Tell me...about Dayton, OH...
After spending both our lifetimes in the glorious State of Oregon, my lady and I are moving to Dayton, Ohio! We are looking to move in May or June. We are moving for a great job, and didn't necessarily choose this location, and therefore don't know a whole lot about it. We've poked around on the internet a bit since finding out yesterday morning. But...seeing as I trust you all on these matters more than I trust Google, thought I would ask.
What are some cool neighborhoods? What is the food scene like? Restaurants? Beer scene? Coffee/coffee shops? Bookstores? Shopping? Economy? Weather? What can a person expect to pay in rent and utilities? We would probably be looking for a 2 bedroom house, hopefully with at least a small yard. We've aren't opposed to another apartment, but would like to try to move on from that if we could. How about public transportation? We share a car, and would like to be able to avoid buying another one. What about the political climate? We know that Ohio is a swing state, but what can we expect to encounter as a fairly progressive, Pacific NW couple? How is the live music scene? Cool local bands? Fun stuff to see/find/explore on the outskirts? What about the rest of Ohio? These are just some things that come to mind right off....as little or as much info as you care to provide would be appreciated. Whatever you might feel is useful and interesting, we'd love to hear. Thanks all!
This thread in particular might be of interest re: neighborhoods:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/dayton/8 ... hoods.html
All I remember if it helps any is the air and space museum there is cool, and if I lived in Dayton I would totally frequent Jungle Jim's for all my grocery shopping even if it's closer to Cincy.
I've been to Dayton a handful of times on business. I really enjoyed The Greene, a brand new shopping complex with a outdoor outlet mall feel to it, in the southeast part of town. There are plenty of store and great restaurants there. I liked "The Pub", a nice British joint with beers from all over the UK and Ireland.
If you are looking for a new gym, I would suggest Urban Active. It is located right next to the Greene and is brand new as well. All state of the art equipment and plenty of electronics on the cardio machines.
Don't really know much more as I was working most the time I was there. One random fact that I do know, I was going for a jog one day and happened to stumble across Rob Dyrdek's skate park (since he is originally from Dayton) You probably won't have any interest in it but its just down the street from the Greene.
Oh one last thing on Dayton. DAY (dayton's airport) is usually better to fly in and out of than Cincinnati but double check both airports when booking flights because usually one is a few hundred dollars cheaper.
So I'm not the biggest help with Dayton but here's my take on the rest of Ohio. I lived in Columbus, OH for a good 6 months about 2 years ago. I would definitely suggest it for a nice weekend get away. Great city with plenty to do. Home of Ohio State University and only about an hour and half away from Dayton. Short North is a great restaurant/bar scene. There are some amazing restaurants here and right next to that is the Arena District.
With 3 massive cities pretty close to each other. There is always live music! Columbus: The LP Pavilion is a great outdoor ampitheater, Newport Music Hall is a smaller venue right next to the OSU campus, great acts roll through here all the time. Two massive arenas - Nationwide & the Schott. Palace Theater - for musicals and smaller acts.
Cleveland: Rock n' Roll hall of fame. The Q - home of the Cavaliers. House of Blues - Great venue. Not too familiar with Cincy but I know there is a larger ampitheater there along with US Bank Arena. Also lots of sports down in Cincy (i think about an hour drive from Dayton) Bengals football and Reds baseball.
Dayton has the Nutter Center (arena that will get some decent concerts) and Hara Arena. Haha if you cant tell by now I work in the entertainment industry and have played a handful of these venues.
Dublin, OH hosts Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament each year at the end of May.
Take a trip up to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. Home to some of the best roller coasters in the world. Hands down best amusement park for a thrill seeker.
There's my two cents, hope it helps. Good luck with your move and congratulations on the new jobs.
- It has 2 universities and a well-respected community college, which suggests that you'll find some people with progressive ideas as well as guest speakers, performances, etc. that come to town.
- In the Midwest, you get more value for your housing dollars than you would on either coast. (I grew up in Michigan but have spent most of my adult life on one coast or the other.)
- Cincinnati is a cool town, and Cleveland and Toledo have great art museums.
Dayton, depending on where you come from, is small. I believe the population is about 150,000. Despite that, it had 3 major shopping malls when I moved away. Which seems excessive, but depends on your needs.
It does have two major university, but one, UD, is Christian. Some people are surprised to realize that because it doesn't have an obviously Christian name.
The Wright Brothers thing always cracked me up. They lived in Dayton, and had their bicycle shop there, but they actually flew for the first time in (I believe) North Carolina, so both states claim Wright Brothers as either "First in Flight" or "First to Flight".
Musically, it's not barren. The Deal sisters (Breeders, Kim Deal is in the Pixies) grew up in one of Dayton's fancier neighborhoods, and even the Heartless Bastards got their start there. The best shows I ever went to, however, were either in Columbus or Cincinnati, which are short drives away. In addition to Cinci, Kentucky (odd how close it is if you're not used to it) has a crapton of shows over the river in Covington.
Night life wise, from my recollection there's one major music/bar street. Oregon District I think?
What area are you working in? I worked in Centerville, and getting to work from farther away than Kettering was touch and go during the blizzard season. And sometimes just during heavy traffic. I remember Germantown/Centerville, and Kettering/Beaver Creek having decent neighborhoods and houses.
Is it LexisNexis? I can't remember many of the big local companies there.
Day Air Credit Union was a good bank, and always had great customer service, but their national reach is limited through the credit union network and they don't offer as many little extra incentives as a larger bank.
If you don't mind a bit of a drive to get into the city, out near the air force base there's Fairborn.
Dayton is one of those cities with an endless array of suburbs around them. So if you don't mind commuting you'll have plenty of options. However, because of that sprawl, getting around can be a pain. I almost never used public transport when I lived there. Perhaps a cheap second car is worth investigating.
The shining star of the area, however, is Yellow Springs. It's this anti-sprawl, locally owned business area (I think there's maybe one gas station and one Subway) outside of Fairborn. Not sure if that's your bag, but definitely check it out and eat at Young's Dairy for ice cream.
I wouldn't live directly in the downtown city area itself, personally. It's just not very appealing.
As much as I wasn't happy there (to be fair, a single college age male isn't the best match for that town) Ohio isn't as terrible as I make it out to be when I'm talking shit to my friends. It's a swing state, but there are bright spots of progressive thinking. I think if you do a recent search of immigration reforms in the Cincinnati area you'll see what I mean, and Dayton has a surprising number of interracial couples and adopted interracial children considering how close to the bible belt it is.
My friends who are longterm couples and/or have children seem to be happy there.
Weather-wise, it's insane. During the right season you can literally have rain in the early morning, snow a few hours later, and bright sun by the afternoon. It has blizzards and even tornadoes. The city is rigged with these air raid sirens, the first time you hear them you'll think the commies are invading. Usually it's just a test of the system. I know it's a common joke in a lot of the States, but you'll hear people say "If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes."
Good luck! My memory is a bit dim on some thing, so if I made any mistakes or spelling errors on names, I apologize. If I can think up any more stuff I'll pass it along.
Oh! The town has (or had) a surprising number of bookstores, including a Half Price books that I loved near the Centerville mall.
Work is at Dayton Children's Hospital, so pretty central. We are pretty patient with public transport, and would really like to make the one car thing work, so we may still shoot for something closer to downtown. It is early yet, but we've been poking around and have found a few fairly central, pet-friendly apartment buildings and have found a number of nice little houses. Will start looking very seriously in about a month. I'm not the one with the job, so I'll start looking once I'm done with my school obligations, for good, at the end of March. If something works out and I have to move first, so be it. Thanks!
PS-Do love the Pixies....I know Frank Black lives here in Portland, but I'm not sure where exactly. Rumor has it that it isn't too far from here...
And another vote for Jungle Jim's. Probably the widest variety of beer and wine in the state. And lots of nifty gourmet foods as well.
Columbus and Cincinnati would make for great day trips. Columbus is a university town, and capital, so take advantage of the arts scene. Cincinnati was once the "Paris of the West" when the city was on the frontier line. It's more historic and has a German heritage.
Definitely, definitely visit Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, Ohio. Whenever we return to visit family we stock up on sauces, candy, soda and goodies from around-the-globe. Its the one place we truly miss -- no other grocery store can compare.
Travel junkies, Lane and Juliet, hit the road and take you along for the ride. http://thelostbackpack.com/blog
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