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Old 02-13-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Vicksburg, MS
5 posts, read 23,285 times
Reputation: 12

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I moved to Vicksburg about a month ago now. I lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland which, is technically a southern state, and is a lot slower paced than Baltimore and the areas west. I came here for my boyfriend who has lived here his whole life. If it wasn't for him I never would have left the shore.
The things I miss the most are: the water (I lived on a peninsula and it was salt water), the college town atmosphere (stuff to do, lots of people, lots of stores) and of course friends and family.
One of the hardest things to adjust to for me has been the food. My stomach still isn't used to all the grease and spices. I wouldn't recommend anyone try the seafood unless it is crawfish or catfish, they know what they are doing with what they have locally. Nothing that I have tried here even resembles the seafood we had from the Atlantic and the bay at home where everything was fresh. This is true of anywhere though, stick to their specialties and things you can get fresh. PS Never try crab meat here if you have had it from Maryland, you will literally not recognize it and you will be horribly disappointed.
As far as stuff to do, well...
I have made friends with his friends and practically none on my own. The people are very friendly and helpful but they are close knit so it takes a while for them to allow you to join them unless you are with someone already in their circle. If you know someone in a circle, you will be amazed at how open and welcoming everyone is towards you. I also found a nice place called Cypress Pilates that the people who live here didn't even know about. The people there are great and they offer pilates, yoga and dance in small groups with plenty of help for people who don't know what they are doing.
There really isn't much else here. I have done the historic things, touristy stuff, even went to the coast. The town has no mall to speak of or clothes stores or movie theaters. Basically you need to travel for things to do beyond visiting with people or going to a bar/casino.
Traveling here is easy, not much traffic at all. Another weird thing I noticed is that people here think that 45 minutes is a terribly long way to travel, at home that was the average commute to work. If you don't mind driving, I drove over 3 hours a day every weekend at home, Jackson (45 mins) has shopping and the closest Starbucks is in Clinton (30 mins).
I do get the occasional person "warn" me about the summer and humidity. When my boyfriend came to visit me in August he couldn't believe how hot and humid we were, said it was worse than here, so I am not all that worried. People find that hard to believe but with all the water on the Eastern Shore we had ridiculous humidity.
The racist thing, I haven't seen too much of. There are people like that everywhere and I don't notice it anymore here than I have anywhere else that I have lived. There are more rebel flags though.
I hope this helps anyone considering moving, I don't regret it and I am starting to settle in.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:18 AM
 
Location: The South
264 posts, read 1,034,127 times
Reputation: 80
Thanks for the info! I was thinking about moving to Vicksburg, hows the crime there? Do you know anything about the schools? Thanks again!
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
794 posts, read 3,019,050 times
Reputation: 241
I grew up in V'burg and went to school there. It wasn't that bad while I was there, but I can't say if it still is. They closed a handful of smaller community schools and built mega elementary schools. I don't know if that's had more of a positive or negative impact, but I know people who still prefer the smaller schools. At least they did build newer schools. Warren Central was a fairly good high school while I was there. They had good teachers and good groups, clubs, programs to get involved in. I can't vouch if it's still that way.
Having said that, I am very much glad to be away from Vicksburg. I found (and still find) the area to be extremely boring if you aren't the passing-by tourist checking out the old historic town. Growth has been very stagnant there for years. They bring in bigger stores sometimes, but most end up closing after a few years or converting to some small local chain and the service dies. The same can be said for restaurants. I'm not really sure why this is but it's been going on for years. It might be a great place to retire if you're looking for that "sleepy little town" feel (although the town does have a very pronounce "clickish" vibe to it). If you're part of it, you'll belong and fit in. Otherwise you're always on the outside looking in. If you're still relatively young and like to have a social life and/or join up in recreation groups , you won't really be able to do it in Vicksburg. At least Jackson is less than an hour away.

And actually, the gulf coast serves up some great seafood. If you're ever around Bay St. Louis, check out the Jordan River Steamer on the road heading up to Kiln. Absolutely best seafood just about anywhere. I guarantee!
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:36 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,194 times
Reputation: 10
[mod] I am really sorry, but this is not the place for personal inquiries . thanks[/mod]
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Gulfport, MS
469 posts, read 2,551,630 times
Reputation: 495
One of my best friends lives in Vicksburg, and I go up to visit her every couple of months. It's a small, pretty, quiet town. Not a lot going on. She participates in a knitting circle there with some very nice women, so if you'd be interested in that I could tell you where they meet. It's not all elderly ladies, my friend and another girl are in their twenties, and there's a couple more in their circle who're in their forties.

I also did ballet with a woman named Chiquila Pearson, who teaches African dance at Jackson Street Community Center in Vicksburg. She's amazing and so sweet! If you're interested in dance at all check out her classes.

I'm a native Mississippiann who spent a couple of years in MD (Annapolis and Baltimore) and then came home, so I'm sort of the flip from you.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:44 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,430 posts, read 74,290,595 times
Reputation: 47819
my uncle lives there. been goin there since i was a little kid.
gone downhill slowly for a long time. but it is such a beautiful location absolutely gorgeous.

Last edited by Huckleberry3911948; 02-18-2008 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:18 PM
 
4 posts, read 11,870 times
Reputation: 10
Vicksburg is beautiful, but crime is rampant for a small town. I visit family there, but always with the doors lock and windows up.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:49 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,165 times
Reputation: 16
I've lived in Vix fulltime for about a year after having spent a great deal of time here over the last few years and am currently in the process of moving away. We were located there temporarily with my husband's work and now we are going back to our home .I'm going to be brutally nhonest with my experience in this small town. Good and bad. I hope I don't offend anyone.

I've met some pleasant people here, been involved in the civic activities, and have enjoyed some of the "sites" such as the National Civil War Park, the River Tours on the Sweet Olive, and the beautiful natural scope of the land. That does not however, manage to over come the negatives of this town.

While the websites you read mention great things about engineers and educated people, they do not represent that average citizen. There are private and parochial schools that do not represent the average public school, etc.

While there is a supercomputing center here, the average per capita income according to the county is less than $18K/years. The average family is just at 30,000. With so many PhDs, let's think about the number of people below that average that had to bring it down that low. There is a huge divide b etween the social classes for it being such a tiny place. The fact that the racial divide matches that monetary onem, adds to the most unpleasant aspect alive here now. Racism.

Being a native Southerner, I have first hand experience in some of the less savory aspects of the South including everything from good ole boy racism to economic depression. I have to say though, that Vicksburg unfortunately displays some of the South's worst trends as trademarks to the city.

There are a few riverboat casinos but the people playing appear to be looking for next week's rent, not a fun night out of the house. There's a pretty decent outlet mall, and if you can't find what you're looking for there, it's only 45 minutes to pop over to Jackson, the state capital. To echo the previous poster, I cannot grasp that people here think 45 minutes is too far to drive to "go somewhere." The people here, as a general statement, are very isolated by choice.I believe that has a huge part in what I find to be the unworhty aspects of the city.

What the city considers its historic "main street area" is in fact ONE main street that has a very nice and welcoming feel.The connecting streets host a rabble of poorman's barber shops, furniture stores, car repair places, or the little shacks of homes that look as if a sneeze could knock them off their stacked brick foundations. The surrounding business districts streets smack of the dilapidated inner city buildings that one might see in older New Orleans or Mobile, AL. There are a couple of streets that are exceptions to the rule but they tend to host the City Hall, banks, or churches. Interspersed you will find a handful of renovated late 1800s homes. It's a very hilly area whith a stop sign on every corner with poor traffic
control and buildings that have been in need of repair for 50 years or more. Houses are refurbed and used for lawyer's offices or such.

I really don't feel I'm giving an accurate personal description of the city center because there is such a terrible disconnect between the average resident and the downtown district. I have also noticed that there is an unspoken segregation in this town when it comes to the city center and businesses.

One end of Washington St. is very waspy-classic with new signs and beautifully stained woods used in the storefronts. You'll find blooming baskets, and high end restaurants. It's very "rich" feeling and frequented during all of my shopping trips (to an adorable gift shop) by almost exclusively white shoppers.

The other end? Picture a 1970's small town department store with lots of glass with dull greying metal around the windows and doors, wigs on display in the windows next to vases full of plastic flowers, pictures of Malcom X or puppies in gold plastic frames. The whole other end of the street has this look including one business with bars in the windows....and, no joke, and I am NOT making this up, a group of four to five older black gentlemen sitting on a bench at the end of the street each with a drink or paper bag in hand as they make rude comments to passing cars. They are there EVERYDAY. Yes, everyday. Oh, and let's not forget the snowcone trailer in the parking lot at the stop sign. IT's like something out of a bad documentary. I honestly never understood why people from other areas thought of MS the way they did until I moved here. It's just a depressing and sad place.

Can you see the disconnect? Same street. What's wrong with this picture?

We also attended what we found out was the largest church in the area for a brief time. Our last visit was when the Sunday school teacher referred to a hispanic woman as "the little black girl." This educated engineer that was emplopyed by the government and well known in the circles of all things social!! And not one person seemed phased by it.

Racism is alive and well on all sides here in Vicksburg and no one hides it. The older people are less overt than they probably once were, but what is most shocking is that you hear young black and white teens and younger children making comments in public. What they hear at home, they will say with confidence when they leave the house.

This city is either going to have a race riot to end all or it will find itself being the model city for race relations the world over. It's bad right now, and anyone saying otherwise has not lived here very long or lying. The homeschooling movement in this area is huge and the people will tell you it is mainly due to racism in the schools.

To quickly address a couple of other topics.
I've never been out and about in town without hearing the worst foul language! It seems like the F-word is used by eveyrone with abandon.
The number of people who smoke is probably much higher than the American average. Eveyrone seems to light up, even in grocery stores. It's crazy.
Crime - increasing. Never leave your doorsw unlocked.
Schools - Typical crowded delta schools.
Traffic - Not bad, but at 5pm it is terrible. This is due to the underdeveloped internal roadways and the massive traffice coming through from the metro of Jackson to the east.
Shopping - A half empty mall @pemberton square
No movie theater
Not many parks, the main city park, Riverfront Park, is located between two casinos
Good Golf courses and country club but that is not accessible to everyone due to fees
Price of housing is ridiculously low compared to other markets so you can buy a huge house for what you might get a smaller one for in another area.
Customer service is non-existent, learn not to be offended when cashiers, tellers, waiters, etc are very rude. Specialty stores, like sign companies, or newspapers do seemed to be staffed with some of the nicest people on the planet though.




Blah, I'm just glad to be leaving. It's sad really, because it is a beautiful town with a lot to offer. It could be a jewel. "But old feelings die hard" is sooo true about this place. I don't see myself ever returning, not even to visit.

Last edited by ReadsOnBeaches; 02-21-2008 at 07:01 AM..
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:01 AM
 
35 posts, read 156,418 times
Reputation: 24
I'm glad you hit it right on the money. One more thing to add: local officals are jealous over madison and other communties becouse of thier growth. They don't care here about the own locals. Plus it's too cliquish. Give Manhattan,NYC over this dump.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:27 AM
 
1,350 posts, read 3,609,319 times
Reputation: 1259
MSLauren and ReadsonBeaches You obviously put a lot of thought into your posts. It makes me think about a few things. First off, I am not really familiar with Vicksburg. I would have a few generic comments though. To MSLauren who moved there. Your experience should remind one to really know what he is getting into before making a move. You seem surprised by things like strange food, boring lifestyle, and lack of amenities. This should not have been a surprise. I urge those who are relocating to do their homework to avoid such splashes of cold water. Having said that it seems MSLauren is adjusting and with a mature outlook is going to make the shifts in cultural accomodation necessary. Good luck--I went through this same thing so I can really relate. I do think it is more a small town rural setting versus a city and urban area than North versus South.
ReadsonBeaches--I wonder if you see things through a prism of your own bias a bit? You mention "waspy" "rich" and seem offended that fees are required for the golf clubs?? Are you perhaps prejudiuce against the successful? Is there racism which means some people can't get good jobs though well-qualified, access to public places is forbidden or culturally limited, education is out of reach of some, the city administration including police officers does not represent the make-up of the town and on and on??? Or do you see unequal empowerment due to lack of means? If it is the latter, then that is the American way, is it not? Empower yourself and join the ranks of the successful? I think racism is often used when unequal means is the actual fact. Is opportunity and a level playing field available? Then it isn't racism that is the culprit.
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