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Old 08-27-2013, 05:17 AM
 
40 posts, read 51,108 times
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Greetings!
I am very much interested in finding out about Living in NY, particularly Albany or Syracuse.
I've lived in the north and in the south, (I'm northern) but I've lived in the south for about the past 40 years.
I'm wondering what the prevailing attitude is for out-of-towners.

I got over the notion of "southern hospitality" around 1971, blowing it off as a myth. My experiences are that there is an incredibly prevalent blue-blooded vibe throughout the south; a kind of "Yer not from Around here, are you, boy?" thing that is very noticeably separatist.

Not tooting my own horn, because I am certain that Many others have volunteered for their communities--but I have stacks of awards for community service, volunteering my my community, etc. It's just that I don't think most around here do, so sometimes find their condescension almost hilariously ironic. My Point is, I help them, and that's "nice," but it will never be enough. Many wear T-Shirts around here with "Southern Pride," "American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God!" and "If you don't have your (cartoon of a Valentine heart) in Dixie, get your (cartoon of a stupid looking donkey munching weeds) OUT!"

Anyway, I've been taking care of a family member for the past 15 years, and I am now ready to move on with my life. Over the years, I have missed the north terribly--the weather, the food, the action, and the general feeling of not worrying about where someone might be from. So I am slowly preparing to move to NY.

But I am curious as to what people have to say about feelings toward out-of-towners.

Thank you very much in advance!
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
335 posts, read 719,170 times
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I am an out-of-towner, although a native New Englander. There are a lot of people here who grew up here and have a lot of family here. (My daughter once complained that everyone in her class had a cousin in the class except her. I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea.) This can sometimes make it hard to break in if you are a family with kids - not because anyone is purposely excluding outsiders. It's just that they already have their network and don't understand what it's like not to have family around. I don't think the same is true for people without kids. It's easier to go out and meet people at events, and there are lots of people that come here from elsewhere, even if that elsewhere is only downstate, because of the state government. If anything, the feeling might be almost the opposite of what you described - some (not the majority by any stretch) downstaters look down on the native Albanians.

Democratic politics is a big machine here, but even in that realm we have a native Midwesterner who is a front runner for mayor this year and City Council members that hail from other cities, states, and even countries. I just came back from a meeting with a colleague who is from the Midwest, lived in Albany for several years, now lives in the South, and she is actively looking for a job in the Capital District. She felt much more welcomed here as an outsiders than she does in Virginia.

I don't know where you are coming from in the South, but there isn't the same huge network of country clubs, etc. that there are in some cities in the South. I have a friend who moved to Raleigh, NC, and she said she was surprised that everyone in her neighborhood joined some kind of club or community center. They ended up doing so because she said that was the only way to meet people. Although there are certainly country clubs and other social clubs like the Fort Orange Club, membership is not widespread, so you don't have to go about figuring out which of these is welcoming to outsiders.

It is very easy to get involved in the City of Albany. I have a colleague who lived in New York City for over 20 years. She said she met more people in 3 years in Albany and was able to get involved in more civic activities than she was in her entire time in NYC. She also said the satisfying thing about here is that you can actually feel like you can make a difference - she is involved with a citizens committee that is pushing for changes in code enforcement, and they are making some movement.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,324,391 times
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I'm originally from western NY, and I'll second what sarchivist98 said about Albany and environs. I was a single woman in my thirties when I moved to Albany for a job, and I knew no one. I also am not one of those out-going people who can walk into a room full of strangers and come out with ten new friends. I worked at two different state agencies, and my co-workers at both were very welcoming whether they were local or had come from somewhere else. I also found it easy to make friends outside of work, from the apartment complex I first lived in in Ravena, a little town a dozen miles south of Albany; to Troy; and finally to Colonie.

I think one of the most positive aspects of the Albany area is its progressive social attitudes. Maybe this is an influence of the large state government presence and/or the presence of all the colleges and universities in the area and/or its relative proximity to NYC, but the Albany area seemed much more at ease with racial and/or ethnic diversity than other upstate cities. It also seemed much more welcoming of gays and lesbians in mainstream society much earlier than most places at the western end of the state. Where the rest of Upstate NYS is today, Albany was there probably two decades ago.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:02 AM
 
252 posts, read 392,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarchivist98 View Post
Although there are certainly country clubs and other social clubs like the Fort Orange Club, membership is not widespread, so you don't have to go about figuring out which of these is welcoming to outsiders
Probably because the Ft. Orange Club only really caters to the wealthy and/or connected. I think southern clubs are way more open to the general public and therefore more popular.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,324,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hock41 View Post
Probably because the Ft. Orange Club only really caters to the wealthy and/or connected. I think southern clubs are way more open to the general public and therefore more popular.
I think that using the Ft Orange Club was a poor choice because it's pretty exclusive (I think). There are plenty of actual country clubs around Albany if that's your thing, but I think that sarchivist98 was trying to say that joining one isn't as important for your social acceptance in the Albany area as it might be in some places in the South.

In my limited experience as a visitor to some places in the South and from conversations with others who have moved to various parts of the South is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of social interaction between people who've been born and raised in the area and those who relocate there. Now, to be honest, most of my friends who have moved South are living in fairly new developments (built since 2000) and in areas that have seen a lot of in-migration (like Myrtle Beach, Tampa, and Charlotte), but it seems that the newcomers make friends mostly with other newcomers and not so much among local people.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:36 AM
 
40 posts, read 51,108 times
Reputation: 53
Thanks so much for your great answers!
I am Very Pleased with what I see!
I have never joined a country club--but I get the feeling that the ones around here in NC are pretty much like they are in those '80's, anti-preppie movies.
I like the idea of "easily becoming involved" with the community, and the notion that the general vibe is open to diverse groups. As a photographer, I would very much like to check out the local Arts Community, as well.
I know I feel Much Better after reading your responses!
THANKS, and Cheers!
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:43 AM
 
8 posts, read 9,939 times
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I'm from New York City, and I occasionally pick fun at my friends from California, especially when they complain about the cold (ironic because I HATE cold weather and snow.) But yea, I have been down south, and I felt incredibly welcomed and warm, I loved it, but I also felt that same thing, Yer not from around here. But in my experience, people were generally interested to hear about life in the north, they sure seem to think it is another planet.

In answer to your question, yes, New Yorkers pick fun at their out of town friends. And as a native New Yorker, I AM better than everyone from everywhere else, but that being said, no one is going to shoot you for being from where ever you're from.
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