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Old 10-12-2011, 11:45 PM
 
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My husband and I are traveling the US by RV looking for a place we’d like to live, and we’re currently in Greenville. He’s from New Hampshire (too cold) and I’m from Texas (too hot) – we’re looking for someplace with a moderate climate and lots of outdoor activities. I’ve been reading forums about Greenville, and I have some specific questions I’d appreciate answered. I don’t mean to criticize Greenville or the SC way of life, so please don’t take my questions as antagonistic, only as an honest request for information, bearing in mind that the answers to these questions are largely subjective.

1. I’ve been concerned about mentions on forums of Greenville being “high crime”. What does this really mean? I talked to a couple nurses here who said Greenville has some gang problems, but that most violent crimes are domestic.

2. Every place has “bad areas,” usually low-income and higher-crime, the ones you wouldn’t walk through alone at night. How much of this does Greenville have, and does it fall along a racial/ethnic divide? Where are these areas, and how hard are they to avoid?

3. What about Spartanburg and surrounding cities?

4. Greenville seems a bit more progressive to me than some places we’ve visited, but SC is still the Bible belt. How religious is the atmosphere of Greenville? Are parents fighting to have prayer in schools? Does religion crop up in civic and community events?

5. How liberal or conservative is the area – socially, politically, etc.? Is the “man is the head of the household / woman raises babies” attitude dominant among women?

6. Greenville also looks more racially and ethnically diverse to me than other places we’ve been (Tennessee, for example) – is this the case? Is there racial tension and hostility?

7. How bad is the summer heat/humidity? I know it’s less than Florida, but do you walk outside and immediately start dripping? I’m from Texas, and summer heat gets bad enough that you try not to go outside – is Greenville comparable? The weather is lovely now, but we need to be aware of the worst.

Thanks for any and all feedback. Please feel free to include any other information that would help us know the area better!
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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The fact that you would even ask questions 4, 5 & 6 makes me believe that you would not be happy here. Look into Asheville, NC.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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Don't listen to Chuckie, he's asleep.

1)Like anywhere, there's crime. I haven't seen much of it though. I think the gang problems are probably overblown a little bit due to the fact G'ville is a smaller town. I have no stats to outline domestic abuse, so I won't comment.

2)I really haven't been in any "bad" area but I have heard there are some places to avoid. I live in Greer and I'm in Greenville every day and I've never made a wrong turn into a bad area. So I would say they are easy to avoid.

3)Greenville is where it's at. I'd say Spartanburg is not as progressive. Think NASCAR

4)Yes it is the bible belt but I've never had anybody come up to me asking where I go to church, etc... I don't run into many bible thumpers. I've met a lot of New Age, progressive spiritual types. Don't have kids so I can't comment on schools.

5)Mostly conservative area but I've met a lot of liberals. Most women I hang out w/ would die if they thought "women raise the babies".

6)Probably not as diverse as some areas and more diverse than others.

7) it does get humid here but you get used to it. This past summer was the hottest in awhile but it was no big deal. Texas is worse.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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1. The only time I've heard crime being mentioned is when others bring it up on forums. I've lived in the area 11 years, and haven't had a car break-in or anything. Sure, you see things in the news, but it's mainly domestic violence or situations where people already knew each other (crimes of passion, etc). Ramdom crime/violence is rare here in my experience.

2. The west side of Greenville tends to be more "ethnic" if you must label such things, and lower income. I suppose crime is higher there, as it always tends to be in such areas nationally. I've only been in that part of town for specific things, such as visiting the Pendleton Street Arts District, etc. It's not usually an issue in day-to-day life here.

3. Spartanburg, Anderson, etc are smaller and tend to be a bit more "Southern" in feel, but both have things to recommend them as well. Even though the government has broken the area up statistically, I view the entire Upstate region as a single large metro area.

4. People speak freely here of their religious views, both those who are religious and those who aren't. There are elements of the local community that call attention to themselves, but not nearly so much as in other parts of the South that I've lived in.

5. This area is very mixed in my experience as far as political views go. Remember, there are LOTS of folks here now who weren't born in the area. The area is very much pro-business, if that tells you anything. We enjoy a relatively healthy economic climate here.

6. Diversity - yes. Tension/hostility - not since I've lived here. I've worked with and made friends with people of African, Asian and South American heritage here - we always focus our conversations and interactions on the things we all share in common. All those friends are happy, well-adjusted people. The suburban neighborhood I live in is also very (peacefully) diverse as well.

7. Heat/humidity in summer can be pretty intense, as in anywhere in the South, but here it's much more sporadic and not as consistent as say in Birmingham or Memphis. The humidity is usually pretty low, unless the airmass changes and prevailing winds bring air up from the Gulf. As hot as it got here this summer, I felt sorry for my friends in Dallas & San Antonio all summer long this year!!

Hope that gives you a better idea. Greenville is very much a growing, progressive place with influences from the many people who have moved here from other states and other countries.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: near downtown Greenville, SC (viewing the sunset vicariously at Lido Beach)
1,960 posts, read 4,033,199 times
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Welcome. Please do a search. There are multiple, numerous threads on Greenville relocation.

Please remember the City-Data Forum is an opinion board and there are LOTS of opinions here. If you consider relocating to an unfamiliar area, spend an extended period time doing the mundane tasks (grocery shopping, post office, etc)

To answer your questions:

1. High crime areas include the immediate west side of Greenville. Generally, most other areas of Greenville/Greenville county are safe.

2. See #1.

3. Greenville and the immediate surrounding area trumps Spartanburg in nearly every aspect of quality of life (my opinion only).

4. The city of Greenville is quite progressive (for a SC city). The suburban and rural areas are MUCH more conservative. Religion plays a dominant role in the entire South. My kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily in school (thankfully) - but I'm not clear if they have a "moment of silence".

5. See #4. My wife is a stay-at-home mom and loves her role. My kids relish the fact that she is there at all times and actively involved in their lives. This is not to say that I don't encourage my daughters to think independently and pursue their areas of interest. Of course, my wife could have worked and we could then afford a 60 inch LCD TV, the latest iPhone, and a '12 BMW SUV

6. BMW and Michelin have North American headquarters in Greenville/Upstate SC. Thus, there are numerous German and French citizens here. However, I do see several "Native" stickers on cars (I've been told many times that this is not native hostility but more of an invitation to ask for help ).

7. It's quite humid all over the South in the Summer - in Greenville, from about mid-June thru mid-September. The geographic exceptions to high temps/humidity (in the Southeast) are far eastern TN and Western NC. The Greenville area averages a little over 6 inches of snow per year with some occasional severe ice storms.

Other comments: I see various posters desperately looking for the "American Utopia" and aimlessly posting all over City-Data. There is no "Utopia". Every place has warts. There are always compromises.

All in all, Greenville is a wonderful place to raise a family. As for a retirement area, I'm not sure - perhaps other posters could answer.

I do agree that if you are looking for liberal enclave in the South, drive about an hour north and investigate Asheville. Of course, with Asheville, comes a higher cost of living, colder winters/more snow, and a very limited/restricted economy.

Last edited by drfranklin; 10-13-2011 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: New York City
1,556 posts, read 3,279,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckeely View Post
My husband and I are traveling the US by RV looking for a place we’d like to live, and we’re currently in Greenville. He’s from New Hampshire (too cold) and I’m from Texas (too hot) – we’re looking for someplace with a moderate climate and lots of outdoor activities. I’ve been reading forums about Greenville, and I have some specific questions I’d appreciate answered. I don’t mean to criticize Greenville or the SC way of life, so please don’t take my questions as antagonistic, only as an honest request for information, bearing in mind that the answers to these questions are largely subjective.

1. I’ve been concerned about mentions on forums of Greenville being “high crime”. What does this really mean? I talked to a couple nurses here who said Greenville has some gang problems, but that most violent crimes are domestic.

Lived in Greenville for years and other than some chairs that were stolen out of my backyard was never a victim of any crime while in Greenville. The level of crime really depends on who you ask and where they are used to living. But Greenville is far from a high crime city in my opinion.

2. Every place has “bad areas,” usually low-income and higher-crime, the ones you wouldn’t walk through alone at night. How much of this does Greenville have, and does it fall along a racial/ethnic divide? Where are these areas, and how hard are they to avoid?

Yes.....areas around White Horse road, along Pendleton street and the neighborhoods immediately behind downtown Greenville come to mind here. Easy to avoid.

3. What about Spartanburg and surrounding cities?

Spartanburg itself is higher crime than Greenville but does have some nice surrounding cities and neighborhoods. However when it comes to the amenities that Greenville has Spartanburg is hugely lacking.

4. Greenville seems a bit more progressive to me than some places we’ve visited, but SC is still the Bible belt. How religious is the atmosphere of Greenville? Are parents fighting to have prayer in schools? Does religion crop up in civic and community events?

Greenville is the buckle on the belt! Progressive on some things not so progressive on others. Liquor stores must close at 7 pm during weekdays and cannot open on Sundays. Go to a restaurant on a Sunday that is outside of Greenville city limits and you cannot order any alcoholic beverages. Churches everywhere (not a bad thing just a fact), and people who will ask you what church you go to...."answer I don't go to church" and get ready to be looked at funny and/or invited to their church. Downtown Greenville is the main attraction.....after you leave the downtown area the rest of the area is not visually pleasing to look at. Most of the money is pumped into making the downtown area yuppie heaven.....while the rest of the area is left with sprawl, strip malls, fast food places and gas stations.

5. How liberal or conservative is the area – socially, politically, etc.? Is the “man is the head of the household / woman raises babies” attitude dominant among women?

See the answer to question #4. Most of the women that I came in contact with while living there were working everyday and contributing to their households unless the husband was making so much money that they could afford to stay at home with the kids. Economically most of the larger companies in Greenville are based on manufacturing and I found the opportunities to work in areas other than manufacturing to be very limited there. Greenville residents tend to be very defensive when anything that does not make the city look good is mentioned....especially from an outsider as they like to call it a "transplant"! Be careful about making any criticisms about the south or Greenville.

6. Greenville also looks more racially and ethnically diverse to me than other places we’ve been (Tennessee, for example) – is this the case? Is there racial tension and hostility?

No.....Greenville is mostly black and white with a few other ethnic groups (Asian, Hispanic etc.) mixed in. Keep in mind that I am basing this view on living here in NYC so to me no Greenville is not diverse. Yes there is some racial tension. There are some residents in Greenville who have expressed concern during the last few months about black teens hanging out in downtown Greenville. Keep in mind that these kids were just hanging out, had committed no crime or disturbance......but some Greenville residents found their presence downtown to be intimidating because of the color of their skin! You will also notice confederate flags and stickers on people's homes and cars.

7. How bad is the summer heat/humidity? I know it’s less than Florida, but do you walk outside and immediately start dripping? I’m from Texas, and summer heat gets bad enough that you try not to go outside – is Greenville comparable? The weather is lovely now, but we need to be aware of the worst.

This past summer in Greenville was a scorcher and hotter than any summer I had experienced in the years that I lived there. The same can be said for the winters. Usually Greenville only receives 1 or 2 snows.....last winter was an exception.

Thanks for any and all feedback. Please feel free to include any other information that would help us know the area better!
Good luck....

Last edited by NewYorkBorn; 10-13-2011 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Toronto
3 posts, read 16,068 times
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We moved to Greenville in July from Toronto (Michigan before that) and love it. We bought a nice house near downtown and enjoy walking to all the restaurants and don't find it scary to walk home after 11. We have found plenty of liberals to hang around with. There are plenty of tea party types around but we find EVERYBODY very friendly and welcoming. We can highly recommend Greenville as a great place to live!
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:40 AM
 
11,116 posts, read 16,801,277 times
Reputation: 10096
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckeely View Post
My husband and I are traveling the US by RV looking for a place we’d like to live, and we’re currently in Greenville. He’s from New Hampshire (too cold) and I’m from Texas (too hot) – we’re looking for someplace with a moderate climate and lots of outdoor activities. I’ve been reading forums about Greenville, and I have some specific questions I’d appreciate answered. I don’t mean to criticize Greenville or the SC way of life, so please don’t take my questions as antagonistic, only as an honest request for information, bearing in mind that the answers to these questions are largely subjective.

1. I’ve been concerned about mentions on forums of Greenville being “high crime”. What does this really mean? I talked to a couple nurses here who said Greenville has some gang problems, but that most violent crimes are domestic.

2. Every place has “bad areas,” usually low-income and higher-crime, the ones you wouldn’t walk through alone at night. How much of this does Greenville have, and does it fall along a racial/ethnic divide? Where are these areas, and how hard are they to avoid?

3. What about Spartanburg and surrounding cities?

4. Greenville seems a bit more progressive to me than some places we’ve visited, but SC is still the Bible belt. How religious is the atmosphere of Greenville? Are parents fighting to have prayer in schools? Does religion crop up in civic and community events?

5. How liberal or conservative is the area – socially, politically, etc.? Is the “man is the head of the household / woman raises babies” attitude dominant among women?

6. Greenville also looks more racially and ethnically diverse to me than other places we’ve been (Tennessee, for example) – is this the case? Is there racial tension and hostility?

7. How bad is the summer heat/humidity? I know it’s less than Florida, but do you walk outside and immediately start dripping? I’m from Texas, and summer heat gets bad enough that you try not to go outside – is Greenville comparable? The weather is lovely now, but we need to be aware of the worst.

Thanks for any and all feedback. Please feel free to include any other information that would help us know the area better!

Keep heading northwest on I-26 into towns like Campobello SC, Landrum, SC, Tryon, NC, Hendersonville NC and from there to north of Asheville. You will love it. Agree totally with the other poster who said if you have to ask 4,5,6, and 7, you will not like it in Greenville. Weather and routine living between there and at higher elevations starting in Hendersonville is awesome. You will get some snow/ice in the winter, but nothing to be concerned about. If shopping and big malls, discount malls etc. are important, then I would say you either need to travel to a large city to get those or live within 5 mi. of a larger city ..... And put up with all the detractions of a larger city. If you want relaxed living then western NC would be more attractive. Even if you want to go "further up" the state, the only other place I would want to live in would be around Winston-Salem, Clemmons NC etc. Short trip to the mtns. but still cooler weather. (Greenville is, however, a better choice than Spartanburg. Personal opinion, but Spartanburg can be "tacky". I'll get slammed for that. But after living and working in the mountains for over 10 years, I think I can give an opinion. )
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
5,680 posts, read 10,452,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zephyr10 View Post
We moved to Greenville in July from Toronto (Michigan before that) and love it. We bought a nice house near downtown and enjoy walking to all the restaurants and don't find it scary to walk home after 11. We have found plenty of liberals to hang around with. There are plenty of tea party types around but we find EVERYBODY very friendly and welcoming. We can highly recommend Greenville as a great place to live!
I've found both here and in my travels that.... Nice people are nice people, period. Usually, philosophical differences don't come up, or at least don't matter much in day-to-day interactions. If you're cordial, then others will be, too!
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
123 posts, read 407,111 times
Reputation: 242
Ok, now that I'm awake I can give a better reply. Sorry, I didn't intend to sound snappy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckeely View Post
My husband and I are traveling the US by RV looking for a place we’d like to live, and we’re currently in Greenville. He’s from New Hampshire (too cold) and I’m from Texas (too hot) – we’re looking for someplace with a moderate climate and lots of outdoor activities. I’ve been reading forums about Greenville, and I have some specific questions I’d appreciate answered. I don’t mean to criticize Greenville or the SC way of life, so please don’t take my questions as antagonistic, only as an honest request for information, bearing in mind that the answers to these questions are largely subjective.

1. I’ve been concerned about mentions on forums of Greenville being “high crime”. What does this really mean? I talked to a couple nurses here who said Greenville has some gang problems, but that most violent crimes are domestic.

Gang problems here wouldn't even remotely compare to anything that goes on in L.A. You find some wanna-be thugs but they are easily avoided and don't usually hang around the downtown areas. Most violent crime does seem to be domestic though.

2. Every place has “bad areas,” usually low-income and higher-crime, the ones you wouldn’t walk through alone at night. How much of this does Greenville have, and does it fall along a racial/ethnic divide? Where are these areas, and how hard are they to avoid?

I don't know that there is any area in Greenville where you would be mugged in open daylight. The White Horse Rd area seems to have a lot of lower income & a growing Mexican population. I wouldn't want to live there but I've never been bothered when I was in that area. Most of the divides are socio-economic rather than race. Outside of Greenville you may run into some resentment from natives because you are transplant. But most of that usually can be diffused with the right attitude and willingness to educate yourself and understand the culture. I'm sure that moving from TX to NH you understand that people in different places have different ways of communicating and doing things.

3. What about Spartanburg and surrounding cities?

Spartanburg is not as nice as Greenville and tends to be a bit "rough". Greer, Simpsonville, Traveler's Rest & Easley are all nice areas around Greenville that are low crime and popular with transplants.

4. Greenville seems a bit more progressive to me than some places we’ve visited, but SC is still the Bible belt. How religious is the atmosphere of Greenville? Are parents fighting to have prayer in schools? Does religion crop up in civic and community events?

The city of Greenville tends to be more progressive than other areas. Greenville, Greer, Wade hampton, Traveler's Rest, Mauldin, Simpsonville, have a lot of transplants so what you experience there will be very different than what you experience in surrounding areas or out in the county. You can walk around all day in Greenville Costco and not hear a single native Greenville accent.

Once you get outside of those areas it tends to become very conservative and very Bible Beltish. You will not be shunned or harassed for being different but some people have very strong opinions about these things and will express them publicly. Most people will be friendly regardless of who you are and where you come from. You will hear Gospel music playing in stores and people will talk about God and/or ask you where you go to church. Most are just simply making conversation and don't mean to offend. Religion is a very important part of life in those areas and you will hear public prayers. Some stores and restaurants choose to close on Sunday.


5. How liberal or conservative is the area – socially, politically, etc.? Is the “man is the head of the household / woman raises babies” attitude dominant among women?

See #4. It's a Red State and the Upstate of SC is more conservative than other areas such as Charleston. There are no dry counties but we still have some remnants of the old Colonial Blue Laws which seems to surprise a lot of people. Other than that, SC is rather libertarian in their laws. We have low taxes and don't have a lot of unnecessary permit & registration requirements that you find in other states. We don't make you go through expensive car inspections or force you to pay a fee for registering your dog every year. You do pay a yearly personal property tax on your vehicle but it works out because the sales tax when you buy a car in SC is only $300.

Whether a woman works or not is up to each individual family. We have all types down here - working Moms, single working Moms, stay-at-home Moms, stay-at-home Dads, etc. A stay-at-home Mom does not necessarily have to be wealthy. As long as the children are fed, clothed & not abused we generally don't stick our nose into how people choose to raise their families.

People do seem to place a high value on the family around here and you will see a lot of family-friendly events, marriage conferences & church programs geared toward strengthening the family unit.


6. Greenville also looks more racially and ethnically diverse to me than other places we’ve been (Tennessee, for example) – is this the case? Is there racial tension and hostility?

I've not noticed any of the overt racial tension in Greenville that I have seen in California and in some Northern cities. You won't get cussed out for walking into the wrong neighborhood. The blacks and whites in the south are used to living together and generally are respectful toward each other. Most divides seem to be socio-economic rather than race. It's really rare to see a Confederate flag but, if you do, keep in mind that the person is probably flying it because of Southern pride not because he's a racist.

7. How bad is the summer heat/humidity? I know it’s less than Florida, but do you walk outside and immediately start dripping? I’m from Texas, and summer heat gets bad enough that you try not to go outside – is Greenville comparable? The weather is lovely now, but we need to be aware of the worst.

It's not as bad as Columbia or Atlanta but it gets pretty dang hot. It's typically in the 80s & 90s in the summer plus high humidity. If you are from a drier climate it may be difficult for you to adjust to.

Thanks for any and all feedback. Please feel free to include any other information that would help us know the area better!
Make sure you read all the threads and visit a couple of times before you commit to moving. Some people move here and love it. Others hate it and wish they never came . What I meant by my first post was that IF (not that you were) someone is coming down with a perception that Southerners are backward, uneducated, bible-thumping, chauvinistic, racist hicks than that is all that you are going to see. There are many posts on this forum that will attest to that attitude. If you are wiling to recognize that we have a different culture down here and you take the time to try and get to know the people before judging them then you will do fine. If you expect to find New York City, LA or Houston you will be disappointed. Best of luck in whatever decision you make.
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