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Old 07-03-2014, 01:30 PM
63 posts, read 132,759 times
Reputation: 113


Hi all. I just interviewed this week for a job based in Springfield, and I think my chances for a job offer are pretty good. I visited Springfield the day before the interview to check out apartments, parks, grocery stores, etc.

Q #1: I couldn't find and grocery store salad bars. Where I live in New England, almost every grocery store has a salad bar. I visited 3 grocery stores: Food Fantasies (I like organics), Shop n Save, and County Market. No salad bars. Suggestions? Did I look in the wrong places?

Q #2: Is Bloomington better to live in? My potential boss said he'd be perfectly happy to have me based in either city, and he felt I might prefer Bloomington. I didn't have time after the interview to visit Bloomington. How do the two cities compare? I'm a 40-something female, and I'm into artsy places, cafes, parks with running trails, and apartment complexes that are modern, safe, clean with lots of amenities. I did find some nice looking apartment complexes in Springfield that fit the bill, down on the south side. Didn't have time to scope out cafes or parks.

I was really shocked at the lack of organic options I could find on a 1-day visit to Springfield. Food Fantasies was a nice little store, but "little" is a good word for it. Shop n Save had absolutely no organic products that I could find, and County Market had some, but no organic frozen fruit or veggies. Frozen organic fruit and veggies are a staple of mine, so I was really sad not to find any. Again, suggestions?

A quick search on sites like Apartmentguide.com and Aparmentfinder.com looks like there are more apartment options in Springfield.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

p.s. - as I'm researching Bloomington online, it looks like I'm really talking about the combined Bloomington-Normal area.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:52 PM
Location: Maryland
4,621 posts, read 6,142,092 times
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Q#1: I'm not entirely sure about the entire locations of salad bars, but almost every Schnucks grocery store has a salad bar, so does Meijer, and so does the Market. If you are looking for organic options, you will probably like the Market (http://the-market.us/)--it is basically Whole Foods but not called Whole Foods. Shop n Save is my least favorite grocery store in the area. Schnucks, Meijier, even Super (or Mega or Giganto or whatever it's called) Target all have organic options, as do (surprisingly) most Aldi supermarkets. There is also a nice Farmer's Market downtown in Springfield and one at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, but I can't remember exactly on which days.

Q#2: It's hard to say which you might like better. Bloomington is going to have the younger vibe since ISU and Wesleyan are based there (if you are looking for a younger vibe). Springfield is perfectly nice for raising a family and is more populous and has a bigger feel with (in my experience) slightly more options for people. If you are looking at apartments, I'd recommend Lincoln Square downtown. I'd avoid apartments on south Chatham Rd., as I've heard dreadful stories about them. The west side of Springfield also has a lot of townhouse options that may suite your needs.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:32 PM
63 posts, read 132,759 times
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Thanks! All good info.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:05 AM
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 27,405,267 times
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The ISU student population in Normal is 23,000. Normal is where you will find Schnucks, Meijer's, Krogers, Naturally Yours, Fresh Market, Aldi and more. The first three offer the salad bar. All offer healthy alternatives from "no salt" to 97% fat free. Naturally yours is a natural food store with groceries, and bulk bins.

Normal and Bloomington are sister cities commonly known as B-N. It is located about 35 miles SE of Peoria, and 65 miles NW of Springfield. Collectively the three towns have 6 malls, 4 zoological parks, and 10 hospitals. The areas are very different one from the other: STEM/research, College/business, and state government. Each is visually different, and each offers different types of entertainment. Most have some type of weekend activity. Towns are all separated by thousands of acred of crop and livestock.

Normal and Springfield have a train, national bus and airport. It is possible to visit St, Louis or Chicago and return the same day. Springfield is roughly 90 miles from St. Louis or
175 from Chicago.

Illinois is an interesting state to explore. You might find the small dam in WWII military camp, fresh maple sirup in the Spring, small wineries, a juried art fair, a 13,000 acre wildlife preserve, Native American archeology, take a week end cruise, or find an observatory and planetarium. This is all within two hours of Springfield.

Welcome to your new home.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:56 AM
63 posts, read 132,759 times
Reputation: 113
Thanks, linicx! Very helpful.
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