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Old 12-28-2010, 03:04 PM
 
423 posts, read 654,464 times
Reputation: 320
Default Any decently progressive, walkable cities/towns in N. Carolina

Thinking about my next move in a year or two and the mid-Atlantic (north and south) is one option, tho not the super-expensive areas of DC. Thing is, N. Carolina and VA are two areas I know very little about as far as what individual cities are like. I currently live in the semi-arid west and miss the greenery and ocean. Any suggestions?

What we'd be looking for:
- Somewhere with walkable neighborhoods, i.e. a historic downtown, new housing in the urban core, historic neighborhoods;
- Options beyond the car for getting around - can you bike/walk or take transit?
- Reasonably progressive - while I don't need to be somewhere hyper-liberal, I don't want to be in one of those parts of the south where almost every white person voted for George Bush twice or where riding your bicycle is considered a UN conspiracy! No offense meant.
- Active lifestyle options
- Housing prices that are not sky-high (a bit high OK)
- Crime not overly high
- Open to other people/cultures, with some diversity of people from both the US and abroad - I grew up in the South but would be considered a yankee these days (lived last ten years in the Rocky Mtn west, lsot my accent), and my wife is from out of the country.
- Some variety of food, arts, music, etc. - not looking for NYC of course

Can this be found in NC or neighboring states?

Asheville seems interesting - probably on the smaller/less diverse side of what we'd like but I've heard great things about it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Mid-Town
7,548 posts, read 9,991,948 times
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Carrboro, Pittsboro and Hillsboro are all posibilities. Probably orthers in the Piedmont area and Western Mountains as well.

BUT, you want "urban" with options other than car? Then the cities will be the focus. Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte may each meet the criteria in specific neighborhoods.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:11 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,089 posts, read 8,213,777 times
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Any decently progressive, walkable cities/towns in N. Carolina

Well, Greensboro is large enough to offer a wide variety of activities but small enough that people will speak to you when you walk past.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Cape Fear
13 posts, read 10,923 times
Reputation: 27
Yep, Asheville's a great place. Boone's probably too small for you, but do visit if you haven't already. I'd avoid the SE coast. It doesn't have its act together.



Claudette Cohen (http://claudelimoges.blogspot.com/ - broken link)
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:30 AM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 6,200,944 times
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Asheville sounds like your best bet. Chapel Hill and Charlottesville seem like they might possibly work for you as well.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Mid south
181 posts, read 171,703 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by docwatson View Post
Thinking about my next move in a year or two and the mid-Atlantic (north and south) is one option, tho not the super-expensive areas of DC. Thing is, N. Carolina and VA are two areas I know very little about as far as what individual cities are like. I currently live in the semi-arid west and miss the greenery and ocean. Any suggestions?

What we'd be looking for:
- Somewhere with walkable neighborhoods, i.e. a historic downtown, new housing in the urban core, historic neighborhoods;
- Options beyond the car for getting around - can you bike/walk or take transit?
- Reasonably progressive - while I don't need to be somewhere hyper-liberal, I don't want to be in one of those parts of the south where almost every white person voted for George Bush twice or where riding your bicycle is considered a UN conspiracy! No offense meant.
- Active lifestyle options
- Housing prices that are not sky-high (a bit high OK)
- Crime not overly high
- Open to other people/cultures, with some diversity of people from both the US and abroad - I grew up in the South but would be considered a yankee these days (lived last ten years in the Rocky Mtn west, lsot my accent), and my wife is from out of the country.
- Some variety of food, arts, music, etc. - not looking for NYC of course

Can this be found in NC or neighboring states?

Asheville seems interesting - probably on the smaller/less diverse side of what we'd like but I've heard great things about it.
We opted for Asheville but we're women 56 and 60. I'm in a forced retirement (laid off from IT) and my partner does metaphysical stuff that I don't get (well, it's probably not metaphysical but it's beyond me ). We lived in Rockland County - 30 miles north of NYC and saw it go down in flames on 9/11 from the top of a road in NJ. We wanted a NY-like atmosphere less the insanity.

Big thing is that right now, housing prices are slowly tumbling. But it takes a lot A LOT of looking and getting to know the areas because each one is different and each person living in that area will say why it's the best .

You do not move to Asheville, however, if you need a job. You will have to drive @4 hours to smell the salt of the ocean but there are ponds and lakes here. You also get four seasons. We dislike winter the most but it should be tolerable after we got dumped on last weekend.

We have more choices (endless) of restaurants. Just got back from a lovely dinner at Sunny Point. I had a burger and fries and got two dog biscuits to go (seriously, they always have a jar of biscuits for furry kids) and my partner had a mushroom veggy thing. Our bill with tip came to $23 - that was with a 20% tip.

Good luck and use other resources to check stuff out.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
965 posts, read 1,133,081 times
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In NC and VA:

The Triangle is unsurpassed (save for NoVA) for multiethnic diversity. In that area, Carrboro is walkable, parts of Chapel Hill are as well, though both are considerably more expensive than the rest of NC, and they are very economically insular. Parts of Durham likewise - Durham has some sprawl, crime issues, though parts of it (including walkable parts of it) are a lot more grounded (in personality) than Chapel Hill or Carrboro.

Parts of Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Richmond would all fit your requirements. I don't know about crime these days in Richmond; parts of the city have been spiffed up nicely, and the old rowhouse neighborhoods are really magnificent. Do not move to Asheville without a solid job firmly in place.

Boone would really fit the bill, but it is much smaller (14,000, plus about the same number of students, plus tourists May-October. It's about a 2-hour drive from Boone to Charlotte, Winston, Asheville, and Johnson City - in 4 different directions, so it's quick and easy to take day trips away from there. The winters up there are brutal - it's higher up than any other 10,000+ population city east of the Miss River, and the climate is more akin to southern New Hampshire than the remainder of North Carolina. They are VERY well equipped to deal with snow (I went through a couple blizzards up there), but still, the winters are long, very cold, and very snowy. Apart from the university, the economy is strictly service-sector. Due to the tourism/student combo, it might be a great place for an entrepreneur with solid business ideas however.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:57 PM
 
33 posts, read 30,304 times
Reputation: 16
hello bburl 100- why do you say you don't go to Asheville if you need a job?
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