chrisbru wrote:somewherewarm wrote:
In an effort to stem the wash-rinse-repeat of the forum I was wondering if any current students out there would mind talking about their favorite and least favorite parts of living in Iowa, specifically Iowa City.
Skipping everyone's comments so as to give you my first reactions. I'll do specifically Iowa City/Coralville (I live in Coralville).
*The energy in this city is unbelievable. I've lived in other college towns, and nothing compares to it. Sure, the sidewalks aren't ALWAYS moving, and it slows down in the winter, but people here love to be here, and that shows
*The bar scene is intimate without getting stale. I feel like I'm familiar with most of the bars in town, I recognize the same bartenders working every weekend, I know where the bathrooms are, etc. But there are enough bars that I don't get bored if I go out 3 or 4 nights a week, because we can mix it up. No, it's not a big city with different districts, but for a college town it is great.
*Big Ten sports (especially football.) There is nothing like a football Saturday in Iowa City, even when the Hawks are mediocre at best. Some people may hate the traffic, but I love the support and energy that comes in for Hawkeye sports. Men's basketball is picking up steam this year, and the wrestling team is ALWAYS phenomenal.
*It's easy to get away from campus. If you get tired of the hustle and bustle, city campus feel of the university... Hey, hop in the car and drive 10 minutes to Coralville. I love living in Coralville, and I don't care who knows it. I have a fenced in yard, a park down the street from my house, and it's a short drive to everywhere I want to go. When it is nice out, I can walk to the mall in 5 minutes or so.... Sure, the mall is mediocre, but it's got everything I need - Food, best buy, sports store, and target.
*Options - There are a TON of food options as far as typical Iowa cities go. There is actually pretty good asian food - Indian, Thai, Chinese, Sushi. Plus there are typical college town options, delivery, upscale, etc.
*It's a young, liberal city... Which I feel like is easier to move to, because it feels more "open arms" for new people. And although its young and liberal, you're not out of place if you're an older, more conservative person by any means.
*Open-minded - You won't (in general) be judged for who you are. There's a thriving LGBT scene (with THE best gay bar in Iowa right in the Ped Mall), there's a thriving Hipster scene (I can't even walk into the Mill without being handed a Grain Belt or PBR), EDM/House/Dubstep/Electro scene (Gabe's and Blue Moose host electronic DJs at least once a week), Live music (from Radio Moscow to Childish Gambino to New Found Glory to William Elliot Whitmore, you can see everything here), and the list goes on, and on, and on. If there is something you are into, you bet your ass you can find people who share that interest with you without much searching.
*It can feel small after a while. I moved from Des Moines to Ames, to Seattle, then to Iowa City... And coming back to Iowa everything feels smaller. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just not a good thing. You'll know the IC/Coralville area like the back of your hand by the time you graduate, but I love that. Also, Cedar Rapids is 30 minutes away, the Quad Cities are an hour away, Des Moines is 2 hours away, Madison and Milwaukee are 3 hours away, and Chicago is 3.5 hours away. It's VERY EASY to change the scenery, which is really nice.
*Midwest weather. Yes, it will be cold from mid-November until early-March. It's not that bad, but it depends on the year. I don't think we've been below 20 degrees yet, and have had no snow. It's a little better than being in Minnesota/Wisconsin/Chicago, and a little worse than being in Kansas City/St. Louis.
I'll try to think of more cons, but all-in-all I love Iowa to death. I left for over a year and just couldn't wait to get back here. Sure, the cities are smaller and we may be behind as far as social scene development goes... But the people are top notch, the values are good, it's easy to be who you want to be, and I, for one, am never bored.
I'd say Coral Ridge is more than mediocre. It may not be Jordan Creek, but for a small community, it is a nice mall. Sure beats Sycamore and Old Capital (although, they do have Sweets and Treats).