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Old 08-18-2012, 10:38 AM
 
107 posts, read 175,966 times
Reputation: 31

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I know I've made similar threads throughout city-date but here I go again..sorry

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. We need to make a low risk move, which is why I've eliminated places like NYC. Most 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 really liked Carbondale, IL (but no jobs). 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 last August and things just didn't work out and now we're back living with my parents. I loved Bloomington, IN (again for the diversity and openness and such) but again just no jobs. 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. My degree doesn't help too much with most jobs so I'd probably need something entry level, but I have to get full time because I won't be eligible for parent's insurance soon.

I am looking for:

Decent cost of living
Low crime
Low unemployment
Affordable rent
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues

Last edited by JMT; 08-18-2012 at 10:57 AM.. Reason: You posted a web site which is a competitor to city-data.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:29 AM
 
1,807 posts, read 2,534,101 times
Reputation: 1503
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
I know I've made similar threads throughout city-date but here I go again..sorry

I am in my mid 20's and my fiance and I..and our dog are trying to figure out our next move. We need to make a low risk move, which is why I've eliminated places like NYC. Most 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 really liked Carbondale, IL (but no jobs). 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 last August and things just didn't work out and now we're back living with my parents. I loved Bloomington, IN (again for the diversity and openness and such) but again just no jobs. 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. My degree doesn't help too much with most jobs so I'd probably need something entry level, but I have to get full time because I won't be eligible for parent's insurance soon.

I am looking for:

Decent cost of living
Low crime
Low unemployment
Affordable rent
Decent art scene
Progressive and at least somewhat liberal
Somewhere that is growing
Open-minded people
LGBTQ friendly
Live music venues
The only things that really stand out on your list of priorities is the art scene, high-growth, and live music venues. For art and live music, a college town like Ames certainly has its advantages. Omaha had one of the better live music scenes in the country for a while, producing a number of local, reputable bands, but I think their time has kind of passed on that. Don't get me wrong, Omaha is the most populous area on your list, and obviously offers those amenities. But for live music, college towns like Ames are going to be the first places most bands stop on their way up. The college radio scene is *huge* there, and there are tons of musician types attending schools. Plus, Big Ten universities have the tendency to support the visual arts....I'm sure Ames has lots of galleries displaying student work and a better-than-decent museum that some alum gifted them...

The I-80 corridor between Des Moines and the Quad Cities is probably the highest growth area you've listed, as well.

They are all reasonably liberal, people will be friendly and open-minded in any of them, and they are all relatively LGBTQ friendly. Bare in mind that Fargo, as the smallest city on your list, will probably have a smaller LGBTQ population and the average resident will have had less exposure. Most people in Fargo are not going to be hostile to anybody that's LGBTQ, mind you, but there certainly won't be as many LGBTQ friendly events or venues in Fargo as there would be in a larger city like Omaha or Des Moines, or a major college town like Ames (which attracts human intellectual capitol from across Iowa and the Midwest).

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, they're on equal footing besides the sort of cultural amenities, night life criteria. In that area, Fargo is behind Omaha, Des Moines, and Ames. That's not a knock on Fargo, mind you-- it's just much more a family oriented town and not necessarily the best of those listed for a 20-something recent college grad....
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:55 AM
 
107 posts, read 175,966 times
Reputation: 31
Yeah, the only advantage I see Fargo having for us is that it's the cheapest as far as COL goes and unemployment is a bit lower. Sorry this got moved to the same forum I made a similar post in.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,764,942 times
Reputation: 2336
You pretty much described Des Moines and Omaha to a T. You're certainly considering the right cities.
Omaha is a bit bigger, but Des Moines is arguably in a better location, and Iowa as a state is more liberal and progressive than Nebraska.
I don't know Omaha as well, but I can tell you that a young liberal family like yours would fit right in Des Moines. COL is low, crime is low, unemployment is low, rent is affordable, there's a great (and very fast-growing) art scene, the core city is very progressive and liberal, the area is growing fast, the people are open-minded enough, I've never had a problem in the area as a gay man, and there's plenty of live music. If you do end up moving there, make sure you get connected with the people at the Des Moines Social Club. I'm sure they could give some excellent pointers in the "living as a young artist" realm.

I know there are a lot of similarities in Omaha. Fargo is considerably smaller, at least a tier or two down from DSM and Omaha. Ames is pretty close to Des Moines, but it's still its own separate entity, and it's also very different from the two bigger cities. It's a decent enough college town, but I don't know if there's much that separates it from the hundreds of other decent college towns in the country, whereas Iowa City really is something special.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:42 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,241,725 times
Reputation: 910
Des Moines is more liberal than San Francisco, by far
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,764,942 times
Reputation: 2336
Just ignore RonnieJonez.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:34 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,241,725 times
Reputation: 910
If anyone else made that comment, you'd applaud it, lol. Something like "Des Moines is beyond liberal and progressive, could be more liberal than San Francisco, if not at least very close".
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:15 AM
 
107 posts, read 175,966 times
Reputation: 31
What about Oklahoma City? I never thought of it before but the unemployment and COL is very similar. The downside I've seen is that the crime rate seems to be higher...other than those things I don't know much about it as far as culture and everything else.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:16 AM
 
11,177 posts, read 22,384,826 times
Reputation: 10924
Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
Just ignore RonnieJonez.
it's silly isn't it? trolling at its finest. No contribution at all other than trying to bomb a thread and get people upset.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: IN
20,853 posts, read 35,970,544 times
Reputation: 13304
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdagarim View Post
What about Oklahoma City? I never thought of it before but the unemployment and COL is very similar. The downside I've seen is that the crime rate seems to be higher...other than those things I don't know much about it as far as culture and everything else.
I wouldn't recommend it unless you like 100F-110F summer temperatures. Wages in OKC are very low. Des Moines is a much better choice overall.
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