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mustang84

North Dakota

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I just got back from a two day trip to North Dakota for work. We flew into Bismarck the first day, and the weather was horrible...snow, wind, ice. Our plane was a six-seater twin engine Cessna and there was so much ice building up on the wings that we started losing some airspeed as we approached Bismarck. Most of the time we had to stay above 12,000 feet to avoid the ice, which is pretty tough on your body when you're in a small plane that doesn't have cabin pressure. The crosswinds were fierce. I love flying and never get scared, but I was kinda nervous as we were landing. Our poor little plane was being tossed around like a toy.

We did our business in Bismarck, then found out that there was no way we were getting back into the air that day; no air traffic coming into Bismarck, and none going out. So the five of us drove our Murano rental on the four hour trek to Grand Forks, over icy I-94 where 3/4 of the exits sport a "NO SERVICES" sign that compliments the almost total lack of civilization between Bismarck and Fargo. And FYI, the Murano bumbles around on ice; we had the AWD set and a Lumina like mine had no problems flying by us at 75 (one of the few cars we actually saw) while we were losing traction going 60.

We stopped in Fargo to have Thai food, and that town actually surprised me...it's fairly nice and bigger than I thought. The city has a very new feel to it, unlike my city which feels like its stuck in a 70's time-warp.

We arrived in Grand Forks late, but it's also a very nice city and very new. I think the flood of '97 must have wiped out a lot, because it seemed like every business along 32nd Street was new. Rydell Chevrolet and the Toyota dealership were very modern and tastefully done; Rydell almost looked like a huge glass airport terminal. They also have a new arena / hotel complex next to I-29 that really stood out from the flat prairie around it.

So overall, a lot of the stereotypes about North Dakota stuck, but Fargo and Grand Forks were really surprising to me with how modern and nice they are. Even though they're both fairly small, they put most Iowa cities to shame except for Des Moines, Iowa City, and maybe Davenport. I almost wouldn't mind living in a place like Fargo, except that the weather sucks worse than it does here.

Final impression: beer cheese soup, apparently a staple in North Dakota, is a very weird dish. We had it as a side for lunch and I didn't get into it at all. I like cheese a lot, but eating a cup of cheese sauce type stuff with a few carrots mixed in was not very appetizing.

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the rents still live in GF, that's near where I grew up. That was the Alerus center you saw. BIG metal shack. they play football in there. My all school reunion is there this summer. Rydell is where I buy my cars from (my dad's old boss' brother sells cars there). All GM brands sans saab and hummer under one roof.

I went to school in Fargo (college). It might seem modern. (where did you eat the thai by the way...was it mongolian?). But its misleading. Its all a sprawling mess of apartments and retail. Nice enough town. 3 colleges. There's is like over 20,000 college students there. Lots of college girls, if you are looking.

Lots of drinking in both towns. And its cheap to drink there.

Thing about North Dakota....the weather always sucks. And travelling the barren interstates in the winter is always a high risk proposition because the weather can turn at any time and you have the full monty....freezing ass cold, wind, ice, snow. One wrong move and you are dead.

Truthfully if I could make a half ass decent living I might consider moving back there and fading away into oblivion. But the state prefers to sit on its ass and concentrate mostly on ag. If they would diversify........There is a microsoft office in fargo. They probably pay those smart midwest work ethic kids half what they pay the douchebags in Seattle and probably get 3 times the work out of them.

Edited by regfootball
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My impression of Fargo was from I-94, I-29, and 13th Ave...plus it was night, so I didn't really see the whole town I guess. I think the name of the place we ate at was called Thai Cuisine. It was right off 13th Street about a mile from I-29 and in what looked like a converted indoor strip mall.

Yeah, I noticed there were quite a few cute girls in North Dakota. Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks all had them.

I kinda got the impression that Fargo could be one of those up-and-coming tech type towns that you see more out West, and I heard about Microsoft being there. North Dakota towns seem pretty clean and well laid out. I think the whole Midwest needs to start focusing more on tech jobs and less on ag. There's plenty of brain drain going on here. Some places like Des Moines, Omaha, and the Twin Cities (obviously) are starting to keep the younger populations in, but there's still a whole host of cities that twentysomethings don't want to stick around in.

Edited by mustang84
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I kinda got the impression that Fargo could be one of those up-and-coming tech type towns that you see more out West, and I heard about Microsoft being there. North Dakota towns seem pretty clean and well laid out. I think the whole Midwest needs to start focusing more on tech jobs and less on ag. There's plenty of brain drain going on here. Some places like Des Moines, Omaha, and the Twin Cities (obviously) are starting to keep the younger populations in, but there's still a whole host of cities that twentysomethings don't want to stick around in.

So true..that's a big part of why I left the Midwest---it seemed to have no future when I graduated from college..very few people I went to school with stayed there, the Akron/Canton/Cleveland area was a decaying, dying wasteland of hopelessness in the mid '90s...that's why I love metro areas in the West, especially the Denver/Boulder areas--they embraced high tech in a big way, and the tech job market is still good there. Phoenix/Scottsdale is good also, but to a lesser extent...it's an area with potential for tech, but they have focused on real estate, golfing, etc for too long.

Hot summers in AZ are one thing, but the winters in the Dakotas and upper Midwest are a whole 'nother level of disgusting and brutal... I couldn't imagine living there, Michigan and Ohio winters were bad enough.

Edited by moltar
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My impression of Fargo was from I-94, I-29, and 13th Ave...plus it was night, so I didn't really see the whole town I guess. I think the name of the place we ate at was called Thai Cuisine. It was right off 13th Street about a mile from I-29 and in what looked like a converted indoor strip mall.

Yeah, I noticed there were quite a few cute girls in North Dakota. Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks all had them.

I kinda got the impression that Fargo could be one of those up-and-coming tech type towns that you see more out West, and I heard about Microsoft being there. North Dakota towns seem pretty clean and well laid out. I think the whole Midwest needs to start focusing more on tech jobs and less on ag. There's plenty of brain drain going on here. Some places like Des Moines, Omaha, and the Twin Cities (obviously) are starting to keep the younger populations in, but there's still a whole host of cities that twentysomethings don't want to stick around in.

brain drain occurs because there is no jobs for the brainiacs. like you said, too much focus on ag. the people who seem to win out are afraid of 'losing their values' and turning into a big city.

the brains and work ethic in those towns like that and sioux falls etc. is unbelievable....but those people move and get a taste of the seattles and denvers of the world and say 'fk this cold sht and lame ass cowboy town'.

but like i said, if you just want to remove yourself from high pressure society for awhile either is a great town.

(no architecture jobs worth sht there, btw)

(anywhere right now for that matter, thanks banking meltdown)

fargo and grand forks have about 30,000 college students.....if half of those are women, and a large percentage of those are under 30, or even 25....you get the idea.............makes it hard to study.

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brain drain occurs because there is no jobs for the brainiacs. like you said, too much focus on ag. the people who seem to win out are afraid of 'losing their values' and turning into a big city.

Yep, I can't count the number of times there was bitching in the editorial section of the Omaha paper any time they tried to build some new entertainment venue or clean up the industrial wasteland on the riverfront. "This ain't no Chicago...leave them art galleries and bicycle paths for the city folk!" People even complained when the funding for a project was grant money from the federal government..."ain't raisin' MY taxes with pork!"

Now young people actually move to Omaha because they have a small nightlife scene going on downtown, a new pedestrian bridge over the river, a new art gallery, two new arenas, and a nice clean riverfront promenade. Google even set up shop there and is planning on expanding.

The Midwest needs to start leading rather than following if it wants to bring people back.

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I kinda got the impression that Fargo could be one of those up-and-coming tech type towns that you see more out West, and I heard about Microsoft being there. North Dakota towns seem pretty clean and well laid out. I think the whole Midwest needs to start focusing more on tech jobs and less on ag. There's plenty of brain drain going on here. Some places like Des Moines, Omaha, and the Twin Cities (obviously) are starting to keep the younger populations in, but there's still a whole host of cities that twentysomethings don't want to stick around in.

That's what I've always liked about Boise, Idaho. What a great little city! I've been there probably, oh, maybe 8-10 times for work....and it's easily one of the smallest cities that I could really enjoy living in (200,000K population or so I think.)

Summers are warm, there are lots of outdoor activities (it's in the foothills to the mountains), it's a college town, and there's lots of high-tech there that brings a younger feel to the city.

Downtown Boise is nice, active, with restaurants, shops, bars, and even a few highrises (!).....plus it's the state capitol....for all that might bring to the area.

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That's what I've always liked about Boise, Idaho. What a great little city! I've been there probably, oh, maybe 8-10 times for work....and it's easily one of the smallest cities that I could really enjoy living in (200,000K population or so I think.)

Summers are warm, there are lots of outdoor activities (it's in the foothills to the mountains), it's a college town, and there's lots of high-tech there that brings a younger feel to the city.

Downtown Boise is nice, active, with restaurants, shops, bars, and even a few highrises (!).....plus it's the state capitol....for all that might bring to the area.

Never been there, heard it's quite nice..I have a friend that was in sales for HP up there before moving to Denver...the only real negative is it's kind of far from everywhere else.

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yeah, i hear boise is good too.

minneapolis, always when promoting some arts thing, they say 'we don't want to be a cold omaha'.....LOL

my buddy loves living in KC....he is a midwest guy and he really likes KC.

Edited by regfootball
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yeah, i hear boise is good too.

minneapolis, always when promoting some arts thing, they say 'we don't want to be a cold omaha'.....LOL

my buddy loves living in KC....he is a midwest guy and he really likes KC.

I have a couple friends that are from Minneapolis...they loved it there...both have lived in Denver for years, but one (who is originally from North Dakota) moved back last year to the area be closer to his wife's family (living now in Mound, says it's a pretty nice town in a laky area to the west of Minneapolis).

One of my friends from high school now lives in St. Paul, quite a change from S. Florida. When I left grad school in Michigan, Chicago and Minneapolis were two places I considered moving to stay in the Midwest--had a couple job offers in the Chicago burbs, but ultimately ended up in Colorado.

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my buddy loves living in KC....he is a midwest guy and he really likes KC.

To me, places like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, etc., are considered "midwest" (in a southernly point of view I guess) but I've always seen them as midwestern, but lacking alot of the "blue collar" feel of the "true" midwest.

Of course, OKC has had the oil and aviation industries as big influences (the FAA is headquarted at Will Rogers World Airport), and they've always had weather that was not quite as harsh, and the cities have always seemed to be a bit more modern, if sometimes not as progressive culturally (hello all ye southern Baptists out there....)

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To me, places like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, etc., are considered "midwest" (in a southernly point of view I guess) but I've always seen them as midwestern, but lacking alot of the "blue collar" feel of the "true" midwest.

Of course, OKC has had the oil and aviation industries as big influences (the FAA is headquarted at Will Rogers World Airport), and they've always had weather that was not quite as harsh, and the cities have always seemed to be a bit more modern, if sometimes not as progressive culturally (hello all ye southern Baptists out there....)

I really have never spent any time in that part of the far Midwest, Oklahoma seems more like a extension of Texas to me. Though I've lived in Colorado for 11+ years, I've never been thru Kansas or Missouri, only flown back to Ohio (drove out in '97, but through Iowa and Nebraska).

The Midwest I know and am most familiar with is Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Though eastern Ohio where I'm from has more in common w/ W. Pa than with the rest of Ohio---rolling hills, lots of brick buildings, forests, coal mining, steel..

Edited by moltar
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I really have never spent any time in that part of the far Midwest, Oklahoma seems more like a extension of Texas to me. Though I've lived in Colorado for 11+ years, I've never been thru Kansas or Missouri, only flown back to Ohio (drove out in '97, but through Iowa and Nebraska).

The Midwest I know and am most familiar with is Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Though eastern Ohio where I'm from has more in common w/ W. Pa than with the rest of Ohio---rolling hills, lots of brick buildings, forests, coal mining, steel..

I have always personally considered Oklahoma, Arkansas, etc., as part of the "southwest" like Texas as you state.

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I have always personally considered Oklahoma, Arkansas, etc., as part of the "southwest" like Texas as you state.

Yeah, to me, those states (Texas, Oklahoma, Ark) are part of the South.

Southwest to me is Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, southern Utah, the desert parts of southern California..

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It's always been strange for me when people define Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, etc. as being part of the Midwest. I know historically that was the Midwest when they were territories and no one had really been settling west of the Mississippi, but to me those areas are so far east and have a much more urban, industrial feel than places like Iowa or Nebraska. The Midwest for me are the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Everything wrapping the Great Lakes I just call the Great Lakes states.

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