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[edited by: incrediBILL at 5:17 am (utc) on May 23, 2011]
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:21 am (utc) on May 23, 2011]
Some of those places have a history of racism and intolerance that still exists in whispers and opinions expressed in confidence.
What Americans expect Europeans to like, and what Europeans do like, can be two entirely different things.
If you're looking for an urban experience, Maryland.
California is a love-it-or-hate-it kinda place, but for nearly the same money, you could live in Hawaii.
Hawaii is a nice place to visit but California is a lot less likely to get seriously slammed with tsunamis nor likely place to wake up with lava flowing under the bed.
CA has earthquakes, smog, fires, mudslides, and the occasional little tsunami
I would stay far away from California for two reasons: prices are too high and earthquakes.
Not sure why local economy would factor into it, not if you're in the web (i.e national or international) business.
Geologically we're in Cascadia, with Oregon, Washington and western Canada.
Cost of living is a factor, but whether your neighbors are working may not matter much.