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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:03 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,061 times
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So here's my situation...
I was born in California and lived there for 20 of my 41 years. I mostly lived in the progressive NorCal area and as such my world view tends to lean liberal, but in reality I firmly believe that politics, like religion is a personal opinion that no one has the right to judge or criticize. I just ask, as I believe most people would expect, that people respect my opinion just as I would theirs and leave it at that.

So back in 2005 we moved from NorCal to Atlanta to follow a job and for the most part it has worked out well for me aside from the decidedly consevative leanings of most people here. But I've met some good people here and you can't beat the cost of living here. My wife on the other hand has not enjoyed as much as I have. My wife is Russian well educated and while she has a bit of an accent fluently speaks english and can easily be understood by most people.

Unfortunatley our life in Atlanta has not been a happy experience for my wife because she had a hard time finding work and a lot of people have treated her badly because she is foreign and act as if she is stupid because they can't understand her accent. This was never a problem in California because there is such a huge amount of diversity there that practically everyone is from somewhere else. So this move to Atlanta has not been a happy one for her and has tainted the whole 'Southern' experience in her eyes.

Now I have an opportunity to move to the Raleigh/Durham area for a promotion with my current work. I've heard a lot of good things about the area and that it is a bit more progressive than most areas of the south and has more of the 'live and let live' attitude that I adhere to. I'm eager to give it a go, but my wife understandedly is a bit hesitant about going through the same BS there as she has had to endure here.

So my question to you all is how likely is my wife to encounter these types of attitudes in the Raleigh Durham area and which areas do you think are more accepting of foreigners? Thanks to all that respond as I do value your input.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:52 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,546 posts, read 17,908,500 times
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I too grew up in NorCal. Over the years, the Triangle has become decidedly more progressive and open. That said, I think you should be more deliberate when choosing where to specifically live in the Triangle. I think that you and your wife can easily find places where you will feel comfortable. Unfortunately, those places are typically the most expensive parts of the area and certainly more expensive than most of Atlanta.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro are going to be the most "Berkeley" parts of the Triangle. The political leanings are easily left of center. In Durham, the mix of Duke's university community and a strong African American community usually assure Democratic leanings. In Raleigh, again the most progressive parts of town are around the universities/colleges and areas close to the city center. As for burbs, Cary is suprisingly "not conservative"...I hesitate to call it liberal but I hesitate more to call it conservative. Its diverse population is made up of lots of transferees from other parts of the country and the world. It has a fast growing South Asian population and lots of tech and bio-tech workers who take the short commute to RTP each day.
If you are looking to avoid more conservative areas, stay close to the cities and avoid areas East and South of Raleigh or West of Durham and Chapel Hill. The further you get from the Triangle proper, the more conservative it becomes.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 03-13-2010 at 12:59 PM.. Reason: No links to outside blogs, please.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Cary
517 posts, read 1,399,669 times
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Based on absolutely no scientific evidence, I'm going to say there's an inverse relationship between being a) educated and b) non-plussed by foreign accents. By that measure, I think you'll find many folks around here, both conservatives and liberals, who are completely accepting of your wife and her accent. As for the rest, just consider them exercises in character building.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:41 PM
 
28 posts, read 49,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm531 View Post
Now I have an opportunity to move to the Raleigh/Durham area for a promotion with my current work. I've heard a lot of good things about the area and that it is a bit more progressive than most areas of the south and has more of the 'live and let live' attitude that I adhere to. I'm eager to give it a go, but my wife understandedly is a bit hesitant about going through the same BS there as she has had to endure here.

Sorry, but this seems to be a no brainer for me.

A) Stay where you are in an area that seems "hostile" to your wife and certainly endure more of the same.

B) Move here. You get a promo and the wife gets a fresh start. I think your wife will find it much more accommodating here.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:08 PM
 
100 posts, read 253,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I too grew up in NorCal. Over the years, the Triangle has become decidedly more progressive and open. That said, I think you should be more deliberate when choosing where to specifically live in the Triangle. I think that you and your wife can easily find places where you will feel comfortable. Unfortunately, those places are typically the most expensive parts of the area and certainly more expensive than most of Atlanta.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro are going to be the most "Berkeley" parts of the Triangle. The political leanings are easily left of center. In Durham, the mix of Duke's university community and a strong African American community usually assure Democratic leanings. In Raleigh, again the most progressive parts of town are around the universities/colleges and areas close to the city center. As for burbs, Cary is surprisingly "not conservative"...I hesitate to call it liberal but I hesitate more to call it conservative. Its diverse population is made up of lots of transferees from other parts of the country and the world. It has a fast growing South Asian population and lots of tech and bio-tech workers who take the short commute to RTP each day.
If you are looking to avoid more conservative areas, stay close to the cities and avoid areas East and South of Raleigh or West of Durham and Chapel Hill. The further you get from the Triangle proper, the more conservative it becomes.
Second that opinion.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:16 PM
 
3,744 posts, read 9,447,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I too grew up in NorCal. Over the years, the Triangle has become decidedly more progressive and open. That said, I think you should be more deliberate when choosing where to specifically live in the Triangle. I think that you and your wife can easily find places where you will feel comfortable. Unfortunately, those places are typically the most expensive parts of the area and certainly more expensive than most of Atlanta.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro are going to be the most "Berkeley" parts of the Triangle. The political leanings are easily left of center. In Durham, the mix of Duke's university community and a strong African American community usually assure Democratic leanings. In Raleigh, again the most progressive parts of town are around the universities/colleges and areas close to the city center. As for burbs, Cary is suprisingly "not conservative"...I hesitate to call it liberal but I hesitate more to call it conservative. Its diverse population is made up of lots of transferees from other parts of the country and the world. It has a fast growing South Asian population and lots of tech and bio-tech workers who take the short commute to RTP each day.
If you are looking to avoid more conservative areas, stay close to the cities and avoid areas East and South of Raleigh or West of Durham and Chapel Hill. The further you get from the Triangle proper, the more conservative it becomes.
Excellent post!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:56 PM
 
83 posts, read 167,021 times
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I agree with the advice given in the posts above. I would also say the most important thing is to be in a diverse area of the Triangle, not necessarily a more liberal or conservative area. Where people are accustomed to more diversity on a daily basis, life is easier for all of us. Where people just don't see much diversity and don't know very much about life outside the US, life is not so fun for immigrants. I'm an immigrant, as well, although I grew up in the US.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
93 posts, read 187,593 times
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Think Pittsboro
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:14 PM
 
476 posts, read 1,398,722 times
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We have found the area most welcoming, even in spite of the fact that almost everyone I have met here is from somewhere else.

We are in NW Cary near Morrisville and I have NEVER lived in an area with such diverse peoples. We have enjoyed this experience and know that our children are richer for the exposure to so many cultures. While living here we have made friends from Italy, UK, Germany, Korea, Sweden, New York (ha, ha! Had to add that land of wonders!), Ireland, Africa, Colombia, and India. Probably more, and no offense meant if I left anyone off!

I have heard that areas of the Atlanta suburbs can be a bit click'ish, so if you are sitting in a community of mainly that sort I can see how it could be very isolating for your wife.

It sounds like the move to this area would be a great thing for both of you! Good luck!

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 03-14-2010 at 10:20 AM.. Reason: Edited out reference to deleted post.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: NC
4,529 posts, read 7,043,876 times
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I'd say it's worth coming here and giving it a shot considering you have a job. We have a very educated workforce due to the Research Triangle Park and local universities - UNC, Duke, NC Central (Law School), NC State, Campbell Law, and other smaller colleges. You would certainly find people who you and your wife can relate to, it's a matter of meeting them, and living in the right neighborhood.

To give you a different perspective. I am from the UK, been here 35 yrs. I've known lots of people from other countries who enjoyed living here until they were relocated away due to their job. There is a Russian MeetUp group Find a Meetup Group Near You! - Expat Russian Meetups - Raleigh and this one The Raleigh-Durham-CH Russian Language Meetup Group (Raleigh, NC) - Meetup.com. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know but it bears remembering that the key is to get out and about, or invite colleagues over for dinner, or a cookout, expand your pool of contacts to increase the likelyhood of meeting compatible people to build a friendship with.

Bear in mind that Raleigh is not a DC, or NY and as such, there is no significant public transport - no subway, no hi speed rail, there is a limited city by city bus system that has little express service. It is a more provincial Capital City that is trying to keep up with the explosive growth and 100 new residents moving to Wake County each day. Traffic can be pretty bad depending on where you commute. But isn't every major city like that? At present it's not as bad as Atlanta.

Yes, it is getting expensive here as another poster mentioned. But you'll have to judge that yourself based on your budget. And there are various Raleigh sites sharing what all we have here such as theater, amphitheatre, musical venues, etc..

I'd say rnc2's assessment is pretty accurate.
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