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Old 02-20-2008, 12:27 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
44 posts, read 141,002 times
Reputation: 48

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We are being relocated to Cedar Rapids from Grand Island Nebraska. We have been in Nebraska about a year and half. We are looking for nice neighborhoods and parts of the city to live. We have three children and a Yorkie, so almost four children!
I have read some posts that say it is a "smelly" city? Grand Island has many, many feed lots, meat processing plants and other plants. I don't think it can be as smelly as here! But other than that we have enjoyed living in Nebraska, Grand Island just has a very small town mentality and I am looking for more things to do with my children. Especially in the winter. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks for your help.
Meredith
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,045,623 times
Reputation: 1100
Personally, I think you'll like Cedar Rapids a lot better than GI. However, it's all about what you're tastes are, Cedar Rapids is nowhere near as small town as Grand Island is.

One of the areas of town I like is along Blairs Ferry Rd. past Edgewood Rd. There are quite a few new and established neighborhoods out there that are very nice, and it's close to everything you'll need. If you look at a map it may say this area is on the NE side but technically it's far NW.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:49 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
44 posts, read 141,002 times
Reputation: 48
I have been told I will like it much better than Nebraska. We are originally from Idaho so we would really like some mountains or hills!! As far as the scenery goes, is it pretty? I also have a few more questions..
1. Are there tornados? (Being from Idaho we weren't used to the storms but they are kind of exciting!)
2. IS there skiing?
3. Are the schools decent?
4. Is there sushi?
5. Is the college there 4 year?

Any other things I should be aware of? Thanks again!
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,045,623 times
Reputation: 1100
Quote:
Originally Posted by meredithmyoung View Post
I have been told I will like it much better than Nebraska. We are originally from Idaho so we would really like some mountains or hills!! As far as the scenery goes, is it pretty? I also have a few more questions..
1. Are there tornados? (Being from Idaho we weren't used to the storms but they are kind of exciting!)
2. IS there skiing?
3. Are the schools decent?
4. Is there sushi?
5. Is the college there 4 year?

Any other things I should be aware of? Thanks again!
Scenery certainly won't be a drastic change, but the city is in the Cedar Valley so there are some hills and bluffs, but nothing like Idaho, you may be dissapointed. However, it is more hilly than central NE.
1. Yes there are tornadoes, not extremely common, but it happens.
2. Skiing again, will not be like Idaho, but there is a place in the Quad Cities an hour east, and Dubuque, a little over an hour NE.
3. Schools are decent, the area I refered you to is in one of the best areas, there is also the College Community School District, on the south side of the city. (Prairie High School.) Living in Marion is a popular choice, they have a very good school district, it's a small suburb to the NE.
4. Yes there is sushi, I'm not a big sea-food person; But I know there are a few Japanese Steakhouses in the area, some may be chain though.
5. Coe College and Mt. Mercy are the main ones in Cedar Rapids, then there is University of Iowa 20 minutes south in Iowa City.

I don't think you'll have any trouble finding somewhere you like in the Cedar Rapids area. The Iowa City metro is to the direct south and not a far drive, maybe you could check into that as well, they have some great neighborhoods for families.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,625,517 times
Reputation: 1581
One great thing about Marion is you are close to a lot of stores. If you live in the middle part of Cedar Rapids you have to drive 20 minutes to a Walmart or other big department store or grocery store. There is a Walmart, 4 auto parts stores, farm supply store, a dozen fast food and pizza places, a hardware store, and two major grocery stores within a mile or two of each other in Marion.

One bad thing is the cops in this town. There are way too many and they always run out of things to do and start to pull people over for menial things like dirty license plates or dim tail lights or even driving "strange". It is getting bad. They need to fire one or two and give us some tax relief!!
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:53 PM
 
12 posts, read 51,895 times
Reputation: 27
I was born in Cedar Rapids and mostly raised in Marion, and thought I'd add my opinions to this thread. CR is a nice place to live. It has it's pros and cons just like any city. It has a population I believe around 123,000+ and slowly growing so it's a pretty nice size city and metro area. Marion and Hiawatha (the 2 main suburbs) are nice too but I always preferred CR just because it was bigger. The downtown is located in the center of the city so it's convenient from any quadrant. CR is divided by 4 sections - NE, NW, SE, SW. I'm most familiar with the NE side which is a nice area overall. Lots of stores and restaurants, Lindale Mall, and it's the side closest to Marion and Hiawatha.
The NW side can be a bit stinky and crummy, but it also has Ellis Park along the Cedar River which is very nice. The SE side has the biggest ghetto-area in the city, but it also has some of the biggest nicest houses in the area too. Seems the richest and the poorest live on the SE side. The SW side seems more open.. but it's getting a few more stores and restaurants opening in that area. Westdale Mall is there too but it's virtually a ghost-mall now. It's a shame too because I always preferred Westdale to Lindale because Westdale has 2 floors, and it just seemed bigger and nicer.
I-380 goes right through the heart of CR so with that and 1st Ave. (the city's busiest street) you can get almost anywhere in the city in decent time. However traffic does seem to slowly be getting worse. Crime isn't too bad there except it does seem to be getting worse for some reason. Lots of robberies lately. Murder isn't too big an issue, some years we'll have like 6 or 7, other years we'll have maybe 1 or none.
The worst parts of the city (ghetto-areas I guess you'd call them) are mostly close to the downtown area. The Wellington Heights neighborhood on the SE side is known to be the worse. But the NW and NE sides around 1st Ave. close to downtown can be a little on the rough side as well. However I've been through all these areas countless times and have never really had any worries. Nothing like a big city ghetto.
There are some other downsides to CR as well.. there just isn't much to do there. No big zoos, no amusement parks, no big water parks, etc. And their IMAX theater just closed as well. That's one of the reasons my wife and I decided to move, it can be a boring town. Plenty of bars and stuff like that if that's your thing, but that wasn't our thing. Another thing is the city just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It's been the same place for many many years and it looks to be the same place for many more to come. There is talk about more housing and condos downtown, which is great, but still it's just talk and who knows what will come of it. They have a big trashdump called "Mount Trashmore" by the locals, that is going to be turned into a park, with winter activities like skiing and stuff in the future. I think it's a great idea! The city also wants to create more walking trails and bridges around downtown.
CR is known as the "City of 5 Seasons", but some call it the "city of 5 smells." It has numerous factories that can stink parts of the city up something awful. But it's not like that everyday. I guess it mostly depends on the winds and what's brewing that particular day. The Cedar River that goes through downtown looks nice, but can just reak of stinky fish at times too.
I will always love CR, and I will always miss it, but we decided to move because there's not much to do there and we wanted a change. We live in Missouri (StL area) now but are planning to move out of the Midwest eventually.
Overall though I think you would like CR.. it's a nice place to work and raise a family.

As others have mentioned, there's also Iowa City 20 miles south of CR. I have lived there as well but I prefer CR. Iowa City is a big college town.. so there's lots of college students and lots of bars down there. Not my thing. Other than that it's not too much different than CR, except smaller and a bit more congested.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,188,679 times
Reputation: 184
If you have packing plants in GI, CR will smell like a rose. We used to have a packing plant practically downtown... it hurt a lot of people job-wise when it closed, but I have to say that it improved the overall smell of the place by about 1000%!

And we have some good sushi. Kaji is the best, not a chain. You'll do great here!
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:57 PM
 
7,065 posts, read 2,866,018 times
Reputation: 3286
meredith, make sure you check out Ellis Park and Bever Park. I grew up in CR and those parks were great! Although I haven't been there in a few years I am sure they are as great as they were when I was there!
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:07 AM
 
2 posts, read 19,200 times
Reputation: 10
Default Possible relocation from Alabama to Cedar Rapids

We may be relocating to Cedar Rapids from Alabama within the next few months. My husband and I, along with our two cats may be relocating, as our oldest daugther is married and our youngest is in college in Alabama, and will not be relocating with us. I have been online reading about the area, but truly do not know what to believe. We need info about rental properties( townhouse or condo preferably), because we will be renting for at least the first six months, if this relocation takes place. Any advice from locals and people who have lived there will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids
3 posts, read 20,542 times
Reputation: 20
I have lived in CR my whole life (30 years) and definitely recommend the NW or NE sides of town. : )
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