Reviews & Comments
Carmel, INProsperous EdgeCity Suburb Filled with Roundabouts
This place has just about every corporate chain hotel imaginable. I come for business, and it is a nice place to do business. Carmel seems to sucking the corporate lifeblood out of the Indianapolis area. Be forewarned, this place has so many roundabouts driving is very maddening. Three and four story apartment and condo buildings fill the landscape. You get the feeling that they are trying to create a new higher density suburban mini Indianapolis north of the real one. There is 'Carmel by the Sea,' and this one is 'Carmel by the Interstates' surrounded by flat corn fields to the north, east, and west. This is a growing suburb on steroids, and probably Indiana's highest wage area for corporate jobs. If you like your buildings newer than 10 years old, this place is filled with lots of them, but the architecture is vanilla corporate.
Milwaukee, WINot a bad Medium Size City
I lived here for 22 years, and have a love and dislike of the place at the same time. In the like category are the city size as it has most of what you want from a city, folks are proud and friendly in their somewhat defensive way, there is the uniqueness of the city dialect, nice museums, good suburbs, a pace of life that is not too fast and not too slow. It's Teutonic history means it has great outdoors events with music like Summerfest, and yes given the German heritage, drinking beer goes without saying. It has 2 professional sports teams which is rare for a city metro area of only 1.5 million. The local colleges are good, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is a gem too for getting a college degree either as a full time or part time working student, and the vocational tech college MATC is top knotch. Work ethic and accountability are strong here. Being on Lake Michigan is a god send for this city.
Views looking over the lake remind you that you may be at the ocean on a summer day. Milwaukee represents in many ways the American Spirit of getting it done and made with pride. Areas on the city's east side are really nice. In the dislike category is you are no longer sure just what the City stands for. Made in Milwaukee used to mean just about everything manufacturing built extremely well and at good solid wages, but that base has gone downhill big time hurting blue collar high school folks the most, probably due to the big free trade agreements. In its place is a mixed economy with nothing that really stands out. It is just a city that keeps going like the energizer bunny but what is at its core, you just do not know. The city dynamic seems in a stasis, neither getting bigger nor declining completely, just hanging in there is the sense, and you want more than that from a city. The City schools, high property and income taxes, and the god awful everlasting winter weather are the major deterrents to wanting to move here. Why they put the baseball stadium in the middle of a freeway hell and not downtown like St. Louis did is a mistake of Epic proportions, although Miller Park with its enclosed top does allow you to see professional baseball in any kind of weather which does show up in Milwaukee. The suburbs are just like suburbs everywhere, and unfortunately the inner city has really declined sadly. It is too bad they did not site the new Chinese FoxConn high tech company in the middle of Milwaukee as that would have brought many needed jobs to those in the city that need them, and added a real ZAP putting Milwaukee on the map nationwide as on the cutting edge and in a trans formative positive way, instead of having to rely on its historic past of Harleys, brats, beer, metal bending, and car parts, and now a mottled mixed economy. Standard of living is average here. I am glad I grew up there in its heyday, but today am averse to moving back there.
Philadelphia, PAPerfect Four Season Big City if you don't mind....
Urban decay, congestion, high density, crime, and one mess of a highway-road system. The best feature of this big city is the proximity to the Jersey shore which is beautiful from mid summer to fall. It is also in some ways America's hidden big city (fifth largest actually), with NY and DC getting all the spotlight, but you can enjoy the best of those big places by a train ride away. If you get a job with a big income, don't have kids, and like old fixed up east coast row houses, there are some very nice places Downtown, just remember cars are not welcome in this place, as it was built and designed way before the car era. It is also a city where the class distinctions in America are very evident in a sad way.
Madison, WINice, but cold Easters, high taxes, very liberal
Madison offers quite a bit for a metro area of 600,000. It is like a small big city. But it suffers these faults: 5 months of winter-like weather (I have seen snow from Halloween to Mothers Day), high property taxes, very liberal focus in politics, love of bicycles to the exclusion of cars so the roads are pathetic in term of repair and are way under built, very high rents and house prices for a mid-western town, and a beautiful airport with less than a dozen non-stop flight cities and outrageous air fares wherever you go. Stay away from government and university employment as this state does not give pay raises that even keep up with 2 percent inflation. The best part of the city is that the lakes and warmist summers are BEAUTIFUL! Late winter to early Spring is the hardest time living here because you just want winter to leave.