Although we truly love the Bay Area we are considering moving to a more affordable area where we can buy a house and send our kids to good schools. We have a job oppoortunity in Tacoma, WA. What is it like there? The reviews we find online are not promising. It was recently rated ''Most Stressful City in the US'' due to unemployment, crime, suicide, divorce and weather. Is it really that bad? Does it have the cultural climate of the East Bay? Is the weather truly depressing (we are both from sunnly climes)? Thanks. Northward Bound?
I lived in Tacoma from birth until college graduation, so I feel highly qualified to answer your question! My recommendation would be to find a place in what's called ''the north end.'' The north end includes the largest and most beautiful park in the city (old-growth forest, beaches, incredible views) and the area right outside the park is the only place that you'll find a culture that resembles the Bay Area. The rest of the city, it's true, has been plagued with crime the last ten years or so and doesn't have much to offer in the way of culture. As for the rain...I love it dearly and I always surprise people when I tell them how much I miss it. I'm sure that's because I grew up with it from day one and took it for granted as a part of daily life. You might be depressed about it, but your kids won't be. They'll be fine. My friends and I just played outside in the rain and didn't give it any thought. If you happen to have a dog, the bad news is that there are no off-leash parks in the city. I could write more, but my baby is crying! E-mail me with specific questions if you like. sidney