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Old 03-25-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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Hello,

I currently have an offer for a position around the Burlington area. I am from the south so it's obviously going to be a little bit of a culture change. I currently live in a metro area of about 200,000 people but I will be fine with the smaller city life as that is similar to where I was born and lived the majority of my life. I am curious about the people in the area though, as well as places to live. I am looking to rent for about 6 months before purchasing a home, so are there any areas I should avoid? Any apartment complexes you would suggest? How are the restaurants and shopping? Any nice bars along the river? Are the people very friendly here or would I feel completely out of place with accent?

Anything else you can think of feel free to add. I'll check back very frequently here. Also, I am also looking in to Mount Pleasant. It may be a bit to small for me though. This offer kind of snuck up on me and I don't have much time before the move. I am doing my research but input would be very grateful.

Last edited by timbuck32; 03-25-2011 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:32 PM
 
Location: St. Louis City
503 posts, read 865,179 times
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Hello. First, I was originally raised in North East MO, about an hour and a half from Burlington, IA. I visted often, but never lived. Residents are likely to have a lot more input for you. However, I wanted to share my opinion. Burlington is a nice little city of about 30,000, located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The ceconomy is based on transportation and manufacturing. The regions largest single employer is the Great River Medical Center.

Neat things about Bulrington include
- 'Snake Alley', one of the crookedest streets in the world
- Starrs Cave (a neat little place to visit)
- Misquito Park - named for it's size - which overlooks the Mississippi River and is quite scenic
- Most major retail outlets are available, and numerous chain restaurants. The mall is relatively small, but there is one Most of this is located on Hwy 61 and west.
- If gambling is your scene, there is a casino there, along with Fun City - a neat attraction in it's own (water park, arcade, and more!)
- I once went to see a play at the community theater - 'the Moustrap' and it was great
- Burlington has a minor league Baseball team (is is still the Bee's?)
- The Burlington Hawke Eye is the states' oldest news paper
- The Riverfest on the riverfront was always a fun time growing up

Winters will be cold there - and the cooling off starts mid to late October, and lasts through early to mid April. Summers can still get hot and muggy. Spring and Fall are the most pleasant times of the year

The airport is small, and offers only small commuter service to St. Louis and Chicago. However, more regional service is available at both Moline and Peoria IL - about an hour and a half each. These are the two closest larger metro areas (each are over 300K). St. Louis is the next big city (and that is 3 hours or so away).

Amtrak does serve the city.

In general, I think of Burlington as the typical mid west small river city. People are friendly, though they recongnize an outsider. Crime is not a major issue - but to locals they would feel it has been increasing over time. Traffic is never really an issue, and you can get from anywhere in the city to anywhere in the city in 15 minutes or so. As kids grow up, they are likely ready to leave this city behind for bigger and better things. I am not sure about schools, or housing. Think there is one public, and one private (catholic) high school (West Burlington MAY have their own district??). Not a lot changes in these parts!

Just my two cents .. or a little more. Like I said, I like Burlington, and the tri state area Local will provide a little more insight.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:33 PM
 
Location: St. Louis City
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Also - I think you will find that like most smaller river cities, there are plenty of neighborhood drinking establishments! You may have to look around to find one that fits you
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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I really appreciate the input Mike. At this point I think my decision is based on whether or not I can adapt myself to the "small city" living again.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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Adapt? What are your concerns? Not having Metro style shopping malls to choose from? Not having Chicago style fancy restaurants? Weekend nightlife?

What exactly are you concerned about "adapting"?
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:12 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,438 times
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Originally Posted by springazure View Post
Adapt? What are your concerns? Not having Metro style shopping malls to choose from? Not having Chicago style fancy restaurants? Weekend nightlife?

What exactly are you concerned about "adapting"?
It's the total style of living to me. It's the fact that I can leave my home now and within 5 minutes be at any restaurant I wish, or choose between 6 large grocery stores. It's the fact that in what I consider a large city (100,000+) you really don't have to leave the city for any sort of amenity. I'm not trying to compare Burlington to Atlanta. Des Moines would be more down my alley and when visiting Iowa I thought the whole state was beautiful. I'm just simply accustomed myself to a large city life that simply offers more to do, more places to shop, more everything.

Once again, I don't dislike small cities. I lived the first 23 years of my life in a city under 15,000 people. It's just different. Both large and small have their pros and cons. I tend to find myself liking larger cities more at this point in my life. More places to take the kids, more places to shop, play golf, more selection of everything.

So back to point, I do think I'd have to adapt a little for many reasons. It's a different life style which is my opinion based on my life's experiences. I have a job offer on the table would would possible bring me to Burlington for a few years. It's a tough decision for me and my family, nothing more.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: St. Louis City
503 posts, read 865,179 times
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Well - Burlington is relatively close (1.5 hours at most) to both Peoria and the Quad Cities - which can offer more diversity / variety. There are a number of other small cities nearby (Ft. Madison, Muscatine, Galesburg IL) ... Quincy IL is just about an hour away as well. Des Moines, Chicago, and St. Louis could be done as a day trip. I think most bix box retailers are present in Burlington (but only one location of each). I think one challenge would be more specialty shops that are often not in the smaller markets, but there is always on line shopping - which in MOST cases is tax free!
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:48 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,438 times
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Originally Posted by STLCityMike View Post
Well - Burlington is relatively close (1.5 hours at most) to both Peoria and the Quad Cities - which can offer more diversity / variety. There are a number of other small cities nearby (Ft. Madison, Muscatine, Galesburg IL) ... Quincy IL is just about an hour away as well. Des Moines, Chicago, and St. Louis could be done as a day trip. I think most bix box retailers are present in Burlington (but only one location of each). I think one challenge would be more specialty shops that are often not in the smaller markets, but there is always on line shopping - which in MOST cases is tax free!
Yeah, Mike, we have had a good chance to look around and I think we'll enjoy it there. Seems like the city offers much more than I initially thought. Now, we just need to find a house to rent
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:25 AM
 
Location: St. Louis City
503 posts, read 865,179 times
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Good luck! I am not that familiar with the housing market there, sorry! Based on census data for the 2010 census tracts, the south west side of Burlington (South of Division, and west of Summer) is where the growth in population is.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by STLCityMike View Post
Good luck! I am not that familiar with the housing market there, sorry! Based on census data for the 2010 census tracts, the south west side of Burlington (South of Division, and west of Summer) is where the growth in population is.
Yep and sadly in overall Des Moines County lost about 2,000 people from 2000 to 2010. In general Burlington area isn't really doing well. Probably from the influx of jobs lost from the railroad industry, I guess.
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