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View Poll Results: Best Cities in the Midwest for Living
Akron, OH 6 3.53%
Chicago, IL 57 33.53%
Cincinnati, OH 21 12.35%
Cleveland, OH 24 14.12%
Columbus, OH 22 12.94%
Des Moines, IA 26 15.29%
Detroit, MI 16 9.41%
Fort Wayne, IN 5 2.94%
Grand Rapids, MI 14 8.24%
Indianapolis, IN 23 13.53%
Kansas City, KS-MO 23 13.53%
Lincoln, NE 12 7.06%
Madison, WI 36 21.18%
Milwaukee, WI 24 14.12%
Minneapolis, MN 62 36.47%
Omaha, NE 22 12.94%
St. Louis, MO 34 20.00%
St. Paul, MN 24 14.12%
Toledo, OH 8 4.71%
Wichita, KS 7 4.12%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 170. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-19-2012, 06:48 PM
 
2,248 posts, read 6,205,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewcifer View Post
It is a city that likes to party, and have fun. It has a lot of eccentrics and free spirits. All the obscure indie musicians play there when they tour, even if they skip places like Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St Louis or Kansas City.

Madison is cool in a way much of the Midwest isn't. It is like Wisconsin's version of Santa Cruz.
Well, it's all a matter of opinion. And, in my opinion, I think it's comical to pit college towns against major cities in terms of amenities.

"Cool" places for 18-24 year old students? Perhaps...but college towns are about as niche as retirement communities in Florida and Arizona.

I'll stick with the world-class museums and symphony orchestras of places like Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St Louis or Kansas City.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: madison, wi
30 posts, read 50,107 times
Reputation: 45
i agree with you about college towns being niche; they certainly aren't for everyone. but as i alluded to in an earlier post, madison is in the midst of transitioning from a college town (a la bloomington, in, athens, ga, iowa city, etc.) into a (for lack of a better term) "major" city with a lot of amenities that aren't derived from the university itself. for me, the fact that madison feels simultaneously like a college town AND a "major"(ish) city is part of what makes it unique and appealing among midwestern cities.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:03 PM
 
2,601 posts, read 4,070,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator80 View Post
i agree with you about college towns being niche; they certainly aren't for everyone. but as i alluded to in an earlier post, madison is in the midst of transitioning from a college town (a la bloomington, in, athens, ga, iowa city, etc.) into a (for lack of a better term) "major" city with a lot of amenities that aren't derived from the university itself. for me, the fact that madison feels simultaneously like a college town AND a "major"(ish) city is part of what makes it unique and appealing among midwestern cities.

Madison is much more than a college town...it's also the capitol of Wisconsin. The metro population is almost 600,000. Not huge, but much more than just a college town. I LOVE Madison.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,761,860 times
Reputation: 2335
I guess since no one has yet, I'll go ahead and make the case for my hometown of Des Moines.

Fifteen years ago, I'd say it wasn't much to talk about, but today it's easily on or near the level of Madison - which is an apt comparison, as they both have a city population of around 200k (Madison is slightly bigger) and a metro population of about 550k (Des Moines is slightly bigger). If they're not already twins, they will be within the next 5-10 years. A lot of great things have been happening in the area recently. The new sculpture garden downtown, the huge refurbishment of the East Village and Court Avenue, the ongoing Riverwalk project, the TONS of fantastic independent restaurants popping up all over the city, etc. There's also a growing sense of local pride, especially in Des Moines proper (see Iowa Nice, Raygun, or any of the myriad responses to that Stephen Bloom article). Des Moines has an extremely strong economy, and is at the top of a ton of livability and desirability lists (best place for young professionals, best place to raise a family, best place for business, etc.), not to mention the political attention, both as the caucus center and as the state capital. There's nothing lacking in the arts - the Des Moines Art Center is outstanding, Des Moines Metro Opera is nationally recognized as one of the best, the Civic Center has a successful Broadway series that consistently brings in high-demand Broadway shows, the Des Moines Arts Festival, the downtown farmer's market, and so on. Graduation rates are high and crime is relatively low, there's a growing urban vitality and youth presence, and of course a huge skyline for a city under a million. There's no gigantic state university (unless you drive half an hour up to Ames), but we do have Drake University, Simpson College, and Grand View University, as well as the medical school Des Moines University, and Iowa State University and Grinnell College within about an hour. Des Moines is also within an easy day's drive of Sioux Falls, Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and of course Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

I don't think it's the best city in the Midwest by any means (that's MSP/Chicago), but I do think it's easily in the same league as Madison, even if it doesn't get the attention.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Normal
161 posts, read 180,079 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
I guess since no one has yet, I'll go ahead and make the case for my hometown of Des Moines.

Fifteen years ago, I'd say it wasn't much to talk about, but today it's easily on or near the level of Madison - which is an apt comparison, as they both have a city population of around 200k (Madison is slightly bigger) and a metro population of about 550k (Des Moines is slightly bigger). If they're not already twins, they will be within the next 5-10 years. A lot of great things have been happening in the area recently. The new sculpture garden downtown, the huge refurbishment of the East Village and Court Avenue, the ongoing Riverwalk project, the TONS of fantastic independent restaurants popping up all over the city, etc. There's also a growing sense of local pride, especially in Des Moines proper (see Iowa Nice, Raygun, or any of the myriad responses to that Stephen Bloom article). Des Moines has an extremely strong economy, and is at the top of a ton of livability and desirability lists (best place for young professionals, best place to raise a family, best place for business, etc.), not to mention the political attention, both as the caucus center and as the state capital. There's nothing lacking in the arts - the Des Moines Art Center is outstanding, Des Moines Metro Opera is nationally recognized as one of the best, the Civic Center has a successful Broadway series that consistently brings in high-demand Broadway shows, the Des Moines Arts Festival, the downtown farmer's market, and so on. Graduation rates are high and crime is relatively low, there's a growing urban vitality and youth presence, and of course a huge skyline for a city under a million. There's no gigantic state university (unless you drive half an hour up to Ames), but we do have Drake University, Simpson College, and Grand View University, as well as the medical school Des Moines University, and Iowa State University and Grinnell College within about an hour. Des Moines is also within an easy day's drive of Sioux Falls, Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and of course Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

I don't think it's the best city in the Midwest by any means (that's MSP/Chicago), but I do think it's easily in the same league as Madison, even if it doesn't get the attention.
I can give you that.
I really think Kansas', Nebraska's, and Iowa's time has come for their main cities to flourish.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Brighton, England
3,717 posts, read 4,376,923 times
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I would pick : Columbus, Omaha, Des Moines, Indianapolis and Lincoln, NE
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,853 posts, read 6,526,459 times
Reputation: 5336
here's what i would consider to be a "no contest":

which city under a million people in the north (new england, mid-atlantic, great lakes, great plains) would, if you were suddenly drop it into the Sun Belt literally explode in population.

What is the one city that has it all except for climate?


I won't give you the answer, but i will let you know that i would be mad if i didn't give you enough clues in order to answer,son.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:07 AM
 
7,238 posts, read 10,891,939 times
Reputation: 5583
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
here's what i would consider to be a "no contest":

which city under a million people in the north (new england, mid-atlantic, great lakes, great plains) would, if you were suddenly drop it into the Sun Belt literally explode in population.

What is the one city that has it all except for climate?


I won't give you the answer, but i will let you know that i would be mad if i didn't give you enough clues in order to answer,son.
Minneapolis, no contest.

The problem is the culture in Minneapolis (politically, socially and economically) is the polar opposite of what's considered normal in the sun belt.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:40 AM
 
5,835 posts, read 10,781,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
And you seem to be missing mine as well.
For instance, if one is interested in world-class art, one is not going to find what Chicago has just in the Art Institute anywhere else in the Midwest.
We seem to be speaking of 2 different things here.
Actually, as awesome as the Art Institute is, you will be suprised by the caliber of other art Museums in the midwest, such as the Detroit Institute of Art, or even the St. Louis art museum in the Forest Park, or the Cleveland museum of art on the Case Western campus.

One thing where Chicago is probably the best city in the country for are the museums dedicated to science and nature. Chicagos collection of the Field Museum, Science and Industry, Shedd, Adler, two zoos, one being free and still outstanding.

Don't get me wrong, Chicagos art museums and art scene is world class, but after visiting and exploring other cities, it seems that the difference between Chicago and smaller cities is less than one might expect.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:30 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,771,389 times
Reputation: 1387
My three: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Madison
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