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Old 11-10-2019, 12:24 PM
 
45 posts, read 44,444 times
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Hi all! I'm planning to relocate next year and have been doing research on desirable places, and Fort Wayne caught my eye.

Let me talk a little about myself. I am an Asian immigrant who speaks English as a second language, but I'm also a speech-language pathologist. I am also gay who is in my early 30s, and I'm currently in upstate New York. I am not a fan of nightlife, but I like to walk or hike outside occasionally. I want to live in a college town that has low cost of living, low tax, relatively or mildly progressive, or moderate politically, mild weather (I don't like too much snow or any natural disasters). I hope there is a mall for shopping basic stuff, and a few nearby grocery stores.

I was amazed that there are several colleges in Fort Wayne and it seems a great place to live. However, I'm not sure if Fort Wayne is LGBT and immigrant friendly, its vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as the job opportunities it can offer. I would really appreciate if you can offer me some local insights! Thanks a lot!
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:38 PM
 
237 posts, read 102,233 times
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Hello I'm a FW native (~40 yrs). FW has changed quite a bit in the past 20 yrs or so and in my opinion it's been for the better!
Immigrants: historically FW has German, Irish and French roots. In recent years we've experienced a lot of Latin American and Burmese immigration. So honestly I think you would be ok here. We have Asian immigrants here as well.

LGBT: there is an LGBT community here. The area that is most friendly (all though people usually mind their own business about things) is West Central.

Politics: FW is a bit more conservative but definitely more moderate/progressive than the rural areas of Indiana. You'll find plenty of variety here.

Shopping: We have 2 malls and tons of strip malls. Lots of places to buy groceries (I recommend Meijer or Kroger but Walmart is ok on a budget)
Weather: honestly it can get crappy here in both the winter and the summer. It's not horrid but it's also not the best. We've had winters with lots of snow and winters where it hardly snows at all. The summers can be hot and humid or decent. Fall is the best here though!

Edit: we have lots of trails (the River Greenway) and parks although they may be more difficult to navigate in the winter months.


Hope this helps a bit. It's definitely more fun here in the warmer months but the city is working on revitalizing downtown and there are things to do here in the winter also.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:50 PM
 
237 posts, read 102,233 times
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You will definitely find work as a SLP....there's a shortage here! WE don't have tons of natural disasters apart from severe thunderstorms and/or winter storms. FW is the Summit City and sits on a hill so typically avoids tornadoes although they have been known to hit.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Brownsburg, IN
127 posts, read 88,435 times
Reputation: 257
Fort Wayne is a great city that has been doing a lot of work to revitalize and change its image as just blue collar/2nd largest city. That being said it will not feel or be like a college town. True it has a plethora of colleges there, but it is a city of +250,000. Most college towns are somewhere around 70,000 typically. You will be able to find nightlife and honestly year round there will be much more to do than a college town because it has a more permanent population. Not detracting from FW just making sure you realize it will not be quite the same vibe or lifestyle as a true college town.

FW at one point had the largest Burmese population in the entire US. I know Indy has started to gain a large amount of Burmese as well. So I think you should be fine when it comes to being accepted for being Asian and as someone mentioned above there may be a demand for your services in school systems to help with these different groups.

Malls, FW has 2 really nice ones (by Indiana standards, not sure what you are used to in NY). Check out Jefferson Pointe on the Westside. Outdoor mall so on nice days it's actually a pretty nice place to not only shop but hang out. Even when there is snow they do a good job of clearing it and can be still used if you are willing to brave the cold. Glenbrook (I think this is name it's been a few years since I visited it) is the other one on the Northside. It is indoor and larger than Jefferson Pointe. Both malls have your staples for big time box stores (Macy's JC Penney's, etc).

I can't speak to the LGBTQ community there, so will let others, like previous posters, respond on that.

I'm an avid runner so I can tell you there are lots of great trails, parks,etc. I'm actually very jealous of FW in that regard compared to Indy area. I don't know if it's the rivers or just better (more forward) planning on FW part or not for their trail system, but it is extensive! There are paved trails that stretch along the banks of all 3 major rivers. Eventually the goal is to connect them in a big circle. There are other paved trails that go off in other directions not just along the river as well on former rail beds (See Pufferbelly Trail). If you go to Headwaters Park many of these trails meet centrally there (or close by) and radiate from there. Headwater Park is the site (or was when my wife's parents still lived in the area) of an outdoor (has a roof though) ice skating rink and where many festivals such as Three Rivers Festival, and Germanfest occur. Three Rivers Fest has a really cool and unique Bed Race...just type into Youtube and you should see what I'm talking about.

In addition, they also have Fox Island Park for hiking, Salomon Farm Park, Shoaff Park, Swinney Park and Franke Parks that have hiking or walking paths. Within about an hour (some much less) you have several state parks that I've been to that are great for hiking, camping, etc. Pokagan State Park up by Angola is the furthest, but probably largest. Chain'O Lakes State Park is closer and has some really rugged trails. Oubache State Park is the smallest of the three and has trails and a firetower to climb. Trails aren't too long or rugged. At one time they had bison there too. There is also the old fort, a really impressive zoo (I actually like it better than Indy's), professional sports in baseball and basketball, Lincoln Museum and many other cultural and other activities to take part in year round.

Finally, FW is pretty good natural disaster wise in that typically they are no more dangerous than anywhere else. They'll have tornado warnings, but don't know last time they actually were hit. The biggest weather issue you'll run into is snow. They will get it. That's just Indiana where we typically all get it. It is usually very manageable though. I would GUESS coming from upstate NY that you would get more snow there than in FW. But that's just my guess without looking at any actual weather data. Occasionally having that many rivers there might be flooding, but again that's rare with the berms and things they have put in place to try to avoid this, but be cognizant of it when looking at homes to rent or buy.

Overall I think you would like it there. It will be more progressive than the surrounding communities, but by most of the US's standard Indiana progressive is probably still pretty conservative. You will find others with similar interests as you and political ideas though and think you would fit in and really enjoy your time.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
4,578 posts, read 5,207,412 times
Reputation: 4640
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestsideMac View Post
Fort Wayne is a great city that has been doing a lot of work to revitalize and change its image as just blue collar/2nd largest city. That being said it will not feel or be like a college town. True it has a plethora of colleges there, but it is a city of +250,000. Most college towns are somewhere around 70,000 typically. You will be able to find nightlife and honestly year round there will be much more to do than a college town because it has a more permanent population. Not detracting from FW just making sure you realize it will not be quite the same vibe or lifestyle as a true college town.

FW at one point had the largest Burmese population in the entire US. I know Indy has started to gain a large amount of Burmese as well. So I think you should be fine when it comes to being accepted for being Asian and as someone mentioned above there may be a demand for your services in school systems to help with these different groups.

Malls, FW has 2 really nice ones (by Indiana standards, not sure what you are used to in NY). Check out Jefferson Pointe on the Westside. Outdoor mall so on nice days it's actually a pretty nice place to not only shop but hang out. Even when there is snow they do a good job of clearing it and can be still used if you are willing to brave the cold. Glenbrook (I think this is name it's been a few years since I visited it) is the other one on the Northside. It is indoor and larger than Jefferson Pointe. Both malls have your staples for big time box stores (Macy's JC Penney's, etc).

I can't speak to the LGBTQ community there, so will let others, like previous posters, respond on that.

I'm an avid runner so I can tell you there are lots of great trails, parks,etc. I'm actually very jealous of FW in that regard compared to Indy area. I don't know if it's the rivers or just better (more forward) planning on FW part or not for their trail system, but it is extensive! There are paved trails that stretch along the banks of all 3 major rivers. Eventually the goal is to connect them in a big circle. There are other paved trails that go off in other directions not just along the river as well on former rail beds (See Pufferbelly Trail). If you go to Headwaters Park many of these trails meet centrally there (or close by) and radiate from there. Headwater Park is the site (or was when my wife's parents still lived in the area) of an outdoor (has a roof though) ice skating rink and where many festivals such as Three Rivers Festival, and Germanfest occur. Three Rivers Fest has a really cool and unique Bed Race...just type into Youtube and you should see what I'm talking about.

In addition, they also have Fox Island Park for hiking, Salomon Farm Park, Shoaff Park, Swinney Park and Franke Parks that have hiking or walking paths. Within about an hour (some much less) you have several state parks that I've been to that are great for hiking, camping, etc. Pokagan State Park up by Angola is the furthest, but probably largest. Chain'O Lakes State Park is closer and has some really rugged trails. Oubache State Park is the smallest of the three and has trails and a firetower to climb. Trails aren't too long or rugged. At one time they had bison there too. There is also the old fort, a really impressive zoo (I actually like it better than Indy's), professional sports in baseball and basketball, Lincoln Museum and many other cultural and other activities to take part in year round.

Finally, FW is pretty good natural disaster wise in that typically they are no more dangerous than anywhere else. They'll have tornado warnings, but don't know last time they actually were hit. The biggest weather issue you'll run into is snow. They will get it. That's just Indiana where we typically all get it. It is usually very manageable though. I would GUESS coming from upstate NY that you would get more snow there than in FW. But that's just my guess without looking at any actual weather data. Occasionally having that many rivers there might be flooding, but again that's rare with the berms and things they have put in place to try to avoid this, but be cognizant of it when looking at homes to rent or buy.

Overall I think you would like it there. It will be more progressive than the surrounding communities, but by most of the US's standard Indiana progressive is probably still pretty conservative. You will find others with similar interests as you and political ideas though and think you would fit in and really enjoy your time.
The only thing I would change on this is to say that the Lincoln Museum sadly closed 10 or 11 years ago. I believe it was run by the Lincoln Financial Group and the items were gifted to the state of Indiana. I think some items are housed and displayed at the Indiana State Museum in Indy and some are with the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. I was sad because that was a really nicely done museum. I read their collection was valued at over $20 million.


In place of that, though, downtown Fort Wayne has a really nice art museum and botanical conservatory is quite nice as well.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Brownsburg, IN
127 posts, read 88,435 times
Reputation: 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by ischyros View Post
The only thing I would change on this is to say that the Lincoln Museum sadly closed 10 or 11 years ago. I believe it was run by the Lincoln Financial Group and the items were gifted to the state of Indiana. I think some items are housed and displayed at the Indiana State Museum in Indy and some are with the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. I was sad because that was a really nicely done museum. I read their collection was valued at over $20 million.


In place of that, though, downtown Fort Wayne has a really nice art museum and botanical conservatory is quite nice as well.
Ok good to know. I visited when I was in college about 15 years ago so that's disappointing to hear because as you said it was really well done.

I forgot about the Botanical Gardens but those are impressive, fun to go on a snowy day like today. I also think the BG in FW is much better than the White River "Botanical Gardens"/Butterfly Exhibit that Indy has.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
1,621 posts, read 2,898,912 times
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FW is much like Upstate, NY, far as metros go. A fraction of the snow, though. Not as much rain, either.


I'm here on business at the moment, and have been coming here regularly for 4 years, now. It's changed a lot in 4 years, downtown is nice, especially during the warmer months. Safe and people are on the streets past Midnight. Indiana Tech college has exploded in growth, and continues to grow. They have a large immigrant population among the student body.

People here are generally easy going and friendly. The number of transplants from other places has exloded in recent years, too. Lots of folks from out west, and quite a few lately from the Chicago area.

FW is positioned well, I think. Close to a bunch of large cities, when I have business in Chicago I stay here then take a train into that city. Other small metros like Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, and others are short drives away.



I've made friends here who are locals, transplants, and immigrants. There's a sizeable Indian population here, and there are a lot of people here from various East Asian countries.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:36 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,800 times
Reputation: 35
Everyone contributed good information. I will add this, don't worry about politics. The city just elected our democratic mayor for his 4th term and he won by a landslide. I've lived here my entire life, and I've yet to question others, or be questioned by anyone about politics. People generally don't care about your political views. Just be a good, kind person and you'll do just fine.

Gay people are everywhere in Fort Wayne. As mentioned above, sw of downtown seems to be a popular place for many gay people. There are many older restored homes in that area. Living downtown is also a great option. I have been to 3 weddings for gay family and friends, and each couple was celebrated. Depending on where you will work, Fort Wayne has some beautiful neighborhoods. You will love the prices of homes too. People around here are no different than any other city. You will have good and bad everywhere. For the most part, Fort Wayne is a wonderful city with many benefits to live here.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:13 PM
 
Location: 78745
3,711 posts, read 2,856,070 times
Reputation: 6471
I came across this video that was recently posted on YouTube claims Ft. Wayne is the cheapest city in the United States to live with a population over 100,000 people.

https://youtu.be/6-jieE2GOyo

Ft Wayne is at 11:11

Hope this might help the OP looking for some convincing reasons to move to Ft. Wayne.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Oceanside/soon to be Evansville
88 posts, read 53,603 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivory Lee Spurlock View Post
I came across this video that was recently posted on YouTube claims Ft. Wayne is the cheapest city in the United States to live with a population over 100,000 people.

https://youtu.be/6-jieE2GOyo

Ft Wayne is at 11:11

Hope this might help the OP looking for some convincing reasons to move to Ft. Wayne.
That's correct


It is the only state in the USA were you can live off of social security
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