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What makes Lawrence one of the 10 most livable bargain cities in America?

Asked at The Merc, 901 Iowa St. on September 4, 2010

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Photo of Janene Gier

“A lot of people make good use of public transportation, they take bicycles, and they walk, which saves them a lot of money.”

Photo of Matthew Potterton

“Some great, reasonably priced restaurants down on Mass. St.”

Photo of Max Coleman

“Everything is cheap.”

Photo of Stephanie Cook

“It’s easy to get around, not a lot of gas is needed, and being a university town, there are lots of activities.”

Comments

RoeDapple 4 years, 5 months ago

Well it surely must be the inexpensive housing . . . no, wait, housing is expensive here. Okay, the low tax rate. Hmmm, no. The abundance of high paying jobs? Any jobs? How about a hint? Ah, accessible parking downtown, where all your needs are met at reasonable prices. Uh-uh. The "Em-T"? Shrinking crime rate? Well maintained city infrastructure? Free beer tomorrow? Reasonably priced college sporting events? Topeka gang bangers? Access to street drugs? The homeless?

Wait, I got it! Must be the availability of insectoid sunglasses! At the Merc . . .

grammaddy 4 years, 5 months ago

Roe, you crack me up! I was just getting to post a rant about all the stuff you just mentioned. Now I have to clean coffee off my computer screen. Thanks for giving me the proper perspective this morning.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 5 months ago

I had to wipe coffee off of my computer screen after just reading the title of the article.

boxturtle 4 years, 5 months ago

If you think lawrence has has bad parking I think you may be a bit out of touch. Heaven has worse parking than lawrence. You can always find a spot downtown for free without any effort. Agree with you about the sports ticket pricing though, getting absurd.

If you want to live cheaply hear it's really easy. There's free activities everyday of the week. If you want to buy a lot of stupid things you don't need, you can do that here too.

booyalab 4 years, 5 months ago

Indeed. If a fourth grader thinks stuff is cheap, I must be going to the wrong stores! Or maybe I just need to move back in with my parents and get an allowance.

grammaddy 4 years, 5 months ago

I thought it was his son.Someone get that child a haircut so we'll know.

Neomarxist123 4 years, 5 months ago

Read the first paragraph of the online article - it talks about Lawrence being a "liberal oasis" in a conservative State.

Liberals love to give liberals awards.

Noble peace prizes for fledgling Presidents. Oscars for error-ridden documentaries on global warming.

We got awarded for our politics. Not for any real accomplishment.

Bill Lee 4 years, 5 months ago

It's a comfortable size located closely between two larger cities I can use without having to live in either. I can find nearly everything I need here, and what I can't isnt' very far away. I don't have to put up with the chaos of KC, but have access to pro sports and an international airport. I don't have to put up with Topeka's mediocracy, but can easily drive over for state govenment or the shopping options not found here.

Our schools are better than average, the university's here without dominating as much as it used to do. We've finally outgrown it in many ways.

We have a vibrant music and arts scene. All in all, it's a great place to live. I've left three times since I first moved here in 1967, and I've come back three times. I don't know why others are here, but I am because Lawrence is MY HOME.

grammaddy 4 years, 5 months ago

Good points! I was born and raised in Topeka and moved here in '86. It saddens me to see what Topeka has become. You couldn't pay me to move back. Lawrence is a little pricey but I wouldn't trade it for anything.I don't mind paying extra rent here for the security of knowing my kids and grandkids are safer and growing up in the kind of atmosphere Topeka used to have.

corduroypants 4 years, 5 months ago

You should move to Emporia. More your speed.

independant1 4 years, 5 months ago

Free beer tomorrow?

You got my attention. There is hope.

RoeDapple 4 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, somebody help me out here . . Which bar downtown used to have a sign in the window advertising "Free Beer Tomorrow"? Only tomorrow never came . .

Amy Heeter 4 years, 5 months ago

For shame with all the negativity. Instead of being mad about what you think that you don't have try being glad about what you do have. Don't think about the things that frustrate you, instead stop and smell the flowers, greet your neighbors with a friendly hello,take the time to brighten the day of a child. There is a whole world out there in Lawrence some of you never see because you spend all your time complaining on this forum. Peace. love and all that good stuff.

RoeDapple 4 years, 5 months ago

Sorry you misunderstood my post arti ! Should have hit the sarcasm button when I posted! No anger coming from me, I have the world by the tail and enjoying one hell of a ride! As you can tell from grammaddy's post, those who have seen what I write know I'm not full of hate . . .

Amy Heeter 4 years, 5 months ago

Why do you think I was directing my comment at you? I was just making a general statement. Just that life is what you make. Not you specifically, you in general.

RoeDapple 4 years, 5 months ago

And here's to you and everyone else having a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Mike Edson 4 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence is not the most livable city. Try finding a decent paying job and a nice place to live on a low wage that isn't a crap shack. If you are not affiliated with the university or a student you are considered no better than the transients. As for the liberal aspect of Lawrence, it is nothing more than a rebellious teenage child who just wants to push against their conservative parents. Lawrence is the land of the misfit Kansans.

missunderestimate 4 years, 5 months ago

God Bless America.

And be sure to watch Dancing With The Stars.

kansanbygrace 4 years, 5 months ago

Cheap or free entertainment, diverse conversation, Checkers, several Dillon's stores, huge array of activities at the U, Community Theatre, poetry and performance art frequent and usually free. Easy to get anywhere on a bicycle (quicker than a car in almost every case.) To quote a good friend who spent most of his life in Cambridge and New York, reflecting the diversity and fun downtown "Greenwich Village." And the free Lawrence Journal World Online features commentary from a lot of Don Rickles and Rush Limbaugh wannabes.

jafs 4 years, 5 months ago

I grew up in Greenwich Village - Lawrence is no Greenwich Village.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

I would say it was one of the best places in the world in which to grow up, at the time that I did.

It offered a remarkable diversity of people, world-class food of all sorts, arts, culture and music (world class as well), walkability and, at the time I was there, it was affordable.

The only downside, in fact, was a lack of nature and quiet spaces.

giveitback 4 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence is a great place to live! Why stay if you don't like it here? Max spoke from the heart. It is tough to make it anywhere right now. Mozambique has nice weather, homes that are great fixer-uppers and a very active form of rebelous overthrow as we speak. Some of you might be happier there!

jafs 4 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence has some positive features, but it is hardly a "bargain city", unless you're comparing it to places like NYC, which is an absurd comparison.

kansanbygrace 4 years, 5 months ago

And, Mac, the best thing is the reality entertainment of the road work. that project is a hoot, and when it's done, the overpass and evil curves approaching and leaving it will be history.... Hooray, Welda.

Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

There's nothing special about Lawrence. These surveys compare places across the U.S. Any place in the middle of the country will be a bigger "bargain" than some expensive coastal city (exceptions are the few places with inflated wages to match the high cost of living, e.g. Washington DC).

What would be useful is a comparison of cities in Kansas or in the mid-West. Lawrence would not rank highly.

And of course as others have noted, this is useful only if you have a job in these places. North Dakota has great numbers and the lowest unemployment rate in the country but that hardly means there are jobs available if you move there (or wanted to).

Flap Doodle 4 years, 5 months ago

Free State (the brewery, not the high school)

booyalab 4 years, 5 months ago

Any city's a bargain compared to New York, though.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 5 months ago

Just a thought, wherever you live you're still there and that may have something to do with why you are so unhappy.

booyalab 4 years, 5 months ago

I like Lawrence well enough, but I don't think the "bargain city" classification is remotely accurate. Unless they mean you can be unemployed and still somehow afford the latest in gutter punk fashion and an endless stream of whiskey and pot.

pizzapete 4 years, 5 months ago

And the replay is one of the top 50 college bars.

Denny2009 4 years, 5 months ago

When I lived in Lawrence I thought it was a great place to live and really enjoyed myself, I hope someday I can move back.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

The local real estate industry feeds information to whomever engages in this type of not scientific data gathering.

People I come into contact within the KCMO metro say living in Lawrence is not affordable. Would they like to live in Lawrence? Most say yes...others have lost interest.

We simply do not have enough information on this poll or finding to determine anything of substance.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 5 months ago

Everyone walking around in KU blue. Animal carcasses on the grill abound. BBQ smells in the air. A nice day....neither too hot or cold. Everyone in a good mood.

Lawrence is a special place with special people. And those who disagree, please move.

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 5 months ago

What does livable mean? You'll die somewhere else and the bargain thing? Whatever.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

I think that Lawrence is not providing services at a quality level that is commensurate with the costs of living here.

For example, the monthly city budget in Lawrence is about $14 million/month. I would think that for that amount of money, we should have excellent streets, infrastructure and services.

Instead, we have poor quality streets, poor drainage, etc.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

BEWARE OF ALL TAX INCENTIVES FOR NEW EMPLOYERS. LAWRENCE IS A HIGH TAX DOLLAR BEDROOM COMMUNITY

ASK YOURSELF HOW MUCH CAN I AFFORD PAY EMPLOYERS TO LOCATE IN LAWRENCE,KANSAS?

WHY DOES LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPECT WE LAWRENCE RESIDENTS TO PAY NEW EMPLOYERS TO LOCATE IN LAWRENCE KANSAS

THEN ASK YOURSELF HOW MANY HAVE I ALREADY PAID FOR?

HOW MANY HAVE LEFT TOWN AFTER I PICKED UP THEIR SHARE OF TAXES? MOST OF ALL OF THEM IS THE ANSWER.

PERSONALLY I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY ANY EMPLOYERS TO LOCATE IN LAWRENCE,KANSAS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

IN THIS SITUATION WHERE IS THE BARGAIN?

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