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Old 07-13-2010, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Austin
453 posts, read 342,750 times
Reputation: 213

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I just graduated from Texas State University last fall, and I'm looking for somewhere to start over again. I've often considered moving to Kansas City because I have relatives there. Where I live now is alright, but Austin isn't as liberal as everyone thinks, and I'm ready to move on. Not to mention, it's bloody stinking hot here, and a good portion of its citizens refuse to grow up. If I had it my way, I'd be living in the San Francisco Bay Area, but that option is far-fetched. Therefore, I'm now into Plan B because California's economy is in dire straits.

The first thing I want to know is if KC is mostly Democrat or Republican. I'm a staunch Democrat, and I'm ready to leave Texas anytime. I've visited Kansas City several times and liked what I saw. The ubiquitous fountains, boulevards, and Steak-N-Shakes were most appealing. It seemed like a friendly city, yet I've read it ranks within the top 20 in violent crime and number 1 at road rage. I don't mean to criticize Kansas City, but want to know what to expect. I've done some research because I'm the kind of guy who looks deeply into an investment before I pull trigger. Indeed taking the good with the bad comes with the package, but I want to know if the drawback outweighs the good. Just because it's in the Midwest, that doesn't make it friendly. Detroit is one of the most violent places in the Western Hemisphere.

The main things I'm looking for are community, liberalism, cleanliness, and safety. Kansas City, Seattle, and Vancouver are the three cleanest places I've ever visited, so it's great in that department. However, I won't live anywhere where I have to watch my back or feel like an outsider. One big reason I'll never move back to my hometown Houston is because half the city is overrun by gangs and the other half is right-wing, bible thumping, NRA loving, Republican heaven. Miami is another place I won't live, either. The weather there is warm, but the crime rate is sky-high. Those two traits I just mentioned are guaranteed dealbreakers.

My last inquiry pertains to the dating scene. Is Kansas City a good place to live if you're a single male in his early 30's, and how big is the nightlife in that locale? Do they have any good coffee shops and other cultural venues? Or is it inundated with dive bars where bikers and truckers hang out? And how is the dating pool in the City of Fountains? One reason I loved San Francisco when I lived there is because there were vast quantities of single women. Are there many available there, or is it like Alaska where the population is ten men for every woman? If anyone can share some input, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much!
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Prairie Village, KS
472 posts, read 1,126,693 times
Reputation: 118
KC is probably more conservative than most American cities, although its a big city, so overall its probably leans left overall. If you like downtown or in Westport or midtown, you'll be surrounded by liberals. Waldo/Brookside is fairly liberal too, although the really wealthy areas have conservatives (Bush had a fundraiser there a few years ago).

The further out you go to the suburbs, the more conservative it gets. Eastern Jackson County is pretty moderate - some old school Democrats/labor mixed with social conservatives. Johnson County tends to be fiscally conservative/socially liberal...until you get to Olathe where its all just conservative. KCK is Hispanic-liberal - socially conservative, fiscally liberal.

Most of Kansas City is represented in Congress by Emmanuel Cleaver (D). North Kansas City is represented by Sam Graves (R). South Kansas City is represented by Ike Skelton (D), one of Congress' most conservative Democrats.

The Kansas portions of Kansas City are represented by the moderate Dennis Moore (D), but he is retiring and likely to be replaced by Kevin Yoder (R), also a moderate.

The great thing about Kansas City is how welcoming we are to people who aren't from here. We actually get a ton of people moving from rural areas in the midwest. There is still a bit of inferiority complex to East and West Coasters, but I don't think you'll find any snobbiness.

I think we rank so highly in road rage because frankly, we drive so much. Too much. We have miles and miles of freeways and roads, and invest next to nothing in mass transit unfortunately. We have fairly high crime, although it is almost exclusively limited to the east side of Kansas City, the poorest part of the city. I think generally you'll be safe nearly anywhere else you live.

I agree the city is pretty clean. Community depends on where you live. Brookside and Waldo, neighborhoods in KC, both seem to have a strong sense of community. Hyde Park has a sense of community. I think Northeast has community. The Crossroads is starting to develop. Suburbs like Blue Springs, Independence, Parkville, Liberty have a sense of community. Johnson County on the other hand, doesn't seem to have much of a sense of community unfortunately. Maybe Lenexa and Prairie Village. Mission is trying to develop an identity.

Dating is probably tougher than in other larger cities, but we're still a big city so you still have lots of single people to meet. People do tend to marry a bit younger here than in larger cities, but go to the Plaza, Westport, Power and Light District and you'll still find tons of singles.

Good coffee shops - Roasterie in Brookside, Broadway Coffee in Westport, Latteland on the Plaza

Culture - Nelson Art Gallery (also an architectural marvel), Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Crossroads Art District, Screenland Movie Theater, KC Rep Theater, World War I Museum, Union Station, College Basketball Experience, American Jazz Museum, Negro Baseball League Museum, Harry Truman Presidential Library, River Market Farmer's Market (one of the best in the country), KC Roller Warriors, Chiefs football, Royals baseball, Wizards soccer, plus numerous concert venues in Sprint Center, Midland Theater, Music Hall, Starlight Theater, and Verizon Ampitheater

Frankly, I think KC has one of the most underrated arts and foodie scenes in the US.

We also have good dive bars for truckers too! We have a little bit of everything.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have about KC.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:25 PM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,526,041 times
Reputation: 1957
If politics means that much to you, there are some solidly liberal areas of KC, but you will not be far from moderates and conservatives. We have problems but liberal V. conservative isn't the most glaring one and moderates seem to be the most prevalent.
Not to scare you off, but
we do have lots of crime, and it's hardly the cleanest place you'll see. The outlying areas all around can be VERY redneck and I say this as someone from Arkansas.

I'd stick with places like Seattle or Minneapolis to find more of what you're looking for.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,509,283 times
Reputation: 5415
Kansas City, Seattle, or Vancouver?

I love KC but

Seattle is an awesome city. You do know that Vancouver is in Canada right? haha, you are not talking about the one near Portland? Vancouver is an amazing town, but moving to Canada is probably not as easy as you may think. Not to mention Seattle offers far more from a city standpoint, yet it's easy to go to Vancouver or other parts of BC for even a weekend trip. Same with Portland and some of the awesome parts of Oregon.

Seattle is awesome though and they are finally building a pretty nice light rail system (already had a good bus and commuter rail network), they have dense walkable suburbs, crazy amounts of recreational opportunities and it's definitely more liberal and generally more progressive than KC.

Like I said, I love KC, but Seattle is really a different kind of city. If you have a choice and are looking for what you are looking for, you would be silly not to pick Seattle. Come back to KC when you have kids and are ready for suburban life, a car oriented suburban life .

Other than that the previous posters are pretty dead on too.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Austin
453 posts, read 342,750 times
Reputation: 213
Like I said, I would be living in the San Francisco Bay Area if I had my choice. I would love to move to the West Coast period, but the economy there is in bad shape. Nevertheless, I don't have the money to move to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, or even Portland. All those places are very expensive. I know Vancouver is in British Columbia, too. I was a geography major, and I've been to Vancouver twice. I've never been to the one in Washington across the Columbia River from Portland.

I wouldn't expect Kansas City to be anything like those six places. If it's more liberal and progressive than Austin, that's good enough for me. Rednecks are nothing new to me, either. Did I mention to everyone that I'm from Texas. I grew up in Houston, but in the Greater Houston and Austin Metropolitan Areas, there are rednecks, too. Mainly I can't stand the biblethumpers and whatnot. If Missouri is more progressive and tolerant than Texas, I'm happy.

I lived back on the East Coast, too, and I hated it with a passion. Those places have liberal politics, but the people there are rude and arrogant. I couldn't stand the elitist attitude of New York and Boston. My dad whom I have nothing to do with lived in Long Island for 17 years. To make a long story short, part of the reason we have an estranged relationship is because he acts like a boisterous New Yorker and he thinks he's more sophisticated than everyone else because he worked in Lower Manhattan. Boston was even worse. The people back there were so damn uptight that if you were to shove lumps of coal up their asses, two weeks later they'd produce millions of diamonds. Bottom line, I'm not going to live somewhere where I feel like an outsider. That's why I'll live anywhere in America as long as it's near a major city, and it's nowhere in the South or on the East Coast. Mainly what I'm looking for is in the Midwest and the West.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,509,283 times
Reputation: 5415
haha daugenstine

If it helps, I would live in KC any day over any major city in Texas.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,387,870 times
Reputation: 48621
My SO moved from Austin to KC (his job transferred him, and he was originally from NY (Buffalo, not NYC), and educated in Boston; he's not a native Texan/Austinian). I'll see if he can log on and share his perspective. I know that after living there for a while, he felt that Austin really overstated its ostensibly liberal ways once you got past the college scene.

Which is not to imply that KC is a beacon of liberalism, by any means. I'm only moderately political, but do consider my views to be liberal/Democrat, and while there is a staunch liberal community, it is Missouri, so there's an at least as staunch, if not moreso, conservative community. I grew up in the very rural midwest, though, so I'm really pretty used to not being surrounded by loads of liberals...I manage just fine. It is what it is, and probably not a place that super-duper lefties would choose out of hand if they had other options. After living in KC proper, we relocated to one of the bordering suburban communities, which I'm told is heavily Republican, and seems that way if yard signs are any indication. But my neighbors on one side are Swedish immigrants who I assume were likely raised in the prevailing social democratic environment, and are liberal academics, and biker Deadheads on the other side who play bluegrass music around an open fire in their backyard. Although biker Deadhead patriarch does have a ladyfriend with Nobama bumper stickers on her car.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,387,870 times
Reputation: 48621
yeah tabu's boyfriend here...I have pretty much loved everywhere I have lived. I grew up in Buffalo, New York and my dad lives in NYC now...I love both places (the first for its neighborliness and old homes, the second for its energy and amenities). I went to college in Boston and liked the history and things to see. Sometime after college I took a seasonal national park job at Big Bend National Park and really liked the natural beauty and seclusion. After my seasonal job was over I moved to Austin and liked that town as well...my job brought me to KC (office transfer). With places I have lived I guess I am a glass half full kinda guy.

The things I loved about Austin are not quite here in KC, but there a lot of things in KC that I felt were lacking in Austin. In Austin I loved Zilker Park...I loved riding my bike down to Town Lake and being surrounded by other bikers and runners on the trail...I loved Austin's walkability...there's not much of that here in KC. I loved walking the UT campus and hanging out at Antone's Records. However, my apartment in Austin wasn't that great and by the time I hit 26 I grew tired of being surrounded by UT freshman and sophomores drinking it up all night. I felt like once you moved out of Central the appeal of Austin dropped precipitously.

In Kansas City, there are a lot of cool places to live...not just one section of town (south of 45th, north of Oltorf, west of I35 and east of Lamar). Austin is not so much liberal as much as libertarian. Kansas City is much more conservative I think. As any city does it has pockets of liberalism as mentioned above (Westport comes to mind especially). As a libertarian myself it is hard to find a lot of people of similar viewpoints on social issues. I think this area is decidedly more religious, and therefore more socially conservative. I own a home in Lee's Summit and I have never even seen a Democrat banner in this particular part of the metro.

KC has a lot of offer...it is very underrated and it is one the best "bang-for-the-buck" cities I know of. It's not perfect, but what place is? I wouldn't pin your happiness on being surrounded by politically like-minded individuals if you are anything but socially conservative. Even if you live in Westport and plan on never traveling beyond its borders you will be exposed to it. Still, it's a pretty cool place.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:43 PM
 
Location: IN
20,170 posts, read 34,503,731 times
Reputation: 12508
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
My SO moved from Austin to KC (his job transferred him, and he was originally from NY (Buffalo, not NYC), and educated in Boston; he's not a native Texan/Austinian). I'll see if he can log on and share his perspective. I know that after living there for a while, he felt that Austin really overstated its ostensibly liberal ways once you got past the college scene.

Which is not to imply that KC is a beacon of liberalism, by any means. I'm only moderately political, but do consider my views to be liberal/Democrat, and while there is a staunch liberal community, it is Missouri, so there's an at least as staunch, if not moreso, conservative community. I grew up in the very rural midwest, though, so I'm really pretty used to not being surrounded by loads of liberals...I manage just fine. It is what it is, and probably not a place that super-duper lefties would choose out of hand if they had other options. After living in KC proper, we relocated to one of the bordering suburban communities, which I'm told is heavily Republican, and seems that way if yard signs are any indication. But my neighbors on one side are Swedish immigrants who I assume were likely raised in the prevailing social democratic environment, and are liberal academics, and biker Deadheads on the other side who play bluegrass music around an open fire in their backyard. Although biker Deadhead patriarch does have a ladyfriend with Nobama bumper stickers on her car.
Hmm.. Didn't know they had Nobama bumper stickers now too.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
448 posts, read 1,225,335 times
Reputation: 81
I think Kansas City could be a great place for you.

There is crime, but it can be avoided by living in a lower crime area, and that does not have to be suburbean if that's not what you desire. Most people I know have never been a victom of a violent cime, however anything can happen anywhere.

I believe if you live in the inner ring of the city, including some inner burbs you will likely have some liberal neighbors, but as other's stated it is Kansas City and it is in the bible belt, but hey that's what makes things great, diversity of thought and diversity of beliefs.

I'm married, however I dated in Kansas City in my early twenties and didn't have trouble finding a date or finding single friends to hang out with. I think there is a fairly good nightlife scene here. My husband and I go out fairly regurally. It's easy to find things to do, however if you want less mainstream you can find that too, just follow the local entertainment paper, the Pitch. And make the right fb and twitter friends and you'll know everything that's going on in the city.

Good luck with your decision.
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