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Unread 07-17-2008, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
33,988 posts, read 37,831,899 times
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Default Questions about diverse neighborhoods: what is the point?

We have had several posts wanting to know about "diversity" in neighborhoods and threads w/ the question: "Is Charlotte diverse?"

I am perplexed by these posts and wonder what posters are really trying to determine?

We have white people and black people here, and those two groups make up the majority of races here. We also have cuban, mexican, south american, central american, asian, middle eastern, indonesian people who have chosen to make CLT their home. We also have native Americans . . . and Europeans, Scandinavians, Ukrainians . . .

I do not get the questions.

People choose neighborhoods based on such things as proximity to work, the schools, and the most important factor is - what a person can afford.

I always assumed that people lived where their buying power afforded them to live. So people who have family incomes of $50,000 can't typically afford to live in the same neighborhood as people w/ family incomes of $100,000 . .. and those w/ $250,000 and up salaries are typically going to buy in areas w/ much more expensive homes . . . and so forth.

So we all end up being in neighborhoods w/ people around us who have similar jobs, similar education . . . regardless of race (or sexual orientation, for that matter). I have not heard discussions about racial make up of neighborhoods since the 60s - until I started seeing these questions from newcomers.

I am perplexed!! Why would anyone care what ethnicity a potential neighbor might be? I don't get the discussion or the concern, and I am not trying to be disrespectful to those who have asked. I truly don't understand why anyone would even be wondering about this. ????
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:01 AM
 
768 posts, read 1,977,492 times
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Well you won't find the same make up of people who live in a $400k house in Noda vs a $400k house in Indian Trail. Plus there are neighborhoods that seem to draw certain ethnic backgrounds. I lived in one years ago here in Charlotte. Every single neighbor beside us, around us, behind us, etc were from India. I eventually found out that there were several companies that were from Asia that were right near this neighborhood and the company suggested this neighborhood when they moved. They felt comfortable being around people from their own country so they could connect and not feel so alone in this country.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:06 AM
 
509 posts, read 1,150,248 times
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When we built in another North Carolina city, we specifically chose an urban infill development because we liked the diversity. For the same money, yes we could have lived in the burbs.

when we moved here, we picked a neighborhood based on proximity to work and the style of the home. we're not in a particularly diverse area and I do miss the feel of my old neighborhood.

but I do understand why some people ask. They might not want to be the only "xxxx" in a certain area. We considered this to a certain extent as our daughter is Asian and we are not... but there are not large pockets of Asians really anywhere in Charlotte. (well, there are pockets of south asians, but not from northern asian areas)
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:32 AM
 
Location: West Cardassia, NC
2,491 posts, read 3,567,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
We have had several posts wanting to know about "diversity" in neighborhoods and threads w/ the question: "Is Charlotte diverse?"

I am perplexed by these posts and wonder what posters are really trying to determine?

We have white people and black people here, and those two groups make up the majority of races here. We also have cuban, mexican, south american, central american, asian, middle eastern, indonesian people who have chosen to make CLT their home. We also have native Americans . . . and Europeans, Scandinavians, Ukrainians . . .

I do not get the questions.

People choose neighborhoods based on such things as proximity to work, the schools, and the most important factor is - what a person can afford.

I always assumed that people lived where their buying power afforded them to live. So people who have family incomes of $50,000 can't typically afford to live in the same neighborhood as people w/ family incomes of $100,000 . .. and those w/ $250,000 and up salaries are typically going to buy in areas w/ much more expensive homes . . . and so forth.

So we all end up being in neighborhoods w/ people around us who have similar jobs, similar education . . . regardless of race (or sexual orientation, for that matter). I have not heard discussions about racial make up of neighborhoods since the 60s - until I started seeing these questions from newcomers.

I am perplexed!! Why would anyone care what ethnicity a potential neighbor might be? I don't get the discussion or the concern, and I am not trying to be disrespectful to those who have asked. I truly don't understand why anyone would even be wondering about this. ????
ani - Having grown up in North Jersey, diversity is just the "politically correct" term for "how integrated the area is". Charlotte is much more successfully integrated than most of the Northeast. This question may be posed by both whites and minorities in determining their "comfort level". There was a story in my old local paper about towns whose demographics were undergoing a transition from a high-majority white population to a more mixed black, white, and hispanic one. The study found that in previous almost all-white areas, once the minority population reached about 10%, the so-called white-flight effect starts and within a timespan of 10 to 20 years, the town will transform into a "minority majority" one. The more affluent the town was, the more immune it was to this process. For example, Montclair NJ is a wealthy town that would resemble Myers Park in that it has very expensive homes with a few moderately priced ones. A typical starter home might go for $500,000 and the more upscale homes are $1,500,000 and up. This town seems to be a model of diversity and stability, while a town that is more blue-collar will seem to only tolerate a diverse population at a much lower level, before it will undergo seismic demographic shifts.

I remember an episode of 60 Minutes that showed an Atlanta suburb that was a collection of massive McMansions populated by wealthy black professionals. They seemed to enjoy living in a area with so many people that they could relate to, both on a social and economic level.

I think that both mindsets are in play in Charlotte. Many newcomers will fear an area that is "diverse", thinking (relative to where they came from) that future property values might decrease, and many minorities fear that they will be the "only one" in their neighborhood. I'll give Charlotte a lot of credit for managing this in a way that most Northern cities can only dream about.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:34 AM
 
630 posts, read 1,105,320 times
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Regardless of how diverse people think they are, for the most part they want to hang around people the same as them with the same interests.

The elderly probably wouldn't want to live above a nightclub and the college kids probably aren't interested in Shady Acres.

We live in a neighborhood with families and we're newlyweds with no kids so we feel a bit out of place sometimes. People of different ethnic groups tend to have more in common with those of the same ethnicity and can hold on better to their traditions when it's more of a community atmosphere.

Its become black, white and hispanic nowadays down here but Boston is still fairly segregated with the North End (Italians), Southie (Irish) Dorchester (Vietnamese), Chinatown (Chinese) and then by the colleges its mostly younger people.

Although an Asian person may move to the North End, they would people still have to travel back for the foods they like or to share holidays with their friends and people of the same culture. I would know, because my wife is Asian and she gets homesick alot more than I do being down here.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:39 AM
 
640 posts, read 722,123 times
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There are people who believe that living in an area/having kids grow up in an area where not everybody looks like you, thinks like you, goes to the same church as you, works at the same company as you, etc is desirable. Living in such an area might also mean that there is easier access to a wide variety of restaurants, grocery stores, etc - something else that may be appealing.

While many suburbs may be "segregated" by income, older neighborhoods and some newer planned developments may be less so, with a mix of housing options, which may also be attractive to some people.

Whether or not a person is from a "diverse" background, the desire to have "diversity", however they define it, around them as part of the day-to-day experience is quite understandable.

Charlotte does not seem to have as many pockets of "Little Italy", "Chinatown", "Little Havana" etc as other cities...but for us, one of the reasons we chose our neighborhood was proximity to places like Red Sea for Ethiopian food, Dim Sum for Chinese, Taqueria La Unica for Mexican, etc.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
302 posts, read 568,657 times
Reputation: 89
I have asked a similar question, and i think most ppl who are asking might be from up north, and might view the "south" as being predominantly black. I am in no ways racist but in researching an area to start my life in i would want somewhere that i would fit in. Im white and wouldnt necessarily want to live in a neighborhood that was 90% black, or hispanic, just as a black or hispanic person might not want to live in East Hampton NY where it is 99.8% white. People just sound confused asking these questions because they are trying soo hard not to offend anyone that noone can understand what it is they are actually asking. Hope that clears it up.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Cornelius
3,665 posts, read 5,932,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDtech123 View Post
I have asked a similar question, and i think most ppl who are asking might be from up north, and might view the "south" as being predominantly black.
Do what? hahahaha....I have never heard of such a thing! You really thought this was the case? wow....
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Unread 07-17-2008, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
302 posts, read 568,657 times
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Thought what was the case?
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Unread 07-17-2008, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
42,168 posts, read 48,588,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDtech123 View Post
I have asked a similar question, and i think most ppl who are asking might be from up north, and might view the "south" as being predominantly black. I am in no ways racist but in researching an area to start my life in i would want somewhere that i would fit in. Im white and wouldnt necessarily want to live in a neighborhood that was 90% black, or hispanic, just as a black or hispanic person might not want to live in East Hampton NY where it is 99.8% white. People just sound confused asking these questions because they are trying soo hard not to offend anyone that noone can understand what it is they are actually asking. Hope that clears it up.
It's like Em and Ani said above "Charlotte is much more successfully integrated than most of the Northeast." We just don't think like you guys up north apparently do (about race and living in the same areas) down here because we are so used to living in mixed neighborhoods. Most of our neighborhoods are truly only segregated by the color green. For 20 years I have had Indian neighbors, Philipino neighbors, black neighbors, white neighbors, Mexican neighbors - you name it. We just don't care about our neighbors races here - it does NOT devalue our property to live in a mixed race neighborhood like I guess it does in the neighborhoods of other cities up north. Here we want our neighbors to be of like VALUES, no necessarily like colors . We want them to care about the community, keep their yard neat, volunteer at the local schools, BE good neighbors.
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