Reviews & Comments
Omaha, NENothing 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.
Seattle, WAIdeal City For Empty Nesters & Nature Lovers
I am one of the thousands of Midwest-raised folks who made the pilgrimage to Seattle (seems like every other person I meet here is from the Midwest). If you're from a sunny climate, you won't be impressed. But for those of us who grew up with harsh, continental climates, this is paradise. I can walk outside with almost no jacket one some days in the winter. I can run around outside for hours in the summer and not sweat a drop. It's definitely not as nice as sunny smooth Bay Area, CA but Seattle is probably the next best thing.
What don't I like about Seattle? As a 20-something single, I don't feel like this is the most exciting place to be. Don't get me wrong, Seattle is beautiful. The greenery, the clean air, the mountains, the water, it's all here. But socially, this city seems to appeal more to wealthy folks over the age of 40 whose priorities are talking walks and having a garden in their backyard. The nightlife is not great, and you can go for miles and miles without seeing somebody in their 20's in many neighborhoods here. Not many families either, as they can't afford to live in the city. I really don't feel like there is enough noticeable population of singles in their 20s, outside of the University of Washington territory. Seattle is just not a city where people come to socialize and prioritize making new connections. They come here to enjoy the outdoors and live healthy. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on what you're into.
It's a good place for LGBT folks. There are enough gay people here to where you won't really have to worry about homophobic discrimination as much as elsewhere. Anyone here who does have anti-gay views is usually more quiet and calm about it because they know they have to be around gay people anyway. So in that sense, it's a safe place to be gay.
One downfall about the demographics here is that I don't really think Seattle is a great place to be black. Most of the non-whites (Asian, mostly) live in the suburbs, not in the city of Seattle. Regardless of how "liberal" a reputation Seattle has, I get the impression a lot of people here just aren't accustomed to black people and aren't comfortable around blacks. I am not black myself, but the black people I've interacted with here don't seem very happy and have a chip on their shoulder about being black here (I don't blame them, I would too). I would not want to raise a black child here, out of fear that they would have identity problems because they stick out like a sore thumb. But that's just my perspective.
All in all, it's definitely a more interesting cultural experience compared to where I once was in the Midwest, but I still long for something more exciting and social.
Lincoln, NENot a good place for newcomers needing excitement
The review dated from from 2009 from user Jeff pretty much hit the nail on the head with what I was going to say. I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln a year ago. I told my father that if I couldn't find a job outside of Nebraska, I would kill myself. Soon after, I moved to Seattle, landed a job, and haven't looked back since.
If you are a newcomer seeking a start in Lincoln, you better be extremely social and good at making friends. Because although people in Lincoln are polite, it can be extremely difficult to break into their circles and make friends. Most of the residents out of the university have family who's lived in Nebraska for generations. They already have their family and established friends. I've found that most people in Lincoln are not interested in meeting new people for friendship. You should also be white, as most people (white people) in Nebraska are not comfortable with associating with people who look or act differently. They're not outwardly racist, but just not comfortable with anything different in general. If you long for something intellectual, Lincoln is not your place. Interests rarely go beyond football and beer. There is a very minuscule arts scene in Lincoln but don't expect anything spectacular. As a female with career ambitions and aspirations, it was hard for me to connect with female friends as most of them only ever talk about their boyfriends and plan on becoming housewives.
In some ways, Lincoln is essentially a small, dumpy town that just has a large population. I wouldn't call it a big city despite the statistical numbers. The low unemployment rate is not a good reason to just pick up and move to Nebraska. It's low because no one wants to live there to take the jobs. Realize what you are getting yourself into before moving to Nebraska.
The bitter cold winters, the ice storms, and the disgusting, suffocating humid summers were what sealed the deal for me in calling it quits.