Any T-Nationers who live/have moved to Madison recently? I have done a fair amount of research and the general consensus is that it is a great place to live. However, I'm a bit concerned about the social scene. I am 22 and will be moving there for my first job out of college. Is there much to do outside of the college UW scene (which I wouldn't be a part of obviously)?
Most importantly, what are the girls like? I will be working pretty high volume, but want to live in a place where there is social opportunities for single guys (I'm used to Austin, TX).
I lived there for 2 years. I've also frequented Austin, TX a fair amount. I'd say you could call Madison the Austin of the midwest. Tons of great bars and restaurants. Very clean. Hot women everywhere due to the schools. You'll just be trading in your mild winters of Austin to the frozen tundra of the midwest. Overall its a really cool town. If you're used to Austin, you'll like Madison alot.
It's been awhile since I've been to Mad-town, but unless things have changed much, it'll be a great place for you to live. It's full of people your age. It's often voted one of the "healthiest" places in the US. The micro-brews in WI are amazing. New Glarus, Linies, Sprecher, etc, etc. Lots of concerts. A good night-life. I wouldn't be too worried about joining the college scene if I was you...just do it as fits your life, you are 23, they are 21-22ish...it's a good fit.
Halloween brings in people from all over Wisconsin...although I heard it mellowed out in the last few years (I once knew a college kid who swore he "borrowed" a cop car for a spin around the block one Halloween night). Ummm, It might make you happy to hear that people in WI, when asked to describe Austin, will say, "It's kinda like Madison..."
Thanks for all the input thus far. I was primarily concerned over the girl scene, but it appears that won't be an issue at all. Chip, do you recommend I live anywhere in particular to capitalize on the good night-life? I would like to be around people my age, but not right next to all the damn freshmen and undergrads. Grad-student/ young professional area? Also, good gyms (I have read up on the "Monkey Bar Gym"?). I can spend around $1,200 a month on a place, but would expect that to get me a pretty high end apartment (would it?).
It's a fairly small town when it boils down to it. You're never too far from the nightlife. Downtown is primarily where all the students are. I lived on the west side of town. It's much nicer than the east side. Given your budget I'd skip looking on the east side of town completely. Again, west side is MUCH nicer. You could probably find yourself a decent place one of the lakes for that.
As far as gyms. I went to the Y on the west side. When I moved away, they had just sunk a ton of money into new equipment. No clue how it is now though, its been about 6 years. Also, look into The Princeton Club...Its a HUGE fitness facility, damn near the size of a WalMart. I'd imagine they'd have everything under the sun.
I currently live in Madison and have lived here for many years. The Williamson St./ Schencks corners area has a high concentration of grad students. It's on the near east side. Downtown has many yuppies and grad students, stick to the north and east sides of the capital,the south and west is almost all undergrads.
$1200 is more than enough for a decent apartment. Where are you going to be working?
Ford's Gym is the only powerlifting gym around. I have never been in Monkey Bar, but I think it's only bodyweight stuff and maybe kettlebells. I don't think they have barbells and dumbells. Princeton Club has pros and cons, what are you looking for?
Feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions or post them here.