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Is this typical for Springfield? : For the past few days, I was in town to look at houses/apartments to rent as I'm moving here for a job opportunity in August. I stayed right in downtown (the Hilton building), and it was the first time I've ever visited the city. The first thing that struck me about Springfield is that it was so quiet downtown. Everywhere I went downtown I was either the only person on the street, or there was one other couple or person. Today, I sat outside the capital building (which I thought would be a little tourist-y) for about an hour just enjoying it, and the entire time I was there only one other couple came up to it. Also, there are a ton of empty storefronts, I felt like every other building had a "For Lease" sign on it. Aside from that, there were a lot more homeless people in downtown than I was expecting, and they were not shy about coming up to you and asking for food or money. I don't know if it's because I'm coming from a suburb, or if it's because I'm a small woman, but it was a little unexpected and intimidating for me. Is that a regular occurrence? I toured a total of 12 places while in town, and was actually a little taken aback by how many of them were in poor shape. As an example, one place I toured (a full house) was not cleaned at all, the paint and the floor were chipped, the floor was warped in some places, the entire place smelled like mildew, there was standing water in the basement, and the backdoor had marks on it from where someone had clearly tried to kick it in. This wasn't a super cheap place (800+ a month), and it was on the northwest side of the city. At another place I went (at around 1 in the afternoon) to in the Vinegar Hill area, I watched as a fallen down drunk black man got yelled at by an older white woman who had no problems being openly racist towards him. At a showing on the Historic West Side, while parking the car and waiting for the tour, three men who lived in a nearby house leered at me for about five minutes before I finally got out of my car. On top of that, just walking around neighborhoods/downtown I was catcalled multiple times. I do want to say I loved walking through Washington Park, visiting the Capitol Building, seeing the lake, and getting great drinks at a brewery, but honestly, I'm a little nervous about moving here now. Is all of this stuff pretty normal? Thanks for any input or help. Full Article

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