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Old 11-27-2007, 11:15 PM
12 posts, read 83,202 times
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Hey folks: Only a year out from retirement now and still have favorable impressions of Greenville area. Successful visit during the summer - yes, I arrived on the day it hit 104. Wanted to see if there is anyone on the forum who moved to Greenville from northern Virginia, where we now live. Interested in what is different in your mind from life up here around the beltway. Better or just different? Whatever you would like to share, I would appreciate. Thanks. Carex.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:03 AM
Location: Greenville, SC
5,238 posts, read 8,807,875 times
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We, too, got here on the day it was 104 (just to visit), and we came from Sterling, Virgina. I used to work in Fairfax. The main difference is that of scale. Greenville is obviously much smaller than the DC area. I keep getting to places much quicker than I would think when just looking at the local map. People here tend to think that a 30 minute commute is long when it is less than the norm in NOVA (Northern Virginia).

Maybe it is because this is a smaller city, or because we are in the South (probably both), but people here are more likely to look you in the eye and start a conversation with you seemingly out of the blue. Also people seem much more willing to help you out, although my girlfriend and I have noticed that these offers frequently aren't that genuine. It is shocking how so many people have offered to help us get settled in, and equally confusing that most people do not actually follow up on their offers if you accept. Maybe these offers to help out are more of a common courtesy, and equally so, common courtesy dictates to not to ask people to follow up on said offers? It has taken some getting used to, as where we come from you don't say things unless you really mean it, but then again where we come from people keep a lot more to themselves. So I guess that's the trade-off. As an example, someone on this board offered to take my girlfriend and me on a tour of Bob Jones University to dispel some of the preconceived notions I have of the place. But when I said OK, he/she never got back to me. I've just become a little wary of the whole Southern Hospitality thing and just reply now with a " Thanks, that's so kind of you," and leave it at that. These can still be awkward moments for me, though.

Also, it feels at times like we have traveled back in time a bit here. There are a lot of small locally-owned businesses (including record stores that sell cassettes), as well as tons of signage and power lines along the roads. Main Street in Greenville has almost a 50's, Mayberry type of vibe, but is not typical of the area as a whole.

I might just list a few other things I've noticed here:

Apparently there are no emission standards on vehicles, cause there are some cars and trucks on the roads that puke out lots of black stuff.

Fast food restaurants and other service industries employ Americans that speak English as a first language. Although I've still had to ask people to repeat themselves because of a thick southern accent. I'm starting to get better at understanding, though. While you hear the occasional foreign language being spoken, it is not as common as in NOVA. Just the other day I noticed a pho restaurant next door to a Vietnamese market, just down from a restaurant where the sign out front was in all Spanish. We ate there (Rosalinda's) and it was GREAT!

Many restaurants and other businesses are closed on Sundays.

My eyes itch more often here.

My neighborhood is virtually all white. Unfortunately we had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night and that neighborhood was virtually all black.

There are A LOT of churches around.

Because it is more affordable, there are more poor neighborhoods here.

We can afford to live near downtown, with much more yard than we had in VA.

Overall, people here are much, much less concerned about status and wealth than they are in NOVA, although there definitely is a good number of people here that are obviously quite wealthy.

If you like the suburban sprawl that has been going on in NOVA for so long, that, too, is available for you as you head south from Greenville. Check out Woodruff road, Simpsonville, Mauldin.

Outdoor recreation is much more accessible here, although there are fewer and/or smaller local parks and walk/bike paths.

Life here seems much more stable and livable, where so many people in NOVA were just there temporarily for their career, or a government contract.

I'm sure there is more, but this post is probably too long as it is.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:54 PM
12 posts, read 83,202 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for the reply ART123. We live in Fairfax City and I work in Arlington. We currently like our quiet neighborhood in Fairfax City, but CAN NOT afford to retire up here. I will be looking for an affordable and safe neighborhood, not too far from hospitals (wife), with mature vegetation. Maybe somewhere in Taylors. I am currently a Natural Resource Specialist doing bio-inventory work. Have been a Naturalist, Park Ranger, Nature Center Director, etc, etc. So will probably look for part-time or volunteer work in those areas. Be nice to settle down in a place where things are a little more layed-back and the less traffic would be a nice adjustment. Want to help me move (just kidding)? Thanks for the response and keep the weather mild for us...we had temps in the 30's today with 40-50 mph winds! Getting tired of that. Carex.
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