Most important thread: What is YOUR opionions of the city that I treasure (Omaha metro)?? (Lincoln: skateboarding, amusement park)
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I lived in Omaha in the 1970's when I was in my early twenties and loved it there. There was always something to do and it was a beautiful city. I am originally from southern California and am living there now but I'm selling my house and moving back to the Omaha-Council Bluffs area away from Mexican land and back to mid America. You sound like my 23 year old son. He went to London. England and lived there for 3 months while attending a semester of college there. He says that is the greatest city ever to live as it has something going on all the time and is full of history and free museums and street fairs with interesting people and performers plus lots of live plays and pubs, etc. It is also a short trip over to Europe. Maybe London is the place you are seeking.
When you come into town come Downtown on Abbot Drive. You'll really be blown away.
I've lived in Denver AND Omaha....and I moved back to Omaha.
As far as people not going outside to walk their pets when its below 65 deg, that just makes me laugh. I remember when I first moved there (Jan of '97), all the news in Denver was about how they had 5 days in a row of sub-freezing temperatures and how "Bitterly Cold" it was. it was like 30 deg. Seriously. I was laughing when I moved there. People would go outside and warm their cars up when it was 28 degrees. HA! Also, this whole thing about people not walking anywhere in Omaha, what about Denver? You're telling me that if you live on Green Mountain, you can walk everywhere? You're telling me that if you live in Greenwood Village you walk everywhere? You're telling me that if you live in Lone Tree you walk everywhere? Aurora? Lakewood? Come on. You HAVE to drive everywhere in Denver, that's why there's a giant greenish brown cloud of pollution hanging over the city all the time, which by the way is very not healthy. At least in Omaha you can burn a fire when you want to. Rush hour in Denver lasts from 6am to 10am and then 11-1 and then 3-7. If everyone was walking everywhere in Denver, then why is there so much darn traffic? The bike trails around Omaha are PACKED. I never had to worry about it in Denver, I could inline skate all over and never be crowded, but try going skating on a Thursday afternoon in Omaha and the trails get packed.
Don't kid yourself about the "architecture" either. There are nice areas of Denver that feel like Neighborhoods, like Cherry Creek and Governor's Park and Bonnie Brae, etc... But what about the "planned city" of Highlands Ranch? Holy crap....If you come home drunk you might not get the right house because your house and your 6 neighbors all look the same! Both Denver and Omaha have some older, architecturally appealing neighborhoods,probably more in Denver, but the city is 3x the size as Omaha, so let's be proportionate. Both cities and outlying areas are dominated by wooden box homes.
The other thing that drove me absolutely nuts about Denver (other than the traffic) was the sheer amount of people that were born and raised in Denver that had never been been past the I-70 Morrison Interchange. They had NEVER been to the mountains. 25% of the people I met in Denver who were from Denver had never been to the mountains. This absolutely blows me away. They would rather go to a movie or go shopping.
In my humble opinion, Omaha is a much more livable city than Denver for a bunch of reasons. Cost of Living, Traffic, Pollution, Friendliness of the people. When I moved back, my friends were all wondering why I came back and I told them what I tell everyone who asks why I came back: "Denver is a nice place to visit".
So describe Abbott street to me. Let me know what it is like there. I used to drive school bus in Omaha from '75 to '77. I know the north end is bad. I assume Carter Lake is mostly black people. I remember the south end was Checkoslavakian and the west end was all new development out to Boys Town. I used to go to Farquars Pub in the Old Market. I know it turned into Donneybrooks before I moved away. Is Satans Pizza still there? The malls used to be Crossraods and Westroads. Sixteenth street was the old downtown strip of stores with the Hilton on the north end. I had lived in Council Bluffs and commuted to Omaha to work. Then I moved to Portsmouth Iowa before returning to California. I liked the farm we lived on as it was peaceful after working in the city. But as a city, I remember Omaha had a lot to offer and the people were friendly.
Omaha has recently annexed Elkhorn, and there is a major $450 million dollar multi-purpose development on 204th and Center in the process of getting started to being built.
Omaha has or will build 5-6 condo towers 12 stories or higher with one going to be built in downtown that is going to be 32 stories.. in the last few years.. and you never know, more may be on the way..
Bellevue is approaching 50,000 people Papillion is approaching 30,000 and Lavista should be about 20,000 now... Saunders county is starting to see developments as Omaha approaches and there is a freeway that starts at fremont that (is hwy 275 and w dodge) goes to I-680 to I-80 to I-480 to downtown without any traffic lights the whole way!!
I will say something Omaha is very good at building parking garages!! I think the most interesting thing to do in Omaha is walk around and count all those boxy parking garages they put in. Better then sitting in the Old Market in a coffee shop when I am the only customer and seeing the nearly pedestrianless sidewalks unless its a special event.
I see alot more people walking in Denver along the 16th street mall, LoDo, Larimer Square, Auraria, Capitol Hill areas. I also see lots of people in Denver along 16th street waiting for tables in the cafe's and restaurants and people playing board games (they have tables with board games on them) and meeting new friends on the 16th street mall also.
Where are the pedestrians in Omaha? walking from the parking lot to the mall or on a rare occasion (judging by the amount of people down there or lack there of) from the street to one of the few restaurants in the Old Market.
I agree Omaha is very liveable if you live west of 72nd and a few very isolated east of 72nd but as far as downtown Omaha and the neighborhoods around downtown Omaha they depress me.
I prefer a west Omaha strip mall to Downtown Omaha. At least there is more selection.
16th street in Omaha is a street that was intended to be a near-replica of
16th street in Denver and Nicollet in Minneapolis unlike Minneapolis and Denver where the downtown malls were very successful. Omaha's pretty much turned into very little else then a place to catch a bus.
Here is my rebuttle to Mattdens (Omaha's lack of leadership, lack of neighborhoods, nothing to do in Omaha, poor people running around with knifes stabbing each other message he is posting here... just check this site out posted by the omaha chamber and tell me what you think)
I'm trying to escape from Calimexico and thought Omaha was still mid America with English speaking people. So the Mexicans are taking over Omaha too? Anyone been over to Council Bluffs and out the Iowa direction? Is it now predominately Mexican too? Southern California is mostly Mexican now--they are everywhere...on the radio, billboards, businesses, tv, neighbors, and in-your-face. Every female has a baby every 9 months and walks with a huge stroller with 2 or three kids in it and stair step sized kids along side, the number of kids depends on how old the mother is. A lot of them live in box mansions and drive brand new SUV's and are on AFDC (welfare) and MediCal. Everything is free for them and a U.S. Citizen can't get any aid if their life depended on it because they aren't a foreigner. Meanwhile these people have the Mexican men out there working for tax free money under the table and doing a crappy job and at the same time putting another American citizen on unemployment or on the street. I'm sick of it. Isn't there anywhere in America they haven't taken over?
South Omaha is predominantly Hispanic but I'd hardly say they're "taking over" Omaha. Omaha isn't going to be like southern California with it's immigration problems. Carter Lake isn't mostly black. I don't know why you'd think that.
All this has opened up the North Downtown area for new development... as we type, multiple hotels are under construction, as well as a new entertainment district called 'Slowdown' which will include an Indie film theatre and concert hall, new restaurants/shops.
Now I'm excited about returning to the Omaha area more than ever! It will be nice to have four seasons again instead of warm, hot, hot, and severely hot! Back in the 70's I was the nut who got excited at the first snow and enjoyed it all winter because I knew it was only for a few months. I love the coming of spring, green summers and orange fall. I remember the blue skies with white fluffy clouds. Southern California is mostly brown or gray haze. Very very crowded too. Gridlock at all hours on the freeways, not just the business hours anymore. The only decent place to live in Southern California is in the mountains, (which are crowded too) or at the beach (very expensive and crowded). Been there and done that and now ready to move on. Please post more pictures if you can. They are great! Do you have any of the Council Bluffs area?
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