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Imran Zaidi September 2nd, 2004 11:34 AM

Not another Hurricane!
Yes, it looks like just 3 weeks after one destructive hurricane, we're facing another, even more destructive hurricane.

Mother nature must be mad at us... there haven't been two destructive hurricanes to hit Florida within one season since around WWI - 1915.

And here in central florida, the last really destructive hurricane to hit us was in 1960. And to get two in one year? Wowsers.

I've been here for almost 20 years, but who else is thinking about moving to another state?!

Ken Tanaka September 2nd, 2004 11:59 AM

Come to Chicago!
  • No hurricanes
  • No earthquakes
  • No mudslides
  • No forest fires
  • Terrific cultural scenes
  • Occasional small floods far from the city and sometimes under viaducts after strong storms
  • Quality of life is high
  • Extensive public transportation system -- the best in the country
  • Easy to get anywhere in the world directly - although not always on-time
  • Easy to navigate the city - it's laid-out on a simple Cartesian grid, not like Boston
  • Four seasons
  • Winters are not nearly as severe as popular mythology suggests

Imran Zaidi September 2nd, 2004 12:10 PM

Between your great photography of the place and this spiel you're really starting to sell me. I've actually wanted really badly to at least come visit some time soon - Chicago has always intrigued me but I've never been.

What would you say is the best time of year to visit?

Imran Zaidi September 2nd, 2004 12:22 PM

I just checked weather.com's recorded averages and highs/lows for Chicago, and it really does seem like a safe haven...


Jeff Donald September 2nd, 2004 12:29 PM

You know I was just thinking about the "Great Blizzard of 1978". I was living in Cleveland at the time and when it hit in the early morning hours it had sustain winds of over 75mph, making it an inland hurricane. Then of course there was the "Great Chicago Fire", but I'm not telling you anything new, you were in what, the first or second grade, Ken?

Ken Tanaka September 2nd, 2004 12:51 PM

Imran: From a pure weather perspective, late June/July and September/early October are the best times to visit. The prime outdoor season here runs throughout the summer, as there is a weekly succession of festivals in Grant Park throughout those months. In fact, this weekend marks the end of that annual festival season with the Chicago Jazz Festival, the largest free outdoor jazz festival in the world. As I look out my window I can see final preparations for tomorrow's opening. So if you want to flee Frances this is the perfect weekend! Next weekend is the official end-of season with Celtic Fest, a much smaller but very interesting event. But Chicago really has no season, per se. It's a big city with an endless number of things to do any day and nearly any time of day.

Jeff: I have some old cyanotype prints of the Fire that I shot when I was a kid. (Mrs. O'Leary's cow looked much better than Mrrs. O'Leary.) I was in my final year of grad school in 1978, so I was not in Chicago. But I did not escape the storm. In Champaign, IL we got a terrible ice storm that was really frightening.

Michael Wisniewski September 2nd, 2004 01:42 PM

Imran, I moved away from the San Francisco Bay Area because the weather was so damn perfect! ... all the time, all year round!

Now I'm really enjoying the changing of the seasons here in New York even if all the east coast people think I'm crazy.

John Hudson September 2nd, 2004 04:43 PM

Forget Chicago! Come to San Diego!

  • No hurricanes
  • No earthquakes - Okay, maybe some minor tremors from time to time.
  • No mudslides
  • No forest fires - Those were'nt forest fires last year, but more like brush fires.
  • Terrific cultural scenes
  • No small floods far from the city and sometimes under viaducts after strong storms. Of course it never rains and we are in a drought.
  • Quality of life is high - Even higher on the checkbook
  • Extensive public transportation system
  • Easy to get anywhere in the world directly
  • Easy to navigate the city - the COunty is whole notha' matter
  • Four seasons - We have Fall, WInter, Spring and SUmmer but it feels like Spring and Summer
  • Winters are not nearly as severe as say Chicago

Hmmmm. The more I think about it, maybe I should move east. :/

Brack Craver September 2nd, 2004 10:03 PM

San Diego is awesome. If it wasn't so expensive that would be the place to live.

John Hudson September 2nd, 2004 10:40 PM

Im a Native and it is indeed awesome. The housing market, though, is an insult. Just doesnt make any sense.

Imran Zaidi September 3rd, 2004 10:48 AM

Here's a question... do these two states, Illinois and California, have state tax?

One of the things that makes Florida very profitable is that there's no state income tax. I'm not sure which states have it and which don't... I know that Florida, Washington, and I think Oregon don't have state tax. I know there are others, but not sure which.

Ken Tanaka September 3rd, 2004 11:03 AM

Both states have income taxes. Illinois' is a flat 3%. But California's state income taxes are a rather complex matter ranging between 1% - 9% of AGI.

Washington state has no state income tax but Oregon does.

Imran Zaidi September 3rd, 2004 11:11 AM

Ah, thanks for that link. It appears there are 7 states that collect no state income tax:

South Dakota

Jeff Donald September 3rd, 2004 02:08 PM

Montana has no sales tax.

Imran Zaidi September 3rd, 2004 02:43 PM

Weird - according to that site there are only 7 states without it, and Montana's, it says, ranges between 2% and 11%.

Looks like Hurricane Frances won't be as bad as originally feared. Still a dangerous Hurricane, but it's going pretty slowly, and hopefully will burn itself out a bit before really making a hard landfall. We can only hope...

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