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Old 07-19-2012, 12:57 PM
7 posts, read 30,435 times
Reputation: 11


Has anyone made a transition from a large city to the quad cities? My husband and I are considering a move (from NYC) and I'd like to hear if others have made the move and have any experiences (good/bad/otherwise) they can share.

Important to us is a good school/neighborhood (open to suggestions - have heard PV schools are the way to go?) and the ability for my daughter to take extra-curricular classes (music, ballet, soccer, etc). We also like to travel and take part in cultural events.

I have heard mixed things on this board re: climate and crime rate.

Would we "fit in" or forever be seen as outsiders? (seems to be a reoccurring theme on this board, too).

Sorry if this seems "all over the place," I'd just like any feedback one has (esp. if you came from a large(r) city!)
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:48 PM
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I grew up in the Quad Cities and moved to Chicago, I can't tell you what it's like to move there from a large city but...

PV/Bettendorf is considered best for families. But Davenport is more than fine too.

Climate..6 weeks of high heat and humidity in the summer and 6 weeks of bitter cold and wind chills in the winter. Outside of that, the weather is pretty good. Probably similar to NY.

Folks who talk about crime in the QCA are sheltered and boring people. Teenagers with spray paint or shooting a car window with a bb gun will get headlines.

If you have a heavy NY accent, you'll be answering a lot of "Where are you from" ?'s

Traveling is actually pretty good. Pretty close to Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, St. Louis, KC, Omaha and lots of smaller towns like Iowa City.

Lots of sports, schools have music programs etc.

The whole "Being an outsider" is a small town thing. Because of the Rock Island arsenal and other job opportunities, there are plenty of outsiders.

Check out the RiverCity Reader website for things to do. Good Luck!
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:16 AM
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I'm originally from some very small towns, and have moved from Davenport to Minneapolis and back. I think I tend to think of things as the QC being about the right size for my family.

The good news is that competition for schools and activities will be almost non-existent compared to NYC - if you can sign up and pay the fee, you are generally in. (Outside of competitive things, such as sports and drama in the schools, etc, and that's far *less* competitive.)

There is 'enough' going on culturally, though you'll want to look at different sources. The downtown Davenport facebook page has quite a few happenings listed, as does the QC Times (but often on the day of, so you have to watch that more closely). The local colleges host some interesting events as well.

We're also within driving distance to Chicago (3 hours), so the ability to go to bigger events is certainly still there, though the Adler and the iWireless Center (the Mark) keep busy with shows and events as well. That being said, it is certainly not New York! Walkability isn't that great (outside of certain areas), so you'll likely be in the car to go to a number of things, though parking is minimal or free in a lot of areas.

Climate: It can get HOT in the summer and pretty cold in the winter. I don't think we get the amount of snow that upstate New York does; it tends to be more four to six inches at a time.

Crime: If you've lived in NYC, you're going to feel like you can leave your doors unlocked. I wouldn't recommend it, though we've accidentally left for a trip and had our door unlocked with no issue. Really, it seems that most of the violent crime occurs in a small area, with a smattering of burglaries here and there.

Fitting in: The QC is pretty open, though if you do have an unusual accent you'll likely be asked some questions out of curiosity. I'm not a native, but that's never seemed like a big deal here, even when I first moved. I think it's more that if you are from a bigger city and don't feel that the QC has enough that people can get defensive, but that can happen anywhere.

Things you might miss:
Whole Foods
Trader Joes
IKEA (nearest is Chicago)
Costco (an hour away in Coralville, IA)

We do have many HyVee grocery stores with natural and organic options in their Health Markets, and a coop downtown called Greatest Grains. Some people love the coop, some don't. I prefer the one in Iowa City/Coralville (New Pioneer) because it carries more of what we shopped for in Minneapolis. YMMV. The Freight House farmer's market here is quite good and worth a trip. I know there are others in town, but I don't know much about them.

Dining out is easy and affordable here!

Honestly, I would make a visit. It's going to be so different from NYC in appearance and feel that there could be something you love or hate that we couldn't make a guess at. I really appreciated driving around Minneapolis to find which neighborhoods we felt we belonged in, and I can imagine that if you're able to do so it would be a big help in the decision as well. No matter what, I wish you luck in whatever you decide!
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:59 PM
Location: Morris, MN
135 posts, read 567,381 times
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Good points made here. I was raised in Moline, lived in Burlington, IA, Minneapolis, MN and a small town in Western Minnesota.

The Quad Cities is a lot less cosmopolitan than NYC. That is not a bad thing. The Quad Cities have survived decades of economic contraction and still provide ample commerce. Each city has its own flavor as mentioned above. Yes, you will miss much of what NYC is; however, you will be able to afford do to many things, including fine dining, in the Quad Cities. Get out an explore each city. There are cool little restaurants hidden in several neighborhoods which do not advertise. The Quads offers many cultural event and festivals-- and you'll be able to afford going to them.

If you move there, don't stay in your house missing what you left behind. Read the newspapers, watch the local news, and get out there. Trust me, there is something going on every weekend somewhere.

Play the realtors on both sides of the river. Home prices are low compared to major metropolitan areas. Don't overspend though. You'll have buyer representation on the Illinois side-- not sure about Iowa. The Iowa side has always faired a little better economically. Bettendorf has some nice, new homes; Davenport has an urban flavor about it. Rock Island used to be a little bit more industrial but has become a residential community with a fun downtown. Moline is a bit economically stronger than Rock Island with more commerce, newer homes, and a downtown area which is gaining ground on Rock Island. A good realtor will show you around.

If this is where your career has placed you, take it for what it's worth. You'll have a fairly relaxed way of life with enough to do. Maybe you'll be there 3 years or 30 years. Who knows? Get to know your neighbors. Quad Citians are proud of what they have and will gladly show you around.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:02 AM
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
219 posts, read 392,587 times
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I know how you feel! I moved away from the area a few years ago and currently am wondering what it will be like living back in the QC after living in a big city for a long period of time. Note: I was born and raised there.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:51 PM
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,270 posts, read 18,192,386 times
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Did you know that the Quad Cities is actually made up of five cities? Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline. Bettendorf was the last to be included in the group when the population boomed after WWII. There was a push to change the name to the Quint Cities at that time but it never caught on.

Anyway, there's your useless trivia for the day. Do with it what you will.

Oh, and those of us from Mount Sterling actually consider the Quad Cities big cities. Any of the five by itself.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:44 PM
3 posts, read 7,370 times
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Default Do not move to QC if you are from big cities

I just saw your post, not sure if you are in QC already. But I suggest you that if you used to live in big cities, do not move to here.

I was born and living in Big cities, also had been in NYC for 2 years. No offense to the residents here, but this area is a little bit boring and isolated, so I'm looking for a new job in big cities right now. You really hard to find something funny to do, and things that people care about here are different from big cities. Yes, it's quiet and peaceful especially in Bettendorf, but if you like the lifestyle in big cities, even don't consider here. It's a place lack of diversity, and not many things worth checking out. Most of the museums, attractions, historical sites would be closed after Labor Day. I know there's a big culture difference between QC and big cities. So, think about what you really want and make your decision.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:41 PM
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
219 posts, read 392,587 times
Reputation: 160
suiqian11, as I see from your profile you just joined this site, so either you're a troll who bashes on cities such as the Quad Cities, probably never been there in your whole life.. or just one of them Peoria fanatics types who think that their city is going to be the next chicago.. either way everything you said is either completely wrong and ignorant. The Quad Cities has lots to offer that other cities in Iowa and Illinois don't have, the area is the only area in both Iowa and Illinois to have 4 Interstates outside of Chicago and Omaha, so it has much more potential than any other areas in these states, also has the 3rd lowest unemployment in both Iowa and Illinois.. need I go on??
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:57 PM
178 posts, read 293,743 times
Reputation: 105
Come now, suiqian11 is entitled to her opinion. We've had this discussion before in the Des Moines section. Neither is remotely like NYC. You aren't going to have the same dining and entertainment options, period. On the other hand, you will be able to have a decent-sized house, a car, and a more relaxed pace. If your life revolves around things that are NYC-centric than there are a LOT of places including Iowa that won't suit. If you want a family-friendly environment, it's hard to go wrong with Iowa. And a lot of other places.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:04 PM
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CincyIowan, I recently moved from QC area to Houston, and I've lived in NYC for a couple of years as well. I agree with you that QC is a nice area in IA and IL. But come on, we are talking about NYC to QC. QC does offer more than other Iowa towns, but you can not compare a small city with only 150k people to a big city which has 8M people. Big cities definitely has a lot more resources than small ones. They are completely different life styles. Iowa is really a family-friendly place, and most of the people here are so nice, though some of them are a little bit conservative. But for someone who wants to move to QC from NYC, it wouldn't hurt to spend some time thinking about it, because that's gonna be a huge difference. I assume you haven't live in a "real" big city, I mean, with a population over 2M, right? If so, when you get a chance, why not try to go to one of the big cities, like SF, NYC, Chicago, around the downtown area, not being a visitor, but being a resident for one or two years. I believe you could feel it, maybe have a better understanding of why some people like to stay in big cities. Somebody like big cities, some like small towns, there's nothing wrong with it. My parents really like QC, especially Bettendorf.

As for the unemployment rate, yes, it's low in Iowa. But if someone's really skilled, who cares the unemployment rate. And Peoria can be next Chicago? Maybe, but after 100 years. That is sufficient people generate enough demand, and then stimulates the local economy. Peoria just has 120K people right now, I hope I can see it becomes the next Chicago in my life
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