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Old 12-21-2007, 12:32 AM
7 posts, read 30,318 times
Reputation: 13


I live in Quincy, IL, which is about an hour and a half away from Springfield. I'm really considering moving there and finishing school. I've visted on more than one occasion, and I've found it to be charming. Sure, it's not a huge city, but there's much more to do than most towns in Illinois!!!
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:42 AM
1,054 posts, read 4,527,867 times
Reputation: 344
You might want to check here:


That is the British Expats living in the USA forum. They'll be able to give you some advice on some cities and other living conditions.

However, unless you have a visa in hand or on the way from a company, or are related to an American, the chances of you moving over here are about 1 in 1000. Seriously. There are dozens of posts every day 'I want to live in this town or that town' but then when you ask 'what sort of visa will you get' the begin to think 'maybe Canada or Australia'.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:24 PM
2 posts, read 6,758 times
Reputation: 11
If you really love mayonnaise, then you'll LOVE Springfield. Seriously, read these posts -- a large percentage of the people who like this town have never lived anywhere else. Sure, Springfield looks livable enough compared to, say, Decatur, but c'mon! This town is full of self-important corn-yuppies who spew the conservative, anti-government rhetoric they just heard on the radio on the way to their do-nothing state jobs. If you think Glenn Beck is a genius, want to live in a McMansion in the middle of a cornfield, and think that Anglicized, cheeze-oozing Mexican food is adventurous dining, then come on over, buddy! Me, I've been here for 20 years, and can't wait to get the hell out.
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:02 PM
Location: Illinois
1 posts, read 2,075 times
Reputation: 10

Dont do it. For its size, it is as dirty as Chicago. The "Pubs" if you want to call it that, are dank, and filled with dorks who are not friendly. Food is more expensive here than Chicago, which is extraordinary since this is in a farm belt. Night life here is the biggest joke. I would rather sleep than go out here.
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:25 PM
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 22,410,885 times
Reputation: 1761
Originally Posted by Armyman4ever View Post
...Food is more expensive here than Chicago...
I find this very hard to believe.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:25 AM
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,103,091 times
Reputation: 6189
First and foremost Illinois is a farm state. It is the second largest producer of corn in the nation. Cornfields create miserable heat and humidity in the summer. It is impossible to avoid it when you are surrounded by it. Central Illinois is also in the heart of the Grain and Livestock Belt. Because it, and the fact most of our farms are large, the Interstate highwayw pass through miles of farmland. There is little to see except crops and cattle. It is a fact of life that most drivers hate.

Springfield was built in on a prairie and it is surrounded by crops and cattle. Springfield is a typical midwestern town for its size and convenience. It is no better or worse than any other. town its size in any other state. In the last 50 years I spent a fair amount of time in Springfield. The only thing I dislike are the one-way streets areound the capitol.

Central Illinois is approximately 250 miles at the widest point. Within is is a triangular area the local TV station calls central Illinois. Springfield anchors one side of the triangle. Bloomington-Normal and Peoria are ther other two anchor cities. Generally speaking unless you want to esperience a professional baseball or football game you can find everything you need in these 3 cities - if you take the time to look .

I found an English Tea Room in Dunlap and English Toffee in East Peoria - both are closer to Peoria. There is an Olde English Faire every summer in Jubllee Park outside of Peoria. The First English Lutheran Church has been in Peoria for many years as has The Church of St. Andrew the Apostle, the Angelican Church (1897). The religious community in Peoria is very diverse and predominately Christian. All three of our cities have a Jewish community. .

All 3 towns have a zoo and parks for children. Spfld and B-N also have lakes. Peoria sits on the largest River in Illinois - you will find river cruises here. Peoria and Spfld are near the same size.
Peoria and Spfld both have a children's hospital. The Peoria hospital is new and is a St. Jude's Midwest Affiliate research hospital. B-N is snaller, but not by much. Each town is unique in its offerings to its residents and guests.

Spfld is a political town. It holds an awesome state fair, historical places. It is our state capitol.
B-N is where many of our largest insurance companies call home. A little farther south you'll find fresh Maple Syrup at Funk's Grove. I always liked to take my kids to Miller Park when they were children. Peoria is a medical, financial, technical hub. The Peoria Park District is the onldest in the stae and the largest in central Illinois with 9,000 acres.

You'll find natural food stores, holistic medicine, farmer's markets, history, events all year and large venues that bring 30-50000 people into the area. All three cities offer some type of culture from ballet to opera to performaing arts, symphony, summer stock theater to potters and juried art shows. In the general area you'll find vintners, micro-brewery, museums, ancient Native American mounds, regional foods and bakeries, planetarium, river front parks, semi-pro sports and national venue that visit each town. You'll find some very good cuisine in the three towns, and if you'd like to ski, or of you would like to sleep to the wolf lullaby you can do that too in complete safety at a state park.

The three cities offer university education. Each city has a private uniersity. There are several other schools of higher education in the surrounding areas. :
B-N: Illinois State University: Normal and Illinois Weselyan University
Peoria: Bradley University and Illinois Central College
Springfield: University of Illinois: Springfield and Benedictine University at Springrield

In these three cities there is a total of 10-11 hospitals plus two medical schools. If you have a trade, the employment opportunities are about the same in each city. River cities like Peoria, Quincy, Rock Island tend to be a little more liberal than cities not on the rivers, simply because they are river cities. Springfield to Bloomington is about 60 miles and another 30 or so to Peoria by Internstate 1-55 to I-74. IF you are not positive where you want to live and work, I urge you to visit each area and spend two nights. When you travel in the US, the phone book is your friend for in yellow pages you find the churches, the shopping, the grocers, etc.. BTW, Spfl and Peoria both have fresh fish shoppes, while Peoria and B-N both have expanded natural food stores. I've had a home in the triangle for more than 60 years.

Here are the three main newspspapers.
Bloomington Pantagraph Pantagraph.com | Central Illinois
Peoria Journal Star Home - Peoria, IL - pjstar.com
Springfield State Journal Register. Home - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Bloomington: http://www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv31744.php
Peoria: http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc26988.php
Springfield: not available.

Cenral Illinois is approxmately 1500 miles from New York or Los Angeles. It is approximately 1000 miles between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. Illinois has 102 counties and is the 5th most populated state in America.

If you have questions do not hesitate to ask.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:55 AM
Location: United Kingdom
5 posts, read 9,470 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Help


It's all a bit of minefield really isn't it? We are going we think to a place called Barrington nr Chicago. We are visiting there again at the end of Feb and will then make a decision. I put the thread on the forum just to see what I got back and it was sort of helpful.

I hope you find what you're looking for in the US. The UK is rubbish at the moment!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:21 AM
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,103,091 times
Reputation: 6189
If so much of a minefield once your realize there are only five areas near or over 50,000 population:
Chicago and East St.Louis, Peoria, Bloomington and Springfield and Champaign - which is located in Eastern Centeral Illinois. Chicago has a couple hundred suburbs.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:19 PM
5 posts, read 4,644 times
Reputation: 13
I grew up in that area.

I live in the Denver area, and after being away for years, I came back home and found it was even worse than when I left. It's a sad dying town. I want to like the town I do. And when I left, I missed aspects of it. I really missed the greenery, the old cobblestone streets of certain areas and vintage architecture. The best thing about Springfield is the Lincoln Museum, which everyone should see. However, see it on a day trip from St. Louis or Chicago. Also, stay near the museum and do not stray from a 2 block radius. Springfield is not Chicago. It's actually more dangerous proportionately than Chicago. You can't really get away from the crime even in small towns (I lived in a small town there).

No, Springfield is not the Gotham of the Midwest

Here's a story. One of my husband's former students (Japanese) who studied in Denver decided she would attend U of I-Springfield. My husband went there because he lived ther, liked it, but he strongly suggested she choose a different place because Springfield is a dying town. She went anyway, and arrived by a small plane from St. Louis at night. In the morning, she looked out her hotel room and called her former school in Denver to see if she could return.

Oh, also, last year at work I had to call someone in Springfield. I asked how Springfield was - I used to live there. He would not say anything. Anything. This was weird because he was also in customer service, on a recorded line and see below - Springfield people are extremely gabby friendly people.

The people there are very friendly to strangers. They will strike up conversations with you anywhere for any reason. One lady rolled down her window to apologize to my father for cutting him off in traffic by mistake. However, friendly or not the city is very racially divided. When my daughter visited her grandparents there, she said she heard the "n-word" frequently among whites. That isn't to say that Denver is completely non-racist, it's just that, well, most people get over that when they come out here. I heard that racial tensions might be improving in Springfield somewhat. The Springfield Race Riot of 1908 was the force behind the creation of NAACP. My father-in-law went to movies in the 1950s where the balcony was called "n-er heaven."
So, I'll be honest, if you need help, you might only get it from someone whose skin color matches yours. It goes both ways. FYI, it's this way in much of Illinois.

As I write about it, I feel a bit teary-eyed. It's a town that really missed the boat and there is so much potential because of the city's historical significance.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:21 AM
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,103,091 times
Reputation: 6189
Generally speaking from border to border rural America is racist and homophobic. To what degree depends upon the location, the local political climate, the degree of religious influence, and the individual. Illinois is no better or no worse than any other state in this respect.

Is Springfield dying? No, it is just sad. The City of Springfield is dominated by, and hated by, the Chicago pols that fill the legislative seats and top government positions. It is a natural reaction to have feet in two worlds that are diametrically opposed to the nth degree. Where one foot is planted in the second largest county in America, the other is firmly planted among thousands of acres of corn and beans. It shows from the honeycomb of one-way streets, to the congested shopping areas, and to the Chicago traffic pattern on its surface streets. But I have to say that after midnight Springfield is a beautiful city.

On the other hand one can drive 50 miles NNW to encounter a city of the same size. Despite two Interstate routes, two US roués and the three IL routes that pass through it, the traffic flow is easy among te rolling hills and cliffs. It also racially balanced where the representatives of all faiths work together with the city,the schools, the social societies, and the event planners to create a better place for children and residents.

Forty years ago this city began to reinvent itself as it moved from a dependence on manufacturing to a STEM and research city that has been mostly successful in its endeavors. Springfield has no such options as it is wears the yoke of state government.
It's a tale of two similar cities one can find from coast to coast.

AS a whole Springfield is not a terrible place to live, raise a family or go to college. One has to understand what it is, and what the limitation are. You won't find Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or Costco as it is in St. Louis, but you can find most everything else that is familiar from Old Navy to McDonald's.

The COL in Springfield is not worse than another other city of its size. The difference is in personal income taxes. IL is a flat 5%. IL does not tax SS or company pensions. Nor doe not have a personal property tax. It does have a real estate tax that is much lower than in Chicago proper.
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