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View Poll Results: Midwest relocation (best options)
Kansas City 15 22.73%
Indianapolis 11 16.67%
Louisville 15 22.73%
St. Louis 19 28.79%
Omaha 3 4.55%
Des Moines 6 9.09%
None of these options 8 12.12%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-03-2019, 01:11 AM
 
Location: West Allis, WI
16 posts, read 14,829 times
Reputation: 31

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Hello there, 31 year old single black male with a baby.
I currently work in quality assurance in the automotive manufacturing industry. Iím a blue collar guy, planning to move sometime between now and this summer from Milwaukee. I still haven't made up my mind where to move, but it looks like I'm staying in the midwest just to be within a day trip from my son during periods when he's with his mother. The ultimate factors for me are the jobs, (warehouse supply chain, logistics; in the QA field) daycare costs, and quality of life. I love going on leisurely walks, to baseball games, to bars and clubs from time to time, discover hidden gems and restaurants, and just observe the natural beauty of where I live.
I do not like the snow, and especially the cold, but these are my best options...

Kansas City (beautiful dt in pictures, I like the demographics. Pro baseball, and great history, but its 8 hours away...)
Omaha (I just like what I've read)
Des Moines (a small metro, but its close, and I havent read anything too negative about the city)
Indianapolis (driven through plenty of times. I have family there, and I lived in South Bend for 10 years as a kid, so I know Indiana sort of...)
Louisville (only driven through, but I've been reading and hearing great things about the city)
St. Louis (spent a weekend there and had fun, but I know living there is a different story... it's only 4 plus hours away)

((Cities I'm avoiding are Madison, Chicago metro, Twin cities due to harsh winters. Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Nashville, Lexington just don't appeal to me))

Of course there's plenty of negatives with any city, I just have to choose the most tolerable and plan, then execute my move...

Iím looking for opinions on these factors:

Cost of living/housing (all these cities are fairly cheap. I'll be looking for a one or two bedroom in the $500-$750 range. I'm a city guy so I don't plan on living in the suburbs)
Jobs (manufacturing, QA. stronger job markets)*
People (strong cultural diversity and a Hispanic presence, racial tolerance. All in all Iím looking for the normal friendliness, hospitality, acceptance)
Crime (a couple of these cities have bad crime, and I'm from a city with high crime rates)
Better public schools (I'm from MKE, and MPS is consistently one of the worse every year)
Family fun/best place to raise my son
Nightlife (best place for singles. I'm looking to settle down sooner than later, and start a family)
Politics (Iím progressive and liberal minded, basically.)
Natural beauty (no mountains in the midwest, but still there's plenty of beauty)
Sports (I love going to baseball games, but I also like going to basketball games, whether its NBA or college)

This is a big decision and Iíve been overthinking it for the longest lol. Again, I've done tons of research and read numerous forums. Next step is obviously visiting and making weekend trips...
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,182 posts, read 10,224,748 times
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I’m not familiar with your chosen career, but with your interests (and chosen places) it sounds like KC or Indianapolis would be the best choices. Probably Indianapolis since it’s closer to Milwaukee and you’re familiar with it. No MLB team, but an NBA team and still plenty to do along with easy drives to Bloomington, Chicago, Cincinnati etc. It’s also fairly diverse, and liberal despite being in a conservative state.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:20 AM
 
2,174 posts, read 823,098 times
Reputation: 1717
Since you like baseball, I would strongly suggest KC given that you're in Automotive. KC is home to couple large assembly plants for Ford & GM.

You may also consider St. Louis and Louisville. Louisville has a strong college basketball culture (no NBA team) and is home to two large Ford plants (as well as another GM plant less than 2 hours away), but it lacks a MLB team. Meanwhile, St. Louis has a big GM plant and baseball team, but it has similar Rust Belt scars as places like Detroit and Cleveland and also lacks a NBA team.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:29 AM
 
Location: West Allis, WI
16 posts, read 14,829 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks for the responses so far. I work in quality Assurance, so I can do that in any field, not necessarily in an automotive environment. I've worked with medical devices and equipment also. I dabble in all areas of my field.
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:17 AM
 
9,116 posts, read 9,268,485 times
Reputation: 5581
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstarrzflow View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. I work in quality Assurance, so I can do that in any field, not necessarily in an automotive environment. I've worked with medical devices and equipment also. I dabble in all areas of my field.
I would like to point out Des Moines is basically due west of Chicago and is much colder than the others.
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:27 AM
 
Location: East Coast
353 posts, read 214,618 times
Reputation: 459
You can make a good life anywhere it’s all about attitude and making your own fun. I’d pick Louisville, I like forested areas, the location, weather and vibe. Next would be KC. Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:00 PM
 
5,798 posts, read 13,904,929 times
Reputation: 3388
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
I would like to point out Des Moines is basically due west of Chicago and is much colder than the others.
So is Omaha.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,116 posts, read 1,395,038 times
Reputation: 1499
Guess I'll stick up for Des Moines. It's slightly smaller than Omaha and Louisville, and significantly smaller than KC, Indy, and STL, but has an unemployment rate lower than any of them. As far as city proper goes, the public schools are probably on par with Omaha and a notch above the rest. The caveat is that they generally aren't as good as those in the suburbs. It's not like Alabama where if you live in a certain zone, your child can only go to that school should they use the public system. If you want to live in say, the Beaverdale neighborhood (it's still part of DSM proper), you should be able to enroll your son in a school in Urbandale (which is a separate municipality) if you want.



It's not super-diverse (still at least 60% Caucasian) but it still has a visible African-American and Hispanic presence (about 15% apiece). Most people are pretty accepting, and they're at least used to diversity (it is home to thousands of refugees from places such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sudan, Somalia, El Salvador, and Bosnia). DSM has a few sketchy spots (mostly on the east and south side) but has the lowest amount of crime out of the list.


I'm not sure what activities you'd like to do with your sun. The fishing isn't the greatest, but Big Creek/Saylorville is a fine enough place for boating. If you like hunting, Iowa is second to none when it comes to whitetail deer and pheasants. Pappajohn Park, the Science Center of Iowa, and the Des Moines Botanical Garden are certainly family-friendly. If you're looking for something cultural, there's the Living History Farms in Urbandale, and the Iowa State Fair each August. If you want to take a day trip, there's the Amana Colonies (a self-sufficient German-American village straight out of the 1850s), the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, and the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids (each of these are roughly 2 hours east of Des Moines).


Nightlife doesn't really stand out - of course there are the standard bars and clubs, and there are regular events at the Wells Fargo Arena. They should have something for everybody.


DSM does have high-level minor league sports (I-Cubs play AAA ball at Principal Park, and it has an Arena Football team in the Barnstormers, and an NBA D-league and an NHL farm team). This year, WFA hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, so if you can score some tickets and make it to DSM in late March, I'm sure you'd have a blast there (but be careful as I believe they are the most expensive tickets anywhere this year, and will only get pricier if either Iowa or ISU end up playing in Des Moines). Speaking of, most Iowans fall under two camps (UI and ISU) and you might find yourself having to pick a side (Des Moines is ground zero for the Cy-Hawk rivalry).


Politically it's purple, maybe slightly bluish. It's definitely one of the most progressive cities in the group, but there's some redness in the suburbs (but I think that's the case with most US cities).


Natural scenery is nothing to write home about. If you like rolling hills and soybean/cornfields, there's a lot of that in Central Iowa. The Ledges State Park is about 45 minutes north of Des Moines and would be a fun place for hiking and camping, it's definitely a stark contrast to the rest of the area. Northeast Iowa has some fairly dramatic scenery along the Mississippi River (the Driftless Area). It's not truly mountainous, but it's definitely rugged, and not unlike the Appalachian foothills.


You get a full four seasons in Des Moines. The summers can be hot and muggy, but they're not excessively long like they are in the South. Springtime and fall are pleasant (mid-April through mid-June, and early September through late October). The winters are cold and fairly lengthy, but other than being dry and windy they're usually not too brutal. The snowfall is moderate (i.e. nowhere near as bad as say Buffalo) and the mid-winter highs are typically between 20 and 40 degrees. The nightly lows are usually in the teens. It can get an occasional cold snap with temps below zero, but sometimes these are followed up by highs in the 50s just a few days later (it literally just happened this way a few days ago).
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:38 AM
 
Location: East Coast
353 posts, read 214,618 times
Reputation: 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
Guess I'll stick up for Des Moines. It's slightly smaller than Omaha and Louisville, and significantly smaller than KC, Indy, and STL, but has an unemployment rate lower than any of them. As far as city proper goes, the public schools are probably on par with Omaha and a notch above the rest. The caveat is that they generally aren't as good as those in the suburbs. It's not like Alabama where if you live in a certain zone, your child can only go to that school should they use the public system. If you want to live in say, the Beaverdale neighborhood (it's still part of DSM proper), you should be able to enroll your son in a school in Urbandale (which is a separate municipality) if you want.



It's not super-diverse (still at least 60% Caucasian) but it still has a visible African-American and Hispanic presence (about 15% apiece). Most people are pretty accepting, and they're at least used to diversity (it is home to thousands of refugees from places such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sudan, Somalia, El Salvador, and Bosnia). DSM has a few sketchy spots (mostly on the east and south side) but has the lowest amount of crime out of the list.


I'm not sure what activities you'd like to do with your sun. The fishing isn't the greatest, but Big Creek/Saylorville is a fine enough place for boating. If you like hunting, Iowa is second to none when it comes to whitetail deer and pheasants. Pappajohn Park, the Science Center of Iowa, and the Des Moines Botanical Garden are certainly family-friendly. If you're looking for something cultural, there's the Living History Farms in Urbandale, and the Iowa State Fair each August. If you want to take a day trip, there's the Amana Colonies (a self-sufficient German-American village straight out of the 1850s), the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, and the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids (each of these are roughly 2 hours east of Des Moines).


Nightlife doesn't really stand out - of course there are the standard bars and clubs, and there are regular events at the Wells Fargo Arena. They should have something for everybody.


DSM does have high-level minor league sports (I-Cubs play AAA ball at Principal Park, and it has an Arena Football team in the Barnstormers, and an NBA D-league and an NHL farm team). This year, WFA hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, so if you can score some tickets and make it to DSM in late March, I'm sure you'd have a blast there (but be careful as I believe they are the most expensive tickets anywhere this year, and will only get pricier if either Iowa or ISU end up playing in Des Moines). Speaking of, most Iowans fall under two camps (UI and ISU) and you might find yourself having to pick a side (Des Moines is ground zero for the Cy-Hawk rivalry).


Politically it's purple, maybe slightly bluish. It's definitely one of the most progressive cities in the group, but there's some redness in the suburbs (but I think that's the case with most US cities).


Natural scenery is nothing to write home about. If you like rolling hills and soybean/cornfields, there's a lot of that in Central Iowa. The Ledges State Park is about 45 minutes north of Des Moines and would be a fun place for hiking and camping, it's definitely a stark contrast to the rest of the area. Northeast Iowa has some fairly dramatic scenery along the Mississippi River (the Driftless Area). It's not truly mountainous, but it's definitely rugged, and not unlike the Appalachian foothills.


You get a full four seasons in Des Moines. The summers can be hot and muggy, but they're not excessively long like they are in the South. Springtime and fall are pleasant (mid-April through mid-June, and early September through late October). The winters are cold and fairly lengthy, but other than being dry and windy they're usually not too brutal. The snowfall is moderate (i.e. nowhere near as bad as say Buffalo) and the mid-winter highs are typically between 20 and 40 degrees. The nightly lows are usually in the teens. It can get an occasional cold snap with temps below zero, but sometimes these are followed up by highs in the 50s just a few days later (it literally just happened this way a few days ago).
Iíve heard good things about Des Moines, I have a friend from Staten Island NY who relocated there and says he likes it a lot but wishes the singles scene was better. Of course heís a nerd so thereís that 😄 but good bio on the town ☝️
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:58 AM
 
6,504 posts, read 13,816,134 times
Reputation: 4041
I voted for STL and Louisville.

Louisville is quite affordable. It has a pretty good manufacturing sector still, and actually at least 1 or 2 car/truck plants I can think of off the top of my head. It's a refugee resettlement city for Cuban refugees, and a lot of Mexicans have moved there as well so the tacos are great (this is coming from me, having been born and raised in LA). Louisville itself is quite liberal and racially tolerant, but it's still Kentucky. Socially and politically, it's night and day between Louisville and KY, so if you stick within the city, you're good. I know people that moved to Louisville from Southern Indiana and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky because they wanted more liberal and Indy and Cinci are not as liberal as Louisville. It's not unsafe per se, but the crime sticks to very specific areas and you'll learn where to avoid quickly. The schools I'm not sure about, but it's Jefferson County schools, not Louisville as a city. Idk about raising kids, but it seems like a lot of people with kids live right in the city and/or its urban neighborhoods right on the periphery of the urban core. The nightlife is great for its size with a 4am last call and a couple different neighborhoods like Downtown, NuLu, Highlands, Germantown, and Clifton being the top choices. It's not in the mountains, but the terrain is quite hilly and it's right on the Ohio River. Drive out of the city a bit, and there is a lot of natural scenery just outside the city. The city has a professional soccer team that's really popular now and it's getting its own stadium. The minor league Bats have a field right in downtown and they get a good crowd. And with UofL, you get all the UofL basketball and football games (though one is clearly much better than the other currently).

Idk specific details of STL, but it just seems like it would also fit what you're looking for so I voted for it also.
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