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Old 04-27-2015, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Vermont
24 posts, read 18,949 times
Reputation: 69

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I know this is an older thread, but I'm a North Carolina native and just moved up to Vermont about a year ago. Feel free to message me if you have any specific NC -> VT transition questions.

For me, the most striking change has been the incredible lack of traffic and billboards. And at night, the roads are often DARK to an extent that I'd just never experienced before - and with no lines on them because the lines have been plowed away by the snow plows.

Whenever I see more than a handful of cars on the Interstate at a time, it's a big deal. There's a simplicity and a lack of distractions here that I've really enjoyed so far.

I've read some posts here describing Vermonters as stand-off-ish, and that has not been my experience at all. If anything, I'd say the folks I've encountered in Vermont have been more friendly than folks in North Carolina. Vermont is one of the friendliest, most beautiful places I've ever lived.

It is rural in a way that I think could be isolating for many people, but I've found it very refreshing after spending far too much of the last three years of my life on I-40 commuting from Asheville to the Triangle.

I think there are some similarities between rural Vermont and rural NC, though, so I don't know that I'd agree with the "polar opposite culture" comment. A lot of the small towns in VT remind me slightly of the small towns in Western North Carolina (Marshall, Brevard), though I prefer VT to NC at the moment. There are some different cultural attitudes, for sure, but there is a similar feel to me - I love small towns.

I think one of the biggest adjustments for me was having to drive to another state to reach the nearest actual supermarket. Within a 30 minute drive of where I've been living, there is an old school general store (and there are many of these in VT) but no supermarket. This is both adorable and inconvenient if you are craving a midnight snack, or you forgot to do your grocery shopping before the town co-op closed at 5pm on a Sunday.

Also, I live in the Upper Valley area now but will be moving to Montpelier any day now. The power goes out a lot more often here than any other place I've lived. It's just sort of something you get used to. Always have a flashlight handy. My electric bill is also a fraction what I paid in NC.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:37 AM
 
809 posts, read 679,999 times
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Thanks for the comments! May you be a positive influence on the community activists in Montpelier.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:27 AM
 
68 posts, read 60,293 times
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What is wrong with being proud of he state you live in? There are 49 others to choose from.
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:25 PM
 
56 posts, read 64,686 times
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Super helpful, Bliss! Much appreciated! We are moving to Montpelier, glad to see you mention Marshall, as that's one of my favorite towns in NC. Boy howdy, has it changed though. Where are you from? How have you found the winters and gray that folks talk about? I've never noticed, I suspect because anytime I am in VT, I'm on vacation. Interested to hear what is drawing you to Montpelier from the Upper Valley area, as well as what took you from NC to VT. Thanks again.
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Vermont
24 posts, read 18,949 times
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So, to start with the comparison between Asheville and Montpelier (from the other Montpelier thread): phew. I get that there are superficial similarities between the two, but I strongly prefer Montpelier to Asheville. That could be, however, because I'm rather burnt out on Asheville given that I lived there these past seven years before moving up to Vermont for law school. I feel like Asheville has almost become a caricature of itself in some ways. How many breweries does one town need, ya know? When I think of Asheville, I think of that line from Portlandia that describes Portland as "where young folks go to retire." That's how I describe Asheville to my friends up here: it's where young folks go to retire. In Montpelier, there's a much lower percentage of young people, but in my limited experience most of them have been much more invested in their work (it is the capital, after all) than my peers in Asheville. I realize this is a huge generalization, I'm just trying to articulate some of the ways that Montpelier feels different than Asheville to me. (I grew up in the Charlotte and Union County areas and went to grad school in Chapel Hill.)

I don't know how to put this, but I just like the feel of Montpelier better than the feel of Asheville: it reminds me much more of Marshall in that sense (and I love that someone else shares my affection for Marshall). I lived in Asheville, but I worked in many of the surrounding Western North Carolina counties, and much of Vermont, including Montpelier, reminds me more of the smaller, more rural towns in Western North Carolina than Asheville. It's much more low key. I think another difference is that Montpelier is a capital city; you don't see lobbyists or US Senators walking around Asheville very often. You do in Montpelier. Montpelier, and much of Vermont in general, is also just very down to earth in a way that I absolutely love.

Burlington and Brattleboro do, however, remind me of Asheville, which is part of why I have no desire to live in either of those cities.

I think if you like Marshall, and you don't mind liberals (though I stand by my comment that I think the political reality of Vermont is different than what many folks outside of Vermont think), you will absolutely *love* Montpelier.

I'm moving up to Montpelier 1) because Montpelier is one of my top 5 favorite cities ever, 2) because it's the capital (which is important to me for a number of reasons), 3) because of a professional opportunity, and 4) because I currently live in a town with a population of about 700. I would like to be able to order pizza delivery (oh how I've missed delivery!), and I'd like to have more than one dining option. Having movie theaters, a drug store, and a real grocery store within walking distance is pretty great too.

The Upper Valley in many ways feels more connected to NH: it's where I go for most of my essentials. And I just prefer the feel of Vermont (less congested, fewer big box stores, and I'm pretty sure signage regulations are different in VT than NH) to the feel of NH. So, moving further into Vermont makes sense for me. It also puts me close enough to Burlington that I could go to a concert or an event there and it's a much more reasonable drive.

Winters: Yes, it is intense when the sun goes down before 5pm. The never-ending winter was a major adjustment. I wouldn't want to have to drive a lot in this weather, which is why living in a walkable city is important to me. There are two things I personally like about the winter though: 1) it makes you appreciate the seasons so much more. In the summer, it seems there is some lovely festival every single weekend - because folks are making the absolute most out of their limited sunny days. 2) I found the winter oddly peaceful. I felt like being surrounded by walls of snow kind of made it okay to just curl up, stay inside, and watch lots of Netflix. I think the intense winter kind of gave me permission to relax, in a way.

Good luck with your move, and, again, feel free to PM me with any questions!
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:23 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,242,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLISSLIGHTJOY View Post
So, to start with the comparison between Asheville and Montpelier (from the other Montpelier thread): phew. I get that there are superficial similarities between the two, but I strongly prefer Montpelier to Asheville. That could be, however, because I'm rather burnt out on Asheville given that I lived there these past seven years before moving up to Vermont for law school. I feel like Asheville has almost become a caricature of itself in some ways. How many breweries does one town need, ya know? When I think of Asheville, I think of that line from Portlandia that describes Portland as "where young folks go to retire." That's how I describe Asheville to my friends up here: it's where young folks go to retire. In Montpelier, there's a much lower percentage of young people, but in my limited experience most of them have been much more invested in their work (it is the capital, after all) than my peers in Asheville. I realize this is a huge generalization, I'm just trying to articulate some of the ways that Montpelier feels different than Asheville to me. (I grew up in the Charlotte and Union County areas and went to grad school in Chapel Hill.)

Is this a trick question? As many as it possibly can support, of course, if they're good!
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