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Old 08-06-2012, 07:40 PM
 
107 posts, read 167,873 times
Reputation: 31

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So most of this is copy+pasted from a thread I made in the general forum so it might seem weird or out of place or jumbled but I figured it would be easier than trying to reword everything. We've had a string of bad luck and are looking for our next move.

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. Part of it is going to depend on where we can find jobs.. Anyway we are originally from small towns in central Illinois and I went to school in Southern Illinois. I have a BA in Cinema and Photography. After school I moved back in with my parents and did part time work while trying to find something better. On a whim my fiance and I moved to Bloomington, Indiana (very liberal, free spirited college town) last August and things just didn't work out after 6 months and now we're back living with my parents. This was all mostly our fault for not having full time work lined up but oh well we learned some things. She doesn't have a degree but has done phlebotomy in the past and may get her CNA or go back to school for Early Childhood. I do some freelance photo stuff but there isn't much market here. I know I'll probably never make enough of a living doing creative work so I'll probably settle for a normal 9-5 and do my stuff on weekends. I'm going to turn 26 in January so that means I will lose insurance without any job with benefits. We've always had big city dreams of New York or Chicago but I just don't know if we're cut out for it and I don't know if I can set myself up for failure again. I have some friends in those cities but it's still hard to break in there and the cost of living is so high. So here's what we're looking for. I know about the low crime and low unemployment and the sometimes bad weather but I'm not sure about the rest and I know you can't have it all.

Decent cost of living
Low crime
Low unemployment
Affordable rent
Not horrible weather 24/7
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues

With that being said I have had someone we know mention Fargo, ND and may be able to help get one of us a job (11/hr +benefits). It doesn't seem like a lot for a ft job, but I don't know really. My biggest concerns with Fargo is that it's so far from everything and the closest larger city (Minneapolis) is 4 hours away. I'm used to having St. Louis and Indianapolis within 1.5 hours and Chicago within 4. I just can't live here in these small conservative towns in central Illinois. I don't expect Fargo to be super liberal but I'm sure it's a little more open than here. Maybe I want too much and like I said it will come down to where the jobs are but I don't want to hate where I live. If anyone has any thoughts or opinions it's greatly appreciated.

In addition are the winters and flooding really that bad? I read about Goldmark or something being bad people to rent from...are there any others? We have a dog so if we do move we won't want to part with him. Is it hard to find rentals that allow dogs here? Also do flight prices ever go down? $1000 to fly home is kind of ridiculous. I'm so used to being able to go roundtrip to NYC on half that.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:51 AM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,736 posts, read 9,122,633 times
Reputation: 3454
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
So most of this is copy+pasted from a thread I made in the general forum so it might seem weird or out of place or jumbled but I figured it would be easier than trying to reword everything. We've had a string of bad luck and are looking for our next move.

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. Part of it is going to depend on where we can find jobs.. Anyway we are originally from small towns in central Illinois and I went to school in Southern Illinois. I have a BA in Cinema and Photography. After school I moved back in with my parents and did part time work while trying to find something better. On a whim my fiance and I moved to Bloomington, Indiana (very liberal, free spirited college town) last August and things just didn't work out after 6 months and now we're back living with my parents. This was all mostly our fault for not having full time work lined up but oh well we learned some things. She doesn't have a degree but has done phlebotomy in the past and may get her CNA or go back to school for Early Childhood. I do some freelance photo stuff but there isn't much market here. I know I'll probably never make enough of a living doing creative work so I'll probably settle for a normal 9-5 and do my stuff on weekends. I'm going to turn 26 in January so that means I will lose insurance without any job with benefits. We've always had big city dreams of New York or Chicago but I just don't know if we're cut out for it and I don't know if I can set myself up for failure again. I have some friends in those cities but it's still hard to break in there and the cost of living is so high. So here's what we're looking for. I know about the low crime and low unemployment and the sometimes bad weather but I'm not sure about the rest and I know you can't have it all.

Decent cost of living
Low crime
Low unemployment
Affordable rent
Not horrible weather 24/7
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues

With that being said I have had someone we know mention Fargo, ND and may be able to help get one of us a job (11/hr +benefits). It doesn't seem like a lot for a ft job, but I don't know really. My biggest concerns with Fargo is that it's so far from everything and the closest larger city (Minneapolis) is 4 hours away. I'm used to having St. Louis and Indianapolis within 1.5 hours and Chicago within 4. I just can't live here in these small conservative towns in central Illinois. I don't expect Fargo to be super liberal but I'm sure it's a little more open than here. Maybe I want too much and like I said it will come down to where the jobs are but I don't want to hate where I live. If anyone has any thoughts or opinions it's greatly appreciated.

In addition are the winters and flooding really that bad? I read about Goldmark or something being bad people to rent from...are there any others? We have a dog so if we do move we won't want to part with him. Is it hard to find rentals that allow dogs here? Also do flight prices ever go down? $1000 to fly home is kind of ridiculous. I'm so used to being able to go roundtrip to NYC on half that.

I am from western Kentucky and have a brother and family outside of Champaign, IL at Mahomet. You are likely familiar with Champaign and I would perhaps consider the Champaign-Urbana area similarly to Fargo....though the collleges in the F-M area would have somewhat less students than UI. But F-M college student population is enough for a more artsy-music scene downtown. I am a bit too old for that scene so dont know much about it....but I do know from news, etc over the years I have lived in the region that it has been growing. The fargodome gets nationally named music acts regularly. I would consider F-M area to be a bit more conservative than Champaign-Urbana overall, and I would consider Fargo to be a bit cleaner though than Champaign and perhaps have more shopping options as Fargo is a large regional shopping hub.

Fargo and area is the cheapest area to live in the North Dakota....with often the lowest gas prices, lowest rents, etc than other ND cities. Crime is very low....lower than Champaign. Both areas are flat and surrounded by agriculture.

Fargo winters are quite a bit colder of course than central Illinois....zero degrees down there can be quite newsworthy where up here zero degrees is quite common. You can get better airfare sometimes from Fargo as it has direct flights to Chicago....but it can be expensive depending on time of year.

My two cents worth....just knowing something about both places.

--Dan
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:20 AM
 
107 posts, read 167,873 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks Dan, that was all very good info. I am familiar with the Chambana area as its about an hour or so North of my home town. I wouldn't mind just moving to that area as its different enough while still being close to larger cities and being close to family...but unemployment is worse. I consider myself a bit of an outcast from a lot of my family but I still love them and the isolation of fargo would take getting used to. The problem wih the flights to Chicago is that that is a 4 hour drive itself and I wonder if driving to Minneapolis and leaving the car there would be easier in the long run if I ever needed to fly, but I haven't looked at the prices for that. The 24 hour round trip of driving is certainly daunting to do more than a few times a year.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:19 AM
 
107 posts, read 167,873 times
Reputation: 31
Another question I had is do a lot of the kids in the colleges stick around? I'm wondering if there's a good population of people in their 20's and early 30's that are not in school? Also, are there a decent amount of places that display art? How is the creative community? It doesn't appear that it's huge but I know very little... I would like for there to be some like minded people but maybe not so many that it's overwhelming and super competitive like in some larger cities. Like I said don't have large expectations of making a living that way but it's something I want to keep doing.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
419 posts, read 1,189,329 times
Reputation: 304
I live in Fargo now, but did live in Champaign-Urbana 23 years ago. Yes, Fargo is more conservative than ChamBana, but would be more liberal than say, Effingham. There definitely is a mix in Fargo, with the neighborhoods closer to downtown being more progressive than the new cookie-cutter housing developments on the SW edge of town.

Looking at population demographics, Fargo-Moorhead tends to have a greater percentage of the population in the young adult age bracket and also the senior citizen range than the typical age distribution of the US population as a whole. Yes--it's young adults hanging around after college or junior staff with companies, banks, etc. in the branch office rather the HQ in the cities. It is also due to couples retiring from farming and small towns to be closer to major healthcare facilities.

With the three colleges, there definitely is a creative community--music, visual arts, creative writing. Take a look at The Arts Partnership for an idea of all that is going on in town.
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