Adding in my three remaining requirements—nice weather, a commercial district, and close proximity to a body of water—makes the search futile. I spend my weekends scouring Google Maps for places that look interesting, affordable, and hospitable to people of all ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations. On the plus side, dating isn’t a concern, so demographics aren’t important, and a career switch from publishing to property management means that I no longer need be tethered to a major city.
Still, that doesn’t make my search much easier. So far, the areas near Arcata and Fortuna seem nice. (I’m amused that the typical double wide in the region is superior to a basic New Jersey ranch—at only a sixth of the price!) Of course, were money no object I’d have moved to Santa Barbara long ago—best weather you’ll find in a blue state.
The search continues.