The possible option of a very good job for Mr. Cake has opened in Columbus, Mississippi. I know nothing about this particular area - it doesn’t look large and it’s a far distance from anyplace I am familiar with. Can any dopers enlighten me about what I could expect if we relocated? If it matters, we are from SoCal, but have lived in the Midwest for several years, and generally lean left of center in our politics.
I live in Columbus, but I just moved here two months ago, so I suspect there are Dopers with far more expertise than I have.
It is not, indeed, very large or very close to anything. The closest place that most people have actually heard of is Tuscaloosa, which is about a 45-minute drive away. That said, it’s a pretty nice sort of nowhere, if you’re into picturesque small towns. Lots of pretty nineteenth-century houses. There are a few good restaurants (surprisingly, including a quite decent Japanese place), a Books-a-Million, and a couple of coffee shops. Starkville, about half an hour away, has a few more restaurants and bars and, from what I’ve heard, a decent community theatre group. (Mississippi State may attract some performing arts stuff, as well, although I haven’t really had a chance to check it out.)
Most places are closed on Sunday, and there are only a couple of restaurants in town that serve alcohol on Sundays. It is impossible to get good bread anywhere, and hard to find decent beer other than Sam Adams. There is a Kroger, which has a pretty decent selection of groceries and is probably your best bet if you want anything at all unusual. Going to the other supermarkets is a bit like traveling back in time to the 1980s.
I’ve been out canvassing for Obama a few times and got a very friendly reception, although they only send out canvassers to black neighborhoods, and I suspect they would not have much luck elsewhere.
I’m from Virginia. This, apparently, makes me exotic. People have told me that I sound like I’m from London () or Sweden (:dubious:).
I work in Columbus and live in a small town about 30 minutes away. One of my best friends lives in Columbus. Both of us grew up in the small town I now live in but moved away to bigger and better things before we came back so do bring some objectivity but keep in mind I am a bit biased since I’m originally from here.
Politically - I can’t speak to Columbus, but from what I have observed you will see a pretty obvious divide between black and white. Since Columbus is a college town you will get more left leaning politics than the town I’m in (hell, I’ll go ahead and say it - Aberdeen) but left leaning is definitley more centered here compared to SoCal.
Columbus has some cute shops, a nice main street vibe and at the shop where I work we are always having some posters up for things like art shows and bands that are either centered around the W or MSU or at least geared toward the students or more liberal arty types. My friend moved back here from CO and is a granola-y vegetarian arty type and she does like it here sometimes and sometimes she feels very stifled. One thing I do know that will make a huge difference is that when she came back she came with a huge chip on her shoulder about how much better life is elsewhere. That attitude will carry you about 10 ft. around here (much like anywhere I would suppose).
Yes, the Kroger is where I have to go to get any organic or vegan food. My lady at the spa (or, as I call her: the wax lady) has been helpful with gearing me toward finding organic “hippy” food and stuff like that. You just have to spend some time finding the sub-culture.
If you do come I can recommend some restaurants, and we can ask my friend about areas to live in and stuff like that.
Wow - dopers who live there (or adjacent) - cool! Best I was hoping for was someone who once drove through on their way to somplace else or was at the AFB in the '80’s.
Thanks for the great info. We spent a very long year in Joplin a while back, and it sound like Columbus is better in some ways and no worse than others. I was hoping for more of a book store than Books-A-Million, but hey, that’s what Amazon is for. I did look at the Chamber and CVB sites and saw that there seems to be a decent variety of ethnic food and a pretty active roster of arts & culture for a place of that size. Good to have the universities nearby.
Mr. Cake very much wants to grab this job, but it will probably mean a pretty big dip in my career progress. On the other hand, it will pay him enough that I don’t have to work full time and can make up the difference in volunteerism. For what I do, that can be just as valuable on a resume as getting paid for the work. Of course, in this market I’ll probably be here trying to sell our townhouse for the next year.
I’ve friended you so that if and when you do move to the area you can contact me without having to dig through old threads if you would like any more info.
Thanks 'Bean. I’ll feel less foreign knowing that. We’ll make our decision this weekend, then it’s up to the company to decide whether or not they want the mister. The job reads like it was written for him and the recruiter has already sounded him out on a lot of personality things, so it’s looking pretty likely that he’ll get it if he wants it.
Mrs. Cake, I haven’t lived in Columbus, but spent time there (lived in Oxford), to work for the great photographer Birney Imes, who is now the Editor/Publisher of the local paper The Columbus Dispatch. He is a wonderful guy, so at least you know the local paper is good. Here’s a recent blog post that links to his photo work.
I liked Columbus, very charming, but small. That was in the 90’s, though, so I’m sure it has grown. I loved living in Mississippi, and can see going back to Oxford someday. There is a great richness in roadtrips for ya, Mrs. Cake.
Fretful Porpentine, are you teaching at MCW, or whatever it is called now?
It’s MUW for the moment, although another name change seems imminent. And yes.
It certainly looks like a gorgeous area, and we both love hiking and camping, so there is certainly that to look for. As I get older, er, more experienced in the ways of the world, I think nearly any place can work for me if I go in with the attitude of what can I bring to the party rather than what have they got for me.
Wow, that was good coffee this morning - I’m usually a lot more pessimistic than this.