So You Are Thinking of Moving to Iowa (Des Moines, Iowa City: job transfer, buy)
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Brad88 said: "Sioux City would be a city I'd stay far away from, I have never liked Sioux City, and many people around here would most likely agree with me."
Tell me about Sioux City. What don't you like about it?
Well, matter of fact, I just went to Sioux City today. Would it not be for the Highway 60 by-pass, I wouldn't go there at all.
Sioux City is extremely spread out. Streets are crappy: narrow, in need of improvement, etc. The interstate through downtown is terrible. Sioux City is what I would call "old". Especially on the western side of town things look like they haven't been updated in 50 years. This isn't limited to homes, this includes buildings, stop lights, roads, etc. Sioux City always has water main breaks because the mains are something like 100 years old. Sioux City feels dirty, probably because of the lack of wealth in the community. Compared to Waterloo, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Ames, etc. Sioux City has the highest, or at least one of the highest, rates of crime.
Use this website to tinker around with comparing the cities of Iowa to Sioux City in the different areas provided to see how Sioux City really does pail in comparison to most of the other cities: MONEY Magazine: Best places to live 2006: Compare toolShopping
Another reason not to go to Sioux City, is the shopping there pretty well sucks. Granted it's gotten better, but still needs to improve.
It's so difficult to get around town too, especially downtown there are so many one way streets. Downtown has nothing to offer, JCPenney and Younkers used to be downtown, but both have closed and left downtown, leaving it pretty void of any major retail shopping, which has hurt a lot of business downtown.
Still not convinced Sioux City is bad? Take a drive to Sioux City and you'll see, it's bad. I promise. I'm sure you can see why Sioux City's population continues to trend downward (evident by this very own website, just go to Sioux City's profile).
I moved to Iowa from California when I was 11. Moved to a small town of about 8K - and it was a culture shock. I went to college in Orange City. Nice town, but "if you ain't Dutch, you ain't much!" There wasn't even a Catholic church in town.
However, I have lived my married life in Council Bluffs. I LOVE living here! It is growing more diverse, and I haven't heard of any racial troubles yet. Google just announced a server farm (whatever that is) would be located here. We only have one mall, but two more will be opening in 2008. We can drive across the river to access all of Omaha's retail and jobs, but we don't have the high taxes.
The 3 casinos here help fund community improvements and keep our taxes lower (and most of the gamblers are from NE!). The schools are decent (most in iowa are) and people are friendly once you slip past their midwestern reserve.
Council Bluffs is working very hard to create jobs and entice businesses to locate here. I recommend it!
Iowa folks are farm-based. They smoke. They drink. They curse a bit. They are behind the times.
I've lived in Iowa for over 20 years and have a very different picture. Of course, some people live on farms and are "small town." However, those people don't make up the entire state. Also, I'm confused by your saying that Iowa people "smoke." Every other state I've ever visited (including California) people have also smoked. However, I don't personally know any Iowa people who smoke! Of course, I've seen people smoke, but actually, the percentage seems much lower than most other places I've seen, including California.
I also think that you haven't met very many people if you say that Iowans are behind the times. Some are. So are some people from every state. However, I think if you open your eyes and your mind, you will find people here a lot more advanced than you think. However, you first have to get rid of an arrogant attitude. Iowans that I've met are usually rather humble, and perhaps you mistake that aspect for something else.
As Ilovejazz said, people will smoke and be behind the times in every state.
In Iowa, living in Dubuque, I dont know any smokers. People drink here, they drink everywhere, but to stereotype Iowa as this place where everyone smokes, drinks, and is way behind, etc., is wrong. High tech industries are popping up ALL over the place, especially here in Dubuque, cities are revitalizing, cities are cleaning up and promoting tourism, especially Dubuque, and Iowa City.
Yes, there is a HUGE share of farms in Iowa, but, there are urban centers with the most up and coming technology available; DM in particular. A big portion of the population lives in the DM metro, the QC's, The Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids Triangle, The Omaha metro, and in and around Sioux City.
I also live in Northwest Iowa, and although it's nice enough for me, I don't know how much I'd recommend living here.
Spencer definitely is a nice town though, I'll give it that.
Sheldon is definitely not a very nice town, and I would never recommend living in Sheldon.
Although not in northwest Iowa, Sioux Falls, South Dakota is by far one of the best places to live. With a population well over 100,000 it really does have everything (except for an international airport, but if you're not a big air traveler, not a problem).
The Iowa Great Lakes is highly overrated in my book, and wouldn't even think about spending the price they charge for housing around there. Spencer is less than a half hour away and I would imagine housing prices are considerably less, and Spencer offers much more. For the lower housing costs, I would drive everyday to the Lakes instead of live there.
Sioux City would be a city I'd stay far away from, I have never liked Sioux City, and many people around here would most likely agree with me.
Hartley definitely would not be on my list, trust me, the town is a dump. Yet the addition of a new Ethanol plant may help to revive the town (somewhat).
Sanborn is a wonderful town of about 1,300 people. Very clean, well kept town. Residents are very friendly and the town has a lot of community pride. There are new housing developments and industrial developments on the east side of town. One draw back would be the fact that there are quite a few older people living here (more so than the typical small town). Definitely a Dutch community. Which I'll talk about Sioux county ("Little Holland") in a minute.
Sibley is a dump, could possibly be worse than Hartley.
Sioux Center and Orange City are decent sized towns of around 5,000-6,000 people in Sioux county. Manufacturing is pretty big in each of the towns with Pella Windows in Sioux Center and numerous businesses in Orange City. Both are definite Dutch communities, with Orange City holding the annual Tulip Festival every May. Sioux Center, along with Sioux county, has seen a large recent increase in the Hispanic population. Both are very clean, well-kept communities, and offer many big city conveniences in the smaller town atmosphere, and are situated almost dead center between Sioux City and Sioux Falls.
Outside of northwest Iowa, Cedar Rapids would be my best choice, or possibly one of Des Moines' western suburbs (West Des Moines or Clive).
Definitely though do give Sioux Falls, Spencer, and some of the other cities I listed above a chance. You might just be surprised.
I am an unusual circumstance, as I live in Ohio, but am very enthusiastically involved in a church located in a small rural town in Northwestern Iowa. The church, a historic building of 120 years, was a part of a research project that I was doing in relation to writing a biography.
I am originally from a small rural town in Michigan, and now live in a small rural town in Ohio. Yes, people react swiftly to that which they do not understand, or is outside of the scope of their personal life experience. But this is true everywhere.
I have read some of the postings to this question, and yes, dingy places do exist, but again, that is true everywhere. Ignorance does exist, but that is true everywhere. Less than perfect human behavior does exist... you get my point.
If you see something that you would like improved, work toward changing it. It is called community service. But, tip toe as you do so. Maybe people forgetting to tip toe is what tips the cows over. None of us wants what is familiar to us bulldozed by an outsider that is not understood, so be a quiet voice that asks questions. Draw people to you and to your cause.
As for Iowa, I am in love with it. My husband is anchored in Ohio, but I hope to be involved in both states and travel back and forth. Yes, I have been ripped apart with gossip and anger by some of those in the town that I visit, but we largely have forgiven one another, and I can take as much blame by knowing that I shared too quickly at times, though it was well intended. It is a state of breathtaking beauty. Need something to do? Look around for things to get involved in. Join a church. Volunteer. Make a difference in another person's life. Be kind to someone. Just like everywhere else in this country.
I love when people go on and on that everyone in Iowa lives on a farm.
Usually people are surprised to learn that only 5% of the people in Iowa live on farm. Around 34% live out in the country or in small town, and over 60% live in the states urban areas. 55% of the people in the state live in the larger "metropolitan" areas of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, Iowa City, Dubuque and Ames.
So for every farmer in Iowa, there are 19 who live in cities or towns.
Can any one tell me about Clinton, Iowa. My Husband is thinking of taking a job there. We will be moving from Mississippi. I would like to know about the schools(elementary and middle school), job opportunities, activities for kids( youth clubs, parks etc), crime rate, cost of living, well of new comers, race relations, best place to live in that area, etc. if anyone knows anything(good or bad) please let me know so we can weigh our options. THANKS
My name is Deb and I was born and raised in Clinton, but moved away when I was 18 (I'm 47 now). So, I can shed some historical perspectives with you about the town.
We lived on the end/side of town where the factories are....the SMELLY NASTY FACTORIES! That would be my biggest complaint about the town. In fact when I was a kid, my dad and local neighbors went to city council meetings week after week trying to get National by-products (called something different I'm sure by now) to move farther outside of city limits. Of course $$$ won. SO...my advice to you would be NOT to move anywhere close to the part of town that these factories are in...generally the South/West area....my mother still lives there....ICK
Unfortunatly that's the part of town that has developed into the largest shopping area...probably an attempt to keep that part of town from completely disinigrating! There is not alot of shopping. You'll have to go to Davenport (45 mins) to get to a decent mall. I can't believe after all these years Clinton doesn't have a mall, but yet have spent their city revenues on GAMBLING. The Mississippi River runs right along town and this I would say is it's best feature. The riverfront is beautiful and the showboats are on display. You can watch barges go up and down and even observe bald eagles up at the lock and dam on the Illinois side (just across the bridge!) Chicago is only 100? miles away so that's a wonderful Saturday trip for you and kiddos to check out the museums, zoo, etc. And a great weekend get a away for you and hubby. Eagle point park is a real show stopper. Absolutely beautiful you'll want to go there every weekend. Very historical, in that Indian arrowheads have been found there. It has bluffs down to the river and be sure your kids NEVER try to venture as many people have gotten hurt or killed trying this. When I was a kid they had a cage full of monkeys there but those are long gone. Last time I was there I see they have put in a dog park, so that's cool. The North end of town (far North) is generally been the "wealthy" part of town, but of course there are changes since then. "South Clinton" used to be the "poor" part of town, but most of that has been taken over by ADM (another stinky factory). You asked about race relations, and as with all Mid-Western people, they tend to be very "down to earth" (my title), BUT, generally conservative (esp. older Iowans). The diversity in Iowa is not that great, except again in certain areas. Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Dubuque have more African Americans than other towns (per population density). Hispanics are in "pockets" generally in towns that have factories and/or are welcoming....but I'm sure it has been hard for them given the immigration issues and the older Iowan views. I went to school with a handful of Black kids and loved every minute of it. But I remember racial tensions back in the 70's. Blacks have "generally" lived in the center of town, but of course that has probably changed as well some. My old high school buddy has a bar in the "heart" of the "Black part" of town, called "Dave's Place". Go check it out and tell him his old HS buddy Deb Iverson sent ya!! (-: Iowa City probably has the most diversity with it being a big college town. The farther North in Iowa you go probably the less diverse and more agricultural it gets. There used to be a roller skating rink just outside of Camanche (about 15 miles?) that I was at every Friday and Saturday night for 13 years!!! I hope it's still there I may have to go back with my old skates! (I JUST moved to Des Moines from 25 years in Colorado 6 months ago)... You'll find the cost of living probably alittle higher than Mississippi (just a hunch) since the cost of living seems lower in the South. But it's definitly a lot less than Colorado (which was one reason for me to move back). I don't know much about the schools, it's been too long and my kids grew up in Colorado. They do have 2 colleges that I'm aware of.I had better close, I hope this has helped. I grew up there, I am a Nurse Practioner in Des Moines and my mom, brother and cousins are still there. I get over there every month or so. It's not a bad place to live at all, just stay away from the SMELLS!! (-: Best of luck to you and your family, God Bless!
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