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Old 11-30-2014, 05:53 AM
 
387 posts, read 541,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dport7674 View Post
Otoh, I do have friends/family who live in San Diego, Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago who are pretty much living the same as folks in mid sized Midwest cities...They're working boring middle management jobs or blue collar jobs, they always go to the same 5 restaurants, the same 5 taverns, and they stay at home and watch netflix. Living in a large city doesn't automatically = excitement/opportunity.
Certain people will be homebodies regardless where they live. The point is that for people who ACTIVELY desire a dynamic area with something to do, San Diego, Seattle and Fort Lauderdale are always going to beat Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline. Young people like to "go and do" when they get out on their own. Middle-aged people are just worried about saving enough for retirement and making sure their kids get out of the house at 18. Amenities are far less important to the aged.

If you don't care about being entertained or having access to decent employment opportunities, the Quad Cities is just fine. If you are amenable to living in a town devoid of excitement or notoriety, the Quad Cities is just fine. If you like living in an area that will be the same 30 years from now as it is today, the Quad Cities is just fine. If you have no dreams or ambitions to pursue in life, the Quad Cities is just fine.

For everyone else, there are dozens of cities around the Midwest that can offer much more.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:58 AM
 
231 posts, read 339,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dport7674
But it's also true that when you're 18-26, there's not a lot to do. How many times can you go to the 'District of Rock Island' and get drunk.
Fair enough, but I used to think the same thing in Detroit. "How many times can I go to Ferndale/Midtown/Corktown to eat, get drunk, and bowl?" What you're complaining about is largely a failure of modern society. We live digital lives (we have tons of entertainment at home and even shop online), and it's sucked the life out of our cities. You might as well move to Manhattan or San Fransisco and try your luck, because just about everywhere else is as "bad" as the QCs.

Funksoulbro thinks Des Moines is so much more exciting, but I really can't figure out how. I'll agree that it has a better economy, but in America that just means you just get more of the same bars and strip malls than your neighbors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irongrl
I really don't see a lot of opportunity here for young people outside of that.
I was once the Funksoulbro of Detroit. I could list you every reason why it was a big stinking failure. But as I grow older, I find that most of my friends that stayed behind have been able to find jobs appropriate to their education level. They aren't stuck flipping burgers. There's decent opportunity, and it turns out the rest of the country isn't as perfect as I thought.

I will agree that Metro Detroit needs more job diversity, though. It does seem like it took my friends in Detroit a little longer to settle into a good job, and the automotive field is still where the greatest opportunity is. Probably the lack of diverse jobs is why Metro Detroit's population has basically been stagnant since the 1970s. But hey, despite it all, the region manages to maintain a population of over 4 million, and all those McMansions you noted didn't pay for themselves. So it could be much, much worse.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:11 PM
 
387 posts, read 541,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one is lonely View Post
Funksoulbro thinks Des Moines is so much more exciting, but I really can't figure out how. I'll agree that it has a better economy, but in America that just means you just get more of the same bars and strip malls than your neighbors.
It also means you get more respect, notoriety, consideration, events, development, and stature in the national media. There are literally thousands of towns across America where you can live that are quite good at being mediocre, boring, and completely forgettable. The Quad Cities is one of those places, and always will be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by one is lonely View Post
I was once the Funksoulbro of Detroit. I could list you every reason why it was a big stinking failure.
The Quad Cities isn't really a failure. It just isn't a place that has anything spectacular to offer residents or visitors. There are dozens of similarly-sized areas around that country that have better everything. Likewise, there are probably dozens of similarly-sized cities that are below the QC in quality of life. It just isn't remarkable in any way. Middle-of-the-pack, at best.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:47 AM
 
231 posts, read 339,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funksoulbro
The Quad Cities isn't really a failure. It just isn't a place that has anything spectacular to offer residents or visitors. There are dozens of similarly-sized areas around that country that have better everything. Likewise, there are probably dozens of similarly-sized cities that are below the QC in quality of life. It just isn't remarkable in any way. Middle-of-the-pack, at best.
The QC has an awesome location on the Mississippi, a bunch of urban corridors (by Midwest standards), and most of the suburban sprawl amenities you expect in a large metro. If you can find gainful employment there - and some people evidently are - I don't see how it ranks far below Des Moines. Unless, that is, your idea of fun is eating at Cheesecake Factory and staring at monolithic office buildings in awe. Then Des Moines shatters the QC.

Now, if you were a big urban living advocate and championing Chicago, San Fran, NYC, and all that - fine. The QC doesn't have that. But to say Madison, WI is so much better because it has a couple more coffee shops and concerts, well, I think you're splitting hairs.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,577,205 times
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Also, comparing the QC to Des Moines and Madison isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison. Capital city and Capital city/college town, both with over 550,000 in the metro, vs the QC, a non-capital, non-college town metro of under 400,000. Let's talk about how we're doing vs Peoria, Trenton, or Savannah (metros around our size) and I think its hard not to put the QC on top.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:41 AM
 
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I've looked up some stats on the QC out of curiosity, and it looks like it has an average unemployment rate for Illinois. For some reason Illinois and Michigan are having a hard time with unemployment. I wonder what it is that Ohio is doing better...
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:38 AM
 
387 posts, read 541,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one is lonely View Post
Now, if you were a big urban living advocate and championing Chicago, San Fran, NYC, and all that - fine. The QC doesn't have that. But to say Madison, WI is so much better because it has a couple more coffee shops and concerts, well, I think you're splitting hairs.
I'm saying Madison (or Des Moines, or Omaha) is better than the QC because there's much more economic opportunity and a significantly better atmosphere for the creative class. Davenport is great if you like sweating in a metal shed while using an air wrench to tighten nuts on tractors moving down an assembly line. For most people, that's a depressing lifestyle. But, that's mostly what Davenport/Moline/Rock Island offers.

Young people looking to start their lives aren't moving to the QC in big numbers. Why? Because it offers next to nothing in terms of an exciting lifestyle. It's basically a repository for aging people who have no ambition in life and are afraid of change.

Whether Des Moines or Madison have public colleges and capital buildings is completely irrelevant to this discussion. The quality of life there is significantly better than the Quad Cities, and their population isn't manifestly larger than that of the metro QC. I hear a bunch of excuses why the Quad Cities lags behind in jobs, culture, growth, etc...but all of those excuses ring hollow. Equivocation won't attract new residents to a city. Opportunity and culture will.

Simply put: People vote with their feet, and the QC is losing big among its Midwest peers.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:59 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,349,311 times
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[snip. discussing moderation]

It's not fair comparing the QC to those other cities. The main reason being, the QC does not think of itself as being on par with some of America's major cities, where the other mentioned mid-sized (yet larger) cities do.

Last edited by ElleTea; 12-09-2014 at 06:26 PM..
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:01 AM
 
387 posts, read 541,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieJonez View Post
[snip. discussing moderation]

It's not fair comparing the QC to those other cities. The main reason being, the QC does not think of itself as being on par with some of America's major cities, where the other mentioned mid-sized (yet larger) cities do.
You're correct in stating that the QC's overall self-image is not that of Des Moines or Omaha. There's not a fanatical bunch of local boosters who think the place is "mini-Chicago" or "NYC Express" in terms of urban vibe. Des Moines has really made a name for itself by merely proclaiming its own greatness over and over.

That said, I feel comparisons between the Quad Cities and places like Omaha, Des Moines, and Madison are valid because they are regional neighbors that essentially have the same basic function for retail, finance, manufacturing, transportation, and culture. They are not nearly big enough to be a Minneapolis or a Saint Louis, and they are close enough in relative size and demographics to warrant their own category.

In 1990, Madison was smaller than the QC, Des Moines was the same size as the QC, and Omaha was larger...but still very easily comparable in terms of economic output. It's interesting to me that the Quad Cities has fallen so far behind those three metros in a short span of about 25 years. It is the only metro of the four to have a prominent, internationally-renown geographical/navigational feature (the Mississippi River) yet has been stuck in a flat growth cycle while the other three areas have blossomed. It has definitely under-performed compared to its regional neighbors. In fact, it even risks being passed by the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area which continues to grow at a healthy pace.

Being just slightly better than Rockford or Peoria is not a real selling point in the region. But, that's basically all the Quad Cities has left to boast at this point.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:06 PM
 
231 posts, read 339,709 times
Reputation: 324
Well, funk, I think QCs issue is that it's lumped in with the Michigan/NW Indiana/Illinois economy. For various reasons, that region has really struggled with unemployment. Des Moines and Madison benefit from being state capitals in pretty economically healthy states, and Omaha benefits from being Nebraska's big city.

I actually think the QCs would be better off if the whole area was inside Iowa. Moline and Rock Island are completely lost in the shuffle in Illinois.
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