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Old 04-29-2014, 03:34 PM
 
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Visiting for a couple of days to see if Richmond is a place I might like to live. Was looking at a couple of hotels options and wondering if I would have a different impression of the city staying in Ashland or Short Pump? I wanted to check out some neighborhoods and see what Richmond was like. Coming from the Boston area if anyone has a similar experience.
Thanks
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:54 PM
 
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Depends on what you mean by "see what Richmond was like."

Neither are really in Richmond.

Short Pump is a suburb and if you're looking to live in the suburbs then that may be a good choice.

Ashland is an incorporated town 15(ish) miles north of Richmond. It's completely separate from Richmond (though commutable if that's what you're looking for). It has a very nice small town "Main Street USA" feel to it (which I would contrast with Short Pump which is more like your typical newer suburb).
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
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What are you looking for? And by Boston area, where in particular? I lived in back bay/south end, so I prefer the city. If you like Natick, or further out, you'll probably like short pump. Etc. etc. Richmond is full of ex Boston and Connecticut people.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
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Ashland more like say a New Hampshire town
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Chesterfield, VA
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For just visiting and the hotels that are around, I would stay in Short Pump. You can always drive to Ashland to walk/drive around and get a feel for the area.

Or, if a B&B is more your style, Ashland has The Henry Clay Inn. --The Henry Clay Inn: A Historic Georgian Style Country Inn located in Ashland Virginia
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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I live in Framingham, right next to Natick, so that it is a good comparable to my experience.

There are a few things that I am looking to try and find out during my visit (although I donít know how good of a sense I can get in a 4 day visit).
First socially, I am 50 and looking for a new place to live where I can meet people around my own age. I enjoy the outdoors; fishing, kayaking, beaching, hiking etc. and would like to move to a location that fits in with my activities and would (could) be easy to meet people. I have no clue if Richmond is a tough place to meet new people or what it is like for a transplant; good or bad?

I find the Boston area a difficult place to get to know a lot of people. I read on this Forum that Richmond can be cliquish too, however, that may be for the age group mentioned in those posts (20-30 something)? I would prefer to move to an area that is easier socially compared to Boston area. Boston has a reputation for being a place where no one looks you in the eye, and it is true. Saying hello to someone walking down the same trail as you is often ignored or looked at with suspicion. I have only visited the south, but never have lived there. People seem friendlier and it seems like it would be easier to make friends and get connected?

Second, I was also looking for a more laid back living experience. Driving in and out of Boston and surrounding area is a job in itself. You can spend 3 hours a day commuting with some pretty tough commuters! I am in technology and noted that there seems to be a fair number of jobs in the Richmond area. So, if I had to commute into Richmond I am assuming that it is an easier experience?


Housing prices, Boston area is crazy. I have looked at home prices in Richmond and they are lower. I assume that salaries are lower as well but not on a commensurate basis. So, also looking to drive through some neighborhoods and get a feel for the place in general.



There are things I do like about the Boston area. There is a high degree of educated people and lots of different cultural and social experiences which is cool.


Should have been more explicit in my first post, hopefully someone can shed some light on my questions and if there is any other information or experience that would be helpful I am all ears.


Thanks
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:34 PM
 
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If you want to experience the city... stay in the city.

Suburbs, stay in Short Pump, but realize that you may not be able to afford to LIVE there...
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:27 PM
 
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The activities you enjoy are popular with a lot of Richmonders. Staying in Short Pump will let you see the newest areas of the metro area, but they do lack character, it's the area with the highest concentration of chain stores and restaurants and subdivisions. I live there, and it works for us now because we do like having all the amenities close at hand, and having the excellent county schools. But if I didn't have to worry about schools, I'd be more inclined to live closer in. That being said, at rush hour it still takes my husband less than half an hour to get downtown. So it's nothing like Boston driving.

Keep in mind the Boston MSA is almost 4x the size of Richmond's so we're not as diverse nor do we have the depth of activities, museums, restaurants, etc. But for our size, I think Richmond has a lot to offer. As a former northerner, i will say the "friendliness" of the south can be deceiving. It's somewhat superficial, it's more about manners than about getting to know someone. But the reality is, anywhere we live as adults, we have to make the effort to get out and meet people. There are lots of affinity groups here and they're very welcoming to new members, particularly the athletic/outdoorsy groups. Kindred spirits are always welcome, as far as I can tell. So as long as you're willing to get involved, you'll have lots of opportunities. One great thing about RVA is we're smack in the middle of the mountains and the water. Just over an hour east or west and you can indulge your Appalachian Trail dreams or go kayaking or fishing on the Bay. Very different from MA, but really nice. And worth the cost savings, I'd think. And the weather! Unless you're a winter person.

I would not stay in Ashland, it's not really part of Richmond at all. I would explore the downtown area primarily. Drive down Cary Street, check out the James River, and some of the parks. Fishing, kayaking and hiking are all big around here; stop in some of the local outfitters and ask about your interests. You might find it cheaper to live on southside in Chesterfield County, and commute in to the city or up to the West end, if that's where you find work. Again, you're probably looking at 1/2 hour each way. Housing can be much cheaper in Chesterfield, depending on where you are. If schools aren't an issue, you might want to be downtown or in one of the developments on the River, some of them are really neat.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Behind You!
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Haha, my Wife is from Natick. I'd say Short Pump. Ashland is descent but pretty far removed from the City itself, Short Pump isn't the city either but an awesome place and Henrico is a great area. I lived in Short Pump for 3 years when I moved from Boston (W Roxbury) myself. Just recently bought a house in Glen Allen which is right down the street (still Henrico) which I'd check out as well. G.A. has kinda a Dedham, Norwood, Walpole feel to it.

Also, no shortage of us MA-ssholes down here!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlesaf3 View Post
Ashland more like say a New Hampshire town
You said it man! Kinda reminds me of Salem.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Behind You!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cafepithecus View Post
If you want to experience the city... stay in the city.

Suburbs, stay in Short Pump, but realize that you may not be able to afford to LIVE there...

Doubtful, A piece of crap with no roof in the Boston Metro West cost double what anything in Short Pump does. POOR in MA = Very well off in Central VA!
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