What Will Has Learned About The Cedar Valley In One Year
Today is the one-year anniversary of my new morning show on Q92.3, and it has been eye-opening to say the least.
I appreciate everyone who has joined with me on this wild ride with Q92.3 for almost all of 2015, and I know we're going to have a wonderful 2016.
I did a bit of research about the area before moving back here (I was 4 when the family left), but there were some things I wasn't prepared for, and didn't figure out until I actually spent some time here.
* Waterloo is the "hood". At least that's the reputation it gets. I was on the phone with a call center that was based in Des Moines, and when I told them I lived in Waterloo the person on the phone with me said "oooooh, it's dangerous there, ain't it?" It's only certain parts of Waterloo that really warrant the bad rap; the rest is just fine. I live in the southwest part of town, close to University, close to 20, close to Crossroads, and close to downtown. Rent is cheap, and the biggest crime I've heard about being committed is when the landlord told me I dumped my garbage in the wrong dumpster and I could have been fined $500 but he let me off with a warning.
* Cedar Falls is the "good part of town". I like Cedar Falls. It is, however, pricier and farther away from where the Q92.3 studio is locate............so I'll stop by to visit you, Cedar Falls, but I ain't staying.
* Cedar Falls police are not to be trifled with. I hate being late, but I am always running late. It's not as evil as the Cedar Rapids speed cam on 380, but everyone has told me "don't go over the speed limit when getting off 57 into downtown Cedar Falls".
* The roads are awful. Wikipedia left out the part about the Cedar Valley's primary export being potholes. And that's when it's summer. Apparently you need to beg the city of Waterloo to plow certain streets if it's snowed within a week. People say Cedar Falls is better. At least until the roundabouts.
* Some of these intersections are something. Never seen anything like what happens to 4th Street heading west from downtown Waterloo. Not saying, just saying.
* Hyvee is the shizz. I've never lived anywhere that had a Hyvee before. I've heard about them and just dismissed it as "ehhhh, it's just a grocery store." False. I never go anywhere without my Fuel Saver.
* What is it with the sports fans here? I can at least understand people being into Chicago teams; those teams suck but I can at least get that. But why does Mediacom give me St. Louis sports on TV and not Minnesota? And what's with all the Green Bay Packer fans here? Seriously, why? WTF, yo? And there should be more UNI fans, there's a lot more Iowa Hawkeye fans here.
* I don't hear an accent. I feel ripped off. People told me Iowans had an accent. I don't hear it. People here sound like regular people.
* People are friendlier here than a lot of places. The word is "provincial". There's a lot of cities in the Midwest that can charitably be described as provincial. Translated loosely this means "if you're not from here and went to school with everyone around you since kindergarten we don't like you". I sort of expected that when I moved here -- a lot of Minnesotans are like that to be honest -- and I've carried myself at times to not expect friendliness, but I have gotten it. And I appreciate it.
* If you want to get out of the city, there's a bunch of great smaller towns close to Waterloo-Cedar Falls to live in. Evansdale. Hudson. Independence. Shell Rock. Waverly. Just a few examples. The city roads have issues but the highways are really good, and a lot of them are 4-lane highways in-and-out of Waterloo. I'll stick to Waterloo though. I like being close to work and shopping, always have and always will.
* I thought the metro area was "Waterloo-Cedar Falls" but a lot of people prefer "Cedar Valley". All those towns I previously mentioned warrant inclusion.