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Old 09-20-2010, 11:25 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,496 times
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I recently made somewhat of an Iowa expedition and made stops at a few Iowa cities (Burlington, Davenport, Iowa City, CR, Des Moines, and W'loo) and what I noticed is that Burlington, Davenport, and Waterloo seemed far more grittier and very different than my perception of Iowa. What was noticibly different was the large presence of African Americans by Iowa standards of course. But while in these places I was definitely taken by surprise. Because while in both Burlington and Davenport there were shootings and I have heard that W'loo has a reputation that would parallel with what I experienced while in both Burlington and Davenport. I am sorry if I am rambling but I was shocked to say the least.
I don't know if you all would agree but it just seems culturally these areas are different than the rest of the state. They seems like they have more of an IL feel than IA. I don't mean to offend but am curious what some of you Iowans think.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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When I was 19 I went to visit a buddy in San Diego. His nephew heard I was from Iowa, first question he asked me was "What kind of animals do you have on your farm?".

At the time I was living on the corner of 6th and Brown st. in Davenport, which some people will tell you not to even drive on those streets. (Don't believe the hype). The only time I've ever been on a farm is once when I was a kid we went to buy pumpkins.

So it makes sense to me that a person from outside Iowa would not have an idea of how it is in some of our cities. Then again it's 2010 and we're not talking about tiny lil towns in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
170 posts, read 747,377 times
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Yes, there are black people in Iowa. This shocked you? Not all are white farmers. I don't actually know any black farmers, come to think of it... but like I said, not everyone in Iowa is a white farmer!

Yes, Davenport has rough areas. I went to school with somebody who had moved from Chicago and said she felt more unsafe walking in downtown Davenport than in Chicago. I guess it would depend where in Chicago you're walking, but her surprise was just at how unsafe she felt walking in a small town in Iowa!
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:51 PM
 
16 posts, read 47,681 times
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I think this reputation of downtown Davenport as some kind of "high crime" district is severely overblown. My job (driving a delivery truck) routinely takes me downtown, and I've never once encountered a hint of trouble. Yes, there are a few homeless people and undesirables hanging around...but they've never bothered me or anyone else in my vicinity.

Perhaps if you loiter in the 800 block West 4th Street at 1:00am dressed up in the latest "Gangsta Apparel" you might attract some problems. However, for those of us who visit downtown minding our own business for work (or leisure) the likelihood of witnessing a violent act is virtually nil.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Quad Cities, IA
85 posts, read 347,960 times
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Its mostly because of the manufacturing collapse of the 1980's. Davenport, Burlington, and Waterloo, economies were dependent on manufacturing plants. When a lot of them closed, the economy in those cities suffered. Iowa City has the U of Iowa, so they were safe. Des Moines and Cedar Rapids moved more towards Hi Tech or insurance jobs. Davenport in the last 10 or so years has really recovered a lot, and has a lot of positive things going on. Haven't been to Waterloo or Burlington in quite sometime, but they have taken the longest to recover.

As far as African Americans in Davenport, Chicago tore down a lot of public housing years ago, and a lot of families moved to the Quad Cities (Davenport). I know people that come in town from NYC or Miami and are shocked there's actually black people here. Hell I know people that are shocked Iowa has electricity and the internet.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Rock Island
31 posts, read 95,686 times
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I was born in Burlington, lived in Waterloo as well as Iowa City, and currently living in the Quad Cities. I agree with the original poster that the three cities mentioned by the original poster are quite different than other Iowa Cities like IC & CR. For instance, the African American populations of the cities are larger. As the OP stated, I think there is a grittiness to these areas. Probably due to them being manufacturing/rustbelt cities and two of the cities being river towns. As the above poster stated Chicago transplants have definitely come in by the droves in all three cities. I know in Burlington they got quite a few transplants from Chicago due to the Tyson plant and the property owners of Cabrini Green owned a public housing site in Burlington as well and more than a few of those Cabrini residents decided to pack up for Burlington. But who are we kidding Davenport, Burlington, and Waterloo was sketchy before Chicago transplants decided to move in a large numbers. I think the violence in these areas also set them apart from other IA cities. I bet if we were to look at the headlines of each of their newspaper online sites there would be quite a few correlations.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Eastern Iowa
5 posts, read 9,533 times
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Davenport doesn't fit the stereotype most of the country has of Iowa. Most of the towns in Iowa are white and full of people with connections to farming or agriculture, but a good portion of the people live in the larger cities. I grew up in a small town near Davenport and never went to school with a person of color until I went to high school because we had to attend high school at Davenport West. My job takes me around the city all day long and there are areas of town that are almost exclusively black. You would probably be shocked to step inside one of our high schools for a day as well, much more diverse than most of the state. I've found that most river towns are dirty, and a bit rough around the edges. Quite honestly not really a lot of good reasons to live in Davenport, it does have its problems but I don't think it's as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. Just kind of a dump.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Rock Island
31 posts, read 95,686 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaMike View Post
Davenport doesn't fit the stereotype most of the country has of Iowa. Most of the towns in Iowa are white and full of people with connections to farming or agriculture, but a good portion of the people live in the larger cities. I grew up in a small town near Davenport and never went to school with a person of color until I went to high school because we had to attend high school at Davenport West. My job takes me around the city all day long and there are areas of town that are almost exclusively black. You would probably be shocked to step inside one of our high schools for a day as well, much more diverse than most of the state. I've found that most river towns are dirty, and a bit rough around the edges. Quite honestly not really a lot of good reasons to live in Davenport, it does have its problems but I don't think it's as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. Just kind of a dump.
None of the other cities listed by the op fit the stereotype most of the country has of Iowa.
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