I have lived in Midland since 1998 and I am actively seeking a relocation.
There is NOTHING to do in this town except go to the movies, eat out, or go to an sadly produced play; an A+ they are NOT. They really advertise the Petroleum Museum but lets be honest they don't have much that you can't see driving on the loop. There is no "Nightlife" here.
The restaurants are average at best. There are a handful of good "sit down" restaurants. The rest are your typical chain eateries: Chilies, Texas Roadhouse, Sonic type places.
The shopping is fine for kids but pretty nonexistent for adults.
The traffic and crime here are ridiculous! I don't know how they received a C+. You either get the oil boom and the people it brings in that are not invested in the community because they are only there for the money or the oil bust. The bust keeps those same people that only leave when there aren't any vehicles and homes left to break in to.
Did I mention that THERE IS NOTHING FOR ANY AGE GROUP TO DO IN THIS TOWN except go to work and go out-of-town!
I have lived here for the past five months. Being from the big city, I regret moving here but I had no choice (job). The city isn't THAT bad, per se, because there is still a wide selection of amenities: stores, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and hospitals. As for the art scene, the Yucca theater puts on shows, but that's about it. Midland is still in the desert, but it does have amenities that make you forget about the pain of living there.
The rent here is outrageous - rents are inflated due to the oil boom. I pay $1165 for my housing expenses. For the apartment I have I could easily pay no more than $700-800 in Dallas or Houston.
Crime happens in Midland, but it is a lot worse in Odessa. I haven't been a victim of crime (yet), though I feel fairly safe here.
Scenery/outdoor attractions: It's not a pretty landscape. If you like the outdoors you can travel to the Davis Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, or Carlsbad Caverns. They are all about 3-4 hours away from Midland.
The place is really better for families...if you're single, you better make friends or leave town for the weekends because the weekends can drive you nuts. There is a young professional group here if you're interested in joining a group.
Overall, Midland is an upgrade over any town in the boonies in Texas..it's a town that got your basic necessities, but if you're a city person, then Midland is not the place for you.
Politically, I consider myself conservative, so I adored this predominantly conservative area in Texas. This is the home to former President George Bush, and you can even tour his childhood home as I did. I found this to be very fascinating, but I imagine people not as conservative may find they very much dislike Midland, Texas.
I lived in Midland for about one year for a writing gig, and found that I loved it. The cost of living was very low, so for frugal people out there, you will love this aspect of Midland. The weather is typically warm and dry. The unemployment rate is about 5% right now, which is great if you are searching for a job. In Michigan, where I live right now, the unemployment rate is about 15%. That's a huge difference.
On the outside, Midland does look like a boring prairie, perhaps unsophisticated, kind of city. However, I love and cherish the simplicity of Midland. People are family-oriented and have strong values in Midland. The crime rate is lower than average and neighborhoods actually still exist. I found my neighbors to be very welcoming, even though I only lived in Midland for one year. The Midland Memorial Hospital is also a very high-quality, top notch hospital.
Overall, Midland is a great place to live if you aren't a sophisticated snob or a liberal.