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Old 10-30-2008, 12:28 PM
 
6,249 posts, read 9,652,467 times
Reputation: 4656

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Quote:
Originally Posted by portlandshaws View Post
Hi Tangerinepuddle---
It's nice to know that there's someone else out there living in Portland and thinking about relocating to NC! There are many reasons that we're thinking about leaving this area. First off, my husband isn't from here and has lived here (because of me) for over ten years. He's a black man from DC and has never been a huge fan of Portland. We have a 3yr old and we would like her to be exposed to more diversity. Also, we would like to live closer to his family in DC (which is why RDU sounds a bit more appealing than Charlotte since it's a shorter drive to DC). At first I was reluctant to embrace the thought of moving but now I'm getting excited about a change. My world has become very monotonous here! AND, now that we have a child the months and months of rain and overall grayness has started to take more of a toll on me.
We haven't ruled out other states but I just can't think of anywhere that is in decent proximity to DC, has an affordable cost of living AND is a cool place to live. If anyone has any other ideas, feel free to pipe in!
Why are you thinking about moving?
Don't get me wrong; we would love to have you guys in Charlotte!!! But I would highly suggest looking into the Virginia Beach Area. That area is closer to DC than Charlotte and Raleigh plus it has a Portland like water front nearby (it is actually closer to the ocean than Portland). It also has the warmer beaches that you seek. I say Virginia Beach is your city. Also, interacial couples in Virginia Beach are quite common!!!
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:48 PM
 
9,558 posts, read 26,412,240 times
Reputation: 9679
Portlandpaws,

I highly recommend you post specific questions about the Triangle and Charlotte on their respective forums. You may get more responses there. FWIW, there are several members on the Triangle forum who use to live in Portland so they might be able to help you compare things.

Good luck!
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:02 PM
 
6,249 posts, read 9,652,467 times
Reputation: 4656
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
Portlandpaws,

I highly recommend you post specific questions about the Triangle and Charlotte on their respective forums. You may get more responses there. FWIW, there are several members on the Triangle forum who use to live in Portland so they might be able to help you compare things.

Good luck!
I second that!!! I would also post in the Virginia Beach forums!!!
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
115 posts, read 165,873 times
Reputation: 35
Hmmm...very interesting! Virginia Beach never crossed my mind but I will look into it. Our #1 priority is to live in a city that we love. If that city is close to DC, that's a huge bonus but I would much rather be farther from the district and happy in my day-to-day life than live somewhere that doesn't "fit" us. It sounds like both Charlotte and the Triangle have a lot to offer so I can't wait for our trip in January! We have a lot of homework to do between now and then...
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:11 PM
 
1,211 posts, read 2,227,536 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
Raleigh is actually a little over 140 sq/mi now due to recent annexations. Charlotte is 280 sq/mi. Carboro is actually NC's densest town. Uptown Charlotte is by far NC's biggest most continueous urban area. I know you are proud of Raleigh "metro.m" but let's not put civic pride into this. Charlotte has a very strong urban core. It is not like Portland, but it is very urban and growing. There are condo towers in Charlotte either standing or under construction taller than any office or residential building in Raleigh. I have been to Portland and Raleigh. Charlotte's urban core is a closer comparison to Portland. I think your best argument is to provide "portlandshaws" with videos or pictures of Raleigh's urban side. I have provided them with videos of Charlotte's urban side. Population figures (false ones at that) don't tell people much. These folks are from Portland; therefore they know urban when they see it. Show them Raleigh's downtown area and let them decide. I will show them some more of Charlotte's urban side. There is no need to argue. Their decision will ultimately be based on what they see, not the census...
Just for the record.

Multnomah county (Portland)
density is 1,600 people per sq/mi
population 700,000
msa 2.2 million
downtown population 11,000

Mecklenburg county (Charlotte)
density is 1,700 people per sq/mi
population 900,000
msa 1.8 million
downtown population 12,000

Wake county (Raleigh)
density is 1,000 people per sq/mi
population 850,000
msa 1.1 million
downtown population 5,000

Here are some videos of the Urban side of Charlotte.

YouTube - urban charlotte

YouTube - urban charlotte

YouTube - urban charlotte

YouTube - urban charlotte

Here is the page to all of my videos.
YouTube - urbancharlotte's Channel
Now it is time to show them Raleigh's urban side "metro.m" so they can make their own decision!!!
Actually DT Raleigh's pop is closer is closer to 7,500. Raleigh's DT has progressed alot you know. Wake County is a tad over 860,000, and is also the fastest growing county in the state. Wake is also set to past Meck, within the next ten years as the most populous county. Both counties populations are concentrated around the larger cities within those respective counties. What Raleigh lacks in it's skyline it makes up for in substance. There's also the variety of having Durham and Chapel Hill close by, so the general area tends to have the most flavor in NC. That 2.2 million stat Charlotte boasts, actually counts the top have of SC. Most of the included areas of that figure are heavily rural areas that hardly anyone will ever frequent. Raleigh/Durham is actually ONE metro area comprising of 7 counties (1.6 mil). Raleigh and Durham were split apart during the last census due to the change of the MSA definition. Raleigh and Durham both share borders, so the area is much larger than what is generally shown on paper. Charlotte is the other way around.


Those vids are nice, but why film the suburbs? It's looks identical to Raleigh's.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:55 PM
 
86 posts, read 195,063 times
Reputation: 44
I WAS JUST LIKE YOU.

Six years ago, I was moving from Seattle, WA to North Carolina. My family had a list that is crazily similar to yours-- great schools/public areas, liberal mindset, lively, houses with character.

Chapel Hill, NC is the way to go, I promise you. (Maybe some parts of Durham as well). Charlotte is newer, shinier, bigger/more impersonal, with worse schools.

My friends and I joke that in Chapel Hill it is easier to come out as gay than as a Republican. I have MANY gay friends and there is definitely a lot of pride going around.
I am currently sitting in a kitchen with terra-cotta tiles in a wonderful old home on a wooded lot. We have wonderful neighbors and lots of kids enjoy building "forts" in the woods or riding their bikes on the quiet streets.
Downtown is always packed with people/families eating ice cream or gelato, waiting in lines for awesome local non-chain restaurants, wearing their Tarheel Blue before a UNC game, or just hanging out.
Chapel Hill (and Durham) were voted the best "Foodie" small town recently! For some great local restaurants, you can google "Another Thyme", "Spotted Dog Cafe", "Mama Dip's", "Spanky's", "Elmo's Diner"... Besides a Coldstone Creamery and a Carraba's, I honestly can't think of many non-chain restaurants. My parents are from New York and KNOW food, and even they have been very impressed with the international offerings in the area. We are going out to Dim Sum tomorrow as we do every weekend.

There are many subdivisions, but they are not all boring and white. Many have a lot of character. A quick search on Realtor.com should reveal this.

Good luck with your search, and I really hope you choose Chapel Hill!! I think you'd love it.
We have been impressed with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district.
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:31 AM
 
6,249 posts, read 9,652,467 times
Reputation: 4656
Quote:
Originally Posted by metro.m View Post
Actually DT Raleigh's pop is closer is closer to 7,500. Raleigh's DT has progressed alot you know. Wake County is a tad over 860,000, and is also the fastest growing county in the state. Wake is also set to past Meck, within the next ten years as the most populous county. Both counties populations are concentrated around the larger cities within those respective counties. What Raleigh lacks in it's skyline it makes up for in substance. There's also the variety of having Durham and Chapel Hill close by, so the general area tends to have the most flavor in NC. That 2.2 million stat Charlotte boasts, actually counts the top have of SC. Most of the included areas of that figure are heavily rural areas that hardly anyone will ever frequent. Raleigh/Durham is actually ONE metro area comprising of 7 counties (1.6 mil). Raleigh and Durham were split apart during the last census due to the change of the MSA definition. Raleigh and Durham both share borders, so the area is much larger than what is generally shown on paper. Charlotte is the other way around.


Those vids are nice, but why film the suburbs? It's looks identical to Raleigh's.
NC's fastest growing county is Union. SC's fastest growing county is York. These are both Charlotte metro counties. I think Raleigh is a great place to live and raise a family. These nice people from Portland were mostly interested in Raleigh because they thought that Raleigh was the "big city" in the state. That is why I highly recommend that they visit both Charlotte and Raleigh. Population figures (that only show Raleigh as being smaller than Charlotte) is not a good argument for Raleigh. Mecklenburg county's 900,000 people in 526 sq/mi of land is fairly larger than Wake county's 860,000 in 832 sq/mi of land. In other words, if Charlotte's county had an extra 306 sq/mi of land, its population would be well over a million. Again Metro.M, your best argument for Raleigh is to show Portlandshaws comparable urban areas in Raleigh to my Charlotte videos. Show them Raleigh's massive continueous dt neighborhoods. Show them Raleigh's dt arena and stadium. Show them Raleigh's 30 plus storey condo towers. Show them Raleigh's "big city feel" skyline. Show them a typical night out on Raleigh's light rail train. This is what the Portlandshaws would like to see and know about in Raleigh. I can't wait to see these videos of Raleigh myself!!!

Last edited by urbancharlotte; 11-01-2008 at 04:53 AM..
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:28 AM
 
9,558 posts, read 26,412,240 times
Reputation: 9679
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
Show them Raleigh's massive continueous dt neighborhoods. Show them Raleigh's dt arena and stadium. Show them Raleigh's 30 plus storey condo towers. Show them Raleigh's "big city feel" skyline. Show them a typical night out on Raleigh's light rail train. This is what the Portlandshaws would like to see and know about in Raleigh.
I think that was already done with this post here:


Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
Portlandshaws,

I think the Triangle and Charlotte areas are both excellent options. You should definitely visit both. Are jobs an issue? That may play a role in what works best. I am more familiar with the raleigh / durham / chapel hill area in the Triangle. Here is a recent article about the foodie scene in Durham and Chapel Hill:

America's Foodiest Small Town: In the Magazine : bonappetit.com

While $$$ is always a consideration and while the triangle has its fair share of suburban sprawl I would look to places in Chapel hill and the historic neighborhoods around downtown raleigh and durham for cool historic looking houses. Here are some pictures of a few of those areas in Raleigh:

Pictures of Historic Oakwood Neighborhood in Downtown Raleigh
Pictures of Historic Mordecai Neighborhood
Pictures of Historic Boylan Heights ~ Downtown Raleigh
Pictures of Cameron Village Area ~ Raleigh, NC

Here are few pictures from neat areas in Durham (Courtesy of Bullcityrising):

Durham Photos: Watts-Hillandale/9th Street
Durham Photos: Trinity Park

Farmer's Markets
Pictures of Wake Forest Farmer's Market and Downtown Area
Durham Farmers Market
Weaver Street Market - Home
NCDA&CS - Marketing Division - Raleigh Farmers Market
Looking for a Great Pumpkin? Check out the NC State Farmer's Market (Pictures)

Other links of interest
Pictures From Weaver Street Market "After Hours" Music on the Lawn ~ Carrboro, NC
Pictures of Downtown Pittsboro, NC
Pictures of Historic Downtown Apex
Picture Tour of Glenwood Avenue Area in Downtown Raleigh
RaleighSkyline.com - Original Photography from the City of Raleigh, North Carolina by Matt Robinson (This guy takes awesome pics of downtown Raleigh!)


Look to downtown Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill for a plethora of non-chain dining options!

Interesting Restaurants (Many more, just a sample of a few listed here)
Humble Pie
Foster's Market : Upscale Market, Deli, Cafe, Grocery & Catering Companies
Irregardless Cafe (http://www.irregardless.com/cafe.html - broken link)
Enoteca vin
Zely & Ritz (http://www.zelyandritz.com/news.html - broken link)
Rue Cler
Mo's Diner
Watts Grocery
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:23 AM
 
6,249 posts, read 9,652,467 times
Reputation: 4656
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
I think that was already done with this post here:
Awesome Pics!!! Now here are some examples of what I would like you to show our guest.


YouTube - urban charlotte

YouTube - urban charlotte

I don't have any skyline videos of Charlotte yet. I would rather leave our visitors with a little surprise when they come. My guess is that you are doing the same with Raleigh's dt arena and light rail transit. How wonderful!!! Our guest will be so SURPRISED when they see these things in Raleigh in person!!! On a more serious note, I really think Virginia Beach is your city Portlandshaws.

As you all can see, asking a Triangle vs. Charlotte question exposes NC's silent rivalry. The Triangle is a great area!!! I honestly think you will be more impressed with Charlotte's "big city" feel than Raleigh. I understand your difficulty with deciding. If Charlotte was closer to DC than Raleigh, this would be an easy choice. That is why I brought up Virginia Beach. This area has a superior "big city" feel to Raleigh and is closer to DC. Nearby Norfolk is building light rail as I type BTW. They are actually the same model trains as you saw in Charlotte. It will be quite some time before Norfolk and Charlotte's level of "big city" feel comes to Raleigh I am afraid. Raleigh is a very suburban designed area of the Triangle, hence the name. Three towns make up a metro slightly smaller than the one town metro of Charlotte. This explains the lack of a "big city" feel in the Triangle towns. I would highly suggest that you make Raleigh your first stop on your NC tour. People who see Charlotte first generally are disappointed with Raleigh at first glance. At least if you see Raleigh first, you will go there with an open mind. As a result, you will give Raleigh a chance to impress you. If you visit Charlotte first, you might not be as forgiving with Raleigh. I speak from experience when I tell you to PLEASE VISIT Raleigh first. It is Raleigh's only chance at impressing you.

FYI, those awesome pics of the Triangle were taken in various locations across the Triangle. They all sit in a 15-20 mile radius of each other. In other words, you will be driving for well over an hour to see all of those photos in person (2-3 hours if traffic is bad). My videos of Charlotte were all taken within 3 miles of Charlotte's uptown with the exception of 1. That 1 was taken from 5 miles outside of Charlotte's uptown. You can see all of my videos in person in a 10-15 minute drive.

Last edited by urbancharlotte; 11-01-2008 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:18 PM
Status: "Summer, please don't leave!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Asheville, NC
11,467 posts, read 25,695,605 times
Reputation: 4201
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
Thanks "North Raleigh Guy"!!! Awesome pics!!! Here are my "high quality" videos. I've finally got a decent camera LOL!!! Make sure to click the blue "watch in high quality" icon before viewing these videos located at the bottom right corner of the videos. Keep in mind that these three videos (total) only show about 20% of Charlotte's 1st ward. The other 80% will come at a later time. My batteries died on me yesterday so I had to cut things short. 4th ward (my most favorite urban neighborhood) is coming soon. I just haven't found the time to record it yet.
Enjoy!!!

YouTube - urban charlotte

YouTube - urban charlotte

YouTube - urban charlotte

Here is a "regular quality" video tour of a LYNX light rail train car in Charlotte. This video was taken around midnight on a Saturday night. Seventh street station is the location. During daylight hours, this place has a nice sized crowd of people getting on and off of the train. In nice weather, you can see people dining out in front of Reid's Fine Food grocers. Around the corner from where I stood in this video was Brixx Wood Fire Pizza. There are also several other food spots in this area that I've not filmed yet, but they will come soon!!! This is just a FUN hobby for me and my wife, so it will take us some time to get more stuff. Enjoy!!!

YouTube - urban charlotte
I'd like to see some Raleigh downtown videos on the weekends to see the nightlife as you can see in Charlotte.
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