Reviews & Comments
Dubuque, IAMixed Bag
DBQ is like most places where it can be good or bad depending on your perspective. My biggest problem, by far, is that I struggle to appreciate the vast majority of working class people that make up DBQ. I've had a lot of runs-ins with people for nonsensical reasons -- like parking on the street in front of someone's house. My neighbor is one of these people and I'm considering selling my house, so I don't have to deal with this kind of thing. Some people are more tolerant. I'm not. This also makes it difficult to date if you are an educated, single person. The dating pool is small.
However, the city is doing a lot to make improvements. They say the downtown area has developed over the years from what it was. The general area is beautiful and hilly. It's not far from Madison, which is a great city. It's pretty liberal for Iowa, which can be good or bad depending. There are several new yoga studios in town. And there are meat packing factories on the west side of town and sometimes that whole area smells like bacon.
Overall, it's not the worst place I've lived, but I have lived in a border town in Mexico, so again, perspective.
Ames, IAGood and Bad
Like every other city Ames has both good and bad points. The good points are: low cost of living, very friendly people, lots of outdoor activities and quite a few events sponsored by the university, its got a great coop and farmers' market in the summer, it seems like a great place to raise a family, the campus is beautiful. The bad points: it can be a bit dull if you're single and not college age, contrary to what has been said previously ISU in not considered a "good" school maybe if you're outside of the school, but academics know better, and if you travel a lot DSM is not a hub for any airline, so you can't fly directly anywhere, there are only a couple of truly good restaurants, there's not a lot of political/religious diversity as Iowa is mostly white Protestant.