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Anyone ever lived in/been to/seen a picture of Waterloo, Iowa


SheetsCyYoung04
I received an offer from a company to move to Waterloo. I really like the company and enjoyed the interview experience with them and the job seems like a fantastic opportunity. The offer is more than everything I want. However, I have never been to Waterloo. I can get over the countryness (im not from a cosmopolitan area my self), but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the area. Any experience on living away from family getting out of college might be helpful too.
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My parents now live in Dubuque and I grew up in Cedar Rapids. I've been to and thru Waterloo dozens of times and it seems like a decent enough small town. They've certainly cleaned up the city from what it was in the 80's when my father commonly referred to it as the "armpit of the Midwest".
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The Waterloo-Cedar Falls area is comparable in size (not population) to Fond du Lac, perhaps. There's plenty of stuff there so you won't be in the boonies. They even have decent night clubs and stuff with the college there. Come on, they have their own television station (NBC affiliate, I believe) that I watched all the time when I lived in Decorah so it can't be too bad.

 

I would recommend the area.

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My first job out of college was a franchise auditor for a national real estate company. One of the states I spent a lot of time in was IA. That was almost 20 years ago, and I'm not sure if there is still a dog track in Waterloo, but I do remember winning some money there on one of my visits. I know, this doesn't really help you at all, but that's my Waterloo story.

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The dog track has been closed for over 10 years, I believe. My grandparents live about an hour from Waterloo/Cedar Falls, so I'm through there a lot. I'll echo what others said...it's not in the boonies, but it won't be an overly exciting city to live in. Cedar Falls does have Northern Iowa University, so that could offer some stuff to do. They've had a pretty good basketball team the past few seasons. Once you get outside Waterloo...boonies. The drive from Dubuque to Waterloo is very, very boring.
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Thanks for the responses. The company is willing to pay for me to visit before I sign, so I am going to do that, but it would have to be pretty bad for me to say no at this point.

The drive from Dubuque to Waterloo is very, very boring.

That is what I've heard. And my girlfriend will still be going to school in Milwaukee (plus my family is still here), so I will probably be making that drive a lot. Maybe I will get a motorcycle to make the drive more enjoyable/affordable.

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I have never minded the drive from Waterloo to Dubuque. It's rolling hills, but not more then 45 min to an hour tops to make it. The scenery really isn't much different then driving from Milwaukee to Madison. It certainly isn't as bad as Indiana.
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I'm actually from the Waterloo, IA area so any questions you have, I can answer. If you want to zap an e-mail (agodson@bugsandcranks.com) about the company, where to live, what to do, etc. I can give you pretty decent advice.

 

I'd guess you're getting a job at Deere, which is a very good company to work for. There are a few others, but that's where many people work. As a young person, I'd actually recommend living in Cedar Falls instead of Waterloo. Northern Iowa is there so it's a college town and will probably be a better fit.

 

I make it to W'loo several times a year and it's a decent city. It's a lot like every other city in the midwest with about 100,000 people -- think Janesville or Racine and you're pretty much on track. The upside is that it's exceedingly affordable. You could buy a mansion there right now on a starter salary.

 

And you're right about the drive....it's bad. I had a car without a radio in HS and used to read Sports Illustrated while I drove on Hwy 20 in Iowa....it's straight, 4 lanes, and there's no traffic....zzzz......

 

I like living in MKE okay, but if I didn't live here I'd probably live in Cedar Falls. Hit me up if you want some specific advice.

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My family company has a branch in Waterloo. Any chance your a chem engineer?

Nope, unless your great grandfather was John Deere, it probably is not the same company. I think I will probably get a one bedroom apartment in Cedar Falls for now. Thanks AJ, I will probably send you an email after I see the place and get more specific questions. Just one question now, you know a good place to take my girlfriend out to dinner when I visit (she doesnt like sea food and pork)? I'm trying to sell her on it, and for some reason she just isn't ecstatic about me moving 4 and a half hours away.

 

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Cedar Falls will be good to you and you should find a one bedroom place pretty cheap provided you don't want to live right next to UNI. As far as places to eat, it's been a few years since I've lived in Waterloo/CF, but here are a few tips, depending on what you're style is and what you're trying to accomplish:

 

Peppers -- Sports bar that is probably the most popular in town. Will prove to your girlfriend that you haven't totally left civilization

Becks -- This is where I go to watch games if I'm in the area -- Easy to find sports bar with decent food and usually a good crowd

 

If you're looking for somewhere not a sports bar:

 

Montage -- Main Street in Cedar Falls is your best bet to convince her that it's not a "cow town". Lots of restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Montage is a new place with offbeat stuff on the menu if she's into that.

Brown Bottle -- Good local Italian place. Been around forever and has really good italian food.

Old Broom Factory -- Good food, but probably a bit older crowd than you're looking for.

 

Wherever you go, be sure you run her through Main Street in Cedar Falls and take a drive down Hudson Road in Cedar Falls past the Uni-Dome and McCleod Center...two giant sports complexes ease the feeling that it's the middle of nowhere. Good luck, man!

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It's not Siberia. I'd probably rather live there than someplace further west in Iowa. And you've got UNI, so there's decent I-AA (oops, I mean Football Championship Subdivision, or whatever the heck it's called) football and MVC hoops.
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I live an hour east of Waterloo. Your entertainment just depends on what you like. If you like trout fishing, canoeing, hiking, or one pound pork tenderloins, just head to the northeast corner of the state when you have some free time. The Waterloo Bucks are still in town. KWWL is the local NBC affiliate. If you are bored watching the crops grow on the trip from Dubuque to Waterloo, stop by Dyersville and visit the Field of Dreams movie site. Take your glove, there are usually enough people there for some batting practice. The lasagna at the Brown Bottle is excellent. The dog track is abandoned, but a casino opened up just last year.
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