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  #1  
Old 02-20-2010, 07:12 PM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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Tell me about Asheville, NC

Due to some recent job circumstances, our family is looking at the possibility of moving "South" out of Ohio. We are atheist Democrats, so I am thinking we may not "fit in" with most of the North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia regions.

I researched Asheville a little, and it seems to be a great fit - but really, what can you know by just looking at the tourism websites, right? Anyone know much about the area and living there? Are they just putting on a good face?
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2010, 09:35 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by shirts with no numbers View Post
Due to some recent job circumstances, our family is looking at the possibility of moving "South" out of Ohio. We are atheist Democrats, so I am thinking we may not "fit in" with most of the North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia regions.

I researched Asheville a little, and it seems to be a great fit - but really, what can you know by just looking at the tourism websites, right? Anyone know much about the area and living there? Are they just putting on a good face?
Nah, they're just trying to get you down so they can have a good lynching.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2010, 09:43 PM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is offline
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Nah, Asheville is full of ex-hippies and artsy types. I'd be a lot more afraid of Ohio than Asheville.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2010, 10:00 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I found City-Data (dot) Com and their forums are a great place to find info about various cities in the USA
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2010, 10:07 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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My dad's family is from Asheville, and I lived and visited there off and on for many years. I love Asheville- I'm here in AZ because my family's here, but if I could move anywhere in the country, it would be back to there. The city of Asheville is fairly small, but has a vibrant artsyfartsy new age musician-friendly hippydippy feel. Then the outlying areas can be so country and southern and rural... I have relatives close to there that only recently got indoor plumbing! The downtown is lively and cultural. There's a University of NC there.

Asheville is just off of the Blueridge Parkway, which is beautiful. It snows just enough in the winter and is not godawful hot and humid in the summer (too much). I love it there.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:10 PM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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Thank you for the replies!

Marxxx I just checked out those forums, and they look like just what I need. Appreciated!

Alice We come from rural (although we've all had plumbing!), so that sounds just fine! The weather and scenery are what is really drawing me in.

My main concern with a move South is just picking a random town. My husband is a doctor, so a job could probably be found just about anywhere. I know from living in NE Ohio, there are pockets of Democratic mindsets amidst the overall Red State, you just have to know where to find them! And not that I am against conservatism, it is just always nice to be somewhere with others like you.

I LOVE North Carolina from the times we have visited family, etc. and Asheville seemed like the best fit on paper. Thanks for the input, and keep it coming!
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2010, 11:15 PM
Todderbob Todderbob is offline
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Nah, you'll be fine in North Carolina. You'll get invite to church a few times, but as long as you respectfully decline, you'll be fine.

I live in Ohio, and have for much of my life, but I've also lived in North Carolina, and I have family in North Carolina (different parts), so I have hands on experience. People are tolerant, but as with anywhere, don't like their beliefs to be actively challenged.

Really nice folks, in general, in North Carolina. The only problems I ever had were of my own making, egging people on because I was an antisocial dick.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:24 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Asheville is a really good place to live. Used to be mainly a big retirement area and it still is but now a lot of young artsy and outdoors people move there. They get snow but not as much as the northern NC mountains. I would like to live there but there are not many good jobs there , mostly just service jobs - working in stores, waiting tables, etc.

Asheville politics are pretty liberal, they always voted for the Dem even when their district in Congress was won by the GOP.

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 02-21-2010 at 07:26 AM..
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2010, 09:05 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Left Hand of Dorkness has lived in Asheville for quite some time, IIRC. Maybe the OP should send him a PM?
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2010, 09:34 AM
Walmarticus Walmarticus is offline
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I live about 40 minutes from Asheville. Even 40 minutes removed from that liberal bastion, I have never seen a single lynch mob. I also have known several homosexuals. Not only have I never gone to church, but I've never been asked to go to church. There are exactly as many retirees as rednecks. I'm fairly certain that western NC people are the exact same as all other people. We are far too normal to be afraid of.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2010, 10:14 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I am summoned.

So others have talked about the idea that we're a buncha toothless rednecks. No, not all of us--just the family we saw at the park yesterday, and they were very nice, even threatening to kidnap our baby and take her home with them.

Race and politics is complicated in the South everywhere, including here in Asheville. For years I assumed that our population was about 10% or so African-American, based on who I saw socially and in public. No: it turns out that we're about 25% African-American. It's just that Asheville is, socially, segregated by race. It's very easy for a white person to see few black people in social outings (and, I assume, vice versa). I worked for years at an institution with 30 employees, and for the majority of that time, we had a 100% white staff. That's not really what you'd see in Durham or Atlanta or Chapel Hill (two of those from personal experience, one from what I hear).

But that doesn't mean Asheville is overtly racist. Our Democratic mayor is black and is tremendously popular. But that might be changing, and this points again to the complication of race and politics. She's in a jam right now because she was one of the few people in city council who voted against (a proposal to move ahead with) extending domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples, a vote she made based on her Baptist beliefs and that she's defended by calling the proposal political maneuvering. She's lost my vote over this.

Anyone that tells you race and politics in the south is simple is a simpleton.

Okay, that said, here's a warning about Asheville: the cost of living is very high here compared to the rest of the South. Our unemployment rate is lower than average in the state, but a disproportionate number of jobs are service sector, based on the tourism industry: in my age cohort (mid-thirties) nearly everyone I know has been employed by Biltmore Estate or Grove Park Inn at some point, at measly wages. It's difficult to find a living wage here in town.

On the bright side, medicine has been a major part of our job base since the early twentieth century and the tuberculosis sanitariums that opened up here; we still have a big medical industry. That may or may not be a good thing for your husband: there are a ton of doctors here already. Given the difficulty of finding jobs, I would recommend finding a job before moving here--I know of one professor-and-ENT couple who moved from Asheville because the doctor couldn't find work.

With that caveat (and with the obligatory "Asheville is full, go away!" snark that we all have to do toward outsiders--sorry, it's in the bylaws), I love it here. Been here a little over a decade, and I suspect I'll stay here the rest of my life. The mountains are beautiful, the downtown is lovely, West Asheville is a great neighborhood for walking in, the schools are pretty good (they rank very high in NC school systems), and it's just all-around a great place.

I'd also recommend looking at Carrboro, a sleepy little town that adjoins Chapel Hill, with a similar culture. Its proximity to RTP and to several major hospitals (UNC Memorial, Duke, and the big one in Raleigh) may make your husband's job search easier, and I think that jobs are easier in general to find in that area. If I were to move anywhere else in NC, it would be Carrboro.

Lemme know if you have specific questions, and I'll try to answer them!
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2010, 11:00 AM
jasg jasg is offline
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Left, anything to say about Wilson, NC?
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2010, 01:06 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Best thing I can say about Wilson is it's near the Raleigh area where I live, about 1 hour east. There is not much to do there or many jobs. It's pretty much the way it was 50 years ago, not many transplants or new jobs. If you get a job there you could live on the east side of Raleigh and commute since it's a 4 lane highway the whole way.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2010, 01:56 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Sorry--I know nothing about Wilson. On that subject, I'll say, stay away from Cary, IMO.
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2010, 02:11 PM
whitetho whitetho is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Sorry--I know nothing about Wilson. On that subject, I'll say, stay away from Cary, IMO.
I, on the other hand, think you'd like Cary just fine. On the topic of Asheville, I've never met a person who said they didn't like it.
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2010, 06:59 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I, on the other hand, think you'd like Cary just fine. On the topic of Asheville, I've never met a person who said they didn't like it.
Heh--sorry, Whitetho. De gustibus and all. My main associations with Cary are the notorious acronym joke, and the sense that the architecture is all that postmodern style deliberately designed to strip a location of its sense of place, and a feeling that every restaurant and bar and other business there is based on a business plan rather than on a passion for the cuisine/drink/subject of the business, which tends to strip the place of any soul. There's a new development in Asheville that I insult by saying it seems like Cary. (Telling hypocrisy disclosure: I go there anyway, since it has the best-equipped theater in town).

But I do know some folks who live there and like it just fine, and those people are just fine. It's just a place that really rubs me the wrong way.

FWIW, there are plenty of folks I've known who didn't like Asheville. They tended to be the uber-hipster types, though, for whom Asheville just wasn't hip enough.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:16 PM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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Thank you so much - very helpful. I am somewhat looking at all of NC, just trying to find that "right fit", so the recommendation of Carborro is fantastic. I will certainly look into that further. I did see they have what seems to be a big farmer's market, which is fantastic for me as I run a home based cookie business and have been drumming up business through our market here in the summers.

Any recommendations on some coastal areas? I've read Wilmington is decent, is that true? Any sleeper areas you might know about? As I said, we are looking at all areas, and truly are drawn to either the mountains or the ocean (moving from Ohio, those are HUGE draws!!) Thanks again.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:34 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Pittsboro used to be a sleeper place but now it's getting a lot of people moving there from Chapel Hill, it's about 10 miles south of CH.

Wilmington is nice but the economy there is mostly tourism. They have a movie studio that gets a lot of use for movies and TV shows - Dawson's Creek was filmed there and now One Tree Hill is. There is a big CRO company headquartered there - PPD.
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  #19  
Old 02-21-2010, 08:52 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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My mom's family grew up in Wilmington. But I still don't have much of an impression of it. The outer banks are phenomenal, but understand that they're rollover islands, and any land purchased there is a temporary setup. I mostly gravitate to the mountains.

And yeah, Carrboro has a great farmer's market!
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  #20  
Old 02-22-2010, 02:25 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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I don't know about the rest of NC, but there are quite a few Ohio transplants* (I'm one of them; also agnostic liberal) in the Charlotte area, so I think you'll fit in just fine down here. There's just enough southern culture to appreciate, but it doesn't seem totally steeped in southern stereotype. Try to get used to ordering your tea without sugar if you don't want your teeth to rot out. Sweet tea is the default and when they say sweet, they aren't just whistling Dixie.

Charlotte is the largest city in NC and is only about 2 hours away from Asheville. We are also only about 3 hours from Charleston, SC on the coast. But in Asheville, you've got the Blue Ridge Parkway in your backyard and some fantastic hiking and camping right there (pretty good skiing, too). If you like the outdoors, I would say that Asheville is the perfect place to settle. If you need some big city time, you can head to Charlotte or Atlanta, which is only about 3.5 hours away. Plenty of great places near enough to drive to for weekend getaways.

You get much better weather and can spend more time outdoors. People are very friendly and welcoming. There's a fair amount of conservatism and bible belt mentality, but there are also pockets of liberalism -- Asheville, as noted earlier, being one of those pockets. I'd say Charlotte is an interesting mixture. Charlotte has nightlife and football if that's your thing. NASCAR is here too, but it's not too in-your-face, unless you want it to be.

I live in a small university town in SC, just south of Charlotte and while it's less expensive over the border, I wouldn't say it's all that great. Traffic into Charlotte isn't too bad, taxes are certainly less, and goods are cheaper, but education is not SC's strong suit. Politics suck here, too, but who doesn't know that? Don't even bother looking at the rest of SC (other than Charleston, maybe), sadly. Sorry if that offends anyone, but yeah we've got a LOT of room for improvement.

That said, after nearly 15 unhappy years in Ohio, I can easily say I'm in love with the Carolinas. Good luck to you!

*Shortly after we moved here, I got my current job and discovered two of my co-workers were both recent transplants from Ohio. Instant bonding. That certainly makes adjusting a lot more comfortable.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:04 AM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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Thanks, Brown Eyed Girl! I was just making my way back in here to ask about some other areas, Charlotte being one of them. I have ventured into thinking about SC, so that is good to know as well. Seems like overall NC is a better fit for us, plus closer to Ohio for visits back to family would be that much shorter!

What are thoughts on the Durham area? I have been reading on Marxxx's link, and consensus seems to be that Old North Durham, etc have a slightly liberal feel and are nice.

We are by no means "crunchy hippy", and I certainly am learning that NC is not as bible belt as my impression was, so moderate/democratic towns are also ok, which it seems as though most of the bigger cities are. Weighing all my options! I know Durham has many medical opportunities, but the problem with all the academic hospitals is the pay - as I've learned in NE Ohio, even though we have great medical facitlities, the pay there is not so great because of the "prestige" of working there
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:23 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Durham is more of a blue collar place than Raleigh or Chapel Hill but it's mostly liberal. Duke is a big part of Durham and there are a lot of medical jobs all over the Triangle area. The other big industries here are software , biotech, electronics and clinical trials. State government is big since Raleigh is the capital.

Pretty much any of the big cities in NC are full of transplants from up north and other parts of the US. People joke that is some places it's hard to find natives of NC. A lot of people come to the triangle area for school at NCSU, UNC, or Duke and then stay here because there are lots of jobs.
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2010, 03:29 PM
whitetho whitetho is offline
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Originally Posted by shirts with no numbers View Post
I've read Wilmington is decent, is that true? Any sleeper areas you might know about?
I lived in Wilmington for four years. You can do better. It does fall into the "nice place to visit" category, with the riverfront and nearby beaches. But it had limited opportunities and I'm just as glad not to live there anymore.
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2010, 04:07 PM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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This is why I need to just go and stay in a few areas for a couple days! I have a distant friend that lives in Wilimington, and I just contacted her about it and she loves it there. Although, she is from Ohio, so is probably estatic with sunshine and beaches. General NCer consensus seems to be that it is not all that great, though.

Due to the medical opportunities, I think we are probably looking at Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham - or a place like Asheville if it has an opening because the pay is fantastic due to the need for recruiting. Problem is, many of those higher pay places are RURAL and way in the mountains with snow, cold, etc and I don't know if we want to up and move to a place with weather similar and less to do. I guess that is why Asheville stuck out to me at first (beautiful scenery, probably decent pay, liberal, etc), but I don't even know if a job exists there.

He hasn't really dove into it yet, as we were just researching overall areas (and this has been extremely helpful). Time to get to the nitty gritty!
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:32 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Maybe I am wrong but I thought a Dr. can get a job pretty much anywhere , for a general practice Dr. I know here in NC many rural areas want more doctors but obviously those jobs don't have high pay. (I think that is true in just about every state) Some rural areas have no doctors at all and the residents have to drive to the nearest major city.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:57 PM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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Maybe I am wrong but I thought a Dr. can get a job pretty much anywhere , for a general practice Dr. I know here in NC many rural areas want more doctors but obviously those jobs don't have high pay. (I think that is true in just about every state) Some rural areas have no doctors at all and the residents have to drive to the nearest major city.

It depends. My husband is a pediatrician, and many rural Appalachian areas recruit as "under served" areas and include things like student loan repayment incentives, etc. to get doctors there. Many times, it can be a government program even that is trying to get medical care to these areas, but it can also just be a recruitment from a practice (not as often, but can be). That is only true of real out of the way places, not so much "country suburbs". Asheville may be considered near some of those areas, but we haven't looked that closely at it yet.

He could probably find a job in just about any area, especially being general peds. Bigger cities offer less call, and better work schedule, usually because there are more physicians serving in the practice. It all depends, though, and there are alot of factors that need to be weighed! Which is why this is could be so difficult
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  #27  
Old 02-22-2010, 05:05 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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There are very rural areas close to Asheville, pretty much all the southern NC mountains are rural. If you head west it's all rural and real small towns until you hit Chattanooga or Knoxville, both are around 2 hours away. For example Swain County has 12k people, Graham County has 8k.

I read about a Dr. who was recruited to work in a rural area and he had 1 requirement - he wanted to be within 75 miles of an NHL team. He moved to eastern NC because he was close enough to the Hurricanes in Raleigh.
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  #28  
Old 02-22-2010, 06:13 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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We are by no means "crunchy hippy", and I certainly am learning that NC is not as bible belt as my impression was
Do some research into New South. It's something of a business movement, something of a cultural movement, something of an intellectual movement, something of a social justice movement: the idea is that the Old South is the South of poverty, racism, religious bigotry, etc., and the New South is a vibrant and heady mix of cultures and creativity. Some cities exemplify the idea more than others, of course, but a lot of smart folks here in the South appreciate this idea and wish more folks from outside the region would think of the South more as jazz and less as the Klan.
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  #29  
Old 02-22-2010, 06:20 PM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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I live in Raleigh. Never been to Asheville however one of my liberal friends tells me that it's just bursting with Democrats and hippies and gays, oh my!

Charlotte, in my opinion, is a dump. One of the ugliest cities I've ever seen, traffic was awful and I was thoroughly unimpressed. Lots to do there, yes, but ugh -- so not pretty.

One thing I have found surprising here in Raleigh (I'm a transplant) - it is HARD to get to know people here. People are polite, but they aren't necessarily friendly. I don't know if that's a Raleigh thing or an NC thing, but I'll put it out there for your perusal. That's my only complaint about this city, though - everything else is hunky dory. If you're a tree hugging vegetarian, you'll find others members of your tribe here. If you're a raging conservative, we got those too. If you're apathetic, disillusioned and cynical, we all meet at my place the 2nd Tuesday of every month, bring an appetizer to share

Wilmington is lovely. I'm not a beach person at all but I'd seriously consider living there if the opportunity presented itself.

If your husband's a doctor, though, I'm thinking Raleigh/Durham if he wants to have a life. He'll be a small fish in a big pond, yes, but he won't be the only doctor in town and thus may get a weekend to himself every now and then. That said - there are a surprising amount of pediatric clinics statewide that have Saturday hours.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:31 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Left, anything to say about Wilson, NC?
My ex-wife's parents lived in Wilson for several years. IMHO, it's a hole.
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  #31  
Old 02-22-2010, 06:47 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Charlotte, in my opinion, is a dump. One of the ugliest cities I've ever seen, traffic was awful and I was thoroughly unimpressed. Lots to do there, yes, but ugh -- so not pretty.
Aww, bummer. You must not have seen the nice parts of Charlotte. I think it's a nice city. Certainly a lot nicer than Cincinnati.

Quote:
One thing I have found surprising here in Raleigh (I'm a transplant) - it is HARD to get to know people here. People are polite, but they aren't necessarily friendly. I don't know if that's a Raleigh thing or an NC thing, but I'll put it out there for your perusal. That's my only complaint about this city, though - everything else is hunky dory.
I find just the opposite in Charlotte, so I'm not sure it's an NC thing. There are so many transplants it seems we're all in the same boat as far as getting to know people. Also, I find southerners in general very welcoming and friendly. When we moved into our neighborhood in Rock Hill, many of our neighbors came out to welcome us and tell us how wonderful our neighborhood is.

Hey, shirts, if you decide to come down to Charlotte to check things out, let us know. Maybe we can meet for lunch or something. You know, just being a Doper means you've got instant local friends where ever you end up. Maybe it's time for another Charlotte Dopefest, come to think of it.
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  #32  
Old 02-22-2010, 06:59 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Maybe it's time for another Charlotte Dopefest, come to think of it.
Word.
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  #33  
Old 02-22-2010, 07:02 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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If you're apathetic, disillusioned and cynical, we all meet at my place the 2nd Tuesday of every month, bring an appetizer to share
Pfft. Last guy to tell me that was just trying to sell me something. I'll never fall for that again. And even if you aren't scamming, which you probably are, I can't be arsed to show up.
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  #34  
Old 02-22-2010, 07:02 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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There isn't much difference between Raleigh area and Charlotte. Both have plenty of transplants and lots of growth although it's slower now due to the economy . The main difference is Charlotte is big in banking and Raleigh is big on high tech, medicine and universities and state government.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:02 PM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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Aww, bummer. You must not have seen the nice parts of Charlotte. I think it's a nice city. Certainly a lot nicer than Cincinnati.
Good point. Charlotte is definitely prettier than Cincy.
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  #36  
Old 02-23-2010, 07:52 AM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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You guys are awesome, thank you. I am still considering Asheville because there are so many aspects about it I like, and it is a little closer to family in Ohio - only drawback is the climate is not as "warm" as I would like, but would certainly be an improvement over Ohio winters! The mountains are beautiful, so it may make up for it

Any recommendations on suburbs of Raleigh or Charlotte? I am leaning more towards Raleigh, but would have to go where a job is. Also, I was reading that they re-district the schools just about every year - is that just a "city" thing due to growth, or do the suburbs do this, too? That would be a HUGE drawback for the area to me.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:02 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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All the areas around Raleigh are pretty similar - the higher priced areas are Apex, Cary and Holly Springs. Other areas are more middle class. In Raleigh the north is the high end area. Schools do shift but the school board just got a big overhaul so that is probably going to decrease a lot. The schools cover all of Wake county. Schools are growing fast although the recession has slowed that down a little. For example a few years back they added 6000 students per year .

Chapel Hill has very good schools but it's the most expensive place to live. CH used to be a college town but now a lot of non UNC people live there. Durham is a mixed bag, some nice areas but more poor areas. Nice areas are in the south and north.

Any other RDU area questions you can send me a private message.
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  #38  
Old 02-23-2010, 08:13 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is offline
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As for the Charlotte area, there a number of choices for suburbs:

- The Lake Norman area: about 20 miles north of Charlotte, right off on I-77. The commute to/from the city can be pretty bad. It's a large lake if you''re into boating. Not much for swimming though (only a few small public beaches.) Towns in the area are Huntersville, Cornelius, Mooresville, Davidson, Denver and others.

- Belmont: Just minutes west of the city, accessible right off I-85, the commute is fairly easy. Nice, small town. Further west is Gastonia, which has a reputation of being a bit "red necky" but is changing slowly as more folks move in.

- Union County: South of the city, about 30 minute commute depending on whart part of the city you're going to; low taxes; good schools, lots of new developments sprinkled among farms; LOTS of transplants (like me!) Towns include Weddington, Waxhaw, Indian Trail, Wesley Chapel and others.

- Fort Mill/Rock Hill, SC: Also south of the city on I-77. Low taxes, good deals on homes, so-so schools (Fort Mill's are supposedly pretty good)

When we moved 5 years ago we chose Charlotte over Raleigh because we were coming from NYC and Charlotte has more of a city feel to it. Just a personal choice. Plus, I liked that they had pro football and basketball teams. Charlotte is 2 hours from the mountains and 3.5 hours to the ocean. The weather is usually pretty mild. We get snow once or twice a year and it usually melts the same day it arrives. Contrary to PandaBear77's opinion, there are many beautiful areas in and around Charlotte. Like any large metro area there are some ugly spots too, but coming from the NYC area, I find it incredibly clean and nice here.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:17 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Just a small opinion from an Ohio liberal who has never lived in but frequently visits NC...

I've been hanging around Chapel Hill/Durham/Carboro/Pittsboro/Hillsboro for about 10 years now. I find the whole place very "hippie liberal." All my friends out there are artists and musicians. We go to indie movies, eat at vegetarian restaurants, visit indie art shows and go to free outdoor concerts.

Now, granted, I'm sure we do more "artsy" stuff due to the nature of my friends (one's a middle-aged nurse/musician who lives on a farm in the country. The other is a hip young mom who works in an office and lives in Durham) but still, those sorts of activities are ripe for the picking out there. There are tiny pockets of hipness in Northeast Ohio (Tremont, Kent) but those are more like city blocks. The "hipness" in Chapel Hill/Duram goes on for miles.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:57 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Besides Asheville, I also lived in Rock Hill for five long years fifteen years ago. I found Rock Hill itself to be pretty worthless as far as a city, but Charlotte's only minutes away, and that's where we went for everything.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:58 AM
TagAmos TagAmos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Yankee View Post
As for the Charlotte area, there a number of choices for suburbs:

- The Lake Norman area: about 20 miles north of Charlotte, right off on I-77. The commute to/from the city can be pretty bad. It's a large lake if you''re into boating. Not much for swimming though (only a few small public beaches.) Towns in the area are Huntersville, Cornelius, Mooresville, Davidson, Denver and others.

.
I grew up in the Lake Norman area (Huntersville, to be precise) in the 1970s and 80s. At that time the population was about 2000 people. It now has about 35,000 people. Even though I miss the old farming/cattle community of years gone by, I have to admit the amenities Lake Norman now has are very nice and very convenient. Anyone living there rarely has to go into Charlotte for anything.

I would also like to mention the Concord/Kannapolis area just East of Charlotte (about 15-20 miles). It is rapidly growing and is a fairly easy commute into Charlotte.

Another benefit regarding the Charlotte area is the job opportunities. Industry has spilled into the surrounding areas in all directions so that finding a job outside the city limits is fairly easy. Furthermore, Charlotte is the hub for the Carolinas Medical Center juggernaut. Plenty of medical jobs are available.

As far as the people, I have always found them accepting and pleasant. Of course, I'm one of them so I'm admittedly biased.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:58 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Chapel Hill has been liberal for a very long time. In the 60s Jesse Helms said "We don't need a new state zoo, just put a fence around Chapel Hill"

One thing I find amusing is a large chunk of Duke professors live in Chapel Hill instead of Durham. People commute from CH to RTP and Raleigh since outside of UNC there are not many jobs there.
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  #43  
Old 02-23-2010, 05:22 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by shirts with no numbers View Post
You guys are awesome, thank you. I am still considering Asheville because there are so many aspects about it I like, and it is a little closer to family in Ohio - only drawback is the climate is not as "warm" as I would like, but would certainly be an improvement over Ohio winters! The mountains are beautiful, so it may make up for it
This winter's not a good example, but most winters we only get one snow of more than an inch or so. Asheville's in the mountains, true, but it's also in a valley and in a rain-shadow, meaning it stays warmer than the surrounding mountains and also gets less precipitation.

Still may be too cold for you; certainly it's not as warm as the Piedmont. But it's not as cold as the rest of the mountains.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:54 AM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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I'm baaaaack! Looking around at jobs, what are opinions on the Winston-Salem area? There are a couple of opportunities around there, but that is probably the ONE place I haven't asked about yet
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  #45  
Old 02-26-2010, 08:59 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I lived in Winston-Salem for 4-1/2 years in the mid '90s, but it has changed a lot since then, with Wachovia shipping out and the steady decline of the tobacco industry.

I visited back in November and to be honest, it felt a little like a suburb surrounding a ghost town. With Wake Forest, it's probably not in danger of collapsing in on itself just yet, but it is probably on its way to becoming the Chapel Hill of the Triad.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:03 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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WS/Greensboro is more blue collar than Charlotte or RTP areas. It's growing but not as fast as Charlotte or RTP areas. Their Dell plant just closed but FedEx has a new big hub there.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:12 AM
shirts with no numbers shirts with no numbers is offline
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Thanks. Not hugely interested in the area, but it was making some resurgence then we would consider. Doesn't sound like it!

Still leaning more towards the usuals - Charlotte, Raleigh or Asheville...possibly a coastal community just because we LOVE the water, but that would be a far shot. You all have been greatly helpful!
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:49 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is offline
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One other thing to recommend about Charlotte, if you are into amusement parks, is Carowinds. It's not exactly Disney World or Six Flags, but it's pretty good and right outside the city limits.
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  #49  
Old 02-26-2010, 11:20 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Carowinds is nice , it's similar to Busch Gardens.

Raleigh to the beach is 2 hours, 1.5 if you drive fast and traffic is light.
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  #50  
Old 02-26-2010, 11:43 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Carowinds is nice , it's similar to Busch Gardens.

Raleigh to the beach is 2 hours, 1.5 if you drive fast and traffic is light.
Someone took me to a gourmet food store (I think it was in Chapel Hill.) It was huge and chock full of amazing things. Any idea what I'm talking about? I might have chosen the triangle area just for that had I know about it at the time.
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