Guest Blog Post: How to Survive and Thrive in a New City by Snarkaholic

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Posted on 07/16/2009

We'd like to introduce what will hopefully be the first of many guest blog posts by one of our faithful readers! Janet at Snarkaholic writes, often irreverently, always humorously, about moving from the Midwest to the city of the stars, Los Angeles, and how she and her husband have dealt with going from experiencing "Minnesota Nice" to LA attitude.

Three years ago, my husband and I moved halfway across the country from Minneapolis to Los Angeles after just five months of marriage. It was a huge culture shock, especially since we didn’t have time to suss out the city before moving since his job offer came so quickly. It took us some time to get used to our palm tree-filled surroundings, and we stumbled a lot, but now we consider ourselves experts on acclimating to and thriving in new cities. With today’s economy, you have to take jobs whenever and wherever they come up, but don’t sacrifice your social life! Read on for some tips on living in a new place.

Join a Group - CraigsList is a great place to find people with like-minded interests, from hiking to Scrabble. I found my local knitting group there and every Tuesday night, you’ll find me purling up a storm as I chat and unwind with the wonderful ladies I met there.

Trust the Local Yokels - CitySearch and Yelp have networks for most major US cities where you can get restaurant, hotel, spa, and other business reviews from locals. You never know what great new place you’ll find! The local paper will also have announcements for events, businesses, and social opportunities.

The Phone Book is NOT Necessarily Your Friend - Need a plumber or electrician (or even a physician?) in your new city? Don’t just turn to the phone book and be seduced by attractive ads. Angie's List and Better Business Bureau are designed to help you find reliable, affordably priced contractors, veterinarians, doctors, and more.

Volunteer - Love working with kids? Always dreamed of sewing costumes for a show? Check out the local newspaper for upcoming events and local charities.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask - Like your momma said, “If you don’t ask, how will you ever know anything?” From AAA (they helped us get our new CA license plates and tabs!) to the DMV, you’d be surprised at how helpful officials can be when you’ve got a question about city rules & regulations. And don't forget, your new coworkers and neighbors have been in your shoes at one time or another, and they’re happy to steer you around.

By Janet Cowan

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Walgreen's - Get all the stuff you need for your new home, and save $5 off orders over $25 with coupon code DELIGHT. Expires 07/17/2009.

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