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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Here's the situation... My family (wife, 2 young kids) and I moved to Tampa 3 years ago and really have grown to like it. I've recently been offered a position at WakeForest NC. The thing is, the new job would be more secure and I'd be leaving a job that is increasingly on shaky ground here. I really don't want to leave, though. My family has become very comfortable; we love the weather (despite the heat) and our neighboorhood/part of town (which is pretty walkable, liberal, and friendly - a rarity in Florida).

So... I was hoping to get some input on the lifestyle differences between a place like Tampa and Winston-Salem. I guess I'm hoping to find folks that have made a move from Florida, or at least from a larger more urban environment to WS. Is this something I should consider doing, or would we be absolutely miserable?

Just to give you some additional info... we are pretty liberal, we value walkable areas, culture events, we're not that into pro sports, enjoy good restaurants, dislike the cold, like semi-urban areas (but find cities like NYC, boston, DC way too stressful), and value education. Given all of this you're probably thinking it's a miracle that we tolerate Tampa; but we also know how to make the best of things. The question is, would moving to NC be an improvement of the above, or a step down?
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Just to clarify, is your job at Wake Forest University, or in the town of Wake Forest? The town is nowhere near the University--some people don't know that, so I just want to be sure.

If it is WFU, then I think Winston-Salem would be very acceptable to you based on your last paragraph above.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by arbyunc View Post
Just to clarify, is your job at Wake Forest University, or in the town of Wake Forest? The town is nowhere near the University--some people don't know that, so I just want to be sure.

If it is WFU, then I think Winston-Salem would be very acceptable to you based on your last paragraph above.
Thanks for the reply. Actually I would be working at the WF medical center.

If we were looking for a place to live, were would you suggest? Again, we'd really love to be in a safe neighborhood for the kids, but we also want to be in a vibrant/urban area that is walking distance to restaurants, cafes, parks, etc. I just don't know if that is even possible in WS (it's barely possible in Tampa). Should we be looking in the area between downtown and the Medical center (south of Hanes Park)?
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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You have several options--West End and Ardmore immediately come to mind (West End is the area you describe near Hanes Park). Both are very close to WFUBMC, and are very walkable. You might also consider the Old Salem/Washington Park area, which is very "up and coming". There are also a number of downtown (or very close to downtown) living choices, but most of those are not geared so much towards kids (typically condos).

Good luck in your search, and let us know if you have more questions.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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So would a person moving from the trendier parts of cities like Chicago/San Diego/ likely find WS to be unbearable? From reading on these forums I really don't get a sense of whether WS is more vibrant/liberal or sleepy and conservative/suburban. I feel like it would get pretty claustrophobic after a while, especially considering that it's sort of in the middle of nowhere, geographically.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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Well, if you want to compare Winston-Salem to Chicago or San Diego, then yeah, you'll be extremely disappointed. This is a small city, so it may well be unbearable if that's your expectation. You'll find some vibrant, some sleepy, some liberal, some conservative all mixed together. And while Winston is nothing like the cities you mentioned, it does have a lot going for it.

Oh, and we're not "in the middle of nowhere". We're sitting right smack dab in the middle of Mocksville and Kernersville!
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jnichols2 View Post
So would a person moving from the trendier parts of cities like Chicago/San Diego/ likely find WS to be unbearable? From reading on these forums I really don't get a sense of whether WS is more vibrant/liberal or sleepy and conservative/suburban. I feel like it would get pretty claustrophobic after a while, especially considering that it's sort of in the middle of nowhere, geographically.
I am from a smaller scale beach town like San Diego and we find it pretty close to unbearable in W-S! I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons...I do seem to meet a lot of people from FL around here though and they seem happy. Wake Forest Medical Center brings in a lot of transplants. I am thinking of my move here more as a "pit stop" and cannot imagine staying here long term. I am almost on year five. This place isn't terrible and has amneties, but for me it still lacking. I am sure you can be happy here, just try to not compare it to all of the things you like and will probably miss about Tampa. I am doing my best to stay positive and most days it works....
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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I forgot to add there are a lot of families with young kids here too! I think there is a group of hospital residents who have play groups. We have a children's museum, Sci-works (science center type of museum) and a children's theater, Tanglewood park and a number of other local parks.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by enlightenme View Post
I am from a smaller scale beach town like San Diego and we find it pretty close to unbearable in W-S! I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons...I do seem to meet a lot of people from FL around here though and they seem happy. Wake Forest Medical Center brings in a lot of transplants. I am thinking of my move here more as a "pit stop" and cannot imagine staying here long term. I am almost on year five. This place isn't terrible and has amneties, but for me it still lacking. I am sure you can be happy here, just try to not compare it to all of the things you like and will probably miss about Tampa. I am doing my best to stay positive and most days it works....
Thanks for the insight. I get the impression that I would feel the same way as you after a while. DO you just find it unbearable due to the lack of interesting things to do? THe culture? The location?

I spent two years in a town of 100,000 in the southwest. We made the best of it while it lasted, but deep down my wife and I knew this couldn't possibly be our final destination. I don't need to be in downtown Manhattan or anything, but WS might be a bit far to the other extreme. Then again, I keep reading that WS has ameneties that are beyond what you'd expect for its size... so I don't know. I guess I really need to wait until I visit.

Anybody have any cities in mind that are comparable to WS, just to get a reference point? Lawrence KS, Richmond VA, Tuscon AZ??
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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Originally Posted by enlightenme View Post
I am from a smaller scale beach town like San Diego and we find it pretty close to unbearable in W-S! I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons...I do seem to meet a lot of people from FL around here though and they seem happy. Wake Forest Medical Center brings in a lot of transplants. I am thinking of my move here more as a "pit stop" and cannot imagine staying here long term. I am almost on year five. This place isn't terrible and has amneties, but for me it still lacking. I am sure you can be happy here, just try to not compare it to all of the things you like and will probably miss about Tampa. I am doing my best to stay positive and most days it works....
I agree with a lot of this. I grew up in the triangle and moved to Winston after graduating from undergrad. I am now living in NYC. When I lived in Winston I didn't find it to be bad but I wish I had been able to move a lot sooner than I did. Granted I was single and didn't have kids so I also think that made a difference.
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