Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New England

We're getting ready to leave on a three week trip. Packing for five has taken it's toll on me the last few days as I scramble to make sure we have everything we could ever possibly need when away from home. Like anywhere we go won't be 10 minutes from a box store selling everything we need.

We are visiting New England scoping out communities for possible relocation. But with a family as complicated as ours we don't seem to "fit" anywhere. We're looking for a diverse community where our family would have access to great health care, see other people of color on a regular basis, feel safe to be "out" and can put up a menorah. Does that exist in the US?

Really, when looking at cities and towns through their city data everywhere we've explored is "too white", "too christian" and sometimes just "too straight". What's a Gay-Black-Jewish-Disabled Family to do?

We are voracious researchers and have been reading everything we can get our hands on about Cohousing. We're visiting 2 co-housing communities in New England to check them out.


Anonymous said...

Come to Maplewood/South Orange in New Jersey! Seriously, I'll give you my contact info & would love to meet y'all.
ina, not anonymous

Anonymous said...

Delurking to invite you to contact me if you will be in the Rhode Island area. We are a two mom family with 3 boys who were adopted from foster care. Our town looks very white & Christian in stats, but the different neighborhoods are varied in their diversity. Some match the overall stats almost exactly, others, like ours, are quite racially/ethnically diverse (although still majority white). Anyway, we're always up for meeting other transracial, gay adoptive families. My id here is my a*l address. Good luck with the searching.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely that place exists. It's called Massachusetts. Specifically, the Cambridge/Arlington area, or West Roxbury/Jamaica Plain. Cambridge was named the most disability-friendly city in the country in 2006, and health care is wonderful and accessible. People honestly do not give a single flying fig about things like sexuality or religion, and if you aren't already, you can get legally married if you like. Sure, the costs of living are astronomical, but we've got mountains and beaches within easy reach, good public transportation, wonderful schools, and at this precise moment we have fantastic weather.

Raines said...

Welcome to New England! If you're in the Boston area this weekend, feel free to come by the national cohousing conference going on in Waltham... there's some free events going on as part of it.

Here's the link I think you wanted to make (you left off the http):

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
Planning for Sustainable Communities
at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing

P.S. I think you may find diversity in lots of cohousing neighborhoods... in many dimensions (economic, racial, cultural, etc.). Through adoption, especially.

Umma said...

Let me also recommend Cambridge, MA.

I have gay neighbors; straight neighbors; neighbors with bio children; neighbors with adopted children; white neighbors; AA neighbors; Asian neighbors (primarily Chinese but also Indian and Korean); old neighbors (lived here for 50+ years); new neighbors (lived here for less than a year) and this is just on my dead end street of maybe 40 houses.

It is expensive but there are good jobs with good pay. There are TONS of things to do. My son has special needs and is in the Cambridge school system and he gets fantastic services. There is a great Cambridge/Somerville EI program which we graduated from (seriously AWESOME people.)

I'm not from here but I've adopted this city as my own. The two drawbacks in my opinion are space (you don't get big back yards in Cambridge) and expense but we are making it on a single income.

It's very liberal (the city council declared the city a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants in 2006) and referred to by those who don't live here sometimes as the "People's Republic of Cambridge" I know it's supposed to be an insult but I take pride in living somewhere so liberal :-)

You can feel free to e-mail me if you like. Good luck on your trip.

Andy said...

I don't know if you can find in the US, but you can always come join us here in Canada!

Good luck finding a spot!

Anonymous said...

I'm also interested in cohousing, please blog your travels and experiences :-)

Anonymous said...

Its not too late...

The National Cohousing Conference is just getting started today - and there are still tickets available. This is the best place in the world to get the largest blast of cohousing energy at this moment - now.

Check out the free and low-cost parts of the conference on the cohousing website.

Craig Ragland
Coho/US Exec. Dir.

FosterMommy said...

The Boston area (cambridge, etc.) IS pretty awesome, but also super-duper expensive. Even if you go the co-housing route. If you're looking for cheaper, I seriously don't know if you have many options...Worcester is apparently pretty great, but I don't have personal experience in that.

Our area is great, imo. Cheap housing, our neighborhood has a nice racial/economic mix, etc. Shoot me an email if you want to chat.

And, hey, no matter where you end up, you'll be closer to us and maybe we can all hang out sometime! yay!

Anonymous said...

I lived in NH for 6 years. One of the reasons we really can't move back is that there are no black people there. I literally knew two. It's not that NH is intolerant; everybody's pretty smart and nice. It's just mostly white. You'd do better in Massachusetts, although it's more expensive. If you do want to look at NH, you'd do best to look near Concord, NH.

fostermama said...

What FosterMommy said. Our friends in Worcester are a heterosexual couple who have three kids (various races) adopted as older kids through the state. They are among the awesomest people I know, and could probably tell you anything you wanted to know about the area including all the special info about queer culture, disability services, adoption, etc.

Anonymous said...

what about brattleboro vermont?...great place