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Looking to Relocate ... Ideas?

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10,600
Location
My mother's basement
It's not that sort of store. On-line only. It's in an old machine shop east of Issaquah. ...

Small world that it is, I have friends out that way in the book business. One friend once had an interest in four bricks-and-mortar stores, back when we were dating, going on 30 years ago; she's now down to one. Another couple closed down their retail storefront more than a decade back and have been entirely online ever since. I recall asking one half of that couple, maybe 20 years back, if he was concerned that e-readers would kill the paper book biz. He shrugged and said that even if it does, that would just make the existing paper books more collectible, and that that would remain for as long as he need concern himself with it.

There are now businesses selling books by the pound. It's apparent that these books aren't being bought to be read. Interior decorators back up their Volvo station wagons to the loading dock.

It's not all to the worse. Innumerable volumes that might have gotten into print back before the digital age really don't warrant the use of physical resources now that there are "virtual" means of getting those words and images out into the world.
 
Last edited:

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,157
Location
Los Angeles
I recall asking one half of that couple, maybe 20 years back, if he was concerned that e-readers would kill the paper book biz.

It's an interesting thing I have a retail operation but I work in publishing with a major company. Kindle originals and other direct to "e" novels have recreated the energy, financial incentives and types of writing that made the paperback book the powerhouse it was in the period from 1950 to 1990. They put life back into genre fiction and smacked the mainstream publishing business around the ears for its stupidity. As books became more expensive from the '90s on we were told that there were fewer and fewer readers but that the ones that were left were so serious that they could charge them more money. Because of this we put out title after title in hardback and raised the price of paperbacks ... we did okay but the business as a whole was struggling. My publisher had a chance to create the modern E publishing business but they passed on it and later Amazon picked up the baton. It turns out that there weren't fewer and fewer readers. The books were just too expensive. Kindle Originals makes Amazon as much money as all other publishing COMBINED. It is a HUGE business but the titles are very reasonably priced. Good writers who could write fast, like the paperback hacks of my youth, were making six figures a year.

In the 1950s hardcover publishers said that the American public weren't readers and that paperback sales were a passing fad. Then paperbacks went on to overwhelm and alter the business forever. They didn't raise IQs, however, even in the 2010s the mainstream hardcover/paperback publishers were still making the same mistake when it came to E. If there is one thing to remember in the book business: "it's the price point, stupid."
 
Messages
10,600
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
It would appear to this layperson that being spared the expense of printing and shipping and shelving would allow for a far lower retail price.

As I already noted, so much of what got put in print prior to the digital age just wouldn’t warrant the expense today. It’s pulp without the pulp.

To circle back to your original topic ...

For many of us, these newfangled digital technologies make possible working from a more remote locale. And, on a kinda related note, the pandemic has shown that for many enterprises, an office with an elegantly appointed conference room and all of that isn’t really necessary or even desirable. I’m having visions of “office space for lease” signs.
 
Messages
10,389
Location
vancouver, canada
^^^^^
It would appear to this layperson that being spared the expense of printing and shipping and shelving would allow for a far lower retail price.

As I already noted, so much of what got put in print prior to the digital age just wouldn’t warrant the expense today. It’s pulp without the pulp.

To circle back to your original topic ...

For many of us, these newfangled digital technologies make possible working from a more remote locale. And, on a kinda related note, the pandemic has shown that for many enterprises, an office with an elegantly appointed conference room and all of that isn’t really necessary or even desirable. I’m having visions of “office space for lease” signs.
The jury is still out on that.....my friend who consults with mid sized advertising firms in the US says most of his clients are engaged in reducing their real estate footprint and releasing their workforce to work at home permanently. On the other hand Brookfield about the largest property management firm in Canada....HUGE holdings.....states that their will be an adjustment period but the office space lease market will return to normal levels.
 

EngProf

Practically Family
Messages
597
It's not that sort of store. On-line only. It's in an old machine shop east of Issaquah.





I used to take PA quite seriously, especially the eastern part where you are fairly close to NYC where I do a good deal of business. With NYC circling the toilet and no assurance that my contacts will stay there it's off the list for the time being.



I wouldn't consider living there but you've said a number of things that make me want to visit! Very interesting.



The Nashville area is on the list but I have to get back and see the sort of stuff you are talking about. I think I'd probably locate close but outside the city. I've friends in Lebanon. I really would like to continue to live in a place that is centered around entertainment. I've worked in the recording business on and off for many years so there's a lot of touchstones in Nashville. If Covid is under control I'm going to try to get out this summer and see how I feel about the humidity. I lived in Northern Australia for awhile and had no problem but there's a difference between coastal humidity and inland humidity.

This is all really great input!
If you have some interest in and/or involvement with the music industry, this is your place (Music City, USA). The proportion of Nashville's economy involved with music is less than it once was, but that's mostly because other things such as health care, automobiles, and manufacturing have grown so much. Music is still big, but just somewhat less in the grand scheme of things.
Most people don't realize that companies such as Nissan and GM have moved here in a big way in the relatively recent past.
The headquarters of Nissan North America moved here from California a few years ago. GM's biggest auto manufacturing plant is a just a few miles down the road.
You mentioned Lebanon, and that's where a lot of people from the center of the city are going after they have been gentrified or taxed out of their homes by what used to be called yuppies.
Lebanon is a great place, but be sure to have your friends there teach you the proper/local pronunciation of "Lebanon". You can tell when a new TV news or weather person has just arrived here, since they can't correctly pronounce any of the suburban towns, definitely including Lebanon.
As for the humidity, don't forget that the world here is air-conditioned. You go from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned office (if you go to the office).
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,779
Location
London, UK
For many of us, these newfangled digital technologies make possible working from a more remote locale. And, on a kinda related note, the pandemic has shown that for many enterprises, an office with an elegantly appointed conference room and all of that isn’t really necessary or even desirable. I’m having visions of “office space for lease” signs.

It's certainly going to be interesting. Over here, such a shift has long been resisted because many firms simply don't trust their employees - though the longer people go on working efficiently from home in this present period, the more that old argument drops away. If there's enough take up of this new reality in the longer, post-pandemic era, I have a feeling we'll see vastly more change than simply work location. For one thing, the majority of jobs that can be done from home with minimal change are not blue-collar jobs; I can foresee homeworking vs commuting becoming a significant point of class distinction.

Also, there will be some fields where it just won't fully take. Despite the fact that our students are receiving the same level of teaching (in fact, often more, and with the opportunity for far more one-on-one contact) as they did pre-pandemic, across the university sector there are many precious little poppets shrieking that they have been "robbed" of a "proper university experience", and demanding a fee reduction. This when universities are typically paying out much more, in terms of both man- hours and equipment, in order to be able to continue to deliver the teaching through an online medium. (It's a good thing this pandemic didn't happen twenty years ago when there simple wasn't the tech landscape in place to switch teaching to online delivery the way we have. Given that even then the malignant culture of commodification had already turned tertiary education into a consumer product, with no students there is barely a university in the UK that wouldn't have been bankrupt by Christmas just passed. The sole upside of this is I am rather enjoying watching the senior management strata of the sector - all business money-men who have proudly colluded in the prostitution of our universities - squirming in the face of the kids shrieking for their money back. This is the consumer culture YOU created lads - enjoy it.) A big part of the attraction of much of our market is the idea of coming to London for a year or three. In other projects, such as my work with Beijing, a huge part of the prestige of the programme is the flying lecturer model; the students as of normal times won't accept us not coming to teach in person, and the programme would definitely diminish. (We once used a local Chinese academic, a former PhD student of ours, to deliver a week of teaching and received very bitter complaints from the students, who said if they wanted a Chinese teacher they could have taken a cheaper course elsewhere!)

Office space might be interesting - there is a gradual, cultural shift happening there. When I first started over twenty years ago, my office was in a portacabin for lack of space. A huge office in the main building was occupied by a senior member of staff who used it for *one afternoon* a week (the only office with matching furniture and air con - which she had demanded). No idea how she got away with it, but the demand came from a sense of entitlement - the norm back then was seniority bought status bought office and such. That's gradually changing now, as many of our senior people (who mostly work from home when they don't have class or meetings anyhow) are now in open plan office spaces. I have a feeling we're not far off the introduction of a plan that was shot down years ago (by people rarely seen in the office) that we should have offices for those who spend most of the week there, and hot-desks for those who only come in for meetings and teaching. I can see personal office space becoming more of a home-thing, with building space for meetings and teaching... the corporate way.

The knock-ons will go much further than only office space - it's the coffee shops, the sandwich shops, that serve the office workers that will also be hit. During the first lockdown, Oxford Street businesses were really suffering - yet some local high streets had never had it so good because people had to buy local. Of course, some central London businesses have been hit with loss of market for years with the trend to close down venues of all sorts and replace them with concrete and glass apartments for wealthy foreigners to buy and not live in. (That international drug money isn't going to launder itself!).

I was cynical at the beginning as to how long term the effects of the pandemic experience would really be, but given we're closing in on a year in and only at the peak of two of three waves, I'm not so sure now.
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,157
Location
Los Angeles
^^^^^
It would appear to this layperson that being spared the expense of printing and shipping and shelving would allow for a far lower retail price.

And a far higher royalty. Last time I looked Kindle Originals were paying up to 70%, if you chose the right price point. The major publishers are willing to pay 25% on ebooks, proving that cutting out the publisher is worth a LOT. That said, there is very little support for the author from Kindle ... but there is ALSO very little from major publishers if you are not a celebrity writer. The majors are also turning their backs on genre fiction, particularly genre fiction that appeals to men.

The jury is still out on that.....my friend who consults with mid sized advertising firms in the US says most of his clients are engaged in reducing their real estate footprint and releasing their workforce to work at home permanently. On the other hand Brookfield about the largest property management firm in Canada....HUGE holdings.....states that their will be an adjustment period but the office space lease market will return to normal levels.

The people I work with in NYC are not planning to move back into their unbelievably expensive multi floor Manhattan office floors any time soon. Personally I think they'd be best to dump most of that white elephant and allow many to work at home. But they've spent a great deal getting everyone into that building, so I doubt they'll reverse course until they start to really feel the pinch.

If you have some interest in and/or involvement with the music industry, this is your place (Music City, USA). The proportion of Nashville's economy involved with music is less than it once was, but that's mostly because other things such as health care, automobiles, and manufacturing have grown so much. Music is still big, but just somewhat less in the grand scheme of things.

I never worked in music, but in Radio/Audio Drama and Film ... so I'm very comfortable around recording studios and with musicians. I need to be in a place where there is infrastructure and personnel to deal with on-line promotion, sales, etc and have certain sorts of technical excellence in areas where I merely dabble.

Given that even then the malignant culture of commodification had already turned tertiary education into a consumer product, with no students there is barely a university in the UK that wouldn't have been bankrupt by Christmas just passed. The sole upside of this is I am rather enjoying watching the senior management strata of the sector - all business money-men who have proudly colluded in the prostitution of our universities - squirming in the face of the kids shrieking for their money back.

I suspect that education in the US has been sort of a bubble economy. Inefficient aspects have expanded very quickly because the customers, the students, parents, and lenders, have not been very attentive. The system is so unwieldy that I doubt it can learn or adjust very quickly. I predict years of limping along pretending nothing is wrong then confusion, finger pointing, and pain.
 

Bugguy

Practically Family
Messages
563
Location
Nashville, TN
If you have some interest in and/or involvement with the music industry, this is your place (Music City, USA). The proportion of Nashville's economy involved with music is less than it once was, but that's mostly because other things such as health care, automobiles, and manufacturing have grown so much. Music is still big, but just somewhat less in the grand scheme of things.
Most people don't realize that companies such as Nissan and GM have moved here in a big way in the relatively recent past.
The headquarters of Nissan North America moved here from California a few years ago. GM's biggest auto manufacturing plant is a just a few miles down the road.
You mentioned Lebanon, and that's where a lot of people from the center of the city are going after they have been gentrified or taxed out of their homes by what used to be called yuppies.
Lebanon is a great place, but be sure to have your friends there teach you the proper/local pronunciation of "Lebanon". You can tell when a new TV news or weather person has just arrived here, since they can't correctly pronounce any of the suburban towns, definitely including Lebanon.
As for the humidity, don't forget that the world here is air-conditioned. You go from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned office (if you go to the office).

EngProf is right with all the pros and cons for Nashville. We moved down here from Chicago (via 10 yrs in Cincinnati) 6 years ago to retire close to our daughter and grandchild. We live in the near south suburb of Nolensville. Williamson County has great schools and is growing like mad. The cost of living is reasonable, no state income tax, and my property taxes are super low compared to Cinci and Chgo. Services are good and the county dump is close by - not paying for garbage pick-up for 2 oldsters. We're very satisfied here.

The downside, however, is all of Nolensville and surrounding rural properties are for sale. Ditto everything surrounding the city. All the lifers are trying to cash out. Developers are building mega-developments, medium density condos and townhouses, and expensive track developments. The county and towns are banking the property taxes, development fees, and anything else they can attach. The only N-S road through Nolensville is two-lane and bumper to bumper past the housing and strip mall developments. There is no infrastructure development in progress, no road widening, haven't heard of any school expansion, wetlands preservation, etc. I've only heard one comment suggesting that the regional planning board hasn't slotted us for a planning review till 2030. I won't be around long enough to see any benefit from that. If you go west of the city, however, you rub shoulders with the CW elite and their $ million+ estates, but hey, they still shop at Kroger and and are seen around town. Plenty of planning going on in their communities (Franklin).

All-in-all, we have no regrets. Up to now, I've felt the Nashville culture is very supportive of its independent businesses and the big chains are here, but not dominating the retail space (aside from Dollar and Dollar General - more here than bars in Chicago).

Again, EngProf is right on target.
 

EngProf

Practically Family
Messages
597
^^^Ever hang out in Printer's Alley? That bar row was a blast.:D

Printer's Alley was then and is now a good place to go, but the locals in those days went to other such places about three blocks away, which in our opinion were better in all respects.
Along with their positive qualities inside, they were located less than a block away from my office. After work it was easy to talk some of our office crew into walking across the street and sitting for a while "until the traffic died down."
We became part of the regular gang, sort of like Norm and Cliff on "Cheers".

If I had known you way back then I would have invited you to go along with us.

As bugguy says, there is no limit to the greed of developers in Nashville, so that area is unfortunately now a multi-story luxury condo.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
Printer's Alley was then and is now a good place to go, but the locals in those days went to other such places about three blocks away, which in our opinion were better in all respects.
If I had known you way back then I would have invited you to go along with us.

...ah the Printer's Alley I referred to was a bit rowdy, bars, strip clubs, occasional man knifed dead in the
back alley, but action, gambling, and lovely and very accommodating women to the 101st Airborne.
I preferred hauling my squad along with me in case a bar fight erupted. I don't believe this is the same place....
 

EngProf

Practically Family
Messages
597
...ah the Printer's Alley I referred to was a bit rowdy, bars, strip clubs, occasional man knifed dead in the
back alley, but action, gambling, and lovely and very accommodating women to the 101st Airborne.
I preferred hauling my squad along with me in case a bar fight erupted. I don't believe this is the same place....
Your description is *exactly* what Printer's Alley was like a long time ago, and all of those things you mentioned are exactly why we got our female-viewing entertainment a few blocks away.
Was one of your Printer's Alley "haunts" "Skull's Rainbow Room"? "Skull", the owner of the place, was murdered sometime back in those days. Can't remember if he was stabbed or shot...
We just wanted a placid place to do a little beer drinking and some observing of the scenery. It was such a laid-back place that after you established yourself as one of the "regulars" the dancers didn't even try to get you to buy more drinks. They would sit and just make pleasant conversation...
In a way that connects to the "looking to relocate" main topic. Our choice of location for entertainment had a real "down-home" Nashville friendliness to it.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
Your description is *exactly* what Printer's Alley was like a long time ago, and all of those things you mentioned are exactly why we got our female-viewing entertainment a few blocks away.
Was one of your Printer's Alley "haunts" "Skull's Rainbow Room"? "Skull", the owner of the place, was murdered sometime back in those days. Can't remember if he was stabbed or shot...
Our choice of location for entertainment had a real "down-home" Nashville friendliness to it.

Sorry to hear about Skull. The Room was center focus, dead man's spot. My first time there a line
of blood trickled down the street, cops surrounding a knife victim. I opened the door, liked what
I saw on stage, and the gang readily agreed we had found our bar. Skull's was "dead man's" ever after.
A wild place but a guy could relax there. Great jazz, a surprise for what is the world famous country music
Mecca. The Carousel, some other dives. Nashville possessed that magical sensuous southern quality; yet
reminiscent of Baudelaire, "...where evil comes up softly as a flower."
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,157
Location
Los Angeles
The downside, however, is all of Nolensville and surrounding rural properties are for sale. Ditto everything surrounding the city. All the lifers are trying to cash out. I've only heard one comment suggesting that the regional planning board hasn't slotted us for a planning review till 2030. I won't be around long enough to see any benefit from that. If you go west of the city, however, you rub shoulders with the CW elite and their $ million+ estates, but hey, they still shop at Kroger and and are seen around town. Plenty of planning going on in their communities (Franklin).

With all the other towns around Nashville I have always wondered what it was about Franklin that made it so expensive. As far as I've seen the properties aren't astoundingly different than other places, like Murfreesboro. I'll have to get there on the ground and have a look around. I wonder where the Nashville area "lifers" are going ... other than senior's homes. I haven't been there in a long time but downtown Nashville never appealed to me as much as Dallas or Ft Worth but the surrounding area is much nicer! I like a place where I can go for a drive and see something other than the white lines.
 

camjr

Familiar Face
Messages
62
Location
DFW, TX
We here in Dallas/Fort Worth would love to have you. Just stay away from Austin. It's turned into exactly what you're trying to get away from.

Cheers
 
Messages
10,389
Location
vancouver, canada
We here in Dallas/Fort Worth would love to have you. Just stay away from Austin. It's turned into exactly what you're trying to get away from.

Cheers
We were in a bar in Butte Montana pre Covid...sitting at the bar nursing a beer. A young couple finished, asked for the bill and when presented with it the young fellow called the server back and said I think you forgot a round...we had two each. The server said yes that was correct. The guy looked at me with a smile and said hell I would be paying that for just ONE craft beer in Austin....not 4.
 

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