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Old 01-11-2010, 01:44 PM
 
50 posts, read 115,250 times
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I lived in and around NYC for the first 30 years of my life, then lived in Savannah, GA for 4 years. I've lived in Raleigh for the last 3.5 years.

I wouldn't worry too much about the race thing. Of course, I'm a white male, so that's probably easy for me to say. But there are a ton of northerners living in this area, and as you know you get exposed to every type of human being there is living in NYC.

I live in Wake Forest--a small town a few miles north of Raleigh. My advice would be to keep the atheist thing to yourself. I consider myself an agnostic, but there are a lot of religious people in my town. I've had people bring it up in conversation, but I haven't had any conflicts so far. Still, you could definitely rub people the wrong way if you wear it on your sleeve, if you know what I mean.

People are nice here. Nicer than NYers, for sure. Not as heavy on the "Southern hospitality" as I saw in Savannah, but nice enough.

Bottom line is that it's not Shangri-La. You will be trading one set of regional problems/issues for another. (The weather will be quite an adjustment.) But if you like the outdoors and a slightly more laid-back lifestyle, then it's probably worth checking out. I don't regret it a bit, and plan to be here for many years.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:45 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,936,729 times
Reputation: 2739
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbieY View Post
1. I'm an athiest, my wife is agnostic and our baby just believes in food. We are Democrats, I fully support the NRA, I'm straightedge (don't drink or smoke), so we will be seen as heathens?
You'll find zealots everywhere, but in my experience people that don't agree with your religious choices will mostly not care, or at worst either ignore you or talk to you incessantly about coming to their belief. Like politics, its easier to make friends if you don't bring it up!

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2. I grew up in upstate Schenectady, near Albany and my wife grew up in Buffalo, we met as college students in SUNY Binghamton, is Raleigh anything like these suburban towns?
A lot of the surrounding area is just like upstate NY - woodsy and easy going. There are lots of smaller communities around Raleigh but the closer you get to the main city, the quicker they are exploding with growth. Raleigh itself is a sprawling, mostly suburban city with lots of trees and space.


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3. I hear about how nice the people are in NC is it really true? My family is super nice and very open-minded and being around other friendly people sounds really exciting to us.
Yes, except for the self-righteous Northerners who come down and think they are superior than the locals, and the self-righteous locals who resent the Northerners and think they are superior. The ara is very forward thinking on the whole thanks to the large well-educated populace.


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4. When my family goes to the mall, will we be stared at because we're that exotic "Chinese" family, even though we're Korean? I have to ask this question even though Raleigh has more asian people than Schenectady or Buffalo.
No. Unless you all dress up in a dragon costume, then yes.


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5. The schools in Wake County seem spectacular when reading about them on greatschools.com or .net. Is this true? Are these schools great?
Yes. We have a lot of Asian kids that raise our scores .


Also, fwiw, 27614 is a great ZIP code to live in if ou can find anything in your price range.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,553 posts, read 3,876,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbieY View Post
I have a list of random questions, thank you to anyone who can help!

1. I'm an athiest, my wife is agnostic and our baby just believes in food. We are Democrats, I fully support the NRA, I'm straightedge (don't drink or smoke), so we will be seen as heathens?

2. I grew up in upstate Schenectady, near Albany and my wife grew up in Buffalo, we met as college students in SUNY Binghamton, is Raleigh anything like these suburban towns?

3. I hear about how nice the people are in NC is it really true? My family is super nice and very open-minded and being around other friendly people sounds really exciting to us.

4. When my family goes to the mall, will we be stared at because we're that exotic "Chinese" family, even though we're Korean? I have to ask this question even though Raleigh has more asian people than Schenectady or Buffalo.

5. The schools in Wake County seem spectacular when reading about them on greatschools.com or .net. Is this true? Are these schools great?

I'll have more questions in the future, but these are all I can think of for now.

Thanks!
Robbie
fwiw, i'm 27, atheist, democrat and grew up in Colonie [Latham], NY, so pretty close to Schenectady. i just moved down less than a year ago, and we've found it to be pretty normal as far as the people, stuff that's around, etc. i'm sort of an antagonistic person at times, and even i haven't had much chance to have more than a discussion with someone about the differences i've encountered. especially in the urban and suburban areas, everyone's pretty mainstream, normal, etc. not really hicks or religious nuts, but also not tons of gritty, weird, freaky people either. my van-pool i take to work is a mix of white, african, indian, and chinese people. my friends are white, black, hispanic, gay/straight... so i don't think you'll stick out in any way. we've really enjoyed moving here, with the warmer weather and lower property values. good luck!
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:35 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,658,486 times
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What does the OP do for work?

No one touched upon employment issues.

At age 33 and with a new baby having a job would seem more important than comic book stores or being stared at in the mall....lol.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:48 AM
 
9,680 posts, read 23,500,644 times
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Also, very little public transit may be a big culture shock from Forest Hills (NYC).
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:48 AM
 
Location: New York City
633 posts, read 972,856 times
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Robbie,
I'm a native New Yorker, raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. Husband raised in South Ozone Park Queens. I just have to ask, do people really stare at you and your family because you are Korean? Queens has so many Asians, I find this hard to believe!!
Have you been to Raleigh? We have been down there 3 times and are coming again soon. We LOVE it there and are trying to figure out the bast way to relocate there.
Best of luck to you and your family! :-)
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:53 AM
 
35 posts, read 124,600 times
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These are all great comments, funny too.

I work as a typesetter in financial printing. So finding a job would be hard for me. I ran a simple job search and found only 1 position that I was qualified for in NC, yikes! My wife works for an internet company and she can work from home.

Robbie
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:09 AM
 
35 posts, read 124,600 times
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Hey SINY2NC, I meant stares from living in Schenectady, not in Queens. But that wasn't even a big deal, it was just a silly but curious question.
I had an experience in the upstate town Ravena, NY, where the hometown crowd chanted "USA! USA! USA" in opposition to me (because I was probably the first asian person they had ever seen) during a high school wrestling match once. I'm just so glad I won that match, that shut them up. That was a "bad" racist experience, getting "stares" is no biggie.

Robbie
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest NC
1,611 posts, read 4,315,016 times
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Robbie, just an observation. A person asking if you have a church is asking you to be courteous, not to be mean. As he prior posters stated, if you answer politely you will be just fine.

You will find people are very polite down here. However, there are jerks here, as there are everywhere.

Don't worry about fitting in, you will be fine. You will probably find more asian people torward N Raleigh and Cary than in the eastern part of the Triangle. If you choose a magnet school there will be lots of divsersity. In Wake Forest, maybe 1-2 asians in a class. You have to decide- are you comfortable with 1 other asian kid in the class, or are you more comfortable with more than that? I fyou go on the wcpss website they have very detailed demographics. IT wont' guarantee the mix in any individual classroom, of course, but will give you a better idea of what to expect.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
494 posts, read 1,552,272 times
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I moved to Raleigh about a year and a half ago from Loudonville, NY... that's in Albany County. I lived in that area for 20 years and raised a family there. I also worked a lot in NY City when I was there. The reasons I moved down were taxes, weather, and better job opportunities in my field. I think that you will find the relative size of the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) to be very similar to the Capital District (also a triangle... Albany, Schenectady, Troy), so if you are familiar with that, then this will seem very similar. The one big difference I've noticed here though is that it is rapidly growing, while Upstate NY is pretty stagnant, so things like restaurant and shopping choices seem to be an order of magnitude better here than in Albany. Albany is getting better, but this is much better.

As for the Church thing, I will say up front that I am a Christian, so I came here with a very different set of expectations regarding that. This is the Bible-Belt, so it is much more Christian-friendly then the northeast, but I don't think that equates to it being anti-atheist however. What it really means is that there are a lot more people that associate themselves with the "Christian" label here that don't really live that way, while in the northeast people that called themselves Christian mostly lived that way. I think there is a parallel to Catholic in the northeast.... and it goes along with the schools of those names here, and in the Northeast. We came here looking for a strong Christian School, but are actually going to be moving our youngest of four into public schools here in the fall. With regard to schools, you should also be aware of the situation here with Wake County Public Schools. For years, the policy here has been to bus kids all over to try and "balance" the socioeconomic population. While it is a noble cause, it is a double edges sword also. The school district is huge by comparison to upstate NY. In the Albany area, each community had their own school, and when we moved, Shenendahoah was by far the largest by a healthy margin at about 9,000 kids. By comparison, Wake County's district is about 90,000 kids I believe. They add thousands of students per year due to growth and are constantly building new schools. In the last election cycle, the cause for neighborhood schools swept all the seats and has vowed to move more toward community schools. I believe this has raised some attention from opponents and it could turn into a national battleground on the subject if things persist. I am a fan of neighborhood schools myself, but I'm sure they will work it out and continue to have good schools here. That said, there are a LOT of private school options here at all different price ranges... both faith based and non-faith based. Bottom line... I think the schools here are very good, and I also think you'll be very comfortable here living as an atheist, as long as you aren't a person that gets offended by other people exercising their freedom of religion. You will see a church on every corner, and most of the area expressing faith expressions publicly. For example, if you buy a chicken sandwich at Chikfillet, you will here "have a blessed day" when you leave. I can't imagine that offending anyone, but that is the kind of thing you are likely to see... not someone staring at you or putting you down for believing something different.

As for the ethnic fit, I think you'll be fine here with that. Its not NY City, for sure, but you do have RTP here which is a huge technology park and that brings a lot of ethnic diversity.

What you will miss, coming from NY City, is a near total lack of public transportation... and a lack of many types of entertainment that some people might think of finding in NY City... theater, art, etc. There is some here, but not anything comparible to NYC. What I think you get in exchange for that is some really great weather, and a 2 hour day trip to a beautiful coastline where the water is warm enough to actually enjoy swimming.

If you lived in Schenectady and are looking for that type of community, then I think you will love it here. The people that struggle are the folks that come from NY City and want the same access to all things that are in NY City down here.

As others have mentioned, you will be amazed at how polite people are. When I first came here, I would actually stop and look around when I'd go into a store and a clerk would greet me and ask me how I'm doing. I'm used to clerks not even making contact with you, let alone talking... and genuinely being nice.
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