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Old 09-04-2007, 04:39 PM
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,189,213 times
Reputation: 184


Originally Posted by lostinabook4 View Post
Does the sewage smell affect the entire SE side?
No... the specifics depend on wind strength and direction. And, of course, it's not like that ALL the time, just some of the time. Still something I would want to make sure people were aware of, though.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:32 PM
23 posts, read 107,415 times
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Another proponent of Iowa City, here. I lived in CR (went to high school there) and have been in IC now for about 20 years. Iowa City is highly transient only in certain areas. Typically they are lower-cost areas where post-docs buy homes and live for 3-4 years until they get real jobs. Steer clear of the lowest-cost neighborhoods and you’ll have no “transient” worries. Sure, some people move for better job opportunities but that’s true everywhere. The schools are great. While some have better test scores than others, that is usually related to poverty levels; all the schools have the same curriculum.

It's entirely possible to do the "home with character" in Iowa City, and if you want a very avant-garde, emphasis on the granola experience, that would be the place.

I think that’s kind of a stereotype. There are plenty of granola heads here, to be sure, but they aren’t the ones living the day-to-day “get the kids to school, get to work, get to soccer practice, get the homework done” types of people. Well, some of them probably are, but most families are pretty typical families with very little of the “avant-garde” flavor you mention. There are homes with character here, but most of them are too dang expensive for most people with young families. The homes with character are clustered right around university hospitals (by Kinnick Stadium, city park, etc.) and are often snapped up by doctors and professors who want to walk to work. The rest of us live in regular neighborhoods or subdivisions. That said, there does seem to be a lot of wealth among people who live here. It doesn't bother me but some people compare themselves and become annoyed.

However, if you just want stability, family-friendliness and a neighborhood of folks who share your interest in property values, safety and privacy, I think you'll find better options away from the University.

I don’t necessarily agree with this statement either. It makes Iowa City sound like a party town where homes are destroyed, things are unsafe and no one has privacy. Now you’d be a fool to live right ON campus near an apartment complex or rental house, but I probably didn’t have to tell you that. LOL. Be aware that IC is a very liberal town (about 70 percent “blue”) and is generally a younger-feeling, more progressive city than CR. To some extent, it follows the footprint of other “college” towns (like Madison, Ann Arbor, etc.). Not sure what you mean about the property value statement, but I am pretty sure that property values grow quite a bit faster in Johnson County (IC) vs. Linn County (CR).

This city has a different "feel." It is more alive (especially the downtown). People are very highly educated. Fifty percent of the people who live here have a BA or higher, which is really an amazing percentage if you think about it. There is interesting discussion found everywhere and the arts are alive all over town. People are real and friendly but they are also very tuned in, smart, and most parents I know are extremely involved with their kids' education. Most parents are highly educated themselves, and that is such a boost to the entire education system.

And if I were you, Keepitmovin, I’d avoid all the small towns around or between IC and CR. Small towns stink, IMO.

Dee, I beg to differ on the realty situation. I know you are a realtor, but truly, CR has a lot more options within the various price ranges. The only decent home you can buy in Iowa City for under $200K is probably a zero lot line (and it's probably close to Coral Ridge Mall - shudder). Yes, there are homes in the $130s to $150s, but most of them are in the Broadway neighborhood and even then, they tend to be one-story cracker boxes with very limited garage space. This is not the city to house-shop if you are on a tight budget.

Anyway, good luck with your decision, Keepitmovin. I'm sure either city would be fine. There are many good things about CR. I would suggest you consider the NE quadrant (just out my personal bias).

I did commute between CR and IC and I actually enjoyed the drive. It was “MY” time to decompress, listen to music, etc.

Last edited by Bloviator; 09-04-2007 at 10:46 PM..
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:10 PM
23 posts, read 107,415 times
Reputation: 18
This article was in the Gazette recently. It's about this topic - Iowa City vs. Cedar Rapids. Intersting read! It's a "first person" piece by a woman who moved from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids.

Article published: Sep 3, 2007
[SIZE=2][SIZE=5]First person: Culture watch[/SIZE]

Cedar Rapids Before I started working in Cedar Rapids, I thought nothing could lure me away from Iowa City's Pedestrian Mall.

Living in Iowa City, I thought of Cedar Rapids as a funky-smelling place to shop or watch a concert. I didn't set foot downtown until I stopped for a coffee before my
job interview.

Why would I, when Iowa City had an overflowing abundance of art and entertainment on or within walking distance of its downtown Pedestrian Mall?

But after nine months of commuting, I decided to ignore the stereotypes and move to Cedar Rapids, which I discovered wasn't a boring cultural wasteland and had a lot of accessible art and entertainment, as well as a growing and active downtown revitalization effort.

But stereotypes exist, and local leaders are aware of it.

``We're working on the perceptions and reality,'' Doug Neumann, CEO of Cedar Rapids' Downtown District. ``The perception of downtown is that it's not vibrant. You hear the urban myths -- that it has parking problems or no bars and restaurants.

``There are 31 restaurants within four blocks. A lot of people would be absolutely shocked to hear that.''

In my quest for culture, I attended a packed international wine tasting at Vineria, a wine shop at 264 Blairs Ferry Road NE. I asked another Iowa City-to-Cedar Rapids transplant, Wojciech ``Tek'' Kormaga, 26, about the two cities.

He mentioned The Piano Lounge downtown but added with some nostalgia: ``It's a whole different atmosphere in Iowa City; their ped mall just makes it.''

Cedar Rapids native Tad Emanuel, 37, said he remembered streets and sidewalks filled with people during trips to Younkers and other former downtown stores during the holidays.

``There used to be an excitement in the air,'' Emanuel said. ``When the stores left downtown, it became a ghost town.''

Neumann disagrees. He noted that some 8,500 people attend the downtown Saturday farmers markets (the most recent one of which was this weekend), and 13,000 people work downtown Monday through Friday.

``People talk about a lack of a ped mall, but if you walk down Second Street, it has much of the same feel. There are a number of shops, bars, public art, a streetscape and even a mobile food cart.''

Neumann said 900 people live downtown, and the next step is increasing that number. His group is working with the City Council on housing and riverfront projects, including increased downtown access to the riverfront via larger trails, sidewalks and at least two pedestrian foot bridges connecting both sides of the river.

When I moved to the southeast Cedar Rapids, some deemed it ``the 'hood.'' But I found it was full of neighborly people, near CSPS, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the art museum, the library, the IMAX and Paramount theaters, gorgeous hiking trails and parks and, yes, downtown.

In my ``‚'hood,'' I recently attended an iconic and colorful art exhibit by a visiting Mexican artist, Leonardo Torcuato, at The Paul Engle Center for Neighborhood Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural diversity and artistic expression. It was full of people mingling amid live classical music.

I volunteered at CSPS and discovered a lively cultural arts scene that invites local and nationally acclaimed musicians and artists to the city.

My longing for Hamburg Inn No. 2's Mexican omelet was replaced by Diner on First's homemade biscuits and gravy over chicken-fried steak, called ``the heart-stopper.'' In Czech Village, I found a melt-in-your mouth Reuben at Zindrick's. And Tobacco Bowl has been replaced by Cedar Rapids' Brewed Awakenings.

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:59 AM
11,288 posts, read 23,252,767 times
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Yeah - I was born in Iowa City and grew up there, went to college there, and then moved to Chicago when I was 22. It's definitely NOT a transient town unless you're living right downtown on or near campus. I LOVED growing up there, it had a very strong white collar economy, and was growing and slowly changing all the time. It's very easy to move into any established neighborhood in the city not bordering downtown and live a very happy life. I didn't even realize how huge the university is, or where all the buildings are, until I moved into a dorm and started school there. I was shocked that all this was going on downtown all the time and the regular citizens of the city wouldn't even really know it.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:19 PM
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,823,980 times
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Thank you for that article, Bloviator. I have noticed on the news that CR does seem to be moving forward with a lot of projects to improve their downtown. They have a long way to go before they're quite as exciting as IC, but it's good to see them making progress.

Also, it sounds almost like they are basing their downtown re-development plan on Des Moines. If it works in CR half as well as in Des Moines, they're in for some exciting changes!
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:11 PM
23 posts, read 107,415 times
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You're welcome, SharpHawkeye. A lot of people think the CR city council is more progressive and forward-thinking than Iowa City. Iowa City has a lot of "nice" stuff that happens naturally bc of the university being here and in some ways, the city council doesn't have to work as hard to make good things happen.

I didn't even realize how huge the university is, or where all the buildings are, until I moved into a dorm and started school there. I was shocked that all this was going on downtown all the time and the regular citizens of the city wouldn't even really know it.

This is good to hear. I have a high school son and he is eyeing the U of I for college. I live in Iowa City and was a little disappointed, hoping he would really "move away." But I wondered if the college campus really felt like a different and separate world from the town. I always thought it probably would but wasn't sure if kids who grew up here would feel that way. So, thanks!
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:52 AM
2 posts, read 7,058 times
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I live in Texas now but I am from Iowa. I grew up in Iowa city. There is so much to offer with the University being based in the town. I was able to take university classes when I was in High school. The health care is awsome. I have also lived in C.R. for a few years it is very diferent. Nice but diferent. It is a hard working town quaker oats is there so you will get the many smells from what they are making that day & not all smell good. Good luck take your time there is alot to see.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:11 AM
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If a dog park is an important consideration, I'd like to mention that Cedar Rapids also has a dog park. It's beautiful, 18 acres nice turf and a wild area to play in. Its a nice place to make friends.
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:00 PM
3 posts, read 14,015 times
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Default moving to iowa

Please don't listen to Kmarie or bch7. Wow, I'm embarrassed by what they said about so called "ghetto kids". Very racist remarks. The school they are referring to is Washington High School a "blue ribbon" school and very excellent. My 3rd child is going there and is an honor roll student all 3 years. They have the most AP classes, excellent teachers and excellent programs, clubs and other activities. Yes, there is a so called bad area on the SE side but not the entire SE side. I live on that side in an excellent neighborhood. Every town has a bad area, you just can't avoid it. Not all the kids from there are bad. Every high school in town has their problems and it has nothing to do with "ghetto kids". Actually, Washington High School, Franklin Middle school, and Arthur elementary are all rated the highest in town, and the so called "ghetto kids" are going there. Like I said, I wouldn't want to know who these posters are, they are racists and people I wouldn't want to associate with.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:02 AM
4 posts, read 9,940 times
Reputation: 12
Lightbulb Before you move to Iowa!!

Before you move to Iowa-- read all these quotes.. notice any racism, (reference to ghetto kids) Hello these are your neighbors and the children in your community! Good God!! Reference to south of I80 the IQ drops--what is that!!?? THE Ignorance is overwhelming in Iowa on either side of I80!!!!

This is definitely the bible belt.. if you are other than "Christian" you will not be viewed favorably.

If you are darker than the average Iowan--If you even have olive skin Iowans have been known to use the "N" word to describe you. And they teach their children the "N" word to describe people who don't look exactly as they do.

You should get on line and just how many registered sex offenders there are in IOWA!! Unbelieveable numbers of sexual predators who are registered. You have to be careful where ever you are, but the amount of incest, sexual abuse, rape and murder is there too. Children go missing here too to never be found again. Iowa is not going to advertise their dirty laundry, but they should be honest and upfront about how much child abuse, child rape and crimes against women and children happen in Iowa. Just imagine how much goes unreported. Don't trust anyone in Iowa with your kids, even if they appear to be "good people" you will be sadly surprised. There are a lot of good people in Iowa, but A LOT BAD, very bad people live there too. They can hide easily in the small communities as teachers, scout leaders--over 5100 boy scout leaders were kicked out of the scouts nationwide for child abuse-- molestation-- child rape-- churches any demonition-- it does not matter.. women and men and older children can hurt your children in Iowa...Don't let your children go on sleep overs-- even with someone who is known well in the church-- like the womens' circle leader-- you will sorry and your child will be scarred for life.

I was born in Iowa, lived in Iowa over 20 years-- and then left as fast as I could.

Read the sites that have posts from IOWANS and see if you really want these people in your life.

I say no, I don't want to live in Iowa. It is like the twilight zone. It appears one way but is really completely different. Scarey.. very scarey..

Originally Posted by keepitmovin View Post
My family has the opportunity to move to Iowa. My husband will be working in Cedar Rapids. I am trying to do a bit of research on the housing in neighboring areas. We have two school age children, so I am looking for family friendly areas. My preference would be to live in a small to medium size town with trees. I would like look in an area with homes that have curb appeal. I would like to look at homes with character. A little more than four flat walls. Maybe arches, hardwood floors, built ins. As I said, I've been looking on the web but, I'm not interested in talking to an agent at this point, I just want to do some research on my own. Please help!
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