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Unread 04-20-2010, 06:16 PM
 
13 posts, read 17,117 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks all! I appreciate the variety of responses. McAllen definitely sounds like quite a mixed bag but I'm feeling more optimistic about living down there for awhile. It does seem like the kind of place that is what you make of it. Just gotta get used to that heat!

-John
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Unread 04-20-2010, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,607 posts, read 1,581,914 times
Reputation: 574
McAllen Chamber of Commerce
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Unread 05-01-2010, 05:57 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,423 times
Reputation: 10
I have lived in the valley twice in my life, both in McAllen and Mission. I am formally from New York City and now live in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm relatively young (31) and have had children in the school system there. Instead of rambling on like others on this thread I will give you a list of pros and cons.

Pros
1) Great Cultural experience (especially if you speak spanish).
2) Blossoming Night Life (Check out 10th and 14th in McAllen)
3) Good martial arts scene (especially if you like MMA)
4) Very affordable housing (Some way overpriced though like Cimarron and Sharyland Plantation)
5) Great mix of chain and local restaurants.

Cons
1) Infrastructure outside of McAllen sucks.
2) School systems for the most part are bad.
3) Oppressive heat.
4) Bad crime rate (especially drug related)
5) If you don't speak spanish...lol.

Remember, this is my opinion and I don't have time to go into to much depth about it. There is so much to get into, such as, bias, corruption and border violence, but we shall save that for another time. Let's just say, there is a reason I left the valley twice. Good Luck!!!
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Unread 05-02-2010, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,607 posts, read 1,581,914 times
Reputation: 574
Also McAllen is about an hour from South Padre if you wanted to spend the weekend or day at the beach. I've never lived in the Valley but my mom grew up in Mission/McAllen so I know the area really well.

South Padre Island - Be Yourself
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Unread 06-22-2010, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Parkville/Baltimore, MD
68 posts, read 148,324 times
Reputation: 38
I just spent several days in McAllen and its surroundings. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You have a beautiful city, with the palm trees, a nice mall, ample grocery stores, tons and tons of new or new-looking businesses, plenty of open space, and friendly people. I know a little Spanish, but I didn't have to use it at all there. People in every restaurant and store I went to spoke fine in English to me. I know one person there that just bought a brand new house for $150K in Mission, and the thing is like a freaking palace. The tacos at Taco Palenque are excellent.

Nice weather too, a little hot, but hey I returned to Baltimore and the weather channel says 97 degrees tomorrow and 99 on Thursday so you never know. It gets hot here too.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,607 posts, read 1,581,914 times
Reputation: 574
Here's some stuff to check out in McAllen

McAllen Public Library | McAllen, TX

Gladys Porter Zoo

State Farm Arena

NBA Development League: Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – Official Website - Official website for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bee hockey team. Located in Hidalgo, Texas. News, Game Schedules, Tickets, Photos, Video, Wallpaper, and Events.

Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings
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Unread 06-24-2010, 10:29 AM
 
30 posts, read 57,409 times
Reputation: 22
I've lived here 35 of my 54 years. I went to middle school, high school, and college here. Being originally from Oklahoma, it was a little culture shock at first, but then I was much younger. Folks are mostly very laid back. I live in north McAllen. There is grocery shopping close; Starbucks, Target, Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, Walgreens, and many different types of eating establishments. If you don't mind the heat, you'll like it here. Last summer, McAllen had 72 days at 100 degrees or over. We did have one freeze last winter. There are lots of mosquitoes to go with the heat. I have learned to speak Spanish myself since being here. Traffic can be bad during the school year, and on weekends, but it won't last long. Drivers from Mexico can be a problem with their rudeness and it seems they're either blasting past or in the way.Yes, the drug wars across the river are a concern, and seem to be getting closer to the US. Crime? Stolen cars, burglaries, shootings happen every day everywhere; here too. McAllen does have nice libraries, and there is always the one at UTPA. Roma is an 80 mile round trip from McAllen; minimum (please obey the speed limits in La Joya. They are ruthless). Downtown on 17th St is becoming more and more popular with various types of clubs and bars. Police patrol there regularly, and I have not heard of any problems there. I'm not into martial arts, so I cannot say what's available here. The cost of housing is cheaper here. Gasoline is usually cheaper than most other areas of the country. Yes, the Sun Harvest is a popular organic food store, among others. Fresh citrus, fruits, and vegetables are widely available at roadside stands. If you like the beach, it's 90 miles away, and always cooler there. Hope this helped!
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Unread 06-24-2010, 01:04 PM
 
1,150 posts, read 1,324,800 times
Reputation: 612
There is no getting used to deep Texas summer heat. You just learn to endure it, makes you tougher, and forces you to have a sense of humor or it'll make you bitter.

My advice buy/rent a house with some scenery and a pool, also get the big tv/internet package you'll be spending a lot of time at home in that area.
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Unread 06-27-2010, 11:03 PM
Status: "Spring is showing up" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Lakewood, CO
2,510 posts, read 1,543,067 times
Reputation: 2412
Seems the OP is looking in Harlingen now. Wonder what happened? But going along with the previous poster, yeah, a pool at night or day is needed and staying indoors is almost a must in summer. But overall McAllen is a very nice place, too bad you can't do anything about the heat. At least Alex might bring something for Wed or Thurs, huh?
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Unread 07-10-2010, 02:26 PM
 
13 posts, read 17,117 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks for all the replies. I'm actually in McAllen now and staying with a friend. I'm currently looking at places in Harlingen (found some really nice places here) as well as Mission. I'm liking McAllen so far for the most part, just need to find a good place to live!
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