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Old 04-16-2009, 06:39 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,722 times
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Hello everyone. I have been lurking about this forum for a week or so trying to gather information on Omaha and life in and around the city. My only trip to the midwest was a weekend visit to a friend in the Chicago area.

My wife and I have been living on the east coast our entire lives (Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, etc). However, a really interesting opportunity has come up to work at the power plant in Ft. Calhoun for my wife. Several people that we have spoken to about the Omaha area have had nothing but positive things to say about their time there and said they would go back in a heartbeat.

We are taking my 17-month old son along for some exploration next month to get a feel for the area, staying at the Courtyard/Downtown.

Some observations from my research (please dispel any possible incorrect info that I have):

-It is a good time to buy a house out there.
-Unemployment rates are low.
-There is a retail boom going on.
-Lots of parks.
-Quality suburbs that are close to the city.
-Tough to get a direct flight out of Omaha to several locations.
-Lots of bowling (I love bowling in leagues).
-Some cool-looking microbreweries

So I am putting together an itinerary of what we should do to make the most of our time so we can make some educated decisions. We will have a car, so we will likely explore various places to live.

We are also big-time food, wine, and beer enthusiasts and love to cook (especially with organic ingredients whenever possible). So solid grocery stores or farmer's markets are very important to us. I saw that someone mentioned Orsi's Italian Market.

There is also the appeal of the Central Time Zone, meaning we can watch our sports again (we have a hard time making it past 9:00 or 10:00pm with the little guy terrorizing our house).

So if anyone out there can make some recommendations on how to approach our itinerary, great spots to visit, quality-of-life info, etc...I certainly appreciate the time you all take to respond. We will have three full days (Fri/Sat/Sun) to explore.

Thanks!
Tony
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,168,083 times
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Regarding housing... Be sure you drive through the Midtown area - specifically between about 40th & 60th Streets near Dodge Street. It sounds like you may prefer that sort of "atmosphere".

Though it sounds as though living downtown/midtown might be more your style, it would make for a slightly longer commute for your wife than if you were living in North Omaha, or just north of Omaha.

You might also want to check out the Raven Oaks area. It's just off I-680 (the interstate that circumvents Omaha on the North & West sides, in the 50th Street area.


Enjoy your visit!
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,705,067 times
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The zoo would be a good place to go, its great! And the Old Market for some local shopping and eating downtown. We have 4 good malls and 1 dying mall, mostly out west. The Dundee area sounds good for living for you, but you could live in Fort Calhoun or Blair but you would be outside of Omaha, but both are pretty nice cities. Have a nice visit!
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Tony, 10 years ago we moved out to Omaha from the East Coast. We couldn't be happier. Life is very easy here.

We checked our Raven Oaks and the area north of 680. Both looked great, but we ended up out in west Omaha because it was closer to work.

Your research is pretty much spot on (except tor the retail in today's economic environment). The food scene will surprise you. I'm not a fan of chain restaurants so I tend to seek out chef owned places. There are more than you'd expect and many are quite good.

We're also quite excited about the new distillery (SOLAS) and brewery (LUCKY BUCKET) that's being built over by Cabelas. The still was built in Scotland by the same company that built the still for the legendary Glenrothes. I've heard that it's on-site and being installed. The brewery is on-line and putting their Pre-Prohibtion Lager in select restaurants/bars. An IPA is expected in the next 3 months. 6-packs will also start hitting grocery shelves soon.

Best of luck in whatever you choose.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:54 PM
 
4 posts, read 5,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altajoe View Post
Tony, 10 years ago we moved out to Omaha from the East Coast. We couldn't be happier. Life is very easy here.

We checked our Raven Oaks and the area north of 680. Both looked great, but we ended up out in west Omaha because it was closer to work.

Your research is pretty much spot on (except tor the retail in today's economic environment). The food scene will surprise you. I'm not a fan of chain restaurants so I tend to seek out chef owned places. There are more than you'd expect and many are quite good.

We're also quite excited about the new distillery (SOLAS) and brewery (LUCKY BUCKET) that's being built over by Cabelas. The still was built in Scotland by the same company that built the still for the legendary Glenrothes. I've heard that it's on-site and being installed. The brewery is on-line and putting their Pre-Prohibtion Lager in select restaurants/bars. An IPA is expected in the next 3 months. 6-packs will also start hitting grocery shelves soon.


Best of luck in whatever you choose.
Altajoe, which chef-owned places are your favorites? I enjoy almost any type of cuisine. Also, where from the East did you come from?

Everyone, thank you for the info on the various communities. I have made notes and we are planning to just drive through the neighborhoods. Again, any other positives (and criticisms) would be most helpful.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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I love Shucks, a great fish place on 168th and center and also one on 72nd somewhere.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:40 AM
 
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Another question...I have to think that Husker football rules the sports scene, but do you folks support the KC Chiefs, Denver Broncos, or is the NFL just a huge Midwest mix due to volume of teams nearby? I also wonder whether the NBA or NHL get any traction because the closest pro team is like a 5 1/2 hour drive.

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,168,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastTony View Post
Another question...I have to think that Husker football rules the sports scene, but do you folks support the KC Chiefs, Denver Broncos, or is the NFL just a huge Midwest mix due to volume of teams nearby? I also wonder whether the NBA or NHL get any traction because the closest pro team is like a 5 1/2 hour drive.

Thanks!
Being a Minnesotan, I'm hollerin' for the Vikings, though they usually don't give me much good to holler about.


I'd say most of the pro-fans here are probably Chiefs or Broncos, but there doesn't seem to be an overwhelming fan base of any particular team.

On the other hand, if you're an Eagles fan, we might not let you live here!
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Omaha
1,137 posts, read 2,050,238 times
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yeah, tends to be more a college sports kind of town. Huskers are a "must love" here. lol Pro-teams do tend to be randomly favored with a few more KC Denver and Chicago fans than anything else.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:46 AM
 
280 posts, read 711,401 times
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Totally agree on the NFL assessment. There is no team that even comes close to dominating the sports scene. Being from NY/CT, I'm a lifelong Gi'Aints fan

As noted, Omaha is Husker dominant. You'll notice that when you turn your AM radio to 1620 during the afternoon drive. No matter what has happened in the world of sports the night before, the first thing you'll hear will somehow be Husker football related. I'd bet that the day after the US Hockey team defeated the Soviet Union back in 1980, the main topic of conversation on 1620 was an ingrown toenail to the Husker's projected 4th string cornerback.

To answer your qustion about chef owned restaurants(in no particular order):

Espana - Benson (but the original owner recently sold out to one of his chefs, so we'll see)
The Boiler Room - Old Market
Prima 140 - 140th & Center
Le Voltaire - 156th & Dodge
Dario's Brasserie - Dundee

Check out one of the local "foodie" sites for more info: Gastronomic Fight Club - Restaurant reviews, Recipes, Food News for Omaha and more
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