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Old 08-12-2012, 11:57 AM
32 posts, read 193,814 times
Reputation: 29


My company has locations around the country and I have the option of having a relative say in where I live out of their 46 options... one of them is Alabama, particularly (I don't have much by way of specifics yet) in the "black belt" area which as far as Wikipedia tells me isn't inherently racist but correct me if that is a bad thing to say in a local context). So... what is there to like and dislike about living in this area?

I'm trying to narrow down my options--I'm fresh out of college, ready to experience the world, and really open-minded so I'm letting every place be on the table. I am single, female, am not particularly needy at this point. I have a dog and like outdoorsy stuff but what's most important to me is having stuff to do (cultural events, places to go, trails to hike, classes to take, etc) and most most important is having the community be welcoming. I'm very social and make friends easily but I've lived in places where the culture encourages being more isolated--that is not for me!

SO... how does Alabama do in that regard? What are summers like? Anything else you can tell me that'll help me make or break this on my list? I have lived in very very poor areas of the country and very rich areas of the country--I'm adaptable. Like I said, the community is the most important, crime rates and quality of my living space is relative to what I can do and who I can do it with. I can always move again to a better area once I get a feel for the place. Thank you so much!
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:09 PM
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The Black Belt region of Alabama covers a lot of territory, so we'd probably need to know a specific location before giving you informed opinions. Is the location in question in a town? If so, which one?
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:32 PM
32 posts, read 193,814 times
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Don't know yet. I'd get placed "where I'm needed". This part of the process is frustrating me a bit, I won't know specifics until I settle on general areas... I guess I just need to know kind of what that part of the country is actually like so I can tell if I might like it and then if yes I can get more specific in a bit when my company lets me know more about my possible placements.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:43 PM
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Keep in mind that the Black Belt includes a wide range of communities from urban to small town to rural: Montgomery and Greenville and Selma and Troy and Eutaw are very different places.

What does "having the community be welcoming" mean? Do you want a parade every year on your birthday? Also, what type of work do you do? For example, in most areas people might be more welcoming to a nurse rather than a community organizer.

What types of cultural events do you prefer? Cultural events in the Black Belt can mean anything from Footwash to Civil War Re-enactments to Shakespeare festivals.

Summers are hot and humid. Depending on which part of the country you're moving from, you may or may not be adaptable. Some people can't stand months and months of 90+ temps and high humidity.

There are some beautiful natural areas for year-round hiking, camping, canoeing, &c. The Gulf Coast beaches are convenient. There are some great cities nearby, like Mobile, Birmingham, and Pensacola. As for classes, it depends on location - Montgomery has several universities - Eutaw, none.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:46 PM
231 posts, read 491,225 times
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Default Possible move to alabama in a Year or too

As already stated, theBlack Belt covers a wide area and conditions differ to some extent. Additionally, I don't know what type of environment you're accustomed to. Be very careful about moving into any of the Black Belt area. Conditions range from something akin to Alfghanistan to somewhat better. Large portions of the area are hopeless-improvement is highly unlikely.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:40 AM
Location: South Florida
4,812 posts, read 5,360,149 times
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Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
What does "having the community be welcoming" mean? Do you want a parade every year on your birthday?
This is the funniest thing I've seen in forever!!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:00 AM
31 posts, read 69,934 times
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I'll take a parade on my birthday every year. I can be grand marshal.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:15 PM
Location: Petticoat Junction
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I''l just take a check...
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:04 PM
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We live in the black belt. We are originally from the northeast but have lived EVERYWHERE. My husband is Italian and by your name I am assuming you are too. Be prepared to be called EYE-talian. Not a big deal just kind of funny to us. I will say it back to them or tell people we are EYE-talian just to make ourselves giggle. Someone once told me that everytime they here my last name they crave pizza.

Not sure how religious you are. We are not. Church and God are associate with everything. Have not had a conversation yet that God or Church was not mentioned. This does not bother us we just know that is how it is. It is also in schools and work. Again we have no issues with it but it is definately not something you could do in the rest of the US (not looking for a debate if it is best or not or if God should be in these areas bc I am just stating fact and do not have a stance on the topic).

Not sure where you are from but the summers are HOT HOT HOT! I really do not leave the house with the kids in the middle of the day. But the rest of the year the weather is beautiful other than the Tornados. Thunderstorms are more thunderous then anything you have ever heard or seen! But again, they can be soothing.

People are very friendly and will talk to you immediately especially if they notice you are new. With in 3 minutes of the conversation you will be asked to join there church or they will say, "Are you looking for a church? We will love to have you?" That is the questions that are asked after your occupation. They will also invite you to a club or organization they belong to. They will also give you there number and tell you to call them if you need anything or have any question. (Very friendly!)

The only good shoping imo (this is my opinion and not looking for debate I am sure their are some wonderful places) is Birmingham and Montgomery. However the smaller towns and even cities that have no other town around them (like the one we live in) are pretty self-sufficient with different festivals or street fair-like things--where you can get everything from a boat to clothes to anything Alabama or Auburn. Be prepared to hear "Roll Tide" or "War Eagle" EVERYWHERE you go especially during football season and be prepared to pick a team--it is a must!

Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:52 PM
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Honestly, I would worry less about the "Black Belt" and more about the economy here. Are you in sales? If so, this is not the place to be right now. If not, then I would say Alabama is like most other places, setting politics and religion aside. Touching on that, Alabama is definitely more Republican and Conservative than anything. Do some research on the Bible Belt and Alabama and you'll get a pretty good idea. A friend of mine moved down here from New Hampshire and she insists that Alabama is like an entirely different breed of people. I disagree, but I was also born and raised in Alabama.
In my opinion, in regards to the welcoming community, it really depends on how much you are willing to put yourself out there. If you are shy, you may come off as uninterested in socializing. If you are outgoing, you'll have friends lining up to hang out with you.
All in all, I would say living in Alabama is something everyone should try at least once. It is truly unique. Oh, and good lord, the SEC Football. Roll Tide is now used for just about anything in conversation. For example: Shirley - "Dang, that's a nice car!" Dan, instead of saying "hell yeah!" would say "Roll Tide!" haha.
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