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It turns out my wife and I may have to move out of Louisiana next school year or the one after.

We're trying to find us a city where I can be a musician and she can be a teacher and still eat everyday.

So far, Seattle, Chicago, Portland, St.Paul, Tampa have come up in the conversation. Of course, NY and Boston would be great but the cost of living there is prohibitive...

Any insight guys?
 

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What kind of teacher?
 

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Seattle and Portland are both great. If you can dig the weather the twin cities has some good music to offer and seems like a stable environment for teaching.
 

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Let me know if you hear of anything at all happening in Mpls/St Paul. I'm thinking seriously of relocating there just for my head. I've lived in greater NYC, which is a lot of music happening in a sad rat race, and my old home state of Iowa, which is better for my head but horrible for music.

I have a lot of friends and family in The Cities and like the vibe there. As an Iowan the climate concerns me not at all. But if it's a nasty place for jazz, or if the jazz scene is cliquy and closed to more traditional swing sounds (nowadays mostly an east coast thing), that will make me sad.
 

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Portland is very nice - quite civilized, good transit, good visual art, best bookstore ever (Powell's). Seattle is also nice, but traffic is worse, and I think the cost is higher and the weather worse. SF Bay Area (where I am) is great, but cost of living (esp. housing) is horrid.
 

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Nah, don't move to Poortland. We just had the coldest March on record, fifth wetest and thanks to the new daylight savings time, the darkest. I have had the worst case of SADD the last five or six years. The summer here is fantastic but we really earn it. Lot's of all kinds of music happening... lot's of all kinds of starving broke musicians too. New clubs and venues open up as fast as the old ones die.

Great, great, food, beer, wine, coffee, weed, arts scene, progressive politics in a mostly red neck state. A bunch of pretty good schools. An hour to world class skiing and snow boarding, and an hour to the beach, really scenic place... when it's not cold, grey and wet. The rivers give the area a great sense of place. Drive thirty minutes in any direction and you are out in the sticks. Great camping, hiking, fishing... hunting if that is your thang. Some good music festivals, PDXjazz, Waterfront Blues Fest, Cathedral Park Jazz Fest... and all kinds of music, arts, crafts, free family oriented events put on by the city almost every week through the summer.

We lost our minor league baseball team but have a new major league soccer team that sold out it's newly renovated stadium for the season. The Trailblazers are in the play offs again. A bunch of great places to ride skateboards and this is bicycle heaven. Motorcycle heaven too if you like to ride in the wet most of the year. If you are into motor sports, there is Portland International Raceway ten minutes from downtown. One of only two natural terrain road courses that is owned by the city in all of the USA. Drag racing every week and NHRA Nationals stop here. There is pro racing with ALMS sports cars, vintage racing, some Nascar West races, SCCA, IKF karting, and motorcycle club racing. Used to have IndyCars... but no more.

One of the reasons is that our economy is just destroyed. I lost my business, house and a garage full of toys. I talk to people every day just like me. There are jobs, but none of them pay well. A story on the news pretty much summed it up. A guy put an ad on craigslist for someone to make sandwiches for four hours during lunch in his deli. He had to pull the posting in fifteen minutes because he got two hundered e-mail responses and the phone didn't stop ringing for two days solid. He said there were a hundred guys that were graduates of the culinary academy here and the rest had degrees in hotel and restaurant management or were laid off executive chefs from upscale eateries... all for a ten buck an hour job. In a place where the home prices and the foreclosures are going up at the same rate... but the property values went down 7% last year. Really.

Try to find the YouTube Clips of an internet TV show produced by some Saturday Night Live people. It's called Portlandia. Portland... ur, Poortland... the place where twenty somethings go to retire. They totally nailed the culture here. Really groovie place to live if you have webbed feet and don't need to make money.

There are a couple sax players from NOLA that moved up here because of Katrina, Reggie Houston and Devin Philips. They seem to be doing OK. They never went back. Maybe they have a better view of the scene than I do. Maybe I have to high of expectations... like having a job where I can make enough money to pay taxes? It's so effedup here that I didn't even file the last two years... no reason too. No work.

If I had two nickels to rub together, I would bail out of here in a heart beat. Someplace warm and sunny
 

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Move to Montreal!
 

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Well, I'm somewhat experienced in career-induced relocation, so I'll offer a bit of simple advice: GO WHERE THE MONEY IS.

You don't just pick a place, then move there and look for a job - you pick the best job and then move where it is. Your mission now is to research the areas where a French teacher of your wife's experience level could expect to earn the highest pay, and apply for positions there. Pick the best offer and go. She's the one with the REAL career; You and I will never make a living playing jazz, so we don't factor into the decision.

With that being said, the one area I would recommend anyone move to is this golden land o' gub'ment spendin' - DC,Maryland, Northern Virginia.
 

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Move to Montreal!
One of my favorites cities on the planet -- but when I lobbied my French professor wife to get a job there, she patiently explained that Montreal already has plenty of French teachers!

You don't just pick a place, then move there and look for a job - you pick the best job and then move where it is. Your mission now is to research the areas where a French teacher of your wife's experience level could expect to earn the highest pay, and apply for positions there. Pick the best offer and go. She's the one with the REAL career; You and I will never make a living playing jazz, so we don't factor into the decision.
THAT is exactly my experience, and it's how I ended up in Buffalo. And, even though I was initially aghast at leaving my beloved Twin Cities, I really have come to dig it here. (And the weather, winter and summer, if INFINITELY better here...) So, Victor, the minimum requirement is that your wife score a gig in a big-to-biggish city -- there'll be SOME sort of scene there, and you'll take it from there...
 

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Pig, you might PM Matt Otto. He recently moved to Kansas City when his wife took a job at a local college. The cost of living is very reasonable and there's a lively music scene that covers many genres. I don't know if Matt regrets the move or is enjoying it here, but he can give you some first-hand information.
 

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The Washington/Baltimore/Northern Virginia Metro Area! Not just the jazz scene, but all types of live music are strong here. Great school systems...some of the best in the country.

Saxophone Symposiums every year and arguably the best collection of SOTW folk anywhere in the world (if you like drinking and whoring and smoking and insulting and mocking and vandalizing and drinking).
 

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The Washington/Baltimore/Northern Virginia Metro Area! arguably the best collection of SOTW folk anywhere in the world (if you like drinking and whoring and smoking and insulting and mocking and vandalizing and drinking).
I'm honored, but I don't really smoke and drink much anymore!
 

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Since Chicago was mentioned, a few comments. I think economically things have held up pretty well here compared with other areas.

As far as teaching, our state has had a serious budget crunch the last few years with a big impact upon teachers of the more "elective" subjects like Art, Music, sports coaches, etc. I'm not sure how this would impact one of the language subjects. There are still a lot of public and private schools in the Chicago metro area and some pay teachers quite well. I think it would be worth doing a little investigating as far as opportunities based on her experience level and capabilities. Having a lot of experience is probably helpful right now.

There is definitely a busy and competitive music scene here. A good number of jazz and blues opportunities, not to mention rock, classic rock, wedding bands, etc. However, to make it a lucritive pursuit plan to hit the pavement and make some good connections.

The Chicago Reader has a lot of "Looking for" and "musicians available" ads
http://classifieds.chicagoreader.com/chicago/

The Reader's music section has the best listing of who's playing where... Hey, looks like Lovano is in town this weekend...

Shawn
 

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I would think New Orleans would be the place for both music and French. No one wants to learn French anymore. Some folks have mentioned the DC/Baltimore area, but if you're here for jazz, the military musicians will outnumber you and outperform you. For modern music, less is more these days, and unless you're fronting your own group, saxophone isn't in much demand.
 

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One of my favorites cities on the planet -- but when I lobbied my French professor wife to get a job there, she patiently explained that Montreal already has plenty of French teachers!
peut-être, mais ils n'ont pas de porcs magique
 

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Funny/sad isn't it - there's no making your own opportunities anymore in music, the way there is in other arts, crafts or services.

I love iTunes, but it has swallowed up the earth. Any kind of live performance in between sound-alike bar bands and nationally known touring acts is an economic dead zone.

Musicians can't even afford to go cooperative, because all they know how to do to live is race each other to the bottom for a fixed number of gigs.

It is at times like this that I begin to think of music as a cursed calling, meant only to survive in harsh places. Maybe we should become an emigré people from the rest of North America and all crowd in to Brooklyn and live twelve to an apartment, just to be someplace where what we do still has some meaning.

There will never be enough work, but we might get, I dunno, grants or something. Maybe marry in with the artists and crafters and organic cooks and start our own underground economy. This has not been possible in Portland, a place I once had great hopes for, possibly because the only economy there is checks from home.
 

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:scratch: You can't possibly mean me.
 
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