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Guest SHELLY

Bloomington, IN

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My sister did her undergrad at IU, and I have many friends that go there. Bloomington is not bad at all. It is VERY biker/walker friendly, so depending on where you want to go and where you live, you can get around pretty easily without a car. Traffic can be a bit of a pain, especially around the stadium/on Friday afternoons. Although, my idea of "traffic" is probably different than yours. It is NOT big city traffic by any means.

I would try to live decently close to campus, or around the downtown area. It is an affordable town to live in, definitely. STAY away from apartment complexes that are mostly undergrads. There have been a few that I've been to and wanted to puke because they were so dirty and just like... tons of kids walking around drunk and loud. (this was little 5 weekend, but still... with being a grad student I would probably stay away from these places.) There are quite a few complexes a little further out that are more families/young professionals/grad students. My mom lived in one of these and it was super nice and quiet. I think my mom paid $700 or $750 for hers and it was a 3 bedroom condo.

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Thanks for the great info. I am going up next week and the grad. secretary is going to drive me around and show me the neighborhoods.

I have a car, but I really like thee idea of not having to drive absolutely everywhere.

I can't wait. I really think I am leaning toward Bloomington :mrgreen:

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Just weighing in on your decision-making process...DO NOT come to Florida! I have been stuck here for a year (due to a job) and it is the most horrible state in the entire Union- seriously, there is no redeeming quality. Further, though Tampa is prettier than say south Florida- you are still trapped in a state with little redeeming qualities and would have to fork out for a really expensive ticket to get out to anywhere you would rather be.

I am actually in Florida right now--came here for my masters and cannot wait to leave. My opinion of the state echoes yours exactly...except I think Tampa is ugly, but that 's because I despise strip malls and stupid cars with big rims.

I visited Bloomington last week and I absolutely loved it! It was so nice to walk around (even in the snow and cold, I didn't care, I was just so happy to not be sitting in traffic) and to see independently-owned restaurants, cafes, and shops. I am about 99% positive that I am going to go to IU, although I still have to check out St. Louis. I'm just a little tired of the whole city thing; I need a break.

While I was checking out some housing options in Bloomington, I did think that some of the rents were a little higher than I had hoped. Will I be able to survive on 18K (which drops to around 12K after the first year)?

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I was just accepted but haven't visited Bloomington. I had a strange question, but I was wondering what the minority community was like. I'm from Los Angeles and thought that Boston (where I'm living now) was hard to adapt to. I'm not sure if I can spend five years without a good Korean market and semi-authentic Chinese food.

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hgou - this is not a strange question! I would really like to know this as well. I would love to know if Bloomington has any good Asian stores/restaurants (particularly Japanese and/or Thai). I'd also like to know what minority communities have a presence in Bloomington.

I will probably start looking for apartments fairly soon as I'm about 90% decided on IU! I was wondering if anyone knew of specific streets or neighborhoods to avoid in Bloomington. I'd also like to avoid traditionally undergrad areas as I will be a grad student in my late 20s and have been there and done that already. Any places close to the University where there is a high concentration of grad students?

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To the poster considering coming to UMSL (University of Missouri-St. Louis), Indiana University, or University of South Florida, I thought I would post a response on this board to give you a little info about St. Louis. I'm originally from an hour south of Chicago and lived in the Philadelphia area two years ago. I came to St. Louis for work and have to say that I've not been impressed. For one, St. Louis really isn't a city. Everyone lives in the county! That means it is mostly suburbia-ville (unless you like suburbia-ville, you probably won't like most of St. Louis). The area is highly segregated, with the northern part of the county and many parts of the city being underdeveloped and crime-ridden and with the county having most of the wealth. One of the first questions fellow St. Louisans like to ask each other is "which high school did you attend?" There is a great deal of connection and networking that is not accessible to someone not originally from the area is the reason that I bring this odd initial exchange up. There are a lot of neat things to do in the St. Louis area and the cost of living is very reasonable but you get the feeling that not having grown up there you can never be truly connected to the area and that the city was once a thriving place in the heyday of American manufacturing whose economy collapsed and never fully recovered after the decline of America's manufacturing base.

I have been accepted to Indiana University's PhD program in Public Policy and will likely be attending there this fall. I had a chance to visit the area and was very impressed with the university, the faculty, and the area. I talked with current graduate students from different parts of the country and they had only good things to say. Though I don't know much about the area, from what I've read and have been told it seems like a place I would feel much more comfortable in than St. Louis. 8)

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Thanks to the poster above.

I started to get that impression about St. Louis after talking to a bunch of people. Having spent 2 awful years in Tampa, I really want to get away from suburbia and "metropolitan areas" in general, and St. Louis reminds me a lot of Pittsburgh (where I did my undergrad). Although I am nostalgic for the 'Burgh now that I am miserable in Tampa, I have to remember all of the things that I did not like about that city...for one, the exchange that you mentioned could very well have occurred in Pittsburgh.

So, I am about 99 percent sure that I will be at IU in the fall. I was also very impressed during my visit, and I think that Bloomington would be a great place to do my Ph.D. I talked to a lot of people, and not one person had anything bad to say about IU or Bloomington--that's rare. I was also thinking "hey, when am I ever going to get to live by/study in such a a great school in the 'quintessential college town' again; this is the end of the road". Once I am on the job market, the market will dictate where I go.

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Visiting IU

I'm going to visit the school next week and I was wondering where people suggest I stay. The (polisci) dept. secretary suggested the Indiana Memorial Union since it is next door to the department's building. However, at over $80 a night, I was looking for another option. There seems to be an Econo Lodge ($44/night) on 2601 N. Walnut Street, but google maps says it's over two miles from the polisci building (1100 E. 7th St.). However, the campus is directly south along N. Walnut Street/N. College Ave. Is there a bus or shuttle along this route?

I'm sure the Econo Lodge is dingy but as long as it's not an active brothel or the like, I don't really mind. Are there other options for someone without a car?

Also, I had the vague impression that the dept. would arrange for me to stay with a grad student for a couple nights. Is this totally unheard of? I'm a little afraid to ask about it. But even with their $300 reimbursement for travel expenses (most of it going to plane fare), I'll still have to pay $200 out of pocket to cover a stay at the Memorial Union. This isn't even factoring in food and other expenses.

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

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hello!

i definitely do not think that explaining the situation and asking if it would be possible to stay with a grad student is out of the question. one of the two schools that i interviewed at offered for us to stay with current grad students.

i mean the worst that could happen is that they would say it's not possible...??

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I would love to know if Bloomington has any good Asian stores/restaurants (particularly Japanese and/or Thai). I'd also like to know what minority communities have a presence in Bloomington.

Yeah, I visited Bloomington a few weeks ago, and accidentally stumbled upon an Asian grocery store (I'm sure if one *is purposefully looking* for the establishments of this sort, more will be discovered). I'm under the impression that Bloomington has quite a few miscellaneous ethnic restaurants (which, according to my reliable informants, boast excellent/fairly authentic food). I was told that there is a fairly sizable Burmese community there. Thupten Jigme Norbu, a brother of Dalai Lama, lives in Bloomington and heads the Tibetan Cultural Center. There is an Asian cultural center at IU. So, you know, a lot is going on...

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I will probably start looking for apartments fairly soon as I'm about 90% decided on IU! I was wondering if anyone knew of specific streets or neighborhoods to avoid in Bloomington. I'd also like to avoid traditionally undergrad areas as I will be a grad student in my late 20s and have been there and done that already. Any places close to the University where there is a high concentration of grad students?

Bumping for apartment help also. I have decided on IU and am looking for the same sort of environment (reasonably quiet, mostly grad students). Does anyone have an opinion of the Bryan Park area? I am looking at a couple of apartments there and also by the mall (my building is close to the music school).

Oh, and FWIW, I was told to avoid the stadium area.

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i grew up in bloomington (in the bryan park area actually)-- it's really a nice area, less undergrad-y than areas closer to campus. also check out the west side-- it's where a lot of "townies" live (meaning the young, arty locals) and usually pretty cheap. yeah, stay out of the stadium area and/or anywhere near the mall.

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also, FYI, most people don't know but indiana university often out-ranks julliard as the no.1 music school in the country; what that means is that there is a much larger international population than one might expect. consequently there are some good international restaurants, groceries etc (check out sahara mart). um, but i hate to say it, i concur re: the rest of indiana. especially northern indiana is really sort of dull. and the undergrads can be annoyingly provincial, and i'm from indiana. but, it's also beautiful in a lot of ways, with great hiking etc., and super cheap (you can get a 1 bedroom house on the westside for $600, with a yard).

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I'm thinking about purchasing a condo, and I've found some really good prices for very small 1 bedroom condos near Lake Monroe. There seem to be a lot of condos in that area. Does anyone have any information about the properties there, or about living so far from campus? This would obviously require me to commute, which doesn't seem that bad now, but might get old after X years. My grandparents actually live a stone's throw from the lake across 37 in little ol' Harrodsburg, IN, so I sort of know how long it would take to commute since I'm used to "going into town" as they say, i.e., driving to Bloomington.

Any advice/comments would be much appreciated.

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I am finishing up my undergrad at IU currently and have really enjoyed living in Bloomington. I know lots of professors/grad students who commute from small towns nearby (Bedford, Spencer, etc.), and I don't think it's really a problem. Driving on campus can be annoying, but any grad student can get decent parking and driving in the surrounding areas is cake.

That said, I absolutely love living near-ish to "downtown" Bloomington. It's great not to have to drive and to be able to walk to nearby restaurants/etc. Although...there are lots and lots of undergrads living near me, which can get loud/old. However, the Brian Park area is not far away (one could walk if it's nice or bike really easily to campus) and is a much quieter/grad-student-friendly environment...

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I'm moving to Bloomington in the fall and have found a great apartment on the south side of town called Steeplechase. I had a friend that lived there while she was in law school and she said it was very quiet, clean, and had a good mix of grad school students and young professionals. Steeplechase is about 5 minutes from the mall (very important...haha) and 10 minutes from campus. It is also on the bus route which is free to IU students.

Can't wait to move to Bloomington! yay!

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I graduated from IU in 2005, after having the opportunity to spend 5 great years there. Bloomington is a wonderful town...very unique for Indiana, that's for sure. My wife and I often visit there, making sure to stop at Trojan Horse, a great Greek restaurant and bar. I do not have much advice concerning apartments, as my wife and I owned a house there for much of our stay, but I can second others' recommendations to avoid the Stadium area of the north side. We lived in Stadium View our first year, and it is a bit noisy much of the time, and when football/basketball games are going on, traffic and parking are terrible. Everyone from town and elsewhere who come to the games crowds the north side and it is crazy. That said, as young students, it was much more livable than what I would want out of my living environment at this stage in my life. If you like parties (house, tailgate, and otherwise) then this area is great. However if you want quieter surroundings, many areas of town fit this bill. You can find some decent houses to rent if you take the time to look. Just for reference, if you look west of campus out to about Rogers street, you may run into something.

The Bryan Park area has a lot of undergrads living there, but grad students as well, so it is not too chaotic most of the time. If you head east, there are some apartment complexes out off 10th street past College Mall road that get you away from the heart of undergrad living areas. I mean really, there are many options, and Bloomington is just small enough to where it doesn't take you very long at all to get most places you need to be. IU is in the heart of the town. Living on the far west side for 4 years, I could ride my bike to campus in 10 to 15 minutes with traffic. Biking is a good bet if possible, as parking is difficult unless you have a grad parking permit. Even then, it is a crapshoot sometimes. On days where I did not bike to campus, I would park at Scottie's parking garage (maybe 10 blocks west of campus off 7th or 8th street and Walnut I think), feed the meter a buck or two and walk to school. Saved me from tooling around the side roads looking for parking.

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Hi, everyone.

I'll attend econ phd program at IUB. I'm searching apartment, too. It is really a fag.

I hope to live near Wylie Hall(within walk range). I wish to get a roommate. I'm not young so I dnt wanna live around too many undergrad. Anyone has any suggestion on that?

and I find three places: Allen Court, Washington Cross and washington Terrace. They seem pretty. Any idea of them?

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Well, I got an apartment. It is Heritage and it is in the Bryan Park area. I would have liked to have had more options, but I have to move to Bloomington in July, and, of course, most leases run August to August. But the price was nice ($200 less than Tampa! Yay!) and they allowed pets, so I am hoping for the best. I did my undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh and lived in some really shady apartments while I was there, and my current place next to the University of South Florida had a dead body in the parking lot one morning--so anything better than that is fine for now :D

My husband and I are hoping to rent one of those cute houses on the west end our second year there, maybe even buy something if his job works out okay.

Does anyone have any opinions on Heritage Apartments or Regency Management in general? They also own Steeplechase and Meadow Park, the latter of which I visited during my recruitment visit. Several students in my department live at Meadow Park and they like it, I just wanted something that was a little closer to school and "downtown" because I would really like to not have to drive as much as I do in Florida (literally everywhere). Heritage in also on the bus route for when it is too cold to bike or walk.

I can't wait to move out of Tampa!

Also, for anyone looking at places online, Google Street View is really cool. You can check out the perimeter of your property and even "walk" around town. Sadly, I wasted a lot of time doing this when I should be finishing my thesis :lol:

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Oh, for those who have lived in Bloomington: How is the public transportation? I know when we were there, we saw a lot of buses. My husband does not drive (although, hopefully, he will get a license soon) and relies on public transportation to get to work (his current commute in Tampa is 2 hours for what would be a 20 min. drive).

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The few times I rode the city and campus buses, it did not take super long to get anywhere I was headed. Bloomington is a small town, so there isn't much distance between where you are and where you need to be most of the time. The thing you need to watch out for is to know the schedule and routes of the different buses ahead of time. They all run fairly regularly (I've more experience with the Bloomington Transit), and there are plenty of stops around town and near campus. But if you get on the wrong one expecting to go a particular direction, that bus route may take you completely out of your way until it finally gets back around to where you need to be. With stops occurring fairly regularly, though, it isn't hard to jump off and find the correct bus and route, or simply walk to where you need to be, which sometimes is easier and faster. Campus bus lines are free (meaning no fees needed to board), I think, for students, and the Bloomington Transit city buses are free if you show your student ID (again no fees needed at the time of boarding). With that said, it actually isn't free, as you pay an upfront fee to IU as an enrolled student to have these fee exemptions. It is a universal fee, but it is handy to not have to buy passes or have ride fees for each ride. Here is a link to the IU transportation website for more information, and it also has links to the Bloomington Transit site as well.

http://www.transportation.indiana.edu/index.html

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Cool. I am really looking forward to not driving. I was hoping for someplace a little bit closer to campus so that I could walk, but taking the bus will probably work out fine. (Even if I were close, I would probably end up bussing it anyway, since I injured my back a while back and carrying books and a laptop gets pretty painful after a while.)

Does (or did) anyone else plan on moving to Bloomington with a spouse who had to find work. That is one thing that I am a bit nervous about. We currently live in a large metropolitan area and, even here, jobs are hard to come by. I am just afraid that he will have a hard time in Bloomington simply because it is smaller, so there are less opportunities to go around. He currently works in sales (wireless) and he really likes it, so I feel bad about dragging him away (still, we are both very excited about Bloomington because we both hate Tampa). He also has experience in manufacturing, and his degree is in film/video, and he is pretty uch willing to take any job he can find (he is hoping to go back to school after we get residency). I guess that once he gets a driver's license, he could always look for something in Indianapolis (the commute would probably take less time than his current, two hour commute here).

Any ideas? Does IU have anything for "trailing spouses"? I am hoping that he will just be able to transfer at his current company. They are currently hiring, but there is no guarantee that job will still be available when we move in July. We can't live on my little stipend, and the move will deplete our little savings account.

Yep, I'm stressing out.

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I'm also visiting in a couple weeks - the first weekend of March, to be exact. It is somewhat ironic that I grew up in Indiana, but still couldn't tell you much about Bloomington, although I did visit the campus around Christmas, and it is beautiful. I really had no idea. Anyway, I'd also love to hear any suggestions current or former residents might have as far as things to do/see.

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In addition to everything that others have asked (and answered-- thanks!), is there anything open 24 hours in Bloomington? Can you get there from campus without driving? I don't really care how seedy/unappealing it is, I'm just comforted by the idea of somewhere to go when nothing else is open.

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