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Old 11-05-2006, 05:23 PM
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,166,266 times
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I'm in Urbana-Champaign for grad school. The Bloomington-Normal area is nice, plenty of restaurants and shopping. Peoria isn't really all that big [same size as BN or UC] and while the river is nice, it did not feel safe, and it was also somewhat difficult to navigate around the city and its environs.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:49 PM
Location: Arlington Heights, IL
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Peoria is actually quite a bit bigger than Bloomington-Normal or Champaign-Urbana when you factor in the metro area. The city itself is about 120,000 I believe, but the whole area is pushing maybe 200k. There are suburbs and a real skyline. It's not as "dirty" as it used to be due to heavy renovations around the river, although there definitely are some not-so-great parts. The best place to visit for views is Peoria Heights...unexpectantly beautiful scenes over the Illinois River if you find the right spots. They also have a very well-regarded golf course (Weaver Ridge) and a nice new open-air mall (Shoppes at Grand Prairie).

Sounds like an advertisement, but I recently lived in Normal and traveled there pretty regularly with my wife. I think that we'd actually consider moving there over the twin cities.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:04 AM
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Peoria, while larger than b-n or c-u is somewhat more limited in cultural opportunities and more isolated than b-n or c-u. Here in Champaign, the job market is good, cultural opportunities abound b/c of the U of I, and the downtown area has a great feel. And, if you get bored, Chicago's only two hours away-quite a bit shorter than Peoria!
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:41 AM
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Normal is a good place to live, with all kinds of stuff to do, and a fair amount of cultural activity. Tornadoes happen in the area every once in a while, but not enough to lose sleep over. As for jobs, anyone who can't find work in Normal needs to be checked by the coroner.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:13 AM
98 posts, read 307,651 times
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Good Answer.....
Thank you all for all your interesting comments.
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