High Crime Rate and Stagnant
Lubbock is said to be a growing town, but, it is not for everybody. I've lived here for two years now, but it's time to move on to better things. The big thing is the crime problem in the city, a segregated population, the lasting affects of institutional discrimination -- among other things -- and lack of progressive economic opportunity as compared to other places. The social vibe: Some people are cordial in passing, even some instances of "Southern hospitality" (people-wise, Lubbock is generally conservative and spiritually religious). However, some folks are generally shady or not particularly outgoing. You have to carefully watch who you associate with.
As far as crime, if you live in Lubbock, there's a good chance of you becoming a victim of at least a property crime. Law enforcement here is awesome at apprehending perpetrators, but, people here seem to be pretty oblivious to how dangerous the city is and how worse it has become. There are shootings weekly -- almost nightly/daily -- and there are homicides often. Even though no part of Lubbock is immune to crime, the worst area of town is the central part of the city -- between I-27 and University Avenue & the same area between North Loop 289 and South Loop 289. The further west and south you go from there, the neighborhoods are more presentable, commercially-developed and more economically advantaged (as the before-mentioned central and eastern parts of town are basically abandoned and neglected due to the southwestward sprawl). But, property crimes are more prevalent than violent crime in that "cleaner" southwestern quadrant of the city. Burglaries, robberies, and other crimes against persons is a problem all over the city. Some of those offenses happen in broad daylight, but first responders keep busy nightly in the "Hub City" for various calls (sirens blaring, to the likes of that of larger cities). Lubbock is not a safe place.
For a town of about 250,000 people, Lubbock still has that small town feeling, where folks seemingly almost know everyone. It's part college town and part mostly small city. Home prices are lower than average compared to other parts of the country, cost of living is a bit lower, but, utilities are notoriously higher than average for most citizens. Job wise, the market is limited and wages are quite low compared to other parts of the country & even other parts of Texas. It depends on who you are and what your labor experience is. As for traffic, commute is acceptable. You can go from any end of Lubbock to the other within about 15-20 minutes. The road network is remarkable and the infrastructure is adequate for traffic flow. However, Lubbock is known for bizarre traffic accidents (vehicles running into houses/structures), fatal motorcycle accidents, and high rates of DWI's/DUI drunken driving accidents (sometimes resulting in deaths).
As for the weather, Lubbock is sunny a lot of the time, but also notoriously windy. Winters have wide temperature swings. The nights and some days get frigidly cold (advancing cold front winds that funnel the air off the western mountains and across the flat area can dip temps well below freezing), while daily temps sometimes reach the 70's or 80's when the sun is out. Measurable snow and blizzards can and have happened during the winter months. Spring is windy and unstable -- Lubbock was directly hit with a deadly tornado in May 1970 -- damaging large hail is a constant multiple annual event and severe weather often threatens the entire area. The town may be overdue for another direct strike from a twister, but there is always a tornado event of some sort in the surrounding South Plains area. Dust storms or haboobs can kick up (sometimes generated from severe thunderstorms), mostly on clear days when sustained winds can reach 40 mph or more, with gusts up to 50-60 mph or more. When it does rain in Lubbock, it comes in buckets at a time or hours at a time (sometimes days at a time nonstop), mostly during any thunderstorms and during late spring months. Certain parts of the city are flood-prone (streets and most rural locations), due to inadequate drainage plans and naturally flat topography. A brief downpour is enough to quickly flood the roadways under standing water. Summers get really hot, easily reaching the 90's and lower 100's for highs in any daily stretch. The fall season gradually cools the high temperatures. Thunderstorms often bring more frequent lightning and rain during those months. Autumn is otherwise mild in nature climate-wise.
Finally, entertainment-wise, Lubbock is very limited in its offerings. Texas Tech athletics and restaurant hospitality dining are the most common things to do. Major musical artists rarely swing through the Hub City on their tours. The town has some municipal parks, Funland (a seasonal family & children's theme park), Adventureland (a developing family outdoor theme park with a nearby developing aquarium, still under construction as of this post), a concert hall under construction downtown, and a not so well known first Friday of the month art spectacle downtown near the Buddy Holly Museum. There is the South Plains Mall over toward the west end of town -- it's neither a huge nor small mall, but is billed as the largest mall between Albuquerque, NM and the Metroplex (Dallas-Fort Worth area). Other than these things mentioned, if you want more culture and options of entertainment, you have to travel out of town to find more things to do.
I have lived in the Deep South, been through most of the United States, and lived in the Pacific Northwest. More research would have been beneficial before making the move to this town. If given the choice to live anywhere, I would not choose Lubbock again nor would I personally recommend this place to anyone, based on my experience and above observations. The Hub City is for some people, but it is not for everyone.
Garner | Lubbock, TX