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Old 06-27-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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In what ways are these cities similar? In what ways do they differ? Which is "better" and why? (acknowledging "better" is subjective).

Some possible areas of comparison: vibe, schools, access to cultural and recreational activity, politics, infrastructure, weather, growth, jobs, transportation, welcoming vs. resentful of newcomers, preservation of natural beauty, sprawl, type of people that choose to live there, etc etc etc. Whatever else you can think of, go for it!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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Chapel Hill has the advantage of having UNC right there, and all the sports/culture/nightlife that goes with it. Not sure Frederick has anything really similar in that regard.

Frederick has the advantage of being less than an hour from both DC and Baltimore, and proximity to the NE corridor. However, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is growing rapidly in its own right; you could easily live in Chapel Hill and commute to Raleigh or Durham, not so sure you could live in Frederick and commute daily to DC or Baltimore.

Chapel Hill would have "better" weather in that winters aren't quite as cold and dreary as they would be further north (however, summers would be a bit hotter, but not by much).

My vote would go to Chapel Hill.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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Nice comparisons, Lone Star!
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, MD
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Definitely Chapel Hill. Frederick in the 90s was the complete sticks and has only recently become more popular as people were being priced out of DC and Montgomery County. There's far less going on in Frederick than in Chapel Hill, CH has the legendary music venue Cat's Cradle neighboring it and a great music/arts scene with tons of independent shops. There's also still a lot more of a redneck element to Frederick. Frederick has come a long way but its basically a place for people priced out of other areas while Chapel Hill is a place people really want to live or end up there for college.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhenomenalAJ View Post
Definitely Chapel Hill. Frederick in the 90s was the complete sticks and has only recently become more popular as people were being priced out of DC and Montgomery County. There's far less going on in Frederick than in Chapel Hill, CH has the legendary music venue Cat's Cradle neighboring it and a great music/arts scene with tons of independent shops. There's also still a lot more of a redneck element to Frederick. Frederick has come a long way but its basically a place for people priced out of other areas while Chapel Hill is a place people really want to live or end up there for college.
I agree. The issue with Frederick, MD is that while it's in the Baltimore-Washington area, it's too far from either city. If you're going to live in this area, then it's preferable to live closer to D.C. or Baltimore. Frederick is sort of stuck in the middle of nowhere (although it does have a small, historic area and new bedroom communities if you want that).
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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Oh, interesting responses. If I may put out some impressions in the hopes that people will correct me if I'm wrong, or affirm me if I'm right. My disclaimer is that I don't really know what I'm talking about LOL - my impressions are formed from two brief visits to Chapel Hill and online research/interrogating a friend in Frederic/my spouses' impressions after 1 visit to Frederick. I know enough to know how little I know and I want to dispel misconceptions in my mind quickly. So - this is how the comparisons are coming out in my head ... (even though, as you can see at the very bottom, the facts shows less differences than I'm perceiving).

From our visit to Chapel Hill and my spouse's visit to Frederick, it appears that the downtown area was actually bigger/ more lively in Frederick. The center of entertainment we found in Chapel Hill was Franklin Street and the Weaver Market area in Carrboro. Frederick appears to have about 15 square blocks of bars and restaurants and shops. Was this an incorrect impression?

In terms of Frederick being in the "middle of nowhere" - I'd love to hear more thoughts on this, since we're trying to avoid the middle of nowhere . In the triangle area, my (brief, outsider) impression was that Raleigh was a more suburban'ish kind of city than what I'm used to (NYC born and raised). It also seems to have a business-focused downtown (as opposed to a "culture-focused") and then Chapel Hill/Carrboro were adorable, but seemed small ... and a bit of a "snobby" culture beneath the liberal, friendly surface. Didn't find Cary to be anything to write home about. Outside the immediate triangle, access to a major city is many, many hours away (other than Charlotte). Frederick has DC and Baltimore an hour away, and Philly about 3 hours away.

Frederick seems more ethnically diverse than Chapel Hill/Carrboro (or at least less segregated?? And "diversity" is good for some places and not so good for others, so just stating the fact, but don't know the "meaning" in either city at this point). Chapel Hill seems "younger" as far as the population (probably a reality of being a college town). We are no longer "younger" Frederick seems more affordable than Chapel Hill. Both seem liberal (Chapel Hill more so?). Frederick seems more "live and let live" kind of liberal; Chapel Hill seems more "we'll force you to do the right thing" kind of liberal LOL.

The history, foundation and stability of Chapel Hill is long and proven, whereas Frederick is a new kid on the block and is yet to show that it's growth and direction will work out in the end. Crime and schools appear to certainly be better in Chapel Hill, though not bad in Frederick (but for being cities of approximately the same population size, Chapel Hill wins on that front --- am I correct there?). Chapel Hill (though not some of it's neighboring towns) is trying hard to preserve it's beauty and infrastructure and appears to be engaging in very smart growth. Not sure where Frederick falls on that front.

Facts:
Chapel Hill - 21.3 square miles ... Population 57,233 ... Population Density 2,687 per sq. mile ... Median Age 25.6 ... 18% of people 45-64 years old ... 73% white/9.7% black/ 12% asian/ 6% hispanic .... citydata crime index 2010 = 193

Frederick - 22.2 square miles ... Population 65,239 ... Population Density 2,900 per sq. mile ... Median Age 34 ... 28% of people 35-54 years old ... 61% white/ 18% black/ 6% asian/ 14% hispanic ... citydata crime index 2010 = 329

Last edited by Minier; 07-01-2012 at 06:43 AM..
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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From my observation of the above post you've set this up to be a pro-Frederick thread. Why ask for comparisons and then come back with your pro-Frederick post? Seems like you've made up your mind, so why bother with this thread? By the way, Chapel Hill slam dunks Frederick and you didn't even mention Durham in your post which is infinitely more interesting than Raleigh in my opinion.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:09 AM
 
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In my mind, I AM currently favoring Frederick, but only because I've visited Chapel Hill twice, so that is "real" to me - I haven't been to Frederick and am going by web research, one friend's opinion (who lives there) and my spouses' perceptions from a weekend trip there. It's easy for me to "idealize" Frederick at this point, not having seen it and it's real-world pros and cons.

So, you are correct that my comparisons favor Frederick. However, you are misperceiving my intention in starting the thread. I wanted people to compare because I know I'm not really making comparisons based on personal knowledge of the two places, and wanted more "fair"/realistic comparisons from people that know both places. Since the few replies were so vague, I decided to post what I'm thinking and ask for people to "correct" that where applicable. I'm pretty sure I said that originally. While a few people responded "Chapel Hill wins" or so, my second thread also intended to give an example of the type of detailed comparison I'm hoping for (favoring whichever city the person favors).

I'm seeking information (and yes, we're visiting Frederick next week for a week), NOT looking for debates or trouble. But I see how you got the wrong impression, so let me reiterate, "My disclaimer is that I don't really know what I'm talking about LOL - my impressions are formed from two brief visits to Chapel Hill and online research/interrogating a friend in Frederic/my spouses' impressions after 1 visit to Frederick. I know enough to know how little I know and I want to dispel misconceptions in my mind quickly. So - this is how the comparisons are coming out in my head ..."

I'd love to hear more specifically why you think Chapel Hill beats Frederick so dramatically - DETAILED opinions and comparisons are exactly what I'm hoping to get from this thread.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:18 AM
 
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P.S. didn't see much of Durham while there, which I know is silly since it's RIGHT there, but because our focus was on specific school districts, we concentrated our time in exploring neighborhoods (and seeing homes) we might actually live in. That's why it's not mentioned, but good point.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:50 AM
 
63 posts, read 71,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minier View Post
In my mind, I AM currently favoring Frederick, but only because I've visited Chapel Hill twice, so that is "real" to me - I haven't been to Frederick and am going by web research, one friend's opinion (who lives there) and my spouses' perceptions from a weekend trip there. It's easy for me to "idealize" Frederick at this point, not having seen it and it's real-world pros and cons.

So, you are correct that my comparisons favor Frederick. However, you are misperceiving my intention in starting the thread. I wanted people to compare because I know I'm not really making comparisons based on personal knowledge of the two places, and wanted more "fair"/realistic comparisons from people that know both places. Since the few replies were so vague, I decided to post what I'm thinking and ask for people to "correct" that where applicable. I'm pretty sure I said that originally. While a few people responded "Chapel Hill wins" or so, my second thread also intended to give an example of the type of detailed comparison I'm hoping for (favoring whichever city the person favors).

I'm seeking information (and yes, we're visiting Frederick next week for a week), NOT looking for debates or trouble. But I see how you got the wrong impression, so let me reiterate, "My disclaimer is that I don't really know what I'm talking about LOL - my impressions are formed from two brief visits to Chapel Hill and online research/interrogating a friend in Frederic/my spouses' impressions after 1 visit to Frederick. I know enough to know how little I know and I want to dispel misconceptions in my mind quickly. So - this is how the comparisons are coming out in my head ..."

I'd love to hear more specifically why you think Chapel Hill beats Frederick so dramatically - DETAILED opinions and comparisons are exactly what I'm hoping to get from this thread.
Frederick has a lot of mountains and hiking opportunities nearby that Chapel Hill doesn't. Frederick's downtown area is probably bigger and it has more than college kids. Both areas are overpriced, but if you could find cheaper areas in raleigh and durham to live and still be close to chapel hill, while frederick is cheaper than anything further east in baltimore or dc. I see DC and baltimore say frederick is the country but I see it as a DC suburb myself, it's 15-20 minutes to the germantown-gaithersburg area, and if you live in Urbana you are almost in Montgomery county.

chapel hill is more heavily wooded than frederick which has a lot of open farmland. chapel hill is uber-liberal area while frederick tends to be more conservative especially for Maryland. there really aren't that many good employers in frederick outside of Bechtel a large engineering firm and they are moving half their people to an office in northern virginia soon.

it snows a lot in Maryland compared to chapel hill. frederick is nicer in the summers but chapel hill will be nicer the rest of the year.

i can't really see any reason to live in chapel hill unless you are a UNC nt, or you make a lot of money. south durham, north raleigh, apex, wake forest areas tend to make more sense for middle class professionals.
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