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Old 05-31-2010, 03:54 PM
 
Location: west des moines, iowa
3 posts, read 6,290 times
Reputation: 10

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Help!
Ok, Readers' Digest version... moved to Des Moines/West Des Moines, IA in 2005 from the St.Clair Shores, MI area as husband's job was downsized from Detroit to Des Moines and then that job went bye-bye 01/2009. Husband completing long dormant finance B.A.. by this upcoming January 2011. Family obligations (read: elderly relatives) require us to move closer to Michigan. Is Chicago and surrounding areas a good idea? Is it more like Michigan? We have found it VERY difficult to make friendly connections here and remain the "outsiders". (Has anyone else who moved here experienced this? ) We also miss such Michigan ammenties as fruit markets, non-rusty water, lots of beaches, good Polish and Greek restaurants, pro sports teams etc. Has anyone else made the move from Des Moines to Chicago and liked it OR from Detroit to Chicago for that matter? We don't exactly hate it here, but we have nothing making us stay here now. I just don't want to mess up any job chances he might have here compared to Illinois. And it goes w/o saying, we know that nothing job-wise exists back home in Michigan. We are in our mid-forties and it's not like we anticipate many more BIG relocations in our life. We'd like to make a move where we can remain through retirement. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:36 PM
 
1,728 posts, read 4,277,503 times
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Chicago is a great city with so much stuff to do. Plenty of Greek and Polish residents and restaurants. Chicago is the third largest Polish city in the world. Most Chicagoans are friendly and are very proud of the city and suburbs. It is a massive city, the third largest in the country. Tons of places to live and visit. What is your budget and where would a potential job be located? Those are the two most important questions to ask yourselves.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:00 PM
 
Location: west des moines, iowa
3 posts, read 6,290 times
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Thanks for the quick response! We are looking to probably go to areas more suburban than urban, although both my husband and I are native Detroiters from the far east-side. (Note to Journey fans, "Born and raised in SOUTH Detroit" makes absolutely no sense. There is no South Detroit. South of Detroit is the Detroit River and then our neighbor, Canada.) Anyways, with regard to budget, I know that what buys a house here in West Des Moines and especially what buys a house in Detroit and it's suburbs won't buy diddley in or near Chicago. I would say our budget, to be very modest, is in the 200,000.00 to 220,000.00 range. Spouse thinks we should think about renting and learn the lay of the land first, but renting just rubs me the wrong way. We did that the first few months in Iowa and I loathed it. Plus it's too hard to find an apartment that takes a well-mannered 100lbs plus dog!
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:03 PM
 
2,280 posts, read 5,581,923 times
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One interesting fact is that Chicago is in Illinois, not Iowa. You might get more responses on the Illinois forum.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:43 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 17,143,403 times
Reputation: 8610
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootzmagrootz View Post
Help!
Ok, Readers' Digest version... moved to Des Moines/West Des Moines, IA in 2005 from the St.Clair Shores, MI area as husband's job was downsized from Detroit to Des Moines and then that job went bye-bye 01/2009. Husband completing long dormant finance B.A.. by this upcoming January 2011. Family obligations (read: elderly relatives) require us to move closer to Michigan. Is Chicago and surrounding areas a good idea? Is it more like Michigan? We have found it VERY difficult to make friendly connections here and remain the "outsiders". (Has anyone else who moved here experienced this? ) We also miss such Michigan ammenties as fruit markets, non-rusty water, lots of beaches, good Polish and Greek restaurants, pro sports teams etc. Has anyone else made the move from Des Moines to Chicago and liked it OR from Detroit to Chicago for that matter? We don't exactly hate it here, but we have nothing making us stay here now. I just don't want to mess up any job chances he might have here compared to Illinois. And it goes w/o saying, we know that nothing job-wise exists back home in Michigan. We are in our mid-forties and it's not like we anticipate many more BIG relocations in our life. We'd like to make a move where we can remain through retirement. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
I normally do not look at IA threads but this one caught my eye. I am also from the Detroit area and we moved to Northern IN. We live 90 minutes from Chicago. There is a train that takes you into the heart of the city. I love that. Indiana might be a consideration. I am 4 hrs from family so I can visit more often. BUT I am not really happy here but there are many positives to keep me somewhat balanced. I think my husband and I would have been better suited living by Indianapolis or the areas closer to the IL border. I talk to several people from these areas and they are nothing like the people that live here. I kind of wish my husband's job would have been south or west of here. So I totally understand what you mean about being an outsider. I have been here 2 years and have not made one friend yet. People are friendly but they dont let you in. This area has a small town mentality. If you did not grow up with them, then they have no interest in you. I spent most of my life in the Detroit area and I did not experience this. I think MI peeps are more open minded and curious to new comers. Also I miss the water in MI. We have hard water here as well and now drink only bottled water. Everything ends up with a rust stain. I hate it. But...if you are free to go where you want and desire to live closer to MI. You can look into living in IN. The cost of living is cheaper and 200k would get you quite a house. I paid 160k. We have a newer 3 bedroom on half acre (its in a sub) 3 baths, a finished basement with a family room and office. This house would cost double anywhere else. Property taxes are cheap and pretty much any thing you buy is cheaper (except for cars not sure why). Although the economy is terrible, IN seems to be holding its own for the most part. So this is kind of a wishy washy response but I just wanted to lay out the good and bad. I like it but then I dont.

My friend moved to Chicago 9 months ago. He finally got a job last week which he hates and feels he screwed himself over because now he will no longer have unemployment. Now he is stuck with this awful job and probably for a long time too. He loves Chicago though but I think its gonna be tough for him to make a living. In the news recently they said Chicago was one of the top places laying off right now. Try to find a job before you move. Renting does suck. We did it for a year when we moved here but I am glad we did because we were looking to buy a house in one particular area and realized it would have been a huge mistake. The schools in that area are awful. I say rent first even if its a drag.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: west des moines, iowa
3 posts, read 6,290 times
Reputation: 10
Fallingwater
Thanks for the food for thought. So you too are in the land where the tall corn grows, huh? Is it just me, or is our Michigan sweet corn SUPERIOR to the stuff here in the Iowa hinterlands/Indiana, or is it just my imagination? Iowa does have vegetables, that is if you don't count the vegetable's 4 legs, curly tails and oinking! I miss good produce!
It's actually good (I don't want to say "nice" because that would be dismissive of your loneliness and I can relate to that) to know I am not alone in the feeling like the outsider. Stinks, doesn't it? I sometimes blame some of this unhappiness on the poor economy back home, but you have to admitt, some of the fault does lie with the home grown folks and their "clanishness" For example, because I pronounce FLEUR St as "Fa-lure" and not "Flooo-er" and I do not think "Creek" rhymes with "stick", some people have gone out of their way to correct my pronunciations needlessly. (I'd like to hear them pronounce Mackinac or Gratiot or Cadieux. hah!) These folks just are not the "friendly farm folk" you hear about. Oh, they are freindly to one another, but let them hear you are from elsewhere (especially Detroit, which is in NEW ENGLAND!, as I was recently informed!) and you are not really worth their bother.
But I did not mean to write and bore you... just wanted to say thanks for the information and better luck with you new town in the future. Take care! Let's Go Red Wings! (Poor Bob Probert)
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,848,644 times
Reputation: 1444
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootzmagrootz View Post
Fallingwater
Thanks for the food for thought. So you too are in the land where the tall corn grows, huh? Is it just me, or is our Michigan sweet corn SUPERIOR to the stuff here in the Iowa hinterlands/Indiana, or is it just my imagination? Iowa does have vegetables, that is if you don't count the vegetable's 4 legs, curly tails and oinking! I miss good produce!
It's actually good (I don't want to say "nice" because that would be dismissive of your loneliness and I can relate to that) to know I am not alone in the feeling like the outsider. Stinks, doesn't it? I sometimes blame some of this unhappiness on the poor economy back home, but you have to admitt, some of the fault does lie with the home grown folks and their "clanishness" For example, because I pronounce FLEUR St as "Fa-lure" and not "Flooo-er" and I do not think "Creek" rhymes with "stick", some people have gone out of their way to correct my pronunciations needlessly. (I'd like to hear them pronounce Mackinac or Gratiot or Cadieux. hah!) These folks just are not the "friendly farm folk" you hear about. Oh, they are freindly to one another, but let them hear you are from elsewhere (especially Detroit, which is in NEW ENGLAND!, as I was recently informed!) and you are not really worth their bother.
But I did not mean to write and bore you... just wanted to say thanks for the information and better luck with you new town in the future. Take care! Let's Go Red Wings! (Poor Bob Probert)
IMO, this post speaks volumes as to why you might have trouble "fitting in".
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,835,231 times
Reputation: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootzmagrootz View Post
Fallingwater
Thanks for the food for thought. So you too are in the land where the tall corn grows, huh? Is it just me, or is our Michigan sweet corn SUPERIOR to the stuff here in the Iowa hinterlands/Indiana, or is it just my imagination? Iowa does have vegetables, that is if you don't count the vegetable's 4 legs, curly tails and oinking! I miss good produce!
It's actually good (I don't want to say "nice" because that would be dismissive of your loneliness and I can relate to that) to know I am not alone in the feeling like the outsider. Stinks, doesn't it? I sometimes blame some of this unhappiness on the poor economy back home, but you have to admitt, some of the fault does lie with the home grown folks and their "clanishness" For example, because I pronounce FLEUR St as "Fa-lure" and not "Flooo-er" and I do not think "Creek" rhymes with "stick", some people have gone out of their way to correct my pronunciations needlessly. (I'd like to hear them pronounce Mackinac or Gratiot or Cadieux. hah!) These folks just are not the "friendly farm folk" you hear about. Oh, they are freindly to one another, but let them hear you are from elsewhere (especially Detroit, which is in NEW ENGLAND!, as I was recently informed!) and you are not really worth their bother.
But I did not mean to write and bore you... just wanted to say thanks for the information and better luck with you new town in the future. Take care! Let's Go Red Wings! (Poor Bob Probert)
You can pronounce creek however you want, but Fleur (as in Fleur Drive) has a definite pronunciation and it is "Flooo-er" not "Fa-lure". The people who corrected you were probably only wanting to help you from sounding stupid.

Spoiler
Also, you sound like a jerk.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:46 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 17,143,403 times
Reputation: 8610
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootzmagrootz View Post
Fallingwater
Thanks for the food for thought. So you too are in the land where the tall corn grows, huh? Is it just me, or is our Michigan sweet corn SUPERIOR to the stuff here in the Iowa hinterlands/Indiana, or is it just my imagination? Iowa does have vegetables, that is if you don't count the vegetable's 4 legs, curly tails and oinking! I miss good produce!
It's actually good (I don't want to say "nice" because that would be dismissive of your loneliness and I can relate to that) to know I am not alone in the feeling like the outsider. Stinks, doesn't it? I sometimes blame some of this unhappiness on the poor economy back home, but you have to admitt, some of the fault does lie with the home grown folks and their "clanishness" For example, because I pronounce FLEUR St as "Fa-lure" and not "Flooo-er" and I do not think "Creek" rhymes with "stick", some people have gone out of their way to correct my pronunciations needlessly. (I'd like to hear them pronounce Mackinac or Gratiot or Cadieux. hah!) These folks just are not the "friendly farm folk" you hear about. Oh, they are freindly to one another, but let them hear you are from elsewhere (especially Detroit, which is in NEW ENGLAND!, as I was recently informed!) and you are not really worth their bother.
But I did not mean to write and bore you... just wanted to say thanks for the information and better luck with you new town in the future. Take care! Let's Go Red Wings! (Poor Bob Probert)
Yes lots of corn! I do have to say that the produce here is far better than the Detroit area. Lots of farming in this area as well as the Amish communities. So I have to say the food is pretty superb and healthy. I also mentioned the cost of living is cheaper and well I cant ignore the fact my husband has a pretty good job. I guess what makes me feel lonely is that people around here seem a bit close minded and paranoid. My husband co workers are in complete awe that we do not own a firearm. Ya know, you need a firearm for when the revolution starts. Funny how I spent most of my life in one the worst areas in the country for crime and I never owned a gun. I find the ones that I connect with are people that moved away, lived someplace and came back to raise their kids here. They will be honest and admit its clicky because they experienced living someplace else. I live by two major universities and that has brought many transplants to the area, however they adapted to the area the same way. That being closed off. It doesn't help much that I am a stay at home mom. I have tried to look for work but my degree is mostly creative based and although people claim they are arts here, there really isn't. I tried joining some groups at my child's school but again the clicks are in place. Since I did not raise my child from birth in this area, its hard to get into these clicks.

I did join a photography club on meetup.com but AGAIN, the people all knew each other and just didn't seem all that friendly to someone new. Also I realize they knew very little about photography but think they know a lot. Change is difficult for some here. The city is constantly trying to make this area feel more like a college town and the locals are not going for it. They like the way things are. Its kind of like no one can see the bigger picture. My husband has made friends at work but everything is based around drinking. That kind of bums me out because I am not really a drinker. It seems very segregated. Blue collar and white collar live in different cities. Back home, both social classes lived together for the most part. Hubby and I chose to live in white collar town because the school district was so much better than the school district in the blue collar town. The graduation rate was below 49% which is sad. Teen pregnancy is very high as well. I grew up blue collar so I am constantly trying to find that middle ground where people are concerned about their kids but not overly stuffy or snobby.

So anyway, it was nice talking to someone from D town. Hang in there and you will find your place. I really like Chicago I think you will too.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:21 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,416,163 times
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Chicago would probably be easier to fit in I guess. I moved from Iowa City (family was in Des Moines - so been there hundreds of times) to Chicago about 9 years ago when I was 22. I love Chicago, but the more I live here the more I really miss Iowa.

I was in Des Moines this weekend, and was amazed at how much it has changed. Especially out in West Des Moines and that entire area north of there. It looked like the Chicago suburbs. Growing up Des Moines has hit some rough patches and certainly wasn't a huge destination city. I see now the metro has grown from 400,000 to 560,000 just since the early 1990's. That's great growth for Iowa.

I hear a lot of people saying how the city is trying to be something it's not. I think the angle it's coming from is more one of pure optimism and trying to shoot for the stars. Sure it might sound outlandish to some and feel like they're bragging or think they're the (you know what), but in my opinion I would rather live in a place trying to go above and beyond than a city that just lays back and takes it. They also had over 20 years of slow growth, a rough economy and stagnation downtown. The city is happy to be back on track and steaming ahead.

As far as the pronunciations, that's just the way it is. Fleur Drive is named for an American in WWI who was from Des Moines and died in the war. It's his last name. People probably just naturally correct you because they're letting you know that the street is pronounced "floooo-er". I would probably correct you too, but certainly not with malice. Just to let you know. People might say blunt things, but that's just the culture, it's not intended to be rude or offensive. Try talking to people from the south who moved to the Midwest! I've heard how people up in Iowa and the Midwest are so awful and rude. It's just the culture of how things are done.

I think you would enjoy Chicago, and of course it's much larger. More issues though, but a good place. I would watch the job situation first and foremost. Des Moines has one of the best economies in the entire country right now - and Chicago definitely does not.

I would also think about renting if you move to Chicago. Just for a year until you get yourself situated. Find a job, find a place you like, find where you want to go shopping, what you want to be near.

From the northwest suburbs to the southeast suburbs is 110 miles. 10 million people. That's like going from Des Moines to Iowa City.

There is no driving "across town" here. You'll want to be sure what section of the suburbs you want to be living in, and especially where your job is located. I get all excited when I hit the burbs driving back from Iowa - but realize pretty quick I'm still over an hour from my condo in the city.
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