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johnnydr87

Little Rock Named American Heritage's 2005 "Great Place"

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2005_5_50-51.jpg

Check it out:

http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/m...2005_5_50.shtml

It talks about Little Rock's revitalization:

In today’s America, reclaiming the past makes more news than replacing it. Even as West Little Rock was surreptitiously becoming a center of gleaming warehouse stores, the downtown warehouse district was giving new life to old brick. Back when Beth and I married, Jimmy Moses, the M of the original A/M/R dreamers, was talking about turning old downtown buildings into loft apartments. Sometime in the mid-nineties a revolution happened: People began actually living in the former printing plant opposite our old Southern Magazine offices. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings citizens from all over town, presumably even a few from West Little Rock, came to shop for the tomatoes and corn and okra Arkansas farmers put out for sale at the open-air River Market. The store where we at the magazine had bought cheap desk chairs was now a hip outdoor outfitter. Across the street was a brew bar selling beer by the hundreds of brands. Art galleries, restaurants, an amphitheater, even the city library had been reborn in that sun-baked wasteland where I’d spent my days in the mid-eighties. Now people straight out of J. Crew were sipping lattes a mere bean’s throw from la petite roche. In that respect, West Little Rock and downtown had finally come together.

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Additional analysis:

I like how the author talks about the natural beauty surrounding Little Rock too:

At a certain point in the drive I would round a gentle curve and find that a mountain had filled my windshield. Behind the mountain the sun was red and sinking. It was a beautiful view, so much softer than harsh sun beating down on a rawboned burg that had seen better days.

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Great for Little Rock!

I hope L.R. continues to get more national exposure, it is one of the most under-rated cities in the U.S.

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Interesting article. I'm curious to see what other people in northwest Arkansas attitude's are toward it. I still get a bit of a feeling that people in this region don't quite feel the way I see many other people do. Maybe it goes back to being similar to the way people in eastern Arkansas feel about Memphis. Sorta like a big city, more crime type attitude in general. I admit this forum has helped me take a second look at Little Rock. I think I may still prefer northwest Arkansas, but I think Little Rock is a better place than what some people give credit for.

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Interesting article. I'm curious to see what other people in northwest Arkansas attitude's are toward it. I still get a bit of a feeling that people in this region don't quite feel the way I see many other people do. Maybe it goes back to being similar to the way people in eastern Arkansas feel about Memphis. Sorta like a big city, more crime type attitude in general. I admit this forum has helped me take a second look at Little Rock. I think I may still prefer northwest Arkansas, but I think Little Rock is a better place than what some people give credit for.

I don't have any facts, but I'd be willing to bet that Little Rock's crime rate isn't higher than NWA's, and if it is then not by much. I could be way off base with that assertion, but I do know that Little Rock really doesn't have much of a problem with crime anymore. Now, there are obviously areas down in the " 'hood" that you will lose your neck, but if you know where not to go (or, just use common sense, and turn around when you feel out of place) Little Rock couldn't be safer.

For example, I went to the State Fair last night, at the fairgrounds that is firmly in the middle of the roughest area in Little Rock. Driving in and out not once did I feel unsafe. Just an example, I know, but you couldn't have done that in the early '90's without getting shot at.

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I don't have any facts, but I'd be willing to bet that Little Rock's crime rate isn't higher than NWA's, and if it is then not by much. I could be way off base with that assertion, but I do know that Little Rock really doesn't have much of a problem with crime anymore. Now, there are obviously areas down in the " 'hood" that you will lose your neck, but if you know where not to go (or, just use common sense, and turn around when you feel out of place) Little Rock couldn't be safer.

For example, I went to the State Fair last night, at the fairgrounds that is firmly in the middle of the roughest area in Little Rock. Driving in and out not once did I feel unsafe. Just an example, I know, but you couldn't have done that in the early '90's without getting shot at.

By the way welcome to the forum CentralArkansas. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that people overexagerate the crime in Little Rock. And the crime rate in Little Rock may have decreased while northwest Arkansas's has risen some as the area continue's to grow. But I still think Little Rock's crime rate is higher than northwest Arkansas'. One of the things often mentioned in Fayetteville's and northwest Arkansas' high rating in many rankings I've seen is the low crime rates. But while Little Rock's crime rate might not be as bad as what some people might think I think it's also just naturally higher. Little Rock is still quite a bit bigger than northwest Arkansas. And while it's not a given, higher populated areas tend to have higher rates than smaller areas as a whole.

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By the way welcome to the forum CentralArkansas. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that people overexagerate the crime in Little Rock. And the crime rate in Little Rock may have decreased while northwest Arkansas's has risen some as the area continue's to grow. But I still think Little Rock's crime rate is higher than northwest Arkansas'. One of the things often mentioned in Fayetteville's and northwest Arkansas' high rating in many rankings I've seen is the low crime rates. But while Little Rock's crime rate might not be as bad as what some people might think I think it's also just naturally higher. Little Rock is still quite a bit bigger than northwest Arkansas. And while it's not a given, higher populated areas tend to have higher rates than smaller areas as a whole.

Maybe so, like I said, I have no facts I'm just going on intuition.

I do know that if you stay off streets named "Martin Luther King," "Battery," "Asher," etc., after 9 p.m. you are very safe in Little Rock

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Maybe so, like I said, I have no facts I'm just going on intuition.

I do know that if you stay off streets named "Martin Luther King," "Battery," "Asher," etc., after 9 p.m. you are very safe in Little Rock

I don't have any hard facts on me either. But it is nice to see that Little Rock is a better place than what many people give credit to.

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I don't have any facts, but I'd be willing to bet that Little Rock's crime rate isn't higher than NWA's, and if it is then not by much. I could be way off base with that assertion, but I do know that Little Rock really doesn't have much of a problem with crime anymore. Now, there are obviously areas down in the " 'hood" that you will lose your neck, but if you know where not to go (or, just use common sense, and turn around when you feel out of place) Little Rock couldn't be safer.

For example, I went to the State Fair last night, at the fairgrounds that is firmly in the middle of the roughest area in Little Rock. Driving in and out not once did I feel unsafe. Just an example, I know, but you couldn't have done that in the early '90's without getting shot at.

If you live in the 2/3 of Little Rock North of I-630 or West of I-430, the crime rate really is probably as low or lower than NWA. The same is probably true of the rest of Central Arkansas as a whole save some of the older areas of NLR. For 560k of the 620k people living in the area crime is no worse. However, there are some very sketchy areas that are high-crime and though crime in LR has plummeted over the last two decades I'm sure these areas make it much higher than NWA. There are a couple areas of town that are terribly dangerous but Little Rock is like Dallas in that the "bad areas" of town are isolated from the rest and there's little reason to go there, which is quite different from the situation in Memphis or Pine Bluff.

Now, NWA is having more crime problems - mostly in Springdale and Fayetteville proper and this will only increase. I think most of the crime will happen in the heavily Hispanic areas in Springdale and Rogers as they are quite a bit poorer than the rest of the area. More crime and ultimately white flight out of some of the larger towns/school districts will be part of the legacy of NWA urbanization as it is everywhere else.

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Interesting article. I'm curious to see what other people in northwest Arkansas attitude's are toward it. I still get a bit of a feeling that people in this region don't quite feel the way I see many other people do. Maybe it goes back to being similar to the way people in eastern Arkansas feel about Memphis. Sorta like a big city, more crime type attitude in general. I admit this forum has helped me take a second look at Little Rock. I think I may still prefer northwest Arkansas, but I think Little Rock is a better place than what some people give credit for.

Crime is higher in Little Rock, no doubt. That's what you get when large portions of a population and specific race are predominantly poor. That's another debate as to why that is.

But because of Little Rock's history: the good, the bad, etc.....it is a much more interesting place than NWA, in my opinion. Like I've said, traveling down Clinton Avenue in the Little Rock market district, you'll see such a diverse set of characters, races, and cultures----- something you won't really get in other parts of the state. The Delta, and maybe parts of NWA, have diversity....but in Little Rock, like all great big cities, you have many more different ethnicities representing many different parts of the social and economic ladders. The Hispanic population in NWA is for the most part scorned. At least, that's the impression I get from students attending my school from NWA. Unfortunately, the poverty and relatively high crime rates only further stir anti-immigration and anti-colored sentiments. Then again, many of them are judged before they have the chance to prove themselves.....and many 3rd, 4rd, 5th, whatever- generation americans forget that their ancestors went through many of the same troubles when integrating into American society.

I'm just rambling now.

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Crime is higher in Little Rock, no doubt. That's what you get when large portions of a population and specific race are predominantly poor. That's another debate as to why that is.

But because of Little Rock's history: the good, the bad, etc.....it is a much more interesting place than NWA, in my opinion. Like I've said, traveling down Clinton Avenue in the Little Rock market district, you'll see such a diverse set of characters, races, and cultures----- something you won't really get in other parts of the state. The Delta, and maybe parts of NWA, have diversity....but in Little Rock, like all great big cities, you have many more different ethnicities representing many different parts of the social and economic ladders. The Hispanic population in NWA is for the most part scorned. At least, that's the impression I get from students attending my school from NWA. Unfortunately, the poverty and relatively high crime rates only further stir anti-immigration and anti-colored sentiments. Then again, many of them are judged before they have the chance to prove themselves.....and many 3rd, 4rd, 5th, whatever- generation americans forget that their ancestors went through many of the same troubles when integrating into American society.

I'm just rambling now.

I guess I am surprised that the hispanic community might be looked down upon that unfavorably here in northwest Arkansas. The only problem I've seen tends to be the older people. Many of which lived in this area when it was all white and of course aren't quite as prepared for change as others. But I guess I would have thought the younger part of the population wouldn't quite have as much of a negative view. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough but I haven't seen too much of a negative attitude in general towards the hispanic community. But still it would be nice to have some more diversity up here. But I think it will continue to happen as this area keeps growing.

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If you live in the 2/3 of Little Rock North of I-630 or West of I-430, the crime rate really is probably as low or lower than NWA. The same is probably true of the rest of Central Arkansas as a whole save some of the older areas of NLR. For 560k of the 620k people living in the area crime is no worse. However, there are some very sketchy areas that are high-crime and though crime in LR has plummeted over the last two decades I'm sure these areas make it much higher than NWA. There are a couple areas of town that are terribly dangerous but Little Rock is like Dallas in that the "bad areas" of town are isolated from the rest and there's little reason to go there, which is quite different from the situation in Memphis or Pine Bluff.

Now, NWA is having more crime problems - mostly in Springdale and Fayetteville proper and this will only increase. I think most of the crime will happen in the heavily Hispanic areas in Springdale and Rogers as they are quite a bit poorer than the rest of the area. More crime and ultimately white flight out of some of the larger towns/school districts will be part of the legacy of NWA urbanization as it is everywhere else.

The crime rate hasn't gone up that much. And it has been pointed out that despite the rapid growth in the area the crime rate hasn't gone up too much. I think in some ways the crime rate has also been overexagerated here too. I think there are some people who watch the local news and if they happen to hear a crime and a hispanic name mentioned they think the crime rate has suddenly gotten worse. I'd still say that a large amount of the crimes involved here in northwest Arkansas are commited by whites. Sadly that sometimes seems to be overlooked by other white people in the area. But I don't see the crime rate increasing anymore than it will for central Arkansas in general.

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I guess I am surprised that the hispanic community might be looked down upon that unfavorably here in northwest Arkansas. The only problem I've seen tends to be the older people. Many of which lived in this area when it was all white and of course aren't quite as prepared for change as others. But I guess I would have thought the younger part of the population wouldn't quite have as much of a negative view. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough but I haven't seen too much of a negative attitude in general towards the hispanic community. But still it would be nice to have some more diversity up here. But I think it will continue to happen as this area keeps growing.

I was surprised too.

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I guess I am surprised that the hispanic community might be looked down upon that unfavorably here in northwest Arkansas. The only problem I've seen tends to be the older people. Many of which lived in this area when it was all white and of course aren't quite as prepared for change as others. But I guess I would have thought the younger part of the population wouldn't quite have as much of a negative view. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough but I haven't seen too much of a negative attitude in general towards the hispanic community. But still it would be nice to have some more diversity up here. But I think it will continue to happen as this area keeps growing.

Well, this is a complex issue but the same is occurring in Dallas, you're seeing flight from Dallas to Collin Counties which are some of the fastest growing in the nation (yes, even in comparison to Benton Co which was number seventy-something). In Dallas and most of Texas there is a solid second-generation Hispanic middle class that is no different than the white population. However, there is also a large Spanish-speaking monolingual population that is unskilled and tends to isolate itself from the gringos. These areas in Dallas tend to be very high-crime. The early seeds of this are occurring in Rogers and Springdale as communities become Spanish-dominated by the very low-income group of monolingual Hispanics. They have fueled so much of NWA's growth but there is already, like it or not, flight. My brother moved to get his kids switched from one Rogers school to another because there was a constant influx and outflux of Hispanic students who would stay a month or two and then leave, disrupting the class considerably. There were never more than 25 students at any one time but there were almost 50 enrolled at one time or another in a single year.

What's happening isn't happening yet, at least not much. Soon, though, when the children of the people that came to work in Tyson plants who aren't able to handle school due to lack of English-speaking skills, the problem will start to become more obvious. You won't find a town that is 1/4 or more foreign-born Hispanic anywhere in the US without significant crime problems and it's not racial, it's a problem integrating into society and eking out a living.

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The crime rate hasn't gone up that much. And it has been pointed out that despite the rapid growth in the area the crime rate hasn't gone up too much. I think in some ways the crime rate has also been overexagerated here too. I think there are some people who watch the local news and if they happen to hear a crime and a hispanic name mentioned they think the crime rate has suddenly gotten worse. I'd still say that a large amount of the crimes involved here in northwest Arkansas are commited by whites. Sadly that sometimes seems to be overlooked by other white people in the area. But I don't see the crime rate increasing anymore than it will for central Arkansas in general.

Central Arkansas's crime rate peaked around 1990 and has fallen nearly every year since. If it were too start increasing again it would buck national and local trends.

Crime in Rogers and Springdale was nonexistant 20 years ago. Fayetteville's always had a bit of a drug scene and some heavy crime associated with that but not terribly. The crime rate in Fayetteville is half of Little Rock's but higher than Little Rock West of Mississippi (about 120k people).

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Central Arkansas's crime rate peaked around 1990 and has fallen nearly every year since. If it were too start increasing again it would buck national and local trends.

Crime in Rogers and Springdale was nonexistant 20 years ago. Fayetteville's always had a bit of a drug scene and some heavy crime associated with that but not terribly. The crime rate in Fayetteville is half of Little Rock's but higher than Little Rock West of Mississippi (about 120k people).

I guess I've sorta lost you here. Is Mississippi a street and are you referring to the west part of the city?

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I guess I've sorta lost you here. Is Mississippi a street and are you referring to the west part of the city?

Yeah, it was used for a long time to divide the city into halves based on population. It's roughly parallen to University Ave a few blocks West. A couple of years ago there were 49 murders in Little Rock, only 2 West of that line.

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Hasn't Little Rock made efforts against gangs by forming anti-gang groups and such. I thought I remembered reading about that or something.

Rogers has started an Anti-gang Committee that deals with the community as well as law enforcement. Recently, the Gang Committee helped lead to the arrests of around two or three hispanic individuals responsible for about 80% of the graffiti made in the city in the past 2 years. It really has helped.

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Hasn't Little Rock made efforts against gangs by forming anti-gang groups and such. I thought I remembered reading about that or something.

Rogers has started an Anti-gang Committee that deals with the community as well as law enforcement. Recently, the Gang Committee helped lead to the arrests of around two or three hispanic individuals responsible for about 80% of the graffiti made in the city in the past 2 years. It really has helped.

At one time, Little Rock was widely regarded as the "gang capitol of the world." This was back in the early '90's, and you may even remember the movie "Bangin' in the Rock" that was a big deal on HBO. Anyway, LRPD and the State Police cracked down big time, I mean everytime a traffic stop was made in gang territory four or five cars would show up and all occupants would be made to slowly get out of the car, put in handcuffs, and put in the back of a cruiser just to get a ticket.

There is still a gang scene, but nothing at all like it was. Apork has done a wondeful job of breaking down the crime in Little Rock - the city really couldn't be much safer except for the areas he outlined above.

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At one time, Little Rock was widely regarded as the "gang capitol of the world." This was back in the early '90's, and you may even remember the movie "Bangin' in the Rock" that was a big deal on HBO. Anyway, LRPD and the State Police cracked down big time, I mean everytime a traffic stop was made in gang territory four or five cars would show up and all occupants would be made to slowly get out of the car, put in handcuffs, and put in the back of a cruiser just to get a ticket.

There is still a gang scene, but nothing at all like it was. Apork has done a wondeful job of breaking down the crime in Little Rock - the city really couldn't be much safer except for the areas he outlined above.

I thought the HBO special made Little Rock look worse than what it was. But it does look like Little Rock has done a good job cracking down on crime. Hopefully it's also gotten better since I was down there around 5 years ago. :D

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