Not so great but I wish it was. - 3/1/2009
I lived south of Dayton as a child. I was lucky enough to move to Colorado for several years. Then I decided the cost of living was too high and moved back to the Dayton area 16 years ago. It is a fine place to live if you are content with going to work(if you can find a job), coming home and watching T.V., and spending the weekend shopping at the typical chain stores and eating at the usual chain restaurants. There are a couple of very good restaurants and shops here and there in the surrounding area, but you really have to poke around. There is a handful of interesting places to go check out as well. Unfortunately, once you've gone to those places, that's about it. Getting to them can be a little bit questionable at times because of the parts of town you have to go through to get to them, especially at night. Occasionally, well known bands come to a small venue in Kettering(suburb) which is very nice. Otherwise, everything good usually passes right by. The city itself is quite polluted and gray.
As for the public transit, my son and I were watching the local news when they did a story on how great the RTA bus system was. Later in the same broadcast(literally), there was a bit on a missing man who was last seen riding the RTA. I've never had the nerve to ride it myself.
The cost of living is fairly proportionate to the quality of life. If safety or security are not a priority, housing is cheap. The price goes up considerably if these things are important. Jobs pay as little as possible and are very scarce.
The attitude of the people generally reflects the atmosphere of the location. There is a huge Air Force base just north of Dayton which greatly influences the area as well.
If you like outdoor activities or anything like that, about the only thing in or near the city is probably the bike path by the river. It is pretty, especially on the right day. There is the metropark system, with the usual picnic tables, grills, and grassy areas with the occasional playset. With little to choose from, healthy active lifestyles aren't that common.
As for the weather, the winters are long and dreary. They are either bitter cold without the glory of lots of snow to play in, or soppy wet gray cold or a mix of the two. The spring has great moments, but is too short. As soon as it stops raining from spring, Summer hits and is hot and humid with lots of mosquitoes and no clean water to swim in anywhere. Lots of ozone alert days. Fall is nice, but also brief and not many fall colors when July and August suffer long droughts as has been the case recently.
I appreciate those who try to focus on the good points of Dayton. It was once a thriving community of innovation and maybe it could be once again someday. It's a real shame things have gone the way they have. Nevertheless, it is currently split by racial tensions. The crime rates in and around the city continue to rise along with unemployment and homelessness. The murder rate per capita is consistently extremely high.
I would like to say better things about the area, but we are not very happy here. We have stayed to be near family. We are fortunate enough to live outside of Dayton in a nearby town, which is much better and therefore more costly than the city itself, but very small and isolated.
We are actively seeking relocation options. We would appreciate any suggestions of a better place to live which has not been spoiled by greed and/or crime as it seems all of the desirable locations of the country have been. We have children and giving them a healthy, safe environment is very important to us. We would like to get closer to nature, but not in the middle of nowhere. Someplace with an appreciation of the arts, hopefully with a good university. Probably too much to ask without a life-crushing price tag, but we'd love to hear feedback about ideas if anyone has any because we do not have the luxury of travel in our budget.[read more...]