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Old 11-30-2008, 10:21 PM
 
104 posts, read 257,861 times
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I am planning to move from Denver at the end of January, and I am looking at four cities. All of them are exciting to me: Nashville, Durham (NC), Columbia (SC) and Jacksonville. I know the weather differences between them.But I don not know the cultural differences, and the salary differences. I don't want to waste mytime moving to a place where I would never feel at home, and I don't want to live somewhere where pay is low. I am a quiet single, non-religious Midwestern guy in my 40s, straight, with a couple of cats.I worry I won't fit in. Columbia is the oddest place on my list. Nobody ever talks aboutSouth Carolina. Everybody wants to move to North Carolina instead. But maybe it's a gem of a city yet to be discovered? Would I be an odd bird there? Of the four cities and states I listed, are there any in which the wages are notoriously low? I make a good hourly wage in Denver as a freight delivery driver (local truck driver), and don't wantto go down in pay. (Atlanta doesn't appeal to me). Please give me your insights. Thanks.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
7,385 posts, read 10,064,312 times
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Would say that Columbia is the smallest and thus the most provinicial of all the cities you list with Nashville and Raleigh Durham tied for the largest/most progressive. Jacksonville has a strong military presence.

Can't exactly say which would be the highest paying in your line of work, but would say you have a career that is always advertising everytime I look at help wanteds in any locale.

Coming from Denver, I don't know if weather is a reason for the more south. Nashville will have the most pronounced change in seasons of the four, followed by Durham, Columbia and then Jacksonville. It can frost in Jacksonville, but not that often whereas snows and ice storms are common in the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Columbia seems to have the least amount of growth of the four, the others are large enough to host at least one major league sports team, so if you are wanting all that a large metro area can give, Columbia might not be in the same league.

However I had good friends in Atlanta that came from Columbia and loved it, really hated Atlanta at first, but now they love it and it is home for them. But they always have a fondness for Columbia when they speak of it. I have a brother in the Raleigh Durham area, a sister-in-law in Nashville and extended family in Jacksonville. Each is a nice area and all seem to be happy.

All the best in your move. From my perspective you can't go wrong if you look for the positives in each of them.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
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Why Durham specifically? I've heard/read great things about the Triangle region overall, but it seems Durham itself has little going for it other than Duke. I could be wrong...

Columbia is USC country. I think it has a little more to it than just a college-town environment (since it's the state capital), but the Gamecocks presence is definitely felt throughout.

Nashville is the biggest metro you've mentioned, and would have the most urban amenities you might seek (though Raleigh would come close). You'd basically be trading positions with Jay Cutler, eh?

Alright, on to Jax, the one city of your four that I know very well: like most cities, Jax is suffering from the economic downturn...overall not as badly as some other regions, but because of the huge presence of certain particular financial institutions, thousands of jobs/people are in limbo.

Jax's Port is growing and poised to explode in the next 5 years. Not sure how that would affect you as a local driver, but you can probably find a lot of news about it if you google "Mayport" and "Jacksonville." or Hanjin and Mitsui.

What else...umm, you may notice the heavy religious influence in the city. But it's not inescapable, and ultimately doesn't have to bother you. But just be aware that Jax is part of the Bible Belt and the Southern Baptist Church dominates certain aspects of the city.

I saw your thread about Florida universities...University of Florida has the best academic reputation and still excellent value (disclosure: i am a recent alum) but was not on your list, I assume, for a reason. So, with that in mind, UNF is a fine choice for you, and perhaps better than UF or USF would be because you aren't a typical undergrad student. While you might stand out in the college party atmosphere of some of those other places, UNF is definitely more of a commuter school and many students go to campus for class, then leave for work, family, home, or whatever other life outside of school that they have.

Anyway, hope that helps. If you have specific questions, post on the Jax board and plenty of folks will be happy to answer.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:04 AM
 
11,873 posts, read 32,899,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murof View Post
I am planning to move from Denver at the end of January, and I am looking at four cities. All of them are exciting to me: Nashville, Durham (NC), Columbia (SC) and Jacksonville. I know the weather differences between them.But I don not know the cultural differences, and the salary differences. I don't want to waste mytime moving to a place where I would never feel at home, and I don't want to live somewhere where pay is low. I am a quiet single, non-religious Midwestern guy in my 40s, straight, with a couple of cats.I worry I won't fit in. Columbia is the oddest place on my list. Nobody ever talks aboutSouth Carolina. Everybody wants to move to North Carolina instead. But maybe it's a gem of a city yet to be discovered? Would I be an odd bird there? Of the four cities and states I listed, are there any in which the wages are notoriously low? I make a good hourly wage in Denver as a freight delivery driver (local truck driver), and don't wantto go down in pay. (Atlanta doesn't appeal to me). Please give me your insights. Thanks.
I agree with what everyone else has said about the cities you mentioned, although technically the Raleigh-Durham metro area is slightly larger than Nashville's but is a heck of a lot more spread out and doesn't have a large urban core.

I'm originally from Florida, and to be honest I have never cared for Jacksonville. It's hard to put it in words, but it's just never done anything for me. If I absolutely had to move back to Florida (perish the thought) it wouldn't be to Jacksonville. I know people who absolutely love it there, but I just never found it to be very attractive or interesting. The joke I always heard was that Jacksonville is the largest city in South Georgia. I was born in Gainesville which isn't too far from Jacksonville but is a world apart.

I've always liked Durham. It's a smallish town but is in the middle of a booming metro area. It's not a suburb of Raleigh at all, it's a city in its own right with a lot of history.

Of the four cities you mentioned, Nashville is far and away my favorite. A non-religious guy like you wouldn't have any problems at all fitting in. Even though Nashville calls itself the buckle of the Bible Belt (it's the HQ of several large evangelical churches) it's surprisingly liberal. Even though it's the center of country music, it attracts musicians and artists of all backgrounds and demeanors. Nicole Kidman lives there and absolutely loves it. As she's said, Nashvillians pretty much leave you to your own business. She can go out shopping in Nashville and not be followed by throngs of autograph-seekers.

Because of Nashville's fairly central location, you're also not very far from most of the US. You can hop on a Southwest flight (SW has a hub in Nashville) and be just about anywhere in the US fairly quickly and cheaply.

Nashville has decent wages, probably similar to what you'd find in RDU but higher than in Jacksonville or Columbia (just a hunch). Tennessee has a very low tax burden (no state income tax). The Tax Foundation, if I remember correctly, lists only 2-3 states with lower tax burdens than Tennessee (NH, AK and SD, I believe).

The last 2 mayors of Nashville were both Northern transplants, so clearly the people of Nashville are welcoming of non-Southerners. It's a big, beautiful city, and I highly recommend it.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:00 AM
 
5,857 posts, read 14,043,096 times
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You mention you are a Midwesterner. I currently live in the Midwest and have lived in the South in the past. Of the 4 cities you mention, I think the average Midwesterner would be most comfortable in Nashville.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:27 PM
 
104 posts, read 257,861 times
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Thanks for your answers. I forgot I had posted this question. It is 10 degrees right now in Denver, and I can't wait to get out of here. Two months left, though. I choseDurham over Raleigh because the latter is the more popular of the two. It seems Raleigh would have higher housing costs, more traffic, and so on. Nashville does sound like a great place. I am drawn to Jacksonville because of UNF.The school sounds like a good fit for me, and it is affordable. It's odd, I have nothing to go by hardly, but Raleigh/Durham doesn't feel right in my gut. Why is that?I think the Research Triangle and the medical centers are a turn off. I wouldn'tfit into that type of corporate environment. I personally love the smell and look of real industry, you know? Maybe that's why I looked at Durham instead of Rally because I figured it was more industrial and/or agricultural. How can someone pick a place from so far away? Really it's between Jax or Nash. I can read the posts in City-Dataand get inspired about a place, but all it takes is ONE bad review by somebody abouthow that place sucks, and all that inspiration goes down the drain in a heartbeat. Who has time and money to visit these places? Plus it takes months to absorb a place.You can't just visit for a week and expect to get it. I can't afford it regardless,and I have cats who have never been away from me. I guess one just goes with the stats: cost of housing, cost of tuition, temperatures, and so on. Any subjectivechoice is nearly impossible right? I wish someone else could pick a place for me.I do like the idea of the port of jax, though. I am thinking of applying to jobs to both cities and going to the one where I get the first offer, or most interest. But that's not a good way to make a choice.
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