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Old 05-01-2013, 08:12 AM
 
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Hello All

Considering a position in Janesville. We're not so sure about living in a small town like Janesville having lived in urban cities all our lives. Considering the possibility of living in Madison and commuting to Janesville. We also have a feeling that schools in Madison would be better for our 7 year old (although happy to be told we're wrong). Not totally hung up on living in Madison per se, would consider living somewhere midway but my understanding is that there's nothing much in the middle.

Questions:

- how welcome would an Indian-Asian family be in Janesville or Madison?
- is there a decent town in the middle?
- where in Madison would you suggest one should live that's a decent residential area yet access to Janesville is the shortest?
- are there any good private schools in Janesville? In particular that are not religiously oriented ?
- any thoughts on Rockford, IL as an option (keeping all of the above in mind)

Many thanks for the input.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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I just wanted to throw a few things out there....

If you have lived in urban cities your whole lives, Madison or Rockford won't come anywhere close to those major cities, so I don't think it would make sense commuting from either of them.

As you said, there isn't much in between MSN and JV...and since you are used to urban cities, I can't imagine a place even smaller than Janesville making sense. Why not just live in Janesville and drive to Milwaukee or Chicago-both under two hours away-on weekends, for a big city fix? And of course Madison and Rockford are even closer if Janesville is just too small to deal with at other radom times. But Janesville has everything you would need on a day to day basis and is clean and safe. I think their schools are fine as well. And it isn't thaaat small either.

An Indian-Asian family would be a minority in Madison, Janesville, or any other place in the Upper Midwest, so I'm not sure how to answer your question about how they would be in specific locations. People in general are live and let live in Wisconsin. There are racists and jerks everywhere, but I don't think they are more prevelent in this area than elsewhere. Most people will be respectful and keep a distance I would imagine, so you will have your work cut out if you want to integrate into others' social circles. But in general, people won't be looking for trouble or reject you if you put the first foot forward, showing your interest in others.

Living anywhere on Madison's east side, near the interstate corridor, would make for an easy commute to Janesville. The neighborhood schools in that area vary from mediocre to good.

I think Megan (a poster here) is from Janesville originally and might be able to speak more to your post.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:54 AM
 
Location: WI
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i'd agree with Chelito's post. I would have added if town size wasnt an issue, Evansville is somewhat between Madison and Janesville and based on friends we have who live there it's a nice smaller town to be in (they commute to Madison). But since market size is somewhat of a concern, and unless you want to deal with the potential winter driving issues, i'd say if the job is in Janesville then live in Janesville.
Seems from what i remember, Rockford has higher costs (gas, taxes, etc) due to being in IL but i could be wrong there
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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Thank you those are great comments. Not really addicted to big towns per se. I suppose some of it is a "what to do on weekends without driving a whole lot" issue (which driving to Chicago or MW is in some respects). Some of it may be driven by things a child can do in the city say on weekends (may not be much in Janesville may be more in Madison).

Appreciate more thougths including views on schools (private and public)
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I'll just be the one to say it: Janesville does have a decent amount of things to do for a city its size, but it has issues. The GM plant closing a few years back really hurt the economy tremendously, though things have recovered somewhat. It is not a particularly diverse city (nearly 90% white)...very blue collar and rather conservative. There are also certain areas on the south side that are probably to be avoided.

I like Janesville, but I think you might be more comfortable in Madison, especially if you are used to larger urban areas. Just my two cents.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
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Janesville & Madison are close enough in size to be comparable?! Hardly. They are like different planets.

I was born and raised in Janesville and still frequent the town far more than I would like due to my mother and sister still living there. Maseman's post was right on and fairly tactful. I wouldn't live in Janesville if you paid me - any amount of money.

Despite the fact that Madison is not a large urban area it offers countless more opportunities socially, culturally and intellectually than Janesville. To say that Madison and Janesville are comparable in this or any other way is ludicrous. Janesville is VERY blue collar and the high school musicals are considered major cultural events. There is a "performing arts center" but it is nothing compared to the entertainment venues in Madison. Without even counting the Overture center, a world class cultural center, I can think of at least 3 major music venues - the Barrymore, the Majestic and the Brink Lounge - in Madison which provide far more interesting fare than the Janesville PAC. I mean the Dahli Lama is going to be speaking here next week for pity's sake. I doubt he'll make a stop over in Janesville.

There are very few interesting restaurants - The Speak Easy or The Armory (also a dinner theater) are all I can think of and I've had bad service and food at the Armory more times than not. Oh, and the Chop house is good for Chinese, although I was disappointed with my meal the last time I was there. Apparently there is a good Mexican place somewhere in the "Pine Tree Plaza" shopping center. The rest are fast food chain restaurants. The city has an amazing number of fast food restaurants per capita.

Which brings up shopping. It is really bleak there. You'll have to travel to Madison or Chicago to get anything interesting or to get any price comparisons.

I don't think an Asian Indian family would be discriminated against in Janesville, but you'd find Madison far more welcoming and there is a sizable Indian community here. There is even a good Indian grocery store.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:06 PM
 
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Many thanks.

Any good private schools in Janesville ?
How traumatic is the drive from Madison to Janesville during winter?

Appreciate the help
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:27 PM
 
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Can't help you on the private schools question, I'm afraid, but winter driving between Madison and Janesville can range from "piece of cake" to "oh my dear goodness, just stay home." You can stay on the interstate pretty much the whole way, especially if you settle on the east side of Madison, and USUALLY the snow removal on the interstate is fast and efficient, but there have been a few notable exceptions.

At the same time, it is also worth noting that local weather forecasters are conscientious about issuing warnings well in advance when "accumulating snow" is in the foreseeable future, and unless your employer is a real martinet about insisting on in-person attendance 100% of the time, it is usually possible to plan ahead to stay home on really awful days. If you are in the kind of profession that allows you to work from home with a laptop occasionally, you should be ok. Just pay attention to the weather predictions, and arrange with your manager to work from home on bad weather days.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:51 AM
r_k
 
Location: Planet Earth
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My recommendation is to stay in Janesville, at least for the first year. If you don't like it you can consider Madison after that. The commute will not be pleasant most times, and horrible on several days during the winter.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwesternBookWorm View Post
Can't help you on the private schools question, I'm afraid, but winter driving between Madison and Janesville can range from "piece of cake" to "oh my dear goodness, just stay home." You can stay on the interstate pretty much the whole way, especially if you settle on the east side of Madison, and USUALLY the snow removal on the interstate is fast and efficient, but there have been a few notable exceptions.

At the same time, it is also worth noting that local weather forecasters are conscientious about issuing warnings well in advance when "accumulating snow" is in the foreseeable future, and unless your employer is a real martinet about insisting on in-person attendance 100% of the time, it is usually possible to plan ahead to stay home on really awful days. If you are in the kind of profession that allows you to work from home with a laptop occasionally, you should be ok. Just pay attention to the weather predictions, and arrange with your manager to work from home on bad weather days.

after the infamous interstate backup that lasted for hours some winters ago, if i recall WI was going to implement signs and barricades to prevent on ramp access if a given stretch of the interstate is backed up or has weather related issues. I did notice some of those in place when we were up this past winter but they werent needed at the time. Have there been cases in winter where they have gone into use?
I ask mostly for the OP, if they do consider the drive and this comes into play
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