Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Yankee's point of view on "Living in Northwest Arkansas"...

You want the pros and cons of it all? the insights to living in the #10 Best Small Town in America??
Here you go:
1) Wal-mart is EVERYWHERE. there isn't much of a choice other than walmart, so if they don't carry what you want you better get used to doing without OR ordering it online.
2) Small town cops who think they are big city cops. we have very little crime in these parts, but the police patrol the land as if they must do everything possible to be the best detectives in the Midwest. oy!
3)we don't have a nordstroms or a Macy's (although we do have banana republic and Dillard's) so you don't get much choice in the higher end spending-- but I do have to say, we are only 2 hours from Branson's outlets stores if that floats your boat. (ALSO, everyone who sells to wal-mart has an office down here and sometimes vendors have sells in the area, just keep your eyes open).
4) When the weather takes a turn for the worse the entire area shuts down and people take up residence in their homes as if there was a nuclear blast and they will die if they leave their home. it's pretty pathetic. but in their defense the street crews do a terrible/half-ass job at clearing the streets to make it safe. instead i think they do their best to make it worse. yeppppppppp!
5) NWA is a DRY COUNTY (you only have to drive up the road to MO to get out of the county and to macadoodles for great alcohol selection or down the road to Washington county to find macadoodles for great alcohol selection)... but you do have to drive. I just wish we had it at the gourmet gas station-- that would be AWESOME!! PS: ask me about the gourmet gas station-- i haven't decided if it's a pro or con, but i do frequent it often and pretty much love it, but still don't know if it's a pro/con!!
6)Meeting people kinda sucks. if you work for a large company like wal-mart you will meet tons of people and probably tons of people your age (NO MATTER WHAT AGE). my mom & dad worked for general mills and i have met quite a few people through their office, all of which are awesome and cool, but sadly because this isn't general mills headquarters they all end up being transferred to MN, leaving me here all alone. boo.... but it's not too bad.
7) There is very little crime in these parts, which is a pro, but the fact that our local news stations and our local newspapers still have to lead with a top story that means things like someone's 7foot tall snowman being knocked down by unknown punks gets to be on the front page of the news paper. makes me a bit ill, not going to lie, but basically any little thing is huge news around these parts and that's either a good thing or a bad thing.... PS: I'm still waiting for someone to interview my Riley about how he saved an entire neighborhood from car thief's. just saying!!
8) if you like winter sports (skiing, sledding, skating, etc) you will be lost around here. if you like summer sports like.... oh good grief, there isn't much to do besides golf, hunt and hike, so good luck.
9)very rarely will you ever get a professional sporting event or an awesome concert to see, however, wal-mart does do shareholders meetings with free concerts (including daughtry, which made my week!!) and people like Pujols come to visit. it's pretty neat, but you still won't get to see the Cardinals play, here, in Arkansas.
10)You will see lots of people with very little teeth, terrible fashion-sense and questionable hygiene... just keep walking!!
1) Small town aspects, like rush hour traffic means still maintaining 60MPH on the highway. I live at exit 83 and I rarely ever have to leave exits 81-85 to find EVERYTHING I NEED-- it's all just here!
2) Everything is here because it was all JUST BUILT so it's all fairly new and still pretty (as long as you stay on this side of town-- the OLD downtown is kind of rundown, but they are trying...)
3) If there is something you sometimes look forward to participating in (IE: Concerts, Sporting Events, etc) we are only 5 hrs from three major BIG Cities (Dallas, Memphis and St Louis).
4) Our airport gets MANY flights in during the week, due to walmart corp travel, but it's such a tiny little airport that you rarely have to worry about rushing thru security to get to your flight-- we have 5 gates or something ridiculously small. (remember, i grew up in MN where the airport was the size of two moderately sized towns)...
5) If your family/friends want to come visit and need a hotel all hotel prices go DOWN on the weekends, due to walmart corp travel. And we have so many hotels it's almost ridiculous!
6) Meeting people. If you want to meet Christians (& by Christians I mean overly vocal Baptist who attempt to make you feel bad about your lack of their faith and persuade you to be more like them) you can join one of FIVE THOUSAND Christian groups-- gag me, but maybe it's your cup of tea.
7) Most of the people who live here aren't FROM here and that is great, because they understand when you tell them you miss home and that you miss nordstroms or Macy's... they get it, you're not alone.
8) The weather is fairly nice most of the year, minus the 110 degree summer for 6weeks straight and the 2 weeks it snows here so the entire area shuts down-- except for walmart. But honestly it's fairly nice.
9) Everyone in Rogers lives in a gated-community, or atleast that is what it seems like... and they all shop at high-end boutiques... except for maybe a couple who can't afford it or choose not to pretend like they can afford it, but basically, what I'm saying is, they aren't ALL TRASHY, HILLBILLY-LIKE, NASTY HUMANS, although there are a few of those around here too.
10) pretty good Mexican food, almost anywhere you look. if you like that authentic hole-in-the-wall kinda of place, or the TeX-Mex or the .... well, we have it all, including little kiosk-type trailers where Mexican cook & sell their food on the streets. Yep, this is a pro.
11) If you don't mind not getting to see Professional Athletes and maybe even prefer college or minor league then this is the place for you... not so much me, but you. We have the Naturals, which i think is a KC Royals organization. We have the Univ of Ark Razorbacks-- which I can't seem to get completely sucked into, but it is growing on me, not sure how i feel about it, i always thought I'd be ANTI-everything Arkansas. but I do like the fact that I am somewhere that people are that passionate about their hometown team (HELLO!!! have we met?!!? I am a die-hard Cards fan and miss my Cardinals Nation!!) =)
12) this place offers the college-liberal a place to hang out and the weird, love-the-outdoorsy people a place too... if you want to hunt, hike, fish, whatever there's a place for you. if you prefer being closed-minded and self-absorbed whilst sipping coffee and playing on your computer there is a place for you. ;-) I love you all. (I just choose to hide out in my apartment though, as to avoid most of you!)
13) People are polite down here, sometimes almost too polite. But that's just the city-girl in me coming out. I prefer dark clothes, and shopping undisturbed, but around here people are so cheery and "ma'am" you all day long. Sometimes it grows on you, other times the city-girl in me takes off running and vents about the overly nice, southern accent speaking, creepy little people on facebook and blogs!
14) There is a wal-mart located on every corner in this place. they are all super centers and open 24hrs, so you can get anything you want, whenever you want... enjoy.
15) I'm here. if i can survive this place anyone can... and if you're in town or visiting this lovely little place we call NWA please be sure to tell me, i would love to show you around and get you drunk in a dry county! ;-)

There is so much I could tell you about Arkansas, but I will offend someone, I'm sure. The point is it's NOT that bad. you will definitely miss things that only your hometown can give you, but just remember you can visit home, get your fill and head back to a fairly quiet, pretty nice area of the world, or atleast of the southern mid-west. ;-)

THE BEST PART IS, IF YOU MOVE HERE I HAVE THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT FOR YOU... I'm a little biased, he is my daddy, but he truly is the best and he does great work with anyone who is transferring here. he understands it all!! =)


  1. Loved it. very good information about the culture of the area. Any tips about air quality that could be problematic for us allergy sufferers?

    1. Worst allergies I've ever had have been while living here. But I don't have to shovel snow or live through many days of freezing weather and winter, so it's a trade-off.

  2. Thank you for this useful information. May husband and I live in New Mexico and we had enough of the desert, so we are considering moving to AR. I am originally from Romania and I love gardening. We've spent our vacation there in 2010, in the Mt. Home area and we liked it. We hear all kind of stories about red necks and uneducated people living there, also that there are not many opportunities in AR, so now I am kind of concerned. My husband is an RN and we hope that he will find the right job somewhere.

    1. the Rednecks and uneducated people are NOT the majority in Northwest Arkansas. This area is full of transplants-- people not FROM arkansas that moved here for work. Lots of work in the area. Lots of families. the best schools in the entire state are located in this area!

  3. Hi, good info! I'm a Dallas girl & we are shopping hunting land & a place to live (hopefully all in one. hahaha) We drove through Southern Missouri & much of Northern Arkansas looking at different properties for sale. While the environment is breathtaking, as a whole the lifestyle looked trashy. As if anything a person got sick of looking at in their home just went into the front yard! Is this the norm or did we take the wrong highway?? haha. Also good to know it's hard to meet people, my husband works out of state & is often gone and I am a stay at home mom. :( Any northern areas you could recommend that have decent school districts?

    1. Wrong road indeed. Northwest Arkansas is not trashy. Far from it. Bentonville is the place to live in this area. Small town feel, great community, great culture, fun environment!

  4. I feel terrible, I never responded to any comments, mostly because I haven't glanced back at this blog in years. I wrote this shortly after moving here from the city of St Louis. I would say this is a "beginners guide" and not at all the norm that I have come to live through. I would also say this is definitely a SINGLE person's guide. I am now a mother of two, a wife, and I love living here. First, professional sports = The Naturals, a minor league team, but professional. There are much better Christians than the bible thumping baptists I came in contact with when i first moved here!
    THERE ARE TONS TO DO FOR FAMILIES!!!!! So much so that I may never leave here. This place has grown on me. Will I stay here forever... maybe not, but I like it enough to stick around for a while longer!!

  5. Your blog came up on a Google Search, and it was pretty helpful! We are considering moving to NWA to be close to the rest of my family. You answered aprox. one billion of my questions... but I just have three more.
    My elderly aunt and uncle live in Rogers. Is the population a mix-bag, or is it largely a retirement community?
    In a few years, we plan to homeschool (the cool kind of homeschool...that's a thing, yes?) Where we live now has a huge HS population... does rogers?
    and Last, Baptists aren't really my bag either, but we would love to attend a non denom church... are there cool ones in town?

    Thanks so much!

  6. I saw online that there is a Calvary Chapel in Rogers AND the pastor is a transplant from Orange County, CA. (My hometown.) I'm looking into relocating as well. The pictures of Arkansas are breathtaking. We have a preschool boy and need to get out of California for a different way of life. Something wholesome, safe and slower. Juletto, it's good to see the update now that you have a family. I desperately want to be somewhere good (that's affordable) for my son to grow up.

  7. Glad to see some recent activity. Thanks for sharing your perspective and your background! I am also considering a move to the area, coming from California. Seems like there's something for everyone, which appeals to me. I also lived in St Louis for several years when I was young/single. What I remember most is the terrible storms - seems like the tornado sirens went off every day during the Spring. Same for NWA? And it's been a few years since your original post so I have to it really still DRY? I gotta have my wine, for both personal and professional reasons, so sadly it's a very important topic for me. Haha! Any recommendations for an old married couple with no kids who want to live in a quiet, peaceful, area with a lakefront home? Or are they all full of party barges and waterskiers? Thanks again for taking the time to share.

  8. "... ALL TRASHY, HILLBILLY-LIKE, NASTY HUMANS" Wow, what an ignorant bitch.