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Old 07-03-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
5,559 posts, read 5,360,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laneegirl View Post
I am going to be relocating to the area from New England. What are some of the pros and cons of living in Norfolk vs. Chesapeake. I am single in my late 30's and I don't have any kids. I am looking for an affordable but, safe area in either Norfolk or Chesapeake. Does anyone have insight on the pros and cons vs these respective places?

Thanks.
Chesapeake is largely a suburb and bedroom community to Norfolk. Unless you're living in South Norfolk, which was an urban area before the city was created, you're primarily living in a suburb with cul de sacs, and everything else people hate/love about suburban living.

Greenbrier is up and coming but has more of an office park feeling, but it is urban, somewhat, technically.

You will be able to find a safer neighborhood, cheaper, in Chesapeake than you will in Norfolk. In Norfolk you might live on a safe block, that is relatively inexpensive but have to deal with gunshots or whatever is going on two or three blocks over. You could also be living across from, or in close proximity to, a housing project.

Chesapeake has low income Section 8 type areas but it is nothing on the level of what you'll experience in Norfolk. Not that you want to be caught over there either, and most of those are closer to Norfolk or Portsmouth. In the heart of Chesapeake, you won't experience any of that at all.

If you have the option, choose Virginia Beach over Chesapeake. Virginia Beach is urban, better amenities, etc. and does not get as rural as parts of Chesapeake can on the South side closer to NC. I can tell you but you would have to live in both to really know what I'm talking about. On paper it looks the same but in practice it is completely different. Yes, you'll have a longer commute from Virginia Beach to anywhere but if you do not want to be bored to tears and value your sanity do so, if the affordable areas of Norfolk prove to be "too ghetto/rachet" for you.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Greenbrier? "Urban somewhat"?
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroninja42 View Post
Greenbrier? "Urban somewhat"?
Yes. Greenbrier is an office park. No high rises, no grid, and few people actually live there to make it into a viable urban alternative.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:00 AM
 
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I moved to Norfolk as a college student in 1979 and left for a couple of years to attend Grad School in the mid 80's. I came back though, and really have been very happy here. Because of the universities and colleges, (Old Dominion U, Norfolk State U, Virginia Wesleyan College, Tidewater Community College) and the Norfolk Navy Base, there are a lot of younger people here. If you are interested in raising a family and having well supplied mostly middle class suburban schools, you may be happier in Virginia Beach, which is always highly rated in just about any survey you read. If you like a bit more diversity (both economically and culturally) then Norfolk may be for you. Downtown (where TCC has its Norfolk campus) has lots of older buildings that have been converted to modern, upscale apartments. There's lots of nightlife along Granby Street and at the Waterside. MacArthur Mall is there too. Live theater, symphony, sports arena, etc. Lots to do. Right next door is the Ghent section, Norfolk's version of an urban village with coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, our main art museum, the opera, grocery stores, churches, hospitals and banks. It has a really high walkability factor. It's a very eclectic area with turn of the century mansions and apartment buildings, and parks all crowded in together. West Ghent has more of a neighborhood feel and Ghent Square (former site of East Ghent which was razed in the 60's and 70's for urban renewal) tends to draw more well-heeled retirees. If you head north through Lambert's Point and Park Place, mostly poorer African American neighborhoods, you eventually get to the ODU campus and two more very eclectic neighborhoods, Colonial Place and Riverview, which are generally more affordable than Ghent. (If you live here, you can be in Ghent in 5 minutes and Downtown in 10.) Just north of the ODU campus is Larchmont, which gets pricier the farther north you go. There are some nice older apartments there on the other side of Hampton Blvd. Once you cross the Lafayette River either on Hampton Boulevard or Granby Street, you run into more middle and upper middle class neighborhoods like Lochhaven, Meadowbrook, North Shore, Riverpoint, Lakewood, Talbot Park, Belvedere, Cromwell Farm, Suburban Acres, Colony Point and Wexford Terrace until you get to Little Creek Blvd and the Wards Corner Area, which is still trying to make a comeback. Keep heading north along Granby Street and there are lots of nice older (mostly WWI era) neighborhoods like Bay View, Northside, Pinewell and finally Willoughby Spit and Ocean View which have more of a beachy feel. Ocean View had turned into a slum for a long time but much of it has been razed and replaced with expensive single family houses, especially in East Ocean View. As to Chesapeake, I never go there. No reason to for me. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:39 PM
 
Location: California x North Carolina (soon)...
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Someone please explain to me how Norfolk is more diverse than Virginia Beach. I don't see it...
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
Someone please explain to me how Norfolk is more diverse than Virginia Beach. I don't see it...
Probably slang for there are not as many Black people in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is 19% Black while Norfolk is 44% Black.

What people do not want to talk about is how Virginia Beach and Norfolk are the same demographically when it comes to Hispanics, Latinos and everyone else. Blacks and Whites are the only real distinction you can make. Plus, with a larger overall population Virginia Beach's 19% could be the same number as Norfolk's 44%. Maybe Blacks are just more spread out in Virginia Beach.

Having said that I don't know that Virginia Beach feels as urban as Norfolk. There are huge exceptions, like the resort/Oceanfront area and Town Center, both of which are only going to continue to grow. Norfolk is just older and grittier. But that doesn't automatically translate into diversity. I've been in plenty of old gritty places that were literally White and Black, or only White, or only Black. The sentiment is conflation if anything.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:51 AM
 
Location: California x North Carolina (soon)...
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VB is slightly more diverse in its citizenry, with more Asians and multiracial persons. More people in VB speak English as a second language, and VB has a larger foreign-born population...

This is evident to me too, just interacting in areas in both cities. If somebody moves here and wants a more balanced level of diversity, you'll get it in VB more than Norfolk...
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:49 PM
 
Location: California x North Carolina (soon)...
3,311 posts, read 2,238,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Having said that I don't know that Virginia Beach feels as urban as Norfolk. There are huge exceptions, like the resort/Oceanfront area and Town Center, both of which are only going to continue to grow. Norfolk is just older and grittier. But that doesn't automatically translate into diversity. I've been in plenty of old gritty places that were literally White and Black, or only White, or only Black. The sentiment is conflation if anything.
Norfolk has urbanity on a small scale. It is the historic "city" of the region, so it has the fabric and infrastructure relative to its sister cities that attest to that. But its actual urban footprint is smaller than several notable similarly-sized cities--Richmond and Buffalo immediately come to mind for cities I'm familiar with, and I'm sure you could add New Orleans and Louisville. Norfolk's scale of urbanity is along the lines of Rochester and Hartford, two smaller cities that actually have greater urbanity peak levels...

Norfolk is urban for here, but the bar is low...

It's the most urban city here. Virginia Beach would be next, and its urbanity is mostly concentrated in Town Center and The Oceanfront, as you noted, but there are pockets of urbanity throughout. The irony in Virginia Beach being suggested for suburban life is that Norfolk is nearly as suburban. This is a suburban region, and parallels Northerm Virginia to a degree in that aspect. Norfolk and Virginia Beach could be compared to Alexandria and Arlington, respectfully, as the urban anchors of a region otherwise a vast suburbia (and of course this area turns rural faster)...
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
5,559 posts, read 5,360,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
Norfolk has urbanity on a small scale. It is the historic "city" of the region, so it has the fabric and infrastructure relative to its sister cities that attest to that. But its actual urban footprint is smaller than several notable similarly-sized cities--Richmond and Buffalo immediately come to mind for cities I'm familiar with, and I'm sure you could add New Orleans and Louisville. Norfolk's scale of urbanity is along the lines of Rochester and Hartford, two smaller cities that actually have greater urbanity peak levels...

Norfolk is urban for here, but the bar is low...

It's the most urban city here. Virginia Beach would be next, and its urbanity is mostly concentrated in Town Center and The Oceanfront, as you noted, but there are pockets of urbanity throughout. The irony in Virginia Beach being suggested for suburban life is that Norfolk is nearly as suburban. This is a suburban region, and parallels Northerm Virginia to a degree in that aspect. Norfolk and Virginia Beach could be compared to Alexandria and Arlington, respectfully, as the urban anchors of a region otherwise a vast suburbia (and of course this area turns rural faster)...
I definitely agree with everything you said. Norfolk reminds me a lot of smaller cities like Dayton, Ohio or maybe Akron. The bar is low. Growing up Akron has a really low bar in comparison to Cleveland, whereas Dayton Ohio has a low bar in comparison to Cincinnati. No one would say that Dayton or Akron aren't urban, but everyone would agree that their footprint is miniscule compared to Cleveland and Cincinnati. Sometimes you get a greater concentration of crime with a smaller footprint, and I definitely see that with Norfolk and Richmond.

I also think that Richmond's age, as well as it's location, apart from Hampton Roads and closer to DC, has a lot to do with it being more urban than Norfolk. Also throw in patterns of development, and Richmond's urban function historically. Norfolk is urban in the fact of it being a port city. Richmond is more of a centralized hub. Norfolk is urban in the way that cities next to the water are urban. But instead of one city it splintered off into several. So it never developed into a New York or a Chicago, Los Angeles. Richmond is more of an Atlanta or St. Louis, Cincinnati, etc.

I think we can agree that the "Arlington", "Fairfax County" etc serves a different function than a Norfolk or an Alexandria. Never a question of what's better just a question of function. People have their own agenda pitting Norfolk against Virginia Beach. It isn't that important at the end of the day.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:38 AM
 
Location: California x North Carolina (soon)...
3,311 posts, read 2,238,620 times
Reputation: 3656
The whole Norfolk vs Virginia Beach thing is so stupid. It came up in convo at work the other day. The provincialism in Hampton Roads will serve to always keep this area as a second-rate metropolis. Even in Virginia, it's the clear third of the Big 3 metros from any important measure of comparison...
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