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I live in Argentina. The cities of Quilmes, Ezpeleta, Berazategui and a few others are my home.

I'm moving to the U.S.. I've stayed in Mobile, Alabama for a year, and the place sucked my soul out.

I'm not looking for a place that looks like Argentina, but for a place with a similar lifestyle.

By this I mean:

  • a place where I'm not obligated to own a car because walking or riding a bike is impossible
  • a place where I can find local stores. Here I know that I can go to a store to buy pastries, a different one to buy craft supplies, a fresh pasta store, a chocolate store, a drugstore, a produce store, a pharmacy, a natural products store, etc.. In Alabama there was a Walmart where I could find a little bit of everything and where the produce sucked, a Winn-Dixie, and a few big stores like Hobby Lobby and Home Depot
  • A PLACE WITH SIDEWALKS
  • a place where I don't have to walk 45 minutes to get anywhere
  • a place that doesn't have just a bunch of main streets, and no other way to get from A to B other than those loud 6 lane streets that feel like walking along a highway
  • a place where it is possible to ride a bike places because the streets allow it

Where I'm from, there's a lot of the Italian, Spanish and French cultures and food.
I'm also looking for somewhere safe crime-wise, with no natural disasters, and cold and dry but not cold to where your boogers freeze.
I feel like I basically want Argentina in the U.S..

My lifestyle is not as lazy as what I've seen in Alabama. I like to move, and the food there seems much more unhealthy. I can't find anything that doesn't come from concentrate unless I go to a Whole Foods Market, which is over an hour away from me by foot.

I've been in Texas too for a few weeks, and it seemed pretty much the same, except for the Mexican food and spanish tv. I also know someone from South Carolina who tells me it's the same as well, uses the car everywhere he goes and even lives on a dirt street.

I don't like crowded places. I live close to the capital city, and I hate it. Places like New York are not what I want at all.
I don't want to live in the Latin culture, so places like Miami and California are not what I want either -I can't stand the heat either-.
I guess I want a healthy American culture.

At the same time, I always wanted to work at a farm.
I would consider Mobile to be a suburban city. I was some minutes away from downtown, and it didn't look like what I'd consider the countryside. However, there was a farm 1 hour away on foot from where I lived, which makes me confused as to if it was really a suburb. Maybe it was hybrid.

I've talked to my neighbor about this, and he looked at me like "you'll never find a place like that".
I've been watching shows, and there's Zoë Bakes; whenever she goes outside, it looks just like where I'd want to be. She goes to local bakeries and stores (even though I can't say if she needs a car), BUT she lives in Minnesota and my neighbor told me that your boogers do in fact freeze there.
He also told me that Colorado isn't a good option because of the weather -something about tornadoes-; I think he also told me it's not safe. And that in North or South Dakota there's a drug chain going on.

Really, I don't know if there's an Argentinean community somewhere in the U.S., and if there was, I wouldn't know how to find it.

This is home Argentina

This is where I stayed Airport and Hillcrest, Mobile

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    There are very few places in the US that would match your requirement. US is built on a concept of neverending suburbs interconnected with a network of highways built around and enclosing "urban" neighborhoods designed for poor people. There are very few actual cities in the US, most are called cities but are in fact a network of loosely connected street malls (a very precise description of LA I've heard recently).
    – littleadv
    Dec 28, 2022 at 22:11
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    Does this answer your question? I'm looking for a place in the U.S. that is like Argentina
    – gerrit
    Dec 29, 2022 at 10:02
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    @littleadv That is so very wrong. There are many places, in fact. Darned near every town in most of Michigan would meet most of the requirements. Your comment is incredibly metro-centric.
    – CGCampbell
    Dec 30, 2022 at 17:01
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    Bicycle-friendly, pedestrian-friendly, lots of local stores, everything is close by, not too much crime...sounds to me like the place you're looking for is called Europe. I moved away from the US to Europe to find these types of things.
    – Kyralessa
    Jan 2, 2023 at 14:33
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    @littleadv I got many comments and answers backing what CGCampbell said. You seem to be getting heated
    – All Humans
    Jan 2, 2023 at 21:52

4 Answers 4

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San Francisco as of a few decades ago was pretty close to what you describe, except that it wasn't as bike-friendly. You could walk anywhere or take mass transit, there were little stores for every need, and it felt like a small town. Sadly, it's gotten much worse - the rents are sky-high, and there are homeless people everywhere, so I cannot recommend it anymore.

But many large East Coast cities have sections generally satisfying your criteria:

  • pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

  • most residents don't have cars, cars aren't necessary, parking is a hassle.

  • good mass transit for when you can't walk or bike.

  • many nice local retailers, although more expensive than WalMart, better groceries than Whole Foods, lots of ethnic grocers and restaurants..

  • except for Manhattan - cheaper rents than Bay Area.

I suggest you use Google Maps / Street view or a similar software to explore the example neighborhoods below:

In Manhattan, NYC, take a look at the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, NoMad, and Chelsea.

In Queens, NYC, take a look at Long Island City, Astoria, and the sections along Queens Blvd: Corona, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens...

In New Jersey, much of Jersey City - a few minutes from NYC.

In Philadelphia, most of Old City, Center City, and University City along Market Street are very walkable. Start with the vicinity of the Rittenhaus Square.

In Washington, DC, look at Connecticut Ave.

There are many more good examples in these and other cities.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is also very walkable, with two cautions:

  • it is better to speak French there

  • much of the year, it is very cold and snowy.

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You should consider New Orleans. It fits quite a few of your criteria. Of the US cities that I have seen, it is the one where it is easiest to be without a car. I cannot be sure as I have not seen Argentina but I found that it had quite a European feel which might be in the right direction.

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There are some walkable neighbourhoods in some cities in the US.

One of those will meet your restrictions like being able to walk or cycle to shops, sidewalks, shops.
Most of those neighbourhoods were built before the 1950's and have been spared the transformations that make most US towns and cities car centric or car dependant.

So select a part of the country where the climate is to your liking, where the mix of cultures works for you and next look for an area with mixed use shops, homes, apartment blocks and public transport.
And win the lottery as those areas are very popular and zoning laws do not allow them to be built new, have not allowed them to be built in the last 50 years or so.

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    I haven't looked in the US, but in Ontario it's quite common for a town to have an old core (often near a river or lake) that is super walkable and be surrounded by a ring of car-only big box stores and housing developments. Orillia is a good example. If you look at it on Google Maps you may get an idea of a pattern to look at in US towns. (The nice thing about this compared to a walkable village like Mount Forest, Ontario is that the bigger town will have taxis that can take you to Costco or Walmart when you need that.) Dec 30, 2022 at 17:17
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If you like Argentina, why not try Uruguay? Montevideo is not Buenos Aires, but the public transportation is excellent. The culture is much more laid back than Argentina (e.g. not addicted to the grind, far less corruption), and the food is similar (but, frequently not as good). Lots of culture, museums (free), theater and festivals, and beaches. Not as hot and humid in the summer.

I moved here from the US which has become increasingly dangerous, unaffordable, and politically divisive. There's crime everywhere, but at least in Uruguay you don't hear of mass shootings daily.

Large, well-educated middle-class and affordable housing. And, the people are some of the most generous I've ever met. Give your neighbor a try!

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  • My mother gave me that idea but at the same time she told me that Uruguay's economy is practically based on tourism. I don't have a degree other than my high school diploma, and at least here in Argentina, I can't find a job where I'll make enough to even pay rent because of that. The U.S. is much better in that one aspect, especially since I speak two languages, I've been told
    – All Humans
    Jan 2, 2023 at 21:56
  • I think your mom might be mistaken...Uruguay is not a tourist destination...far from it. There are places like Punta del Este that cater to tourism but Montevideo is a working city with a few attractions—not a tourist magnet. If you speak two languages there are a lot of translation jobs. If you produce good work, It's a very easy country to emigrate to, and work in. The US is a tough market for non-college grads... and it's difficult to obtain residency. Most likely you'll end up in a service industry job if you can get green card—and the cost of living and housing is staggering.
    – Ramona
    Jan 3, 2023 at 14:52

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