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Any Aggies out there?

  1. Nov 3, 2004 #1

    Moonbear

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    I've been asked to apply for an open position at Texas A&M, which sounds very well suited for me, but, I've never met anyone who liked living in College Station, TX. My few friends who had been out there are more city types, so they probably have a biased perspective on rural life, plus, I figure only hearing from people who left might not be the best way to learn about the town.

    So, are there any of you out there who attend or work at A&M? What do/did you love, like, dislike, hate about life there?

    I'm at a stage of my career where I'm looking for a place for a long-term move now, so want to know as much as I can about that town before I make any decisions.
     
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  3. Nov 3, 2004 #2

    Evo

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    Being born and raised in Houston, I've known a LOT of Aggies.

    College Station, well, cost of living is cheap. Baaaaaaa. :biggrin:

    Actually, I would live there, but I'm boring. And like sheep, and cows, and pigs...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2004
  4. Nov 3, 2004 #3

    Gokul43201

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    The last guy to graduate from our group - about 2 months ago - is now working for a company (LynnTech, a science and technology solutions provider) in College Station.

    It's a college town in the middle of vast grazing lands, and is less than a 2 hr drive from Austin and Houston. He said it's a little hard getting used to a small town after living in Indianapolis, Chicago and Columbus...but I think he's doing okay.
     
  5. Nov 4, 2004 #4
    It's...different. I worked for TAMU for a couple of years and didn't mind it at all, I just needed more. The observatory is out by the airport (!) as well as the nukes and Fire School. People are generally friendly and don't mind helping. During the summer and Christmas holiday's the place is nearly a ghost town. Great place to raise kids from what I hear. West of town you'll see cotton fields, milo, high-gear, corn, I thought I saw soy once.

    My fav's were/are:

    Duddley's Draw. I guess the only way to describe it is a beer joint with an eclectic bohemian flavor. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is wecome. You'll see construction workers standing next to students standing next to people dressed for the theater...

    C&J's BBQ. There are 2. My fav is the one in the old gas station East of town. AWESOME chow, kinda spendy but well worth it.

    El Cazadore's. Directly out the front gate of the Uni. Enchiladas Verdes. Period.

    Mi Cocina, Garcia's, Super Hong-Kong Chinese Seafood Buffet (Kroger Center), Fat Burger, Thai Taste, Square One..

    I need to go back for a visit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
  6. Nov 4, 2004 #5

    Moonbear

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    Thanks folks. Gokul, I think your comment is pretty on-target with what I've seen with others, that moving out to a very rural area was too much of a transition (shock) for someone coming directly from a big city. I'm not so sure I want to live somewhere that turns to a ghost town when the students are gone, but then again, that's a good time of year for me to travel myself.

    Echo, Dudley's Draw sounds really fun.

    Are there any upscale restaurants? You know, the sort of place where you'd get dressed up (jacket and tie sort of attire) and go for a romantic dinner? Or would I need to go to Houston to find that?

    I've heard biotech companies are growing in the area. Is that true?

    Does anyone commute from Houston suburbs to College Station?

    I figured I'd be quite set with Tex-Mex food there. I'm happy to see a Thai restaurant on your list. I wasn't sure what variety of ethnic foods other than Mexican would be prevalent in the area. Though, if I can find raw ingredients, I can make my own. I've already learned to bake my own bread when I really crave a good crusty sourdough since the last two places I've lived don't have any good bakeries (all the bread is squishy bread...bakeries around here destroy their bread by putting it directly into plastic bags!) There was one good bakery when I lived in MI, but they were insanely expensive (a loaf of bread should not cost $8).

    I think I'm basically getting the impression it's the sort of place you either love or hate. I don't mind being surrounded by pastures.

    What about shopping malls, or any sort of department stores? Is there a mall in or near College Station, or do you have to head all the way out toward Houston or Austin to go shopping for things other than food? Clothing, hardware, kitchen gadgets, Christmas gift shopping? Are there any good ice cream shops? What about coffee shops? Are there any little places that are good for sipping a cup of coffee while reading or working on your laptop when you just need a change of scenery from the office? Actually, even if there is a student center on campus that provides that atmosphere, that would be good. Just sometimes I like to work outside the office.

    I don't have a family to raise yet, but maybe I'll find a nice cowboy while out there. I'm assuming schools are probably pretty good in College Station with it being a high density of university employees there.

    This is all good to know. Thanks...if you all think of any more information, keep adding more! I won't really know until I see the place, but it's good to have an idea of what to expect before I visit so I'll know what to look for and what to ask on an interview. Since I was specifically asked to apply, I am pretty confident I'll make the short list for interviews.
     
  7. Nov 4, 2004 #6

    Gokul43201

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  8. Nov 4, 2004 #7
    College towns make me feel old. I swear kids are starting college earlier and earlier. I haven't changed since my college days, but the newest batch of kids look about 14. Maybe they're a bunch of child prodigies.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2004 #8

    Moonbear

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    That's how I feel too...I haven't gotten any older, the students have all gotten younger! :rofl:
     
  10. Nov 4, 2004 #9

    Gokul43201

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    Yeah, me neither...I remain in an ageless stassis. :confused:
     
  11. Nov 4, 2004 #10
    The Bryan/College Station (BCS) area is growing by leaps and bounds. The majority of the growth seems to be towards the South. The Brazos Mall has a Foley's and Dillards and Dillards for Men I believe but alas, the Cinnabon is long gone. Home Depot/Lowe's, several giant box type supermarkets, and Wal-Marks/Target. Mega-theater, bowling, and several theater troups. I'm not 100% sure but I believe that to go to a dress-up shee-shee restaurant and not wind up sitting next to someone in "sunday-go-to-meetin-I-ironed-em-this-mornin-jeans" you'd be better off going to Austin or Houston. (I'm probably going to catch fire for that) Highway 6 S. to Hempstead is normally a racetrack after the last class of the week and MANY wrecks occur on that stretch of highway but I don't believe that people commute. In Hempstead you would have to take hwy 290 E. to Houston and the closer you get, the worse it gets.

    The Brazos Valley (5 or 6 surrounding counties) Chamber of Commerce has recently been promoting themselves as the "research valley" because there has been more businesses of that type moving in because of the tremendous amount of students able to do the work. One company name that comes to mind for genetics is Imogene or maybe Prodigene. I'm not sure which exactly. There are several Physics labs there but they don't advertise and you really have to look for them or know one of the owners. The one I worked for is a Fellow(?) at TAMU and his lab is geared more towards soil physics and water. Fun work while your learning but after a while it gets BO-RING! Oh look...ANOTHER bag of dirt.

    For coffee don't miss Sweet Eugene's on Harvey Road behind Fudruckers. There is a new Bed, Bath, and Beyond. OOOOO, and Jason's deli & Rudy's BBQ. A favorite hangout of mine is P.O.E.T.S. which is a pool hall for all kinds. The wall of fake ID's is hilarious!

    BCS is actually pretty dynamic and I wouldn't mind living there again simply because of it's location and the great people.

    Stephen Hawking was there a while back to inaugurate the Physics chair with his name on it. When I went to buy a ticket there was no line and I was giggling because I thought that in that little town people didn't recognize his stature and I was gonna have a front row seat...WWWWRRRROOONNNGG!! What a dunce I was. I got what was probably the last remaining ticket in the nosebleed section. Oh well, it was an interesting talk.

    The George Bush Presidential Library is there and it always has interesting speakers. Gorbachev was there not long after it opened I believe and the tickets were reasonably cheap from what I remember. Ringling Bros. comes to town at least once a year and the circus train is parked right next to the road so everyone goes down to watch them unload the critters and walk them.

    The area is very conservative, duh.

    You'll see more pickups than you ever have and they will probably be running red lights so please be careful.

    There's four golf courses if you're into that.

    That's all I can remember for now. Don't forget to check out Earth Art in Bryan.
     
  12. Nov 4, 2004 #11

    Moonbear

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    Wow! That's a lot more than I expected! Thanks so much Echo. I don't go out to foo foo restaurants often, so won't mind having to drive out to Austin or Houston for that (I can make it a foo foo weekend city trip once in a while). Thanks for the warnings about the roads...that will also be helpful when trying to decide where to buy a house, if I get the job, to know where the heaviest traffic is. Then again, I grew up in NJ, traffic doesn't scare me! Each state I've lived in has it's own quirky things about drivers. In MI, people had no clue how to merge in to a busy highway, and here in OH, they seem to crawl along in the left lane, then run stop signs as if they've suddenly decided they are in a hurry. NJ driving is really hair raising if you aren't used to it (it didn't bother me since I grew up there, but people who I knew that moved there from other states had white knuckles after driving 55 in bumper-to-bumper traffic).

    The impression I'm getting from you as well as the few other people I've found who have positive things to say about the town is that it's really growing rapidly. I like that.

    I doubt it can be any more conservative than Cincinnati. We have an organization here called something like Citizens for Moral Values or something like that, and their entire mission in life seems to be eliminating anything fun in the city.

    Thanks again, Echo, this has been really helpful.
     
  13. Nov 4, 2004 #12

    Evo

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    Moonbear, I think it would be great. Seriously, I would live there.

    My little sister lives in Austin and I might move there in the near future, so we'd be neighbors!!!!! :approve:
     
  14. Nov 4, 2004 #13
    I went to school in a cowboy college town, Boise. Even had a pair of Wrangler's and some lace up ropers. The problem with cowboys is that the night isn't considered a success unless they have gotten drunk AND gotten in a fight. I know this because all my cowboy buddies always wanted me to go to the bar with them because I usually end up aggravating at least one or two total strangers everynight. This gave the cowboys an excuse to beat someone up.
     
  15. Nov 5, 2004 #14

    Moonbear

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    Ooh, and if I become a Texan, I can laugh at you wearing shiny new cowboy boots.

    Did you remember to starch and iron a crease into your Wranglers? :rofl: Oh, wait, that might have given you an itchy bum, you soft city slicker you. :rofl:

    See, I'm practicing being a Texan, y'all. :biggrin:

    Evo, that would be so cool if we were neighbors! I could drive out to Austin and meet you to go to those foo foo restaurants I might start missing in College Station.

    I'm pretty excited about this now...of course I still need to get the job :rolleyes: :tongue:
     
  16. Nov 5, 2004 #15
  17. Nov 5, 2004 #16

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: That's great! Being blonde, my favorite is this one:
    I'm going to have to remember that one!
     
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