Nothing that stands out or wows you
- Great place for a family with school-age kids
- Relatively safe crime-wise, compared to most cities this size.
- Economy is relatively stable compared to other metros
- Doesn't have much of a rat race/keeping up with the Jones vibe. No one really cares about your status, with the exception of a few exclusive social groups here and there. Even the upscale parts of Omaha are no where near as flambuoyant as parts of Dallas or Atlanta. You won't see as many outrageously sized McMansions or luxury cars that the owner can't afford. People in Omaha, for the most part, don't appear to raise their kids with the desire of having the best-performing child in sports/academics/money. I've learned to appreciate this.
-Cheaper than coastal metros
- This city is cheap enough to have the potential to start a progressive hipster movement, but it's moving very, very slowly.
- If you're a single of any age or looking to make new friends, it can be very challenging and disappointing. Outside of a few bars in the Old Market (Omaha's downtown area), there are few outlets to meet people. I've found that most people my age (30's) are either already married with kids or already have their own established social network of friends and have no desire to meet new people. The few intellectual interest groups I've found are inactive.
- This might be obvious, but again...the DIY artisan craft culture that you find in places like San Francisco and Denver are quite bleak (i.e. craft brewing, custom made furniture, farmer's markets with local produce, etc.). This city doesn't value small business as much as the more progressive metros. But again, I think this is expected for a more affordable metro that doesn't attract millenials and progressive types, so what do you expect?
- The climate is arguably the least desirable in the country. Cold, harsh winters and boiling hot summers. The extremes of everything. It's too cold in the winter to flourish great vegetation, so most people here still rely on corporate chain grocery
stores for their food. There are a couple seasonal farmer's markets, but they are quite dinky compared to what I was used to in Seattle.
- Like most non-coastal cities, this is a car town. The public transit system is awful and no one uses it. You hardly ever see pedestrians and even in the downtown area, most people drive.
If I had to stereotype it and put a finger on how the average Omahan would appear, I'd say: white, slightly chubby but not obese 35-45 year old with a German last name who works in some insurance job, is married, and has kids in school. This person probably grew up here, has the same group of friends from high school and college, likes talking about Husker football, loves beer, and has an understated personality. Probably leans more conservative, is affiliated with some Protestant Christian religion, but not particularly overzealous or outspoken about it.
Annie James | Seattle, WA