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Should I Have Stayed?

The latest issue of “Cities Ranked & Rated” is out. The 820-page book by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander rates more than 400 metro areas in the U.S. and Canada in ten categories from economy to crime rates. The authors give the most weight to the three categories they say most affect daily life: cost of living, climate, and quality of life.

Charlottesville, VA, home to the University of Virginia, was ranked the best place to live in the USA before Santa Fe, NM, and San Luis Obispo, CA. The local magazine The Hook asked why, and here are some answers.

We moved from Charlottesville to Missouri not too long ago. So why did we leave? The city of Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle county is an expensive place to live. I couldn’t charge more for my services in Virginia, and M.’s salary at UVa was shockingly low – our mistake, it turned out, we just looked at the money and forgot to factor in the honor of working at Mr. Jefferson’s university.

But we did not sever all ties. I still spend a good bit of time in Charlottesville, and our daughter goes to school there. One of the big advantages of all the money in and all the tourists to Charlottesville/Albemarle are decent airline connections in and out of the regional airport.

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