Tell me about Omaha please.

I might be moving to the Omaha area. I know little more about it then it is a fairly large city (about 500,000) that sprawls between the Missouri River and the Platte River. It has a well known and liked zoo and was a cow town, but is so much more now.

It looks like the winters are cold but the summers are still fairly hot.
How’s the snow? Damp clumpy stuff or more powder?
How hot are summers? Tornado worries? I think it is at the edge of the primary zone.
Is a pool worth having? Is the summer long enough to justify the cost and work?
Flooding issues?

So I assume steak is the special dish of Omaha, is that true?
How common are corner bars? It looks like a good chunk of the housing in Omaha is suburban type sprawl.
Are there bad areas? It looks like maybe near the Missouri.

What to do besides the zoo? It looks like KC’s AAA baseball team is there, that’s good.

How much is car insurance?
How bad is traffic in Omaha?

HQ of United States Strategic Command so likely to get lots of tender loving attention and love taps from Mother Russia when the time comes.

I think Penny from BBT is from there.

I currently live about three hours west of Omaha and travel there maybe twice a year.

Snow is basically a non issue for me but I have no way of comparing it to what you have to deal with at your current location. Some of it is wet and slushy, some of it is powdery - it just depends on the storm. Maybe three times a year, I’ll have enough snow that I have to shovel out. Maybe once every five years we’ll get a nasty storm that will paralyze the town for a day. For me, ice is a bigger concern. Keep a big bag of ice melt in your garage and another in your vehicle.

Summers are not usually grotesquely hot. We usually have a couple of weeks around the middle of August with temperate above 40C but again, lots of variation year to year. The humidity combined with persistent stockyard odors is more oppressive to me. It’s not uncommon to step outside and actually be able top hear the grass in the yard growing because of the moisture in the air.

Pool is entirely your choice. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the municipal pools in the area but I’ve never explored them.

No clue about recent flooding but I know it emerged relatively unscathed from the floods of '93.

Foods - Don’t expect seafood (mountain oysters are tasty but they don’t count). You can find a fair selection of dining options but don’t expect anything special. The biggest food trend I’ve noticed is that they like pizza with cream cheese on it. Don’t ask me why.

You’re going to find a few corner bars but I have not seen anything worthy of much excitement or interest.

Omaha traffic was child’s play compared to Kansas City. No clue about insurance.

More stuff that I neglected to answer the first time around.

It doesn’t get all that cold here by my, walrus-like, standards. Daily high temperatures might drop below freezing for much of January but most days are quite pleasant. We’re pretty dry here and skies are usually clear. For me, good, strong sunlight makes a huge difference in how cold a day feels.

I’m not going to say tornadoes never happen here. As soon as I might say that, one would tear through my front door and do some instant redecorating. Still, I’ve never lost sleep over it. I’ve lived in the area for nearly half a century and I’ve only ever seen one tornado and that’s because I went out and looked for it.

Thank you Alpha Twit. Is the smell that bad on the western side of the city where it is more suburban housing?
Our snow (NJ) is wet and slushy, we rarely get powder. I know Omaha is colder, but it looks like it is drier so probably the snow will equal out. Ice is a good thing to think about, thanks for that.

Good to know the tornadoes aren’t too common, my wife had some concerns.

I was stationed there about 15 years ago, I’m not sure how much has changed.

You get a hot summer and a cold winter, and no transition in between. The primary weather annoyance is actually the wind. The wind chill is brutal, 60 degree days are miserable and 20 degree days are life threatening. Tornadoes somehow tend to miss Omaha either to the north or south, due to some quirk of geography I never figured out.

I lived down by the base near Bellevue but it was a short drive up to downtown. The old downtown area is really nice, when you get away from that you just pick your flavor of sprawl. Omaha has been expanding westward since forever, if you work downtown and live out on like 200th street I can’t imagine traffic being pleasant.

As for things to do, I don’t think it’s much different from any other mid-size city. Lincoln is close and is basically a big college town, the sand hills are nice and you’re a day’s drive from the black hills.

The smell,… well, here’s the thing. 95% of the time, it’s a complete non issue. Every now and then though, when the wind and the rains and the feedlots all line up, it can get eye foggingly bad. We get the majority of our annual rainfall from March through mid April. You know the smell of wet dog? Imagine if each of those dogs weighted over 200 hundred kilo and produced up to 20 kilo of manure each day. Now imagine a feed lot where you have dozens of them on every acre for mile after mile. It can get kind of thick.

The feedlot operators do a pretty good keeping the pens clear and the smell to a minimum and there are no huge lots that I know of near west Omaha but I’m not going to say that it’s never going to be an issue.

INMO, pigs are far stinkier that cows will ever be. They produce a whole other kind of miasma. Most of them are across the river in Iowa though.

Agree with this. If you’re doing any kind of outdoor winter work at all, even just scraping the ice off your car’s windows, a good winter hat and gloves are essential.

I think that quote right there tells you everything that you need to know about Omaha. If you’re using ‘it’s only an 8 hour drive to somewhere nice.’ as a selling point, you’re in trouble. It would be like using the Outer Banks as a selling point for New Jersey.

Simply as someone who has visited Omaha a number of times, but just as a tourist, I think the word I would use for it is ‘inoffensive.’ It has very little to recommend it, but little to make it bad either. It’s clean, it feels safe, it’s not hard to get around in. Its biggest negative is that it’s isolated. The closest big city is 3 hours away and… it’s Kansas City… so…

Everything about it is kind of blah. It’s not bad mind you, but it is simply forgettable. Its unique local cuisine is a baked sandwich thing that is kind of like a pasty but baked with roll dough instead of pastry dough. It’s meh. There’s a local fast food chain that serves them. I’ve never had an issue with traffic. As a place to live, it might not be too bad. Most of us aren’t looking for non-stop excitement anyway and there are things to do there, the typical line-up of museums, a zoo and a few historical buildings. It has the normal accoutrements of suburbia, some malls, some Walmarts, the normal line-up of fast casual fare. I tried a few local places and I’m sure there are at least a couple that a person could learn to love.

I’m a mountain boy, so I find it depressingly flat, but that description applies to 80% of the US, so it’s not a knock on Omaha, just a preference. Not much else to say really. As to the smell, I have never noticed it. Large portions of Iowa are wretched, but I haven’t noticed it in Omaha.

Also, keep in mind that this is just the description from a tourist, maybe people that have been there longer have detected some unique gem of a culture that is purely Omaha and delightful. I couldn’t really say.

About the best thing you can say about the fast food version is that they’re good with ketchup. Home baked ones can be sublime though.

One more thing about Nebraska - the Huskers. You can either love them while bitching about them or you can say absolutely nothing about college football ever again.

I’ll opt for saying nothing, I’ve never really liked college football anyway. My toleration for even the NFL is dropping yearly.

I think you should start another thread: How is living in central New Jersey different from living in the Midwest, as those differences will be greater than say the differences between Omaha and the Quad Cities.

If I end up moving, I will start that thread after a month or so. Deal?

My wife is from Council Bluffs, just over the river from Omaha. Bars close at 1am on one side and 2am on the other (I forget which is which at the moment) so there is a rush of half drunks at 1 am to the border. Or to the riverboat casino. So look out for that.

Lots of little red neck bars that are super cheap. I hope you don’t mind country though. You WILL hear Red Solo Cup and I Love This Bar EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT on the jukeboxen.

Winters are cold, gross, slushy affairs. Summers are hot and muggy. Spring and Fall are relatively nice though.

Oh yeah, not only good steaks, but great pork chops. And the best sweet corn I’ve had.

Bars in Nebraska close at 1AM (may or may not be an exception for private clubs?)

Oh man, country music will be tough. I didn’t even think about that. I take it country is the norm in Omaha.

The 1am closings won’t cause me issues at this point. That phase in my life is past.

Look forward to grilling some great steak. Finding good steaks here is often tough.

I lived in Omaha for 3 years, but it was from 1985 - 88 so my info is VERY out of date. I worked down town at Mutual of Omaha and lived out west, around the 130’s or so if I remember correctly. Traffic wasn’t too bad, but I remember that one of the perks we had in the IT department was that we could leave 15 minutes before the rest of the staff to beat traffic.

The salary for an entry level COBOL programmer was pretty good and cost of living was very low.

Winters were worse back then. We had one week in January where the daytime high didn’t go above 0F and wind chill at night was -40F. We had 3 or 4 dumps of 12+ inches of snow and getting a fresh inch every week was normal. Summers were pleasant, not oppressively hot or humid.

There was a bar/music venue near the office we’d go to after work and another down town bar that boasted 100+ different beers, but I don’t recall anything good out in the suburbs.

The beach is terrible. Clogged with obstacles and barbed wire, it’s absolutely overrun by Americans. The local Nazis are giving everyone hell.

The climate does sound like it will be quite an adjustment. The isolation won’t be wonderful, we’re use to making easy trips to the shore (very close), NYC, Philly or even Baltimore/DC. But in the end just means we’ll fly more and drive less. I also have my entire family within 45 minutes currently. On the other hand, my wife’s family is spread out all over. Probably be rough on my kids, their friends are here, but they’re in college and that changes things a lot anyway.

I use to be a COBOL programmer, but not since 1994.

I like seeing the housing prices, very inexpensive compared to Central Jersey. The taxes aren’t as cheap as I hoped but still cheaper than here. Rents are cheap, that will help me the first 6 months I’m there if this happens.

Hopefully the car & house insurance is quite a bit cheaper. Looks like crime rates are very low for a city, especially on the west side of Omaha. Even utilities look cheaper. Gas prices are a little cheaper, though I’ll need to pump my own, oh the horror. :slight_smile: