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Old 01-18-2012, 01:21 AM
Location: Portland, OR to be Portsmouth, VA
14 posts, read 30,071 times
Reputation: 12


Hi there,
I'm 23 and I'm a nurse and I just go into the Navy Nurse Corps. I chose Portsmouth Naval Medical Center as my first assignment. I will be moving there from Portland, OR (born and raised). I've never been on the east coast.
I'm a stereotypical Portland hipster that thinks good food and booze are more important than anything else in life. I have a food blog. I like city-living. I like walking but will be bringing a car and motorcycle. I would not want a commute that's over an hour. I'm hoping for covered/secure parking.
I've heard things like "don't live in Portsmouth," "closer to the beach the better" and "Ghent is the way to go." I have no initial desire to be in the military crowd as I will probably be the youngest nurse at work (again). I imagine something close to a University would be fun but I'm not willing to put up with BS.
Any suggestions for good areas, roads, etc. would be well heard and appreciated, thank you
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:27 AM
359 posts, read 689,095 times
Reputation: 157
Default I can take this one.

I saw Portland in the subject and thought, "No way, a hipster." Is it anything like Seattle was in the '90s out there? Lots of cuties? Are thirtysomething grandpa hipsters able to have fun? I might have to drive through someday to check it out.

Funny about stereoytypes, some people just try too hard. I have this bearded weirdo that goes to my community gym (K-ville) who wears skinny jeans and a hoodie, occasionally with the hood pulled up over his head. While he is in the weight room doing whatever it is that he does. (Has anyone else seen this guy?) In the '80s, this kind of creepy pervy looking dude would not be welcome at all, but we have since become enlightened and tolerant.

All of Norfolk has pockets of 'hood around it but it's not like something you would see in Baltimore where marathoners are getting shot. The "strip" in Portsmouth is too small; Ghent is your best bet, you PBR swilling, so tragically naval and unhip that you're hip hipster, you.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:06 PM
26 posts, read 59,074 times
Reputation: 27
Default Culture..

D Train,

Some of the things you would find in the Portland area...

1) Lot's of cafe's. Coffee is 2nd only to alcohol.
2) Microbreweries. Microbreweries. Microbreweries.
3) Hi-Tech Industry.
4) A large community not afraid to stand-up and say "Get lost Walmart!".
5) Food carts. These look like the trailers you would find at a carnival (the ones selling cotton candy and sausages) but the food is actually gourmet. There are literally hundreds of them downtown.
6) Bridges, bridges, and more bridges. Some of them are quite old (and quite functional). They really add something to the city skyline.
7) Recycle. Recycle. Recycle.

I could go on but I realize that's not the purpose of this thread, so let me get back on subject...

Is Ghent really the way to go? I mean, I realize in the 80's it was the place to be because nobody in HR wanted to liver there. My former brother in law lived there and he rented an attic/studio apt on the cheap. It's my understanding that Ghent has been given a facelift and is now kind of "yuppie".

Is this the case or am I misinformed?
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:34 PM
359 posts, read 689,095 times
Reputation: 157
Portland sounds worth a visit.

Wal-Mart is at the top of my domestic enemies list.

Since Sweetpea is going to work in Portsmouth, if she lives in Norfolk she will have to deal with the tunnel. I just don't know enough about the surroundings of Portsmouth to suggest anything else. I made it far as some bowling alley on High St. and it looked sketchy. Hoffler Creek's surroundings to the NW and Western Branch to the W aren't bad options. I suggested Ghent (like around 21st/Colley etc.) because they have some nice studio apts. and she could walk to the nightlife. Would take some hunting, I'm sure. Yes, the Chrysler Museum/Llewellyn area seems yuppie, maybe it's where all the profs live.

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Old 01-23-2012, 06:23 PM
10 posts, read 12,408 times
Reputation: 18
First of all, congratulations! I'm sure you will enjoy the area here, as I have.

I've lived here for a bit over 6 months myself, and so I'm hoping I can offer some helpful information for you. Seeing as how I put a lot of consideration in to where I wanted to live, not all too long ago.

I've lived in Portsmouth this whole time, two places actually. I signed a short term lease at one place, and a year lease after that.
Let me mention that I am also a recent college graduate (23 as well), and understand a lot of what you are looking for. I enjoy going out every now and again, and living in Portsmouth, depending on what I want to go do, I'm pretty much in the middle of everything (Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA beach).
Portsmouth really doesn't have many young people living here, kinda sucks actually. Norfolk definitely has a younger feel to it. Only going off from what you said about being a hipster, I can agree with the others.. Ghent is where you would probably feel the most welcome. But then again, you have to deal with the traffic. The midtown tunnel (which you would take living in Norfolk) sucks. Then again, I'm originally from a state with little traffic, so it could be all relative. Alternatively.. depending on when you start work, there is a ferry that goes from Norfolk to Portsmouth all day. That could save a ton of time.
My only caution about Ghent is that it is pretty expensive. And perhaps a bit sketchy at night.

Right now, I literally live right next to NMCP. You couldn't get any closer. In fact, many of my neighbors work at the hospital. I'm not sure I would recommend living here. I live at The Myrtles. It isn't bad, but I won't get into detail here. If you want more info, pm me.
Prior to living here, I lived at the Harbor Tower which was awesome. I have a friend who lives right in downtown Norfolk, over a very popular area, and he paid the same amount I did. That's why I only signed a short term lease. I found a roommate, and am saving a ton now. I miss Harbor Tower though, there are 25 floors.. and all of them have amazing views. Also, covered parking! Lots of people work at the hospital that live there too, probably a 5 minute walk, if you are a speed walker like myself.

Now onto my opinion.. if I could do it over again, I would move to Va beach. I love the place..especially during the summer. I've grown up next to water, so it goes without saying that I'm a beach bum. I go every weekend. A lot cheaper to live out there too, depending on the place. But it can be sketchy too.. Most new people live there actually, then move towards Chesapeake or something. But I'm young, and I value a short drive to work. But once this lease expires..

In summary:
Ghent - Expensive, fun, trendy, drive time sucks
Portsmouth - Boring during the day, Nice bars, proximity to work and other locations
Virginia Beach - Beach town, drive times are the worst here.

That was a very long winded explanation of everything.. but I could have gone into so much more detail. If you are still finding you want more information, please don't hesitate to pm me. I obviously enjoy talking about all this. If not, best of luck to you! Perhaps I will see you around drinking a pbr like myself? Hahaha
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:25 PM
3,848 posts, read 8,371,792 times
Reputation: 2011
You could go for Ghent. If you're working normal hours, you could bike to the Tide and then transfer to the ferry. The medical center is only a short bike ride away from the ferry stop (or you would walk.) Or you could just drive. A 9-5 living in Ghent would put you going against traffic.

AM- traffic backed up from Portsmouth to Norfolk
PM- traffic backed up from Norfolk to Portsmouth
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:41 PM
Location: Portland, OR to be Portsmouth, VA
14 posts, read 30,071 times
Reputation: 12
Awesome feedback! Thanks so much. I'm not in the market until after training. I'll hit Virginia mid-march and running.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:31 AM
10 posts, read 12,408 times
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Enjoy your training! It's a great idea to start looking at places early. Something I was glad to have done.
I forgot to mention. I'm sure there will be tons of new LTs (or whatever it is you come in as, as a nurse) at the hospital. I'd say the majority of my neighbors are mid to late 20's, so I'm sure you'll integrate well. Obviously Hampton Roads has a huge military presence here.
In any case, best of luck! Any time down the road if you need help with something, feel free to pm me. Hope your transition goes smoothly!
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:29 PM
396 posts, read 1,012,014 times
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What about Olde Town Portsmouth? Not Ghent, but on the right side of the tunnel. More cafes than it previously had...but it's not Portland. ha.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:42 AM
1,210 posts, read 2,353,503 times
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Why not just live in the Freemason area, ride your bike to waterside, take the ferry over to Portsmouth, and ride your bike to work. It really shouldn't take that long and the use of a bicycle + public transit should appeal to your hipster sensibilities.

Paddlewheel Ferry | Hampton Roads Transit (http://www.gohrt.com/services/paddlewheel-ferry/ - broken link)

That area is in the middle of everything with Granby St right there, multiple light rail stops nearby, Ghent just down the road, and Town Pointe Park nearby.
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