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Old 02-18-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
134 posts, read 474,402 times
Reputation: 46

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Sounds like you already have your answer.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:15 AM
 
28 posts, read 140,336 times
Reputation: 30
Thumbs down Staunton/Wayensboro/Charlottesville

OK, I have lived in Staunton for 2 years and 6 months. I am counting the days to when I can get out of this hell hole. First of all, I am a single parent with a biracial son. I moved here from Raleigh, NC. I have encountered nothing but conservative, self righteous, right wing, racism and suppresiveness since I have been here. First of all let me explain that I moved here with an open mind and I was excited to begin a fresh start. I had the luck of finding a job before I moved here, but the pay was terrible. I tried to fit in and make new firends with little luck. The people here are mostly from here and were born, raised, got married to their highschool sweetheart, and have kids and stay in the same little click they were in in highschool. There is no room for fresh and new ideas, if you weren't born and bread here, forget it. I have given up on making any new friends. In fact I have one friend but she no longer resides here. All of my friends are still in NC and around the country. There is nothing free to do, nothing cultural. The joke to me is that the claim that the Shakespeare Theater is so great, it's not really all that it's cracked up to be. There is nothing for kids to do here, which explains the high rate of teen gangs in this area and the high incidents of Meth abuse here. I now work in Charlottesville, so I drive 80 miles to and from work daily. I work as a substance abuse counselor. I would never move to Charlottesville because it is full of elitist people and the cost of living for a town of 40,000 is totally outrageous. The bottom line is this is a very conservative right winged and suppresive part of the state. I have considered Richmond, but people keep telling me it's not that great either. Overall, Va is a CommonWealth state, but the laws are not set up to help the common people. It's very suppressive and backwards here. If I had known this, I would have never moved here. I am thinking about relocating back to NC, maybe Asheville this time. I liked Raleigh alot, but for personal reasons, will not move back. I do not recommend Staunton, Augusta County for anyone UNLESS you have lots of money so you can vacation frequently.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,642,907 times
Reputation: 577
I think Yvettte's opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. She's prone to making rash generalizations, having previously posted such wizened one liner posts as "Roanoke= Redneck BEWARE!!!!!".

There are liberal minded folks everywhere you look, including Yvette's current hometown. As for myself, I live in Franklin County, which is likely no more or less conservative than Staunton. I've been here for less than two years. And despite my liberal leanings and the fact that I practice no religion and I have no college education, I have no shortage of friends. I have friends in Roanoke, in Franklin County, in Floyd County, in Montgomery County, in Botetourt County. Heck, I even have a friend who lives in Staunton. And he's an extremely liberal Mathematician by the way. At the risk of getting to general myself, I think that in virtually all cases where people feel they can't "fit in", blame or responsibility is incorrectly projected outward rather than inward.

Sean
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Richmond
1,489 posts, read 8,125,712 times
Reputation: 698
It is so untrue that there is nothing cultural in the shenandoah valley. They have a fairly good live music scene from Winchester to Roanoake. Staunton is a nice charming town and they are doing a lot with the downtown area. Has good restaurants. True, its a little more conservative there, but its nothing like one of the previous posters decribed.

Charlottesville is also a great town not too far from Staunton at the foot of the blue ridge. Great live music scene, lots of cool interesting people. Beautiful UVA and Paramount Theater, lots of coffehouses and good food.

Overall, Virginia is a great place to live. Except of course for northern virginia and hampton roads area.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:30 PM
 
689 posts, read 1,376,829 times
Reputation: 232
Default Front Royal

Hi! My husband and I moved to Front Royal a year ago, and are planning to move back into NoVA in the fall. We moved b/c we thought we wanted a calmer environment, the housing was affordable, and we loved the scenic beauty. It seemed like a great place to raise a family. We have definitely changed our opinions. Here is our experience, and you should take it w/a grain of salt, just like all the other posts. The schools in our area are very conservative, and there is a strong religious presence. Please look up Christendom College, there are quite a few graduates who stay in the area, and what I've heard from long-time residents is that the growth of ultra-conservative religion has changed the town in the last 15-20 years. I have tried several protestant churches and found them too conservative (or politically minded) for my taste. I can see you being asked to teach principles you don't espouse.

Also, socially we have found it very difficult. We live in the nicer area, and are younger than everyone in the neighborhood by 20 years. If we don't want diner food or Mexican, we have two options, Soul Mountain (awesome) and an Irish pub about 20 minutes away. We can drive to Winchester, but after working all day and commuting, that's not much fun. We have a good health foods store, but I do most of my shopping in Stephens City, which is 20 minutes away. We like Winchester a lot, it's got a totally different feel, but it's a little too far for commuting to DC. We go into NoVA to shop or see movies or something on a regular basis.

It's interesting, we got this feeling that Front Royal was small but vibrant before we moved here, but we really haven't seen that. We've had trouble finding the social circle that we fit into. Our interests include the arts, hiking, stuff like that. I guess the realization we came to is that it's just too small for us. We love the out of doors, but we don't have to live here to enjoy the Skyline Drive -- we can always come out on the weekends. I would not recommend it without serious research. All the towns people are describing here are really cool (LOVE Charlottesville!) but the reailty is, how far are you willing to drive to have access to things? If you don't mind a half hour minimum, it might be the place for you. It's also not as cheap as we expected. Housing is less than NoVA, but all our other costs are the same, so we really didn't save much money. Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:49 PM
 
6,561 posts, read 12,892,896 times
Reputation: 3165
My question is when people say, "There is nothing for kids to do." what exactly are they talking about??? I grew up in Albemarle and don't recall a heck of a lot to "do" as a kid there either......

So do we mean that Staunton has no bowling alleys or something??? Or that they outlaw sledding in the winter??? I guess I'm just a bit curious what a town is supposed to have to make it a place where kids have things to do....... Not being antagonistic..... Serious question here as I'm looking around Staunton or Harrisonburg and have a three year old.....
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,642,907 times
Reputation: 577
Quote:
Originally Posted by novanwbie View Post
It's interesting, we got this feeling that Front Royal was small but vibrant before we moved here, but we really haven't seen that. We've had trouble finding the social circle that we fit into
I'd ask that you consider the Roanoke Valley! There are social circles galore down here with long established and brand new families who belong to both political parties, and all religious flavors. We've a goodly amount of arts, a surprising amount actually, given the metro area's 280,000 population. My kids go to North Cross (secular school despite the name) private school in Roanoke, and there are LOTS of NoVA families there that moved down to the Roanoke Valley and love it. There are lots of young families down here.

I live in Boones Mill and in less than two years we've found many friends and are involved in many civic/school groups. I have just about the most eclectic set of interests you could think of and have found fast friends based around each of my interests. For example, I'm a successful internet development entrepreneur, and there is one civic group called Valley Forward, that is a new group consisting of young professionals (ages 25-40 for the most part) that is getting very pro-active in helping define Roanoke's future. NewVaConnects is another such organization. I'm a member of the New Century Technology Council, a group consisting of I.T. oriented business folks from the New River and Roanoke Valley. I own a horse farm and Nancy - my wife - is a Dressage instructor, trainer and competitor. Nancy is on the board of the Southwest Virginia Dressage Association. I'm a member of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program's Franklin County area chapter. I also like to play Dungeons and Dragons, a role playing game, and I've got a great bunch of folks I game with twice a month. My wife and I love the arts, and we heavily support the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Just last week we attended a Valentine's RSO concert that included latin dancers on stage. In March the RSO is backing Aaron Neville for a concert and we have a table for eight near the stage. Alot of big performers come to the Roanoke Civic Center - recent shows include Nickelback and John Mayer. Upcoming events at the center during the next month include Celtic Woman, SWVA Boat Show, MDA Car Show, Chicago, Rough and Rowdy Brawl and The Embers. If you lived in Roanoke you could find a village section (Grandin, Raleigh Court etc) that could be 5-10 minutes from everything and retain a village feel. We have friends in NoVA (Alexandria) who wanted to move down here after their first visit.

We have a small town possibly comparable to Front Royal. It's called Rocky Mount. It's the Franklin County county seat. If you picked that town you might have had a different experience. Rocky Mount population is only 5,000 but because it's county seat to a 50,000 population county that is healthy and thriving, Rocky Mount has a thriving historic main street with neat shops, a large public library, etc. It also has big box stores like Lowes and a Super Walmart. You've got a Kroger Grocery, a Food Lion grocery, Radio Shack, and hundreds of retail shops. The town has it's own theatre but most people drive 15 minutes to Smith Mountain Lake to enjoy their brand new state of the art stadium theatre at Westlake.

We have the Blue Ridge Parkway too. We also have a national park, a state park and three lakes. Our biggest lake, Smith Mountain Lake, hosts four national fishing championships including a Bassmaster/ESPN championship.

So, before you go running back to NoVA, consider the Roanoke Valley! I don't think you'd regret it.

Sean
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:54 AM
 
689 posts, read 1,376,829 times
Reputation: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanpecor View Post
I'd ask that you consider the Roanoke Valley! There are social circles galore down here with long established and brand new families who belong to both political parties, and all religious flavors. We've a goodly amount of arts, a surprising amount actually, given the metro area's 280,000 population. My kids go to North Cross (secular school despite the name) private school in Roanoke, and there are LOTS of NoVA families there that moved down to the Roanoke Valley and love it. There are lots of young families down here.

Sean
I grew up in that area, but am not really interested in returning. Career opportunities are really limited for both my husband and me. And believe me, we've looked.
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Native of Virginia Beach, VA
10 posts, read 23,329 times
Reputation: 14
Default Staunton Family Life for single parents?

I am a mother of two young boys. We live in Virginia Beach. I am a native of the beach and am very discouraged by all of the recent changes locally. The job market is terrible, largely due to the saturation of the millitary spouses. The real estate is outragious. The thirty somethings are behaving like twenty one year olds having their first legal night on the town. The children of these idiots are trying to raise themselves with the information from the media and the older kids. It is quite frightning to hear my nine year old boast he is "gangsta" after a day at a reputable elementary school here. I would like to slow things down a bit. I monitor his media exposure, while still bravely talking candidly with him about current issues and events. I would like to get a job in the National Parks industry. Live out in the wilderness. Meet other folks who are up to date, but simple in their living styles. How is the crime with the younger community. What kinds of programs are held to entertain these young minds out of trouble. Is the spiritul community healthy and rich. With all that nature and fresh air the vibe has to be different !!!!!! I would love to volunteer and be active. Is the community alive? Or just kinda stagnant and barely surviving? I think I can fit in anywhere. I and my children are so diverse it is always stimulating. However, I do not wish to move where my kids will not be safe from youth violence and where the adult communtiy just wants to get drunk and screw. I would just like to start an convo on any of these issues and concerns
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,642,907 times
Reputation: 577
echomountain, I think if you want to narrow your list down to healthy communities, I'd look at growth statistics. A growth rate of 1.2% or higher and lower than 10% would be a good place to start. Franklin County has a good educational system and the area is growing. We've got a national park (Booker T. Washington) and a state park (Smith Mountain Lake State Park), and adjoin Henry County along with Fairystone Lake State Park, and Philpott Reservoir. One of the top state destinations is Mabry Mill in Meadows of Dan, about 40 minutes from me in Boones Mill.

The degree of volunteer opportunities in Franklin County is exceptional. My most recent Virginia Master Naturalist meeting in Rocky Mount (county seat) last week was attended by a rep from Booker T Washington. During the meeting he was moved to join as an individual volunteer and will be coordinating training projects with our chapter. Two of my fellow committee members are from Ferrum College, home to the Blue Ridge Institute, a "living" folk life museum. We also have a thriving master gardener chapter. Other active Roanoke metro area volunteer opportunities include Habitat for Humanity, Art Museum of Western Virginia (new 150 million museum under construction right now!), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Franklin County CASA, Good Samaratin Hospice, Mill Mountain Theatre, O. Winston Link Museum, 4H, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Second Harvest Foodbank, Star City Greyhound Adoptions, The Habitat Store, Virginia Museum of Transportation, YMCA and YWCA.

In short, there are good schools and overall a healthy and friendly country lifestyle in Franklin County close to a city (Roanoke) and a picturesque small town (Rocky Mount). I can't personally recommend the area enough. It's one of the most beautiful and diverse counties in Virginia that I've travelled through or lived in.

Sean
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