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Old 12-29-2017, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,395 posts, read 3,732,950 times
Reputation: 8115

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
Small town America is dead or dying no matter where you go. CD Iowa fans are somewhat partial to see that. So basically you have to look for a commuter/suburban type of a town and cleanse your mind of TV inspired stereotypes. If a town is not a commuter/suburban hub it has little to offer except sense of doom.

Disagree. I used to live in a small town and my grievances with that town had nothing to do with it being small. Some small towns suck, some are awesome. I would totally go back to small town living when I am older. My ex/partner (its complicated... we might be married in less than 3 years lol) grew up in a small town and he absolutely loves it and is proud to be from that town and goes to visit for any reason whether its a graduation or a football game or just to say hi to family. Small towns don't offer much for those who want a career that just won't be found there, but for those who are retired, idyllic small town life is not out of reach. Again, not all small towns are the same. I been in some craptastic ones and I've been in some really nice pleasant ones.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,395 posts, read 3,732,950 times
Reputation: 8115
Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
Obviously this is a person who knows nothing about small town Iowa and American small towns in general. There are many small towns with very healthy economies due to various reasons. It may be a successful dominant business, it may be a college, it may be retirees, it may be commuters, it may be diversified farming.

Obviously, other small towns do have economies and infrastructures which are in decline. Some will recover; many will completely die.

There is no ONE rural or small town experience, just as there is no ONE urban experience.

As someone who has lived in very large cities, medium sized cities, and very small towns in 15 different states, and who has traveled extensively throughout America, I really wish people who only have urban experience would stop posting about subjects about which they know nothing.
Exactly. Its like judging all big cities by the problems Detroit faces. Its not a one-size fits all. If your idea of small town life is owning a home with a lot of space, going to church on Sunday, local businesses and restaurants where everyone knows everyone and friendly people, that's not something that's dead. As far as drug problems... everywhere with enough people is gonna have them. Cities have them but its silly to say "Avoid city living because some people use drugs." I don't care if some people use drugs as long as they aren't causing problems. I lived in a town full of methheads, and yea its a damn shame, but at the same time those methheads left me alone. I sure would prefer if less people were addicted to meth but... I also think this "drug" thing is overblown. There's a ton of drug users where I live, doesn't affect how much I love it here. Everyone has their vices, as long as they leave me alone.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:24 AM
 
53,890 posts, read 43,235,969 times
Reputation: 33804
Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
Small town America is dead or dying no matter where you go. CD Iowa fans are somewhat partial to see that. So basically you have to look for a commuter/suburban type of a town and cleanse your mind of TV inspired stereotypes. If a town is not a commuter/suburban hub it has little to offer except sense of doom.
One purpose of CD is to educate people looking to make major life decisions based upon other peoples inputs.

As such, it would be useful to know if you've ever lived in small town america or if you're just angry and left there when you were 18 many decades ago.

The hyperbole and other comments may help you but they don't help the OP.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:26 AM
 
53,890 posts, read 43,235,969 times
Reputation: 33804
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
Disagree. I used to live in a small town and my grievances with that town had nothing to do with it being small. Some small towns suck, some are awesome. I would totally go back to small town living when I am older. My ex/partner (its complicated... we might be married in less than 3 years lol) grew up in a small town and he absolutely loves it and is proud to be from that town and goes to visit for any reason whether its a graduation or a football game or just to say hi to family. Small towns don't offer much for those who want a career that just won't be found there, but for those who are retired, idyllic small town life is not out of reach. Again, not all small towns are the same. I been in some craptastic ones and I've been in some really nice pleasant ones.
Great post.

My hometown has become a Chicago Retiree refuge to some extent for those reasons.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:39 AM
 
1,613 posts, read 2,281,506 times
Reputation: 2836
One town in eastern Iowa that has a terrible reputation for drug problems is Marengo, about 15 miles west of Iowa City. DO NOT MOVE THERE.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,352,393 times
Reputation: 9649
I'm older, as well, and I would first encourage you to consider your insurance, potential need for doctors and hospitals, and then start thinking about where you want to live. While some of the smaller towns are quite nice, if you have a heart attack and then need extensive re-hab, you might be looking at a long drive. What if both of you aren't doing that well? Do you have family around who can help?

For this reason, my choices are near Iowa City or Des Moines. Both of them have a number of hospitals and retirement housing, and it's easier to find alternative transportation to the doctor if neither of you can drive.

Some people on C-D put down Ankeny, but there are two large senior housing complexes going in, as well as branch hospitals. There is far less less traffic than Des Moines. If you have money, look into it. Ankeny is a bit on the pricey side compared to other Iowa towns but it would be relatively easy to shop and visit doctors. Ankeny is north of Des Moines along I-35.

Another choice might be Altoona, which used to be much more affordable than it is now, but with Facebook and other companies coming in, property cost is rapidly increasing. It's located east of Des Moines, along I-80. Altoona probably has more of a small town feel, although that is rapidly changing.

You were given some great advice to come visit, and I second that. There's a lot of great info on C-D, but nothing beats boots-on-the-ground research. Iowa is not that large, and you can see a lot in 3 - 4 days.

Added: as for being "liberal," people are generally live and let live around here. If you're more of an extreme liberal, then be sure to live in the midst of a college town, where you will find many like-minded people. If you are more middle-of-the-road, you can live in other places. Honestly, except in election years, it's not that much of an issue in real life. We chew on each other on C-D but in real life, you'll probably talk more about the weather.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:31 AM
 
870 posts, read 806,562 times
Reputation: 1411
Thank you all.


We live in the "Boonies" now and tired of traveling 50 plus miles round trip for a supermarket, 60 plus miles for shopping and Hubbie traveling 57 miles each way for work- yep, 114 miles 5 days a week. We want small town living but it still has to be livable.


That's why I'd like an active "Main Street": a nice library (we are BIG readers and since we don't have cable TV, all we watch are movies in the evening),


farmers markets,


second hand stores, flea markets, antique stores,


a health food store, a nice hardware store/ lumber yard, a feed store (we don't feed supermarket dog/ cat food due to animal's food allergies, plus we are hoping to bring our 1 pet goat and 1 pet sheep with us)


friendly ppl,


a vet (we have 6 dogs and 4 cats-all rescues, some handicapped/ seniors/ medical problems, plus we will have a goat and a sheep),


access to dentist/ doctors and a nearby hospital,


a Walmart would be nice, or shopping in a nearby town,


parks, restaurants, town-wide activities, things to see and do.


We will be retired, so employment is not important to us, but we would like an area where other ppl can get jobs.


Thanks again and keep the info coming. Maybe some info on quality of life. Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:01 AM
 
53,890 posts, read 43,235,969 times
Reputation: 33804
Quote:
Originally Posted by ennaf View Post
One town in eastern Iowa that has a terrible reputation for drug problems is Marengo, about 15 miles west of Iowa City. DO NOT MOVE THERE.
City data has crime information that the OP can search through and verify if that's actually the case (and not an opinion) vs. other towns in the area.
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:31 AM
 
1,613 posts, read 2,281,506 times
Reputation: 2836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
City data has crime information that the OP can search through and verify if that's actually the case (and not an opinion) vs. other towns in the area.
It's the opinion of long-time residents who are actually currently living in Marengo and those life-long residents in surrounding small towns and in Iowa City. Actually, if you live in eastern Iowa, it's common knowledge. It's a shame because they have a really cute downtown and so much potential.

Last edited by smpliving; 01-01-2018 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,352 posts, read 4,821,178 times
Reputation: 5708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
I'm older, as well, and I would first encourage you to consider your insurance, potential need for doctors and hospitals, and then start thinking about where you want to live. While some of the smaller towns are quite nice, if you have a heart attack and then need extensive re-hab, you might be looking at a long drive. What if both of you aren't doing that well? Do you have family around who can help?

For this reason, my choices are near Iowa City or Des Moines. Both of them have a number of hospitals and retirement housing, and it's easier to find alternative transportation to the doctor if neither of you can drive.

Some people on C-D put down Ankeny, but there are two large senior housing complexes going in, as well as branch hospitals. There is far less less traffic than Des Moines. If you have money, look into it. Ankeny is a bit on the pricey side compared to other Iowa towns but it would be relatively easy to shop and visit doctors. Ankeny is north of Des Moines along I-35.

Another choice might be Altoona, which used to be much more affordable than it is now, but with Facebook and other companies coming in, property cost is rapidly increasing. It's located east of Des Moines, along I-80. Altoona probably has more of a small town feel, although that is rapidly changing.

You were given some great advice to come visit, and I second that. There's a lot of great info on C-D, but nothing beats boots-on-the-ground research. Iowa is not that large, and you can see a lot in 3 - 4 days.

Added: as for being "liberal," people are generally live and let live around here. If you're more of an extreme liberal, then be sure to live in the midst of a college town, where you will find many like-minded people. If you are more middle-of-the-road, you can live in other places. Honestly, except in election years, it's not that much of an issue in real life. We chew on each other on C-D but in real life, you'll probably talk more about the weather.

You hit the nail on the head here. Your comment can be generalized throughout the upper Midwest and into the Plains states.
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