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Old 02-15-2018, 07:27 AM
3,115 posts, read 1,699,250 times
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Boston (A)
Chicago (A)
Bay Area (A)
Seattle (B+)
Orange County (D)
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:48 AM
Location: South Raleigh areas
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Thumbs down ^^^^^You don't get around as much as me! Lol

I've only really "loved" two places I've lived, that are so special in my heart. So I'll tier the cities I've lived, as well:


Charlotte, 1 year
I lived here actually just short of a year, in 2013-14, but I love this city. I think in many ways, my love for Charlotte is tied into my age and the stage in life I was in. I was 24 when I moved there, and it's always deeply amusing to me when people on here call it boring and assert that young people wouldn't want to live there. There was a TON of 20-somethings there, and there was so much to love---a ton of 20-somethings with MONEY; a TON of black wealth (I have never seen so much concentrated black middle and upper middle class, and so much young blacks in positions of power and/or with money); absolutely GORGEOUS women of all shades; absolutely popping downtown; great shopping; aesthetically beautiful, I can go on and on...

I love Charlotte, I loved it then, and I hate that I ever had to leave. Here's the thing, if someone is looking for a 24-hour city, it isn't that, but there are very few of those anyway, and the things that Charlotte has compares extraordinarily well to any other city short of 3 million. I'm excluding nobody, I've been many places and stayed four days in Pittsburgh, three days in Cleveland, been to Baltimore more times than I can count, been to KC, Sac, Indy. Charlotte has it going on. Yes, it's largely suburban, and I'm not a suburban guy---so I lived in South Charlotte in one if the urban (for Charlotte) areas of town and had the time of life. I will be 30 in 1.5 years and as I approach 30, Charlotte is forever on the board as places I look to permanently settle. I can talk about my love for and time in Charlotte for days, but unfortunately I have to talk about other cities lol...

Richmond-Petersburg, 7 years
I lived here two seperate occasions, and I'll mention why I group them together. I went to high school right outside Petersburg, and I lived back in the area in both Petersburg and Richmond a few years ago up until last July...

No other place will ever hold the same position in my heart, and it's hard to explain, but for anybody who loves a place, it is love. I hated it in high school, absolutely hated it, as I moved from suburban DC. It's the years "abroad", from when I first left at age 16, to my return at 26 (and I visited back several times over the years), that made me appreciate Richmond and Petersburg. It's where I claim as home first and foremost, because in my heart it's the place I have the most connection to, which is funny because as a youth, everyone I went to school with knew I wasn't from there, but I've got some long standing friendships there. And I've been able to watch Richmond grow, from when I first saw the city in the '90s, all the way up to now, and I have a firsthand appreciation of its maturity. I won't even touch on what it offers as a city (it's a Top 5 city in that 1-2 million range, I'm excluding NOBODY), I'll save that for other threads, but it's home. I may never live there again, but even if I live to be 70, it will always be home to me. I love Richmond, and I'll forever attempt to stay in touch with what's happening in and around the city...


Virginia Beach/Norfolk
I live here currently, since July. I'm not here long-term, at the most I'll be here until February 2020 (I'll be 30), at the earliest I could be gone this November (I'll be 29). I like it here, but I don't like it enough to stay. It's not worldly enough for me, but it is typically in the size range of cities I like (1.2 to 3 million). There are some major concerns that would take another thread to specify, and those are chief reasons with why I know I'd enjoy other places, but you know what? This is a beautiful area, there is a decent amount if things to do, it's fairly diverse (the part of town I live anyway), and I live in an area that is almost perfect, except it's in Virginia Beach---meaning that demographically and aesthetically, if I can find a neighborhood I'd love this much in another city, I'll be in heaven...

Los Angeles, 3 years
I started my education in Los Angeles, moving from Sacramento, and I haven't lived there since I was 8, but I have very good memories there. My favorite cousin, who was like a sister to me truly, passed 12 years ago, but she made everything for me, and much of my LA love is tied into her. Besides that, though, as a kid, you don't necessarily realize where you live and how it shapes you, and I remember when I moved to the East Coast and told people I was from LA as a child, everybody was excited, but it was just LA to me, nothing of extreme importance, nothing at all really. My reconnection to my roots that has occurred in adulthood has mentally and emotionally driven me closer to California than I felt five years ago. I could never live there again, maybe only under the rarest of scenarios, but I lived in Expo Park in South LA (you could see USC campus from the corner of my street), and the childhood memories are deep and I hold them so dear and important--the only birthday party I ever had was given to me by an aunt there, holiday celebrations with family, pool parties, walking to school, my cousin taking me and my brother to see Lion King when it came out, etc etc etc. It has a different place in my heart that I didn't always appreciate...

Sacramento, 5 years
Officially my home of record--I was born here. Not much else, and my disconnection from Sac was tied into the life I was born into. My biological dad went to prison for six years when I was six months old, and I never spoke to him again until I was 22. My biological mother basically abandoned us--at the time there was three of us, I was the middle child--I mean she was around, but we spent more time at other people's homes than with her. She just had some serious issues and was running the streets and her treatment of us is why I moved around so much as a kid, until I ended up in Virginia. I last spoke to her on the phone at 10 years old, August 1999, never heard from her again until I was 21. The relationship, or lack thereof, had heavy ramifications for all seven of us, and played a large role in the poor decision making that led me to prison at 17 for 3.5 years, my tumultuous relationships with others from youth into early adulthood, my contentious relationships with my "parents" who largely raised me, and the fact I had/have deep seeded issues that effected me from a very early age, but that have gotten better with time, but that it's taken trial and error in adulthood to reconcile...

So I left Sacramento when I was 5 but my relationship with the city is largely tied into my relationship with my biological parents. I'm proud to say that my relationship with both has blossomed over the years (FORGIVENESS is a powerful thing), and I love them both dearly. I started going to Sacramento yearly a few years ago, and have gotten in touch with my roots from strengthening relationships with my siblings and extended family, and the city has grown on me. Couldn't live there, but hell, it's home in a sense, and though I haven't lived there since very young, Sacramento's impact on my life is not insignificant...

Memphis, 1 year
I'm hard on Memphis, but you know what? I love Memphis. I lost my favorite grandmother, my stepmom's mother, last June, and any subsequent trips to Memphis will always be painful, but always bring back outstanding memories. I went to 8th grade here, but I've been to the city many, many times, for extended stretches, and am familiar with pockets around town...

It's sleepier than I like, and I'm not typically a fan of Deep South cultures, and it's not very worldly or diverse, but it's Memphis, and it loves itself, and I love it for that...

To be continued...
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:01 AM
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Atlanta, GA- I have been in Atlanta now going on over 4 years and the city and metro have really grown on me! Being a young African American male in the south, it is absolutely empowering seeing so many successful AA's here around my age. There is really nothing like it. I also love the amenities of living in a top ten metro. There is literally ALWAYS something going on in ATL. I am originally from NC, so I am still in close proximity to home, and Atlanta feels the same to me as where I am from in NC (scenery), just much bigger and much faster. The other great thing I love about Atlanta, is even though it is a huge metro, it is still rapidly changing. Midtown, Buckhead, northern ITP burbs, East Atlanta, Cumberland, Perimeter, etc. have changed a ton just in the few years I have been here. It is great to be able to live in an area and see it transform for the better over time. Traffic SUCKS, yes, but they are slooooowly working on it.

Raleigh, NC- I was not born here, but I moved to Raleigh when I was very young. I grew up here so it is definitely home. and there is no place like home. Raleigh is a great city and it is an anchor to an even bigger and thriving metro area (Raleigh-Durham). Raleigh is definitely a city that is great for families, and college aged adults. The young adult scene (25+) to me is lacking however, which is one of the reasons I moved away. All of my closest friends growing up have also moved away to other cities (DC, NYC, Nashville, Charlotte, etc.) Maybe things have changed? That is the thing about Raleigh, it is growing by leaps and bounds, that every time I go back to visit something has always changed on been torn down for something new to be built. The area is in a constant state of change, which is a good thing.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:02 AM
Location: South Raleigh areas
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Default Continued...


Woodbridge, VA, 3.5 years
When we arrived on the East Coast, via my older brother's dad, who has very much been every bit of a father to me, we ended up here, after a brief stay in Southwest Washington. It's home (I have a lot of homes lol), but it lacks the sentimental value some of these other cities have on me. It was a decent place to grow up, but just too suburban and small for me. I appreciate it but would never live in Nova again, I'd just move to The City if I ever ended back up that way again...

Albany, New York
Very brief stay, all of four months, and I'm hesitant to put it on here, but I hated everything about New York when I was there. I visited about two weeks ago for the first time since I left in 2012....I think I appreciate my experiences and how they've shaped me. It wasn't the best four months of my life, but I like Albany. If it was larger and maybe not so far north, u could live there. Actually I could see myself living in New York State again, but if have to have the perfect storm of everything just right. I do love New York though, which takes me to my next city:

Elmira, New York, 20 months
Oh my god, I hated it here. It was small, horrible looking women, isolated, horrible weather, small town insulated mentality, aesthetically ugly, nothing to do, horrible economy, just all bad...

And yet, since leaving New York in 2013, it's grown on me, more if that appreciating the experiences, I guess. My step mom grew up here, and when I moved there I had a chance to get to know her family, her dad's side (already knew her mom's side in Memphis). For all of the above reasons, plus more, I would never live there again, and never raise a child there. I did nearly relocate to Buffalo last summer, was pretty close, and when I visited Elmira again, I did have some nostalgia. It's cool with me, it's familiar...
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:25 AM
Location: South Raleigh areas
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Default Did not mean to post above!!

Fayetteville, NC, 3.5 years
Would never live here again. But my parents live here and have been here for almost 13 years, so I'm in and out fairly often, several times a year. And my older brother is here, and more importantly, my daughter's family on her mother's side is all here and Raleigh. Given the way I grew up, i very much value raising my children near family, probably value that more than most people. Moving back to North Carolina and settling is a very real possibility, but it wouldn't be Fayetteville...

It's just too small, and I'm gonna tell you something, that military-town thing is highly annoying. The entire city revolves around the Army, it touches every aspect of life there, and it's just a negative in my book, from the lack of economic diversity and personality diversity. Not a very creative city, not much to do, just too much wrong with Fayetteville...

But as is the theme with me, it's grown on me, and I appreciate the lessons I've learned there...


Little Rock, 1 year
This was a stopover on our way to the East Coast as children. My dad is from here, and I know it quite well, having visited many, many times otherwise...

It's small, country, isolated, not diverse enough, that small town thinking again, non-creative, not a lot of things to do, all of that and more. I do "like" Little Rock, and I can take it in doses--but after four or five days there, I'm ready to get the hell out of there. Two of my brothers were born here, the one right above me and the one right after me, while the rest of us were born in California, so I'll always have a connection here. My dad's entire side is here, and I have two nephews here. I love my family there, I just couldn't live there again!

Gainesville GA, 1 year
I HATE Georgia. Way, way, way, too muggy, and of course being an East Coaster I'm used to humidity, but my god, it's awful here in the warm months. I actually started into a pretty successful career that led me here, so my stay there wasn't bad, but this town is Nowheresville, USA. The most redeeming thing about it is you can be in Atlanta with 40-45 minutes, but let me add, I'm not a huge fan of that city, either, been many times. Gainesville is just hot, dirty, poor, absolutely nothing nice and the Deep South thing again, not a fan!


My exposure to different regions has shaped me in a way in thankful for, but I'm ready to settle down somewhere and plant roots. The Midwest is the one region I've never lived in, which is why Ohio is a possibility for settlement, but that may be even further into the future for me...
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:11 AM
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I currently live in KC, been here almost 8 years and love it for the most part. The cool parts of the city have all come a long ways in the last 8 years. KC is great in that it is big enough to have a lot of stuff to do but small enough that people are really friendly and getting around the metro isn't too bad.

I really liked Scottsdale. I only lived there a year but I really enjoyed it. I moved there for a promotion but ended up losing my job during the recession. I might still be there if I hadn't been laid off.

I liked St Louis. I lived in Central West End a little over a year and still visit often bc I have family there.

I wasn't crazy about Houston. I lived there (inside the 610 loop) about 2 years right out of college. Honestly I didn't find the people particularly friendly and thought the outdoor opportunities were lacking (outside of golf). I wish I had done more fishing/water type stuff then, I might have really liked it. The climate and traffic weren't for me.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:44 AM
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This is a great thread. It should almost be considered as a sticky for a little while.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:53 PM
Location: Central New Jersey (prev. Boston, NY, Florida)
3,602 posts, read 1,153,990 times
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1) Boston, MA (3 years)
2) Orlando, FL (8 years)
3) New York City (4.5 years)

Suburban Boston is not worth mentioning
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by qc dreamin View Post
How old are you?

What do u like to do for fun?

Do you work?


The reason i ask us because you are always complaining about Charlotte but u say that you have never been anywhere else. Maybe u SHOULD move to Phoenix for awhile. I guaratee you will appreciate Charlotte once you get out for a while.
BINGO! Totally agree!
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:36 PM
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Charlotte, NC - Our permanent home. Love it here. Clean, lots to do, great people, wonderful climate, really good economy, and great cost of living. Plan on being in the Charlotte area for good once we go back.

Orlando, FL - MANY people hating on Orlando. We loved the place. We loved the theme parks, but if that’s all it had, I wouldn’t like it either. Once you get north of the FL Turnpike, it’s really a nice city. Lakes, parks, and great neighborhoods. LOTS to do. Close to beaches on both Gulf and Atlantic. The only other place I could see us living if we left Charlotte.

Columbus, OH - Really nice city. Great people. Great growth and economy. Liked it there, just like other places more.

Cape Cod, MA - We’re living here temporarily to help care for my wife’s mom. It’s very nice and beautiful. Great people. Boston’s isn’t far for more city-like things to do. But just too darn expensive. Could never live anywhere that’s COL is nearly this high.
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