay with this.

David Begley said...

"The new figures released Tuesday show MPS spent $14,244 per student in 2011, up from $14,038 in 2010, when the district was also ranked fourth-highest in per-pupil spending among the nation's 100 largest districts by enrollment."

Althouse + Meade are basically paying to educate one K-12 student in Madison. One kid.

If each class has 20 kids that means gross revenue of about $300,000. And the buildings are paid for and fully depreciated.

Milwaukie guy said...

I live literally a stone's throw from Portland but in the next county, Clackamas, which hipsters refer to as Clackistan. It is the reddest of the Metro counties. Living right next to insanity seems pretty good to me.

Where else in the U.S. can you, with two hours of driving:

Be in wine country?
On the slopes of Mt. Hood?
Whitewater kayaking on the White Salmon?
Boating on a great river, the Columbia?
The Pacific Coast?
A great downtown and one of the most walkable cities in NA?

It's not perfect but a damned sight better than Chicago.

gadfly said...

Expatistan ranks Portland to be 14% more expensive than Madison and here are a series of unfavorable reports from Randal O'Toole on Portland's trend in housing prices.

Milwaukie guy said...

P.S. We have a lot of fresh water.

Jack Wayne said...

DB, I'll be in Omaha in a couple of weeks and will be sure to go to Mama's Pizza.

buwaya said...

"The new figures released Tuesday show MPS spent $14,244 per student in 2011, up from $14,038 in 2010"
"Althouse + Meade are basically paying to educate one K-12 student in Madison. One kid."
"If each class has 20 kids that means gross revenue of about $300,000. And the buildings are paid for and fully depreciated."

Not entirely through property taxes. From long experience, public school financing is far more complicated than that. Money is some combo of local, state and federal, from different buckets with different reporting criteria from each, and a different mix by classes of kid, and the location of said kid. You have to do a deep dive into the district budget to identify what comes from where and whats done with it.
This complexity is I think, paranoid me, by design, in order to make it difficult to do proper bang-for-the-buck calculations.

tcrosse said...

I hear Knoxville TN is great too
Knoxville might not be big enough for both you and Instapundit.

David Begley said...

Jack Wayne

I used to frequent Mama's on Saddle Creek, but prefer Sgt. Peffer's on Hamilton and Country Club.

David Begley said...

Buwaya

The gross spend of $14-15k per kid is correct. And, yes, public schools get state and federal money. Furthermore some property taxes go for police, fire and other local services. My main point is that public schools spend a fortune and get average results at best.

BJM said...

Oregon is gorgeous, but Portland is Madison with a side of LA. You're light years ahead of them philosophically, and may be bored rather quickly.

Are you looking for a latitudinal and altitudinal change? How about NOLA? Santa Fe, NM would be interesting too.

Graham Powell said...

If you'd rather try a small town, how about Lexington, Virginia, where I went to school? I think the populate was something like 5000 back then and it can't be much larger now. It's in the Blue Ridge mountains and there are rivers nearby so there's plenty of outdoor stuff to do.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Yep, local ad-valorem property taxes seem to rum about 50% for the school district, the rest split between city and county. Schools also get a significant chunk of money from state and federal.

Candidates for school boards typically run on what they promise to do for the students, but in practice run the district like a job factory for relatives and friends. That cadre together constitutes most of the folks who trouble to show up and vote in school board elections.

I'm waiting for school board candidates who think the job is to represent the district tax payers.

hombre said...

Portland is a dark city. It is overcast and rainy most of the time and, like the State, it is run by godless, brainless Democrats.

I lived in Southern Oregon for years and because my sons live and work in Portland, I may return to Oregon, reluctantly.

I don't recommend it. High income and property taxes. Lousy climate.

buwaya said...

"My main point is that public schools spend a fortune and get average results at best."

Yes of course. It is known. The US spends a ridiculous amount on K-12 with little to show for it; and in very few cases can the average kid see anything the money buys. Most of the excess vs what you see in international comparisons goes to very poor return areas like special education and an excess of administration.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Buwaya,
Some years ago my father wanted to review the previous decade of county budgets (Santa Clara CA). His first inquiry to the County was rebuffed with "I believe those are classified, sir."
Probably just laziness on the part of the staffer, but you never know, do you?

rehajm said...

Portland is a dark city. It is overcast and rainy most of the time and, like the State, it is run by godless, brainless Democrats.

I hated living in Portland. The first place I became truly depressed by the weather. Not seeing the sun for four months is unhealthy. Lefties, aryans, biker gang leaders, a few bloods and crips, bums, twentysomething grifters, middle class white snobs, trailer trash. Traffic on I-5 at 4AM. Nobody can drive in snow.

No sales tax, though.

Rick Turley said...

We live outside Franklin, TN near unincorporated Leiper's Fork. We decided to move here after paying one too many $20,000 property tax bills on a modest home on Chicago's Near North side and one too many stories of city employees retiring on six figure pensions at 50-55 years old.

It's true what others have said about about TN taxes. However, many states with no income taxes have VERY high property taxes - not good for seniors. We have a 4,000 sq foot home on 7 mature wooded acres on a ridge and pay $3,300 a year for property taxes which would probably be over $5,000 within the Franklin city limits. Still not bad.

We are a half hours drive from downtown Nashville. We've heard more music in the several years we've been here than 30 years in Chicago. Food is ok. Always something to do for little to no cost. Half a day's drive you can be in Atlanta or the Smokies and well across the Mississippi. A day's drive and you can be on the East or Gulf Coasts.

We have four seasons with long autumns. Winters aren't bad except for the occasional snow or ice storm which shuts things down for a day or so. None this year. We don't find the summers any worse that downtown Chicago with the humidity from the lake. Summer nights usually cool off into the 60's.

Freeman Hunt said...

Fayetteville, Arkansas would be a good fit. Liberals and conservatives are loved. Amenities of a big city without the big city. Sort of like Madison, in that it's a university town, but friendlier.

wwww said...


The upper-midwest gets a lot more sun then the Pacific Northwest. Seattle and Portland are rainy and cloudy.

Some people are ok with it and even love it. Others can't tolerate the lack of sun and leave.

There've been something like 50 consecutive days w/out sun in Seattle this winter.

Nice said...

Since you're not adverse to the snow & cold, I would say Portsmouth New Hampsire. No income tax whatsoever in NH & no sales tax either. Portsmouth NH is the most upscale urban town in NH. Rather hip,avant garde too, for New England--- a half hour (if no traffic) away from Boston. Great location, right on the border of Maine as well.

Ann Althouse said...

"I've noticed that you travel, photograph and observe things. People you meet along the way, not so much."

I don't blog about private citizens generally. Traveling or not. I do interact with people, but I don't use that as material.

Ann Althouse said...

"There are lots of places you could live from which you could blog. With your eye for interesting subjects, you could probably blog from anywhere. You found bloggable material in Orderville! So, what else do you want? Better winter weather? Cultural/sports amenities? Many of your peers have summer homes in the upper midwest and winter homes in Arizona or Florida."

1. I hate hot summers. And I have a problem with glaring, unfiltered sun and dryness. I like trees and shade.

2. I want to be near or in a city that means something and is very walkable and to have good accesss to beautiful natural settings for hiking and biking.

3. I hate sprawling suburbs and ugly commercial expanses, including needing to drive through them.

4. Access to great health care. Great air and water quality. Everything health related.

5. It has to be better than Madison. Madison can be beat on 1. Winter wearher, 2. Taxes, 3. Political intolerance and intellectual monotony.

wwww said...



Fun, but scary article on earthquakes.

Pacific Northwest The Big One.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs fema’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover* some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

Rockport Conservative said...

I vote for moving year to year for at least a few years. I always thought it would be fun to experience different places through the four seasons of the year. Pretty places of course.

rehajm said...

But the property tax bill in Seattle for a house assessed at the value of our Madison house would be something like $7,000.

Well, good on ya! Did you investigate how much house you get in Seattle for the value of your Madison house?

Deirdre Mundy said...

I vote Indiana. Take a place everyone assumes is boring and show it's interesting side.

That's more interesting than Portland, IMO.

Columbus, IN is delightfully quirky. Or start an art studio in Little Nashville!

Michael K said...

I would think Portland would be nothing but Madison West.

We looked at Oregon wine country where my step son lives. It's a great spot and reasonable house prices.

We did not get as far as property taxes because the weather will not be good for my wife who has COPD.

Arizona is hot and dry in summer so, that would be a turnoff if you want cool summers.

Tucson is 2500 feet elevation and not as hot as Phoenix. Our house is a little higher, being in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains.

I spent 60 years in California, 40 of it in Orange County but the state is getting just too crazy. The weather is great although summers are not much cooler than Tucson.

The beach house that I paid $320,000 for in 1979 would now be $3 million or more. Not worth it.

Nice said...

Have you been to Maine? Maine is all trees and little to no sidewalks (except for Portland Maine---which is too urban/concrete for my taste) Brunswick Maine is a larger city about 20 minutes from Portland ME with fabulous hiking, camping, fishing, coves, inlets, rivers to meander. Of course Maine= harsh winters, but beautiful nonetheless.

Rhode Island has the marine climate that you like without the unrelentying dry heat, and the winters in RI are far less harsh than parts more northern New England. There are wonderful little towns from Newport RI to Providence that are like tree forests--minimal concrete. I really think you need to explore coastal New England.

However, if you are determined to go West & leave winter behind for good: Santa Cruz! Much cheaper than SF, beautiful hiking trails. Santa Cruz is only about 45 min from SF, & you don't pass through commercial areas to get there either. Pass through Big Sur!

tim in vermont said...

Concord, NH, given your criteria.

Richard Dillman said...

Utopia literally means nowhere. I've lived in five states, and found that they all have problems not readily apparent in mass media.

Lived in western Oregon for six years. Parts of it are beautiful, but the Willamette Valley is culturally and politically a monoculture. I lived in Bellingham, WA. for one year. It was even rainy and and cool in the summer. If I wanted to live in the Northwest and avoid the major problems but still have access to wild areas, I would choose Boise, Idaho. On the East Coast, I would chose Portland, Maine, a kind of understated gem near beautiful wild areas, but only a two hour train ride to Boston.

Seattle has enormous gridlock problems, and the Willamette Valley has the little known field burning problem, which you probably
wouldn't know about unless you lived there. You need to research Willamette Vallley field burning problem.

tim in vermont said...

Portsmouth is kind of the 'ultimate thule' of the East Coast Megapolis.

Michael K said...

"Seattle has enormous gridlock problems,"

I had 10 acres on Vashon Island as my planned retirement spot but I sold them a few years ago and prices have gone out of sight.

My wife would not do well in that climate although I did go up and take a look last summer.

I love Vashon as long as I didn't have to go to work every day.

When I had my property, the walk-on ferry went to downtown Seattle and you could take it and walk to a good restaurant near Pike Place Market and then go home on the ferry after dinner. Now, that ferry doesn't seem to run anymore.

Michael K said...

"the Willamette Valley has the little known field burning problem,"

That area is the grass seed and sod capital of the western US. Maybe they burn off the straw after the seed is harvested.

buwaya said...

Santa Cruz = small town and seriously political. Lots of old hippies run the place.
Maybe they are more laid back than the Madison gang. They probably are.
My wife has friends there and I keep my trap shut.

Very beautiful there and within 2 hrs drive there is pretty much everything to see and do.
Weather is wonderful.
Also not cheap. Its not San Francisco, but you are talking $600K+ for 1300sq ft. 2br 1ba

Richard Dillman said...

The Willamette valley bills itself as the grass seed capital of the U.S. Farmers burn the grass seed fields in late summer/early fall, and the smoke, depending on the wind, settles in cities like Eugene and Salem. It can be a nightmare for people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. Then there is also forest fire season when the smoke clouds descend on the valley. The grass seed fields are burnt
to sterilize the fields. The state government has tried to limit the burning, but grass seed production is a major industry in Oregon's
fragile economy; so the farmers seem to call the shots. It is something to drive down I 5 with fires burning on both sides of the road.
Not quite Dante but hellish, nevertheless.

rehajm said...

Very beautiful there and within 2 hrs drive there is pretty much everything to see and do.
Weather is wonderful.


Two good things in Santa Cruz: Pasatiempo and Bonny Doon.

tim in vermont said...

Appalachian Trail, Lake Winnipesaukee,,White Mountains, well removed from Boston, but still only about an hour by car, walkable, and the center of the political universe every four years.

When I lived there, I saw Jesse Jackson speak from a small platform at the mall, Dick Gephardt passed me on the sidewalk, Mike Dukakis sped by in a limo to speak to an invited crowd, and George H W Bush visited my polling place minutes after I left. I passed his motorcade as I was driving away.

Concord, NH

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I love Vashon as long as I didn't have to go to work every day."

Bainbridge has the same good qualities, plus a bunch more, imho.

tim in vermont said...

Oh yeah, no sales tax, even on cars. Income tax only on interest and dividends.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, Bainbridge is a massive base for Seattle commuters.

From forest to the heart of down town in thirty minutes, on a boat. On the way home have a beer while cruising = the opposite of gridlock.



tim in vermont said...

Mark Stein would drop in, I am sure.

Richard Dillman said...

If you can't find a suitable state with no income tax, at least try to find one that where the state does not tax social security. About 12 or 13 states still tax SS.

I lived near Vancouver B.C. for over a year and thought it was very livable. Now it is unfortunately hyper expensive.
It was a beautiful, diverse (in a good sense), complex city with great restaurants and near all the wild nature most people could handle; plus B.C. had an excelllent ferry system. You could live in Washington near the Canadian border and just be a short drive to downtown Vancouver. I suppose Vancouver also has high taxes.

Southern New Hampshire seems very livable. But I don't understand how they support their state services with no income taxes. I've heard that property taxes are quite high to compensate for the lack of other taxes. The tax situation might be a wash.

tim in vermont said...

Property taxes in NH were lower than my Masshole friends.

tim in vermont said...

They don't give away money, but they plow the roads

Freeman Hunt said...

1. I hate hot summers. And I have a problem with glaring, unfiltered sun and dryness. I like trees and shade.

Fayetteville has trees and shade, but it can get pretty hot. It's not Deep South hot or Texas hot or Oklahoma hot, but it can get pretty hot. Similar to St. Louis in climate.

2. I want to be near or in a city that means something and is very walkable and to have good accesss to beautiful natural settings for hiking and biking.

Living near the library or Wilson Park in Fayetteville would be perfect for that. Gorgeous, shady walking everywhere. Hiking and biking trails all over the place. The university, library, downtown area, town square, stores, a multitude of restaurants, arts center, churches, multiple trails, and parks within walking distance. Modern condos available on Dickson Street. Modern houses scattered around the area. Meaning of city: Can liberals, hippies, conservatives, and fundamentalists live together peaceably in a beautiful city surrounded by the wonders of nature? Yes, they can!

3. I hate sprawling suburbs and ugly commercial expanses, including needing to drive through them.

Fayetteville passes this test.

4. Access to great health care. Great air and water quality. Everything health related.

Fayetteville has great air and water. Top medical care for kids is not available here. Don't know about adults. The hospitals are nice but certainly nothing even remotely comparable to places like Mayo, Cleveland, Boston, Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, UCLA, etc.

5. It has to be better than Madison. Madison can be beat on 1. Winter weather, 2. Taxes, 3. Political intolerance and intellectual monotony.

Fayetteville > Madison on all of these measures.

Cooler, great medical... hm. Sounds like Pacific Northwest near a city or the Raleigh-Durham area.

Or you could just stay in Madison and take trips, as you already wrote.

Bob said...

Somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, perhaps?

For in interesting weekend, how about the Frying Pan Tower?

Kathryn51 said...

Jeeze, the one day I don't pop in to Althouse until mid-afternoon and there's some talk about Seattle/Washington state.

1. I hate hot summers. And I have a problem with glaring, unfiltered sun and dryness. I like trees and shade. Puget Sound area is not hot, not dry and plenty of trees and shade.

2. I want to be near or in a city that means something and is very walkable and to have good access to beautiful natural settings for hiking and biking. You cannot beat the Puget Sound area . Question - why is the "city" so important to you? There are few cities left that continue to be intellectually diverse (one of "wish list" items below).

3. I hate sprawling suburbs and ugly commercial expanses, including needing to drive through them. Well, THAT's a problem but I don't know where you would go to live "near or in a city" that doesn't include suburbs. If you want the University/big city culture (Seattle), you have suburbs. But you also have an urban growth boundary that ends about 1/2 hour outside the city. In fact, the UGB is on our back property line and we can't sub-divide our 5 acres deep in the heart of Microsoft LaLaLand.

4. Access to great health care. Great air and water quality. Everything health related. Done. My nephew and his wife attended UofWashington Med School - top-ranked, together with major regional hospitals that serve entire PacNW region. They are residents at UWMadison hospital now (we visited them last summer) and they will return to Washington. But they will NOT live in Seattle - they hate it.

5. It has to be better than Madison. Madison can be beat on 1. Winter wearher, 2. Taxes, 3. Political intolerance and intellectual monotony. Washington wins on first two and many cities in WA will win on the 3rd. But NOT Seattle or Olympia. Check out Tacoma or Everett - lots of former military, Boeing engineers and they haven't been taken over by the Amazon/Microsoft/Starbucks intolerant left so political diversity is still possible.

Hubby and I were raised in Washington, both children of Boeing engineers. I attended UW (both undergraduate and law) and although it is insufferably and proudly "progressive" it did manage to hold a MiloY speech recently with no interruption. I hate Washington and would like to move to Idaho, but hubby reminds me of the income tax. Which, by the way, is prohibited by our State Constitution and even with a packed liberal State Supreme Court, they haven't figured out a way to get around it. Yet.

Oh, and WA State Constitution also limits property taxes to 1% per $1K value, unless specifically approved by voters.

Again I say - check out Everett or Tacoma.

Sam's Hideout said...

Most places with no income tax* make it up in sales and property taxes. Since you've retired, I'd think that would mean you don't save much on income taxes but take a big hit on spending and housing. You probably would be better off in a state that had low sales/property taxes but with an income tax.

* New Hampshire has no taxes on wages/salary, but does tax dividends and interest. I don't know if this is peculiar to NH or if other "no income tax" states are similar.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Again I say - check out Everett or Tacoma."

Absurd.

IMHO.

rehajm said...

But I don't understand how they support their state services with no income taxes

Property taxes are high, but as Tim notes they can be higher in neighboring Massachusetts.

Also of note: NH State Liquor Stores have their own exits off the Interstate near the border of Massachusetts so MA legislators can beat home state taxes.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

OK. This is not a visit, but a re-location.In that case somebody mentioned Lexington, Virginia. That is a wonderful small town atmosphere with all the College Town extras, located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, next to an Interstate and a short trip over the Blue Ridge to Charlottesville, Va. and then to DC.

The local colleges are 1) a very Old Dominion-ish type of liberal culture, called Washington and Lee; and 2) is very good southern version of West Point, called VMI.

The War Between the State of Virginia and the Northern Aggressors is a big deal there. But the Jackson Memorial you will find in Lexington is not to Andrew Jackson, but to a similar Presbyterian, Scots-Irish, originally a captain of Artillery and Professor who taught at VMI called Thomas Jonathan Jackson, a/k/a old blue light for his eyes glowing in eagerness to fight the invaders of his Valley. His was a companion to a General named Lee who got his name on added to the liberal school after he surrendered to that damn U. S. Grant.

Lexington was also the home town of a Texas warrior of note, called Sam Houston.

Old town Lexington is much like it was in 1800s. The 100 unit Hampton Inn is built around the Mansion of the College President in the 1800s.Try out an old room in the house itself.

Michael K said...

Bainbridge has the same good qualities, plus a bunch more, imho.

The negative is that Bainbridge has a bridge, Lots more through traffic heading for the peninsula.

About ten years ago, when I still had my property there, there was a proposal to build a bridge from Tacoma, that would have a terminus on Vashon, then go on the the peninsula. The bridge would similar to that that goes to Mercer Island.

There was a community meeting to discuss the bridge proposal.

10,000 people attended the meeting at the high school ! That is the population of the island !

No bridge was built. 100% were opposed.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

The negative is that Bainbridge has a bridge, Lots more through traffic heading for the peninsula.

The bridge is a feature. You can get off the island.

The folks who pass through barely count as being on the island. The island is actually pretty big, but the folks cruising through after getting off the ferry would never know. Not to mention that there is a real limit on the number of folks who can get over. They gots to fit on the boat.


The real thing you may not care for are the libs. In particular the lib lawyers. Lot of those on the island.

Fun BI stories:

-Banned Starbucks, so Starbucks snuck into a Safeway. (Now there's a real starbucks too.)

-Banned a chain Mexican Restaurant, so the chain opened w/ a different name (when doors opened they had menus from the chain until the disguised ones were printed.)

-Banned all drive throughs to fight fast food. There is one, long existing block w/ an exception, where the McDonalds is. But, this means no drive through coffee. Get out and walk!

-If someone moves there, ask for an 842 phone number. Instant street cred.

Anywho, that's stuff I've heard.


Bottom line: there are insanely nice houses w/ killer waterfront/views on the island. I know of one w/ two elevators.

Bad Lieutenant said...


3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...
BTW, Bainbridge is a massive base for Seattle commuters.

From forest to the heart of down town in thirty minutes, on a boat. On the way home have a beer while cruising = the opposite of gridlock.

3/16/17, 4:33 PM

I don't want to misunderstand you unintentionally. Are you endorsing drinking and driving?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I don't want to misunderstand you unintentionally. Are you endorsing drinking and driving?"

Carpooling and being a walk-on is the best way to get on the boats during the peak commuter times because you're guaranteed room on the next boat leaving w/o getting to the terminal early. These folks load first and get off ahead of individuals in cars who are queued as first come, first serve.

BTW IIRC, the movie "Disclosure" shows Michael Douglas as a walk-on commuter to Bainbridge.

William Koekkoek said...

Late to the thread but I read an article awhile ago about people who have retired to circumnavigating the eastern United States. Starting in New Orleans (though its a circle, you can start anywhere) they head up the Mississippi River, through the various canals to the Great Lakes, through the lakes to St. Lawrence Seaway, out and around the Maritime Provinces, and then down the east coast following generally the inter-coastal waterway. Then through the Gulf back to the mouth of the Mississippi to start the whole process over. Plenty of stuff to see along the way.

Though you would have to be a real boat person to manage or enjoy.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

One more thing, I'm assuming that folks know that the ferrys have galleys. That's where you can get beer. As recently as a year ago they always had two or three on tap, incl one junk beer, e.g. Bud. Now, w/ a new vendor, they always have three on tap (all micro or micro-ish) and others in cans. They also have wine. And, they're on the cider bandwagon too.

IOW, you're not allowed to crack open a beer in your car. If that wasn't clear in my initial comment re this.