Don't move here if you are a minority
My spouse works for the Feds and we have travelled and lived all over the US. This is the only city I have been refused service at a coffee house. I am a minority, Asian. I have to deal with the incessant stares from locals who apparently have never seen an Asian before. At the Marion Hyvee, this guy literally turned his head around to watch me as I passed him as if I was an alien from outer space. At the MAC gym, I get stares from people. I work at a hospital, patients and their families looked shocked when I am going to provide medical treatment and I also get stares from the staff. The Asians in Cedar Rapids are either adopted and speak fluently or they are immigrants/refugees who have super thick accents. I speak English fluently and have a PhD. So many people here think I was adopted! The Good: The crime rate is low, the schools are okay, and the housing/rentals are decent. The Bad: passive/aggressive natives, bad drivers who think they have the right away when getting onto the freeway, lack of AP classes, "Iowa Nice" is superficial, lack of diversity, lack of culture, lack of any recreational activities, the weather is either super cold or super humid, and lack of jobs for Masters/PhD level professionals. The snow and ice last for 6 months. You either deal with it or you move. If you work in Iowa City and have to commute, it's a very dangerous commute in the winter and dangerous in the summer due to deer. Winter tires do not help when you are on ice! Even the natives go into the ditches. CR is the city of 5 stinks. It stinks in this city and I feel like I am being poisoned. Sometimes the water from the sink stinks of rotten eggs. We don't drink the water because we were told there is so much fertilizer run off from the farms, it is not safe to drink the water. There is alot of environmental poisoning from the farms. There is a current study of why so many of the farmers have leukemia. We went to an Asian restaurant and was not seated because I think they thought I was the help! We just waited and waited at the door and no one from the restaurant approached us. We are from the West Coast. If you tell the natives about the negatives, they get really offended "But there is Brucemore, you should go to Brucemore". That statement pretty much paints the picture of Cedar Rapids.
Maggie | Cedar Rapids, IA