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Old 04-19-2011, 11:25 AM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 975,838 times
Reputation: 427

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Bad things about CR:
1. The Quaker smell. Yes, you will notice it. Depending on conditions, you may notice it even if you're nowhere near the plant. The upside is that while it's not a particularly pleasant smell, it's not a horrible one either. Some people would have you believe that there's a miasma of industrial death stench wafting through the city, withering trees and making people sick. Not true. It's just a smell.
2. Like any decent-sized town, there are rough areas you'll want to avoid. A close friend of our family worked there very briefly in the early 90's, and when we helped him move out he gave us a little neighborhood tour that included "The Hy-Vee From Hell", a store where homeless people would sometimes just wander in, rip open a bag of Oreos, and chow down until the police came to drag them off. Not the finest neighborhood. I would venture to say that the nice neighborhoods far outnumber the bad, but the bad ones do exist.

The good:
1. There are jobs to be had there.
2. As the poster above me points out, a lot of redevelopment is happening in the wake of the 2008 flood.
3. Neat little Czech bakeries, stores, etc.
4. Close to Iowa City and the Amanas.
5. Have you noticed that most famous actors from Iowa come from Cedar Rapids or not too far away? Elijah Wood, Ashton Kutcher, Ron Livingston, Michael Emerson (born there, raised in Toledo which isn't too far away)... Not really a reason to move there, I guess, but they must be doing something right. Maybe it's something in the water.

I personally prefer Des Moines for its cultural offerings and "slightly bigger but nowhere near too big" feel, but you could do a lot worse than Cedar Rapids.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:32 PM
 
414 posts, read 1,045,010 times
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Of course, I wouldn't recommend Waterloo...altho I live there. It IS a economically depressed city. They are kinda trying to get back on feet, which will take a while. Cedar Falls is nicer than Waterloo but still too much of a college town and has more growth than Waterloo. Target Distribution Center is there, brand new development of Target and Walmart is there and all the new subdivisions and such. Give about maybe 10 years, Waterloo might probably recover and start elsewhere. They added a brand new big casino called Isle and the Lost Island water park. Impressive for a economically depressed town.

Cedar Rapids has a better economy than Waterloo, pretty much. Linn County added about 19,000 residents for the last 10 years while Black Hawk County only added 3,000. Johnson County added about 19,000 where Iowa City resides in.

As a deaf person, I would pick Cedar Rapids over Waterloo due to a diverse deaf community and reasonable cost of living and more jobs down there. Iowa City is too expensive...comparable to suburbs of Seattle. Iowa City still has lot of diverse restaurants, night life and all that.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:44 PM
 
196 posts, read 727,615 times
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Have to give them credit, they used the flood to scam a lot of things from taxpayers. It is a little like the guy whose basement floods and then works the system so he gets a much improved basement, then a new car, then a motorcycle, then an in ground pool..... I guess you get what you can, the problem is the state and country are going broke.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:41 PM
 
1,535 posts, read 2,517,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSMGuy View Post
Have to give them credit, they used the flood to scam a lot of things from taxpayers. It is a little like the guy whose basement floods and then works the system so he gets a much improved basement, then a new car, then a motorcycle, then an in ground pool..... I guess you get what you can, the problem is the state and country are going broke.
Would you feel the same if it had happened to Des Moines?
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:26 PM
 
639 posts, read 895,958 times
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Since this thread has been revived now, I would like to say that while I still think Cedar Rapids is a nice place to live, I feel I went a little overboard with boasting about the area. I don't think anyplace in Iowa is really that great anyway. I would say CR is a decent mid-sized city and is a good place to raise a family or just to live a more laid back lifestyle while still having a fair amount of amenities. Marion is also pretty nice and seems to be growing quite a bit.

As for the smells, the only smell that really bothered me a lot was that god awful stench coming from the sewage disposal on the SE side of town. But I think they did something to either tone it down or get rid of it altogether because when I drove down Highway 13 last summer I couldn't smell it. But I remember like a few years earlier I could smell it when I drove down that same highway, although it wasn't nearly as strong as when I actually went right by the sewage disposal on the way to the nature center one time.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:51 AM
 
196 posts, read 727,615 times
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Quote:
Would you feel the same if it had happened to Des Moines?
It did. In 1993, and tax money was used to help people get back on their feet, restore buildings to previous status, flood walls, etc. There are no structures standing that are a result of any flood scams.

There are a lot of new buildings downtown. Several are the result of the state having a surplus, cities competing for the funds, and those cities with the best vision for their community winning a portion of those funds. The cities with no vision or creativity lost out and unfortunately resorted to other methods.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,269 posts, read 8,390,260 times
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I'm wondering if the OP has actually travelled to Cedar Rapids and looked at where these houses are located.

We have lots of charming houses here also for extremely affordable prices in the '40's and '50's price wise - but in parts of town that are undesirable to live in.

You can't just go by pictures.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:00 PM
 
1,535 posts, read 2,517,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSMGuy View Post
It did. In 1993, and tax money was used to help people get back on their feet, restore buildings to previous status, flood walls, etc. There are no structures standing that are a result of any flood scams.

There are a lot of new buildings downtown. Several are the result of the state having a surplus, cities competing for the funds, and those cities with the best vision for their community winning a portion of those funds. The cities with no vision or creativity lost out and unfortunately resorted to other methods.
You're comparing two completely different scales of damage. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from photos I have seen of the damage to downtown Des Moines it was mainly limited to the area around MLK and Sec Taylor Stadium, which at the time was largely abandoned warehouses. The heart of downtown Cedar Rapids was inundated with over 8 feet of water, and nearly all of our civic buildings were underwater.

You keep saying we somehow scammed our way into new buildings, but the reality is FEMA was not providing funding to rebuild in the flood zone unless buildings were raised or essential functions were moved to higher levels. The library had to be moved because there was no way to retrofit against future flooding. The federal courthouse is raised up above the 500 year flood plane, and City Hall and the old federal courthouse (now being used by the City) both have critical functions moved up to higher floors. The fire headquarters is being moved to high ground on the eastern edge of downtown.

Cedar Rapids had been on a waiting list for the new federal courthouse since 1998...it was going to happen eventually, the flood just kicked it into gear faster.

The 1993 flood in Des Moines and the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids are not comparable. It's not like we asked for our city to be decimated the way it was.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,782,661 times
Reputation: 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
3. Neat little Czech bakeries, stores, etc.


What kinds of things can you find at Czech bakeries? Are there any certain specialties to look for?
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:05 PM
 
196 posts, read 727,615 times
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Quote:
but the reality is FEMA was not providing funding to rebuild in the flood zone unless buildings were raised or essential functions were moved to higher levels.
Not sure how you could rebuild something that was not there in the first place.
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