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Old 05-01-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Wherever I go...
396 posts, read 663,169 times
Reputation: 712

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Hi everyone!

Familiar story, I'm sure... we're apparently relocating to the Quad Cities area some time in June. There's a large company near Davenport that seems quite taken with my husband (I know how they feel... he rocks!) and it's a high likelihood that they'll be making him an offer soon. Considering we're coming from Michigan, where unemployment has been raging even as the cost-of-living continues to rise, this is something we're exceptionally happy about.

I'm a bit OCD, so I've been Googling my fingers off trying to learn everything I can about the area prior to doing our housing hunting trip. I'm going to have to cram a lot of appointments (rental only... I don't want to buy something until we've lived there at least a year) into a short company-paid trip, so I want to be sure I have done some winnowing out of areas beforehand and stick to looking at properties with a good chance of being what we want and where we want.

I've just started reading older threads here on the forum and will continue to do so to get as much info as I can, but I figured I'd say hello!

I'm not sure "specifically" what kind of information I'm looking for just yet... I'm sure I'll have more direct questions once I've finished looking at the archives. I hate to toss out a bunch of questions that have likely already been answered a dozen times.

I would love it, however, if others would come say hello... maybe post a quick little "something you MUST know about Iowa/the Quad Cities." Like, if someone was moving to Michigan, I'd probably begin by explaining how to pull of "a Michigan left."

Things I know we'll be interested in, but don't have specific questions about yet include... awesome restaurants, fun things for a bordering-on-forty couple to do, neighborhoods/towns to check out or avoid, best places to grocery shop, reliable and non-fee-laden banks or credit unions, good malls vs bad malls, and the ever-important "what movie theaters have the best popcorn?"

Really, just anything you want to share would be wonderful... I grew up outside Chicago and even lived out near Mendota for a few years (about 20 years ago LOL). My husband and I currently live in a very small rural town in south eastern Michigan... so I'm not expecting a whole lot of culture shock. But I also know that every state and community has its own unique character, so I'd love to hear about your area's!

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:53 PM
 
4,777 posts, read 6,503,751 times
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'The Mark' of the Quad Cities in Moline is now named The IWireless center, but most people over the age of 30 still call it The Mark. It's not quite big enough for U2 or Rolling Stones type bands but everyone else from Ozzy to Elton John has played there several times each. It's also home to the QC Mallards Hockey team.

John ODonnell Stadium (for the River Bandits Baseball team) in downtown Dav. is now called Modern Woodmen Park, you'll hear people calling it John O'Donnell for awhile tho'.

The main commercial drag in Moline IL is now named The Avenue of the Cities, most folks like me still call it 23rd avenue.

We have the largest Bi-state St. Patricks day parade in the country in downtown Dav. along with a Halloween and Thanksgiving parade.

We have killer bike paths and parks in the QCA. Duck Creek Park, Fejuvary Park (The V sounds like a W) Devils Glen, Vandeveer, West Lake...just to name a few. Wild Cat Den is about 15 minutes away. (no wild cats tho')

My favorite thing to do is go to a Hawkeyes football game in Iowa City 45 minutes away.

Lots o' fireworks all around on 4th of July along with the annual Mississippi Valley Blues fest at the bandshell along the river in Dav.

Miss. Valley Fair every early Aug. at the fairgrounds on Locust st. in Dav.

Farmers Market every Sat. and Wed. mornings in John O' Donnell parkig lot. on River Dr.


Welcome, lots of festivals and annual events, plus a gang of lil towns for day trips...I'm sure I'll think of more to say.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Wherever I go...
396 posts, read 663,169 times
Reputation: 712
Thanks for all the info, Dport7674!

I've never really been into sports, but I came across an online magazine that had a little feature article about the baseball park in Davenport and it's made me want to go see a ball game... no idea why. LOL So I'm kind of excited about that.

My husband will be working in Clinton, so we've been looking at some of the areas right around Davenport as where we want to settle in. Reading the archives here made me realize that living in Clinton itself is NOT a good option for us.

I really appreciate the information on the Farmers Market especially... that was on my list of "things to find out about."

Thanks again, Dport!
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Wherever I go...
396 posts, read 663,169 times
Reputation: 712
Kind of a random question...

Is there anyone around who is very familiar with pizza places in the Chicago area like Giordano's, Palermo's (Oak Lawn), Nancy's, or Aurelio's? I know everyone outside of Chicago points to deep dish as being "Chicago Style Pizza" blah blah blah - and I've been able to find decent deep dish everywhere I've lived. But I grew up in Chicago, and for ME, "Chicago Style" is the thin crust with a pretty sweet sauce that places like those I mentioned above serve.

Is there anywhere near the Quad Cities that sells THAT kind of "Chicago Style" pizza? The sort you would find at the aforementioned pizzerias?

I hope I'm making sense... I've been in Michigan for 11 years, and the pizza here is HEAVILY influenced by the blech pumped out by Dominoes and Little Ceasars. Every time we drive through Chicago, we make three stops... we eat at Brown's Chicken, get carry-out from Patio Ribs in Bridgeview, and grab a pizza from one of the places I listed above to take home with us.

I'm kind of hoping to at least be able to get truly decent pizza without having to make a trip east once we move. *chuckling*

N.B.: I'm likely going to just post random questions to this thread instead of starting new ones... I hate to flood the forum with new threads. Hope that's ok with everyone.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Scott County, IA
509 posts, read 1,050,692 times
Reputation: 596
inb4 Harris Pizza post. I'll tell you a little secret, Harris Pizza isn't anything special. My opinion.

Alright, enough being negative. You are correct in your assessment of Clinton. Have you tried looking in Princeton or Le Claire? Your husband could just follow the river road there up to work in Clinton. Le Claire especially is nice; they have done a lot of work to the main road in town and it overlooks the Mississippi, easy access for boating etc etc. DeWitt is not too bad, that would reduce the distance for his drive to work (compared to living IN the QC), and that would actually be driving on a four-lane highway. Small town living type environment.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Wherever I go...
396 posts, read 663,169 times
Reputation: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugepossum View Post
inb4 Harris Pizza post. I'll tell you a little secret, Harris Pizza isn't anything special. My opinion.

Alright, enough being negative. You are correct in your assessment of Clinton. Have you tried looking in Princeton or Le Claire? Your husband could just follow the river road there up to work in Clinton. Le Claire especially is nice; they have done a lot of work to the main road in town and it overlooks the Mississippi, easy access for boating etc etc. DeWitt is not too bad, that would reduce the distance for his drive to work (compared to living IN the QC), and that would actually be driving on a four-lane highway. Small town living type environment.
*chuckling* I'll keep that in mind re: Harris Pizza. At least I know that if I'm desperate, good AND familiar pizza is only a couple of hours away in the outlying Chicago 'burbs. Still hopeful I'll find something there in the QC that fits the bill.

I'm a pretty picky eater... it's a challenge for me to try new things, or to try familiar dishes from a new restaurant. So moving poses an additional challenge for me... finding those "just right" restaurants for things like pizza, Chinese or Thai take-out, Mexican, perfect deli sandwiches, etc. I'm a creature of habit. LOL Kind of sad I haven't been able to find any info on Middle Eastern restaurants... coming from south east Michigan, that's a staple.

Yours is the first mention I've heard of DeWitt or Princeton, so I'll be looking into that more. Have heard of Le Claire, but had not considered it as a potential location.

There aren't many listings on Craigslist that fit our needs, and I'm not really interested in some large, sprawling apartment complex. I think I'm going to have to go through the QC newspaper classifieds and start calling people, asking if they can email me pictures so I can decide if I want to schedule an appointment for during our house hunting trip.

Thanks for all the information!
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,586,419 times
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Finding rentals can be tough, because a lot of rental houses just put a sign out front. You might be forced to take some drives through neighborhoods you like the looks of.

As far as pizza, I don't know of anything very similar to Aurelio's in the QC, although I wish they'd open a location here. They have one in Macomb, which is only 90 minutes away, so that's a slightly closer option than Chicago.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:40 AM
 
4,777 posts, read 6,503,751 times
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I love Harris Pizza!! Fat Boys too..which is a Harris clone.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Wherever I go...
396 posts, read 663,169 times
Reputation: 712
It looks like the company is bringing us out on the 20th for 4 days. Date is still tentative... hubby is finalizing the details with them today, they're trying to make sure all the staff they want him to meet will be available, etc.

Apparently they're planning on hiring a realtor to show us around the area, help us find a rental, etc. From what I understand, I'll be able to give this person a list of our requirements, and they'll do the scutwork in finding rental properties that match our criteria and arranging visits to the properties during our trip out.

One thing I'm really happy about is that the company gave us the option of driving out there on their dime. It's only a 6 hour drive, takes us through Chicago, and gives us the freedom to sort of scope out the paths into and out of the Quad Cities on the way. I am almost phobic about flying, so this is very good.

And of course, it means making some stops for food in Chicago on the way. *grinning* I'll stop for pizza there, and then try Harris Pizza some time over the weekend... and I'll let you all know how they compare. LOL

I also like the fact that driving is going to give me a chance to make a little mental checklist of realistic (not Mapquest quoted) drive-times between QC and areas of Chicago I'm likely to frequent (visiting family, friends, etc.). And it will let us know what kind of drive (and tolls) we're in for when we want to come back to Michigan to see family on the holidays and such.

I wonder if anyone is familiar enough with the route to give me some thoughts on whether I'd be better of sticking with I-80, or if I should switch to I-88 in Chicago? If I recall, I-80 ceases to be a toll once it splits from 294/355... can anyone confirm that?

Also, have they finally gotten around to fixing I-88? When I still lived in Chicago (granted, we're talking nearly two decades) I-88 was the proverbial red headed step-child (N.B.: My three sons are red heads AND step children LOL) of the Chicagoland roads, with potholes so big they would damage your axles if you didn't go around them. I'm assuming this is no longer the case... and even heard someone mention what a great drive 88 is now... was that sarcasm or genuine?

Does anyone know the speed limits on 88 vs 80?

Gosh, I'm probably going to be coming up with a lot more questions between now and when we head up for the house hunting trip. I'm so glad I found the c-d site and so many helpful people. You're really helping to ease my mind about this whole process! Thank you so much!
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:07 AM
 
4,777 posts, read 6,503,751 times
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Same speed limits. 88 has tolls but is a faster, smoother ride. 80 has a lot more traffic and construction can back it up for miles. I only use 88. The tolls add up to about 7 bucks but it's worth it.
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