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Old 02-12-2019, 05:12 PM
 
Location: West Allis, WI
16 posts, read 12,389 times
Reputation: 31

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Hi, I'm a 31 year old African American man with a 1 year old baby. Coming from Milwaukee, I work as a quality inspector in the automotive industry, also with medical equipment and devices. I'm simple, open minded, laid back, I like to go on walks, to various parks, I love all sports, and music. I'm looking to start fresh somewhere new and get out more.

Basically I'm undecided.

I've researched a lot of cities and also read plenty of reviews and message boards. I've seen a lot of pros and cons. I do love what some of you have said about DM in my other posts. HUGE THANKS to that.

Key factors are:

Transplants I've read that DM gets quite a few, refugees also, which is great. What is to expect 'living' in the city as a fresh face?

Diversity / culture / acceptance This is huge for me. I know the city is a predominantly white city with a fair share of blacks and Hispanics. I'm a black man with a mixed son (half black, half Mexican) and I'm not looking for the best or safest neighborhood to live in, just a diverse one.
The city has a decent Hispanic population. What neighborhoods or areas have the highest percentages?

Progressive views I'm progressive and lean heavily left. Whats makes DM liberal and/or progressive?

Singles / nightlife / raising a family Does DM have a decent singles scene and nightlife? Bars, etc?

Jobs Does the city have a decent job market in the QA/manufacturing/logistics field?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,022 posts, read 5,705,089 times
Reputation: 9329
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstarrzflow View Post
I'm not looking for the best or safest neighborhood to live in, just a diverse one.
This statement troubles me on many levels since you have a baby that will soon be a toddler, but I'll address your question.

Assuming this post is "real," I'm going to suggest Iowa City, if you can find work there. It is a "progressive" college town with students from all over the globe. At 31, you are young enough to date graduate students, and there will be a fair number of educated young people who work in banking, finance, and medicine. There will also be some top-notch childcare. Your chances of finding a "progressive" partner close to your age are much higher there than in Des Moines, and Iowa City has many safe neighborhoods with a number of rentals.

That might also be a good area for logistics positions.

You also posted on the Indy forum, as I recall. I think that's a better choice for you, career wise, and it may come down to you having to go where you can find work. I don't blame you for wanting to leave WI cold, but my ultimate recommendation would be to move to the Madison area, like Sun Prairie (a lot cheaper) if you can find work. Madison is filled with "progressive diversity" and as I wrote before, you're young enough to date grad students. You don't have to live right in Madison!

When it gets warmer, you really need to go visit these places.

I think that you'll find that it makes the most sense to make an in-state move.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:55 AM
 
448 posts, read 237,442 times
Reputation: 995
Iowa City will be more liberal, but it will have fewer jobs. I also think the diversity is probably decent, but due primarily to the university (not sure how much it affects the rest of the metro not involved in the university).

I'm enough of a recent transplant that I can't give you deep answers to your questions, but I will say I think you won't feel out of place. Des Moines leans solidly left. You won't have a hard time finding people with common views in that way. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but it is very blue in the metro (less so in the suburbs). I think there's almost some sort of urgent, driving need to be a counter culture to the more agricultural, conservative areas of the state. Once in a while, I find that divisive (as a moderate) and don't enjoy it. But I think there are plenty of people with various viewpoints here, and that part is great -- again, you won't feel isolated politically. I've seen twice as many Bernie stickers on cars than all the other candidates from 2016 put together, and then some.

I don't know enough about the city itself but there is diversity in every area. The east side is probably the most diverse, as previously stated, but I think the southern neighborhoods have a lot of diversity as well. And the northern areas, although I think the southern part of the metro might be a bit nicer to live in, personally. The "worst" neighborhoods are supposed to be near Drake. Apparently there are a lot of drug dealers in that area. Driving through during the day, I wouldn't be able to tell. Has zero effect on safety in daylight hours as a passer-by, which is better than I can say for many other metros with known drug areas. Living there might be a different story and something to consider for your child. I'd definitely recommend avoiding the far-flung suburbs such as Waukee and Ankeny. While pleasant in their own ways, and having some diversity, there are fewer AAs and Hispanics than other ethnicities.

Again, I can't speak to your specific field, but a search on LinkedIn will help you determine opportunities there. And I know absolutely nothing about the singles scene, but I will say that downtown Des Moines is pretty great. No matter when I've been there, it feels active and safe and relatively clean, with events going on and filled bars and restaurants.

Good luck in your research.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Eastern Iowa
1,536 posts, read 2,122,263 times
Reputation: 2674
I've been working in Iowa City for about 15 years. Others may disagree with me, but I'll give you my two cents. While Iowa City is the most liberal city in Iowa, there are still a large number of people (natives) who are definitely very conservative, both in the city and much more so in the surrounding rural areas. Also very cliquish, where most people have lived here most of their lives and have their own family and friends for socializing.


If you are associated with the University it helps, but I have still heard enough times first hand that it's hard to form friendships and rather insular. Many younger professionals do leave the area once they get experience in their field. Also nepotism in the workplace can be an issue.


Due to Des Moines' size, I would recommend you focus there, although I have no personal experience with that area.

Last edited by ennaf; 02-13-2019 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,022 posts, read 5,705,089 times
Reputation: 9329
Since I do live in the Des Moines metro, I'll stand by my post.

I don't recommend the Des Moines area for young singles, especially "progressive" ones. I do recommend the area for families and older (semi-retired) singles: the latter will find a lot of groups, especially if a conservative Christian, but that's not a requirement.

It's true that there are a lot more jobs here, but I know a lot of young people who are chopping at the bit because DSM is too far from the larger entertainment venues that many young people crave in their free time. Downtown is cool but it's not the venue that a lot of youngsters want.

I love it here! But I'm also a lot older and semi-retired.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,068 posts, read 16,109,711 times
Reputation: 12048
I think it's funny when people claim to want diversity but don't want to be around people who think differently than themselves. Seems like these people are looking for a very shallow level of diversity, one that doesn't challenge their points of view.

Just a random observation, please carry on.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:28 AM
 
39 posts, read 20,408 times
Reputation: 28
You'd be fine in Des Moines. The Upper Midwest is relatively accepting compared to many other regions, imo. I'm a mixed-race guy (part Asian Indian, part white) in Sioux Falls, SD--a much more conservative and less diverse city than Des Moines--and have never been discriminated against for ethnic reasons, and people are very polite.

I've been to Des Moines recently (and was born in Iowa City), and I think Des Moines would be a good fit for you, based on how you described your personality.
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Old Today, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,102 posts, read 1,364,850 times
Reputation: 1472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Since I do live in the Des Moines metro, I'll stand by my post.

I don't recommend the Des Moines area for young singles, especially "progressive" ones. I do recommend the area for families and older (semi-retired) singles: the latter will find a lot of groups, especially if a conservative Christian, but that's not a requirement.

It's true that there are a lot more jobs here, but I know a lot of young people who are chopping at the bit because DSM is too far from the larger entertainment venues that many young people crave in their free time. Downtown is cool but it's not the venue that a lot of youngsters want.

I love it here! But I'm also a lot older and semi-retired.

I do agree that DSM, at least traditionally, is better suited for families and 40+ crowd, but that's starting to change. The East Village/Court Ave. area is getting some regional publicity (i.e. Zombie Burger/Drink Lab) and there's plenty of younger (and often single) folks that frequent the area. Don't get me wrong, it still has a long way to go to catch up with KC and even Omaha, but it's still progress.


One thing that would be a boon for the metro would be a mid-sized state university (it has Drake, but that's a small private institution which is nearly half grad students). There were plans a couple of years ago to open such a campus on the former AIB grounds, but for some reason (probably influence from the ISU and UNI brass) those plans fell through and some sort of alternative was put forth.
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