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Old 03-31-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbyunc View Post
^ Wow, interesting that you could come to all those conclusions from one visit. How long were you here? I can agree with your first couple of sentences, but the rest seems like hogwash to me (I've lived here almost 18 years):

--"overbearing presence of big tobacco and conservative wealth"? I have no idea how you would say either is "overbearing". Yes, a large tobacco company is headquartered here. Honestly I don't see that they have much presence other than having a couple of buildings downtown. They pretty quietly go about their business, and they certainly don't control the city or anything close to it. And we do have some rich old people, but you hardly ever notice them unless you hang out at the blue-blood country clubs. What's overbearing about that?

--"Napoleon complex"? I completely disagree--I think this city is quite comfortable with who/what it is. It has a proud past and it's committed to building a bright future. IMO, Winston is not trying to be something it's not (as opposed to say, Charlotte, which wants to be "the next Atlanta"). I think Winston does want to grow and progress, but not at the expense of becoming a "big city". Many people live here precisely because it's not a big city. Where are you hearing about all the companies that started here "back in the day"? It's not like we have billboards or blaring TV commercials about it. I'm sure there are travel/visitor brochures with that kind of stuff, but how hard is it to just put them down and stop reading them?

Anyway, I think mlsegal2 nailed it. Winston has an awful lot going on for a city its size, and it's great for people who don't want to put up with big city life. Maybe we don't have 300 bars and lots of flashing lights, but we have quite a few cool places to hang out. We have excellent local restaurants--no, most aren't "cutting edge" like New York or San Fran, but they're a lot less expensive and you don't have to wait weeks to get on the reservation list. We have enough shopping to meet most all of our needs. Virtually no traffic problems at all. Lots of arts events, festivals, concerts, fairs, etc. ACC sports (and the tickets are pretty easy to get). We are just a few hours from the mountains and the coast. I could go on and on...


And blueheron, you are absolutely correct--Winston-Salem is not Tampa! Duh...who knew? I mean, they're only what, 800 miles apart? So I could see how someone could confuse the two. Thank you, Captain Obvious, for pointing out what anyone can clearly see on a map.
I understand that you believe that those criticisms were premature (and maybe even unfair based on one visit), but I did state a desire to be corrected if wrong. Maybe "Napoleon complex" was the wrong euphemism, but many of your arguments don't really address my main concern. On my short visit I met a number of people who were not necessarily "happy with WS the way it is" (and many who are). And your statement about NY and SF is just an exaggeration to deflect the issue. Have you been to SF? You can walk into some of the best ethnic eateries in the world and be seated within 2 minutes. Just because there are places that require 3 week advance notice doesn't mean that they are the only great places to eat.

As far as "big city life", there are a number of cities that are nowhere near as hectic as you imagine and offer all of the amenities most people look for (heck, I live in one). A couple hours to the the coast or a good airport? We live 5 minutes from the airport, 20 minutes to the beach. My point is not to defend Tampa, hell it has some major problems. My point is to say that the choice isn't between your hyperbolic vision of NYC and the utopia of WS. I'd be much more interested to hear the things that really annoy you about living in WS, if there are any. That way I wouldn't be disappointed to learn them after it's too late. At least people warned me about the strip clubs, strip malls, and warped politics before I came here.

What I'm really wondering is whether WS is really as vibrant and interesting as it makes itself out to be? On an average Wednesday afternoon downtown, would you really see lots of people walking the streets and talking in cafes or is it mostly a "revitalization project" that people are reluctant to buy into? Are the so-called farmers markets and festivals really that awesome, or is it one of those things that recent transplants go to "experience" and realize that they're lamer than expected? Hopefully you get the idea. I freely admit that I'm easily bored. But I don't find myself bored in Tampa. I didn't find myself bored in SD, Tuscon, Bethesda, or Madison. I just wonder about WS.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jnichols2 View Post
I understand that you believe that those criticisms were premature (and maybe even unfair based on one visit), but I did state a desire to be corrected if wrong. Maybe "Napoleon complex" was the wrong euphemism, but many of your arguments don't really address my main concern. On my short visit I met a number of people who were not necessarily "happy with WS the way it is" (and many who are).
I didn't address your main concern because in your first post you didn't say anything about the people you met or what they said. And you didn't say why they aren't happy with WS, so I can't address that. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's a heckuva lot better than some places, just as I'm sure there are a lot of places that are better than WS.

And your statement about NY and SF is just an exaggeration to deflect the issue. Have you been to SF? You can walk into some of the best ethnic eateries in the world and be seated within 2 minutes. Just because there are places that require 3 week advance notice doesn't mean that they are the only great places to eat.
No, not an exaggeration or a deflection. My comments were intended to point out that WS is not a big city, so you won't find the very best restaurants or the diversity of ethnic fare that you'd find in a large city. So for someone to come along and say "WS isn't like Tampa" (or SF, or any other large city), well, no it's not, and it's not trying to be. But my point is, for a city its size it has a lot of very good restaurant choices.

As far as "big city life", there are a number of cities that are nowhere near as hectic as you imagine and offer all of the amenities most people look for (heck, I live in one). A couple hours to the the coast or a good airport? We live 5 minutes from the airport, 20 minutes to the beach. My point is not to defend Tampa, hell it has some major problems. My point is to say that the choice isn't between your hyperbolic vision of NYC and the utopia of WS.
Well, all that's pretty obvious to me. If you need to be 5 minutes from a major airport, or 20 minutes from the beach, then WS isn't for you. And if you want the amenities and vibrancy of a very large city, it's not for you. But my point is, despite that, it's a great place to live with lots to offer.

I'd be much more interested to hear the things that really annoy you about living in WS, if there are any. That way I wouldn't be disappointed to learn them after it's too late. At least people warned me about the strip clubs, strip malls, and warped politics before I came here.
I can truly say that nothing about Winston-Salem really annoys me. I would like to see more people out and about all the time--but this has improved drastically since I moved here in the early 90's. At that time, the sidewalks were pretty much deserted after 5:00, and there were few attractions to bring people downtown. It's gotten much better, and I'd like to see it improve even more. But the fact that we haven't gotten there yet doesn't annoy me--I can be perfectly happy sipping a nice local draft brew at one of the many bars we have already.

I would like to see more/better linkage between the different centers of activity we have--Burke St., 4th St., the Arts District, the baseball stadium, Old Salem, etc. As it is, a visitor to one area may have no idea the other areas even exist. I think it would be extremely cool to convert the train tracks that run from Stratford into downtown into a human transit system. I'd like to see more street musicians, and more street food. I'd like to see Old Salem restore the brewery (rumored to be the second thing built in the original settlement, after the church). I'd like to see fewer cars and more pedestrians. Etc., etc.

What I'm really wondering is whether WS is really as vibrant and interesting as it makes itself out to be? On an average Wednesday afternoon downtown, would you really see lots of people walking the streets and talking in cafes or is it mostly a "revitalization project" that people are reluctant to buy into? Are the so-called farmers markets and festivals really that awesome, or is it one of those things that recent transplants go to "experience" and realize that they're lamer than expected? Hopefully you get the idea. I freely admit that I'm easily bored. But I don't find myself bored in Tampa. I didn't find myself bored in SD, Tuscon, Bethesda, or Madison. I just wonder about WS.
Well, these seem to be questions only you can answer. WS is probably not very vibrant to someone from NY, or SF, or even Tampa. But for someone from the sticks, this is a happening place. I don't know what excites you, or what bores you, so I can't really speak to that. But I can say that if you come here with the expectation that it will be like anywhere else, then you'll probably be disappointed. But if you come with an open mind, willing to check out things that maybe you wouldn't otherwise, you might find it's not so bad.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jnichols2 View Post
Very interested in your situation. Would love to hear more.

My impressions of WS after one visit are the following:

It is an interesting town that has more to do than you'd expect for it's size. Some parts remind me of Portland, others remind me of Cleveland (smaller scale, though). The downtown is cute and quite liberal/trendy/artsy for being in the south... but it was really hard to tell whether it was all for show of if people actually treat it as a trendy vibrant and walkable area. On the day I was there, the shops and restaurants looked great but there was barely anyone walking around. The overbearing presence of "big tobacco" and "conservative wealth" is weird, and would take getting used to. It's biggest flaw, it seemed to me, was that for all of it's positives, it still can't escape a bit of a Napoleon complex. I think I'd get pretty sick of repeatedly hearing about how many companies (Hanes, Krispy Kreme) started there back in the day. Or about how it used to be the biggest city in NC. Or the furniture. Yadda Yada. Not trying to be snobby here, but I've lived in a town about this size previously and I know that these boilerplate factoids and advertisements are usually how people cover up clear deficiencies. Sort of a denial mechanism.

Being 1.5 hours from a respectable airport is a real problem to me. For me there is still a feeling of isolation in WS, and the sense that all of the "cool" places and activities might not be everything they're cracked up to be (i.e., good for realty magazines, but might get boring quick). WS wants to invest even more heavily in biomedical research and health care, and that's great, but I think the town is trying to go through a sort of very optimistic "revitalization/restructuring". I hope all of their dreams come true, I'm just not sure I want to be part of the experiment.

Just my thoughts. Please correct me if I'm wrong on these... I would love to get a more accurate viewpoint from folks who actually live there.
Based on your observations from such a short visit, I feel 100% confident in telling you that moving here would be a huge mistake. I honestly think you will regret it if you moved to W-S. There was an article about W-S in a magazine (I believe it was some airline travel type of magazine my mom found when flying for a visit) and it gave glowing reviews about W-S. It was almost comical to me and you pretty much summed it up in your comment about things in W-S looking good in a realty magazine. I find your observations to be pretty dead on, but just slightly exaggerated. You do know and hear about Hanes, Krispy Kreme, tobacco and conservative wealth, but it is certainly not over bearing - at least not enough to bother you or be on your mind. I think the city has a gritty, tired look about it. There are problems with crime, poverty, teenage pregnancy, high drop-out rate and people affording food/health care. Forsyth county always comes up high on the list in those areas. A currrent article in the W-S Journal said a poll was conducted that indicated 25% of the population has had trouble affording food and I think the city was like 3rd or 4th in the nation for hunger. You can certainly live in a bubble here and not see or be near the poverty. I found a quote from a food bank person to sum it up perfectly when addressing the shock from many locals after learning about the hunger issue. He said most employed people hang out with other employed people and would never know or be around the hungry. It is so true. You really can live in denial about
W-S's problems and just give glowing reviews about the efforts of the downtown revitalization. In 5 years, I have yet to see downtown crazy busy. Now trying to get into the Olive Garden is another story! I feel like you have to put your name on their reservation list at least 3 weeks in advance to get a table. I would seriously think long and hard before leaving a place where you are currently happy. You will be homesick before you unpack your moving boxes.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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enlightenme, thanks for your post. I appreciate differences of opinion, and I realize everyone has their own perspective. Since you have such a different view of WS than I do, I'd like to explore that just a bit. Perhaps we're both a little bit right and a little bit wrong, so help me understand your point of view and maybe we'll find we're not so far apart after all. See my comments below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by enlightenme View Post
There was an article about W-S in a magazine (I believe it was some airline travel type of magazine my mom found when flying for a visit) and it gave glowing reviews about W-S. It was almost comical to me and you pretty much summed it up in your comment about things in W-S looking good in a realty magazine.
Is this really a fair criticism? I think if you take a look at any such magazine for any city, you'll see glowing reviews and a viewpoint that only points out the good. They're PR materials, and that's exactly what they're supposed to do. Seriously, was the WS magazine any more hyperbolic than those from any other city?

I think the city has a gritty, tired look about it.
Some areas may be, but overall I think WS is a very beautiful city that holds its own with any other larger city. The downtown area is clean and full of interesting and unique architecture. There are lots of rolling tree-lined streets, small neighborhood parks, and larger natural areas. Even Oprah once referred to Arbor Rd. as the prettiest street in the country (yeah, I know it's Oprah, but still, that's a pretty impressive accolade). Every city has tired areas, but I really think Winston is much prettier overall than most any other city in NC, except maybe Asheville.

There are problems with crime, poverty, teenage pregnancy, high drop-out rate and people affording food/health care. Forsyth county always comes up high on the list in those areas. A currrent article in the W-S Journal said a poll was conducted that indicated 25% of the population has had trouble affording food and I think the city was like 3rd or 4th in the nation for hunger.
Huge misconception. The article to which you refer even addressed it--the hunger survey covered the "Winston-Salem area", which includes Yadkin, Stokes, and Davie counties. A quote from the article:

"Three rural counties are impacting the data," [Joines] said. "We were lumped in with the rural areas, but unfortunately, the Winston-Salem name is on there. Looked at by itself, Winston-Salem would not be in that category."

Link= Winston-Salem area ranks third in U.S. for food hardship | JournalNow.com

Not to belittle the hunger problem, but it's simply not fair to judge the city of WS based on this study. And sure, WS has crime, poverty, teen pregnancy, etc., but I'm quite sure the rates are not excessive when compared to other cities. You should also consider the "exposure" factor--most of these problems are centered in specific areas of the city which are really not very visible to the average person. The downtown area is very safe, and you rarely hear of random violent crimes, muggings, etc. Here is a link to a "safest cities" ranking based on FBI stats-- CQ Press: City Crime Rankings 2010-2011 (see the "City Rankings" section.) The Winston metro area is ranked 266, not great but not bad either.

You can certainly live in a bubble here and not see or be near the poverty. I found a quote from a food bank person to sum it up perfectly when addressing the shock from many locals after learning about the hunger issue. He said most employed people hang out with other employed people and would never know or be around the hungry. It is so true.
But at the same time, we have several very successful food programs in the area (e.g., Second Harvest, Rescue Mission, etc.), and the Forsyth Co. United Way consistently leads the country in per-capita fund-raising, so people are stepping up to help out. And again, I don't think the tendency to isolate oneself from urban problems is unique to WS, so it doesn't seem to be a fair criticism to me.

You really can live in denial about
W-S's problems...
Who's living in denial? I think most reasonable people understand the problems we have, and I find they're pretty good about helping out. I have been involved in a number of charitable initiatives over the years (United Way, Habitat, Meals on Wheels, and others), and there is a strong undercurrent of support for these efforts.

...and just give glowing reviews about the efforts of the downtown revitalization. In 5 years, I have yet to see downtown crazy busy.
If you saw what downtown was like 15 years ago, you'd give glowing reviews too. No, downtown is usually not "crazy busy", but I have seen it pretty darn crowded with things like the River Run festival, National Black Theater festival, Rock the Block, etc. And on most weekend nights there's quite a stir around 4th street.

Now trying to get into the Olive Garden is another story! I feel like you have to put your name on their reservation list at least 3 weeks in advance to get a table.
Agreed, and it baffles me why people stand in line for this place when we have so many other really good Italian choices in town. I think it's mostly people from Davidson County who don't know any better. (wink, wink )

I would seriously think long and hard before leaving a place where you are currently happy. You will be homesick before you unpack your moving boxes.
There's nothing wrong with liking the place you came from better. But if you can't find things to like about WS, then perhaps it says more about you than it does the city itself. And I don't mean that in a bad way--some people want more than WS has to offer, and I understand that. But that's no reason to put the city down. Just say "It's not for me, and here's why..." I find it hard to believe that crime, poverty, and a "gritty look" are at the root of your reasons.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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wow, what ticks me off is how many people want to move to a quaint little town like W/S but then they want to change everything about it! As I said I grew up here so I don't know big city living but I know I will sleep just fine if you decide not to move here.

As for all of the very opinionated points after "1" visit, it sounds to me like you hung out with people who are transplants themselves and not very happy ones at that. As for tobacco well um the name of the city is "WINSTON-SALEM"-wonder how that came to be? I have never smoked a day in my life but I am very proud of our cities tobacco heritage because it is what our founders fed their families on, right or wrong. I feel like if someone is moving to a new city then they should want to embrace the heritage in that city. Otherwise, why would you want to move there?? Find a city you respect and like first or you're going to be miserable.

Yes, Hanes and furniture are big around here too.......geeez.....wish there was a rolling eyes faces I could insert here.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by arbyunc View Post
enlightenme, thanks for your post. I appreciate differences of opinion, and I realize everyone has their own perspective. Since you have such a different view of WS than I do, I'd like to explore that just a bit. Perhaps we're both a little bit right and a little bit wrong, so help me understand your point of view and maybe we'll find we're not so far apart after all. See my comments below:



There's nothing wrong with liking the place you came from better. But if you can't find things to like about WS, then perhaps it says more about you than it does the city itself. And I don't mean that in a bad way--some people want more than WS has to offer, and I understand that. But that's no reason to put the city down. Just say "It's not for me, and here's why..." I find it hard to believe that crime, poverty, and a "gritty look" are at the root of your reasons.
I appreciate your positive outlook and do recognize W-S is not a terrible place to live. I just don't think it is a place a person should move to if he/she are very happy where they are currently living. In my opinion W-S will not wow them enough to take away the homesickness. I know W-S is trying to improve, but there is still a very depressed, tired feeling about it. My spouse also works in the trenches in W-S and sees the poverty, hunger and teen issues. I would never call downtown vibrant. It is decent with some good choices, but for us it becomes the standard date night of Sweet Potatoes for dinner followed by Aperture for a movie. The other restaurants are good, but I have never been let down by Sweet Potatoes. It is The Children's Museum or Sciworks with the kids during bad weather and Tanglewood for good weather. Maybe a trip to Greensboro's museums to mix it up. A few times to Hanging Rock to swim and hike and 1 week a year to the beach. We are use to having more to do and going to the beach and hiking daily. It is personally difficult for me to be 100% happy with W-S and I could sense by the poster from Tampa who is extremely happy there that W-S would always feel second rate. Now if you are coming from somewhere with brutal weather or in the middle of the country, I could see how W-S may be a step up. I also agree and disagree with your comment about "But if you can't find things to like about WS, then perhaps it says more about you than it does the city itself." I met a friend here who was miserable in W-S and only lasted 2 years. She moved back home. I kept warning here I don't know if it W-S that is the problem, but more what is going on in your life. I felt like she blamed too much of her unhappiness on W-S. Well, I still keep in touch and she is a whole new person now that she left W-S. She is completely happy even though the move back home was a financial struggle and they have less money living in a small apartment. I have also had all of my friends and family who have visited me here all say it is a nice place, but they could never live in W-S. My spouse who is a completely happy, positive person cannot wait to move on. So, I just feel pretty confident in telling the person from Tampa to avoid the headache and unhappiness of moving to a place that will always be second rate in his/her mind. On the other hand, if someone was miserable and looking for a change, I would suggest trying W-S - just renting first! I also think there are growing pains in being a transplant and it is important to embrace the city where you move rather than want to change it. Really the only thing you can change is your mindset. I really am trying to work on mine!! I have also met some very positive transplants and they have all done it by embracing the city and not focusing on what it doesn't offer.

Last edited by enlightenme; 04-02-2011 at 05:48 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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enlightenme,

Your posts have been incredibly helpful to me. There's an honesty that comes through that makes me think you're an objective person. I've really valued others' comments as well, but I've a applied a higher "grain of salt" factor. I think you've hit the nail on the head with your last post. I can sort of feel that this would happen in my case.

Truth is, on my very short visit, I found WS to be a pleasant surprise for a city of it's size. If I had to move there (which may happen), I'd try to make the best of it and I'm sure we'd get by ok. Hell it could be worse - we could be stuck in El Paso or Topeka or something. But certainly given the choice I will really try to avoid a move. I just don't feel that it's the right place for us. I'd probably always have one eye focused on opportunities for bigger and better things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by enlightenme View Post
I appreciate your positive outlook and do recognize W-S is not a terrible place to live. I just don't think it is a place a person should move to if he/she are very happy where they are currently living. In my opinion W-S will not wow them enough to take away the homesickness. I know W-S is trying to improve, but there is still a very depressed, tired feeling about it. My spouse also works in the trenches in W-S and sees the poverty, hunger and teen issues. I would never call downtown vibrant. It is decent with some good choices, but for us it becomes the standard date night of Sweet Potatoes for dinner followed by Aperture for a movie. The other restaurants are good, but I have never been let down by Sweet Potatoes. It is The Children's Museum or Sciworks with the kids during bad weather and Tanglewood for good weather. Maybe a trip to Greensboro's museums to mix it up. A few times to Hanging Rock to swim and hike and 1 week a year to the beach. We are use to having more to do and going to the beach and hiking daily. It is personally difficult for me to be 100% happy with W-S and I could sense by the poster from Tampa who is extremely happy there that W-S would always feel second rate. Now if you are coming from somewhere with brutal weather or in the middle of the country, I could see how W-S may be a step up. I also agree and disagree with your comment about "But if you can't find things to like about WS, then perhaps it says more about you than it does the city itself." I met a friend here who was miserable in W-S and only lasted 2 years. She moved back home. I kept warning here I don't know if it W-S that is the problem, but more what is going on in your life. I felt like she blamed too much of her unhappiness on W-S. Well, I still keep in touch and she is a whole new person now that she left W-S. She is completely happy even though the move back home was a financial struggle and they have less money living in a small apartment. I have also had all of my friends and family who have visited me here all say it is a nice place, but they could never live in W-S. My spouse who is a completely happy, positive person cannot wait to move on. So, I just feel pretty confident in telling the person from Tampa to avoid the headache and unhappiness of moving to a place that will always be second rate in his/her mind. On the other hand, if someone was miserable and looking for a change, I would suggest trying W-S - just renting first! I also think there are growing pains in being a transplant and it is important to embrace the city where you move rather than want to change it. Really the only thing you can change is your mindset. I really am trying to work on mine!! I have also met some very positive transplants and they have all done it by embracing the city and not focusing on what it doesn't offer.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jnichols2 View Post
enlightenme,

Your posts have been incredibly helpful to me. There's an honesty that comes through that makes me think you're an objective person. I've really valued others' comments as well, but I've a applied a higher "grain of salt" factor. I think you've hit the nail on the head with your last post. I can sort of feel that this would happen in my case.

Truth is, on my very short visit, I found WS to be a pleasant surprise for a city of it's size. If I had to move there (which may happen), I'd try to make the best of it and I'm sure we'd get by ok. Hell it could be worse - we could be stuck in El Paso or Topeka or something. But certainly given the choice I will really try to avoid a move. I just don't feel that it's the right place for us. I'd probably always have one eye focused on opportunities for bigger and better things.
Thank you, I am glad to be of help! It is funny because I actually tell myself I could be in places like Detroit or Topeka when I am freezing cold or having dark thoughts about living in W-S!! There are definitely far worse places to be during this "pit stop" of a journey we are on. My spouse has fears we are going to get stuck here, but I feel if we could move across country blind we can certainly get ourselves back to what we know. It just may take some extra time now that the economy is in the toilet. I honestly think you will have your eye on the next move before your pictures are hung on the wall and or be homesick for what you left behind. If you do end up taking the job, it would probably be the easiest for you to adjust by renting in the Ardmore neighborhood. It will be near the hospital and the heart of the city. There are tons of rentals, families and hospital residents new to the area looking for friends. Do not buy a house, so you can keep yourself mobile if you do decide to move on. I am just trying to share some of the mistakes we made (trying to not live with regret) and make this possible relocation more positive. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by enlightenme View Post
Really the only thing you can change is your mindset...by embracing the city and not focusing on what it doesn't offer.
enlightenme, this is the key, I think. I get it if you're homesick, or if you came here from a place that's very different, then you may not like it here as much. So sure, it's fair to say "I can't walk to the beach every day" or "There aren't hundreds of people walking around downtown all the time" or even "I don't like it here because I'm so homesick". But to categorically say "this place sucks and you won't like it here" is difficult for me to accept, because I know this place has a lot to offer anyone.

I feel like some of your earlier posts were just reaching for reasons not to like it here--teen pregnancy, poverty, graduation rates, etc. As I said, we do have these problems (like everywhere else), but I don't see how these things directly relate to you, especially if you live in Davidson Co. I would hope for you it's more a case of homesickness, as opposed to anything particularly bad about WS. And in that case, I applaud your efforts to try to make it work out.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by arbyunc View Post
enlightenme, this is the key, I think. I get it if you're homesick, or if you came here from a place that's very different, then you may not like it here as much. So sure, it's fair to say "I can't walk to the beach every day" or "There aren't hundreds of people walking around downtown all the time" or even "I don't like it here because I'm so homesick". But to categorically say "this place sucks and you won't like it here" is difficult for me to accept, because I know this place has a lot to offer anyone.

I feel like some of your earlier posts were just reaching for reasons not to like it here--teen pregnancy, poverty, graduation rates, etc. As I said, we do have these problems (like everywhere else), but I don't see how these things directly relate to you, especially if you live in Davidson Co. I would hope for you it's more a case of homesickness, as opposed to anything particularly bad about WS. And in that case, I applaud your efforts to try to make it work out.
I am less than 5 miles from W-S, so I am actually only in N. Davidson county to sleep most days! I can tell you are a very positive, glass is full type of person. It is something that I am not born with, but have to try to maintain. I am lucky I married a very positive, pretty carefree person so it helps keep the balance going. I never meant to say "this place sucks, you won't like it here." I would especially not tell that to a person who is wanting a change. However, I would warn anyone who is extremely happy where they are currently living, it is highly unlikely W-S has the "it factor" to completely wow them and not look back. I could see growing up here and being happy and I can also see not liking where you are currently living and finding this place nice. Again, most of my comments were more personally directed to the poster because I could just sense it would not work out by his/her happiness in Tampa and views of W-S after a visit. My comments about teen pregnancy, poverty, graduation rates, etc. actually do affect me because it is part of my spouse's profession to help solve these issues and we talk about it almost daily. The rates are actually higher than many places of this size and the city does view it as a problem. I just think many people come here thinking it is the promised land and can live in a sheltered bubble not realizing there are problems that need addressing. Many decent neighborhoods also border on these areas and feed into poorly performing schools. Can you avoid these areas? Of course.

I also wouldn't say I am homesick, but more of a feeling W-S isn't a place we want to put permanent roots down. It just never felt completely right for us. I appreciate learning about the south, seasons, friendly people and what the city has to offer. I will always be grateful to this area for allowing us to own a home on one (meager!) salary and still living pretty comfortably.
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