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Old 10-06-2007, 03:29 PM   #21
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... I have always wondered what people do the fill up their days in the heartland.
Mostly we wonder what the folks in the big city see in all the arts and culture scene, plus all those museums, ethnic restaurants, lectures and shopping. Oh yeah, and then there's the bugs and critters we battle...mostly for entertainment.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:32 PM   #22
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Now that the conversation has turned to moving to "Middle America" I have to ask this question. DON'T HIT ME PLEASE. I am not trying to be a smarta$$ for asking this but what do folks do for fun in small town middle America. I always hear that the cost of living is lower once you get off the coasts and that your retirement income goes farther but I am a big city girl and live on the East coast. Always have. Love the arts and culture scene. Love museums, ethnic restaurants, lectures and shopping, love not needing a car to get around. Not the outdoorsy type at all. Going to the park suits me fine. When DH and I were considering a move away from the "Big City" we started looking at collage towns to at least have to opportunity to do the things we like to do. In the end we opted to stayed put but I have always wondered what people do the fill up their days in the heartland.
I understand. Still, it reminds me of the "What will you DO when you retire?" threads. What will you do? Probably whatever you want to do. Yes, you will be exposed to a different culture and a different environment, but as you probably suspected, life does not come to a halt. I could never get bored in small town middle America, personally.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:06 PM   #23
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... but what do folks do for fun in small town middle America.
I've lived in a few of those places. You have to be more responsible for your own entertainment than ever!

Some of it is the same everywhere:
- 500 digital channels and nothing to watch.
- Four billion websites and nothing to read.
- Libraries everywhere without the books you want.
- Plenty of stores with nothing you need.
- Lots of places to go dancing and get drunk, meet hot chicks, and get into trouble socialize.
- Gripe about the government (although in small towns you might also be the government) and the corrupt politicians (this too).

Some of it is different:
- Recreate on a nearby body of water-- boat, water ski, fishing, sailing, diving, even surfing.
- Hiking, camping.
- Sports. Lots and lots of sports in community/workplace leagues.
- Clubs. Lots & lots of clubs with activities like building or crafting things, playing games, discussing books, or stock investing.
- Attending sporting events of minor league, college, and high-school teams. Be shocked with disbelief that people would pay $40/ticket for a sporting event.
- Maintain and operate your property. Now that you're out of the big city, you can actually spread out on some land, build a bigger house (or not), and acquire some serious diesel-powered toys tools.
- Wonder how those big-city folks ever put up with community associations and home-owner rules & regulations.
- Raise funds to build arts & culture sites like them there big cities. Try to decide whether or not the town needs a symphony orchestra.
- Hotly debate whether or not the town needs a traffic light.
- Hotly debate just about everything at town meetings.
- Zone as much of the surrounding area conservation/land trust as possible. Raise funds to buy it or rezone it.
- Legislate against "big box" stores.
- Food, agricultural, & community festivals.
- Parades for every occasion.
- Know (and discuss) everybody's business.
- To keep out the riffraff and the druggies, file repeated anti-business suits to outlaw every form of modern mass transportation known to mankind. Sorry, that's probably a Hawaii specialty...
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:12 PM   #24
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I guess the area I grew up in was even a step down from Nords' experiences. And my experience in rural western NY make me very leery of moving to a cheaper area when I retire because my mind still equates that to where I grew up, which was too small and poor enough to support most of those things. Except for the "know (and discuss) everybody's business", which I find to be something to be avoided.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:24 PM   #25
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I grew up in Nebraska.

- Socialize with family and friends--cards, games, etc

- TV is pretty much the same as what you get, if you have cable or satellite

- Movies, even if the selection of movies isn't as wide, but who wants to see them artsy films anyway? ;-)

- Jack Daniels tastes the same wherever you go, but we might mix it with Coke. In fact I remember crashing a wedding party in my roomie's home town and instead of an open bar, they had kegs of beer and jugs of whiskey and coke.

- Wonder what people in other "less-advanced" countries do for fun since they don't have all the great things to do like we have

- Wonder how you people in the big cities can waste so much time sitting in traffic, when you could actually be doing something!

- Red Lobster might just be a chain to you, but it's got a lot of different seafood and that's pretty exotic to us. Besides, the beef you get isn't fresh like what we keep so our restaurants are probably better.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:46 PM   #26
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I grew up in Frackville ,Pa.. What's it near ? Nothing ! A great place to grow up look how happy Opie was .Would I want to live there now even if it meant living really cheaply ? No ,No,No . I would miss the variety of restaurants ,and the art festivals and the shopping and the artsy movies and especially the ability to be at a major airport in less than an hour .
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:37 PM   #27
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Mostly we wonder what the folks in the big city see in all the arts and culture scene, plus all those museums, ethnic restaurants, lectures and shopping. Oh yeah, and then there's the bugs and critters we battle...mostly for entertainment.
Speaking of critters. I was on the phone today with my sister, a Pa. native transplanted to Tx. Had a good conversation about fire ants and crickets. ( A slow day today.)
I told her she could have all of that. Them things grow to big out there for me to deal with. I stick to fighting these street wise cockroaches in the city.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:56 PM   #28
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Hmmm, I grew up in NYC, but also lived in flyover country for a while. I think that I would have a really hard time living in a very small town or rural area, especially if I couldn't afford to travel much. But there are lots of less expensive places that I could easily see myself living at some point in time. Plenty of flyover cities are inexpensive and offer a lot of culture and interesting things to do. Much maligned Cleveland, for example, has very good museums, world class healthcare, an orchestra, relatively easy access to Canada, waterfront areas, and interesting historical stuff like the West Side Market. Quite inexpensive place to live, relative to coastal cities, and there are plenty of places like it in the interior of the country.

Realistically, though, I am stuck where I am like it or not because family, friends, and opportunitiesfor the kids are here, not to mention the world's largest labor market for what I do.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:32 PM   #29
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Now that the conversation has turned to moving to "Middle America" I have to ask this question. DON'T HIT ME PLEASE. I am not trying to be a smarta$$ for asking this but what do folks do for fun in small town middle America. I always hear that the cost of living is lower once you get off the coasts and that your retirement income goes farther but I am a big city girl and live on the East coast. Always have. Love the arts and culture scene. Love museums, ethnic restaurants, lectures and shopping, love not needing a car to get around. Not the outdoorsy type at all. Going to the park suits me fine. When DH and I were considering a move away from the "Big City" we started looking at collage towns to at least have to opportunity to do the things we like to do. In the end we opted to stayed put but I have always wondered what people do the fill up their days in the heartland.
It's a false dichotomy.

Between NYC/Chicago/Boston or Enon Ohio, there are various small cities.

I live near Dayton Ohio, which has a ballet, opera, symphony, museums, various levels of theater (and a stop for Broadway tours) several colleges of various sizes and an international airport.

It's also not terribly far (hour or two) to Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis; and not unreasonably far to Chicago.

That said, I am personally content to not do much. I have cable and broadband and access to the library system; I like gardening and watching the birds and squirrels.
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