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bchris02

Little Rock vs. Larger Cities

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Hey,

I am from the Ft. Smith area graduating college and I might be taking a job in Little Rock when I get out. I am wanting a more progressive urban area and it was my initial intention to move to a large metro such as Dallas/Ft. Worth but this job offer would be very attractive if I can get it. I know VERY little about Little Rock. Question - how does living in Little Rock compare to larger cities as far as shopping, food, culture, nightlife, etc? Second question - I have heard a lot about how bad crime is in the LR area - what areas should I avoid? What areas, as a single 22 year old male, would be the best for me to live?

Thanks for replies

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Hey,

I am from the Ft. Smith area graduating college and I might be taking a job in Little Rock when I get out. I am wanting a more progressive urban area and it was my initial intention to move to a large metro such as Dallas/Ft. Worth but this job offer would be very attractive if I can get it. I know VERY little about Little Rock. Question - how does living in Little Rock compare to larger cities as far as shopping, food, culture, nightlife, etc? Second question - I have heard a lot about how bad crime is in the LR area - what areas should I avoid? What areas, as a single 22 year old male, would be the best for me to live?

Thanks for replies

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Little Rock is a very progressive urban area. Living in Little Rock compares well to living in other, larger cities. Most people are quite shocked when they visit LR for the first time. It appears to be a larger city than it is. Has a better skyline than many cities much largar ex Phoenix, Tulsa, OKC, San Diego. Every freeway in the metro is now 6 lane. Shopping is pretty good, and getting better all the time. Food and culture are great...nightlife is great...something for everyone. The restaurant scene in LR is much better than many larger cities You will be very happy in LR, imo. You just need to come check it out...you will be pleasantly surprised. Areas to avoid are: SWLR and most areas south of 630. I know you hear about the crime...but that's in any major city...the bigger the city, the worse the crime. DFW has much worse crime than LR. I never feel unsafe here.

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If I were 22 and moving to LR, I would look to rent in Downtown (NLR side perhaps) or Hillcrest. Downtown has a lot of free wireless. I grew up in Hillcrest and my dad still lives there. I live in Midtown, which is as close to Hillcrest as I can afford, with a family of four. Even if you can afford to buy a house, I'd rent until you get to know the City better and the housing market stabilizes (probably after 2008 election).

Give yourself a year to find your stride here. There is an "insider crowd" of those who grew-up in LR and went to same or rival high schools. Generally, you'll know it when you hear talk about high school football rivalries. Also, there are established LR families who have known each other for years. People are friendly, but it may take some effort to find a routine with a social group. My wife is from Batesville. She encountered the group of friends who I grew up with in the greek system at UA @Fayetteville. It was a mostly negative experience for her. Now that everyone has kids who play soccer together and go to church together, it is alright.

I realize starting a family is probably the last thing on your mind. The point of all this is that things change over time. If the social scene seems difficult at first, it'll get better. We're happy in Little Rock. My wife has worked remotely for a Dallas-based advertising and marketing agency for nearly 9 years. They would pay to move us to Dallas, but we have no desire. Her Dallas-based colleagues commute 1 - 2 hrs everyday to and from work. It is longer when there are traffic issues. Who needs to spend 10 percent of their day commuting to work?

Just curious. Is the job you seek with Dillards? I saw another one of your posts.

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Yes, the job would be with Dillard's. This post has me a bit nervous, but I doubt the "insider crowd" syndrome is any worse than it is in Ft. Smith.

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Another good area too look for a place is down in the Riverdale area. It's a pretty great area too. A few bars, some great restaurants (buffalo grill!) and the rents not to bad. It's close to the river and all the parks there, and the bike trail, and not very far away from downtown. A friend of mine is staying at one of the apt complexes down there for about 500 - 600.

The night life, here, really is fun in the rivermarket, and Argenta, across the river, and there's a lot going on it the arts world too. The Arkansas Times is a pretty good weekly paper for what's going on around the area. Check out their website.

As far as the crime goes, everyone who lives in Arkansas but not in Little Rock, seems to knows how bad it is. Maybe it's just cause I grew up here, but it's not any worse than any other city its size. I bike to work and back home, sometimes late at night, downtown, west of Broadway, and have never felt uncomfortable.

Its definitely worth a visit down here to check it out.

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Little Rock has a better skyline than many cities much largar ex Phoenix, Tulsa, OKC, San Diego.

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Hey,

I am from the Ft. Smith area graduating college and I might be taking a job in Little Rock when I get out. I am wanting a more progressive urban area and it was my initial intention to move to a large metro such as Dallas/Ft. Worth but this job offer would be very attractive if I can get it. I know VERY little about Little Rock. Question - how does living in Little Rock compare to larger cities as far as shopping, food, culture, nightlife, etc? Second question - I have heard a lot about how bad crime is in the LR area - what areas should I avoid? What areas, as a single 22 year old male, would be the best for me to live?

Thanks for replies

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Welcome, and thanks for your post. Hopefully this forum proves useful to you as you contemplate a new city.

I don't know what to add beyond what's already been posted, but I'll reiterate that Little Rock is a great, small city - an impressive skyline and revitalized downtown, a very impressive array of historic districts and neighbhorhoods unrivaled in the state and region, an impressive airport, fantastic dining, great shopping, accessible freeway system, great parks and trail systems along the river, and beautiful scenery - particularly out on the western edge of the city and county.

Negatives? The school district still struggles with a "perception" of problems, which are largely unfounded. Crime is no worse than any other metropolitan area - the stereotypical resonse you get from Arkansans not familiar with Little Rock is largely unfounded, naive preconceptions. I've lived here all 38 years of my life (save for college) and have never been a victim or witness to a crime - not to say that it isn't present of course. However, unlike other cities this size - better or worse - the areas to stay away from are isolated in a contiguous area that don't necessitate your presence (that would be, generally, south of I-630 and east of University Avenue - in that "quadrant" if you will.

Its a cool town. Welcome.

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Thanks for the insight. Nice bit of info on the skyline too. While skyline isn't important as far as quality of life, in my opinion it is a major part of the identity of a city and is what makes it feel "urban". Take NW Arkansas for instance. I think it would be a great place to live and I wouldn't turn down a job there, but the lack of a high density core and total domination of the big-box chains make it feel like one big suburb in Anywhere, USA. Its entirely too spread out to be my ideal city. After 6 years of 35 mile one-way commutes daily, I am wanting somewhere where I can either walk or take short drives to everything I need, which is why Hillcrest/Heights sounds so ideal based on what I've heard. Ill decide for myself when I visit in a couple of weeks. Can somebody show me a map of where this neighborhood is?

How safe is the area along the river? You mentioned parks and trails. I like to jog and rollerblade. Is it a good, safe spot for that?

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Thanks for the insight. Nice bit of info on the skyline too. While skyline isn't important as far as quality of life, in my opinion it is a major part of the identity of a city and is what makes it feel "urban". Take NW Arkansas for instance. I think it would be a great place to live and I wouldn't turn down a job there, but the lack of a high density core and total domination of the big-box chains make it feel like one big suburb in Anywhere, USA. Its entirely too spread out to be my ideal city. After 6 years of 35 mile one-way commutes daily, I am wanting somewhere where I can either walk or take short drives to everything I need, which is why Hillcrest/Heights sounds so ideal based on what I've heard. Ill decide for myself when I visit in a couple of weeks. Can somebody show me a map of where this neighborhood is?

How safe is the area along the river? You mentioned parks and trails. I like to jog and rollerblade. Is it a good, safe spot for that?

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Little Rock is a very progressive urban area. Living in Little Rock compares well to living in other, larger cities. Most people are quite shocked when they visit LR for the first time. It appears to be a larger city than it is. Has a better skyline than many cities much largar ex Phoenix, Tulsa, OKC, San Diego. Every freeway in the metro is now 6 lane. Shopping is pretty good, and getting better all the time. Food and culture are great...nightlife is great...something for everyone. The restaurant scene in LR is much better than many larger cities You will be very happy in LR, imo. You just need to come check it out...you will be pleasantly surprised. Areas to avoid are: SWLR and most areas south of 630. I know you hear about the crime...but that's in any major city...the bigger the city, the worse the crime. DFW has much worse crime than LR. I never feel unsafe here.

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San Diego is often overshadowed by Los Angeles in the eyes of people who don't live on the west coast and many people think its much smaller than it really is. Maybe he meant San Bernardino, CA (Pop 205,000), which really does have a depressing skyline.

DSCF0677.jpg

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Dude I know you love your city but blind boosterism is just wrong. Here is San Diegos skyline...come on no comparison

LR is the king of its castle(Arkansas) and probably garners some regional respect but making bold statements without solid backup is nothing more than boosterism.

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I think most people understood that was the fact when he posted it.

As an aside, do people just go scanning boards they never post on just to hope you find something like this and pounce on it? In a way, that's equally odd.

LR's skyline compares favorable to a lot of Southern cities and I think is far more impressive than Memphis. San Diego? Not exactly.

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If you're more into the up-and-coming scene in LR, a good place to look for cheap apartments would be the SOMA (South Main) area, which has seen a ton of new projects of late.

You'd be within walking distance of Juanita's, the Arts Center, and a bus ride or long walk to downtown, and in an area that SEEMS about to really come into its own.

I emphasize 'seems' because I don't live in LR right now, and you should probably verify this with other people on here who have a local perspective...

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SOMA? Really, we're calling it SOMA now? Tee hee.

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Hey,

I am from the Ft. Smith area graduating college and I might be taking a job in Little Rock when I get out. I am wanting a more progressive urban area and it was my initial intention to move to a large metro such as Dallas/Ft. Worth but this job offer would be very attractive if I can get it. I know VERY little about Little Rock. Question - how does living in Little Rock compare to larger cities as far as shopping, food, culture, nightlife, etc? Second question - I have heard a lot about how bad crime is in the LR area - what areas should I avoid? What areas, as a single 22 year old male, would be the best for me to live?

Thanks for replies

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I think it all depends on one's perspective. I was born and raised in LR and when I was your age I moved off to several larger cities (including DFW). I had a blast, but after many years I have returned to LR. Upon my return I found LR to be anything but progressive. The culture was lacking and the mindset of the people seemed more materialistic and socially conforming than I had remembered. It was frustrating to see city leaders and business owners repeating mistakes that were made decades ago in other cities. While locals were flaunting the RiverMarket, all I saw was a dead downtown. I don't think it's a LR thing, but rather a big city vs. small city thing. Your impression of LR may be the opposite (and I don't mean that as a knock against Ft. Smith). Just remember, perspective.

After an adjustment period, I began to realize that LR is just at a different place on the same timeline. It has fantastic potential to become <insert favorite big city here> and then some. In fact, it may be outpacing other comparable cities. You can find just about anything you want (food, music, etc.) in LR, but you might have to look a little harder. And strangly that makes it more rewarding. Also, I never realized how visually beautiful LR is, until I moved away. One more thing... I found that most people in larger cities are from somewhere else and seem to always be in a transition phase. LR, however, tends to have deeper roots and is more conducive to quality longterm friendships.

I encourage you to come to LR. While bigger cities may seem more exciting to the young and single, you will quickly realize that you are a small fish in a big pond. And remember, Dallas, Memphis, and New Orleans are all just a day trip away.

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I think it all depends on one's perspective. I was born and raised in LR and when I was your age I moved off to several larger cities (including DFW). I had a blast, but after many years I have returned to LR. Upon my return I found LR to be anything but progressive. The culture was lacking and the mindset of the people seemed more materialistic and socially conforming than I had remembered. It was frustrating to see city leaders and business owners repeating mistakes that were made decades ago in other cities. While locals were flaunting the RiverMarket, all I saw was a dead downtown. I don't think it's a LR thing, but rather a big city vs. small city thing. Your impression of LR may be the opposite (and I don't mean that as a knock against Ft. Smith). Just remember, perspective.

After an adjustment period, I began to realize that LR is just at a different place on the same timeline. It has fantastic potential to become <insert favorite big city here> and then some. In fact, it may be outpacing other comparable cities. You can find just about anything you want (food, music, etc.) in LR, but you might have to look a little harder. And strangly that makes it more rewarding. Also, I never realized how visually beautiful LR is, until I moved away. One more thing... I found that most people in larger cities are from somewhere else and seem to always be in a transition phase. LR, however, tends to have deeper roots and is more conducive to quality longterm friendships.

I encourage you to come to LR. While bigger cities may seem more exciting to the young and single, you will quickly realize that you are a small fish in a big pond. And remember, Dallas, Memphis, and New Orleans are all just a day trip away.

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I think it all depends on one's perspective. I was born and raised in LR and when I was your age I moved off to several larger cities (including DFW). I had a blast, but after many years I have returned to LR. Upon my return I found LR to be anything but progressive. The culture was lacking and the mindset of the people seemed more materialistic and socially conforming than I had remembered. It was frustrating to see city leaders and business owners repeating mistakes that were made decades ago in other cities. While locals were flaunting the RiverMarket, all I saw was a dead downtown. I don't think it's a LR thing, but rather a big city vs. small city thing. Your impression of LR may be the opposite (and I don't mean that as a knock against Ft. Smith). Just remember, perspective.

After an adjustment period, I began to realize that LR is just at a different place on the same timeline. It has fantastic potential to become <insert favorite big city here> and then some. In fact, it may be outpacing other comparable cities. You can find just about anything you want (food, music, etc.) in LR, but you might have to look a little harder. And strangly that makes it more rewarding. Also, I never realized how visually beautiful LR is, until I moved away. One more thing... I found that most people in larger cities are from somewhere else and seem to always be in a transition phase. LR, however, tends to have deeper roots and is more conducive to quality longterm friendships.

I encourage you to come to LR. While bigger cities may seem more exciting to the young and single, you will quickly realize that you are a small fish in a big pond. And remember, Dallas, Memphis, and New Orleans are all just a day trip away.

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I think most people understood that was the fact when he posted it.

As an aside, do people just go scanning boards they never post on just to hope you find something like this and pounce on it? In a way, that's equally odd.

LR's skyline compares favorable to a lot of Southern cities and I think is far more impressive than Memphis. San Diego? Not exactly.

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I doubt people would go scanning with that intention...the title of the thread is kinda catchy, so it's going to get people looking in...and when they see something as off as that line, it's worth correcting. Just as I kinda wonder how you're saying LR has a superior skyline to Memphis...I guess you see something I don't...LR seems a tad homogenous whereas Memphis at least has some variety and more than one skyline (well, kinda scattered with East Memphis)...o, and I do occasionally post on the Little Rock forums, so I'm not pouncing

but to stay on topic, I think Little Rock is fairly urban and probably has a similar feel as any other Southern mid-size city.

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Dear Lurksalot,

I really don't want to pick a fight, but I had a few immediate problems with what you were saying. In other words, I guess I'm picking a fight anyway, but maybe in a nice way??

I entirely agree that coming back to LR from a different atmosphere can be disconcerting, but I haven't found people to be "materialistic and socially conforming," or city leaders and business owners as making the same mistakes repeatedly; could you expand on these points?

Also, the downtown is certainly not dead:

I would say the general downtown area of LR is WAYYYY more alive than the general downtown area of Chicago (the Loop) at night. You can't find a 7/11 open after 7:30 there, much less a coffee house or bar.

Furthermore, I find the idea of all cities being on a single track (different place on the same timeline) to be highly problematic, because I don't think LR has at all the same goals that DFW had when it was LR's size, nor any other city. I don't think people in LR are as concerned with getting bigger (big city v. little city) nearly as much as they want to get better, and improve on what they already have.

Please, please, please don't take this as a personal attack; I'm just really confounded by your reasoning on these issues. Can you make these arguments a little clearer (I might be the only one confused, but if so, everyone else can ignore this, I suppose) by backing up your statements with testimony?

Completely anal retentive, sorry,

abdintp

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Are you kidding me?

Little Rock has 3 buildings that are taller than any in Memphis. Little Rock has a much more diverse skyline. Little Rock

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