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Old 12-25-2013, 11:48 PM
51 posts, read 73,087 times
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Originally Posted by Carrera32 View Post
OV - I don't know where you reside, but I think your geography is a bit off. The downtown area from Bijou to Uintah St mostly encompasses the campus of Colorado College, hardly a ghetto. The area immediately around Bijou that I think you're referring to is the library, and it's true, it's a gathering place for the homeless. I volunteer at that library and while some of the characters are a bit sketchy, I have never been approached, panhandled, or otherwise bothered by any of them. The adjacent industrial area to the southwest of Bijou down near the old train station and south along Sierra Madre isn't an area I'd walk around at night, but in the daytime it's not a problem at all (there's absolutely no reason to be in that area at night anyway other than a couple of restaurants just down from Bijou near Pikes Peak Community College).

You also wrote off "all of Tejon." Wow! Tejon is the main downtown core shopping and entertainment area. While a couple of the bars may have some issues on occasion, the impression you're giving is that it's a hotbed of violent crime. I live a few blocks from the downtown core and have absolutely no hesitation walking in and around that area. Granted, my nightlife pretty much consists of movies at Kimballs, dinner at any number of restaurants in that area, and performances at the Pikes Peak Center and at the Colorado College campus, and I don't bar crawl at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, but come on...don't write off an entire area so cavalierly. Also, Tejon north of the core goes right through the Old North End neighborhood where I live. It's one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. It's a fairly affluent area and there are instances of crimes of opportunity, mostly unattended personal property and some rowdiness at college parties in the immediate campus area.

I read occasional posts here relating folks being "accosted" by the street people downtown and seemingly fearing for their lives. Gimme a break. Yes, occasionally you'll get panhandled. That's life in any city core. Just say no and they'll back off. Most won't bother you at all. Just ignore them. If you can't handle that, there are plenty of antiseptic 'burbs on the outskirts of the city where you won't have to encounter anyone who isn't just like you.

Suggest you put down your crime stat sheet and explore downtown a bit before you write it off. Go to Kimballs for movies that actually have plots and dialogue; have dinner at Springs Orleans, the Famous, Jose Muldoons, Saigon Cafe, Il Vicino, etc.; take in the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (it's really excellent); explore the small art galleries and the Fine Arts Center; spend a couple of hours at Poor Richards... All these are what a city is all about and they're all in the area you wrote off. And don't worry, you don't have to fear for your life.

There, I feel better now.
okay I may have over-exaggerated Tejon street, I didn't mean literally all of tejon, because some of it has nothing at all to see. I meant the downtown area. you may not get shot or stabbed walking around downtown tejon but there are too many drunks. Downtown tejon after 10PM there is always a bunch of cops. Nobody who isn't in their late teens to early 20's wants to be walking around tejon street on the weekend after 10pm.

On the other hand, Manitou seems really clean, safe and just an awesome environment to walk around.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:38 AM
3,493 posts, read 4,706,647 times
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Due to the way the original post was organized and weaved questions throughout, I have interspersed answers in bold to allow for an easier flow.

Originally Posted by Pawsfurthought View Post
Hey guys!! In a bit of a conundrum, and hoping for a lil help...

So my family and I moved to SE MN about 5 years ago from western SD. We came here because where we were in SD offered little in educational or employment opportunies for my husband and I or our now 12-year-old son. We left friends and family there, which was hard.
I understand. That's a difficult move.

So, here's the issue: 5 years later, we still have little to no real connections here. We have little we do on the weekends, etc. While people here are "surface nice," though we are friendly and outgoing we have made no real friends. Add to this, my husband HATES the winters here, and I am not terribly fond of the humid, bug-infested summers.
Yes, the weather in SE-MN is absolutely dreadful. I lived near there for several years and hated it.

We are now thinking of moving, yet again. To the Springs. We would love to be closer to family, but really the prospects in Rapid City have remained essentially the same, so the "only" draw there is our friends and family. The Springs, however, are only about 7 hours from these folks, while now we're about 11.5 hours away. Plus, the climate in the Springs is one that would please both my DH and I...
I love being near friends and family, but I was in a similar situation and decided to move to the springs. Several of them have now moved to CoS to join me. I would send them our weather forecast each week, and pictures of the mountains while I was out walking.

So here are the things that make me stop and pause. I have just completed a teaching degree, graduate level, that allows me to teach kids with learning disabilities (SLD), autism (ASD), and emotional issues (EBD). Anyone know how this would transfer to CO? And about how much money I could expect in the Springs? On this topic, my husband currently does work in farm drainage. Any call for that out there? Or how about welding?
There are teaching jobs, supposedly most are competitive. I can assure you there are still kids with those issues out here. I know nothing about farm drainage or welding, so I will leave that to other posters.

We would also probably need to rent for a while, and have 2 dogs (under 50 pounds, friendly mutts) and 2 old cats. What are the odds of finding a rental somewhere I will feel safe at night? Yes, apartments or rental houses will be available. If it is a house, you'll want a private land lord, and he will probably want to meet the dogs. You're looking at a minimum 800/month, but a budget of 1k/month would make it much easier. If you are budgeting your money wisely and not carrying huge amounts of debt, that should be very possible on a teacher's salary. When you are both working, it'll be a breeze. CoL is higher here than Texas, but not much higher than many parts of the Midwest.

Lastly, we would be ready to move in about a year or so, where we'd gotten our house ready and sold. Our son will be in 8th or 9th grade then...any thoughts on how this might affect someone at this age? How open is this area? Are people here just "surface friendly," too, or do you think we would be able to settle in with friends more easily? Further, what is the atmosphere out there? We are pretty liberal, and non church going...will this be a problem??
I didn't "move" when I was that age, but I was transferred between 3 different schools within 18 months. I was grateful that I ended up in a public school, which was vastly better than the private schools I had attended. (Note, we lived on a coast at that point and as a child I was attending a terribly ran private school.) Transferring right before High School is really one of the best times to transfer. Everyone loses several connections then anyway.

Open literally or figuratively? It's a live and let live state, and this is a live and let live city.

I find people to be much more sincerely friendly here, though each person has different experiences. Most of my friends found it to be average friendliness. I think I appreciate it more because I was living in an area (Iowa, but not Des Moines) where we had what you would call "surface friendly". I called it thinly veiled *-holes, but really its two sides of the same coin My friends who found it to be similar to their previous city were coming her from another city with a great reputation for being friendly.

This is a fairly conservative city, but republicans don't have a complete majority. The libertarian presence is so strong it impacts the city as a third political party and can frequently determine the outcome of a vote. (Fiscally conservative, socially liberal) If you're unfamiliar with a libertarian viewpoint, here is an example: "No, you may not have welfare dollars taken out of my pocket through taxation, but you certainly have a right to a gay marriage because it's none of my business." It fits in line with the entire "live and let live" attitude.

The only people that have asked me about which church I go to are relatives from another state. There is no pressure to attend church. In the 18 months since I moved here, only one person has struck up a religious conversation. I politely allowed him to say his bit and then bid him farewell. He was just another Master's student in a course with me that was very excited about his catholic faith. One guy wanting to talk about it in 18 months, I can deal with that just fine.

Thank you for any info you might be able to offer on any of these issues!! Hearing it from those who know will sure help with our decisions!!!

You're welcome.

PS. Most people struggle with budgets. I think the wage for a new teacher may be in the 40 to 50 range. While I'm in school my wife and I get by on a salary of 50k. I pay for my Master's tuition in cash, and we are still paying off student loans. We live in a nice large (2500sqft) house in the suburbs. (Mortgage payment= principal, interest, taxes, and insurance = 1200 / month) If you are buying a car that is less than 10 years old, or worse yet two new cars, you'll be failing at budgeting and unable to make it work on that income level. Our cost to live outside of student loan repayment / tuition / IRA contributions is 2500 to 2600/month. This salary range for a normal person with a family does not include tickets to concerts, driving for no reason (wasting gas), getting drunk at a bar, fancy meals out, paying interest on credit cards, buying new wardrobes at departments stores (We have goodwill and the Arc!), buying a brand new gaming computer to use for e-mail, or any of the other things people decide they are entitled to. If you find it impossible to live without those things, you'll want to ensure that you both have jobs when you move. PS. Don't get me started on people spending 200+ / month on phone plans. My wife and I recently acquired I-phones and our combined bill is about 65$/month with unlimited data. That isn't an employee perk, the plan is available to everyone. I'm happy to help others with it, but I'd do it via PM because I don't want to advertise on the forum.

Last edited by lurtsman; 12-26-2013 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:35 AM
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18092
Sorry about the troll with racist comments; he has left the building. If he comes back under any sort of new name just report it and one of the Mods will deal with it.

Anyone who has lived here more than a couple of years knows that what OV posted was total crap, i.e., a troll.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:27 AM
3,493 posts, read 4,706,647 times
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This city as a whole has dramatically less racism than most places. While we try to stamp it out, it still exists. My suburb is majority white, but it clearly not all white. There are two black families that live on the street, and they behave the same as the other families.

Poor areas have more crime. If you compare poor area to poor area, race becomes fairly useless for indicating probability of crime. Black people that live in the suburbs are like white people that live in the suburbs. Black people that live in poor areas are like white people that live in poor areas. Socio-economic divides create a far larger impact than race.

There are some cities where for various reasons you can see a statistical difference that is represented in race, but even in those scenarios, if you dig deeper, you'll find that race had nothing to do with it. Correlation doesn't prove causation.

Avoiding areas that show up on the police blotter is a good idea. Judging an area by the skin color of residents is a stupid idea. It is quicker and more reliable to judge the area by the police blotter, by the condition of the houses and the cars, and the quality of the construction. If an area is very desirable, it will be cost effective to improve the construction. If an area is not desirable, it will be ran with a goal of extracting as much money from the property each year as possible, with no intent for any reinvestment.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:43 AM
Location: Colorado
9,783 posts, read 6,282,029 times
Reputation: 17607
lurtsman is totally right. And the race thing is even less relevant in this city than in others I've lived in or visited a lot (DC, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Seattle, etc) as even the poor areas aren't strictly defined/segregated by race as they can be in some places (mentioned this in another thread a minute ago...)

The part of town that is considered generally "not so great" is approximately boundaried by Powers to the east, Constitution to the north, Union to the west, and Milton Proby to the south. APPROXIMATELY. There are many pockets of nicer stuff, particularly up around Constitution, and well...here and there all over...and there are also little pockets of bad neighborhoods in other spots...if you do a Google map search for Stratmoor Hills Elementary, there is a HORRIBLE neighborhood just off of B Street right by there, but if you let your eye wander just a few blocks over to streets like Cheyenne Meadowns and Broadmoor Bluffs, you'll find nicer businesses and neighborhoods. And there are some of the cities most amazing "old money" neighborhoods over near there too! So really, you almost have to really look around. Or ask someone to check it out for you. The Springs is weird that way, and anyone who tries to definitively talk about one specific side of town as great or terrible...I've come to the conclusion that they don't know what they're talking about. The north and west sides are considered nicer and trendy and whatnot, but I've seen neighborhoods in both districts that I wouldn't want to live in. People talk about my neighborhood of choice as being bad (Security-Widefield and the town--not the street--called Fountain) but that's a joke, my neighborhood is fantastic.

Now about that. For those starting out, I often recommend Security-Widefield and Fountain,because there is a perception that it's not the best side of town (largely untrue) you can get more bang for your buck in housing whether it's rentals or buying. There are two kinds of neighborhoods (more or less) in my area, the older ones with small ranch homes...I would definitely be OK renting one of those, but probably wouldn't buy it. And the newer bigger houses like the one I just bought. You could pay around $800-1,000 for a little older place, or about $1,200-1,300 for one of the newer places. Look for homes that have a big window facing south, because you can cut your heating bill dramatically by letting the abundant intense sunshine in. Security water charges us about $50/month for water & sewer during non-grass watering months. The house I bought, 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car garage in immaculate state of maintenance, built in '99 and it came with a pool table and hot tub. The neighborhood is quiet and safe and my kids love their schools, which are among the few in the city that have band and orchestra starting in middle school. We have a community center with a year round indoor pool and it's right by the park and library, my kids bike there frequently.

So that's my 2 cents. If you find a place in the 80911 zipcode that has a good price as a rental, don't write it off. It's a great area to start out on a budget.

Oh, and as for politics and religion, have no fears. People of all sorts are pretty welcome and people here are pretty live & let live. Regarding making friends, I find that seeking activities where you can make contact is the way to go. It seemed like my coworkers and neighbors took a while to get comfortable and warm up to me. Then once they did, now I've got some friends. But I also joined a pool league (APA) and most of the people I've met through that activity have been really nice, and I've even forged some friendships through it. So I recommend activities of some sort, where you have a reason to interact and talk to people.

I know what you mean about "surface friendly." Same thing in Des Moines, IA. Smiles on the outside, but it's like there was a wall just behind their eyes, I always felt somewhat shut out. It's weird, isn't it? I was there 8 years and some of the folks I knew never really cracked, it's just how they were. Here, you might sense that at first, but it comes down completely within the first year of knowing people. At least that's been my experience.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:42 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,331 posts, read 4,359,501 times
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Seems to me that neighborhoods are differentiated more by education/income than race. One of my best neighborhood friends here in Briargate happened to be a black guy who taught calculus at the Air Force Academy.

I think this stratification happens because most people tend to by the best house they can afford.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:13 AM
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So Iowa comes up twice for surface friendly

It's also true, despite jokes about security/widefield, I'd have no issue living there in a neighborhood like the one Sonic lives in. The prices are very reasonable and the area is nice.

The cost of living in a nice neighborhood here is much lower because the property tax burden is lower. In Iowa City, a nice house was 300k and the taxes on it were 6k/year. Here a very nice house is 250k, and the taxes are 1.2k/year. Note: Iowa City is the most expensive part of Iowa.

I found the same house in Portland, OR would run 350 to 375 with property taxes over 6k/year, possibly over 7k/year. When you compare the resulting payments, it is much easier for a family to acquire a nice house out here. 6k/year..... /barf
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:21 AM
Location: Colorado
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Yep, we paid about $240K and our taxes are about $1200/year. But I know that my house in a different neighborhood would have cost possibly much more. I feel like I got a steal.

Rentals are more reasonably priced, too. And even in the parts of Security that I'd prefer not to live in, given the choice, it's not as dangerous (in my opinion) as up in the Academy/Murray/Chelton ballpark, nor in that hood over by B street. In fact I know a number of perfectly respectable people who happily live in those little ranch houses. It's very working class, but not unbearable.

I love how the one guy on Main St. has a UFO bolted to his roof and a hearse in the yard...I want to meet that person, I think they are probably very interesting.

Anyhow. I just like to mention it for newcomers, because I think it's not a bad place to start out before you figure out where you REALLY want to be. Obviously where you wind up working will have a huge impact on where you want to live.

Also to touch upon something you mentioned, not having friends or things to do on the weekends...let's say you come here, there are SO many things to do, especially if you like the outdoors, that you can keep yourself happy and entertained and make friends along the way. It's not the "big city nightlife" scene, it's more the "take an epic walk in a different magnificent setting every afternoon" kind of place. But we've got our sports bars, we've got some symphony and theater, we've got a number of really quaint shopping districts (off the top of my head, downtown Springs...Old Colorado City...and Manitou) so there's lots to do, much more than in the rather boring breadbasket states IMO. Oh, and we've got a zoo, famous for its giraffes, on a mountainside. Who knew that giraffes would thrive on a mountain? lol
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