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Old 08-30-2007, 10:37 PM
6 posts, read 28,838 times
Reputation: 12


Wow, this is one long topic! And this is my first post. Just adding my two cents about my time in Iowa as a transplant all the way from Hawai'i (yes, Hawai'i).

I met some of the most sincere, down-to-earth, salt-of-the-earth people while at ISU. In fact, after leaving school over seven years ago, I still keep in touch with my Iowan friends and in fact just returned home from visiting them in the Midwest. In fact, I'm seriously contemplating laying temporary roots down in Iowa. (But not during the brutal winters though. This island girl needs sun!)

I obviously found Iowans to be friendly and good-natured. Yes they were a bit sheltered; after all, Iowa is in the middle of nowhere with not a lot of diversity. It's understandable that I was literally the first dark-skinned person a lot of farm-grown Midwesterners ever saw in person. Heck, a lot of them couldn't even swim and never saw the ocean or been on an airplane...and all they ate was chicken! So it took an open mind on both of our parts (native Iowans and transplants like myself) to accept, embrace, and appreciate our differences. Beyond that, we obviously made it work as I still have very fond memories and cherished relationships all made in Iowa.

I come from a state renowned for its friendly, tolerant, diverse, and warm spirited people. From my experience and by that standard, the folks I met in Iowa might as well be from Hawai'i.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:21 PM
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9 posts, read 33,751 times
Reputation: 19
I moved back to Cedar Rapids, Iowa five years ago and have found it very hard to make friends. I have always been surrounded by people and I am not used to not having any. I was always the guy who everybody came to for advice, for fun, for dinner, for just about anything and everything. Now that I am back in Iowa... I cannot seen to connect with people. I don't understand it. I know I am not the only person who feels this way. People seem to be too busy or too suspicious or just too picky.

I miss having friends. If it is not true that Iowa is unfriendly, then I invite anyone to contact me by email at; gaspdesign@earthlink.net (put 'Cedar Rapids Friends' in the subject box of your mail so I don't lose it in spam.)

I do not care what color, size, age, educational level, sexual preference you are. I do not care what your smoking/drinking status is or what income level you are on. I only care that you are sincere, have a good outlook on life... are basically happy (or want to be)... kind and a loyal and true friend. I do not want to be around people who are prejudiced, hateful, too needy or greedy. I don't want people who are desparate and act clingy.

I just want plain old folks. I want friends and I know I cannot be the only one who feels this way. I miss having people over. I miss my construction working beer drinking buddies. I miss my mixed up, crazy, fun loving friends. I miss my conservative business pals, my religious and my athiest friends. I miss all the people who got along despite all their many differences. So you see... it's not because I'm too picky, and it's not because I'm not a nice guy... because I think I am one of the nicest people I have ever met. I really like me... and I think you all would too.

If Iowa is friendly... email me and let's prove it to everyone. I'll post it one way or the other on this site later after we have all had time to get to know each other.

I realize that after people get off work and the daily grind that they just want to kick back and relax. But how bout' kickin' back with some friends you can enjoy in good times, bad times, hard times? Everyone lives longer and happier if they have friends.

Last edited by ImLooking4friends; 08-31-2007 at 02:25 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:26 PM
14 posts, read 32,156 times
Reputation: 11
Originally Posted by Cactus Sam View Post
We moved to Iowa in the late 1990's, after carefully researching as much as we could. (Much like you are doing right now.)

At first we liked the quaintness. It was like going back in time at least 40 years. But, after awhile we grew to despise the place.

Our family's experience with Iowa (along with several other people we met from out of state that moved there and left, also) is:

It is backwards, dirty, moldy and decrepit. The people HATE outsiders and if you do not have any "ties" with relatives in the state, or if you were not born in Iowa - you will never be accepted. Never.

Don't worry about the mosquitos - worry about the stink of hog lots and ethanol plants, the lack of laws, the ignorance and inbreeding of the people.
The rudeness, the moldy restaurants, the dirty stores. Oh, and did I say ignorance? Oh, and how about the run down houses in the dead and dying small towns? Oh, and the meth labs everywhere....everywhere...

We have NOTHING good to say about Iowa except that we sold our house - at a loss, of course. And got the heck out of there. We would have walked away if it hadn't sold, but fortunately it did.

We moved to the desert in California, and are dumbfounded at the nice, friendly people. We hadn't been around friendly people in years. Iowans are not nice people at all. No, not at all - not to outsiders.

I hope my post helps you because I wish people had told us when we were researching Iowa about how backwards it is there. They kept talking about the weather. The weather is nothing. It's being around the people there that is so horrific.

We wasted several years in Iowa. I wouldn't wish that place on my worst enemy. Go West - you will never regret it.

Remember, the people are a big part of where you move - and Iowa is most definitely not a friendly state. It was a nightmare that is over!!

Think about California, Arizona, etc. People are nice there.

Oh - LOL - just watch the "non-judgemental Christian" Iowans rally up and attack this post! You will laugh. They cannot take any criticism, because they know it is true.

Adios, Iowa - we couldn't move far enough away from you.

We now live in a house in an area with nice people, our house is increasing in value daily, there are many things to do, and the people are NICE again.
Your correct people are a big part of where you move. sorry to see you gone LOL
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:23 PM
1 posts, read 5,025 times
Reputation: 10
Dont move to Sioux City. It smells..dubbed Sewer City! It's boring and unless you like a lot of really small town activities try another state. There's not much on the west side of the state, except heading to Omaha, Nebraska where there's a lot going on.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:23 PM
23 posts, read 108,530 times
Reputation: 18
What kind of work do you do? Have you made any friends that way? How old are you? Are you single? I'm wondering if some of these things are factors.

I've lived in CR and I found it to be fairly conservative in some ways, and quite family-oriented. Overall, I think Iowans are fairly guarded when it comes to meeting and hanging out with new people.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:53 PM
Location: Oklahoma City area
66 posts, read 229,449 times
Reputation: 31
Default Des Moines top city? Not!

Des Moines Iowa came up as the top city for me on one of Kiplinger's surveys. These people from City-Data convince me that I can't stay far enough away from Iowa!

I take all sites like this with a grain of salt, mind you, because in between the fanboys and the folks who wish they never came, somewhere is the truth.

The people you live around are important. If you believe you're going to be around a bunch of racist, homophobic bigots and will always have a tough time living in a part of town you wanted to be in, then it doesn't matter about your own personality if the culture isn't welcoming in nature.

This is why sites like City-Data.com are invaluable, to be able to gauge the culture of a place, from people who experience what it's like to have lived in the places in question. It's important for people to have the freedom to be able to say if they like a place, and if they don't, and why or why not. This is not a club for people to join to boost tourism and make a place look good.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:37 PM
23 posts, read 108,530 times
Reputation: 18
I wouldn't take Cactus Sam's words as gospel. You can find backwards, unfriendly towns in ANY state (yes, even California), particularly if you are in a rural-ish part of the state. Sam is certainly welcome to his own opinion, but unless he tried every town in Iowa, I don't think his views are 100 percent valid

Be wary of any posters who generalize and sweep with a broad brush. And who knows what Sam was like - maybe we only know HIS side of the story and he gave people cause to be unfriendly. (shrug).

The city I live in friendly, progressive, and you would never - in a million years - sell your house at a loss. My own home has doubled in value in the past 10 years. I live in Iowa City. True, it is quite unlike much of the state, and that's partly why I cringe at generalizations like Sam's.

Iris, the Kiplinger's report thing (and similar ratings) certainly do need to be taken with a grain of salt. And remember that the factors they use as measuring sticks include things like cost of living, education, job market, etc. Factors like that may rank a city highly but if you are a young kid-free person looking for a place to live (for example), you might see something like Des Moines and - off the cuff - think, "What?! Give me a break!" But sometimes those rankings make sense, based on the specific criteria. Remember, they aren't looking at things like excitement, night life and bar specials. LOL!
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:46 PM
23 posts, read 108,530 times
Reputation: 18
Heck, a lot of them couldn't even swim and never saw the ocean or been on an airplane...and all they ate was chicken!

Interesting thoughts! I would have to say that it would be hard to leave Hawaii to move to Iowa!

I could agree that many YOUNG Iowans may not have been on a plane or may not have seen the ocean, but that usually changes for many during the teen years. Many Iowans are not wealthy enough to afford much travel. And Iowa is not even a poor state - it's pretty much middle-of-the-road in terms of education.

I don't necessarily think Iowans are any more sheltered than people from other states. Sheltered in a different way, yes, but I think you would be hard pressed to find kids from some other areas who have seen farm operations or cornfields. Not as glamorous as the ocean, to be sure, but you see my point. I moved here from Minnesota and I think that was even more sheltered and rural. Take the Twin Cities out of Minnesota and you pretty much have .... nothing.

And chicken?! Hog (pork) and cow (beef) operations are everywhere in Iowa. I would guess that Iowans eat far more beef and pork than chicken, hands down.

I also wonder about the comment re: dark-skinned people. Iowa is becoming more and more diverse. Its recent population growth has been led by Hispanic people, and there have also been influxes of people in recent years from places such as Cambodia and Iran.

I guess we all have different perspectives!
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:49 AM
3 posts, read 14,996 times
Reputation: 12
Default Az native

Omg, Iowa is my adopted state. Moved here 25 years ago to raise the kids.
Yes there was some culture shock. The climate was an issue. Do you realize that most of those "friendly" arizonans are transplanted Iowans that moved there in the 70 s and 80s? Iowans are guarded and cool as a group, but warm and friendly as individuals. They are not used to outsiders, but that is changing. My kids got a first rate education here.
Ia can be boring if you arent creative and adaptive. I have become one of Ia's best tourists, but I had to dig. This is what I have done in the last year. I have fed buffalo by hand at the hawkey buffalo ranch, watched the tug of war accross the miss. rivers at Davenport.
Taken a ride in an ultra light plane in Desoto, visited the jewel box bank in grinell, riden the antique carousel in story city, vistited The animal Kingdon pet store in Algona which rivals any pet store in the US as to size and variety. They also have a Louis Sullivan building there which is amazing and a beautiful little state park. I have gone to two vinyards, not winerys, but where they grow their own grapes, which is an up and coming industry in ia.
I have attended a couple motorcycle rallys, taken a tour to the top of a new windmill, gone to reiman gardens and let me not forget to mention Spillville and billey's clocks or Matchstick marvels museum.
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:23 PM
Location: ocala florida
2 posts, read 6,151 times
Reputation: 11
I am from davenport lived there most of my life. Moved to ocala florida in 2004. the only bad thing i can say about the qc is the lack of jobs and decent paying jobs.otherwise i miss davenport. there is soooo much to do in the summer time. from sturgis,bix fest,fair,blues fest and it goes on. something every weekend. i would move back if the job situation changed. i dont miss the snow and cold. but living in florida its just soooo hot!! i stay in the house in the summer due to it being soo hot! yeah florida has soo much to do. but you have to have a ton of money to do it! in davenport you could go to the fests even if you had no money. it cost little 2 nothing to go. ocala is about an hour and half from each coast after you spend an hour in the car driving to daytona. stay a few hours and then you have to drive all the back. Ocala is a nice place --horse capital of the world--but i think it is redneck capital of the world too . not too cheap living either. i make good money so i stay. someday maybe i will go back to davenport it doesnt matter where you live there is good and bad everywhere.. as far as california.. i have family there and it is the most expensive and overcrowded state to live in. that is the last place i would move.
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