Review of Omaha, Nebraska


Omaha: Quiet, cozy, and quaint
Star Rating - 5/4/2022
Pros:
Not much happens, no news is good news.
No major tornadoes for decades!!
Education can be good in areas.
Career opportunities for those who take risks and succeed.
Skilled labor opportunities.
Elkhorn, NE is the bee's knees.
Nice golf courses.
College sports if you like that.
Henry-Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Cons:
Extreme weather, getting worse!
No nuclear power anymore. Just coal plants and natural gas peaker stations.
Road repair conditions.
Bureaucracy problems managing private held utilities like garbage collection.
Lack of unskilled labor opportunity for those who don't take education or business risks.
For the perpetually distracted urbanite, not much to do.

At the risk of being called a Grand Order of Nebraska cultist for stating this, but I have lived in Nebraska for nearly all of my life, for 29 of the 30 years. I have a lot to say.

Regarding the "nothing to dos":
Behold! The hapless terminal urbanite. Those from abroad who complain about "nothing to do" is common. I wish them happiness, to emigrate elsewhere. There, they can have the gilded veneer of a fulfilling life. A life subsidized endless distractions that mercifully placate and prevent them from having terrifying moments of introspection where they might realize that the grass isn't greener on any side.

Here, we have ourselves, our humble lives that we live in quiet contemplation. This is not a problem. It is what makes Omaha great. It is stable, consistent, and predictable. This is why it is a great place to raise a family. Personally, I have my creative hobbies that bring me fulfillment. I don't consume entertainment, I create it. Other Nebraskans find similar satisfaction in their hobbies.

Diversity:
Some people complain about a lack of diversity, but they seem to have a definition of diversity limited to the color of people's skin. Typical coastal mindset, yet don't fault them, fault their environment. The people here are generally warm, polite and friendly, if a bit reserved. People immigrate here the world over to experience our midwestern charm, to educate, to thrive. The only racist comments I hear are from my grandparents.

Politics:
Young people tend to be more liberal, but not so open minded that their brain falls out of their ears. Older people tend to be conservative. Both factions even out the follies of the other, but overall the state is conservative. Progress is steady, and carefully metered so the train that is our society doesn't derail.

Golfing: Yes!! Great courses!
Biking: You might be hit if you ride on a road, due to lack of sidewalks on much of suburbia's highways, it's getting better out west.
Nature: Small forests and the endless undulations of the Sandhills. Beautiful wetlands, great places to hike. Dark skies right outside the city for stargazing and amateur astronomers.
Arts: We have 'em. I'm a painter myself, and there is a small, casual community of us artists that I enjoy.

Governance:
Leaves something to be desired. Snow removal for some areas is bad, hills make driving in snow complicated. Highway corridor conditions are deplorable in some spots. Within the city, Interstate 80/680 and the Dodge freeway conditions are much better. Garbage collection logistics is a source of turmoil due to decades of mismanagement and private garbage collection companies.

At the end of the day, despite the problems, our city functions. Political corruption is light to moderate. People are right to criticize the mayor. However, those who make hyperbolic claims about how evil the city government is may not have a frame of reference for how corrupt things can truly be. Americans tend to not go to undeveloped countries. I have, corruption here is within tolerance.

Segregation: It's true, historical discrimination is partially why people live where they do, but this does not prevent class mobility.
Class: The 1% here are generally humble. Warren Buffet is a prime example. Class mobility is available for those who seize it.
Homelessness: It's true, even tragic. Should provide mass housing to keep the homeless off the streets. Understandably, nobody wants to live around that, and potential housing developments are shot down in planning phases.
Public transport: Insubstantial, you must have a car.
Urban sprawl: Yes. I don't mind, however.

Education: Millard Public Schools and Elkhorn Public Schools reign supreme due to property tax funding. Omaha Public Schools is in... a state, but there is opportunity there. OPS Central High School is a historic and beautiful building.

University of Nebraska at Omaha is great. Metro Community College is good. University of Nebraska Medical Center stands up to Ivy League research.

Taxes: Yeah, property tax is high. Other taxes are bearable.

Utilities: Our utilities are publicly owned. Electric, gas, water, sewage. They function satisfactorily but some experience terrible customer service.

Finally, I live in the suburb of Elkhorn, it's great for me. Stable and homogenous, with kind people who smile as you pass them on a park trail. Lowest crime. nice 70s, 80s, 90s houses in great condition. Beautiful, big houses in upper class neighborhoods. Massive, decade spanning new developments turning the westmost Omaha into the place to be. Downtown and midtown are places to avoid living unless you can afford upper-middle and upper-class housing. Middle class, move anywhere west of 144th street.

E | Elkhorn, NE
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