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JordanJames

Riverside, CA

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Question about a commute - I'm considering Riverside and my husband will be working in or around LA - is it even possible to live in the middle of these two locations w/o both of us having a horrendous commute??  Thanks for the advice.

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I took the train once from LA to Riverside. It was a couple of hours, as I recall (Google maps says 1 hour and 37, but I thought it was longer), so something around Anaheim or Yorba Linda could be nice, with less than an hour for each of you. 

 

I certainly wouldn't drive between the two on a regular basis. That seems like a nightmare of an idea from what I have experienced of traffic in the area. 

Edited by Henry Hudson

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Riverside has mostly been fine for me. I've played it cheap as possible for the first two years, but I'm getting to the point where I'd rather spend a bit more to get a nicer place. In this sense, you can get very good deals renting a room in a house, but it's up to you to get along with your roommates. I've had problems with different standards of cleanliness and now that I have a stipend increase, I just want my own place that I can keep nice.

 

Honestly, if you look at any sort of apartment rating website, nowhere in Riverside has good reviews I'm considering Stone Canyon but some of the reviews for there sound really disappointing. Anyone else having better luck?

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Hey guys, so I've read everything I can, and asked as many people as I can, what Riverside is like. For the most part, well, pretty much for the whole part, I get that it is not a good place to live. I'm desperatly looking for some good news, but it looks like there isn't much.
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[url=http://www.electronicprojectworld.tk].......... :wub:

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babynaj101, really, it's not a horrible place to live.  There IS some good news.  It took me a little while to adapt; it's not as hip as Los Angeles or as scenic as San Diego.  But if you're in a grad program, you're not going to have much time for socializing or enjoying the scenery anyway.

 

With that said, a few areas of Riverside are really nice.  As mentioned above, the Canyon Crest area is nice, and so is the area along Victoria Avenue, which runs east/west along the entire city.  There are even houses around there that I'd classify as mansions.  West Riverside is also peaceful, with a lot of residential areas, and is about a 20-minute drive to campus. The area close to downtown Riverside is full of beautiful, historical Victorian and Craftsman-style homes.  Sometimes, you can find perfectly lovely houses to rent; it just depends on your budget and/or ability to find roommates. Also, the cities to the west and northwest of Riverside (Corona, Ontario, Chino) are, for the most part, very decent places to live and priced comparative to Riverside's housing.

 

The summers here are fairly brutal (for me, anyway), with extremely dry heat and smog.  However, the winters are very lovely and mild, and the skies clear up.  The downtown area is fairly lively, especially on the weekends, with a fun street-scene vibe.  There are also some great places to hike near the campus, including Mt. Rubidoux and the state citrus park.

 

All that I've really found lacking here are quality restaurants, but I admit that I haven't extensively explored all of Riverside's dining options.  But Riverside is so close to a great many other cool places!  Ontario has a gigantic mall if the one in Riverside doesn't meet your needs. The best way to make the most of Riverside is to get reliable transportation and then explore all of the surrounding areas (which are among the most diverse, interesting, beautiful places in the entire country). Get yourself a FastPass for the 91 freeway and zoom just a few miles southwest to Orange County (beaches, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, museums, and more restaurants and shopping than you could possibly explore in just a few years).  Los Angeles and its beaches are around 45-60 miles away, and gorgeous San Diego is 100 scenic miles to the south for weekend getaways.  Temecula (Southern California's wine country) is 45 miles to the south on the way to San Diego. Palm Springs is a lot of fun, with interesting architecture and a bustling main drag, 50 miles to the east.

 

So, really, there is a lot to enjoy when living in Riverside if you broaden your horizons a bit.  I've only skimmed the surface, but I hope this helps to provide some good news for you! 

Edited by Rust&Stardust

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I plan on looking this up myself, but does anyone know offhand of apartments near campus that would allow a medium sized dog? I have family he can go to but hate the thought of leaving him.. :(

 

I found the answer to my question, thanks to the above poster. 

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It's true. Riverside is not ideal. However, I've lived in the Inland Empire my entire life, and I am looking forward to starting my PhD at UCR this Fall. There are a few truly charming aspects that should be taken into consideration. The Downtown area is quite beautiful. Mission Inn is the town's crowning glory and features a Christmas light display every year that could bring joy to anyone who particularly enjoys that season. There are a variety of cafes, clubs, and bakeries in the area as well. Sevilla's is a small salsa club just a few blocks from Mission Inn, but it's lively and welcoming crowd more than makes up for it's size. There is also Redlands. Redlands is perhaps 10 minutes away and features several wonderful pubs and restaurants. Their downtown area holds a small street fair every Thursday night and a wonderful farmer's market every Saturday. Also, if you love diversity in your diet, Riverside is definitely a great place to be. The famous diversity of the campus extends past it's borders, bringing different types of affordable cuisine into the area. There are areas to avoid as with any city, and if you find yourself craving the metropolitan experience, LA is relatively short train ride away. I would definitely discourage driving there as Southern California traffic is unimaginably horrid. As a result, Metro has put a lot of work into it's subway system these past years, so once you arrive in Union Station, you can get almost anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes. If you like the outdoors, all the better. Big Bear Mountain is an easy distance and offers fishing, hiking, and snow sports. The beach is less than an hour away, and the desert with it's clear skies and fabulous sunsets is just an hour North of the city. I hope this will cheer those of you who see Riverside as a rather dim prospect. The city does have a lot to offer despite it's bad reputation.

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I'm also interested in hearing some perspectives on the area in terms of family-friendliness. Any grad students with kids who might be able to offer advice/insights? Are there school districts to avoid or target? Neighborhoods? Nearby towns that might be better for families despite adding a commute? 

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I'm also interested in hearing some perspectives on the area in terms of family-friendliness. Any grad students with kids who might be able to offer advice/insights? Are there school districts to avoid or target? Neighborhoods? Nearby towns that might be better for families despite adding a commute? 

I'm wondering the same thing! I've heard that if you're willing to have a slight commute, Rancho Cucamonga and Corona are both a bit nicer than Riverside. 

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I'm wondering the same thing! I've heard that if you're willing to have a slight commute, Rancho Cucamonga and Corona are both a bit nicer than Riverside.

I live here. This is true. And the commute isnt even that bad. I will say, though, commuting from Corona to Riverside will prove particularly troublesome during certain hours. Traffic on the 91 will easily turn a 20 min drive into an hour long one, maybe more. Rancho is nicer, imo, anyway.

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I am considering attending UCR in the Fall, but am trying to figure out costs first. I would like to be able to rent a one bedroom (no roommates), keep my car (insurance/gas), eat/drink, perhaps be able to drink a Starbucks once in a while ; ), pay my bills on time (utilities, internet, cable, etc), be in a safe area, other basic things. I don't go to bars, nightclubs, etc, but would like to go to the movie theater perhaps once a month. How much do you think I need to have per month to afford that 'comfortably'?

 

P.S.: One more thing... and be far away from rambunctious undergrads. :angry:

 

Thanks... :D

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I live here. This is true. And the commute isnt even that bad. I will say, though, commuting from Corona to Riverside will prove particularly troublesome during certain hours. Traffic on the 91 will easily turn a 20 min drive into an hour long one, maybe more. Rancho is nicer, imo, anyway.

I looked around a bit at places in Rancho Cucamonga after that advice, and they looked nice. More expensive, perhaps. But the schools were significantly better, too. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to buy--maybe a townhome or condo--rather than rent. I guess there are pros and cons. 

I think a lot of decisions about logistics/housing/personal stuff are going to hinge on details about the program, workload, schedule, etc. Has anyone heard back about plans for the Open House? How are they handling travel, etc.? I'd like to get my plans arranged soon. 

Edited by mmorrison

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mmorrison, I have all the same questions you have, and no answers to give you! Do you know anything about the TA duties? I'm sure it is comp, but how many classes etc? I sent an email to the DGS and have not heard anything yet.

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mmorrison, I have all the same questions you have, and no answers to give you! Do you know anything about the TA duties? I'm sure it is comp, but how many classes etc? I sent an email to the DGS and have not heard anything yet.

I don't. I got the offer summary on a chart, and the letter didn't include teaching load or anything similar. I sent an email to Tina right after I received the official letter; I'm probably going to send a follow-up this weekend. I also sent a thank-you to the DGS for her lengthy, helpful email. They might be trying to get the details firm for the open house before setting off another volley of emails. I'll let you know if I hear anything new.

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mmorrison I heard back from the DGS, she gave me some of the details about the open house and teaching load (1 course per quarter). She said she has been meaning to call us but recently got sick and has been, as you suggested, trying to firm up the details. She said they can cover $300 for travel and they will cover two nights at a hotel, plus a few meals throughout the two days. 

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This is a bit random, but does anyone know if there are any particularly good coffee shops near campus? I'm a bit embarrassed of how much weight this carries in my final decision between schools :D (No, Starbucks and similar chains don't count. I mean independent shops, preferably ones that do their own roasting.)

On a different note, for those of you that have been admitted to UCR and are considering attending, what programs would you be there for?

Edited by Nords

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This is a bit random, but does anyone know if there are any particularly good coffee shops near campus? I'm a bit embarrassed of how much weight this carries in my final decision between schools :D (No, Starbucks and similar chains don't count. I mean independent shops, preferably ones that do their own roasting.)

On a different note, for those of you that have been admitted to UCR and are considering attending, what programs would you be there for?

Nothing to be embarrassed... I am in a similar situation... Perhaps worse, because in my case there needs to be a Starbucks in town otherwise I am likely turning down the offer. ; )

On a different note, mine is art history.

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mmorrison I heard back from the DGS, she gave me some of the details about the open house and teaching load (1 course per quarter). She said she has been meaning to call us but recently got sick and has been, as you suggested, trying to firm up the details. She said they can cover $300 for travel and they will cover two nights at a hotel, plus a few meals throughout the two days. 

Great! I got a similar email, and I'm working on making my travel plans. I plan to work in some extra time to check out the area and get a sense for things like traffic, neighborhoods, etc. Maybe we can all procure coffee from our preferred vendors and meet somewhere neutral to imbibe it while debating roasting methods. I'm game. I've been frequenting Starbucks only because there is nothing else within 10 miles of my current campus, and for $1.65 I get a bottomless cup of coffee, free wifi, and get to stay warm for 16 hours on someone else's gas bill. That's my kind of coffee. ;-) 

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Great! I got a similar email, and I'm working on making my travel plans. I plan to work in some extra time to check out the area and get a sense for things like traffic, neighborhoods, etc. Maybe we can all procure coffee from our preferred vendors and meet somewhere neutral to imbibe it while debating roasting methods. I'm game. I've been frequenting Starbucks only because there is nothing else within 10 miles of my current campus, and for $1.65 I get a bottomless cup of coffee, free wifi, and get to stay warm for 16 hours on someone else's gas bill. That's my kind of coffee. ;-) 

That is indeed a good form of coffee :D When is your visitation weekend anyway?

 

Nothing to be embarrassed... I am in a similar situation... Perhaps worse, because in my case there needs to be a Starbucks in town otherwise I am likely turning down the offer. ; )

On a different note, mine is art history.

I would love to have some (impossible :( ) statistics on what things really make people choose the schools they choose. I imagine things like ego (basically how you would feel telling other people about what school you study at), coffee shops, weather, etc are often every bit as influential as actual fit.

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