Why Omaha?

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ShawJ
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Why Omaha?

Postby ShawJ » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:54 pm

I thought it might be interesting to hear everyone's stories on why you're in Omaha. Why did you come here, how long have you been here, do you plan on staying, why haven't you left if you were born here, etc. Some of you know each other quite well, so I'm sure this won't be as interesting to some.

I was born in Omaha and have lived here my whole life. However, I'm starting to get itchy feet as I wrap up college. Omaha has been wonderful, but I hope to see what else is out there once I graduate. Of course, I might not have enough money to move right after college, but eventually I plan to live in other parts of the country.

What's your story?

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S33
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Postby S33 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:44 pm

Born here, raised here and still here, obviously. I've stayed because of work and all of my family is near, but I do not intend on living here forever. As soon as I am able to, I will most likely be moving to San Diego. (hoping within the next year or so)

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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:47 pm

Born & raised in Lincoln.  Moved to Omaha because my job did.

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:16 pm

Born here, never left!

I like Omaha because its big enough that I am never board, but its small enough where I can enjoy it!  I love traveling, but I always plan to keep my base here in Omaha!
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Dark Eyes
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Postby Dark Eyes » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:51 am

I am not a native to Omaha or Nebraska but have lived here 28 years because of my job.    

Once I retire, I want to move to a place with less extreme weather and lower property taxes.

There's no way I want to endure winters like this in my retirement years.

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Postby nativeomahan » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:04 pm

Like the name says, born and raised here.  I imagine I would be happy living just about anywhere, but this is where my family and job are.  Wine country in California is awfully nice, though.  I would love to eventually settle there.

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Postby Guest » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:06 pm

Born/raised here... the rest of my family abandoned Omaha for Arizona over the past couple of decades.  To be honest, I am currently 'stuck' in a really good job and don't expect to find another one like it any time soon... so I'm milking it for all I can before I have to move on (very possibly in the near future... with talk of an acquisition looming).  I don't like the cold either... but I like four seasons... so I'm likely off to New Mexico, which as best as I can tell is about as mild a place as you can live, while still experiencing those seasons (oh, and clear skies satisfying my nearly all consuming love of the night sky).  I do like the public schools here though... so I'll probably wait for my youngest to graduate in 4 years.

Like Brad, I also like Omaha because it seems to be just big enough to provide most everything I need to remain entertained, yet not so big that I'm stuck in traffic trying to enjoy those big city amenities.

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Stargazer
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Postby Stargazer » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:07 pm

Aw crud... that was me... but you already knew that.

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Postby Coyote » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:19 pm

I am a fourth generation Omahan. My Great Grandfather moved here in 1892 to work for UP as did several of his brothers. I moved away in 1982 to Santa Fe for 15 years, then Austin, and then northern Louisiana before moving back here in '02 to be with family again. Went to grad school in Minnesota where there are 2 seasons - the 4th of July and winter. In Louisiana it got below 32 once while I was there - but you could play golf in December. I enjoy the four seasons here. There are only a few things missing in Omaha - but not necessary. I would love a Nordstroms, Mccormick and Schmick's, and a Peony Park - but those are just icing on the cake.
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Postby RegisResident » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:20 pm

I was born and raised in NY, moved here in 2003 for a job, changed jobs but stayed in Omaha in July 2008.  I got laid off in June 2009 and I don't plan on staying here much longer since almost every job I've looked at is in a different part of the country.

To be honest, before I got the job offer in 2003, I thought Omaha was a cornfield.... I even refused the offer until I had a chance to spend a little time in the city. Overall, I like Omaha. It is a nice city to live in for a while, but I don't see myself living here for the rest of my life. The cities and places that I have been looking at since I was laid off are all over the country, but generally are more environmentally friendly than Omaha and are closer to mountains (downhill skiing, mountain biking, and hiking are all hobbies that I miss).

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:58 pm

I grew up in Ralston. I started college at UNL and only lasted a semester before Lincoln drove me crazy, and I couldn't stand being away from Omaha. Bob (Swift) and I were roommates and decided to transfer to UNO at the exact same time while we were just hanging out in our dorm room one night. Following Omaha's urban development and the general direction and progress of the city has been a favorite pass-time of mine since I was about 14, over a decade ago.

I stay here because I believe in Omaha, in its past and in its future. The creative, arts, and music scenes have proved to be among the most innovative and vibrant in the country.

I will be headed to grad school in the fall (not sure where yet), but it will certainly take me away from Omaha for at least two years. I'll be getting a masters degree in urban planning with concentrations in transportation planning and urban design.

I don't know exactly what the future holds, but my dream is to come back to Omaha and help bring its transportation infrastructure into the 21st Century.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
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justnick
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Postby justnick » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:24 pm

For whatever ungodly reason, my trainhopping hobo grandfather decided to plant himself here rather than somewhere exciting on the coasts.

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TitosBuritoBarn
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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:23 am

I'm in Omaha because my dad took a job here before I was born and my parents moved here from Lincoln. I'm still here because I've found a good job in the area and many of my friends and family are in Omaha.

I plan on leaving eventually but contrary to most people not because i hate winter or I need oceans/mountains. I want to experience living in a different and preferably larger city. I'm an urbanite. Not that mountains, oceans, and warmer climes wouldn't be nice, but they're not a priority.

With all the downtown revitalization, Omaha is becoming pretty cool and I think a lot of people my age are figuring that out.

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Postby ricko » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:49 am

My father's side settled in Omaha after the completion of the Union Pacific transcontinental line in the late 1860's (that's how all the Irish ended up here), and mom's in the 1880's.  Both sides moved to the city of South Omaha in the 1890's and were founding members of St Agnes' and later St. Mary's Catholic churches.  College took me to Chicago, St. Louis and San Antonio, and later, work took me to Oklahoma City and finally to the D.C. metro area, where I've lived since 1979.  I have a couple million relatives in Omaha and I'm sure some of you know them. I also plan to retire in Omaha eventually.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:07 am

Born here. Have lived mostly here with a few short stints in other places but have lived all over Omaha: north, south, east, and even west.

I'm leaving for school this fall in Massachusetts and I don't know what will happen when I'm done with school but I don't plan on coming back to live here.
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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:08 am

My great-great grandparents migrated to Omaha to work in the slaughterhouses.  They lived out on 42nd and Harrison when that was a predominately bohunk neighborhood and was the west edge of town.  Before I was born, my parents moved to Columbus NE for my dad's job (A/S 400 computer programmer).  I was born in Columbus, but had an infant heart condition that required them to move the family to be closer to better hospitals in California. I lived in Baldwin Park CA until I was 8, and then my dad got a job with Werner Enterprises back in Omaha.  I've been here ever since, with no desire to leave.
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Postby ShawJ » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:52 pm

Stargazer wrote:Aw crud... that was me... but you already knew that.


I'm curious, what part of New Mexico? I've been wanting to visit Las Cruces for some time now.

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Postby Guest » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:10 pm

Las Cruces would suit my star gazing needs, however, I'll have to be within commute of ABQ, as I won't be able to retire any time soon.  I'm looking at areas among the Sandia Mountains east of ABQ.

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Postby skibum21 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:13 am

ricko wrote:My father's side settled in Omaha after the completion of the Union Pacific transcontinental line in the late 1860's (that's how all the Irish ended up here), and mom's in the 1880's.  Both sides moved to the city of South Omaha in the 1890's and were founding members of St Agnes' and later St. Mary's Catholic churches.  


This part of your post is just how my father's side ended up here.  Although my great (can't recall how many great's he is) grandfather eventually ended up in Portland, half of his children stayed in Omaha.  Guess that's half of why I live here;)!  The other half is my mother's German and Czech parents who settled on the Iowa side of the metro (where I live now)  :lol:

I've lived here  all my life except for my college days at UNI.  I do not plan to stay in the area for one reason...weather!  I have NEVER tolerated the cold since I can remember.  I've only stayed in the area for family.  Now that both my parents and husband's parents are retired, it doesn't matter that we leave as much.  Only feel guilty as my in-laws moved from Florida to Iowa to be closer to us.

I overall love this area and if the weather was better, i'd have no reason to leave.

Like Stargazer, my top place for relocation would be NM.  I had to travel to NM (ABQ and Los Alamos) 2 weeks per month for over 2 years and it became my second home.  I haven't been there since my daughter was born (she's two) and she is the only thing that would hold me from moving there as the schools (public) are not recommended.  My husband has a contact that could get him a job at SNL and my job can be anywhere, so maybe i'll be living in ABQ someday soon!

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Midtown Gal
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Postby Midtown Gal » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:28 am

Moved here in 1991 with my family (step-dad got a job at Creighton).  However, I moved back down south, where we're originally from, to go to high school.  Toyed with going to MTSU, Creighton or Marquette.  Eventually decided Creighton was the place for me.  Plus, can't beat free tuition when dad teaches there!  I did leave for a semester though to go to University of Alabama (to this day, I still can't figure out why I did it).  Anyhow, I realized very quickly that I hated a large school and longed for the days of a smaller campus, and Omaha for that matter.  I quickly finished one semester there and hauled a$$ back to CU.  I graduated in '02, found a great job, got married and ended up planting roots.  I plan on staying in Omaha for the foreseeable future, unless I win the lottery, which in that case, I'll be relocating to Hawaii.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:10 pm

Anonymous wrote:Las Cruces would suit my star gazing needs, however, I'll have to be within commute of ABQ, as I won't be able to retire any time soon.  I'm looking at areas among the Sandia Mountains east of ABQ.


The East Mountains are beautiful.

I'm very surprised at the transient nature of many of the forumers here, ie. "I'm only here for such and such and will be going to wherever eventually".
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby omaproud » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:56 pm

Grew up in small-town Nebraska, graduated from UNL, and moved to Omaha because my significant other and his family live here.  Found a job and have been here 25 plus years.  Love the size of Omaha and all it has to offer.  Take frequent vacations to wonderful cities, but happy to call Omaha home!

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Stargazer
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Postby Stargazer » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:47 pm

I'm looking to move after living here for all 44 years of my life... and I'm transient ?  :)

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Bosco55David
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Postby Bosco55David » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:48 pm

My grandparents had met in Boston after WWII (grandpa was a merchant Marine) and wanted to move to San Diego. They stopped in Omaha to see her parents who lived on a farm on Calhoun Rd, just north of Northern Hills Dr. Grandma decided not to go any further, although I have no idea if this was because of she liked the area, wanted to be close to family or was just sick of traveling. They settled on the westside of Council Bluffs and then retired to a nice house over on the eastside of town.

Not quite sure of the details on my dad's side. I do know he was born in Illinois and lived in Southern California for awhile before they all ended up in Omaha again. His dad was an Army vet who spent most of his civilian years working as a projectionist at a local movie theater. His mom was a nurse and I believe she worked at the VA hospital on 42nd and Center.

I was born in Omaha in 1986 and lived there until 1996 when my grandparents died and we bought their house in Council Bluffs. My parents had always loved Florida (why, I'll never know) and in 2002 decided to move us down here to Tampa. I tried to make the best of a bad situation but after 6 years here I realized my heart was always in Omaha. Of course the fact that getting into my chosen career (law enforcement) is much harder in Florida than Omaha, definitely influenced my decision.

So why Omaha? Well for one, it's home. I have more memories of Omaha than I know what to do with. I also really like the size of Omaha coupled with the relatively low cost of living. Another nice thing is that it's still a growing city and the thought of being a part of that is something I like, rather than just moving to a city that is already pretty much settled.

I doubt I'll ever move away from Omaha again. The only city in the world that could possibly steal me away would be Denver, and that's only an 8 hour drive away.

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:I'm very surprised at the transient nature of many of the forumers here, ie. "I'm only here for such and such and will be going to wherever eventually".
My thoughts exactly.

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Stargazer
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Postby Stargazer » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:38 pm

My thoughts exactly.


Your thoughts?  or "yeah, that's me."   When are you going to leave Tampa anyway?

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:42 pm

Bosco55David wrote:... coupled with the relatively low cost of living.


I had House Hunters on a few times over the weekend while I was working on Photos on the Computer.  Either I would need a huge raise to live in another city, or I would be living in a cardboard box!  I can't believe what houses go for in other places!
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Bosco55David
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Postby Bosco55David » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:45 pm

Stargazer wrote:Your thoughts?  or "yeah, that's me."
Hey I never left willingly. When you're 15 years old you don't have much choice in the matter.  :mrgreen:

When are you going to leave Tampa anyway?
As soon as possible. I'll be applying at OPD in 2011, come heck or high water.

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:47 pm

They are taking applications now for a June academy start.
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Bosco55David
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Postby Bosco55David » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:56 pm

Brad wrote:They are taking applications now for a June academy start.


Yeah I know. Unfortunately for me, this is the 2nd year in a row that situations beyond my control keep me in Florida.

ShawJ
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Postby ShawJ » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:25 pm

Brad wrote:
Bosco55David wrote:... coupled with the relatively low cost of living.


I had House Hunters on a few times over the weekend while I was working on Photos on the Computer.  Either I would need a huge raise to live in another city, or I would be living in a cardboard box!  I can't believe what houses go for in other places!


Ha, I've realized the same with that show. My plan of living in the pacific northwest are going to have to wait awhile, methinks.

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Postby Seth » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:11 pm

Well, I'm not in Omaha yet, but my wife and I will be moving out in June as I've accepted a job and we just got an apartment.

The main reason we looked at Omaha is because I was offered a job at Kiewit.  I also had prospects with companies in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs, but once we came out to visit, we really felt Omaha was a place we would enjoy.  A few reasons were:

Great employers (Kiewit, specifically)
Low cost of living
The ability to live within walking distance of work at an affordable rent
The low median home price and stock of affordable historic homes in the urban core
The urban feel and lifestyle without the hectic atmosphere of a "real" urban metropolis like Chicago or New York
The revitalization going on in downtown and midtown.  Really, if it weren't for projects like Midtown Crossing, I wouldn't have had such a positive outlook on moving.  The fact that citizens and companies like Mutual of Omaha and Kiewit were willing to put such a concerted effort behind restoring the vibrancy and livability of the urban area really made me feel that Omaha would be an exciting, safe, and fulfilling place to live and work.

Now, if only the transportation system would follow suit; and I'm NOT talking about another beltway!  Let's get some streetcars already!

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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:12 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:I'm very surprised at the transient nature of many of the forumers here, ie. "I'm only here for such and such and will be going to wherever eventually".


I am too even though I'm aiming to be one of them. Omaha will always be Homaha, but there's a whole big world out there and I've only really experienced living in two cities (and Ames kinda sucked). I wouldn't put money on me never coming back here to live again, but I want to see other cities. I have commitment issues.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:36 am

That's what travel is for. :)
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Postby DTO Luv » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:18 am

Yes but there's a difference between living someplace as opposed to visiting someplace.
I think for some people they realize Omaha isn't bad but the things we would like to experience aren't here at the moment, hence the desire to live someplace else that offers whatever.

Ideally I would like to get to the point where if I traveled enough for work and could be away I could see having a place here because of family but I have no idea what will happen in the future.
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Outoftime

Postby Outoftime » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:52 pm

So, whats wrong with the winters? (A few posts cited the winters)

How do the cars hold up, any rust problems?

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SabrinaFaire
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Postby SabrinaFaire » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:47 am

Outoftime wrote:So, whats wrong with the winters? (A few posts cited the winters)


Winters are cold, and they don't know how to plow the roads.

As for us, we moved here two years ago for a change and b/c my brother and SIL were moving here for his job. Two years later, the hubs likes it, I desperately want to go home (Chicago) but since we can barely find jobs here, it's not likely we'll find jobs in Chicago until the economy improves. I know a lot of people like Omaha, and I don't mean any offense, but I'm just not happy here. To each his own, right? :)

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S33
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Postby S33 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:04 pm

Outoftime wrote:So, whats wrong with the winters? (A few posts cited the winters)

How do the cars hold up, any rust problems?

Winters are absolutely horrendous, if you're a pussy like me, and the winters are very hard on your vehicles.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:48 pm

SabrinaFaire wrote:I know a lot of people like Omaha, and I don't mean any offense, but I'm just not happy here. To each his own, right? :)


No offense taken. To each her own. But in fairness, and I don't mean any offense, but it appears you live in Northwest Omaha, so I can't blame you for your feelings.

I don't see what the big deal about winter is, either - especially if you don't have a car to hold you back. My girlfriend and I are moving to Albany in a month, where winters tend to be colder, longer, and with more snow, and we couldn't be more content with that. I think our experiences in the Midwest have prepared us well. The flip side is that summers there tend to be about 10 degrees "cooler" on average.

But this thread is about Omaha.

In my case, at this point, the question is "Why not Omaha?".

The answer is, because there is inexplicably no urban and regional planning program here, and the closest one (UNL) has limited areas of specialization.

My girlfriend and I are moving to Albany for me to go to grad school to get a Master's degree in urban and regional planning with a specialization in urban transportation - focusing on public transit and bicycle/pedestrian transportation. I chose UAlbany over the University of Illinois at Chicago and Hunter College (NYC) because UAlbany offered me a Graduate Assistantship. We're very excited to be moving to Upstate NY and to the East Coast. I'm particularly happy to be in a historic, urban, medium sized city, but also to be close to the Adirondack and Catskill mountain ranges, and in close proximity to NYC, Boston, and Montreal (for me to use my French!).

Some of you here on the forum featured prominently in my application essays. I won't name names, but I've been meaning to say thanks for your help. 8)
Last edited by StreetsOfOmaha on Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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S33
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Postby S33 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:01 pm

Actually, Albany tends to be milder in the winter, shorter, and less windy than Omaha. I would much prefer a winter in Albany than Omaha. so you're in for a treat.

Oh yeah, my vehicle is much appreciated in the frigid, windy, dreary |expletive| days in the winter. Unless my bicycle is going to give me a reach around, it has no place being outdoors in an Omaha winter.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:24 pm

S33 wrote:Actually, Albany tends to be milder in the winter, shorter, and less windy than Omaha. I would much prefer a winter in Albany than Omaha. so you're in for a treat.

Oh yeah, my vehicle is much appreciated in the frigid, windy, dreary |expletive| days in the winter. Unless my bicycle is going to give me a reach around, it has no place being outdoors in an Omaha winter.


I rode my bike to work through the winter this past year. My only complaints were the same ones that drivers have - problems with road (and trail) clearing.

And, I'm not sure what you've heard or experienced (I would be curious to know), but here is a snapshot from Wikipedia:

Omaha:
Avg. July High: 87.4 F
Avg. Jan. High: 31.7 F
Average Yearly Snowfall: 26.8 in.

Albany:
Avg. July High: 82.2 F
Avg. Jan. High: 31.1 F
Average Yearly Snowfall: 62.7 in.

Winter temps are comparable, but Albany apparently gets way more snow. Summers in Albany are cooler with the winter being a little "longer".


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