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Old 03-05-2012, 07:26 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 9,515,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
Eh, I agree with some of your points but disagree with others.

I'll start with what I agree with: the WV politicos are corrupt as he** and would be regardless of where located. That being said, not even WVU and Marshall (among other schools) leaders have avoided scandal and corruption over the years. We can't leave that out. They are after all still state employees.

Charleston does have a small town atmosphere with close proximity to rural areas.

Charleston could improve on the nightlife and youthful front. It seems like they are working on that based upon some recent visits back home.

Morgantown does have a youthful population (it's a college town) and a better nightlife. And I would consider its downtown as slightly more 'vibrant' if you will. The people are friendly but not really any moreso than Charleston. Not at least from my experience.

Now with what I disagree with:

Charleston is hardly isolated. It is one of the only cities that has three major interstate highways running through it. Within 5 or so hours of Charleston you can be in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington DC (and don't try to debate me on this, I've made this trip more times than I can count over the past 7 years), and Raleigh/Durham. You can fly easily to many others. Morgantown is closer to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Washington DC, but the latter is the only one with a strong economy. People are leaving both the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas in droves. Have been for 20 or 30 years.

Regarding the Charleston skyline...I'll admit there are places that are far more impressive. However for a city of 50k, it isn't bad. The view at night from Fort Hill overlooking the river and downtown is beautiful. I've brought numerous friends here in the DC area to that are from all over the country to Charleston with me and they were impressed.

Morgantown is not northeastern. Not by a long shot. Neither is Pittsburgh. They are Appalachian and Midwestern. NE vibes don't even come close to beginning until you hit I-70 in Maryland and even that is stretching it.

I do agree that people need to respect each place for what it is, but we need to at least correctly outline each of the strengths/weaknesses first.
Charleston is not isolated like a small town in Montana, but I would still argue it is in the middle of nowhere. 5 hours is not very close. Hell give Morgantown 6 hours and you are in NYC, and 4 1/2 to Philly. Morgantown is on the edge of the NE, Charleston is in the middle of WV surrounded by country. The nearest urban area is Huntington, which is pretty small.

Also, Pittsburgh is doing well and has been doing well for the past decade. Pittsburgh is currently the posterchild for economic recovery in the US. It is a city that went from rust belt to financial/energy/biomedical.

Charleston does have great natural geography. It is a valley surrounded by mountains, with a river. There is no doubt the area is beautiful. From a distance I think it looks great, barring the mid rises. Up close I find it a little rundown looking. Not terrible rundown, but still kinda rundown.

As for WVU and Marshall having corrupt people. Yes, but they are appointed by the state. They are state schools, and positions like President and Provost are VERY political. You need to be connected to get them. Of course the taint of the state government is going to be there.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cry_havoc View Post
Charleston is not isolated like a small town in Montana, but I would still argue it is in the middle of nowhere. 5 hours is not very close. Hell give Morgantown 6 hours and you are in NYC, and 4 1/2 to Philly. Morgantown is on the edge of the NE, Charleston is in the middle of WV surrounded by country. The nearest urban area is Huntington, which is pretty small.

Also, Pittsburgh is doing well and has been doing well for the past decade. Pittsburgh is currently the posterchild for economic recovery in the US. It is a city that went from rust belt to financial/energy/biomedical.

Charleston does have great natural geography. It is a valley surrounded by mountains, with a river. There is no doubt the area is beautiful. From a distance I think it looks great, barring the mid rises. Up close I find it a little rundown looking. Not terrible rundown, but still kinda rundown.

As for WVU and Marshall having corrupt people. Yes, but they are appointed by the state. They are state schools, and positions like President and Provost are VERY political. You need to be connected to get them. Of course the taint of the state government is going to be there.
Ok, fair point. But what are you defining as 'close' then? 2 hours? If so, that singles out everything from Morgantown except Pittsburgh. That area might be 'turning around' as many people there claim but people are still moving away in droves. Between 2000 and 2010 alone the area lost almost 80k residents. Doesn't exactly sound like a posterchild for economic recovery to me.

Pittsburgh region's population loss slows slightly in 10 years

When you consider it an accomplishment for your entire metro area (not just the city proper) to only lose 80k people in 10 years that says something. People vote with their feet. And a lot of feet have been walking out of the Pittsburgh area in large numbers since the 1970s.

Morgantown is not on the edge of the NE. You need at least 2 hours east and to get on the other side of the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge to get even close to that zone. The attitudes and cultural distinctions between Morgantown/Pittsburgh vs. the Boston/NY/Washington corridor are about as far apart as one can get. I'm not necessarily saying that is a bad thing but that is just how it is. Just ask any of the countless Pittsburgh transplants in your backyard here in the DC region and they will tell you exactly that.

I'll agree that downtown Charleston and various other neighborhoods can appear somewhat rundown but the exact same thing can be said for downtown Morgantown and adjacent neighborhoods.

I'm really not trying to get in a long debate with you as I do occasionally agree with some of your points. I just am trying to point out certain inaccuracies that tend to be brought up regarding Charleston and other portions of the state outside of NCWV.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:02 PM
 
10,147 posts, read 14,400,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
Eh, I agree with some of your points but disagree with others.

I'll start with what I agree with: the WV politicos are corrupt as he** and would be regardless of where located. That being said, not even WVU and Marshall (among other schools) leaders have avoided scandal and corruption over the years. We can't leave that out. They are after all still state employees.

Charleston does have a small town atmosphere with close proximity to rural areas.

Charleston could improve on the nightlife and youthful front. It seems like they are working on that based upon some recent visits back home.

Morgantown does have a youthful population (it's a college town) and a better nightlife. And I would consider its downtown as slightly more 'vibrant' if you will. The people are friendly but not really any moreso than Charleston. Not at least from my experience.

Now with what I disagree with:

Charleston is hardly isolated. It is one of the only cities that has three major interstate highways running through it. Within 5 or so hours of Charleston you can be in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington DC (and don't try to debate me on this, I've made this trip more times than I can count over the past 7 years), and Raleigh/Durham. You can fly easily to many others. Morgantown is closer to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Washington DC, but the latter is the only one with a strong economy. People are leaving both the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas in droves. Have been for 20 or 30 years.

Regarding the Charleston skyline...I'll admit there are places that are far more impressive. However for a city of 50k, it isn't bad. The view at night from Fort Hill overlooking the river and downtown is beautiful. I've brought numerous friends here in the DC area to that are from all over the country to Charleston with me and they were impressed.

Morgantown is not northeastern. Not by a long shot. Neither is Pittsburgh. They are Appalachian and Midwestern. NE vibes don't even come close to beginning until you hit I-70 in Maryland and even that is stretching it.

I do agree that people need to respect each place for what it is, but we need to at least correctly outline each of the strengths/weaknesses first.
I mostly agree with your points. Northern WV is definitely Appalachian/Midwestern and not Northeastern. That includes Morgantown (the permanent residents, not the transients), and to an even greater degree Wheeling. I disagree that having three interstates running through a place has any significance in terms of cultural isolation. There is more traffic on I95 than there are on 64 and 77 (79 is actually 77 by the time it gets to Charleston) combined, but 95 goes through some small towns that are still isolated in most respects. You could say the same thing about the PA Turnpike.

Having traffic pass through has little real effect on a community unless you're talking about the gas stations and fast food restaurants in the vicinity. 5 hours driving time is a long time relatively speaking when the larger urban areas are much closer together than that. Drive north from Charleston on I79 and there it literally nothing for 133 miles until you get to Clarksburg. There really aren't any towns of significance between Charleston and Parkersburg either, and you'd have to go all the way to Pittsburgh or Akron before you'd run into a real urban area. To the west you'd have to get to Cincy unless you want to count Lexington which might be considered borderline actual urban. Charlotte is also quite a hike. That relative isolation has always worked to Charleston's detriment. Not as much as it did before the Interstates, but it is a factor regardless. Compared with the more northern and eastern towns, Charleston is quite isolated.

For a small town, Charleston does have lots of lights at night and some relatively tall buildings considering the size of the place.

I agree with your I70 (south of Breezewood) analysis for the beginning of the Northeast. You could also describe it as being east of the Alleghenies and be just as accurate. However, the area around Hagerstown is also sort of the cutoff for turning from Northeastern to Middle Atlantic. The main difference is you start to see more English ethnic heritage and less German. By the time you get to Martinsburg English predominates, and that does affect the attitudes of the population.

Last edited by CTMountaineer; 03-05-2012 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:04 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 9,515,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
Ok, fair point. But what are you defining as 'close' then? 2 hours? If so, that singles out everything from Morgantown except Pittsburgh. That area might be 'turning around' as many people there claim but people are still moving away in droves. Between 2000 and 2010 alone the area lost almost 80k residents. Doesn't exactly sound like a posterchild for economic recovery to me.

Pittsburgh region's population loss slows slightly in 10 years

When you consider it an accomplishment for your entire metro area (not just the city proper) to only lose 80k people in 10 years that says something. People vote with their feet. And a lot of feet have been walking out of the Pittsburgh area in large numbers since the 1970s.

Morgantown is not on the edge of the NE. You need at least 2 hours east and to get on the other side of the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge to get even close to that zone. The attitudes and cultural distinctions between Morgantown/Pittsburgh vs. the Boston/NY/Washington corridor are about as far apart as one can get. I'm not necessarily saying that is a bad thing but that is just how it is. Just ask any of the countless Pittsburgh transplants in your backyard here in the DC region and they will tell you exactly that.

I'll agree that downtown Charleston and various other neighborhoods can appear somewhat rundown but the exact same thing can be said for downtown Morgantown and adjacent neighborhoods.

I'm really not trying to get in a long debate with you as I do occasionally agree with some of your points. I just am trying to point out certain inaccuracies that tend to be brought up regarding Charleston and other portions of the state outside of NCWV.
Morgantown is not 2 hours from Pittsburgh. Ive made the drive in an hour fifteen.

People from Charleston continually point out that for the past 2 years the city has not lost people and may have gained some. Same thing with Pittsburgh. If you want to look at post recession info you will see the city has not lost people. So if we are going to say Charleston is doing ok shouldnt we use the same standards to judge Pittsburgh? If you want to look at Charleston from 2001-2011 it doesnt look that impressive.

The city is the poster child for improvement. The economy is stable again. It is a comeback city, and you can find various articles on it.

Pittsburgh chosen as G20 location because it is a model of economic comeback

The economist praising Pittsburgh's economic recovery. (http://www.wtae.com/r/19711780/detail.html - broken link) VERY prestigious magazine.

Even the NYC times praises Pittsburgh

I wouldnt say Downtown Morgantown looks rundown, not like Charleston. The student housing can look rundown. No argument there, but it is not like anyone is trying to make student slum housing look nice. If you go to an area of Morgantown where locals live you will find it is not so rundown looking. Hell, the new student housing coming up is generic looking but not rundown.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:30 PM
 
10,147 posts, read 14,400,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cry_havoc View Post
Morgantown is not 2 hours from Pittsburgh. Ive made the drive in an hour fifteen.

People from Charleston continually point out that for the past 2 years the city has not lost people and may have gained some. Same thing with Pittsburgh. If you want to look at post recession info you will see the city has not lost people. So if we are going to say Charleston is doing ok shouldnt we use the same standards to judge Pittsburgh? If you want to look at Charleston from 2001-2011 it doesnt look that impressive.

The city is the poster child for improvement. The economy is stable again. It is a comeback city, and you can find various articles on it.

Pittsburgh chosen as G20 location because it is a model of economic comeback

The economist praising Pittsburgh's economic recovery. (http://www.wtae.com/r/19711780/detail.html - broken link) VERY prestigious magazine.

Even the NYC times praises Pittsburgh

I wouldnt say Downtown Morgantown looks rundown, not like Charleston. The student housing can look rundown. No argument there, but it is not like anyone is trying to make student slum housing look nice. If you go to an area of Morgantown where locals live you will find it is not so rundown looking. Hell, the new student housing coming up is generic looking but not rundown.
That is correct. Morgantown is 1 hour 15 minutes from Pittsburgh West Side, and it will be closer than that to Pittsburgh Oakland when the Mon Fayette is finished all the way through. Our downtown is actually quite active and filled up for a downtown area. Most of the buildings are in good condition and fully occupied. We do have some student slums. I would expect that those will gradually be disappearing as the newer student housing (and there are several of those large projects) begins to have an ever larger percentage of students living in it.

I think he is correct that Pittsburgh has lost substantial population in recent decades. But, like Charleston it is starting to make a comeback of sorts. Still, it is a large urban area with all the stuff that does with that... world class museums and art galleries, 1000+ restaurants of every ethnic variety, and real professional sports. It dwarfs anything we have in the state of West Virginia in those regards.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
1,987 posts, read 4,308,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cry_havoc View Post
Morgantown is not 2 hours from Pittsburgh. Ive made the drive in an hour fifteen.

People from Charleston continually point out that for the past 2 years the city has not lost people and may have gained some. Same thing with Pittsburgh. If you want to look at post recession info you will see the city has not lost people. So if we are going to say Charleston is doing ok shouldnt we use the same standards to judge Pittsburgh? If you want to look at Charleston from 2001-2011 it doesnt look that impressive.

The city is the poster child for improvement. The economy is stable again. It is a comeback city, and you can find various articles on it.

Pittsburgh chosen as G20 location because it is a model of economic comeback

The economist praising Pittsburgh's economic recovery. (http://www.wtae.com/r/19711780/detail.html - broken link) VERY prestigious magazine.

Even the NYC times praises Pittsburgh

I wouldnt say Downtown Morgantown looks rundown, not like Charleston. The student housing can look rundown. No argument there, but it is not like anyone is trying to make student slum housing look nice. If you go to an area of Morgantown where locals live you will find it is not so rundown looking. Hell, the new student housing coming up is generic looking but not rundown.
Yes I know Morgantown is an hour and 15 minutes from Pittsburgh. I did after all spend 4 years there. I was merely trying to gage what you were defining as 'close.' Let's revise to 1 hr and 15 minutes and we still get Pittsburgh as being the only close metro area to Morgantown.

I am from Charleston and I have never said that it is turning around recently. Places like Charleston and Pittsburgh that have traditionally lost large amounts of population tend to lose fewer (or even slightly gain) residents during a bad economy. After all, people tend to not move for brighter horizons when the national economy is struggling. Look at population trends for both Charleston and Pittsburgh during the early 1990s if you don't believe me. Both areas gained small amounts of population only to resume a decline once the national economy picked up again.

Regarding Pittsburgh making a turnaround...it has improved but still has a long ways to go. There are always going to be various publications that rank places based on a variety of questionable survey responses and key indicators. After all, Randy McNally voted Pittsburgh America's 'most livable city' in 1985, when it was losing more population than any area in the country. The jury is still out on whether or not it will transpire into actual long term growth.

You keep saying Charleston looks more rundown than Morgantown but I have lived in both places (which you haven't) and can argue this for as long as you want. Both cities have nice areas and both have rundown portions. For every bad neighborhood you can name in Charleston, I can easily name one in Morgantown.

Regarding the student housing looking rundown: You have factored in the student populatuion for numerous other contributions to Morgantown such as increased population, culture and nightlife...might as well count where they live as well.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
1,987 posts, read 4,308,295 times
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
That is correct. Morgantown is 1 hour 15 minutes from Pittsburgh West Side, and it will be closer than that to Pittsburgh Oakland when the Mon Fayette is finished all the way through. Our downtown is actually quite active and filled up for a downtown area. Most of the buildings are in good condition and fully occupied. We do have some student slums. I would expect that those will gradually be disappearing as the newer student housing (and there are several of those large projects) begins to have an ever larger percentage of students living in it.

I think he is correct that Pittsburgh has lost substantial population in recent decades. But, like Charleston it is starting to make a comeback of sorts. Still, it is a large urban area with all the stuff that does with that... world class museums and art galleries, 1000+ restaurants of every ethnic variety, and real professional sports. It dwarfs anything we have in the state of West Virginia in those regards.
I absolutely agree with you. Pittsburgh does offer far more. I am merely pointing out inaccuracies in other postings. I'm not trying to make this a Charleston vs. Morgantown debate as I think both areas have their own unique traits. I just think the playing field needs to at least be fair when making comparisons.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:09 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 9,515,078 times
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Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
Yes I know Morgantown is an hour and 15 minutes from Pittsburgh. I did after all spend 4 years there. I was merely trying to gage what you were defining as 'close.' Let's revise to 1 hr and 15 minutes and we still get Pittsburgh as being the only close metro area to Morgantown.

I am from Charleston and I have never said that it is turning around recently. Places like Charleston and Pittsburgh that have traditionally lost large amounts of population tend to lose fewer (or even slightly gain) residents during a bad economy. After all, people tend to not move for brighter horizons when the national economy is struggling. Look at population trends for both Charleston and Pittsburgh during the early 1990s if you don't believe me. Both areas gained small amounts of population only to resume a decline once the national economy picked up again.

Regarding Pittsburgh making a turnaround...it has improved but still has a long ways to go. There are always going to be various publications that rank places based on a variety of questionable survey responses and key indicators. After all, Randy McNally voted Pittsburgh America's 'most livable city' in 1985, when it was losing more population than any area in the country. The jury is still out on whether or not it will transpire into actual long term growth.

You keep saying Charleston looks more rundown than Morgantown but I have lived in both places (which you haven't) and can argue this for as long as you want. Both cities have nice areas and both have rundown portions. For every bad neighborhood you can name in Charleston, I can easily name one in Morgantown.

Regarding the student housing looking rundown: You have factored in the student populatuion for numerous other contributions to Morgantown such as increased population, culture and nightlife...might as well count where they live as well.
I did factor in the students. I explicit stated they live in the slummy housing. I wouldn't dare not include them, so im not sure why you needed to state that.

Downtown Morgantown is kinda gritty urban, but not rundown. Charleston feels kinda rundown, like it stopped caring.

Also, an hour and 15 minutes is close. I live in Rockville right now, and it can easily take you that long, or longer, to get to downtown DC. Charleston does not have a real city in an hour in 15 minutes from it, or 2 hours. 5 to reach a real city. In 5 hours in Morgantown you can be well within some of the biggest population centers in the country.

Charleston is close to some great areas of WV, but not any urban centers.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:20 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 9,515,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
I absolutely agree with you. Pittsburgh does offer far more. I am merely pointing out inaccuracies in other postings. I'm not trying to make this a Charleston vs. Morgantown debate as I think both areas have their own unique traits. I just think the playing field needs to at least be fair when making comparisons.
Yes, and you did that. You backed up what ive been saying. I was always honest about the 2 different natures of Morgantown and Charleston. Some posters however, have inaccurate views of Charleston, and promote it for the wrong reasons.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:35 PM
 
Location: ADK via WV
5,681 posts, read 8,327,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cry_havoc View Post
I did factor in the students. I explicit stated they live in the slummy housing. I wouldn't dare not include them, so im not sure why you needed to state that.

Downtown Morgantown is kinda gritty urban, but not rundown. Charleston feels kinda rundown, like it stopped caring.

Also, an hour and 15 minutes is close. I live in Rockville right now, and it can easily take you that long, or longer, to get to downtown DC. Charleston does not have a real city in an hour in 15 minutes from it, or 2 hours. 5 to reach a real city. In 5 hours in Morgantown you can be well within some of the biggest population centers in the country.

Charleston is close to some great areas of WV, but not any urban centers.
I really don't want this to become the usual thread, but I can't not comment on this. Tell me one part of downtown Charleston that is rundown? There is a difference between 1980s architecture that is kept up, and rundown.

Here is downtown for your own eyes, (note that streetview is atleast 3 years outdated)

Please move around on the maps provided, because these are better than ordinary pictures that are 2D

Google Maps

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Google Maps
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