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Old 07-10-2009, 12:19 PM
943 posts, read 2,808,132 times
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Where my husband and I live in Northern VA (5 miles from Washington DC) when you attempt to talk to neighbors they give you a look like, "why are you talking to me?" I know it is not just us because I do not see any of the neighbors talk to each other. I have lived on five different streets since we moved here from a small town in the Midwest and all have been unfriendly. The places where I have worked have basically been unfriendly also, unless you can do something for them.

When I retire in a few years I am considering moving to a small town and wonder what size of town is the most friendly. My parents before their death lived in a very closed insular town in Iowa of 3000 people, that on the surface seemed friendly but after a polite greeting the people were cold. I remember growing up in a friendly town of 40,000 people where folks were not as insular because there were more of us but life was relaxed due to short commutes and a laid back lifestyle.

Anyway, what size town is best for an outsider to move to that would have people welcoming to strangers and not insular or afraid of people different than them?
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:41 PM
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Size has nothing to do with it. ( IMHO)

I would say a city/town that has a higher percent of people re-locating there might be more friendly than a close knit town where 4 last names dominate the telephone listings and the rest are related thru marriage.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:15 AM
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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My sister did her residency in Fairfax, VA and it was like that there. I did some carpenter work for her one month during mud season and I went into Home Depot and started chatting up with the clerk. She looked at me and said, "you're not from around here are you." After a month though she got so she would talk to me and in the end she gave me a hug and said she would miss me.

The police officer down there did not say that though.

I was in my truck at a red light when it turned green. By the time I let out the clutch and got it into gear the woman behind me thought I should have been a mile down the road apparently. So I decided to teach her a little object lesson on Patience. I stomped on the brake and sat there for two more light cycles before she got mad and went around me. Now there girl, that will teach you to blow your horn again (I never could figure out why they put a horn on a car anyway)

So this cop sees all this and asked me what the problem was with my truck. I explain to him my little lesson on manners and he starts laughing, then tells me its a good way to get shot. With such high stress levels down there apparently road rage is pretty common down there. I tell the cop I am not immune to it either. Every stinking time I try to get my sheep to cross the road, their hooves hit that hot top and they stop. That's when I get enraged and started yelling and screaming at those stupid sheep.

Shooting someone over the way they drive though...now that is silly!
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:55 AM
Location: UK
296 posts, read 735,714 times
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I live in a small farming village (about 100 people) and most are friendly - the real natives (the Welsh) are friendly but do keep to themselves. We love living here while I am still working but I would not want to retire here. I do not think I would risk retiring to such a small area - I will go for a larger town, but not too large, say a population between 30K to 100K.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:09 AM
Location: Prescott Valley, Az (unfortunately still here)
2,550 posts, read 4,056,487 times
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Beaumont, Texas is. It's my hometown, but I haven't lived there since 1987.

The last time I went home, I went to the nearest bar and the people treated me so nice. I told them I was originally from there and they said, "Well, welcome home for a few days. Here's this drinks on the house!". Or a nice gentleman would automatically buy me a drink the minute I walked in the door.

I had an actual conversation with the bartender (can't get that around here in Arizona) and she said she knew the places I was talking about in Beaumont and I told I lived in Arizona now and such. She said she'd been here before and hated it. She felt bad for me because I'm still stuck here. She told me, "You just hang in there. You'll move away from there. I can tell, I can sense it in you." How sweet is that, I ask you??!!
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:08 PM
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
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I don't think it really has to do with the size of the town... You could find 100 towns with the same population.. and varying levels of friendliness. I know towns that have 50 residents that are so friendly the visitors get paranoid, and other towns of the same population where the residents aren't very friendly at all.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:46 AM
Location: NW Nevada
14,530 posts, read 11,952,884 times
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Size is actually irrelevant. I can name places that you just don't want to go in urban and rural areas and places that are just great as well. There is a remote town bout 3 hours northeast of me here, that I wouldn't stop for gas if I was on E....By the same token, areas of N Las Vegas are just as bad. I would be hesitant to tell anyone that one place is going to be THE place to go, a lot depends on individual personality. You ether fit in , or don't.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:18 PM
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12000 to 50000. Small towns are clanish and distrusting of outsoders and large cities are just plain rude and scared of anyone in their space; has been my observtion generally.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:19 AM
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,856 posts, read 23,288,026 times
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My sister taught in a small town in Japan. She was glad to leave it, but I don't think they were exactly unfriendly. They are a bit xenophobic, but they're a bit more okay with educated whites visiting than other Asians coming. Still she couldn't ever really be "part of" that town as such so she left.

I don't know if size really matters, but I'd say towns less than 3,000 are often a bit closed off. I think this is most true when they're "monolithic." Like when 90% of the people are of both the same race and religion. Or when most everyone is related to everyone else. At the Proms I attended almost all of them got dates from other towns because the people their age in town could be their cousin or, at least, someone they'd gone to school with every day since they were five. (My graduating class had like 20 people and some years the graduating class only had twelve. The entire High School was under a 100. I hear it's grown since then)
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:22 AM
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 8,912,785 times
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Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
Where my husband and I live in Northern VA (5 miles from Washington DC) when you attempt to talk to neighbors they give you a look like, "why are you talking to me?"
I lived in Northern VA (Fairfax and then dulles area, Loudoun Co) for over 20 yrs. People are just like that in that area -- rude, cold, and paranoid. Even worse, people do their best to avoid *touching* one another. For example, when one visits a store at the mall or elsewhere, people go out of the way to make sure they don't bump into you or get too close. It's kind of a weird thing. I am not sure exactly why but figured it was because it's a transient area, people work too much, it's overpopulated, they're angry at sitting in traffic too long, yadda, yadda. Yet the same cannot be said of NYC which has more people. Anyway . ..

I don't believe the size of the town really matters--it's the people. Have you visited some of the smaller towns on the western part of VA or even in WV? Historic towns such as Leesburg used to be small and quaint but now there are developments all over. So you'd have to go further out. Alot of the towns are still small but close enough to hospitals, shopping, etc. The scenary is beautiful because of the mountains. And wasn't one of the western counties in VA rated the Best County to Retire In recently? Best of luck in your search!
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