Jackson, Mississippi was founded in 1822 on the banks of the Pearl River. Originally a French settlement, it was later part of the lands granted to the Choctaw Nation before being ceded back to the United States. The city has a population just under 175,000 within a metropolitan area of about 540,000. The area is part of the Mississippi Delta and is the only state capital known to be built atop an extinct volcano, the peak of which is 2,900 feet beneath the city.
Like most other cities in the Sun Belt, Jackson has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Rain occurs throughout the year, though the winter and spring are the wettest seasons, and the late summer and early autumn is usually the driest time of the year. Snow is rare, and accumulation very seldom lasts more than a day. Jackson lies in a region prone to severe thunderstorms, damaging hail, and tornadoes.
Jackson has a rich cultural heritage. It is renowned for its jazz, blues, and R&B music, but also has two ballet companies, opera, a symphonic orchestra, several museums, a zoo, and many other historical, civic, and cultural attractions. It offers a variety of French, Latin, and African-American cultural influences, as well as a major Celtic festival. More information about Jackson can be found in the Wikipedia article here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson,_Mississippi.
Of all the cities I am considering Jackson has the lowest cost of living. In addition, it has the largest inventory of available low-cost housing, and those homes are generally in the best condition of all the affordable housing in the US. Jackson is ranked #3 in "most bang for your buck" by Forbes magazine, and is one of only three cities in my Top Ten to make this Forbes list (the other two being Dallas and San Antonio).
The Jackson market appears viable for a traditional Japanese dojo. Although there is a Shotokan dojo and a couple of Okinawan dojo in the Jackson area, the competition is chiefly taekwondo, kung fu, and cage fighting.
Jackson is served by Medgar Evers Airport and several major domestic airlines. Fares and travel times to San Diego, Phoenix, and Seattle are slightly lower than from Indianapolis. And there are plenty of historic and cultural sights and activities for visitors to enjoy.
Several low-cost golf courses make frequent golfing affordable in Jackson, as well.
The chief disadvantage is the climate! Not only hot and humid, but subject to weather damage from hail and tornadoes, including a Force 5 tornado that ravaged the city in 1966.
The only other potential disadvantage is that Jackson experienced a significant increase in violent crime in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Press releases and crime statistics claim significant reductions in crime since 2010, but the stigma remains attached to the city.
Once again, I'd like to know your thoughts about Jackson ... Is moving there a good idea or a bad idea for me? What are your impressions of Jackson? If you know me, would you be more inclined or less inclined to visit me in Jackson than you would in Marion? Or compared to the other locations I'm considering?