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Old 01-01-2015, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,982,141 times
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Great post, Hazfora. And I love the term "space conquerer." In my experience with space, it's all about design and form follows function. Though I've never been to Richmond, I picture it as a large city and it surprises me to hear that so much is walkable from where you live. Are you in the inner city, or an attached suburb? What are the winters like there?

 
Old 01-01-2015, 02:31 PM
 
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I visited Richmond area (suburbs) as a retirement option. I liked the suburbs but there's a lot of traffic (more than I thought there would be and a lot of horn blowing!). Unfortunately on my way from the airport to my hotel I ended up in a very bad area of downtown Richmond and was very scared, it really put a damper on my visit. There is a lot of violent crime there, so please be very careful. I know they are working on it but from what I understand still have a long way to go. My conclusion was that the suburbs were safe, but more crowded than I expected, but downtown Richmond was not very safe. Do you live near the Fan district?
 
Old 01-01-2015, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,982,141 times
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LoveAutumn, your comments about Richmond convince me I'm no longer a city person. Even a small city the size of Bangor is too big for me. City and suburbs are both too extreme for me as I age. I am a townsperson, and fortunately I'm in a town with amenities and senior transport. I don't want to be spending 20 minutes driving just within a city to get someplace.
 
Old 01-02-2015, 08:47 AM
 
130 posts, read 263,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Great post, Hazfora. And I love the term "space conquerer." In my experience with space, it's all about design and form follows function. Though I've never been to Richmond, I picture it as a large city and it surprises me to hear that so much is walkable from where you live. Are you in the inner city, or an attached suburb? What are the winters like there?
I live in the City Center area which is the financial district of Richmond. Winter? I have yet to experience freezing weather. The City Center area is undergoing a revival with many office buildings of great character being repurposed into apartments. I have a large terrace (an unusual find in the city in an apartment building) and can see the sun rise and the moon set. The much-publicized Fan District, Monument Avenue and Carytown is a 20-minute +/- bus or taxi ride depending on your destination. Those areas are highly populated with local stores, students, restaurants and cheap to moderate housing. Upscale old-money housing is on Monument Ave., a tree-lined wide avenue of historic homes, some rundown, some renovated and some well-kept old homes. It isn't walkable in most parts unless you live closer to the Fan or Carytown -- you need a car to go to shops and entertainment, something I was avoiding. I guess it's all a matter of lifestyle. I can choose to walk to the Canal and Shockoe Bottom -- the terrain reminds me of San Francisco -- cobblestone streets, funky shops and great restaurants, James River Walk, up and downhill but not quite as steep as San Francisco.

Richmond is becoming known as a Foodie Town, with highly rated restaurants within the city. I do not live in the outskirts or suburbs but within the city itself, which is huge. I have yet to discover what this City has to offer besides what I've seen so far just walking around my neighborhood. I'm still unpacking :-) and unless that's over with, I don't care to go out and explore.

Crime reports on any major city are mostly over-hyped. Just don't go or live in a known crime area. If you believe everything hook, line and sinker, you won't want to live in NYC, Washington DC or Los Angeles (Pasadena), great cities I've lived in. Every city has rough spots -- just don't live too close to them. I know what's safe and unsafe, and am no longer a reckless juvenile out for a night of zombie fun.

Traffic? Well, if you drive to work, you'll encounter traffic at certain times of the day, whichever city you live in. Just plan your time well. This "issue" never enters my mind and, unlike volatile people I know, I never curse while stalled in traffic -- it's a waste of energy.

The Center Stage, opera and ballet venue (and other small entertainment venues), is a few walkable blocks from me, also Virginia Commonwealth University, the State Capitol, Public Library. As I said, if I couldn't have the great amenities I've had in cities where I've lived before at walking distance, I would compromise and settle for decent public transport and taxi rides.

I visited Richmond last summer before my move and they had farmers' markets in many neighborhoods. The 17th Street Farmers' Market is especially awesome with restaurants lining a large, shaded public market selling local produce and other foodie stuff that is just right up my alley. Exciting days are ahead of me. Amtrak is 11 or so blocks away from me -- walkable unless I am loaded with luggage. Richmond has an international airport.

It's easy to make friends here -- I've met a few just joining a meetup group for cohousing. You just need to take the initiative. I plan to join other meetup groups (which are many and catering to all sorts of interests or just to meet people) or create one of my own. That's in my future.

My last visit in late October was my turning point. I find that on any first visits to a city or place, I just look around somewhat in a fog and can't fully appreciate what's around me, so you need to visit more than once or stay longer. That's why I don't like whirlwind tours where you let your camera do the touring. I only take unusual pictures and without me in it. No selfies for me.

I visited Richmond in 2009 when I was scouting places to plant my retirement roots and, at that time, Richmond was rather rundown in some parts. I wasn't thrilled and besides I haven't yet learned that I was overreaching by comparing apples with oranges and, for reality check, I needed to compromise or reorder my priorities.

Richmond is now undergoing a renaissance and I want to be part of it because it has a lot of potential. "The Virginia State Capitol is the seat of state government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, located in Richmond, the third capital city of the U.S. state of Virginia. Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government, with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms, located in the downtown area. The city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Dominion Resources and MeadWestvaco, Fortune 500 companies, are headquartered in the city, with others in the metropolitan area."

I can even walk to the court house to protest a parking violation ticket :-). Imagine that. And if I'm unable to get out for any reason, there's Relay Foods, a grocery store that delivers. What luxury. And if I'm really too lazy to cook, there's a $9.99 buffet across the street at Spice of India Restaurant, which gets the lunch time crowd from offices nearby. Nirvana. Now that's hot and sexy.

Richmond development plans and visitors' guide: http://www.richmondgov.com/PressSecr...tion111913.pdf
Richmond VA > Common Pages
 
Old 01-02-2015, 08:54 AM
 
130 posts, read 263,746 times
Reputation: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I visited Richmond area (suburbs) as a retirement option. I liked the suburbs but there's a lot of traffic (more than I thought there would be and a lot of horn blowing!). Unfortunately on my way from the airport to my hotel I ended up in a very bad area of downtown Richmond and was very scared, it really put a damper on my visit. There is a lot of violent crime there, so please be very careful. I know they are working on it but from what I understand still have a long way to go. My conclusion was that the suburbs were safe, but more crowded than I expected, but downtown Richmond was not very safe. Do you live near the Fan district?
What violent crime. I think one should take crime reports and statistics with a grain of salt. If you watch your local TV news or read your local paper (or website), you'll hear a lot of crime news. NYC, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago -- to name a few -- have high crime statistics. Aren't they great cities? It's a matter of lifestyle.
 
Old 01-02-2015, 09:35 AM
 
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Yes, the statement about crime seems to always get someone's goat. It always works someone's nerves. Don't bother with it if you are happy where you are. Crime is everywhere.
 
Old 01-02-2015, 05:06 PM
 
4,574 posts, read 7,062,229 times
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hey, I think it's great that you've found your ideal retirement place. My comments were based on my experience visiting Richmond two years ago, you say you've have lived in larger urban cities before so I'm sure you're careful but Richmond does still have plenty of crime. I've personally been a victim of violent crime, more than once actually, so I guess I'm a little more cautious about where I tread. I wish you much happiness in Richmond.
 
Old 01-02-2015, 05:26 PM
 
4,574 posts, read 7,062,229 times
Reputation: 4222
Default City and suburbs are both too extreme for me as I age

NEGirl, I'm coming to this same conclusion myself but I couldn't exactly put my finger on how I felt until I read your comment. I guess that's why I haven't been able to find a place that really speaks to me (yet). I do need some space yet not too isolated.
 
Old 01-02-2015, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,982,141 times
Reputation: 15649
For me, it's all about Where to Live Now that's suitable for where to live in 10 years (if we don't move within a few years, we ossify here, which is not a bad place to be, except for taxes). That means financially, closeness to amenities, and van transportation. I'd die of boredom rural or suburban, just cannot do it. There are some small towns in NC and Maine that would suit us well.
 
Old 01-02-2015, 06:02 PM
 
2,627 posts, read 4,953,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
For me, it's all about Where to Live Now that's suitable for where to live in 10 years (if we don't move within a few years, we ossify here, which is not a bad place to be, except for taxes). That means financially, closeness to amenities, and van transportation. I'd die of boredom rural or suburban, just cannot do it. There are some small towns in NC and Maine that would suit us well.
Did you ever visit your friends in Lafayette?
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