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Old 01-31-2017, 06:38 AM
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,931,470 times
Reputation: 3554


A month in Berkley, so I wanted to give my perspective on some pros and cons:

  • People are incredibly friendly. I knew nobody in my neighborhood moving in and in our few weeks there we've received cards from neighbors saying welcome, strangers that come over just to meet us and say hi, and a neighbor who gave us a bunch of baby clothes because she saw my wife was pregnant.
  • No pot holes and generally good condition roads. The roads look like roads you'd find out in the Southwest.. except they're mostly concrete, so not really, but condition wise they do.
  • Generally a modest population. You can tell that many people there have money, but nobody really flaunts it and I like that. Everything looks nice and clean, but far fewer people drive trophy cars or build excessive 3000 square foot homes like you find all over in B.Ham or R.Oak.
  • Durst Lumber - seriously, if you live within 10 miles of this place, you must go there next time you need to pick up something for the house.
  • The town sits 7,000 feet under an auxiliary air-traffic holding pattern (along with Northwest Royal Oak, Birmingham, and Lathrup Village/Eastern Southfield). I could vaguely hear the noise from Central Royal Oak, but it's a little more noticeable in Berkley. From what I can tell the holding pattern only gets used when regular flight paths and holding patterns get backed up, but last Sunday it was aircraft after aircraft for about 2 hours. Then nothing. Usually nothing, but I get the feeling Thanksgiving weekend will be annoying.
  • Downtown Berkley is not Downtown Royal Oak, it's far more sleepy. We went out for Indian on Sunday night and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. Great food, good service, but so quiet! They said they do all their business during the day.
  • The whole town is kind of one big high school reunion, every day. I'm starting to think we're the only people in Berkley who didn't grow up in Berkley.
  • The town feels like it got stuck in 1960. This is really charming, but strange too. Kids on the street will just go talk to strangers and everyone wants to be all neighborly, and bring you things, and say hi all the time. I like it, but having never lived somewhere like this it's not something I'm accustomed to, so it trips me out when stranger-kids say hello and the mail carrier knows us by name already.
  • People there are throwing a fit over the city and builders trying to put in townhomes. Apparently Berkley has for a long time been only single-family-homes and some of the established residents don't want to see it any other way. Personally I can see pros to both sides, but I lean toward moderately-high priced newer townhomes being good for attracting younger, professional residents - which is good for a town (and a school district).
  • I have never observed this level of obsessive community involvement. I joined a Facebook group for Berkley residents, and I had to turn off notifications as otherwise it blows up my inbox with people discussing all things Berkley. (PS: if you guys want to see some cool historical photos of Berkley, I can share those.)
Overall, 11/10, would move here again. I was worried I wouldn't like it as much as Royal Oak or that people would be standoffish, but I was wrong. I believe we'll fit in quite nicely.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:39 AM
979 posts, read 1,116,246 times
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Enjoy the fact that Berkley actually has a sense of community, which is often sorely lacking in the majority of communities throughout Metro Detroit. Its some of the more desirable features about the city of Berkley.

Berkley tends to have a broader mix of families, single, and retirees and appears to have higher levels of home ownership than Royal Oak which tends to have a higher degree of rentals in various pockets.

Berkley is small enough that it tends to have more of a Village feel than the sprawling suburbs that mostly compromise Metro Detroit, and has a more local downtown than the regional entertainment/restaurant/nightlife focused downtowns that Birmingham, Royal Oak have become.

Regarding DTW air traffic, the approaches to DTW when operating in a southerly flow has aircraft lining up to final over the area. Draw a line straight out from the runway and you will see how it goes right over Berkley. DTW operates in a southerly flow about 70% of the time, departures to the south, landings coming in from the north. On clear days, they can operate with shorter distance between aircraft, but during low clouds/ceilings and weather trailing distances increase causing aircraft to back-up more on the approaches. DTW is heavily banked operation due to the Delta hub, so you have waves of many arriving aircraft on roughly 2 hour intervals. The biggest arrival banks where you hear the most aircraft noise is around 7:00-8am, 11am-12pm, ~2pm, then 6pm-7pm is a huge bank. There are mucher few arriving aircraft and they are more spaced out after 8pm. I lived in the area and its always been like that since I was a kid. You will notice on days when the winds are out of the north you will not hear any air traffic and the airport is operating in northerly flow.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:19 AM
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,931,470 times
Reputation: 3554
Ahh, weather. I can see that. Yeah, that definitely makes sense because some days I'll go all day without hearing a single aircraft, but then other days it'll be 2 hours of non-stop aircraft followed by 4 hours of quiet, followed by 2 hours of non-stop aircraft, and then nothing for 3 days.

I've pulled up the online air traffic map during busier periods and observed a lot of planes in that holding pattern I described (a better description would be Coolidge to 8 Mile to Inkster to Long Lake), and I know when they come around on that holding pattern I can hear them. Sunday there were like 5-6 in the pattern at a time. Then they drop out of it and more come in. Once the pattern emptied out flights started coming in over Dearborn Heights/Redford/Brightmoor to make their final approach and I couldn't hear anything, so I assumed it probably also had something to do with current air traffic too. I'll have to observe in the future. It's a minor nuisance as it's very intermittent, but I definitely noticed it this last Sunday.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:49 PM
4 posts, read 3,463 times
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Great insights and they are spot on. Glad to hear it is working out for you.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:32 PM
Location: n/a
1,189 posts, read 854,369 times
Reputation: 1343
These stats surprise me, not that it would necessarily (either favorably or adversely) affect OP's neighborhood experience.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:17 PM
4 posts, read 3,463 times
Reputation: 24
Originally Posted by Fubarbundy View Post
These stats surprise me, not that it would necessarily (either favorably or adversely) affect OP's neighborhood experience.
What stats in particular? Could you enumerate how you are surprised?
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