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Old 08-08-2009, 11:04 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,279 times
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I grew up in Appleton and my family still lives there so I visit once or twice a year. It is conservative. The local newspaper endorsed G.W.Bush in 2000 and 2004...don't know who they endorsed in 2008. Excellent public schools and you can choose which school you wish your child to go to even if you don't live in that school's traditional district. It has many elementary schools...3 middle schools and 3 high schools. middle school is only 7th and 8th grade I believe. It is fairly wholesome, though lots of low-brow northern trailer trash types. The biggest thing there is Football...they love the packers as Green Bay is 28 miles away. Oshkosh is 10 or 15 miles away. Milwaukee 100 miles...Chicago 200 miles. An interesting fact about Appleton is that Harry Houdini, the world-famous magician grew up there. He was born in Hungary and moved to NYC when he became a man, but actually grew up in Appleton. Lawrence University, a private liberal arts college is in the center of Appleton which is essentially why Appleton exists. Because of Lawrence, Appleton is a lot more cosmo than people would expect due to the culture that that university brings. Lawrence students regard the locals condescendingly as provincial townies. It has around 90,000 people. Consider moving to upscale older neighborhoods (with gorgeous 150 year old Victorian homes---near City Park area and around Lawrence University) in Appleton rather than the newer subdivisions which are like out of Edward Scissorhands. Life in Appleton is sloooow. Falls are amazingly beautiful--most beautiful I've ever seen! Winters are brutal, hostile. It is not unusual to have a week long period where the temperature drops to 40 below zero with a windchill of 70 below zero. at that temp., coffee or urine turns to ice before it hits the ground and exposed faces windburn in 5 seconds. So you will pay a lot for heat in the winter. Summers are as hot as anywhere, though they are short. And many people will say that Appleton has two seasons: Winter and road construction. Actually Appleton's winters seem longer than its summers, but Appleton definitely has 4 very distinctive seasons. There are a lot of religious people there...some pretty nutty...talking in tongues...stuff like that. Appleton is becoming more diverse though is about 90% white. I had the most amazing childhood there...I don't think there is much available in Appleton for a teenager other than sports, theater or drugs and alcohol. appleton has plenty of festivals and art shows and theatrical presentations along with coffeehouses including local owned and one starbucks. all major motion pictures show there. It has a huge shopping mall technically located in Grand Chute, but is two miles from downtown Appleton. Its hippest store though is probably Hot Topic or The Gap. I don't believe it has even a Banana Republic...no Diesel store and certainly no couture stores like Gucci. These are jeans and packer sweatshirt people and they like it that way.

Appleton definitely has classes of people...many millionaires and many poor people (poor white people mainly---if you're black in Appleton, I would guess you're more likely middle or upper class). And Appleton is mainly middle class.

Joseph McCarthy grew up just outside Appleton and was a Wisconsin senator. Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer are famous serial killers from Wisconsin.

Appleton is not image conscious as in beauty. But they do like people to look and dress like them which they think is sensible looking, but is actually tacky and shapeless clothes like packer sweatshirts and bad jeans.

someone asked how far is Minneapolis/St. Paul from Appleton: it is approx. a 6 hour drive or you can take a 45 minute flight from appleton's 8 gate airport...so not close.

Appleton has two gay bars, I think one synagogue, one performing arts center for Broadway tours...um I was once told 1/3 of the world's paper comes from the Fox Cities (of which Appleton is one--along the Fox River.)

On friendliness...I could argue either way. In my opinion....Appleton people do not like people that are not like them. Appleton people are more polite than they are friendly. Appleton people drive AND FOLLOW THE LINES in huge empty parking lots at 5mph because they are rule followers and they think that people who drive over those lines are shameful people...and they will treat you that way if they feel you are not like them.

In short, I probably would not recommend Appleton to raise a family if you want some diversity and a more reasonable balance of religiousness and political views. But it can be a quality life there.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 3,819,557 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
I grew up in Appleton and my family still lives there so I visit once or twice a year. It is conservative. The local newspaper endorsed G.W.Bush in 2000 and 2004...don't know who they endorsed in 2008.
First of all, I've never read so many back-handed compliments or subliminal insults in one post before in my life. In one breath you're praising the community and in the next you're belittling it. What's your deal?

Second, Appleton isn't that conservative. Appleton and Outagamie County went for Obama and Kerry in the last 2 elections. Steve Kagen, a democrat, represents Green Bay and Appleton in the US House of Representatives. The Post-Crescent can endorse whomever they please, it's not a reflection of the community. The Chicago Tribune is notoriously conservative, but I've never heard Chicago be described as conservative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Excellent public schools and you can choose which school you wish your child to go to even if you don't live in that school's traditional district. It has many elementary schools...3 middle schools and 3 high schools. middle school is only 7th and 8th grade I believe.
This is all true, however, this is not unique to Appleton. All of Wisconsin has open enrollment and you can send your children to any school you wish to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
It is fairly wholesome, though lots of low-brow northern trailer trash types.
There isn't a single trailer park in the city of Appleton and very few in the Fox Cities metro. The closest trailer parks are way out in very rural areas like Black Creek, Mackville, and Freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
The biggest thing there is Football...they love the packers as Green Bay is 28 miles away.
What a dumb thing to say. True, Football is a big deal in Northeastern Wisconsin, but how many cities as small as GB have pro teams in the first place? There are plenty of things to do in Appleton and Northeastern Wisconsin that don't revolve around sports and football.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Oshkosh is 10 or 15 miles away. Milwaukee 100 miles...Chicago 200 miles.
True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Lawrence University, a private liberal arts college is in the center of Appleton which is essentially why Appleton exists. Because of Lawrence, Appleton is a lot more cosmo than people would expect due to the culture that that university brings. Lawrence students regard the locals condescendingly as provincial townies.
Lawrence contributes a lot to making the area as great as it is. Green Bay and Oshkosh both have universities too, but the impact those universities have on their respective cities is minimal at best. Appleton has Chinese, Indian, Korean, Greek, Thai, Mongolian, and many other ethnic restaurants you wouldn't expect to find in such a small city, which I always attributed to Lawrence. There's always been bookstores, coffee shops, import stores, and late-night dining choices in Downtown Appleton, which again I attribute to Lawrence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
It has around 90,000 people. Consider moving to upscale older neighborhoods (with gorgeous 150 year old Victorian homes---near City Park area and around Lawrence University) in Appleton rather than the newer subdivisions which are like out of Edward Scissorhands.
Actually, Appleton is less than 80,000 residents, but I agree about the area around City Park. Much more appealing than some hideous Darboy subdivision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Life in Appleton is sloooow. Falls are amazingly beautiful--most beautiful I've ever seen! Winters are brutal, hostile. It is not unusual to have a week long period where the temperature drops to 40 below zero with a windchill of 70 below zero. at that temp., coffee or urine turns to ice before it hits the ground and exposed faces windburn in 5 seconds. So you will pay a lot for heat in the winter.
I'm sorry, but this is total crap. I have lived 13 of my 26 years in Wisconsin and at no time has it ever gotten this cold here. What you're describing is similar to what Alaska experiences in winter, not the Upper Midwest. The coldest it has ever gotten is between -10 and -20 air temperature, with windchills between -20 and -30.

Cold weather can be dangerous, but you're making Wisconsin sound like a Jack London novel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Summers are as hot as anywhere, though they are short. And many people will say that Appleton has two seasons: Winter and road construction. Actually Appleton's winters seem longer than its summers, but Appleton definitely has 4 very distinctive seasons.
No, actually they aren't. We've surpassed the 90 degree mark once this whole summer and probably haven't fallen below 55 degrees at all summer. The Twin Cities typically have much hotter summers and much colder winters than Appleton because the weather patterns in the Twin Cities aren't influenced by the Great Lakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
There are a lot of religious people there...some pretty nutty...talking in tongues...stuff like that.
Wisconsin has far fewer religious nuts than pretty much any state in the South, Great Plains, or Mountain West. Most Wisconsinites are either Catholic or Lutheran, which as far as religions go, are both very moderate. It's not as though the area is crawling with Evangelicals, Mormons, or Jehovah's Witnesses who are trying to "save" everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Appleton is becoming more diverse though is about 90% white. I had the most amazing childhood there...
Appleton was 90% white back in the 1990's, I would imagine it's closer to 80% now, which still isn't as diverse as a city like Milwaukee, but is about the same as a city like Madison. I would also say that the majority of minorities in the Fox Valley live in either Appleton or Menasha, with Menasha having a higher percentage of minorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
I don't think there is much available in Appleton for a teenager other than sports, theater or drugs and alcohol.
That sounds just like every city in the US, only a little better. Many rural and inner city schools don't offer any sports or extracurricular activities like drama because they can't afford it.

What exactly do other cities offer teenagers as an alternative to sports, extracurriculars, drinking, drugs, and sex? Just curious, how you think growing up some place else would be better and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
appleton has plenty of festivals and art shows and theatrical presentations along with coffeehouses including local owned and one starbucks. all major motion pictures show there.
True, there is one Starbucks located on College Ave in downtown, but there are numerous Starbucks locations throughout the Fox Valley. Not that, that's anything to brag about, especially since locally owned coffee shops are becoming more popular like Aspen Coffee & Tea and the Harmony Cafe.

What are you talking about "all major motion pictures shown here"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
It has a huge shopping mall technically located in Grand Chute, but is two miles from downtown Appleton. Its hippest store though is probably Hot Topic or The Gap. I don't believe it has even a Banana Republic...no Diesel store and certainly no couture stores like Gucci. These are jeans and packer sweatshirt people and they like it that way.
The Fox River Mall is the 2nd largest mall in the state of Wisconsin and a major shopping destination for people from the Northwoods and Upper Michigan. You have no idea what you're talking about. The Fox River Mall does have a Banana Republic as well as Hollister Co., PacSun, Aeropostale, Zumiez, Macy's, Ann Taylor, and a whole bunch of other stores.

You are correct that there is no super high-end retail like Armani Exchange, Burberry, or Louis Vuitton nor are there less high-end retailers like Guess, Diesel, American Apparel, and Urban Outfitters, but the area still a damn good retail selection when you consider the size of the area. I know similar sized cities like Wausau, Fond Du Lac, and LaCrosse don't have anything that compares.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Appleton definitely has classes of people...many millionaires and many poor people (poor white people mainly---if you're black in Appleton, I would guess you're more likely middle or upper class). And Appleton is mainly middle class.
This is a pretty ignorant statement. There aren't really that many poor people in Appleton compared to neighboring cities like Menasha or Oshkosh. Many of the Black residents in the Fox Valley are very poor and moved to the area from bad neighborhoods in Milwaukee or Chicago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Joseph McCarthy grew up just outside Appleton and was a Wisconsin senator. Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer are famous serial killers from Wisconsin.
So what? Are you trying to scare people or something? Ed Gein lived in Plainfield, which is in Waushara County, not Outagamie County. Jeffrey Dahmer lived in Milwaukee, not Appleton.

Oprah Winfrey, Frank Lloyd Wright, Willem Dafoe, Chris Farley, Heather Graham, Liberace, and Georgia O'Keefe are all from Wisconsin as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Appleton is not image conscious as in beauty. But they do like people to look and dress like them which they think is sensible looking, but is actually tacky and shapeless clothes like packer sweatshirts and bad jeans.
When was the last time you were here, 1990? There are several beauty schools in the area now as well as much better retail options than in the past, so the people are a lot more trendy than before. I moved away in 2004, returned in 2009, and I could hardly recognize the place. Everyone who is my age or younger is totally in-shape and dressed to impress. No longer is the Fox Valley the epitome of fat, unfashionable pasty white people with bad haircuts. Honestly, the people you see on a typical night out on College Ave, look every bit as good as people in Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, or wherever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
someone asked how far is Minneapolis/St. Paul from Appleton: it is approx. a 6 hour drive or you can take a 45 minute flight from appleton's 8 gate airport...so not close.
Big deal, Chicago and Milwaukee are relatively close and are great places for weekend trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
Appleton has two gay bars, I think one synagogue, one performing arts center for Broadway tours...um I was once told 1/3 of the world's paper comes from the Fox Cities (of which Appleton is one--along the Fox River.)
There are at least 3 gay bars in Fox Valley, that I'm aware of. There's Rascal's on Wisconsin Ave that proudly displays numerous rainbow pride flags on the roof of the building, then there's Raven's on College Ave that's a very upscale martini lounge, and finally, there's the Lake Park Pub in Menasha that's not so in-your face with the fact it's a gay hangout.

There are 3 synagogues located in Northeastern Wisconsin, in Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh. There are 2 mosques in the Fox Valley, in Neenah and Appleton. There is a Sikh temple in Menasha. There are also numerous Hmong churches throughout the metro area as well.

The PAC in Appleton is really nice and gets national touring acts like Broadway shows as well as performers like the late comedian George Carlin and Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame. The Weidner Center in Green Bay is also a great venue and home to the GBSO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
On friendliness...I could argue either way. In my opinion....Appleton people do not like people that are not like them. Appleton people are more polite than they are friendly. Appleton people drive AND FOLLOW THE LINES in huge empty parking lots at 5mph because they are rule followers and they think that people who drive over those lines are shameful people...and they will treat you that way if they feel you are not like them.
This is so stupid. People in Appleton and Wisconsin in general, are extremely open and welcoming to new people. Yes, we pride ourselves on following the rules and we have an outstanding way of life as a result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S25LA View Post
In short, I probably would not recommend Appleton to raise a family if you want some diversity and a more reasonable balance of religiousness and political views. But it can be a quality life there.

Hope this helps!
How could this possibly help? I assure you, Appleton is not full of religious nuts. Go visit Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, or Greenville, South Carolina, and then come talk to me about religious nuts.

As far as diversity is concerned, Appleton is no Milwaukee in terms of diversity, but then again neither is Minneapolis. Appleton has just about the same amount of minorities as Madison, who takes much pride in its multiculturalism.

The Fox Valley is really the total package in terms of small metropolitan areas. It has universities, Fortune 500 Companies, nice neighborhoods, great schools, one of the lowest crime rates in the US, low cost-of-living, moderate diversity, and many big city amenities like the PAC, farmer's market, street festivals, airport, shopping, and nightlife. Some cities like Wausau and LaCrosse might have better scenery than Appleton, and some cities like Kenosha and Beloit might have more diversity than Appleton, but none of them have as much going for them overall as Appleton and the Fox Cities.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:34 PM
 
Location: appleton, wi
1,357 posts, read 4,854,061 times
Reputation: 614
I can't break everything down quite to the level that jacobclark has, but I concur with just about everything he says. I'll add that the mall does in fact have a Banana Republic, the old people may like their sweatshirts but the younger crowd remains more stylish, and besides one time when some Jehova's Witnesses came knocking on my door, in about the 10 years I've been here I don't think a single person has ever brought up church or religion to me.

p.s. cool it in parking lots. there's enough idiots to worry about as it is
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:15 PM
 
2,204 posts, read 5,096,342 times
Reputation: 1456
Yes
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,406 times
Reputation: 10
I am thinking of moving from Chicago to Appleton as a gay 52 year old man. Looking for a better quality of life, low crime and employment opportunities as a business manager / analyst. What can you tell me about the area?
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,406 times
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Default Thinking of Appleton

I am thinking of moving from Chicago to Appleton as a gay 52 year old man. Looking for a better quality of life, low crime and employment opportunities as a business manager / analyst. What can you tell me about the area?
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:58 AM
 
174 posts, read 222,354 times
Reputation: 150
I am re-hatching this thread to see if opinions or facts have changed in the last 8 years? We are strongly considering moving to Appleton. I was born in Appleton in the 80's but moved to Florida when I was 3 due to asthma and the brutal winters. Now that I am older I think this would be a great place to raise my family.

What are opinions now for the state of the city? Do people think Appleton is rude and reserved? I would like to make friends since we will be most likely spending many years in Appleton. How are the drivers and traffic? It seems there was some road range starting to build up earlier in this thread back in 2007. I just saw a video the other day of someone in Appleton area wrecking their car after tailgating and getting brake-checked. Is this a problem now? Is Appleton still a safe place to live? It seems there are a lot of sex offenders in the city as well. Is Appleton still relatively conservative? Appreciate the replies
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:48 AM
 
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Reputation: 12153
I just spent the evening in Appleton last night. Went to the Fox Valley Symphony at the Performing Arts Center. It was lovely and everyone was friendly. It took exactly 4 minutes to get from our seats to our vehicle after the performance. They had traffic cops to control the flow of traffic... which was funny... since there really wasn't "traffic." The streets had some decent foot traffic last night. Lots of people frequenting restaurants, bars, stores, etc. on College Avenue. It's a college town, of course, so there are a large number of younger people. (Although, I felt like a youngster at the symphony and I'm 47. Lots of white hair there last night.)

Just like anywhere, there are dumb drivers and yahoos in the political arena. But overall, Appleton is a really nice place, in my opinion. There are lots of things to see and do. The people are friendly, for the most part. Winter still stinks here, but if you can get out for a few weeks during the worst of it, it helps a lot.
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