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Would you rank Lawrence as one of the 100 best U.S. cities to live in?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 24, 2007

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Photo of Lindsey Griffith

“Oh yeah. I love Lawrence. There’s just so much happening, especially for people my age. I’m only here for the summer, but I come to visit as much as I can. It has a lot to offer for being in Kansas.”

Photo of Billy Miller

“I would say it’s one of the best. It’s one of the most peaceful cities I’ve been to, and I’ve been all over the U.S. There’s a lot of opportunity here, too.”

Photo of Stacy Mendez

“Yes. I love college towns. I like the size and really like the people; lots of good people here.”

Photo of Matt Patterson

“I sure would. It has such a vibrant culture, a lot of which I think is owed to the university.”

Comments

zettapixel 7 years, 10 months ago

For all the b*tching we seem to do about this town in the comments section, it really isn't such a bad place to live.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 10 months ago

TOB, it happens to the best of us. All I added was "OMFG" when it was around 270. I have to go with all-time low.

SW Kansas wasn't so bad when we were growing up. I love my small town roots. But Lawrence is just fine too. It's nice to not have to drive the hour to Dodge City to buy clothes!

thare 7 years, 10 months ago

Where did Lawrence rank on useless blogging?

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

yeah i guess i would, although i'm partial to my small-town or country livin'. i likie lawrence.

Stephen Prue 7 years, 10 months ago

hard to say i've haven't been to all the other cities but lawrence is ok

beatrice 7 years, 10 months ago

On what grounds does one base such an assesment -- general quality of the people (are most people you meet at least pleasant?) - yes. Access to the arts -- for the size of the city, yes. It is also within driving distance of Kansas City for more options and one of the nation's greatest museums. Access to sporting events -- college and Kansas City, so the options are limited (for many, that is enough). Affordable housing -- more or less yes, though it is going up. Ability to work in the city and afford housing, etc... not so much. That last one probably knocks it out of the top 50. Finally, does it have curb-side recycling pickup? No? Sorry. Not taking enough care of the home base just got Lawrence bumped out of the top 100. If it wasn't for that recycling issue, you could have been a contender.

Either that, or it is in the top 7 just because of Free State Brewery, Liberty Hall, Papa Kenos Pizza and Wheatfields. I can't decide.

lawrencejna 7 years, 10 months ago

I love this town. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in Kansas...definitely.

Bill Chapman 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence may be one of the best towns to live in if you're i Kansas, but I'd rather live in Seattle, Fairbanks, or some northern west coastal city. Lawrence has to many idiot drivers, too high of living cost, and too many idiot politicians.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 10 months ago

Record number of posters on the domestic registry site! They must love the new registry!

May Soo 7 years, 10 months ago

I rather live in Columbia, MO. More things to do and see, more community resources, lower food taxes (4.75%). Better health care for everyone. Better school systems, universities.

cutny 7 years, 10 months ago

Sound like it's time for you to hit the road R_I. Why limit yourself? Get going...take your time!!!

mick 7 years, 10 months ago

Let's put signs up- "Lawrence, Kansas 100th best city in the USA."

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence doesn't seem to have as many wandering nekkid people and mimes as Burlington, VT. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 10 months ago

Except for high real estate and no place to earn decent wages for the middle folk, yes. I love it.

Kat Christian 7 years, 10 months ago

Not an ideal place for baby-boomers, too young a crowd and everything seems geared to the college age persons. Wages are ridiculously too low so you really can't make a decent living here if you are middle income. Rents are way too high in comparison to the wage base. AND there are just too many bars for young people to get into trouble. No skating rink, go carts or arcade for the younger kids. So there isn't enough to do. But it is a good environment to raise young people. I like the schools. And it is somewhat of a peaceful and slower environment (when student are gone). Most of the policemen are polite and helpful. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) I would say Lawrence ranks a 7 possibly 8.

mom_of_three 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't have much to compare it to - other than Wichita, Ark City and Rose Hill. But it's one of the larger cities in Kansas with a small town atmosphere. Very liberal.

So yes, i would say.

karensisson 7 years, 10 months ago

I thought so when I moved here, but what I've learned about our corrupt city government makes me say no.

It's a great town, but it could be ruined by uncontrolled development in the next four years, and I fear it will be.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 10 months ago

"Lawrence doesn't seem to have as many wandering nekkid people and mimes as Burlington, VT. I'm not sure if that is good or bad."

I've been considering trying that.I'd be a nekkid mime.'cept I'd never be able to keep my mouth shut.wouldn't you love to see my 41 year old pale white overweight body gallivanting around down on mass?!!

toefungus 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence is such a great city. Gay capitol of Kansas, "home football games" at Arrowhead, turnpike entrances closed for construction, thriving central bar district, and roundabouts. Yep, great town

Linda Aikins 7 years, 10 months ago

R_I, as far as I know the turnpike is still up and running. I don't remember when they were closing, but I'm thinking 2008?

hmm. Having toefungus must make one grouchy.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 10 months ago

Gay capitol of Kansas=most open minded

"home football games" at Arrowhead= less traffic(unfortunately also less money).

turnpike entrances closed for construction= good roads to drive on.

thriving central bar district= live music & a downtown that is culturally alive.

roundabouts=not having to stop at every intersection.too bad most people can't wrap their little minds around the concept.try driving through one in Jamaica or England,where they drive on the left.That is a challenge!we've got it good here.

toe fungus,do you see the negative in everything?what a way to live...

sgtwolverine 7 years, 10 months ago

A2 was ranked #5? Excellent. I guess I'm not too surprised; it is a nice place.

Right now I'm looking forward to Top of the Park; they make an outdoor movie theater on the university campus and have live music in the evening and then show movies when it gets dark. (For a long time, it was on top of a parking structure; that's why it's called Top of the Park. But they moved it last year due to construction on the structure, and I'm not sure if they're going to move it back.) The movies and concerts are free, and local restaurants set up tents and sell food. It's always a good time.

http://www.annarborsummerfestival.org/

I'm particularly looking forward to this year because I no longer have to wake up early, so I'll be able to enjoy the movies this year. They went too late for me last year.

sgtwolverine 7 years, 10 months ago

KawValley: being accepting of gays doesn't automatically make a town open-minded. Such towns are still quite capable of being closed-minded.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 10 months ago

sgtwolverine (Anonymous) says; KawValley: being accepting of gays doesn't automatically make a town open-minded. Such towns are still quite capable of being closed-minded.

That is VERY true,but it is a good indication.

newtongirl 7 years, 10 months ago

If you think housing is high in Lawrence, try Colorado Springs. Because of all of the California transplants, the same house would cost twice what it costs in Lawrence, and the wages here aren't anything to brag about because it's a military/service industry town.

3e8 7 years, 10 months ago

Whoever said they'd rather live in Fairbanks (or other northwest city) over Lawrence is out of their mind.

Extraordinarily dirty hippies that poop in buckets and occasionally shower at the laundromat or university. Fleets of pickup trucks with gun racks. Biblical swarms of yellow jackets and mosquitoes in the summer. Forrest fires that make LA air the gold standard of clear. City-wide fogs of frozen car exhaust and wood-stove smoke in the winter. Frostbite in minutes. Capped drug dealers that die from the cold before bleeding to death from their gunshot wounds. A downtown that looks like a transplanted Soviet gulag. $4 a gallon milk. Chronic sleep disorders. Mass seasonal bi-polar moodiness.

Makes life interesting for residents and visitors alike tho.

Doug Fisher 7 years, 10 months ago

newtongirl, I live in Denver and the cost of living is even higher here, thanks to all the California and Texas transplants. So I don't really understand why people bitch about how expensive Lawrence is because it's a cakewalk compared to here..

Newell_Post 7 years, 10 months ago

I have lived in quite a few different places. Not 100, but quite a few. I also travel a lot for work to a lot of different places. Lawrence is very good, except for the climate which is pretty extreme both Summer and Winter.

You think Lawrence is too expensive? Sorry, it's way cheap. Try some of the places I work from on consulting assignments. San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle are terrific but WAY, WAY, WAY more expensive than Lawrence. I have looked at moving to Silicon Valley where VERY modest houses go for $1 million +, even in the current market.

Confrontation 7 years, 10 months ago

themiddlechild (Anonymous) says: "I rather live in Columbia, MO. More things to do and see, more community resources, lower food taxes (4.75%). Better health care for everyone. Better school systems, universities."

You forgot to add that Columbia also has a really crappy men's basketball team and an abundance of KKK representation. Enjoy!

Crispian Paul 7 years, 10 months ago

toefungus (Anonymous) says:

Lawrence is such a great city. Gay capitol of Kansas, "home football games" at Arrowhead, turnpike entrances closed for construction, thriving central bar district, and roundabouts. Yep, great town

Gay capitol of Kansas....bwahahaha.....Toe, do you live here? If so, could you please leave?

I know I have said the cost of living is high here. By that I mean that COMPARED to other Kansas towns, the cost of living is high here. Wichita housing is cheaper than Lawrence, for example. Now I know that there are plenty of places out there with higher (trust me, my sister lives in San Fran), but relative to the rest of the state and the wages earned, it is a little high.

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