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Old 06-02-2008, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Fl
1 posts, read 3,783 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello to all that read!! My family and I are considering moving to the Cedar Rapids area. We currently are living just outside of Orlando, Fl. and are just looking for a change. At random we have searched many areas of the U.S. and Cedar Rapids has been one that we have heavily considered. Our first visit to the city will be in a few weeks for business and leisure purposes. My question is for all who live in the area and/or have any knowledge of it and if you can give any insight, or really just tell me anything about it. We have never been to Iowa, and only know what some of the "relocation" web sites tell us. I guess I'm just looking for some opinions from real people who live there, not just statistics and numbers. Any insight is greatly appreciated by my family and I. Thanks again...
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,194,414 times
Reputation: 184
I think your visit will tell you the most... it will either feel like home or it won't.

Cedar Rapids is extremely family-oriented. We don't have a big nightlife scene nor a lot of other options for singles. We have a good educational system, affordable housing, and a low unemployment rate. It gets hot and steamy in the summer and bitingly cold in the winter.

My biggest concern is that you are coming from an area where there is a "lot of stuff to do." There's Disney, there's Universal, there's all the other touristy stuff. Plus you are within a couple of hours of beaches and ocean, and definitely have access to a competitive airfare environment if you want to hop over to the Caribbean or up to a ski site.

It is hard to get to other places from here. Airfare is very expensive, and it is 4-5 hours to most bigger cities. Mountains and ocean are a long way away.

It's a great place to live if you devote a lot of your time to family, career and personal hobbies because it is very safe and affordable.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:24 PM
 
9 posts, read 27,771 times
Reputation: 16
I lived in CR my whole adult life. (22 yrs) It is my favorite place in Iowa, but I've never lived out of Iowa and with our weather in the winter, I am ready to move somewhere warm! Be prepared for bad roads, very cold weather, and dark gloomy days from November through March. (this year anyway). It never bothered me till the past few years. The people are the best here. It is very easy to make new friends, meet new families. Great place to raise kids, good schools. Housing market is horrible right now. It's a buyers market with many, many homes for sale. Ask any specific questions.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:28 AM
 
11 posts, read 38,678 times
Reputation: 15
I've always thought of Cedar Rapids as a kind of "bare minimum" town. It has restaurants, 1 or 2 nightclubs, some movie theaters, basic shopping (Gordman's, Walmart, Target, etc.), a drama theater, a symphony, low crime rates, great schools, and a number of family-oriented activities and festivals. Nothing special but enough to have a good life. Also worth noting is the corridor: North Liberty, Coralville, and Iowa City. There is a large nightlife, the second largest mall in the state, interesting and unique shops, etc. Again, no theme parks, beaches, or anything really interesting. I've lived up and down eastern Iowa and I've always thought the Cedar Rapids-North Liberty-Coralville-Iowa City area is very nice. I can tell you the NW/NE side of Cedar Rapids and the town of Marion, just north of Cedar Rapids, is growing very rapidly and has more stores, restaurants, etc, etc. than the SW/SE sides.

The people here are very nice. I know someone from NJ who had all kinds of offers to help him move in and all kinds of baked goods given to him when he moved in.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Wishing It Was Wisconsin
534 posts, read 1,472,906 times
Reputation: 877
I agree with the "not a lot to do" replies. We moved from a big city and knew going in this city wasn't as large as where we came from. However, CR isn't small, there's over 200,000 people here, there should be more to offer. Restaurants are mostly chains and our wish is that there would be more.

Don't bother going into Westdale Mall on your visit here. It's dying a slow death and the city has no clue on what to do about it. There might be 10 stores in it. Lindale on the other side of CR isn't that big either. Coralville has Coralridge Mall that is your typical "mall". That gets boring too, but it's easier to get to then driving to the other side of CR with traffic, plus Coralridge has all the big stores along with Target and Best Buy.

Iowa City is nice, we've gone to eat there a few times. It's has more to offer then CR.

I will also agree with cheap housing in CR. We paid squat for our house and it's in a nice neighborhood and it's perfect for us, we do enjoy our home.

People can be nice, but fitting in and finding new friends is very hard. I've read this in other CR threads too, so it's not just us. We just had new neighbors move in next door and we actually have hit it off great with them. Only one person on our block came and welcomed us when we moved in and they lived way down the street. No one next to us or across from us came over and still haven't met most of them and we have been here 3 years. I've made efforts, but no one seemed interested, so I left it alone. We don't have any friends really except for the people that work for my husband and we really don't hang out with any of them. We're fine with that. We don't have kids so it makes it hard to go out with people. We do fine on our own.

We are growing accustomed to living here, but we won't ever consider "home home". Just come knowing it's going to be way different then Florida.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
124 posts, read 469,403 times
Reputation: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by UW Badgers View Post
...CR isn't small, there's over 200,000 people here...
Really, since when? Last I checked there was about 125,000 people in C.R. I was just back last month and it didn't look like it's grown by nearly 80,000 people since I moved on '02.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:08 PM
 
25 posts, read 87,624 times
Reputation: 21
The Cedar Rapids metro area has about 200,000.

US Metropolitan Area Population: 1990-2000

We'll see what happens in the aftermath of the flood. It can go one of two ways; thrive in the rebuilding effort or stall indefinitely. Here's hoping for the former.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:22 AM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
124 posts, read 469,403 times
Reputation: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenix View Post
The Cedar Rapids metro area has about 200,000.
There's a big difference between saying C.R. has 200,000 people and saying the metro area has 200,000 people. Right now I live in Portland, Oregon which is about 575,000. The metro area though is over 2 million. It would be pretty dishonest and misleading to claim that the city of Portland had a population of over 2 million.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:15 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,418,710 times
Reputation: 11190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busch71 View Post
There's a big difference between saying C.R. has 200,000 people and saying the metro area has 200,000 people. Right now I live in Portland, Oregon which is about 575,000. The metro area though is over 2 million. It would be pretty dishonest and misleading to claim that the city of Portland had a population of over 2 million.
Really? I think metro areas are a much better way of describing a city's size than just the central city.

Omaha's much larger than Minneapolis....but which one is the bigger "city". It helps to talk about an entire urban area, because many areas have enormous central cities that engulf the entire region, while others like Hartford are extremely small compared to the urban area.

Cedar Rapids and Hartford are fairly similar in size, yet Hartford has a metro of well over 1,000,000.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:14 PM
 
204 posts, read 945,020 times
Reputation: 73
There's alot of Cedar Rapids bashing on this forum, and I don't quite understand it. I've been to CR countless times over the years, though I've never lived there myself. Obviously, it's not Chicago or New York...but compared to most other similarly-sized cities in the Midwest, it holds it own.

It's close proximity to Iowa City is both a positive and a negative. On one hand, being just 20 minutes from the U of I offers easy access to all the cultural amenities found there. Yet, the same close proximity may cause Cedar Rapids to miss out on developing more of it's own cultural vibe since most things in that category gravitate towards Iowa City. Whatever one might say about this, CR is in a region with plenty of things to do even if some of those things might not be located in the city itself.
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