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Using the Web to Explore A New City

Hey, if you’re considering a new place to live, or you’ve already decided, the Net can make life easier for you. Sure, it’s tough locating a place to live from afar, but once there, it’ll also take you a while to connect with people, and even to get advice, like, on what neighborhoods are like or where’s a good dry cleaner. Here are some practical tips to help you get started using overlooked high-tech resources to get your life restarted in a new place.

You already know that a lot of life results from who you know. There are some ways where the Web and other tools makes that a little more open, in areas like finding a place to live, a job, and people to connect with.
There are a lot of corporate-style sites which advertise heavily, and you know about already.

Here, I’m going to show my bias for those small sites with more of a human voice, which tend more to be a labor of love. The reason is that people on the Net gravitate toward the honest, the humane, and tend to be cynical regarding sites which regard you as potential customers rather than people.

Labors of love on the Net tend to be local, and quirky, and intermittent. You generally have to find them the hard way, by word of mouth, or sometimes a good search.

I’d start with Google, using the combination of search words you need, a combination of the city you’re interested in, and what you’re looking for. You probablyknow all about that.

You might not know about Usenet news groups, which are an early form of bulletin board on the Net. They’ve suffered, in terms of usage, for a number of reasons, including lack of support from most ISP help desks. Try searching using Google groups, that is, groups.google.com. For major geographic areas, try the groups starting with a common acronymn, like ba.* for the San Francisco Bay Area, or nyc.* for New York.

There’s no substitute, though, for a good party/events list. These often have a little underground quality, and are harder to find. To get a good flavor of them, try Bernardo’s List for NYC

bernardo.targabot.com or

March 25, 2002
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